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Monthly Archives: September 2008

I think I have a body image problem. While I hate to admit it, but I do. While certain people know the exact details of why this is is an issue I think part of the reason is due to my lovely av.

While this might be more written about in the female sence I feel as if this hasn’t been covered as extensivly about males.

Let’s face it, we can control the minute details, in SL, of our bodies, right down to the size of our bits and pieces.

But in RL we can’t do much. And it is driving me nuts. Balt is, for the most part, the idealized RL me. He is tan, buff, has a normal hair color, and is a good dresser. I’m not buff at all, and while I’m not really overweight, I’m enough to make me feel unhappy. Then there is the structured parts, which can be changed, but only with expensive surgery. I get that SL(tm) is a fanasty world and we all aren’t models in rl. But what if you are tired of it being a fantasy and want it to be real. Then this brings up more issues.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that as males we suffer from unrealistic ideas about what are bodies too. I feel like we are over looked when it comes to things and when people are talking about how men and women view and judge their bodies differently, especially when it comes say a “Hottest Male AV” comp, I get frustrated because sometimes we all get social pressure to conform to a body type that only a small segment of society has. Sure men, from my experience older not younger, aren’t as judged in the blatant way females are. But yet I get these messages glaring in my face that I have to have a certain amount of muscle, and all I feel is ignored.

Balt

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Taken at Templum ex Obscurum. Unedited. Click the title to see the pics and to be able to click the SLurl(tm)! Enjoy!

Okay sorry for the wait. Here are some of the do’s.

 

Do…

1. Make wide walkways. This only applies to prim walkways. When I’m laggy, I look like I walking under the influence because I can’t walk straight. When I’m on a narrow pathway, chances are I’m going to fall off. Now if I can just walk right back on without any trouble  it is fine, but if it is too high to walk back on, well that is a problem. While I could jump, it is annoying to have to turn off my chat bar and then turn it back on. So normally I fly, especially if it is a high ledge that I fall off of. Normally I overshoot the walkway and I end up halfway across the sim. Now, if the theme dictates that walkways should be small, either make a railing or put up invisible railing. 

 

2. Go light on the particle effects. Nothing bugs me more than being in a choking cloud of floating grey things. Also it adds lag if you have ten million of them floating around the sim. Now I know that they do add that environmental effect to the sim, but they should be used as sparingly as possible. Also when I’m trying to take pictures sometimes the transparent textures don’t blend and cause a visable line and then the picture is ruined. Also nothing frustrates me more when the fog is in bursts and when you get the right amount of fog in the picture, the fog rezs more particles and the perfect amount of particles turns into more than you wanted. 

 

3. Light it right. Dark sims are hard to find your way in. I know that is sort of the point, but I get lost and it drives me up walls. If the theme is supposed to be dark and depressing, try working with colors that are in the pallet of the sim. Blues, purples, reds, and greens work well in creating a creepy atmosphere, but still light the way through the sim. Often non-traditional colors both give off light and keep the atmosphere dark and creepy. A good example of this would be the Hangars Liquides, where it is oppressively dark, but there is a lightness to it to. While the light here is used as a contrast, it almost amplifies the darkness while providing enough light to actually function.

4. Stick to your vision. While my comments are, maybe, worth a look improve your design, you don’t have to follow them if they massively change the design of the sim. While getting outside advice and collaboration, if done right, are good things, but they shouldn’t completely change the look and feel of what you are going for. But above all RESPECT and LISTEN to the opinions of the other people, if you saw Project Runway last night you will know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, the pics from my adventure to the temple place everyone has been going to will be up during the weekend.

Until then,

Balt

I love art history. It is going to be my minor along with Anthro as my major. 

 

When I was young I remember seeing a program on PBS  that was the living art, where RL people are “painted” to look like the painting. And then I saw it again on Gilmore Girls, which I never watched regularly, and I thought that was really cool. 

 

Now if they could do it RL, can’t we do that in Second Life(tm). Look at the Van Gogh museum, where you can immerse yourself into his paintings like the billiard hall and the cafe one. And then there is Robbie Dingo’s build of “Starry Night,” which was stunning, but not for public interaction, except for the movie.

