Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I believe in this love without a question, and live, embracing the wound that will never heal

This blog post garnered a new response...just when I think the comments have finally died down, someone else chimes in.

This time, it was arabella Cinquetti, who said:

That hits the nail on the head. We pay 295 dollars a month for the right to own a sim, while I do not use campers for my sim, I myself do work 20 hours a day in second life, creating clothes and other ventures, and usually end up walking to get a drink go right to bed. But because i was too tired to come back to the computer I could be warned for a violation of boosting traffic when in fact its just a simple I was tired i didnt want to go back to the computer and since i pay 295 dollars a month i should be able to stand on my own land without reprisal. Its very concerning that we are once again limited by what we can and cannot do for something we pay so much for. Now I agree bots do take up lots of resources since their induction, I myself do not go on sims that have lots of bots because of the massive amount of lag, i think it has a lot to do with the purpose of the bot which should be brought into question and how much a particular type of bot sucks up but a lot of us creators if we are honest never log out unless we actually leave the computer at a decent time. Model bots are the worst for lag and sim problems. My friend owns a sim where her 1/2 sim owner has 3 model bots, she logs in and the sim is lagging because of the massive amounts of scripts. attachments, pose stands and anything else the bot needs to stand there 24 hours a day. She has expressed her displeasure at the sim lagging but to no relief from the other owner. At this time model bots are not affected when in fact they should have been one of the first to be affected. When a model bot sucks up so much resources and we are worried about idling in the game its a problem.

The passages in bold are my chosen emphasis, but it paints an unsettling picture even without them. It's rather an expensive game on the sim-owners' level, isn't it? Push aside recouping that three hundred per month, rentals and renting out shop spaces; whether they get a dime of it back or not, that's three hundred a month, each month, every month--and people who own sims are being reported for standing on their own land?

When did that start?

I don't own a sim. Likely I won't, ever, even should I get the funds to buy one. I've been playing what-if for a while now--if I got the thousand buy-in, if I thought I could keep up with that three hundred, if I found folks to share the cost so I didn't shoulder it all...would it be worth it?

If Miss Cinquetti's complaints are any indication, then no--it's not.

I don't own a sim. But I can't count the number of times I've been fixed in one place, either building frocks, or sitting somewhere while I built something in front of me--to the naked eye, never really moving. I also can't count the number of times I've logged in, then gotten distracted, which resulted in me pretty much standing in place for an equivalent number of minutes, or hours, while I dealt with whatever RL had thrown at me.

And if I owned a sim, would I be accused of being a bot for doing this? The hell?

Now, I grant, I do not have the tools, nor do I want to dig them up, to see how many avs on a sim are walking around, and how many are bots. I do not personally care, all things considered, but I do respond to lag--if there is too much lag, unless what I want can only be had in that location (both Bare Rose and Octoberville spring to mind), I generally won't go. Big hunts, yeah, the FallnAngel sims get crushing. And yeah, sometimes I think a sim I've gone to is rather overbuilt on prims and scripting, and they could cut down and save some lag time.

But I thought the whole point behind the discussions on camping, and the use of bots, was to dig out the big violators, the ones who are obviously abusing the system, and to make traffic numbers apply in more reasonable ways.

Instead, we end up with people being afraid to put out lucky chairs, unlucky chairs, camping pads--yet, conversely, we have even more sim owners turning around and offering "modeling" gigs--most of which include free clothing or avatars, sure, but also include the ability for group members to camp while modeling--yet, that's not seen as an encouragement of lag?

And we have endless rounds of "buy this for this on this day" schemes, now, because so few makers of things are selling anything these days. There is a strong and turbulent cord of desperation through the heart of the world.

And can you blame them, really? People don't buy product X. That leads to the maker of product X unable to pay sim owner Y for their parcel. That leads to sim owner Y unable to make tier, which means they either scramble and beg from RL friends and family, or they go under.

Businesses close. Parcels get wiped. Islands go down. The grid is suffering. And I do blame much of this on the Lindens' ineffective and unevenly applied, vague and unsteady "policies".

