Free-dom: You’ve Got To Give For What You Take

Nothing fills me with as much contentment as a round of searching for the devastatingly necessary freebies that are shaping my SL experience. Like a gray-haired granny, wondering when her next retirement check is coming or if I might win at bingo that night, I eagerly log into SL, motivated by the most recent rambling rainbow poop on the Fashion Feed. Some things die hard. Gone, really are the days when I’d look over the Fashion Feed of SL with ever increasing excitement about the new releases. In their place now are more vanity blogs than you can throw a stick at and crammed in between those are freebie post after freebie post. I scan them all. You never know what you might find, and need dammit!

It’s a sickness, I tell ya! This need to have what’s offered freely… just in case! In case what? In case I really need to enter that World’s Worst Halloween Glamour Gown contest? Well then, I’ll have just the thing(s).

Really what it comes down to is that the freebie culture in SL is like the Fashion Feed. Always looking for the rare gems out there among the dirt and the shiny stuff that turns out to actually be only used hypodermic needles glinting in the sun.

When freebie mania started to really get mainstream, those were very exciting times in the fashion community of SL. There were some fabulous freebies by all kinds of talented and creative designers. Chai, MMS, Tuli, Dutch Touch… however as the popularity of these gifts grew, it seems as though many jumped on the bandwagon offering all kinds of their variety of shit. Let me clue you all in. Crap has always been readily available as freebies in SL… it’s only within the last year that, as a community, we’ve made crap newsworthy.

Call me easy, call me trendy, I don’t know… but I was sucked in. I’d staved off all the paraphernalia that goes with the whole freebie-whore lifestyle until recently. I’ve already worn out the hunt idea with my friends, who apparently have better things to do than go to a new sim and wait around in 100 degree lag for limited freebies to appear magically, while they don a bald head and grasp at the fleeting temp rezz prizes frantically. But I persevere! Oh, and it’s totally not beneath me to cheat at these hunts btw. Though how I rationalize cheating to end up with 465789132794333897 ghosts that I have to then go through, I don’t know.

I will say that I’ve met a few wonderful people and bonded with some fabulous shopping friends along the way, but I’m not proud to admit that I’ve added lucky chair fanatic to my list of accomplishments in SL. There have been some fun times while waiting at a lucky chair or participating in hunts, so I must say there is value in that.

Based on some of the flack and feedback I’ve seen regarding the ‘down with the freebie culture’ movement, I’m afraid that there are some freebie bloggers who might be taking things a bit too seriously. No one is slamming your right to blog or blog what you want… but if you’d like continued credibility, please spare us the tiresome pictures of things that belong in a newbie box at YadNi’s Junkyard. At least with a newbie box, you know there are good and bad and you know what you’re getting into when you buy that oddly textured “Clothes for women” box for L$1.You also know that you’re in for a fun night ahead searching through it for something decent! And for the love of all that’s holy, stop calling people ungrateful for not sharing your high opinion of the quality of some freebies. Free or not, we all have standards and expectations. We all know muism can make some wonderful, sometimes way over priced stuff, however their choice to generously give out a pumpkin… does not get folks into their store. Nor would it inspire the masses to oodle happy thoughts and warm fuzzies were they to offer some cutting room floor ensemble they thought was worthy because, after all, it’s free.

Hunting in SL… one of my great time wasters. What percentage of my treasure from the next big hunt will actually be tossed as soon as I open and look at it? Jumping through hoops, learning about draw distance and the dreaded ARC, using your phone-a-friend option to find these sacred goodie boxes… cleverly disguised as a cute ghost or pumpkin or whatever. And don’t even get me started on the sneaky hiders. The ones who apparently have such faith in the intelligence of the general population that they hide stuff in places you’d never dream of. Seriously! Hey you, designer/creator… clearly you are smart… you’ve mastered PS or Maya or Poser or what have you, but me? I’m just a simple shopper not to be confused with someone of mass intellect.

My plea: Bloggers: write up the must-have freebies, please, because I do want to know. Designers: wow us with your generosity and talent… watch how quality freebies can attract new customers to your brand and give more people the opportunity to try your wares. Nay-Sayers: Keep up the quality patrol, we need people to challenge the status quo.

Me? I’ll keep at it. It’s been worthwhile for me to keep sorting through the rubbish to find the treasures. Some are very creative with their freebies and exclusives… and that’s what keeps me coming back for more. Plus, I’m totally afraid I might just miss something awesome that I have to have!

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8 Responses to “Free-dom: You’ve Got To Give For What You Take”

  1. You know, I was feeling like this the other day. I do love a good hunt, but in all honestly although I appreciate the efforts that have gone into setting them up and the generosity shown by the designers, I have to say I don’t keep *many* of the freebies I get in hunts.

    If it’s something I can buy, i’ll buy it, much like in Lucky Chairs, if it’s an exclusive I will hunt down the W’s or the 1×1 prims to find the goodies, so help me god I WILL!!!!

    I have to admit I didn’t enjoy the Vain Inc Hunt, it was soooooooooooooo long I ended up just tping to the stores I *knew* I liked and picked up those ghosts and shamefully I didn’t even stop to browse, you know why? COS THERE WERE TOO MANY GHOSTS TO FIND.

