In a nutshell - What is this about?

I created this blog for those who are interested on Internet Addiction and my request to Linden Lab to display a cautionary note mentioning Internet Addiction to the people signing in.

After all this time, this has become just a way to place this on the conversation. This is in a nutshell all I strive for.

Your liberty to read or leave its not denied on this space.

Virtual communities have enormous potential and will be part of many people's life's and work. So we need to take a thoughtful approach towards this. SL has an extraordinary pull and this phenomenon can result in dramatic damage to people who develop an addictive attachment to them.

  1. People joins in with no knowledge of this phenomenon
  2. Awareness of a danger helps reduce its potential harm
  3. Any tool to display this reality, might prevent those who read it

All ideas an opinions are welcome, posts with foul or offensive language might be deleted. Some information and videos might be disturbing for some people please be advised.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A few Pictures from those days

The Museum is back on a 512 lot. My first building efforts, many mistakes.

Bono Box in SL - best show in world.

Just before going all mesh a guy took this picture at some store.

What happened from 2010 and 2014?

In a nutshell!

I left SL for many months, many, six months at a time, maybe a year, then came back, then many months, this is not particularly clear, except when I notice, with friends, "Hey I know you for four years, and you for seven, and we been friends for two..."- That has become scary.

I came back in. The urge has never been the same. But curiosity stroke me again and I was bored RL, So I went to see if that place was still on, kind of a remembering tour.

Surprisingly it was not only teeming with avatars, it was fun and lively. So became a fan of SL Dublin. For personal reasons I am partial to that nation and its people. I also love music and fun and pubs. So I stayed there for some three years, (with my long breaks from SL that I enjoy!)

I became a regular at Blarney Stone Irish Pub. I certainly gave it too much of my personal time.
At some moment I took back the Premium Account and learned how to claim a mainland 512 lot, that grew to a 2014 lot and there I had my Mexico Museum Back and a small flat apartment.

The truth is that with the little time and low priority that you know why I give to SL the museum was mostly empty, even though it had its moments that I will share in other post.

Casey Bee  talked me into accepting "mesh", and I own lots of that now.

So yes i came back to SL. But I can safely say it does not control me anymore the way it did many years ago- I think!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

No regrets - It's over!

The end came for me a while ago -the end as an addict to Second Life that is. I allowed myself to hide there for so long, at such a high price for myself and loved ones. Lastly I hope I can round up the story of my time as an addict.

In SL, I was constantly searching for either meaning or even for a good use for it. But I was only hiding -from me, from my own fears, from the fact I am not getting any younger, or God knows what else.
I was trying to hide while hoping to find something good about me in there.

It’s over. Now I understand all the people that said how stupid that was of me, both my addiction and my struggle. But I needed to live it full cycle, perhaps one day, this will not seem so fruitless

Of course I know, and I have met people that explains to me all the great, good and amazing qualities of that place, I know the people that can experience a “normal” life only as an avatar in Second Life, because they have challenging situations in their lives, women with facial injuries, men who can’t walk and also dying people in their beds, who appreciate an escape from their pains.

Last night watching the movie "The Truman Show" I got it, I had crashed so hard into that wall, I needed to come in and close this chapter.

Ant farm, self-induced trap, “non je ne regretted rien” for I wanted to lift every stone, touch every tree and kiss every soul.
Thank you. My addiction it's over.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bored, bored, bored - turns Yikes!

Yes, this blog is to help you find a way out of SL, if you find yourself addicted to it, or to learn about it if you are otherwise interested in this topic.

SL Boredom, as you read further, you will find that I call the final stage in a person's SL time the "boredom plateau" or the stage where she finds less and less exciting and intriguing things to do. I am happy to report that I truly found this stage. Perhaps this blog and ideas might be useful to someone else besides me.

Soon, the clubs become one really stupid use of time, emoting. "Yaays", "Yuhuuus", "Hurras" and other "I am having so much fun" gestures its quite annoying, stu$#, overplayed, overacting and in many cases false.

SL business is a total myriad at this point, as well as real educational purposes. I tried it both. I tried all the serious stuff, from visiting Universities, RL clients, and SL Business. While they provided fun and I was trying to crack it, it proved a waste of time and poor business.

