Monday, July 26, 2010

when your heart was open wide and you loved things just because

I don’t understand how the principles of cordial business behaviour suddenly don’t apply in SL.

The RUTHED blog bugs me on a lot of levels; but to be fair, those are pretty much all technical ones. Beyond the typos, occasionally freakish grammar, and missing words, there's a lot of truth to be found. There's a genuine heart there, speaking powerful words, and misspelled or fractured or lolspeak-encoded as it sometimes is, there's power in the words put down in (digital) print.

And, forgive me for waxing nostalgic--my fourth rezday passed two weeks back without even me being aware of it--but it's innately refreshing to find someone who speaks of the "old days" on SL and she's referring to 2004. The real "old days" of the game. Damn right.

Do I agree with her all the time? Hell, no. But is that the point of any blog, that I completely, wholly agree with everything said? And at least she's putting it out there--right or wrong, she's standing on her own merit.

So--and admittedly, at the behest of Mr. Allen--I have downloaded the new release of the main Second Life client again. To be utterly clear, I loathe with a fiery burning vengeance viewer 2.0; I think it was pushing too many changes, too fast, with no clear idea of what the bulk of the population of Second Life wanted, or cared to use; it had too many bugs at launch and should never have been approved for beta delivery without those bugs fixed; and when I used it, I discovered two things, right off the bat:

* Never make ALL YOUR GODDAMN MEDIA default on in a new viewer; this, above any other single factor, cemented my loathing of 2.0. I logged in to my home--a previously considered "safe place"--and, within moments of rezzing in, had to deal with music on (no clear way to stop it), media on (no clear way to stop it), voice (no clear way to stop it); and media playing on a prim Fawkes had rezzed as a demonstration (with no clear way to stop it). At the time, I had a less sensitive sound card, so my only recourse was to be screamed at, freak out utterly, and mute everything. I am not a person who multi-tasks, aurally, that well on the best of days. To suddenly have four inputs screaming in my head made me phobic of the entire viewer--a phobia that unfortunately still exists. I view anything on the 2.0 structure now with wary dread, and that's not likely to disappear any time soon.


* Never make it impossible to build, or script, or texture, in a viewer, unless the point of that viewer is to ensure people don't build with it. Which rather invalidates a large part of why many people log in to SL in the first place!

Apparently? They've corrected these two fatal flaws, and at least made others less buggy, so--carefully, with wary watchfulness, I'm willing to try it again. Conditionally.

[15:40] RockAndRoll Michigan: Our world, our imagination went out a long time ago, now it's their world, their rules, their office, bug off
[15:40] Magdalena Outlander: Well, I think they've shown that customer service is their top priority. . .except for all the priorities that come ahead of it.

Gad, that's so true.

Now, in continuing news from yesterday; there's more oddity behind the Ikaru Aichi ban.

First, the report (from Aura Falta) about the IP ban was in error; it wasn't an IP ban, it was just a standard ban from Second Life. (Though by report at least one roommate was also supposedly having trouble logging in.)

Second, there's additional weirdness to this case. First, Falta swears this is the first time Aichi has been banned by SL. This is not the truth; she had been banned previously, in 2008, for unknown reasons (unknown by me, obviously, not by Aichi).

Secondly--and I don't have logs to support this, I wasn't online at the time--but apparently, Falta stated in group chat that Aichi's boyfriend was abusive, and bullied her into giving him her password, and then logged in under her account and used Copybot with it. I have no verification if this is true or not; just the word of a source. This changes both the story I was told initially, as well as Aichi's own version on her own blog.

Secondly, by Aichi's own account, the original incident happened over two years ago; and what my source was questioning (and, now that I think it through, what I'm questioning as well) is--why on earth would Linden Labs wait two years? If they had evidence of ToS violation, they would have taken action against her then, not wait. It nearly has to be recent bad activity under her account.

Something else my source mentions--with the previous ban now on record, it may just be a 'last straw' motivation--that this last infraction (whatever it was) wasn't so large in itself, but taken as a pattern of directed misbehavior from 2008 (or before) to now? It may have finally caused the Labs to say enough is enough.

Again, this is all speculation, and please note: I am not saying anyone lied, specifically, I am not saying Aichi is a bad person; I don't want to log on tomorrow to a new spate of messages about how I'm a heartless whatever attacking the poor abused chicklet who's just trying to get back onto the grid, how could I....whatever. Don't want to see it. Not going there.

But there's still more to the story. Something else is going on.

Next, there's some controversial oddity at the Dead Carrot exhibit at the Summer of Love fair. I'm not sure how long Photobucket is going to host these pictures, and the large versions are definitely not for the faint of heart. This is, mind, at an event which is at least partially to raise awareness on mental illness and how various types affect us.

Summer of Love Fair,awareness,abuse,Second Life,fashion

The oddly-named "Why hate my tits?" Which, for me, phrased in such a way, implies that someone else did that to one of her breasts. Which, okay, fine, we're talking extreme roleplay, we may even be verging on Dolcett girl territory, but even with that...this is disturbing and unsettling.

Summer of Love Fair,awareness,abuse,Second Life,fashion

Next up, "What happens when I sparr" (with the double Rs, yes). What happens when I spar with someone else (and it's happened rarely, but it has happened): I get things bruised. Things swell. Perhaps there are scrapes. Sprains? Quite possibly.

In no combat scenario, real or virtual, have I ever had my nipple sliced off.

Summer of Love Fair,awareness,abuse,Second Life,fashion

The offering titled "Shorts are unfun now". Again, that's not a 'drat, I should wear longer pants' realization, that's "oh dear God I can see bone. Hospital! Now!' realization.

Summer of Love Fair,awareness,abuse,Second Life,fashion

I am not saying these items don't have their uses. They do. Trust me, even now, in the age where anything dark or adult is pushed off to one side so "normal people" won't have to deal with it--there are still roleplay scenarios, in a lot of diverse settings, where avatars could likely use all three. I am not saying the artist behind Dead Carrot is bad or evil or any loaded descriptive term for making these; that's not my point.

My point is--and I think it's excellently illustrated by the above photograph--if the whole concept behind the fair is to raise awareness of mental health issues, then why, for the love of all gods, have something this potentially triggering on display?!?

That's where I think Dead Carrot crosses the line--and keeps right on going. Because inducing panic attacks or abuse flashbacks while someone's browsing fashion? Just not cool.

(Again. Not saying me. Both my nipples are still very much attached, thaaaank you.)

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