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Monday, October 27, 2008

Over the Rainbow - Posted in Prim Perfect Issue 13

What if you could create anything you wanted, shape your environment at whim, be your dream self ...even fly? Oh can! It's called Second Life. The limits we have are the ones we place on ourselves and our own creativity. Why would we do that? (laughs) Second Life is full of possibilities. All we need to do is open ourselves to those possibilities and explore! We don't need to limit ourselves to our Real Life existence. Take the brakes off of your imagination and soar. Real life has it's place. Second Life is not meant to replace “real life”. It isn't an imitation of “real life”. Second Life stands alone on it's own merit as a separate dimension, rich in dreams and beauty.When I first got into world in May of 2006, I was amazed at the color and texture around me. Sure, I walked into walls for a while, in my default skin and hair, and wore boxes on my head at the shoe store. Newbie concerns aside, I fell in love with the freedom of imagination!

My first in world experience was on the island of Serenite owned by Keith Extraordinaire. Sereine Bard, showed me around. I felt like I'd landed over the rainbow! (smiles) I was asked (dragged in was more like it) to try Second Life, by my “real life” friend Robin Sojourner (Wood). She had been trying to get me into world for about two years! I would look at the web site and say..."na...what do I need with a virtual world. I'm not into computer games." and I'd shelve the idea. Then came the day I didn't. Wow. This was no computer game. How could I have known? The first thing I did was redecorate Robin's cabin. I almost ruined her existing furniture! (laughing) I started building almost immediately. I couldn't wait to create things. I bought a nice piece of land in Nitida and my friend Keith Extraordinaire gave me a cottage to "live in". I was in heaven. *smiles* My friend and then neighbor, Twome Rutledge, helped me to shop and she explained the nuances of SL. My friend Morse Dillon explained the basics of building. I found “busy mode” and used it a lot! My first couch, was the ugliest thing imaginable. I loved it.(grins) I made it. It was mine. I kept building. My friend Sereine said, "You should sell this stuff!" I rented a booth in an "outdoor market". By July of 2006 I had enough inventory to open up a store. I love Elements In Design. It's been a labor of love and a constant source of joy, from the start.

I had kind of an “aha” moment recently. I realized that Second Life cannot ever be like the physical world that our computers reside in. Unlike the “real world”, where politics and bureaucracy abide, Second Life is run entirely by creatives! No wonder it's magical! We make it that way! No matter how tough things get here with grid issues and IP theft, we need to remember the tremendous opportunities that Second Life has afforded us. Think about this: We can create without limits, we can work, doing what we love and we can immerse ourselves in a community that makes art a priority! We are Second Life. Creating art in Second Life has renewed my art in “real life”. Two and a half years later, I still can't believe that this world has absorbed me so completely. Yet...I found bits of myself, that I didn't know existed. I opened to this experience and this experience opened me. I found friends that speak to my soul. I found creativity without boundaries. Nothing for me will ever be the same.

IP theft is a huge thorn that needs to be dealt with. We all agree that there are steps that need to be taken to get the rampant piracy under control. One Linden Lab employee, in particular is making a difference. Blue Linden, With the help of some of his collegues, has drafted and submitted a proposal, for a Creators Registry. That registry would help to highlight legitimate businesses and help consumers to weed out the shops stocked with pirated goods. Contact Linden Lab and ask for the Creators Registry to be implemented. You can read more about this registry on the CCA blog. We, as creatives, can either decide to be proactive and better our world or we can sit back and complain about Linden Lab not doing it for us. At some point , it falls to us, to step up and take responsibility for the direction this world takes. We are not powerless, unless we choose to be. Get involved. Help others become more aware of Intellectual Property ethics and issues. Mentor new builders and encourage creative exploration. Last but not least...No matter what happens, keep creating. It is the magic that breathes life into our world. We are the magic!

**Some additional thoughts...Panic about IP theft does us no good. Instead put that energy into helping the community to find more ways to make IP theft in Second Life less profitable. For thieves, it's about the *easy money*. CCA is focused on making it more difficult for thieves to remain comfy. We visit sites where pirated goods are being sold. We alert creators immediately. We stay proactive within the community and encourage awareness of IP rights. (And on a personal note...I did NOT spend all that time in the trenches and writing to Linden Lab, ignoring my own business, just to give up, roll over and play dead! Neither did Arwen Eusebio or Tigerlily Koi!) Challenge: Join this effort and give back to the community. Get involved in practical ways. Offer to blog, offer to mentor for CCA, volunteer to write letters, help in the trenches by going to shops selling pirated goods and taking photos and info to pass to the creators that were victimized. In other words, skip the noise and DO SOMETHING!


  1. You use words as easy as you put iceing on the cake. It glides along so smooth me on the other hand are not so lucky with words I really have to stop and think about what I am writeing. Second life is wonderfull and a great place to learn and build and fly etc...But it is also a ground where people can become addicted as in my life that is exactly what happened. I almost lost the man who has loved me for nine years and any kind of life as I knew it in real life. I am now focused on living my life in real life and making it even better then what I had in second life. Yes I will be back in second life some time soon and will play on different terms but with my husband over me helping me to not be come addicted like i was. And I can admit I was addicted but there are some people who are just not ready to do that and may not see or may not want to see what there second life addiction has done to them in real life. Dont get me wrong in any way please and gwen makes second life a better place with every thing she does and if and when i do return to second life..It will only be to work with the lovely gwen...Honesty is the best policy and is a freeing thing when you can be honest.
    I take one day at a time now and love my real life..but still think about second life and me constance can admit I became addicted

  2. Thank you for your blog, Gwen.
    It was an inspiration for me and it sure is to those who are actually full of creativity and can make things happen, beautiful things in a metaverse universe such as Second Life!

    There are things that need to be better, yes, it's natural. It's an ongoing metaverse universe, where we may help, exactly like you say, by making things happen with less noise :)

    I must also say that here, at home, both my husband and I are Second Lifers and we have a lot of fun creating. But then, again, if it wasn't from the creative point of view, what would be the use of Second Life? To "meet" people? I guess, for some of us that may also use chat rooms for that purpose.
    Not for me though, nor for my husband.

    Your blog is extremely inspirational. Thank you!