This autumn, I will be attending a conference in San Francisco, within walking distance from the Lab. I guess the view of the office building from the street will be less exciting than visiting the Linden Village in Second Life, but it will be nice to have seen the place anyway.
Thanks to Google, I do not need to travel across the globe just to see the rather mundane and sad-looking entrance to our world...
The thought of this made me think about distance. In virtual worlds, distance does not matter. We can reach any place on the map within seconds. Even places outside the map can now easily be reached through hypergrid. If I want to visit M Lindens office I can be there in a blink.
The physical world is different of course. The journey that brings me close to Mark Kingdoms office is almost 20 hours long. And why does this matter?
Lots of us are separating RL from SL, mostly because it allows us to be more open, more personal and closer to people than we would normally dare. I have told people on the other side of the world more of my inner emotions than I would have told most anyone IRL. And that's one of the greatest things about sl: Inbetween griefers and money mungerors you can find the most amazing persons. All open and caring because we know we can retreat to safer grounds if need be.
But this separation is more than anonymity. It's also about real distance. If I met someone ISL and found her living a 20 minutes walk from home, I guess I would be more careful about what I said. It could be my neighbors wife on the other (dance?) ball LOL.
So distance and physical location counts. I guess that's why it seems to be non-offensive to ask anyone you meet which country he/she lives in?
Anyway, I do look forward to see the east coast; never been farther east in the US than Minneapolis. And who knows, even if M does not let me in, I might find another second lifer around?