A recurring assertion that has frequently been levelled at me over the years – and sometimes only half jokingly – is that I’m secretly a Linden. I’m not entirely sure what leads people to this conclusion, but the number of times I’ve been accused of being a Lab employee under cover makes me wonder what it is about me that leads people to this conclusion. Perhaps it’s that I don’t despise the Labbies with the same degree of vehemence that so many others seem to? Maybe it’s because I always seem to be one of the first to know about forthcoming changes to SL and can be relied upon for inside information that invariably turns out to be correct? Or could it simply be wishful thinking on the part of others? I’m not sure, but perhaps the time has come to set the record straight, once and for all?
So, let me make it clear, to avoid any doubt whatsoever, that I can neither confirm, nor deny, that I may or may not secretly be a Linden.
There, now that’s sorted, perhaps we can move on?
SL has a weird ability to blur the lines between reality and the imagination, as a consequence of which, we can be led into making the strangest of assumptions and characterisations of those around us in the virtual world often with little or no rational basis to base them upon. If I take my own circle of friends and acquaintances, I can readily come up with numerous examples of what could accurately be described as character assassinations, with no real justification in support.
One friend, for example, is the epitome of kindness, care and friendliness in real life, but invariably if I bring her into a conversation I’ll find myself demonising her as a power mad despot, who will take out a contract on you without a second thought if you should slight her, and makes Don Corleone look like Patch Adams, in comparison!
Another friend is a model of decorum and innocence in the real world, yet I’ll happily tell you that she spends her free time hosting swingers’ parties, and running her own sex chat line. If she happens to be missing from SL at any time, it’ll be because she’s out dogging in the local car park!
There’s the country bumpkin who spends his time driving around on his tractor, or lying in a ditch in a drunken stupor, (although at least one of those may actually be true!); then there’s the Borg-like consciousness who assimilates everyone she encounters into her evil clutches, bending them to her will, and crushing their individuality as they succumb to the hive mind….
And I’m sure that none of these characteristics bear any real resemblence to the actuality, and none of these people really deserve the bad press I’ve given them. Although, it is a whole lot of fun!
That’s a key point – most of these people probably wouldn’t mind this romanticised picture of their lives behind the computer screen, and indeed, many of them are perfectly aware of the nonsense I peddle about them and are happy to play along, because it is fun, nobody really takes it seriously, and often the imagined is better than the reality – or, at least, a lot more interesting than our everyday, mundane, lives. I know that I’m not the only one who creates these fantasy versions of people I know; the ongoing Seren Linden saga is testament to that, but I’m not entirely sure why we might do it.
I don’t think it’s a symptom of our brains filling in the blanks, as I’ve talked about before, where we compensate for lack of information about the real lives of those people we know inworld – if anything, it’s often the opposite. I find that it tends to be the people I know well, and about whose real lives I have at least some information, who end up subject to my wild imaginings. So maybe it’s just gentle ribbing of the sort that good friends can get away with, precisely because they are good friends. There’s no malice intended, no mockery involved. In many ways, it’s the virtual world equivalent of giving somebody a humorous nickname.
Wouldn’t it be funny though, if those made up identities turned out to be true?
She’s always in disguise
Destined to kill
What she thought was real
Vanilla Ninja – Undercover Girl