January 1, 2010

My Double Life – Wonders of a Virtual World

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:38 pm by lbrosch

I should reveal that I lead a double life. I am a member of Second Life where I am known as Hedda Hazelnut. Some people may have heard of this virtual world and think of it as a time wasting game. Well that is what I thought until I began to investigate the wonderful opportunities for writers, book lovers, educational conferences, lessons on any number of virtual and real world topics, etc. Before I retired from full time teaching I was unable to invest the time for exploration but since I have joined in the last 9 months I have discovered a great place for using my time to the fullest. Oh yes, there are some times for play. You would probably not be able to resist hunting for free furniture and clothes and changing your avatar’s hair, skin, shape,  and clothing frequently just for fun. There can be a beautiful home to decorate, a business to set up and run, and parties and dances with live music to attend. But, back to the educational and enlightening aspects. There is Bookstacks, a group for those who love to discuss books on all topics, Written Word and Inksters among others are groups which promote opportunities for writers to take classes, share writing, critiques, and offer contests. There are any number of schools which offer classes on Second Life skills as well as science topics, language learning, and various technologies. You can daily check the event schedule and find discussion on various books and other topics. You can search groups and find those that appeal to your sense of fun or learning. There are role playing sims where you can step back into history and be a character in the Old West or medieval times. There are libraries where you can actually research information with real librarians there to help you. My involvement with Second Life has brought me new friends that have motivated me to attempt to write a novel, short stories and do freelance writing. I have joined groups where we discuss books and reading in general. Most of the people I have met are professionals, such as librarians, teachers, and technology instructors in real life and we have very stimulating conversations in both chat and voice. I have a real sense of who these people are even when I have never seen their real life faces. I highly recommend Second Life if you have the time to devote. It does take some time to get settled in and comfortable with how to go about joining groups and moving from place to place. If anyone wants a mentor to help you try it out and adjust, contact me as Hedda Hazelnut inworld.

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