Table of contents
    No headers

    Sylectra Darwin wrote the following account of her experience in Play as Being.

    I got started in Play as Being when I was invited by Stevenaia Michinaga in April of 2008. But I didn’t actually start going until May.

    I started coming to Second Life in November of 2007, and for a long time I just lurked and learned how to use the controls. I eventually worked up the courage to start meeting people by showing up at events and venues that interested me. It was at the Open Latte Coffee House that I met Stevenaia around the middle of April. He was sitting in an armchair and wearing his familiar yellow shirt with black suspenders and jeans.

    I had just learned to “profile surf” and was clicking on peoples’ profiles and reading them while the chat continued. I saw that Steven had some interesting Picks in his profile – architectural spots in SL – and I asked him about them. He was approachable and not too pushy, which is good because I was very cautious about meeting people in Second Life at the time. He even said, don’t worry about me, I’m harmless, which made me laugh and get suspicious all at once.

    He gave me some landmarks to visit the Mars Hotel, the Lost Gardens of Apollo, and the Second Louvre museum, which I did in the next couple of weeks. In the course of a few casual meetings over the next couple of weeks, he repeatedly mentioned that Play as Being would probably be an interesting event for me. I ignored the first few suggestions because I didn’t want to get roped into something weird. But as I came to trust Steven more and became more relaxed about Second Life in general, I agreed to go with him on June 8, 2008.

    That first visit was really all it took. I loved the playful/serene spirit of the group, the open-mindedness of the people and their diversity. The group was light on structure, which I found very attractive. It meant that we could come to Play as Being and rest and recharge. We could become intrigued and invigorated, too, if that’s what we wanted. It was a personal journey for each of us.

    During one June meeting, we got up from our benches and played with toys from our inventories and passed them around like party favors. Onigokko shippo made us all run around like crazy pinballs. We had frying pans and “Bam” clubs which you could whack loudly. There were even rave-style sparklers. One meeting featured shoulder pets, those cute little critters that we can “wear” on shoulders or in our arms and which may be able to insert their comments into the general conversation. Another meeting involved trying on lots of hats, from silly to fashionable.

    I’ve attended meetings that were more serious discussions of meditation techniques and results of the 9-second micromeditation that is the basis for the group and I’ve been amazed at the range of knowledge found among its participants. Casual drop-ins, novices, and experts with belief systems including Catholic, Buddhist, atheist, humanist, agnostic, and more have sat together in this virtual space and shared ideas openly and without rancor.

    Most of the meetings are lively mixes of serious and silly, which seems a perfect tone for a group with the word “play” in its title.

    I was asked to be a Guardian, or volunteer, relatively early in my history with Play as Being and came to understand that the meetings, events, and other products created by the group are only possible with hundreds of hours of time donated by members who want to see the group flourish. At the time of this writing, there are 58 Guardians, many of which who run meetings on a weekly basis.

    In October, I had the opportunity to attend a Play as Being Guardians weekend in Princeton, New Jersey, in which we visited, ate together, and traded perspectives and ideas for the group. It was during this trip that I cemented my friendships with a number of lovely people, some of which lived in the area. My experience with Play as Being, and Second Life in general, was gradually teaching me that there were wonderful people to meet and spend time with.

    I had a number of business trips to the New Jersey area in late 2007, and it was during one of these trips that a relationship kindled with another Second Life resident, a brilliant person who excels at light shows called particles and does a lot of scripting and building.


    A whole new world was opened up for me and I knew that my life journey would take me from Oklahoma to New Jersey, where the job market was more diverse and I had several SL friends.

    I am well established in my new home now and working as a search engine optimization specialist for a well-known company. I couldn’t be happier with my new love, who goes by Nostrum Forder in Second Life and is also a Guardian.

    Although my life transition has limited my time for special projects in Second Life, I hope to become more active again as Play as Being moves into its second year in Second Life.


    Taken on one of my earliest visits to Play as Being (June 10, 2008), when we were meeting outside the tea house because the group was a little bit too big for it. Shown (left to right) are Pia, Steven, Sylectra, and Dakini.



    File:D:/DOCUME~1/dalesx/LOCALS~1/Temp/moz-screenshot-2.jpg File:D:/DOCUME~1/dalesx/LOCALS~1/Temp/moz-screenshot-3.jpg

    June 10, 2008 – Caledonia and Pema.


    The silly games we played June 10, 2008.


    Guardian weekly meeting in the Hall of Appearances, October 2008.




    Next: The Rest of Summer 

    Tag page (Edit tags)
    • No tags
    You must login to post a comment.
    Powered by MindTouch Core