Today marks 5 years since I first decided to enter Second Life.

This was my first post on the subject all those years ago, at that stage I’d been inworld barely three weeks.

Real Life (RL) bands play, people buy land and build houses, become merchants or sell their skills, live happy fulfilling lives… and all of this is true. People do help, there is plenty of information and free stuff around for ‘newbies’.. and the potential is there to make your life in SL whatever you want it to be..

The best description of the game was from a fellow citizen last night.. he said that the pursuit of happiness was the aim and those that got happiness won..

 And I’ve met so many of these people who are pursuing their happiness in the ways they best know how.. Scripters who just want to build, property developers, people who want to watch porn at home but don’t want to download it, sea changers who can’t in RL, those who use it at a dating agency; the sad, mad and lonely.. too many people who use SL as the substitute for RL because it’s easier.. I know this… I’ve been living it and it is a seductive thing..

Fast forward to 2011 and it’s still the same, the technology and the visuals may have improved but it’s still about people and all the glossiness in our world will never change that. Mesh may be the latest shiny to make the grid look good but without the people who create with such imagination and care this world of ours would be a sterile museum and without those who have made their lives in here and are part of the communities that make Second Life so vibrant, there’d be no heart.

Recently I’ve been allowing memories of the last 5 years to wash over me as I try to make sense of just why I’m still logging in and still caring about whether Second Life thrives. I’ve seen the potential that Second Life had to change the way we electronically interact squandered, it’s reputation sullied and I mourn the fact it’s now a internet follower rather than a trail blazer. Despite everything you may read, it really was a trailblazer back in the day – it took so many disparate things from the web and turned them into something special.  Even now, no other company has been able to recreate the heady mix that captures and beguiles that certain set of people who have stepped down into this rabbit hole.

It’s been an interesting 5 years and I oddly have more regrets about some of it than I should.  If I had my time again after I’d created Alexia, I’d do it completely differently and if I could go back to the day I agreed to log in to do the business case I’d refuse to do it.

I’m here now though and it has its claws well and truly hooked in me. I still can manage to have ideas that are beyond my technological skill set and the platform capabilities, I still meet people who I find amazing and I still have hope that I’ll keep experiencing those glimpses of magic that this story offers.  That’s the secret of Second Life that we never seem to share, it’s an open ended story where anything can happen. It can be everything you ever dreamt of or the most boring thing you’ll ever experience and the only constant is the person living it.

Years ago someone asked me why I still came inworld and I answered that I want to see how Alex’s story ends. Five years since that first fateful day and it’s not over by a long shot, each day brings a new twist to the saga and I’m still gripped enough to want to keep turning those pages.


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