Saturday, December 30, 2017

I want trees instead of gravestones, nothing to confess

Today marks the end of the doll. The end of many things, in a sense, but mainly, the doll, and everything she stood for and functioned for. There is some melancholy, but honestly, not as much as I expected.

Let me explain.

While I had the doll significantly before I had the relationship that partially centered around it, the doll that relationship grew. And when I broke up with that person, and moved on--for the, well, first time--the doll remained bound to that relationship. I didn't feel I could freely interact, as the doll, with anyone other than that person. Now, that may be a my-head thing, I do have a lot of odd issues concerning people, love, relationships, that can get fairly arcane, me, I held to the standard initially set: No one else plays with the doll.

In a sense, I'm still holding to that standard, which is why I chose to pack her away over just deleting her.

Now, as we're on the verge of the second break-up (in a sense; it's...complicated), I realized I couldn't function as the doll past this point. She was too interwoven with that particular dominant. She was still reserved solely for that person's use, and...if I'd kept out the doll, and all the EGL/Lolita would have been a constant irritation, a thorn reminding me of all that had been lost. I will have those reminders anyway, to be sure, but...this way, I satisfy my own reservations about being the doll again, as well as that part of me that says she's only for one doll-maker.

There is a sense of loss in this, though. I wish we'd been able to work things out. I wish we'd been able to reach an accord. There is no accord, and past this point, I'm not entirely sure what happens. So much of the rest of my life, both on and off the grid, is still interwoven with that person. In terms of how I spend my time, the things I do with friends, there's a lot of interaction. And in a very real, and now, very uncomfortable sense, I don't want things to change because of this on a friendship level.

But it's very difficult to make the transition from lovers to friends. Even though we've pretty much been friends only for over a year, it's still going to be difficult. And as much as I may want the transition to be simple, painless, likely won't be, and...I have to accept that.

Relationships fade. People move on. It's never something we can shrug off and simply discard, if they meant anything meaningful to us in the first place. I want to remain a friend, because I have been friends, and more, for most of my SL life...but if it cannot be, I will have to adapt. That will be hard on both of us.

But this has to be done. Past today, no more doll. No more keys. No more collar. It took packing away and subsequent deletion of 5,360 items to get to this point, and I'm not going back. No more. No. More.

I will regret that this ended, especially in such a sad way, but...I can't let that stop me. I've done what I can. Now it's time to move on.

Friday, December 22, 2017

I use a cobra-snake for a necktie

The longest night is over, and we are now in the heart of winter, chill and dark. This is never something to fear, but it is something to anticipate with extra preparations.

Remember to stay warm, stock up on light sources, staples and medical/survival gear, and prepare for the long season of snow.

Turns out the strange message I heard a while back for Ravenglass Rentals? It was trolling from a bot. Still seemed strange enough to bring it up, but hey, now we know, at least?

The film Bright doesn't seem to be doing well, but could it possibly be their marketing tie-ins that were suspect to start with? Exhibit A, the hour-long video of the literal garbage fire that's showing on Netflix among the Yule Log selections.

Patreon has walked back its Netflix-level mistake, after hearing from thousands of creators that they were losing patrons at an insane rate. Which is good, but still points to changes that need to happen. I think those of us who are supporting creators are going to be watching them very closely from now on.

And anyone remember these old restaurant chains? Amusingly, I know there's at least one Sambo restaurant still in operation, because we ate there (RL), about...five years ago? It might be gone now, to be fair, but five years ago, it was near the coast. But a lot of those, I don't remember ever seeing.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

the lower you go the less that you'll know

Inspirobot is my life. That is all.

Received out of the blue by a friend today:
[23:40] RavenglassGreeter4: Rent from Prokofy Neva's Ravenglass Rentals today! We're in business in 13th year. Total freedom! Build! Media ennabled! Weekly senior club! Artificial chicken farm! We're a proud #MAGA community and guarantee a safe & conservative environment. Liberals, muslims and other hecklers aren't welcome! Your abusive message is permission to publish your chat! Contact Prokofy Neva to make Second Life great again and get your very own CHEAP cottage from only 1000L/week!
I have several questions.

Chiefly, is Ms. Neva a Trump supporter? More to the point, is "RavenglassGreeter4" a bot of hers, or is it a trollbot spawned to cause trouble? I literally cannot tell, save for misspelling "Prokofy"...though now I'm wondering if I'm misspelling her name by saying it's spelled "Prokovy". Now I don't know.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

sometimes a heart can feel like a heavy weight

The Sacred Grove for Her Gnostic Majesty, the Hidden Queen. It was meant to be a dance space, an event space, a place for small rituals and gatherings, even meetings if such were desired. While it was open to the public, it was designed to be part of Armada, and...when Armada left...the Sacred Grove began to gather dust.

I was tasked by Archduke Greyhaven to build a space that was inclusive, and multi-purpose. I felt the center of it should be the dance ring, and the use of space reflected that. But around the edge of the center ring were benches and draped rocks, places to sit or to dance more privately.

It wasn't a matching set, and it wasn't intended to be. Some seating was wood, some was stone, some was carved, some had cushions. I was pondering if I had room for a hot springs, water cascading from the back of the parcel, for months. (Eventually I decided against it.)

The space was intended to be free for all use; the only reference I had to any financing was a small jar next to the eldritch fireplace, seen above, and that was all I intended to have. Asking to support the space wasn't the point; the point was to offer the space, period.

And's gone.

I want to make it more of a lyrical thing, I do, but...I don't have a better explanation. After Armada sunk into the clockwork sea, Archduke Greyhaven lost his heart for the grid, his passion to build and transform. For September, he sent me funds to maintain the parcels--in my name and his--and I did my best. But when October arrived, two things happened: he dropped out of contact once more, and the typist became very ill. I wasn't truly recovered, and able to access the world, until the last week of October, and so I informed him. His decision came down two weeks past, and told me that if we needed to let go some parcels in Rosehaven or Babbage, to do so.

So, with a heavy heart...that's what I've done. The Sacred Grove is gone.

