Archive for July, 2009

The Best & the Worst of SecondLife…

Posted in SecondLife® with tags , , , , on July 21, 2009 by ♥JellyBean♥
Windlight

1. Windlight

I was thinking last night before I went to bed pissy with the sound of cloppity clinkity prim boots this girl was annoying me with, that my Rez Day is coming up. Woah! The big 5 years of SLife. What better way to reflect on my SLifetime than poll plurk for the Best & Worst SL additions over the years.

We all know that even though we rarely give credit to the Lindens, that LL does improve upon itself with the help of it’s most talented residents. We’ve seen numerous improvements over the years & even if you’re still a nooblet, thank a Linden or a content creator for being born into such a wonderfully advanced world as opposed to what it was 5 years ago.

Let’s start with the Best First in no particular date order of introduction.

1. Windlight (pictured above) -  In May of 2007  LL released the Second Life WindLight First Look viewer containing brand-new atmospheric rendering with killer skies and kickass environments. The world became a prettier place for everyone with a fairly decent graphics card. No longer did we feel we lived in a flat world with flat colors, we now had personally controlled atmosphere to play with. Pictures became art & romantic dates became even more dreamy.

2. Voice

2. Voice

2. Voice – Also in March of 2007, the new voice feature inside Second Life was ready for open beta testing! It was rough in the beginning, especially for me (Anyone remmy my “No Bean Left Behind” campaign? Prob not, that’s ok). We all learned the affect voice has had on our perception of others and had our share of annoying experiences & growing pains but after 2 years, could you imagine SLife without it?

3. Flexi Prims

3. Flexi Prims

3. Flexi Prims – In May of 2006, we saw the introduction of flexi prims. Again there were some growing pains, but it wasn’t too long before SL’s top designers were manipulating them into submission & creating some of the best fashion & builds that SL had ever seen. Our skirts started to flow, as did our hair and jewelry began to really dangle.

4. Sculpted Prims

4. Sculpted Prims

4. Sculpties – 2007 saw a lot of additions, as well as the Sculpted Prim… created externally using a 3D modeling tool such as Blender, Maya, or Wings 3D, and then uploaded to Second Life, where they are applied to a prim with the build tools. With the new prims, we saw awesome builds from prefabs using less primmage, art sculptures that take your breath away, and of course the all mighty sculptie shoes & hair. However did we manage to look even remotely presentable without them?

5. Havok™4

5. Havok™4

5. Havok™4 (Second Life Simulator v1.20.0.83683) – In March of 2008 the new simulator known as Havok was being dubbed as the “more Stable Second Life Simulator (Tastes Great, Less Crashing)”. The release was the result of the Havok™4 project, a project that updated the physics engine used to determine all movement of objects in Second Life. I’m not exactly sure how awesome it was/is but the more technical of people seem to like it.

As always people will find something they hate even with the many things that they love. LL will always be to blame because after all how dare they create this virtual world for you to play in & not keep complete stability and no lag while you are there gracing it with your pixels, right?

I now present you with some of the Worst of SL additions, not all completely LL’s fault:

1. Clickity Shoes

1. Clickity Shoes

1. Clickity Shoes – This has got to be the most annoying, IMHO, addition to SL ever. Sadly the clickity cloppity prim shoe was introduced around the same time as voice. Talk about being forced to let your ears bleed as well as grinding your teeth down to bits as you hear these babies walk by you in a store while voicing it up with your best friend. Like I said yesterday… Nothing in SL has ever caused me to cringe in RL like the sound of these freaking annoying ass shoes!

2. Talking Tummies

2. Talking Tummies

2. Talking Tummies – I know a lot has been said on this subject from those who have/had/ are in favor of the whole SL pregnancy gig to those like me that hate hearing them. To quote one of my posts from MGG2SL on the subject… “So like I was at Tringo yesterday & I hear a tummy talk. No problem, I muted it. Bleh, but then the “vitamin” she took spoke. So I muted that too. How much shit must I mute?! My mute list is full of talking tummies, babies, etc.” That was back in April of 2007 and the shit has just gotten more & more advanced over the last two years.

