Well, sort of.
You see I had this post planned a few weeks back when I was totally pissed off with SL. Since then I’ve had a new surge of fun and joy from being in-world – I’ve started writing again, I’ve actually built something, ideas are tumbling out of me and I have even found a work-around for the still fucking annoying snapshots-to-email bug(1).
But back then, in the Dark Weeks when I seriously did not want to log in, I got to thinking about what I was in SL for. What made me log in? Could I identify what I wanted from a virtual life and could I then find somewhere else to get it?
At the time several of my friends were having a rough time in SL. Osprey & Eladrienne were just two old hands among many who were finding, for various reasons, either more fun elsewhere or not enough in SL. It looked for a while as if a exodus of people I had ‘grown up’ with was about to start.
Things have calmed down but in that time I was thinking about what kept me in-world. Yes there are my friends, but I can keep in touch with them outside of SL as we all have email, Flickr, YouTube, blogs, twitter, facebook and therefore SL is only one of many ways I can be with them. What then about the things that have kept me in there in the last couple of years? The exploring stopped a year or more ago, I ditched my island months ago, even the show can no longer go on as it once did and none of these things seemed important. So what was it that was keeping me in SL? Try as I might I couldn’t answer that seemingly simple question until I shrunk it down to its bare, obvious minimum.
What would I miss if I never logged in again?
Now given that friends don’t count because even though I would miss them, I’d still be in touch with them, I suddenly realised there was one simple, honest answer.
That’s what I do SL for. Something to post about. I love blogging, but need something to blog about. Without SL I was facing a very uncomfortable question. What would I write about? And that really shook me…
Now as I say, the things pissing me off about SL have lessened a little and I’ve found the time & energy to write and build. I’ve had tons of stuff to blog about and I’m happy again but the fact remains that, for me at least, SL is a sort of creative trigger for my writing, whether that be creative RP or just self-indulgent comic bollocks & waffle.
So maybe the question isn’t “What other world can replace SL for me?” and instead maybe it’s “What else do I find creatively inspiring enough that it makes me want to blog about it?”
But that, dear reader, is another question I have to ponder. For now I’m enjoying RPing in Steelhead, which constitutes about 99% of my online time now, as it is providing me with bags of stuff to write about. If that ever dries up then I’ll know it’s time to move on and look for something new – whether that will be in or out of SL remains to be seen.
(1) I save them to HD. Yes, many people told me to do this to get past the bug and I have ended up doing that, but I still maintain it’s not my preferred choice. I have to upload my emails to flicker now, an extra step in the chain I never had to think about before, but hey ho… at least I can do one of my favourite things in SL again 🙂