Archive for August, 2008


August 31, 2008

I’m hungover because I celebrated the Rez Day of my SL avatar: Case Tomorrow… All the stuff I learned during the last 12 months doesn’t seem to include that it is never a good idea to try to play SL while you’re drinking..but that’s a different story… So what did I do during the past 12 months? It feels like a lot. I ventured into various role playing areas (Midian, Crack Den, Toxia), I idled around a lot in place called Cellar Proper. I learned the basics of scripting and building, mostly at the College of Scripting, Music, and Science. I fell in love four times intensely, usually producing a nice poem every time I ended up heart broken. I made textures, poses, animations, photos, videos, and gestures. I explored the best places in SL, constantly expanding my horizon. Basically I was drifting the whole time. Letting the people and places of this virtual space inspire, intrigue, and captivate me. And I realized that what I like most about SL is what is NOT possible in RL. Like joining a Sl military and being a pacifist in RL. Or being able to “live” some of the stories I had loved to read about so much when I was younger, like those of William Gibson, Neil Stephenson. I learned and thought a lot about how virtual reality works and especially how communication happens in here. I’ve met great people from all over the world. All in all it was a an insane journey. Something I still fail to sufficiently explain to anyone who hasn’t at least spent three or four months in SL. Most Importantly, the time I spent in this virtual world taught me a lot about myself and at the same time changed me like nothing else had ever before.
I do feel that something are changing at the moment though. Finding a balance between SL and RL has become more important to me again. I just can’t continue sitting in front of my computer, eating pizza, ignoring the phone forever, while the sun is shining outside. Also it is has become more important to me to create things in here. To produce something that I can actually look at afterwords so I’m cutting down a lot on bs communication which maybe fun every once in a while but eats to much of my time as it is right now….I’d rather blog my bs here, bite-sized and neatly packaged…


Reality discussed

August 22, 2008

My homehs on flickr have given me some insightful replies to the question “Is Second Life real for you?” You can view the discussion here.

Virtually Real

August 21, 2008

Some of my real life duties force me to traverse a certain space in the city center at least 2 or 3 times a week. A couple of years ago ambitious city planners have transformed this space into this immaculate, soulless, hideous copy of Huxley’s worst nightmare. While I was pushing my way through hordes of tourists and serious looking businessmen on their lunch break I came to think about some things. To me this place isn’t more than a visually constructed utopia. It does not feel “real” at all. It reminds me of the black screen you see for a couple of seconds when you teleport from one location in Second Life to the other… it just takes a lot longer to pass. So how is this space more “real” compared to the places I visit in virtual worlds? I know what you’re thinking: “that girl spends to much time in front of the computer”. Maybe. But even if so, isn’t that my reality then? I consulted a friend of mine in RL who has no experience with SL about the matter and his reaction was very defensive. “Of course here is more real than SL, you can’t smell anything in there for example and generally you can’t survive there” and I answered that the technology in VR is already capable of adding smell and touch it just isn’t as advanced yet. Also I can’t survive in this exact spot we are standing right now either…but yeah I get carried away sometimes.
Everyone who has seen Matrix can probably have long, more or less meaningless discussions about physical existence and how everything we think is real may not be or whatever…what it all boils down to usually is conspiracy theories and I’m not really interested in that. What I think is more interesting about the discussion with my friend and other people I have talked to about this is: Why is it so important for many to make a clear distinction between what is real and what isn’t in the sense of the geographical location of ones physical body (Meatspace)? I think it is fear. The same fear some people that have never traveled far from home get when they are about to travel to a foreign country. Maybe it’s fear of the unknown. I often compare the SL community to a fictive community of a different country (somewhere far far away). It has it’s own rules, conventions, means of communication, it has it’s own culture. It is very real. Kind of like the experience you gain when going on a holiday somewhere you haven’t been before. You are able to experience an entire new world. Therefore I feel SL it is an expansion of my reality. I have a lot more, very unstructured thoughts on this subject and I will continue to collect them here in the future.
And if my mom reads this she is probably going to call me and ask me to get an appointment with a psychotherapist. And that is ok, too because that is the reality she lives in….but that again is an entirely different story.

Explore More

August 18, 2008

Exploring is one of my favorite things to do in Second Life. I do that a lot actually. My main technique is to tp into a new place, find a nice spot to stand and then I cam around exploring all the details. This is what I think about: How is the quality of the build and textures? What is the overall concept. Is this place unique from others I’ve seen? Hidden stuffs and interactiveness is always a plus. To many sculpties and lag is always a minus in my view. The excitement of discovering something new is addictive. I have a couple of favorite places that I visit more frequently, but most places I visit only once or twice since the excitement fades easily after knowing what is there. Therefore I need a massive amount of new LM’s each week to keep happy. There is a vibrant “market” for the exchange of cool places (and if you’re lucky the pics include slurls) on flickr such as “100 virtual places to see in life” or “SL Touristboard”, and some of the blogs related to SL like Bettina Tizzy’s “Not Possible in Real Life” blog (and inworld group) which is where I get most of my new places from. (note on the side: Though I haven’t mastered all the technical blog stuff yet, I think I have realized one important thing about blogging, it’s all about linking so there ya go).But after tapping all my resources and even tping through my friends profilepics it still just isn’t enough.
And recently I have discovered a new way of exploring. Open map and tp to a random place. I know, I know it’s simple but I have found particular delight in sniffing around in other people’s places. Even more fun if you bring a friend along. What kind of furniture do they have? Do they build themselves or buy from others? The interest I take in this way of exploring is different from what I usually do. This is more about getting to know people through the private places they create. One thing I have noticed so far: everyone, EVERYONE has some kind of cuddling or sex animations/poseballs in their places. I think this is interesting in the way that it appears as if what people want most is closeness in a world that will always be distant to some degree…but that of course makes an entirely different story…

Second Life Addicts

August 8, 2008

It all started with this subtle purring sound coming from my mac whenever I used CPU intensive programs like SL. As long as it was “purring” I thought it would be fine, but after a while, purring turned into rattling and I got worried and took my precious little toy to the shop. That was today and the friendly sales guy was like “Don’t worry, we can fix that in no time. It won’t take longer than 8 workdays”. I went into shock. “what do you mean? The ENTIRE weekend without SL! And if I survive that, another WEEK!!!! I was ready to jump over the counter and grab his throat. He gave me that look that I give those guys in my street that ask me for money to buy booze…
On the way home I tried to comfort myself with all the positive sides it would have not to be able to log on SL for a while. Like uhm, do my taxes, go outside, or call my mom for a change? I should say, I do have a PC which I despise of course and which is also way to slow to run SL but yeah it has a webrowser I guess. So now I’m browsing and trying to figure out how to write a blog and stuff but I’m constantly surpressing the urge to call the shop and ask when I can pic up my puter. Do you think they will answer the phone at 2:08 AM? K, maybe not. Honestly I think I’m on cold turkey.