Rediscovering A Love For Second Life

Cristiano

I AM BABY GROOT
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I'm as shocked as anyone to be writing this post. I apologize in advance for the tldr; nature of it, but please indulge me a bit.

First a little history about me. I originally started in Second Life in December of 2002. I had a cousin who had somehow gotten into the closed SL beta and he hated it. I was curious about it so I asked if I could have his account, Martinito Starseeker. I signed in, managed to get stuck under a building, didn't see anybody, and decided SL probably wasn't for me.

Fast forward to May of 2003, when I got my own invite for Second Life and created the Cristiano Midnight account. SL was my third online environment, and the most consequential for me. My first experience with online games/worlds was The Sims Online, and then I moved on to There.com. Even after coming back to SL and creating my own account, it didn't click for me immediately. However, once it did click, it took a hold of my imagination in a way nothing ever had.

There were a lot of ups and downs over the next few years. It was exciting being a part of something so unique. Early SL was magical. It seemed like everyone knew everyone. I discovered the SL forums, and became a very active voice there. I had previously never really been active in game forums. However, the SL forums proved to have some pretty heavy handed moderation that also threatened your SL account, which I thought was just fucking stupid, so I started SLUniverse to provide a platform to talk about SL without fear of reprisal from LL.

Running SLUniverse was difficult, to put it mildly. There was a heavy financial and emotional cost to it all. I found myself gradually losing interest in Second Life, and by late 2008, didn't sign in nearly as often. Over the years that followed, it seemed I would only sign in to host events or to attend memorial services, which had become way too frequent. Losing my friend Siobhan OFlynn, who had been my constant companion from my early days in The Sims Online (and who I dragged into There and SL as well) proved to be too much to bear on top of all of the horrifying drama from SLU that spilled over into my RL in dangerous ways. I couldn't bring myself to sign into SL really anymore. At that point I wasn't even sure I wanted to be online at all anymore.

My interest in SL waned more and more, and on top of that, over time SLU suddenly started to get bogged down from its sheer size and age, and I could no longer keep it going in its current form. Even after shutting down SLU and starting up this site, my interest in SL itself was nil. It was hard for me to even host events, because I just felt no connection anymore.

That all changed in the past few weeks, for reasons I can't quite explain. I didn't think I'd ever feel the magic of SL again, or being excited by it. We have a close group of friends on the VVO discord server that talk all the time and play games together, and that was enough for me. On a lark, Moo Money asked me to come in and see her new Linden home. She had similarly lost interest in SL in much the same way I had for various reasons.

However, exploring the new Linden regions with her and deciding to experiment again with a mesh avatar just caused something to click with me. I was able to make a new avatar that still felt like "me", which was important to me. I found the fun in SL again. I've been signing in nearly every day and spending time with friends and loving every minute of it. i tiered down significantly, but in the process, gained a lot more. The sheer quality of stuff in SL now is staggering. More importantly, however, reconnecting in SL with the same friends I talk to all the time in Discord just adds an entire new layer to the experience and those friendships. We talk all day every day, yet spending time in SL is a heightened experience.

I don't know how long my new found love of SL will last, but I'm thankful that 17 years after first signing into SL, it feels like home again to me in a way I never thought it would again. Sometimes you have to lose something to find it again, and I'm glad I have.

Ok, I'll shut up now.

 

Shiloh Lyric

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I just love this post. And love seeing you online on my friends list a lot more often. And WILL get over to hang out with you all very soon. :)

My interest in SL is stronger at some points than others, but I've never really completely lost interest. Sometimes I just want to log in, and work my way through something while taking photos. Or I want to shop, or just tweak my shape a little bit. Sometimes, I don't log in for days at a time, just on weekends to hang with Crow. But that the option is there when I want it has added so much to my life in ways I can't describe.

I don't think I'll ever fall completely out of love with it. :)
 

NeoBokrug Elytis

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I'm in SL every day, and I gotta admit after 14 years, sometimes I get pessimistic about SL. But it's posts and other peoples personal accounts like these, that make me optimistic again. Seeing people excited about SL reminds me of why I too fell in love with it.

Hang on to that feelin' man! Explore SL again! I know a lot of your old landmarks are probably dead, but there's lots of cool places that have taken their place. If you ever need it, the destination guide is a good way to explore.

Keep us updated on the cool places you see, I wanna hear about them. :)
 

RyanSchultz

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I love this post, Cristiano! Thank you for sharing your story with us. As someone who has been in and out of SL in cycles since 2007, I can certainly relate. When I started my blog in 2017, I swore I would never blog about Second Life...and of course, I now blog about SL a lot!

With all the social VR platforms and virtual worlds I cover on Ryan Schultz, I still find myself coming back to SL, almost every day lately.

And my offer to you still stands: If you ever want to submit something for my blog, sharing your stories of the early days of SL, I would gladly publish it. In fact, what you have written I would gladly take and publish for my readers without a moment's hesitation. So you wouldn't even have to write up something; you already did! :) I would just give it a different audience, many of whom are younger and have started their virtual worlds journey in places other than SL.

And if you prefer, I could just interview you for the blog. As someone who has been around since the very beginning, your perspective and stories would be something worth reading.

