Sunday, June 22, 2008

Transcript: Sarah Susanka in Second Life (as Susanka Queler)

Here is the transcript from the live text chat with Sarah Susanka on 17 June 2008. Photographs by Thursday Xu.

[12:11] Cybergrrl Oh: Our guest today is Sarah Susanka, author
[12:11] Cybergrrl Oh: Or Susanka Queler in SL
[12:11] Santilaire Convair: It keeps telling me there's no empty chair to sit in. I think I'll just stand.
[12:11] Malburns Writer:
[12:11] Susanka Queler: Is this where I begin Cybergrrl?
[12:11] Kain Scalia: Let me make one for you, Santilaire
[12:11] Cybergrrl Oh: Sarah asked that I give her some time in the beginning to share her ideas
[12:12] Cybergrrl Oh: So I will turn this over to her in one moment
[12:12] Susanka Queler: Thank you Cybergrrl
[12:12] Cybergrrl Oh: But first, welcome...
[12:12] Kain Scalia: Here you go Santilaire, over here.
[12:12] Cybergrrl Oh: and why is another table being set up...
[12:12] Susanka Queler: What I'd like to describe to start is an insight I had
[12:12] MystiTool DynaTable: Attempting to fix chair positions. One moment, please.
[12:12] Santilaire Convair: Yay! thanks.
[12:12] Susanka Queler: before entering SL
[12:12] MystiTool DynaTable: All chairs should now be moving into correct positions.
[12:12] Susanka Queler: I had just begun to consider the notion of a dream world
[12:13] Cybergrrl Oh: Welcome to my table ride
[12:13] Susanka Queler: when I discovered that there actualy was one! SL
[12:13] Cybergrrl Oh: Susanka - we're still doing an intro
[12:13] Susanka Queler: It provides a wonderful metaphor for something
[12:13] Susanka Queler: that I had been trying to explain in my most recent
[12:13] Susanka Queler: book, The Not So Big Life.
[12:13] Susanka Queler: We live in a real world, or so we think,
[12:14] Susanka Queler: but what I wanted my readers to understand was that our "real" world
[12:14] Susanka Queler: is as much a made up world as SL.
[12:14] Thursday Xu: YES
[12:14] Susanka Queler: We actually create our idea of ourselves,
[12:14] Susanka Queler: just as we do in SL.
[12:14] Pebbles Hannya: / me nods
[12:14] Susanka Queler: So you can see perhaps why I am so excited about SL
[12:15] Susanka Queler: I can actually give people the understanding
[12:15] Chrissia Tyles: excuse me, do we also have sound?
[12:15] Susanka Queler: by having them join SL and create themselves all over again.
[12:15] Cybergrrl Oh: We don't have sound - this is text only
[12:15] Tara Yeats: Chrissia - no, just text
[12:15] Susanka Queler: No sound I'm afraid, just frantic typing

[12:15] Susanka Queler: So, anyway,
[12:15] Susanka Queler: I wanted to find out from each of you
[12:15] Susanka Queler: how did you create the idea of yourself here in SL
[12:16] Cybergrrl Oh: Great idea
[12:16] Susanka Queler: and are you doing some of the same kinds of things in
[12:16] Susanka Queler: this life, or are they completely different.
[12:16] Cybergrrl Oh: Would you like to proceed with answering this Susanka?
[12:16] Susanka Queler: I'm very interested in your inisights all of you.
[12:16] Cybergrrl Oh: Meaning getting answers
[12:16] Susanka Queler: Yes, please.
[12:16] Cybergrrl Oh: OK, let me step in as moderator
[12:16] Cybergrrl Oh: and say that before we go on, I have a rule
[12:16] Cybergrrl Oh: for everyone who participates
[12:16] Cybergrrl Oh: actually 2
[12:17] Cybergrrl Oh: Rule 1 - if you have a QUESTION for our guest, please type QUESTION before it
[12:17] Cybergrrl Oh: that way we can track all the questions.
[12:17] Cybergrrl Oh: And Rule 2...
[12:17] Cybergrrl Oh: if you have a comment, feel free to comment anytime. However...
[12:17] Thursday Xu: your avatar - no matter how "creative" is nonetheless a representation of your self.
[12:17] Cybergrrl Oh: for right now, let us go around the table and
[12:17] Cybergrrl Oh: individually answer Sarah by saying....
[12:18] Cybergrrl Oh: 1. How we created our SL self and is it same or different from RL.
[12:18] Cybergrrl Oh: and if you are not comfortable sharing, just say PASS
[12:18] Cybergrrl Oh: I'll start...
[12:18] Cybergrrl Oh: Cybergrrl Oh is an extension of me in RL - Aliza Sherman
[12:18] Cybergrrl Oh: She is also the re-vived version of my 1995 brand Cybergrrl
[12:18] Cybergrrl Oh: so Cybergrrl does in SL all the things I do in RL but she can also fly and have lots of different hair colors.
[12:18] Cybergrrl Oh: But I bring my personality and values to her.

