Google+ Adventures of a Southern Gentleman: Second Life Adventures
Showing posts with label Second Life Adventures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Second Life Adventures. Show all posts

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Site Update: Old Second Life Posts Imported

After some debate, I decided to import the old posts from my Second Life blog that I brought down in a few years ago.   There are still some links out there coming back to http://sladventures.sougent.com and/or to http://www.sougent.com so I thought it would be appropriate to do so.

I've created a page tab to bring up only the Second Life related posts and linked it to http://sladventures.sougent.com so that the back links go to only the Second Life tagged posts.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fare thee well! and if for ever, Still for ever, fare thee well.

 

Fare thee well! and if for ever,
Still for ever, fare thee well.
~Lord Byron

 

This blog post has been a while in coming.   No, I didn’t disappear off the face of the earth or rather Second Life, but life has been unkind the past year and my priorities have changed.   And frankly, the draw to go into Second Life hasn’t been there with everything going on in 2009 and continuing now into this new year.  

To my SL friends, I miss you and do think about you often, but even when I work up the desire to log into Second Life the performance issues I have had just make it an unpleasant experience so I haven’t been on other than for a few minutes at a time.

I don’t think this is going to change any time soon, so I guess I’m saying goodbye.   Oh, the account will remain and I may try logging in every once in a while, maybe catch a Drama Libre every so often, go see what Crap’s done with his little corner of SL (I miss the tower), see if Stuart’s destroyed anything of interest and that sort of thing.   Not gone forever, I suspect.

As for this blog, I think that this shall be the last post in it.   I can’t say that anything of any worth was said in it, but I had fun doing it.  

Keep in touch, I’m on the web as Sougent so I’m not hard to find.

My twitter is as always http://twitter.com/sougent

E-mail – sougent@gmail.com

 

I’ll leave you with the following blessing and my well wishes…

 

A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering angel, so nothing can harm you.
-- Irish Blessing

Sunday, May 10, 2009

ChemGenosis/Shadow Things

When I first came into Second Life, I spent a lot of my time hanging around the Infohub at the Wengen Chalet.   I met quite a few people there who I still call friends, two of those are Aza Zymurgy and Lacey Mertel.  

 

I haven’t seen them in a while, though I occasionally see their names pop up.

 

Some time ago they teamed up to start a  couple little shops called ChemGenosis and Shadow Things, which I’ve revisited recently and thought I’d share them.

 

ChemGenosis Gallery: Shadow Things, ChemGenosis Designs

I like the ambiance, a little surrealistically dark and creepy.

 

ChemGenosis Designs

Aza has created some really creepy skins, I especially like the zombie skin.   I actually won a costume contest with that one last Halloween.   The scarecrow skin is also a good one.

 

Shadow Things

Shadow Things has skins, shapes, eyes and such geared toward creating a “Broken Doll”  look.

 

ChemoGenosis Gallery, Shadow Things 

The ChemGenosis Gallery shows off representations of some of the real life and SL artwork that Aza and Lacey have done.  

 

ChemGnosis Gallery: Shadow Things, ChemGenosis Designs

Even if you’re not interested in shopping, it’s worth the visit to see the setup they’ve done for the shops.

 

ChemGnosis Gallery: Shadow Things, ChemGenosis Designs

 

Click to Teleport  ChemGenosis/Shadow Things

 

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cylindrian Rutabaga, Second Life Singer and Performer featured on CNN

A lot of the news coverage about Second Life tends more toward reporting on the negative aspects of SL, sensationalizing and trying to go for the “shock value”, so when a positive news report comes out it tends to stand out.

Recently, one such report came out via CNN and I wanted to highlight it.

In the almost 2 years that I’ve been in Second Life, I’ve met a variety of people from around the globe from various backgrounds.   One of those people has been Cylindrian Rutabaga, a.k.a. Grace Buford.

Cylindrian is a singer and musician who performs live in Second Life, playing in various venues around the grid.   I’ve been able to make it to a couple of her concerts in Second Life which prompted me to buy her album River on Amazon.com (and will probably buy her other two albums Living Stories and Virtually Live eventually).  Her music genre is folk music, so if you like that kind of music, then you should definitely check out Cylindrian’s stuff on Amazon or iTunes.

 

Here is the text article that goes with the video.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/04/07/second.life.singer/index.html

 

Here is an imbed of the CNN video.

 

A direct link to the video is here…. http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/tech/2009/04/06/second.life.singer.cnn

 

To find out more about Cylindrian Rutabaga/Grace Buford check out these links.

Cylindrian's Grace Notes

Twitter – Cylindrian

Grace Buford on Myspace

Cylindrian/Grace Buford Fan Club on Facebook

Grace Buford - Soulful Folk Music – Website

Cylindrian Photo Group on Flickr

Cylindrian on Reverb Nation

Grace Buford on Amazon.com

 

You can find links to other great Second Life Musicians at the Tunes inSL website.

