The Great Adventures of Nyleve Rayna: Exploring Second Life

Having been converted into a digital avatar in Second Life, Nyleve Rayna, since January, I have done a little bit of exploring in the cyberworld. I just returned from a fall semester abroad in Europe and I was immediately curious to see the cyber renditions of all the amazing cities I visited. Dublin, Ireland, did not resemble anything that I saw when I was physically there in October. However, the Duomo (church) in Milan, Italy, was quite a nice replica of the wondrous and magnificent structure.

I visited several of the landmarks that were given to us in a student landmarks folder. I went fishing and boating in sleezywood trailer park... along with "cuddling" by the campfire.

Frankly, all of the activities within Second Life, without exception, seem silly and pointless. I have absolutely no interest in wandering around online when I could wander around a wonderful and historic place like Richmond, VA, instead. I am very focused on the real world and experiencing real sensations - there is far too much to do in my one life on this one planet to escape to online fantasy lands. However, I respect that creating beautiful cyberworlds is quite an accomplishment for those interested in the field.

Wiki Project #2 Updates:Nyleve_Rayna_2.jpg
Although I've tried contacting several of the class mentors with IMs while I'm online, I have never caught them online "in person" to chat. I explored Svarga immediately to see what all the hype was regarding the digital "beauty" of that island. I was dismally unimpressed with Svarga, and although it's a nice jungle, I didn't feel any emotional connection with the island. Perhaps my computer can't handle the graphics to actually display the beauty, or perhaps I'm callous and heavily biased toward the mountains and oceans I've grown up around in Washington State. Here are some shots of me running around SL. I took a pit stop on a hammock in Svarga and I rode a Giraffe at the Dublin zoo, just because I can't do it in RL. Perhaps that's the entire point behind SL - you are able to do things you can't in reality... but why is that appealing?
Riding a Giraffe?!

I undertook my own experiment to carry out within SL. Having just returned from an amazing semester abroad in Europe, I went to as many European SL cities that I could and I snapped pictures of some of the most famous, breathtaking, and emotional buildings, monuments, and masterpieces in Europe. I left the computer aspects in (START bar, etc) as a reminder that this image was being viewed on a computer screen and not in person. Here are my comparisons so far:

Duomo in Milano
Duomo in Person
Duomo at Sunset

Milan Castle in SL
Milan Castle

Columbus in RL
Columbus in Barcelona

SL Venice Gondola
Venice Gondola

These comparisons are laughable, however I admit that SL does a fairly good job at reconstructing these world scenes. Nonetheless, I still firmly believe that little emotional awe felt when viewing these masterpieces in reality can be conveyed through a computer screen. In person, these monuments are so incredibly huge (larger than life) and being able to fly up and around a monument in SL, yet attaining no extra detail, further adds to the cheesy, cheap aspect of a pretend world.

I realize that most of the world's population is not fortunate enough to be able to travel and see these magnificent places, but I do not see that SL gives an ample or satisfactory illustration of what these places represent. If anything, beautiful National Geographic articles and pictures do these works of art more justice.

I will get in touch with both Dianna and Tenchi soon to discuss their thoughts on beauty in SL. We have been playing IM tag and I hope to catch them in world soon.

What I have to offer:
Laura's main page
540 Degrees
Slow Life vs. Second Life
Creating YOUR World
A Dark Future- Snow Crash and the Matrix
Spring Break- The Invented World of College Kids
Short Fiction- Little Miracle
Adventures of Nyleve Rayna
Africa in SL

Eng. 216 Syllabus
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