Shuless – Episode Six

by Alphaville Herald on 21/05/08 at 5:15 pm


by Iona Nikolaidis

Alex and Iona were involved for a few weeks before the idea of pulling back the curtain came up. Other avatars I had met in SL asked me for photos of “myself” before I met Alex. I brushed them aside, telling them some variation of “Second Life and Real Life are separate.” But the connection I felt to Alex made me want to know more about her, and to reveal myself to her. Part of this grew from the amazing word play we had in our chats.

[19:44] A slap on the ass can communicate a lot.
[19:44] Iona Nikolaidis: I am communicating something……
[19:44] Iona Nikolaidis: Can you guess what?
[19:46] Uh, hmmmm…. a mossy stone, half-hidden from the eye…
[19:46] Iona Nikolaidis hugs the poet
[19:46] Mmmmmmm!
[19:46] Iona Nikolaidis: yer so cute
[19:46] Touches are like words too.
[19:47] Iona Nikolaidis: mmmm
[19:47] Iona Nikolaidis: you are much smarter than me
[19:47] And touches can be poetry.
[19:47] Iona Nikolaidis: it is a huge turn-on
[19:47] Iona Nikolaidis: uh huh
[19:47] Iona Nikolaidis: you are beautiful
[19:47] (Blush)
[19:48] Iona Nikolaidis smiles broadly
[19:48] Iona Nikolaidis: seriously!
[19:48] I thought I settled that in the negative by sending you my picture!
[19:48] Iona Nikolaidis: Are you kidding me?
[19:48] Yes.
[19:48] Iona Nikolaidis: HAHAHAHAHAHA
[19:48] Iona Nikolaidis: Love that healthy self-esteem

[19:49] I would never send you my picture if I thought I was uglier than a mud fence.
[19:49] Iona Nikolaidis: OR
[19:49] Iona Nikolaidis: you would send me a fake picture
[19:49] Iona Nikolaidis: hehehehe
[19:49] Hey!!! That’s an idea!
[19:50] Iona Nikolaidis: fo’sure
[19:50] From now on, sexy nudes for you from my favorite web site!
[19:50] I’ll just say I changed my hair color…
[19:50] Iona Nikolaidis: Or wore a merkin
[19:50] and lost a few pounds…
[19:51] or gained a few…
[19:51] Iona Nikolaidis: hehehe
[19:51] and took off my heels.
[19:51] Iona Nikolaidis: ooooh naked Alex!
[19:52] Yeah, mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?
[19:52] Iona Nikolaidis: helloooooo!
[19:53] You know what I have decided?
[19:53] Iona Nikolaidis: tell me
[19:54] I will never get a face lift, a tummy tuck or a botox treatment.
[19:54] I want people to see the real me.
[19:54] Iona Nikolaidis: Take a stand!
[19:54] Iona Nikolaidis: This is a funny comment coming from your avatar

There is nothing, for me, more attractive or desirable than intelligence (well, I’d like to think that’s true. Maybe it’s not, maybe I am just a shallow pig). I have done some pretty stupid things just to get next to the smart girl. The impulse to share the Real Life with Alex also grew out of my curiosity to imagine the woman I had been cybering and otherwise carrying on with, successfully, to my mind. Is this a failure of imagination? Did I need a visual in order to feel our connection? Why wouldn’t the visual of the written word of our chats suffice?

Would it have mattered if Alex had been unattractive in the photos she gave me? The girl in the photos was cute, attractive, not over-the-top drop dead gorgeous, but better looking than me. And yes, I dig smart girls. But, I am also a horn dog and I like attractive women. I imagine this gets tedious in my real life. French Fry is more than aware of this; hell, this is how we met. In SL, you have the avatar to look at, but it’s the words from the chat that ultimately have to get into my head and my heart (just relying on looks is as foolish in SL as it is in SL). Alex had easily leapt over that hurdle, and Iona was more than smitten with her (I believe SleevedBetty says Iona was sprung…is that what you kids call it there days?) So now we have the photos.

What do photos communicate? What does the giving of a photo communicate? I want you to see me. I trust you. I care about you. The giving of a photo in the context of a virtual reality game communicates a shared confidence. Iona wouldn’t give her RL photo to anyone else (I did send a photo of my eyeball to Vhaera), but she willingly gave it to Alex (I was wearing sunglasses in the photo – I wasn’t quite ready to show off my peepers). And, we have this fact – I received two photos of the “Real Life” Alex. One of the photos featured her sister and her. That gave me pause, at that point in our relationship. I wouldn’t have, and didn’t, at that time, give her photos featuring my RL people. But rather than dwelling on the feeling of discomfort I got when I saw RL Alex with her sister, I thought “Oh, she trusts me.” And that felt good.

So now the connection took on an added dimension. I could imagine the person I was talking with in my head. It gave me a sense of place, a sense of certainty. A hook. Boy, was I hooked.

[Shuless appears courtesy of and is reprinted here by permission of Iona Nikolaidis]

21 Responses to “Shuless – Episode Six”

  1. Link

    May 21st, 2008

    Geeeeee, it sure is boooooring around here.

  2. LJR

    May 21st, 2008

    Can we please get a damn interesting article? This crap is pointless.

  3. Please let this go....

    May 21st, 2008

    Epic fail. Please step away from the keyboard and get a life.

  4. Zenrat Nedattev

    May 22nd, 2008

    Pix, perhaps you could print Proteus Hand’s latest Military article, instead of this shit that really nobody reads, or cares about….

