Thursday, December 28, 2006

Going Splat!

Written 27 December, 2006

Breaking and Entering in Second Life

II. Going Splat

It occurred to Exuberance and myself that perhaps virgins wouldn’t be eager to sacrifice themselves to Pele.

Maybe we would need to lure them into the boiling lava.

To that end, we lowered the skybox (since renamed the Dragon Skybar) from 550 meters to the minimum 250 meters allowed by the land’s covenant, positioned the balcony directly over the caldera, and cut a circular hole in the floor.

I won’t mention accidentally nudging the corner of the Skybar onto Artik Crimson’s property and watching it dematerialize because his prim count had been exceeded.

Or maybe I will.

Artik, like me, has an allotment of more than 1400 prims. The Skybar has 18, and that was too many for his prim limit. Does that tell you he’s pushing his limits?

After I had re-rezzed the skybox, we aligned the hole in the balcony floor by positioning it so a beacon I had placed in the center of the lava floor shone through it. We knew we were directly over the caldera.

So we walked into the hole and let ourselves fall.

We landed with a splat, but not in the lava. We found ourselves at various times on the side of the mountain, on top of Artik’s house, on East Beach, not at all where we had thought we would land.

And then I bumped Xubi onto the hole in the platform, and she fell straight down into the caldera

This meant that in one respect, falling objects act as they do on Earth.

When I was in high school, my physics teacher demonstrated that objects traveling laterally—things like bullets fired horizontally from a gun—fall at the same rate as objects that are dropped. He did so by firing a rubber ball from a gun. It hit the floor at the same instant as a ball he had dropped at the same time and from the same height.

We now knew that just as in real life, we continued to move laterally as we fell. But why did Xubi fall straight down when I bumped her? I had moved her laterally, after all.

Why? Because according to the physics of SL, she, having been bumped, wasn’t moving laterally. When we walked into the hole, we  had lateral movement, and it continued as we fell-- so we continued to move  in the same direction we had been walking.

Another validation of earthly physics.

Go figure.


Photo: Hole for virgin drop

No comments: