Or, to put it another way, I’ve been gobsmacked again.
This time by a reader of my Molly Weatherfield erotica, who invited me to come visit the alternative world where she and her partner hang out online, in the immersive digital universe called Second Life (SL), where residents (in the bodies of onscreen “avatars”) romp through beautifully realized and gloriously diverse interactive spaces in search of pleasure and provocation, community and creativity.
I’ve never done this before. So I’m slow and clumsy. My “mollyw” avatar is still boringly generic-looking, not sure of her online manners and prone to bumping into walls.
But my guides are patient and generous. And the walls themselves (not to speak of the furniture, accoutrements, and not a few of the residents themselves) are gorgeous. Because what’s particularly fascinating and impressive about Second Life is that its virtual spaces are built and designed by its users — customized, modified, and endlessly, gloriously embellished.
Of course the original designers and owners of the company were the ones who waded into the original primordial void of computer memory, to create light and darkness; cyberspace and cybertime; the laws of physics and the code of the avatars’ virtual DNA.But from there (as I learned from Wagner James Au’s lively book The Making of Second Life) they left it to the users, members, or residents (as they’re variously called). So there are tools for building, courses on how to learn to do it, a virtual-money currency for buying and selling artifacts thus created.
All this in the service of enabling creativity and furthering desire. While for me, all this has made for moments of purely joyous recognition, to discover not only how elegantly and skillfully realized the SL adult erotic area of Xaara is, but how hauntingly familiar the landscape is to me. What a astonishment to find a set of creative imaginations so akin to the one I discovered in myself when I set my intrepid heroine on her adventures through the alternate world I created within the covers of Carrie’s Story and Safe Word.
Oh, and it’s pretty hot too.
More reports to come — especially after mollyw goes “shopping” for shoes, clothes, skin, and much much better hair.
But in the meantime, if you’ve had any experiences yourself in Second Life, I’d love to hear about it.