Sunday, March 30, 2008

In a nutshell...



Yesterday I visited a discussion group about mental health in SL, it turned out to be mainly about how professional therapists could provide their services In World, what could be achieved and how patients could be ensured that the person they were talking to was a legitimate professional and not just some whack interested in hearing you spill the beans about why your Mother never loved you enough.

I didn't stay for long as I eventually became a bit bored and Tia was online and if I have the choice between listening to someone question if Jungian philosophy was a decent basis for analysis or swing Tia around the dance floor you can bet who wins – and it isn't Carl.

But something did nag me a bit.

Have you ever talked to someone who knows nothing about SL and tried to explain what you do there? It usually starts out well. You describe the system, explain what sims are and then move on to your more personal experience. And about then is when they begin to move away with that look on their face usually reserved for rather dirty derelicts interested in receiving a handout.

“I do a lot of dancing actually,” you might mention. “It's great to meet people”

“You go dancing. In Second Life? You log on to dance with other people?”

“Yes. I prefer tango and salsa for the start, but I'm not disinclined against a slow if we are getting on well.”

“Hmmmm.....”

“It's terrible for the atmosphere though when you get out of synch.”

“Yes,” your acquaintance might say as he or she edges a bit further back. “Being out of synch is, well, difficult, I suppose.”

“Don't you believe it,” you reply enthusiastically. “In fact animations can be a real bummer in SL. I've got this one pose that really makes me look like a dork, but I'm not sure how to get rid of it.” (In some cases you might discover in RL that you have just struck that pose.)

You then go on to describe your house, how you just never have enough prims and managed to paint the house pink by accident – all the while chasing you conversation partner around the room until they flee out the door.

What does this have to do with the Mental Health discussion yesterday? Well, the fact is, most people who know nothing about SL would believe all of us In World are in need of a little care. So, am I going to sign up for some sessions?

Nope, I've got a date for a dance with Tia. Sorry Carl.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

At a loss for words



Her: wanna

Her: dance

Me: sure.. why not

Me: tango okay with you?

Her: 0h s0rry crashed

Me: np

Me: I'll wander some more.. if you ever get back online just drop me a call (and man do you have a long list of groups you belong to!)

Her: hy

Her: s0rry crashed

Me: thought so :) Sl can be hell sometimes

Me: it's still rezzing for me

Me: okay... shapes and forms now :)

Her: : ]

Me: you took the time to change

Her: yes

Me: waltz okay with you?

Her: 0h yes: ]

Me: So.. your a secret agent I see... I guess you can't talk about it? :)

Her: yes

Me: ehm.. yes as in "yes I can't talk about it"?

Me: by the way.. I also speak German if it is any help

Her: 0h : ]

Me: hmmmmm.. and what is your mother tongue?

Her: ,h s0rry secret: ]

Her: s0rry babe

Me: okay....fine with me

Me: the weather's nice here today :)

Her: yeah

Her: very g00d

Her: : ]

Me: Sooooo.. if we can't talk about you... and we have already talked about the weather

Me: what do we talk about?

Her: nnnnn....: ]

Me: Do you know what the Turning machine is?

Her: n0

Me: It is a theoretical machine... a computer named after Turning

Me: the man who developed the first computer

Her: w0w

Her: y0v are great: ]

Me: Thank you, you are very kind.

Me: The concept behind the Turning machine is a question about artificial intelligence

Me: Turning said that a computer that had real artificial intelligence

Me: should be able to interact with a human

Me: without that human noticing that he was speaking with a computer

Her: yeah

Me: You haven't heard of it? :)

Her: n0

Me: Do you think you would recognize if someone here was a computer or a human?

Her: nnnnn: ]

Me: Sorry.. what does "nnn" mean actually?

Her: secret:]

Her: hahaha: ]

Her: babe....

Me: yes?

Her: d0 y0v have gf

Me: secret... sorry babe :)

Me: Why do you ask?

