First of all, I've put away my orange bugs bunny shirt. Now I is a Vampire Bat! My wings are awexome. Semi translucent. they flap realistically while I fly: especially in complicated maneuvers. My Bat avatar has more features, knobs, and dials to play with than a new car! I can hang from stuff, and as an added bonus, if you mess with me I BITE YOU wif my HOLLOW FANGS! >:[''' *chomp*
I got this getup in Luskwood. I'm really having difficulty locating a comparable area to hang out. 90% of Second Life is myspace-3d, and then there are areas like Avilion Mists that while finely crafted, have such atrociously high prim counts that even my burly laptop grinds to a halt.
I hung around while they were having some group photos taken, so you can see that here. The exercise was described as being like herding cats. And then inevitably Starlight (a cat, not pictured) came wandering in and had the hardest time facing to camera.
I heard a photographer for National Geographic one time describe the process of acclimating wildlife to your presence. He was photographing meerkats, which are notoriously shy creatures. So he would set up his camera equipment, and sit for hours, half the time not even taking pictures: just going through the motions of his daily routine so that the subjects would come to understand that he is not a threat, and he could document their doings uncolored by his proximity.
So, while I only know a handful of the folks who flow through here now, one day everyone will be used to the vampire bat ninja in their midst and I can walk in greeted by "norm" soundclips.
Nova Albion. I am hanging from the gang plank, RL compadre Kuro is editing appearance at the end of the plank. LisaHot Juan seen center in pirate garb prepares a proportional response.Meercats are shy because if they don't keep their guard up, you might eat them. That obviously is no danger in second life, so.. why would anyone here be defensive, or difficult to befriend?
The answer is: Griefers. Wired Magazine ran an oddly troll-feeding article about them last month. Griefers are simply immature pranksters who only feel important when they can successfully frustrate other people. Wired's outlandish article suggests that they keep virtual autocracies in check, and that they are well organized. Neither of these claims are true. They simply spend all of their time flitting from one virtual area to another letting off bomb scripts. Even if the area only has a handful of people in it talking about the weather.
Wired makes them out to be the Socrates Gadfly. Anyone who would actually research their behavior can see it's the same activity as defiling a public restroom. I fear their motives are also congruent.
It is also a collection of well developed sims (aka "simulators", as individual server machines tend to specific hectares of virtual land). Most other areas have a small gathering place to host many avatars, and tons of wasted land without. This being because the load of all the avatar connections and the prims needed to decorate their surroundings often draws all the power of a machine that tends a rather large geographic area.
In Luskwood the design appears to be more broadly maintained. If you leave the main social area, you are greeted with 2 sims worth of entertaining environment. On a recent journey I found a duck pond (pictured), mocked up RF and server rack mount network operation centers, general store, gazebo, playground, RC race track, well stocked pub, lighthouse, art centers, endless walkways between intricate treehouses, and the incomplete workings of a 2005 series TARDIS.
All of these places are abandoned relics from as long ago as 2003. But I wasn't alone for all of my travels, as a friend spotted me wandering around the grounds and came to join my expedition.
So there you have it. The Second Life universe appears to be obtaining a critical mass sufficient to make it interesting enough to outweigh all of it's current shortcomings (griefers, closed-source architecture and all) that I may continue to visit often.
If you stop by, look me up. My gamertag is Happ MacDonald.