[12:19] Cybergrrl Oh: Next - let's go to Pebbles - are you next to me?
[12:19] Cybergrrl Oh: lol
[12:19] Pebbles Hannya: Yes, I think so...
[12:19] Susanka Queler: So you are a version of the You in real life
[12:19] Pebbles Hannya: So I run a market research company in RL, and do that here too.
[12:19] Pebbles Hannya: In that sense, Pebbles in I are one in the same.
[12:19] Cybergrrl Oh: Susanka - yes, a little skinnier maybe and my hair is brown vs. pink in RL
[12:19] Pebbles Hannya: Physically we look nothing alike.
[12:19] Pebbles Hannya: But we definitely share a personality.
[12:20] Susanka Queler: So you've made a different physicality
[12:20] Pebbles Hannya: And I do find that my interactions here come back and also shape my RL to some degree.
[12:20] Cybergrrl Oh: so true, Pebbles
[12:20] Cybergrrl Oh: Vivistar - are you there?
[12:20] Pebbles Hannya: When I first joined SL all of the pictures of avs I had seen looked like cartoons.
[12:20] Susanka Queler: Can you see how you created the "you" that you are in Real Life?
[12:21] Cybergrrl Oh: Oh Helena - did I skip you?
[12:21] Pebbles Hannya: So the first cartoon character who popped into my head was Pebbles Flintstone (obviously too much tv as a kid)...
[12:21] Helena Kiama: np, lol
[12:21] Cybergrrl Oh: Sarah - if we go too fast, let me know
[12:21] Pebbles Hannya: Hannya was available as a last name, which was close enough to Hanna from Hanna and Barbarra...
[12:21] Susanka Queler: Let me make a couple of comments after each person is done
[12:21] Pebbles Hannya: ... and Pebbles was born. I tried to make my av look like a grown up version of her.
[12:21] Cybergrrl Oh: I want everyone to have a chance and you can sift thru comments, also, by clicking on the local chat button
[12:22] Cybergrrl Oh: Everyone -please keep your comments to 2-3 sentences - summaries - so she has a chance to ask more
[12:22] Susanka Queler: So, I think let's move on for now to the next person
[12:22] Cybergrrl Oh: That was Helena
[12:22] Cybergrrl Oh: Helena?
[12:22] Helena Kiama: K, when I first came into SL, there were only 3000 online at a time
[12:23] Helena Kiama: and no redheads, I wanted to be different
[12:23] Susanka Queler: An early bird!
[12:23] Cybergrrl Oh whispers WOW
[12:23] Helena Kiama: lol
[12:23] Helena Kiama: My av looks nothing like me
[12:23] Helena Kiama: but I deal with people like I do in RL, except I'm more outgoing in here
[12:23] Helena Kiama: my values are the same in either place
[12:24] Susanka Queler: So you can see that you are living a similar dream in both worlds
[12:24] Susanka Queler: Why do you think you are more outgoing here?
[12:24] Helena Kiama: It seems easier to talk with people, perhaps not worrying about being judged?
[12:25] Susanka Queler: That's a biggy for a lot of people. Let's move on to the next person.
[12:25] Cybergrrl Oh: Vivistar is way
[12:25] Cybergrrl Oh: away
[12:25] Cybergrrl Oh: so next is...
[12:25] Cybergrrl Oh: Steeven?
[12:25] Steeven Jameson: OK. Frankly, I'm alt, for someone who has a very busy SL...
[12:26] Susanka Queler: what does alt mean?
[12:26] Rhiannon Chatnoir: a secondary avatar
[12:26] Cybergrrl Oh: alternative avatar
[12:26] Steeven Jameson: Here, he's a journalist and a stockbroker, who acts as he does in RL...
[12:26] Rhiannon Chatnoir: so not the main avatar she/he might use
[12:26] Steeven Jameson: I use this alt to get away from his "IM Hell" sessions.
[12:26] Susanka Queler: So you can be two avatars here at once?
[12:26] Steeven Jameson: BTW, several of you know this alt, LOL
[12:26] Cybergrrl Oh: not always simultaneously
[12:27] Susanka Queler: I love it.
[12:27] Steeven Jameson: With two computers going, you can.
[12:27] Pebbles Hannya: You would need to be running two versions of SL at once.
[12:27] Susanka Queler: So you can be more "too busy" than even RL?
[12:27] Cybergrrl Oh: but you can if you have more than 1 machine or if you code in something when you log in - you could
[12:27] Steeven Jameson: Yes!
