Friday, June 22, 2007

Several Months Out

I can't even really remember the last time I logged into Second Life. It must've been at least 4 months now or more I'm afraid. I'm still paying for my account every month however, so I must still desire to maintain the option of a presence. Perhaps simply for bragging rights or so I can jump back on the bandwagon when it starts rolling again. Either way, I've become exactly the phenomenon that I had never quite understood a couple years ago.

I've become a Second Life lurker.

I've become too disinterested with the current state of the culture, but am inherently curious and drawn to the concept of Second Life. Years ago when I was logging on every day for at least an hour or two (and often times far, far more); I would occasionally run into some ancient member of the Tyrell Corporation. This was always a time to take pause from one's current activity to celebrate, question, and generally pester the poor sap. We'd fill them in on what has happened, learn what they've been up to, and in the blink of an eye they were gone.

It was interesting to me because much of what I knew about them was left in relic prims strewn about Gibson or by second-hand accounts of their deeds from other members. It was like some of these older members had some group folklore attached to them. Meeting them was quite like meeting heroes or deities of legend.

While I would speculate as to how much of an impact I actually left (if any), I think I've joined them. I keep up with the goings on and log in from time to time to experience the world anew before disappearing back into the digital ether. Instead of familiarity, it's like waking from a long sleep into a world so vastly confusing and alien from the one you knew. I'm constantly amazed by the pace of cultural change within the world, as I'm sure my group's ancestors must've been. New members, people, memes, locations, policies... one wonders how these newer users aren't running around like chickens without heads.

It's also quite shocking to meet new members who know you only by the tales left behind.

(or perhaps by your mysterious name in the group list and your aging profile in the directory).

Will I ever come back? If I did, would I be able to process and accept the changes since I was last actively involved or has the world changed too much for me to adapt?

It's virtual, isn't it?