Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hey Hey! Let's Make Vehicle Lemonade!

I have found the perfect use for AnnMarie Otoole's endless Mississippi river of vehicles so ugly they wouldn't pass muster in SL 2003's shitty prim statue era. People have been bitching and moaning, but like my parents said, "Anna, make lemons out of lemonade."

So, aside from the fact that they lag up sims horribly, are uglier than '60s era 'cars of the future', slam and push people off public roads, behave as if the driver is aching for multiple DUIs, and have an unfortunate urge to offroad into others' sims; what use could possibly be made out of them? Well, look at their single positive: they do manage to find their way around the entirety of Second Life. In every stream, road, and abandoned no-autoreturn parcel, you will find AMO's crimes against decency.

You are probably wondering why I'm pointing their out. Well, the thing is, I'm sick of people writing volumes upon volumes that Second Life is one gigantic wasteland full of abandoned lots and blight worse than Pittsburgh's industrial district, populated solely by AMO's mechanical tumbleweeds. And my conclusion is that these people have never ever "had their boots on the ground," as my grandparents would say. I have no idea why no one notices this huge disconnect between people who bloat about this imagined SL desert and reality.

And hence the saving grace of AnnMarie Otoole. My suggestion is such: strap each person onto one of her vehicles and forcibly motor them throughout Second Life. Let them see all the incredible homes and builds people have made and are still making! Let them see people opening up stores and shops even though there's an offworld marketplace. Even the giant hideous black privacy boxes are evidence that the grid is as populated and lively as ever.

"But Anna!" you interject, "I don't see any dots!!" Ok, I have a riddle for you. No, a metaphor.

In the suburbs, it is a ghost town from 7 AM to 5 PM. Everyone is away, whether at school or at work or the nearest Occupy Wherever protest. And it's also barren from 8 PM to 7 AM, when people are having dinner, and sleeping, or up late walking around Second Life. So, from 8 PM to noon and all the way back to 7 AM, if you wandered through the suburbs, you could declare, "Surely this development is dying! Why, I see no souls moving about!" and have a spot of tea and congratulate yourself on such a remarkable observation. Except you're neglecting that window, that window from 5 PM to 8 PM, when everyone comes home, and before supper is ready, when everyone comes out. Children ride their bikes, and adults water and cut their lawns, and it erupts into the chaos of life.

And Second Life is similar. A quick romp through a particular sim will never capture its spirit. Go ahead and sit by it for a few days, and you'll find people come in (with varying degrees of frequency) and, well, do their thing, whatever it is. It comes to life. But that's something you will never see if you never take the time to go inworld, wander around it, and sit and watch the grid go by.

There is the second virtue of AMO's vehicles, by the way. Wherever they crash, they'll force their hapless occupant to watch the sim as it is.

Thus, my grand plan for taking an otherwise inexcusable plague upon Second Life and twisting it into a net bonus for anyone who wants to seriously discuss the state of Second Life itself.

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