Her: want t0 be y0vr gf:: ]

Me: hmmmmm

Me: I'm not looking for a girlfriend

Me: or for anything else

Her: 0h

Me: Thank you. S::: it has been a pleasure meeting you. But I must log off now.

Her: 0h

Me: Thank you for the dance

Her: yw babe: ]

Me: and I hope you find your BF :)

Me: See you soon. Take care and have fun.

Me: Bye bye for now

Her: ty babe bye: ]




Thursday, March 20, 2008

The (Hot) Body Politic


At Notes from SL we like to keep up with politics.

While we were a bit slow to blog the fall of the Roman Empire we are occasionally on our toes and would like to react to Spitzer’s escort scandal. Eliot Spitzer is, as you may know, the former governor of New York who stumbled/swan dived and then resigned over a call girl scandal after the New York Times reported that „ investigators learned that the money was being moved to pay for sex and that the transactions were being manipulated to conceal Mr. Spitzer’s connection to payments for meetings with prostitutes“.

What does that have to do with Second Life? Well, besides wanting to quote the NY-Times here to give us a touch of class, not much. We could argue that, had Spitzer been in SL, he could have paid thousands of dollars (Linden) a shot (sorry) for similar virtual services. And, having written that, we’d have throw in some pics, insulted some Goreans and ended the post.


If it hadn’t been for an article on “Wired’s” webiste
entitled “Spitzer’s E-Escort Plight Shows Workings of Prostitution 2.0”

As Wired reports, the escort service Spritzer allegedly used (not sure we have to say that „alleged“ but prefer erring on the safe side); „n
ow offline, it's described in FBI documents as a professional online storefront offering conveniences like e-mail confirmation of appointments, and linking clients and prostitutes across the United States and Europe.“

Okay, even that Web 2.0 in the title and the common description of SL as a Web 2.0 virtual world wouldn’t really merit continuing this post - had that article not also mentioned similar websites that were still online. In a fit of investigative journalism (and for no other reason) we went to look at them.


Note: When we write „we“ here we mean „I“ as in Eaton.


And we discovered something that surprised us. Take this little test if you will. Read the next two paragraphs and then answer the question.


I am a submissive 19 year old Scorpio, with the capability to deal with all areas of sexual encounters. I have dark long black hair and honey brown eyes. My skin is cocoa and velvet to your touch. I am a petite 5'7" (…) Please give me a call and be ready to enjoy an unrushed, happy, and satisfying experience with me. I am eager and waiting for you!“

I'm a 23 year old slender Asian play toy. I'm almost 5'7 with long straight black hair, button nose, tiny waist, long legs, (…). I'm easy going and I love to have a good time. I am naturally submissive but can switch. I am extremely open minded and can play most anything. I love to try all of your kinkiest fantasies. My goal is to please you and satisfy you.“

Which one is from a Real Life escort and which can be found on the profile of an SL one?


I know, sorry, we know you’re dying from suspense. The answer is: First is RL, second is SL.


Maybe we are (I am) overly innocent to be so surprised about the similarity. But if you’d care for another case of SL mirroring RL you might want to visit this site -
though probably not if you are at work or the wife is looking over your shoulder. It is, basically a data base/advertising site for SL Escorts. While it doesn’t actually hook up clients and escorts it does offer things like reviews, which all sounds pretty Web 2.0-like to me.

And, to tell the truth, enough Web 2.0 for my tastes. Web 2.0 also lives from user generated content. And, think about it for a second: Who wants user generated content stemming from an escort service?


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New Flickr Gallery


In our never ending determination to gain world domination we have just set up a flickr gallery of snapshots taken from Second Life. It can be viewed here. Please feel free to leave comments, criticism or scorn! We'd also be happy to hear from other people playing around with photography in SL as well. If you'd like to see what people with real talent can squeeze out of SL you might like to look at the photos from the SL Exotic Contest. I hang my head in shame...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Name Calling


Do you know someone called Aaron in Second Life? Or maybe Charles, perhaps Pablo, Rob or Ace? According to this website those are the top five most popular names in SL.

