What now?

Nov. 16th, 2012 12:18 am
fanciful_muse: (Default)
If there's one thing you discover, after spending enough time in virtual worlds, is the experience causes you to look inside, to question yourself, to perhaps ressurect talents that were dormant, or better define your beliefs in certain things.

It will, definitely, lead you to ask yourself just where you fit in.

For every person you meet, for every venue you attend, you will find differences that people tend to cluster around. I am avoiding the use of the word "clique", mainly because I don't think a lot do it for that sake, but simply because it's human nature to gravitate toward that which rings true with you, makes you feel like you belong.

I am at a time in my virtual life where I'm not sure where I fit. I like to wear clothing a lot would associate with BDSM, but really have no driving desire to delve further into that community. I am the leader of a vampire and lycan clan, but because my family is small, I'm finding it hard to feel like I'm an accepted part of that community. I like PG things now and then, but not all the time...and the same goes for Adult.

I think a part of this stems from my current state of being single. I spent most of my time on Second Life being the partner of the same person - so for that to end, forces me to once again redefine myself, whether I like it, or not.

I was beginning to settle in, and get used to being by myself, when a very vibrant and intense personality came along and wanted to be my new partner. Our relationship lasted all of a week and a half, during which we did, in fact, get engaged...then he decided he would rather not be partnered, because there were too many he wanted to date that were actually closer to his RL age.

While I did cry at his leaving, and did get angry after that, I cannot blame him, and I have to give him credit for being honest with me. That doesn't mean it didn't hurt - a lot - and didn't leave me somewhat of a mess, yet again.

I also worry about the fate of our sim and our little family. Things have stalled in the family department, with no new souls coming in, and a few of the existing ones kind of wandering off to do their own thing, and not really inclined to devote time and energy into growing our clan. Hell, let's be honest - quite a few have wandered off doing their own thing and haven't shown any inclination toward growing things right at home.

Here I sit, pretty much alone, and not comfortable with it, at all. I have no problems admitting that I am somewhat of a mess.

What do you do, when everything you've done for the past three years pretty much included a significant other? When even if all your friends were busy, you had at least one person you could always rely on, and now, you don't?

My energies are scattered. A project I should've finished went unworked-on. A project I was hoping would be a huge success has stalled, because I'm having a hard time finding people to staff it. Things that used to bring me great joy, don't right now.

I try very hard to keep a lot of this to myself to present a strong front for my clan...but who does a Queen get to talk to when she's not feeling that strong and capable?

My best friend in all the virtual worlds is offline dealing with a horrific accident that befell her significant other, who is still in the hospital. Hardly anyone else keeps the crazy strange hours I do.

I am at a crossroads but I don't know which way to go.

A lot of people would do an "avatar geographic" - either changing their looks in a radical way, or abandoning their avatars for a new one. I don't want to do either, quite frankly. I'm happy with Marie. I think she has a lot to offer, because I, as her "pilot", have a lot to offer.

I'm just feeling very lonely right now and unsure what to do with myself.
fanciful_muse: (Default)
Today someone called my daughter a bunch of filthy names because she's a she-wolf pregnant with a litter and likes to work in a strip club.

First of all, who made you the Morality Police? Do you know how she ended up pregnant with a litter? NO. Do you have the right to decide whether or not she works as a stripper? NO. If you came in to see her strip, what does that make YOU?

Take your outdated morality somewhere else, we don't need it in Second Life.

I'm very happy to say that my daughter AR'd the bastard.

In virtual worlds, you can do and be anything. If it makes you feel good to strip in a strip club, who is to judge you? I know plenty of people will try but they really need to keep their mouths shut. If they're there to watch you, what does that make them? Like it or not, you have the same free choice as they do so if they don't like it, they shouldn't be in the strip club.

In real life, there are a lot of girls that strip or escort because they either can't get another job or they like doing it. Either way, it's highly misogynistic to judge them for their chosen profession - especially if you're one of their patrons!

Time for the double standards to end- IRL and in virtual worlds.
fanciful_muse: (Default)
I think the biggest drama-causer in SL is people refusing to set boundaries and stick with them.

I also find it interesting how many people interpret it as "temper" when you do set boundaries, they cross them, and you take subsequent action.

