Yup fifteen years as Inara Pey; I’m pretty sure that in SL terms, that officially make me a OAP – where can I claim my pension? 🙂 .
Usually I try to write something on the occasion my rezday, but this year I really don’t have a lot more to say than I noted in 2020, I continue to log in (pretty much daily), I’m still blogging – and appreciative of all who read my ramblings and take the time to offer comments / feedback. I’m still enjoying kitbashing, building, landscaping, exploring et al. So really, not that much has changed in the last year :).
Sadly, unlike many others this year, I don’t have any stats from Linden Lab that I can share about my on-line times, etc., (not that I set much stock by such things as they always seem to have an air of elitism about them (or maybe that’s me just being crabby 🙂 ). That said, were I to approximate the amount of time I spend in SL, the answer would likely be “too much!”, as I don’t think there has been a day in the last 36-ish months (at least!) when I haven’t logged-in.
I’m not sure if that reveals something about me or about Second Life – or both. Admittedly, a lot of the time when I am logged-in, I’m actually parked somewhere, either blogging about it or something else, or actually off away dealing with physical world matters (like stuff that pays the bills, given I work from home), but at least my avatar can impersonate an answer machine for catching incoming IMs!
I’ve certainly not got a lot to reflect on SL-wise or personally; things have chugged along on both front pretty much “as is” throughout the year. Platform-wise, as the work on “bedding in” SL at AWS draws to some kind of initial completion, there will hopefully be a lot more to play with and ponder in 2022, but we’ll see.
On the personal side, I did make the decision early-ish in the year (with thanks to Vinyl for giving me little nudges!) to re-engage in some of the things I was involved in years ago, and this has been fun. I’m still happily settled in Second Norway (with my Linden home as a useful bolt hole from region restarts and the like!); after some 15 months since moving, I have absolutely no hesitation the estate and Vanity and her team to anyone looking for a island parcel with plenty of open water access for sailing / boating / flying, but which maintains its own sense of tranquillity by being off the more regular boating / sailing routes.
Back in 2016, I pondered on whether a decade of virtual living was really enough, and that perhaps it was time to consider stepping away. Truth be told, I still have such thoughts from time-to-time; I think any of us who have been engaged in SL for an extended length of time has similar thoughts. Yet, here I am, half as much again beyond that point, still enjoying the many forms of freedom of expression SL offers all of us.
In this regard, when we discuss SL, much is made of its “secret sauce”, with people pointing at this or that. To be honest, I don’t believe there is a single “secret sauce”; rather it is – like many recipes – made up of multiple ingredients, of which one of the core items is that freedom of expression (which in some technical respects is also SL’s Achilles Heel). With all the hype and yack-yack around “the metaverse” we’ve seen this year, this freedom we enjoy in SL – be it to create, to generate an income, to role-play, to use SL as an artistic outlet, to socialise (and find romance) – is what really already separates SL from anything we might see spawned by the likes of Meta, Microsoft, Google, Nvidia, et all.
This doesn’t mean I think those “big players” won’t succeed – likely they’ll all end up with there own walled gardens of various sizes. Rather, I mean that I just don’t see any of them being remotely interested in offering such broad-based freedoms of expression we have with SL. Thus, and while such freedoms may not be something the vast majority are looking for in this age of instant gratification, I tend to feel that there enough people with a similar outlook as those of us who remain engaged in SL year-on-year such that if LL can find a balanced means to market SL and make initial engagement smoother for those who are out there who can appreciate SL’s potential, then there is no reason why this walled garden cannot continue to flourish in its own modest corner of the digital landscape for the enjoyment of users and the pockets of investors, unnoticed by those now rushing to put their own stamp of authority in “the metaverse”.
Obviously, whether or not I’m right in thinking this will be revealed in time. For now, I think I’ll just got on with getting the start of my sixteenth year in SL kick-started!