Thursday, April 23, 2009

Alternate Routes

I meant to blog on this last week, but I honestly was so exhausted at that time, that I have only just recently come to terms with how I dealt with the issues and how it affected me.

Over the last month, as many as 6 of my friends have, one way or another, revealed themselves to be alts of other characters that I am friends with. A few, I discovered by accident, another I discovered on my own, and the others I was completely taken by surprise.

I guess the common theme here is, SL (and the internet in general) allows you to annonmously adopt other personae, allowing you, if you so chose, to explore parts of your own self that you feel this simulation affords you that freedom to do.

I try to take it in stride. I know some people take it more seriously, and consider such a discovery to be a horrible betrayal of trust.

I guess I try to take a reserved or pragmatic approach. For me, I sort of consider it a private matter, as long as the "deception" did not involve using me or my friendship at a tool to do someone else or me harm. Do I LIKE that a friend has with held that he's had an alt interacting with me.. no, I don't "like" it. But if they have not abused me, worked against me, or tried to gain some advantage over me or my interests and friends, its not as big a deal to me.

I would hope that my friends realize the sort of person I am, and not with hold this sort of thing from me. I'm not going to call them down for being less than forthcoming over a private matter. Things aren't always cut and dried, but it depends on how I was treated and how they behaved in this other persona.

I know that there are indeed those that simply use their alts to experience SL in privacy when their "main" avatar possibly becomes 1) too popular 2) embroiled in "drama" or 3) genuinely dislike their avi and they want to no longer "be" that person.

One friend makes no bones about his identity - in fact both of his avatars are a dance team - its fantastic to watch Fire and Ice. I can't say enough how much of a grin I get out of it.

I guess, in the end, we are on SL for our own reasons, and despite what we may think the reasons are of those that are "close" to us, we don't always know what is going on behind the eyes of the avatar we're talking to. Each and every avatar, for the most part (bots not included) has a brain somewhere on the other end of that connection, making decisions, feeling emotions, experiencing connections with others. I've always said this is a giant playground of non-accountability and fantasy exploration. The only people you will have to account to are those that you abuse or hurt if you are not careful in what you do. If you don't really care or think SL is just a game, then you will not really get the point I'm trying to make. But if you do care about the people that you interact with.. just remember they do have feelings, and your actions have consequences. Sometimes those consequences are mild or even beneficial. Others can be massive flaming conflagrations.

In the end, its your choice how you chose to interact with others, and the amount of respect you chose to show, and its none of my business how you do those things unless you chose to make it my business - so tread carefully on my emotions please, if you are an alt.. honestly.. you're not an alt are you? Are you?

"Are you your own alt?"

I reserve the right to be upset and emotional if I find out you are an alt, regardless of my declarations in the article above. XD

Monday, April 6, 2009

Plans are a wonderful thing if you make them

I can't get over how things work out sometimes. Between Friday night and Sunday night, it was a strange and cool journey - really, you just don't know how things will work out. I'm just going to talk about Friday here.

Friday - I didn't mention to very many people that I was home sick on Friday - I won't get into the sordid details, but suffice it to say I was not at my best. In fact, I spent a good portion of my time in bed or on the couch watching TV or sleeping. By the time the afternoon came around, it was closing in on time for Esmi's set at the Wharf, and my set was still far off, so I logged on and got to listen to him spin, and mostly just sit back and enjoy the sounds from someone else's play list that I haven't had the opportunity to hear much lately.

Finn did the heavy lifting as Host, which was fun to watch. And it made me feel better. I think I mentioned in the Wharf blog that at the end of Esmi's set, the crowd started talking about how there wasn't a lot to do, and where could they seek entertainment.. and that's when Esmi and I think Finn gave me a nudge and "suggested" that I start now, and play tunes for everyone. Considering my earlier statement about being ill, I had hardly even started to prep for my set - I had some ideas, but really, I didn't have a lot of idea what I was going to do. But that's never stopped me before. So, I kicked it into high gear, started throwing tunes into the cue, grabbed the stream, and away we went.

I played a lot of requests Friday - and I love doing that, and I love announcing it. Sometimes though I am trying to DL a song for someone, and miss the opening of the song request, because sometimes there's a variable lag between you transmitting it to the stream, and when its actually playing on SL - and that sucks when you're busy and still want to mic an announcement, dedication, or tell someone who requested what.

Something to note - sometimes, its hard to fit requests into your set, if the styles of music (slow, fast, angry, lovey, hard, soft, dance, metal, etc). But in this case, I had a lot of good requests and I picked up on "topical" comments, and moved some songs in as I needed them. I don't think I had more than a half hour's worth of songs ahead of deadly silence at any particular time during the first 2 hours I played. But I will say everyone enjoyed the tunes.
The things I like most about requests - 1) it helps you get to know your audience and what they want to hear, 2) it exposes you to different music 3) Its a danger element because you just don't know sometimes if the song you are putting up is going to be something that fits.
At one point, Esmi and Finn were identical bunnies. It was disturbing. Especially when they started making reference to their ears being semi elongated and such.. I don't know how else to put it, but bunny smex is rather disturbing. I have felt that way since the bunnytube vid on Ches's blog a few weeks back.

Anyway - like clockwork, Malden popped in at the start of the usual Friday 6pm set, and started doing his awesome hosting. And things kept on rolling and picked up steam. We had a great time.

One of the things that happens sometimes is that people start to roll into the Wharf during your set at the end. Now, if you have something planned to do after the end of your set, its great to go ahead and end the set at the usual preset time. But when you have people rolling in, and swelling the crowd, it makes sense to keep going.
And I did that, for another 45 minutes or so.

But eventually, you have to pull the plug. My energy levels started to fade rapidly after 7:30, but I ignored it and kept going for more than an hour, until I started to feel like I did that morning. I realize Mal was very tired, and I should have been more considerate of that.
I consider that a lesson learned on my part, both in consideration and in taking care of myself. Its important to make plans, and sometimes you have to deviate from them, or operate totally by instinct or whatever. But when you do, you leave out important details.

Yeah, Friday was fun, but it felt weird when it ended. But I still love it when a plan comes together.