Plunging In

Thursday morning, June 26

But today was a slow time in RL. Slept late, had things to do around the house. And saw that someone had posted on MY social network page. I followed that thread back and discovered L. I’d seen L before, a lot, on the VUC forum. And I’d seen her in the network. But this was the first time we actually “intersected” on a common theme. I commented on her profile, mentioning that I was interested in joining SL. Shortly thereafter she commented back, telling me to do it, it was easy. Easy. Okay. You know what? I CAN do this. So I said to my son, want to give this a try with me? He flew down the stairs so fast that maybe he actually teleported. D and L both said it was easy.

And so it seemed. We logged on, downloaded the software onto my Thinkpad. Everything seemed to be going just as it should. We entered SL and hit the first major decision – a name. I’d known going in that I could make up my own first name but would have to pick from a list for my last name. But such unappealing last names!!! Finally we decided on one. When I tell you that it took us at least 10 minutes, maybe more to pick a last name, you can see that even easy things are not necessarily easy. Now we faced the next major decision – picking an avatar. Do we pick an avatar or do we skip this step and believe the little message that says we can always pick one later? Back and forth, clicking on pictures to see what the various characters were. Finally I made a decision and picked an avatar. I would be a woman w/ short white blond hair, with a Barbie doll body. Why not? I always wanted a Barbie Doll body, natural laws of physics notwithstanding.

And so we entered SL, made our way to Orientation Island. But what was happening?? Was I, gasp, oh no, naked???? Did I NOT pick an avatar after all? Do you have any idea how incredibly uncomfortable it is to be a naked avatar in front of your 17 year old son???? Naked, okay, not my first choice. But with my son there???? Where the heck were my clothes???? And why wasn’t I moving? All these other avatars are flying around past me on Orientation Island and I’m standing there naked not moving. I was highly stressed. This wasn’t easy. And there was something odd about my head. Or my hair. Or something in that general vicinity. I relinquished the controls to my son. He found a menu that had clothing. And instructions: Drag item to avatar. But every time he dragged something to my poor naked lonely avatar, we’d get a message about “Clothes need to finish loading”. Well yeah, that was for sure. But we were trying to move the clothes onto the avatar. And then we couldn’t do anything at all. Well, what we were doing was snarling at each other. You moved this, you said that, if you hadn’t clicked here. You know that kind of conversation. He stomped off in a huff. I sent off an anguished email to L and D. Help! I’m naked and alone on Orientation island. Sob.

Please write back. Please please write back. Oh please don’t think I’m a total idiot. Please one of you write back. No one’s writing back. Sigh. I think I’ll take a real life break. Do some laundry, have some lunch. Send silent prayers into the ether that my avatar will get some clothes and move.

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