Second Life: My First Foray

I’ve taken care of the emails and assorted other things that must be handled first-ish, and sit down with Second Life. First, the obligatory tweet:

@barbarfriendish Cue the dramatic music…I’m GOIN IN…to #secondlife

Oh crap, there’s a download involved! We’re upgrading my computer this weekend; I’ll probably just have to redo stuff. But I promised to be there tonight…

First, the system informs me, I must choose a starting look–I remember Wynette said this is just how you start, and there’s tons of customization to be done, new avatars to buy, etc. But this may be how I show up tonight. I find one with a funky hat and blue hair that does not offend my sensibilities. If I can’t have blue hair IRL I will definitely have it in SecondLife.

Now I must choose a first name. Usually I go around the net as myself. But I think it may be fun to have an amusing name for my avatar, and on Second Life you don’t get to choose your last name: you must choose from a list the system generates. So I really can’t go around as Myself in this venue.

Actually, this is kinda cool, if you think about it. This is my alternate persona I’m building here. My alternate persona is, of course, much cooler than I. What shall I name her?

And here we stumble over another of the ways in which Second Life allows you to re-think things: the gender issue is worth some thought here, because in Second Life you can use whatever avatar you can download, buy, or create. I frequently feel as if I am a guy in a chick body. I happen to be female, of course, and I have given birth to my own children, but being female is not part of how I define myself, merely one of those facts into which I was born, like having perfect pitch or being nearsighted. As a guy I’d be mostly gay, of course. But I can definitely see, if I get invested enough in SecondLife, having secondary avatars who are male. So an androgynous name might be a good thing…

Have I mentioned that I suck at naming? This is probably the hardest decision I’ll make all week.

Let’s try Paris. It’s androgynous, and I don’t have to commit, from what I understand, so I plug that in and move on to the less flexible part: the system-generated last names. There’s a drop-down, which I open, hoping for something as fabulous as the last name (Frequency) Wynette scored. My selection now includes a number of OK names, none of them fabulous. Though “Xubersnak” cracks me up.

I have a moment of real flirtation with keeping this name. But then I’ll have to choose a first name that goes with it, and that’s going to change the whole tenor of my persona. I will do as I have been advised in the event that I don’t like any of the options I’m offered: quit and come back later today, when the system will generate me a new list. I still have a few hours.

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