Friday, August 28, 2009

One Man's View of Second Life

I read this on a forum... I can't tell you where and I won't tell you who said it. I just thought it was fascinating, in part because he (and yes it's a he) sounds so damn sure of himself.

You’re missing the point. If you look at the hard core SL citizenry and why they are in SL to begin with you'll find that they all share one common characteristic; their real lives are miserable. They come to SL to escape their loneliness, broken marriages, and the insignificance of their work. SL affords them a new virtual life that in theory they can use to "do over" the mistakes they made in the real world.

Is that everyone? No. There are a minority that are foremost builders/technology enthusiasts, or artists looking for recognition, or business people looking to be a pioneer, but the hard truth is that none of these people drive the economy. The entire value of virtual worlds is in their social interaction. They are social games and the few non-miserable real life people that exist make their livings off the majority that are there for social interaction.

This isn't a criticism of any group, its just the way things are.

Let's take a look at the demographics of core SL citizenry. Late 30s to early 40s, predominantly women, predominantly married. Is that everyone? Again, no. But the farther you get away from this prime demographic, the lower the population density. Do you honestly think the lonely housewife who is neglected by her husband is in SL to view the spectacular eye candy? (lol) No, she’s there to find validation that she is still desirable by the opposite sex. The fact that she is getting it is the only reason she stays.

Look at the successful SL industries. The clothing and skin businesses help her look more desirable to the opposite sex. Dance Machanima is solely used in the clubs to give the toon something to do while she waits for a member of the opposite sex to comment on her wonderful skin. Nightclubs are the most popular venues, which if we take the advertising done in the real world as an example, are frequented with the premise that you will meet a member of the opposite sex. I could go on, but the point is that everything that is successful in SL is directly related to members of the opposite sex meeting and a relationship developing.

If you study social dynamics you will find that at the core of all social systems is the promise of an endgame containing some form of sexual gratification? Consciously or unconsciously sex motivates all social interaction and without any compelling reason to stop the process, it is the inevitable result. You meet some spectacular person in a nightclub, chat for awhile, go on some "dates" to the amusement parks, nightclubs, or other inane crap that happens to exist, then boom, you at the point where you want to have sex.

Now what? Do you buy some next day plane tickets to fly halfway across the globe for a couple nights of romping good fun? Pfft, let’s be honest, if users had that kind of spare cash laying around they wouldn't be bitching about tier...never mind that they likely wouldn't have visited the virtual world to begin with.

So how many aborted fantasy relationships does it take before someone gets fed up with the disappointment? I don't know but I'm guessing not many.

What SL does successfully is permit those fantasies to come to fruition and thus allow a relationship to complete its intended course. Is it strange and disturbing? Yes. But it has its redeeming qualities as well. Sharing fantasies textually allows a much deeper intimacy with other person then is possible in the real world. It gets old fast, but there is a certain novelty, and while it lasts, it is the most compelling reason for someone to stay in world.

After its worn off, they start looking for other things to do like start a business, open a nightclub, or become a DJ. What’s important to realize is that these objective are "byproducts" of the psychological addiction to the world, not their root cause. Unless you get them addicted to begin with, they will churn away to something more compelling.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Checking up on Wrath!

Every now and then I think I should go and check on Wrath Paine. He's been pretty much a mystery man (or ghost) for months now and I just want to make sure everything seems OK. I went to his parcel and the helicopter is still there .... albeit in a different colour. Well it might actually be a different helicopter but I can't tell. What has changed is his view.

I'm thinking he's going to keep this place for a while. :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

This is MY Second Life!

My Second Life! Mine! You probably think that I'm stating the obvious - because we're told it is "Your World" by the powers that be. However, I think it's time (and I'll explain why at the bottom of this post) I make it very clear what I personally mean by "My Second Life".

I make the rules for My Second Life - there aren't very many of them. I'm usually a "live and let live" kind of avatar. There are a few areas where I hold strong and less than understanding/supportive opinions. I'm not arrogant enough to believe that everybody has to think the way I do. Mostly I keep them to myself and if I feel compelled to take action I'll do so quietly. You are allowed the same freedom to make rules for Your Second Life. Just don't expect me to admire/adhere/support/or approve of them if they don't coincide with mine. Just one of the perks I claim in this world.