Its a game, period I came to realize. LOL how stupid and innocent of me of taking so long to realize it, but I had noticed that people that from the beggining use it as a game are far less prone to addiction than any other groups. The ones that fall the worse are those that treat it like its RL, and worse of all, if they start love attachemenet affairs.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

A recount of the times - the jobs I took inworld

After some recounting of my times in SL... This is a brief remembreance of things that kept me busy in world.

The first "job" I took was of course saying "Hi" to people at a club "Welcome Mr. Druggie657...", etc. That job paid around 50-100 per day, I left that pretty soon, then I started taking pictures for my friend Siggs, that made me from 150L to 360L per gig, then started writting for the Second Life Herald and they published 4 of my stories I used to make like 1,500 per shot and, true, I had a private agenda since and I used them to promote my "politikal views" against Second Life Addiction, not to mention that the money was better.

Then -this was only for fun and for the nice uniforms they had- I joined one of many SL police departments. I wanted to hunt the perverts! In order to enter that Department, I had to pass an interview and had to go-trough a screening and selecting process (Yeah right!) at the time I knew it was not really-real, but I tought they collaborated with LL -I know what you must be thinking- How stupid and naive of me, but I have thrown enough tomatoes to myself for that, not to mention that work did not pay.

Of course I did some modeling, with this body who wouldn't? and of course I won that contest... I had to win that contest after all other contestants had ejected due to the poor organization. We ended the cat-walk under a griefer attack, lagged, I was actually the last person in the place. That thing was probably the worse thing I did in SL, but after weeks of pulling my friends to vote for me I was to finish that thing and I was getting paid. I made 1,000L that time I had to force the organizers to pay.

I almost forget, I of course started an office in-world to tell the world about the SL Addiction thing. I was an activist and I visited sims that pretended to be "real" and looked for "established" people and "SL opinion leaders", I was determined to let them all know about it.

After I left SL for weeks and sometimes months, I started doing custom shapes and custom kitchens. Then opened the large store, and yes I started a magazine: Yes a magazine about avatars.

So far. All I got its the assurance that I needed out of SL.

Stage 4. Matured Experience

Yes! Finnally here.
I am not writing in any rush, actually coming here to blog its very difficult lately mostly because I am so far off SL. I call this stage "the Matured Experience Stage". 

When I wrote about the 5 stages in a player's life I was in what I call Initial Immersion, how I feel now, was a path I had not taken yet, now I am writting about it since I feel so close to the Exit Stage.

My Matured Experience stage came after I had hitted the breaks hard. I ended my sweet SL affair with my best friend Siggs, I was aready loggin in much less and frankly I was starting to find SL quite dull and utterly booring.

Here is when my best friend (I have 3 best friends) Merry came to me and told me she could give me some land to start my dream of a store, when she showed me the "land" I could have for free I was in awe she gave me lots of land, I dont remember the size, but it was huge, like 4x the basic parcel.

So I setup to live the "SecondLife Business Dream" and get ready to join the rich and famous. So I started Divine Faces and threw a bunch of the marketing It like to think I know in real life. And it was fun.

We sold "shapes" fighting a very complex market with lots of marketing challenges, for instance "how easy it is to make a shape", or "what really counts its a skin".

But still we managed to make some business, I had over 12 salesmen, they received fees automatically with each sale. We had wonderful product I had one designer. Everyting was looking up but....

Did I mention this happened during my Matured Experience stage?
Well this has many sides, on one side since I was experienced in SL, I was able to do lots of things, like negotiation, finding business partners, etc. But I also was very aware than REAL LIFE comes first so I actually did not have the time to look after this new venture. I was in such a rush to make it happen because I knew I was to start stuff in rl.

So I was away from SL for days sometimes weeks as I was giving all my attention to my real life. And the store needed attention, the people willing to work in it needed me to be there. And above all Merry was payin the land fees and she was getting very little from an idle store. So without many considerations we decided to pull the plug quickly.

I dont know what the future of this would have been. I know had I undertaken this months earlier I would have devoted countless hours to it and perhaps I would have gotten something out of my gainings in SL.