[12:27] Susanka Queler: My Not So Big Life book is all about what Time really is
[12:27] Cybergrrl Oh: Sarah - do you know the concepts of immersionsists and Augmentationists?
[12:28] Susanka Queler: and we don't fully grasp it's impact on our lives
[12:28] Susanka Queler: No I don't know those terms
[12:28] Cybergrrl Oh: look up on Google - very interesting and could relate to some of your ideas
[12:28] Susanka Queler: I have a feeling that Steeven would enjoy the book
[12:28] Susanka Queler: Will do.
[12:28] Cybergrrl Oh: A very quick definition - and someone correct me if I'm wrong:
[12:29] Pebbles Hannya: Birefly augmentationalists see SL as an extension of their RLs whereas immersionists see this as a totally separate reality (and want to keep it that way).
[12:29] Cybergrrl Oh: Immersionist - one who immerses self fulling in SL and is who they are in SL - meaning no human acknowledged or attached
[12:29] Cybergrrl Oh: Augmentationist - someone who uses SL and their avie as an extension of themselves
[12:29] Cybergrrl Oh: Tara - your turn for your intro!
[12:29] Susanka Queler: Fascinating
[12:29] Pebbles Hannya: I'm guessing by virtue of our presense at this session, we are mostly augmentationalists
[12:29] Tara Yeats: I'm much the same in SL as in RL, aside from visually... LOL!
[12:30] Steeven Jameson: Yes! LOL
[12:30] Tara Yeats: SL doesn't afford itself well to representing pudgy 60+ year olds...
[12:30] Tara Yeats: and I don't mind having the flexibility to jump, run and fly I've never had in RL
[12:30] Cybergrrl Oh: I had a friend use my actual photos to create my avie but am creative with hair and outfits
[12:30] Tara Yeats: I do have an alt for some music-related activity in SL, which is easier to keep separate that way
[12:31] Susanka Queler: So many of you have alts that allow you to be different people
[12:31] Susanka Queler: for different types of activities?
[12:31] Cybergrrl Oh: yes
[12:31] Thursday Xu: yes
[12:31] Steeven Jameson: Yes
[12:31] Helena Kiama: yes
[12:31] Tara Yeats: that's what I use her for
[12:31] Susanka Queler: This is equivalent to our having different personality patterns
[12:31] Tara Yeats: (sounds funny putting it that way!)
[12:32] Cybergrrl Oh: I have one alt to manage 25 more groups for me since we are limited to 25
[12:32] Susanka Queler: which exhibit themselves in different situations.
[12:32] Thursday Xu: yes!
[12:32] Pebbles Hannya: Alts are also useful for convenience. Like Steeven mentioned, when you want to get stuff done without responding to a lot of IMs or seeming rude because you are not responding.
[12:32] Susanka Queler: Except here, you can have a different avitar to go with that pattern.
[12:32] Cybergrrl Oh: Rhiannon - your turn for an intro!
[12:33] Cybergrrl Oh: did you hear what we are saying?
[12:33] Rhiannon Chatnoir: thanks
[12:33] Cybergrrl Oh: how similar is your SL self to your RL self
[12:33] Rhiannon Chatnoir: My avatar is an extension of the RL me, albeit an idealized one that doesn't have to go to the gym :P
[12:33] Rhiannon Chatnoir: My RL background is a designer; I worked for many years as a designer in a corporate environ and coming to SL appealed to the creative in me, but within SL I gravitated towards more philanthropic uses of creativity. Probably due to longing to work outside of the typical corporate landscape.
[12:33] Cybergrrl Oh says Note to Self...must go to gym in RL again.
[12:33] Rhiannon Chatnoir: The longer here within SL the more this influenced things and it led to me leaving my corporate job, co-founding an SL dev company & eventually working with the nonprofit Global Kids on their SL initiatives. So RL influenced SL influenced RL back.
[12:33] Cybergrrl Oh: interesting
[12:34] Cybergrrl Oh: I think many of us are more philanthropic here
[12:34] Cybergrrl Oh: and others much more entrepreneurial here than in RL
[12:34] Rhiannon Chatnoir: baically I got involved in more and more activities over time that I think professionally weren't there initially in my 'work' life.. :P

