Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Still Exist, Therefore I Am.

Maxine Montale's presence no longer resides in the database of Second Life. There are times when a search for her name under certain circumstances, manages to pull up her profile - and then no more. I call it a glitch in server access. I do not expect that to continue for much longer.

Maxine's alter-ago, Ysabel Isabella still exists.

We spend our time in Second Life on a need to be basis. Much of our time as Maxine's and/or Ysabel's real life person, is spent focusing on trying to get ther Real Life in order.

One day, I need to sit and really document the consequences of my engagement with this virtual world. I would at least like to share my experience because, more than anything, it is a situation that needs to be shared, analyzed and be made aware of. Once I get that started, you will come to realize the journey of the psyche that lead to how Second Life - brought my Real Life to a stand still, need I dare say, "tumbling down".

I decided to pick up on this blog again because I believe that Maxine was on the right track when starting this blog. It has been 3 years now and much of our important findings have gone undocumented. ( A sad thing really).

It is my hope that I am able to somehow pick up and continue my observations of our Real Life self ... as she moved onward - with her journey - post Second Life.

Despite the fact that Maxine no longer exists in Second Life ( until I have the money to pay her deliquent one year Premuim account ), then she will remain a memory.

I hope to resurrect her sometime soon, before Linden Lab's servers manages to delete her complete data.


Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year to Me. *2009*

I'm still alive in both worlds (RL & SL) although I often wonder why I still pop in and out of SL.
Perhaps because I still remember that newbie feeling of exploring Second Life and realizing all that it could be and more.

Do I still believe that there is a Consciousness that operates in Second Life? Of course.
More and more have I gotten more sure that the SL platform is nothing more than a plane where ego's can play out.

Hopefully they get to be seen as what they really are, analyzed and then worked on getting rid of in RL but only a very few people in SL are even aware that it could be done.

I will say this - Second Life has been a very painful place for many. Even if the pain came and went, the fact remains that people DO get tied emotionally to what goes on in their Second Life.

I, on the other hand had not encountered such things other than the disappointment of losing my first island on Aquila. *sigh*.


I thought I'd log on and say the ceremonial Happy New Year - just to maintain the reasoning for this blogs existence.

AND REMEMBER - Don't use Second Life to runaway from your Real Life. Confront your Real Life honestly. If you MUST use Second Life as a means to escape from Real Life, then for goodness sakes - KNOW IT and be accountable for all your actions in SL.

And NEVER, EVER think that what you do in SL will NOT affect you in RL because it does.


Sunday, November 09, 2008

A Vacation from the Virtual

People enter Second Life to escape from real life. They find rest and comfort from unconsciously hiding behind the perfect image of their SELF, and from running away from obligations too much to take.

Second Life becomes THE vacation from real life.

But where does one go when they need a vacation from the virtual?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Putting my self on the Line - crap

Here is a copy of a comment I made. I have now exposed part of my brains workings to the cyberworld and I don't give a flying duck.

"Rick, Eloise, I found this topic and the replies that followed quite engaging to my brain. I've been a citizen of SL since 2005 and although I have never been a 'gamer' per se in computer environments, I find myself agreeing with the both of you. After all, isn't real life a game in and of itself, more or less? Don't we all have a variety of roles we play i.e. employee, citizen, mother/father, daughter/son, husband/wife, sister/brother, neighbour, friend/confidante etc ...

In whatever environment we find ourselves placed in, there is always a certain degree of adaptation skills one needs to acquire in order to feel 'immersed' and 'comfortable'. I should know. I've been living in 4 countries over the span of my life and each place required an acclimating period, to say the least. I had to get use to different transportation systems, language lingo, culture, behaviour, geography and what have you.

If I were to compare Second Life to Real Life in all honesty, leaving out the physics and certain non - realistic representations (you find in BOTH worlds) I would have to say that the ONLY REAL difference between both platforms is the omittance of TOUCH and SMELL (in its most general of observations).

I do agree with the both of you on your points of 'camera view' both being unrealistic and yet, affording another perspective from the 1st person, hence advantageous.

But despite all the good and bad that these Virtual Worlds hold - I have to wonder what IMPACT they will have to future societies?

If the future is moving towards a more computerized/impersonal/non contact arena then great - because the children who have grown up with this technology will be fully prepared to steer mankind into whatever ....

However, there is something odd about being involved in a Virtual World, no matter how therapeutic it may be for an individual and no matter how advantageous they may be for companies, education, etc ....

NOTHING takes the place of REAL LIFE. Nothing takes the place of one to one interaction with direct eye contact and direct observance of body language. Nothing takes the place of 'nearness'.

