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Moriash Moreau: My Second Life
Saturday, January 01, 2005
Who Am I?
A Rambling Introduction to this Weblog
(Written April 8, 2005)

Hello, and welcome to my Second Life weblog. To help put all this in perspective, let me tell you a bit about my online self.

I'm a thirty-something mechanical engineer from Houston, Texas. My chief claim to fame is being one of the Web's foremost experts on homebrew lava lamps. (See Google for proof. I'm right up there at the top!) I maintain, and sometimes even update, an obsolete vintage hand-coded vanity site called PsychicGoldfish.com. The name was the result of a late night session on a WHOIS server, beating my head against the wall and trying to find a memorable domain name that wasn't already taken. Nobody forgets my URL now, but I've found that a truly depressing number of people can't spell "psychic." Some of the projects on that site (such as Office Bricolage: Micro Claymore, Improved Breast Enhancing Ringtone, Everquest Keypressing Robot, and What's in Nathan's Pockets?) are responsible for burning up a few more moments of my Warhol time. If this is all I get, I demand a refund!

I've been online, one way or another, since the late Eighties. Sometimes I miss the good old days before the Web and before AOL disks came in every Happy Meal, when you had to either be a student or have an in with a major university to get access. People seemed to take a little more care in what they wrote and how they presented themselves. In short, nobody had even heard of LOL, or ROFL, or STFU. If they liked what you had to say, or thought you were an idiot, or wanted you to shut up and go away, they told you so in great and eloquent detail. Those were the golden years.

As for online games, I've been involved with them off and on for over a decade. Back in the halcyon days of the pre-web internet, I spent an inordinate amount of time neglecting my studies and playing MUDs like Medievia. Most people nowadays haven't even heard of MUDs. They didn't get much press, even before they became hopelessly outmoded. They were text-only virtual worlds, with prose taking the place of the fully rendered, high-res visual experiences we take for granted nowadays. But they were no less immersive for that limitation. A well written description is easily as evocative as a fully rendered picture. Perhaps more so. MUDs, and their close cousins, MOOs were an important step on the road to modern MMORPGs and virtual worlds like Second Life.

But enough of Jurassic internet history. After (barely) graduating from college, I left MUDs behind and moved on to Ultima Online. From there, I moved on to Everquest (as Moriash Spindrifter, Journeyman Mage) for a couple of years. I'd quit EQ every few months, only to restart again when I forgot how tedious it was to level grind and spend hours looking for groups. My Second Life alias came from this game. It was the result of another late night attempt to find a decent name that was not already taken by other EQ denizens. I am amazed by how much of my online identity has resulted from stringing together random words and syllables at three in the morning.

Finally, in a fit of rage at the overwhelming amount of casual griefing and ignorant 1337 speak from all quarters, I quit EQ once and for all in early 2004. From there, I moved on to a brief stint in Star Wars Galaxies. Many regrettable things happened because of that, but I'll spare you.

However, I quickly lost interest in the Star Wars universe, and decided to give City of Heroes a try. After a couple decades collecting comic books, I went into CoH predisposed to like it. And I tried. I really did. But, sadly, it turned out to be another EQ-style level grind, dressed up in tights.

Then, on New Year's Day of 2005, I discovered something new. I was rounding out the end of my customary Christmas break, and fighting off a serious case of boredom caused by spending the previous few days watching TV. I dropped by Boing Boing to catch up on current events, and saw an advertisement: "Try Second Life FREE for 7 Days!"

I was hooked.

Since then, I've made a few friends, bought some land, made a couple of tentative posts on SL forums, and become a pretty fair journeyman scripter. Since Second Life has pretty much become my life, I've decided to document how I spend my time there. This is primarily to save my RL friends from having to hear about my zippy-neato-keen SL experiences in person, or on my personal RL weblog (which I won't link here, in the interests of keeping my RL and SL separate). There are few things sadder than an online gamer who spends all his face time rabbiting on about what Gwildor the 37th level High Elf Wizard did in the Pits of Karnor. And most folks don't see the difference between that and Second Life...