[12:34] Cybergrrl Oh: Susanak - did you want to comment now or move to the next ?
[12:34] Susanka Queler: You can live your passions without being fettered by "reality"
[12:34] Rhiannon Chatnoir: well it crosses back and forth
[12:34] Susanka Queler: That's fine for now. Let's move on.
[12:35] Rhiannon Chatnoir: I work remotely in RL now for Global Kids and also for other clients
[12:35] Cybergrrl Oh: Ezandria next?
[12:35] Rhiannon Chatnoir: but they go back and forth
[12:35] Susanka Queler: Who is next?
[12:35] Ezandria Shippe: This av is as close as I could get to the rl body that I have.
[12:36] Ezandria Shippe: I got on here to just escape. My life if EXTREAMLY stressful and hecktic
[12:36] Susanka Queler: And is your life here less so?
[12:36] Ezandria Shippe: Very much so.
[12:37] Susanka Queler: So you've been able to try on a different "you" entirely
[12:37] Ezandria Shippe: I can actually talk to people w/o them hearing a screaming child in teh back ground
[12:37] Susanka Queler: How do you like it?
[12:37] Ezandria Shippe: yes, except for my morals and appernce
[12:37] Susanka Queler: Does it inform any of your real life experience?
[12:37] Ezandria Shippe: so far so good. I jsut started a few weeks ago
[12:37] Susanka Queler: Aha. It'll be interesting to check in in 12 months and see
[12:37] Ezandria Shippe: not sure i understood the question
[12:38] Cybergrrl Oh: Ezandria - does what you do in SL affect what you do in RL?
[12:38] Susanka Queler: Do you take any lessons from the calmness you have found here?
[12:38] Ezandria Shippe: Yes, it's taught me to observe rather then react on instinct. to process the information instead of jump on the adrenaline rush.
[12:39] Ezandria Shippe: and to be more out going with my emotions
[12:39] Susanka Queler: Excellent. That's what I was asking. We can learn to be in our lives differently
[12:40] Susanka Queler: as we try on a different way of being,
[12:40] Susanka Queler: and in today's over stressed world it is very difficult
[12:40] Susanka Queler: to do this in every day reality, but SL gives you that option
[12:40] Cybergrrl Oh: Did I skipped Thursday Xu...should be next
[12:40] Susanka Queler: at least for a while, until you get way into your SL world creation
[12:41] Thursday Xu: me?
[12:41] Cybergrrl Oh: oh, sorry - I'm having a hard time tracking
[12:41] Cybergrrl Oh: I think Alas is next actually
[12:41] Thursday Xu: yes
[12:41] Cybergrrl Oh: these tables are great but hard to see who is next to whom
[12:41] Alas Zerbino: I stumbled into SL for business -- instructional design -- but then discovered the vast opportunities for writers (which I also am). I've made wonderful connections with other writers and focus most of my efforts on collaborating on support for creative writing--and dropped my interest in SL training stuff!
[12:42] Alas Zerbino: Although my name & looks are different, my personality is my RL one, only freer to do things because there aren't immediate esteem-dashing consequences. :) SL has expanded my RL focus on what I love most, too.
[12:43] Alas Zerbino: Sometimes I sorta forget which life I'm in!
[12:43] Thursday Xu: esteem-dashing ;-(
[12:43] Malburns Writer: lol
[12:43] Susanka Queler: That was what I was seeing the potential of yesterday--the creative potential that is
[12:43] Cybergrrl Oh: Very creative
[12:43] Alas Zerbino: extremely!
[12:43] Cybergrrl Oh: Chrissia is next when Sarah is ready
[12:43] Susanka Queler: So in not fearing consequences of being judged, you can do anything you want, or long to do
[12:43] Susanka Queler: I'm ready.
[12:43] Cybergrrl Oh: You can still be judged here
[12:44] Susanka Queler: Really? How does it happen?
[12:44] Alas Zerbino: not anything....just be braver, I guess
[12:44] Alas Zerbino: Judgement is very much alive and well here!
[12:44] Pebbles Hannya: The appearance of the avatar, for one thing.
[12:44] Rhiannon Chatnoir: well appearance choices and reputation still exist evn in virtual world spaces
[12:44] Cybergrrl Oh: Anyone pipe in on this one but yes, people judge everything about you here
[12:44] Alas Zerbino: anything of yourself you offer in here is exposed for judgement
[12:44] Thursday Xu: avatars - and the selves can be harassed
[12:44] Cybergrrl Oh: SL is not free from societal limitations in many ways - we often bring our biases and prejudices with us
[12:44] Pebbles Hannya: Also behavior.
[12:45] Susanka Queler: Do people tell you they are judging you, or is it your perception?
[12:45] Cybergrrl Oh: we attack one another
[12:45] Cybergrrl Oh: feelings are hurt
[12:45] Cybergrrl Oh: I offended a very dear friend here who I only knew in SL
[12:45] Alas Zerbino: the difference is that if worst comes to worst, I can delete Alas and create someone new
[12:45] Cybergrrl Oh: made what I thought was a harmless teasing joke
[12:45] Helena Kiama: It can be more intense in here than in RL
[12:45] Steeven Jameson: And because it is fairly anonymous, people can be more blatent in their behavior
[12:45] Cybergrrl Oh: she thought I was judging her and our relationship has been in tatters ever since
[12:45] Pebbles Hannya: Or TP away from someone who is annoying.
[12:45] Alas Zerbino: but then I'd lose everything I'd gained here.
[12:45] Rhiannon Chatnoir: quick example of the worst that happened to me.. was in a cathedral setting up things and happened to be dressed up as a dark drow elf .. hd someone come up and actually racially slur me
[12:46] Rhiannon Chatnoir: granted hasnt happened often.. but people are still people here in avirtual spaces
[12:46] Rhiannon Chatnoir: and they bring what they want of their personalities to the table
[12:46] Cybergrrl Oh: that does happen often - if you don't look the same, then you are "different"
[12:46] Alas Zerbino: Also, text chat doesn't have all the connotations that voice chat does (like email)
[12:46] Susanka Queler: Where do those feelings exist? In the av or in the RL person?
[12:46] Helena Kiama: person
[12:46] Rhiannon Chatnoir: the real person I am sure
[12:46] Susanka Queler: I ask this because we assume we know who we are
[12:47] Cybergrrl Oh: But immersionists will say in the avatar since there is not a person there behind the avie