3. Bling

3. Bling

3. Bling – Bling has been around for as long as I have. You know those fashion trends that you really wish would die a quick death? This is definitely one of them on my top 3 list right above babydoll shirts. Jewelry and attachments scripted, particle based shimmering “bling” effects that are suppose to do what? Make you look rich? Give you some type of virtual status? I’m not sure but just as quickly as nooblets could snatch up the “shiny shiny”, we came up with the term “Blingtards”.

4. Free Accounts

4. Free Accounts

4. Free Accounts – In September of 2005 LL opened up a can of worms with “FREE Membership Accounts.” LL said, “because free membership will likely prompt a significant number of people to join Second Life, revenue from virtual land the new members buy will probably make up for the loss of subscription fees.” Four years later & we see more cobybots, more kids, alts and more camping bots. Good call there LL.

5. Zindra

5. Zindra

5. Adult Continent  Zindra – As it became clear that some Residents are interested in pursuing certain “Adult” activities in Second Life that others would rather not casually encounter, the brainchild of LL… Zindra came to be. The SecondLife Adult Continent. My issue with this is that at the same time rumors of  LL to keep the Teen Grid running or close it down are circling as well as complaints of Teen Grid regions showing up on the main grid sporadically reported to the Jira. There has to be a better way to police the logins for adults & those who want adult content on their land or around their common haunts shouldn’t feel herded to Zindra.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? Do you have a Top 5 Best & Worst of SL? If yours differ, how did you make up your lists?

Charity shall cover the multitude of sins

Posted in RL, SecondLife® on July 14, 2009 by Kitty Lalonde

The title of this post is  a quote from the bible, not that I’ve read the bible particularly, but it’s very, very, true. From those seeking to further or re-ignite a musical career by performing in a charity sing-a-long, or the person recently exposed for general wickedness giving a sizable donation in the hope of forgiveness to outright theft. Charity is not always about being charitable.

With most RL charities you do get some idea of where your moolah is going. Be it from annual events like Comic Relief, or the abandoned dog ‘writing’ to you from the happy dogs home where it is cared for. Of course this information might be complete bullshit, in SL however, where we’re all only who we say we are, it’s harder to be sure that your very real money is going to the right place.

You do find a lot of people asking for donations for various things in SL, be it medical aid or to assist with an electricity bill. Some of these things you want to help with, some of them less so. Not so long ago there was a blog asking for donations to a good cause. To send the bloggers child to a camp, several posts were made over the days, keeping us up to date with the total amount received, dates expected to leave, shopping trips for things to take to camp, promises of photos of the child enjoying the camp and so forth until…. Nothing. Not a sausage more was heard aside from a couple of completely unrelated posts on the blog. But I wanted to know how it went. Did they make all the money and go to the camp? Did they not reach their goal and had to postpone for next year, thus returning all the money to the donors? What was going on?

Now as evil as I feel casting aspersions on something as sensitive as this, this plea for help from this particular person left a sour taste in my mouth. Because it wasn’t the first time they’d been found needy.

It was over a year ago when I first noticed this person, their laptop was unhealthy and such was their plight that they couldn’t play SL anymore. Which, before anyone leaps in with ‘ZOMG, like SL is vital to your life’, SL *is* vital to some peoples lives, so kindly shush. Anyhoo, a sale of their items and inclusion of tip jars at their store was launched in order to garner some cash to go to a repair/new laptop. I’m not sure which. Again, a flurry of posts advertising the sale and asking for help, and again, nothing afterwards. I’d presume they’re got the lappy fixed as four days after the initial breakdown they blogged dancing on cows at an SL party. But no specific mention of a fix was made.

Now I’ve mentioned no names here, although it’s prolly fairly obvious. But believe me, I’d dearly like this person to show me a buttload of photos and say ‘fuck you bitch’ to me, I really would. Cos I hate that SL makes me suspicious like this. But at the same time you really do have to wonder what some peoples needs really are.

Prim Penis + Poseballs = Partnership?

Posted in Op/Ed, Real Life, SecondLife®, SLove & Romance on July 13, 2009 by Daila Holder

I have a partner.  Granted his name is not listed in that little partner box in my profile, and his picture is not listed under my picks.  I have never hopped on a pose ball with him, or admired his prim penis.  But he is my partner nonetheless.  My partner in both worlds has only logged onto Second Life once. 