Yes, I do believe that people can sincerely 'connect' in these virtual worlds however, for how long? I feel that these virtual worlds (i.e. SL) are great for forming new network relationships and even 'personal relationships for that matter'. I should know. I met my boyfriend in Second Life and after only 4 months of SL dating and being on Skype, I moved from Houston, TX to Germany to live with him - so believe me, I should know.

Despite that fact, I still sense a 'danger' lurking. I cannot explain it but I have been thinking about it on and off and once I can formulate my thoughts in an eloquent and concise manner then I do intend to share it. Intuitively, ( I am going out on a line here but I don't care ), I sense a real danger to our society and to mankind as a whole.

Yes, yes, I am aware of the great benefits virtual world platforms can offer in terms of bridging the digital divide blah blah blah .. however there is also such a fine line of conduct whenever new technology arises. There is always the good and the bad and what can be good can be very, very good and what can be bad - can also be very, very bad.

Just think, "Atomic Bomb", Internet Chat rooms - for dating and meeting new people that also become platforms for pedophiles and crazy maniacs. We live amongst these sordid characters in real life anyway, whether we realize it or not, it is just that now, they too have yet another platform to operate in. Enough Said.

You can best be assured that I am carefully observing and noting the behaviours of people as a whole and myself in these virtual worlds.

Second Life was very therapeutic for a burnt out nurse who found a way to channel her creativity - it actually made me a better nurse because it appeared that I became more balanced. Second Life also allowed me to meet someone very special - hence I left a life in the U.S. to start a completely new one. Second Life has made me realize so much of what I always knew I could be - and now.. I am that in Real Life.

I no longer spend too much time in Second Life. It has served its purpose for me very well and now I can continue performing in Real Life, being much more aware of my limitations as a person and my abilities as a talented, open and skilled citizen of this planet.

Perhaps, I often feel that for those people that continue to spend countless hours in Second Life and in Virtual Worlds, obviously something is missing in their Real Life. That is how it was for me, and now that I have found what was missing, I can now implement these findings in Real Life. I am just concerned that for those people - that continue to spend too much time in these platforms (and then again - what constitutes too much time?) perhaps they need more assistance in Life Planning or some form of Therapy or Group Forum sessions. The funny thing is, they can now find these things in Second Life too. Weird. But who really is the person behind the avatar?! That is the question. How far deep does one choose to engage in Role Play? How easy is it to deceive and to be deceived?

*Sigh* I love this planet. I love humanity. I just don't want to see it become any more 'dis' eased than it already is.

I've even gone so far as to wonder if the creation of these online games / virtual worlds is not some *hidden* global power agenda to minimize the expansive reach for creative minds that would normally impact the world on a more positive note - while and when engaging their creativity in REAL LIFE.

Yes, I am aware that there are groups and organizations that are empowered by the meeting and *collaboration* on a 3D platform that transcends all time zones blah blah blah .. however .. I cannot dismiss this *danger* feeling that I sense intuitively. Only time will tell.

I hope in all sincerity that the future of our societies, the future of mankind as a whole will definitely grow towards the path of "healing" and not destruction, responsibility and accountability and not insensitive, distant , unattached lack of compassion for even our next door neighbours. Think about it. We can care about people in other time zones and connect with them when we cannot even FIX the problems of our local communities. i.e. OUR FAMILIES.

THINK PEOPLE THINK! If the family unit is the foundation of a functioning and healthy society then lets all be responsible for creating and fostering healthy family relationships before thinking of even fixing Foreign Trade Policies with other countries.

If we cannot even empathize, understand and hold compassion for and amongst our own family members then how in the world are we expected to hold the same thoughts for different cultures.

Uh oh.. I went off in a tangent.. but you get my drift. Thank you for allowing me to share my opinion. This is only my opinion. Please refrain from sending "hate mail". *smiles*"

Account De-Activated

Yikes, I no longer exist in Second Life and yet I exist very much in Real Life. Go ahead and try to find me. My account had either been deleted or de-activated. I hope it is only de-activated.

What can I say, my alt avatar Ysabel Isabella has changed both our lives completely. Because of her, or perhaps because of me, we met Fim Fischer and well, Ysabel can fill you in on the rest.

Just so you know, Ysabel Isabella in real life is now living with Fim Fischer in real life - HA!

All this and she did not even have the time to take care of my account. Imagine that.

Her non premium account continues to exist and she even now owns my first ever Island on Aquila which I am wondering how she maintains since I know for a fact that she has not worked in real life since she left the U.S.

Anyhoo.. that is my status. I am next to dead in Second Life. I knew I should've virtually died when I had the chance and the grace to do it. Now I simply have been removed by the Lindens. How completely embarrassing.

