Editorial: Do What Makes You Happy (And Why Second Life Makes Me Happy)

I do find it bemusing, looking back at the various twists and turns of this blogging journey which I started in July of 2017.

This is a blog that I originally created in order to cover Sansar, only to eventually branch out to write about many other social VR platforms and virtual worlds. I’ve even gained a following, and a bit of a reputation as an expert on the rapidly evolving world of social VR.

But it’s ironic that I once swore I would never become a Second Life blogger, when 80% of my most recent blogpost have been about SL! What can I say? I have been particularly inspired by the new creative possibilities offered by Bakes on Mesh, as well as the various Halloween hunts and events (probably the busiest time of year in Second Life).

Somebody posted a picture to the official Second Life community forums that I wanted to share with you:

And, quite simply, spending time in Second Life makes me happy. I have tried to analyze exactly why it makes me so happy. I do have a few possible reasons.

First, I’ll admit it; I’m a packrat. Although I tend to rein in my packrat tendencies in real life, I still tend to hold on to stuff longer that I should. My main Second Life avatar, Vanity Fair, has an inventory of over 240,000 items, and I like to think that SL lets me indulge in a bit of sheer reckless abandonment when it comes to shopping and buying (mostly freebies and bargains) without any real-life negative side effects, like having to find extra closet storage.

Second: I still get, after 13 years in SL, a great deal of personal satisfaction from creating and styling a complete avatar look, from head to toe. Second Life gives me an unparalleled creative outlet. Some people paint; some design websites. I like to create avatars! And right now, no other social VR platform or virtual world can match SL’s virtually limitless avatar customization options: hundreds of thousands of items of clothing, hair and accessories, tens of thousands of skins and eyes, endless customized avatar products to turn you into whoever or whatever you want to be, etc.

Third, I just love to go exploring! And, being a mature, fully-evolved virtual world, Second Life has no shortage of places to explore—24,457 sims at last count! No other virtual world or social VR platform can compare, except perhaps VRChat, which boasts 50,000 user-created worlds.

My favourite way to explore is to type in random search terms under Places in Search, and just seeing what pops up in the search results. For example, this past week I found a wonderful sci-fi themed, simwide artspace called Vegetal Planet, quite by accident! I also have a set of transferable random teleporter backpacks, and I have fun just randomly jumping from spot to spot on the grid. I almost always find somewhere interesting to wander around in and investigate, admiring the amazingly creative landscaping and building work of other avatars.

So, what about you? What brings you happiness in Second Life? Feel free to leave a comment below, or, as always, you are welcome to join the freewheeling conversations, arguments, and debates about social VR and virtual worlds taking place on the RyanSchultz.com Discord server, the first cross-worlds discussion forum! We’d love to see you there.

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One thought on “Editorial: Do What Makes You Happy (And Why Second Life Makes Me Happy)”

  1. First of all, I now feel fairly good about only currently having around 25,000 items to contend with in my SL inventory! 😛

    I occasionally go exploring around SL, particularly on the Mainland, and it is amazing what strange sights I come upon while travelling. But most of my enjoyment comes from crafting my avatar and home surroundings, as well as performing at events in-world as a DJ and commentator (in my capacity as part of Gorean Whip Radio). I’ve covered two sword-fighting tourneys and a dancing contest this year, and also provided entertainment for a collaring ceremony late last year. But my proudest moments have been live-exploring the last two SL Sci-Fi Cons and DJ-ing at SL16B!

    I’m a great believer in serendipity, of happy accidents, and most of my best discoveries in SL have come from randomly exploring, visiting events and talking to other people in-world. Not just accessories and furnishings, but also places to visit and new music to listen to. 🙂

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