A Place To Call Home

A lengthy, detailed article this week in the Home and Garden section of the New York Times shows why Second Life really works as a social network

Life on Jalisco, where neighborly visits are frequent, resembles that in a real-world community. And many of the residents know who their neighbors are in real life, and sometimes converse with them over Internet telephone connections as they operate their avatars.

… Jalisco was the place for Mr. Ainsworth. He had long been friends with its developer, an often scantily dressed avatar named Rooby Begonia. “The community and the friends were the major selling points to me,” said Mr. Ainsworth, who said in the virtual chat that he spends four hours a night in Second Life instead of watching television. “It is friendly, classy people,” he added. “Most Second Life properties are real stale cookie-cutter. This place has style.” In part, that’s because of strict zoning laws in the island’s “covenant,” which require that the Mexican theme be maintained in all building designs; in part it’s the personal attention lavished on the sim and its residents by Rooby, or rather her creator, Brenda Beach. Ms. Beach, 46, is an empty-nest homemaker from Issaquah, Wash., who spends four to eight hours a day in Second Life. In addition to developing the island — she paid Linden Lab $1,200 for control of it — she acts as its mayor and cruise director, enforcing the rules and corralling the locals into socializing. In many cases, she helps them build and decorate their houses, at no charge.

… It is striking how often a Second Life process mirrors real life. Case in point: a couple trying to decide which of their old furniture to keep after being married. Mr. Lucas’s avatar, Earl, had lived in a small skybox — a floating house — 50 meters above the ground in the Hyaonmoo sim, and Ms. Clasen’s avatar, Candy, had lived on 5,000 square meters in the Sugulite sim.

“We just emptied our inventories onto the lawn” of the new house, Ms. Clasen said in an instant message. “Then I took all the pieces and put them together here.” Two wedding gifts — gauzy abstract paintings by Second Life artists — hang on either side of the door in the living room. The room is also furnished with stained-glass lamps, a couch programmed to allow the couple to snuggle and a music box that plays their song (“Freebird”).

NY Times – A House That’s Just Unreal

Although on the web people use the term “home” page, in the meshverse they actually build real homes.

See also: Crash – The Second Life Remix

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