The largest overall policy on our sim is "no drama". I know a lot of people say that, but we mean it, and we back up our word.

We had a clan member who had caused a boatload of drama not long after we took over our clan. He was sat down and told, with no uncertain terms, that if he didn't stop it, he would be out. At that time, he stopped it and for awhile, things were nice and peaceful and we were working on growing our clan, fine-tuning our roleplay rules, etc.

Then he got the girl he wanted, and even after that, things were pretty quiet - until they got engaged. The girl wanted a nice wedding, and who can blame her? I was roleplaying the Queen of the clan AND her mother, so "us girls" started planning her wedding.

It's my opinion, from a woman's standpoint, that a nice wedding is more for the bride than it is for the groom. Brides love the pomp, circumstance, frills, flowers, and everything else that makes up a wedding. Guys, most of the time, are lucky if they can get their suit on and find the rings in time </tongue in cheek>

We immediately hit trouble. This groom hated weddings; he had never had a wedding in the past, he just partnered whomever he was with. I think that's a part of the reason why he didn't stay partnered to the girls. He did not demonstrate that he understood how to relate to a girl at all. There are times when a girl needs to hear that she's loved. She needs those occasional flowers. There are a thousand different ways a guy can demonstrate that he loves and cares for her, and it's important he go through the trouble. That's true in real life, as well as virtual worlds.

He also had a very bad pattern of making it "all about him" all the time. Anyone who has been in a romantic relationship knows it is give and take. It's never one person's way, all the time - and if it is, it doesn't last long.

It didn't take long for things to degenerate. He started pressing her to minimize the wedding. He started pressing her for a date sooner than we planned; we figured it'd take about a month to do things up right. He started saying he wasn't doing any of these things, yet the potential bride was so upset by what he was doing that it extended into her concrete life and she'd stopped eating.

I finally asked her right out: If this is how he is going to treat you, then is it truly worth the trouble of marrying him? Virtual reality is supposed to be fun. It's not supposed to make you sick and make it so you don't want to eat.

She agreed with me, and shortly thereafter, unpartnered him and threw away the engagement ring. I, in turn, ejected him from our clan, banned him from rejoining, ejected him out of all groups and banned him from our sim. I returned his house and everything in it, refunded his rent, and cleared the space.

HE thinks I somehow talked her into leaving him and acted completely out of a rage. I couldn't have been cooler than a cucumber as I pressed the buttons which erased his existence from our sim and our lives. People like him, who are used to getting their way, who are used to testing a person's boundaries till they break, don't know how to handle it when they run into someone who keeps firm boundaries and will not let them cross them.

I run my virtual life like that. I run my roleplay like that, and I run my concrete life like that. Nobody has the right to abuse me, and if they keep pushing, they end up pushing themselves right out of my life. In a lot of cases, they find themselves 'on the outside' of my friends and family's lives as well.

Every time, they think I either acted out of rage or totally misinterpreted something. They think they can twist, turn, and malform reality so that it's all my fault and I owe them an apology and need to reverse my decisions. It frustrates them to no end when I "stay on message" and refuse to let them form a new reality out of the old.

This is why people trust me, and why they know they can depend on me. I am consistent in my actions. I make my boundaries known, and I don't allow others to blatantly cross them. I look after those who want me to look after them, and behave in like manner.

Sometimes it IS black and white and NOT shades of grey.
fanciful_muse: (Default)
Club Industry, at any hour, used to be hopping with live music and a large crowd of dancers...but no more, evidently.

I was there around 11:30PM and was shocked to see no DJ at all and only a few bodies, some of which were staff. The next DJ wasn't on till 2AM.

I did notice a slow "lessening" of staff at CI. Personally, I was too intimidated to either host or dance there, because they had a lot of complicated rules. That didn't seem to stop a lot of folks however and it hasn't been till the last few months that I've seen a distinct lack of staff. More than one gig has only the DJ and host and no dancers.

We've advertised for staff and haven't gotten many replies. I thought it was something with us, but then I see staff reductions at all kinds of clubs that used to be hopping at all hours of the day and night.

Even mainstream genre DJs seem to be hard to find.

WHERE DID ALL THE DJS GO?