 

Sunday, March 22, 2009

How Linden Labs ought to handle the Adult Content Policy Change...

In my previous blog post I've given my take on what the Adult Content policy change is going to entail and I've read a number of articles and comments giving opinions and suggestions on what Linden Labs ought to do. All of this has given me a few thoughts on how I think Linden Labs could/should approach this policy change to minimize the impact of it.

My contention has been that this is no difference than the current sim types of PG and Mature, it's just adding another type into the mix. My thought is that a new Adult type sim will work the same way as a Mature sim does now, you have some PG stuff, some Mature stuff and some Adult stuff all mixed on the sim, the difference will be that the Mature sim won't have the Adult stuff on it any longer just as a PG sim isn't supposed to have Mature stuff on it now. Part of the Adult Content policy change also entails something called "Age Verification" which quite simply that you have to follow a process to "prove" that you're an adult, at least to the point where Linden Labs is legally protected. Many have pointed out that this isn't foolproof, and indeed it isn't, but that's not an argument for not doing it. So in the near future, age verification will likely be part of the sign up process and it'll be old hat, if you're an adult in Second Life you'll have access to all 3 types of sim and the content therein, with options for warnings if you're concerned about wandering into an area that you aren't interested in seeing. If, like many suspect, this is a prelude to merging the teen grid in then a teen account would likely be the only type that has an actual physical restriction to access.

If I'm right, then ultimately there's no real issue as far as the private estates are concerned, if you have Adult content somewhere on the island or just don't care about teens having access, then you just set it to Adult and be done with it. There will be some pains involved since I'm sure the vast majority of active Second Life users are not age verified, but I suspect it's not going to take long for them to do so, it's just a matter of education which Linden Labs could handle by putting up a blurb on the login screen explaining the why and hows of doing age verification.

So, how can Linden Labs deal with removing Adult Content from the existing Mature mainland sims? Well, for one there's an option to just switch certain mainland sims from Mature to Adult if there is a predominance of adult content on the sim. The existing residents that don't have any adult content on their land are only affected by this in that they would have to be age verified. So far I know of no rule that says every meter of land on an Adult sim has to be XXX content. This might be the only thing Linden Linden labs really has to do if they aren't concerned about mixing PG, Mature and Adult sims on the same continent.

But there might be some mainland sims that have adult content on them but it's not desirable to change the sim's rating to Adult, perhaps a sim with Linden owned land such as Wengen or one of the other infohubs. So the adult content has to move, how do we do that without too much disruption? As pointed out in a comment to my last post, the issue with moving an establishment is twofold, it takes quite some time to set up and tweak a place so it's just right. It can be involved and complicated to take a store or club and move it lock, stock and barrel. Then there is the issue of existing landmarks and the customer base expecting the establishment to be where it's always been. Now certainly, dead landmarks is a normal issue with Second Life, we all have clicked a landmark and ended up at an empty lot or some place totally different from what we expected. But in this case, the move is forced, we have to deal with informing the customers of the change.

Both of these issues can be solved by time. So here's what I think that Linden Labs should do. Apparently there's already a new landmass with Adult sims on it. Work with the individuals that you need to move, give them a plot of land on a new Adult sim that is equal to the area of the plot they currently own and with the same dimensions if so desired. Give them 2-3 months where they own both the old and new plots of land while they establish their new build, then leave a sign and landmark giver on the old site to redirect traffic to the new place. After the time is up, the old piece of land automatically reverts to Linden Labs and is auctioned off as any abandoned piece of land would be. Perhaps even a stipend of a several thousand L$ could be given to offset costs incurred by moving, or at least for the bother.

Is any solution perfect? No, but there are certainly ways to lessen the impact that wouldn't entail much effort from Linden Labs.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Linden Labs Releases New Policy on Adult Content, Rioting Ensues

In previous posts I mentioned the curious phenomena I like to call the Kerfuffle Syndrome, where every 3-6 months Linden Labs makes an announcement that causes the vocal portion of the Second Life Community to go crazy, and not surprisingly it’s been 3 months since the last such announcement.  

Today Linden Labs announced that changes would be coming in regards to “Adult” content (Upcoming Changes for Adult Content) and as one might expect based on past experience there was a huge negative reaction with the usual threats of leaving SL, predictions of the collapse of  Second Life, etc.   This is both amusing in it’s predictability and sad because it demonstrates an overwhelmingly negative attitude by the vocal members of a community that usually claims an above normal concern for Second Life and its future.    But the mentality of the SL community is fodder for a future blog post, perhaps, but for the present I want to offer my take on this announcement.   I’m not a Linden Lab’s employee so this is pure speculation, but I think it’s pretty reasonable.

