I’ve been active in the virtual world known as Second Life (SL for short) for a long time now. I first joined SL in 2006, but came back to it in 2008, after a hiatus that lasted a few months. I had tried my hand at blogging about my activity, existence, experiences, loves and thoughts within the metaverse before, but it wasn’t until 2012 that I actually started blogging more regularly about my SL. In SL, I explore the virtual world, enjoy people’s creative expression within it, and practice my own – admittedly limited – creative abilities.
Mona in SL and in RL
Mona Eberhardt is my avatar; my graphical representation of the person I am in Real Life (RL); I also use her on several social networks. I express myself through her. She is the daughter of my mind and imagination, and she’s essentially an extension of my personality. As Mona, I immerse myself in the virtual world in order to (a) indulge in a bit of escapism from RL, (b) enjoy surroundings, happenings and experiences that RL cannot offer. I really enjoy observing and exploring the dynamics of SL and virtual worlds in general, and the many ways people express themselves through them. In-world, although I mostly tend to keep to myself, I’m relatively approachable and I do enjoy meaningful, intelligent discourse. However, I don’t accept random friend requests, group invites, teleport offers, etc. that come out of nowhere.
It’s common for many people to try to keep their RL and their SL completely separated. Personally, I think it’s inevitable for aspects of our RL personalities to “inform” our in-world behaviour and expression. Our avatars may be just pixels on a screen, but the people behind them are real. So, what we feel, experience, create, buy, strive to achieve, is a manifestation of parts of our RL selves, and it can have a very real impact on us. Having said that, I may occasionally opt to mention parts and aspects of my RL on this blog, to the extent that (a) they serve a certain article’s purpose, (b) they do not distract from it, (c) they do not take me out of my personal comfort zone, (d) they do not put me, my family, and / or my RL work at any sort of risk. In discussions over chat and / or IM, I may share some information on my RL, but what and how much of it I choose to share with anyone is my prerogative.