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Archive for the ‘SL/RL’ Category

A Visit with my Tribe

Even now, days after saying goodbye to friends at SLCC, their voices still echo in my mind. Much has already been said elsewhere of the policies and upcoming SL features announced during the conference, but this isn’t the place to debate those. Some of the other new perspectives I gained about SL from new-found friends would fill up posts by themselves, and my thoughts on some of that aren’t yet distilled to words. Right now, I am still thinking about the human experience of the event.

There was a moment on Friday evening when I sat in the hotel bar, sandwiched with two others on a loveseat obviously not meant to hold three adults. Friends were gathered all around, with conversations overlapping the way they do when you are in a group of a dozen people. In a lull in the conversation, Chestnut Rau looked across at me and said, “Look at that huge smile Feline is wearing!” I was embarrassed that it was so apparent, but she was right. Of course I was happy. I was with my tribe. After a year of adversity, I could laugh with them, watch expressions on their faces as we discussed serious topics, and hug them tight. At that moment, it felt possible to gather enough laughter, conversation, and hugs to last until the next time we gathered together.

I don’t mean for it to sound like all of SLCC is a cocktail party. If anything, this year was less so than in the past two I attended. I had the chance to ask Tiggs Linden questions about region crossings.  I talked shop with Jeremy Linden about what the documentation team is doing. And there’s nothing like sharing an elevator ride with Philip Linden, giving me the chance to ask him anything I wanted. It probably says something about the way I chose to consume SLCC this year that given that opportunity, I didn’t ask Philip about search or viewer 2.0. I asked a human question. Knowing he had flown in on the red-eye, I asked Philip if he was going to find time for a nap. He, in turn, had a very human answer: He would like a nap, but one of the other Lindens was in the hospital, and he wanted to visit him. (I realized the next day that he had been referring to Q Linden, who called into a keynote address from the rehab center where he is recovering from a stroke.)

Looking back on the SLCC weekend, I saw and learned a lot of interesting things. Yet the most memorable things about the weekend were the people. Daphne Abernathy and her legendary power strips. Tamara Sands making Gwampa Lomu blush while publicly cornering him into a duet of “Phantom of the Opera.” The priceless look on Chestnut Rau’s face when she met her partner, Zha Ewry. ArminasX Samian wearing his sunglasses in the dark ballroom to dress as his avatar. The laughter that met my blurted comment that I needed to “log out of the hotel room.”

Several times during the weekend, I said, “It’s all virtual.” It was my flippant replacement for the usual, “It’s all good.” But you know what? It’s not all virtual. Those were real hugs, real laughter, real eye contact. It’s not all virtual at all, and that’s what makes the human side of SLCC the most powerful and memorable part of the event.

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Getting the House in Order

I’m not a big believer in omens. But reminders… yeah, I get it.

First, there was Armi’s post Monday about making arrangements for your SL affairs in case something happens to you.

Then last night, as I was about to log off for the night, I got an IM asking if I had a cellphone number for a mutual friend of ours. I don’t. She is on vacation and her partner was hospitalized. I know if it was me in her place, I would want to know.

Today, I got a RL voicemail. My friend’s partner died, and she’s still unreachable. She has no idea. (I wouldn’t dare even write this if anyone knew this blog existed; it’s not how anyone should get that kind of news.)

I need to get my virtual house in order. I don’t have the kind of business interests that a lot of people do inworld, but I do have a 512 square meter of mainland. And of course there’s Harbour. Not to mention the human element. I need to sit down in the near future and just write all the stuff down that would need doing.

After all, we can pass only so many signposts along the road before we miss the exit. And there’s no U-turn on this highway.

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