Saturday, November 28, 2009
On being a child in SL
90% of the time in Second Life, I'm in one of my child avatars. I have a couple, children from Victorian times ranging in age from 7 to 11.
And 80% of the time I'm one of them (most often Elizabeth, under Marrant Vita's avatar) I'm someplace safe for people playing children avatars -- Deadwood (Phoenix Pass) or my tiny bit of mainland, my residence at my friends' place in Caledon.
But the rest of the time I'm out and about, visiting my own shops or shopping. I'm very comfortable being a child in SL -- I didn't start out that way, mind you. I tried out the adult life, the wild life. My oats have been sown here and there, I've fallen in love, I've done adult things as an adult with adults.
Being a child, though, has somehow felt right to me, more and more. And in my limited travels, I've been lucky enough to only have interactions with fellow Second Lifers who are pleasant in their dealings with a child avatar. Of course, mine are always dressed in charming Victorian costume, so that may make a difference.
It always comes as a big surprise when I read posts wherein someone declares that anyone playing a child in Second Life is a pervert of some kind, looking for age play sex and the defense from others often is, not all are perverts, some are just messed up in the head.
Hmmm. This comes from a place where people using adult or furry avatars often are going around looking for on-line sex with strangers who may or may not be anything like the person they claim to be.
In any case, I hope I'll be able to continue with my 7 to 11 year old child avatar roleplaying. I love this age -- I used to be it once and now I have offspring in that range. These are people, by the way. We label them as "children" for many reasons, good ones. They are children, innocent, optomistic, full of hope and promise and possibilities for tomorrow. This is the age when for the normal child, friendship and love have nothing to do with sexual encounters. But what I think many forget both in RL and in SL is, children are people - often intelligent, observing adults and drawing conclusions that can be close to the mark and very amusing.
My characters are not in need of parents, either -- they are loners or orphans, but they have caretakers who are somewhere offstage (that would be me, HELLOOO, I'm an adult, the typist, and the caretaker of my avatars). They are at the age when children are learning that they are separate entities, stepping out a bit to see what they can do independently, then rushing back to the comfort of home when things get shaky.
For those who find my avatar upsetting or attractive as a child, I would just ask that you walk on the other side of the street and leave me be. My child avatars are interested in things like wondering if fairies are real, how hummingbirds stay up in the air so long, talking about how stupid boys and grown ups are with her best friends. Most often they don't notice the grumpy, paranoid, name-calling adults around them -- life is too magical to be bothered with all of that.