Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More Adventures in Second Life

In my last post about Second Life I promised you more about my adventures in that virtual world where a large number of people seem to spend quite a lot of time.

One day while checking out the Blogpower Common Room I received an instant message from TP , owner of same and who had obviously seen me come online. He was on his yacht and offered to teleport me there. Yes teleporting, similar to Beam me up Scottie, is the method of transportation between regions in SL.

Although it was moored at the time in the marina, TP proudly showed me his yacht, which he loves to sail on the sea in SL and we were having a chat when my avatar began to freeze and was not able to move nor could I type the instant messages which we were using to communicate. TP could see I was in trouble and explained that it was no doubt due to the limitations of my computer. So I logged out for that day.

I do find it an intriguing place, so I returned again another time to visit TP's new art gallery when I ran into him once again. Or rather he popped over to invite me to tour some more of his property in SL where he has rather extensive holdings and business interests. We actually took a ride in his rocketship and arrived at his spaceship where we sat on quite comfortable couches and watched the earth rotating through the window.

Now I have a freebie membership in SL and while in theory you can change the appearance of your avatar, including hair and clothes, one is limited, especially by one's dexterity, at this. So TP asked a friend of his to come by who was willing to give me a hand in finding free outfits to wear and help me with various things one needs to know in SL. In addition he graciously transferred two thousand Linden dollars to my account to get me started which made me feel very embarrassed until he explained that someone did that for him when he started out and for me to pass it on in a similar manner at some point to another Newbie. That made me feel a little better about accepting it, plus the fact that it is worth slightly less than US$ 8 at the current exchange rate. In addition he gave me use of an apartment in one of his unfinished building projects where I could try on clothes and rez (which means to bring an object into 3D space in SL) the free furniture and objects in my inventory which also takes practice, let me tell you.

But back to my lessons with L, TP's friend who was gracious enough to spend a few hours with me in SL, where she made my head whirl with things I had to learn about communicating and managing my avatar. She also gave me advice about jazzing up my appearance a little and off we went shopping to look at new hair. Now I found this totally overwhelming and before you buy the actual hair, you should buy what is called a demo. Some are free, some you pay L $1. So you can try this on to check it out beforehand.

I have all types of demo hair in my inventory but I haven't yet found the perfect hair. It seems that most of the styles available are what I call hooker hair; over the top sexy mops, half way down the back and draping the chest, which don't appeal to me at all. I've had short hair since I was a teenager so I don't feel comfortable in big masses of curls.

Now L has gone out of town in real life for a few weeks, so when I suddenly became bald I was up the creek without a paddle. I'm sure that Sinnead O'Connor is the only female who chooses to be bald and I certainly don't wish to be, not even in Second Life. But another Blogpower member, S, who also has a busy existence in Second Life and despite being male, came to my rescue and explained hair to me. So as you can see above, I have hair once more.

TP wears glasses in SL as he does in real life and I wanted some desperately. Especially after I was hit upon in a store by a young male avatar. I'm sure he was only being helpful, well that was his line, but he wanted to become my "friend". It seemed impolite to say no, but I thought to myself, Buzz off, can't you see I'm an old lady. Of course he can't, but he can click on my profile and all is revealed there. Maybe he checked and he's a 75 year old codger running around in a young avatar like me.

Now I just can't bring myself to give my avatar wrinkles and grey hair. After all that is bad enough in real life. So working on the theory that men don't make passes at girls who wear glasses I splashed out and bought some. Safe now. And I do wear them in real life so I feel quite comfortable behind my "wall".

As you can see the squatter has been busy rezzing furniture in her grace and favour apartment. To do this one clicks on the article in the inventory list and drags it onto the floor. Magically the article appears. Now one might like to move it around and there is that capability. However more often than not, since it came free, it's hideous and I click on it immediately and return it to the inventory. So I feel a bit like Endora the Witch, zapping with a mouse instead of a magic wand, making things appear and then disappear. It's great fun.

What you see in the snapshots is the least offensive furniture amongst the freebies I have acquired. You don't seriously think I would buy a leopard skin couch, do you? Now this sounds simple enough but sometimes this process is fraught with danger. I somehow managed to place a huge grey couch and a bookcase in space outside the window and it was interfering with the helicopter pad. What the heck? How did that happen? I could not seem to fix it so I had to send a message to TP, asking for help. Next time he came to SL he whizzed by in his helicopter and returned it to my inventory.

He's out of town too, with limited internet access, so I am not rezzing anything at the moment, in case I get into trouble and have no back-up rescue person. I go shopping instead, well mostly window shopping. S put me in contact with M who is female and loves shopping. She knows all the best places and sends me messages about where I should go. I did find a store with a lot of short hair styles for sale, but it seems they all cover my glasses which I certainly don't want to do. Those glasses were expensive and besides they have to be seen to be a deterrent!

