16 Oct 2010

Soul of the Pioneers

100th show of The 1st Question

While I write quite a bit and usually on topic of the passion which is always uppermost in mind, that of entertainment and film in Virtual Worlds, I wanted to give life to some text about what being in a Virtual World means to me.

I was doing some dishes, hands bathed in soapy suds, obviously away from the computer, reflecting on being an Avatar. I thought, as you might have thought at times, trying to explain this to "outworlders" that I am a pioneer. So I thought of other pioneers, those who settled lands like Canada or the Old West of the United States. Pioneers who left the comfort of their homeland, their community and ventured forth. Surely some went for the adventure, some went for economic reasons and some went because they just weren't comfortable where they lived and wanted something else. Something of their own.

I thought of this and realized that, I have come to Second Life for much the same reasons. I can produce on this platform that which I couldn't quite elsewhere and I can do it with far greater economic savings. And I am comfortable here, the people I meet get what I am doing, get the platform and engine we are a part of. Even get the hours we devote to it without seeing any sacrifice, not at all, they see the gain and understand that the new territory we are carving out for ourselves here virtually has meaning and value. Much the same as the Old Pioneers found meaning and value in the lands they had to carve out.

The hardships might be more social in nature, acceptance, understanding, things of this sort. And it is harder to explain to those who have never been virtually enhanced. It must also have been difficult to explain to those left behind in an old country, what the thrill and pull of the new frontier was too. The Freedoms....

When AVATAR the Movie explained it for a wider audience, it was as if some Press Release shouted "Gold Discovered in Alaska." And the greater awareness and acceptance of what we are a part of might bring in more positive attention. Already I have been reading about what this film means for "us." And I think this is great.

Still, I know what those of us who have made a journey measured not in wagon wheels but in mouse clicks have gone through. And I am proud of us because we have been pioneers, on a new plateau. Brave and restless and looking in our own way.