As with all things in life there are the things we take for granted and there are things that make you go Hmmm. This often happens in Second Life to an extent that it may be a little more common than real life. When I first rezzed into SL and began to explore and see this truly strange, amazing, bland and boring world it slowly dawned on me that things that are common are usually taken as the norm, be it RL or SL. It gets to the point where individuals accept them as the standard. Then there seems to be a comparison based on this baseline that has been set by the collective. So the middle of the road, the common, the, it’s ok it will pass is the standard from which all things are based on in a virtual world. This seems perplexing to me, a place where flights of fancy and creativity can be let loose and nurtured to the tenth degree. Yet individuals want the common more than not, when it comes to many things that are created in virtual worlds.
My indoctrination into SL was I'm sure no different than anyone else's, I rezzed in world, was asked if I wanted to be bitten and made a vampire. Then I flew to the zyngo/gambling clubs then off to a stripper bar while visiting all the welcome places to hear 20 year olds insult everyone and think they are cool as spammers plastered the screen with visual spam. All seemed normal for a video game to me.
But slowly and surely I did discover there were other places in SL, lots of other places that had been created by individuals who saw this so called video game as something different. Not an extension of RL as a copy of the norm, the expected, the same old, same old. But, individuals who had a vision that was different. You can tell when someone has a passion for a vision and they work at it, it may not be the most technically correct build, it may have a flaw here and there, but there is a feeling that one gets when you experience it. A shared experience that this is something special, it’s different, it was from someone who took the time to find what was in them and share it with others.
To those individuals the ones who take the time to make it right, go out on the limb, out of the box and make your eyes open and your mind expand when you share their vision, I salute you. This is not limited to just a builder of buildings, the art of artist or a creator of textures or pictures. Be it a scripter or animator, the noob who’s done their first build or a gifted creator of machinima it is recognized and appreciated when it is seen. Hopefully as more and more individuals learn and master and expand their abilities in virtual world creations. We can collectively raise the bar and the norm from the real world will not be accepted as the baseline for a virtual world.
So the challenge I place in front of all the creators in virtual worlds is try it a little different take the step to expand your vision and share it with others. You may find that the shoebox build or same old same old may not be what every wants, there may be an audience waiting to share with you.