01 Oct When One Life is Not Enough
When I was in elementary school, my sister and I were OBSESSED with Neopets.com. Let me set the scene for you: The year was approximately 2000 and I was 10 years old. The millennium brought with it all sorts of exciting technological advances… Tamagotchis, iPods, fewer hanging chads (Thanks, Florida!) and the rising popularity of virtual communities, just to name a few.
Every day after school, I would rush home to complete my homework so that my parents would allow me to spend an hour online. Neopets.com was addicting because it allowed me to escape to a new and unknown world. On more than one occasion, I even awoke from my restful slumber just so that I could check on my online pets.
Before my assignment for MMC 5427, I was not familiar with the virtual community Second Life. However, I was eager to explore what I now call the “grown-up” version of my virtual childhood. I was prepared to live it up.
After a quick and free registration process, I created my username (KimPossibleUF) and selected my avatar. My avatar is a blonde and busty doll-like figure that may, in some way, resemble me if you stand back from your laptop 15 feet and squint your eyes. Okay, actually, it looks nothing like me.
Before long, though, I was flying past the ocean and making virtual friends with avatars with names like Margarita333, who I think, it’s safe to say, may have had one too many margaritas. (See below)
Ultimately, my experience using Second Life allowed me to venture into a virtual reality that I had not explored since childhood. For a few hours, I was able to escape my course work and full-time job in order to float away and assume a new, improved identity online. I can certainly see how it can become addicting, but I think I’ll stick to the one life I already have.