I’ve had a rough recovery from my surgery, but finally felt comfortable sitting at the laptop for a while and got on SL for a while. I had been missing it and needed the distraction, and actually it was the perfect day, because I was able to get into Second Life’s various anniversary events yesterday. It’s hard to believe, but SL is actually fifteen now, and after the obligatory shopping of the anniversary sales I hit the art and event installments. The difference in just 15 years is mind blowing and kind of fun to see for anyone following that’s a second lifer (remember the old AFK Noob?), so I’m going to share some of my adventure with you.
First, I had to stop at KittyCats to pick up the birthday cat. One of my current KittyCats, Niamh (pronounced Neve), is a free gift from their birthday a few years ago, and it’s about time to have a new pretty fur ball running around the house. 🙂 Plus, they always make the cutest scenes at any event they participate in or host (I have spent over an hour just admiring their shop before, I’ll admit, especially when there is a holiday *laugh*). You can’t tell with the picture I took, because I had draw distance so low that if I showed the top you wouldn’t have seen the main activity at the bottom, but there’s a big cat behind all of these champagne glasses, with the smaller (not regular sized) ones in different poses playing in the glasses or rolling around. I haven’t rezzed mine yet, but I think the gorgeous Kitty in the front by the cake is how this year’s gift looks. So pretty!! (Yep, sucker for an animal in any life I lead. *grin*)
A few of the artistic designs were kind of cool to me, so I thought I’d share those for that reason alone. *laugh* I am not familiar with the designers, didn’t think to grab the names of the areas since I was panning about instead of trying to walk, and just snapped pics.
The above was an ice fortress with various particle bursts when you flew (broom provided out front, although I panned, so I wouldn’t have to push through the molasses of lag) up into the top of the fortress. I don’t really have an explanation for why I found this neat enough for two pictures, but maybe it’s the starkness that appeals so much to me, plus it’s in with the crystal theme of this year’s event. I might have had a little “Let it Go” streaming going on while watching the particle bursts, too. Blame it on the complications from the surgery. *wink*
In this mosaic the top left has a half orb in the same colors as the KittyCat. That is actually one of the little rides you can catch to travel the event, although lag can still hit those fun little carts too unfortunately. Usually they’re solid and more old school robotic-looking, so I couldn’t help getting a picture. At the right top is just an example of what I find so incredibly cool about SL. This was a medical display for Cystic Fibrosis actually, but there are areas (especially like Wellness Island and other themed lands available year round, instead of just a display) for raising awareness, finding help, and some have incredible resources or support group meetings in world. I think it’s just awesome to have medical displays at a celebratory event that can raise awareness without making people uncomfortable, as a lot are when it comes to being faced with the hard parts of real life. Ahem, moving on before I get all choked up…middle left is actually an area for playing D&D! There had been players earlier, because there were stats up, but it was an American midday in the beginning of the event and laggy as all get out, so no surprise that it was empty while I was there. I guarantee there’ll be some new friendships made over this tiny area over the duration of the event. Beside that is an example of one of the Roleplay (RP) spots, which shouldn’t surprise you after I just posted a pic of D&D. *laugh* There were a lot of awesome RP groups participating in the event actually, including the 1920s Berlin in the bottom picture. I’m not good at thinking responses up on the fly in order to RP or staying in character, especially since I’m such a sarcastic person *laugh*, but I find them fascinating and was amazed by the variety of RP I ran into just in panning in one little area. Not just your regular RP that everyone thinks nerds would be involved in. The Roaring ’20s? I would never have thought to put myself into a time frame and place to create an RP like that. I just had to showcase the creativity of the Lifers across the grid. *smile*
From there I spent quite a while reading the different displays designers made about the evolution of SL, with a few being a little more simple and highlighting the really big event of the year, and one that had quite detailed descriptions of that year’s changes. I try to stay in the know for what’s coming down the pipeline in SL, since I love the innovation and especially better meshy bits for my avatar as technology improves, but had no clue that some of my favorite technical parts of it went into beta a few years before I even knew about them, like mesh and bento. I couldn’t resist a few about the start of SL for those of you that are curious, but aren’t actually on SL, so here are some interesting little stat pics for you.
