Betsy Chaffe: Creating my Second Life

Floating on a leaf

Floating on a Leaf

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken!”               Oscar Wilde

With my new home now complete at Caribanna Beach, it was time  to go out furniture shopping, and begin to make my home reflect my personal aesthetic. Shopping is one of the great pastimes in Second Life (SL).  I often wish for the convenience of teleporting in real life! To those of you who have not yet entered SL,  you can do a search for places that sell what you are looking for then touch the teleport button and there you are – Voila! At that time there were hundreds of places that sell what you are looking for . . .some good, some great, some not so good, and some really bad. But getting to them was just the click of a tab . . . no traffic jams or any need to find a parking place!

So now there was a reason to talk about prim and sims. Since Second Life is run on computers that means that each computer can only support a certain amount of digital information. In the 3D world, things are built of objects called “primitives” or prim. So each computer server can only hold a certain number of prim. Each  plot of SL Land is allotted its own number that can be physically set down inside of a house or store. This is always a challenge. High prim items are more detailed — but with finite storage, I was looking for “low prim items” that looked good.

I also had a nice walled garden space with a pretty pond behind the house. Since I love to garden in real life, I began to look for well-made flowers and plants, too. As I wandered through many SL shops hunting for nice things to make my home welcoming and lovely, I began to make friends with some of the designers. I also had to learn how to set objects down in my house or garden and place them so that they fit and looked right in the given spot.

One thing I am often reminded of is how much SL looks like a game to many newcomers. But then as you meet people and really get to know them, SL can grab your heart and feelings . . . over these eight years in SL I have experienced every spectrum of emotion. Can you love deeply and be full of joy in SL? Yes, you can and then be just as deeply saddened and hurt when things fall apart a dear friend leaves or is with us no more.

So Zeb gradually became a big part of my life and we were often invited to parties that friends were giving to celebrate a birthday, an anniversary, or some holiday. Some were costume parties and there were many who made wonderful costumes at that time. I have done some digging in my inventory and found some of the better ones!

On some invitations it might say,”Bring your own drinks” because you have to “wear” your drink. Then there began to be drink givers that avatars could just touch and then wear. What was being served gradually became more sophisticated and varied. The two biggest places that were making food and drink at that time were Voti and Kitchen Korner. I remember David Therian saying that friends had laughed at him when he said that he was going to make and sell food in SL . . . eight years later he is still in business and laughing all the way to the Linden Bank!

Click here for the beginning of my Second Life Memoir.

One response to “Betsy Chaffe: Creating my Second Life

  1. When people come into Second Life, the possibilities can be almost limitless as to what kind of a “second” life they wish to create for themselves. Sometimes they want to role play as a pirate. Or a vampire. Or a cowboy. Kind of like what we did as kids dressing up and pretending. A chance to stretch our imaginations and do the things that we can’t quite pull off in our “First” life.

    And often people come in as themselves, but with the ability to fly and teleport and meet someone from the other side of the world to say “hiya!” to. They use SL to broaden their horizons and explore their own selves. Perhaps they are very shy in real life, but in the safety of an anonymous world in SL they work to bring out their outgoing selves and lose the fear of talking to others. Or if they are lonely in real life they slip into SL dressed in tuxes and gowns and dancing under the stars to romantic music and letting that side of themselves free.

    Regardless, when done right, one can create amazing extensions of themselves to explore and experience.


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