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Moriash Moreau: My Second Life
Friday, October 13, 2006
 
Beach Ball of DOOM!
During my morning constitutional, I ran across an abandoned beach ball in an empty woodland sim. You know the objects I'm talking about. They were the toys we all played with in order to learn the use of the (dubiously useful) click-and-drag ability in the newbie center. Normally, this would be an inconsequential, everyday event. A beach ball. So what? But the grid attacks earlier this week changed that.

From what Will Webb (volunteer grey goo cleanup and damage control officer) tells me, some schmuck used the freebie beach ball as a shell for his scripted self-replicator payload. To make matters worse, this attack employed non-scripted decoys to hinder cleanup attempts. So there I was, confronted with a brightly colored, innocuous beach ball. Or, potentially, an unexploded bomb capable of bringing down the Grid. Stop and think about the absurdity of that situation. I'm looking at a beach ball. (Or, more precisely, orbiting around it. Didn't want to interrupt my walk by stopping.) And every movie bomb defusing cliché ever to come out of Hollywood is running through my head. "Blue wire, red wire! Red wire, blue wire!" The timer is ticking down to zero as the frantic music swells, and a single bead of sweat runs down the hero's brow... Over a beach ball!

To make a short story longer, I ended up using the edit tool and hover tips to determine that said ball was only a non-scripted, physical object. (If it was still live, I would have braced myself for the potential Chicken Little embarrassment, and put in a call to Live Help to clean it up properly.) And, because it ticked me off, I triggered my trademark glasses to blast the offending object off the edge of the world. Thus, I either did my good deed for the day, by cleaning up an undiscovered bit of gray goo effluvium, or I blasted some innocent player's toy into oblivion. If you lost a beach ball on the southeast coast of the main continent, well... Sorry about that.


And, on a semi-related topic, it's time that everyone was reminded of the GIFT. For all too many people, it is the cornerstone of online behavior. Keep it in mind next time you run into complete assjacks on the Grid. They're not a product of a bad environment. They're not "roleplaying." (If the role you are acting out requires you to be a reprehensible, amoral, and/or deliberately obnoxious asshole, then my roleplaying requires me to ban you, add you to my ignore list, and generally treat you as your character (in both senses of the word) deserves. Damn, I'm a good roleplayer, huh?) They're not making a socio-political statement. They're not too stupid to know better. (That cuts no ice at all in SL. Nobody in SL for more than a day or two is stupid. They're at least smart enough to use a computer, and to get the point of an online game with no monsters to kill or levels to gain. That alone places them in the middle of the bell curve, if not on the right-hand slope. I've said this before, so I'll let it go at that.) Most of the time, there are no extenuating or mitigating circumstances whatsoever. They're just under the influence of the GIFT, plain and simple. Remember that.
Comments:
I understand your point about Second Lifers being potentially smarter than the average, and the GIFT statement is real funny. However, if you want to go further deep into relationships between intelligence and stupid behaviour, you should read this

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/serendipia/Stupidity.html

if you don't know it already. I think this is a deeper explanation than the GIFT is, and a general mind-opener about human nature.

By the way, I LOVE your blog...
 
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