[12:47] Pebbles Hannya: I have a friend who is hispanic in RL. Originally he had a hispanic av, but found that people treat him differently when he had something like a robot av.
[12:47] Susanka Queler: we assume that these "feelings" are real
[12:47] Alas Zerbino: good question, Susanka! Not entirely sure!
[12:47] Rhiannon Chatnoir: unless you are somehow in an area that say residents roleplay a specific way.. then you could get outcomes where people are 'playing' a vantage point
[12:47] Susanka Queler: but when we see that these are dream characters
[12:47] Susanka Queler: it begs the question and allows us to see that our RL feelings
[12:47] Pebbles Hannya: In the real person. After all, the RL person and the avatar share a brain and a heart :)
[12:47] Susanka Queler: are also the reactions of dreamed characters.
[12:47] Cybergrrl Oh: I've had things happen to "my avatar" here in SL that made "me" cry - sobbing to the point that my husband got really really worried about where the lines are drawn between SL and RL
[12:48] Susanka Queler: That is the beauty of this virtual world.
[12:48] Alas Zerbino: Sometimes I get the feeling that my personality in First Life is just an avatar for something beyond!
[12:48] Pebbles Hannya: Even if the person is role playing, the RL person determines what role they will play and how.
[12:48] Cybergrrl Oh: Pebbles - you say that as an augmentationist but immersionists do not have that same experience
[12:48] Susanka Queler: It allows us to see that we are living in an imagined universe.
[12:48] Rhiannon Chatnoir: nod, true of anywhere on the internet.. there is a human soul behind the interactions.. just more visceral in a virtual world I think
[12:48] Cybergrrl Oh: If there is an immersionist here, I do hope they will address this, too
[12:49] Susanka Queler: I hope you will read my most recent blog post on
[12:49] Cybergrrl Oh: Let's move on to Chrissia so everyone has a chance to share
[12:49] Alas Zerbino: Excellent point, Susanka
[12:49] Susanka Queler: it address this, "Who is it" question
[12:49] Pebbles Hannya: I agree that they wouldn't think of it that way Cybergrl -- but it's not like the avatar can control itself.
[12:49] Tara Yeats: I don't think it's really lpossible to maintain a complete separation between a RL self and a SL one
[12:49] Pebbles Hannya: For example, immersionist or not, when the RL person logs out, their avatar goes away.
[12:49] Pebbles Hannya: It doesn't hang around here acting on its own accord.
[12:49] Cybergrrl Oh: Ah Pebbles, so says the augmentationist. How do we know that to be true if we have not experienced that ourselves?
[12:49] Cybergrrl Oh: ;-)
[12:49] Susanka Queler: Let's move on.
[12:49] Rhiannon Chatnoir: you could set up a bot program to run your av when not here and there have been 'group' avatars before
[12:49] Alas Zerbino: /good point, CG! :)
[12:50] Cybergrrl Oh: Chrissia - your turn please
[12:50] Tara Yeats: sounds like a "if a tree falls in the forest" discussion, Cybergrrl :-)
[12:50] Chrissia Tyles: Hi everyone!
[12:50] Cybergrrl Oh: Agreed Tara
[12:50] Chrissia Tyles: Well, where to begin,
[12:50] Chrissia Tyles: believe it or not, i've only had internet for 3 months now
[12:50] Chrissia Tyles: i have been totally immersed in SL
[12:51] Cybergrrl Oh: Xu - we are giving 2-3 sentences that explain how we got here and if our SL self is same/different from our RL self and how.
[12:51] Chrissia Tyles: my avi changes every hour...or so
[12:51] Susanka Queler: And are looking at how that gives us some vision into how we created the idea of ourselves in RL
[12:51] Xu Toshi: i am thursday's alt
[12:51] Susanka Queler: You mean you change how you look?
[12:52] Chrissia Tyles: yes
[12:52] Xu Toshi: we have to leave for an eye appointment now.
[12:52] Cybergrrl Oh: Ah, Thursday, thank you for the lovely demo of 2 alts at once!
[12:52] Chrissia Tyles: my personality stays the same, and i'm myself here
[12:52] Tara Yeats: 4 eyes or 2, Xu/Thursday?
[12:52] Susanka Queler: Thank you. Yes. I had a hard time visualizing that.
[12:52] Thursday Xu: My SL avatar does not look a whole lot like my RL look – but maybe my SL me looks more like the REAL ME than my RL body!
[12:52] Thursday Xu: sorry to go out of turn -
[12:52] Thursday Xu: My research is related to identity and community in virtual worlds.
[12:53] Thursday Xu: gotta go - thanks!
[12:53] Chrissia Tyles: i'm very happy with my RL looks
[12:53] Chrissia Tyles: i like experimenting w/my SL looks to see people's reactions
[12:53] Susanka Queler: In real life is this also an issue? In other words, are you working to fix what can't be fixed in real life?
[12:54] Chrissia Tyles: noooo
[12:54] Chrissia Tyles: what you see is what you get :)
[12:54] Susanka Queler: So it's just the joy of shape shifting.
[12:54] Chrissia Tyles: sure, i also tried shifting the other direction..
[12:54] Susanka Queler: It really does give one the experience of be able to be anything one can imagine
[12:54] Cybergrrl Oh: We are very short on time now. We only have a few more quick intros. Malburns, then Cora. Jeffronius is my client's avatar - i was just projecting this event on a big screen at my client's office!
[12:55] Rhiannon Chatnoir: I find things like that fun too.. I always go back to the 'usual SL me' ... which is the Rhiannon here.. but why not be a dragon one day or some fantastical avatar
[12:55] Malburns Writer: I am slow typing so have mine on clipboard when ready
[12:55] Susanka Queler: Go for it.
