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- Shunbun 24s drawing and making music. Hustling.
w Macabre 3s 60% GM, 40% Baby Builder!
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And 31 more hiding and/or disguised

Second Life
...not (just) about cloning.

Got an email from Warren Ellis earlier this evening (oh, don't get excited, it's from his Bad Signal mailing list, which is generally pretty good for a laugh) about Second Life, and thought of you guys. I believe Iga's been playing it for a while, and that Kevlar at least has also checked it out - I had a look at it while in class the other day (oh, hello Flash animation basics...), and was pretty goshdarned impressed with the basic concept.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not promoting other games in conflict to Sindome, but I also know a lot of you do spend your time on other things, so this is another to add to the list, or at least peruse and gain some ideas from.

Mister Ellis raises a few interesting points, in a kinda rambling way (like you expect eloquence from the guy who created Spider Jerusalem?), some of which I was thinking about the other day (in a different class), while looking at stuff to do with EVE online... principally, the idea of 'levels' as it pertains to multiplayer online gaming - whether they are beneficial, detrimental or irrelevant to the gameplay.

I mean - if you're logging in to play just so you can increase a level, how does that affect your interaction with other players? Likewise - if you're playing a game that has no levelling system, then do you have an incentive to do anything more than 'just' roleplaying - and will that make the game lose some kind of momentum?
( you see UE as a kind of level to be achieved?)

Forgive me for rambling myself, going back to school always makes my brain work so much better on everything other than homework. It's great.

bad signal

Over the last  month or so, in free moments here and there,
I've been fiddling around with  something called Second Life.
I imagine a lot of you have heard of it,  but

if you haven't.

It is, if  you'll allow, an attempt to transpose the "Metaverse"
of Neal Stephenson's  SNOW CRASH to the real world.
It's an electronic planet where you take on an  "avatar", a
human figure representing yourself (more on that in a
minute)  and move it/you around in the mode of a computer
game.  For the  Warcrack tribe, it's like this: a massively-
multiplayer online role-playing  game with no goals.  A
game of (second) life with nothing there to  actually achieve.
It has its own currency, pegged to the US dollar, and  its
own simple economy -- actually, a posthuman economy,
since there is no  hunger, thirst or need to sleep, and
everyone can both fly and  teleport.

In the orientation, when you first launch SL and get  your
avatar etc, there is actually a singular moment of oddness
to be had;  you'll be pootling around getting your clothes
for your entry into SL and  what have you, and suddenly
someone in front of you will take off into the  air...

There's quite a tribe of the transgendered on SL, which  ties
back to the avatar thing: you get to be whoever you see
in your  head.  You choose from a limited list of surnames,
create your own first  name, choose your gender, how you'll
look, etc, and so you can establish an  idealised,
experimental or alien identity on SL, and you fully live  that
identity while there, to the extent of buying SL property in
that  name and beyond.

Personally, it drives me slightly crazy.  I do  little more than
explore, in the snatches of time I get to hook into  SL.  And
-- and this is a purely personal thing -- I dislike  walking
around with a fake name.  SL have set up a few of  the
Technorati, like Joi Ito, Cory Doctorow and Lawrence Lessig,
with full  transpositions of their real names to SL, where they
do occasional public  appearances, lectures and the like.
But that's obviously not extended to  everybody.  Although I
understand that some Suicide Girls models are  going to be
set up with SG names in SL with appropriate avatars.   I
just have a strong sense of my own identity and would not
want to walk  around without my own name, so I'm never
going to be involved in SL in any  serious way.

But what fascinates me about it is possibly the same  thing
that makes me crazy -- it's goalless.  You're  essentially
invited to be an electronic frontiersperson, to obtain  parcels
of land and learn how to build your own homes (from the
ability to  generate and morph & mutate generic building-blocks
that comes with your  avatar) and to, I guess, find and enter
communities.  And eventually, I  presume the hope is, to make
SL better in some way for the people you share  the electronic
world with.

Which is really kind of an interesting  thing.  An entire population
released to do nothing but make art and  fly...

-- W  

Meh, no linux compatibility...

Its seems utterly marvelous in its lack of direction.

No Linux compatibility?  Well shit.

*pets his Ubuntu box*

Guess I'll have to go and play it on that bug-infested callgirl I call a Windows box.

yeah, i saw this when i was looking for a good game for my friends and i. wasnt what i was looking for, but sounds like an interesting idea for some people.
after looking into it... it's uhh - weird. i don't know what to make of it yet, it crashed before I made it off help island. it looks very interesting, but hasn't really nabbed my "wow" factor at all so far.
I couldnt make it off help island, and like Chant said, didnt have anything specific about it that was cool... I will stick with Sindome.
ok, since we're kinda on the topic here of MMORPG's, i just have a rant.

the problem i have with mmorpg's is the complete and utter lack of rp. its in the name, it should be a component of the game!!

i played six months of Anarchy Online (cuz it was free) and in that six months, i had six chars, and got one up to 42nd level. to me, that seems pretty good, but the cap is 220, and the problem i have is that you need to be 160-ish to even START to take part in the storyline.

before that, you're n00b, and will die horribly.

that's 160 levels of help island!! ok, not really, cuz you're running to three or four diff dungeons to get there, but there is no interaction other than, "Hey, can i get an invite?"

most rp i've seen is, "Ok, take it off team loot or i'm leavin" to which i respond, "Fine, piss off" <kick player> and we go on our merry way.

which is why i came back to SD. within the first two weeks of being back in the dome, my char met King Snake. my heart beat fast, andrenaline pumping in my veins, blood pressure shot up.

now, i've played a lot of games, both online and off. nothing gives me that feeling except the Dome.

That game is full of furries.
I currently (and have for over a year) make my normal living wage through SecondLife. I have been hired by several production companies to build sets from their movies and such to promote their films in SecondLife.

I just finished the Transformers area for Paramount for the movie, I worked on Die Hard 4 for Fox before that, and a while back I did the movie 300 for Warner Bros. It's a pretty cool place/program, and yes - it is VERY full of furries but fortunately they aren't the disturbing sex-crazy furries of nasty-fetishdom(at least not always).

In the spirit of full disclosure, I should say that I have on more than one occasion built a mockup of Withmore City and the Sindome in SecondLife when I had a few servers worth of land at my disposal :P

If anyone from the SD crew (Johnny? Kev? Iga? Anyone?) wants to endorse it I would love to officially build(or help build) the dome :D

If you want to contact me on SecondLife my name is Rob Adelaide.

Also, if you do login to SL I would highly recommend several sims(land servers) in the CyberPunk/Post-Apoc genre. The sim named 'Gibson' (go figure) is a massive futuristic city replete with dark seething underbelly of ruined buildings, set in a Neotopian city called Nexus Prime(great name).

'The Wastelands', 'The Junkyard', and 'The Rift' are all great sims linked to eachother which are set in a post-apoc setting with heavy RP going on in all 3 spaces. Much like SD there are hidden NPCs as well as mod-operated storyline characters, and there is a really cool and very elaborate system of health/armor/powerup items/building stuff which you can do by 'salvaging' items you find lying around.

Also there IS now linux support given you have a decent video card with the latest drivers.


(Edited by Hunter at 12:23 am on July 23, 2007)

I go by CRL (Carl) Watanabe when I'm in-world.  I've been running SL on my Windows partition but my computer has finally gone so frazzled I can't do anything that is 3D intensive.

Sucks to be me for now, lol.