The upgrade to Firestorm that brought the much needed Jellies came, and I see lots of flat out stupid people dialing up so they don’t see Jellies and can ignore this rather than trying to reduce their lag…
The update to Belleza came, and it was a resounding successful improvement. But I still see merchants not including Belleza when the dev kits for Belleza are available now…
I have more or less adopted a clothes-free SL-lifestyle now. In part I just feel comfortable this way. I don’t get anyone being shy about a cartoon in a video game on their computer screen and its fun to run around like this and imagine if I could really do this. In part its a personal statement against all those people who refuse to sell me things because they’ve yet to support Belleza… 🙂
And its just fun.
No I am not a nudist in real life so you can stop IMing me that question. I personally think real life nudists are willfully foolish in their insistence that nudity is not sensual. Made all the more obvious by the fact that their sims in SL are full of xxx-poses behind every corner. Even the ones like Eden (where I am not allowed because they don’t allow people that look like me) that ban that in public have it inside so many of the buildings…
Then again I get that they probably do this because of fears of real-life crackdowns if they admitted the truth about the sensuality.
About how I use Firestorm now that I do use it. I’ve been opposed to TPVs for years so this is new for me but I tend to deep-dive into things I do so I’m already helping others. But there is also a lot I could still learn.
As an aside to help explain why I’m on Firestorm now:
A great quote I don’t remember the source on is ‘have loosely held deep beliefs‘. I think I heard it on the Tim Ferris podcast… This is to say that you should get to know and very strongly advocate the positions you hold – or they are not worth holding. But you should be ready to abandon them in a moment if they should prove flawed or false. Be an advocate, and activist, but have no loyalty. Loyalty is for the ignorant. Principle and ethics are what should guide.
So this article would be both about how I use Firestorm now, and why. With the note that I could drop them in a moment if the winds changed and they were no longer an ideal choice.
The biggest gain for me in Firestorm was the built in AO. Yes this very old feature that the rest of you know about. It cut about 3mbs off my script count because I figured out how to use it to be a my own ‘dance engine’ and not just AO. Hint: put all your dances into the stand category of a ‘second AO’, set that one to cycle as desired, and switch to it when you want to dance. Can’t share dances? Big deal, I can’t stand line dancing anyway. Firestorm’s other features are handy but I could survive losing them. But this one reduced my lag – so it actually helps not just me but also those around me.
I want to write about how severely Second Life is a ‘white space’ and how alienating this is to me as a person of color. SL is a very unfriendly and uncomfortable place for me a lot of the time. Everything is just too ‘white’. This is an article that would not win me many friends… Because white people are very fragile when it comes to talking about race – they generally cannot handle facing reality exposed. I lost a few friends just with each shift in tone on my avatars skin… So I’m pretty sure if I were honest with them about how racially charged SL is, I’d clean the slate of the ones I have left… Since it is so ‘white space’, so ‘ethnic’ for their ethnicity, they don’t see it – they are in their comfort zone in SL. But to such a degree that it is alienating for the rest of us. Insert token other person of color here pointing out to me how wrong I am because they’re are more white-minded than me even though less white-bodied than me – a person who does not get the difference between individual and systemic.
Actually my favorite example of this – combing both ‘white fragility’ with ‘you are not colored enough’ was a blond haired blue eyed pale as a ghost but not albino woman saying she was African American and so I, as a Mulatto mostly Asian/Indigenous mix had no place speaking from the POV of a person of color… Which she did elsewhere rather than ever approaching me…
Even this article will get me into ‘trouble’. I need to do a new updated review of Belleza. The new versions of the body are amazingly well done. Belleza is now the lowest lag mesh body option out there, it holds up the best to changes in the shape dials and avatar physics, it looks really nice, and it has a wide list of options in customizing.