Now I'm pondering the virtual life, yet again. Who am I, here, and who do I want to be? What causes do I want to support? I still believe in Greyhaven and Armada-now-gone, but does the Archduke? And if he doesn't, what is eventually going to happen to the rest of his parcels, the ones not in my name?

And paying down the great debt I've incurred in Babbage may well be ruinous, but I will do it. It was in my name, it was my responsibility, even if the funds were supposed to be sent to me to pay them on. The agreements were between me and the Archduke, Mr. Tenk should not have to accept culpability for that. But it does hurt. And I am worried.

We proceed from here. That's all I can do. But I will be thinking, long and hard, on what got me here, and where I go from here. The only thing I'm sure of is remaining at Sakura...and being the redheaded troublemaker for House Whiteberry. Everything else may well be in flux. Time will tell us all what happens next.

Monday, October 30, 2017

into the dark forest and the ice-covered leaves

This is not my typical fare--usually, it's just cookies--but this was too good not to share.

Fall Harvest Soup

Notes: Most of our ingredients for this came from a large container of frozen butternut squash puree, along with root vegetables from the farmers' market and a food-sharing service. But I think it would work just as well, if not even better, with fresh ingredients.


1 quart chicken broth, or broth of choice
4 lbs butternut squash (we used puree, though feel free to buy one or two squashes, cube them, and cook them down)
2 cups sweet potato, peeled and sliced into ribbons
1 medium onion, diced
2 turnips, diced
1/2 cup diced bacon (cooked; we used turkey bacon, because we're weird, but again, feel free to use real bacon or tempeh)
3 medium carrots, sliced thin
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp coconut oil (or oil of choice)
1 Tblsp granulated garlic
salt and pepper to taste


Combine butternut squash and chicken broth in a pot over medium heat. Mix thoroughly, then stir once every few minutes. In a separate pot or pan, sauté sweet potato ribbons in a bit of coconut oil, until their color blooms and they're tender. Add to butternut squash mixture and stir.

In the sweet potato pan, add a bit more of the coconut oil, then sauté turnips, chopped bacon, carrots, and onion together until onions are translucent. Add those ingredients to the butternut squash mixture, and stir.

Toss in the oregano, cayenne, paprika, garlic, salt and pepper (if using dried ingredients) at this point, and stir.

Cook until all ingredients are tender, then turn the heat down to low. Continue to cook until the soup is the desired consistency. (If using fresh herbs and fresh minced garlic, toss the garlic in before the final cook phase, then the fresh herbs about five minutes before serving.

For us, this made three big servings for us, then we refilled the 4-lb tub the frozen puree came in with the leftovers. So I'd say it will serve up to six, or even eight, easily, or three to five with leftovers. It was sweet, comforting, slightly spicy (you can leave the cayenne out if you don't favor heat), and the best thing is, the leftovers get better with age. It's really an ideal fall/winter soup.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

little deaths in musical beds

Oh, dear. This one sounds so bad I just had to see it in person:
Welcome to SpookyVille where ther is fear an haunt of halloween and ghost crows freddy spiders having 4 scary rides an a haunted house crossing a bridge an having a walk
with fear free give away t shirts an candie
That is a direct quote from their profile. Hoo boy.

Ah, it's a ride. Okay.

I'm deeply unsure as to why all the walls are moving. It does create an unsettling effect, but also, a confusing one. There's really no need for the walls to move, especially if the floors and ceilings don't.

There's a lot of commercial properties used here, unsurprisingly. Though the same can be said of many RL spook rides as well, that doesn't make it acceptable here. Still, they're generally used not only as enhancements to the scene, but clearly as props, not the movie monsters themselves.

There are things that don't make sense, like this passage, where the ride car carries us a third of the way through the cabin wall, for no discernable reason. It's best to just go with these moments.

There's a space segment, of course. It's very clearly another set, but you know, there's a charm in that. The planets are nicely presented, the 'ship' the car moves through is creepily atmospheric, and overall, it still works.

Basically, the ride car moves through different 'sets', or modules, or skyboxes--pick your term--but it's fairly smoothly scripted, nothing sending the riders off into the next sim, or dropping them out of the sky jaggedly before picking them up again. Good, basic scripting shows, and lasts.

And then, the ride dumped me off at the end in a damage-enabled patch of fire, I died, and was sent home. Abrupt, but amusing.

Thing is, it feels very old-school at this point, to the point that I'm fairly sure I've ridden it--and reviewed it--before, but...even with that, it's not terrible. They could do a better job on concealing the 'exteriors' of the ride sets (considering everything is boxes within boxes, I get why that's sometimes difficult), but overall, it was fun and worth the time.

If you have some time to kill, and aren't looking for anything deeply disturbing, check it out.

Friday, October 27, 2017

you're sinking to the bottom now

Apparently, Starbucks is introducing a Zombie Frappuccino for the holiday. I don't know about you, but zombies are not good drink ingredients. Just sayin'.

In the meantime...

You find yourself waking up, the shore of an unfamiliar island ahead of you.

It's no longer surprising how often this happens.

The boat you are on has a hole and has taken on water. You get off by now and take a look at your surroundings.

Seems...pretty bleak. And with warning signs. That's never good.

What was once unfamiliar has now reminded you of a terrible tale:

It all happened one night when the circus arrived on an island. Every child was thrilled by the visiting show and all had gone to partake in merriment they hadn't yet known. During a performance, the troupe of clowns had thrown candy into the stalls. Delighted, each and every child had devoured the sweets.

But the next night, the adults were dead. Every one of them slain by the children.

Welcome to the very island where that awful massacre occurred.

Welcome to Drurem Hills.

I should mention, if you decide to go? I have altered these five pictures severely. The entire sim is nearly pitch-black normally, it's hard to see anything.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

holding on to what I haven't got

Tonight I went to the theatre again. It had been some time, and the night was dark when I crept through the ruined back wall. There were shadows, and in the shadows there were shadows, but I still had to go.

It had been a long time coming. Talks had broken down, vanished into mist, evaporated like condensation on glass. It had been so long I lost the location of where I needed to go, more than once. But tonight, tonight I found it.

