Nostalgia: It ain’t what it used to be

memoriesI’ve been away from SL for a whole week, and whenever I’ve not been inworld for a while it’s always a bit of a surprise to log back in and find that everything is pretty much the same as when I left it. In fact this time things were almost spookily unchanged – my first half hour back after a break is generally taken up by putting right any mayhem that’s unfolded in my absence: Rounding up escaped animals, sorting out the aftermath of train crashes and dealing with a million unwanted group messages. This time, everything – apart from the inevitable avalanche of messages – required no attention at all. It seems that SL is capable of looking after itself after all!

So I was able to head out for a spot of exploring instead, to kill the time before friends began to log in; and, when they did, it seemed that everyone was in something of a nostalgic mood. We danced to some of the music of our youth, whilst chatting about the past – both in our real and virtual lives.

Some talked about their childhood and family, whilst others recalled their past in SL, reminiscing about the sims they spent their time at in the past, places, people and activities – some long gone, but fondly remembered. We pulled out old calling cards and were surprised at how long ago we first met, and we chatted about the circumstances under which we first crossed paths.

governor_001It gave me an opportunity to do something I rarely do. I have a folder in my inventory titled ‘SL Heritage’, in it are a whole bunch of items that I’ve accumulated, some of which hail from the virtual world’s dim and distant past, and amongst them are a collection of old avatars, from the early years of SL that I simply had to dig out and play with. It was fun! “That was my first avatar”, said one friend, as I donned the harajuku girl from 2004; “I remember that one”, when out came Governor Linden, aka ‘Ruth’ from 2003. I even dragged out a primitar, complete with jetpack, from the pre-beta Linden World – it’s astonishing just how far avatars have come in the intervening years.

And then I did something that I hardly ever do – I resurrected Mae – my original avatar that I first started my adventures in earnest with in SL. Apart from the very occasional outing, she’s exactly as I left her seven years ago, complete with bloodstained death-dealer trench coat and defiant attitude. She didn’t stay long, and will probably not see the light of day for some considerable time, but it was fun to see her again.

When I say that Mae was my original avatar, that’s not strictly true. I have an older, considerably older, avatar with whom I first made a foray into SL. She didn’t get much of an outing, I’m afraid: Neither my PC nor Internet connection at the time were up to the demands of the virtual world, and after a short while, I gave up trying and quit SL, not to return again until a good couple of years later. She’s still out there, somewhere, in her polka-dot dress and bad hair, but I’m very much afraid that she’ll never see active service again… I no longer remember her name, and she was created under an email account that no longer exists (even if I could remember what it was!), so my chances of ever recovering her are a big fat zero. 😦

It’s a shame because it’s a little bit of my personal SL history that I’d love to recover, but that’s simply not going to happen, and so this little bit of virtual nostalgia is one that is destined to remain just a dim memory.

Ah well, these things happen, and there’s little that can be done about them. Instead I’ll content myself with the knowledge that in another 10 years time, I’ll probably be writing another one of these, reminiscing about the good times we enjoyed back in the halcyon days of 2017!

Here’s hoping .

s. x

Those were such happy times and not so long ago
How I wondered where they’d gone
But they’re back again just like a long lost friend
All the songs I loved so well
The Carpenters – Yesterday Once More

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