Yes, SL can be a nice experiment, a nice lab to try things out, but for me and I fear, for many its a very costly trap.  BTW, thats my friend merry, aint she cute?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stage 3. Full Immersion

I have posponed this one for months, in part I have been away from SL a little more and in part I did not want to talk much about this stage. Perhaps I can write since in some ways I must be doing much better than the sorry-lame person I used to be. Letting my life slip into this "game" so much.

However as its names implies, this stage its when the full deep addiction is taking over a player; in my case I gave way to some of the temptations available in SL, specially those with a deep soul searching attachement to another human being. Yes I had a special one in SL one of my best friends we got too close and thing leads to another... but this is terrible because I have pledged not to do anything like that with my time in the game, that way I failed to one of the many rules my family and I had established for me here.

You see, after we -my family and me- saw how much time this was consuming and affecting me, we set some ground rules for me to play SL, I was totally ok with, one of them being "no affairs".

I used to use my time day dreaming about SL, and then come running to it to try the stuff I had envisioned. Few things were more important than friends, projects and games we were playing inside this virtual land.

Full immersion for me meant, letting the horse run free, living the SL with no
remorse, caution or control. I was a complete freak, lying to my family, an fantasy running free.
Now I enjoy calling SL a "game" and playing it like that, now many months after this happened I can see how much I had fallen for the fantasy of it. I tought stuff was so real, a total self-induced fantasy.

I hope this words that I write do not hurt the feelings of my virtual friends when they read it, new and old. I understand they looove their SL and my words might feel negative, a friend once told me, "you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar", but this addiction thing has no sweet side.

I whish I had the time back I wasted in SL. This keeps me writing this now and then and reminding me of that time when I was fully immersen in that place.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Whats damaging about SL Addiction?

After all this time of going around addiction, healing, re-lapsing and trying to act againts it, a year has already gone by along a few with more months, I also maneged to be fully-away for weeks at a time but some days I connect for many hours.

Please let me express what I consider as the source of damage of SL addiction.

Its about the consequences of using so many hours connected.
That is it.

Its not the evil platform, or brain-washing apocalyptic machine, or anythign wrong with that, its about the consequences that come from being connected excesive hours

I gotta go now, RL meeting.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Stage 2. Immersion

Immersion its when you have passed a few days, the controls of the -not so friendly- user interface are learned now, you know how to fly, move around and add people to your "friend" list. In a few words its must happen when you say "I got it, now let's see some more".

Back then I had my starting point established at the heart of mainland Second Life. I got this idea from a note card that suggested places to visit, one of them was a Balloon Tour over the houses and offices of the Linden Labs employees, I tough I would love to see the life's of the rich and famous, I did not know I would end up stuck on that place like for ever.

The place it's a wood platform, standing 15 meters above ground, with space for the balloon landings and takeoffs, signs promoting the tour and chairs and umbrellas to wait for your ride, along complimentary virtual popcorn and lemonade. Little did I know the ride was broken, so I waited and waited, trying to activate the tour i did things like sitting on inflatable party balloons, since the instructions read "Sit on balloon to start tour"- all this I did under the eyes of a really cool presence, Willa Wyclyffe.
Willa would just observe one after another noobie drop in and try it all, just like I had, she would always say "Balloon ride it's broken" but noob after noob would still try it all. Willa could be found normally talking with all her class and coolness with Irving Beardmore. They appeared to me like two super veterans, as they discussed scripts and building and other stuff I could only imagine, I did not dare talking to them for fear of being ignorant.

Immersion stage, continues on the "awe" factor as it feeds on visual perceptions and the mind and imaginations keep running at full speed filling the blanks with the desire to believe. This stage has to be characterized by meeting people, something I appeared to be good at, given that I really like people and the fact I can be outgoing at times. SL helped me exercise some human skills I wanted to work on and loosen up on my shy and reserved nature. In personality tests in real life I score right on the middle balance between introverted and extroverted slightly charged to introversion. Yeap believe it or not, acquaintances in real life cannot believe it either, but that is how I feel internally and how I grew until recent years, of course if my motor gets going I don't stop.

This is when people get exposed to the dangerous addictive factors, SL Love, SL Relationships and SL Sex. For whatever the reasons, this anonymous, ideal chat place allows people to open-up and chat their hearts, minds and desires out. And here enters the Human Emotions Furnace effect, yes, in Second Life virtual love its passionate, honest, open, perfect and relationships become ultra-relevant, I don't know why but can understand it.

