This weekend I had the benefit of being on the right side of the blade. I got married in SL. I will be damned if this marriage isn't as binding or as real, as a real one. Now, its a partnership. To be clear. So this is the basis. But it is a connection, a web 2.0 type experience that at least to me was truly cool. And scary. I have yet to write about the honeymoon. What about the SL partnership?
SL usually means you don't have a first life. Like Wonkette said to me once, SL usually means something is out of kilter with your first life. I think she said , something like "It just goes to show if you don't have a first life, you won't have a second life".
Now, being transfixed by such spaces as SL is not +supposed+ to be a form of addiction. My new partner said, regarding this, that humans are social animals and that its ok for us to want to be with others. I really do have a first life. And I have had enough addictions to know that SL is an addiction. It is intensely creative, and a profound extension of human communication. It would be nice if it wasn't. I am good at letting my real life benefit by it. I hope I am wrong and she is right. Time will tell.
And it allowed me to make a connection to another human being. One that I needed - its funny how sometimes that connection - can be important to life. For example, there is a person there - I just watch to see if she's online. I simply can't build up the courage to speak to her but if she's online I smile. I know shes there. This connection, a partnership - is different. After all there is a very real dividing line between real life and second life. And if you respect that, you can really grow. Part of my SL character's design is to find that edge - I love voice. I love to talk to other people about politics and listen to international perspectives. I love concerts. Things like that. I am also an intinerant burner. I have extremely happy moments at online raves + I am fairly certain that if Burning Life gets a little more focussed its going to shape up to become a really nice event.
But is this partnership +real+?
The answer is a resounding yes. And I think its important to pass it all through ceremony. At least it was for me. Our partnership was struck far before the SL marriage.
But the ceremony was done this saturday, and it has had a ripple effect on everything I do - for the better. It has the very real message to the world that there is another person out there, I can trust and care for. Thats important to me because in my position here, well, its kind of cold. So this means alot to me. There are three basic things I do - Research, train and adventure. In-world, its RP, play with others, and create things or scripts (a bit like writing software and also drawing and painting, all mixed together - its definitely fun! (note to partner lets do more of it.) ).
So , I kept telling her (and I should add at this point that the first time I saw my new SL wife after the wedding, I had gone anti-griefer earlier that morning and was still armed up - she tried to give me a hug or something and autopunish blew her across the room!! sorry :-/ ) - you know, I kept saying "I had a really great day." Well I did. More to the point, it was how different things seemed over the weekend. My life seemed more stable. Happier. Notably enough we still haven't dropped in for a share of marital bliss yet. I apologize for that its my fault. But I had to kind of gradually wake up here to the fact that our relationship has real world component. Its a nice balance. And it is a permanent thing. If this blog shuts down and I disappear from the world, it will still be there. I guess a little bit like Riddick. Nobody is ever going to kill Riddick.
So, IRL there was this very real impact. In-world (she's Australian, so in the early mornings she's asleep) , that morning, I had discovered that I had become a much better anti-griefer. Got into a hairball of a battle and won it. Very eclectic. Very fun. There are places and things I do in SL that almost put me in a state of euphoria and nothing quite matches having someone come up to you, that says they are evil.. and showing them just how cold and cool and wickedly wrong they are. I never +say+ that I am evil, in-world. I prefer to let actions speak louder than words.
So both in-world and out, I had this really great day. Its hard when all you can do is type a single line to try to say that. :) I kept saying it over and over. I asked her how her day went.
So, about her: She's manager of Role Play , a Brilliant director, A Lady of a large and well run Sim - imho probably the strongest and best lady of that Sim. She plays elvish characteristics which is good because my human form is definitely 100 percent elf. She takes control of situations and she knows what to do; and I would agree that the results usually speak for themselves. Our wedding is a classic example (75 people and it still went off well!). I am slightly blown away in fact by the things she's accomplished. Notably, we are undertaking together some nice project work. I don't really know if what she likes about me is that I can sincerely RP, which is true - (I really mix real life and RP together pretty well )(I am following lead from Tolkien (cf. Leaf by Niggle..etc) ) with some serious exceptions that I really need to talk to her about soon. But again this adds to what she does and part of my ride here is to help her out and also to see what a well managed sim, or even, or whatever - actually looks like. My dad said once "it helps to marry someone who knows how to keep the books". >.)
She's great to be around. She has some beachfront property and being a part of her land group, I can now build there. I built a wave there yesterday, but it was placed wrong. She found a nice place to start the wave off and now it just looks great. Its a really, really short ride and i am not quite there yet as a surfer (in-world skills) but it was really fun. I think we did a good job given that we only had like six meters offshore to work with at the start off point. The wave wraps around the small point nicely. (I say, buy the whole damn point and lets build a good solid left!)
And she's alot of fun. Yes in that way. She hails from down under + I love her accent and alot about her and I've picked up enough to know what I do no know. She's watching me out of the corner of her eye right now.. ():-)
RL, I deal with some extremely harsh personalities + I need to keep a level head. The art of it all is usually missing / not alot of gentle discourse or fun conversation. . Things are usually reduced to a kind of survival speak: need this. do that. etc. And then of course there's disagreement, and that is usually fairly terse. Business. I really do enjoy what I do, but they say you can take away an entire section of the brain of a computer programmer, and leave just the rote ability and he or she will do fine. Thats how I feel sometimes.
She's different than that. If anything. To a fault, she often flies purple when she speaks or writes. And its fun! I described her style as, say, we were writing about the sky, ok? She goes "Ah, the romance of the sky - behold the tumultuous clouds! the vivid expanse!". I go "the clouds rumble low over the horizon, heavy .. laden with rain... " totally complementary styles! She actively pulls me in the direction I need to go. I .. ahem.. occasionally push her... a bit more towards the real. I am usually pushing myself in that direction. I guess, like perhaps we are pushing the web to become more real and useful. iPhone type stuff..
So the web 2.0 , at least this small part of it, is really no longer anonymous. Far from it, it helps people to come together. Not always in a direct way, where you are represented by who you really are. But it builds literacy. It extends you, socially, emotionally and psychologically. Its affords an XP methodology approach to things. You have a cellphone? Does it take a picture of everything. Have you ever wondered where you would send that picture of that paint mare. Now you know. You would drive your spouse crazy if you did things like that. But high speed, semi-anonymous , social, pervasive networked relationships can share things like that. Um. And yes, it does occur to me that I might love the horse too much. It doesn't enter into our relationship. It was just an example picture.
My partner is someone in whom I can confide and build and help in equal measure. And someone whom I can , in a very special way. Love. She is a lady.
I wanted you to know this because I am planning and digging up material for another piece on .. peas! >:) and so I wanted to clear the screen about the fact that the web 2.0 has had this effect on me. I am a social person. I'm partnered now. And it just means, what it means. I love to be loved. (I love to be loved)