Closing the book


Alexia first stumbled inworld on the 28th of August 2006.  Second Life had only been open to free accounts for a couple of months and from the moment she stepped inworld the human behind her has been in turns entranced, frustrated and amazed by what she saw and those she came into contact with.  I always believed that I would be one of those banging on the door when it finally closed, refusing to believe the dream was over but the reality is that I won’t be. I never thought the day would come that would see me say that.

Alexia was the account that went willingly into the magic, despite the trolls and sociopaths (some of who border on psychopaths and are certainly under medicated).  I’ve seen the best and the worst of human behaviour in here.  Considering what I’ve borne witness to in my real life, where I managed to keep a faith in the innate goodness of human beings, it was Second Life that finally taught me that we are all capable of great good and great evil and it’s usually pettiness that wins.

One of the true blessings of my Second Life has been how my life has been touched by others whom I feel a profound gratitude to have, however briefly, shared with them an instance of time.  Some of them are no longer with us, yet while we remember them, they will always be amongst us.

Second Life is celebrating its 10th birthday.  A couple of years ago I didn’t believe it would still be here today.  Looking back at the gamble that Mark Kingdon took with SL, it would have been a true game changer had he had a good enough team to have delivered his vision, instead it almost destroyed it and the legacy of his lost gamble is still with us.  It was the last time Second Life could ever be considered a trail blazer rather than a pedestrian follower. I do mourn the fact he lost but perhaps SL is better for just being the glossy elephant in the room of virtual worlds, rather than what Mark envisaged.  Now we’ll never know.

Alexia doesn’t log in very much anymore and her gallery is about to be cleared and the land set for sale.  There’s a garden in Avination, until that’s taken down by the grid owners but once that’s gone, that’s it.  There’s echoes of her on the various grids through her sculptures and textures but it looks like the story is finally over.

Despite everything, I strongly believe in the transformative power of Second Life.  There’s a certain magic in the chaos that only Second Life has and once the magic touches you, it never lets you go.  Even if you no longer come inworld, once you’ve been touched by it, it is always with you and for that, I am truly grateful.

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