[12:55] Malburns Writer: Like Cybergrrl I came here as an extension of my RL self, Mal Burns. Surname was best suitable linden name i could find at the time. My avatar I made look best as i could like me using tools available at start, so am not very aged - lol! Idea was to bring what I was already doing on web into metaverse 3d environment, but learned limitations that still exist and new possibilities at same time. Consider I "live" here as much as in RL now - metaverse is "the" commincations medium of the future. Also found it much easier to be "useful" socially and intellectually here becuase of the sense of "presence" it represents - web communication is less than immediate and not truely 2-way - here it is the opposite. I am certainly more "busy" here than in RL, but it is far less stressful. I see learning "immersion" and associated skills as essential to platform, although I see a divide between "escapists" and "augmentalists". I am the latter mostly. As yet I have no Alt since have had seen no need for one, but there are pr
[12:56] Malburns Writer: no need for one, but there are practical uses for these and may sucumb. Would not "hide" my ID though. There are major advantages here too with the lack of predjudice and pre-conception we experience in RL that I think will change attitudes as time goes by.
[12:56] Susanka Queler: I think so too.
[12:56] Cybergrrl Oh: Malburns and Tara are SL celebrities!
[12:57] Cybergrrl Oh: They have a great show on the weekends.
[12:57] Malburns Writer: huh?
[12:57] Cybergrrl Oh: On the Web
[12:57] Tara Yeats rolls her eyes
[12:57] Susanka Queler: Are they really? I'm honored to be in their presence then.
[12:57] Cybergrrl Oh: lol
[12:57] Cybergrrl Oh: They are, modest as they are, they definitely are quite well known as is Rhiannon
[12:57] Rhiannon Chatnoir: lol.. it is great.... always love Mal's thoughts on social media at large and not just virtual world / SL related things
[12:57] Cybergrrl Oh: They are very active in the social networks and blogs on the Web, too
[12:57] Tara Yeats is a rumor in her own mind
[12:58] Rhiannon Chatnoir: heh.. I am just into everything.. ever curious :P
[12:58] Susanka Queler: Shall we move on?
[12:58] Cybergrrl Oh: One last quick intro from Cara?
[12:58] Malburns Writer: can't perform adequate blushing exercise in SL though!
[12:58] Cybergrrl Oh: lol
[12:58] Rhiannon Chatnoir: ha
[12:58] Cybergrrl Oh: modesty schmodesty
[12:58] Cora Ebbage: Ok, I joined SL purely to play what I saw as the best online game ever.
[12:58] Rhiannon Chatnoir: yup .. group hug later :P
[12:59] Jeffronius Criss gave you Snapshot : Athena Isle HQ Club Community Or, Athena Isle (38, 6.
[12:59] Cora Ebbage: It was just a hobby, something to fill my time on long cold winter evenings with nothing better to do.
[12:59] Jeffronius Criss gave you Snapshot : Athena Isle HQ Club Community Or, Athena Isle (39, 6.
[13:00] Ezandria Shippe: ditto
[13:00] Cora Ebbage: I have had a 6-month break from SL and that was the hardest thing ever for me. I would never have believed that I would miss it so much. My avatar doesn't look like me, except in hair colour but here I can do all the things that I have ever wanted to do in real life and either wasn't brave enough to do, or just never got round to doing.... yet!
[13:01] Susanka Queler: Cybergrrl, may I make some closing remarks?
[13:01] Cybergrrl Oh: QUESTION: Who here considers SL a game and who does not?
[13:01] Alas Zerbino: not a game to me
[13:01] Vivistar Benoir: not a game
[13:01] Cybergrrl Oh: Of course - I'm not rushing anyone!
[13:01] Cybergrrl Oh: I don't think it is a game at all
[13:01] Helena Kiama: not a game
[13:01] Ezandria Shippe: it's a chat interface for me
[13:01] Vivistar Benoir: I consider it an experience
[13:01] Steeven Jameson: Nor me
[13:01] Helena Kiama: a social network
[13:01] Malburns Writer: not a game
[13:01] Tara Yeats: no more a game than life itself is
[13:01] Cora Ebbage: It's become more than a game
[13:01] Cybergrrl Oh: so nobody here considers themselves an immersionist - interesting
[13:01] Cybergrrl Oh: Sarah - yes, please, closing remarks?
[13:02] Rhiannon Chatnoir: I see it more on lines with Mal in what SL is
[13:02] Susanka Queler: I want you to stop and think for a created the idea of yourself here in SL, and if you think back you did the same thing in RL
[13:02] Jeffronius Criss gave you Snapshot : Athena Isle HQ Club Community Or, Athena Isle (38, 6.
[13:02] Susanka Queler: We just can't remember how we did it in RL, but that's what childhood is all about.
[13:02] Malburns Writer: as said - i think immersionist is wrong word - immersion is the skill needed - it is more augmentation versus escapism
[13:02] Cybergrrl Oh: yes, Mal, I see your point
[13:02] Susanka Queler: The Not So Big Life is intended to help you see how you are limiting yourself because of that idea that you have of yourself.
[13:02] Cybergrrl Oh: Sarah - but did we create ourselves or were we partially created by our parents/guardians; our peers; society influences; etc?
[13:03] Alas Zerbino: (an excellent book, NSBL, by the way!!)
[13:03] Susanka Queler: You are not who you think you are. You are something with vastly more potential, and we have the ability to see that by using SL as a metaphor.
[13:03] Cybergrrl Oh: how much choice did we have early on and when did we learn we DID have choice and then how long did it take to work on the changes/choices?
[13:03] Cybergrrl Oh: I do think SL is a metaphor - even if we choose to be something completely "different" than our RL selves
[13:03] Malburns Writer: - very good
[13:03] Susanka Queler: All those influences have shaped who you believe yourself to be, but the point is that you do not have to be limited by those past conditionings.
[13:04] Cybergrrl Oh: Sarah - Thank goodness!