The real focus of this rant is "the invisible friend". Many people have them in real life. In my real life there is a Government Minister who believes that the world is 6,000 years old because his invisible friend told him so. In my real life my tax dollars go to support adherents of various invisible friends because those adherents have a lot of political power. In my real life I see violence and death and carnage because people insist on having different invisible friends. I can't do anything about this and don't have the power even if I thought I'd try. Many people seem to have calm, peaceful invisible friends. These people would seem wiser than the others however they unfortunately appear to be in the minority. But that is real life. In the virtual world I say no to all of this.

This is My Second Life. In My Second Life your invisible friend is no more the "true" invisible friend than anybody else's. Don't expect me to take sides. Hate filled venom sounds exactly the same no matter who is saying it. The only difference between you is your target.

If I wanted an invisible friend in Second Life (or any life) it would be a She. After all - the panoply of male invisible friends was created by misogynistic underachievers who thought they would improve their lives if women weren't in charge. She would be a healer, a loving individual who was tied to the earth and the seasons and couldn't hate anybody, even the ones following the wrong invisible friend. She would, however, consider proselytizing to be a sin. Which brings me to the impetus for this rant.

Do not come to my island in My Second Life and try to convince me that your invisible friend should be mine. At any time. For any reason. I can, and do, ignore friends and strangers when they rant. I will not permit you to invade my little corner of this world and spew your deluded garbage in my direction. I will not be polite and I won't be silent. And then you will be both muted and banned. Because in My Second Life I have the power to do that.

just saying .............

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Doll Cozies on Bourbon Street

If you've been reading my blog for anytime at all you know I love Von Johin. I also love his sim the French Quarter. I already have a little Aintree Garden Shop there .... right next to his club and right across from the big stern wheeler.

When a space became available on Bourbon Street I grabbed it and set up a small Doll Cozies store. There are some neat little shops around the place - you should come and visit. :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Diversity Hunt!

The Diversity Hunt starts tomorrow (August 8) and goes to September 9. I know this because Aintree Gardens and Drama Dolls are both included!

This will be a grid wide hunt but not an enormous one - and, as an interesting twist, there are five streams you can follow.

To quote Huntress Catteneo (who has done a huge amount of work setting this up):

  • This hunt is designed so that you can go out and find the items you most want from our terrific vendors. Just pick the colour path that corresponds to what you seek and begin your journey along the rainbow.

  • Don’t panic, you can walk down every path if you like, or you can stick to just one, the paths cross at some spots, so you can even change the one you are following if the whim takes you.

  • The hunt runs from the 8th of August until the 9th of September, so you almost have a week to spend on each path if you want to follow them all. There is no cost to join this hunt.
The paths are as follows:
  1. RED: Women’s fashion - clothes, hats, jewellery, basically anything you normally wear on an avatar
  2. BLUE: Men’s, unisex, or general humanoid stuff (Neko, furries etc) - Fashion and accessories not specifically for women and including shoulder pets, wings, tails, etc
  3. PURPLE: Furniture - all your normal household stuff, buildings, including such things as gazebos
  4. GREEN: Plants/landscape – Plants (+ plant textures), fountains, outdoor furniture and bridges
  5. ORANGE: Mystery – Textures, Art, and anything we can't categorize elsewhere

And in case it's not obvious :) Aintree will be on the Green path and Drama Dolls on the Orange. The hunt will start at: The Tiger Peak Shop You don't have to belong to a group to do the hunt but information will be shared in the Hunt2Hunt group and on the (still under construction) website. At the end of each path you get a cute wearable angel (I'm wearing the one from the Mystery Path). Each path's angel attaches in a different place so you could wear all five if you wanted. :)

It's surprisingly hard to decide what to put in the hunt object for gifts - I keep changing my mind. I think I'll wind up with two items. :) Now I just have to figure out where to put the angels for the hunters.

I'm looking forward to the Hunt and hope you'll all come join (and tell your friends)! :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Understanding Modern Art?

So yes there's this new exhibit called "Slebrity" that has the jungle drums banging away. It consists of names printed on boards mounted on delightfully attractive pieces of plywood - which (the plywood I mean) I assume is intended to evoke SL. I suppose in a way it's a very successful exhibit because it certainly has some people talking .... although they're not talking about "Slebrity" as much as they are about "this is art?".

My first reaction was "huh?". My second reaction was "why did I spend 3 months making Drama Dolls? I could have just put up signs named "Elf" or "Blogger".

My third reaction though was in response to a closer look at one of the names.

All of the names have trademark symbols on them. Does that mean that the image is trademarked? In which case I would expect it to be in the corner not attached to the name. And if the name is trademarked .... who owns it? If it's the artist then we're all in trouble. Anybody could trademark our names. If it's the subject - then I think they could demand compensation. :)