Twelve years in Second Life

At home

Twelve years ago on December 5th, 2006, I decided to give Second Life a second chance, creating Inara Pey in the process. At the time I never expected to actually still engaged in the platform 12 months on from that date, let alone twelve years – but here I am. Not bad for someone who was at one time considering hanging up her Second Life boots (so to speak) on reaching 10 years.

So why am I still here?

I can probably sum that up in three words: fun, discovery, and freedom. Fun, because – as well all know – Second Life has an awful lot to offer, from playing games through learning to role-play, to doing things we cannot (or would not) do in the physical world. For me, and as I’ve mentioned in the past, it’s the ability to do things like skydiving, or to enjoy flying whenever I want (or the expense of actually owning / leasing a plane or obtaining my PPL!) or to get out on the water under sail or power.

Black Bayou Lake; Inara Pey, October 2018, on FlickrThe ability to explore so many fabulous places, like  Black Bayou Lake, is one of the reasons I continue to enjoy Second Life 

Discovery, because Second Life is always evolving. Not just technically – although this year, with the “15 reasons” roadmap, there’s hopefully ample evidence of this – but also in terms of how regions are always in flux. Yes, it is sad when places vanish, and the shrinkage of the last few years has been of fiscal concern (although not necessarily indicative of any large-scale loss of users): but when it comes to publicly accessible regions, things are surprisingly stable – as fast as one popular place vanishes, another pops up elsewhere.

Twelve years – and counting!

Freedom, in that Second Life allows us to meeting, mingle with, get to know, spend time with, people from all over the world, most of whom we’d probably never likely meet in the physical world. This obviously feeds back into both the fun and the discovery elements, as sharing with friends adds depth to everything we do.

There’s also the aspect that our avatars allow us to be who we wish to be, as well as potentially allowing us to extend ourselves in ways that may not be otherwise expressed. I’m actually a lousy formalised role-player, for example; finding a character inside of myself, one I can maintain and live through with personality aspects perhaps foreign to my own, is something I’ve never managed to comfortably achieve. It’s probably the biggest reason my first attempt with Second Life “failed”;  I came with preconceptions of dropping into role-play (historical or sci-fi or something on those lines), but never really found anything in which I felt “at home”.

As “me” (or “me through Inara”, so to speak) I’ve found a greater range of freedom than might otherwise have been the case: the freedom to share friendships that can be in some respects transient, but because of the nature of Second Life, allow a lot more depth to be plumbed, and genuine connections to be forged.

I’d be a fool if I denied blogging had played a role in my continuance with Second Life. I actually started in 2007, but it wasn’t until I relocated the blog to WordPress in 2009 and really set out trying to learn more about how rich and complex the platform is, both in terms of use and technicality, that I felt I’d really found my niche.

I’m genuinely not a technical person, so discovering all that goes on “behind the scenes”, so to speak have been a constant – and still evolving – learning experience for me. It has also taught me a lot about the platform in general – the users, the places, the art – all of which have expanded my horizons, helped grow my understanding of a range of topics and taught me lessons in appreciation and thinking.  I may not get things right all the time – but that’s part of the fun and discovery.

Looking ahead, there’s liable to be a lot more to write about – be it technical with the move to the cloud, the return of last names, the arrival of EEP, the potential of Animesh products, or as a result of having yet more places to explore, art to appreciate and things to try. So hopefully, I’ll have plenty of opportunity to continue to experience Second Life and report on it.

Thank you to all of you who continue to read this blog, who support me through Twitter and Plurk; you as much as anything keep me engaged in Second Life. And my thanks once again to Caitlyn and all my friends who continue to make my explorations and time in SL fun.

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31 thoughts on “Twelve years in Second Life

  1. Happy 12th Rezday Inara.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog posts over the years. Please keep up the marvellous work that you do every week.

    You are definitely one of the best bloggers with great detailed and most interesting blog posts.

    2019 is going to be another pretty interesting year on the things you have mentioned “the move to the cloud, the return of last names, the arrival of EEP, the potential of Animesh products”.

    I guess what makes blogging more exciting is that anything can happen 😂

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  2. Your blog is part of my Second Life every day. I wouldn’t know anything that is going on in SL without you. Thank you for being part of this wonderful virtual world:)

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  3. Congratulations and Happy Rez Day Inara. Your blog is my goto place when not in SL. Its my coffee break in RL. Not only do I keep up with SL stuff but I enjoy the ‘space’ articles too. Long may you continue.

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  4. Thanks for all of those reviews that you write – you are an indispensable source for information about places to visit around the grid. Moreover, your articles about broader issues about the virtual world – both SL and Sansar – are always well-informed and informative. I read everything you post! So a big thank you 🙂

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  5. Congratz of reaching that ripe age Inara, and for being the wise sage of a welll-informed, thinking blogger admired by most. Thx for your blog, without most of us would be blind and stayed in the dark.

    Following you in January, Inara. 12 years is quite some time, isn’t it? And I guess we all went thru much more personal, RL changes than our avies changed inworld. Orca still clings onto being the constant 21 y/o tek-commie punk character as which I created her on day 1, while in RL her aging puppet mistress is everything but.

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  6. I’m late to the ‘Inara Birthday Party’ ……..so I’ll just echo each and every word said in your praise written here.
    I wish you joy, and many more years doing what you do so well – being a respected resident in, and observer of, our wonderfully imperfect, amazingly creative, and often ridiculous, world.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Right on Happy Rezz day! Thank you for sharing your explorations with us. You have been such a wonderful part of SL for me. I catch up on your blog as often as I can and when Iam away like vacation or something when I come back I voraciously read all your posts I missed. Thank you Inara 💜

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  8. Happy Rezz Day Inara! Your blog has been part of my SL related morning coffee reading for many years! This is the first blog I refer people to if they need up to date info or want fun exploration tips. Thank you SO much for the invaluable contribution you make all of our virtual lives. 🙂

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  9. Woooow you give me huge desire to discover second life ^^ I am now on Imvu ( do hope it s not a curse word haha ) and I have been on other virtual worlds in the past french us or even israeli .. But I don t remember if I have beeb on Second life ? Thanks for your blog ^^

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