So I began my interview practice by talking to different people around campus areas - the library, campus center, the gym. I spoke with three men, two women. Here are their responses to the question - define Ithaca.
#1 Male, 1.5 years, Campus Center - A god-forsaken land settled by aging hippies and rediscovered by pretentious youth and psuedo Ivy-leaguers.
#2 Male, 4 years, Library - A city that's more like a close-knit community, connected through artistically minded individuals and old hippies.
#3 Female, 4 years, Campus Center - It would not exist without its immense student population.
#4 Male, 4 years, Library - Every kind of weird person you've ever met, or one of their obscure family members, either lives here or has been here.
#5 Female, 2 years, Gym - One time I saw a man carrying a vacuum down through the Commons at 2:30am. That's pretty much Ithaca.
A surprising majority of the responses were negative or a bit critical - also comical, to a degree. All cited the dominance of hippies, Ithaca's diverse and quirky community, and the majority of students living in this area.
The responses did not seem to have any correlations due to age, years living here, or gender.
Meanwhile, in Second Life, I inquired at the Hanja Welcome Center, where I got some interesting response about what they thought about the Second Life world.
#1, woman with pink dress, 11/7/2007, Hanja Welcome Center - its a wonderful networking tool that i'm still getting used to.
#2, man with suit and wings, 11/9/2007, Hanja Welcome Center - Jeff i dont know what to say to you
#3, little teddy bear, 11/1/2007, Hanja Welcome Center - I think sl is intresting becasue i get to meet people from around the world. i have a friend whos in finland!
#4 woman shaped with facial hair, 2/21/2007, Hanja Welcome Center - I've met three SLers in rl as a result of meeting them in here
#5, man in sharp suit, 11/8/2007, Hanja Welcome Center - you can go to many different worldssssssss. my keyboard is sticking
A lot of the conversation is incomprehensible. Many people did not really respond to the question - just talked about different aspects of Second Life that they enjoyed - with one being completely difficult and not giving me a response. Because I was unable to distinguish the gender of many people, I had to take their avatars for face value only. The majority of the people I spoke to were new to Second Life, five having only become members since November, all of them less than a year on Second Life. All had positive things to say about Second Life.