 

Wouldn’t be cool to see some of the classics in 3D or at least a 3D version. We have the content creators to do it. Eshi, Dingo, and the other big names that I can’t think of right now. And each designer would take one piece or maybe collaborate on it to produce these works of art in SL(tm), while having avatars become the people in the painting or objet d’art.  Honestly that would be kind of neat.

 

The only issue I foresee in this concept would be translating the brushstrokes into the clothes and backgrounds. While I don’t doubt the abilities of the creators, the lines are what really dictate the shape of the form and if the lines aren’t right, the form changes. While I know it is hard to get the exact textures of the paintings, if they aren’t done right it can change the painting too. 

Then we have another issue, lag. Personally if there is high levels of lag, I leave and don’t normally return, SL5B, Burning Life 07, NPINRL exhibit on Rezzable, the various fashion fairs, etc/ If the backgrounds and props were 3D and depending on the style of the painting or objet d’art, it might need a lot of prims to build with. While some scripts would be used, for the most part, from what I understand, they would be fairly low lag. And then it comes down to how many people are on the sim and how much avatar rendering cost is being used. I would imagine, at least for the “art pieces” would have higher rendering cost because of the high resolution textures they would be wearing and then there would be the attachments. And then you have the audience. Hair is typically laggy since it does take a chunk of prims to make, and then there are those females that must wear some jewelry that is even more prims than their hair. After all that, you have the actual outfit. So there would need to be a way of enforcing the rendering costs, as to benefit the rest of the people on the sim.

This would also have to be on a big wide open sim, such as the Rezzable Sims, which are popular to host the variety of fashion fairs.

I think it would be fun to do in Second Life(tm). Hmm maybe I should do it over winter break. Hmm.

Balt

I have a real life crush/infatuation or I am in love with a diver. Those who know, know who I’m talking about.

 

I want to meet this person.

 

If this person came into Second Life(tm) would they choose to make an av like their rl likeness, because this person is famous, at least in Australia . How would they? I know there are a few places out there that make realistic avatars for people wishing to basically digitize themselves, like the editor-in-chief of the AvaStar. All you have to do is upload some pictures of yourself and *poof* there you are. This then brings up a whole set of questions.

 

If all you need is a picture of the person from certain angles, could this lead to having your favorite star imported into Second Life(tm). This could lead to all sorts of things. Have slex with the star. Live as your favorite star. Dress your favorite star. 

 

If you ask me it is kinda creepy. I mean the stars already have that annoying fan that has been issued a restraining order multiple times. Do the stars really want a legion of themselves on Second Life(tm) performing things that they would never do? And could you say that the creators are somehow violating the rights of the star by putting them in a way up for sale? 

 

Maybe styling an av that would suggest a star, like using a skin that sort of looks like J.Lo but the image doesn’t actually use J.Lo’s picture to create the skin, would be okay, or would it not? There are a lot of things that are close to and suggest the real thing, like the purses that you see on the sidewalks of major cities, they may not be the exact pattern as the LV logo purses, but they certainly look like the real thing from a distance, and technically aren’t copying the original logo so they aren’t fake LV bags. 

 

Realistic star avatars is an interesting concept since Second Life(tm) is, at least to some degree, about living in a fantasy world, where you can actively create your reality or experience other people’s reality. I think this is the first time I have really thought about ethics in a digital realm because I’m so used to thinking about the ethics in anthropology, medicine, politics, etc. I’m sure there is much to think about. Even the concept of Second Life(tm) can have some ethical issues  if you ask the right questions. Hmm life is certainly interesting, especially when you have two lives, three if you want to get technical. 

Balt

Don’ts

1. Overplant. By overplanting the sim looks like a jumble of weeds overgrown and trying to tie you into knots. If the sim is suppose to look like that keep it out of pathways and make it clear to the visitor that it is a walkway.

2.Don’t use a lot of high res images, especially on small set dressings. It is bad enough waiting for the prims to load and then you have to wait for about another few minutes for the textures to appear and then load up. Use smaller sized images when not needing as much detail, such as candles. If you need to use bigger textures to get all the details in on larger objects fine, but try to use them not as often.

3. Don’t create a maze. Create visible walkways so that way one knows which way is out. Also try to connect all the pathways so that way people can return to an intersection and then go another way.I know getting lost can be a good thing but frankly it can get frustrating when you can’t find your way back.

