For my last post of my practicum project, I added to The Second Life Wikipedia page. This is the first time I have ever added to Wikipedia or a website of this nature. I guess I am taking advantage of participatory culture! The Wikipedia page is very through on Second Life, so I only added a sentence about what Second Life can be classified as. I said that Second Life can also be categorized as a multi-user virtual world because of the interaction with others in Second Life. I found this from a source online of online definitions.
Here is the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Life#Classification
Joining Second Life and making an avatar has been a really interesting and new experience. I just wanted to reflect on my experience in one of my last posts before it is all said and done. Although I tried to emerge myself in the Second Life community, make friends (such as Tilma and edduarddo110) and join in conversations, I cannot say that I will stay on Second Life. I am not a huge online gamer or virtual world joiner, but I did enjoy the chance to force myself to try it once. I can see how people enjoy Second Life, but to me I would rather interact with the people I know in my real life, and honestly was very creeped out by some of the things residents said to me! The chat below shows how a normal conversation can turn sexual by a user who obviously is using Second Life for a different reason than me!
After exploring my options on the dashboard, I decided to keep my same look (skin) as I am not willing to pay real US dollars for fake online Linden dollars. So my classic school girl, blonde haired look stayed. I did however explore more places and try to meet/ socialize with new people. One spot that had a little more action than places where you just walk around and talk, such has Old Europe Winter Village, is a place called Mega Mall and Galaxy Club. Here there is loud techno music and actually simulates a club with the music and dancing. I found a group of people to dance with, but was a little confused when half of their butts were hanging out (see picture below). I became friends with someone named Diva and Henri, but they all seemed to know each other very well, carrying on their own inside conversation. I eventually left Galaxy Club as things started to get a little sexual and I did not want my avatar associated with that!
Taking a break from playing, I took a look at my avatars dashboard/ homepage to explore more into Second Life and what else it has to offer. I found this very beneficial in educating me on things I did not know that much about. On my avatars dashboard I found a world map, that had “Destination Guide Picks” that were much more interesting than the places I had been visiting. I also discovered the Second Life Marketplace where you can buy new outfits for your avatar, makeup, hair, etc. To buy these things though you have to pay US dollars which are then converted into Linden Dollars (L$), the Second Life currency. I find it strange that someone would spend real US dollars to use in a fictional world….
Lastly I found that your avatar can join groups and see what events are going on. I am going to utilize all this new information the next time I log in to explore more places, attend events and meet more people.
Last night I kept track of my computerized use. After spending the afternoon working on a group project, in which we were all on our computers doing research and adding to a google doc, I went home to relax and watch a new show I have started called ‘Boardwalk Empire’. I spent the next three hours watching Boardwalk Empire free online. Sunday evenings I probably spend the most time “plugged-in” to electronics including texting while watching TV shows, checking my Facebook, watching highlights from the Badger game, checking my emails and looking at pictures on my phone and uploading them to my computer. The more I analyze how much I use computers and technology, it is safe to say I depend on them for a lot of things, but I would not mind if they all did not exist sometimes.
I decided to search a Rihanna music video on YouTube and a Rihanna music video on Hulu to compare and contrast the two. I normally always go to YouTube when searching for a music video or clip because there is a wide variety of options, which is the main difference I found between YouTube and Hulu. I searched “We Found Love” on YouTube and it came up with many search results and versions, some official videos and some unofficial videos. When I tried to search the same video on Hulu I could not find it, only other Rihanna music videos. Although both sites are a good place to search for clips and music videos, I find Hulu to be more professional. The video quality is very good and you are also able to watch TV shows or movies on Hulu, which may be harder to find on YouTube.
YouTube is definitely my go to place to search for videos, songs or clips from shows or movies, and even though Hulu’s quality is better, it won’t change my practices.
Before having a lecture on copyright laws, I never really thought about it before except when citing sources from the internet in a paper. I am definitely one of those people that download music online because it is free and I do not want to spend $2,000 worth of music on itunes. I get what the commercial on stealing from the internet is supposed to come across as, but I think because you are not literally taking a copy away from the source, it is not the same comparison.
If I can get away with watching movies, TV shows and downloading music online I will do it. I know I am not the only one doing this and it is not really “looked down upon” by my peers so I think that’s why it is more justifiable.
I’ll admit, I’ve Googled myself before as I’m sure many have. I typed in my name and the first three auto suggestions Google provided were : Jessica Seyferth, Jessica Seyferth tennis and Jessica Seyferth Facebook. I clicked on my name and it said 131,000 results were pulled. The first link was to my player profile on UWbadgers.com, following that other result links were newspaper articles on tennis at the University and my hometown and then other tennis links. I figured this would come up, and I noticed my LinkedIn account showed up as well. I am fine with that because I want people to be able to find me online and contact me if necessary. I also looked at images and saw most of the pictures of me were from UWBadgers.com but was really surprised to find some of my Facebook photos up there! I am not sure how that happened, but kind of creepy. It is amazing what you can find out about a person by the use of Google…I’ve definitely Googled other people to find things out!
Tomorrow Jenny and I are presenting on online communities. I have been interacting in the world of Second Life.
In Second Life, you have the opportunity to create an avatar in which you see fit. This can be similar to what you look like in real life or you can create a whole new persona for yourself in this “second life”. Whether it is changing your sex, hair color, or even wearing a disguise as an animal.
People tend to create avatars that are an ideal version of themselves since it is an opportunity to create another ‘version’ of yourself. My question deals with the transition from Second Life to real life and vice versa.
Do you think the way way see ourselves as an avatar matters and effects our behaviors in real life?
I forgot to mention in my last post that my avatar name is Tammantha (I was trying to be somewhat creative). In order to make some friends I decided to go to a location based on chatting called Bear Dream Lodge. I made two friends, one who was also a newby like myself so we started chatting. ‘Tilma’ is the newcomer and my other new friends name is ‘Dream’. In the group chat, in Bear Dream Lodge, the avatar ‘Cherry’ was very friendly and gave us tips. Then things got a but raunchy when ‘Fun Girl’ asked “any men wanna fuck with me”. I decided to check out a new destination and see what kind of avatars were in Moose Beach.
On Moose Beach I met ‘Cristole’. We had a nice conversation for a second and then he/ she? said that I looked sexy. I was not sure what to say to that, got creeped out and signed off.
Oh the adventures of Second Life that I am slowly adapting to.