Second Life sure ain't like heroin as I first suspected. It's a bit more like broccoli.
Yes, I finally succumbed to the spin from Zephyr and Soulsailor and tried out Second Life a few times. Signed up, walked in, chose an avatar, adjusted my clothing, and then started exploring. Found I could fly and teleport to anywhere I wanted. Except that a lot of areas seem to be private and out-of-bounds but I guess that's true in the real world too.
Found some weird museum and someone to show me around but she said the escalators were broken so we couldn't visit all the floors. Just like real technology. Then found some kind of club but when I tried to chat to some of the folk twitching around they just ignored me. One later sent me an email saying he was "afk" which I gather means he was away from the keyboard. So it seems that a lot of the avatars that look alive in Second Life aren't actually connected all of the time to people in the real world at all. Reminded me of the sixties.
Started to explore the shoreline looking for boats. Found a marina with some cool yachts in it. But whenever I went on one of the yachts it said that only the owner could sail it. Wandered around but there was nobody there so I couldn't ask anyone if I could go and sail with them. Hmmm. Marina full of boats and nobody using them. Just like the real world.
Found some other place by the shore. Some cool-looking waterfront properties and a beach bar. Came across a guy with an awfully familiar name but he said he was too busy to talk to me. OK. No problem dude. Or "np" as we second lifers say.
Went back the next day and found a beach. Sat down and started chatting to someone on the beach but then got a message, something about the simulator I was in was shutting down. Guess it was some kind of technical problem. Life's a beach and then it dies.
Next day I met a couple who owned a yacht. They took me for a sail. Almost immediately the yacht capsized just like a dinghy. I didn't know how to rescue or help the couple. So I flew back to their dock and sat in their hot tub and watched the yacht capsizing again and again. Weird.
Wandered around some more but when I went back to the home of the yachtie couple there was no yacht and no people. Did they drown? Can you die in Second Life? If you die, do you move on to Third Life?
So all in all it was a somewhat disappointing experience. It was like broccoli. Some folk say it's good for you and some folk think it's tasty but it just doesn't do anything for me. Maybe I'm missing the genetic mutation that makes broccoli taste delicious? Maybe I don't care. Don't think I will be going back to Second Life.
Time to work on some real world stuff like talking to a real realtor about selling my real house in the real world so I can move real near to the real ocean and my real granddaughter, and then go for a real sail in a real boat on some real water in some real wind.
Reality is way better than virtual broccoli. I hate broccoli.