It did disturb me, a bit, seeing the soulless husks clustered near the backstage door. Had they once been living, breathing dolls, or were they always just constructs, momentary whims of imagination? Had I been a whim to begin with?

Some of them had the ability to move, to intercept, some did not, but to their credit, no one tried. Or perhaps, their instructions prevented them from moving against another of his creations. I didn't stay long enough to ask; I needed access to the backstage area, where dolls and dancers changed. Or...were changed.

Strangely, the back door led out to moss underfoot, the lapping of waves at a dark shore, and a half-ruined temple, with a portal gate. That seemed unnecessary, but he always loved embellishment. Holding my breath, I went through the swirling violet, hoping to find what I sought on the other side.

And there it was. Mine at last. The key he'd given me originally, the key I'd given back to him when I still had hope. There is no hope now, and I'm taking it back. The source of the doll's power will be under his control no longer, and she will fade into the mists, never to be seen again. I may still be a shifter, but I have no more need for shifting into porcelain and piano wire, powered by the key and attention.

No more keys. No more dolls. No more strings.

No more.

(Pictures taken in The Arpeggio abandoned theatre and the Hum and Shiver haunt in Picklemoon. I can highly reccommend both.)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

something’s corrupt in the tides

Nearly a month since the last entry. A month which would typically have been filled by haunted house entries, reviews of shopping events or hunts with a dark, spooky, or pagan bent, and casual links found in my travels around the net. Last October I managed one haunt review per day, and some days, I pulled off two. I wasn't planning to work that hard this year, but I did want to cover the new ones I found, at least.

Instead, I've mostly been off the grid. For the first year since I started going through Octoberville, I may not make it on the board for this year's title. I may not finish looking through the Decennial Market in the roof garden above the Fallen Gods store. I haven't even started the Timeless hunt, nor gone through We RP for the month. I haven't done a lot of things.

Instead, I got sick. With...something still unknown. Could have been food poisoning, could have been a mutant strain of one seems to know yet, and I'm not going to spend much time breaking it down here. All I know is, I'm getting better very slowly, and it's grueling. The lack of energy is killing me most. There are days where I get up, toast a piece of bread, take twenty minutes to eat it, and go right back to bed.

This kind of thing, it doesn't pair well with running around the grid snapping pics of haunted houses, let alone working and maintaining a social life.

I miss the decorations. I miss the haunts. I miss the autumn leaves and the pumpkins on the doorsteps. But most of all, I just miss the grid. It's bothering me greatly that I don't have the energy to even log in some days.

But for anyone I haven't managed to catch on the brief times I've made it in, that's why I've been mostly absent. Exactly the wrong month for this to happen, but I don't seem to have much choice in the matter. I may even miss the Sakura Halloween Ball. I've already missed Mr. Peccable's wedding--belated congratulations to him and his lady wife, I was sadly unable to log in because of the...whatever. Annoying thing that it is.

Any well wishes will be most humbly accepted, but mostly, I just want things to return to--well, not normal, because we are talking about me--my life wasn't normal to start with. But return to at least the sort of stability I had before. That would be nice.

And if it returns with enough coffee to coat my internal organs and enough gin to float away on, I'll be doubly grateful, because I live with cruel, cruel women who won't buy me gin. And who only allot me four cups of coffee per day. A tragedy.

Update more when I can.

Friday, September 29, 2017

in the order of life, they know you there

Found another haunted hunt, only this one's set in...Silent Hill.

Silent Hill in general has an intriguing history on the grid. Because it's such a foundational horror game, a great many fans have turned their energy to making fan-based media in various venues. So on the one hand, faithful recreation is blatant copyright violation, but on the other...we get experiences like this, of walking into the games we love, of being there, on the ground, as it were, living through the same things.

One of the game series' most iconic moments was from the first game, and a section from this video is pretty much what you first see when you rez into the sim. It's eerie how well it matches, nearly perfectly realized...down to the car.

The experience/haunt/interactive game started in September, and goes through the end of October. Now, apparently one must be a member of the group to get some prizes on the hunt itself, but the group's free, and it's not required to go on the experience, which is worth it all by itself.

The...Shiba Inu...from ending... *collapses into giggles*

Well, this does not bode well. (For those not in the know, this is a major feature of the game's internal mythology. This is the Halo of the Sun, a symbol of the faith of the Order, the main game's main antagonist group. Having it as a sign for the subway? Pretty much tells me "Monsters this way; come on down!")


And then I entered a very dark room, met a Nurse with blood dripping from her blade, heard a bunch of zombies moaning somewhere close by--and crashed.

So what's my takeaway from all this? This is a sim-size haunt. It is big. Allocate a few hours to the thing, or take it an hour or two at a time over several days. And maybe turn your settings way down, so when the zombies start rezzing in packs you don't get trapped in lag like a mosquito in amber.

Oh, and your game hud? Does have a health bar. So I'm assuming this will be one of the haunts in which we can, in fact...die.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

head full of questions, how can you measure up?

Caderu! It's kind of a hunt, it's kind of a haunt, it's not really equipped for English. Onward!

Oh hey! A train! Took me a bit to figure out that the box 'passengers' aren't gifts to pick up, but just shop logos so we know who's behind this event.

Well...that's not creepy at all... *coughs* ...Also, there's a website. It is not that helpful.


Most of the transitions between zones are pretty easy to figure out, thankfully. It's not hard, even when things are labeled mostly in Japanese.


It has visual novel elements, but it's a bit tricky. There are some minigames to complete, like this washing-dishes one, though they go pretty fast. But overall, the story is engaging, and there are opportunities to earn a Bad End and a Good End (as well as the secret, True End), so it's a good thing it's not dull, because one may have to replay it three times!


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

your heart is beating, alive and breathing

Second Life is going to get twenty-four hour days soon? I can't decide how I feel about this. On the one hand, it would allow greater flexibility for photography in estate time, but on the other, I have a lot of memories tied in with that peculiar, four-hour "day". We'll see how it goes, I guess.

