Up until a month ago, I didn't know what Second Life was. I saw the words "Second Life", but had no clue what it was all about. So I downloaded the software and thought I would give it a try. I began just playing around, not attempting to read the directions. (Something I do quite often that sometimes comes back to bite me in the butt) I was able to navigate though the "site/world", but failed to understand why people used it. I saw people talking and asked myself what were they talking about and why would strangers just begin talking with one another? It wasn't until I met A* that I knew why so many people enjoy Second Life.
A* describes himself as a 32 year old husband, with one child. He asks me how I was doing. I said fine and asked him why was he on Second Life. I told him that I was doing some research for class and that his comments would help me understand Second Life. I wanted to know why people spent so much time, buying things, making things and all the other things that make Second Life so incredible. He told me to follow him to a place where we could talk. Not knowing why we had to go to a "secret place" I felt a little weird, but it is only a game, right?
We went to a place where we were able to talk alone. He told me that he is not 32, doesn't have a wife nor a child. He is 58 and lonely. He spends his nights at home traveling through Second Life, looking for people to talk to. He uses Second Life as a way to interact with others, who don't judge him by age, weight, build, clothes, or and other superficial item. He is A*, that's it.
This example showed me one of the truely remarkable charactaristics of Second Life. You are who you make yourself. You can act, look, and talk the way you want to, with any repecussions. You no longer need to go with the crowd, you can be yourself. You can be anyone you want to be. Just ask A*, the 32 year old father and husband.
* Name removed to protect privacy.