5th rezzday passed, and didn’t notice

You might look up my profile, and wonder what I’m talking about. Pussycat dates to June 15, 2009.

But the real ‘not-so-very’ secret is that Pussycat is technically an alt. Or an alt-main. Or a main-now-that-my-main-is-no-longer-my-main-cause-the-new-main-was-made-to-replace-the-old-one.

Or something like that. πŸ™‚

I originally joined Second Life as part of the Poser 7 promotion to come see their build in some weird video game / pron thing folks were calling Second Life. I’d not bothered with Second Life because well, what was wrong with my First Life?

Never liked my original name.

In fact I disliked it so much that I quit SL by the end of my first month.

See if you think the fiasco with last names is bad now, back in 2006 I had to agree to a TOS that said I got one account, had to pick the name right then, could NEVER change it, had to pick one of the 5 last names on my screen, and would be perma-banned for the rest of my first-life if ever caught making a new account…

So I chose quickly. It was just some video game for people with no First Life, what did I care? I jumped in, went to the Poser thing, and found out all the goodies were not for Poser, but for Poser fans who played this loser video game for people with no First Life to ‘represent’ inside of their Second Life.

I was originally a Yue.

So I left. Bad name, no point, whatever

So my original Second Life account dates to December 12, 2006. Is that my rezzday, or is June 15, 2009 my rezzday?

I dunno. I do know I actually came back in March, April, or May somewhere of 2009 – wandering around on my original account, and then when I discovered the alt-policy wasn’t going to send some nice Italian gentlemen to visit me if I made an alt… on a now also abandoned alt.

Cause yeah… I goofed in the name AGAIN. That alt dates to May 20, 2009. She was a Bohemian.

Pussycat came about because I was doing the usual noob thing of wearing boxes on your head one day in 2009 when one of them turned me into a neko.

That was the moment SL clicked for me. The moment I felt a sense of connection to SL – was the moment I ‘wore the wrong box’. Now I needed to figure the place out. And my displeasure at name choices started becoming important. Kind of like it has for a lot of ‘Residents’ over the past year.

I searched for ways to have a cat-like name. I lucked out and found slnamewatch, which at the time was listing links to all the places you could register any active name not currently being shown in the pulldown list on the official page.

To the Residents: Yes even back when we did have last names, they didn’t do it an ideal manner. They gave you a list of 5, out of the several hundred, and most people didn’t know hitting refresh in your browser would “sometimes” cycle in a different 5 (at least in the last year of them it would)…

There were a couple cat choices. The ones I really liked (but don’t like now) were already retired.

Back in the day, to prevent any poor sod from being registered as ‘Marysue1981e5’ (who as of this posting doesn’t exist), they would retire a name if it got too used, or if they wanted it to feel special (like GossipGirl, made for a certain TV show, which actually kept working for a few months after it was supposed to be retired, if you knew where to register for it – which reminds me that I don’t even remember who my gossipgirl alt was… or if I even made one…).

So I had to search for a while to find the right surname, and then I tried all sorts of catty names with it, including catty – writing them down and saying them back in my head… You don’t want to know what my first choices were… Ok, maybe you do… one of them is not a good word in polite company anymore, despite sounding similar to what I ended up with, and the other just sounds very pathetic and begins with ‘kitty’ but does not have ‘cat’ in it.

Once I hit on the name I’ve got now, and found it wasn’t yet taken, that’s when this became my ‘new-main’. I sent over everything I could from the old account, and shut the lights on that chapter of things. Losing maybe 3000-5000L worth of goods, as I was still a newbie in shopping habits with not much stuff.

Now I’m a Catnap.

So where was I?

Yeah so, what is my rezzday?

What counts, for people who left and came back? I actually do remember a few things from my short stay in 2006 – but I was not involved in any community back then, and only talked to a grand total of maybe 3 other people.

I got back a few months before I switched accounts. But I can go for quite a long time without thinking about the old account – just a vague awareness that I had it. Technically it still exists. It was never deleted or banned. Its just there somewhere. I could go through and do a ‘forgot password’ thing and maybe get it active… but I left it for a reason.

Though… 2 days ago was still its 5th rezzday… which in a sort of way, makes that my kinda-5th-rezzday-but-not-quite. πŸ™‚

Alts… Gotta love my alts…

Alts.

