Friday, April 2, 2010

Northern California: her Second Life name is Rose – but beyond this, there's no information about her actual identity

Harbin ethnography:

... her Second Life name – Rose – but beyond this, there's no information about her actual identity.

In the 'Local Communication' type chat area – which many avatars can see 30 meters (?) away - in the Second Life interface - I ask how she's doing. She types “fine.” I type “Flying is great in Second Life.” And she types, “Beautiful view,” looking south. She has a white dot indicating that her computer hardware, in conjunction with the Second Life application, can use its real time voice capabilities, and I type to ask if she would like to use the voice option, not knowing whether she has turned this on in Second Life, or whether her computer's speakers are turned on. She types “O.K.” And I ask her, using voice, how the weather is in her actual location. She replies that “It's warm and lovely here.” I say “the weather is bright and beautiful where I am, too.” The third way we communicate is through another kind of type chat in the same SL communication dialog box, but one-to-one, using instant message as a kind of private channel, which no one else can see.

While looking out over this virtual panorama from the top of Dragon Ridge, I explain to Rose how to use the virtual world map in Second Life, with its nearly 120,000 (?) simulations, or virtual islands, and a little about it. She tells me she's opened it. I point out where we and virtual Harbin Hot Springs are, and how the green and yellow dots represent her and my avatars. I explain how the 1/3 of a circle radius on each of our avatars represents ...

( - April 2, 2010)

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