Thursday, March 17, 2011
Welcome Hallie Ephron!
Visit Hallie's Web site here to pre-order!
Thanks so much for having me on Working Stiffs!
The chirpy ad copy explained: "...this package will give you variety, nutrition, and peace of mind."
So far so good. But I'm so not a gamer. The mouse and arrow keys are not my friends. So even though I knew my avatar should be able to walk, run, fly, sit, and teleport, I couldn't keep her from bumping into furniture. When I finally got her aloft, it was exhilarating, watching like I was perched on her shoulders (think Harry Potter on riding Buckbeak the hippogriff) as she soared over the island at the entrance to Second Life. Not so exhilarating, seconds later, was when she plunged into the blue (very blue) ocean. I actually found myself gasping for breath, then panicking when I couldn't figure out how to get her out.
So, most of what I learned about Second Life was gleaned by riding shotgun beside a few generous souls who let me watch as they went about their business in virtual reality. I learned that even bucolic corners of the virtual world can be infested by "griefers," mischief-makers who enjoy raining down toasters or flying phalluses or dropping cages to trap the avatars of unsuspecting players. It can turn from safe to scary in a heartbeat, which was perfect for the book. And, of course you never know who you're dealing with. Just for example, it turns out that a good percentage of the female avatars in Second Life have been created by male players. My favorite story about Second Life is that although avatars are designed to be virtually indestructible, a woman somewhere managed to kill her ex-husband's avatar.