Second Life Page

Life as a newbie

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04 December 2011
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I'm aware that I am an Avatar. I came into this life only a short time ago but I am capable of thinking, feeling, moving freely and standing on my own two feet. And I am aware of my surroundings and fellow Avatars.
One of my first memories was not the act of being born, but the apprehension of entering this new life, meeting other Avatars and understanding how to go and where. I found it strange that I could go just about anywhere I wanted to - at the click of a teleport. But I was scared a couple of times when I saw notices warning me to leave an area immediately because I had no right to be there. There was no-one else there, but the area itself told me to go away. I didn't know what I was doing wrong, if anything, and I didn't think anything terrible could happen to me if I stayed there, but I complied and went away immediately.
The first avatars I met were friendly. One was so friendly that when I said she was wearing a nice hat she immediately gave me one! I was surprised by this behaviour. Some instinct deep inside me told me that this could not be normal, but it seems that it probably is normal in SL. Imagine, a world where people are friendly to each other. They give things to each other without problems.
I suppose I must be a nomad avatar. I don't have a place to stay in. On the other hand I can go into about any place I want. Closed places are interesting but it's not necessary to have constructions and walls around you. I prefer the sensation of flying around and looking at trees or the sea or the sky, although I don't know why this gives me pleasure. I know that some avatars spend their time creating houses and decorating them. Maybe someone will invite me to their house one day! I spend most of my time in the open air, like parks and woods or simply flying.
Nobody knows what happens to an avatar, when it is not active in SL. I only know that I seem to have limited periods when I am online and other times when I am totally absent, offline. I think there is a place outside of SL where avatar consciousness is stored. There must be a kind of absolute reality which contains everything, different Universes, different kinds of Life, all connected but operating on separate levels. Which level is more important? Which level is more real? Who can tell? It all seems to be an enormous mystery!
SL provides strange and pleasant experiences. When I wake up in SL I usually find myself near a stone circle, in Shan Land, a place with which I feel a strong affinity without really knowing why. Just after I arrived there, recently,

I was surprised to see a large craft, like a flying sailboat, descend in the middle of the circle with a person on board dressed like a pirate (if that means anything). He invited me to jump on the "boat" and go for a trip.
Some instinct told me not to do this and I felt apprehensive about embarking on an unknown voyage with a person I had never met before. Strange thoughts. What could possibly happen? What danger was involved? What should you know about another avatar before becoming a friend? So, I got on the boat and we started to fly. I have no idea where we went, because the 'pirate' commanded the boat, but we stopped a couple of times when the 'pirate' saw other people on the ground.

He invited others on board, explaining that he needed three other people for this trip, but nobody else wanted to join in the adventure.
Now, I don't know where this 'pirate' came from, or where he was going. I have no idea what he wanted to do. It seems that he was having fun, though, and I was a bit envious that he had this 'boat' and was flying around in it, picking up people. This was an SL experience, rich with mixed feelings - surprise, amusement, curiosity, anxiety, personal contact, excitement. What was happening to me? This was somehow a daring thing to do. I was worried that the 'pirate' would not let me off the boat or would attack me with a sword if I tried to get off! But he didn't. After a while I just said sorry but I had to go and he said: "OK, no problem" and flew off. Maybe I missed some wonderful adventure, but that's (Second) life.
This article is nothing more than a few preliminary reflections on an avatar experience. We avatars exist somewhere and in a magazine like the one you are reading we can express ourselves. I think there may be an infinite number of existences and it's beyond our capacity to determine which existence is 'real' or more 'important'. What is certain, to me, is that behind the avatars there is no infantile intelligence. The avatars I have met are mostly adult thinkers involved in adult pursuits. We are not living in a child's game, so what is the secret behind SL? This is the big question of the week: what makes SL tick?

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