The current world has two types of Sim rating, PG and Mature.    As one might expect, a PG Sim should only have content that would be safe for your kid to see watching over your shoulder and a Mature Sim would have stuff that’s more R rated.    Up until now, the Mature Sims were also the homes of what would be considered XXX rated material as well, the much reported upon adult entertainment aspect of Second Life that consists of strip clubs, sex clubs, BDSM, Gorean roleplay and the like.   Based on the announcement from Linden Labs, I see a 3rd land rating type coming into play, the Adult Sim, which will offer a further distinction of mature vs explicit content.   Along with this will come some method of age verification so that this new Adult Sim rating can be restricted to only known real life adults, at least from a legal standpoint.   I see this as necessary for legal protection as opposed to a realistic expectation of being able to 100% restrict this content to adults, there’s always a way for an enterprising young person to work around restrictions.   This is about due diligence.  

This also will afford those adults who aren’t interested in the Adult aspects of Second Life the ability to keep out of areas so marked.   This will be especially important to those in Second Life from the educational community or the business community where their Second lives are more job related and they need to be circumspect about where they are seen in SL.   Some people see this as a prelude to merging the Teen Second Life Grid with the Main Grid, and that’s possible, but I think that’s only a small part of the reasons behind this, bottom line is that Linden Labs has to protect itself legally, they have to keep Second Life an inviting and safe environment to the educators, businesses and other entities who aren’t in SL running around asking every likely candidate “I can haz sex?”.

What does this mean to those people who engage in activities or run establishments that will be rated adult?   If you’re on a private island, probably nothing other than being required to change a setting on your island showing that it is an Adult rated sim.    If you’re on the mainland, then likely you’ll have to move to a sim with an Adult rating.   How Linden Labs handles this move will be critical, one would hope that they’d do a clean swap of land giving the person moving a comparable amount of land on new Adult rated sims and putting the swapped land on the Mature sim up for auction as they would abandoned land.

I think the only real critical issue here, and one that needs the most clarification, is what the criteria is that rates something as Adult vs Mature.    Some stuff is obvious, sex clubs, strip clubs, BDSM clubs aren’t difficult to classify, but there are some that sit on the edge.   For example, would an art gallery that displayed tasteful nudes be considered Mature or Adult?   My vote would be for a Mature rating and I suspect that Linden Labs will agree with that assessment.   Does everyone need to worry about having to take down their private skyboxes and throw away their fancy beds?  I don’t believe so, not if they are for private use.   Certainly, having a dungeon with any number of kinky items sitting at ground level might be over the edge and be an issue, but what if it’s at 3000m on Mature sim?   That will probably just be open to interpretation, handled on a case by case basis by Linden Labs.

So is this going to be a big deal?   Ultimately, I don’t think so.   The small time operators of sexually explicit establishments on the mainland will be the ones impacted, certainly, but I think the numbers of those affected will be low in comparison to the majority of Second Life residents.

And honestly, I won’t miss the BDSM club that’s near my land, though so far there’s been no issue with their games occurring while I’m around.   Certainly, I don’t want them screwed by Linden Labs, I hope they get an equitable land swap to a decent area on a new Adult sim.   In fact, I hope Linden Labs takes the time to set their Moles to work landscaping and making the new Adult mainland sims into pleasant looking places so that any hard feelings about having to relocate are offset by being moved to a nice looking location.

So, what do you think?   I’d love to see comments pro or con on the subject.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Trail

Somehow I’d gotten on the subscribomatic for a place called New Trail, so this evening I decided that I needed to track it down and unsubscribe so I searched for it inworld and promptly found it. 

Upon teleporting in I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.

New Trail

 

A very nice island build with wooded areas and waterfalls.    For a sim that’s main purpose is to house a store (for selling some very nice trees and plants), it’s also a pleasant place to wander about.

?New Trail

 

Unfortunately, while I was wandering about, there was no music url set so it was silent.   Some nice music would go great with this setting so I’m hoping that the owner sets something up soon.

New Trail

New Trail

New Trail

 

All in all, a very nice place.   Throw a few slow dance balls here and there, add some good music and this would be a great place to bring someone.

New Trail

 

And by all means visit the store area, there’s some really nice stuff available for relatively reasonable prices.   I’m certainly returning at a later date to make some purchases.

New Trail

Sunday, January 25, 2009

First Kerfuffle of 2009 – XStreet SL and OnRez

Anyone that’s been in Second Life for at least a year and who follows the numerous SL related blogs and social media outlets will have noticed a recurring phenomenon that goes something like this.

Linden Labs announces something.

Everyone gets worked up and upset over it, then doom and gloom is predicted and the end of SL as we know it.

Thinks settle down and within a few weeks, the furor is pretty well past and everything is back to normal.

In 3-6 months, lather, rinse, repeat.

Linden Labs started early this year, just 20 days into January with the first kerfuffle of 2009, the acquisition of XStreet SL and OnRez, the two main online stores for buying/selling Second Life related merchandise, basically two Amazon.coms for Second Life.