  5. @ pleaseletthisgo

    May 22nd, 2008

    @ Please let this go….

    Define a life.

  6. UncleBill

    May 22nd, 2008

    God help us… she’s up to episode 12 on her blog.

    There’s obviously nothing else to ‘report’ on here at the Herald, so I guess we’ll just have to weather the storm.

  7. Wendell Holmer

    May 22nd, 2008

    Makes you long for the days when there was a whole week of baby furries.

  8. Darien Caldwell

    May 22nd, 2008

    shhh, just smile, nod, and hopefully they will get this crap out of their system quickly.

  9. Unwashed Mass

    May 22nd, 2008

    I wonder, do those who feel compelled to share their disdain for this tale make a habit of going to their local library (assuming they know where it is) and criticising all the books with a note inside the front cover? Simple concept – if you don’t like it, don’t read it, or for goodness sake give us a proper critique rather than mouthing inanities like ‘epic fail’ because you think it sounds cool.

    I’ve been reading it, I know others have been reading it. The Herald publishes a variety of articles – their audience is not homogenous and they seem to provide a little something for everyone. This is as it should be. You can’t expect thenm to cater to your tastes exclusively, surely?

  10. ThisIsMadness

    May 22nd, 2008

    For some reason I went on to this “author’s” blog, and shit, there are at least 6 more installments of this crap.

  11. Zippy Turnkey

    May 22nd, 2008

    I have been following this story for a few days. It is humorous and well written. More importantly, it touches on a subject that should be important to most players in MMORPG worlds: What happens when you connect with somebody online while in a committed relationship offline? It doesn’t matter whether the relationship in question is with someone who is gay, straight, or a toaster. I continue reading because this could happen to me (I am, btw, a married mother of two grown children, with a grandbaby on the way :^)

    It really would be a shame if Iona let the negative comments keep her from completing her story. Unlike the previous poster, I read, and I care.

  12. anon

    May 23rd, 2008

    if my local library got one book a week and it was about some person’s e/n bullshit yes i probably would leave a note inside

  13. NinaA

    May 23rd, 2008

    Come on SLH. I don’t mind this epic story but give us alternatives! Advertising articles don’t count.

  14. ThisIsMadness

    May 23rd, 2008

    @Unwashed Masses: There is disdain for this “tale” simply because it is so badly written. It is not even entertaining. Unlike good literature, there is no character development, no insights on anything about them. I bet the logs are all made up. This supposedly happened over a year. Did the “author” decide to save all (her? cough cough) IM’s with her girlfriend? And why are the chatlogs written so that it is from the perspective of the “girlfriend” instead of the author? Shouldn’t they be in this format?

    [19:50] This is all a fraudulent fake.
    [19:51] Alexandra: Shhh… I don’t want them to know I’m your Alt.
    [19:52] I get so excited when I lie and make things up.

    @Zippy: Go love your husband, your children, and your grandchildren. Forget about some SL affair.

  15. oh LAWD

    May 23rd, 2008

    The Second Life Herald hasn’t always been the most reputable source of journalism, but this crap is rediculous and boring.

  16. Save the SL Herald

    May 23rd, 2008

    Good grief~ Then go read it on her blog! One or two episodes to pimp the blog is one thing, but there are entirely too many episodes being posted here. It’s like SL Herald has now become Iona’s blog. Why not just post a link to the blog for those who are interested in all 12 episodes. Sure, you might say that ppl are reading this, but I beg to differ. What’s happening is they click the link, see the same old diatribe and click away.

    Please, can we get back to the interesting stuff? I’m seriously losing the urge to click this link in my favorites anymore..but I keep trying, hoping for something interesting to see.

  17. UncleBill

    May 23rd, 2008


    This might be more tolerant if the Herald was, in fact, publishing a ‘variety’ of articles. These ‘Shuless’ installments seem to be the ONLY articles the Herald has seen fit to print for a few days now.

    If we are to follow your advice, and just ignore this if we’re not interested, then the only logical solution is to ignore the SLH altogether.

    I think you’ll find, that these ‘critiques’ on these entries has as much to do with disappointment in the Herald as anything else.

  18. Zenrat Nedattev

    May 23rd, 2008

    ”Unwashed Mass” -

    You are of course, correct. However, I have to say this;
    I never read this ”installment”, I read the first 2 hoping they would get better.
    -They didn’t.

    You ask yourself why people post these comments about how naff this stuff is?
    Frankly, it’s because though there is a ton of news to be scooped up, and, infact, several GOOD articles in waiting, Pixeleen just doesn’t seem to want to print them. Infact, I have a feeling she is deliberatley torturing us with shit like this to make us cry with agony. but meh.

    So. you want to stop hearing these comments?
    you want us to like this ”variety of articles”?
    Then start printing a fucking variety, as this is all we’ve had for almost 3 weeks.


  19. NinaA

    May 23rd, 2008

    @Zippy Turnkey…

    It’s on her blog if you really can’t wait for the next 6 installments.

  20. kanomi

    May 23rd, 2008

    Unwashed Mass, if you don’t want comments, don’t have a comment section. If you do have comments, you have to take the good with the bad. And if the story is amateurish, the comments will be overwhelmingly negative. See how that works?

    You want some constructive criticism? Here’s a start: If you are going to play author, publish chat logs, and call it literature, the bare minimum of editing you should do — and I mean the absolute, rock bottom, minimal attempt at editing — is to strip out the fucking time stamps.

  21. iona nikolaidis

    May 23rd, 2008

    oh man I am loving the comments….I am laughing my ass off.

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