Monday, June 14, 2010

BBBC Day 2 - Dream More

Today's BBBC topic: Write about three positive things going on in your Second Life.

Last week Himon Brown died at the age of 99. Himon became one of the most influential people in radio storytelling by mastering the art of sound to create imaginary worlds. In 1974, he resurrected his famous creaking door for the ghoulish tales of "CBS Radio Mystery Theater," which aired seven nights a week for nine years and won a prestigious Peabody Award.

Have a listen from the Inner Sanctum "Beyond the Grave", courtesy of the Internet Archive project.

I think about Second Life® the way I imagine Himon thought about radio - as a powerful storytelling model that allows the "listener" to sketch out their own personal narratives. While Himon Brown unleashed our imaginations with the most basic elements of sound, we have so much at our disposal - the construction of place, built through personal relationships, toward immersive shared experiences that can transform individual thinking.

The beauty of Second Life is that we can be both storyteller and listener in a gigantic arc, in fact you can change the story just by logging in. The presence of the world and unscripted perturbations are nothing short of remarkable when you think about it - it's a storyteller's dream. I like to write stories about the places I've encountered. I fancy myself a storyteller every time I perform in world; I try to capture the story of a song and tell it my way. So far Musimmersion has been my most ambitious storytelling project, but really it just scratched the surface of what I hope to do in the future.

I think the word dream gets a bad rap sometimes as if it meant simply an idle mind and wasted time.  To me it's one of the most liberating words (noun, a verb and an adjective!)  in the English language.

Letting myself dream has been one of the most positive parts of my Second Life experience. And by dream I don't merely to fantasize without recourse, I mean to consider outrageous ideas and then move them to action. Dreaming has allowed me to express myself as a musician, and it's opened a thousand doors to other worlds and other people.

Sometimes exploring Second Life feels like walking around in other people's dreams; I love that.

Shared Experiences - presence, place, people
I wrote this in an earlier post, but it bears repeating. For me, the most compelling attribute of Second Life  is the synchronicity of presence, place, and people that allows you to have this compelling shared experience.

One might argue that shared experiences are the underlying human engine that powers much of the Social Web - online shared experiences allow us to feel deeply connected despite whatever boundaries like geography, ideology, etc. the physical world might present. For me, Second Life makes those experiences more meaningful, somehow being immersed in the same space and dealing with the same things, changes the equation.

I often wonder of all the people I've come to know in world if we had met on the street, would we even say hello? Would we give each other the benefit of the doubt? Some I would just never, ever have the privilege of knowing at all. That serendipity, that collision of human connectedness, cannot be easily replaced.
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