[13:04] Cybergrrl Oh: Any other questions for Sarah before we go? She did a lot more questinioning us, I see!
[13:04] Susanka Queler: I thought you'd be relieved. It's actually what mystics down through the eons have been trying to explain to us all along.
[13:04] Rhiannon Chatnoir: in some ways yes.. but it allows for the benefit of not worrying about geography in the connections you make .. akin to the net.. but more connecting and visceral.. so in regards to the people you meet virtual and have ability to network and work with can exceed the 'average' RL opportunites
[13:04] Alas Zerbino: exactly
[13:05] Susanka Queler: I believe that SL can show people this truth more completely than almost anything I know, because you have the experience of creating yourself here, and then living in that world
[13:05] Chrissia Tyles: i have found that people open up alot more in SL than in RL
[13:05] Tara Yeats: yup, Riannon - that's major, I think... time zones aside
[13:05] Alas Zerbino: Agreed, Susanka! I've definitely found that to be true
[13:05] Cybergrrl Oh: Sarah - I hope you come back to SL often and continue to write about it.
[13:05] Susanka Queler: I would love to.
[13:05] Cybergrrl Oh: I'll make sure to point to that and share what you are doing/thinking with regards to this topic
[13:06] Susanka Queler: And please do read my latest blog post on
[13:06] Cybergrrl Oh: Everyone - thank you for being here.
[13:06] Rhiannon Chatnoir: yes SL afford the anonymity ifyou choose .. and you can immerse and reveal more of yourself as you feel comfortable
[13:06] Malburns Writer: Yes - loved yr blog this morning!
[13:06] Rhiannon Chatnoir: I have seen that help a lot of SL'ers grow via that easing in
[13:06] Susanka Queler: Thanks so much.
[13:06] Cybergrrl Oh: If you need an invite to Athena Isle Events group or another Athena Isle group, please let me know. For some reason, they are not listed in SEarch.
[13:06] Alas Zerbino: Thank you!
[13:06] Helena Kiama: ty Susanka!
[13:06] Tara Yeats: Susanka - something else for you to ponder: SL allows abilities and options that aren't possible at all in RL - e.g., flying as one obvious example
[13:06] Vivistar Benoir: :) enjoyed most of what I read... sorry to have been absent for a little while
[13:06] Cora Ebbage: Thanks Susanka
[13:07] Susanka Queler: Thanks to all of you for your attention and thoughtful responses
[13:07] Rhiannon Chatnoir: yes thank you :)
[13:07] Tara Yeats: interesting discussion!
[13:07] Alas Zerbino: Yes, wish it could be longer!
[13:07] Steeven Jameson: Indeed
[13:07] Rhiannon Chatnoir: geez.. I am old in SL.. realized I was the oldest av here
[13:07] Rhiannon Chatnoir: although I still think of myself as a sort of 'midbie' :P heh
[13:07] Susanka Queler: I hope to do some further presentations and roundtables in the future.
[13:07] Malburns Writer: lol Rhiannon - we age fast dont we?
[13:07] Susanka Queler: There's a lot more too this than we can explore in one hours
[13:07] Tara Yeats hands Rhiannon some virtual wrinkles
[13:07] Cybergrrl Oh: Thank you so much for being here, Sarah
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Monday, June 16, 2008


