January 2009


   I know there are some SL® residents who are content in an eternally nomadic slifestyle wandering everywhere and calling nowhere home. Unable to explain why, I will simply say that I have always felt a strong desire to have a home in Second Life®.
   Home for me does not necessarily mean my own plot of land complete with house, security system, and wandering pet. It is enough for me to have a place that I spend most of my time; a place where friends can expect to find me at the odd hour.
   Currently that home is in Beachwood. My workshop is my place of familiarity, my base. It is the place to which I return (if I remember) before logging out.
   When I first rezzed I spent a lot of time at Orientation Station and its satellites. I learned my first building skills there. Eventually I was banned from that place by its managers. I was cheerfully given a folder of interesting landmarks. After following them, I found I could not return. I never learned the reason for it, despite sending a message requesting an explanation. If I had to guess, I would say the cause could have been due to my excessive curiosity (read:nosiness). My more altruistic fractional approximation maintains that I was a baby bird being pushed from the nest by its mother.
   It was after this that I discovered that I felt lost and alone, which is a bit silly, really. It was uncertain at this point whether I would remain in SL®.
   One friend I had made while snooping around OS was Gina Glimmer (a fantastic person). She was one of the Metaverse Mentors at the time. It was when she later sent me invitations to a few events she was involved in that I decided to keep coming back.
   Around this time I had gotten curious about scripting. I became obvious to me that a large part of building and content creation involved scripted objects. It was fun to put a script in a box and make it chat whatever you wanted it to, somewhat akin to filling a high school classroom computer with the names of popular boys. Short lived entertainment. So I read and experimented and learned more and more. Quaternions still remain outside my ability to understand.
   Gina (a wonderful person) had a photo studio/shop at the Conway4 sim. I went there to see it and also set up a photo shoot with her for my profile picture. I found Conway4 to be a pleasant place to visit and I returned there more an more often after bouts of exploration. One day I met Samba Beaumont there. Samba was the estate owner of Conway4 at the time. He stood in the center of a small island which was itself surrounded by a ring of land containing galleries, shops, and a small church he had built. He said hi and I said hi. Then many conversations began, most of them on that little island in the center.
   Dressed in a nearly signature tuxedo, Samba was interested in Education in virtual worlds. He also liked building things and seeing what could be done with a variety of prim shapes and sizes. We talked about an array of topics. It was then that I learned the fun of building collaboratively with someone else.
   Gradually, Conway4 became home to me. I had no house there, no plot of land with my name on it. I simply felt welcomed there. That was enough.
   Eventually, Samba announced that he was leaving Conway4 and possibly SL® as well. During his last month of paid lease for Conway4, he was to be heavily involved in rl® work. He asked me if I wanted to control the estate while he was gone. I jumped at the chance. He got the transfer set up with the sim owner, deleted all structures and flattened the land. I was mixed between missing the place as it has been and exhilarated at the blank slate before me. Then Samba said “I’ll see you in a few weeks.” and then jokingly, “Don’t sell the island.”
   Now it was home. It was my base; the place to which I would return before logging off. It was a place I could build a house for myself of nearly any size if I wanted to; A place where I could create mountains and lakes!
   I spent my month of Conway4 residency well, building, experimenting, greeting the occasional visitor who came expecting something else entirely. And I learned about sculpted prims and how to create and texture them. That was how it was there, building, scripting and learning in relative peace and quiet, with sparse distractions.

   Whew! histories are long! Part 2 later.

Wishing I could put more of what I see around me into Second Life®, I keep modeling things in Wings 3D, trying to make them as LOD friendly as I can. My latest effort has been inspired by an Emeco aluminum chair I got on sale at Full Upright Position in Portland.
The results were nearly what I had hoped for though there are still places in the rezzed chair (six sculpts) where the vertices do weird things they didn’t do in Wings. They are probably due to those mysterious quantization errors I have heard about. What are those things anyway?

Chair model inspired by the Emeco 1006 Navy Chair

Chair model inspired by the Emeco 1006 Navy Chair

*gasp* It’s not green!