Time and Space, I've heard said, are not real. Having found my brain- heart- and soul-mate (oof, that sounds SO woo-woo!) in a virtual blues club on Second Life, I can tell you that they are. It's a long way from Washington state to Ontario.
Second Life's Juke Joint Blues was our meeting place. In case you haven't explored it or heard of it in the media, SL is an online 3-D, user-created international world, a real-time constantly growing chat room populated by upwards of 70,000 people's cartoon avatars ("residents") at any one time. (As an aside, and to see a piece of SL without joining, one of my favorite Youtube vids shows the making of Starry Night in-world, and can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxVDVggLqsA ) [Aww... sadly, it has been removed by the artist. Well... for a quick overview, give this one a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3gHCupXSMs ]
While I've never built anything, nor spent a US$ in Second Life, over the past two years I've spent hours exploring, dancing, flying, teleporting and most of all, talking with people from all over the world. It can be an addictive place, SL--which it was. And it can grow tiring--which it has. There are folks of every sort in there... as far as your imagination can take you, that's where you can go. That's the good and the bad part. I met people with the kindest hearts. And people with a cruel streak. Brilliant minds. And so many lonely souls looking for connection, whether it be friendship, love, a virtual roll in the hay or exploring a lifestyle never dreamed of in real life. People "fall in love" daily in SL, get their real hearts broken, and some thrive on the drama of getting to be the star of their own soap opera. People meet in real life and get married, become friends or stalk each other.... And everything in between! It's an amazing world.....
One of my friends, Phydeau just left SL for good, and on his Profile, listed the things he learned in SL...
1. Many people in SL have troubled RL marriages.
2. A man who's polite, friendly, articulate, with a sense of humor, who doesn't pester women for cybersex, is a God among mortals in SL.
3. People with more realistic looking avs are generally more fun and interesting to talk to than people with Barbie'n'Ken avs.
4. There is no capability to verify honesty, fidelity, or loyalty in SL.
5. SL is real enough to create a desire for a relationship but not real enough to satisfy that desire.
6. SL is not a cross section of humanity, it's a subset of humanity that can sit at their PCs for hours typing and laughing.
7. You Never Know.
[Thank you Phydeau, for being my friend! Well said.....]
The one thing I do know, is after hours and hours of talking with my friend Kam in SL over the months, our friendship grew and real feelings expanded. It's been nearly a year of left and right coast trips every 6 to 8 weeks. Our love has grown and continues to amaze us. And tomorrow we get to be together again, this time for Christmas. We continue to work on just where we will be when we finally live together in real life... Soon! So believe me when I tell you that time and space exist. Perhaps not online... but most definitely here in this extremely real world.