I have never experienced a strictly Second Life partnership.   I imagine that like real life relationships that each one is very unique, and the hows and whys of a virtual relationship may be even harder to define.   In both worlds, I have encountered couples that spend almost every moment possible together, and those that function quite well from afar.   Some couples would call their partner their best friend, while others insist that having time for other friendships is what makes their relationship so strong. 

I could spend hours telling you the intricate ins and outs of my marriage, but obviously what works for us would most likely never work for any other couple.  Personal dynamics of a marriage or long term partnership are just that personal. 

I’ve heard horror stories of marriages ending through one or both parties complete immersion into SL, but for every tale of despair, there is one of hope.  Connections made through computer screens that end in years of real life bliss.   Of course, sometimes the two stories are related.   Sometimes, real life happiness of a Second Life partnership may only come after the horror of a marriage ending.   Of course, I know that Second Life doesn’t end relationships, people end relationships.   The “injured party” may rebel and claim, “If you weren’t glued to that computer screen all the time, we could have worked through our problems.”   Perhaps the inability to work through the problems is what caused the online immersion and not vice versa….  Who knows? 

I enjoy the social aspect of Second Life.  The social aspect is what drives everything else that I’m into in world.   I shop for and dress Daila with the intention of going some place to be social.  Are there times that I log on and spend hours without even talking to another avatar?  Well of course, but my ultimate goal is to get to know others and make connections.  What better way to waste time then by discovering how others tick?  I also flirt.  I knew the moment that I logged on that being social and flirting while married could lead to sticky situations.  

Love

So how do I juggle my need to flirt and get to know others with the more important goal of ensuring that my marriage is healthy and my partner doesn’t feel neglected?  First, I ensure that time spent in world is not time I could be spending with him.  His work schedule is very busy, so normally when I’m online he’s not home or otherwise occupied.  Second, I try to keep an open and honest dialogue with him about my online activities.  

I involve him as much as he wants to be involved and sometimes even more so.  I ask his opinion on skin, hair, clothes, pictures and blog posts.   Most of the time, I can tell he could care less, but he loves me and in turn tries to be interested in what interests me.  Sometimes, I even spend time talking to him about blog drama, and he gives me an outsider’s perspective.  I know that a lot of times he may see my SL interactions as silly, but he has never demeaned the time I spend here.  Though, I do think he was somewhat relieved after my first year when I lost interest.  Now, he knows that my interest in SL can be fleeting, and I can go weeks without logging in, and he accepts that there are times when I’m online every day. 

As far as my social interactions in SL are concerned, there have been a few times when jealousy arose, or he felt that I crossed some invisible line in regards to the topics I discussed with members of the opposite sex.  His most common response when I’ve talked to the same opposite sex avatar for long periods on multiple occasions is I don’t like that guy.  He says it jokingly, but that’s usually my warning sign that I may be getting too close.   I know there have been a few rare occasions when I’ve ignored the warnings signs and trudged into uncharted territory, but as always my interest waned, and things went back to normal quickly. 

Over the years, I learned that certain things make him feel better regarding my time online.  I encourage him to be in the room while I’m online.  The password to my Second Life is now always typed in.  It wasn’t always that way, but it just makes things easier on all fronts to have it that way.  He’s on my Plurk line, though he’s never really commented on my plurks.  In fact, I don’t think he has even logged on in months.  We have our boundaries that we don’t’ cross.  He doesn’t read my email, and I don’t read his texts.  Though, if either felt the need, I’m sure we could reach some understanding. 

I know that many would say that my pseudo-flirting online may be a time bomb waiting to explode, but after almost three years in SL, I think I learned some bomb defusing skills.  A few people tell me that as open as I am, that they feel I put up invisible barriers that don’t encourage intimacy.  I know that whatever barriers someone may feel that I put up are unintentional.  But perhaps, I only have so much intimacy to give, and it’s all taken up by real life at the moment.

I wanted to do this post as a two-parter in which I told my side and have him tell his, but he seemed reluctant to write a post.  We did do a little question and answer session about my time online and his thoughts, but almost every question was summed up with one basic answer, “Whatever makes you happy baby. “  And that actually sums up my opinion too.  As much as I love SL and my friends here, and as stubborn as I can be, if he asked me to give it up, I’d never log on again.  Though, I really hope he never does!  I would expect that I’d know and be able to give it up on my own, before it ever reached that point.  At least I like to think so.