Also, I wanted to bring this up, even though it's from a few months back:
[17:47] Lynn Mimistrobell: (Saved Fri Jul 21 10:38 )En Garde pistes are breaking all over the grid, and the creator has left SL so they cannot be fixed. And I am told that if you take them up, you cannot even rez them again.
Near as I can figure, En Garde as a game system works because each individual game station hooks up with a server (in-world or out of world, doesn't really matter in this context), so that scores and such can be saved when players log in. Beyond that, I don't really think there's a need for server-side activity; it just seems to be to score high scores and player names.

And in (somewhat) bigger news, Sakura is celebrating ten years on the grid!

All day long, off and on, parties in Sakura or Bellefleurs, depending on where everything ends up. The lineup we have so far:
10:30am - 12:00PM
Watt Whitfield DJ Dance at the Sakura Birthday Bash
Please join Sakura VIP Watt Whitfield, renaissance man and photographer of the Per Lens series, playing a mix of 70s Rock plus surprises.

12:00 - 1:00 pm
Corwyn Allen plays at Sakura's 10th birthday bash!
Corwyn is a folk singer and guitarist having performed in RL for more years than he cares to think about. He performs a varied and sometimes eclectic mix of American, Irish, Scottish, and English folk music, both traditional and modern.

1:00 - 2:00pm
Dee Wells' 'DeeJ Dance' at the Sakura Birthday Bash
Dee is a dear friend of Sakura. Her intelligent, thought-provoking and at times irreverent musical choices will make the hour go fast! You can follow sets and Chamber Three events, as well as special events at the Quayside Theatre. Music and sarcasm in the key of Dee: ask at the event!

2:00pm - 3:30pm
Dance with DJ Dancer and Sakura Hostess Rosamund
Please welcome Sakura's new dancer and hostess, Rosamund from Netherlands, and formally the principal dancer and manager of the Bascom Dance Club. Rose will be our DJ from 2PM, bringing her eclectic blend of music, and her kind and gentle manner.

5:00 - 6:00pm
DJ Bear Dance at the Sakura Birthday Bash
Bear is an old and dear friend of the girls at Sakura. He plays Oldies (50's through 80's), Jazz, Big Band, Smooth Jazz, and romantic songs. Bear is available for clubs, weddings and all private functions.

6:00 - 7:30pm
Erehwon Texeira DJ Dance at the Sakura Birthday Bash
Erehwon is a Sakura Hostess, and nobody does drinks like Ereh. She also runs the Coffee and Pop set at the Texeira Coffee House flagship location in beautiful Jadida Mondrago! Come by for the latest and greatest in Dreampop, Power Pop, Indie, Alt, Shoegaze and more! Did I mention there'll be coffee? Only the best coffee this side of the Mediterranean!

7:30pm - 8:30pm
Mavenn Live
"...A vocalist fast becoming one of the Second Life's more daring chanteuses...this lady simmers with emotion almost like a slow burn as the she continues to showcase elegance...Mavenn negotiates her way through jazz, blues, country and rock with soulful confidence and gives notice that her vocal prowess is on the rise and is easy to be mesmerized and excited by."

8:30 - 9:30pm
DJ Maddox Dance at the Sakura Birthday Bash
Maddie L has been a DJ for six years. She loves to spin, be it for one person, or twenty people. Doesn't matter who listens, so long as she gets to play! She can usually be heard at Bellefleurs on a Thursday night, and at either of Doc Avalon's places.

10:00pm - midnight
Nellie Bly's Performance Art, "Van Here Halewijn" ("From Lord Halewijn")
A Courtesan and Poetess from Netherlands, Nellie reads in SL from her own sensuous and erotic stories and poetry, as well as that of other writers from around the world, exclusively at Sakura. Tonight's live act will be a bit of Dutch folklore about a nobleman who kills women, and sirens who will lure men onto the rocks, if you're not careful.

All times listed are for SLT. And keep in mind, Sakura House has a public calendar of events and happenings now! So mark your calendars and come party with us!

Monday, September 25, 2017

what ya gonna do when the panic’s free?

Culling my email of all the unnecessary things that have been flooding in over the last few months, I had to stop and read, then reread, the title of one email.
STOP The Satanic Pornification Of Children
Wait, what?

Even better, it came with this banner:

First of all, the three puir wee bairns in that photograph? Those are Lucia Santos, Francisco Marto, and Jacinta Marto, who in 1917 first saw the Apparition of Mary at Fatima, Portugal. They wouldn't know a video game if you held it in front of them framed by a Switch.

Though I will say, they could not have picked an image with more perfect expressions. Here's the full image so you can revel in the lip curling:

I had to read on.
This is absolutely appalling.
Only if you're convinced that all video games are made solely for the under-thirteen set.
Steam video game distributors [have] made two pornographic themed video games available to children of all ages through the simple click of a button. Steam is a digital distribution platform developed by Valve Corporation.
Yes, it is, but I'm admittedly more curious about the 'available to children of all ages' line. So I did a simple search. Came into Steam as an unregistered user. I was instantly hit with a request to verify my age. Okay, gatekeeping systems do very little towards actual prevention of access, but there is an age barrier in place. So they're wrong about House Party at least.

This is from the game's description on Steam:
"In the game, you'll experience the usual debauchery found at these types of parties in the form of foul language, party games, nudity, fighting, sex, and more, and believe me, it doesn't pull any punches! Each character has their own personality, story and quests for the player. You can enjoy this alongside full immersive 3D gameplay, gorgeous models, and a very sarcastic and dry sense of humor. The AI is very robust, and the characters respond to a large number of stimuli and player choices. There are multiple story-paths and different outcomes based on your decisions."
Translation: it's a party simulator where you're trying to have sex with girls, play tricks on other girls, and either avoid or get into fights with drunken frat guys. Is it a game I'd play? Hells, no--there's a segment where the 'gag' is to spill a drink on someone, get her to take off her clothes for you to wash, then make her walk around in bra and panties the rest of the night. Oh, yeah, mass fun for all, I'm sure.

