Saturday, April 22, 2017

Six Years in Second Life




Time is standing still. We are measuring ourselves by how far we are going.

Debasish Mridha





It’s that time of the year!

No, not when we in the States cough up the dough to pay for the three ring circus that takes place down in Washington, DC.

I’m talking about when I sit down and look back on blogging for another about Second Life (SL).  (Significant Other looks surprised that it’s happened so quickly.)


This has been a difficult year to stay on top of my blogging.

A loss of a loved one in Real Life (RL) took me away for a while last summer.   

Since then, things have been a bit up and down.  But, not to worry, Significant Other and I are fine and the situation is under control.  (Significant Other asks, “Really?” but look relieved.)

There have been accomplishments!

First off, I passed the one million hits mark on my blog!  (And, no, this was not just my three loyal readers hitting my blog every day.  Don’t listen when Significant Other says I thought they asked for too much money.)

Since I wasn’t able to spend as much time as I’d planned originally, I fell back on discussing life inworld.

I blogged about travel, how we spend our time, and are we enjoying ourselves. 

Then there are my old favorites!

Mieville always has an active social life and Route 66 made a recent comeback. 

First UCC is still helping those in RL who need it and called out their pastor, Jerome Newstart, as one of the most interesting people whom I’ve met inworld. 

And, recently, one of SL’s most creative builders just opened two fantastic Star Trek exhibits.

Sadly, I sometimes feel the need to blog about the dark side of SL, like when I wrote about sexual harassment inworld.

Yes, I still have plenty to blog about in SL! 

What do I have to say about SL after six years of writing about it?

SL is alive and well! 

Change may be coming.  Sansar is on the horizon and Facebook recently announced that it’s getting into the virtual world game.  Maybe we’ll see renewed interest in SL. 

I still enjoy SL! 

I have family and friends.  It’s a wonderful place to wander about and marvel about what can be done online.  There are many great people to meet in these wanderings of mine.  SL is somewhere that I’ll be returning to often in the future.  (Believe it or not, Significant Other does enjoy having me near at hand.)

I plan to be exploring inworld and blogging about it for a long time to come!


My thanks to all who read my scribblings, my three loyal readers and all the rest of you!

If I haven’t met you inworld yet, I hope to soon! 

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at webspelunker@gmail.com . 

            If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
 please click here.

            Open roads and kind fires!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Want to See Some Cool Star Trek Builds in Second Life?




Science fiction is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it's the history of ideas, the history of our civilization birthing itself. ...Science fiction is central to everything we've ever done, and people who make fun of science fiction writers don't know what they're talking about.

Ray Bradbury





Recently, I learned from the very creative builder in Second Life (SL) and good friend of mine, Lora Chadbourne, has two displays of her Star Trek themed work open inworld!

My three loyal readers (Again, have no fears, I won’t out you!) from my three previous stories about her work in SL, the Tomb of the Resurrection, the Simpsons home, and the Mayflower and Plymouth Colony.  (Significant Other nods approvingly having enjoyed all these builds.  Significant Other is an inveterate shoulder surfer!)

Unfortunately, Lora’s work takes up space and prims and doesn’t stay open for very long!  So, hurry to see these before they close!

The first display entitled, Lora’s Star Trek Museum – Gallifrey Stands! contains a
 collection of starships, other craft, and props from Star Trek: The Original Series (STTOS). 

Walk around the USS Enterprise or stand on its bridge as you imagine yourself as Captain James T. Kirk going where no man (or woman has gone before!)

The next display of Lora’s is entitled Star Trek Metamorphosis Display and is unique because it’s based on the STTOS episode “Metamorphosis” where Zefram Cochrane, the inventor of the warp drive on Earth, is encountered by the crew of the Enterprise.  The display recreates his home and the
space shuttle Galileo.

As in all her work, Lora’s attention to detail is incredible.  The accuracy of her recreations has to be seen to be believed.  Lora has a boundless enthusiasm for her work which is self-evident within it. 

(A quick aside, Lora has written and published several books in Real Life (RL) about Star Trek.  So, she definitely knows her way around the subject matter!  She’s asked me not to reveal the details for now but someday she’ll allow me to.  Watch this space for more!) 

The pictures in this story and the additional ones on this flickr page are all done by The Companion are marvelous but don’t do full justice to Lora’s work.

It really must be seen to be appreciated!

So, like I said earlier, hurry to see these exhibits because they won’t be here forever! 

I’d like to thank Lora for informing me of her exhibits and The Companion for taking such great pictures!

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at webspelunker@gmail.com . 

            If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
 please click here.

            Open roads and kind fires!



Saturday, April 8, 2017

Looking for the Easter Bunny in Second Life?




I only do this because I'm having fun. The day I stop having fun, I'll just walk away.

Heath Ledger    





You may not be aware of this but, I’m a big fan of the Easter Bunny! 

(Significant Other’s eyebrows arch.)

I’ve never met him in either Second Life (SL) or Real Life (RL).

(I am suspicious that Significant Other may be right about this time and he’s avoiding me.)

But, I may have a chance this year!

            At least in SL!

