Thursday, November 30, 2006

My Second Life

Last weekend at a cocktail party in Brussels, the subject of Second Life came up. I like to think I am a hip, happening man of the world but this whole Second Life thing was completely new for me. I looked into it and was totally and completely amazed at what I learned and also of the possibilities that exist within a totally virtual environment… Commerce. Sex. Terrorism. All the stuff that makes life interesting. I decided to set up my own character and suddenly the insecurities and doubts began. Would I be human? Animal? Alien? What would I wear? And for the first time, I started having gender questions… What sex would I be? And what would my orientation be? Was this my chance to be a lesbian or have hot sex with Superman? What career would I choose? Drug runner, pole dancer or talk-show host? I found so many questions paralyzing until I saw that I can change anything and everything about myself at anytime with the exception of my name. That meant I needed a name that could go anywhere and be anything.

I searched through my favorite books and found one from “Wicked” that I decided to use and set up my own profile. I picked my avatar (a hunky guy in a tight white t-shirt) and downloaded the program. As I installed the interface I slipped into daydreams of meting total strangers or movie stars in disguise. I had visions of owning my own island that would be inhabited only by the most beautiful and rich avatars. I was drunk on power and fame.

Once the installation was complete, I double-clicked on the icon and started up the program. And then, just like that, my fragile little bubble was burst into a million tiny pieces as I got the message that my video card was no supported by the program.

As if being rejected I my first life wasn’t enough, I was being rejected in my second one as well. I tried it again an again and each time I was not allowed past the velvet rope but instead was kept outside among the tired and huddled masses of the other Second Life rejects.

I guess I will just have to be content with a second cocktail instead.

No comments:

Post a Comment