I’m currently in San Francisco for GDC and to visit the RL Linden Lab office to see the many Lindens that I haven’t seen in RL since the end of 2004 and to meet the many new Lindens that have joined the company since then. The last time I was here Linden Lab was overflowing the old office in 2nd Street and preparing to move to the current office in Sansome which is now overflowing itself, so there are lots of new faces.
It’s weird meeting the Lindens in RL which I’ve been working with in SL and via IM and email, but have never met or seen before. In many cases people appear very different to how I imagined them, to the appearances that I sub-consciously pieced together from SL names, avatars and IM and email mannerisms. It’s very much like seeing a film after reading a book and the characters being different in the film to how you imagined them. When I’ve met some of the Lindens in RL I’ve almost thought: "You’re not how I imagined you at all, you’ve been really badly cast"! It works both ways of course: when I arrived I think a lot of the Lindens expected me to be older due to my Linden name and avatar.
The other thing that’s very strange is being called Babbage in RL. For the many Lindens who know me as Babbage Linden and who have never met me in RL it’s completely understandable, but it still feels weird. Like Hamlet and Gwyneth Llewelyn becoming better known than their RL selves it seems that the membrane is leaking and that I am becoming Babbage. Certainly at Linden Lab Babbage Linden is familiar and Jim Purbrick is the stranger. After reading about Hamlet googling Hamlet I tried the same test for Babbage and sure enough, The Creation Engine is listed in the top 50 results. Maybe I need to get used to living in the shadow of Babbage Linden.
Below: No Turning Back, On Ocean Beach with Ali and Luke, Working Hard at Linden Lab, Cable Car On Powell. More pictures in my Flickr photostream.