Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Just Ducky

One unexpected bit of Second Life culture: while there are occasional in-world celebrations to mark the birthdays of people behind avatars, it seems far more common to have "Rez Day" celebrations marking an anniversary of an avatar's first appearance in Second Life. The information is readily available in avatars' profiles—in fact, it's one of the most-used details in a profile, since residents frequently want to know whether they're dealing with a newbie or a sage old-hand at the virtual world game. I recently popped into a trivia game to discover the entire event was a massive Rez Day party for one of my closest in-world friends—and I hadn't brought anything!

But yesterday I was able to attend an actual full-blown Rez Day party for Chaddington Boomhauer. Almost anyone who knows Chadd knows that one of his favorite avatars is a duck: sure, he has wolves and hippos a human or two and who knows what else, but when you think of Chadd, you think of a duck. Sometimes he's a police duck with riot gear; lately he's Sheriff Duck with a lariat, spurs, and a spanking cool badge he got, I don't know, somewhere.

So Chadd's partner Shale Nightfire had a wicked cool idea: wouldn't it be funny if people came to Chadd's Rez Day party…as ducks? She put together cute boy and girl duck avatars—complete with color changing options—for folks who (imagine!) don't have their own duck outfits. I know I've made a big deal about SL Lou being analagous to real-life Lou, but I just couldn't resist:

Lou gets her mallard on. That's Chadd there in the background on the right.

And…yes, it's true. Hot on the heels of writing why I don't understand why people dance all the time in Second Life, there I am, as a duck, doing a ducky dance.

A good time was had by all, Chadd pumped some rockin' tunes, everyone quacked bad jokes, Chadd received a suitable hard time and refused to share any wisdom he'd garnered from his one year in Second Life, and the flock of ducks at one point swelled to over twenty. A highlight for me was when a very tall and elegant duck appeared in our midst:

All us wee ducks bow to our tall ducky overlord!

To understand what a momentous event that was…well, trivia peeps will understand when I say he's best known for his stripes and khakis.

Turning back into human Lou after the event is presenting something of a challenge: I was able to successfully save my regular avatar and get mostly back to normal, but as with so many things in Second Life, like positioning prims, lining things up, and trying to get things just spot perfect—the numbers may match but the results aren't the same. Statistically my avatar is back the way it was, but clothes, hair, jewelry, and other items don't fit quite right, and for some reason the system thinks I'm taller than I was before…despite all the height and length and other attributes being precisely the same. So, I'll have to spend more time tweaking myself back to normal…but it was worth it! Quack!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for coming :) It was quite a nice surprise seeing that many friends as ducks at once. Felt very strange watching them dancing. Especially you after the dancing commentary and one or two people who I know don't ever change avs...

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  2. Aw, it was fun to be a duck for an afternoon! I've always admired how clever some of the non-human avatars are in Second Life, and I'm glad I took a chance to get a little first-hand experience. Now if only I can get my human hair to fit right again…

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