Returning from home after a long journey is not the same as never leaving in the first place. The experience changes you in many ways, and you look at things with different eyes.
It’s been nearly a month since my return to Second Life, and I write this first blog post reflecting on the many changes that have occurred since my departure. I start with Second Life itself.
We have mesh! Before I left, mesh existed in the form of promises that were nearly two years old in the making. I admit that when I had first heard about it, I was excited about it coming in-world, but not ecstatic (three exclamation points). It would be a way to reduce the number of prims on your land usage, but other than that, I didn’t think it was that big a deal. That is, until coming back.
Talk about an explosion in the quality of clothing, builds, and overall creations on the market, now! The first thing I did when I came back was do a total and complete overhaul of what I owned. Suddenly, my 23 prim hammock I was so fond of now because six prims. That 50 prim house? 22 prims. Not only did my prim count drop, but lets talk about the rich texturing, shadings and shadows that now come into builds. I can inspect a building for hours, enjoying the incredible artwork available to me in-world. I can also wear clothes that look like clothes, and not like body paint! Rigged mesh and soon, liquid mesh, have revolutionized the clothing industry in SL, and it was well worth the wait.
It also means that all the clothes and creations that I made so long ago, with painstaking attention to detail, are becoming outdated, and rightfully so. I’ve discounted a lot of the things I’ve made, because of course they cannot compare to the wonderful mesh items that are now out there. What I’ve also realized though, is that I no longer have the time (being a grad student) to invest in all those hours learning and rebuilding my things to start from new. At least, maybe not yet, but most definitely not as quickly. …and surprisingly? I’m okay with that. Maybe this also reflects a change in myself and my attitudes.
There are less people in SL now. This is both good and bad. Most of my old friends have left, which means I must rebuild and find new ones. I used to have neighbors that completely surrounded my property, and now, it is empty and quiet. I don’t mind this, because gone are the obnoxious prims, nosy neighbors, squatters and griefers that would occasionally upset the peace or disrupt the scenery.
I was able to get a nice waterfront property in the same sim that I’ve lived in for years. It is very secluded, and just a wonderful place to be. This was the biggest reason for staying in SL. I could be alone by the water, in a peaceful setting to write and think. I like that a lot.
I am also back to breeding horses, and have added dogs to my collection. Before, Amaretto boasted that their horses had ten traits to choose from. Upon my return, there are now 23! The market isn’t as crazy as it used to be – lots of horse sims that I had have all closed. However, it seems that the people that have been around are ones that truly love the art of breeding, and they stay because of the hobby, and not because of the money. In fact, there is a new group, the Amaretto Market Owner’s Coalition, that exists to stabilize the market. They are the nicest people you will ever meet, and I’ve already found some wonderful friends there.
Before I left, I had just been accepted to a doctoral program in Teaching and Curriculum. This is now year 3 for me, and I’m starting to put everything I’ve learned and experienced together! What’s next in the year to come? I’m working on creating a genetics course in-world for high school students that teaches concepts of inheritance using the virtual horses. Stay tuned as I develop more on this!
In any case, here is the first step in a new journey back to my Second Life home. I invite you to walk along side me, and join me along the way!
Until the next blog, happy living in all your lives!