Today Is My 1000th Day

2:01 pm artificial boy, child avatars, family, photos

I clicked on the age banana at The Vortex and it said that today is my 1000th day! Wow!
Meanwhile the rest of Second Life, and the outer-space world of course, is celebrating the turn of the New Year. Epic Epoch!
I hesitate to admit where I first heard about Second Life. I can only say that I read about it on a website. The interesting thing that I can share is that it took me a while of reading to figure out that the web site was talking about virtual people, not real people. “A-ha!” I said to myself, “I wonder if this place lets you create a virtual kid?”
I went to the Second Life home page. At the time, the front page prominently featured a browsable world map complete with event icons and postcards. There were many items about “camping”, especially camping on the beach. I was curious about that.

I decided to give it a try. I created an account, and arrived on Orientation Island. Looking back, my expectations were low. I doubted I would be able to create something that looked like a child, but I figured I’d get as close as I could, and role-play the rest. “What name should I pick?” “Childs” just to help other people get the idea.

I ended up with something that looked like this:
I looked around Orientation Island. I went to Waterhead and got some ideas about where to go next. A notecard in a billboard at Waterhead listed some Linden picks. One of them said “Free Ice Cream”. I followed the landmark, and got a free cone in a very realistic ice cream parlor. It was very nice, but it occurred to me that I was alone.
So, I brainstormed other places I might find other “kids”. I used the in-world search to find “adoption agency” and “foster home”. There were several. The first two were interesting but empty. The third one was a place I found very inviting, and immediately I made some friends there.

I spent a week or so hanging at this adoption agency. There was a playground, an reading and activity center, a train kids could ride, some camping tents (at some point I figured out that “camping chairs” on the home page’s world map were stupid), and a little house where I could wash up and tuck my little avatar into bed. How cute! I later found out that the bedroom was not for orphans but instead belonged to the owner’s son. Oops! He didn’t mind, though. Also at the adoption agency there was a pool with a water slide, though I didn’t have a Swimmer yet. So I became good at the hover-float technique.
At some point, Gemini came along and showed me some other places besides the adoption center. In his office at The Vortex, he suggested that I buy a wig. Boy, was he right.

I didn’t go back to the adoption center much after that, and, like the ice cream parlor of my first day, it has since closed. Much has happened in the last 1000 days. I’ve taken some long, unannounced breaks, but I’ve always come back eventually.
I’ve made several extended-duration family role play arrangements, the longest of which is ongoing. Domineck and Randy are Adz’s virtual adoptive fathers, and David is is virtual brother. Adz now has a treehouse, a bedroom on RanDom island, and a secret headquarters. My inner child has room to play and grow.
I built a separate identity for Adz. I created some content for SL that fits into the child-like-avatar-wearing (C.L.A.W.) niche market. I created a website that helps new users pick a good last name, and declared Adz the owner of that, for better or worse.
Along the way, Adz has changed appearance with only a few tweaks here and there.

Even though the prime focus of my first hours and days in SL was my avatar shape, this is not the most important thing I’ve gotten out of SL. Rather, it has been the like-minded friends and the acceptance I’ve gotten in my virtual community.
And good friends who understand me, know who I am inside, and, for some reason, accept me anyway.
It is all very good for my health.

Thank you all. Happy New Year.

I am experiencing some Internet troubles that won’t be resolved for a few days. If I enjoy anything in SL today, and this is a long-shot, it will have to be parked in a seat with lots of time to fill the cache. No moving. No streaming audio. You may notice some missing scenery in the first snapshot, above. I won’t bother with snapshots today since they’ll look like Arthur.
Cyr Eel! Cyr Turtle! Cyr… Little Boy! ))

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