Assuming there is one, that is. I think that I'm going to table that for now. In any case, welcome to Moriash Moreau: My Second Life. Feel free to drop me a comment or two if the mood strikes, and I hope you enjoy your stay.

Here are some of the most common questions I'm asked in the game. Drop me a comment if you think of anything I should add.

What's with the halo in the early pictures?
(Added 4/26/05)
It has no particular significance, really. As mentioned in one of my earliest posts, I came across a box of freebie wings on my first day in game. I took a liking to a set of scripted white angel wings, and decided I needed a halo to match. It's the first object I ever built. I only wear the wings on special occasions now (they kept getting in the way when I was selecting objects), but I've become quite attached to the halo. Oh, and I know it's a little crooked. It's supposed to be! That's my story, and I'm sticking with it.

What happened to the halo?
(Added 6/16/06)
Well, we all grow up. It was kind of a silly affectation. I still wear it, invisibly, and bring it out on special occasions. It contains an every-changing, Swiss-army-knife array of utilities that I use from time to time, so I was hesitant to take it off altogether. So, I settled for an "incognito" setting, instead.

What's with the glasses?
(Added 6/16/06)
They are a faithful replica of Spider Jerusalem's camera glasses, from the pages of Transmetropolitan. If you haven't read Transmet, and you're into such things, you really should. It's kind of Hunter S. Thompson meets Bladerunner, with a healthy does of WTF?! thrown in. Chrestomanci Bard made them for me a while back. And I've rigged them to fire ass-targeting laser beams, so watch your step.

Isn't it about time you found another shirt?
(Added 6/16/06)
I suppose so. This one has a bit of sentimental value, though. It's the first (and only, actually) item of clothing I ever made. And it's the last symbol of a doomed political movement.

Way back in my SL adolescence, in early 2005, a few Louise dwellers formed a group called the Louise Volunteer Zoning Board (aka the LVZB). Back then, Louise was a new sim, unspoiled by the accumulated detritus of black-box clubs, ill-conceived shopping complexes, and wannabe casinos. And we decided to try and keep it that way. Through a combination of positive peer pressure, good example, strategic land buys, residential-zoned rental properties, and general good vibe production, we set out to "Keep Louise Green."

Actually, all we did was talk about it. But that's beside the point.

As part of the promotional material, I made a little holographic (okay, particle generated) garden gnome. When you touched the base, it would say one of two phrases: "Help save the trees!" or "Help keep Louise greeen!" (Said slogans were voiced by yours truly, with aid of a held nose and creative filtering from a cheap sound editor.) It then dispensed a notecard explaining our plans and asking for donations from interested parties. And it gave out a black T-shirt with the LVZB logo: a pixelated abstract green pine tree.

The LVZB is inactive now, and most of the other members have either disappeared or moved on to other things. But at least I got a nifty T-shirt out of the deal.

How do you pronounce your first name?
(Added 11/21/06)
Well, since I invented it, I get to decide how it's pronounced: "more-EYE-esh." You can call me Mori ("MORE-ee"), or just Mo, if you like.

While we're on the subject, I would strongly advise any newcomers to heed my cautionary example and pick a more conventional name. I'm a little embarrassed by my chosen name, now. It just doesn't fit the world, or the relatively mundane identity I've adopted for myself. But, short of quitting and starting over, I'm kind of stuck with it. Give some thought to your SL name, and to how you'll feel about it months, or even years, down the line.
Hello I was browsing the web for graphic art & I came upon one of your pictures. I would love to use is in one of my pages - with a link back to your blog.
My MSN Group is for graphic artists http://groups.msn.com/DAZaholics I loved your picture and have used it to show you how and where it will be used. If you dont want me to do this thenof course I will remove it


Fade Willow

your image is here.. http://groups.msn.com/DAZaholics/chalanges.msnw?action=get_message&mview=0&ID_Message=150
Please, feel free! Glad to see it get used for something useful.
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