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Predictable

April 29th, 2009 by Marianne McCann

After you look at Linden Lab’s language on the Adult Only thing enough, you start seeing what terms are the big “talking point” terms. One of those is the notion that this move is being made to allow for a “more predictable inworld experience.”

I could say a lot of things about that. I mean spend some time around the new Moose Beach infohub and tell me how “predictable” that experience is for new Residents. Ditto for the old Ahern or Waterhead Welcome Areas.

For that matter, consider that Second Life itself is a very unpredictable experience. Mainland is a constant array of rapidly changing builds in all sorts of styles. Events like the SL birthday and Burning Life offer the chance to see the broadest possible options for presentation in this world. People praised mainly for taking the medium in new, unexpected, and yes unpredicted territories.

But that isn’t what is meant in this case, I don’t think.

Here’s an experience I had around this time last year that I think typifies what Linden Lab means when they speak of the “predictable experience” and the need for a place for adult content separate form mature land.

Since 2006, a white clapboard home has sat along the southeastern shore of Sansara. That’s my home location, and the residence of my inworld mommy. At one time not long ago, we were five strong, two parents and three kids, living in that place. While us kids were kids, our parents were young lovers. We’d go off and play, they’d hug and kiss and cuddle.

Home

There was a skybox that I never saw, as it was deemed off-limits by our inworld parents. I suspect it likely had some of the adult goodies one can find in most skyboxes populating the Second Life skies. To me, this was all fine and well. They could do what they wanted to do, we could do what we wanted to do, and all was good.

Eventually some new neighbors moved in, just the other side of our property line and less than 20m from my bedroom. They built a dark castle with a large courtyard facing our side. Within that was a small stable filled with sexualized prim animals, and a few other caged enclosures. This was a site for bestiality, slave auctions, and all sorts of hardcore action.

I am all for people being able to do what they want to do on their land, I really am. One thing trumps that, however, and that is a desire to see all working together for a common good. Most of the neighbors simply moved away. Some put up spite fences. Even I screened in some of their plot (the area nearest their stable) using large but tasteful pines.

Zara Linden pays a visit to the neighbors

They, of course, were fully within their rights to do what they wanted to do on their land. Policies allowed for a hardcore bestiality slave auction house to sit next to the white clapboard family home. The “Ursula” project changes this. It allows for any number of stores or clubs to exist on the plot where once a castle sat, as well as private residences where the adult avatars within them might enjoy their own sexual devices from time to time. It also gives those who do want to have a hardcore bestiality slave auction house a definite place where they won’t have to deal with neighbors griping about what they want to do.

This is the good part of this policy to me. The good sort of predictable.

The down side? Oh, there are plenty. I fear how this is being implemented, and that while some reliable LL employees have said one thing, others have given a very different view. discussions on definitions where the idea of a list of words’ was poo-pooed get supplanted with, well, a list of words on the Second Life wiki. Talks about what will and won’t be allowed get obfuscated by language that makes it hard to see what LL have in mind — and such obfuscating is purposeful, allowing for both lenience *and* future restrictions.

Unlike the “err on the side of caution” rules applied to child avatars that make it dangerous to one’s account to show as much skin as one might see on a public beach, my hope is that these policies will err on the side of lenience. Yet really, who can predict what we’ll experience?

“It’s not a perfect analogy”

April 23rd, 2009 by Marianne McCann

When I see the anger over the adult/ursula policy, you know one of the first things I think of?

Kid avatars have had to live under a shifting, vaguely worded policy for two years. We’ve had to watch what we do, be aware of where we were, and otherwise step carefully lest we be accused of doing something wrong.

Now everyone gets to share the joy.

Weekend Update

April 20th, 2009 by Marianne McCann

My weekend sorta started with borin’ stuffs. I ended up back in one of the “brown bag” talks about adult definitions. it’s all very interesting. I’m sure it’s a bit odd f’r me people to see me in the middle of it all. Still, I like to think I might be helping in some way, a bit.

The meetings for these have been held on “PR Island,” which looks just like the “Boardroom” sim, but is not regular access. I’m sure all the transcripts an stuff are available on another thread ’round here. Here’s a piccie, too.

