Monday, December 20, 2010

Virtual Worlds, Burnout and Serendipitous Joy

Craft: The Friendly World
Chatting it up in Craft

I've had dozens of conversations this year with people who have lost enthusiasm for Second Life after two or three years of engaged participation. Although the stories vary to some degree, I think that behind the loss of enthusiasm is the loss of beginner's mind. We lose the initial sense of wonder as we fill our fresh and open minds with habit and preconception. Our initial naive openness gives way to jaded judgements. And in many cases, the virtual side of the candle we've been burning at both ends must be capped before the whole thing goes up in flames.

I've experienced all of the above. In fact, I hardly ever just hang out in the virtual world anymore. These days when I rez it's almost always to work on a project or attend some specific event. So when I went to check out Crafta newish grid catering to the virtual art community, my intention was to take a quick look around for project fodder and then get out of Dodge. What actually happened was that I ended up bumping into a few interesting people and had a great time chatting.  And it brought back viscerally the mostly forgotten sense of serendipitous joy that was the hallmark of my first months in Second Life. What a wonderful gift.


Anonymous said...

I felt that when I rezzed in InWorldz. I'll celebrate my 4th SL rezzday next week without an avatar in SL. 3 years seems to be the point that I truly felt disillusioned about virtual worlds in general, until I found the people in IW. Meeting the genuinely nice people there made me remember that the foundation of the fun of virtual worlds was, for me, meeting interesting people and watching what they create. I'm so glad to have found and renewed that feeling.

sororNishi said...

yep, I loved your quote of "wow to .. whatever" (altho you were referring to technology I think)....and for me the new grids are all like starting again to some extent. There are people I know now on many of the grids and that is then really like travelling and visiting someone when visiting another grid.
Lots of enthusiasm in these new places...
Excellent, I think.

Wizzy Gynoid said...

indeed. Craft *is* "the friendly grid."

Banrion Constantine said...

Definitely, Wizzy. There are really amazing people on Craft -- people I've known for a long time and admire for their talent and creativity. I'm coming up on three years in SL and I feel a renewal of that which I loved about SL for a long time before I got burned out. Craft has been amazing for re-establishing a creative spirit and giving back that semi-noob wonderment.