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365 days of SL, day 192

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Sep. 22nd, 2012 | 02:20 pm

365 days of SL, day 192:


(Click for larger — 1920x1033 PNG, 2121 KiB)

Back to the traditional approach of one daily screenshot again. :) I logged in in Rohanda again last night, but we ultimately decided to venture out. I've been jonesin' to hit the Linden roads again, too — the same old Wanderlust that makes you want to take to The Road, the one that Bilbo talked about.

There's no (Linden) roads in Rohanda, of course, seeing as it's a private island, so I took a look at the map; the nearest continent was Corsica (which we were to the west-northwest of), so I identified the end of the closest road on its west coast, and off we went.

The road turned out to be Route 11 (which I think we've not been on before), and we didn't even have to go anywhere to find interesting things. These ghost sculptures seen above were right near its end, in a Native American-themed parcel: an eagle swooping down on a hare, with other ghost sculptures in the background, and bear dancers around the fire on the left, behind the tree. I cannot comment on such things as accuracy etc., but from my entirely ignorant perspective (and I don't mean that as a value judgement; I just literally do not know much if anything about Native American culture), it looked beautiful, at least.

It's moments like these where you remember how and why SL is special compared to other MMO games, too. Sure, the graphics aren't always up to par with the latest and greatest, and you don't necessarily get great framerates (or if you do, it means you cranked down the quality settings significantly), but you're not limited to a world that the designers in a company imagined, and your interaction with the world is not limited to a few well-known gateway points. Anything and everything can have a purpose and interact in a myriad of ways, and almost everything (save for basic infrastructure like the Linden roads) is resident-built.

Say whatever you want, but there simply isn't anything like Second Life: the game itself, the grid architecture etc., but also the world built on these foundations, the Lindens' own work and the residents', and finally the culture that exists in that world, with all its subcultures and special interests and its crystallization points.

Location: Passendale (82, 157, 22) (Heart of the Fingerlakes Photo Gallery and Park)

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Comments {4}

tzisorey

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from: tzisorey
date: Sep. 22nd, 2012 12:36 pm (UTC)
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That is pretty cool. Is the ethereal appearance actually in world? Or did you just use some kind of time-lapse/long exposure screencap?

In hindsight, never heard of a time-lapse screencap app....

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Sep. 22nd, 2012 12:38 pm (UTC)
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Nope, it's all in-world, exactly the way it's seen here, without any kind of trickery, post-processing and so on. :)

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Jaffa

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from: jaffa_tamarin
date: Sep. 23rd, 2012 02:06 pm (UTC)
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SL gets away with it by not having a story. It's a chat-room connected to a showcase for interactive 3D modeling, so it's okay that it makes no sense as a world. In a traditional MMO people want a believable world in which to write their character's story, and would be upset if somebody dropped a random spaceport in the middle of their medieval-fantasy themed setting.

MMOs like WoW pasted multiplayer-gameplay on top of single-player story-driven RPGs. Second Life put graphics on top of Mucks. SL really is FurryMuck in 3D.

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Sep. 23rd, 2012 02:29 pm (UTC)
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You're right there when you say that SL is coming from a very different angle, one more rooted in MU*s than in the single-player RPGs that lead to MMORPGS — in fact, I was hesitant to even call Second Life a computer game in the first place, since it does not match the traditional idea of a computer game very well at all. Not only does it lack the obstacles (be they based on skills, wits or something else) almost universally associated with games, it does not even have any objective. Even the most open-ended game usually has some notion of what you are supposed to do: a way of comparing two given game states and saying that one is "further advanced" than the other, if you will, whatever that means in practice. SL lacks that entirely, at least in principle (one may implement games within SL, of course, and people do, but that's different).

At the same time, I think it's not quite fair to say that SL is just FurryMUCK (or any MUCK) with fancy 3D graphics (and physics). Scriptability in SL, as frustratingly limited as LSL can be at times, is vastly superior to anything I've found on any MUCK. Interaction with scripted objects is much more natural and immersive, and scripts are much more embedded in the world, much more part of it than on any MUCK.

I also think SL's grid architecture sets it apart. Right now, the main grid is controlled exclusively by one company, of course, but the efforts to create the protocols necessary for a heterogenous grid comprised of several individual grids are fascinating. One can't help but be reminded of the public Internet there, comprised of a multitude of autonomous systems, and compare the current Linden Labs-controlled grid to the walled gardens of times past, Compuserve and AOL and so on.

And I wouldn't underestimate the "3D" part, either. SL may be conceptually similar to MU*s, but the approach taken is nevertheless radically different; building 3D objects from primitives can hardly be compared to writing descriptions of rooms and objects on a MU*.

None of this is intended as a criticism of MU*s, BTW, but I think SL is as different from, say, FurryMUCK as it is from World of Warcraft. The differences themselves are different as well, of course, but they're significant in either case.

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