JP Linden is on the stage. Audience seating, counterclockwise is Marty Linden, Poppet McGimsie, Cyn Linden, Phoenix Welles, Blondin Linden, BlueGin Yifu, Melody Regent, Me, Pete Linden, Catriana Ninetails, MystressAnna Lovenkraft, and Kend Linden

Anyway, I got to shift gears not long after, an went to the big BunnyJam party on EggSactly Right. That was crazy busy. Towards the end of the time I was there, they sid there were about 87 avatars there. I know I could hardly move by that point. Was still purty fun. :-)

I also got some of my prizes from the -RC- Cluster photo contest, including my very own Suzie Wetserpants dolly! I love her lots!

My new dolly

Saturday, well, I had a lot of RL to do an wasn’t feelin too good besides, so I dun have near as many piccies as I wish I had.I did go to the fishing tournament on Livingtree, an got some free stuff in Edo Japan and in AM Radios The Far Away. Other’n that, I really can’t say I did a whole lot.

I did try to do a big group shot to promote the Bay City parade, but like I said, not feelin’ good, an I really wasn’t too happy with the piccie overall. I’ll hafta upload it somewhere’s anyway, jes to show peoples who were in it. Anyways, We also had some fun with blurtophones then too, like I usually do. I do have a piccie of that!

Oh, an then late late in the evening, I did this piccie. Jes showin how tough I am!

One tough kid

Yer prob’ly not buyin’ that f’r a sec, is ya? Oh well, can’t say I did’t try!

Anyway, I was feelin better on Sunday, but then we had a power outage that day. I did make it through the Bay City Alliance meeting in the mornin’, an spent part of the day at our new infohub in Moose Beach, Or near it, cuz actually getting in there is about impossible. A lot of that time I was jes gettin griefed by a person and their alt. Made fr good AR fodder, I s’pose.

Oh, an then I ended up the evenin’ with some sightseeing, which led to this piccie, too.

An that’s about it!

Tootling my own horn-thing

April 16th, 2009 by Marianne McCann

A quick update!

1. I got a golden egg in the Linden hunt! I found it in the same sorta area as the golden heart I found. Go me! Pays to know the mainland, I s’pose!

2. I actually found a second one as well. There is a limit to one per person, so I asked them to toss it back, if they could.

3. I took second place in the RC Cluster Flickr Photo Contest, with the below photo!

What's so great ...

Ms Jill from HardKnock Elementary took first place. Yay Ms Jill!

4. The memorial garden I did for last year’s SL Day of Remembrance event is going into the big SL memorial garden! Glad to know it will live on!

Weekend Update

April 13th, 2009 by Marianne McCann

So, um… I guess I should do a weekend write up. Definitely one with ups an downs, though.

Friday I got to find my easter egg in the big Linden easter egg thing in the EggSactly sim. I’m super proud of my egg, an I hope it does well in th’ judging! But there are so so many good ones!

It sounds corny to me, but looking at all the other Resident eggs there jes, I dunno, gives me some hope f’r this place. There are jes so many different “takes” on easter eggs there, from people who simply tossed a library texture on the provided egg (and this could be the first time they’ve even tried to make something in SL!) to those who’ve done super detailed stuff an really pushed the limits. Mine is somewhere between those posts, I think.

Later on Friday, I decided to poke around the still-under-construction Linden Remembrance Garden. It really is looking nice, for what it is. It was hard to see shrines to the people I called friends, like Kendra or Soj. I’m glad that their passings are takin kinda seriously by LL at one level or another, and that there will be some permanent memorial to them, or at least as permanent as our virtual world can be.

Then poof — an infohub appeared in Bay City. There’s been work for some time about getting one built in Hau Koda, but all of a sudden Moose Beach was turned into one. I like the idea, given that the location seems perfect for an infohub, and was vastly underused before. I do wish there was more info at the infohub, and that the agent limit was a bit higher than it is currently. Makes it hard to get in there!

The Bay City Children’s Blurtophone Band — otherwise known as “Fred” — quickly established themselves as the house band at Squishybottoms at the Moose Beach infohub. I don’t remember who our session guy is on maracas.