            Here’s what’s happening!

Those wonderful people in Mieville, led by their incomparable Mayor, Perryn
Peterson, are having an Easter Market!

            Now, unlike their usual extravaganzas, this one will be short, running only from Thursday, April 13th to Sunday, April 16th.  Sunday being Easter itself!

            Easter Market will be another holiday themed event inworld with many merchants from across the Grid and many Mieville residents participating. 

            As always, a good time will be had by all!

            Mieville is a great community and Perryn does a magnificent job in keeping the
social calendar filled!

            It’ll be fun so be sure to come out and see I finally meet the Easter Bunny!

The Easter Market will take place at the Clubhouse in Mieville Chesterton.

Don’t forget to join the Easter egg hunt!

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

For more pictures from my visit to the Easter Market please visit this flickr page. 

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at webspelunker@gmail.com . 

            If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
 please click here.

            Open roads and kind fires!



Saturday, April 1, 2017

Do You Wander in Second Life?




To wander is to be alive.

Roman Payne   





As my three loyal readers know, I’m an explorer and wanderer in Second Life (SL).

In other words, I’m a wanderer.

To quote one of my favorite writers, J. R. R. Tolkien, “Not all those who wander are lost.” 

(Significant Other looks doubtful.)

I wander inworld because my meanderings in Real Life (RL) were curtailed a while back. 

(Significant Other smiles appreciatively.  Occasionally, I come through!)

But, what about you?

Do you wander in SL?


(I’m talking about meaningful wandering not simply getting lost inworld.)

Or, do you tend to stay in one place?

Not that there’s anything wrong with that!  (Another future story here!)

If you do wander then why?

Are you like me looking for new places, new friends, and new experiences inworld? 

Where do you wander?

Anyplace that happens to come along or is there a method to your journey?

How do you wander?

Alone, with friends, engaging with the locals, or just lurking in the shadows?

Is there a purpose to your journey, or are you like Jack Kerouac in On the Road, just answering the call of the open road? 

Will your journey ever end?

Are you looking for something, someplace, or someone?

Will you simply leave SL never to be seen again?

Will you leave a trail of friends with memories of you behind?

Me, I enjoy wandering across the Grid!

I enjoy blogging about my journeys there. 

Yet, while still a wanderer at heart, I find myself with friends and places that I return to from time to time. 

I’m not too predictable and RL adds its own dynamic.  

So, what about you?

Please send me your thoughts and I’ll either write about them or maybe join you on part of your journey! 

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at webspelunker@gmail.com . 

            If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
 please click here.

            Open roads and kind fires!



Saturday, March 25, 2017

Back from the Wilderness (Part VII) - Back and Forth in Second Life




Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky   





I’ve been away from Second Life (SL) for a bit.

Well, more like in and out, a lot.

Folks have noticed.


My three loyal readers who seem to catch everything about me have been making inquiries.

And, many others, friends and readers, have noticed my absence.

Here’s my tale.

Significant Other and I are still dealing with the aftereffects of someone close to us who passed away last year.

These matters are never easy and we’ve had to spend time away from our usual activities.  (Significant Other is next to me nodding in silent agreement.)

So, not to worry!

We’re both fine, I haven’t left SL, and I’m still blogging!

Unfortunately, as many have me often say inworld, Real Life (RL) always takes priority and right now there are others who need us.  (Significant Other adds that I do come in handy at times like this.)

The good news is that this period is hopefully drawing to an end and we should be finished by late spring.  (Significant Other is nodding furiously in the affirmative right now.) 

Thanks to all of you who have inquired about my status, I greatly appreciate the concerns, thoughts, and prayers that you’ve expressed! 

You have no idea how much this touches me and reaffirms for me the true value of my relationships inworld!  (Significant Other also expresses gratitude to all!)

I’m trying to reply to everyone and this may take a little time.

My messages are being capped regularly so please if you’re trying to contact me use a note card inworld or my email address below. 

Also, to those whom I’ve had commitments on stories please bear with me as I try to sort out the effects of all this on my writing calendar.  (It’s been ugly.)

I’ll be back as soon as I’m able!  (Significant Other promises to send me back once I’m no longer needed.  It’s wonderful to be wanted isn’t it?)

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at webspelunker@gmail.com . 

            If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
 please click here.

            Open roads and kind fires!



Saturday, March 18, 2017

Are You Anonymous in Second Life?




Give a man a mask, and he'll tell you deeper and darker truths. But he'll also be more abusive, unaccountable, and demonic.

Cory Duchesne  





Ah, the joys of anonymity!

Privacy, freedom of action (AKA being uninhibited), and a lack of accountability!

How often have we dreamed of living like this in Real Life (RL)?

How many of us live like this in Second Life (SL)?



Of course, there are a few concerns associated with anonymity inworld but more of that later!  (Can’t get too serious too soon, now can we?)

I do it!

I’m anonymous inworld.

No surprise to anyone who knows me inworld.  (Once again, I thank my three loyal readers!)

Why?

Well, in RL, I’m a nobody.  (Yes, that may come as a shock to my three loyalists.)  I want to stay that way. 

