I’m Still Learning To Love…

Meme instructions: Answer the following 20 personal questions about your Second Life. Don’t forget to share a link to your post in the comments!

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1.) When and how did you discover Second Life?

I discovered SL originally in December of 2008 when I should’ve been studying for college finals.  But there was an episode of MTV’s “MADE” where a girl wanted to be ‘made’ from a socially awkward person into a rock star or other singer… and when it came time for her big performance, she was inviting some of her friends from this game called Second Life.  I’d always loved the Sims games and that’s what it looked like, so I Googled it, made an account… and now here I am, a few incarnations later.

2.) Did you know about virtual worlds before, or was this your first experience with them?

I knew OF them, I guess… I mean, I roleplayed via message boards and websites.  Things like Gaia Online, and proboards sites.  I didn’t go back as far as IRC and other chat programs, but I was a message board/website roleplayer.  But I’d never had experience with physical virtual worlds with the ability to interact with other people, no.

3.) Has Second Life met your expectations?

Second Life has far exceeded my expectations.  I honestly thought it would just be a fun place to spend some time… but SL has given me back things that I thought I’d lost, most notably dancing.  For those that don’t know, or haven’t paid attention when I’ve mentioned it here before, I played Lacrosse my first year of college and ruined my knee.  I’d been a dancer in RL for years before that… and I couldn’t dance anymore after hurting myself.  SL gave me dance back.  And gave me so much more than I thought I’d ever be able to do with things like modeling and fashion… and Relay for Life.  It’s just been amazing.

4.) If you could teleport back to the first ten minutes of your avatar’s slife, what would you tell yourself?

There’s more than just this mainland hangout place!  You can teleport to stores, clubs, all sorts of places!  (Seriously… I spent my first, like, two weeks on the noobie island just talking to people… until I asked a girl where she got her dress and she sent me a landmark to a store and I asked, “What’s this?”  That was when I learned there were OTHER SIMS in SL.  LOL.)

5.) How long did it take you to master avatar flying and driving vehicles in world?

Flying came as easy to me as walking did, honestly.  I’m pretty good at it.  Sometimes my lack of depth perception gets me in trouble, but otherwise I’m ok.  Driving vehicles, however… I am vehicularly challenged in Second Life.  6 years here and I can’t drive much of anything.  Just ask the last people who witnessed my attempts at driving a motorcycle.  (I gave up and used a pedal bicycle on the track… which moved at the pace of my avatar walking…)

6.) Do you have a mystery alt?

Lol.  Depends what you mean by “mystery”.  I have Tiviyah2 for group space, and most people can tell that it’s me.  She’s the paler ginger version of me.  There used to be an avi for my blogger groups, but I sorta gave her up and retired her.  I do have an alterego that’s a male, but he rarely gets played.  There’s ONE avatar that I have that is known to the people close to me, but not known to the general public.  So if that’s what you mean by ‘mystery’ alt, then yes.  But otherwise, no, there is not an avatar that I hide from EVERYONE.  Wylder knows any and all alts, as do my closest friends.

7.) Is your SL avatar a reflection of you or someone you wished you could be?

I’d say both.  Tivi is my ideal me.  I am me… so the things I say are a reflection of me… it’s not some character I’m roleplaying… but as far as Tivi’s appearance… she’s an ideal me, even as much as she changes.

8.) Is there an individual you met in SL that inspired you in your RL?  How?

I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again… there are definitely two that stick out in my mind that I’ve talked about before, extensively.  One is, most definitely, Sir Zak.  Whether He always felt like He knew what He was doing or not, and whether or not I fought Him on things He was trying to do in my best interest… I grew a lot as a person and a slave in His collar.  While it ended horribly and there are things that were definitely conducted poorly on both our parts… and while there are times where I question the validity of our whole relationship, I cannot question the growth that occurred in me in His collar.  The other is Rya.  I say this a lot too, but Rya is more a mother to me than my own RL mother sometimes.  I know when I want a true motherly reaction, I can go to Rya with anything… and even if there are questions, even if there is doubt, and even if I haven’t thought something through, Rya never neglects to tell me how proud she is of me for everything I’ve done and want to do.  She expresses that pride FIRST, and THEN moves on to say, “Now how are you going to accomplish this?”  Lol.  That is what I need sometimes, and I love her for it.

