21 October 2008

Wonder Bitch

Like most games with an immersion element, starting out in Second Life is like an additional childhood. As a newbie, everything is unknown. Rules, etiquette, parameters, boundaries. The possibilities are indeed infinite and I recall having a true sense of wonder in my first few days wandering about. And then one meets a few experienced people. In virtual worlds - be it World of Warcraft, Diablo, or Second Life - experience equates to some sort of ranking process. In other words, the more experience, the higher one deems oneself to be important. Those just starting out aren't viewed as even proper people yet. Hence the term 'newbie', which, despite its cute sound as it rolls off the tongue, sounds fairly insulting. Awfully close to 'kewpie doll' or even the more vulgar 'booby' - which, when compared to 'breast', sounds like a cartoon.

And, just like real life, I discovered that supressing wonder in favour of attitude was the only way to survive in Second Life. It was not my plan to be a bitch; it was just my plan to not be harrassed or insulted. Nowadays, I can hurl myself into any social situation. The upside is I just don't care what others say; the downside is, I don't often have a feeling of wonder.

As I improved my avatar - new hair, new clothes, new skin - so did attention from men (and some women) seem to spike. I discovered that male attention was directly related to my boob size: the bigger the boobs on my chest, the bigger the boobs in my Instant Messenger. I shrunk my chest down to a B-cup (though some girlfriends of mine insist, in a fairly critical tone, I have a C-cup) and found the male attention tolerable.

On that subject, men are pretty much idiots. I have heard the same questions so many times in my year and a half in Second Life that, in my profile online, I created a FAQ For Dummies designed to save time.

Q. How r u?

A. Learn to spell.

Q. How are you?

A. I'm fine.

Q. Where are you from?

A. My parents got it on, and presto.

Q. How old are you?

A. 105.

Etc. I'm not sure why men insist on asking the same six questions - but then that's not true, either. They ask the same six questions because those are the only ones they can answer themselves. And usually that's the case, where I'm asked where I'm from, I respond, and then they respond to their own question.

Tool: Where are you from?

Me: England.

Tool: I'm from Argentina.

Me: You don't say.

The men whose company I have enjoyed usually kick off with a statement or observation - and not necessarily about me ("nice boots", as a starter, is fine, as it will warrant a "thank you" and a mental note that I've been observed, but little else). The end result is, of course, that I'm a bit of a bitch. Poor blokes can't help it if they're socially retarded - and I do feel bad spurning. But I'm not a special needs tutor, either. So fuck all that.

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