Those of you who know me, will be aware that i seem to be going through a period of metamorphosis… not like me at all. Don’t worry – i’m not changing by some extreme Kafka-esque mutation into another being entirely, even so the change is significant enough for me to wonder what exactly is going on. Normally, i’m pretty conservative when it comes to my appearance and fairly predictable in my choice of attire but, of late, that’s changed radically and i’m sure that some may be a bit bemused by the whole thing; actually, so am i!
In rapid succession i’ve progressed from cyberpunk to semi-goth and in the process, so i’m told, i’ve also become a rivethead! That one needed some explanation, but i quite liked the idea! i’ve also developed a taste for a frightening array of armour, weaponry and a peculiar mixture of cyberpunk/steampunk paraphernalia. Hairstyles have ranged between glowing neon cybershock; through neko amber and silver; Morticia Addams and white dreads… not exactly consistent or rational and ridiculously out of character for everyday little me!
Is this an attempt to re-invent myself; am i going off the rails, or is this just a phase i’m going through before i settle back down into my ‘normal’ self? i honestly couldn’t say – if anything, i’d say there’s probably more to come and i have absolutely no idea where all of this is leading. This, to many of you, may not seem to be an issue – after all, a large number of sl residents adopt a plethora of forms and appearance and positively revel in their ability to change their avatar to match their mood, environment or online pursuits – i am not one of those people; i much prefer to have a recognisable and fairly consistent persona, however that all seems to taken a long walk off a short pier just recently.
One’s sl identity is an important thing for many people, although it’s fair to say that there are those for whom a distinctive and unique sl presence is of little consequence. i’m often surprised to find empty picks or sparse information in the profiles of residents who have been in sl for some time, particularly since it’s my experience that the longer you have been involved in sl, the more you’ll have developed your virtual persona. This is as much about the message you send out to the world around you through what you say and show in your profile as it is about how you dress and customise your avatar. It’s about the name you give yourself and the tag you wear, the places you spend your time, the gestures you use and the way you speak – all of these things combine to say “This is ME” – so, when i find myself acting out of character with no ulterior motive, i can’t help but wonder not only what message i’m giving to others, but also, who on earth am i?
Maybe this is something that naturally happens when you’ve been around sl for a while – lot’s of people seem to have alts who get pressed into service for various reasons, from the straightforward practicality of having someone different to be for privacies’ sake, or for modelling clothes and testing builds, to the expedience of a roleplay alter ego that takes the place of the usual ‘you’ for those less mainstream pursuits that you may wish to indulge in. There’s nothing unusual or odd about this and perhaps that’s all i’m doing – trying to find some sort of workable alternatives, only rather than creating a whole new person, i’m simply modifying the existing one. Whatever the reason, i’m certainly finding it both an interesting and enlightening process!
One ‘side-effect’ i’ve found is that the way i look changes the way i feel and also the way i interact with sl. If i’m drawn to the cyberpunk look, then i’ll also be drawn to Sims that complement that style; if it’s ‘dark destroyer’, complete with thigh daggers, then i’ll feel perfectly at ease in dark, gothic surroundings… in fact, i’m exploring parts of sl that i’d previously have no interest in, and it’s proving to be educational and fun. Not being quite sure of who you are certainly opens your mind to possibilities, if nothing else.
i’m sure that this is just phase and at some point i’ll come back down to earth and once again be the person that you’re all used to, but even if i do, i’m kinda hoping that i’ll retain as least a little of this capriciousness, because in a strange way i’m quite enjoying the experience!