When I met the notorious Joshua Bonehill-Paine

Second Life was still somewhat new to me in the beginning of 2014. I used to dress my dollarbie avatar in medieval clothes and go from one sim to another. After I got my first inworld job, I wanted to have a little virtual space of my own. My search for low rent houses led me to a role-play sim under construction. It seemed to be more or less fashioned after the British monarchy. I was not in the least into role-playing. As I walked down one of the alleys, I noticed a male avatar that was busy building a house. He never completely rezzed on my screen so I cannot describe what exactly he was wearing at that time.

The man controlling that avatar welcomed me as soon as he saw me nearing him and asked how I found his sim out. When I told him I was just looking to rent a smaller residential place since I couldn’t afford one of the spacious houses on the sim, he politely directed me to a big two-storey house. “The rent is 5 L$ a week. There’s no rent box. You can pay me directly,” he said.

After making the house mine for the week, I decided to give that man’s profile a read. It was his first life bio that had caught my attention. His profile suggested that he was deeply into politics.

“Yeah, I am involved in media controversy and politics. So this is an escape,” he informed me when I asked him about his real life.

According to Wikipedia, Joshua Bonehill-Paine is an English far-right nationalist, internet troll, and convicted criminal from Yeovil, Somerset. However, his personality in Second Life unbelievably contradicted such claims. The man who ran an anti-communist hoax blog where he had posts defending racism was one of the nicest people to me especially after learning that I am a “person of colour”.

He had a few friends who used to help him build the sim, get traffic, interest the renters into roleplaying as citizens of the state who were going to elect their new leader in the upcoming election, and many other tasks. I had heard Bonehill and friends voice with each other openly about their plans related to the sim development and grow its role-play aspect. There were two of his friends who headed different political parties and each of them tried hard to get me to join their party! Bonehill seemed to appreciate my interest in journalism and said that he would like me to be a reporter of his state’s newspaper detailing the daily happenings in his kingdom. Sadly, all their major events like Bonehill being crowned the King would take place during my busy hours in real life.

I still remember when I was devoid of speakers for a while and could not listen to any voice chat inworld. One day Bonehill was by my house on his sim telling me something in voice of which I was totally unaware. He stood there for quite a long time before asking me if I was having trouble hearing him. He then typed to me in nearby chat all that he was telling me. His personality to me was very patient and gentle.

Much later, when the sim upgraded to all mesh, my rent remained 5 L$ a week while the others were paying a minimum of 300 L$.

There was one secret place under water where I discovered Bonehill had left a clickable coffin with a skeleton in it. The coffin read that the skeleton belonged to the King himself! When I told him about my intriguing find, he laughed and replied that he was amusing himself with it a long time ago but had forgotten all about it.

I enjoyed my time on the remarkable sim till I had to leave Second Life for real life. The sim no longer exists now. But I will always remember it not just for its grandeur but for being the place where I observed how Second Life can expose the good even in someone as ill-famed as Joshua Bonehill-Paine.

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Why is verbal abuse allowed on the Second Life Forums?

As Second Life is mostly frequented by individuals who are often helplessly addled to the extent that their sense of self relies on their performances in that virtual world, it can be very difficult to spot a level-headed one on the Second Life forums.

A very common person enters this world, learns the basics of it, and decides to be somebody as their avatar. Now, anybody can be a somebody within a few months in Second Life and that is one of its main attractions.

No matter how much you have failed in real life, Second Life lightens the burden of those failures and fuels the ego with the many trivial virtual successes it has to offer. Like, who isn’t a well-known DJ inworld with a free software,  Youtube, a fan group, and no required licenses? I have been to many many live concerts in Second Life and I wouldn’t call that music 9 out of 10 times. Yet those musicians are making thousands of Linden dollars per set. That’s called being somebody something in Second Life. There are too many hosts,  fashion bloggers, models, event contest winners, designers, and, most importantly, club owners. They say, “You can be anything you want in SL!” and they are so right.

Second Life is not a game. You are the game to Second Life. It causes a frustrated mind to overestimate their importance as they continue to achieve things inworld. And, what would Second Life come to without all such users? That explains why verbal abuse on Second Life forums is not taken seriously and the same bullies prey on different participants to retain their own superiority.

Following are just two examples of what I have been talking about:

Drama over 200L$

User gets insulted for not being able to type correct English

 

 

“It all led to him trying out SL sex with my alt.”

In 2013, I was introduced to Second life by my stupid (ex) friend “Cal”. Cal was working on his college thesis at that time and needed to explore SL deeply for that purpose. We were both in our early twenties. Unfortunately, we both fell for the same girl who used to go to our college. She chose Cal over me. I was naturally frustrated and very angry and jealous.

Within a few months I learnt the basics of SL with the help of some nice people I met in that world. I wanted to take revenge on my friend and cause him and his girlfriend to break up. I created a very girly alt. I knew all about his taste in girls and also knew that I would find him at one of the London hubs. In a few days he became good friends with me as an alt in Second Life. It all led to him trying out SL sex with my alt. How? He asked for a pic of me but I said I’d show him after we have sex. That was my last meeting with him in an alt. I quit on that account just as the sex ended. I recorded all my chats and the sex and sent them to his girlfriend.

That worked just as I had wanted. They are no longer together. She didn’t want to talk to either of us for a few months. I dumped my friend Cal pretending to not like what he did to her. After waiting for a year, her and I got together. We are happily in a relationship now. I have no guilt.

Do you want to talk about your worst SL experiences that have hurt you deeply? Do you love someone in SL and just cannot express your love to them? You can do it anonymously. Blog Veridical welcomes your Anonymous Confessions about SL. Submit them here.

