Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Second Life Historical Museum

By Becky Shamen

In my explorations of Second Life, I have covered many millions of square meters of space. For this adventure, we will travel in time and go back to the beginning days, when all of SL amounted to a mere 16 sims. I found the Second Life Historical Museum in the Destination Guide. The guide described it as follows.

Learn about the origins of Second Life and see displays of historical artifacts, images, and notecards that have been instrumental in shaping SL. Wear a free, fully-customizable avatar of our Primitar "ancestors" and relive magic from the early days.

The "museum" is an open air monument and, by panning your cam, the entire thing can be viewed, without taking a single step. In mid-December of this year, I will celebrate my 4th Rezday in SL. I have often wondered why I didn't start when SL first came on line. Now, having viewed it's early history, I can see why. With a life time of experience in art and design, early SL, to me, looks like something made from Leggo Blocks.

 Looking at this early street scene, it seems, back then, builders were limited to using basic primitives, like cubes, spheres, cylinders and cones. They had sculpts then, but nobody was very good with them yet. Today, we have mesh objects. Mesh is great for clothes and for limited use in scenery. While mesh does allow sim owners to have many decorations, using fewer prims, the trade off is increased lag. There have been many times that I have gone to a sim that sounded interesting, only to turn around and leave, because excessive use of mesh kept the place from rezzing and my av from being able to move. I wonder if lag was as big a problem, 10 years ago.

Early avatars, called `Primitars' at the museum, by today's standards, were scary monsters. I think  I would rather be bald than wear a hair do like this one. Thank goodness for flexi-prims. In one picture, I saw a dozen avatars, all sitting on the ground, with exactly the same pose. Today, with countless pose and animation balls, AOs, and avatar physics, motion has become very realistic. One can only hope that, ten years ago, with stiff, ugly avatars, they hadn't invented sex yet. That would be too perverse, even for my adventurous tastes.
This is the first Halloween party, held in Second Life. We have just ended the Halloween season and been to a lot of, so called, scary parties. If I had been around for this first party, I think I would still be having nightmares from it.

The next time you find yourself cursing Linden Labs, because you are still a cloud, the scenery isn't rezzing, you are only getting 1 Frame Per Second, or you've crashed three times in the last hour, remember, it could be worse. It could be 2002 and the big yellow duck wants to dance with you and take you home to his nest.

Phobos (229/151/33)

Becky "Sha" Shamen

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