Deep in my mind I knew I was addicted, I looked for help, guidance, or references in-world, of course this was not only stupid but also fruitless. I was being tempted with SL love, its funny but some people seem to project their personalities beyond their avatars, and individuals portray weak or strong presences. What they say of course helps you imagine who they are. Imagine being so vulnerable and in several ways ready to get hit or over run by excitement and emotions. Add your own personal needs and a powerful recipe for virtual love its waiting for you.

I made the commitment to elude SL Love and deep attachments as if they were enemies as I knew this would only hurt me deeply and could be really hurting to my evident and increasing addictive nature and condition.

In my Immersion Stage I met fantastic people, I was making friends everyday a few of them would would stand above and create a little house in my heart, I will not glorify them here, but please know the things I have shared with them are unique and all this craziness, addiction and adventures into this apocalyptic world will binds us across this virtual world, as I am sure other addicts feel for their friends.

I met the smart, accomplished, apparently not addictive person Sigmund Leominster, one person I thought understanded me in my ideas about SL Love and addiction and its well read, a fighter who has come a long way, caring individual. I met MTD1952 who's adventurous ways hide a loving, big teddy bear with a kind heart along a flair for fun. I met merry Feltwich who is a lady that I not only love as a friend but respect, admire and share very dear life beliefs, merry you are the head Tough Cookie girl. I also fancy as a friend a person that uses the name of DrGonzo Yokishawa, for his smartness, for not taking Second Life seriously and being a smart easy going, he is one fun buddie to have.

I also hold very high my Mongoose Merlin, whom saved me from some ugly places in my early adventures, she said "What are you doing here?" "You clearly don't belong here". Skyra Woodget who its Second Life's self earned Jet Set, a complete woman, mother and selfless giver, with a high a healthy self esteem. Sky2 who has a protective heart and always took care of me from a distance. As you see friendships can flourish in SL, being this one of the real hits of that place.

Hence my description of Immersion stage ends with the mention of some of the friends I made back then, I think with those words you can get the picture of the feelings that start to build inside the developing addict spirits. And of course my first real virtual friend, the ever cool Willa W.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Addictive factors in Stage 1 Exploration

The intention in adding scenes of what I lived its to portray the experience, in hope that readers get more information to develop judgments and perhaps ways to deal with it. This is also for the families of the affected in helping them understand their loved ones, that they are not complete fools.

Furthermore part of my thesis its that analyzing this phenomenon in stages can help its understanding. In this stage I offer what I call "Initial Exploration".

  • Starts with curiosity - some of us expect much less and get blindsided
  • The main addictive aspect could be the possibility of creating a perfect being
  • Anonymity allows behaviors different to the ones in our ordinary life's
  • The awkwardness of walking funny, being inexperienced and looking up to people forms a place full of "awe"
  • Discovering strange and original people
I just want to discuss a little about the amazing power of visual perception. Even as much as we rationalize that this is a virtual world, and people its evidently not as they appear to be, we -I include my self- get fooled by our own eyes in believing a man in a white rope will be a scientist, a man in pilot uniform or a police officer or a soldier will be just that.

Avatar created identity becomes so strong and people can develop such an emotional attachment to their own virtual persona and to others worse that a rat in an experiment. Your mind tells you one thing but the eyes feed the body with wrong information, people in Second Life its not what they portray, something that starts with not even using your own name, and goes on to become a giant masquerade party.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Falling through the rabbit hole

It was on those early days of initial exploration, where the key word has to be curiosity, "killer curiosity for all us cats".

Early days are used mostly on modifying appearance and exploring, exploring has to be one of the best and most rewarding activities to do in SL. Of course there are people who rush into the sexual exploration. Even do I was curious as always and I had already visited a few "themed" islands, I was not attracted to behaving like a monkey on SL and I was determined to treat my avatar with some self-respect and not do anything I wouldn't do in real life.

