Sunday, March 29, 2009

Raglan Gets Ready for Wild West Month!

Raglan Shire kicks off Wild West month April 3, so its Artisans Society has been gearing up getting things ready in the sim. I thought I'd blow through the town setup in the Commons and came across Zayn...
I showed that bull who's the boss! Kinda...
You can find my fun tiny costumes in the General Store there. Here's the tumbleweed...And my cactus costume, with a texture taken from my RL cactus that was brought back for me from Arizona...So come on out to Raglan starting this Friday and join in the fun!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Victorian Gorean aka "Why It Doesn't Work"

One thing about exploring SL a lot is that you get to a point where you realize you really do get around and it takes a whole lot more to get your shock meter going. Tonight, I found myself visiting the sim of Londinium, a mature strict RP sim that seems like its theme could best be described as Gorean-Victorian, for lack of a better explanation. My exploring companion joked that I should have walked around with the "Prey" titler on instead of "Observer". Yeah, right.

I don't know. I had a been-there, done-that before feeling about it, and not in a good way, as it reminded me of the sim of Solarya, which folded quite some time ago now. While Solarya had beautiful architecture, its Gorean-Victorian feel and RP just didn't attract folks. I know that as a merchant there, it was definitely "interesting" to have my Victorian Steampunk clothes next to half-naked slave silks. A friend of mine was actually rather put off by the mix and Solarya itself once he realized what it was truly about and pulled his shop.

Sure, plenty of Vic/Steampunk types that I know have kinks and I know some who also RP as Goreans, but in my experience, that kind of a mix like what Londinium is doing and Solarya did hasn't blended well as its own sim. Like my friend, many folks I know who RP as Victorians--despite those kinks I mentioned--can actually be Victorian-minded sometimes. For instance, sex-related places like brothels--which would have most certainly been found in the RL 19th c.--have not done well in the historic-themed sims. Combine that with the fact that the women in most of the historic sims are forces to be reckoned with and to me, the main ones attracted to Vic RP, you can see why RP where they are denigrated as sex slaves wouldn't bring the green dots.

My firm belief however, is that a true dark RP Victorian-themed sim could work. Its requisite pickpockets, gangs, whores, villains and opportunists all mingling together in grimy, narrow, dark-alleyed slums allowing all vices could do well as it has not been done in SL yet. A CoLA/Toxia/Midian-style Victorian dark RP sim. Not a Gorean sim with a Vic veneer. Gritty and dangerous as many places in that time period would've truly been and where the wealthy lord and lady types would take their chances walking through, if they dared to at all? Wow. History itself (want to read about rookeries in England...pick up some Dickens, or for the US, read about NYC's Five Points ) provides fodder for ideas--for evil or good--that one can't even believe, yet could reproduce in SL.

But you know, in the each their own, right?

And um, yes...that's a pink flamingo on top of a whipping post that I came across.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Donor Fatigue

I am about to run a real risk of being seen as a jerk for saying this--given my participation in the past and RL experience dealing with this, but I am dreading SLRFL season this year. My friend Crap spoke about this in a post recently and honestly, it was nice to hear someone publicly say what I had been thinking.

In RL, I used to work for nonprofits. "Donor fatigue" is a term in the charitable and nonprofit world that is used to explain what can happen when donors or potential donors reach a point where they are unwilling to give. This can be due to feelings of not knowing/understanding how it'll be used, their being financially unable to do so, or simply being tired of constantly being bombarded by the nonprofit asking them to donate. It's this latter point I'm addressing.

This will be my 3rd SLRFL season. I have participated in it in donor, relayer, team activity, site building and creating for vendor capacities every time. I am willing to help in modest ways to benefit my teams, but already the notices are beginning. I heard this season would be a kindler, gentler one in my respective nations, with fewer events supposedly taking place, but I'm getting the feeling this won't be the case.

I originally came into SL due to cancer's presence in my RL. To be constantly bombarded and reminded of it with a undercurrent feeling of "if you don't participate or like how things are done you are somehow bad" is not the way to go and it seemed to reach a fevered pitch to me last year. Folks I knew grumbled, even if they didn't want to really say it out loud. I really don't want to knock the hardworking organizers, as I still think RFL is a wonderful thing and a great example of a virtual world helping to do something good for the real one, but I just don't feel like the overwhelming, inescapable nature of it.