No pressure; just think about it ;) the offer is always open for people that I think have something to say.

Oh, and your new avatar looks hot. I would hit it :cool:
 
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Kalel

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anything is better when played together... it's not the same experience when being alone.

i also took a few pictures from the party last night. got to have something for memories.

also for the rest of you... feel free to join us on discord... we don't bite... much..





 
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RyanSchultz

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LOL, who is roleplaying the maid scrubbing the floor of the yacht? I could do that!
 

Eunoli

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The same thing happened to me with my succession of RP sims. After I closed the last one I just left SL completely for a good long while. Before that, I'd been just running things and not having much enjoyment of my own for years. I recently came back and while exploring found a gorgeous cyberpunk sim - talked to people - and now I'm loving roleplay and being in SL again. Plus, when I make stuff now - its because I want to, not out of some sense of obligation. It makes a huge difference.
 

Cristalle

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I think that all of us go through periods of disinterest. There was a stretch of time where my login intervals were measured in months, not hours. It does take finding a passion inside SL and going for it. I'm glad you're finding a new lease on your second life. We all need breaks, to come back and appreciate what SL has to offer.
 

Romana

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I don't know if my gives away from SL were periods of disinterest in SL or RL issues overwhelming everything else. SL used to be a good distraction from RL issues, sort of therapeutic, but some friends had moved on, including most of my SL family, and the New Gallifrey RP had petered out and now it's no more, and I didn't write know what to do when I went in-world, because it is more fun with friends.
Last time I logged in after a period of inactivity I found a group invitation to a Star Trek RP from someone on my friends list. Tell isn't as much my thing as Doctor Who, but I'll check it out.
Still gonna use my TARDIS as my spaceship, though. 🖖🏻
 
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Amanda Dallin

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I'm glad you rediscovered SL and It was good to see you post pics in the "How Does your Avatar Look Today?" thread in the official forums. You look pretty darn good btw.

I've logged in almost everyday since November 2006, especially since I injured my back and became disabled in early 2008. I met Sandirne about month after i first logged in and we've been partnered since January 2007. She's the main reason I haven't lost interest but I've found other things to do when she's not able to be online due to RL.
 

Katheryne Helendale

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Thank you for sharing this, Cristiano. It's so good to see you become interested again.

I am finding myself becoming interested in SL again after having taken a nearly-nine year break. All of my original friends in SL are gone, but that means I have room to make new friends. I had started with a strong interest in SL in 2008 when EA announced The Sims Online's (then called EA-Land) closure. I moved over with a bunch of TSO friends, and we formed a loose family. In early 2011, I became sick with what would later be diagnosed as Crohn's Disease, and, for whatever reason, my interest in SL died completely. A couple of years later, I picked up a full time job, and never found time to return to SL.

I'm employed now, so will never have the kind of time to get into SL that I used to, but I'm going to make an effort to get in at least on the weekends. If you see me wandering around, feel free to friend me. And if you see me log in on Cris's land wearing nothing but the hair on my head, rest assured it's just SL being SL, and offer me a towel.

Cris, what was your name in TSO, and what cities were you in?
 

Conifer Dada

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I never really lost interest in SL although some days seem more fun than others. I have decided against going over to a mesh body, having tried demos. One reason for this is that I have an OpenSim standalone and I also sometimes go to the OS Grid and I wanted to look the same in those places as in SL. Anyway a just over a year ago I decided I wanted a better, more realistic skin. Unable to find what I was looking for I decided to have a go at making my own. I started with a free full-perm skin texture and modified it bit-by-bit using Gimp, uploading version after version onto the standalone until I'd got something good enough to be worth spending all of L$30 importing into SL. Since then I've made further improvements and now I have just about achieved what I set out to create. I think it's fair to say there's almost nothing left of the original full-perms skin I used as a starting point - maybe the ears, I don't remember altering them. Having done the skin, it was relatively simple to create additional versions with varying degrees of suntan and also to create make-ups for the rare occasions when I need them. Anyway the new look has renewed my interest in SL and someone even asked me which mesh body I had. I felt quite smug telling them it was just a good old-fashioned system shape! The idea all along has been that I could use the new skin as a bakes on mesh one day, but I'm in no hurry at the moment as I've invested so much time and effort into what I have already and I don't feel like starting all over again.
 

Bea McMahon

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I've never lost interest in over 12 years. I've been able to express myself in a way that I could not in RL, without making a lot of complications. I've made friends, and discovered talents I didn't know I had. It's a very important part of my life.
ETA And welcome back, Cris.
 

Amanda Dallin

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Anyway the new look has renewed my interest in SL and someone even asked me which mesh body I had. I felt quite smug telling them it was just a good old-fashioned system shape! The idea all along has been that I could use the new skin as a bakes on mesh one day, but I'm in no hurry at the moment as I've invested so much time and effort into what I have already and I don't feel like starting all over again.
You could always try something like the Ruth too mesh body. It's open source and available for Open Sim as well as SL. There are bake on Mesh versions now that i've been playing with. You could use your own skin with it easy. I've been using it for sailing since it's lower in system resource use than other mesh bodies.