Chili Yiyuan:

Why do you start with the smallest users? If you want to show us the effect of this new Linden legislation, start with the major misusers. I still wonder why places like "Money Island" has not been stopped yet?

Why hasn't that happened? As much as I hate to admit it--because two of my friends own a Zyngo palace--why haven't games like Zyngo gone the way of gambling? What separates out bingo from slots? What separates out Zyngo games from full-on casinos?

And, for that matter, we've had a gambling ban since 2006, why are there still casinos?

Clyde Lindman:

You were warned. Camping still exist. Bots still exist. Traffic is still being 'gamed'. The economy is in the toilet. What was gained by this exercise?

What was gained by it? That's an excellent question. Zindra arises, everyone gets booted to the Adult continent: six months later there are STILL massive problems in search with PG-only searches finding tons of Adult content; there are STILL massive issues on the mainland, both with merchants who never left (because the Lindens didn't think they were Adult enough, apparently) and with merchants who came back.

The Lindens advance the "new camping policy", and there are still bots in skyboxes, there are still bots on the ground, there is still traffic gaming for points.

What was the point? Honestly, if you're not going to make an active effort to make things better, then why change the policy at all? Is it all just Linden lip service?

And Sara Steinbeck:

SL was soooo much more fun when I first joined.

That about sums it up, yeah.

Dusan Writer took on the issue of third-party viewers and for the first time in this entire debate, I hit a serious snag. Based entirely around this comment from Marty Linden:

So, what we said in the past is, you can't export things that you aren't the creator of and use functionality in one of those viewers or elsewhere to do an end run around the permissions system. So, you can bet that will be in the guidelines.

The hell you say.

All right, forget the concept of people ripping prims and sculpts; forget the issue of people ripping system-layer clothing that's already been made. I routinely--and by that, I mean, nearly every time I boot up a graphics program to design--take out textures from SL to modify into attire. At times, I have significantly changed the original base texture, and I end up importing a new panel to texture on the skirt prims.

At times, I have needed textures in a smaller size, so I have taken entire texture collections out of my inventory, resized them, and imported them back into world.

Now, I grant you, there will be people who won't do this, because they are clueless, because they are lazy, or because they genuinely don't care--but when I do this, I use the description line to detail who originally made the textures.

To this day, there is at least one whole texture pack from Nighty Goodspeed that I have imported in at 512x512, that has my name as creator, and her name on the description line. But then, again, reference "ethical" up there--I also have her originals at 1024x1024, which I bought, in a separate box in the same folder.

And let's be honest, here, people--think about that "lazy/stupid/clueless" comment--when big texture rips are found on the grid, as I and others have proven out, the rippers do not change the names. Or the texture owners.

Now the Lindens are telling me that taking textures I didn't create, which I have every right to change and modify, out of world, work on them, and import them back in--which likely, every single maker on the grid has done--is against Linden rules?

Oh HELL no.

So let's look at the world we have, now. No camping bots (but bots are everywhere). No camping because it 'games' the system (but camping is everywhere; it's just now down to L$1 per 15 minutes--and that's if you're lucky). No unlucky chairs on non-Adult land (save they're still everywhere too). Inferences that lucky boards/chairs/mob-vend systems are against the system and artificially spike traffic (but they're still everywhere).

No Adult content on non-Adult land (but just travel the mainland, anywhere, you'll find something that doesn't belong there within the first half hour, depending on where you go). No Mature content on PG land (but you see that everywhere too).

Now, no modifying anything we don't own? Then what's the point of having modify permissions? And no using someone else's texture, freely sold for this purpose, as the base for our own designs?

"Your world, your imagination"? Yeah, only if you're a Linden. And even then, it doesn't seem like they get it, because they don't seem to know what they want.

Am I the only one who's close to tearing their virtual hair out in frustration over the doubletalk and the vagueing everything up? Is there ever a distinct, hard, CLEAR answer when a Linden is involved?

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