But they aren't done.
The video games Party House and Porno Studio Tycoon have serious graphic and suggestive content that is accessible to computer users of all ages.
Really? Are they really? Because I also checked Porno Studio Tycoon and ran into an age-check page. Granted, it's not the same level of age verification needed:

but we'll get into the why of that later. How'ver, this means neither game is being offered up to "innocent children" just looking for some cutesy Candyland knockoff.

This next was in bright red text in the original email:
WARNING: Read with caution; very disturbing
Sure, sure, I'm duly warned. Carry on with the deeply disturbing content.
According to press reports:
  • "The House Party 'hook up' game is literally training its users in predatory tactics for sexual assault, and even sex trafficking...

  • "The game includes disturbing features that allow users to increase their odds of 'having sex' with a woman in the game if they manipulate and coerce women into sex acts...
  • "The sexual encounters are blatant animated pornography, featuring genitalia, ejaculation, and more."
All right, let's break this down, shall we? The best review I've found of the general tackiness level of House Party was posted on Rock Paper Shotgun (a great gaming blog if you haven't heard of it before). And I don't disagree with anything he says. It's not just a deeply misogynistic game, it's a badly coded game, badly textured game, written by a company apparently full of drunk college guys who lost track of sober five years ago. All of this seems to be true.

But a training manual for sexual assault? Only if the girl in question is very, very dim, and the assaulter in question is very, very lucky. The only way this will train anyone is in how to guess the most stupid responses on very short lists of stupid responses. So, I guess, it's a sub-par simulator for your standard high school or college party with jocks, maybe. Eminently forgettable, and by far not the worst game out there imaginable.

Then they take on the other 'Satanic' game:
And just as bad...
  • "The game Porno Studio Tycoon centers on sexual themes where the user acts as the pornographer.

  • "It includes sexual sounds, hypersexualized characters, and generic depictions of sex acts...
  • "This game promotes and glamorizes the exploitative industry of pornography."
Really? Read this before you wrangle your local parents' group into complaining to Steam. This is a basic resource management game for the most part, with a little bit of lingerie thrown in to 'spice up' the dry mergers and acquisitions data tracks. There may be 'sexual sounds', but there's no actual depictions of sex acts. You'll definitely see more skin in Hunie Pop than you ever will in Porno Studio Tycoon.

Anything left to say, strange pleading piece of spam? Why yes:
  1. "Steam sells and promotes these games to users of all ages and requires only a simple click of a button to pass through a tepid warning that the material may not be suitable for all ages.

  1. "These games are in direct violation of Steam's own policies against pornographic or patently offensive content."
Well, in point of fact, that's the one thing this bit of faux-ham has been right on: I'd say House Party (and Hunie Pop) do violate their policies (while Porno Studio Tycoon really doesn't), but you know what an easy way to get those off Steam would be? Flag them for offensive or inappropriate content. It's a built-in system that Steam will actually pay attention to, whereas they generally won't bother even looking at an email campaign or a petition.

There's a petition if you feel morally outraged, but...seriously, this is so hyperbolically overblown it's ludicrous.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

it's a crusade to bring you to your knees

And this should be the last of it. The whole series for anyone who may have missed parts of it, to date:

Part the first, wherein a certain resident flies a Confederate flag in defiance of...something.
Part the second, wherein the resident population tries to convince her this is a bad idea.
Part the third, wherein histories are explained and notices are sent.
Part the fourth, wherein even more history is explained, the conversation wanders, and the certain resident begins to realize what she's done.
Part the fifth, wherein a well-known resident decides that she is Leaving SL Forever over the issue.
Part the sixth, wherein the Guv'nah sends out a lengthy notice explaining his reasoning in depth.
Part the seventh, wherein books, films, theme parks and politics are mentioned.

