SL Encounters

As part of last weeks class we were asked to go outside of our class group and make contact with people on SL and discuss interests. This task I found quite difficult I must say. I selected a location under the ‘Newcomer Friendly’ category called ‘Fire storm support region’. I chose this location because as a newcomer to SL I thought it might be an obvious place to get chatting to people I have never met before. Before I even began to try to chat to someone there was no one online. After exploring for two minutes I realised that it was somewhere for a newcomer to go to learn different skills necessary to play SL. After that I teleported to another obvious location under the ‘Chat hotspot’ category called ‘London’. There was quite a large group of people gathered in the courtyard, and the people were speaking over microphone but it sounded very mumbled over the taylor swift song. I decided to make contact via the nearby chat first to see who might interact with me, and no luck, except one person who said they could not help me on SL as they don’t play SL anymore. Quite Strange. Off on my travels again somewhat deflated after my exclusion in their chat I visited the ‘Blarney stone Irish bar’ hoping to find some ‘craic’ there. I did end up chatting to another person there but they decided to flirt and be inappropriate over mail, so I left quite swiftly. Overall my experience this week of trying to make conversations with strangers by virtual means was very difficult. From my encounters, it seems that a lot of SL players only chat to people that they trust or know already. I think perhaps there are virtual boundaries that need to be broken down in order to make friends with people you don’t know on SL. However it could potentially be the time of day or the places that I visited that were not suitable for asking questions and chatting to people I don’t know. Or maybe they were repelled by my avatar, either way I got a sense they new I was a newbie to SL.
Hopefully I can break down some boundaries and try again to communicate via Virtual means.

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2 thoughts on “SL Encounters

  1. Your response to the encounters is perceptive: the social boundaries of SL are different to those of the real world and it takes a while to become familiar with them. Time of day is also important, particularly remembering that people from different time zones may often be in the same place in SL.

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