Friday, October 17, 2008

The Zen of In-World Vocabulary

Kneeling to enjoy the sunset at Samurai Edo (SLurl) I let my mind wander and it alights upon a recurring thought ... where am I? Many in Second Life® refer to being to being logged into the service as being online. I prefer to call it being in-world. When I am in-world I am in a different place very much like where I am physically, yet intensely different in so many ways. This is not being online. This is not a chat room or a Twitter conversation or a downloaded podcast. Being in-world is an experience. The waves wash ashore at my knees, dampening the remains of an abandoned boat. Part of me is sitting in a reasonably comfortable chair behind a plastic table that holds my iMac iRL. Most of me is on this beach. I'm in-world.

iRL? That is in Real Life. The physical world. Meatspace. Most people use all capital letters, but I like the unique elegance of a lowercase i followed by capitalized RL. It probably doesn't matter. But nomenclature in part defines one's being, whether it is iRL or in-world.

In-world, I am (today, at least) a katana-weilding, blue-skinned explorer with a few super-human abilities, resting on a Japanese beach. iRL, I am an unembellished, anthropophobic girl with a computer somewhere in the Pinetree State.

In-world is nice.

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