Now you're caught up. You may proceed.
[22:55] Lxxx Sxxxxx: You don't really want to white-wash the bad bits of history, but that doesn't mean I want to play in it.
[22:56] Lxxx Sxxxxx: We have better intrigues.
[22:56] Lxxx Sxxxxx: With blimps.
[22:56] Axxxxxx Gxxxxxx: and tentacles
[22:56] Kxxxxxxx Ixxxxxxxx: lol
[22:56] Lxxx Sxxxxx: And fancy shoes!
[22:56] lxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Bunnehs!
[22:56] axxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: and clockwork
[22:57] axxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: and faeries
[22:57] Kxxxxxxx Ixxxxxxxx: and cookies...
Never forget about the cookies.
[22:57] Lxxx Sxxxxx: And two pairs of goggles for every head.
[22:57] Sxxxxx Hxxxxxxxxxx: Well, as kids, we often had a myopic view of how the world was. And that's what we want to bring back, the world of our innocence.
[22:57] axxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: and the ocasionally really kinky labs with leather tables :)
[22:57] Axxxxxx Gxxxxxx: and pretty glowy rocks that make things float
[22:58] Exxxxxxxx Pxxxxx: Tentacles will offend a whole other group of people.
[22:58] Axxxxxx Gxxxxxx: Catgirls might too, but by Bast, I'm not takin' off my tail. *snerks*
[22:59] axxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Feed the kluxers to the tentacles, on second thought, nah, that is a culinary ofense, even with good hot sauce :)
[22:59] Axxxxxx Gxxxxxx: (plus I don't think Des is gonna be banning catgirls any time soon. ;-p)
[22:59] Cxxxxxxx Wxxxxxxxx cackles
[23:00] Lxxx Sxxxxx: That's unfathomable!
Oh, that was a terrible pun.
[23:00] Kxxxxxxx Ixxxxxxxx: oh almost forgot...hugs da stuffin out of des....smiles
[23:00] Desmond Shang: :) thanks
[23:00] Lxxx Sxxxxx gets smothered in her barnacleness.
[23:01] Kxxxxxxx Ixxxxxxxx: confused people when i changed my name from [kxxx] to [cxxxxx]
[23:01] Wxxxxxxxx Jxxxxxxx: An interesting story here:
[23:01] Wxxxxxxxx Jxxxxxxx: Did that name change happen when you came into dough?
That was terrible, and sadly, it's a play on words that now only makes sense to me and the few detectives who bother to sort out the limited clues.
[23:02] Kxxxxxxx Ixxxxxxxx: lol
[23:02] axxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: bottom line, is it safe to say that most here back Des?
[23:02] axxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I say AYE
[23:02] Cxxxxxxx Wxxxxxxxx: As do I.
[23:02] Desmond Shang: this was not a happy decision, i see no victory in it whatsoever.
[23:03] axxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: that';s your chocie des, and I am not beign malicious, however, lI am glsd you did it
Ooof. "Choice", obviously, I think "being" goes without correcting, but "glad" stymied me for a bit.
[23:03] lxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I support Des in this. And thank [Wxxx] for his clarity.
[23:03] Axxxxxx Gxxxxxx: Sometimes tough decisions have to be made in the now to avoid bigger issues down the road.
[23:03] axxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: because I did not want to look over my shoulkder and wonder who was going to come here and mess thigns up
"Shoulder" was pretty easy to figure out. So was "things".
[23:03] axxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: or, what [Gxxxxxx] said
[23:03] Kxxxxxxx Ixxxxxxxx: exactly
[23:04] mxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I support Des in this.
[23:04] axxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: and decison kicked down the line tend to catch up
[23:04] Wxxxxxxxx Jxxxxxxx: No victory, but it keeps symbols that are now, with hijacked meaning, definitely inconsistent with civility and tolerance out of Caledon.
[23:05] Dxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I don't believe we should have political signs in Caledon. If we are in Victorian Caledon how/why would we have political signs from the future?
[23:05] Exxxxxxxx Pxxxxx: Time Machines
[23:05] Exxxxxxxx Pxxxxx: We used to have a Time Machine store in Port Caledon
[23:05] Desmond Shang: [Dxxx] for about two years I did have a 'no politics' clause in the covenant, i relaxed it because the topic was coming up and i didn't want to suppress people if there wasn't a reason.
[23:05] Axxxxxx Gxxxxxx: I think it's still around but vortexed to Inworldz
[23:07] Desmond Shang: one other comment, yes you bet there
*are* people who want to role play this or that odious thing. mostly obvious trolls, but also some that are quite serious.
[23:07] Desmond Shang: (that was in general, not to [Dxxx] per se)
[23:09] Dxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: thank you
[23:09] Axxxxxx Gxxxxxx: I imagine there are probably Civil War re-enactment folks who would love to do something in a virtual world. But...Linden's pretty much put the nix on it last year sooooo...not sure it'd even be an issue at this point.
[23:09] Desmond Shang: i had one person come by some years ago that appeared as an autistic black man in a wheelchair. there's no fast way to know if it's a troll, or someone who is simply disabled and matching his RL appearance
[23:09] Mxxx Mxxxxxxx: I went to a Civil War region, they had one Conf flag
[23:10] axxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: hell, there is a conti9ngent that is mad at video games, specifly castle woflenstein, because the nqazis are bad guys
"Contingent" barely needs correction, but do you mean "specifically"? And I'm pretty sure you mean "Nazis" also.
[23:10] Exxxxxxxx Pxxxxx: I am not a dark elf in Real Life. Just in case anyone was wondering.
[23:10] axxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: now,,castle [f*ckign] wolfenstein, one of the oldest games around
[23:10] axxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: and people are mad thatb you fight nazis
[23:10] axxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: ?????
[23:10] lxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I had someone come through Oxbridge. The first time in a wheelchair, the next in massive wheelchair and braces (as on teeth). either a strange fetish or attention seeking. She didn't get much attention, I must say.
[23:10] axxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I mean, has anyone here NOTn played that game? it has been aiorund since the 80's

[23:11] Exxxxxxxx Pxxxxx: I'm surprised the "sex in video games is sinful" people on the right and the "sex in video games is misogynistic" on the left never really went after SL.
[23:12] axxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: only because they do not know
[23:12] axxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: and heave hjoppe they do not
Now we're getting into major reinterpretation. "Heaven hope"?

[23:12] Axxxxxx Gxxxxxx: They're too busy having sex in SL
[23:12] Desmond Shang: i really 'get' that honest civil war enactors aren't trying to be evil, or airplane war games are promoting the 3rd reich. the issues i've had, weren't like that
[23:12] lxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: LOL [Axxxxxx]
[23:12] Kxxxxxxx Ixxxxxxxx: when i was wearing my oriental look...i had a guy tell me i should go home.....i asked if he was born in the states.....he said i said then i don't need to go "home" either...
[23:14] Desmond Shang: also, i've had a lot of questions about if my decision was politically motivated. the answer is no. if anyone really wants to know my RL politics I'll say (I'm not democrat or republican).
[23:14] Exxxxxxxx Pxxxxx: That's the great thing about my look. Everyone (but fellow nerds) has no idea what I am :)
[23:16] Kxxxxxxx Ixxxxxxxx: i also get that in rl...half scot...half japanese....been in texas since i was 3 weeks old...
[23:16] Exxxxxxxx Pxxxxx: Green? Libertarian? Whig?
[23:16] Zxxxx Exxxxxxx: Des, your (or our) RL political views are no one else's business IMO. The change in policy is against hate groups/symbols/speech, as it should be.
[23:16] Axxxxxx Gxxxxxx: He's a Purrlaimentarian
[23:16] Kxxxxxxx Ixxxxxxxx: lol
[23:16] Exxxxxxxx Pxxxxx: I bet you have a Texas accent that baffles them
[23:16] Kxxxxxxx Ixxxxxxxx: yes i do...smiles
[23:17] Lxxx Sxxxxx: My accent baffles [Wxxxx] because it isn't "movie Texas" enough.
[23:17] Exxxxxxxx Pxxxxx: No one talks like that outside of Movie Texas
[23:17] Lxxx Sxxxxx: She's learning that. But it still gives her giggles when I "y'all"
[23:17] Desmond Shang: this may be hard to believe, but i was a republican for about ... 28? years. mainly for economic reasons. went independent after the gop voted to bail out the banks. i saw it as a betrayal. didn't vote for any major pres candidate.
[23:18] Axxxxxx Gxxxxxx slips from Dixie Carter southern into all out Ozark hillbilly if I'm drunk enough.
[23:18] Exxxxxxxx Pxxxxx: The banks should have been have been broken up as a condition of being bailed out.
I tend to agree. I was raised in the midst of Republicans, so as usual in those situations, I'm a Democrat (or Independent, depending on how frustrated I am with the Dem leadership in any given year), but the last thing the banks needed was full permission to go out and make the same mistakes again. That should have been disallowed at the start.
[23:19] Desmond Shang: i'm too right wing for democrats to love me, but so far left now that the republicans wouldn't want me either. i see them both as 'big money' parties spending us into oblivion and will vote for anyone sane. which has been hard to do lately.
[23:19] Axxxxxx Gxxxxxx: amen
[23:19] Kxxxxxxx Ixxxxxxxx: also lived in north caroline when i was young and picked up a bit of a hillbilly
[23:20] Rxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Just be you Des ;)
[23:20] Exxxxxxxx Pxxxxx: I read in California, Republicans don't even show up on the ballot in many statewide elections.
[23:20] Zxxxx Exxxxxxx: That's not true at all
I'm not even sure where one would get that idea.

