Monday, October 03, 2005

Its a GAME! Its a WORLD! Who friggin' cares, its WORK

It pops up about once every few months like forum acne. Is SL a world? Is it a game? Why or why not? And so the thread goes for anywhere from 5 to 97 pages with people insulting parentage and lineage until Jeska shuts it down, probably out of self-preservation of sanity.

I usually at least skim about 80% of what's in the forums. But not those god-forsaken GAME v. WORLD threads. I avoid those like I also avoid targeting myself repeatedly in the eyes with a nail gun, which is to say, upon pain of death.

The main reason - which also, happily enough, is the same reason I don't do 99% of what I don't do in this life, or any other - is because I just don't care. Really! I could give two proverbial shits about how SL is quantified or categorized by any random individual, up to and including Phillip Linden. (Don't cry Phillip, we're still on for Saturday.)

The reason I don't care is because first and foremost in my mind, SL is entertainment. Sure, my idea of being entertained is to build crazy ridiculous stuff on my computer, but everyone has their dirty secrets. Funny thing is, its still just as entertaining as it was when I first logged onto SL in November of 2004. However, I've discovered the devious true nature of SL - the alchemy that turns excitement and imagination into "why the hell aren't I doing something better with my time".

The devious true nature of SL is to turn FUN into WORK.

I thought I had it under control when I dropped my first SL account. I had just gotten too wrapped up in being nice to people. I had the bad misfortune of befriending every mooch and talentless whiny hack in the metaverse. I'd start fresh, set limits for myself, concentrate on doing what I enjoyed doing in SL (building), and my entertainment dollars would once again be well spent.

And it did work, for a while. But then. Then I had the bright idea to make some $L on the side. Which in itself was fine, but then there were people to talk to. (I don't like people.) Then some people wanted super custom builds. Right there, that churning feeling started in my stomach again. Sure, they were willing to pay, but honestly, there isn't a salary in the world that will make me spend my free time building something I don't want to build in SL.

And, because I hate people, I dropped my SECOND account. I had a good line about it being the start of the summer and all that - but for all intents and purposes, I knew I had blown another life. Screw it! You get 5 accounts to a credit card, and where else can you start over with a clean slate for only $10? Onto alt number 3!

Which is how you know me as Cory Edo. Cory Edo who will never be FIC because I don't produce SHIT, which is exactly how I like it. I don't box, I don't market, I don't promote. I do that crap at my day job, thank you, and its sucking the life out of my very soul just fine without help from my nifty little computer game.

I don't desire to create empires. I don't care if I make a bloody red cent off of SL. (Of course if you want to send me money, knock yourself out.) I want to be able to log in and build whatever I feel like building. Or, if you're Eboni Khan, I'll build whatever you have a vague idea about on your sim, because I like you and you let me make whatever I want and LOVE it.

So here's my only words of wisdom about SL, the only thing I really feel like I know inside and out about this crazy jazz riff: when it stops being fun, quit. Don't start again until it's regained that lustre of excitement. That's the real beauty of the concept of a second life.


  1. I used to think I had a big problem with little-to-no common sense and missing the obvious. The SL Forums have proven me wrong. :)

    I also used to think you were a totally new face to SL, Cory. But by your own admission, it's comforting. It's kind of like, well, the magic goes by a diff. name but the spirit is still here. And what you're saying, it makes sense to me.

    More people would have happier lives if they could embrace AND over OR. Or if each time, instead of someone personally attacking another, they'd share inspiring words of encouragement with a loved one. Tragedy? We've got enough of that.

    There's something that comes to mind... those rockumentaries where the band has achieved success but they're all stoned out in a hotel and lamenting, "I remember when this used to be FUN".

    Keep being you, whatever name you go by. :)

  2. Cory is so dead-on accurate when it comes to SL's insidious ability to become work. A little success creates a customer base to support, self-expectations to manage, the innate human pressure to create things that are popular rather than personal, and potentially a tiered-up bill to feed. This can sneak up on people. "Yeah, here's a tiny violin -- knock yourself out," some will say. My point is merely that I agree that enjoyment/fun is the most important ingredient and reward in an SL experience, and sometimes it requires active effort to focus on what fun entails amongst the distractions.

    Torley wrote: "More people would have happier lives if they could embrace AND over OR."

    I so agree Tor. Some things are clear cut, but really so little in life is black and white. Accept the gray. Pet an Ushuaia today!

  3. It creeps up on you... imperceptibly. Then the anxiety begins. "I'M NOT MAKING ENOUGH STUFF, I'M NOT PRODUCTIVE". Screw it! Let it go Cory, like water off a duck's back... be the duck.

  4. "There's something that comes to mind... those rockumentaries where the band has achieved success but they're all stoned out in a hotel and lamenting, "I remember when this used to be FUN"."


    SL is such a purely creative outlet for me. Its the only place I feel like I'm an Artist, capital "A". To make things for the pure joy of creation. Not unlike music. To turn it into just another job seems like blasphemy.

  5. I am feeling a lot of energy here! I am enthused! Say it with me... HALLELUJAH! :D