Friday, August 21, 2009

we gotta get out of this jail, we gotta let the future in

Interesting article I came across, regarding gender, identity, and realism in both worlds. And here we are again. While I respect the moment of confusion for anyone who has a problem that the person on the other end of the grid (or the email, or the phone, or, gods forbid, the hand-written letter) is not the gender, or the "type" of person they we are at the gender thing again, and I just don't get it.

And this goes farther--she's seriously hurt, it sounds like, or at least very deeply conflicted, over the fact that the 'other mother' she had on her side--wasn't. Or was, and was in truth, but--wasn't a mother.

Does it all come down to that? Is the bigger gulf not between the fixed and the adaptable, but between the parents and the childless? Which one bothers her more?

While I pondered that, I did want to see if Black Swan still had the Grand Odalisque on display. As it turns out?

They did.

She was impressive, she really, really was. Laying asleep on her dais, little more than a slightly raised, textured circle, she commanded the attention of the room, and really, how could she not?

I truly think this is one of the most phenomenal texturing jobs I've ever seen in Second Life--just matching the photograph to the sculpts involved, that's mind-boggling, how precise that is.

Just for the reference, the "Grand Odalisque"? Really is grand--she's impressive in the sense that the Rockies are impressive; she has her own mountains, her vales and valleys, and she's so very much more than life-size.

It's only from the top that you get the idea that you're not, somehow, looking at a real live woman; you can see where the sculpt planes meet. But even then, the trompe-l'œil makes it hard to distinguish sculpt from sun-warmed skin.

You can even take her home for a mere...*coughs*...L$15,000.

In fact, you can still walk the path around the lagoon in the sim itself...or just go straight for the shopping area, which seems to be packed full of everything they've ever been given, and more besides.

For another take on gender--as it relates to MMO marketing, anyway--read Sanya Weather's column on the topic over at

Within the same neighborhood--at least of gender and sexuality, if not the closer specifics--what's up with the sudden figleafing of skin displays? Is this something people are being asked to do from the Labs, or are they enforcing this on their own?

This, f'rinstance, seen at Deviant Kitties--it's for male skins! MALE! The bits are detachable, so why bother figleafing?!?

Maybe that's the point, though--maybe in this case, it's deliberate figleafing? Preserving the image that there is something under the sardonic smiley face?

(I don't know if it's a sale, right now, or not, too, but that skin? Currently L$75. In fact, all the skins in that row? Nothing's over L$150, and some even go down to L%50 per skin.)

Though I will say, I don't know if it's the shape, the hair, or that face, but the IX-1 skin is just about the prettiest look I have ever seen on a man.

Barring Fawkes.

Moving on.

Apropos of nothing we've been discussing, there's a Caves 'n Dungeons pack by Cel Edman going for L$299, likely at her main shop. I saw this one at CNI Holidays; weirdly, it's buyable, so if you get there while she's building the new haunted area, you might be able to snag a copy from her. (That's the owner, Crymzon Tempura, in the red witch's outfit to the right.)

I'm just glad that people in world are starting to display Hallows and autumn things. This summer can't be over fast enough for me.


Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

I had to scroll back up and start again after I realised the Grand Odalisque pictures were of something in second life. I am seriously gobsmacked over how well that looks and I shall have to go and check it out inworld.


Sphynx Soleil said...

The figleafing? Isn't new. It's been happening since they announced one of the prior bans on explicit pictures in most places. Last year? Year before? All the baloney runs together after a while. :)

It started with a few, and I think it's just snowballing from there as more people see other people figleafing their skins.

HeadBurro Antfarm said...

GO: Amazing texture job- hope I get to see it :)

Caves: I bought a pack of these ages ago - makes nice caves :)

Emilly Orr said...

Edward: I had that same reaction standing in front of her. I knew she was a sculpt, I fought to find the sculpt lines; and even with that, even knowing I was standing in a virtual world...She still looked like she was just sleeping there.

Sphynx: Okay, so not new, but it's just becoming prevalent enough where I notice it nearly everywhere.

Mr. Antfarm: HEE. Okay, so not a new set. I admit, I am only just getting into sculpts--both making and finding them--so it's still a brand new world for me, in a lot of respects. (Given that when sculpts first came out, the machine I was one took fifteen minutes to rez them--and yes, I counted, fifteen full minutes on some sims, five minutes on the fast ones.)

hba said...

S'ok, I'm not playing a first adoptor game,,just sayinmg I've used em and they is easy as pie to use :)

I've had that issue with sculptes too - wonder if some texctures load faster than others?

Emilly Orr said...

The answer is both yes and no. Some people do use high-resolution textures on sculpts, but that's not the main issue.

I used to--well, I still do--say sculpts cause lag, much to the consternation of Lindens who keep insisting they don't. This one, though, is proven out, and it's both client-side, and server-side, for one significant reason. And you're right, that's what it comes down to, texture loading.

Keep in mind that when loading a sculpt, you need to load the sculpt map--the texture map--as well as load the sculpt texture--the image applied over the sculpt map.

So say you have a field of fifteen mushrooms and six trees--you've effectively handed the avatar looking at it forty-two separate textures to load. Even if they're predominantly the same texture, the sculpt map has to be applied and rezzed, and the texture map--and generally, the texture map applied over the sculpt loads first, so you get the accurately-textured spheres for a bit, or (currently) the accurately-textured needles and splinters.

So yeah, it's a texture issue--but it's a texture issue because it doubles the workload for everyone.

HeadBurro Antfarm said...

TY for that matey - I didn't know that and you made it perfectly clear for a non-techie like me. I'll link to this if you don't mind :)

Emilly Orr said...

*grins and curtseys*

Feel free, and you're welcome.