That does not mean that I didn't want to see the deepest, darkest things, in fact I wanted to see them all, to understand worlds, activities and different ways of thinking from the ones in my life. I visited a vampire themed castle, that I could never find later again, I was there walking like a duck (you need to get special code to walk sexy or more normally) with my nobie hair, free clothes trying not to look like a whore, when I ran into this Dracula castle, there were people dancing and others just watching, I did not even know how to use music, so I guess there was music to all that dance. I got frozen maybe due to some veteran jokester who kept freezing me, but I kept coming back since no one would scare me that easily! I saw a person using a half dressed child avatar, in fact baby avatar, not knowing what was the deal I was hit with the fact there is a lot of perverted role play going on in SL, I was taking notes.

I left, to continue my journey. The method I used was to open the map, and hit random places, and religiously I decided to start with the 4th corners, the far far places that I could find, it was time for the right top corner so I selected an island that looked the farthest. There I was going to fall into a mind rabbit hole, that would take me almost a year to endure and is still engraved in my memory.

When appeared on that corner of the world I found my self on an empty mountain, when this happens the thing to do is to fly and travel until you find a green spot on the mini-map that indicates a person but this particular green dot tried to escape into his workshop, but I landed just on his front yard.

This busy inventor had this intriguing shape, not your normal hulk male type, he had a long gray pony tail and for clothes he used a texture appearing all white with black letters and no eyes or features. He told me he used that outfit to fool his friends who kept asking if he had "rezzed" alright. I answered that a few days back a pervert in unloaded clothing had chased me asking for a hug and that I found it a bit scary. He changed into a normal clothing and it was refreshing to see an avatar man in his mid 50's.

Then he started jumping around, I reckon that I appeared quite stupid back then -If not now- he said I should try it and he gave me the animation he was using, so we both started jumping around like little brats, of course he was making fun of me trough this vivid expression of the image I pictured -"I will get my chance to show who I am" I thought- and we chatted nicely for a few minutes, he said it was strange that such a young person would visit that far, that it normally took people a year before visiting that area - That was a compliment.

Then he offered to show me something in his back shop, all my danger alerts started on my mind! -Why would I trust this guy? as I am thinking this he said "-Oh I keep forgetting how young you are." com'on nothing will happen to you.

He walked me to his back garden he had a beautiful place filled with flowers and trees, not like the normal ones but made by him. He told me to try something on the floor and I did. It made me stumble on my face and found my self seating on the floor in the middle of flowers, he kept calling me to continue, but I was struggling trying to stand up. He came back and he asked if I had tripped? Again mocking me, since he knew his funny code had caught one victim.

After taking this picture (or one similar to it for it was so long ago) I followed him and he indicated me to use a teleport, another first, after final hesitation I did and I found myself inside nothing, only he, myself and complete darkness, it was strangely relaxing I did not care if something happened to me, there was something about this place and my new friend, he told me to press the music button and I heard SL radio stations, it was classical music.

He pointed at a floating sphere, that sphere floated and traveled in the air like if we were playing with planets in the middle of the Universe, and when touched the sphere would send colorful particles flight around, it was so beautiful, they shed light as they floated and he had made them, he did not know what purpose would they serve, and as we were standing on what looked to be a trip into the center of the universe, we discussed some physics, (I had to show I was not a complete air-head) and I offered that light travels in a straight pattern and his spheres shed light in curves... he said he liked it that way, we also talked some other deep stuff, I don't know if I was smart of stupid but I said what was on my mind and what my spirit told me was right. I was stroked by the creativity possible in Second Life and it was evident that all of it its only in its infancy.

I left Jazzman Jibilla for the time being, a friend for ever. If earlier I had become hooked to SL without me ever knowing it, than night I truly fell through a rabbit hole.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Stage 1. Initial Exploration

It starts for many different reasons. Some come asked by their boss either to see what is going on here or because they have a virtual office in-world, some others because they read of it somewhere, others by recommendations by friends and in that way we come for many different reasons.

I came in because I gave myself a free afternoon and decided it was time I checked this place that had heard so much about. A guy by the name Negroponte was giving a speech at an important venue and he said: "Just check what is going on on virtual communities like Second Life..." Oh boy I bought the trap.

