It’s hard to believe. It was just about one year ago that I first laid claim to the title “Resident of Second Life.” And I feel like I’ve packed a lifetime of experiences into that one short year.
It began with Orientation Island, and Waterhead, but the path has taken me across the length and breadth of the Grid, expanding my horizons even as I expanded my own talents. Once, I was a rube, gawking in wonderment at the sights along the road; now, I am a sophisticate, with knowledge of hundreds of locations and the will to flit between them. Once, I gathered the money from trees to save up enough to buy proper clothes; now I own a family compound the likes of which I never imagined back then, for which the word “ostentatious” seems tailor-made. Once, I sweated over the design of a club to fit on a mere 1536 square meters; now, as part of Bogart Land Management, I have the resources of a full quarter of a sim to work with. Once, I was but one Resident among many; now…well, I’m not in the FIC by any stretch of the imagination, but I am not without reknown and respect, either.
In this time, I’ve tried my hand at many things. I’ve been a club owner, of course, and now a DJ with a unique personal style. I’ve designed and built scripted objects, both for sale, for friends, and just for myself…and I’ve made a few clothing items here and there, too. I’ve been a police officer, a musician, and a “trusted associate” with security privileges. I’ve hobnobbed with newbies, celebrities, and Victorians. And, of course, Danielle and I successfully accomplished what we set out to do…simulated all aspects of a relationship in SL, from beginning to end. And we’re still friends afterwards. 🙂
In the process, I’ve accumulated a good deal of skill, not only with SL, but with a variety of other tools…The GIMP, SAM, Quartz Audio, Audacity, WordPress, and Joomla, just to name a few. And my programming background has served me well, as I continue to explore the range of possibilities offered by LSL. But, most of all, I’ve become enmeshed in a community…one every bit as rich and diverse as any I’ve been affiliated with in the past. The lessons taught me by the pioneers of those older virtual communities still serve me well.
And, in that time, the Grid has changed, too. Over at least six major revisions and any number of bugfixes, the client has had its ups and downs, but has managed to retain a familiar feel throughout. The population of the Grid has exploded at least sixfold since my entry, and the land mass has grown by leaps and bounds; there are whole continents on the map that weren’t there when I came in. Open source has come to the client, and soon to the very sim servers themselves. By this time next year, I may be running my own sim on my own hardware…
So, has it been worth it? Absolutely. Without question.
Is this the end of the road? Not hardly…just the end of the beginning, perhaps. There may yet come events to which all this will seem mere prologue.
I don’t plan to miss it.
Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me,
Other times I can barely see,
Lately it occurs to me
What a long, strange trip it’s been
– “Truckin’,” The Grateful Dead