Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Community in SL means...

Mare Serenitatis

Community in Second Life (SL) means to me small and up-close friendships. The first time I heard of SL was on TV, years ago. This odd, cryptic world where people got lost and opted out of their real lives to become entangled in dangerous relationships with strangers, seemed more of a waste of time than an interesting place to explore. After the first days only, it became disturbingly clear that SL was a rather intriguing yet fascinating place. And I say disturbingly clear, because the more immersed I got, the clearer it was that people were the key; small communities of friends and wanderers coming together joined by their idiosyncrasies. In SL however the sense of community is far more complex, often clipped by the lack of a general common ground. Countries have language, culture, geography, history. SL lacks that unifying element. Is there really a sense of community? Or is it solely a sense of belonging to one of many other groups? Is SL still a cryptic world where people get lost? Or is there a true feeling of growing strength and community? I must admit, I still find SL fascinating, yet more and more I focus on individuals and avoid the so-called Community.


  1. Interesting post Lizzie. With the SL9B just around the corner, I have been thinking about Community too in SL and what it means to me. It's odd because I actually don't feel like I am really very involved in any one community inworld. I find more of a feeling of belonging to a SL community outside of SL, like on Twitter and the SL blogosphere. I'm not even really as involved there as I could be due to my time constraints.

    I too focus mostly on individual friendships inworld, but I still feel like I am a part of a larger community of residents. The thing that I like most about this is that it seems that no matter how long I could be gone, or just popping my head in here and there to check in, I still always feel welcomed by my SL friends and there is always a place there for me.

    I have a lot of thoughts on this and I hope that makes sense!

  2. It totally makes sense, Carrie! Perhaps the whole thing is that our SL friends both inworld and offworld are our true community. Perhaps this macro sense of community doesn't happen in SL. I have been talking to people who had no clue about the SL9B and the whole commotion at the beginning, when Linden Lab dropped the possibility of giving land for the event. They also seemed quite puzzled for not having heard of a few events that for most of us (and who is this "most" anyway?)are common knowledge. I must add that they were not new to Second Life. So, this sense of community is SL is quite an interesting topic, in my opinion, for all the differences and variantions it imples. Thank you for your comment!