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Category Archives: River of thoughts

So I have been in and out of SL all year long, which is an interesting experience, when I got used to the idea of being logged in most of the day. School has been keeping me busy and it is hard to find a large period of time that I can relax, take pictures (and edit them), shop and hang out with friends. But in a way, I want school to take up my time, but not just homework, but time spent with friends in the real world. When I started playing SL I had only a few friends to rely on. As I changed schools, I began to have a whole bunch of people that I could hang out with and that would be my socializing. What is even more signicate, when I first joined, I was completely shattered. I didn’t know who I was because a part of me disappeared, which lead to my collapse. Something happened one day last semester. I found out that i am going to be on student senate next year, something just clicked then. Suddenly I realized that I feel like more myself, then I have ever had. Suddenly the bad memories were pushed into the far back of my memory bank. Sure I still remember them, but I know they cannot hurt me and that I am someone who is incredibly fabulous. Also over the course of the semester, I had a crush and it was a big deal because I actually told him that I liked him! Back to the day that i find out out I’m on Senate. During the day, I suddenly realize that perhaps I’m almost done with SL. The purpose of finding who i was and becoming able to deal with interacting with people was achieved and the only thing that I see SL as something that keeps me behind the computer, when i should be out with people in my RL. I know that people have found love in SL, but the idea of not being able to be with them for long periods of time isn’t realistic, and I want my love to be physically present. My RL is becoming more important, there are people outside of the SL and I want to meet them and have fun with them. This isn’t to say that I haven’t found amazing friends in SL and don’t want to keep in contact with them, just avatars are getting boring and hiding behind breeding digital bunnies isn’t going to improve my social life. SL holds a special place in my heart because this month Adia turned 3. I have been in SL for three years and I feel it is time to leave at a certain point. I gave myself Adia’s 4 rez date, May 3rd, 2011 to log out for a period of time. At that time I will be finishing up with my undergraduate work and hopefully will be heading to grad school in the fall. Second Life has been a large component to my undergraduate career and perhaps it is time to say farewell.

Balt

Plurk has eaten my soul and I find it easier to work within a 140-character count, especially with keeping up with friends. Anyway I checked out New World Notes and they had a good link to a New York Times article on art in SL(tm) and RL. (Adia will be coming up with her opinion of Paper Couture’s Spring 2009).

Art in SL(tm) is fun. It presents a different perspective on what is art and how we experience it.

There are the 2D pictures that dominate Flickr and many art galleries around SL. Somehow I feel like this experience isn’t unique to SL. Yes the pictures are shot using SL, which can bring unique features to the pictures, that you couldn’t shoot in RL. But after awhile its kinda boring. You see a lot of the same themes running through the photos and it gets kind of cliche after awhile. However this doesn’t mean they are not works of art and they are low of quality, but somehow it isn’t the same as experiencing the artwork. Second Life(tm) is all about experience rather than just observing. Even in SL(tm) you can just observe the world around you. Just kinda look at things. But what is the fun in that. Where else can you walk through a painting that was created almost 150+ years ago and feel apart of what the artist was envisioning. SL is about doing things, whether that be dancing in the various nightclubs or building the house you want to live in.

I respond well to artwork that I can experience. I love wandering around AM Radio’s builds because they are so surreal, but somehow I feel more connected to the piece. I wander through these places that have this surreal bent to them, but they aren’t dark and in someways disturbing of Dali and Manray.

Chouchou is another one of those places where I feel so utterly connected to the art and the emotions that take over me is something I love to experience. While I try to capture the solitude and peace of Chouchou through my pictures, I feel like I come up short. It is a 2D image with some emotion, but there isn’t the essence. I guess it has a lot to do with the music that is being played, which is always relaxing.

Arahan Claveau will always be an artist on the grid that I know I will find an interesting exhibit/installation. His pieces always have a very shocking quality to them. While some people enjoy that kind of art, I don’t think I have ever been 100% comfortable with that. I know that art is about the response from the viewer, but I tend to prefer images that are happy or at most twisted/happy gothic, i.e. Tim Burton. But that is what Arahan is all about. He wants to evoke these feelings whether they are good or bad and not censoring it. Whatever the feeling, however, his builds are always good and I enjoy them. I haven’t been to see his more recent works, because I took a break for the art world, except AM Radio’s builds. The piece he has up in his gallery looks really interesting and I might go take a look.