It starts awkwardly, in my days just under a year ago, you could choose an initial form of many types, human, furries and some strange like space ghost with no face. After that you visit some sort of "island" or area that serves the purpose of training and when you feel ready to use your new body you start your voyage into the virtual world or metaverse, the areas are divided by island, surely to be operated by servers but who knows.

I was one of those nerds that actually read most of the TOS (Terms of Service), I knew I was going into something that had a strange taste of apocalyptic, or at least a bit dark as it was to be proven soon.

As a new avatars you don't have a house, some of the 1st places you visit have the attribute of being programmed as your starting point. Hence a place that offered a tour of the Linden Labs in world office and houses became my home, this is the way many of us make first friends, honestly all looks amazing, shiny, sometimes spectacular and sometimes magical.

Specially for those like me that were not familiar to WoW or on-line gaming -I used an on-line place for a few weeks years ago and it was only text back then (booooring)!- So this was a dream come true. Imagine meeting people, places and actually seeing them and interact using a virtual world!

The idea is great and this is why this places are so fantastic. We addicts are not stupid people, just fell unprepared to a wonderful thing. Truly a technical wonder. I don't have pictures of this very first days and thankfully so because my creation or my on-line "persona" had square head and very ugly hair.

After a nice person helped me with my shape, hair and directed me towards some of the freebie places, clothes and basic items that you need not to look too goofy. Then as I started exploring using the map, that's when I feel trough the rabbit hole but I was already hooked badly.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Internet Gaming Addiction hits Primetime one more time.

With U.S. huge T.V. star Dr. Phil, Internet Gaming Addiction hits the prime time again

I only hope this continues to bring light to this topic and the tidal wave starts to change for the better.

I also found out a few weeks ago, that a real life acquaintance of mine lost his teenager kid to a 5 kids on-line suicide pact. They were a family that apparently had it all and this happened to them, I am so sad for them. Its real, its here, and its dangerous.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Internet Addiction defined by The Center for Online Addiction

The Center for Online Addiction offers hope and valuable resources to those seeking information about Internet addiction. They display a thoughtful definition stating that Internet addiction is a type of compulsive disorder. As an organization they are specifically dedicated to helping people who suffer from this new form of addictive behavior.

Since my personal effort its towards helping prevention through creating awareness, The Center for Online Addiction Recovery might be a good place to look for professional assistance in treatment. It certainly seems a professional well established center, if you choose to research them to get help, I strongly suggest to ask many questions before starting any treatment.

And why not? lets us know about your experience with them in case other person wants reference.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Videos not funny - not serious

Now there is people claiming that the only way to get out of SL is to cause LL to ban them permanently by performing acts against others!

Video fun break Why are you giving your life to this?

This videos from youtube, display people's view on Second Life, I find them particularly telling.

Pure Genius!

Will a warning label be effective?

I know people would like to find a definitive solution! But in order to understand this petition we need to know what it is aiming at.
This initiative aims at informing people about this phenomenon. Not to cure it, not to stop them.
I think this is the least we can do, towards awareness, and not such a big deal as we might be making of, for instance in 1982 the FDA (United States Federal Drugs Administration) requested food manufacturers to voluntarily label the sodium content of their products.

Some research points out to positive results
Graphic cigarette warning labels serve as an effective smoking cessation intervention. The findings add to the growing literature on health warnings and provide strong support for the effectiveness of Canada’s tobacco labeling policy.

Some research mentions labels don't not show results
This one analyzed labels on alcoholic beverages, and compared Warning Labels to other media like television and education and concluded it does not show results in comparison to them. This leaves us with yet a larger problem because for us there is no single mechanism of awareness at all!

What has been LL's reaction to this?

To this day, no communication or interest has been acknowledged by LL. I believe they know about it, since I been told even on their inspirational book Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson, there are addicts and "toxic immersion" is resembled.

Even as LL might be perfectly aware of this situation, I believe they don't know what to do. And it is likely many of them perceive this as damaging to their business interests. Others might think this needs to be addressed or even that it has potential to turn into a good thing. It would not be strange that an internal struggle on this is happening. But no official action has been displayed in any form.

Why you named the blog "Mony Markova on Internet Addiction"?

For a simple reason. In all other spaces I participate I try to separate me from the issue in order not to create noise around the main topic. Yet few people have taken their comments directly towards me in a passionate, sometimes aggressive nature. Yes I am running this initiative and here I can explain more about my motives and reasons on this.