Is it that people have given up because the majority of the crowd doesn't tip anymore? Again, people either forget, or don't know, that DJ, Host, and Dancer income consists of tips only. It sickens me to see how little, if at all, people are willing to surrender of their precious Lindens to truly talented people whose sole job is entertaining them.

Listen - next time, instead of plonking that 10L or 20L on a sploder, why not plonk it on the DJ, Host, or Dancer? Even a small tip is better than none at all, and shows that you really do appreciate the job they're doing entertaining you and others.

I truly hate to think people take the entertainment for granted, and yet, they don't tip to show their appreciaion. Lemme ask you this, fellow SLer - in your daily, concrete life, do you ever go to a bar or a coffee shop? Do you leave a tip, or just ass|u|me the help is being paid a living wage? In most cases, they are being paid UNDER minimum wage and their only hope is to make up the difference in tips. If you work one of these jobs, you don't need me to tell you.

Just remember, people, club personnel in virtual worlds work for tips only. Tip, and tip well if you can. Tip even if it's a measly 5L. It means a lot.
fanciful_muse: (Default)

Second Self


Definition



"The term Second Self is a way of describing one's online or external identity. In the case of the web, one's online identity evolves in tandem with offline self. This self, instead of simply a secondary self, is becoming an extension of the self. In the same way that the primary, offline self needs to shower, dress, and maintain the self, so does the online self.

Psychologist and sociologist Sherry Turkle wrote about intense change experienced in the way we use and view computers. For instance, she wrote, "we no longer give “commands” to a machine; we enter into dialogues, navigate simulated worlds, and create virtual realities. Further, the psychological holding power of the computer is no longer limited to one-on-one person/machine interaction. Millions of people now interact with one another via computers on networks, where they have the opportunity to talk, to exchange ideas and feelings, and to assume personae of their own creation".[1] Increasingly, actions upon one's extended self by others directly affect the analog self. For instance, if one posts a piece of content online through their extended self, comments on that post will induce a physiological response in the content creator. Conversely, if no one responds to the post, the content creator may feel isolated or distressed, as if they had spoken in a room with their friends and had not been paid attention to. "
fanciful_muse: (Default)
Something happened tonight that reset the entire Inworldz grid, and booted everyone. When we came back, we were all white!



Didn't matter what you did, you always returned to being white. Change skin? See yourself for two seconds, then turn white again.

My inventory claimed to be all there but then when I tried to wear certain objects, it told me that it couldn't find it in the database.

Guess I won't get any work done tonight.... LOL!
fanciful_muse: (Default)
I have ditched my Wordpress page because it was too much of a hassle keeping up with the spam, and nobody followed it. If you want to follow me, follow this journal here on Dreamwidth. I'll be posting from here and crossposting to LJ.

Something happened on Inworldz the other day that left me wondering...are there more and more people who think they're a "big deal" there?

My virtual husband was talking to a fellow resident the other day, who was telling him how good her clubs are doing, etc., etc. and seemed to look down on him.

I've run into this before, with others who somehow think they have "standing" in the community.

I don't know about the rest of you but my understanding of Inworldz is that ALL residents have "standing", that no one resident is above another. The majority of us are creators, and enjoy Inworldz for the freedom it offers us to create.

I would hate to think there is a "clique" forming that thinks they're above the "general masses". Somehow, I doubt Ele had that in mind when she and the other Founders created the grid.

I would also hate to think that others are somehow "controlling" where the rest go for entertainment. That was somewhat "implied" in the talk my virtual husband had.

Our club is different. It doesn't host mainstream country or rock. Rather, it hosts alternative genres in the Electronica and Industrial categories. Now, I realize that there are many who are unfamiliar with those genres, but I would hope that some would give them a chance and at least check out our club.

That hasn't exactly been the case, and that's why we haven't had a show there in awhile.

I am fully expecting the grid to go bonkers once Tranquillity gets done installing the rest of Physics. After all, who wouldn't want to have a sim for a mere $75 bucks, free uploads and a script engine that barely winks at a whole boatload of scripts?

For now, we have bouncing boobies and more reliable footing, which is the first part of Physics. Watch out when physical objects are included - ooh baby, watch the traffic soar!

