It’s been a busy 12 months since my last rezday…
In January, I managed to work through the scattered tutorial posts in wikis and forums to install and configure an instance of OpenSimulator — first as a standalone on my PC, then connected to OSGrid. I discovered there that I had a modicum of the Pioneer Spirit; reduced to an aphorism: “Make it yourself, make do with what’s there, or do without.” I also discovered that yes, I actually could apply basic skills learned during a couple of decades of professional AutoCAD use and, working with the comparatively primitive tool kit available in the viewer(s), actually build things I could be proud of.
In February, a question asked in the SLUniverse forum set me off on a quest which eventually became the blog-within-a-blog I call “Seconderth”. (I suppose, at some point, I ought to attempt to correspond with William Least Heat Moon and ask if he minds that I co-opted his title…)
In April, on a whim generated by some talk in SLU, I registered for InWorldz — but, for technical reasons related to the viewer/server handshake, wasn’t able to log in (the Imprudence folks fixed that shortly thereafter).
In May, I became a beta tester for something I thought was going to be a great idea: overlaying user-generated 3D content, with annotations, on a Google Earth-style representation of the entire planet. It had the unfortunate and (allegedly temporary) name of “Project X.” It also, unfortunately, was a hobby project — i.e., not a VC-funded startup — of a handful of guys in the UK who, as “Micazook”, had designed and sold a few Flash-based games for mobile phones. Long on vision, painfully short on execution.
Also in May, I met Alisa Falconvale, who reminded me how much I enjoyed building. We worked well together, too, and ended up collaborating. Not quite coincidentally, by the end of May I had given up being a furry. I’d already lost enthusiasm for the soi-disant “lifestyle”, and — as there were no furry outfits in InWorldz — the sense of continuity of self-image (what I eventually called “Transworld Syndrome”) led me to adopt the look you see now.
The upheavals at Linden Lab in June prompted me to have another look at InWorldz, and by the Solstice, she had bought an island there, and we began what is now “Falconvale Fine Prefabs” by importing our builds there from SL.
The rest of the summer saw steady improvement and amazing growth in InWorldz, and our part in it. In August, I received my first (and so far, only) custom building commission, and delivered a 1500-prim megachurch to its patron in September. Meanwhile, I was steadily working my way through the Seconderth project, taking an occasional break from that to bitch about the “crisis of the week”, as Botgirl put it.
But, the more involved I became in InWorldz, the less pressing Second Life’s many issues became for me. That’s not to diminish their baffling nature, nor the effect I believe they’ll have on SL and the people who inhabit it… if anything, they tend to confirm the inference I’m not alone in making: Linden Lab has no desire to retain long-standing users.
And so… As promised more than once in these pages, on the occasion of my third rezday, I downgraded my SL membership from Premium to Basic. As a mandatory part of that process, I also rescinded my tier contribution to the Luskwood Residents group (and left the group, as well).
Interesting series of questions in that survey — they all appear to me to be slanted toward the relatively new user. Surprised? Not me.
Notice that I am not cancelling my account, merely re-setting it to match the virtual reality of where I spend time, and why. While I was at it, I also did a final culling of my friend and group lists: those who remain are fellow bloggers and/or Twitterers and/or people who are also friends in InWorldz. If you qualify, and are not listed, IM me in either world (my offlines go to email) and I’ll fix that asap!
You might expect that all of this has got me to thinking about the whole “rezday thing”… and here’s what I’ve decided: As my avatarian life continues to expand into more grids, I will collect, by default, a “joined date” for each. I may mark them as special occasions in each of those worlds (for instance, April 8 in IW), but…
In the physical/organic world, we are each born only once. No matter where we live (though we may note the anniversary of arriving there from elsewhere), we only have one birthday, regardless of where it occurred. I see no reason to relate any differently to the date I first became an avatar.
When I was one
I had just begun
When I was two
I was nearly new
When I was three
I was hardly me…
— A.A. Milne, “Now We Are Six”
I think I’m a bit more than “hardly me” (hope so, anyway)… but who knows what changes toward Avatarian maturity lie ahead? If the last year is an example, there could be many. Machts nichts — wherever I am, as an avatar I’m three years old today.