Just for Mesmerizing Fun! The Piccolis in Second Life

D-Lab (moderate)

There are hundreds (if not thousands) of aspects in Second Life on which I am not an expert. If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time you’ll know that one area of my abysmal ignorance is shopping.

This post is a brief description of my visit to experience the special witchcraft produced by Dazai Voom.  If you aren’t familiar with this location –  welcome to the club!

It seems, however, that almost everybody apart from me knows about D-Lab.  Certainly all the friends I mentioned it to were aware of it. In fact they already possess their own private playgrounds full of the delights to be found herein.

D-Lab (moderate)

The store and surroundings offer a wide variety of cute & surreal objects in a landscape full of charm. The primary reason I went there, though, is to follow-up on something I saw in an earlier exploration. The Piccolis – scripted characters who carry out lengthy interactions with their environment and each other.

My static images can’t convey how mesmerizing it is to watch them. The movies on Dazai’s blog give you just a taste.

See the little guy in the blue sweater? I watched him wake up from a nap in front of a bakery, get down from his stool, cross the park, get a carrot from the vendor, jump up on the seat, and join his friend for a snack.

D-Lab (moderate)

Scripting is the purview of wizards in my simple brain – add their sorcery to adorable characters and the result is magic.

How else to explain the little one who climbed up into a treehouse, sat for a while to contemplate the neighbourhood, stood up and went over to a birdhouse, called out a bird, mounted it, flew across the area, landed the bird, dismounted, and walked over to a tree stump. He then scrambled up to the top and used it as a chair. I guess he just wanted a more comfortable seat.

These are not breedables – it’s more analagous to buying a toy which has lots of friends and accessories. If I understand it correctly, Dazai releases a group of new additions to the Piccoli family a few times a year.

D-Lab (moderate)

If you want to escape the grind of daily life (in any world), if you need to be reminded that special wonders are out there, go visit D-Lab. After you’ve spent some time exploring the little village, go into the store and see his wide range of products.

You’ll find a teleporter to the Piccoli Demo – click on that. Once you’ve arrived, just sit down and watch. Use your camera to follow the intricacies of their daily lives – you won’t want to leave.

Don’t blame me if you find lots of things to spend money on. I’m just hanging out with my new friend, enjoying the view. :)

D-Lab (moderate)

Art & The Tango in Second Life

Ocho Tango Place (moderate)

It has been years since my last visit to Ocho Tango, a wonderfully atmospheric dance hall situated in the middle of a rural pampas. There have been some changes (naturally) and they make it an even more enticing destination.

Ocho Tango Place (moderate)

If I’m remembering it correctly, the pampas used to extend the full width and length of the region. What we see now is a smaller island and the ocean has become a virtual art gallery.

Ocho Tango Place (moderate)

You’ll find sculptures by Mistero Hifeng↑ – always a good thing. If you like his works you can also visit a full sim installation by him on LEA29↑. That exhibit will close at the end of June when the next round of grants begin.

Ocho Tango Place (moderate)

Remember that applications are now being accepted for that 6 month grant of a full sim – get yours in soon!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to the grasslands. Rodolfo has promised to give me another Tango lesson and I really don’t want to be late. :)

Ocho Tango Place (moderate)

Thoughts on Popularity, Maturity, & Porn in Second Life

New Gallifrey (adult)

The recent SL Drama disturbed a number of residents for a variety of reasons. One group, that was quite rightly offended in my opinion, were the owners of Adult regions which DO NOT contain content which could be considered porn, and don’t host extreme or violent sex.

While it’s true that if you want to display any or all of those three aspects of life you must have the Adult maturity rating, it does not follow that you will. People can decide to label their islands Adult for lots of reasons.

A search on the posts in this blog will show you that I often visit Adult sims – I never share locations that are pornographic and I won’t stay somewhere which allows/encourages/permits extreme or violent sex. A quick check of the sim’s rules (or even the region description) is usually enough to make up my mind.

New Gallifrey (adult)

Today’s location is, for example, rated Adult. New Gallifrey is a Time Lord role-playing destination which permits observers at ground level. If you’re not in the story you can’t venture above 500 m. It’s always possible that the Gallifreyans are having wild sci-fi orgies up there, but I didn’t get that impression. It was more that some of them also have their homes in the sky and would prefer not to be a tourist attraction.

There’s a lot of confusion about Maturity Ratings, in part because they aren’t overly detailed. I don’t think anybody wants to have the job of maintaining a comprehensive list in each category of what you can and cannot do.

Leading teams of Greeters at events has given me a bit of experience in trying to explain them in simple terms. With the caveat that things could have changed, let me give you a simplified overview.

New Gallifrey (adult)

If you land on a region which is rated General, do not expect to see or hear anything that a Southern Baptist wouldn’t say or do in front of their grandmother. 17 year olds can access these sims and you don’t want to be responsible for a lawsuit against Linden Lab because some preacher’s daughter saw a nipple or heard a swear word.

It’s a surprise to many that nudity is actually allowed on a Moderate sim – although owners don’t have to permit it, they can. Think about Burn2 – there’s often nudity at that event and yet the regions are Moderate. You can have stores with sexy clothes, clubs with strippers, and even arty pics. The fact that it is allowed does not mean you are expected to disrobe.

What you cannot have is photo-realistic nudity, sex in public (or even the back rooms of clubs), or pokey-bits. In other words – nothing erect.

Adult sims can host pretty much anything (there are still Community rules against child sex play etc.,). This does not mean that they do. Just because you see this maturity rating do not assume (as Hamlet does) that the location is “pornographic”.

New Gallifrey (adult)

Way back in the dim distant past, when I bought my first 69 sq m of land, I was surround by billboards advertising hard-core sex clubs. A big one flashed a giant vajayjay at me everytime I looked in that direction.

The creation of the Zindra continent meant that it was the only area of mainland where Adult content was allowed. My view improved markedly. :)

Note that allowed does not mean mandatory (even on Zindra). If you do have Adult content, it does not automatically mean it’s pornographic. Sex exists in Second Life. Fact. Having a popular Adult sim does not make it pornographic. That is also a fact.

As a last note, – Grizzly Silversmith made a very good point in a recent podcast. Translate “the most popular regions in Second Life” to the notion of “the most populated areas in real life”. Now try telling somebody that all of the UK is like London. No?  How about New York and California tell you everything you need to know about the United States?

The idea that you can extrapolate the essence of Second Life based on a list of popular sims is just plain wrong. Not understanding the difference between porn permitted and porn required, not checking to see if popularity is based on bots, or if porn is present, well all of that is a journalistic fail. :)

New Gallifrey (adult)
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