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Behold, the latest creation from Kaya Angel.

I present to you, The Lefevre Mansion. Built with deepest love, respect and thanks to one of the nicest people I have ever had the fortune to meet, be associated with and to call my friend.

For Marcus.

I really had a double take this morning when I looked at the date. The 30th of January, already? Where on earth has this first month gone!

I will tell you something, a full calendar of events really does make the weeks blur into the next. And today as I finish up booking March, I am feeling more productive than ever in SL.

Still, I feel like I need a project for this year. Something to spur me on and keep me going. So far so good but once I’ve booked everything I need to do, my attention will have to turn elsewhere.

This weekend we have two very special events of which I would like to invite you. The first is the 3rd Aids Benefit Gala run by the Lefevre & Hernandoz Foundation in Second Life. As usual, Marcus has co-ordinated a packed event lineup of entertainment and I would urge you to come and dig deep for this wonderful charity.

The second is the first of the Angel Manor Balls for this year, the Year of the Horse ball. Join us in the Grand Hall for a marvellous asian inspired build by Kylie Sabra with music from Eria Ziemia and a dual stream performance from Lisa Brune and Funkyfreddy Republic.

I also have a few things up my sleeve, including something special for reaching 1000 likes on Angel Manor’s Facebook page – so get on over there and give it a “like” to keep up to date with all we are doing.

And then to February…

Say something

Second Skin

Last night, before logging in we decided to watch a movie together. We ended up watching this documentary:

“Second Skin takes an intimate, disturbing look at three sets of computer gamers whose lives have been transformed by the emerging genre of computer games called Massively Multiplayer Online games (MMOs). World of Warcraft, Second Life, and Everquest allow millions of users to simultaneously interact in virtual spaces. Second Skin introduces us to couples who have fallen in love without ever meeting, disabled players whose lives have been given new purpose, those struggling with addiction, Chinese gold-farming sweatshop workers, wealthy entrepreneurs and legendary guild leaders–all living within a world that doesn’t quite exist. Second Skin focuses on a couple who met in a virtual world, an addict whose life was ruined by MMOs, and a group of MMO gamers who spend most of their lives inside virtual worlds” (from IMDB).

Although several years out of date (and focusing mostly on WoW and Everquest II, with only a few minutes of Second Life) I found it extremely entertaining and very interesting. The directors and editors of the documentary have made sure that it is an unbiased and incredibly clear look at the lives of the people who like to immerse themselves online. It lead to an interesting discussion between myself and my real life partner on whether I too may be suffering from an online ORPG addiction. The main difference I found between myself and the people depicted in this documentary is that now I have managed to find a true balance between my real life, and my real life friends, and my second life. 

When I started in SL it was an addiction. I would easily spend 8,9 hours a night during the week and the entire weekend online, from Friday through to Sunday. The sad tale of the state of my real life at that time has been discussed time and again on this blog so I won’t repeat it, but needless to say I needed SL to escape from the reality of living. I didn’t have a real social life, or any life – SL was my life and yes I was addicted. When I moved in with a new partner, someone who I had been friends with for years before we started any sort of relationship, my addiction affected us. I remember the pain in myself when my computer blew up and I was without SL for months. I also remember rekindling the relationship without the distraction of SL and loving the time spent with him and our friends. And I remember the first thing I did when my shiny MacBook Pro arrived was install Phoenix. So the addiction was definitely still there – and my addiction not only to SL but also to my SL partner, well, it proved to be an added factor to the demise of that relationship.

So yes, I was addicted. 

Last night I shared the documentary on my Facebook page and it lead to a very interesting discussion with Eria where we compared our SL time to that of the people in the documentary. The expecting father who was graciously cutting down his WoW time to three nights a week once his twins arrived. That was an expectation – I think once the realisation of the amount of time his beautiful children would take hit, his addiction changed – no longer addicted to WoW, but now addicted to his wonderful kids. I can understand and empathise with the need for “me” time – SL is MY time, where I spend it with MY friends working with MY family and in MY manor. It is time for me to escape into the person I really am, be who I am and chill out. I don’t watch television, I rarely keep up with current affairs and I always watch the latest and greatest three years late (I’ve only just started Breaking Bad.) SL is my entertainment, and it’s my choice to enjoy it. 

However, I refuse to shut my real life partner out of it. Our PC is hooked up to our television as a monitor. I log into SL with him beside me – I am open and honest about what I do in world, he can read it if he wants (he doesn’t) and although it’s my time in my life – it’s shared with him because I don’t keep it a secret. And he is completely 100% behind why I need it. Why I do it. 

