For A Friend…


When I logged in to Plurk this morning I had a bit of a shock.

My dearest, closest Second Life buddy had deleted her Second Life account overnight.

To be frank, it was something I had had an inkling that may happen, but not with such finality. I’d envisioned her taking  a break from Second Life, but her leaving it entirely didn’t enter my mind. Second Life was too important to her to warrant such drastic action, and besides,  she’d built up a formidable reputation in-world and had a large network of  friends.  But her heart was broken. You see, no matter what people say about virtual worlds, the emotions are VERY real. Some people do play at the emotional game, but for others the feelings are genuine.  Behind every avatar is a real person after all.

In November 2009 my friend was married in Second Life, something that she took incredibly seriously, and she lived a deliriously happy virtual experience with her partner.

Then, fifteen weeks ago, her partner stopped logging in-world.

There was no warning, nothing to indicate anything was wrong.

Of course in real life this would be alarming, terrifying even, and it was just the same in-world. Seeing my poor friend in such pain with no way of knowing what had happened to her partner was simply dreadful.

Each day she would log-in hoping for a sign that her beloved had been in-world. A message, even if it was just to say that she was OK but wouldn’t be coming back,  would have been horrendous to receive, but better than nothing.

All these weeks my pal has lingered in-world, hoping for a sign that her partner would return, but there has been no communication. No note, no message; it’s as though her partner had never existed. 

My buddy’s enthusiasm for the virtual world she called home  inevitably started to wane. How could she enjoy the metaverse without her dear partner her side?

Her decision to leave Second Life has left me bereft, but acutely aware of the impact a virtual relationship can have.

If you are going to enter into a serious relationship in Second Life  I implore you to please set some ground rules, such as these:

  • If you commit to another avatar realise that you aren’t just doing this in a virtual environment but also, to some extent, in a real-life environment too. Establish your boundaries early in the relationship.
  •  Just as you should always be genuine about your feelings in real life, be clear about them in Second Life.
  • If you enter a relationship with someone in the metaverse then PLEASE set ground-rules for your relationship and stick to them like glue.  You are dealing with people’s emotions after all, to do anything else would be cruel.
  • PLEASE have some sort of real-life contact system in place. Even if your relationship is only based in Second Life, please try and have a way of communicating outside of it in case of emergencies. For example, have an e-mail address that you can use if something happens and you won’t be able to log-in world for a time, or ask a trusted mutual friend to assist you in keeping the lines of communication open between you.
  • If you decide to leave Second Life for whatever reason you OWE it to your partner to share with them the reasons why. It’s common decency, and no matter how difficult  it may be to do this it’s necessary to allow them to move forward and get over the relationship. Yes, you may hurt them in the short term, but better that than leaving them to worry and wonder for months and even years to come.

Fortunately I know that I have made a dear friend for life whom I will be able to keep in touch with outside of Second Life, but it pains me that I won’t have the pleasure of her company as an avatar ever again.We’d been friends for a very long-time in-world, and made a lot of happy memories, so it is very hard saying goodbye, but I understand why she has made the decision to do this, and I can only wish her love and happiness in her future, something that she truly deserves.

So long Cyberpink, I will miss you xxx

M.A.C. Weddings-A wonderful way to wed in-world

I mentioned my friend Altair a few posts ago when I was talking about Bunnehs, but what I didn’t tell you is that Altair is a photographer and has now gone into the virtual wedding business as part owner of M.A.C. Weddings. ( The initials stand for Altair, her husband Mo and her friend Crane)
Weddings and wedding services are ten a penny in Second Life as you may or may not already be aware, and are pretty big business too. Because avatars can become partnered it stands to reason that they are going to want to take it a step further by holding a virtual wedding, and why not? There’s a plethora of beautiful dresses in world for the bride, suave and sophisticated suits for the groom, and Second Life embraced alternative weddings long before any states legalised Gay marriages.

If you can’t have the wedding of your dreams in real life you certainly can in Second Life, and many people do just that.

Castles and cathedrals, clouds and dungeons have all hosted virtual nuptials and now M.A.C Weddings have thrown their hat into the ring, but the question is can they step up to the mark? Well, from what I have seen (and heard) yes they most certainly can with a cherry on top. This weekend saw a ‘Martha’s Vineyard’ style service managed by M.A.C. and I was fortunate enough to be invited over for a sneak preview of the location and it is astonishing. Think classy with a capital ‘C’, because this place is pixel-perfect and conjures up a romantic atmosphere, tinged with a smudge of drama provided by the rocky island  in the background. The ceremony itself is held against this backdrop of crashing waves upon a tasteful wooden deck.

To reach the deck the bridal party must walk down towards it across a sandy path strewn with rose petals and as it does so pass through a beautiful vine-covered pergola that separates the main area of the beach from the wedding party. Again, this is a simple touch but one that really works and adds to the ambiance. Guests are seated on individual chairs, with each row gently highlighted by a single white lily.

After the wedding ceremony, it’s back along the path towards the Gazebo, for photographs and congratulations before a skip across the sand into the enchanting cottage for the reception.

Just like in real life, receptions in Second Life either make or break a wedding. All too often the memories of the stunning service are clouded by cringeworthy thoughts of the cheesy venue festooned with pose balls and all kinds of Second Life unsightliness that you don’t need to make an appearance in your wedding album.  Fortunately there are no worries here; with the reception being held in a cottage style structure that is textured in muted shades and decorated with panache.   The lilies that were featured on the chairs outside are here in abundance adorning tables and stands around the room, which is decorated with soft lighting and cool, crisp white linen.  This is evidently a silver service event, and one that is sure to be talked about by all those who were lucky enough to attend for months to come.

M.A.C. Weddings don’t just offer this wedding venue, they also can provide up to SIX different types of wedding to meet your requirements, including a rustic Elven style wooded glen setting, nothing is too much trouble and wedding package prices vary but are amongst some of the most reasonable on the grid. (Attributes vary but can  include venue, photographs, officiant and wedding DJ)

The M.A.C Weddings blog can be found HERE (It’s just been started and is very much a work in progress but will soon feature details of the packages on offer and the costings involved) or you can contact Altair Orellana in-world to discuss your individual requirements.  If you are considering getting married than you really should give M.A.C. a try; I’m not joking when I say it is probably the nicest virtual wedding location and hosting service that I have ever experienced.  (Oh, and before you accuse me of nepotism yes, I know Altair is a chum BUT I have to be totally honest and say that even if she wasn’t I’d be bleating about this location to everyone regardless, it’s that pretty and absolutely perfect!)

You can see more pictures of this location by clicking HERE