20 Personal SL Questions Meme

I’ve been wanting to start a blog for awhile now, mostly to chronicle all the educational stuff I’ve been experimenting with in virtual worlds. Strawberry Singh’s latest meme challenge seemed like it’d make a good first post.  So, here it is – enjoy!


Left: Zoe’s first profile pic, taken in 2011. Right: Zoe now.

  1. When and how did you discover Second Life?  I created my first avatar, Mialaura, in 2009.  I poked around for a few minutes, got bored, then left.  I created my current avatar, Zoe, in 2011 for a graduate class in library school called ‘Information Behavior in Virtual Environments’.
  2. Did you know about virtual worlds before or was this your first experience with them?  I was a bit of a gamer in my undergrad years – Final Fantasy VII and Diablo were favorites.  SL was my first virtual world experience that wasn’t a game.
  3. Has Second Life met your expectations?  When I first started SL, I had no plans to stay once my graduate class was over.  Now I’d say that SL has exceeded my expectations.  I’ve made some amazing friends, had some wonderful experiences, and have grown professionally, all because of my time in SL.
  4. If you could teleport back to the first ten minutes of your avatar’s slife, what would you tell yourself?  Buckle up – it’s going to be a wild ride!
  5. How long did it take you to master avatar flying and driving vehicles inworld? Not long.  I think our first assignment for the grad class I took was to learn to negotiate the SL environment – walk, run, fly, sit, retrieve notecards, etc.  My first vehicle was a UFO that looked like a ramen bowl.  It was rad.
  6. Do you have a mystery alt?  I do, for when I want to be completely alone and/or to explore the grid.  I also have two alts that I’m transparent about – a grandfather alt and a multipurpose female/cat alt that I use mostly for roleplaying situations that wouldn’t fit Zoe’s rp.
  7. Is your SL avatar a reflection of you, or someone you wished you could be?  For the most part, we have the same personality – I’m not much of an actress. Appearance wise, she’s certainly much more attractive than I am in RL!
  8. Is there an individual you met in SL that inspired you in your RL? How?  Just one?  I couldn’t possibly narrow it down to just one.  There are a handful of Berliners who have inspired me in myriad ways and genuinely changed my life for the better – you know who you are, and you know I love you all to pieces!
  9. Do you feel it is easier to create stronger bonds/relationships with people you meet inworld as opposed to the real world?  No, not really.
  10. Did you ever imagine or believe people could fall in love with someone they never met before Second Life? If people can fall in love through letters, I don’t see why they couldn’t through SL.
  11. How has your perspective of dating changed (or not) since you started playing second life? Infidelity is more common than I’d imagined before I came to SL.  The anonymity SL affords makes it easier to cheat and integrity seems to get tossed out the window.  Makes me sad, really.
  12. How has your perspective of employment changed (or not) since you started playing second life?  It hasn’t, I don’t think.
  13. Name three things in both your lives that overlap each other significantly. Professional development, friendship, lifelong learning interests.
  14. If you could live your life more immersively in a virtual world, would you? (Kind of like the Matrix)  I’d like to try the Oculus Rift and see what it’s like to feel like I’m really “in” a place on the grid.  I wouldn’t like to spend more time in SL than I do now.
  15. How do you think behavior changes for people if they’re inworld vs in real world? Why do you think that is?  People are ruder in SL, myself included.  Anonymity permits us to forget our manners.
  16. How has second life consumerism changed your perception of spending habits, the value of money, the need to be “bleeding edge” with fashion?  I don’t think it’s changed my perception much.
  17. Do you think virtual worlds like SL drive and redefine human interaction or do they narrow and limit it?  The SL experience is essentially serial collisions of genuine personalities.  Age, gender, socio-economic status, etc. are all stripped away and we’re left with organic expressions of our true selves.  I think most of us become more open-minded about human interaction as a result of the experiences we have in SL.
  18. If technology progressed tomorrow to allow you to send emotions to people the way you’d send text or voice messages, would it enrich your SL experience or infringe on it?  Well, it would be nice to hug my friends sometimes, especially when I know they’re going through a rough patch.  But otherwise, emoting via text seems to work just fine for conveying what I’m feeling.
  19. Name three skills you attribute to having learned or honed in second life alone. I think my research skills and event planning abilities have improved as a direct result of my work in SL.  I’ve also picked up a little German.  And by little, I mean two or three useful phrases.  lol.
  20. If your grand kids googled your Second Life Avatar’s name, would they be intrigued, disgusted, proud or something else? By the time I have grandkids, VWs will be as commonly used as Facebook is now, perhaps passe even – so I’m betting they’ll think Zoe’s super cool!