Kinda piggybacking on Arahan, comes my issue with art. Art gets lost in translation. The artist’s intent of the piece is lost when it is just a series of seemly random things put together and you don’t know all the personal meaning behind the piece. And then there would be the Dadaist, who just put things together randomly and challenge the notion of what is art.

Actually writing this piece has made me want to build an installation, just for the heck of it. I would love to do something focused around religion because that is what I want to study. In someway I’m scared about offending people with my piece that I have in mind. As an anthropologist I have to be very careful about not offending people, especially those whom I want to study. But I guess I’m not designing this project as an anthropologist, but as an artist that has preconceptions about a certain religion and who wants to confront those and actually understand where they are coming from.

Anyway this is going way too long. Hopefully I will remember to post Adia’s opinion this week.

Balt and Adia

Okay, so HBlue and HAzul need more people! We had an exodus of people during the last few months and we need people to fill those gaps. Now if you have a home or a shop already, please still read this post as I may need your help as well. Note, I’m not part of the owners of the sims, but a highly concerned friend, resident, and vendor.

Here are my ideas on getting more attention for the sim.

1. I feel like we need to get more higher profile shops in the sim. We have a handful of small, locally based ones that get little traffic. Now here in lies the Catch-22, in order for us to get the traffic we are looking for, big/medium sized shops have to come in, but chances they are only going to come if they get a large traffic number. So this probably means that this isn’t a good solution, but still should be on the table if nothing else works.

2. Adversting. I don’t know how many classified ads we have put forth on SL(tm) Search, but I think it is time that we move to something that will get more clicks. I really think we need to put ads in the major magazines, newspapers, and possibly blogs so we can get out the message that we are looking for residents to the wider SL(tm) audience.

3. Possibly lower the prim rate so that way the price can go down. I know that there are other places that charge a lot more for a small amount of prims, but how many people need a few hundred prims? I believe there are more people at the lower priced end of the market than there are at the higher end. Or even better, how about charging a base fee for the size of the island, then add the fee for the number of prims one is using, so that way people who have big islands won’t be paying less then someone who is paying for a small island.

Anyway these are just some thoughts that I have, but you have any ideas that the sims could use?

  • New lamps at Lofty Lighting! Yay! I designed a new one and that one is up at the store. I really enjoyed designing that one and it looks really good. If you want to check out the new lights go to the store because OnRez is not working right and isn’t showing the new stuff. I have submitted a ticket with the support people to see if they could clear this up!
  • DJ’ing Saturday, which is the new time for me. 8-10 pm at the Major Lift.”
  • I have a batch of photos, Photoshopped and non-photoshopped, on the desktop that will be uploaded sometime this week, may be later tonight or tomorrow night.
  • Top 10 coming soon. I know I’m not a good blogger, but Top 10’s require photos that I can’t upload from the school’s machine. So chances are it won’t be a Tuesday or Thursday post. :/ I think it is going to be about what gifts to get people for the Holidays. Original I know.
  • Need to find a way to get my blog more exposer. I want to see if I can get my way on to more blogs such as Botgirl’s Second Life Diary and Vint’s blog. Hmmm. Perhaps I need to put up their blogs first before they will add me. Hmm
  • Not djing this week at the Lift. My week off.
  • Going to stop building my club. I lost interest in it. It was a chance for me to flex my building muscles, I wish building would work my rl muscles in order to impress a certain someone ;). If you want to see it before I take it down, please IM the next time I’m on.
  • Note to my friends that read my blog. I won’t be on much the rest of the month as I need to finish my application, which includes two essays and I have two more really long essays that need to be written for class.
  • New lamps in the works! Wee!
    </ul
    That is all.

Oh the insanity. With the recent decision to hike up prices $50 US, on OpenSim/Openspace, madness has broken out across the Grid and it is driving me crazy. [insert Britney Spears music video]

So people are really mad. Frankly, I have no idea why they should be mad about the price hike. You use so much data on a server, you pay for that use of data. Originally the light sims where to be used as wide open spaces that were used for say an area to fly planes and act out dogfights, not for heavy residential use. Now, some people still use the sims lightly, with some scenery and perhaps the vehicles used for the races or what not. But the fact is people are abusing the light policy. I believe that LL(tm) should have made specific guidelines about the use of the sims, which might have prevented at least some confusion on what could and couldn’t done on the sims.

