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the SLbloggers Mix’n Match: “Segregation in Second Life” by Samantha Pointdexter

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Samantha Pointdexter Speaks at Geta:

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I have been assigned to write about Segregation in Second Life on this blog, which is normally written in Portuguese. Unfortunately, I know virtually nothing about that topic, not to mention that language.

There are communities in Second Life that segregate themselves from others. These include some Gorean and furry communities, for example. A proper post on this topic would explore why they do so. What are the benefits of immersing oneself deeply in one particular milieu? How do they compare to the more surreal hodgepodge of juxtapositions that defines Second Life in general? There’s much to be said for such purity in roleplay, and I would be interested in reading more about it myself. But it would have to be written by somebody else, for I have never spent time in such an area.

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One might object that my church is located in the steampunk Victorian micronation of Caledon. Doesn’t that count? However, I moved there precisely because it welcomed visitors from all cultures. While I’ve enjoyed adding 19th-century clothes to my wardrobe, and I love a good Tesla coil, I never considered those the area’s essential features. What most defined Caledon, I’ve thought, was one virtue: politeness. I’ve told many friends that they did not have to worry about dressing in accordance with Victorian fashion when they visited, or adopting any particular mode of speech, because residents of Caledon are far too polite to take notice of any alleged deficiencies on the part of others, especially visitors.

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Sadly, I’ve turned out to have been wrong about that. I witnessed an incident last week in which a handful of prominent residents accosted a visiting escort (in modern clothes) in a public thoroughfare, insulting her most vilely; pushing her around; talking about her as if she were an object, rather than a person; and generally bringing shame upon themselves and their communities. (Plural; half were from another nation with an embassy nearby.) It’s certainly dispelled some of my illusions about Caledon and caused me to lose several hours of sleep… but despite the justifications offered by some, this was clearly a matter of intolerance, sexism, and/or malice, rather than a sort of segregation used to maintain the integrity of local Victorian roleplay. Which cuts off my only idea for a real post on this topic, and leaves me at a loss for what to write about here.

So I’m going to give up and fill the remaining space with a copout list of topics I know nothing about.

  • Segregation in Second Life.
  • The Portuguese language.
  • How to make a pie crust from scratch.
  • Bacon.
  • The appeal of Two and a Half Men.
  • The art of motorcycle maintenance.
  • Japanese verbs.
  • Linden Lab’s plan for selling “Immersive Workspaces.”
  • The aerodynamics of Frisbees.
  • Creating sculpted prims.
  • The identity of Laura Palmer’s murderer.
  • The Book of Love.
  • Flying a plane.
  • Crocheting.
  • The appeal of rodents as pets.
  • The geography of Lithuania.
  • The history of cadmium yellow paint.
  • The difference between a halfback, a fullback, and a running back, in American football.
  • Swahili tenses.
  • The appeal of Carrot Top.
  • The Book of Mormon.
  • Xanthan gum.
  • Lion taming.
  • The appeal of prim babies.
  • Jambalaya.
  • The production of Blue Velvet.
  • The production of velvet in general.
  • Javelin-throwing techniques.
  • Calculus.

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Author of the above post: Samantha Pointdexter

Person who suggested the subject: Prad Pradthivi

(My post will appear on All Things Tiessa, subject suggested by Merrick Thor)

Finally, thanks to Vint Falken and ArminasX Saiman for this wonderfull SLbloggers Mix’n Match idea!

  • As I may believe movies and literature, escorts were not appreciated during the Victorian era (except by the gents, and only in private ;)) so this might make sense as role play? Not trying to defend them, but trying to look for a reason, as I too have high esteem of the Caledon Nobility. If you were a prostitute and walked in a ‘high end’ neighbour during the victorian age, you would have been ridiculed, pestered and chased of those streets?

  • Leilah Nishi

    Thank you, Samantha, for this thought provoking post. I must admit I understand segregation up to a point when it comes to RP sims, as they have rules one must abide to and RP sims are a lot of work to mantain. Unfortunately, the event you have witnessed is, IMHO, simply abhorring – anyone treating someone like that, openly, is just plain rude. I have witnessed too some rather appaling reactions just because an avatar isn’t as good-looking as 99% of SL population or simply because one has chosen to wear some neko ears and tail.
    But segregation doesn’t happen only on RP sims – sometimes communities segregate on account of the language and that is visible on the Portuguese community. I understand most people don’t know how to speak a foreign language but a Babbler is a good help and exploring and adventuring a bit beyond the safety net is worthwhile :).
    I think segregation most of the times arises from the fear of the unknown and the difficulty of accepting those that do not follow the same rules as oneself. Sadly, as limitless as SL can be, it still reflects the real world.

    Now, as for your suggested topics, I share the ignorance about some of those, except ewhen it comes to bacon. Bacon is the mana, the food of the gods :D. Everything tastes better with bacon on it. Trust me, even chocolate!

  • Cinthia Eckersley

    I’ve seen that happen, for example at big store sales, or even lucky chairs, that people get irritated by others who don’t speak english… they usually tell them to speak in english, or shut up… or they talk to others about not understanding them… not sure if all this is discrimination more than segregation, but I believe we’re all here like we are in the RL world, where we actually enjoy meeting new people and try to understand ourselves… or at least it could be that way.
    Now, about the subjects, I’ll be glad to help you about Crocheting, which is, one of my favorite hobbies in RL ^^
    Cheers!!

  • TotalLunar Eclipse

    I am glad this was said, I fully agree that common civility is sometimes lacking where it should not. We regress into a state of mind where we shun those that are not of common mind or dress even forgetting our own roots where we began in white shirts and bland jeans.

    That is not what SL is about, we’re about diversity and embracing other races, cultures and even species while respecting the boundaries of sexual preferences, gender and even preference in RP which may include ladies of the night and those whom prefer to be collared. To me they are amazing wonderful people with amazing stories to tell, SL or RL.

    I know that perhaps in the RP of the times some of these people would be frowned upon, spat at but this is not that time, we’re a more conscientious group of tolerant citizens. Not everyone is from the places we call home, they visit because they are bringing business to your community or want to sight see or have an interest in learning more… that is the opportunity that was lost here.

    It is the same concept I instill in my citizenry and I am very proud of them for showing tolerance in allowing an elf to manage where I have been shunned before from other western cities because of my race sometimes violently. It would be a sad thing for me to find out that any of them that were involved would be someone I call brother in my community or sister even.

    Goodspeed to Caledon for the OS happenings and us all for the economic crisis.

    TotalLunar Eclipse – Steelhead Estates Management