I feel merchants under-support it, and over supports significantly inferior bodies like Maitreya. Now remember my idea of ‘loosely help deep beliefs’. My first review of these panned Belleza as bad and at the time I was getting ready to promote Maitreya. But over time I saw Belleza fix every issue it had, put in more improvements, and all while Maitreya’s flaws were fundamental to the design and not fixable without ruing compatibility with all past clothing. Note that Belleza had the same problem (but to a lesser degree)… and this is why ‘Isis’ was put out to replace ‘Venus’…
Maitreya’s problem, in a nutshell, is all in your bosom. It deforms when you get just a little big big or small, and it has horrible avatar physics that leave it unable to look naturally weighty – but instead kind of springy with a ‘boing boing’ jerky bounce if you try to make it have a lot of motion (as it should if you are nude – if you meet me in SL you will see my bosom swaying all over the place. Now go topless and run around and notice your boobs are not going to run in the same direction as you… But on Maitreya, they will just bounce like a yo-yo on drugs). This is not to say Belleza is perfect. I still don’t have the sway of real life. But its the closest to it I’ve been able to get to so far. Only Lena Lush comes close – but that body is very high ‘Avatar Complexity Index’ and doesn’t have many alpha cuts. Mind you now that I am an SL-Nudist Lena Lush and Lena Perky are actually decent choices: They are mod and you can delete the parts that make it high ‘Avatar Complexity Index’ (the applier layers), and if you’re always nude you don’t care about alpha cuts…
Maybe I will write those articles and maybe I won’t. The points they will hope to make are now ‘out there in part’. The arguments I would use to back those points… that would take more writing. Though I fully expect I will end up having to moderate some comments to this blog article in regards to my comment about SLs ethnic biases and Maitreya’s flaws.
Right now that list is basically these venues, which includes several spots that are listed as ‘pickup joints’ but which in actual use are just hangout spots.
- Naked – the only place I have a rental lot. 10 sailing sims. It is started to lessen in activity because it lacks good focal points. There is a popular hangout spot by the landing point but it is all chairs so the people there just sit and be boring. I feel a redesign to get them up and maybe moving or dancing, or at least to mix the seats with spots to stand or dance, would help. I also think removing ALL the furniture from there and moving the landing spot to the south of the sim just across from a clubhouse down there would greatly help the place…
- ~ Hydra ~
I go here when I spot enough green dots. Its a trance / euro-something dance place. The info encourages nudity but its rare to see. Though on some days for reasons I don’t know half the crowd will be nude. Curiously I did see them boot a furry out of the joint even though there is no sign anywhere that says no furries allowed… so I do have one DJ there now that I avoid.
Basically the same kind of music as Hydra. The place also allows nudity though I was told recently that it used to not allow such. I wondered if I was welcome, until a manager took the time to have a conversation with me and be welcoming. After all you can never trust the ‘hello [avatar name]’ that pops up when you teleport into a place… I usually don’t respond to those with any more than a ‘/me waves’ because I am not sure if they’re just scripted messages…Generally I like SMASH, but it moves the event around the sim and 2 or 3 of the spots they use are extremely laggy – as in I drop to 1 to 5fps… even with graphics turned down, and in one of them, if I end up there, I have to ‘force quit’ out of SL and relog in to another sim… But as long as they don’t cycle into those spots the place is enjoyable.
- BLACK VOLCANO BEACH – I’ve known about this one for a while but generally avoided it because everytime I went they were playing some kind of metal… Recently started sticking it out to find that not all of the DJs are metal. As long as they aren’t playing metal I can sit here and enjoy the place.
Now I’ve just shared 4 places, 3 of which are dance clubs. This is my problem in SL these days… Dance clubs in SL are places to be alone in a crowd.
The 4th place, Naked… is serious ‘white space’. To the point that most of the people there don’t even greet or talk to me when I pop in. So I’ve been lessening how often I go. I have this impression that as the non-white avatar appears, people just shift to IMs… True or not… I don’t know. But I feel alienated there on a good two-thirds of my visits. I will need to put a white alt together again and see if there’s a difference.
- Commune Utopia – I used to go here a lot, and still go often when I see a crowd. Its semi- welcoming. People will talk but not to the degree I’d like. The build is too dense though – giving me enough lag that to walk from one spot to another it is easier to just teleport. Even with short distances of less than a few meters. They recently moved one event to a beach spot that was on a very narrow pier – making this even worse, as I generally cannot find a spot to even stand. That said if they’re doing events on their ‘main floor’ and people are there, there’s plenty of open room there and walls that block laggy outside items from slowing up the graphics. Though of late the events there have been under-attended.
