Archive for November, 2008

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

Posted in Op/Ed, SL® Fashion with tags , on November 9, 2008 by Rosie Shark

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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Drama makes this world go round

Posted in Op/Ed, SecondLife® with tags , , , on November 9, 2008 by hawksrock

dra·ma:

1:  A situation or succession of events in real life having the dramatic progression or emotional effect characteristic of a play

2:  The virtual air that allows avatars to breathe in Second Life.

Kitty reclaimed the term “slut” here.    I am about to reclaim drama.

Mention the word drama, and you are immediately hit with rolling eyes, whispered IM conversations, circulated notecards, and tales of woe and angst among the collective exes.   I am going to unscientifically say that drama is one of the most cited words in profiles across SL:   “I hate drama.”   “Take your drama elsewhere.”  “Drama free zone!!”

“My name is HawksRock Gunawan, and I embrace drama.”

I want every one of you to participate in an exercise with me.   Let’s think for a long second about what Second Life would look like without drama.  Are you thinking about it… for real?

Let’s think of a few things we would have to give up:

1) Relationships would be permanently abolished.  It would be free love with equal access amongst everybody.

2) Content creators would just produce things for the virtual good, and provide them for free because we couldn’t be so crass as to put a price on anything for fear that someone might not have the means to purchase it and they could potentially have hard feelings.

3) Linden Labs would have to step in and implement some controls around things like language, avatar expressions, and eliminate any sort of negative pose balls.

4) All avatars would have the default set to the 30 second smile.

Can anyone say… boring?    I used to write short story contests when I was in high school.   I was taught that every story has to have the following elements:   a setting, plot, characters, point of view, theme, and CONFLICT.   How boring would Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs be without any conflict?   I mean when Snow White finishes cooking, cleaning, and servicing the dwarfs do they all just sit around and eat apples?  Without conflict, you don’t have much of a story line.    Some games like WoW have built in conflict where you have to choose either the alliance or the horde, knowing that your goal in life is to get strong enough to kick the other sides ass!

Believe it or not, I am not advocating we all take up weapons and start mowing down each other.    Although, this is a fun hobby in SL as well.   I also do NOT advocate drama that is done in a mean way and is just intended to hurt others.   But I do feel that there is such a fear of “creating drama” in second life that individuals are afraid to voice their opinions in an open format.   People are so afraid of backlash, that they will not take a stand when they see something that they don’t agree with.   No one wants to be labeled as a “drama whore!”  The just want to read about it as it impacts others.

Don’t be afraid to speak your mind.   We need an engaged passionate populace willing to stand up and say what they think is right.   This last open sim fiasco demonstrated that the population is very willing to take on LL if they make a mistake along the way.   People are less willing to take on other issues from my experience.   Embrace drama if it means embracing the truth, and shining a light on injustices in this virtual world.    And besides, making a billboard of your neighbors getting it on three doors down is just kinda funny.    😉