The Ache for Home

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned

Maya Angelou

I was reminded this week of the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs at work and the last few days it’s had me thinking about how that translates to Second Life. We know that people identify strongly with their avatar and so it’s unsurprising that the majority of us need to have a similar/mirrored version of a RL within the grid.

Maslow’s theory is about what motivates us and suggests that motivating factors are split into tiers, or a hierarchy and that the needs on the each level must be fulfilled before the next tier will be a motivating factor. The tiers start with the very basics of life – air, food, heat etc. The next level covers things like security and safety. This includes having a home, a safe zone, security from the outside and feeling grounded. Maslow’s theory that there is a need to feel safe and secure before you can move to the next tier of psychological needs like love, friendship, relationships and intimacy. Safety and security have to be in place for those relationships to work.

I think a lot of us are like this in Second Life. I’ve talked before about how my thoughts and organisation of work become more jumbled and erratic if I don’t feel like I have a secure base. A place to call home that I feel completely at one with. Does it really hold back personal relationships in SL? Well you can’t socialise at your home if you don’t have one. You can’t relax with friends at home if you don’t have one. But mentally, more importantly for me, the value of a home and the commitment it shows speaks volumes. So yes, for me, maybe Maslow has it right, even in Second Life.


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