Today is my first day back to work after a week off – as far as SL goes, it’s not such a good thing because I’ll have less opportunity to be inworld and the time I could be logging in to SL is going to have to be shared with other, more mundane but essential activities. As far as blogging goes, it’s probably a good thing: Travelling between locations tends to give me more opportunities to put posts together and the routine of work helps me to be more structured and disciplined in my activities.
It doesn’t always work out that way though. The secret is to go with the flow and see what happens, although sometimes it can all go wrong. Take this morning, for example – picture me, (if you dare), all snuggled up in bed in that cosy, pre-alarm somnolence, half awake but still clinging on to the last vestiges of sleep. It’s a time when my mind can often choose to be quite fertile, conjuring up ideas and playing around with them to come up with all sorts of new and fun things.
This morning’s meanderings were particularly productive. I must have spent a good twenty minutes working on what was supposed to be today’s blog post – all based around some thoughts that were bouncing around my head regarding my alarm’s snooze button and the particular circumstances relating to it this morning. By the time the alarm actually went off, I had today’s post pretty much composed… Until I got as far as the bathroom, (you can stop picturing me now!), and if was at that point that I realised that pretty much everything I’d contrived in my head for my next blog post was, in fact, just a jumbled connection of random thoughts, all unrelated and completely meaningless – there was no coherent theme or structure to any of it, (you may think that about most of my posts anyway), and as for that snooze button function, I couldn’t for the life of me work out how on earth it fitted into the picture.
It seems that what I’d done was make the error of thinking that half-awake neurons firing off, first thing in the morning, was cogent thought processes, when actually it was far from it, as I discovered when I tried to formulate it into a recognisable picture and words. In much the same way as our more esoteric dreams tend not to translate terribly well in the retelling, my morning thoughts turned out to be rather less sensible and rather more disjointed than I had imagined.
SL can be a bit like that too: When inworld, it all makes sense, even if sometimes in a weird and wonderful way. We understand what’s going on – most of the time – and we accept the things we see and experience as everyday things; it’s a kind of normality, even though we know that it’s somewhat different, even at the best of times, from reality. It seems, even feels, perfectly normal, rational and straightforward… That’s until we try to explain it some to someone outside our virtual bubble, and suddenly, it makes very little sense, becomes rather incoherent, and totally weird.
“Well, the thing is, there’s this virtual world… Yeah – like a website, or a chatroom but sort of completely interactive and with avatars. No, not just little pictures, but people – virtual people – and you can dress them up and change their appearance and stuff. Yeah, a bit like The Sims, except they’re more real people than characters. And then we – well, our avatars – do stuff, like go shopping and dancing, and… erm… sex. And the thing is, even though it’s not real, it is in loads of ways. Well obviously not in the way you can actually touch other people and things, but they’re real even so, and yes you can get married, and set up home and have babies, and fly! But you don’t have to, because there’s no rules or goals or anything. Y’know what… Some people take it even further and meet each other in the real world and get married, and set up home and have babies. What’s that? No, not the flying bit! So you see, it’s all very simple and sensible. Whaddya mean, a game? No way! It’s like different to that – like everyday life, only it’s not real, but it is.
I’m not explaining this very well, am I?”
Sometimes, it’s better just to think of SL as a kind of waking dream: Something to be kept to yourself, because frankly, it doesn’t make a whole load of sense to anyone else when you try and rationalise it out.
Wake me up, wake me up inside, I can’t wake up,
Wake me up inside, save me,
Call my name and save me from the dark, wake me up
Bid my blood to run, I can’t wake up
Evanescence – Wake Me Up