[23:21] Desmond Shang: i've never really thought twice about the american south and its politics.
[23:21] nxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: said it on Friday, Des, totally with you on the ConFed flag issue
[23:21] Lxxx Sxxxxx has seen proof that the south doesn't think twice about it either.
[23:21] Lxxx Sxxxxx: Sometimes it's hard to get the first think.
Desmond Shang: shame it had to blow up like this. but as bad as this is, it would have been 1000 times worse.
[23:22] Desmond Shang: incidentally the person i consulted about the confederate flag knows what SL is, but doesn't play. they had no dog in this hunt.
[23:24] Desmond Shang: alright it seems we are pretty much talked out on this, is that fair to say, for tonight?
[23:24] Exxxxxxxx Pxxxxx: The "confederate flag" everyone thinks about wasn't even the actual Confederate Flag.
[23:24] Mxxx Mxxxxxxx: The election are top two voter getters, so after a primary the Rep can be toast for the general
[23:24] Exxxxxxxx Pxxxxx: Louisiana does that too.
[23:24] hxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxxx: Do I get tea with my toast?
Desmond Shang: tea is in the harbour
[23:24] Mxxx Mxxxxxxx: or a mimosa
[23:25] Lxxx Sxxxxx: Someone needs to rez tea crates under Sky City.
[23:25] Mxxx Mxxxxxxx: on my way ;p
Okay, next time I'm in I must heck for floating tea crates underneath Steam SkyCity.
[23:25] Lxxx Sxxxxx: "But Des said so!"
[23:26] Kxxxxxx Hxxxxxxxx:
[23:26] Exxxxxxxx Pxxxxx: You might appreciate this cartoon, Governor:
[23:26] Exxxxxxxx Pxxxxx:
Desmond Shang: indeed
[23:26] Lxxx Sxxxxx has a kettle and makes coffee with it.
Desmond Shang: oh one last thing ~ i'm going to log in a moment, screaming headache RL here, but just this
[23:28] nxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx is a Brit, has a kettle... NEVER, ever, ever makes tea... filthy stuff
[23:28] Kxxxxxxx Ixxxxxxxx: makes tea in the coffee maker and when it died i made coffee in the hot tea maker....grins
You gotta use what you have, I guess.
[23:28] Desmond Shang: some people are NOT pleased with the decision and have decided to go with 'state' flags here to celebrate pride in their RL state
[23:28] Desmond Shang: i don't have any issue with state flags.
[23:28] Desmond Shang: even if they look sorta similar.
[23:29] Emilly Orr nods.
[23:29] Emilly Orr: I'm honestly surprised we have people making an issue of this. It just seems like common sense to me.
[23:29] Wxxxxxxxx Jxxxxxxx: Hmmm State flags, like Mondrago, or Babbage, or New Toulouse, or ....
[23:29] Exxxxxxxx Pxxxxx: If I was going to fly a non-Caledon flag here, I would probably fly the Texas flag myself.
[23:29] Kxxxxxx Hxxxxxxxx: Best flag:!/fileImage/httpImage/image.png_gen/derivatives/16x9_1180/flag-of-british-columbia-was-adopted-in-1960.png
Desmond Shang: like georgia state flag or whatever.

[23:30] Cxxxxxx Fxxxxxxx: May I say something, I'm a born raised Mississippian, born in 1960 one hundred year after the start of the war. I flew the flag most of my life because it was still a sense of country. the Confederacy. But I won't today it is no longer a symbol of a country but of a movement. When the war came the Confederacy was not all about slavery it centered on states rights. the right of the states to govern themselves without the federal government controlling or interferring. Well the slavery issue was more emotional so it took center stage, which is fine. Slavery was already about to be on it's way out thanks to john Deere who started in 1837 inventing the things to replace humans. Today it is no doubt the stars and bars are seen by many as a symbol of hate, but let us not forget it is a flag of a country that was conquered. Above all I am an American, a citizen of the Untied States and I served in it's Navy for 13 years. I served beside blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and good ol mutts.
[23:30] Cxxxxxx Fxxxxxxx: If I happen to have a Confederate flag show some time well excuse me but I can tell you it's a sense of what once was a country my state was a part of and certainly not hate as I have rubbed shoulders with all kinds and we did our jobs during Desert Shield / Storm. And yes [Exxxxxxxx] the flag people think is the Confederate flag is actually a battle flag.
That was wordy, but accurate. 
[23:31] Emilly Orr: That is a lovely flag, the British Columbia one.
[23:31] mxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: It certainly is
[23:32] Dxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: it is the Confederate Battle Flag
Desmond Shang: i was aware of the whole 'there are different flags' thing but it's hard to make a concise statement while dealing with all this, i knowingly left it out
[23:34] Emilly Orr:
[23:34] Emilly Orr: But Des is banning all of them.
Desmond Shang: basically, yes. I'm not shying away from that.
[23:36] Emilly Orr nods.
And I really do think while it may hurt now, to lose friends who disagree, it's something that needs doing.
[23:36] Emilly Orr: Allow one, it can be argued that others should be allowed. This is a blanket ban.
[23:36] Desmond Shang: what clinched it for me was the cornerstone speech, as described. when the vp of the confederacy states what the confederacy's cornerstone is, i take him for his word. that did it.
[23:36] Wxxxxxxxx Jxxxxxxx: Des, any symbol that becomes identified with a hate group, whose meaning has been hijacked by such a group, simply doesn't belong here.
[23:36] Desmond Shang: and, that too.
[23:37] hxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I may keep my Union Jack?
[23:37] Exxxxxxxx Pxxxxx: If the Klan and neo-Nazi groups were smart they would fly the American flag exclusively. But they would probably not be in Klan and neo-Nazi groups if they were smart.
[23:38] Desmond Shang: well, funny you should say that. there's a situation where I had a really ugly issue with that one too (union flag). I'll explain
[23:38] Dxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: They do not have American values
[23:39] Cxxxxxx Fxxxxxxx: He'll need the Union jack to change a tire

