A smart avatar named Tom Bukoswki gathered some (historical) data and case studies about our world in his clickers book "Coming of Age in Second Life". He describes the local conditions in Second Life around 2006: "By August 2006 over half of Second Life was islands, leading to concerns over the future of mainland.". Always most popular places have been the low lying beach fronts. Who does not want to live in a tropical beach paradise? Always nice weather, direct view onto the ocean. Even an avatar dreams about such scenarios - well given that we can.
Guess where I bought my first land, when I came to Second Life in December 2007 (my clicker probably annoyed from the cold winter days in Real Life)....it was waterfront land. But it was not located on an island, it was mainland. Looking at the Second Life world map you can see how much space the islands nowadays take compared to the mainland continents.
In 2010 private islands (often zoned by themes and following one single design style, makes them look less chaotic compared to the old mainland continents) got so popular as living ground, the Lindens had to think about a new strategy. Why become a VIP avatar (avatars whith clickers holding a premium account), when you can rent for similar prices on a private sim. You stay flexible, as you don't own the land and have to sell it when you wanna move and maybe loose money that way. I lost a lot of Lindens when I sold my mainland plot in 2008, which was grown to 9042 sq after a short while. Anyway the new strategy is to offer a house with atiny bit of land in a themed area. The only benefit I see is, that the prims of the house do not minimize the 117 per 512 sq you usually get. Besides those areas look like american suburbs if themed or not. They have an official meeting place integrated, thats a plus compared to the american suburbs from the Real Life world. But I don't know if people use those or prefer to teleport out to gather with other people or even start feeling lonely and isolated like humans living in american suburbs. The Lindens advertise those "new" homes as a social environment, a place to be creative - whose creativity will not be killed by suburbian cultures? - they point out that you get a permanent virtual adress that way and you can experience with your look in the privacy of your home. Well, and who did not try to zoom into other buildings...that prominent feature only we avatars have. So much for the privacy. And no security system keeps people from caming you.
What':s most funny is the comic strip about those new Linden homes. Where to go, when you date your future dream partner? Didn't we all ride the emotional rollercoaster (more or less high), when we came to Second Life? But can this really be the reason, why we become residents of Second Life?
When I was writing this second part about residential related issues in Second Life I got a message from my landlord telling me that he's restructuring his sims and stops renting out single houses. I hope it's no bad karma I provoced writing this blog entry. While moving once in a while can be refreshing and kinda renews your avatar life - loss of old neighbors, gain of new one, maybe making some new friends, new view in front of your windows - I start getting tired of finding new homes. To understand this I will tell you a bit about my residential history.
Experimenting is an essential part of each avatar life. One way to experiment is learning by doing. I guess I tried most ways of residential living in Second Life to find out, what suits me best.
|At that time pretty for sale signs around.|
|Gallery building set up in the background.|
|4092 sq on the private sim High Valley|
|The Druids Design Park on Tuli|
|My beloved and lost Tuli Home.|
|The possesed HALEIWA|
|Syx Monkeys - different sense of being.|
Did you recognize the change in motivation for a place of residence? First it was mostly project orientated for sure always with the wish to be part of a neighborly community, then residing was the crucial factor. I was created for work, but now I live my avatar life. Can I?