A Second Life
Friday I vented at my spammy chat groups. I do this from time to time just for the hell of it. Last Friday I did it because I was under stress due to a lot of what was going on in my real life, which is only partly bloggable as we all know. Well you know it now.
Anyway, when I get upset, really upset, I want nothing better than to buy sculptie animals. I wanted either an armadillo or a pangolin. They had them on Sculptie Island for 500L ($2.00) for a pair. They were animated. They did not eat. I probably would have room for them. I could keep them in my house, etc.... I may still buy them, but that is another story.
I begged several of the groups: "PLEASE TELL ME WHY I SHOULDN'T BUY AN ARMADILLO OR PANGOLIN." Someone answered. It was a nice, bilingual, Portuguese woman who told me I should shop comparatively or follow my passions. I told her that impulse buying was evil. It was wrong. It still is.
Since this poor woman who really did prevent me from doing something stupid, just by her presence (By the way, I could talk about sculptie armadilloes but not about my real life) was advertising a dance venue, I joined her. This is fairly standard for spammy chat. The woman's avie was, pink skinned, and wore a very well fitting an elegant outfit of grey and black. It was mesh. She had a Portuguese flag stuffed in her pocket. She was staying up late.
Then the conversation got weird. She asked why I didn't have "real avie." Excuse me, I don't make personal remarks. She also said I should get real skin. My color is all wrong. It's too brown and not pink enough. I pointed out that human skin tone varies quite a bit. Just ride the MARTA buses. Then she asked if I thought she was beautiful. She looked fine. I don't pass judgement on others looks. I am particular about my own. I don't want to look like Barbie in world. Iyoba looks ordinary. She can wear just about any clothes and look good without being a giantesse. She has realistic breasts, buttocks, and stomach. She even has six toes on each foot and a French manicure. She is sallow. I found myself explaining that her yellowish brown (golden brown on good days) skin tone is just perfect for wearing, golds, greens, and oranges, colors that give me grief in real life. Anyway, I should not have had to explain.
And this woman should not have had to proselytize. At the risk of sounding like the world's dumbest radio host, Adam Goldfarb, who is not getting the benefit of a link, if you are dressing so others will accept you, it is a mistake. If you dress in conformist clothes because you like them, well that's fine. I don't judge others fashion. I don't judge others avies, unless they hog the dance floor, are invisible (Mesh is awfully slow to rez sometimes), or they are bumping into me. The guy who banged a bottle on my head as he danced was a classic example.
When I hang out with other avies, I expect the same nonjudgemental attitude. If you think a five foot tall (take an inch but who's measuring) female avie in bright colors looks like a child, check her profile, if you're a bouncer. Iyoba just turned forty on May 14. If I think someone's clothes don't fit, I keep my mouth shut. If I think a fashion looks agressive in a slutty way or is silly (Torn pants and crinolines both fall into this category) I keep my mouth shut. When someone is excessively beautiful and has been around for a while, I have wondered: "Is this all you want?" And the answer is probably "yes," which is really OK.
If the answer is "Don't you want it too," then there are problems, and they are mostly the problem of the avie who asked. Quite simply, not every one shares the same idea of what is desirable. This rubs people in Second Life in funny ways with tinies, robots, furries, and quads, but these are different enough that they are two different to be a competing vision. Put another way, nonhuman and semi-human avatarim play a different sport, not just in a different league from human avies.
The case is different with child avatarim. Many English speaking venues ban them for the ostensible reason that they inhibit adult conversation (What kid avie with an adult One doesn't know the curse words and SL avies usually don't do it en flagrante). Then they state that these avies invite age play, though again this is a deviant and marginal activity. Child avies are too different and too much the same to make their existence tolerable. Human avies that are older and damaged or not particularly beautiful, such as Iyoba fall into the same camp. One could say they violate a dress code, but skin and color choice and subtle differences clothing style, when it is not grossly inappropriate, really don't violate any stated code, or violate most unstated ones far less than a bottle on the head. Bonk, bonk! This is especially true in venues with no stated dress code. A One with a human avie, is just supposed to want the orthodox vision of beauty.
Now all this seems to be stating the obvious as I am writing it, but it's not as obvious as it looks, or maybe seeing is believing. Casja Lilliehook wrote about and showed off this gown. It is a bit extreme. It is likely to result in a face full of skirt, which is annoying to any avie dancing nearby. It's borderline griefing. Also the proportions are way off which for me blows the verisimilitude out of the water, but even if it were a bit better proportioned, it's just a big white gown with a crinoline skirt. You can get a similar effect in real life with layers of petticoats or with one or two hooped petticoats.
It's a Nineteenth Century style, sort of. They decorated their gowns more. I don't care for it, because it's not the long skirts, I really wear or I learned to wear. It's also just dull white like a very plain wedding dress. Yes, it is strapless, but except for the jewels and ruching, it's very, very plain and dull. And I've seen a lot of gowns with bodices like that. It's not something I would touch with a ten foot pole in real life. I know I don't want it on my avie.
