The Reality of Virtual

Virtual relationships have been on my mind of late. With the opening of High Fidelity on the horizon and the possibilities of better communication tools within the software, I ponder over where the changes will lead. Friendships, romance, lust and love are all likely to take a turn as the pixel world comes closer to the carbon based one.

We know that lasting relationships are made within our virtual landscapes; I have several friends who have been living combined partnership lives for many years. A few have even joined households across the miles to live together on land as well as on the computer. They still however meet in the virtual world as they need the avatar connection for balance.

It is easy to slip from a virtual to real life relationship. IMs turn to emails, voice chat turns to phone calls. And there you are; reality within the virtual.

I remember my mother telling me that you couldn't go back once you had "slept with a boy" (we were all so politically correct back then). That insight was incorrect; I know that now -- or perhaps we have simply evolved a bit. Still, it seems more difficult to put ourselves back into virtual only mode after we have shared a more complex relationship in the two different worlds.

Pixel pairings don't always last. They are one step removed from the start and come with built in disguises. Just like corporeal affairs, computer counterparts take time to unfold.  Who is behind the keyboard? Who is under the skin?

We ARE the same people in both places. We may look different, we may even have a different backstory, but our intrinsic components are the same. Things like integrity, trustfulness and mores don't change. The new virtual world enhancements will likely speed that unveiling.

So where does this leave us with the changes in virtual on the horizon? I suspect the dividing lines will blur even more. It may be difficult to find our footing. It may be even harder to differentiate between what is real and what is imagined.

If it feels real; it is real.

OSgrid and High Fidelity

Well there hasn't been all that much news to add to this blog for awhile, but last night the OSgrid opened again! Folks were linking up even before the official unveiling and venturing over via hypergrid. It is really great to see that rising from the ashes scenario. I look forward to exploring.

Another new platform is almost ready for visitors, High Fidelity. While the home page gives the impression that you can download and begin, not so. Patience is called for. But you can sign up to be notified when  client, server and name saving are open.

There was lots of shuffling when OSgrid went down, Metropolis became the first port in the storm, then other connect for free grids came on the scene. It will be interesting to see what ripples the mother grid's return creates in the OpenSim community. I for one am looking forward to exploring places I have never seen.

High Fidelity, in some ways, wants to be the new and improved version of OpenSim. That worries some OS folks; others see it as a natural progress of the metaverse. With better tech and the possibility of some high profile designers  -- not sure about the security issues on the High Fidelity platform, so that will be a piece of the puzzle there -- it could be a glorious new world.

So get ready to explore!