This blog is part of work I am doing in Second Life. This is an experiment in Transreality (See alexanderkeenan.wordpress.com for blogs on my idea of Transreality). The theme of this project is the Romantic picnic. This topic was taken because:
1. Romance and Picnics are popular in Second Life. Some of the first things people learn to make are many times picnic items such as blankets, baskets, beach chairs, etc. So it fits in with the Second Life culture.
2. I have found many photos and videos with the romantic picnic theme on the Internet. What make these interesting is that people want to share their experiences. In many cases the video and photo along with a few words of text are the only way they can share what was a very positive moment in their life. It makes them feel good to share these positive feelings with others.
3. Picnics are about food, and that is an area that everyone has opinions on. There is a great deal of recipes available on picnic food. The Internet is full of people promoting beverages, and food items for romantic picnic.
4. Picnics are about Location, Location, and Location. Many times the location sets the stage for the romantic picnic. There are two groups of people providing information on locations for romantic picnics. The first are people sharing their real life experiences. The second is the tourist industry with each location competing for the romantic couple’s attention.
5. A romantic picnic requires props and items to make the romantic picnic happen. They can be baskets, chairs, chillers for your wine, etc. There are thousands of items for sale on the Internet that work with the romantic picnic. Many of these items can also be produced in the virtual world of Second Life.
So what is romance?
For some people the romance novel comes to mind. Per Elaine Grimes, “a romance novel is the romantic story of how a relationship develops between one man and one woman that ends happily in spit of significant problems.” This give a romantic picnic the function of removing one from the cares and stress of those “significant problems” so the relationship can grow.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, short version, romance is pretty much a lie, a fantasy, a dressed-up fib, a story, a ‘wild and wanton’ exaggeration. Another way of looking at this can be for a short period of time we can live outside our everyday world and exist in a private fantasy world of our own making. On a romantic picnic the one you are with becomes your focus of attention. If you read some blogs on real experiences you will find that on the best of romantic picnic a person was made to feel like they were the most important person in the world, if only for a few hours.
Finally, I have read in several places that a person does not stay in a relationship because of how they feel about the other person; they stay because of how the other person makes them feel about themselves.
With that being said I will define the “Romantic Picnic” as an event that temporarily removes two people from the cares and worries of the day to day world. The focus should be on the other person not oneself. And it should enforce a more positive self image after the picnic is over. Think of it as a hot bed of coals compared to the quick flash fire. The hot coals provide warm and comfort long after the flames have died. Defining this experience in Real World and Virtual world will hopefully be the result of this experiment.
Let me know what you think, comments and feedback would be most helpful.
In Second Life I am “IB WISE” and my project is located at:
“SINNIQ SIM 01 (110, 8, 23)”
This is a work in process. I will be posting information at this blog as this work progresses.