Now the issue comes down to enforcement. If LL(tm) had put forth specific guidelines, how would they enforce it? Now I don’t know how many Opensims exist, but I have a feeling they are popular, that would mean that a Linden would have visit each sim to make sure the guidelines, which takes time. So this might mean that a few new Lindens would have to be hired to make sure guidelines are being followed.

This also brings up another issue. The guidelines wouldn’t be popular. It is easy to see people protesting the guidelines because it goes against LL(tm) non-involvement in what content people can produce.

So essentially the price hike was the only solution to try and fix the problem of having people abuse the conditions that the Opensim was supposed to have. Also, if people are going use the sims more then it just makes sense to charge more to balance out the server usage. Now what about the people who are using the sims in an appropriate manner? As unfair as it is, prices must be across the board because once you start granting exceptions more and more people will feel entitled to get their fee cut because they use x amount of prims or they don’t have any structures that aren’t houses or apartments.

While I can’t afford to buy and Openspace and have no reason to, I believe the price jump is not a steep one. $50 is not a lot of money. I know that people’s RL budgets are more squeezed because of the global economy, but if SL(tm) is important to you, you will make the sacrifice in order have your own sim. Plus aren’t most successful land baron’s rich? Yes this might get kick some smaller owners off, but I feel like even the land barons are complaining, when it might just increase their tier a $100 more.

Anyway I have to run,
Balt

  • I have decided to dj on Sunday for those who can’t make Friday’s Halloween Party. Music will be the same, just in different order. Costumes preferred. Major Lift
  • Still no update on Mercury. Need to get minutes from meeting. Will try to get back there and do some work.
  • For the Americans in the audience, yes I have at least one reader, please go and vote! Yes I know it has nothing to do with SL(tm), but still.
  • Saw one of my old good SL(tm) friends last night. Was really happy.
  • Got to get sunglasses for Adia for a quick photo. Perhaps find the right pose aswell. Awesome stuff at Cachet, all females need to check it out ad you will find some must haves. lol

So I don’t really have one topic to talk about in depth today, so I will be just posting about somethings that are going on.

 

  • I’m a regular dj at Major Lift, at HAzul, now. I play every other Sunday, so this coming Sunday will be Halloween part 2, 4-6 pm slt.
  • I want to do a Christmas/ Winter/Summer Holidays shopping post in the coming weeks. That should be fun as I get to go shopping. lol Look for that shortly after Thanksgiving, roughly Nov 27. I will do about five categories, like Best Gift under 500L$ and so on.
  • Mercury is coming along slowly. I feel as if I lost interest in building it and running it. I enjoy the building. I guess I just need some more motivation to get it done and running.
  • From now on I won’t be in-world mostly on Mondays and Wednesdays as I now get home at 6:30 and I need a nap since I start classes at 9, meaning I have to be up around 7:20. Although I will try to get on during the day for about an hour, depending on if anyone is on and if I thought about bringing my charger to school.

I like design in all forms, lighting, theatre, fashion, architecture, and so on. I also am a big proponent of wiki based things. So when I heard, several months ago, about Studio Wikitecture placing in the top 3 designs and winning another side award for something I can’t quite remember, I thought that was really cool, because it really shows how people can collaborate in SL(tm) on really cool RL projects.

This got me thinking about the different types of architecture that have appeared in SL(tm). There are the basic RL houses that have made their way into SL. Lots of cottages, track-homes, lofts, and McMansions. But how many of them are innovative? How do they differ from RL houses in terms of design? Part of me says there isn’t a lot of innovation going on. I mean what can you do with a basic house design apart from the dominate house designs?

I guess you can do a lot of things. Since gravity really doesn’t exist, what about an upside down zygrat house, that would kinda cool. What about an abstract modern house that pushes the boundaries of what is beautiful, like this.

Architecture in SL(tm) is not just limited to houses. A large part of the innovative architectural design is evident in sim builds. Unique structures are always going up, some designs that are possible to build in rl and then there are ones that have to stay in SL(tm). One of those not possible in RL would be the Chou Chou sim. The, what seems like, infinite ladder that curves around above ground and into the heavens just floors me every single time I go there. Sometimes it is nice to see things, though, that are possible in the real world, but are impractical. I do enjoy going through complex castles, cyberpunk styled buildings, and other styles that would be either too big, expensive, etc. to actually build in RL.

But I guess I just looking at unique structures and analzing them.

Have you seen any really cool structures in your time in SL(tm)?

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