At electronic speed, which is the speed of light, we are disembodied beings. On the phone, or "on the air," we are instantly present, but minus our bodies . . . Marshall McLuhanI wasn't concerned at first when I tried to login to Second Life yesterday and saw an alert that's usually displayed when trying to get back inworld after crashing: The server is logging you out. Your account is unavailable until (time). But after a few tries over the space of ten minutes I began to get concerned. Like a good crowdsourcer, I jumped over to Twitter and posted:
"I'm showing up as logged in to Second Life when I am not. Account compromised or not? Support ticket just sent. Anyone else had this happen?"
I got a couple responses referencing the term "ghost" and a link from Chuck Baggett with an explanation of the problem and a step-by-step solution. In short, the last server I was on before exiting Second Life wouldn't let me go and held a ghost instance of me in its digital clutches. The fix seemed to work and all is well for the time being.
My brief NBE (No Body Experience) got me thinking again about the relationship between physical appearance and identity. I'm going to post later this week on the topic, but for now I'll leave you with this fascinating (and somewhat embarrassing) anecdote:
I've rezzed into at least a dozen virtual worlds over the last couple of years and the first thing I always do is create an avatar that's as close to "Botgirl Standard" as possible.