Hamlet Au over at New World Notes recently posted an article praising Second Life users videos on YouTube : YouTube Talkshow: SL Blogger Alicia Chenaux On The History Of Second Life.
Hamlet featured Alicia Chenaux’s video and mentioned talk show type videos, but they are far from the only type of Second Life videos on YouTube, which has been exemplified by an article in PC Gamer by Steven Messner : Second Life’s makeup unboxing videos are surreal and wonderful.
The article features videos and a text based interview with popular Second Life fashionista blogger Strawberry Singh. Fear not those who are not fashionistas, the article is actually interesting and makes positive points about Second Life, despite starting out mentioning some negative stereotypes that we are all too familiar with.
In the article Strawberry explains how Second Life is a sandbox environment where people can dress their avatars and are willing to spend money to do so. However Strawberry also delves into the worlds collide scenario where she points out that she doesn’t tell everyone about her Second Life exploits.
The article contain an interesting exchange on the blurred lines between the physical and digital worlds :
While she’s adamant in keeping her real life separate from her Second Life, Berry tells me she works in education. As a result, she has to be careful of how people perceive her. “I don’t want people in the real world to know that I do this because they’ll probably be like, uh, what the hell are you doing? They probably wouldn’t take me as seriously as they should, even though it’s just a hobby and I just login in my spare time and do what makes me happy.”
I’m sure there are many people who share Strawberry’s views and also like the pseudonymity that Second Life allows them to express themselves on platforms such as Blogs or YouTube. This is something Facebook miss with their real name policy.
The article is also interesting because Steven Messner also seems to have discovered the beauty of scratching beneath the surface of Second Life :
My conversation with Berry has given me a rare glimpse into a world that is often negatively branded as bizarre. If you dig a little deeper, you’ll find a community of artists and creators who have banded together to share and celebrate each other. It’s not something you see in other massively multiplayer games, but it’s something I wish there is more of. It makes me a bit sad, then, that Second Life will always be labelled by its strip joints and sex clubs. As Berry tells me, “That’s just not what Second Life is about, there’s so much more you can do here.”
Whereas some of the comments on the article suggest that stereotypes about Second Life are deeply ingrained, there’s a comment expressing scorn regarding Second Life being a thing, but it’s refreshing to read an article by a journalist who has explored a bit of the virtual world many of us enjoy and realises there’s far more to it than the negative stereotypes imply.
The article also expresses the power of YouTube in terms of reach, some of Strwberry’s videos have had over 60,000 views and whereas that might not be earth shattering in the wider scheme of things, it’s still an impressive number.
The article at PV Gamer by Steven Messner is well worth a full read.
I’ll end this post by embedding one of the featured fashion videos.