Anyway I’m tired and I want to sleep pt.2 will be up soon and some new pictures will follow

Yes I know it is late, but I was exhausted and wanted to get some sleep.

9/11/2001

I was in 8th grade. Picture day. I remember getting ready for school that day wearing a samurai button-up shirt that I got at Mervyn’s with my mom. My dad was up and I was surprised to see him, since he is an early riser and I’m not. Anyway, he had on the Today show on and I think that he said something about an airplane hit one of the towers or both I can’t remember. All I remember was the fact when my dad was getting ready to go to work, I saw the towers collapse.  I don’t really remember what I was thinking at the moment but I just remember shouting that the towers did collapse. I made it to school had my picture taken, a smiling one, and throughout the day the radio or TV was on in each of my classrooms, listening for updates on what had just transpired. My parents picked me up like usaual, but my dad was in the car too. He worked for the state and what happened in the morning had been let go for the day. Plus there was a toilet seat in the back. 

The days and weeks that transpired was full of coverage and I soaked it up like a sponge. Looking back, that really loosened my tolerance to anxiety and depression. 

One year later, I was in high school and since my high school was a private Catholic school, we had a prayer service. We all got a white carnation and were to put it down on a cross or something, I can’t remember, but I remember the music they used. It was this really depressing strings from a war movie and I remember that causing lots of anxiety for me. Then later on maybe a few weeks later my religion teacher showed us a documentary and told us never to forget the images we saw or to watch it, I can’t remember and at that time I wanted to forget that image of the planes going into the towers or it falling down. 

To this day, it is really hard for me to see the towers smoking or falling or even just being there before the attack. I have been to Ground Zero and it is a powerful place. Hopefully the red-tape and all the people trying to change the plans now goes away and let the place move on to a more powerful place of remembrance of those who died, in the towers, outside, businessmen, firefighters, police officers, janitors, pilots, and the common man/woman. 

9/11 changed the way we look at the world. It took me two years to get me on a plane, with a lot of mental fortitude.

 

I guess one good thing came of 9/11 it showed us the darkness of the human spirit so that it contrasts with all of the good that came in the hours, days, weeks, months, years later.

 

9/11 a day that changed the world.

 

Balt

There are many inspiring places in SL(tm). The Chouchou sim is the most inspiring place for me. The mystical quality radiates from every prim is otherworldly. When ever I go I’m always taking pictures like crazy and wishing my computer could have full Windlight, not just the basic version. Then there is the music. The piano feels me with overwhelming emotion ranging from love to loneliness to solitude. I guess I like places that have the feeling of solitude and are a break from the “neon” of a lot of places on Second Life(tm), that and I’m pretty active/intense person with high emotion running close to 24/7, so I guess it is nice to have that break with Chouchou. Even if it was the only place that I could have real Windlight I would do it in a heart beat. This reminds me that I have to take a picture of Owly at the piano. I don’t know there is something magical about that place. I love the turned over cage with the feathers strewn across the water. There is something hopeful about that piece. I guess it could be a symbol that we break free of our cages and rise to be something that we are proud of. Then there is the ladders leading up to the performance space. Again there is something deep and meaning full about them, like they are helping you get up higher to the places that you never thought you ever would. W

Unedited pictures from Chou Chou sim
Click the title to see the pictures and the link to the sim.

Hi my name is Balthasar Bookmite and I’m an avatar in Second Life(tm). I was supposed to be an alternate account, but that changed when I preferred playing, well, myself. I will post my random musings on both the real world and Second Life(tm) and possibly share some of my photos that I have taken along the way. Over the year I have been a resident in Second Life(tm) and I’m still addicted, but not that addicted. Anyway this is always the most awkward post because you don’t really know what to talk about and you don’t want to sound really into your self. Hmm, well I guess you have to be somewhat into yourself to be posting your life on the internet for all to read, but I guess we all that way to a degree. O also I design lamps for Second Life(tm) houses which  is fun because it allows me to be creative. Im also a DJ for a small club which I enjoy going to in Second Life(tm).  (This trademarking thing is getting annoying). Anyway, thats all I have to say at least right now, that, and I have to go to class.

 

Bye for now

Balthasar