You talk a lot about the problem, are there any solutions?

I think we can identify and develop the solutions in 3 levels:
  1. Preventive
  2. Controlling
  3. Healing
My proposals are completely towards prevention it and also towards helping those inside who are suffering to become aware of it at the earliest stage of their connection possible.
  • Of course awareness. Helps greatly to stay healthy
  • I think the Maturation Life Cycle, of players holds great promise.
  • The last stage of Maturation Cycle its conveniently called the boredom plateau. It comes when the player becomes bored of the same thing over and over, and find this as the only exit door for them
After they become bored, many leave for good, others find balance, yet others stay in for years.
We need to find out ways to help people find maturation and a balanced connection use earlier and to reduce the pains and cost while finding it (if they must stay in), also to avoid the same trouble others have faced before.
Other solutions fall into control oriented measures, which like I said are not in my interest and healing is matter of professionals on that field. This is why its important to open spaces where communication happens and solutions might arise.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Creating awareness through the media

After the Awareness Addiction Group and In-world office failings. I decided I was to use an opportunistic approach and try to send the message through SL Media.

  1. The Pandora's box of SL: The 5 worst worms of the metaverse. Pointed out 5 worse things of SL, having SL Addiction as the worst one.
  2. Postals from Strangeland. Aimed at more thoughtful readers.
  3. The Pregnant Man. Points out to deep down emptiness and stupidity on the platform.
  4. Press release of the JIRA Request. Maybe my last I don't know if The Herald will take my notes anymore.
All trying to bring attention and readers into it. Provocative tone works better in SL than serious and analytic approaches.

About the Awareness Addiction SL group

Yet another approach.

This one is to be closed shortly since the results are not evident. All members -some 36- appear to have left SL or reduced drastically their connection time, something I attribute more to the maturation and normal life cycle of SL than to the group. This is why you will see the maturation cycle holds more promise to understand, people's correct use of the platform.

History of the in-world office

Bad idea. Most likely.

Also fuels the notion of me being an addict needing a crusade to get my Fix! So lame. Working with 2 of my best friends, one of them a terrible addict like myself at the time and the other a very well balanced person.

Even as I disliked the idea of having an in-world office, I conceded to develop a self-service stop, a place where information is placed, and people can come in and see the ideas and links to sites (like the elliptic blog) and to other resources, that way we don't need to be in-world at all to have the message sent.

In retrospective the greatest virtue of this approach, was that it was aimed at actual players, and seeking to promote balance! A balanced use of the platform can be quite positive too, for those that can elude the addictive pull.

Art was made by Kralli, kind citizens Timberlake and Lilianna gave us land to use for many months! My friend K, left SL and is now doing great away from it.

We had a couple of good meetings there, two professionals saw the office, maybe one or two people truly interested visited it.

That was it, a major impact failure. Still lesson learned.

Thanks for the elliptic blog

And its writers - If you came here from there, welcome and be assured you don't need to agree with me to post here at all.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Counter ideas - Most common reason why I am so wrong!

This are the top 7 repetitive ideas I get from people explaining to me "why I am so wrong".

#1 No one reads TOS.
(Terms of Service)
Some people do. The cautionary note might be placed in other place. Somewhere it works out for the purpose. TOS might be a good place to do it.

#2 Its annoying!
I give you that, I am very tired already

#3 There are so many other addictions! You can get addicted to anything on life!
Yes you are right. But other addictions existing will not make this one disappear.

#4 This is not LL's problem, not created by them
Totally agree, for the 11th time, I am not pointing them as guilty of this. Please consider they own and manage the platform and they are the only ones with resources and authority to display such a cautionary mention about this phenomenon somewhere.

#5 This is not my problem - I am not addicted!
Good, then don't pay attention to this, don't let it bother you. Labels will not come flying to your screen attacking your experience.

#6 A cautionary label will not prevent it from happening
It might help someone ease its problem. Its a long shot

#7 Other places like WoW (believed to be far more addictive) dont display such a cautionary note
We are breakthrough, why look back to see examples of what followers are doing?

What are the worse addictive factors in your opinion?

