Monday, June 8, 2009

Caching Up

To my surprise, my time in Second Life is starting to become fragmented and rushed, rather than relaxing and the kind of unstructured freedom I used to enjoy. I'm making more friends, taking on more responsibilities, and getting more integrated into the virtual community: I'm no longer just a visitor who pops up from time to time. As a result, lots of things I'd like to do are slipping to the wayside. I hardly ever have time to go exploring anymore, and although I'm trying to take in music shows when I can, increasingly I'm just catching the tail ends of performances rather than being able to attend the whole shebang. Heck, I'm even late to many of my precious trivia games…and those are just the ones I'm able to make! The trivia calendar has been exploding in recent weeks—there are a bunch of events I'd like to attend that I simply haven't been able to get on my radar. (And, a more extreme example, there's a very well-established trivia game most mornings that I've never been able to attend.)

But! I have been able to do a few random things—largely at the instigation of my fabulous SL friends! For instance, a friend I hadn't spoken with in a bit messaged me out of the blue inviting me to an event…and kind of wouldn't tell me what it was! So I figured O What The Heck! and teleported in…and there was a fellow named Tuna Oddfellow grooving down to some bizarro electronica.

Tuna Oddfellow getting funky, 18-May-2009. (If you squint, you can see me perched on the "dance" ring.)

Tuna was apparently named the "most talented avatar in Second Life" (by, you know, someone somewhere), and apparently throws "Odd Balls" on a weekly basis at a custom-built venue called the Tunaverse. And the venue…well, it's I think the first time in Second Life I've ever experienced something akin to vertigo. The locale is within megaprims loaded with animated textures that constantly shift and change: it's like being at a dance party inside a gigantic kaleidoscope. It's one of those unique things that can be done in Second Life that would be impossible in real life, and while it may not be entirely my thing it is definitely amazing and noteworthy: check out the Flickr set to get a slight sense, but definitely attend an event in-world if you get a chance.

Speaking of random? One evening Mako Kungfu messages me out of nowhere, asking if I want to go to an awards show? Like, right that minute? This is so out of character for both of us that I just had to do it! Turned out the awards event was Second Life's First Annual "Best Home In Second Life," a black-tie affair put on by an in-world organization called Animal Rights Advocates.

Awards being presented at the "Best Home In Second Life" awards show, 31-May-2009

The idea was that ten SL residences were nominated for the awards, and the top three homes received not-insubstantial rewards in Linden dollars. (And by not-insubstantial, I mean they translated into semi-significant real-life money, if residents wanted to "cash out" the prizes.) The event also auctioned off pieces of virtual art to benefit the ARA organization. Mako and I wallflowered at a table towards the back—after rummaging through our inventories for vaguely-formal-wear—trying not to let the lag from so many dressed-up avatars knock us offline. Turned out Mako had been asked to take screenshots of the event from someone who suddenly was unable to attend: I guess I was there as Mako's bodyguard! Although I'm not an SL landowner and have little interest in setting up a virtual home, the event was a look at a chunk of Second Life culture I've never seen before.

I've always been trying to keep up with old friends, including the folks I met when I first started in Second Life. I've largely stopped popping into Memory Bazaar in Ross, the infohub I was assigned when I created my account. There are some great folks who wander through that infohub, but there are also a lot of dorkbots, and I've become tired of random people harassing me just to get a laugh. Just yesterday I popped in there an an avatar immediately begged me for $10L to help his brother battle Hodgkin's Disease. (That's like ¢3 Canadian.) It's not that I'd begrudge someone three cents, but…gosh, I mean, really? You've got a reasonably-powered computer, graphics, and broadband Internet and you're logging into a virtual world to beg people for pennies? When I refused, he immediately emitted a few epithets and wandered off.)

Lou & Mia catching up

But! I was able to hang out a bit with my friend Mia, who literally rescued me from a griefer that attacked me within moments of my logging into Second Life for the first time. Mia and I have a bunch of fun exploring random sims together—sometimes I suggest a spot, sometimes she does, sometimes we literally click random places on the built-in Map and see where we end up. (On one of those trips I found myself a personal rainstorm I can wear anytime I want!)

Lou…in the rushes, but not in a rush

And I'm still on a quest to find new places to hang out, catch up on instant messages, and write these little missives. One of the latest is AeroBreeze, an oddly surreal ocean atoll with—well, glowing trees and the occasional dinette set. And of you see a girl sitting in the rushes, dipping her toes in the water, staring off at the sunset…it might be me.

1 comment:

  1. Haha, that was indeed out of character for both of us. Thanks for going, bodyguard -- we can say you protected me from the bling and orngblsms. ;)


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