Esoteric immersionism

For years, residents have been incredibly worried about the way Second Life® has been viewed by the media: a place for freaks to come out and escape from the harsh reality of so-called “real life”. Escapism, and its step brother, sex, was what made the news — and from there, drama ensued, and drama sold papers (or TV spots, or blog pages), which in turn got more advertisers, so, that’s all we got.

Second Life continues to be hard to understand or explain, and will remain so, even though the announced “Lite” viewer will come out by the end of this year. The reasons for that are a bit more subtle than I, in my ingenuity, thought.

Strangely enough, the real reason for the hard adoption rate came to me just recently, after a chat with a friend, who is not exactly a newcomer to SL, but has been a rather “passive” user, logging in once or twice in order to do her work. Only in the past few weeks has she been in touch with the reality of SL: its inhabitants, its culture, its relationships. We both study esoteric philosophies, and she suddenly had this insight why Second Life is so hard to “get”: it’s not only because it’s hard to use the interface — but it’s quite hard to understand the whole scope of what you can do in SL (or why you should do it in SL).

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