It seems the UK is a popular place when it comes to people in Second Life finding love that brings them together in the physical world as well as the digital! For the second part of the new mini-series Love Made in SL, the camera turns to Lily Swidlehurst from the UK and CharlesDe Beaumont from Germany.
Released on Monday, February 25th (does the mark the series as being fortnightly in releases?), this is another short video which tells – in the participant’s own words – how their relationship blossomed on both side of the screen.
It’s a story that piqued my curiosity, as Lily and Charles are both Second Life mentors. Together with Aullere Ocello and her SL partner, Notfragile Gausman, they run the Helping Haven Community Gateway, which has been the subject of an article in this blog (see Community Gateways in Second Life: Helping Haven).
This link to mentoring is also reflected in part of the video being sent in Ahern, which also reflects the fact that Lily and Charles actually met at a welcome centre. However, this also perhaps reveals something that tended to be true of Second Life at one time (although I have no idea if it is still the case): that the friendships made during our earliest exposure to Second Life can actually be the most enduring over time.
And in an age where all the emphasis on digital interactions and the “need” to have all the widgets offered by VR – facial expression, etc – in order to make communication and interaction “real”, Charles points out that actually, quite a lot can be revealed simply through text.
If you get to know someone over several months just typing … then in the end, the personality is becoming very clear.
– CharlesDe Beaumont
Simply put, while it is so often maligned in this the so-called VR age, and disparagingly dismissed as “getting in the way”, the keyboard is actually a magnificent tool for communication, honesty and openness. Perhaps because – like our avatars – it removes us by one step from those with whom we’re communicating, offering an opportunity for consideration and the freedom to offer feelings and emotions that might otherwise remain hidden due to things like embarrassment.
As with Teal and Wolfie in the first part of this series (see Love Made in SL: a new video mini-series), the relationship between Charles and lily grew to a point where, after 11 months, Charles took the plunge and moved from Germany to the UK. Around six months later, they were setting up home together.
Also like the first segment in the series, the story is simply and beautifully told, making further commentary here somewhat superfluous. So why not watch the video below, and keep an eye out for the next in this series in a couple of weeks time?
Love Made in SL can be found on the Second Life You Tube channel.