So as you can see I wear North American casual at the moment but I am hoping to find something more suitable to wear to some of the interesting lectures I see on offer in SL. Next thing you know I will be writing about lectures I attend in SL on my blog, the way I do about talks I go to in real life. Wouldn't that be a hoot? Poor you. There are also many museums and art galleries to explore. I have acquired a freebie peasant outfit for visiting Renaissance Island, where there is a big celebration for St George's day this coming weekend. I wonder if I'll have the nerve to show up.

Yes, I still crash regularly in SL. It is most frustrating. It will make me upgrade my RAM, sooner rather than later. I have been needing to do it for a while but I was hoping that I could hold out till my computer-scientist son-in-law comes at the end of June.

I don't know why I didn't think of it before but yesterday I bought a book, Second Life, the Official Guide. Pretty soon, I'll be an expert. I can't believe that I am doing this, but it's a whole new world for the old lady to explore and there is no waiting around in airports or worrying about security to get there. But there is much more crashing. Fortunately no one is permanently dead or injured in Second Life. Now what 's not to like about that?

Remember, JMB Balogh. Send me a message, I'd love to meet you there.


sally in norfolk said...

Thinking I am going to have to try this second life thing out.... but not till after my walking holiday :-)

Anonymous said...

How on Earth do you find time for all that as well as all the other things you do? I have done some sl-ing a few times and found it just ate my time... worse than blogging!!

Carver said...

This is so fun to read about although I fear I'm not as adventurous as you are.

Tai said...

That's cool! I'm going to have to check it out on of these days! Can't wait to 'see' you there.

CherryPie said...

Sounds like you have great fun with it :-) I spend far too much time on the computer already!!

Wolfie said...

I really wish I had the time for this, it sounds great fun.

Dr.John said...

Managing one life is hard enough I sure couldn't handle a second life. But you seem to be having a good time so good for you.

Crushed said...

Ah well. Might pop over this weekend. Not been in almost a year, why not? Se what's changed.

leslie said...

This was fascinating reading - right to the end. But I don't think those glasses are going to deter anyone from making a pass. You look too good! I'm like others in that I don't think I'd have time to do all that. I'd probably get addicted and then forget all about my blogging friends. I might sneak a peek, though.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Fascinating but like having two wives, I don't think I have the time or energy to have two lives as well.

Moggs said...

Hey JMB. I googled your blog and hey-presto! There it was. I also saw another link to do with Blogpower. From your pictures you look just like you do in sl ;-)

Not only that, but reading your article I guess I just has my 15 minutes of fame;-) Woosh! – gone…

On the subject - As they say. You are as young as you feel. Especially in sl. You are certainly not set in your ways. You might as well wow the guys as not. I am probably getting this wrong and I am sure someone will correct me, but: "Emacitas, ergo sum";-)

Semaj Mahgih said...

It's very you.

jmb said...

Hi Sally,
I warn you that it may become addictive.

Hi Mutley,
Well I have given up sleeping on the whole. It takes an incredible amount of time and I hate all the crashing of my computer!

Hi Carver,
I'm glad you enjoyed reading about my adventures. It is quite fun.

Hi Tai,
You would enjoy it I'm sure Tai, after the initial frustration, of course!

Hi Cherrypie,
It is fun, but such a time waster!

Hi Wolfie,
I'm sure you would love it but it needs a lot of time in the beginning to figure things out. On the other hand you can jump right in and enjoy it.

Hi Dr John,
Trust me, my first life is suffering, well some parts of it, but then blogging takes a lot of time too.

Hi Crushed,
There's a new version you have to download and you have to change your screen to 32 bit colour instead of 16 bit. But then it's plain sailing. Remember JMB Balogh. Maybe we'll talk in real time.

Hi Leslie,
It is addictive let me tell you. A bit frustrating to learn too, but I am very persistent and try not to let anything defeat me.

It surely wastes a lot of time and you are a very busy squirrel already.

Hi Moggs,
LOL. Not quite the same in RL as in SL. I'm a furry here but a person there!

Well wrong Latin or not, I like the sentiment! I wonder what the word for Shopaholic is?

Hi James,
Do you think so?

Thanks to everyone for visiting and commenting.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Goodness me, you are adventurous, jmb! I would love to try it out there again but just don't have the time now. [You know how untechie I am, so anything there would take me 3 times as long as you to figure out!] But then, you did mention hair....

jmb said...

Hi Welshcakes,
Well I don't have the perfect hair just yet but I'm working on it. I'm sure you would be fine but it does take time to learn.

Julie said...

I admire your perseverance JMB! My few adventures in SL were too confusing and culminated in my taking and driving/piloting away a flying saucer I happened across, and skulking around in occupied apartments while their owners were out! It kept crashing (the program) - just don't have the patience for it.

Liz said...

I can't believe your adventurous nature, jmb! What a star you are.

Go on, I think the leopardskin sofa suits you well in SL.

I did visit during the awards but couldn't get the hang and wasn't that keen. It seemed a bit too real, getting too close to real people, for my liking.

MedStudentWife said...

You have me tempted to try... but it sounds a bit difficult and time consuming

Chrysalis Angel said...

You are something else, JMB. I'd be lost. I had to laugh at the "hooker hair." It just sounded funny to me.
Have fun.