People - given that avatars are people - in Second Life, are called residents. I guess the gods (the dear Lindens) chose this term to imply we live in a world that should be "home" for us - a "place" to live.
When I became a resident, I could be happy: a cousin explored the lands already for some month and I could start off as a real resident and not as a homeless or a beach bum, which term is more common in my environment. My dear cousin found a nice 512 qm piece of waterland on an auction and I got it for about 10.000 Linden Dollar. The price for such a mainland (land on a continent versus islands) plot is unbelievable nowadays. And even back then it was no bargain. But I fell in love with the idea to own land, the region and liked the neighbors. So......my first "private" place in Second Life. (Again another topic - privacy in Second Life)
But was this really necessary? Does an avatar need a home? Is it conceivably that an avatar feels happiness owning land or having a home?
Undeniable Second Life is a place, a space including infinite different spaces as it growth constantly. Here, as in other worlds, there are different kind of places. First places like private homes, second places where you work (which are not as cultivated here as in other worlds) and the third places. Ray Oldenburg (The Great Good Place), a guy from the Real World, defined those as informal gathering places, which have no home or work related context. This can be a cafe, a bar, a park with benches to sit on and any other neutral public ground, where people can gather and interact. There are theories in the Real World that a lot of people nowadays visit third places accessible through computer mediated technologies (see Howard Rheingold from the Real World). I don't know much about such technologies. We seldom use such in our avatar world. But from time to time I visit a dance club or a public beach to meet other avatars. The living structures and conditions in the Real World seem to reduce the third places over there. May those be american suburbian cultures or a the economic crisis, leaving less money to spend in bars etc. Anyway, it's nice to see the population growing in such worlds like mine, isn't it!?
In Second Life about 800.000 residents (in Q3 2010) live on a regular basis (even if there are 21.000.000 avatars in total, a lot of them died - well, if they can - or got lost (there are stories of avatars disappearing between two teleports - so watch out ;-)). In the fourth quarter of 2010 Second Life has 2,08 thousand square kilometers. I hear it's larger than Singapore, which is located in that so called Real World. Is that huge? Can I be proud to be a resident in such world?
To be continued...