I will create an item, make one-time donations to both teams and make my RL donation to ACS. If these actions and how I feel makes me a jerk...oh well. *sighs*

Friday, March 20, 2009

Steelhead Tour

I love the town of Steelhead. Not just because for me it is my inworld home and there's sense of true community, but also because it is one of the most laid-back of the 19th c historic sims due to the zany quirkiness that happens there on a regular basis. Lumina helped to organize the Steelhead Tour, where visitors to Steelhead's four sims (Steelhead City, Harborside, Boomtown & Port Harbor) can explore area landmark and merchant locations and get free gifts when they find the trout...Some of the displays are a lot of fun. Fish. Did I mention we love trout there?
Come on over and join in on the fun until April 14!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

SL Simple Pleasures: Beautiful Sunsets

Sometimes you see things in SL that are so beautiful that they make you stop for a moment and pay attention. This sunset in New Toulouse was one of them...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Snow Bunny on the Loose

Skiing in SL? Sure! Why not? Phin and I went to Tahoa Mountain Resort to try it out...In RL, I've always been terrified to ski, always opting out once I got to the ski lodge and looked up at the mountains. Inworld, I stood at the top, realizing I needed to get to the bottom...
Oh crap! TREES!It was so much fun I had to do it again! There's an info card there called "Where to ski in SL". Try it!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Wastelands Visit and Rodents of Unusual Size

I'm not wasting another breath on the Sin Continent issue for now until it actually happens. That's when the interesting issues regarding it will arise. For now? I headed over to the Wastelands to see Dia's latest digs. See, the Wastes has a parcel swap program, enabling residents to move around to equal-sized plots if they want a change. It makes sense to me as the community is one whose very theme revolves around a post-apoc, semi-nomadic, survival lifestyle. She swapped her Bog barbershop to stake out a new spot at the Fissure...I loved her beanbag so much that we decided to venture cross-sim and get one for me too...
Her scooter had undergone a few modifications since the last time I rode it and we made our way across the rugged landscape...I later wandered down the way from her place and besides the heads/skulls on a stick, random big creature bones and unidentified goo, I found these, um...R.O.U.S. Let's just say I gave that cage a wide berth...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

And So It Begins...

So LiLa's finally making steps towards their crackdown on adult content on the Grid. They've decided to "geographically separate" adult content on the mainland, filter Search, and pay attention...require verification for those who wish to access/see Adult content period. Estate owners are still free to be Mature or PG, but will have to flag their content.

Now, I'm sure there are some adults who are of delicate sensibility and wish all of the sex and violence in SL would just go away. To me this means more than that. We've been watching a systematic "cleaning up" of SL going on for a while now (SL5B anyone?) Between the whole ageplay and "SL Destroyed My Marriage" scandals, I'm sure LiLa has been in their SanFran offices cringing like "CRAP!" After are you supposed to attract corporations or a much younger demographic in (like the rumors of a Teen Grid merger) if you aren't sure that a half-naked, latex-clad, blinger speaking in multiline gestures or a griefer with flying freenises isn't going to just pop in and disrupt things or make the newly assimilated young 'uns need to be led away with hands over their eyes?

LiLa says they wish to reflect RL, but actually in SL it's pretty easy to not be "subjected" to questionable things. TP, leave. One thing about being an adult is being able to make that choice. No one's forcing you to watch. One of the things I've always enjoyed about SL is not having to take kids into account. A grown-ups grid. Whoo!

Will this create a Sin Continent? Maybe. But like it or not, SL's sex industry did help to fuel its economy, much like gambling. And let's see LiLa try to keep enterprising unverified folks from visiting. That will be interesting. And who knows? It might create a private estate boom.

Will people roll out in droves from SL screaming about sexual repression and the verification? Probably not. For every whiner, there's an opportunist. And besides...where are they going to go? The other grids just aren't there yet. I've spent time in them. Not there yet. For all of our hair-pulling, SL's still the best thing going for what it is, and LiLa knows it.

And um...that half-naked, latex, blinging wonder I mentioned earlier? How are you going to keep them restricted to the Adult area? Just a thought. Some of the most questionable folks I've seen have actually been in places not necessarily questionable.

Haa...does Coco Linden's Linden Bear need me to be age verified before looking at it? Oh, my eyes!

Also make sure you read this as well for more info as I think the definition of what is adult (and that could cover a lot) will truly be important:
Adult-Oriented Content Controls FAQ
Maturity Ratings FAQ

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Raglan Shire Mardi Gras Kicks Off

The tinies of Raglan Shire kicked off their Mardi Gras celebrations with a build contest yesterday and a costume gala today. Chester Reichmann and Dagmar Klaar were crowned king and queen of tiny Mardi Gras...

Arwen stopped by with the triplets...And Isis came as Tiny Emeril...BAM!Festivities will continue until the big Mardi Gras parade with floats on March 15!