So, yesterday i waxed lyrical about how sl allows us to ‘live the dream’, but us resident types are an eclectic bunch for whom the realisation swiftly dawns that the normal strictures that apply to rl dreams and goals simply don’t apply in the virtual environment.
Simply put, even the most unlikely to transpire rl dream is always going to fall within the bounds of possibility, no matter how small that possibility may be – if ‘living the dream’ to us means looking forward to some unspecified time in our future when we see ourselves living in a big house at the beach, a sports car out front and a bevy of dusky maidens/husky guys at our beck and call – it’s by no means impossible, even though it may be highly unlikely. On the other hand, no-one ever really dreams that one day they’ll live on a satellite and go shopping on the moon! The dreams of the real world are regulated by the real world; in sl, there’s nothing to stop our dreams going wherever our fancy may take us.
Take those same dreamers, with those eminently possible, if implausible rl dreams into the world of sl with the almost limitless possibilities the virtual world offers and suddenly those dreams limited to the physical constraints of the real world seem rather prosaic and frumpy, compared to what can be offered by sl. Once we’ve seen the potential, those bits of our brain that we generally suppress in the real world, (unless we happen to be movie directors, writers of fiction or secondhand car salesmen, of course) – our imaginations, fantasies and appetite for adventure – are awakened to the possibilities that the virtual world offers to us… we’re like children in a candy shop accompanied by a benevolent relative with an ever-open purse and the joyful knowledge we were born with tungsten carbide teeth, never requiring a visit to the dentist.
Faced with the virtual reality of sl, we’re quite likely to put the dreams of the real world on temporary hold – which, in effect they are, anyway, (‘Your dream is important to us, please hold until we can connect you to an agent – in the meantime, please enjoy the sound of your life ticking away as you wait…’). After all, who needs dusky sportscars and a beach at our beck and call at some unspecified, and highly unlikely, time in the future when we can have satellite apartments and Lunar lunacy right now?
It’s a pretty rapid progression in sl too – from a day 1 noob, it goes something like this…
“Oh wow, look at this… hey look, i can barge people! Awesome! Hey look, i can click stuff and stuff happens! What happens if i click this map pin thingy?
Whoah! What happened? Where am i? What is this place? Ooh, people… Gimme freebies, gimme money… i want to do teh sex! This place sucks.
Wait a minute… what’s this? OMG!!! I CAN FLY!!!!”
Noob has reached a turning point – from here, they will either descend into puerile and irritating behaviour and eventually leave… or those memories from way back will be rekindled: dreams of flying, of Peter Pan, of magic and fantasy and with them come all those other dreams, flooding back. The ones where we ruled the world; the time we saved the world from an evil alliance of the Daleks and Mr Whippy; dreams of unicorns and dragons; dreams of erm, sexy stuff with scantily clad slave girls… they all come to the fore and suddenly, we realise they need not be dreams anymore.
Once sl has its hold on us, living the dream takes on a whole new meaning – one which takes us way beyond what is possible in rl and, most importantly, it’s pretty much an instant hit. That’s not to say that you’ll be able to create a fantasy dreamland in sl from day 1 – although, in theory you could, if you had the abilities or the cash – but, right from the moment you set foot on Welcome Island, you’re already living the dream… you can fly, taken on any appearance you want, cross the entire world in the blink of an eye, (asset servers permitting!), become an explorer, adventurer… whatever you want.
Give me a bit more of that, i say… because i certainly can’t find much of it in the real world!
I travel the world
And the seven seas
Everybody’s looking for something.
Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)