Setting up performances in virtual space is a lot like setting up performances in RL. In the end, a musician works with other people to bring music to an audience. When the arrangements for promotion, payments, sound set-up, etc are all taken care of in a professional and pleasant manner, the whole experience is a delight.
When I first wanted to learn about performing music live, I went to the local book store and picked up a few books on the subject. Over and over, in books and, later on Internet sites, I would constantly come across the same phrase: it’s about building relationships.
I have been performing in SL for over a year now and have come to realize that this phrase holds just as true as anywhere else. Building relationships with others, professional or personal, takes work. In online worlds, how one interacts with others – via IM, or general chat, etc – involves a gradually learned form and etiquette. Once it is learned to a certain degree, one readily picks up intentions and meanings of the people on the other side of the wires.
To be sure, there are misreadings as well due to the altered translation of emotion through text. But, with practice, these difficulties are minimized.
A number of people who do not involve theirselves in communication via MMORPG, IM, etc., question the validity of calling someone a “friend” if meetings have only been as close as seeing an avatar. The difficulty though is in the definition. It is clear that real unique relationships do form online with many of the nuances, subtleties and awkwardness that accompany any other.