Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lunch with a Twist

These two ladies had lunch together today. No, not in Second Life where they met, but in real life. L was the person I met through my blog friend and SL landlord and who was so helpful to me in the early stages as I tried to master the intricacies of SL. She spent many hours with me advising me about my appearance and teaching me how to do some of the things which are essential to make things go smoothly in that virtual world.

For me this was not a first as I have hosted and dined with many of my online friends, some in Vancouver and some in other parts of the world. Many have been from my dunnetworks group, an online group devoted to the discussion of the works of the Scottish author Dorothy Dunnett, and some I met through blogging like fellow Blogpower members Lady Mac and Liz who came to Vancouver.

But for L this was a first and while she wanted to meet she did have some reservations. We are both temporarily in the same general area and it was easy enough for me to borrow a car to drive the forty minutes to meet in a pleasant place, convenient for us both. While we usually communicate only in SL, we moved into email contact, both still using anonymous addresses, but I had no problem giving her my name and a contact telephone number and a recent photo, in order to reassure her. We had used voice in SL so she did know that I actually am female.

Don't laugh. There are people in SL who do crossgender roleplay. In fact I think most people have an avatar of the opposite gender and trot them out on occasion and I think some people are not above pretending with strangers so one does have to be wary. Of course the use of voice in Second Life brought to light many of these situations, or the reluctance of some to actually use voice for this very reason.

So L remains just that to me. Just as I know nothing of Moggs in real life, other than what she reveals here sometimes, I know only a little about the real life of L, not even her surname or where she lives.

But I am sure she won't mind me telling you that she has found a role in SL as a photographic artist. She has discovered techniques using the tools of SL and having both the "eye" and these techniques she produces art photographs which are truly wonderful. On occasion she has shows in SL and at the moment is very busy preparing a photographic series for a show in January. Currently her photographs are displayed in four different galleries in SL.

This one did not reproduce as well as I would have liked, since it is my photo of her photo, but it is one she took recently of me and it hangs in the dining area of my Canadian log cabin in Second Life. I think it is very beautiful and I am proud to display her work in my house. Click to see it a little better.

We partook of a most enjoyable lunch and chatted for quite a few hours and I am sure that we could quite happily have continued but since I had to drive back and wanted to avoid driving in the dark if possible we bid each other farewell with, "See you soon in SL."

Unfortunately, the forty minute easy commute to lunch turned into the two hour commute from hell on the return journey. The highway seemed to be almost gridlocked and until I turned off onto one of the Parkways, I was not above 10miles/hr for an hour and a half. My daughter kept phoning me on my cell phone to see where I was, but it is illegal to use a hand-held cell phone in New York State so I had to ignore her. I just clicked it on and off again so she knew I was alive and well.

I guess everyone was on the road because of Thanksgiving which is tomorrow. Many people I have spoken with recently tell me that they love Thanksgiving so much because it is a gathering together of families without the pressure of gifts. That had never occurred to me before but it does make sense.

So may I wish all the Americans, who a celebrating the big day tomorrow, a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families.


Nunyaa said...

Blessed are those who have a happy family to share a get together with and be truly thankful :)

sally in norfolk said...

your day sounded truly fasinating :-)

Crushed said...

L looks hot!

I'm really thinking I need to get in SL some time!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

It must have been an interesting meeting. I had no idea people pretended to be of a different gender in SL. Never thought of that point about Thanksgiving, either.

Dr.John said...

What a wonderful thing to meet somebody you almost knew on the internet.

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

JMB, It is interesting that you actually got to meet up with someone in rl.

I think you are both brave to do it. I don't think I would have.

I am sure you are right about hazards, though I never met anyone in sl so far that made me doubt they were male/female.

There are some confusing people, who could be either, especially some of the "aliens". Also I met two "transvestites"? Once who were quite upfront.

There is certainly lots of conventional roleplay. Knights in armour, Fantasy/magic, Manga, you name it. Historical, Rome, Alexandria, Tudor and medieval scenarios

jmb said...

Indeed Nunyaa.

It was fun Sally.

L is very beautiful Crushed although that is not a good photo, taken by me.

It was Welshcakes. That I know of I have not met any people playing another gender but I am told they exist.

It was a great occasion Dr John, although not the first time as I said.

Do you think we will ever meet in RL Moggs. As you say lots of role play and I think that is great. Perhaps I will try it one day.

Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

JMB, Chances of meeting in rl are not so high, being on different continents. Even when I am in the US it is still like being further apart than Paris and Athens.

Still a small world in some ways. Had we known it, a sl friend "P" was in San Francisco about a fortnight after me on my last US trip, we found out after. And had fun comparing notes.

Mind you, though we are good sl friends we know hardly anything about each other in rl. I think I mostly just accept people for what they are in sl.

Thinking of role play, I am sure you would find something like Renaissance Island quite fun, with it’s gentle attention to historical detail and the events they arrange like jousting and concerts.

I love their replica of the Globe theatre, I just sit in it sometimes. "Experiencing " it somehow makes it real, brings it to life like a book does not. I like the Shakespearian type word play, double triple meaning and such also.

SW is pretty good at that.