Saturday, well, I had a lotta RL to do. But I did make it back inworld f’r the big sausage harvest at -RC- Cluster. I managed to get a few cool pose sets that I did’t already have.

I also spended some time building to get ready for Sunday, went by Moose Beach infohub a couple times, an otherwise occupied my time.

Sunday, of course, was Easter. So I did a little easter dance in the flowers!

We had our second annual Spring Festival on Livingtree, with egg decorating, a nature walk, a small egg hunt, and the big egg rolling contest. It was super super fun, even though we had a small turnout. It was Easter after all. But the Golden Egg Trophy has made it to a new home for the year, and all is good.

Well, sorta.

Sunday was also the last day for Livingtree Cove, our adjoining homestead sim. We had originally gotten it as a private workspace, back when open spaces were reasonable. We opened it to the public when the policy changed, but never really had much of a plan for it. As the economy has continued to tighten, our SL and RL selves have felt some serious pinches. As such, the Cove had to go. I only hope we can keep the main island going as well.

An that’s the weekend. Some good, some bad this time.

Weekend Update, Addition

April 7th, 2009 by Marianne McCann

Call this an addendum to my weekend update.

So Monday I saw that there was going to be a “pile on” of the beta grid, in an attempt to stress test the 1.26 server. This I could not resist.

It started innocently enough, all sitting in Morris on the Aditi (beta) grid, waiting for things to get going. Prospero led the charge, suggesting we go crazy for a bit. The high prim avatars came out, with a large part of the crowd showing their Aggro dragons. Soon, the man o’ the hour showed up — Vektor Linden — and we started our tests. I tossed on one of the “Corra Nacunda” avatars from Grendel’s Children. That’s a large raven-like humanoid in bedouin attire, and a very different look for me.

We friended each other, we took snapshots and sent them to each other, We paid each other. That latter one was where we encountered out first troubles, with the good ol’ stale transactions rearing its ugly head.

Then it was time for some region crossing, heading down the continent to the sandboxes.

I should mention that in addition to all of us — about 40+ people, and about an equal part Resident and Linden/Tester accounts, the full force of Enus Linden’s umpity-hundred bot army was in Aditi. The little grid was straining at times. Region crossing was hard hard hard, and I did cross trying to go south from Balance into Fame on the way to HTTP In Sandbox 1.

But this led to one of the most amazing moments in my Second Life, swooping across these sims in bird form, with 10-15 of these huge dragon avatars flying in an accidental formation around me, watching the vapor trails of scores of unrezzed Enusbots criss-crossing up ahead. This is not the Second Life I joined in 2006. While I love my regular form dearly, I would adore seeing a “flock” of those dragons and other avians over head, and would be glad to join ’em. If for a bit. If I hadn’t crashed, I’d have photos of this. :-(

Anyway, for those who talk about never seeing a Linden, well, I know where they all were yesterday, in attendance during the tests were Prospero, Alexa, Sabine, Usi, Which, Vektor, Dan, Maestro, Poppy, Beast, Milo, Q, Oskar, Rose, Spider, Nyx, Bambers, Jill and one other who I believed to be long gone — Pony Linden. Rumors of Pony going to the glue factory are now proven wrong, once and for all. Here he is, recorded for posterity.

We did some more tests, doing some teleports and also going over those adult/mature/PG border crossings (and cross sim transactions) before settling back in Sandbox Cordova. For the next ten minutes, chaos reigned.

Normally, a sandbox is a place where griefing — which commonplace — is not allowed. Big signs declare “no weapons.” not so, as Vektor Linden declared open season… on himself. Soon, all manner of griefer toy and projectile weapon was brought to bear. Even I had a fairly small .22 caliber rifle in hand, taking pot shots at Mister Vektor. I got him more than a few times, too.

[15:39] MystiTool HUD 1.3.1: Collision with “RSDM Slug”, Owner: Vektor Linden

He got me too.

Anyway, for an idea of what this all looked like in the end, here’s the beta grid’s Sandbox Cordova at its worst.

