What if you could create anything you wanted, shape your environment at whim, be your dream self ...even fly? Oh wait...you 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!