Wednesday, 8 February 2012

My Avatar and Me

I watched the film My Avatar and Me through last night, twice in fact. It has subtitles which I generally cannot be bothered with,  and as I do not usually watch films, often losing interest in the first few minutes,  that is somewhat of a record.

It reached me on so many levels, firstly the lost, lonely visitor who first arrived in Second Life, I have seen so many! Mike Proud, the man building a dream, in a world here everything seems possible. Meeting Helena and building another dream, but was that Mike’s dream or Helena’s? I feel that it was Helena’s dream. She spent lots of time in-world with a person who she seemed to fall in love with and who, apparently, loved her to distraction, wanting her enough to start  saving to get to Paris as soon as he could.  Was it a case of when she realised Mike wanted the dream to become reality she disappeared? If so I guess for her there was no other way out!

Who is the mysterious Helena? Is she still in Second life, living her dream somewhere else with a different name? Does she already have a real family and is using Sl to pass the time away?  Is she old and lonely creating her life with a beautiful young avatar? She must have had had money , building an island in SL then seeming to reside there almost permanently says to me that she did not work, so to have money but not work – could she be retired? Could she be an accident victim, have money but not freedom to live as she would like to in real life? If she really is the beautiful young blonde, with money then living her whole life in Second Life does not make sense, she would be out and about partying!

We see the film from Mike’s side, clearly it is his story, his film, and symbolically burying his laptop to end his dream before returning to his real life girlfriend is his ending. It is Helena who worries me, who is supporting her over this lost love and subsequent loss of her island, friends and chosen lifestyle? I wish I could reach out to her and offer friendship.

There are many people in Second Life who are completely open about their lives, who they are, what they do etc., but as many, maybe even more who hide behind a mask. I think this film shows the real danger of living a pretend life, and spending so much time in Second Life that real life and responsibilities get forgotten or neglected. 

I guess the story has played itself out in various ways more than once. So sad!


Mikkel Stolt (aka Mike Proud) said...

Hi, Carol

I just found your blog and read your interesting thoughts on our film. We still don't know who Helena really is, but she is alive and well :).
I took the liberty to link to your comment on the film's Facebook-page,

Kind regards from
Mikkel (Mike Proud)

Carolrb said...

Wow Mike - how are you?
I felt as though a small part of you died with that burial, but I hope life is better now.
I found that film so touching, wish I could have understood it in its native language but it was still powerful even with subtitles.
Thanks for responding!
Take care