Now, I’m not going to get into a deep analysis of this, I couldn’t claim to be qualified to do so. But I’ve spent 25 years of my life working for decent sized corporations and I’ve picked up a bit about how businesses operate so I’ll give my personal opinion from that viewpoint.

This acquisition by Linden Labs is a logical and correct thing for them to do from a business sense. From the first moment I signed on to XStreet SL back when it was known as SLExchange, I thought to myself that Linden Labs ought to buy this and integrate it into their website. It just makes so much sense, especially if, as some have surmised, Linden Labs is positioning itself as the supplier of a cross world infrastructure containing login information, inventory and a monetary structure. I just wonder why it took them so long.

Ok, great, but why buy OnRez as well? Most seem to assume that it’s an attempt to corner the market, to be come a monopoly, and I disagree with that. One, I don’t think Linden Labs is that sophisticated on the business front to pull something like that. Two, in my experience, businesses acquire other businesses for assets and proprietary knowledge/technology. I think that the OnRez acquisition was for both. The merchants/users of OnRez that don’t use XStreet SL represent an asset, one that Linden Labs is hoping to roll into XStreet SL. Also, I believe that there is some technology behind how OnRez works that Linden Labs wants and that they will use in its integration of XStreet SL.

Nothing nefarious, just sound business. No monopoly either, in my opinion, there is nothing stopping someone else from building a bigger and better XStreet SL or OnRez. And this certainly shouldn’t kill in-world shopping, any more than XStreet SL and OnRez killed it as separate entities. It could in fact create more in-world business once integrated so small shops can get a fair shake on showing up in the in-world search, assuming they opt to put their items into the XStreet SL.

So, what do I see down the road from this acquisition? Hopefully, an integration with the Second Life viewer so that not only can you shop in a web browser, but you can shop from a tab in the current search feature in the viewer. Vendors that can sell to people in-world and also act as the current servers for the XStreet SL do now (should Linden Labs consider buying a vendor system to integrate with this?). No need for XStreet SL terminals and money transfers, just direct debits/credits to your in-world L$ balance.

I believe this is a good move for Linden Labs, a move that fits in well with their future plans of being a supplier of the unifying infrastructure for virtual worlds that include Second Life and Open Sims. I also believe that this is ultimately a good thing for the residents of Second Life as well.

Time will tell.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Funny Blog - Absolutely amazing SecondLife discoveries

Catching up on my Google Reader backlog and happened to look at the recommended feeds links to discover a Second Life blog I’ve not come across before. 

 

From their About…

“This is your crazy ride through the depths of SL´s shopping malls. See things you have never dreamt of and of course never want to to dream of.

Weird and crazy shit compiled into a blog commented with a sharp tongue.

Welcome to SL´s most untypical shopping guide.”

 

And after looking through the posts there, I’d say they’ve succeeded.    Certainly got me to add them to my reading list.

Check them out at http://sldiscoveries.wordpress.com/

 

AmazingDiscoveries

 

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009

The ending of one year and the starting of the next is usually a time for reflection on the past year and making resolutions on what one plans to do differently in the next.   

The year 2008 started out a bit subdued for me because I was struggling to find the interest in SL that I’d previously had and lost for various reasons that I won’t get in to.   I passed my 1st Rezz Day in Second Life in April 2008, which was uneventful.   I reconnected with a special someone for a few months before she lost access to SL for the time being, something I hope changes in 2009.    For the latter half of the year, I’ve struggled to find the desire to go into Second Life.    Not for want of ideas of things to do, there have been many things I’ve thought to do, several times I thought I’d found that “spark” again, but ever so quickly to lose it and to find it replaced with a “what’s the point” feeling.    The big kerfuffle about Open Space Sims and the negativity that followed didn’t help, I wondered why I should bother with something like SL when even it’s most ardent supporters are so terribly negative about it much of the time.

So, here on the 1st day of the new year, I reflect on why I became involved in Second Life in the first place, and why I should stay involved because if it’s not fun then there isn’t much point, is there?

Resolutions then, for 2009?   

Get back to what I enjoy about SL, exploring and finding new places.   Lately, Second Life has been more like one gigantic mall to me, stores everywhere you look.    Seems like there are more people trying to make money in SL than there are people just building neat stuff, so one of my goals is to try to find more interesting stuff, getting pictures and blog posts out there on them.

Speaking of blog posts, I managed to do 20 in 2008, which is an average of slightly less than 2 per month so my goal is to double that for 2009 but hopefully keeping them interesting and useful.

I’m also going to try to get back into building, one of my projects for 2008 was to build a very primmy banjo.  Rather than do something with just a few prims and mainly texture based appear to be, I created a fairly detailed prim based banjo that to my non-expert eyes, looks pretty good.   It looked good enough that pictures of it on my Flickr stream were used in two separate non Second Life related blog posts.   I enjoyed building that, and would like to come up with a few projects for 2009 that involve building something challenging like that.