I have to admit that I don’t know anyone carrying those names, but most of the people I know are women. And maybe that is why, while browsing down the 50 name long list I also noticed: These are all guys!

Okay, there are one or two that might be sort of unisex (Echo placed at 7, liam at 13, JJ at 14, Angel at 41), but all in all we go from A as in Aaron (and Adam and Axel and Andrew) not quite to Zach (because he doesn’t get on the list) but down it goes through Chads and Ryans and Oscars and Charlies. Not only are the names predominately male, they are – with a few exceptions – predominately Male WASP names that you’d find on the role call for a white middle class high school somewhere in Ohio.

For what it is worth, Aaron comes in 45th in a list of popular boys names 2000 to 2005 for the United States that I found, whilst the leader of that list (“Jacob”) doesn’t even make a showing here. Number two on that list (Michael) shows up here at 26th. On the other hand. Aaron is apparently quite popular in California and in the Bay Area where Linden Labs has its sit. I'm not one to start any conspiracy theories, but that is just too much coincidence for my tatstes.

But back to the list. I must be going to the wrong places. The people I meet are called Zara, Sophi, Serentiy, Masako, Harujuku, Heidi, Madelaine, Tab… not to mention the very enticing, cleverly chosen and brilliant in it’s conciseness Tia. But if this list of male names is anything to go on, I should actually know Emilys, Ashelys and Hannahs. I don’t – and not for lack of trying.

This, and a quick test of trying to register a new Avatar as “Aaron something” (It was easy… I spent more time finding a combination with Eaton that was accepted) leads me to believe that the site’s statistics are just plain wrong.

And that pleases me to no end. I like all the Moonbeams and Daggers and Bloodfangs that populate SL. Sure they or TLC (standing for “Tender Loving Care”) would be hilarious in Real Life – unless Tender rapped in a band – but in SL it’s okay. I think people shoudl give themselves names that sounded vaguely, well... insane. Or at least vaguely French.


Saturday, March 8, 2008

Windlight



This post won't have much content -which could be said of a number of my posts - beyond showing you some pics taken while running Windlight. What is Windlight? It's a beta-version viewer for Second Life that really cranks up the graphics and still provides the experience of SL (Tps not working, sudden crashes, dubious messages). Take a look!






[Note: With the newest update Windlight is no longer called Windlight but has been given the rather sexy name Second Life 1.19.1 RC0]


Romancing alone?






Second Life, a hotbed – with at least 32 different positions- of romance. Anyone who looks half way decent, has spent half an hour at a ballroom and can work his or her way through half a sentence knows that by now. But is Serendipity Devin a true romantic? (with a name like that you can bet she is) Is Aaron Moonlight passionately predisposition? (ditto). We have put together a few sighns for our readers to use to find out just how romantic their new friend is. Enjoy.

She's a romantic...
…if she has at least three of the following places in her picks:
Avilion Grove
CLOUD NINE
Camelot Enchanted Forest
! The New Hot Sax Jazz Club
Aladin's Romantic Ballroom

He's a romantic...
…if he has one of the following places in his picks:
Convento das Safadas - Sex Resor
Neva NEVA: Naughty
SEXY 2
Xcite!
SEXY! BEST FREE SEX & ORGY ROOM

She's a romantic..
…if she starts the conversation with: “You’re a wonderful dancer. Can you do the tango in Real Life as well?

He's a romantic...
…if he starts the conversation with: “You’ve got wonderful curves.Do your breasts look like that in Real Life?”

She's a romantic..
…if she tries to manoeuvre you from the tango to a slow dance within ten minutes.

He's a romantic...
…if he tries to manoeuvre you from the tango to a sexgen skybox within ten minutes.

She's a romantic..
…if she is a group member of one of the ballrooms above and would like to show it to you.

He's a romantic...
...if he has a member that he’d like to show you

She's a romantic..
…if she starts IM’ing her friends telling what a wonderful person she has met.

He's a romantic...
…if he starts IM’ing her friends to find out what they will be doing later tonight