Second Life isn’t a second life – it’s just an extension of my real life, an extension of me. But it no longer rules my real life. I will log in when I want but I won’t cancel Real plans anymore on the basis of SL. I have a group of friends in the real life who I have known for most of my life, and although they know of my extended persona, they don’t ask questions, they don’t think it’s weird, they don’t mind that it is there. In fact I think it is interesting for them – one night I brought my macbook to a friends house, logged in and showed her what it was about and although it’s not for her, she found it fascinating. I am very very lucky with the friends I have in the real life and it is because of them that I have found a perfect balance between physical and virtual. I love both aspects of my life equally and enjoy both equally. 

I would recommend this documentary, even if you only watch it for the beautiful 3 minutes or so of 2007 graphic Second Life. And I am interested to hear your thoughts on ORPG as well. 

“This is the bright candlelit room where the life-timers are stored – shelf upon shelf of them,
squat hourglasses, one for every living person, pouring their fine sand from the future into the
past. The accumulated hiss of the falling grains makes the room roar like the sea.”

- Terry Pratchett “Mort”

Happy New Year, lovely readers. 

I received an email on 31st December congratulating me on my blog, this blog, being three years old. Three years – just about half of my Second Lifespan and three years of writing nonsense on the web. 

I’ve been taking a break from SL for a few months. Sometimes you just have to quit to refresh your mind and get back on track. There have been times when I have missed it but to be honest, many times when I am glad not to be in it. Although I am not in world, I have been able to catch up on work and news through Facebook – and I am sure that if I didn’t have the social medium to keep an eye on the worlds happenings, I wouldn’t be taking such a long break from the grid. 

Happy New Year. This year, I won’t make any resolutions, no fake promises or try for visions of grandeur. This year I am just going to do what’s best and what’s best is just to be me. 

The cusp of the new year is definitely a time for reflection over the last year. In 2013 at Angel Manor we saw an explosion of our own popularity – no longer a hidden gem tucked away for certain parts of the population, we have become a famed venue and have people through our doors each day. We won two out of six categories in the Avi Choice Awards, which is a wonderful achievement to have. We have added a sixth sim and grown the Angel Manor community immeasurably with fantastic renters who add colour and happiness to the estate. We’ve had some amazing, truly amazing musical performances and hosted some awe inspiring events for Miss Virtual World and various charity balls.

Happy New Year. For some, it will be. The celebration, the noise, the laughter. For others, for many of you that I know well, this one is full of sadness. The grid lost two incredibly talented people at the end of 2013, one whose music I enjoyed, and the other… one who I was privileged to call a friend. 2014, there is sadness. Sadness at mourning those who have left to visit Azreal. Dealing with the unfinished questions and sudden grief that follows. Wondering what we could have done, if anything, to prevent it. I’ve spent a week or so trying to figure out the right words to say to my friends who are in that place now, numb, trying to figure out what to do next. Regretting losing touch myself, bar a fleeting conversation every few weeks. Another faded out name on the list, a reminder of what is so terribly missing from the grid. And it’s hard. It’s hard to know what to say or how to say it. Even this paragraph is wrong. It’s all wrong. And time keeps going, relentlessly forward. Time is regret, regret doesn’t get easier with time. I wish I knew the right words to say. 

 

 

 

Thrilled to announce that we have been awarded the Avi Choice Award for Favourite Cultural Spot and Favourite Art Gallery.

I am so humbled, honoured and thankful to everyone who voted for us and I know I can speak for the entire Angel family when I say we are all thrilled to bits. Thank you!

Micro-blogging

This blog, as it stands, is a testament to the time I have spent in Second Life. Different things I have experienced, people I have met and sometimes just a little bit of crazy.

Except this time, it is me that is crazy. You may have noticed my absence from the grid as of late. In fact, a lot of it. I’ve tried to keep up to date via Facebook (hence, Micro-blogging) but it is quite hard to do when you aren’t faced with the world day in and day out. And when you do go in, everything is plodding along just as it should, with or without you.

Real Life is overly complicated at the moment. My head is full of all sorts of crazy emotions due to various things, past histories, people moving on, family issues. And my own self, well, I’ve been stuck in a deep dark hole for quite a few months now.

Maybe the new year will bring some light at the end of the tunnel for me. Maybe.

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