Thanks Ysabel for the consideration.

~ Maxine Montale

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Metaverses: Their Effects on the Greater Consciousness

Fond memories flood my mind when I look back on my childhood days. Days of biking through open fields and wandering the ravines that backed our townhome. Of collecting rocks and burying shoeboxes full of 'perceived' treasures to be found by some other child of the future. I remember my collection of pressed leaves and the odd dead 'bug' that I would find and keep enclosed in a glass jar to be later analyzed. I remember the reams and reams of 'code' that I developed for my secret spy ring that would be scotch taped to the back wall of my closet, hidden carefully behind my hanging clothes.

I am remembering all these things as I sit here underneath a tree in a city park with my laptop, wirelessly accessing the 'information superhighway', as it was called back in the early '90's, while my avatar (a pixelated online representation of myself) is dressed in construction worker attire, creating a commercial build for a Japanese company in Second Life (an online virtual world created by Linden Lab of San Francisco).

"two paradigm shifts within a decade ..."

I have been immersed in the digital medium before it even became a reality to the rest of mainstream. When Nicholas Negroponte's book, "Being Digital" came out in 1995 I read that book cover to cover and twice over that same week. My thoughts were deeply intertwined with the concepts and visions that he had presented.

"Being Digital" reminded me of Alvin Toffler's book, "Future Shock", that came out in 1970. Both books stand side by side one another on a book shelf.

Both these books had a considerable impact on the way I viewed the world. I have realized that I had lived my life being aware that I was amidst an era of immense technological change and advancement - thus opening and preparing my mind for the world of the future. A future where children's experiences would be so different from that of my childhood. A future that would see two paradigm shifts within a decade and would become privy to witnessing their impact on our daily lives, in a global scale.

The first paradigm shift was the advent of the world wide web when it became accessible to the mainstream. Because of this 2D Platform I was able to sit on my bed and book a plane ticket to Europe, transfer funds from within my bank accounts, upload photos of my chihuahua to an online page to be viewed by my friends in another hemisphere and talk to my partner in Germany using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) all while watching the CNN morning news in video format - from my laptop (a laptop that was not connected to any cable or power source!)

"Closing the gap of the Digital Divide is inevitable."

The second paradigm shift actually started occurring almost simultaneously along with the 2D Platform - the creation of 3D virtual worlds or metaverses.

It behooves me to think that with all the hype Second Life received from the mainstream media being a platform for collaboration with education, the arts and various other projects, there have been other 3D platforms that have been quietly doing the same for the past decade, all with a healthy following of Real Life businesses, universities and the like. New metaverses are also being created by the handful almost every month (don't quote me on this, this is just suspect).

One 3D platform to watch out for is HiPiHi Ltd, a Chinese based company whose founder and CEO, Hui Xu was recently quoted as saying in a recent press release, "It is just a beginning of the globalization of the 3D virtual world." - just the beginning is an understatement.

I am NOT about to make a comparison between other metaverses (that is a whole other blog in itself). In my head, however, I am wondering what impact, both positive and negative, will these metaverses have on our societies. I can only wonder that on one planet alone, our earth, we have so many variables that keep us distanced from one another, religion, race, politics, sexual orientation, just to name a few.

Metaverses are being created where people can choose which platform or platforms best suits their tastes - will these metaverses separate us even more, I wonder.

In 2005 I blogged an entry about how Second Life can actually be used as a testing platform for improvement of Real Life social, business, industrial and educational models. It would be a place where we can create, improve and implement 'things that will work' for the benefit of the other 3D world (planet earth) and perhaps, humanity as a whole. Back then, I was only aware of Second Life and ignorant to the other 3D worlds that have been around for more than a decade. Second Life to me was the ultimate communication tool 'on cocaine'. Visions of a better world - through the use of Second Life's platform sent my mind reeling off in tangents.

This lead me to begin my journey into 3D platforms and other metaverses. This also lead me to realize the inevitable, possible, perceived 'separateness' that metaverses would have on 'us'. Or would it?

Then I thought ...

I remembered a few years ago reading something on Group Souls and Twin Soul Mates. It has suddenly struck me that with 'like minds attracting', these various metaverses may serve, on a metaphysical level, platforms for Group Souls to get together and achieve common goals. This thought appeased me, somewhat. I will continue to observe these various metaverses and follow up on blog entries and the like, on how these metaverses are changing and impacting our global society.

After these thoughts had raced through my mind, I took a charcoal pencil and quickly drew what came into my mind. The drawing was this.

Later, I logged into Second Life and made a 3D representation of the sketch.

