Monday, August 11, 2008
Tinkering and Calculating
Just a quick update on the tinkering front. A while back, I decided to pare down the inventory in Mo-Tech industries, converting some older items to freebies, and taking others off the market altogether. (The latter group included poor sellers, as well as items broken by recent changes that I didn't feel were worth fixing.) This reorganization effort allowed me to consolidate two largish, unattractively empty floors into one nicely filled (but still not crowded) space. Somewhat better, from a marketing standpoint, and it doesn't require the use of an elevator to see the rest of my wares. I will never understand why it's so difficult to figure out you should press the big green or red buttons labeled "UP" or "DOWN" to go, well, up or down. Have these people never ridden elevators before? I suppose I should make explanatory signage, but it galls me to have to hit folks over the head with the obvious.
In any case, this left me with three floors (I had two empty floors for future expansion to begin with) in which to tinker. So, I'm proud to announce (somewhat belatedly) the somewhat grand-ish opening of Mo-Tech Gallery! At present, the Gallery is divided into three floors. The first floor contains screenshots, photo-shop manipulations, and other forms of 2D electronic graphic art (putting aside the black velvet Elvis and the dogs playing poker- they're just placeholders). This includes several works by my departed (from SL, not from life in general) friend, Laura Ingersoll, as well as some other works I've collected (or created) over the years. (Basically, the theme is "pictures I had in my inventory that I never got around to hanging" at this point.) Level two contains three dimensional works (currently centered around the theme "low prim things I had in my inventory"- already regretting tiering down), and features sculptures by MenuBar Memorial and Zero Ball, as well as others. Both floors are worth spending a few minutes to browse and admire.
Level three is the one I expect to see the most work on in the future. I've decided to turn it into a gallery of old or failed SL projects and experiments. I've often referred to Mo-Tech Tower as a monument to my own ego. Might as well continue with that theme! Mostly, though, I'm using it as a dumping ground for my old work, as an aid for my ongoing project of letting go of my SL past and gradual end to general laurels-resting. If I dump it there, I can forget about it and move on. Kind of a physical representation of closure, I suppose.
(Speaking of closure, Monica and I are working on a project to close the book on Plywood. Nothing too exciting- and no it's not more comics- but it should be interesting, anyway. I'll make one last post about that when it goes live.)
In any case, this gallery currently includes a mockup of the heli-bike designed for the still ongoing, if substantially neglected, bicycle integration project. (I need to get back to that one. It was kind of fun.) Also shown are a couple of pieces from Babel Two, and one of the versions of the particle contour mapper. Ultimately, I'm going to add samples of the other, more photogenic and/or interesting projects littering my "Projects-Experimental" folder. I'm also going to add a couple of rotating exhibits for some of the excellent props Monica Young/Chrestomanci Bard made for Plywood, as well. A ton of work went into those, and it seems a shame to let them disappear with nothing but photos to remain.
So, anyway, that's one of the things I've been messing with, off and on, for the past few weeks. In other news, I was thinking about SL years verses real-time years, and something occurred to me. Going by the movement of the sun in the virtual sky, an SL day is four hours long. So six SL days pass for every one RL day. That means, by my calculations, avatar Moriash turned 21 on around July 1 (give or take a day). And I didn't even take the poor fellow out for his first legal bender! (Of course, given some of the mind trips I've taken the poor fellow on during his formative years, I'm guessing he'd find mere booze pretty tame, anyway.) I'd say that my rez-day is also about the youngest (give or take a few RL months or SL years) that earns a modicum of respect solely based on longevity. Not ancient or venerable, by any means. But I've occasionally been referred to (if not deferred to) as one of the SL elders in many a group. And, yet, in many gatherings I still feel like a young tyro, a kid. Again, that slots in rather nicely with my calculated age. Still all-but-a-kid, but now with the figurative, metaphorical ability to buy booze for my younger friends. (Don't do that, folks. It's illegal. Unless you mean in SL, then knock yourself out.) Solely by virtue of my age and experience, there are quite a few things I can do, and even places I'm invited to go, that my younger cohorts cannot.
By my calculations, that pegs Steller Sunshine, Second Life's first resident, at the ripe old age of 38. And, depending on how you count it, few of the Linden av-family would be much into their forties. Mind you, this is only pointless numbers juggling, of limited use or meaning. Nonetheless, I find it somehow encouraging. Second Life is still a young world.
Then again, I suppose you could look at this another way. Most avatars won't live nearly as long as Ms. Sunshine. Statistically, the vast majority die off, as their typists get tired of SL, or otherwise move on, long before they reach their teens. Maybe this is more like the harshest days of the early American frontier, or perhaps even the middle ages, where a rare few live long enough to reach adulthood, and the village elders are only in their thirties. But I'm starting to hear the sounds of a tenuous, muddled analogy approaching dramatic tensile failure, so I guess I'll leave it at that. Still, food for thought. Maybe there's something to the 6-to-1 time ratio, in terms of the growth and development of avatars, and of SL in general.