When you whack Control-Shift-H on your keyboard (or select the appropriate menu command, or get “killed” in a damage-enabled area, or some object calls the appropriate LSL function on you)…where do you go?
For some time after I started in Second Life, I didn’t much care; I just moved my avatar to some identifiable location before logging out. At first, it was a mountain peak just outside the Welcome Area at Ahern; later, it was the Shelter’s Garden. When I started building the Cutlass Club, I actually started using the “Teleport Home” functionality, and set my home position to the club…reasonably enough, I think. Then Danielle heard about this (while we were touring Spaceport Alpha, as a matter of fact) and invited me to “move in” with her at her rented condo in Revolution Paradise. Doing so was just a matter of holding the right group membership and resetting my Home position. Later, we moved to the land we bought in Yangpa, where first we erected the New Roma villa, then later, a more modern house with a lush garden. Now, we’ve sold that off and are renting again…this time out in Sunset City, an oceanfront lot with a lot of prim space. (It’s a better neighborhood…too many yahoos shouting and getting careless with firearms in Yangpa.)
On that lot in Sunset, we’re now on our third house. The first two were larger, but Danielle wound up razing both of them and starting over because she needed more prim space for all the furniture she wanted. Now we have a nice living room set downstairs along with a “home office” (two computer desks), and, upstairs, a bedroom and a baby’s room.
Seems like a lot of effort is put into the building and upkeep of residential property in SL…property that, almost by definition, generates no revenue. These structures range from palatial mansions like Sumar Morgan’s, to fancy open pavilions like Reina Quine’s, to more conventional residences like ours, all the way to one-room prefab cabins like the one my friend Ed put on his First Land (that he acquired within a week of starting SL). It’s such a big thing that companies selling homes, home furnishings, and the like do some serious business. What drives this?
Self-expression has to be the answer. Like an avatar’s appearance, a home is another way for people to express themselves. Tastes in furniture, artwork, and so forth can say a lot about a person and the image they want to project, if only for visitors to their home. (Which reminds me…I have three nice Japanese art prints I want to hang up at some point.) It also provides a nice, familiar place for an avatar to set out from and wind up; I know I find myself TP’ing home every night just before logging out, so I’ll show up in the right place the next day. And it’s comforting to see the walls and furniture of my living room rezz around me as I enter the world. Occasionally, when I’ve had problems getting there (due to sim issues, or because Danielle’s SIN malfunctioned in some strange way and orbited me as soon as I appeared), it’s actually been more than a little distressing.
Guess Glinda the Good Witch was right after all…there really is no place like home.