The word Community has several meanings, not all of them meaningful in SL. It can mean:
1. – All the people living in a specific locality, or that locality. (often called ‘the neighbourhood’)
2. A body of people having a religion, profession or interest in common – i.e. a commune, a group of writers, artists, etc
3. A fellowship of common owner ship – i.e. monastic, socialistic
4. A body of nations unified by common interests – i.e. NATO, The Commonwealth, etc
5. In Ecology: A group of animals or plants living or growing in the same area – I.E. a herd of wild horses, a pride of lions, bamboo, etc
There are neighbourhoods in SL, and in many cases, I think they very closely resemble neighbourhoods in RL. There are groups of artists, writers and others who share a common interest, too. And, I believe, fellowships of people with a common ownership in a sim, or a club, or some other interest. So in many ways, SL is a community ofcommunities.
My community is, basically, writing. I enjoy the challenge of the Picture Story group. Sitting with friends around a table in the Art Gallery, and listening to them read is wonderful. And seeing the new picture each month, and trying to see something new and fresh in it for four or five weeks is often a big challenge, and it’s fun to see how many different ideas the same picture inspires.
Another group I share interests with is the Short Poetry Workshop. I have been amazed at the number of different short poetry styles there are, and have had to really stretch my mind to learn and write poems in those styles. Sometimes, the style defeats me, but I still like to sit and listen to what the others come up with. I look forward to Tuesday nights, and another challenge.
I have just found a new writer’s group, where we each read our own work, be it a story or a poem, and listen to the others reading theirs. There is no critiquing, which I would appreciate, but it is still nice to be able to share my work. We can also read something by another writer or poet that has caught our attention. Such as a short story by Robert Heinlein, or poetry by William Butler Yeats, (two of my favourites)
I think SL is for everyone, of any age, and I think more people should try it. Unlike several people I know, I do not spend hours here. I spend a couple of hours at a dance, or with writers or poets, and then log out. That is not because I don’t have the free time, but because it is all I can physically take. But I do understand the fascination of the place, and I hope it is around for many more birthdays.