Here is what I put on my avie for a formal dance. This is a sitting shot, but when she stands it is an A-line with nice work around the collar. It is cotton print, bean kente. It is colorful. I would buy something like this in an instant. It reminds me of a long dress I wore to my grandparents fiftieth wedding anniversary when I was fifteen. I can almost feel it on me when it is on Iyoba.
Now I know that most Second Life fashionistas (not sure about garden variety avies) would prefer the white gown to the bean kente dress. The point is we really are not seeing eye to eye. In the real world, this doesn't matter. People kind of expect it. In Second Life, I'm not sure why things are different but they are. Maybe when we put on masks we show our real selves.
Eileen H. Kramer -- June 21, 2012
Sleeping turtles in this picture from left to right are Damien (magenta male), Yael (seal brown and scarlet female), and Chai (pale pink female).
Eileen H. Kramer and Iyoba BatOni -- 6/12/12
Like this blog, Iyoba's and my Second Life have both taken hits, though the hit in Second Life is more subtle. I am using it less as a place to do professional projects and more as just a clean well lighted place. The photos to Pinterest have even slowed.
Probably the best thing Iyoba and I ever did was stop advertising land for Edde. Marco wanted to charge us rent. Workign without pay or status is a loser's game. We're not suckers. Sorry.
Meanwhile, we watch Edde and Marco's struggles to keep Eddesign Island rented. The prefabs do not sell. I was right there, but not because there is anything inherantly wrong with the prefabs. The humble adobe would not sell either. Maybe willows and cat tails might sell, but...again maybe not. The reason the houses did not sell is that Eddesitgn Island is not a high class, themed, residential community. Such places do exist. They rent out mall stores that don't look like mall stores, and prebuilt, private residences. There are roads and there are strict, zoning rules, and everyone there either wants to role play or wants a theme, and pays for it.
That's not Eddesign Island. Eddesign Island is mixed use, reasonably priced, flat, green land. There is a big, body store in the middle of the island. All any one has to do is look up to see it. It is similar to mainland without the need to have a premium account, and it is cheaper. The rent is reasonable. People tend to be mature. It is low drama.
The biggest drama is that people come and go all the time, and I don't mean patrons at stores and visitors at clubs. I mean the tenants. I'm not sure if the island is full up these days. It needs to be for Edde to break even or make a slim profit. I don't begrudge him a slim profit. There is a reason that advertising is a fool's game.
The problem that continually chases Edde and Marco is first that they don't know what they are selling (It's flat, green, mixed use land!), and they don't know how to attract stable, long term tenants. Say this last one three times fast. Edde and Marco talked about high class tenants. I don't care if they are high class as long as they pay on time and stay put.
This last is a real challenge and I won't pretend that I know how to do it, but I think I know where I would start. And yes, I'd ditch the big, grey, mesh, prefab. A sizeable portion of the clientele is mesh blind so that's turn off number one. I would decorate the land or put up a very simple structure, or pasture some breedables on it to make it look less empty. You can even get nonbreedable animals. More fun than a prefab any day of the week.
I would find out if any one knows what kind of tenants are long term and stable on mixed use land and then set out to market to that population. I would use zoning to screen out the less stable tenants. Malls and clubs have a high failure rate. Discouraging them might be a really good idea. I'd also charge a premium for weekly rent. I'd even charge a small premium for monthly rent. I'd reduce the premiums (give a discount) for longer tenancy and on time payment.
My educated guess is that most long term tenants are combination residential/breedable/light commercial. A house with a small retail wall in the yard would work just fine long term. Building types are also good tenants. A place to rezz creations means open land, not, a prefab. Yeah, I'd ditch that prefab not because I detest it. It just doesn't fit the marketing scheme.
My first task would be a zoning plan that kept out the high risk/high failure rate ventures. My second task would be making 2048s and even 1024s available. You don't want overextended tenants. $10.00 a month (what I pay for a 2048), is one first run movie ticket with popcorn. $20.00 a month, the cost of a 4096 is twice that and may be too expensive. It is dinner for two at the Ground Round (if it still exists) plus a tip. A 1024 rents for $5.00 a month, less than a premium membership and as many prims as a Linden Home with the option to live in the sky or build your dream. A medical bill, a car repair, or some other real life expense is not going to mean losing your dream in Second Life.
And I'd take down those statues. Two nude men guard a bridge near the terminal that shows what lands are rented. Iyoba and I are both very nosey so we visit the terminal even when we don't have to pay our rent yet. They have towels that have come undone about their droopy butts and in the front, they have... I have joked with Marco about him getting a female statue because there just isn't much two gorgeous, stone men can do together, but Marco likes the statues, so they stay. I guess Marco is entitled. Maybe it's a guy thing, a gay guy thing. I just don't think it is every body's thing. The island is zoned mature and the leases set it to the conservative side. Americans are not Brazilians whose sensibilities are both litertine and conservative in an interesting mixture.
I am just a tenant these days. Iyoba is busy with the Zwickies and the turtles. We go out dancing and we need to get in world to upload a bunch of textures.
Eileen H. Kramer -- June 1, 2012