Another thing I want to do is more machinima of places and things I come across in Second Life.   I liked filming and editing the stuff I’ve done for Drama Libre but would like to do a little more stuff of more general interest to the community at large.

Well, I think that’s enough resolutin’ fer now.   Though these are more than just resolutions, I think they are necessities for me if I’m to remain involved in Second Life.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Second Life Architecture

Recently came across a presentation by Ian Wilkes, VP of Systems Engineering with Linden Labs, on the Architecture of Second Life.   Recorded at QCon San Francisco 2007.

Second Life Architecture by Ian Wilkes

 

I thought it was a good presentation which gives an overview of how Second Life works on a technical level, including some of the problems with some of the decisions that were made when it was designed.  I definitely recommend sitting down and watching this if you’re at all interested in the behind the scenes stuff that goes on and if you wonder about some of the technical reasons behind why SL misbehaves and why “just fix it” is more complicated than it seems.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Can SL and RL truly be separate?

Since I've been having difficulty in coming up with something to blog about, I decided to shamelessly borrow one of the topics used in the recent SL Bloggers mix and match.

So, can Second Life (SL)  and Real Life (RL) truly be separate?    Many would say yes, they keep SL and RL totally separate but is that really true?   It's true that you can hide, to some extent, your RL from your SL, and your SL from your RL as long as you take care to keep things hidden but are they really "separate"?

Separate can be defined in several different ways but when most people use the word in regards to Second Life, I believe they mean the following.

independent; not united or joint;

It would be my contention that SL can not be truly separate from RL.  Whether one finds oneself deeply immersed in Second Life or just casually involved, events in real life can impact your SL and events in SL can impact your RL.   Witness the recent news stories about the couple that divorced in real life over what happened in Second Life.   I will grant that those two probably didn't do much to keep the two lives separate but I wouldn't be at all surprised to find in one or both of their profiles,  a statement to the effect that RL and SL are separate, just as one finds in many profiles.

But are those kind of statements valid?   Is it even possible to keep it separate?

Avatars in SL are driven by real living humans, with feelings and emotions, hang ups and physical problems, and all those things that make us human.

Emotions from either life can spill over into the other.   Whether it's having a fight with a friend in SL that makes you grumpy all day at work in RL or a flat tire in RL causing you to snap or fight with a friend in SL later that evening.  

That's not being separate, how could it be?  Unless you're Mister Spock and can keep the emotions of one world separate from the other and switch back and forth between the two.

How can you keep RL separate from SL when each can impact the other so readily?

Anyone that has been in SL for any length of time knows that spending too much time in SL impacts RL, even if you don't have much of a RL it's still an impact when you choose to sit all day in your pajamas in front of the computer in SL rather than do your laundry or go to the grocery or just go outside and be in the sun.

And when RL events or circumstances prevent you from going into SL abruptly, at the very least it impacts the relationships you've built in SL, your friends worry, your SL "boss" wonders why you didn't show up to host that event, and in RL you stress over not being able to get in.

SL and RL can't truly be separate.   You may be able to hide the actions and life you live in one from the other, and that is your prerogative, but no matter how hard you try, eventually something from one life is going to slip over into the other and that separation will be broken.  

Sunday, October 19, 2008

By Any Other Name

Crap Mariner recently had a post about making changes to ones avatar.

http://firstlife.isfullofcrap.com/2008/10/unrecognizable_to_myself.html

He posed an interesting question,

I always wonder about people who change skins and hair and their overall appearance on a constantly-chasing-fashion basis... if you turned off labels, could you recognize these people in a crowd?

 

I found myself writing a long comment in response and lo, a blog post was born.

Crap's post brings up an interesting thought, how important is it maintain the same appearance?   Torley switches around constantly, but he'd definitely be recognizable in a crowd, because while his avatar could be completely different he maintains the same "look" with his color scheme.   But most others, you expect them to look like "themselves", over time you get used to how they look and when that changes, it can be a bit jarring.

Now, I'll throw on an off the wall avatar from time to time, just for fun, but I still have the same basic avatar that I've had nearly from the beginning, fairly recognizable as Sougent Harrop to anyone who knows me.

The shape is the same, though slightly tweaked over time as I've noticed things I don't like about it, trying to achieve a somewhat natural look but still indulge fantasy and look better than I could in real life.

The skin I wear is a freebie skin, the caramel van-dyke that I discovered in a freebie box within the first week I was in Second Life.   Perhaps not as good looking as some of the stuff you can buy, depending on the light and viewing angle, it has it's flaws.

But it's "me", if I change it, change my appearance that radically then won't I cease to be?

I have looked for alternate skins but I have found none that match close enough in coloration and aren't overly detailed, I don't want to look like a body builder, hairless with rippling muscles.  I've even tracked down the original maker (Sezmra) of the freebie skin I wear and tried the demos for all her other male skins, they were close, the closest I've found, but just not quite right.

