Monday, April 5, 2010

never get too close to the end of the line

Seen for the first time today, Runes of Magic now has a rating. I first noticed it when scanning for the daily offer while logging in. The rating perplexes me.

Runes of Magic

It has the big T for Teen, I suppose that's okay, even though Runes is listed in their own Terms of Service as a game for ages eighteen and older. Then look at the list in the sidebar to that big T.

Blood? Fine, sure, there's a lot of different ways to get blood effects in world. Few of them look real, but they are there, so fine.

Crude humor? Bwuh? On the part of the players, sure; on the part of the game? Language again earns a bwuh, because you literally cannot curse in Runes of Magic; they have a filter that either renders it as $%#@ characters, or actually changes it to other words, depending on the zone one is in.

Okay, so after that is Partial Nudity, and that gets really fun, because yes--there are topless female monsters in the game, as well as players who insist on running around "naked", and "naked" is in quotes because everyone has default modesty layers, usually white--boxers for the men, and panties and bra for the women. So Partial Nudity is accurate, at least.

Which brings us to Suggestive Themes. Suggestive of what? Yes, Runes is planning to add a marriage option, along with mounts that can hold two dolls (the developers' term for the avatars/characters in Runes), not just one, so...that might be suggestive? Or are they talking about the one Harf quest where the absent-minded researcher falls for the cross-dressing man, and his servant wants to split them up because it's unnatural, but slowly accepts that their love is real, and he just has to cope with his master dating a guy? (Actual quest, yeah.)

And what about Use of Alcohol? Okay, sure, there are inns in the game, and people are seen with drinks, but those are all NPCs. While there is a rough equivalent to an "Oktoberfest", the only "drinks" one can get from that create particle effects around the affected person. There's little in the way of observed drunken behavior.

And finally, Violence. It's an MMO. Monsters die. People die. Duh, that's the whole concept of the game. Every MMO qualifies under the Violence, unless there's an MMO I'm not aware of that's completely, wholly, one hundred percent peaceful...and if that's the case, I don't want to play that MMO.

Adam and Eve posted a bit in their blog about the new Second Life starter avatars. They are a far cry even from the work done...what was it, a year ago? Two? There's more that they've done, but apparently the Lindens are going to swap them out now and again so the starter options never get too 'old' or something.

This is not the worst business practice.

From the art world comes more resigned outrage--it's clearly (and understandably) outraging to the artist, but my resignation starts in when we cut to the original article, and the writer's comments to the artist in question.

This is the one that really kills me:

The picture has been removed. However, I want you and every artist to know the following:

1. It's easy to watermark any Web illustration if you don't want it copied. You leave it in the clear, you're giving permission.

Really? So every art site, every art museum, who throws up pictures of their works, of works of past masters, and, hell, any site period that throws up unmodified, un-watermarked images to show their work is tacitly giving permission for everyone on the web to use those images? That pretty much throws IP rights out the window...

2. I made a thumbnail. I didn't "steal" the picture. I linked to the original, gave you credit, and tried to bring you business.

Gosh, thanks for that. That's really really helpful of you. *coughs on the sarcasm* Isn't normal business practice to solicit permission for illustrations that accompany articles? Or, wait, is that the journalist's job now, not the magazine's? Oh, wait, this is a journalist on the web, I guess that means he does what he wants?

3. I will also remove all references to you from the story, quid pro quo.

This just seems malicious and adding insult to injury, frankly.

This idea that one must gain permission before doing what comes naturally on the Web has to end. You have the tools to stop it. Use them.

Riiiight. Because everyone on the planet steals like breathing. Because everyone on the internet does what's convenient, not what's right. Because everyone just lifts things. That's what he's trying to say?

How valueless a culture have we made ourselves?

(And, since I wrote those words, more has surfaced on the story.)

Okay, other topics. Today, I want to talk a little about Creative Chaos. I am walking out with nineteen new gowns (I went a little crazy, though most of those honestly came from joining the group and getting all the group gifts). My total investment in those nineteen gowns? L$400.

Four hundred Lindens. That's less than half of what I spent on one ballgown in the past, from several different designers I can name. That's one hundred Lindens less than I spent on Violet Seduction's "Elspeth" LE avatar, which included skin, ears, eyes, paw boots and hair.

The designer here, Miss Patty Flanagan, seems to be taking the concept that, once something's been released for a while, there's no earthly reason it needs to stay the same price. The prices, thusly, wander from L$699 for her new releases, all the way down to the L$25 dresses in her sale room, and the two dollarbie gowns on the wall.

While she does make some modern outfits, most of what she makes is what I've come to call "SL medieval"--outfits that can be acceptably worn in all but strict medieval roleplay areas (due to the cleavage); worn with the addition of a veil in Gorean zones (though again, sometimes that amount of cleavage is a problem); and worn acceptably (with modesty undershirt) in Victorian/steamland settings. Even the colors are appropriate--she works from a limited and mostly heathered palette (sage green, dusty rose, aged gold, marine blue, pale teal, and the like) for the bulk of her gowns.

I've had problems connecting on my main engine, and taking pictures is problematic on the little netbook that will connect all of the time, so no pictures are included. But I'll try to go through what I have later, and post pictures. In the meantime, check them out--at the least, you can get a handful of acceptable day dresses for joining the group, and never spend anything but a group slot. You don't find that every day.


Rhianon Jameson said...

Maybe "use of alcohol" refers to the users behind the characters, and how said use affects other behavior, to wit: crude humor, language, and partial nudity. :)

Emilly Orr said...

*grins* You could be right. I hate being gender-judgemental, but honestly, a female rides by with breast sliders pulled out to max, in white panties and bra and carrying a sword bigger than she is...I can't help but think it is so a man behind the wench.

On the other hand, I have seen "Hotmage" and "SexyMILF" in Logar, in game, so--I guess it goes both ways.

At least Hotmage and SexyMILF wore CLOTHES.