Please note that all photos were taken by Armi(nasX Saiman) :-)
Again this year I had the great pleasure of attending the Second Life Community Convention (SLCC’09). Like so many others I’ve been asked about the purpose of avatars meeting in “real life” – isn’t it a contradiction in terms? Well, no. First of all, I have yet to meet an avatar who doesn’t regard Second Life just as real as the atomic world. Second, we meet because we can and more importantly because we care. For sure SLCC is not like a conventional (academic) conference, but I also do not think it was ever intended to be that. SLCC is about community – if nothing else, I think most of us can agree that SL is a very social media. Being part of a community means caring and taking responsibility for both yourself and other members. On the last day of the convention I heard there were some negative posts on the event, and yes it probably could have been organized differently, but I don’t want to focus on that – suffice to say I have the greatest respect for all the volunteer organizers – thx for caring!
Who doesn’t care for Coughran – Eshi and I sure do :-)
Like Crap Mariner I find it difficult to point at the best moment of SLCC with soo many to chose from, but reconnecting with Armi, Bevan, Beyers, Chimera, Coughran, Dera, Eshi, Phelan and Starr, whom I all had the pleasure of meeting in Tampa at last year’s SLCC definitely tops my list. Having Claus from Pop Art Lab around at this year’s convention also was very nice. Claus and I only met briefly f2f prior to the event, so it was good getting to know each other better, and both Claus and I enjoyed being able to speak Danish and thus relax our brains a bit in between the many activities. BTW Claus set up an occasional blog for the SLCC ’09.
Bev and I sharing one of many, many laughs :-)
Making new friends is also very much part of the convention, and I was fortunate to meet a lot, but instead of listing all the names I’ll be looking forward to seeing you guys in-world.
In general, I think meeting avatars can be compared to meeting a favorite author of yours – at least to me SL is very much about storytelling; so many lives, so many narratives. As a very special treat of this year’s convention I got to meet some of my favorite bloggers besides Armi, whom I’m proud to be able to call my friend in all types of reality; Dusan Writer, Hamlet Au, Bettina Tizzy and Olando7 Decosta – all of whom I enjoy reading and respect very much.
Meeting Hamlet – woot :-)
Besides attending a few prioritized sessions in the educational track, I purposely attended other tracks and tried to connect with people outside the educators’ community while I do believe one of the many strengths of SL is diversity and being able to learn from people who think differently. One of the highlights of this was meeting James Larken Smith. Coping with some type of AVM, James found his way in-world and was one of the many representatives of the SL community for disabled. All the in-world work that is being done for people with different challenges such as disabilities or problems (like Coughran’s amazing work with young drug-addicts) truly shows that SL is about caring.
This will be it for now. I have to admit that I’m still feeling somewhat jetlagged, and I actually don’t think it’s solely due to the cross-Atlantic flight, but rather has to do with the fact that I’ve met so many amazing, clever, different, fun, caring and hugging people that both my body and soul is completely filled up and I need time to process …
Hugs & kisses to everyone who once again contributed in making SLCC just as special as we deserve it :-)