If you’ve read more than a few posts of mine, you know that I scoff at the nouveau Luddites telling people to put down their phones, limit screen time, or join the “real world”. Here is another reason why.
Lately I’ve needed some time with my thoughts, but the weather in my part of the physical world has ranged from a balmy crummy down to an absolute crappy. Any time I want it, however, I can stroll along a beach. I can climb a mountain or swim in a shimmering lake. I can watch the clouds from a tree fort and listen to bird song. If I want to be alone with a reasonable simulation of nature, I can do it at my keyboard.
I’m not saying that the virtual can replace the physical; it is only because I have similar experiences in my sense memory that the virtual strolling can soothe me so well. It is a supplement and an extension. It reminds me of places I’ve been. It takes me places I will never go.
Because some designers, builders, and artists in SL are so clever, walking through the woods can give me some of the same spirit-lifting surprises and delights I find offline. I’ll turn a corner and find squirrels scampering through the leaves. A cliff will offer me a soft cushion on which to meditate. Though I usually travel alone and in silence, sometimes another resident will add a quirky experience. A few minutes after resting on the hammock in the photo above, I was playing on a tire swing in the forest and a wolf came up to chat.