Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Last Entry in Botgirl's Second Life Diary

Mea Culpa
Standing in front of "1000 Avatars" book by fellow Crap Award nominee, Gracie Kendal.

I've been nominated for the 2011 Crap Awards:
Unlike The Best of Second Life or other awards you see out there, the Crap Awards handle the other end of the spectrum: the lowest of the low and the worst of the worst. These are people who have done Second Life and its user community a disservice by joining it, engaging in it, abusing it, and refusing to crawl back under the rock they came from.
Although the contest is (mostly) a parody, it's fair to say that I'm out-of-sync with the Second Life community and have been for a long time. The estrangement is a reflection of my migration over the the last few years from actually living in the 3D virtual world, to merely using it as a platform for creative work. I've long since packed my virtual identity, stored it safely in my imagination and left the place of my birth. Instead of being a fellow resident who shares in the ongoing life of the community, I'm an outsider who pops in once in a blue moon to attend an event or shoot a video.

This blog has evolved from a journal of ideas inspired by living in Second Life, to an artist's notebook exploring virtual identity outside of the 3D virtual world. My creative work is now just as likely to spring from atomic-world content as from virtual world visuals. For instance, the image above is a shot of a small plastic action figure posed in front of a physical copy of Gracie Kendal's "1000 Avatars Book".

So what business do I have writing a home town publication called "Botgirl's Second Life Diary"? None really. Therefore, I've changed the title of the blog to "Botgirl's Identity Circus" and hereby rescind my self-proclaimed status as a Second Life pundit.

Whew! That feels better.


R. said...

One of the odd things about my mockery of the "Best Of SL" and other circlejerk awards parties is that folks are actually taking it seriously, and a large number of truly rancid and hate-filled comments got caught up in the moderation filter which made me wonder if the water supply should have anti-psychotic medication put in it alongside Fluoride.

At this point, I'll probably just leave it up there as a nutbar shitmagnet, know that those few individuals with any sense to them will see it for what it is, and I'll end up doing my usual end-of-the-year roundup in Drafts that I'll never publish.

Oh, and congratulations on the rebrand and relaunch... glad to know you're looking beyond SL to the greater debate over identity and authenticity.

/me tithes,

Gracie Kendal said...

Hahaha Love it!!! And Congrats on moving forward Botgirl!! I think all of our work encompasses so much more then Second Life that it is good we are blurring the line and talking about identity on a broader level!!! Great job!!!

Argent Stonecutter said...

Oh lord, they also include Caledon in the list. Ignore it.

R. said...

Read it again, Argent.

If it still doesn't make sense, then re-read it again.

Keep re-reading it until you see the point, man.

(Oh, and nominations are still open. HAH!)


PlanetNiles said...

Tarrah (Aka PlanetNiles Dreamscape) has done the same. Today she formally declared herself offline and packed herself away into my subconscious. I already miss her.

sororNishi said...

Hmmm... and I just restarted RL sculpting... must be a Movement...
I like Circus...great name.

Chrome said...

Wow. The beginning of a migration? After more than four years in SL, I find myself in pretty much the same position, Bot. Having immersed myself in writing for the past six months, though, I find that a lot of the magic has shifted to the page and now comes alive in words instead of pixels.

I still miss my SL friends and look forward to revisiting when the book is finished, but suspect things won't be the same. As always, though, I'm ready for the next great adventure. Thanks for posting this.

Wonder how many others are on the move..

Botgirl Questi said...

Crap: The risk of putting out hard core parody is that many people won't get it. Remember the Onion article a few years ago about Harry Potter and witchcraft that got a bunch of people up in arms? But that's half the fun, isn't it?

Your award nomination came at the right time for me. I commented a few days ago on another blog about Philip Linden's recent SL comments. Most of the responses from active virtual world participants (including those who've left SL for other VWS) felt his comments about virtual world participants were derogatory. I didn't read that into his words at all. Although I've been a lone voice in the wilderness on a few issues in the past, this time I was particularly struck by how outside the mainstream my point of view has moved.

Anyway, thanks for the inspiration, unintentional though it might have been.

Gracie: I was scouting around for an image idea for this post and your book almost jumped off the shelf. Luckily PowerGirl looks enough like me to serve as a stand in. Congratulations on Book 2!

Argent: Think of Crap as Andy Kaufman and you'll understand the schtick.

PlanetNiles: Funny thing is, the Botgirl Identity is as strong even though its mostly unrezzed these days.

Soror: That's cool. For whatever reason, I have a hard time sticking to a single style or medium. I tend to find something interesting and then binge for a few days, weeks or at the outside months, and then move on. The benefit is that my "bag of tools" keeps growing and I have increasingly more creative options when I want to express myself on a topic.

Chrome: Your shift from pixels to pages sounds very interesting, but not surprising. I see identity as mostly as stories we tell about ourselves and each other, so a change in mediums should only enrich our experience as the new modality opens up previously unrevealed aspects.

May O. Mingzi said...

Whew! When I first saw the title of this post I thought at first it meant you were going to stop blogging. Glad to know it's just a retitling and refocusing.

Pegysus said...

Aw, I guess this means it's not likely you'll ever come play in-world with me or visit my sim, but I'm happy we're connected, at least!

Hartley Patterson said...

Parodies can backfire.
'The Guardian' ran a Second Life story in a humorous column about the Internet, sending up the journalists who were rubbishing SL because it hadn't been a runaway Facebook style success. For years after Guardian writers referenced it as a serious piece!

Skylar Smythe said...

I really hope you change your mind. I hope the impetus of your decision was made on your needs and not triggered by any comedy/commentary or malady presented by someone else.

We never liked each other but I always enjoyed what you had to say and found value in it. For whatever that is worth on your journey.

Skylar / Lori

Botgirl Questi said...

May: Thanks! This is less of a change in focus than an acknowledgment of a shift that's been going on for a couple of years.

Pegysus: It's pretty cool that avatar identities have transcended 3D virtual worlds to the point that we meet up just as commonly (or even more commonly) on social networks and blog comment as we do inworld. I think that has less to do with the decline of time spent in virtual worlds as it does with the increase of presence outside of them.

hartley: At this point, it's not surprising when people mistake a parody for a serious article. But I'd hope that "real" journalist would be more discerning. :)

Skylar: This isn't really a new direction, but rather an acknowledgement of long-standing shift. My focus hasn't been on Second Life for a very long time, so it made sense to change the title. That doesn't mean I won't write about it anymore. For instance, I just posted a new SLCONSPIRACY parody a couple of days ago.