It’s not really anything you might consider a problem, but it can catch you on the hop without warning in pretty much any situation. We’ve probably all experienced that moment of confusion looking for that item in our wardrobe, only to realise it’s something we only own in SL. Or maybe we’ve found ourselves in a furniture store, idly wondering how many prims that sofa is…
Or perhaps you’ve fallen prey to the particular curse that I’ve lately been blessed with: Confusing real people for avatars I know.
Most recently, I was stood on the platform at King’s Cross tube station, watching a chap with an eye patch waiting for his train and wondering which of the two guys I know inworld who habitually wear eyepatches he might be. Fortunately, one of those fine fellows always wears odd shoes too, so the matter was solved by a quick glance at my mystery man’s feet. That only caused more confusion, because I knew the other eyepatch-wearing gentleman happens to live in the States, and as far as I knew, he hadn’t been planning on a quick trip across the pond the night before, when I’d seen him inworld.
Thank goodness I saw sense before shouting out to him! You see my problem?
It’s not only eyepatch man that has led to this kind of scenario; there have been far too many occasions that I’ve caught a glimpse of somebody in the street and thought, “Oh, that’s so and so”, only to subsequently realise that, although they may be showing some of the traits that I might associate with an inworld friend’s avatar, it doesn’t mean that this random stranger is that person!
One of these days, I just know I’m going to do something daft and greet a complete stranger like an old friend, simply because they happen to be wearing the same hair as one of my buddies, (erm, I mean, they have the same hairstyle. See, I’m worse than I thought!)
Perhaps not quite so embarrassing, but still probably not easily reconcilable, is what might happen – probably guaranteed, actually – if I should ever meet somebody I really do know from SL in real life. Why? Because I know, without any shadow of doubt, that I’ll expect them to be the image of their avatar in every way, and I’ll be terribly confused if they don’t look and act just the same as I’m used to inworld!
Yes, I know it’s a bit daft, (ok borderline insane, I admit it), but that’s the SL effect, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who suffers from it – please tell me I’m not!
However I have a solution. The first part is simple: I’ll just have to resolve never to meet anyone for real from SL; that solves half the problem. The other is somewhat more difficult, but possibly do-able – although I will first have to become Prime Minister and force through a new policy. I’ll simply require everybody to stick a sign above their head, bearing their name, just like in SL.
And that should solve the problem altogether!
I staggered back to the underground
And the breeze blew back my hair
I remember throwin’ punches around
And preachin’ from my chair
The Who – Who Are You