I actually like the skin I'm in, I just wish it could be tweaked a little and brought up to date, especially in the face, but I like it. 

In fact, the few times that I've actually tried switching skins, a few people who have known me for a while actually told me that I didn't look right, didn't look like me, which prompted me to switch back.  

At this point, I'm not sure I could bring myself to switch skins, the replacement would have to be really close before I'd consider doing it.

The hair I have, works for me but if I find better, I would change without much hesitation.  Clothes, I change up with no hesitation, perhaps even more so than most guys in Second Life.   But skin, shape and the eyes, those are the 3 elements that make my avatar's persona, if I change them I cease to be,  I become someone different.  

I'm fairly happy with the avatar that has evolved over the past year, maybe someday I'll want to be someone different but not today.

 

Shirt_002

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Absent Friends Revisited

This past July I wrote a post about about a personal experience that made me think about what happens to my virtual self if my real self is injured or dies abruptly.

Here is the original post...

http://sladventures.sougent.com/2008/07/absent-friends.html

Recently, ArminasX Saiman did a blog post entitled Your Second Will @ http://www.secondeffects.com/2008/09/your-second-will_22.html where he proposed a template to use for leaving instructions for your real life survivors outlining who to contact and how to take care of your virtual affairs. It made me realize that if you are more than just casually involved in Second Life, you have more to take care of than notifying your friends. Things like land, stuff you've created, any stores or events you are involved with, virtual assets with real world value. This is a must read blog post for anyone involved in Second Life on a more than casual basis, and even if it is only a casual thing for you, it's still thought provoking.

I'm ashamed to say that I haven't followed through on my original post other than to get a fireproof safe in which to store important papers and the instructions I need to write, but ArminasX has brought back to the forefront the need to leave some sort of instructions.

It's hard to think about something happening to you, even harder to sit yourself down and actually think it through and write it all down. So many people don't even have wills to take care of their real lives, much less a virtual one.

But I know this is something I need to do.

Because you never know.

My friend mentioned in the previous blog post, logged in on July 10, 2008 and we talked for a bit but she was tired and "fuzzy", so she logged off to rest, the last thing she said was that she'd try to log in tomorrow. That's the last time she logged in to Second Life, I don't know if I'll ever see her again.

Update: Sept 29, 2008 - Heard from her today, she's ok, just without access to the computer for the past few months.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Podcasts and Blogs Revisited.

One of my first few posts on this blog had to do with Second Life related podcasts and blogs that I followed.  I figured now was a good time to revisit the subject, spotlight a few new ones and mention a few old ones.

A brand spanking new podcast that just started today is Bargain Hunting in SL, done by Hedgie Till, it will help you find freebies, cheapies and other bargain shopping opportunities.

A new blog that also just snuck up today is Sim Crossing by the incomparable TheKeeme of the KeemeCast.   As described by the Man himself, the blog is "about life as a Hobo traveler from Sim to Sim" and will be chronicling his adventures across the grid.

Another recent addition to the SL blogoshere is Second Homes by Nika Dreamscape, a new blog covering everything from pre-fabs, to garden and plants, to furniture and home accents.

A new SLPN video podcast provides a bit of comic relief, the RezzedNecks podcast pokes a little fun using a few southern stereotypes.  It's all done in fun, so for a little laugh join Cooter and Forest Weezles in some of their misadventures in Second Life.

There have been a few changes to ones previously mentioned as well, Going Broke with Daphne and Tamara after a brief hiatus transformed into Going Broke inSL, still doing it's stellar coverage of shopping options in Second Life.

The wild and crazy Torley Linden has revamped his personal blog Torley Lives with a new theme and format, but he still has the same great content.   Torley's wife Ravenelle has an interesting new SL related blog worth mentioning called simply Ravenelle, which covers a variety of topics.

And me, I've not taken the plunge yet and started my own podcast, though I've been tempted I just haven't found anything worth talking about yet.

I have been, however, doing a few videos on YouTube playing around with Fraps and video editing, you can check them out on my YouTube channel here.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Twisted Spoke - Drama Libre

As is my habit, last night I spent the evening hanging out at Drama Libre.  

 

Ghost Rider Party Time

Drama Libre is a twice a week themed event that occurs on Saturday night from 8pm to 2am SLT and Thursday night from 5pm to 8pm SLT (Saturday night is by far the busiest, pulling in more people).   The theme changes each week on Saturday and repeats that theme on the following Thursday.

 

Couple of

The hosts and creators of Drama Libre are Peachy Sassoon and Xerxes Sismondi, they've been doing this for over a year now with a brand new theme each week.  Yes, each week they and a dedicated build team tears the place down completely and rebuilds it based on the theme for that week, the bulk of each build done from scratch.

