Saturday, May 19, 2007

Naked in Second Life

Inspired by my time at Faculty Academy, last night I decided to give Second Life another try. For those of you who think I have no first life, I'd already been out for dinner and a movie (Shrek the Third) before venturing into the virtual world. I fired up my SL application, logged in, and headed out. Since I don't know my way around, I thought it might be a good idea to head over to the NMC Campus where I knew there'd be stuff to look at and where there might be some people. So I teleported over. First I crash-landed. Then, I wandered around and looked at the art. After I came out of the museum, I paused and took a look at all my options. Geeky Girl and Mr. Geeky were sitting next to me, watching what I was up to. We all noticed under "Edit" the option to take off my clothes. They urged me to try it. Come on, they said, we want to see what it's like. So I moused down to "Take off clothes-->All". And then I was naked. And then I immediately freaked out. I was twittering this whole experience, giving the play by play to people. Honestly, I feared one of them might venture in to SL and see me in my naked state. I looked up and someone was coming toward me. I didn't see a "Put clothes on" option on the menu, so I immediately quit the program. I was about 14 shades of red.

I eventually logged back in and managed to get some clothes back on. My original clothes had basically been deleted so I had to make new ones. It's funny how embarrassing the whole thing was even though it wasn't "real." I felt really naked. As one of the twitterers said, if the avatar looked like you, then maybe that would increase the embarrassment. My avatar looked a little like me, but not much. Normally, I'm not phased by these things, but because there was someone else there, the possibility of them seeing me exposed proved too much for me to bear. I'm sure there's a grand lesson in all this, or a research project or something. It occurs to me that most people feel a little naked when they're trying anything new and that most people do what I did--run away and hide. But you have to get back on the horse. As Barbara Ganley said on Wednesday, things worth doing are filled with risk.

Plus, it was just dang funny.