Reveal, Conceal, and Reflect by Rhiannon Colclough

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Every virtual resident must define boundaries both publicly and personally, and Rhiannon Colclough knows how to do both.

Reveal, Conceal, and Reflect by Rhiannon Colclough

Second Life® is a big contrast to my real life where I am a college professor, with health issues. My job consumes most of my energy, so this is my social outlet, my fun, my enjoyment. I can do things here that in real life have become only memories.

During my years in-world, I’ve been a lot of things—magazine editor, dancer, model, DJ, RP’er, business owner, the list goes on! I got into being a DJ because Gerrard became one, and kept telling me, ‘I think you’ll be good at this; you’ll enjoy this more than modeling,’ etc. And it is one of the most fulfilling things I have done virtually, along with writing for an InWorldZ magazine. I both adore writing, and I love when a set comes together; they each involve the creative process. It is very hard work to put together a set that is pleasing to the ear and yet includes people’s favorite songs.

To be a good DJ, loving music is number one. And liking people— we need to deal with them a LOT! Even though I am shy by nature, and it is hard for me to talk to people, I find that when I’m ‘on,’ I can somehow transcend that limitation. It’s a lot like acting— something else I do in virtual worlds and did in real life for a while—you know your ‘part’ and play it.

I always consider audience— what will the venue want? Then I find music—that is a constant search—and arrange the music so it’s fun to dance to, and listen to as well. I try to make the beats match, and a lot of times, I use themes— like all hits by a specific artist, or a certain holiday, etc. I make a new playlist for each gig. I may re-use songs, but not the same playlist. My library is huge and it keeps getting bigger!

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Behavior Reveals and Patterns Reflect

In SL, I’ve found that I can be both better and worse than I even imagined. For the most part, I try to be the best me I can be. But I constantly fight that nastiness in me. In real life it’s harder to be truly ourselves; society, family, etc., train us to wear masks, to deny our essential selves. In SL, our traits can be exaggerated even more—we are so anonymous.

Being a DJ does hook me and it’s forces me out of my shell in ways not possible in real life. I never knew I could do art until I entered virtual worlds. I never knew I could DJ, or make awesome avis. I can do things in here that are impossible in real life for me. This is where we are literally limited only by the boundaries of imagination. Time is even more of an ally— to do things more effortlessly. I love art, music, dance, anything that involves people and their creativity. I love studying people— they fascinate me.

However, for most people I meet, I like to keep real life and SL separate. I have had some bad experiences with cyberstalkers—being a DJ is in the public eye, so some of this may happen. I actually had a guy tell me he’d marry me just for my voice! People tend to romanticize about anyone they think they ‘know’—DJ’s, dancers, singers, etc. We’re SL’s sort of celebrity. Altho I know in real life I’d do that too—listen to the radio and fantasize about the DJ, lol. But I learned through painful experience, that unless I really know someone, I just can’t trust them. Very few people get to know the real me.

Most people in SL are themselves, maybe a bit more exaggerated, but themselves. Take Gerrard, for example—I can use him because I’ve known him almost 5 years. The man he is in here is the man you can meet in real life. Here, we do find out the best and the worst about people.

I’ve always thought the big difference between SL and real world is big city and small town with all the pluses and minuses of both. I actually read an interview with someone who was proud of her ability to dupe people in SL! I do not get that mentality! I know people who have been mistreated terribly, and yet have such a spirit of love inside. This never has and never will be a game—unless you see life as a game! I could never hurt others on purpose because I know that pain. I try to treat others as I wish to be treated. I believe in karma: the energy you put out will come back to you. In the end, those who treat others badly do not even know what they miss. Think of all the wonderful people and experiences they could have known! Fortunately, I have met far more terrific people here than otherwise.

Take time to know people. So many think there is instant gratification in here—add water and stir! But even in real life you don’t get that—and in here it’s even worse. If you really want a relationship, it’s most of the time just bloody hard. Communication is the hardest part. In real life we have body clues, facial clues, vocal cues to tell us what people think. Here, all we have are printed words. If we were all kinder to one another this would be a very pleasant place.Actually, I am one of the few people who is just as constrained here as in real life. For some reason, I have a hard time talking in here too. Perhaps SL and real life are not so different after all. —Rhiannon Colclough

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Please see more insights from Rhia in “Border Patrols— How DJ’s Manage the Boundaries Between Virtual and Real,” the in-world article that compares his views with others in his circle. The in-world edition is a complement to this online series, and together comprise a publishing suite.

Enjoy different, but related, issue versions: online and in-world (available at the Second Life® SSJ office (Innu 42, 35, 1649) or download PDF here Sim Street Journal #13
Back issues are available on MARKETPLACE.
— The in-world magazine has topics that relate to those who understand the virtual context, including photographs, parallel articles. It has tabs for information landmarks, and web links.
— The online magazine expresses what the virtual world offers the real one. It is a mirror that reflects parallel articles, hot topics, and provides more links.Contributions are encouraged if covering topics relevant to real world readers.

Please see the INDEX for all contributors and articles.

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Back issues are available on MARKETPLACE.

QUICK LINKS TO ISSUES
INDEX for all contributors and articles
Sim Street Journal #1: Virtual Reveals Real
Sim Street Journal #2: The Old in the New
Sim Street Journal #3: Magicians of Meaning
Sim Street Journal #4: Telling Stories
Sim Street Journal #5: Champions of Expression
Sim Street Journal #6: Overlapping Realities
Sim Street Journal #7: Luck Created
Sim Street Journal #8: Facing the Inevitable
Sim Street Journal #9: Motivated Learning
Sim Street Journal #10: Serious Fun
Sim Street Journal #11: Fantasy Fulfillment
Sim Street Journal #12: Insights from Extremes
Sim Street Journal #13: Bridging Boundaries

Contributions are encouraged if covering topics relevant to real world readers.
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Liane Sebastian wears an editor’s hat, designer’s coat, and artist’s shoes.

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Sim Street Journal explores the relevance of second to first life.
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