Alt-paranoia of “active” SL Residents

A game where desperate people with no lives or friends get to live out their dreams of social acceptance and sex. 
The vast majority of Second Life players are unattractive and socially awkward.

Source: Urban Dictionary

Second Life is mostly a virtual crowd of severely confused people who think that the pixel world is an “escape” from their real life instead of just a casual hobby. Why would anyone want to “escape” their real life to get very busy in a virtual play world? The most common reason being that they are not completely happy with their lives. In fact, very few people on the planet are satisfied. It is human nature to run away from problems when those cannot be solved easily and Second Life comes to the rescue.

I have encountered some people in Second Life who thought that my account was an alt of one of their “exes” spying on them. Then there were those clubbers who got me banned straight away for not having a “proper” profile picture and being too quiet. They somehow mistook me for one furious vindictive ex-employee of their club who got fired not long ago by their loved boss. Nothing I said could convince them that I was not an alt of someone they knew.

Just like someone with an odd looking avatar is quickly considered to be a griefer by most other people in Second Life, an account with little or no information about its owner is thought to be an alt or alternate account of a person. These paranoid Residents imagine everyone they meet should be as deeply into Second Life as they are. However, there are people who don’t care about their avatar or account.

Second Life friends and virtual gatherings may be fun. But, being a physically healthy individual when you let yourself be so engulfed by a mere pixel world that your texts start to reveal your suspicions and paranoia about others inworld, then it’s time to reflect on your real life and self.

(PS: This post isn’t aimed at people who use Second Life or any other virtual worlds as a distraction from their physical pain or illnesses.)

Are you the average hypocritical SLer?

 

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I love my avatar because it reflects the real me – slim, sexy, beautiful inside and out. I spend a lot of time and money in making my avatar be what I am. My avatar’s looks are important to me as it radiates my real personality.

This particular lady, who I was dating inworld for a while, never wanted to send me her real picture. When you are with someone for a very long time, you realize that you can’t hide your reality forever. The other person who you know most things about deserve to know a little real details about you as well. At least a picture of your real self. That time arrived in our virtual relationship and after some hesitations, she quietly dropped the picture on me followed by the line:

You have to be really narrow-minded to judge someone by their real looks to love them.

Lol. And that was it.

A lot of people inworld take their avatars way too seriously which is how many of them seem to make peace with their reality. An avatar obsessed person, often inadvertently, transfers their “soul” to their avatar and expects others to respect that while doing the same. Many such people who zone out of their real lives try to find “real love” in a pixel world. A relationship with such a person, no matter how true it feels, is almost impossible to get real unless they make an effort to figure out what’s real about themselves and appreciate that enough to not demand someone to love them mainly in the form of an MMORPG avatar. So much for the real love hunt in Second Life.

 

“I am not ashamed to say that I am jealous of my kids in real life.”

I am not ashamed to say that I am jealous of my kids in real life. They have everything and so much more fun than I ever had. Especially my daughter (21) who has a great caring boyfriend. Yes I am more than happy for her. But, I am jealous at the same time. I just can’t help it. I want an equally happy life for me too. So, what’s wrong if I am jealous of her love and sex life?

It’s why I love Second Life. I’d be way more frustrated if SL didn’t exist because my SL family is my everything. I have a wonderful husband in SL who makes me feel the best sexually and emotionally. We never met in real life and I don’t care about his real life either as he is very much devoted to our family in SL. The best part is I get to play the sexy young mommy in SL that I once used to be in real life to my kids. I named my SL kids after my real kids and they will forever be babies in SL and my husband and I will forever be youthful that is impossible to happen in reality. It’s what inspires me to carry on. I live for SL.

 

Do you want to talk about your worst SL experiences that have hurt you deeply? Do you love someone in SL and just cannot express your love to them? You can do it anonymously. Blog Veridical welcomes your Anonymous Confessions about SL. Submit them here.

“We exchanged numbers and skyped for hours when my husband was out on trips…”

I am married with two kids in real life. I discovered SL in 2007 during its golden days. I met a real amazing man here back then and we knew we had a special connection. His name was “George”. We exchanged numbers and skyped for hours when my husband was out on trips and the kids were asleep. George wasn’t dating anyone during those months and had no kids.

Sometimes you just can’t control who you fall in love with. George wasn’t the kind of person I ever dreamt of having as a partner but when you love someone you start liking everything about them. I found myself when I loved that man. George was in California and I was in Arkansas and we both knew we could never meet in person. After a couple of years, when I gave up trying to encourage myself to leave my husband for George and move to his place in California with my kids, we accepted it as just a friendship. George’s respect for me and my married life was enormous and he apologized to me for something that he didn’t purposely do – making me fall for him. So, we stayed in touch with each other like friends.

I came on SL today after almost four years. In 2014, George and I suddenly lost track of each other. We were texting once in a while a few months before George’s disappearance since he was spending most of his time with his girlfriend in real life. But, then, all 2014 I never got a call or text or anything from him. I thought he had finally found his kind of love and forgot all about me. I deleted all the messages and pictures he had sent me. I felt betrayed. I don’t know why. Maybe because I never stopped loving him. That’s when I stopped coming on SL because even our good memories hurt. Just a few weeks before it was 2015, I called George’s mother (he gave me her number before) who told me that George had passed away in January, 2014 in an accident.

All I know is that George was the love of my life. No matter how good my husband is to me, I just don’t feel any love for him. He knows nothing about George and he never will. Since I learnt about my love’s death, I have been surviving by faking happiness before my family.

 

Do you want to talk about your worst SL experiences that have hurt you deeply? Do you love someone in SL and just cannot express your love to them? You can do it anonymously. Blog Veridical welcomes your Anonymous Confessions about SL. Submit them here.