If Inworldz becomes as popular as Second Life used to be, where are all these "better than thou" people going to be? Right now it's easy to make yourself "prominent" in the community because it's still rather small. When the numbers of active logins jump from the hundreds into the thousands and beyond, those same people will be faces in the crowd.

I think it's sad when people believe the only way they can look good is to act like they're somehow better than others. The ones who ARE better than others are those that help out newcomers and long-term residents alike. The ones that'll give something away for free just because it's badly needed. The ones who aren't as concerned with profit that they would dare double the prices they charge on Inworldz to equal the US dollar amount they get on Second Life. Those that are more interested in making things work for the majority, rather than raking in the bucks for themselves.

THOSE are the people who really matter and are often silent and behind the scenes. Those kinds of people deserve the most respect, next to the Founders.
fanciful_muse: (pic#954691)
I haven't posted in quite awhile because of lots of activity on both SL and Inworldz. On the SL side, we became a part of the Five Islands Group headed by Crap Mariner, and are based on Isis Cove. We (Willy, Nikitta, and I) share the island with one other, and the prims and payments are divvied up between us - half for us, half for Razzo. We get to build on the surface and in the oceans, and Razzo gets 2000M up.

Lately I've taken an especial interest in merfolk. It all started with Nikitta dressing as a mermaid and setting up a very pretty little area underwater on one coast side of our island. I decided to join in, and found a world that was creative, colorful, and very wonderful. I even managed to convince Willy to come swim with me; his post shows some pictures of both of us as merfolk.

I have been reading up on the history and mythology of merfolk. Hans Christian Anderson wrote a very sad little tale called The Little Mermaid where a young mermaid falls madly in love with a land-loving prince. She falls for him when the ship he is on breaks up in high seas and she rescues him. She places him on the shore near a religious institution, where several young women find him and nurse him back to health.

She makes a bargain with a sea witch and gets a potion that turns her tail into legs, but as a price, the witch took her tongue, and therefore, her beautiful singing voice. She stays with the prince for many years as a trusted and loved companion, but their love was not to see fruition. He had fallen for the young lady he remembered first seeing upon waking on that beach so long ago...and finding that she was a princess in a nearby realm, he marries her.

The bargain with the witch said that the mermaid had to get the prince to fall in love with her and marry her; then, she would acquire a soul and go to heaven upon her death. If she failed to do this, she would become as the froth on the sea.

The day after the prince married the princess, the little mermaid got ready to toss herself in the sea and become the foam that all other mermaids become, because they don't have a redeemable soul. Her sisters showed up with a blade that, if she stabbed the prince through the heart, she could regain her tail and live out her life as a mermaid once again. Her love for the prince was so great, she couldn't go through with it, and tossed the blade into the water, her body soon following. She died, but was greeted with another, more favorable outcome. I'll let you read the story to find out the end.

===

On a few more serious notes...

I found myself disappointed today. I was "remotely" yelled at (in other words, it was a general announcement, but I know where it came from) for daring to say someone's product was better than someone else's. It wasn't a put down, it was an honest criticism, but I guess you're not allowed to have those in a group chat. Oh well. Guess we can toss out the idea of collaboration to make things generally better, too.

I've discovered a few more things about mesh and the viewers that can show it.

First of all, any mesh that is rigged to the skeleton of an avatar cannot be resized, which means that rigged clothing makes you change your avi dimensions, rather than the other way around. Many people are not happy with this for the obvious reasons. Who wants a shape like everyone else's? New World Notes has a good article on this.

There's also the matter of "prim equivalence". One blogger whose post I can't seem to chase down right now pointed out that if you bring in a mesh object that has the prim equivalence of one prim - and you enlarge it - the prim equivalence increases, but not in any sort of predictable manner. Also, sizing it down doesn't guarantee your prim equivalence will decrease as well. Many are still scratching their heads, trying to figure out the formula being used. In the meantime, most sculpts and regular prims work as good or better than mesh.

Then there's the problem of a computer having to have SSE2 compatibility to use V2/V3 code.