    I also didn’t really dig the Starlust Motel one, purely because I was irritable on the day and didn’t want to click on a billion pieces of trash, I liked the concept though!

    I have a hunt folder that now lists bigger than this screen and the next screen and probably the next to go through and I anticipate I won’t be keeping much of it, purely because I *have* to be brutal with what I keep and what I don’t for my own inventory sanity.

    I made an ALT (2 actually) and I intend to try and make them pretty on freebies and dollarbies (or thereabouts).. HA.. let’s see how *that* pans out.. shall we?

    Good post Rosie, sorry for the ramble >.>

  2. I tried the alt idea, of making them pretty on freebies and it was an epic fail. I also tried to do a blog entry with a entire ensemble with just freebies. The one hang up was the skins. I did not have one freebie skin that I thought was worthy. Hell I barely have non freebie skins that are worthy. I refuse to do hunts anymore. Ninety percent of the items end up in a folder in my inventory called crap freebies. The best and most quality freebies from a hunt have been from Retrology. And the best freebies are usually group and/or subscribomatic gifts.

    Great post Rosie 🙂

  3. doveswanson Says:

    I participated in Vain’s easter egg hunt earlier in the year, and I loved how it went down – the concept was nice because the act of sim hopping kept lag from being too horrible. But, at that time the hunt was not 100+ stores long. This time, it was entirely too long. I plan to write a note to Toko because I think she’s a doll and I trust that she’d seriously consider constructive input (so anyone else out there might think to try that too!) and I plan to tell her how I felt about my experience in it, not just as a participant but as a hunter too. It was insane. Too long. Too hard in some cases. Rules not followed properly. And honestly, just some real clutter and garbage. I hate to be harsh about freebies but you pointed out one of my biggest peeves of the whole hunt (THANK GOD someone said it finally!) …the Muism gift. I mean…seriously?

    I know I probably just said about fifty taboo things that will get me put on some folks’ blacklist. But if you can honest to god tell me you did that hunt and you kept every item you received because you thought it was of superb quality and usefulness – then I’ll kiss your pearly ass, otherwise, you feel exactly the same way but just don’t wanna admit it. I honestly think that as participants in these hunts, we should use that as some marker or level …a standard…to achieve. “If I wouldn’t keep my own gift, then maybe I should reconsider.” or something. Whatever.

  4. Oh god, thank you for saying something about that lonely little pumpkin. I admit that I do NOT enjoy hunts very much anymore. The only reason I did the ghost hunt was because my girls were talking so much about it, and it wore me the heck out trying to finish it. More than 100 stores? Give me a break. But I did like MOST of what I got in there. Of course, I may have been delirious after such a long hunt and I need to go back through the items now that I’m semi-sane. My friends and I did bitch about the muism pumpkin [although it got some use when I blew it up to maximum size and added enormous bling], and about that gift from Lasher’s with the BIAB hooker clothes and the ripped skin.

    I appreciate that designers give gifts. They’re certainly under no obligation. But as I have said time and time again, gifts to me are like wearable demos if I don’t know the store. You give some random mess that normally you would have just thrown away but you chose not to because it cost you $10L to upload, I’m really going to assume that’s what all your items are like. Give something good, I’m headed back with money in my hand.

  5. I loved this post Rosie, couldn’t have put it better myself. and ZOMG how hot are my nekkid boobs?!

  6. Rosie…thanks for the entertaining post! Just what I needed on a Monday when it’s cold out and I’m sitting here bored to tears. I LOL’d at a lot of it cos I could relate.

    The one thing I’d like to add is…..not only do the awesome freebies make me return to that store to see what else awesome they have, when I see something crappy and stingy, something inside me just throws up in my mouth a little when I think of that designer. They are forever banned from my inventory. It’s sad but that’s what happens. Even if I see something really cute by them on the Fashion feeds, I just can’t do it.

    *shrugs*

  7. Kerryth Tarantal Says:

    A late comment because I just found this post and the comments. You’ve all put into words pretty well what I’ve been thinking, especially since the horrible orgy of pre-Halloween hunts. I have no idea if the haul was worth it because I’m still too burned out to go through all that stuff. “No more,” I told myself, although I seem to have made exceptions for Magika and Nomine… guess I’m incurable. But those were Worth It. I guess that’s my rule of thumb. It better be worth it, or forget it.

    But I do need to say, as a relatively new resident, that nearly all of my favorite designers – the ones whose new releases I seize, the ones whose groups I stay in, the ones where I spend lots of lindens – got that way because they offered a high quality freebie that I picked up and tried and liked. On the other hand, like Joone, there are some I won’t go back to because they put out a free item that was junk, or from before they learned their craft, or something not even representative of their merchandise. (Tee shirt? But you sell, um, shoes.) Or not even their own work. Kiss of death, as far as I’m concerned.

  8. Rowan Carroll Says:

    I don’t participate in many of the grid wide hunts as a designer because they are.. well. over done.. and my ghost freebie was a special print of a recent release.
    the free shirts I made and gave away.. well.. come on.. they were funny.. “Will Camp for Shoes” written on a cardboard sign.. come on.. that’s just funny.. :} I didn’t make people hunt for them.. I gave them away to my group, they are in my box at Free Dove with 5 pairs of shoes, I passed them out to the Fashion Emergency group chat.. eh..

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