The middle sphere represents the earth. The other smaller spheres around the 'earth' represent the different metaverse platforms that exist. Each metaverse platform, esoterically, also represents a Group Soul. There would be many more Group Soul groups, I only chose a handful of smaller spheres for easy visual. The larger, transparent sphere, where the 'earth' and the Group Soul spheres are enclosed in, represents the Global of Greater Consciousness.

My theory is this:

Each metaverse serves as a platform for various 'like minds' to connect and collaborate as they see fit. There may be similiar projects being collaborated on in the other metaverses and that is a good thing because ultimately the energies of all are somehow connected and related anyway and on an esoteric level, increasing the 'frequency' or 'vibrational' qualities of a specific 'thought project' .

I intend to explain this theory in more detail, but for now I will leave it as is. There are other 3D platforms I need to discover and explore and I hope to bring to you more insight into all of them.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Making a Come Back : A Resurrection of Sorts

Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Ysabel Isabella for making a brave attempt at continuing the posts for this blog. Thank you Ysabel.

Secondly, I'm back. The long sabbatical away from blogging and Second Life has certainly renewed my interest. Why this is so, I cannot say. I have not yet analyzed this process within me. When I do, I will be sure to share it with all of you.

Now I will talk about Balance. Yin & Yang. Black and White.

I re-entered Second Life landing on the First Island Parcel I ever bought (An Azure Property on Aquila). I had many wonderful memories there, most of which was spent inviting people over to talk about Second Life and to discuss the possibilities of this new paradigm that will eventually change the way people use the internet.

My Second Life took on its' own path sooner or later I had needed an excuse to leave. The excuse is not a matter of importance. What IS important is that I never deleted my account. I was so sure that I would never need to return to Second Life, and yet I never once thought of deleting my account.

I am glad I didn't.

During the time of my absence, my alt avatar dominated my RL computer time and HER Second Life took its' own path as well - so much so that she ended up meeting her Soul Mate in Second Life - and 5 months later packed up what she could take in two luggages, left her job and pretty much her life - and fly across the Atlantic to live with her NOW business Partner and LIFE Partner! Don't believe me? Too bad, but it's very true.

The interesting thing is, as my alt avatar I had accomplished everything I had ever wanted to do in Real Life but for some reason never did - and I got the opportunity to do them all in Second Life - with my alt av. After realizing this, and especially after having moved to be with him, I no longer saw the need to my alt av to be in Second Life.

Of course this is not realistic for my alt av to totally avoid SL since the RL business she started with her partner in SL is now getting underway - which means she will need to work in Second Life. Work.

My alt av's work is supposed to be devoted to the RL business but my alt av ended up getting involved with another RL company and is now utilizing her build talents to help them develop sims for RL businesses.

Enter Maxine Montale to the rescue.

Maxine started out in SL as an independent, empowered business female av, much like my alt avatar with the exception of Maxine taking her networking skills and business enterprise to a whole other level.

These qualities are what is now needed for the RL upstart. And that is why I have returned to SL - and to blogging.

I am thankful that I had created two avatars for Second Life. Both still have their own set of friends and their own Second Lives - which is as opposite as they are complimentary.

Afterall, they would have to be complimentary since both of them are ME!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Minutes apart ...

I was sitting outside a building and caught this man on a bench in front of me. He made me smile. He reminded me of childhood, of 'happy' and of enjoying life in its most simplest of moments. I continued to watch him until he walked away.

After a short while a lady came and sat on the bench and she too started swinging her legs.

Other people came to sit on this bench but only these two felt compelled to 'swing'.

I suddenly had this thought, "Oh my goodness, they could've been soulmates! They just missed one another by a matter of minutes."

I often wonder what would have happened if Maxine never wandered over to the FBI-SL build and IM'd the director Antonio LeSuere. She would never have met Hank Wade (our SL brother) whom she tried to find a last minute Christmas gift for - a Fim Fischer Watch, on that fateful December 24th night. Maxine would never have thought of teleporting me to Fim's watch store - and Fim and I would never have met.

I do not want to think much about the series of events that lead us to one another. One missing variable may have changed everything. Fim seems to think that we would have met anyway. I would like to believe that. You know, 'synchronocity' and all. But it still leaves me to wonder if 'synchronocity' has an open door with a time limit, just like the saying, 'a window of opportunity'.

Timing seems to be everything in life.

I once read somewhere that if 'timing is everything, and it just didn't happen at the right time, then it was not meant to be."

I still shudder every now and then.

I could not imagine a Second Life without Fim Fischer - the watchmaker.
I cannot imagine my Real Life without the man behind the Fim Fischer avatar.

I suppose then, that 'time' certainly worked out for the both of us. You think it had something to do with Fim being a watchmaker? *smiles*