How soon they forget…

From last week’s Metaverse Messenger:

Metaverse Messenger 2008-02-19

And then this week’s:

Metaverse Messenger 2008-02-26

Look who made The AvaStar

From this week’s edition:

AvaStar 2008-02-22 - Morris Vig

Starting fresh

There’s a certain joy in the art of the build when playing with SL tools.  First, nearly ANYTHING is possible.  (Especially when one has the prims that the Oyster Bay properties in Shepherd and Oyster sims combine to become…)  You want glass, do glass.  You want big, do big.  You want to go tall, go tall.  You are limited by your imagination.

At the same time, that total freedom is a bit of a challenge in itself to those of us who don’t think like Sabine Stonebender.  It’s almost easier sometimes to create with a couple constraints.  My best builds have come from smartly using small spaces like the Oyster Bay waterfront cafe (right).

That being said, I’m playing with glass…and with the idea of a skyscraper.  I’ve always wanted a cool penthouse apartment…this seems like a good way to get one!

(Thanks to Isolde Flamand for posting the photo on Snapzilla) 

It’s been a challenging build – probably more because my skills have atrophied a little since my last big build, the Parthenon-inspired Oyster Bay 2.0.   I’m floundering a little, not entirely certain that this tower will stay.  Just doesn’t look right, doesn’t feel right. So don’t be surprised if it isn’t re-imagined or scrapped altogether.

Perhaps that’s part of the fun in a virtual reimagining…to throw primmy wet noodles against the wall and see which one(s) stick.   As I wrestle with not being able to do all that I want in SL, my work is reflecting a lot of that tension.

We’ll see where it takes me….my, what an odd few weeks in SL!

Johnnie Mohr’s “Living In Art” exhibit

An interesting exhibit, focussing on the usability of SL from an interface point of view, punctuated by really nice SL photography to prove points. Wise SL builders should swing by and learn Johnnie’s perspective on this unique medium that we work within. By the way, this is the opening exhibit for the Manzanillo Artists’ Colony Gallery, which is owned by Mark Athens and Michelle Babii. Michelle, you might remember, did a wonderful collection of photos for an Origin Rang show at Oyster Bay.
posted by Morris Vig on Rasczak using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

Griefers, revisited

Gee, this didn’t even come from something that happened inworld…

I received this comment yesterday, and I’ve been torn as to whether to post it. As you can see, I did…and that’s because I think it’s important to illustrate the culture that Linden Lab has allowed to flourish by allowing anonymous, free accounts on the Second Life grid.

If you recall, I suggested in my November post on griefing that:

Griefing continues to plague Second Life, and it’s clear that petitions for improved grid conditions are falling upon largely deaf ears at Linden Lab. So it’s up to us – the people who pay Linden Lab – to state our case clearly and succinctly.

…and I did, at least to the best of my ability, closing with the answer to the question of, “Considering Linden Lab’s mission statement, can you explain how permitting a culture of rampant, uncontrolled griefing connects us all to an online world that advances the human condition?”

The answer is simple. It doesn’t. Linden Lab has to own up to this fact and stop the griefers now. If they do not, they will likely face a class action lawsuit or an exodus of paying customers.

To which, yesterday, this comment arrives:

What part about “Game” Do you not understand?
You like to have fun this way, they like to have fun that way.
Don’t be so hash [sic].

I am very against you, Its a free internet and they should do what they want. And if you don’t like it, ask them to stop. Don’t just be all Insta-ban. That’s mean. And video-games are meant to ESCAPE from reality, not to be educational, not to be infromal [sic], but to be FUN. Which is a word that is obviously forgotten here. But hey, if banning people on first sight and filing forms is fun to you…weird.
That is all.

My thoughts and this response illustrates the cultural divide between those of us who have made a meaningful investment of time and/or money in Second Life and those who haven’t. If you haven’t made the investment, there’s no need to look at Second Life as anything more than a place to get one’s thrills. Like kids everywhere who “tp” houses and plant a “For Sale” sign in someone’s front yard in the dead of night, or who spray graffiti on the walls of buildings or trains — or hackers who attack websites for kicks, griefers don’t look at the system they are damaging as anything more than a toy to be broken. They see no intrinsic value in the grid. THEY LOOK AT IT AS A GAME.

And that’s the root cause of this divide. We, who have invested ourselves in Second Life, look at Second Life as a means to a productive end. Whether it’s a place to exchange ideas, promote creativity or even make a couple bucks, we place value in Second Life. Griefers don’t. (Granted, we may look at SL as a platform upon which we can play games…but we don’t look at the grid as a game in and of itself. BIG difference.)

Now, let’s take this back to Linden Lab. How can Linden Lab, who supposedly wants to encourage the growth of an online world that advances the human condition, permit such a fatal flaw in their online world? I’m not saying that non-paying, anonymous accounts should be banned altogether, but the notion of limited access for such accounts should be a no-brainer. Let visitors come into Second Life and explore, but limit their ability to do harm…that’s all I ask.

But Linden stubbornly sticks to their policy of allowing unlimited privileges for non-paying, anonymous accounts. I’ll presume that they value the raw number of user accounts (many of which are alts, but account inflation numbers is an altogether different story) over user experience.

Deltango Vale offers a remarkably strong Op/Ed, “SL- What Went Wrong & How Do We Fix It?,” at Second Life Herald. It begins with:

The establishment of anonymous accounts in June 2006 opened the doors to underage players.

It then lists a host of OTHER problems, never once mentioning griefers. So it’s fair to say that the issue of anonymous accounts is a reasonably broad-based one.

We who genuinely care about the quality of the Second Life experience simply want to see the balance of power on the grid reflect the investment that we have made in the Metaverse. Those who look at the grid as a nerf ball to be smacked around just don’t deserve the same.

When will Linden Lab agree with this basic assertion? Don’t they care about their product?

Doubledown Tandino – New Second Arts Bloggist and Humorator

Doubledown - Black Tie and BluesHello all loyal faithful Second Arts blog readers. I’m Doubledown Tandino. If you’ve been to Oyster Bay, you may have seen a spikey haired dude trying to capture the fish so he could put leashes on them.

Anyhoo. I am glad to be a part of the Second Arts blog. I will be posting cool artsy things I find throughout Second Life. Since one of my specialities is DJing at Art Gallery Exhibitions, I sometimes get to go “behind the scenes” at the galleries.

I am looking forward to posting some cool worthy things I find in Second Life, and I thank you for welcoming me to the Second Arts blog.

Moving along…

The day after the closing bash, I closed up Oyster Bay, returned the artwork and store contents, and removed all but the waterfront and aquarium from Oyster Bay.  Faced with a giant void where a thriving art scene once stood (and no likelihood of building anything meaningful in the near future), I figured that I’d jump on the renewable energy bandwagon and harness the SL winds.  Maybe Linden Lab would like to lower my tier in exchange for some of this virtual windpower…

Thanks to Isolde Flamand for the photo.