Tuesday, January 15, 2008

On the Beat

One of my duties around Orientation Station is policing it. Most people coming in are fairly well adjusted and do their newbie thing, asking questions is what they do and I'm only too happy to help them out. I'd say ninety percent fall into this category. Even the ones asking for 'teh sex' can sometimes fall in here, since it's a legitimate business in SL and they just want to know where to get it. The fact that it's not allowed on OS doesn't mean it's illegal, just that you can't do it here. And I point those people in the right direction and set them on their way.

There is a distinct minority though, the remaining ten percent, who need to be slapped upside the head. They fall into a few categories.

There are newbie scammers. These folks may be involved in Ponzi schemes which proliferate in SL, or looking for meat bots to add to their traffic, or other things which I can not fathom. In any event, they draw off the new people from learning the basics and deposit them directly into SL. They circumvent the training process. Some may draw off the newbies and honestly educate them in how to build, how to dress, etc, but the vast majority are just using them like tissues. And when they've served their purpose or the person leaves SL, we end up with a bunch of people utterly clueless about SL and its workings. No one entering SL is stupid by any means, but SL is not easy to become acclimated to, and these people are truly missing out on learning the full set of the basics. And that is if they even bother to try, most will probably just drop out of SL. I hope the people who do this can sleep well at night.

There are a few people who don't recruit and ship newbies off to places far and unknown. These people just stand there, usually in the default avatar, and stand around. I find them stuck in this one wall. When I approach, they quickly teleport away or just don't respond to chat, voice, or IMs. I have no idea what they are doing but they don't seem to be doing anything constructive or destructive. I kicked one around and caged it, but other than providing a giggle to a nearby Ruth it didn't seem to do much. I want to say they're some kind of bot. What kind is the question to be asked. Land bots tend to hover in Linden sims or around land-for-sale. Traffic bots just stand around the owner's shops and lands. Copybot would copy people. It is a most unusual experience. I'm sure time will tell what kind of bot is popping around here, and the sooner the better.

Griefers, although these seem to be dying out. I've never been firebombed or grief-cubed, but I have had people verbally abuse me and deliberately run around in the nude. I do not care what they have to say, much of which is unoriginal, but the streakers bother me. There's no genitals and it is 'your world, your imagination', but I believe it is not a good impression to the average person. When I see someone streak about the sim, my first reaction would be, "Oh dear, this place is going to be crazy and probably stupid." This is the main reason that nudists drive me up walls. I don't think that the newbies would be scarred for life or must have their innocence protected, but because most of SL is rather normal and more entertaining than watching JesSmeg69 Oh run in his birthday suit. Other than this, griefers tend to ignore us and we ignore them.

On a side note, Orientation Station has changing booths, so if you so desired you could strip and check yourself out in a private room away from the rest of us. Or change your clothes. Whichever you want to do. I don't care, as long as they would stay out of the main areas.

Policing the sim isn't all about catching the baddies, however. Sometimes it is clean-up. Certain areas of Orientation Station, whether by design or oversight, have build enabled or auto-return off in various places like patch work, and prims drift and people scatter them, and eventually on occasion the sim will have litter. Cleaning up is an occasional task. Not often, as the island is set up fairly intelligently and things usually get auto-returned. But there have been moments where I had to take the initiative and sweep up. Sometimes it's my litter if I've been demonstrating something to someone and then get called away or just absorbed in what I'm doing. It has to get swept.

People can set OS as their home. And there is an odd quirk that when they teleport home, they end up stuck in walls. I've mentioned this and demonstrated this to many people, and it is fixed and then it happens all over again. We've tried everything, but people still teleport into this wall. And then I have to pull them out of it by offering them a teleport to my location. AT this point, we've done all we can do and possibly only a Linden or something with a good grasp of SL tech could probably help us. And it's another task that has to be done.

There's probably more junk I do doing a Mentor patrol, but hell if I can remember. This is about the regular fare that I've noticed over and over again.


Strange Ranger said...

It might be possible to keep people from landing in the walls by setting up a default landing point and turn on teleport routing for the parcel. If anybody has an old landmark that has since turned into a wall, they will, instead, land at the default landing point. You might have tried this, but it's just a suggestion.

Anna J Tsiolkovsky said...

Maybe. I'm not sure as I don't run OS myself, I'm just one of the horde who man it. All I know is that I report it, and it still occurs. I do thank you for the suggestion, though. I'll rely it on.