Can you believe Gidge posted this morning before heading off for surgery? She also live-plurked her way through much of the pre-operative process of drugs and painkillers preparing her for surgery, until her last pre-surgery message, “Can’t Orkney firbkkk phone.” Orkney is where mommies go to nap.
Linden Lab casts around for ways to keep people in Second Life. They try to enhance the user experience, creating new features, new lands, altering the interface and adding action-game style adventures. To market Second Life, they highlight different niche cultures and features of Second Life.
I think they are missing their greatest strength. For most of the people I know, Second Life is about people, about friends and about the love we have for each other. For me, Second Life is very much about Gidge who has become a confidante and best friend in both my lives. When I was at my own nadir after post-surgical complications back in 2010, it was her voice on the phone ordering me to buck up and fight that helped me find the strength to turn back toward living. I have shared my hopes and fears, my successes and failures, my angers and my dreams with her. Our friendship is as strong and deep as if we lived next door to each other. And truly, with teleportation, we do.
So my advice for Linden Lab in their search for ways to market and expand Second Life is to emphasize the friendships and the deep roots of community that bind us all together. Martin Luther King, Jr. often wrote about the Beloved Community, his radical vision of a world where people were bound together by love. His lens was religious so he focused on the Christian concept of agápe – the unconditional love of God. He believed agápe could be the source and inspiration for a new form of society based on love for one another, not because of what we do, but just because we are. We are far from that radical vision today. We remain divided by the same challenges to the Beloved Community as King identified then, materialism, racism and militarism.
In Second Life, so many of those barriers to loving one another are gone and friendships and community form across the boundaries of race, class, religion, ethnicity, national origin and sexual orientation. We become friends with a community of people beyond our ken and we learn what it feels like to love the world as it comes. That is what makes Second Life special. I don’t know how to put it in an ad campaign, except for sure, Gidge would be in it.
Store info at Blogging Second Life
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