In the early hours of January, 18, 2010, I was arrested and incarcerated in the exciting world of Second Life. The following below is an excerpt from a journal I kept sharing some of my initial real life reactions:
“Three days ago I was born in Second Life. I am surprised I have not looked into Second Life sooner. After first, I was completely overwhelmed and yet somewhat bored with some of the different islands I first explored. It took some time to figure out some of the basics but nothing too complicated at the moment.
But wait! I forgot to share who I am in Second Life. My name is Lizzy Rodeyn and my birthdate is December 27, 2009.
For as long as I can remember, I had a strong fascination with prison and a chance to experience what it would be like incarcerated. I would never intentionally do anything that would lead to this experience even though the feeling was strong. I was ecstatic to find a blog prior to joining Second Life about Terminal Islands Correctional Facility. The role play stories and characters were fantastic. I thought what a perfect fit to experience life inside a modern women’s correctional facility from the comfort of home…”
Unbelievable, it has been a little over three years ago when I stumbled upon a couple of blogs sharing the trials and tribulations from Second Life’s Terminal Island Correctly Facility. That particular winter there was much buzz surrounding the movie Avatar, so I recognized the term Second Life but I had no idea what it truly was about.
The stories I read from TICF were fantastic and far different from my earlier impressions I had about Virtual Reality. I spent several days reading the original blog and another board about the role play. The place seemed like a perfect for my interest and background in theatre and my fascination with prisons.
So, with the help of some Christmas money on hand I purchased a new laptop, loaded it up, and made my entrance into Second Life.
While I am not the most technical writer, I have always enjoyed storytelling and experiencing developing a character. On the very first night I
entered Second Life, I started journaling in a notebook. A notebook I recently rediscovered buried in a box in my spare closet untouched from my move nearly 18 months ago. Revisiting my early journal entries brought back some of the real feelings I experienced while playing and developing my character Lizzy Rodeyn. In a number of ways, Lizzy was not entirely a new character in my mind. There is a lot of the ‘real’ me infused into her in-character persona.
Often, I would place myself in her shoes on how I might react if thrown into the surreal world of the prison system. Being brand new to Second Life, I had fumbled around for several weeks trying to learn the lingo, culture, and improve the looks of Lizzy Rodeyn. I spent a lot of time on Terminal Island meeting people and starting to create my role play. At this time TI was continuing to grow and the role play on the island was just as lively inside the prison. The experience was amazing and never dull.
When the time came and there was a warrant for my arrest, I was picked up promptly and dragged up the long hill to the prison intake area. Unfortunately, I was still pretty ‘green’, total newbie to Second Life. The Sergeant halted my intake after seeing I was still wearing newbie skin and struggled with basic maneuvering my avi. A little disappointed I am now forever grateful this Sergeant taking me back into two and introducing a wonderful person/player who taught me some basics such as emoting and even gave me a job at the diner.
So, I continued to come back night after night and a couple of weeks later, finally Lizzy Rodeyn entered prison.
Posted by Lizzy Rodeyn