Saturday, February 18, 2012


Unknown artist
We all come to SecondLife with different expectations, so it must be expected that some will leave sooner or later. I have been thinking about the way people choose to depart once they find that our world, or its residents, does not offer them what they had wished for.

Some come with the hopes of a cool game where they can score points and move from one level to the next. A game that will give them a few - or many - hours of entertainment. Others come to SecondLife with the expectation to meet a perfect world where they will be entertained by others.

Well, SecondLife is not a game, it never was and it will never be. You enter this world with your own personality, your talents and your interests, much like in first life actually. Just as in the first life you cannot expect to be entertained by others all the time.

SecondLife, just like first life is what you make of it yourself. What you put into it matters and what you offer others matters a hell of a lot too. If you are a recluse, you can remain a recluse and devote yourself to the activities you find rewarding or beneficial. If on the other hand you have an outgoing personality it is all about relationships and context, you can join in and take part and make your contribution to the world.

Those expecting a technologically perfect world in SecondLife are also bound to be badly disappointed, because SecondLife is not perfect, never was and hopefully never will be. Just as in first life there are bugs, annoying malfunctions and irritating quirks. Sure Linden Lab smooths out some of them over time and somethings improve only to create other new obstacles. During my almost five years inworld conditions have improved vastly in so many ways and slowly and steadily. As new features have been developed new problems have arisen and the lovable tech-geeks at the Lab have gotten new problems to deal with. But most importantly our beautiful world continues to develop and improve.

"Turning Away", self portrait by Scott Hutchinson
The way people choose to depart from SecondLife vary a lot. The short lived ones are not a problem, nor are the recluses, because none of these have created friendships or relationships that can or will miss them.

The worst kind of departures are those that suddenly just drop off the radar without a word after creating longstanding relationships and friendships with others who care for them and worry. By their action they tell us that we are not even worth the time or effort of saying goodbye to.

The second worst departures are those who leave with recriminations and rantings about how Linden Lab or the other residents inworld - or outside of it - did not live up to their expectations of entertainment or performance. They might as well say it outright, "You are losers for staying on!"

I would wish people learned to leave SecondLife with some dignity or style, saying "Goodbye and thanks for all the good times but I have found other interests in life and am moving on. I have valued your love and friendship over the years." It would feel so much better than when they leave with bitterness, recriminations and complaints that we or the world we love - are imperfect, unsatisfactory or do not meet with their standards. neither inworld or in our first life activities.

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