“Our dreams are a second life.” ~Gerard de Nerval
By Cat Boccaccio.
Second Life is a little different for each of us. Some create avatars that resemble their Real Life selves and meet up with RL friends in Second Life. Others keep their RL strictly private, and the avatar can be just about anything. Most of us fall somewhere in between.
Ole Etzel and his avatar, Mr Bones, are creatures of Second Life. As he says in the 12th episode of Drax Files: World Makers, he prefers the Eastern style of avatar presence on the Internet, as opposed to the Western or American Facebook style of posting real names and pictures.
Since Ole Etzel is not his real name, he can maintain his privacy and be “very free” in Second Life, expressing himself without restraint, and having the time of his life while doing so.
In his spare time, from his busy life in Hamburg, Germany, Ole produces wildly creative, often cartoonish machinimas about Mr Bones’ adventures at sea and about Mrs Bones, left behind but no less adventuresome. He does the script, the voice overs, design and often the music for these movies. He admits they are often “wild stuff”, while at the same time having a “clear political message that matters to the so-called real world, because that is where we are from– because we are real!”
He has loving support from his wife, but his gamer friends are fixated on the “learning curve” of Second Life. Ole scoffs at this. Blender, he says, has the learning curve; but you would have to be a bit dim not to be able to master the basics of creating and manipulating your environment in Second Life. It is the relative simplicity of Second Life that makes it accessible to everyone, no matter what your perceived skill level. Anyone, as Drax emphasizes in his World Maker series, can be creative in Second Life.
This episode did leave me with one burning question: What are those delectable treats we see at about 1:35? Delicious vanilla cupcakes? Creamy lemon cakes? We never did learn Ole Etzel’s real name. Perhaps these tasty treats can lead us to his door.