Archive for » January, 2007 «

My Second Life Birthday Reflection

I think about negatives and positives of Second Life

My Second Life Birthday was on January 13th, 2007!! One year ago I signed up to this virtual world but I actually did nothing for a month until I found some interesting places. TD Goodliffe posted about his thoughts on his SL birthday so I thought it would be interesting for me to reflect on the past year. My experience is very different from his. I first started to find classes so I can learn as much as I can about the world. I learned about moving the camera around and different tricks to make my second life easier. Then I started learning how to make prims and tricks to make things easier. I also took a class on scripting but I already knew how to program so it wasn’t very hard for me. The hard part was thinking in 3D and learning to use vectors a lot more. That’s my weakness.

First couple of months I saw a huge potential for making money and having a good time creating stuff. But I also saw a lot of risk and was cautious. I didn’t have a lot of money that I can invest in something new so I only put in $10. I decided to stay a free member because I didn’t need a place of my own. Found sandboxes where I could make anything I wanted without needing to pay. The only way I could see myself making money would be creating something and selling it. I spent time testing and playing around with moving objects but didn’t come up with something that I thought would be interesting to others. I didn’t have a lot of time so I decided I would explore the world and see what others have done.

This opened my eyes to some very creative people making magnificent places and fun games. I played lot of games, attended some live events and visited wonderful places with beautiful scenes. Almost took my breath away seeing what people could make in this world. I gambled a bit but wasn’t happy to see my money disappear so quickly. I also tried the camping chairs but the money was too slow and too boring. I loved the games like slingo, tringo and dark life. I made a lot of money from some of these games. I also made money from attending the scriptschool radio program on Fridays.

At this time I have made over $100 US dollars in the world. The majority I put into a bank in Second Life which I know is a risky thing to do but that’s ok. I have never taken money out of the world and might not for awhile. I have introduced Second Life to my nephew who is on the teen world which he says is boring. My best friend also tried it but she only logged in twice and was never seen again. Everyone else just couldn’t understand the reason for it and looked too complicated.

Here are some of the problems I have with Second Life:
  1. The amount of people who can be in a sim at the same time is too low. For movie screening it might not be a problem as long as there are other places showing it at the same time. But if a sim is full it should direct people to other sims that are showing the same movie. For townhalls and big chatting events their needs to be a way of others to read and interact with the chat if it gets too full. For virtual events where everyone is watching a group of avatars moving around on stage or building something there needs to be a way of showing the event on screens in other sims. I remember attending interview chats in AOL where they had a group of people separated in different rooms but could all see the guest chatting and could send in questions. I still would rather have more people being able to be in the same sim at the same time. It’s a virtual world where we all want to see and chat with everyone else.
  2. The world is not stable enough to support business inside especially small businesses. Every hour the grid is down means less money for business. It’s not stable enough to support live events where time is a very important part. I wanted to attend a very special event once but the person who was doing it couldn’t login after the grid went down. This really gets frustrating. I see so many people complaining about new features being added and the bugs not being fixed. I understood all the programmers couldn’t work on the bugs all at the same time. But my opinions are changing. Adding new features will only bring in more bugs. Get it stable first then add more. I hope the open source will provide more stability. I personally have high hopes that this could help out a lot.
  3. SL viewer is slow on some computers. My fastest computer has an AMD athlon XP 2000+ CPU, 1 Gig RAM, nvidia GeForce FX 5200 Graphic card. My slower computer has an AMD Athlon XP 1800+ CPU, 640 MB RAM, Nvidia GeForce4 Ti 4200 Graphic card. The weird thing is the faster computer runs Second Life slower then my slower computer. I have tried to duplicate the options on both computers. I have it working a bit better now but had to turn off a lot of options. This is a big problem with new users. It should be addressed before more users enter the world.
  4. The TOS scares me. Especially reading about what happened to the Furnation sims. There needs to be more rights for people inside Second Life. I hate hearing about good people losing money and all their hard work disappear for no good reason. Everyone who puts in so much time and hard work into the world needs to know they won’t be pushed out for bigger business or some scam. I see that all of us are partners in making this virtual world the best place on the Internet. This place is unique and can be very popular if we all work together. That also includes the lindens making sure that scammers get punished and not good people who follow all the rules.

I have to say I am very positive and willing to give every decision the benefit of the doubt. I can see that the lindens are trying their best to make the majority of people happy and also running their business for profit. There have been some decisions that I feel were not right like closing of the forums. The blog only gives the official news and updates. The comments are very hard to read and sort through. Some decisions were totally right and others I still don’t have an opinion about.

So this year I am going to be doing more building and working on some basic scripts. I will still look for those special live events I love! I also want to see a big game created in the world something like Dark Life but much bigger. I might not start my business in second life this year but I can always change my mind if things improve. Maybe I’ll get some inspiration and start a game of my own or put on a big event. You never know in this virtual world.

Four Eyed Monsters Review

It’s getting harder to follow all the special events happening in second life. The Sundance channel showing of “Four Eyed Monsters” was one of those I might not have found if I didn’t read a post about it. I am glad I did and attended this unique event. Before the movie was shown I checked out the Sundance Channel Sim and found other people waiting around for the movie to start. I counted 22 people in the theater chatting with hours to go until the movie started. I went off to do some other stuff and made sure I would be reminded about this event.