9.) Do you feel it is easier to create stronger bonds/relationships with people you meet inworld as opposed to the real world?

I hate calling RL the “real world”.. I can deal with calling it “real life” but not the “real world”.  Because the fact remains that while, yes, SL is a virtual environment and a virtual medium… we are all people, interacting with other people… and those interactions are very much real.  The environment may be virtual, but the world is still very real.  I guess that’s a rather ranty way of saying no, I don’t feel like it’s easier, but I also don’t feel like it’s harder.  It’s the same thing… just a different medium.  And I don’t really find one easier than the other.  Outside of the fact that in SL it’s a lot easier to hide the fact that I’m sick, so I don’t have as many people approaching me from a standpoint of pity.

10.) Did you ever imagine or believe people could fall in love with someone they never met before Second Life?

Yes.  For reasons stated above.

11.) How has your perspective of dating changed (or not) since you started playing Second Life?

My perspective on DATING hasn’t changed at all… I’m not shocked that people use the internet to engage in relationships… it’s been happening long before Second Life, and I’m sure it will happen long after.  However, what has changed is my perspective on relationships as a whole.  I didn’t know what D/s or M/s was before I came to Second Life… and thanks to some amazing people in my life (Master Earan, Sir Mik, Alisha, Sarrah, Sir Dark, Miss Kaddan, Sir Zak, etc etc) I have gained a whole new perspective on how I conduct myself in my personal relationships.  I am a slave, pure and simple.  I engage in a relationship with a Master (or a Mistress, if that relationship had ever come my way… which it did once…)  It is something that I personally choose for myself, and it is what makes me happy.  You don’t have to be ok with it… you don’t even have to understand it.  Just know that it’s what makes me happy.  And I will not change who I am to suit you.  Ever.

12.) How has your perspective of employment changed (or not) since you started playing Second Life?

Honestly, I learned that the real life business world is missing out on a lot of untapped talent.  While I agree with the fact that large corporations want to give priority to people who have gone to school for what they want to do for a living, honestly, some people have a natural ability that is beyond what can be taught in a classroom.  Some of the most amazing business people I’ve met in SL have never gone to school for business, they don’t hold a business degree… some don’t hold a degree at all.  We’ve gotten caught in this stigma that you don’t know what you’re doing if you haven’t gone to school for it… when really, all schools teach you is their way of doing something.  You could get out into the real world and have to change your whole thought/work process because your employer wants something different than what your school taught you.  Life experience is so far devalued in the working world, it’s heartbreaking.

13.) Name three things in both your lives that overlap each other significantly.

My friendships, the things that I’m passionate about, and my creative outlets.

14.) If you could live your life more immersively in a virtual world, would you?  (Kind of like the Matrix.)

Honestly… if it meant I could actually FEEL what it was like to dance again… physically, and not just emotionally… or if it allowed me to not feel as run-down and sick as I do all the time… or if it gave me back some of the most devastating things I’ve lost, then yes, I might consider it.  Otherwise, no.

15.) How do you think behavior changes for people if they’re inworld vs in real world?  Why do you think that is?

Can I be blunt here?  People are insensitive assholes in Second Life!  Now, I can hear you saying, “Well so are you, Tivi!”  there’s a difference between being blunt, and being a dick.  I pride myself in being blunt because I’m not a bakery… do not expect sugar-coating… and I warn you of that up front.  However, I also have the tact to keep my mouth shut when the right thing would hurt someone too much.  Maybe they aren’t in a position to hear it, maybe the situation isn’t appropriate (a public place), or maybe they’ve just told me to shut the fuck up.  Either way, while I find that I am blunt… I find that a lot of people are just insensitive assholes and then try to call themselves ‘brutally honest’.  You’re not being honest for someone’s greater good… you’re being an asshole to make yourself feel better by tearing apart someone else’s self-esteem.  Why do I think they do that?  Because they think it’s “just” the internet and it’s “just” a game… and they’re anonymous, they can do whatever they want.  People are idiots.

16.) How has Second Life consumerism changed your perception of spending habits, the value of money, and the need to be “bleeding edge” with fashion?