For those who want to see all the piccies I did take over there — such as they are — feel free to check ’em out on Snapzilla.

Mari

Weekend Update

April 6th, 2009 by Marianne McCann

So, my weekend.

On Friday those of us in my class at HardKnock Elementary got to see the Easter Bunny! Yay! I was brave an got my piccie taken with ’em.

Seeing the easter bunny!

Then later inna evening a friend took me to see a beautiful thing made my Spiral Watcher. Incredible work! I wish you could see it in action, cuz the movement an stuff is what really makes it.

Pretty Colors!

Saturday an Sunday were both kinda busy f’r me. I helped a friend with a video on the new Second Childhood Network Kiosks (an got one set up on Livingtree), I went to my friend Adz’s Rez Day party, I went to an informal get together in Bay City, I built stuff f’r my stores, An did a couple piccies for a photo contest. Here’s my two entries. It hasta be somewhat funny an also use the stores products in the shot. I tink I did okay with ’em.

Artistic Interpretation

and

Whats so great about camping?

An that’s about it this time!

We’re Number 108!

April 3rd, 2009 by Marianne McCann

Well, I am sorta the new kid on the block…

Active Second Life Blogs, 2009

Imagine Imaginario

April 3rd, 2009 by Marianne McCann

I recently said some stuff in this blog about Bay city. Now the flip side.

You see, about a month or so ago, one of the primary landholders in my end of Bay City decided to sell his properties. This put several plots on the market. In short order, they started to be flipped back and forth between a few of the larger names in land. Then, fate stepped in.

CP Costello and Mystery Moonlight bought the plot next to mine and set up a shoe store for a friend of theirs, Nikki Hird. they took design cues from my own store, and themed it like an ice cream store. Looks really nice up next to mine. They also bought a plot across the sim, putting in a tattoo shop dressed as a barber shop. The plots in question had never really been home to much, with only one of the two housing even a slightly active business (a collection of affiliate vendors) for any length of time.

Rezit Sideways and Infiner Morigi grabbed a slightly larger plot on my end of town for a new main store for Designs of Darkness. This filled in a gap that had formerly been home to an unused garage-like structure.

Ewan Mureaux scored a plot and turned it into a rental property, luring Elle74 Zaftig of Bellissima and Jacqueline Boehm of 1-800 Bettie’s to open a joint location where there previously was an unused factory build.

I also bought one of these plots, where once a largely unused skyscraper stood. I turned around and sold it to my friend Johnathon Spad, who wanted a place for his bicycle shop. It’s a great, googie-inspired storefront.

Rounding out this area is a store for jewelry and accessories called Seventy Seven owned by Seraina Benelli, a home owned by Anya Enyo, a mixed products store called Gatespace owned by konp Koba, and the offices of a couple different land dealers (TC Enterprises and R & S Investments).

Its exciting to me to look at this area, and see the builds there. They all generally fit the area’s theme. They all look good. They carry quality merchandise. All of us who own these stores are able to work together.

Perhaps most exciting to me is this: when people come through they area, they’re actually interested enough to walk around. These stores catch their eyes, and make them curious.

Now sure, the average fan of 1-800-Bettie’s might not be shopping for a bicycle. The “You know, For Kids” crowd is not entirely likely to pop over to Designs of Darkness for all their “ebil” stuff (though, to be honest, I think their stuff is pretty cool). Nevertheless, the average shopper might at least find this eclectic collection of shops to their liking in one way or another. There’s a lot of retro fans. DOD folks might like the Slingray “Chawper” bikes. Bettie’s fans might enjoy some of the goods at Seventy Seven. My customers will like some of the shoes, the bikes, and maybe some of the other goods there. I know my traffic has gone up in the last week, and I’m sure it has for all the others in the area, too.

This is a business community, and one that works. We support each other, in our own little ways. We might call to each other across the sim, or talk to each other about issues within the sim, or heck, just walk over some night and say hi.

it’s unlike most of the mainland. It’s different. It’s fun — and I like it.

In the SL forums, someone said that it was up to the Residents of Bay City to make the place a success or a failure. I can’t speak for the other regions in the area, but Imaginario is racking up a lot of wins right now.