What Does Your Profile Say About You?

Posted in Op/Ed with tags , , , , , , on July 7, 2009 by ♥JellyBean♥

profile

Today I asked a question on plurk -

JellyBean™ asks

do you read profiles? do you judge people or make assumptions by what the profile says?

A lot of plurkers replied, more than I had thought would & a discussion took place. Imagine that! I wonder how often people actually think about their profiles. I know I look at profiles regularly when I’m in world and sometimes when I’m not, but I’m bored. I guess until today I haven’t thought about my profile lately. I would hope that it would say just enough about me that a person reading it would feel comfortable enough to IM me and say “hello” but not too much that the person would think they have a firm grasp of the jumbled ball of stuffs that makes me – me. Cause honestly where is the mystery in that? Right?

The profile above was one I read last night from a guy I saw standing at KMADD with no shirt, jeans, bare feet & piercings all over. Aside from the pic, that I find to be “over-share”, I honestly feel he would be an occassionally fun guy to hang with. Really. In all actuality if I had my way, I’d collect gay men like pokemon. I wanna catch them all and be best friends forever.

This isn’t a blog post as much as it is a discussion…
  • How often do you update your profile?
  • Would you consider your profile to be funny, informative, business like, friendly, blank, boring, sexy…?
  • What would you hope others get out of your profile?
  • Do you read others profiles?
  • Do you make assumptions or judgments on what you read there?
Please leave your answers in comments or do a blog post… if you post, please link back, I’d love to read what you all think.

Missing Persons Report

Posted in Op/Ed with tags , , , , on July 1, 2009 by hawksrock

One of the hardest differences to swallow sometimes between RL and SL is the way that people can just up and disappear.   All it takes is for somebody to one day out of the blue just decide they aren’t going to log in again, and poof they are gone from your life forever.   At least in RL you typically have a little more context, maybe the person moved away, changed jobs, died, or even just drifted away.   In SL the person may have been grappling with the change over a period of time on their own, but unless you were super close to them, you probably have zero idea until one day the person is not there any longer.  Over my short three years here, I have lived through a lot of public scandals around things like people dying but other loved ones wanting to keep it quiet so as to not lose all the creations and revenue potential from the individuals works or rumors of people faking their RL deaths to “experience” what happens with their friends.   Although these examples were all somewhat sensationalized, I am sure that each and every one of us have people on our list who just disappeared for one reason or another.

Depending on how close the person was, it is a natural reaction to want to grieve their loss.   The issue is that you have no idea at what point to actually begin to grieve.   I mean no sense feeling all sad if you keep thinking they are going to be back the next week, next month, or whenever?    At some point you find yourself looking over your friends list, and realizing that you have not heard from X, Y, or Z in a really long time.   It could be as simple as the person removing your rights to see them as online, but at the end of the day, they are still dead to you.   I encourage each of you take a moment and look at your list, and then feel free to either reflect on people who have went missing, or else share your story here.

I will share a few of mine in memoriam:

Joker Speedwell:

This guy was like a rock in our lives for a long time.   He was known for his love of motorcycles in both worlds, and I still think that a likely scenario was that he went down in some sort of horrific motorcycle crash.   He was one of the weirdest disappearances though, since he also left his SL girlfriend completely hanging right at the time they were taking it to RL.  Even calls to his RL cell phone remain unanswered, so the mystery is deep.

Kala Wildcat:

She hung on for several months waiting for Joker’s return, but in the end gave up, and logged out for the last time back in November of 2008.   Her craziness is missed.

Harlan Panacek:

This guy came out of nowhere to rapidly rise through the ranks of our TE empire as one of our biggest recruiters.   There was not a puzzle out there that he couldn’t explain to the group.  He also was becoming a huge help with our machinima and JH production studios (even complete with his own office space) until one day he just up and disappeared.

Haos Honua:

Haos and I were always close dating back to my earliest days playing tringo at Bad Azz, hosting, and hanging out.   I think he still logs in on occasion, but I haven’t ran across him online in probably a year.

I still have hope of reconnecting with one or all of these great people, but after many many months, I am left to think I might never see them again.

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