I have been asked what it was that my daughter told me about Second Life (SL) that made me want to explore a “Whole New World” on my own. So to answer honestly eight years later, I have had to delve back over almost 3,000 days.
And, I think, it was not so much what she had told me about Second Life as it was the impact that being “In World” had made on her real life. You see, rather than give up her Second Life, she chose divorce . . . that impacts a caring Mom!
I am certain that she had told me about the creative beauty that can surround you in SL and that she thought I would love spending time in many of the wonderful venues that graced the world, even at that time.
On June 23, 2007, I entered SL as “Betsy Chaffe,” not just a newbie but a real greenhorn! I was then sixty six in real life, and could use my email account and surf the internet, but going into a 3D world was daunting. In those days, while there was an orientation space, there was no “Help Island” or really much instruction to aid in survival. We were taught to fly and told about the teleport button and perhaps another thing or two. Then we were set free to sink or swim on our own.
My daughter (Francesca) had told me about Bogart’s being a nice place to dance, so I was set on heading there first. The person who came in just behind me happened to be Zeb Fargis, a young man from London. We began to talk and laugh at the way we looked and how we moved when we walked. . . that was indeed the beginning of my first deep friendship in SL.
After studying the SL screen for a bit, I hunted for a teleport to Bogart’s and bingo, there it was! So I told my new found friend Zeb where I was heading, and he said that he was going to wander a bit, but since we had become “Friends” he would catch up with me later.
I think this is the place I need to tell you about Bogart’s in 2007. It was not the very formal place it is now . . . at that time it was in its second location right on the beach with large open doorways and many palm trees. There were always a lot of people there; many were nicely dressed and dancing. When I landed, the owner “Jade Jewell” welcomed me and offered friendship and a chance to join the Bogarts Group. . . of course, I happily accepted. Now I had two SL friends!
Jade then took me under her wing and helped me fix my little white linen dress and black flat dancing slippers. Of course, I still looked like a newbie but “more refined” with short blond hair and a long white linen dress. She asked if I had a place to sleep when I was off line and I said, “No.” So she said that I was welcome to use the hammock that was strung between two posts out on the beach, and there was a nice place to sit around a firepit in the early morning. So now, I had friends and a place to stay!
Then Jade asked me if I would like to dance with one of the men who had landed. I explained that I did not know how, so it might be better if I did not dance with someone who was very polished. She laughed and explained how the dance balls worked. So, with that I was introduced to Nigel Eun and we talked a bit . . . he was also from England and had been in SL for about 6 months. Then we danced and it was such fun!
*** And I want to note this: my daughter’s second husband was a very controlling and difficult man. I think Second Life did her a real favor . . . her life post-Harry improved significantly — so it ended up being the stimulus that pushed her to move forward.