Saturday, April 4, 2009

the light is beautiful, but I'm darker than light

Another Marzipan Sweeties performance was held today! Sadly, I could not attend, but I'm going to do my best to attend their next performance!

There's also a nifty little SL clothes preview program available; it's pretty nifty overall, basic, no fancy bells and not a single whistle. But it works. (Try the Banshee Studios link first.)

[Of note, as not everyone can read the forums: This is the link to that program for Windows, and this one should work for Macs.]

Unfortunately, back to more sordid definitions, now.

Talarus Luan starts us off with a response on page fourteen on the importance of being "nice":

I started out with "nice", saying "please", though the questions I asked WERE hard; they have to be. They were ignored.

I stopped saying please, and just repeated the questions. They were ignored.

Now, I am full-on antagonistic. It's a natural progression when your "polite" and "thought out" questions are repeatedly ignored.

Thus, if there is any reason why their ear is being "deafened", it is their own fault.

The questions will continue to be asked in an increasingly hostile tone (and not just by me) until they are answered, because being "nice" just never seems to "cut the mustard" when Ivory-Tower-ism and spin kicks into high gear.

Answer the questions, tell the truth, explain and help the customers understand, or have them burn the place down. It is their choice.

Can't say I disagree with him on any of this.

Screwtape Foulsbane chimes in again with further explanation of his position:

Originally Posted by Argent Stonecutter
You think there should be "male only" and "female only" continents? Wasn't there a bad SF movie about that?

I was saying that no one can hide as the other sex. No one being tricked in a "relationship".

I see. Let me guess, he speaks from personal experience? He fell for someone in world, and then insisted for RL information, and his little heterosexual world was shattered?

My heart bleeds. We'll move on.

Another forum participant linked two articles in their defense of why this was a bad idea: the first one was pretty much a booster post on why SL is still cool; it's a fluff piece, I'm not bothering to link it here. But this one was interesting. Some of the things that definitely grabbed my attention:

Linden Lab is not trying to wipe out adult content in Second Life, Roberts said. "Definitely not. We're just trying to make the experience of the vast majority of people more predictable."

Now, I do realize that life on the grid is not life in the world beyond, but still: life is a predictable experience? Life anywhere?? Life can be predicted, contained, quantified...sanitized? Put all the "icky stuph" behind closed doors and high walls, so that the life of everyone else is unimpaired by people who might possibly look differently, act differently, want different things?

Wonderful, social purification. Sexual Prohibition. This never works.

Residents with private homes in Second Life will probably be able to engage in adult activity, even on the nonadult mainland, so long as they keep those activities private, Roberts said.

"We haven't mapped out every possible scenario, but if it's in a private home, and it's not visible to passers-by, and you don't advertise it, then you probably won't have to move," he said. "Think about it in real life. If you're walking down the street and you can't see into the private home, it's fine."

It's that probably that worries me.

Linden Lab already distinguishes between Mature and PG content. PG regions are designed to be free of sexually explicit language or behavior, swearing and other forms of aggressive language, and violent behavior and imagery, including horror.

Forgive me if I'm missing the point, here, but I cannot think of a single horror-themed PG sim. Not one single one. They're worried about PG horror??

Adult content is now defined as representations of explicit conduct or genitalia, intense violence, photo-realistic nudity, and sexually themed spaces

And this is where my brain put on the brakes briefly.

* Representations of explicit genitalia; okay. People don't want that, that needs to be declared adult content, okay. Definitions of genitalia will need to be defined (barbed dragon penis, I think everyone can agree is explicit; but are tentacles, for instance, automatically slotted as explicit?), but I think most people can agree, that's an acceptable starting point.

* Representations of intense violence; okay. I admit, I have been part of protests against extremely violent video games (and I say that being a rabid and devoted fan of the Silent Hill franchise), especially regarding their use by non-adult (which for me is defined as, right or wrong, eighteen for video games) persons; so I can get behind this one, too. And by representations, here, by the way, the Lindens are not talking shooting people in the face; I'm going to go out on a limb and say they're talking vivisections. Or roasting girls alive, say. (Don't roll your eyes, there still are 'girl spits' that work on the grid.) That level of "intense violence". There may be quibbling on this point, but I think by and large, most of us can--even if reluctantly--agree that this should be moved somewhere that's away.

* Sexually-themed spaces; and now, I have a problem.

Perceive: my contention all along has been that Necronom VI and the Doomed ship (my personal examples of thriving spaces that do their best to be tidily enclosed from public view) are on a private island estate (that estate being Desperation Andromeda). I'm still not sure, based on the map, that they're not on mainland sims; I'm not sure there's an accurate way to tell. That would mean, by this definition, both Sveid Heidenstam and Oni Horan, inventive makers of inventive space terror/sexually-themed sims, would have to move--even though (well, barring some overgrowth on the Necronom build) nothing revealing its nature is visible from the outside (at least in the case of the Doomed ship, being eight or so levels of entirely closed, and I'm pretty sure with Necronom VI, unless there have been changes), and additionally, if you board Necronom VI, while there are warnings, there's nothing excruciatingly obvious on the public levels, either (well, again, barring the ship mall, but really, can you blame people? And again, entirely enclosed!).

So if they're on a private estate: there's zero issue. If they really have to, they flag everything as Adult and go on with their lives.

Ah, but if they're on a mainland sim...then life gets very interesting. Because they really are the perfect cases where form does not reveal function, nor even intent for the most part: a nosy newb flying by would see nothing to attract his prurient attention. While it would hardly be recommended (unless said family is into this sort of thing), families could stage picnics on the floor in front of the Necronom scoreboard and very little would happen; it's generally considered for nearly everyone to be an OOC (out of character) zone.

So the real question becomes: is the place that most offends those getting offended on the grid on the mainland, or on private estate sims? Because if they're on private estate sims...everyone is sheerly and purely out of luck.

At least, for now.


Sphynx Soleil said...

Info's on the covenent tab. Desperation Andromeda is part of it's own estate, not mainland.

(Mainland either shows as "none" or "mainland" under the estate name, depending on which viewer you're using.)

Emilly Orr said...

A-ha! Thank you, that is very helpful!

Honestly, I was having a hell of a time figuring out based on map readings whether something was part of the three "mainland" continents, so yes, knowing that it will actually say on the tab will speed research up considerably.

*bows in your general direction*

Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

The little clothes previewer is a handy thing to give you an idea of how something might sit. It's biggest drawback as far as I'm concerned is the way it renders male shapes. Any jacket or shirt layer you add on that you're trying to get the stripes or a collar to sit straight is badly distorted in it as opposed to the way it appears on the actual SL grid. I've taken to logging into the Beta grid to throw up a few textures as I'm working.

You can log in using your normal viewer. If you press Shift-CTL-G it will bring up a little drop menu on your client. Agni is the live grid, Aditi is the Beta grid. Uploading textures there doesn't cost you any *real* money.

Emilly Orr said...

I'm thinking, especially for the more involved concepts, this is the best solution to the problem, because I can't figure out how to get a skin layer to texture over the bare mesh, to show clothing layers over.

And on the beta grid, I can do what I did earlier with the dress, without saying, okay, that's going to take another L$30 in uploads...