- Old Lar’s – this is a spot I keep meaning to start going to. I’ve snuck in on alts a few times and found it OK. Just a dance club though so again it is being alone in a crowd. I have yet to make it a regular spot because it is one of those places with people dancing on bar tables and I just don’t get why a bad movie from 2000 (Coyote Ugly) has become ‘the thing to recreate’ in Second Life clubs… It’s the same reason why I don’t attend the ‘CMNF Lounge‘ – all they do is dance on the bar… Not to mention too many people on old pre-mesh avatars. :)So why mention Old Lar’s if its not even a hangout for me? It’s indicative of my search issue. All I can find for places that welcome nudity and are always busy are clubs where you sit there alone in a crowd. And something about the theme tends to jar at me. I imagine it is perfect for the regulars. This is a bit of what I mean by Second Life being so severely a ‘white space’. These places are too ‘ethnic’, as in ‘white ethnic’. So many white people will read that line as an attack… and then feel like a Soca or Hip-Hop club is too ‘ethnic’ and not see the contradiction… Its not about places being intentionally hostile – its just about the perspective the scene is made from and for. I’ll try to avoid getting too started on the ‘Reggae’ clubs in SL – they all remind me of the kind of joint you’d find inside of a tourist hotel in Jamaica rather than out in the community… Either they’re clean and hippie, or they are ‘Rentafari’ XXX joints (in fact many of the ‘hip-hop’ venues in SL seem like ‘tourist’ spots rather than for people ‘in the life’ – the avatars in them are just too ‘over the top’). Remember just because I’m an SL nudist does NOT mean I’m into the whole SL-sex scene.
- Phil’s Cafe – this is pretty much exactly the kind of space I am looking for in Second Life. Only problem is that it is a weekly event that lasts one hour on a Thursday night… So what do I do with the rest of my week?At Phil’s, there is a weekly topic, and we talk. I can be dressed however I want and nobody cares. What matters is the topic. I do wish they’d update the furniture. I tend to just stand because the chairs all lack animations… This place is just a small box in the sky somewhere with some random diagrams on the walls and some prims you can sit on that are roughly shaped like couches – pre-sculpty furniture…But the fact that its discussion makes it appealing and I go. Granted every now and then it gets a libertarian coming in and the places goes downhill rapidly and they start spewing racist pseudo-economics or Ayn Rand pseudo-nazism. But the normal crowd is better behaved even though I’m pretty sure it has a few conservatives. There’s a few Philosophy groups in SL, but they’re either way too ‘white space’ stuck on Plato, or Libertarian. Even been to one that was a mix between Plato and Ayn Rand…
If I could fill my week with places like Phil’s I would. I’ve been told I should host my own such venue. I did build one on my land, but I’ve had second thoughts about going ahead with it.
But instead I end up in a lot of places where I am alone in a crowd. Which has led to Second Life becoming a largely ‘solo-player game’ for me. I spend most of my time sitting in my skybox, sometimes elsewhere on my land, and then now and again alone in one of these crowds.
Sure I get IMs from people looking to meet me…
But they are often in one of two forms:
- So here are these things about you. Now talk to me.
The first one… yeah, like… um… what do I say to a one word comment out of nowhere? Sometimes they manage to add a ‘baby’ on the end of it… Other times it manages a sentence that is usually a proposition and not to discuss politics…
The second one drives me even more nuts. This is the person who sends me a very detailed message. Pages, sometimes over days… but in it they never tell me a single thing about themselves or why or how or who or what to drive me to interest.
Instead the entire thing about their impressions of me.
I start to feel like an exhibit at a zoo.
I don’t want to be told about me. I want you to tell me about you and maybe some things about you we might have in common or could get together over.
I do realize here that I am sitting here asking other people to do the work of contacting me rather than getting out myself and contacting them… that is a valid problem. If I really want to meet people in Second Life, I need to become more outgoing…