One of my other early finds, and probably the biggest one in terms of who I spend most of my Second Life time with now, was the chat group of Falln Angel creations.
Azriel, Tomoyuki, and Sin all do their best to set a tone of being a friendly, supportive, creepy family. Think Addams Family. Acceptance is high and important, but so is a sense of appropriateness and manners.
I was nervous at first when I started meeting the "big names" in the chat. I've been thinking a lot about fame, and how it works, in the wake of some interesting ripples across the SL blogosphere around fame, what it is to be famous, and power in a virtual environment. The biggest influence on SL is social pressure, and I think how people react to the pressure of the social groups they are a part of and want to be a part of reveals a lot about how powerful the human need to gather and group is.
I've also been thinking of my response to people I think of as important, but not important in the 'can fire me' or 'can arrest me' sort of way; rather powerful in the "I hope they like me" sort of way, which is very different, and which I've been at the other end of. And sometimes I like the people who want me to, and sometimes the attempts on their part to be likable are what make me not like them, and sometimes I simply don't like them for some reason. There is part of me that can intellectually acknowledge that same dynamic toward people I want to be liked by, but I can also feel the pressure to conform to what I hope they will like in order to be liked and likable.
It's complicated and mostly invisible, carried on vague, half-thought experiences and decisions.
The picture above is the first time I met Morion and Azrael pretty much ever (Mori was so intimidating at first and now I feel the endless urge to cover him in glitter; aren't relationships a funny thing?) and one of the earliest meetings of Azriel. onionpencil I had 'played' with a couple of times and Chere I didn't know at all. I can remember being very aware of the social dynamics and trying to suss out the layers of influence and relationship before I went blundering through.
Right around this time, I also took part in one of Azriel's amazing - and difficult - hunts.
It was also around the time I began to play with the poseballs other people left behind to influence my photography.