I have brought RL money into SL three times now in my life.  The first and third were small amounts just to make sure I could cover my tier at the time… and the second time was as a reward to myself so that I could attend Skin Fair and buy a new skin.  Total, I’ve probably brought less than $100 USD into SL in the 6 years I’ve been here.  I’ve always worked at various jobs in SL to earn the lindens that I spend… and being a model that can be complicated.  As a model, you’re expected to be constantly up to date and pushing the envelope.  If you’re in a show, you have to conform to the styling theme that the designer wishes, or the agency sets forth… if you don’t already own things in that genre to accessorize with, it’s your responsibility to purchase those items or just not cast for the show.  But I’ve always worked for every last bit that I have… and I think that made me appreciate more the value of my work.

17.) Do you think virtual worlds like SL drive and redefine human interaction or do they narrow and limit it?

Both.  I have a friend who is very physically disabled in RL.  Her physical disabilities limit her from going out and being as social as she’d like to be, or doing a lot of things that she enjoys, like dancing (yes, a fellow dancer!)… but in SL she has more freedom of movement, so she can go to parties, she can go to discussions, she can dance whenever she feels like it.  It’s as simple as a few clicks of a few buttons.  But, at the same time, because the ease of interaction is there in a virtual world, I believe that some people get caught up, and forget that RL does exist… they forget how to reach out and touch someone.

18.) If technology progressed tomorrow to allow you to send emotions to people the way you’d send text or voice messages, would it enrich your SL experience or infringe on it?

I think I’m cheating in this question, because I’m an empath.  So whether people know it or not, they’re sending their emotions to me simply by existing and feeling those emotions.  It’s why I don’t do crowded places a lot, real or virtual… and why I have a lot of migraines.  To be constantly bombarded with the energies, positive and negative, of other people and the whirlwind of emotions that they feel… and to compound that on top of the fact that my own emotions are somewhat fucked up and complicated on their own… it’s exhausting.  But technology progressing that far I think would neither enrich nor infringe on my personal experience.  I do, however, believe it would aid a lot of people in understanding what we as empaths go through.  *Chuckles*

19.) Name three skills you attribute to having learned or honed in Second Life.

Event Coordination, Photoshop, and Blogging.

20.) If your grand kids Googled your Second Life avatar’s name, would they be intrigued, disgusted, proud, or something else?

*Googles her SL name quickly*  I think they’d be pretty proud.  Just on the first page, my CoC picture is there… some copybotted dances that I discovered and reported, an article about a dance competition I organized that was written about on the Barre Dance Hud website, Some stuff Rya wrote, and finally the link to the Design N Dance website which I’m thrilled to be participating in this year.  I think they would see the array of things I was involved in in this virtual medium and be curious about more… because come on, if they’re my grandkids, they’re going to be insanely creative people… and perhaps a little bit off their rocker.  Second Life would be the perfect place for them.  🙂

GetToWork

*~* I’m Still Learning To Love… *~*

Shape: MINE
Skin: Maya (Natural; Freckles) – Aimi
Eyes: Spectral Eyes (Field) – IKON
Hair: NONE!  Click HERE for info on Relay for Life of Second Life!
Hands: Avatar Enhancement Hands (Elegant) – Slink
Feet: Avatar Enhancement Feet (High) – Slink
Nailcolor Applier (hands & feet): Bright Set – Nailed It
Eyeshadow & Face Jewels: Kat (Topaz) – Lybra  @ KV Fashion Month
* See “Official Sponsors” page for additional Lybra locations
Teeth: Open Mouth Pro – PXL Creations  (USING PIERCING EXPANSION)
Tank Top: Beater Tanktop (Pearl) – Viva La Glam  *Only L$10!*
Jeans: Belted Bells (Light White Zebra) – Auxilary
Headwrap: Ism (Cultural) – Artizana Ethnic Couture
Earrings: Hoop Earrings Large (Gold) – Soedara
Tablet: Tablet (Orange) – Plethora  (Plain, gacha version)

Pose: Sit from the new RACHEL AO – Vista Animations

Location: My Build Platform

Blogging Tune: “Say Something” (Cover) – Pentatonix

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