Yesterday afternoon, I tried out Second Life for the first time. Periodically, you may catch me there as “Skye Vanistok”.
The “Vanistok” part of the name was not my choice. Well, yes, it was my choice, but not completely. When I signed up for 2L, I was allowed to enter “Skye” into a field, but had to choose a surname out of a drop-down menu. “Goodfellow” is not among those names. I chose “Vanistok”. And my avatar is stuck with it.
I was able to secure a set of free translucent angel wings, but I still had the appearance of some guy next door.
After some poking around, I was able to search for Baloo Uriza. His appearance is that of a dapper Kodiak bear in a Victorian suit and pince-nez glasses. He works there as a professor at Caledon Oxbridge University. That is where new users first appear and learn how to use the Second Life interface.
Baloo sold Second Life to me very hard, and I resisted for a time because I thought the Dell Optiplex on my desk to be a gift from God that had to be given back to God in some way. Second Life was the height of selfish self-indulgence, as far away from true Christian selfless sacrifice as one can get. I feel dirty for finally joining it, even though all I’ve done is go through its orientation.
During this period of wooing me to 2L, I asked Baloo why I was being recruited with all the fervor of a college football coach pitching his program to a star high school running back. He said it would be “right up my alley.”
True. It’s right up my alley. I earn my money solving tough problems for Internet users from sea to shining sea. I can be pretty obsessive in getting precisely what I want into either Blender or 2L. It’s an important trait for successful 2L users, but can 2L fit into the lives of successful Christians? Only one way to find out, and that way may be the wrong way.
My last name’s all wrong!
There are some things that Second Life does that I find unorthodox. For instance, why are you forced to choose a surname out of a drop-down menu and forced to keep it? Can I as a new user not be trusted to choose one that is sufficiently unique and non-plagiaristic? What of Baloo Uriza? Is he stuck with Uriza because it is the closest one he can find in that drop-down menu to his original Ursidae?
Can God use Skye Vanistok every bit as effectively as he uses Skye Goodfellow?