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My name is Xeriko Melnik, and I was born from nothingness. I spent the first few weeks of my life wandering around Second Life®, and then vanished to nothingness again. I resurfaced some time later, just to witness the demise of former Nexus Prime, which I once adopted as my hometown. As a place in ruins, and with little hopes of a prompt re-establishment, the aisles of the once flourishing city of tomorrow was particularly uninspiring, so when the ships of the Black Pearl docked next to the last standing tower, I went into exile for what looks like forever. I then roamed the streets of Toxian City and Suffugium, but their RP stories never suited me. The isles of Second Life weren’t places for me to play, but a virtual vastness to create, destroy, and recreate.

I am an avatar, a representation of someone at the other end of existence, the embodiment of someone very likely manipulating a mouse and a keyboard, or another input device. I come to life when that someone logs into Second Life and end my day when he signs off (not counting the several times a day SL logs him off or crashes; I call those a nap). In a sense, our relationship is meta-symbiotic in nature, though only I am dependent on him. I am the alter ego of his thoughts traveling through circuitry.

As the son of the mind of my typist and his loony imagination, I can assure you there is more than a frail ressemblance between the two. Yet, we are not one and the same, so don’t expect me to behave like him, and don’t judge him by the way I am.

More than once I have been questioned, “Is that the way you are in real life?” (for better or for worst, I don’t know). I guess that’s more likely directed to my human counterpart anyway. For those of you trying to break into that strange dimension, I have only one answer: there is no such thing for me… because I choose to.

Which is to say, the constrains imposed in the real world by birth and rights (among other affairs) don’t necessarily apply to the metaverse. In a virtual world, you choose to be whatever you want to be and do whatever you wish to do; you don’t even have to obey the laws of nature, and can literally build a castle in the sky if you’re up to the task. The only thing restricting your activities are those little technological shortcomings that –maybe– one day will equally be overcome.

In that general scenario,  why do I have to embrace a real life identity and tie it to my virtual self? Do I need to? Do I have to? If I can easily morph into a griffin, a demon, a child or any other abomination (you get the pun, don’t you?) without causing havoc grid-wide, and upon seeing me, nobody dares to question if that’s the way I am in reality, why do I have to mimic the psychological-emotional character of my –also– ethereal, but real, mind? Because that’s the way most people (they think) propel themselves into virtuality? If  no one has ever complained about any of the shapes I sport in different situations or the clothes I wear on a regular basis (which for me are just the same), why some people still insist, and even try to –in-directly– force me into being what I have no intention of becoming in my Second Life? Even if I don’t role play, I am free to develop my own way of thinking and acting. Even if they are still based on my operator’s everyday –human– experience, I can still mold a oneness out of them.

Actually, have you ever considered the fact that maybe what you stumble upon your wanderings in this metaverse may paradoxically be the real human inner selves, bared from flesh and bones and inhibitions?

Think about it.