Role Playing and Real Life
Posted by Raza Lane
I have been under a lot of stress and pressure in real life lately and I have been trying to find more positive and healthy long term ways of coping with pressure and stress in life than the traditional way I dealt with it in the past, which was to suppress my feelings and push them deep inside my unconscious mind, where they have sweltered for the past 33 years, and then mask how I felt in the real world. The last few years of trying to open up to understand who I really am and what I really feel and think and want from life, and not live other people’s vision of my life should be, have been hard but a fascinating journey. Though I have not had much time to spare for exploring myself and the creativity of other’s in Second Life, whenever I do go there it does help me on my journey to find out who I truly am and what truly stimulates me and energizes me.
A good example of this is what happened today. I was surrounded by real life mess and paperwork in my study at home and I’ve been exhausted from al the pressures of real life with all it’s real life issues such as money, relationships, things always breaking at home! I should have been working but I logged into Second Life, and after crashing a few time SL finally managed to find a SIM that accepted me! That became too laggy so I thought I’d finally go and buy the new male hair I desperately needed, after a freak and seemingly irreversible accident with my original hair.
Whilst shopping for new hair I decided to change my clothes and came upon the Marc Anthony Roman Toga Soldier outfit I bought from the excellent SL Clothes shop, Fierce Designs run by Sally Soleil. Somehow this virtual act of changing my clothes managed to change my mood and I felt the need to immerse myself in something more ancient Roman than a futuristic looking male skin shop. So I decided to type in Rome into the SL destination search guide and one of the places that popped up was Melita Insula, a role playing SIM based on Ancient Greece and Rome.
Now I haven’t really ever immersed myself on any form of deep role playing with the exception of Second Life itself, and to be honest I am more my natural real self in Second Life than in Real life, so it’s not really role playing for me. I’ve always thought the idea of getting into role playing would be cool but I have never been able to invest the time. Even thought I didn’t; spend that long in Melita Insula I did feel transported to another world and I forgot all the many cares and irritating worries that had been plaguing me in real life for the last few weeks.
I had only really gone there to take some pictures of myself fin the Roman Soldier Toga clothing, and wanted a suitable background. But whilst trying out new pose son a ship I was spotted by a pretty looking Greek lady who told it was getting cold and I should follow her. I was intrigued and having not planned on any social contact really I was glad it came my way. The lady took me to her warm and cosy ancient roman villa house and we had a fascinating chat about my life as a Roman Centurion soldier keeping the empire strong in the cold, barbaric island of Britannia. Yes, you read that correctly. i was entertaining this fine lady with tales of my encounters with barbaric savages on the frontiers of the Roman Empire. All pretty surreal. She was really good at guiding the role playing and helping me get more immersed in it. As a fiction writer I enjoy travelling through newly invented character arcs and plot narratives but I hadn’t expected to become so immersed. I found it extremely refreshing and relaxing and it was just what I needed to chill me out.
I had to log off to get some lunch and when the doorbell rang I was in a pleasant, if somewhat distant faraway mood, and not prepared for the shock that was to greet me. It was my friendly next door neighbour and she wanted to let me know some bad news. One of our neighbours, whose young wife had recently battled with Leukaemia, had had a heart attack suddenly and died over the weekend. He had 2 young children and I had seen his wife, who has been recovering well, only just recently. It was a very sudden and hard knock back down to earth. It has still left me feeling very strange and just highlighted how diverse the range of human experiences and accompanying emotions can be.