The “L” Word, part 1

July 27, 2007 at 12:07 am (Love, Marriage, Second Life)

I first logged on to Second Life to explore how my company might leverage business opportunities within world. An innocuous task, right? Little did I know I would chance upon a rabbit hole through which I would fall on my greatest journey of self discovery since my Saturn return 10 years ago.

Again, readers not steeped in the experience of SL may wonder how emotional love pertains to an online game. But those of us who have been in world for any period of time know how prevalent that emotion is in SL and beyond.

I stumbled upon it fairly early in my exploration of the world and it hit me like a ton of bricks. At the time I would never have called it love, but in retrospect that’s exactly what it was (I only know because I’ve had the wonderful luxury to feel it several different times since then).

So what is this love experience–this emotional connection– and how does it wriggle its way into the lives of us unsuspecting normal and happy adults who play this game (I know–it’s not a game!)? Moreover, when we find it, and it feels sooooo good, what do we do about it?

Now I can only speak for myself. But to me, love in SL usually begins with curiosity: a desire to get to know the person behind the avatar. [I’m not into the role play game. My primary goal is to find people from whom I can learn something.] So my dance begins with an introduction, usually followed by exceptionally witty verbal jousting (thanks for the word, Ray). And, just like in RL, 4 hours later we’re wondering where the time went.

Some of the loves I’ve had in SL have crept up on me over time, scratching an itch I didn’t know existed. Some blew me away in the first 3 minutes. But all have been meaningful, substantial, and have afforded me a glimpse into my own psyche that has truly made me a different person. (Not to mention that I’ve had the sincere pleasure of getting to know some pretty incredible men!)

Those of you who know I’m happily married in RL may be wondering what the hell I’m talking about. How can she find “sweep-me-off-my-feet, knock-my-socks-off” love in SL with a husband and family still in the picture? This is a legitimate question. And one I’ll attempt to answer in my next post. So stay tuned.

For an interesting and somewhat sad look at how love can feel in SL, check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZDRRDEvtPU&NR=1

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