24 June 2006
Excerpt from The Escapist issue #4 article 8 by Dave Thomas.
"Further, it turns out you don't need a computer to play Second Life. We do it all the time. Although 10 years have passed, I still vividly remember the face and the curly red hair of the girl I almost ran over with my bike. For that moment, her face looked up, the sun shone down in painterly streaks, she smiled, time stopped and I fell in love. I didn't plow her into the gutter and instead peddled on home to my family. But right there, in that second of cliché so perfect that they could use it to sell soap on TV, I slipped into my second life. We think of time as something that pushes us through life, relentlessly conveying us from station to station, piling on experiences at each stop before dumping us into a coffin for final shipment. This is time as the eternal taskmaster. Really, though, we press time forward with the weight of our expectations, the gravity of our demand for things to happen the way we expect. We go home after work because, well, that's what defines being at work, going home. And then we get up in the morning to head to work to afford having a home. We press and press and press. Fantasy stops time and we fall through the floorboards of those mental shanties of expectation. At least, that's how I felt when time literally stood still not just long enough for me to avoid mangling the red-headed girl, but long enough for me to spend a lifetime in that smile, to imagine another life where I see that smile every day and the sun always shines like a Bob Ross painting. You see, we all have a second life, and we bottle it up in our fantasies and stop time. When a cute waitress brushes your hand as she hands you the check, when a glowing mom and dad walk by hand-in-hand with their children as precious as lambs or a Jaguar glides down the street, a glimmering metal beast, you slip into fantasy, into your second life. These images of fantasy are powerful. And frozen. We collect them and collect them until our fantasy life is a junk drawer of unrelated things. "