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Moriash Moreau: My Second Life
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
 
Virtual Injury
Well, I think this might be a first on the grid: I just injured myself in Second Life. At least, I hope it's a first. Considering where most of the RL-to-SL interface research is directed, I really don't want to think about the nature of the bodily damage resulting from such accidents.

But I digress. I've mentioned it before, in passing, and I'm sure I'll mention it again: Basically, I'm coming up with a frame for the exercise bike I mentioned previously that will allow me to control the pitch and roll of an SL aircraft by shifting my center of gravity, and leaning/banking in the direction I wish to go. Sort of like an upright, pedal-powered hang-glider, more or less.

Well, last night, I did some early tests of the partially completed frame. I've been designing this contraption as I go, because I've had to determine the various balance points by trial and error. (I suppose someone might be able to determine the center of balance for a moving bicyclist on top of an exercise bike balanced on a length of two-by-ten, but that's a bit more math than I'm prepared to do in my off hours.) This means strapping together bits of it temporarily, then carefully climbing aboard and throwing my weight around to see if it'll lean the way I want it to lean.

During one such test, my temporary measures gave way, releasing the exercise bike from its moorings and catapulting me backwards. After a moment of frantically scrambling for purchase, I managed to land my right foot on a nearby step stool... Which promptly shattered under my weight. The net result? A few cuts and bruises in inconvenient places from falling on top of the shards of plastic from the sundered stool, a ripped pair of work pants, and a mildly sprained ankle. Oh, and my test vehicle spinning out of control and slamming my avatar into the ground with similar force. A little unexpected bit of immersion, that. Perhaps I should damage-enable my testing grounds, just for an extra bit of realism. All told, neither my virtual nor real selves fared too well during last night's test flights.

Fortunately, the exercise bike and frame came through relatively unscathed, even after receiving a few retributory kicks from my uninjured foot. And, more importantly, I see what I did wrong. I mean, aside from flailing about while perched on top of a complex assembly held together with zip ties and duct tape. It should be salvageable, with a few modifications. So, after allowing a bit of time to heal (hauling around lengths of lumber whilst hopping around on one leg isn't a lot of fun), I should be able to continue. I'll post more here as things develop.

Assuming I don't manage to kill myself first.
Comments:
Well, I suppose you have to count repetitive strain injuries and such due to slumping over your keyboard for hours on end. So it's not exactly a first. Still sounds better than "I got a boo boo today." as an opening paragraph.

And, come to think of it, I think I have to tie the tendonitis in my left wrist a while back to the increased time in front of my computer. That, and the sharp increase in my swivel-chair spread, too. This game is slowly killing me!
 
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