My older machine was SSE2 compatible as is my new one, but there are a lot of folks out there getting into SL with the computative equivalent of two cans tied together with string. WTF, Linden Lab? I thought you were smart enough to want to accomodate the majority of computer users. Others are guesstimating that 1/3 or greater of SL users won't be able to log in, once they're forced into V3 viewers for good.

As I said to someone recently, there are always the OpenSim grids.

Lastly here we go again with LL offering up new shineys before old problems are fixed. Seems they've deprecated something in OpenGL that causes a big ka-boom for users with certain kinds of NVIDIA graphics cards. Way to go, Linden Lab! You've managed to piss of another whole selection of users!

Personally, I'd just like to be happy if I wasn't kicked half a dozen times during my extended session, especially if I am dressed and acting as a mermaid. I don't know if it's the fact that I'm in the water, the AO, or a combination of all - but it never fails. I especially get kicked if I'm on a V3-compatible viewer. Now, I know Firestorm is still very much in beta, and I know they rushed out the latest because people were screaming about not seeing mesh or being able to build with megas - but ffs why does it keep kicking me?

And WTF is this business with "the system logged you out because you tried to log in from another location"? That seems to be a new error with the advent of V2 code. I've gotten it now and then ever since I first tried a V2 viewer, whether it's SL's or someone else's. You tend to get this error if you are unceremoniously kicked offline and try to log back in. First, you get the standard schtick about the region logging off. Then you get this other error which significantly prolongs your ability to get back inworld.

I don't get that error on Phoenix, so what are you doing different with the V2 codebase, Linden Lab?

Speaking of Phoenix, I'm back on it again, till the Phoenix folks get a chance to fix all the errors in Firestorm Beta. I can't build worth a shit using SL V2/V3. Phoenix can't see mesh, but it DOES allow you to build megas. And it doesn't hand me my ass once every hour or two. It kicks me, but it takes longer and I don't get that crazy error I detailed above.

===

I was reading Crap's blog and it seems there was a boat race we weren't aware of. Too bad nobody showed up, it would've been fun. Let's see what happens this coming Saturday.

I am starting to make little things for sale that work well with underwater areas. Stay tuned.
fanciful_muse: (Default)
I must admit I'm feeling a little down about the direction the two virtual worlds I inhabit are taking - Second Life and Inworldz.

Some of that has to do with the late summer "slump", where club attendance is down, and so are many sales.

The thing that is really getting me down the most, however, is what I see of people abandoning all appearance of common courtesy.

Today, on SL, I had to ban some guy from our private parcel. He wasn't on the ground - that's an easy mistake to make. No, he found his way to our skybox which is thousands of meters in the air. WTF was he doing up there in our home? What ever possessed him to enter it in the first place?

WTF possesses anyone to invade someone's home, whether it be on the ground or way up in the air? Would they do that in real life? What makes them think it's ok in virtual life?

Even when I'm on a sim where I've been told that "everything on the ground is free to explore", I won't go into a person's home. If I stray into a building that doesn't appear to be a home, and I find it is, I leave quickly. If I follow a landmark expecting a store, and I turn up on someone's residence, I leave quickly.

===

A lot of people scream and holler about protection of their IP rights - and just how many of them are trampling the copyrights of others? Not very long ago I kicked and banned a merchant from one of my Inworldz rental sims because he was flagrantly and blatantly selling copyrighted art images and items containing trademarked names and logos. Now just how much thought does it take to realize that it's just as wrong for them to be using that stuff as it would be for another virtual world merchant to use theirs without permission? Why are some people so determined to make money in virtual worlds that they'll deliberately trample all over the established copyrights of well-known brands and names to do it? Quite frankly, the practice makes my stomach turn, especially after having skewed visions of what IP rights really ARE shoved down my throat all these years.

It's very rude and very inconsiderate, and I'm sorry, but when I see someone doing that, I can't help but think they're being more than a little greedy, trying to capitalize on someone else's fame and fortune.

Misuse of copyrighted items from the Internet is no different than if you tried to do it with a fellow merchant's materials inworld.

I eschew the purchase of textures from most texture merchants, simply because I've cruised web images enough to know that a goodly share of them are stealing images right off the Internet without any regard for the copyright protecting them. They either don't realize - or just don't care - that an edited version of a copyrighted work is still copyrighted by the first creator. Just because you changed a pixel here and there does not make it your own.

