Adz Childs Seeks Little Brother

3:08 pm artificial boy, child avatars, family

It is difficult to find people willing to role-play under age 5. For some reason they tend to leave SL abruptly. Years ago, one friend of mine agreed to role-play an infant. He was dissatisfied with his absentee, adoptive parents, and wanted a family with which he could bond strongly. He met a lady who was role-playing being pregnant. My friend who normally RP’ed about age 10 agreed to continue her pregnancy role play as a complete avatar, taking on the role of an infant for her. He planned to “grow up” in her house and eventually grow into the 10-year-old with which I was familiar. I was skeptical, but could not talk him out of it. After about 4 weeks of this, he disappeared from Second Life in all forms, forever. (I occasionally IM him via an inventory object which lists him as creator, even though all other traces of him are gone. In the IM, I tell him I miss him.). There are several anecdotes like this one, but I can’t share those now. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

I’ve spent some time thinking about why that might be. I think one of the difficulties is that real five-year-olds typically do not have much control of their lives. Meanwhile, Second Life allows freedom of association with various places and people. It allows one to build a Second Life exactly the way one thinks it should be (or should have been). So, how can someone pretend to be age five accurately, and at the same time take control over who they are friends with and where they spend their time? There is an inherent conflict.

Playing the role of a virtual eight-year-old, I often step out of character and let the adult come in and make important decisions, have serious conversations, and resolve issues that an eight-year-old normally wouldn’t be interested in or capable of. I imagine that someone role playing age five would have to make this swap more frequently, or else wind up very frustrated.

An 8-year-old is typically allowed to walk around or ride his bike in the neighborhood at least within shouting distance of the house. He has certain places he is allowed to go on his own after school while it is still daylight, if he asks his parents and checks in often. A five-year-old typically is not allowed to even leave the back yard. Unless, that is, he has an older brother to look out for him and make sure he doesn’t get run over by a car.

If anyone wants to play the role of Adz’s little brother, IM Adz in-world.

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