[23:39] Desmond Shang: there are some colonial scenarios where flying a union flag over... a really ugly scene is... just, no.
[23:39] Mxxx Mxxxxxxx: so no union jack?
[23:39] Desmond Shang: i don't think anyone's using it to grief here.
[23:40] hxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Only to grief you colonials leaving the mother empire :)
[23:40] Kxxxxxx Hxxxxxxxx: I was thinking of putting a Union Jack up and reporting it as a Confederate Battle flag to see how many suckers I drew in. That's kinda griefing.
[23:40] Cxxxxxx Fxxxxxxx: uh Des not US union as in Yankees but the British flag which is displayed on their ships
[23:41] Desmond Shang: yes i get that. union jack is the ship flag. 'jack' signifies naval as I recall right?
[23:41] Desmond Shang: union jack should only be navy, it's not 'the' flag
[23:42] Rxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Wxxx: not correct Des common idea but misplaced
[23:42] Rxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Wxxx:
[23:42] Desmond Shang: hmm. looks
[23:43] Mxxx Mxxxxxxx: have Hello Kitty flag
[23:43] Cxxxxxx Fxxxxxxx: dear dear Des
[23:43] Lxxx Sxxxxx: I'm just glad it's okay to paint that on top of a Mini Cooper.
[23:43] nxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: we call our flag the union jack, the red/white ensign is the ship flag
[23:43] Cxxxxxx Fxxxxxxx: It IS the flag of Brtian! 
Or "Britain".
[23:43] Desmond Shang: interesting
[23:44] hxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: GREAT Britian if you please :)
Okay, "GREAT Britain".

[23:44] Desmond Shang: well it's the combo of what, the george cross, the scot saltire and the fitzgerald cross
[23:44] nxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: but in the UK we have same issue you have with the ConFed flag with our Flag of St George, the flag of England, which has been hijacked in the same way
[23:44] Cxxxxxx Fxxxxxxx: Yes Proper name is Great Britian sorry general
Nope, still "Great Britain".

[23:44] Rxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Wxxx: yeaa white ensign Royal Navy Red ensign merchant navy
[23:45] Exxxxxxxxx Hxxxxxxx: A jack is a national (originally naval) flag flown from a short jackstaff at the bow of a vessel, while the ensign is flown on the stern
[23:45] hxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Quite alright [Cxxxxxx] :)
Desmond Shang: i wonder what happens to it if scotland separates. do they lose the blue?
[23:45] Lxxx Sxxxxx has driven by a house in England flying the Texas flag, and is not sure how to take it.
[23:45] Exxxxxxxxx Hxxxxxxx: what about the cross of St Patrick?
[23:45] nxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: there was talk about that detail, but it never happened
[23:46] Wxxxxxxxx Jxxxxxxx Thought about flying Harold Godwinson's flag, simply because it was another lost war.
[23:46] nxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: [Lxxx], was it in East Anglea?
Desmond Shang: i thought that was the fitzgerald part, i may be wrrong
23:46] Rxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Wxxx: All getting a bit Sheldon Cooper (。◕‿◕。)Lawl(。◕‿◕。)
Desmond Shang: also there is no welsh dragon on it
[23:46] nxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: 'cos Wales is a principality not a country
Is that true?
[23:46] Lxxx Sxxxxx: It was ... I can't remember the villlage. Northwest of London.
[23:46] Mxxx Mxxxxxxx: doesn't that mean Fergie is at home with the toe guy?
[23:47] nxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: not north east... just a lot of US airbase to the north east... and US service retirees
[23:47] Exxxxxxxx Pxxxxx: Off to bed. Goodnight everyone.
Desmond Shang: sleep well
[23:47] Lxxx Sxxxxx waves
[23:47] Rxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Wxxx: .:・.。❀❀ !Ɲίtє Ɲίtє! ❀❀。.・:.
Desmond Shang: ok i left a
LOT of land stuff undone but i'll try to get back in here tomorrow or next day. splitting headache from all this stuff. begs everyone please to get along, i'm not that graceful with dealing with stuff these days.
[23:50] Desmond Shang: good night all.
[23:50] hxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Personally (in RL) I thought flags were symbols of tribalism (yes very obvious). Should get rid of them all. No flags, no arm patches etc
[23:50] Mxxx Mxxxxxxx: night
[23:50] hxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Night Des
[23:50] Kxxxxxxx Ixxxxxxxx: get some rest des...hugs....
[23:50] Lxxx Sxxxxx demands rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty
[23:50] Rxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Sweet Dreams, sleep well ;)
[23:51] nxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: bye Des
[23:51] Cxxxxxx Fxxxxxxx: he's gone
[23:51] Lxxx Sxxxxx loses her barnacle-like grip.

And that seems to, at last, be that. Will Caledon have more departures over this? Who knows? Why we've had departures over this already is baffling enough. All I know is, the rule of the land is still the rule of the land: Courtesy, respect, tolerance, are key, but above all the rest is TOLERANCE. Ad aeternum, ad infinitum.