Several, one of them its the anonymity of platform. This provides great possibilities but also enhances people behaving differently than they do in real life.

After that, having the possibility of being a ideal being and the immersible nature of the place, come in.

In particular I have noticed that the attachment to people, specially the "Human Emotion Furnace Effect" its the single most potent addictive component. For some reason this place allows great openness and adventures into the mind that open the door for the verisimilitude (the appearance of truth) of the relations. In simpler words cybersex and cyberlove are one of the main addictive triggers of SL Addiction. This all in my personal opinion.

I have to mention that I need no more rivals and antagonists on this topic, so until now I had kept to myself this observation, call it an hypothesis.

Mony, do you have too much time on your hands?

Well I am not connected at all most of the day. I dont even log in for weeks! But if I have extra time this season, actually yes, at this particular point in my life I find myself with extra time and perhaps too much energy to use on this. This will end up soon don't worry and since I am about to get real busy in RL. I need to finish this chapter the soonest.

Note. Actually I was "plugged" to SL for way too much time.

Addiction by hours

Whats a normal user versus a heavy user and where is addiction? I don't have the answers for that one. But I suggest the analysis of this by arranging the Adoption Curve or Life Cycle of users through a maturation period.

Some people achieves-balance- immediately. Some folks, well, become addicted and some other never become interested. Where is addiction? As with other cases like alcohol, it must come when it affects the ability of the person to function in society.

Has all this Crusade been fruitful?

Yes, I am a believer of the possibilities of Second Life (TM) specifically, so when I saw this GREAT issue needing to be addressed, I became determined to act on it.

This has given me the opportunity, to know the fabric, of the platform, who are its people? How do they react to initiatives? What are their true interests? Whats behind some of its "opinion leaders"? Whats the level of reaction of LL to hard to talk issues. I have learned a lot. I tried to act, started a group, opened an office, wrote people like PathFinder Linden! Have direct email exchanges with some of SL most polemic characters.

But most of all I have taken this topic of discussion, to many places. My goal of creating awareness, even that it has not been pretty, has been somewhat achieved, the message is out!

Will you continue this forever?

No. I think I am close to having gone well beyond my call of duty!

This might encourage, my counterparts, but this one its on its last legs. I have a few other aces under my hand, but that will mean taking this up one whole level. I don't think I have the energy or interest to do that, since that might hurt the platform.

I just need to complete some of the following areas:
  • Explain the initiative
  • Present the case
  • Gather information about sources
  • Share part of the story and
I will be done!

Who do you think you are? What gives you the right?

I am just a regular citizen. I think a regular citizen has full right to ask for this. I don't think I am special at all. I know I have the courage to stand in front of adversity and ideas and to stand up for myself.

Are you crazy - Whats your problem?

I hope I am not crazy. I don't rule it out completely, however I never been diagnosed with anything such like that, medicated or even suggested to seek help, except by a couple of bloggers on some sites.
My problem is to see so many people moaning, complaining and no one daring to step up and raise a call to action on this issue.
I think of all attempts I have tried, (short of handling this to a special commission) this one its the easier to achieve, less intrusive, and less painful.

Is this for everyone?

No, many people focuses successfully on the great positives of the platform, and has not problem with their personal use of it.

What is this - why is this important?

It is when a person becomes too obsessed with a virtual community, to the point of affecting her regular life by her recurring abuse of time and energy on those communities. The reach of the danger and the size of the harm to people's life's is greatly displayed on the Elliptic Blog

In a nutshell what I am trying to do?

I believe addiction virtual communities such as Second Life (TM) its a reality, and its amazingly powerful -its a phenomenon, a by-effect of something that is mostly good.
  1. People joins in with no knowledge whatsoever of this phenomenon
  2. Awareness of a danger helps reduce its potential harm
  3. Any tool to display this reality it might help thos who read it
This is in a nutshell all I strive for.

The Motives of the Wolf

So many ways to characterize this BLOG, however it has emerged by the need to explain my reasons, to provide detailed information, all in a place that is "mine" so I don't bother others or use their time and space. I been asked not to "waste so much Google space" for crying out loud!

Here you will get to know the author and the reasons behind my actions against the Phenomenon of Internet Addiction Syndrome.