Saturday, August 22, 2009

One Lesson from One Year in Second Life

So today was my "rez day," marking one year since the avatar Lou Netizen materialized in Second Life. The only thing I had planned for the occasion was a special edition of my Lou's Clues trivia game, wherein every correct response contained the characters "lou"—so things like jealousy, Glouchester, and loup-garou were all winning answers. (Of course, I didn't really tell anybody this—but folks quickly figured it out for themselves.)

Glam Lou, looking dramatic in her spiffy shoes and poofy dress

One thing I had not counted on was many of my Second Life friends working behind the scenes to mark the occasion. I've participated in a few friends' rez-day celebrations (like the duck party where I even danced!) but even in trivia circles I'm not much of a major persona: I don't run a venue, I don't have my own in-world business, I don't host any wildly popular event…in short, I'm nowhere near starting to get close to being on the verge of inching towards being an institution unto myself.

But I should have known something was up when Cinna Xaris (bat-girl!) showed up wearing a "Happy Rezzday Lou" t-shirt with guitars on it—and then the shirts started popping up among the players turning up for Lou's Clues. A few folks wished me a happy rez-day, Sinn started spinning an impromptu "Lou"-themed music set…and then, totally out of the blue, a set of Stiletto Moody shoes asked to jump into my inventory! They were a gift from Billy2Times Krams, Mako Kungfu, Shale Nightfire, Honey Potez, Circe Falta, Lillian Shippe, JoshuaStephen Schism, Devin Velinov, Lette Ponnier, Sinnamon Sands, Lotus Ceriano, Jez Oh, Cinna Xaris, Metro Voom, Thornton Writer, and Chaddington Boomhauer, who apparently masterminded at least some the Great Lou Shoe Rez Day Conspiracy.

No, they aren't the $11,000L shoes—but nothing at Stiletto Moody's is exactly inexpensive. Most everyone knows I'm not a Second Life fashion fiend, so, yes, there's a healthy portion of irony in giving me (very!) high-end virtual shoes. Maybe I can pair them up with my freebie baggie jeans and cartoony t-shirts?

But it's also a super touching, overwhelming, and thoughtful gift. Seriously, everyone: thank you. I don't know what to say…and if I try to say anything at all I'll lapse into snarkmode to hide my self-consciousness. So, I'll just proceed to the money shot:

Stiletto Moody heels…complete with prim foot and ankle

I haven't fully fitted them yet—you practically need professional certification and a six week training course to drive these things, and they (not kidding!) add more than 10cm to my avatar's height! But I promise I'll get them ship-shape and prim-proper soon.

Another surprise: later that afternoon, Chadd and Shale's Zoo Bar trivia apparently held a "Best in Lou" contest…which I guess was a challenge for people to dress up like me, short and slovenly! Lette Ponnier won, and popped over to my handy-dandy sky platform to show me her interpretation of Lou. I was all tarted up to take pictures of the new shoes, so what does Lette do? Pulls a version of the same dress I'm wearing out of her inventory. (What can I say? Lette is equipped and we're both Ivalde girls!) Lette was still just a smidge too tall to be Lou—although, wearing my new Stiletto Moody's, I positively towered over her!

Lette Ponnier showing off her "Best in Lou" look—
Lette has the same dress as me, only in blue

So, I've been in Second Life for a year. What have I learned?

Well, lots of things. Like: don't sit on unknown poseballs; don't try to talk to griefers; be prepared to spend half your Second Lifetime waiting for things to rez; turn off rendering if you want to compete with the trivia mavens; dorkbots and megapixies are mostly teenage boys; alts are everywhere. Yada yada yada.

But what's the most important thing in Second Life? Your friends.


  1. Happy rezday again Lou. The shoes look great on you! :)

  2. OMG those shoes are absolutely beautiful. They need to be cared for, worshiped and obeyed. Wow.

  3. Happy rezday, Lou. Glad you liked the shoes, and was happy to provide what little musical tribute I could to the "Sound of Lou." The shoes look great, even on a certified jockette like you. ;)

  4. That's why you were all dressed up the other looked so pretty! Happy Rez Day again!

    I agree with Luce, the shoes are awesome. I have major shoe issues in SL I can't get them to look right - I'm sure it's a n00b problem.

    Question - do you actually have your toenails painted or does that "come with the shoes"?

    LOL on the "don't sit on unknown poseballs", I did that like on my second day in SL and got molested and almost impregnated by a giant spider - I was laughing at the screen so hard I didn't think to just stand up to make it stop. I think Luce had a similar close encounter with a giant flower, right Luce?

    I need to find out what "turn off rendering" means (sigh). I've only been on since June - but maybe one day when I grow up, I'll be just like you Lou - only taller and not quite as sportstastic!


  5. Thanks again, everyone! :)

    Hilda: the toenails—actually the entire foot and ankle—are made of prims: the fugly and blocky actual avatar feet are hidden away behind tranparent prims. So, the toes are part of the shoe, and the Stiletto Moody shoes offer a ton of options, which I believe vary by shoe. My shoes offer a selection of four or five toenail colors (including a french polish) along with a few other options.

    Turning off rendering: activate the Second Life client's Advanced menu (press CNTL+ALT+D on Windows; Cmd-Opt-D on a Mac) and look at Advanced > Rendering > Types. Turning off Volume (which I call "disabing prims") is the main one to hit to reduce lag (check out the key command!)—plus it has the neat effect of making most people bald and shoeless. ;) Disabling other rendering types can help too, particularly particles and character, depending on the event. At Buccaneer Bowl, for instance, I usually have them all disabled.


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