Also, Significant Other, my RL partner, made anonymity a precondition of my wandering across the Grid.  (Significant Other nods firmly while shoulder surfing which also happens to be one of Significant Other’s favorite pastimes when not exercising editorial oversight.)

Finally, a lot of what I do inworld, I’d never do in RL. (Once again, Significant Other nods firmly.) 

But, what is anonymity inworld really all about?

Let’s chat about this for a bit!

There are the obvious reasons for anonymity in SL.

First, there’s privacy. 

Most don’t want their RL friends and family to know what they’re doing inworld.  Nothing wrong there. 

Next, there’s freedom of action.  We wander around nude and no one but ourselves and our similarly anonymous friends know about it.  Or, we experiment with gender, dress, sex, or whatever else catches our fancy.  There’s probably a different reason for every avatar in SL. 

Best of all, zero accountability! 

Who cares about this little, anonymous avatar running around inworld?

Here’s where the not so obvious aspects of SL anonymity arise. 

Some engage in bad behaviors inworld.

Fortunately, not as many as some RL media would have us believe but still too many.

Trolling, griefing, and stalking are some of the negative behaviors abetted by SL anonymity.   

Anonymity is also enhanced by the practice of having “alts” or multiple avatars inworld. 

Block an avatar and they come back as someone else.

            On the few occasions when SL deletes an avatar for egregious behavior, well, what
stops the perp coming back as an alt? 

            If you guessed nothing then you got it!

            (Yes, there may be ways to prevent this from occurring but it doesn’t a rocket scientist to get around them.)

            Another problem with alts, even if one doesn’t intend antisocial behavior, is who’s the real you? 

            When we can be any number of personas inworld then who are we?

            Who is the real you?  Especially when we factor in anonymity.

            I recently blogged about how we trust in SL.   

            What effect does anonymity have on our trust inworld?

            Can we have anonymous trust inworld?

            What do you think?

            Are you anonymous inworld?

            Why?

            Are your friends anonymous?

            Please drop me a line and share your thoughts with us!

            If I receive enough replies I’ll do a follow-up story!

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at webspelunker@gmail.com . 

            If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
 please click here.

            Open roads and kind fires!



Saturday, March 11, 2017

How Do You Trust in Second Life?




All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.

J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan  







What is trust?

We probably all have our own definitions.

(Significant Other wonders I’m bringing this up now.)

Maybe it’s accepting someone at face value, believing in them, or having confidence in their words and action. 

But, how do we trust?

Ahh, now there’s a good question!

(Significant Other is now starting to pay attention.)

In Real Life (RL), we may use one or more of a variety of methods. 

Sometimes we use time.  The longer we know someone, the more we trust him or
her.

Or, we may rely on others.  They validate the trustworthiness of a person for us.  And, because we trust that person, we trust the newcomer. 

Another approach is to look at their credentials.  If someone purports to be a doctor or a lawyer, well, that’s easily enough verified. 

There’re appearances.  If they have a lot of wealth, it’s hard to hide. 

Of course, some people just jump in and trust everyone! 

(And, history has got some great stories because of this!)

Now, what happens in Second Life (SL)?

Here it’s totally different.

Practically everything that we use in RL to establish trust gets thrown out when we move inworld. 

How do we determine how to trust someone in SL?

Let’s discuss that!

There are obstacles to trust inworld that we don’t face in RL.

The first and biggest is anonymity.

(Come on now, do you really use your RL identity inworld?)

Little if any of what we are in SL has any ties to RL.

Is that woman or man really whom they say they are?

Many avatars are imaginary characters from science fiction or fantasy.

(Significant Other would like me to point out that many US politicians in RL may fall into this category.  But, I try to stay apolitical in this blog.)

Many avatars are animals or machines. 

See where I’m going with this?

(With the avatars not the US politicians.)

How do we validate the avatar standing in front of us inworld? 

Nothing is what it seems.

What’s real?

I have my own approach.

(Significant Other is shocked.)

I listen to how they sound.  Are they genuine?  Do they add value to the conversation?

How do they treat me?  How do they treat others?

Do they have “character”?

Then, do I enjoy being around them?

Do I learn from them?

Do they make me stop and think?

Most importantly, can they make me laugh?

(Significant Other indicates that after reviewing my list, we need to speak when I finish writing this story.)

Others whom I’ve met inworld have their own ways to determine an individual’s trustworthiness.  This can be a big deal for some. 

Some require RL validation.

This can be voice or video verification.

Or, a piece of RL information like age. 

Of course, a mechanism like the latter has its own issues with verification. 


Others look to character for trustworthiness. 

Whatever mechanism is used, many seem to have some sort of methodology.

Then there are those who couldn’t care less and just jump in!

(One of these days, I’ll do a story about these livewires!) 

What about you?

How do you trust others in SL?

Do you even care?

Please share your thoughts with me and if I receive enough replies then I’ll draft a follow up story. 

Or, here’s a new one…

Do you trust my blog?

(And, not just my three loyal readers.)

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at webspelunker@gmail.com . 

            If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
 please click here.

            Open roads and kind fires!