 

Gregor the mini-bikeWhen you arrive you will find a live DJ spinning tunes and taking requests and Anne the resident paparazzi waiting to take your picture.

 

Zombie Biker Chick Annie

 

Biker Guy - Rinaldo

 

Biker Chick Cathy

And each night there's a costume contest based on the theme, the guy and gal with the best outfit based on that nights theme wins Linden's and has their picture recorded for posterity.

 

Drama Libre - Biker Bar

They recently moved to a new location, taking up an entire sim which gives them a lot more flexibility in building for the themes.

Here is the SLURL for the landing point in Ravenswood.

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Ravenswood/118/233/24

From the landing point you'll usually use a local teleport to go to where the main event is located (the exact location changes each time based on what the theme is).

 

Here's a little video that I did of last nights event.

 

Drama Libre is the most fun and entertaining thing I've found to do in Second Life, it's a great bunch of people and a lot of fun. 

Go check it out.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Governor Linden's Neighborhood

Spent Sunday evening wandering about and decided to drop in on Governor Linden at his mansion.   He wasn't home, but wandered about the neighborhood taking in the sights.

 

Governor Linden's Mansion

An aerial view of the mansion, not a bad spread but could use a bit of a make over.

 

At Governor Linden's Mansion gazing toward the Ivory Tower of Primatives

Didn't realize you could see the Ivory Tower of Primitives from the mansion grounds.

 

Birds

There's a really interesting bird sculpture in the air nearby, Fire and Ice, I believe it was called.

 

Clementina Park and Riverwalk

A little park and riverwalk in the valley nearby, not the best I've seen but it was clean and uncluttered.   Quite a bit of exorbitantly priced land for sale nearby.

 

Factory?

Off in the distance on the other side, in the neighboring sim, was what looks like a factory dumping some kind of waste products into the local river.   Hope it's not toxic.

 

Outlands

A look at the place on the opposite side, there appeared to be some sort of violent activity going on, heard some gunfire, so I decided I'd better keep my distance.  

 

Nice build

Off in the distance I noticed this interesting looking building, for a moment I thought it might be a botanical garden of some sort but it turned out to be a store called Textures Unlimited and a place called the Lily Pad Lounge.

 

Gear Fountain

The gear fountain made me think of a certain robot I know.

 

Textures Unlimited

The inside looked as neat as the outside, still wish it had been a garden.

 

Cute little guy....

There's also a windchime garden (to the right of the picture) and this interesting looking statue.

 

All in all, not a bad little walkabout in Governor Linden's neighborhood.   If you want to visit the area, here are the slurl's.

 

Governor Linden's Mansion

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Clementina/137/125/77/

 

Textures Unlimited

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Clyde/128/158/32/

 

Bird Statue

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Clementina/93/14/71/

 

Factory

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Rachleff/210/237/59/

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Second Life Historical Museum

While I was out wandering the mainland roads of Second Life I came across a place I'd visited once before during my early days in Second Life.

The Second Life Historical Museum in the Phobos Sim (click the link for the SLURL)

If you have any interest in the history of Second Life, this is a neat little place to visit, there are exhibits on 2 levels that offer information on the history of Second Life.   Among other things you will find maps of Second Life over the years, the story behind the Hippos, the James Miller Taxi Co., and info cards on other significant objects, places and events.

It's definitely on my list of must see locations in Second Life.

The Second Life Historical Museum

 

The Second Life Historical Museum

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pickin' N Grinnin'

For a while I've been looking around Second Life for a banjo that I could purchase and use as a musical prop for some of my outfits.   Try as I might, I could not find anything that I liked, the banjos I did find were just alpha textures on a board and I wanted a little more than that.

So, since I claim to be a builder, I figured I'd take a stab at making one on my own.   I can be a bit picky when I'm building something, so it took me a while (about a month) to finish, but I think it came together pretty nicely for a first try.   I'm still not quite 100% satisfied with it, so there may be a version 2.0 one of these days, but for now here are some pictures of the silly thing.  

Opinions welcome, please let me know what you think in the comments.

My Banjo

Banjo Front

The banjo face is a free texture from Orhalla Zander, the Creator of Calleta's Hobo Railroad Infohub, the other textures used are also free textures that I've picked up over the year I've been in-world.

My Banjo - angled

Banjo angled

This is a view at an angle, I tried to get a fairly accurate rendition of a banjo by looking at several pictures I found on the Internet.  It contains 108 prims, a little steep, but I wanted to try to build it like it would be built in real life and without relying on texture magic.

My Banjo - Rear

Banjo back

Of course, it wouldn't be much of a banjo if I didn't put an animation in it, so I slipped in a freebie guitar animation and script.  I still need to get some banjo music and set up a little scripted menu of songs for it to play.

