Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Linda Kellie - You Will Be Missed

I write this blog post, even without really ever getting to know her. However, her charity in freebies have given me an ability to work with things to help create skins  and model avatars with, as well as to help me in building my own places in OpenSim.  Without her work, yes, I do believe I would have had less in my life to help build inspiration, especially at a time when I could use it.  Does that mean I consider her a goddess? Nope.  But I do think heroine does aptly fit her.  I could go into the whole hero's journey to justify why, but I won't.  All I will say is that what she did that positively impacted the metaverse should be given its due merit. That she still has up her freebies for free use is also to her merit as well.

Are people that go about blogging their opinions bullies?  Depends.  It's one thing to critique, and expressing perspective while having facts straight and having an honest agreement or disagreement.  It's another thing to run people down with dishonest accusations and mischaracterizations.  This happens with business, religion, and politics alike.  I have confronted it in two places, even as a Christian among Christians.  Brotherhood takes on a whole different perspective when your 'brother' is calling you a heretic just for having a difference of opinion.  I have been called an extreme liberal by conservatives, and an extreme conservative by liberals - I find both mischaracterizations of who I am amusing at best, and sheer slander from the depths of Hell at worst.  Depends on how well I know the person, and what I feel their intentions are.  But to say it doesn't get to me at times would be lying.  I am, after all human, regardless what I dress my avatars up as.

For those reasons, my sympathies lay with Linda Kellie. I feel bad that I only spoke with her once in a comment on her blog and didn't take her up on her offer to visit her in SpotOn3D.  It was when I finally looked through my email today and worked on updating my premium membership there that I thought to see if she was around.  That's when I found her message on her profile there:

"I am not in any virtual worlds. I did not leave SpotOn3D because I didn't like it here. I loved it here. I hope you will too."

To me, it feels like she was driven from what she loved by the people who hated her.  Having been in that position a few times, both in real life and in Second Life, I can understand that sentiment all too well.  Even people that claim to be the great defenders against bullies show themselves for bullies and do more harm than good.  And yes, I do believe these people had been bullies and ruined it, not just for one person who felt forced to leave the virtual worlds she loved, but also her friends that cared for her.

Of course, people say that this is all 'just a game', that we shouldn't feel sorry for the RP of someone else.  Those are the people who just don't get it.  The metaverse is not a solely a game, not everyone out there is actively RPing in a fantasy setting. Some people interact in the metaverse in real ways, communicating with real people.  They aren't acting out a character for a story arc in a place like Midian or some Star Trek or Star Wars sim or region that is designated for such active story line RP.  Some people are just on there in their avatar to socialize and do a virtual business, or otherwise create, work, play, and communicate in other ways that have nothing to do with roleplaying. And to impose your roleplay on them and claim that is the only way that people can interact on the metaverse is absolutely intolerant and plain stupid. Worse is it is destructive to a human being.

Now I'm not saying I'm perfect and I haven't lashed out at people who have hurt me, actually personally hurt me both in a physical and virtual way.  It's part of our baser nature.  But here's the thing, just because it's part of our nature does not make it good.  There are reasons to hold your tongue, and one indicator that might have one thinking to do so by how much of an ass you felt after saying something.  Sometimes that's not even a good indication either.  Sadly, some people don't even have that sort of asshole indicator in their persona, or otherwise have been taught to ignore it, or even embrace it.  That is unfortunate, for the greatest of asshole is not merely from their words, actions, and deeds, but also in as much as they have no humility to admit when they are wrong and repent from being assholes.

Now, I hope that Linda Kellie, if she were to see this, as me using her name to rant.  It's not my intent.  I honestly feel bad about what happened to her and that I may not get a chance to meet her.  Honestly, I think that she would be someone I'd like to get to know. I just feel bad that the negative drama out there ruined it for here and ruined it for her friends.  I also hope that they find closure and can move on, and that if Linda Kellie does find her way back into the metaverse that she can find the joy that she had before, and much better.   My only advice is to ignore the bullies. Don't let them ruin all the good things and all the good friends that legitimately what to get to know you and see you for the person you are, rather than the persona that they perceive you as.

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