I am kind of a homebody in real life and a little bit that way in the virtual world as well. My house in Second Life is important to me, partially because of esthetics, but also because it is the place that I can return to and call home. I have switched homes numerous times in the past, but my current house, The Normandy by Van Auster of POST, has been a constant for a while. Since my sim Nordan om Jorden is as of recently occupied by the gallery Berg by Nordan Art, the house is not on the ground, but sits on a platform in the sky. I thought I would not like this as much, but as it turns out, I actually prefer it. I find that while of course there is no water available or ground to terraform, the space itself is more intimate and manageable to design. I am already looking forward to in a month or so to re-design the space for winter.
But we visited then recently a beautiful sim with houses for rent and predictably I felt the pull once again to move. We decided to look at the homes. These were such beautiful buildings and attached were the prettiest gardens one could imagine and all designed by outstanding content creators in Second Life. It was perfection. We entered several houses and found that though really well constructed and amazing looking from the outside, there were consistent problems with interior layout and very little space to move around. We kept falling down stairs and bumping into one another. In addition, lag was a problem. We learned that day that it doesn’t matter if the house design and the setting are both stunning, tight living quarters and difficulty moving because of lag are undesirable. Teleporting home and landing in a spacious and bright lag-free living room was a big relief.
My attachment to my home also has to do with permanence. There is something valuable about our own sense of history in this virtual world where time sometimes seems a little warped. It is important to me that the stack of books next to my laptop on my desk have been there for a while since it contributes to a sense of familiarity and homeliness. I should also mention here something about objects that have stood the test of time, specifically the classic builds and objects by Van Auster. He figured out a long time ago that it was crucial to use only the finest textures and attend to the littles of details. Mr. Auster also realizes that avatars need interior space to move around. Finishing up writing this post, I realized I wrote a very similar post back in July about POST, where I am going on and on about the talented Van Auster just like I am here! It seems some things do not change.
Photographs by Kate Bergdorf