Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Playsure of Helping Out

The palm trees sway gently in the breeze, the waves lap languidly at the shoreline, the sun chuckles happily overhead at its private joke – and you stretch a lazy hand out to your loved one and say:“Why didn’t we think of renting at Playsure Rentals long ago?”

Okay, there are those among you who think I’m being paid loads and loads of cash to give an indecent plug for Playsure Rentals, a new sim with all the delights that SL can offer. Some might think that Tilly has slipped me a wad of cash to mention Playsure Rentals in a post.

That’s nonsense.

Playsure Rentals can stand on its own and doesn’t need my assistance to get people to rent there, enjoying the amenities of a tropical island bathed in 24/7 sunshine – or slipping delicately into the soft hues of a romantic evening.

“I don’t even want to go anywhere else tonight,” you murmur sensually, “Let’s just stay here and cuddle at our Playsure Rentals home.”

“But”, your loved one might ask, “what about – well, ehm, you know…..”

Your pearly laugh ripples across Playsure Rentals – but only to the borders of your rented space.

“Silly,” you whisper, “don’t you know that Playsure Rentals comes with the newest, state of the art security system? That ensures all of our voice and chat remains completely private!”

“Oh, Playsure Rentals think of everything!”

Adult Content Warning!

I’m merely guessing, but I think on the 12th of March someone left the doors to the cages at Linden Labs open and the Communication department escaped for a while. Then, before they were all caught and returned to the cages, given their daily ration of decaf skinny latte and musli, or whatever PR people survive on, they managed to get this posted on the SL community blog.

If you work through the blandness of the first paragraph you eventually find out that LL is planning to introduce a third category to the two existing of PG and Mature. We will now, or eventually, have places tagged as Adult as well. I might have ignored this all had I not had a conversation In World with an escorting friend of mine – and then a little later get a note card passed to me by yet another, this time non-escorting friend.

If you think you’ve already guessed what their attitudes are, you’re wrong.

My escort friend was all for it. The other friend had entitled his card something along the lines of “Fascist takeover of SL by moralizing Lindens”. My escorting friend’s argument was basically that it was a god thing because there was a lot out there in SL that would make people quince and squirm. (I’d point out that in many cases that is just what people are looking for there, but whatever!) And she continued that restricting access to them would be better than making things like that Verboten.

The note card basically said that the decision, undemocratic as it was, just further curbed Residents’ rights to do what they pleased.

What surprises me is that this is a topic at all – and hence my suspicion that the Communications guys had escaped for a day. Sure, I’ve been surprised and sometimes aghast at things I’ve found in SL. But let’s take a place like Neva – a free sex sim – which will certainly fall under that category. Sure, it’s a boring place for boring people doing boring things – but if it astounded me and shocked me would I hang around to let that feeling sink in?

No, I’d TP away.

But that’s not the point. What was I doing there in the first place if I was so worried about my moral cleanliness? Had I typed “Church meetings” into search? Did I find it while looking for “Bible Studies”?

I think not.

It could be that certain sims of this sort do try to lure me in with descriptions of “Visit our wonderful beachside resort and talk to enticing other people about current affairs” – only to have me greeted by images of male avatars with erections reaching up to their shoulders.
Could be, but it hasn’t happened yet.

I do a bit of writing on the side and have some stories posted on the web. Now, two of them are tagged for 18 and older, the rest are PG (and the two first mentioned I would like to emphatically point out are tagged just because the characters use rough language at times). Now, guess which stories are most read?


Now, I think this will be what happens in SL as well. As soon as the Lindens install the Adult category landowners and merchants will be demanding to be tagged as that. Sex, as any public relations person knows, sells.

But, some would argue, if they do use age verification to allow residents access to those places, wouldn’t it reduce the overall number of potential visitors? Yes, it would. I’d like to suggest a different approach: Simply tell people that they are entering an Adult area and can turn back or cancel there tp. Certainly, it’s a pain to click away the window – but we’ve had to do that for years in thousands of stores and clubs.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Having Sax on a Sunday Morning

Some would say that I write too often about the Hot Sax Jazz Club and venture that this blog is just a case of non-too-clever product placement. It isn’t. Were I to be advertising for the Hot Sax Jazz Club I’d probably be getting money from hem (which I am not – though happy to negotiate something) or actually in their employment (which, again, I am not ).
And I’m not going to spend much time exalting all the nice things about Hot Sax, nor try to convince you to go there and donate Lindens extensively. I could, probably, do that for other fine clubs in SL – if I ever got around to discovering them.
Actually, what I’d like to blog about today is less Hot Sax as I know it : full of delightful and usually interesting people, offering – yet again usually - good music. Nor will I go into the fine choice of hostesses there (Twink, Cara, Fifi, Lindsay and “Just call me Sky, all my friends do”-Skyangel) who can be funny, cheeky and entertaining and deserve to be tipped a lot more then I remember to.
No, today I want to talk about the Sax I don’t know, but just discovered. The Sax of a (Greenwich Meantime) Sunday morning.
Have you ever, in RL walked into a bar hours after you should have been home in bed? Along the counter you’ll find maybe two or three… forms… one will undoubtedly be resting his forehead on the bar, another will be talking, quite energetically if not without an occasional slurring or words about something. It’s usually politics, football or why everone in the bar should migrate to Australia and start a new life. (I’ve never been to Australia so I have no idea what the third topic might be there at times like this).
Off to one side you’ll discover a couple who, most likely, four hours earlier hadn’t know each other existed and are now sharing secrets of their childhood. The bartender rolls his eyes as you enter – yet another night owl to contend with. He, or she, knows you’ll advance to the bar and pretend to be sober while you politely ask if it’s okay to order a drink.
Now, except for the facts that a) there isn’t usually a bartender at Sax on a Sunday morning and b) there aren’t three guys hugging the bar. Oh – and c) I’m not drunk - I couldn’t help but be reminded of that RL image just now when I logged on.
Two couples sway their slow dance in intoxicated passion. Over at the edge of the dance floor some avatar is slumped over with “Away” above their head – and yet once again I wonder why the Lindens have made the animation for being “away” look like you’ve had a bit too much to drink and are now trying to study your shoes.
In short: Sax is, at 230 AM PDT, a sad and sorry looking place.