Virtual Worlds ~ The Mind, The Book, & Second Life

Your mind is a virtual world…

A book you read or write is a virtual world…

I’ll get to Second Life in a minute…

An off-the-cuff definition of “virtual” could be, “just about as good as the original” but, from my experience, I’d say that virtual’s meaning can be very strong on the root it came from: virtue.

All virtual worlds have virtues that make them valuable whether we’re talking about your mind, a book you read or wrote, or a computer-created world.

There is a World out there that our minds process. The debate about whether our minds can actually represent that World faithfully or not is still unsettled. But, even if our minds do represent the outside world with accuracy, it’s still a secondary creation that mimics the virtues of physical reality.

If our minds create a virtual copy of the physical world that strengthens or weakens certain virtues  we can become geniuses or mad folk.

It seems a bit easier to see the virtuality of a book. Still, the effect of a book’s world can seem as real as the mind’s replication of the actual physical world…

So, since blog posts are not university dissertations, let’s move on to actual virtual worlds.

“Actual virtual worlds”? Actual implies the real-deal. Virtual implies mostly as good as the real deal.

Even language has qualities that sometimes make it hard to determine the Real reality of what we think we know.

So, if you’ve never been to an actual virtual world, you might want to read Wikipedia’s article or visit a list of various available VWs.

The main reason I’m going on about virtuality in a blog that claims it’s about reading, writing, and publishing has to do with some of the research I’ve done for my Work-In-Progress, Notes from An Alien.

I’ve been using a particular virtual world for nearly four years–Second Life.

When I was still a newbie, I mostly traveled to all the various venues–dance clubs, libraries, mountain retreats, undersea wonderlands, and other marvelous places.

Two years ago, my pregnancy with the book I’m working on began and I found myself renting space on Book Island–a space of writers, editors, and artists created by a former publisher. Not so long after, I created a special avatar for one of my main characters and let her roam the virtuality, talking with all manner of people about the book’s themes.

As you may well know, writers’ characters can be very real and giving my character the added reality of virtuality has been one of the most therapeutic things I’ve every done. In fact, my character, Sena, is the one who takes care of interacting on our Facebook and Twitter accounts (check out the links at the end of the post…).

Once the book is published, an important part of the promotion and sales activity will take place in Second Life…

Have you ever wondered if your mind is truly registering our physical world with fidelity?

How lost can you get in a good book?

Has a book you’ve written ever made you want to abandon our consensual reality?

Have you ever visited a virtual world?
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