There’s always some kind of alt drama in Second Life. I’ve always been a little confused and baffled by it. I came to SL because MMOs weren’t doing it for me. I came to MMOs because MUDs weren’t doing it for me. I’d found MUDs because I’d been invited to one of those table top role-play things and found it… alienating (we could have a blog post here about the inherent race and gender problems in RPGs, but you can find that plastered all over minority gamer blogs elsewhere by people who didn’t just give up like I did). I’d been invited to that because, akin to many fellow “race-minorities”, I enjoy writing fiction.

So…
Alts are normal in MMOs
What all that means is that its natural for me to relate to different aspects of myself by creating lots of ‘characters.’

But that makes me something of an oddity in Second Life. If you’ve come to my blog from reading my Getting Started guide – then one more piece of advice I have for you is that in SL your avatar is your account… and each avatar is her own account… and much of the community has issues with people who have multiple accounts.

No matter how many times I see the drama wars over it on various forums and blogs, I am just not capable of understanding how anyone could have a problem with an alt. Its just like trying to explain equality to a Republican – they can’t grasp it, and I can’t grasp this. πŸ˜€

My mind isn’t wired that way.

Now… some people make alts to explore different characters. Some people make alts to role-play in different role-play operations in SL. Some people make alts just to hold their land or business groups together without going nuts. Some people make alts just to go through the account creation screen again. Some people make alts just to get a name they like.

Some people make alts because its Tuesday and that’s what they do on a Tuesday (its actually Sunday while I type this – so I didn’t make any alts today just so you know).

Some people make alts to explore different aspects of their ‘inner self’ while keeping these compartmentalized.

I’ve done all of the above. Except for the Tuesday thing, I think.

Some people make alts to stalk another user. Some people make alts to hide from another user. I have to admit that I’ve done neither of this yet. If I want to stalk someone I usually IM them asking them where they are (I’d make a bad psycho-stalker that way…). If I want to hide from somebody I just don’t tell them where I am.
– This coming from someone who had a rough upbringing and so knows what ‘drama’ can lead to in RL… I’m the person here who -should- be paranoid, I’ve been hospitalized from a violent attack before (only once because I chose not to go the other times), and yes I have used a knife on someone, once. And I know what its like to wake up to the sound of gunfire.

But I’m just not paranoid… so none of my alts come from this kind of drama (and actually sometimes experiencing RL drama can chill your paranoia by instead teaching you to judge a situation – this is why veterans become so much more effective if they survive even one conflict).

Ok…

So back to alts. I’ve got lots of them. If not for deleting old accounts I’d probably be in some kind of trouble with the lindens.

I also tend to be pretty open about having alts, and about who they are. In fact I’m thinking I might as well out a few of them and show why I made them.

First:

Pussycat Catnap.
Pussycat Catnap Dancing at Irie Vibes
Yep, by some people’s definition even this is an alt. Pussycat was made in 2009 about a month after I got ‘back’ to Second Life. One of the things that caused me to leave in 2006 was not liking the name I’d picked. At the time I’d read that you only ever got to have that one account, could never change the name, and if you even asked the lindens would send somebody by to kill your dog. So when I made a bad choice, I just figured that was it, and I left.

I know that must sound amazingly absurd… but I was a noob back then, and I read that -somewhere- (probably a blog because I’ve never found it again, not even on outdated linden pages, and I probably misread it too – but it stuck in my mind anyway)… so when I had to choose between ‘name I don’t like to stick with some weird MMO I don’t get’ and ‘shrug and move on because its probably just as bad as those MMOs’ – I chose the second.

Came back in 2009 when bored one day and forced myself to use that bad name again. Then I read the ToS and saw something about alt accounts… So I spent a week thinking hard to make one I’d like… and made a second one I didn’t like instead… but then I found a neko kit, and inspiration hit me. Those other two accounts are now gone. Well the 2006 one exists because I thought I might need that old date for something, but I’m not sure if I have the info on how to use it anymore. Oh… and in making Pussycat I made a long list of names, and went looking through the list of surnames for every catty choice I could and mulling over the combinations. Some of my possible choices were pretty bad… Lets just say I wrote down a few that didn’t have the ‘cat’ part in the first name… because like every newbie, at the time I was stuck in the pron clubs (the guide I’d read on starting said to go camp there for stuff… considering the horrid stuff I got, I ought-a go smack that guide’s writer upside the head)… thank goodness I rejected those almost as soon as I’d written them down. πŸ™‚