The Elbow Room theater where I saw the movie.
Four Eyed Monsters movie played in Second Life

When the time came I tried to go to the Sundance Sim again but it was too full. I am so glad they had other places that was screening the movie. I went to the most interesting place I know of and that was the Elbow Room. Once I started the movie I found out if was upside down. I never had that experience in second life before. The only way I found to fix the problem is re-login which made me miss parts in the beginning. Started watching and was getting into the movie. Tried to take a picture and the sound stopped. GRRRRR. Tried to start it up again but I couldn’t get it to work. I had to re-login and it worked but later on I found that I could have fixed it by walking to another sim but I didn’t try it so I am not sure if it would have fixed it.

Now I’m getting into this movie which was about two people starting a relationship but they decided to not speak to each other. They could only use a phone, writing, camera, Internet and any other media to express themselves. It was a very good docu-drama and very artistic. I was having fun and the others around me were enjoying it. Because I was watching it at a theater where they usually riff other movies there was a lot of people making fun of the movie too. I find some of the stuff they were saying were hilarious but the majority of the people really enjoyed the movie.

Sundance Channel Sim Theater where I saw the Last part of the movie.
Watched Four Eyed Monster in Second Life on this theater

Now the movie is getting to the ending. We all want to know what will happen to this relationship at the end when all of a sudden the video feed was having problems. The movie was getting pixelated and wasn’t able to watch anything. Everyone around me was disappointed they couldn’t see the ending of this movie. Some went to the website and bought the DVD. Others just wanted to complain to people who couldn’t do anything about it. Some joined the Sundance channel group to find out what happened. I was disappointed but joined the group and waited. I found out that other places had a similar problem so I kept trying to teleport to the Sundance Sim and finally got in. Sat down in the theater and waited again. What I thought might happen did happen. They showed the last part of the movie again and I was satisfied. The filmakers were in the group answering questions and was good to hear about the behind the scenes stuff. On their web page at foureyedmonsters.com, there’s a section for people to request the showing of their movie in real life cities and second life. If 150 people request a screening at a place then it’s very likely it will happen. So I’m sure there will be another showing in Second Life.

This is actually a oversized notebook page where avatars could
walk on and donate money to the filmmakers.
Four eyed monsters notebook in Second Life

It was a very fun event to me but it also showed that Second Life isn’t the best venue for this. There were problems that caused some people who joined up just to watch it saying that they won’t stay in second life because it’s too complicated. There is a lot of stuff that needs to be addressed when this kind of event takes place in SL. The fact that there were other theaters was very good. But the only place I found out about it was on the website. If there was a way to transport me to a non full place showing it when I tried to teleport to Sundance would help out extremely! The Upside down problem was experienced by others as well. Sound stopping was a problem too. All of these things need to be fixed one way or another. For me I loved the event and look forward to seeing the movie on DVD. I hope more independent movies get shown this way because it can be shown all around the world easily without a physical location.

New Years Celebrations in SL

Have a Happy New Year in Second Life

I usually spend my New Years Eve home with my friends or family watching parties on TV. But this year I wondered what kind of events people were attending in Second Life. I started reading a fellow VTOR author, weirdharold, post about New Years Events. I first attended the Jack Crowne and the Coronas at the Luxor Stage for a couple of minutes but wanted a more personal live music than a simulcast. I did some searches for more live music and found Cylindrian Rutabaga singing at the Elbow Room which is a very small bar for the event but it was still fun to crowd in this place and listen to her beautiful singing.

Click on the pictures to zoom in:
Listening to two fantastic musicians in Second LifeNew Years special live music event in Second LifeCylindrian Rutabaga singing for New Years in Second LifeListening to Cylindrian Rutabaga in Second Life

After spending an hour listening to Cylindrian sing I went to the Lily Pad Lounge to listen to Starr Singer and Kim Seifert. Very good singing and had a lovely time. I was given some 2007 glasses for free so I put them on for the whole night. At midnight on the east coast the sim crashed and I couldn’t hear or see the event anymore. I wanted to hear the countdown and maybe a good new years song.

Once I got back on second life I found that Johnny99 Gumshoe was playing at the Old Salt’s Pub LIVE all night. I went there and listened to him play his guitar masterfully. I also got to hear him celebrate his new years in the central time zone. He played a wonderful rendition of the “Auld Lang Syne” song which was great! I stayed here for a while and loved every minute of it.

Wearing glasses for New Years party eventBill and Pam Hevercamp play for New Years in Second LifeJohnny99 Gumshoe live music event in Second Life

Then I wanted to try another event. Bill and Pam Hevercamp was playing at the Vanity Castle so wanted to find out how a group act sounded. Pam usually sings and Bill plays the guitar. Bill sings some songs as well. They do very well together and have a great chemistry in their act. At Midnight Second Life Time I spent my time listening to Johnny99 Gumshoe play until I had to leave and get some sleep.

For me I had a wonderful time spending my new years eve in Second Life. It was an exciting experience and had lot more fun than watching events on TV. I got to interact with other people listening and with the singers themselves. I even found some virtual park places where people were shooting off fireworks. I didn’t take any pictures of them, though.