Gearing up for weekly events again on Athena Isle starting with...

Sarah Susanka, author of The Not So Big Life, will kick off the Athena Isle Summer series of events on Tuesday, June 17 at 12pm PST with "The Waking Dream: Second Life as a Metaphor for Our True Self." The event will take place in the Athena Isle Dome in Second Life.

Read her essay about Second Life.

The event will be hosted by Athena Isle Women and take place on Athena Isle owned by Second Life personality Cybergrrl Oh. The discussion will be conducted in a roundtable format to allow Susanka to answer questions posed directly by Second Life residents in attendance.

In May, Random House released Sarah’s book "The Not So Big Life." In her book, she presents the antidote to the “bigger is better” mentality that drives our McLives.

In conjunction with her latest book, she has written about Second Life in her blog, explaining how it provides an excellent metaphor for understanding how we create our own realities.

"In my book, I introduce the concept of the Waking Dream, the notion that everything that is happening in our lives is a kind of dream in which every character and every event that happens to us is a reflection of an aspect of who we really are," said Sarah. "This is a truth that’s very difficult for most humans to grapple with because it disavows the separate existence of that which they’ve always taken themselves to be."

Sarah said that when she heard recently of the virtual reality world Second Life, she realized that it provides an entirely new metaphor for people's perceptual conundrum, one that allows everyone "to see from the perspective of the source or supreme Self, rather than the individual character."

Audience members can participate in the chat by setting up a free Second Life account at then going to

For more information, contact Cybergrrl Oh at or visit Sarah's site at

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