Pussycat is not the go-to account for me. She’s an exploration of the core of my inner self. As a child on a trip I once looked into a campfire and saw a lion staring back at me. As an adult I suspect I’d had a close encounter with one of California’s many mountain lions. As an inner-city child though, wondering about my half-native ancestry and having no points of reference but pop culture, I thought it was my totem animal… Resulting in me having a very close affinity to cats which holds even now as I’ve grown up and met many native people and learned more of what that means. So Pussycat is my ‘me’ alt. πŸ™‚

Bunny Gearz.
Bunny Gearz
Not long after making Pussycat I decided I wanted to explore steam-punk, and I was sitting in the shop ‘Hybrid’ (that has since gone away and been replaced by other businesses using that same name now). Hybrid sold neko kits, but also kits for other human-animal blends. One was a bunny-girl: Usagi. Double inspiration hit me and Bunny Gearz was born. Though I was still a cheap-newbie at the time and not willing to spend 300L on the Usagi kit… so I spent a month on freebie bunny ears and tail I’d cut off a ‘playboy bunny’ style outfit – it looked horrid… πŸ™‚

Finally got the usagi kit and was happy. Until I got into furries. Then I spent about 4 months seeking an indigo-black bunny – the shiny black look, inspired by the Black Rabbit in Watership Down. I failed in that search but eventually just got a ‘gray black’ – the black that everyone in SL uses to avoid the loss of good highlights that true black gives (unlike in print and web where we use blue-black blends to make a shiny black look).

Older image of Bunny Gearz
Oh did I forget something here? The steam-punk… yeah… I kinda lost track of that early on with Bunny. As soon as she got her basic usagi look down, she ended up with dreadlocks on… and she just hit me as reminding me of my ‘hardened self’ – that survivor part of me somewhat mentioned above about my upbringing. Bunny is where I end up when exploring my roots and how I didn’t let that reality drag me down. She’s an optimist from a place where she shouldn’t be one.

Reggae.
Reggae in front of her Jet bike and Bunny's Steam bike.
Outing a new one here. None of my friends know of reggae. But not for any bad reason. Reggae was made almost purely to capture a name when the single-name accounts came out. She had no other purpose for quite a long time. I bought her a raven furry, and a Twi-lek (Star Wars alien) avatar – and maybe 3 outfits plus AO, mostly because it felt weird to have a ‘blank’ account.

But I think anyone reading anything from me by this point might know that I have an affinity for Reggae, and in fact my theological views are close enough to call me a Rastafarian-sympathizer. So an account like ‘Reggae’ is the sort of thing, when in the hands of a person like me, that will just keep calling out until it gets attention.

Reggae forced my hand. πŸ™‚ She’s the little account that would not go away. After deleting a couple of other one-name accounts that I made and quickly regretted (and even more now I know that those names are still gone, new users can’t get them even though they were deleted…)… I couldn’t delete Reggae.

And that’s just a recipe for trouble for me. Because if the account’s there, I’ve got to explore it.

When I saw a skin shop with some really nice African female skins ([LS] – Lyrical Store), but had no human account… yep… I dug up my login info for Reggae and took her there.

And of course, skin ‘in hand’ now she needed good hair, and good clothes, and a vehicle, and… oops, she ended up with a better vehicle than my other avatars, so now she’s the one I drive around random exploration points in SL with…

And of course with a name like Reggae, she needed a dance HUD, which of course means needing dances…

A -LOT- of people have already seen Reggae. Her image is first on my Proportion Guide blog entry. Because well… I wanted to do my first test of good proportions on a full-human avatar to ‘make sure’.
Reggae in a science fiction leotard
Actually finding Reggae kind of fun to be on… What does she ‘explore’ about me, I’m not sure. But its something.

So that’s some alts for you.

None of them made for drama, none of them made to hide. And now everybody knows them so I can’t hide with them anymore even I wanted to.

Its all just about exploring different aspects of a virtual world with varying virtual selves. Imagination, use it, don’t lose it.
Pussycat Catnap on Shermerville Bridge

Why’d I post this? Well, I just kinda felt like it was time to throw my alts out there so I could more easily be social on them. Frankly I think there are a lot more people like me on this than many suspect – people who have alts just to enjoy them, and not for any silly drama. Sometimes its more of a pain to have them not interconnected by default.

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