Lots of land, gaming, and avatar enhancements occur in the brief time between these and then my rez year, which I couldn’t resist highlighting, since I’m considered an old fart in SL. *laugh* Just as the board describes, I saw a very fake version of SL on an episode of CSI:NY and registered that night, like so many others. Thankfully I was interested because of the creativity they had shown and not for the relationships and adult stuff that quite a bit jumped on board for; which thankfully allowed me to get to experience this continually changing world of creativity while a lot of people left when the shine wore off of the other part (some stayed and even got married, I’m SO not knocking it, so please don’t take that wrong. It’s just realistic that a lot of people go through relationships and adult interactions quickly in world, and if you don’t have other interests to draw you to other areas of the grid, some have no reason to stay).
I didn’t take pictures of the other ones I read, talking about when mesh, bento, and Sansar all went into Beta, and what is currently in the works, but being me I was fascinated. *laugh* Although the population varied quite a bit, they’re up and holding pretty darn well nowadays, thankfully, and are planning to keep a world going for users to create in (with another confirmation that Sansar is not going to cause SL to phase out; it’s just another project of Linden Labs, so you’ll be able to get your money’s worth out of the mesh head you have been eyeing if you were worried).
I couldn’t help but take pictures of one designer’s display demonstrating the differences of “yesteryear” and nowadays in world. You’ve seen my usual pics, so you know how awesome SL can look, even with a video card that needs some serious upgrading. If you haven’t been a resident for long though, you may not remember the good ole prims and standard Noob, so I had to share pictures. *laugh*
The guy there on the left is the stereotypical Noob, bless his heart. For those that don’t know, Noob is short for newbie, and basically you knew when you saw someone walking with that avatar they either haven’t learned how to change their avatar or get the “new resident” freebies to change into, or they created a log in just to ask for sex. Although occasionally some have the newer version of the Noob and log in just for sex, it’s not nearly as common anymore thankfully. (And yes, there are adult areas, animations, whatever you can think up to design can be made pretty much. So it can be visual or just over IM or voice. I have horrible memories of one Noob with a horrific looking detachable *ahem* that walked up, tried to open voice with me, and spammed my IM asking, many years ago. I explore more carefully now and partnering with Luke shows in my profile, so if someone is familiar with SL and checks, they know not to ask me. Three cheers for practical partnering! *laugh*) Anyway, the house and the stools are prime examples of what we used to live in and use. Things can still be made with prims, like that wood grain floor or wall you see, and I immediately carpet my mesh house floors in prims so I can rez mesh without interference (although I make them invisible or into flooring, instead of being the original wood, of course). Back in the day everything was made in prim and it was basically like using Legos™. They just fit together. Mesh is built in programs outside of SL and imported, and can then be manipulated if permitted by the designer. However, those three shots are legacy residents’ “back in my day” memories. *grin*
One last set of pictures I couldn’t resist were amusing ones involving the evolution of the avatar. The first one that says it’s a fossil is showing that Noob I took a picture of before, in profile. The second is a “cave drawing” showing the stooped AFK avis and “Furries”, which are avatars that are animal instead of human analogs, with some dressing or embellishing their human-like moving animal avatars. When people leave their avatars unattended (either they leave their computer [go AFK], are looking at a web page, chatting in IM exclusively, or otherwise not involved in the world aspect of SL0, the avatar goes into “away” mode and stoops over (although thankfully there have been updates to the settings that allow us to change that and even animations that make our avatar keep moving around restlessly in place, instead of the dreaded AFK stoop. *laugh* There are a lot of “griefers” and “trolls” out there, who are basically just people looking to mess with other avatars, and an AFK avi is a prime target for griefing. You can make policies and try to stop behaviors, but a world that users create will include abilities and traits of every type of user, so now it’s thankfully a little less likely that you’ll get trolled when you run to the restroom. *grin*
And just so that you remember how beautiful SL can be, after seeing some of the origin story, here’s one of my favorite reminders. In the meantime, I wish you health and joy until I can keep my focus away from my throat for this long again. *grin*