As part of an assignment for an MLIS class, I spent some time on Orientation Island in Second Life. Some parts were fun, some a little frustrating. Second life, for those who don’t know (me included), is (according to the website) a “3D online digital world imagined, created, and owned by its residents.”
As I was rounding out my orientation (the fun part) I ended up getting stuck in a wall (the frustrating part). I guess it was my own fault. I was exploring some of the controls, and realized when right-clicking somewhere a circular context menu pops up with fun things to do with what I clicked on. On this menu was “sit here”. Hey I’ll try that, I thought. It must have been the wrong thing to do, because when I tried to stand, I found myself trapped initially in the floor, but then as I struggled, jumped and attempted to fly (yes, you can fly here) I found myself stuck within a wall. I tried quitting and then logging back into SL, thinking it would fix itself, but SL is very good at keeping track of where your avatar left off. I hit the Net and searched for how to get out of walls and all I found were people talking about how when they started they often got stuck in walls and how when they try to help newbs stuck in wall, the newbs get embarrassed and logoff. But, none of these posts explain how to get out of the wall.
So, armed with the knowledge that one CAN get out of the wall, I logged back in and decided that since sitting is what got me into this mess, I would just sit my avatar down right there and think through this. After some deep virtual contemplation, my avatar stood back up and began jumping, flying and walking in every direction – and suddenly he, or I, was free and falling to the ground.
So, Second Life is a whole lot like my first life. I may not get stuck in walls literally here, but often the solution is to just sit for a bit and think it through… and then, thrash around wildly.