My Banjo

Banjo angled

Banjo Case

Banjo case

And what banjo would be complete without a banjo case?   I actually built this case in one Saturday afternoon as a prop for a Drama Libre event, being a little anal retentive, the banjo actually will fit in the case.   It's not quite as bad as the banjo, being only 81 prims as shown.   And in keeping with the purpose I had in mind for the case, I went ahead and scripted it to be a tip jar using a freebie tip jar script.

Banjo case and barrell of waste

Banjo case and barrel

This is the completed prop that I created for the Drama Libre event.   The coins and paper money in the case were re-purposed from a couple of freebie items.   The barrel was also from freebie pack of warehouse items.

DL Underground - Pickin' and Grinnin'

Pickin' N Grinnin'

And here's the final result.  Didn't win the contest, but had fun making the case and putting together the outfit.

DL Underground

Pickin' N Grinnin' at Drama Libre - Underground with Xerxes and Peachy.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Absent Friends

Your friends list, sometimes you take it for granted.   When I look at mine, I see how it's grown in the past few months with new friends I've met and a few old ones that have finally taken the plunge and friended me.  

Since the first time I logged into Second Life, my policy on the friends list has been simple, I generally accept friend invites from anyone who offers as long as they've at least engaged me in conversation before hand, I figure it doesn't hurt to accept the friend offer of a newbie and I think goes a long way toward keeping them in Second Life when they find acceptance when they're new.   Odds are they'll clean me off their friends list eventually as they gain experience.   And the second part of my policy?   I don't offer friendship myself, unless asked to do so, I let the other person decide if they want to do it.   I figure if they're interested in being able to contact me and knowing when I'm on-line, they'll friend me, otherwise it's no biggie.

Sometimes I just look at my friends list and note people who've dropped off, mostly it's people who've friended me when they were new and I've never talked to since, occasionally it's someone I consider a friend who has for whatever reason decided to take me off their friend list.   There's one or two on there who I don't see log in any more and I wonder what they're up to, if they're done with Second Life or just seldom log in. 

The majority of my friends list are acquaintances of various levels of friendship, there are a fair number on there that I'd be very concerned about if they were to drop off or quit logging in, a select few very good friends that I'd be really worried about.   And there is one in particular that I'd be utterly devastated if anything happened to.

During the week leading up to the 4th of July holiday here in the U.S., something happened that drove home to me the fragility and uncertainty of life and made me think of the group of friends that I have made that I only have contact with the Internet.   That one special person on my friends list, one who is more important to me (though I don't think she realizes it) than anyone else in the world with the exception of my kids, disappeared abruptly.   We were in Second Life, it was late and she'd been having computer problems so when she poofed and didn't return I didn't think much of it, I just went to bed.   And when she didn't return the next day, I figured computer or Internet problems were keeping her off, since she would have mentioned if something was going to keep her away.   And as the days passed, I started to wonder if it was more than just Internet or computer problems and began to worry.   Our relationship is entirely based in Second Life for reasons I won't get in to, so I had no way to find out what was going on but I knew that something was wrong, you know that feeling you get when there's something not quite right with that someone you care about and then you get the phone call that confirms the feeling?

Early the following week, I woke to find an IM from her.   There had been a bad car accident, she had been unconscious in the hospital for several days and had just gotten out a few days before and wasn't up to logging in until then, and even now wasn't able to be on for long.  A mixture of emotions washed over me, relief to finally know what was going on, worry for her physical well being, and a very pointed sense of what she means to me.  

It has set me to thinking this past week about the relationships we build on the Internet and in these virtual worlds.   If I were to die tomorrow, commuting to work, would my friends be left wondering what ever happened to Sougent? 

I've left no instructions, made no preparations covering the possibility that something might happen to me and I might not personally be able to let anyone know what was going on.   Before there was an Internet, before there were virtual worlds, if something happened to you, your friends and family generally found out by word of mouth, you know that phone call in the night, or reading the local obituary.   But now in this modern world one can make friends from around the globe and only have contact with them through the Internet using e-mail or chat or Skype or a virtual world like Second Life.  

Do you ever think about your on-line friends and h0w they will know if something were to happen to you?    Do you care?   Do they?  

We spend so much time hiding our real life identities because we're afraid of being stalked or harassed but are the friends we make in Second Life or on the Internet any less a friend than one you might have in Real Life?   Don't they deserve to know and if necessary to mourn, just like a real life friend would?

I think, for myself, the answer is yes.   I don't have a lot of friends in Real Life, it's always been hard for me to make friends in the real world, it has been much, much easier to make them on-line and I value the ones I have made in Second Life and elsewhere.

I spent a week not knowing, of wondering if the last time we were together was the last.   I don't want to do that to anyone.   Maybe we're just casual friends, maybe we're good friends, maybe you don't care and that's fine.   But for those that do, I know that I'm going to take steps to see that if something were to happen to me, whether it be an abrupt illness or injury, or death, no one has to wonder whatever happened to Sougent.