I've seen "famous" texture artists from SL do what I just described - snagging images off the Internet, changing them, then selling them as their own. One site in particular is a BIG victim of this despite it saying in its Terms of Service that the photos are NOT to be sold as textures, original OR edited. Now, if these texture artists have gotten some notoriety, you would think they would be up on the latest and greatest about copyrights - and some of them claim they are, and yet, they think nothing of trampling the copyright of another artist just to make some funny money.

How sick is that? What makes it worse is when they try to restrict how their purloined textures are used - when they really don't own them. What makes it incredibly sad is that they are charging for them at all, and in some cases, healthy amounts.

My better half claims that by writing posts like these and speaking out for the respect of IP rights everywhere, that I'm alienating people. I'm not the only one speaking up and I know plenty of you 'out there' feel the same way I do. Keep speaking up, because the discussion on virtual IP rights is far from over.

===

The Nym Wars and the inconsiderate treatment of whole classes of people who either choose, or need to, use a pseudonym on social networking sites.

Call tinfoil-hattery on me, but I'm beginning to believe that the whole reason Google is insisting on wallet names has to do more with where this country is headed than it is any sort of advertising profit. There's a bill in Congress (no idea if it passed or failed yet) that wants to force people to self-identify. Some of the Google schmucks have made statements like "there are so many asynchronous threats out there that they will HAVE to know who everyone is" (loosely paraphrased). The NSA has been tracking people online for a long, long time, and I think Google just exposed the NSA's latest secret project: A complete, online database of everyone's RL identity. It sure as hell looks like Google is angling for the job.

More tinfoil-hattery: Maybe they're not "just another company" after all...
fanciful_muse: (Default)
IP rights. We hear a lot about them in virtual worlds, most of the time concerning protection of items that virtual world creators make.

What you DON'T hear a lot about is the use of logos, sayings, music, textures, and other materials available on the Internet.

Just because you can copy it, does not mean it is not copyrighted.

Pretty much anything you recognize as a name brand has every bit of their material copyrighted. That means it is illegal for you to use their slogans, icons, logos, etc. in your creations. No, they won't give you permission, either.

Music bands have their logos and artwork copyrighted, as well as their music. Again, you cannot use their stuff in your creations.

Museum sites which display artwork on their websites have copyrighted the photos and other materials. You cannot use them in your creations.

Most scrapbooking sites will not allow you to use their materials, purchased or otherwise, in virtual world creations. Check the site's copyright, EULA, or IP rights information.

Some photographic sites will allow you to use their materials in your creations - but will NOT allow you to sell their work as textures or artwork in virtual worlds. Again, check the information on the website.

Famous paintings cannot be used. User-generated art may be used, depending on their copyright provisions. Always check before use.

If you want to use a person's photo off Flickr or another site - always ask for permission before using. Same goes for photos in blogs and other such sites.

If you self-generate something anywhere on the Internet - as in, from scratch - it becomes copyrighted from the day you publish it.

You may think you won't get caught, but that right there is a fallacy. Not only is it possible that the copyright owner could file a DMCA against you - those who are hosting you and your creations may "catch" you and demand you stop selling the items.

A grid has to stay neutral until approached by a copyright holder. Their staff may in fact recognize the illegal use of something, but by law, they have to wait for a DMCA takedown notice to be filed.

Landowners within a grid do not have to remain neutral, and here is where some good can be done. If you rent or sell land to businesses, take the time to "walk your sims" now and then (and if your holdings are too large, have your estate managers do it). Make it clear that you will not tolerate the misuse of materials copyrighted by others. Take action, should you find someone who is clearly violating someone else's copyright - even if the other person is represented on the greater Internet, rather than on your grid.

You might even go so far as to attempt to educate others, though common sense would tell most people that "recognized entities" such as a band, brand name, or otherwise, will not allow you to legally use their stuff.

Sorry, you can't justify the use by "but we're giving them free advertising". I'm sure if they wanted to advertise on a grid, they'd have a presence there, and be doing it themselves.

It's simply not right to try to profit, in any way, shape, or form, off another's copyrighted work.

Period.

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Marie Wonka

December 2012

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