Sunday, May 23, 2010

History of Second Life in 100 Objects: The stop animation red rose

The ‘StopAll Animations Red Rose v0.02’ consists of a slender green stalk, adorned with small thorns and crowned with bright red petals. The version I now hold in my hands was made by Logan Bauer and is comprised of eight prims. While not exceedingly beautiful, nor useful (the animation stopping can be done using the feature built into the viewer), it has a deep cultural importance to Second Life.

Take, for example, the surprising lack of rose sellers in SL’s romantic venues. In the real world we would be expected to be eventually confronted with this sort; thrusting a limp Rosa roxburghii at us while managing to say ‘if you want to sleep with her tonight mate, you’d better buy one of these’ without uttering a word. They’re nonexistence is due, of course, to the rose being free.

At the same time, the subsist totus alacritas rosa rutilus – if my Latin doesn’t fail me – does fulfill the role of being a gift. With all the connotations of gift giving, of course (see rose seller’s silent sales pitch above). How often have you passed this rose on to someone, only to find yourself just a while later enaged in passionate sex with the person to whom you offered it? Okay, I never have, but that’s just me, I suspect. History often requires a bit of guesswork.

There is, of course, also the question of cultural norms when dropping this rose into someone’s inventory of the same sex. While it is fairly easy for men to pass it to women, and women to men, or women to women even, for a man to pass it to a man just feels mildly camp. Which is why I ripped the script out of mine, and put it in an object called ‘StopAll Animations Playboy Magazine’. Actually, I haven’t – but I will now that I thought of it.