Friday, January 2, 2009

Whatever is Katt Linden On About?

Nice facades...

But that's all there is.

Cheyenne is wondering wtf is up with these alphaless windows.

Virtual Harlem at least has nice music and some interactive pictures.

Written 2 January, 2009

Whatever is Katt Linden On About?

With the removal of grid status updates and Torley Linden's helpful vidtuits, the Linden blog has turned into a corporate mouthpiece. Not surprising that, but it's a sporadically published, dull, and often inaccurate mouthpiece.

The blog brags about places. I go to check them out. Invariably, I am disappointed. Bay City? Yawn. Nautilus? Booo-ring!

In today's Linden blog post "Second Life Going Global… a review of 2008 and a peep into the future!", Katt Linden refers to, among other things, a build called Virtual Montmarte:

Virtual Montmartre – an initiative from CATI, University of Paris IV, La Sorbonne. French University Paris IV created a Virtual Montmartre. It reproduces the famous Montmartre district in Paris (with Le Moulin Rouge) of the early 20th century. This was a rich period with many artistic, politic, musical and literary activities occurring.Virtual Montmartre is linked directly to Virtual Harlem which has been built at the initiative of Missouri University teacher Bryan Carter. Thus, you can walk from sunlight Paris to starlight New York of the past and visit both historic places.The aim of Virtual Montmartre is to enable visitors (and students) to experience living in the early 20th century in Paris with jazz emerging in every part of this place in parallel with artistic happenings of many kinds. Pictures and more info are available on the University’s website SLurl to Virtual Montmartre/128/128/41.

Katt's link to the Missouri University led to a 404 Requested URL not found error, but her SLURL did get me to Virtual Montmarte, where I found...

Not much. There were some pretty nice building facades, but I found only one structure with a door I could walk through. There was no music-- which I found almighty strange, considering music is supposed to be a big focus of the sim. There were no local sounds, no avatars, nothing.

Well, I did find a huge amount of texture flicker caused by misaligned prims.

Across the River (Seine? Hudson? Sudhson? Heine?) was Virtual Harlem, part, apparently, of the collaboration beteen universities. There was a nice music stream playing Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Billie Holiday, and other great and appropriate music (Check out Oops? Did I write that URL out loud?).

I heard no environmental sounds, but a few Christmas decorations were up. Some competently-build but identically-laid-out brownstowns were furnished in typical newbie style, with free rugs, kitchens, and one notable toilet with a gold-plated lid (or was it a solid gold toilet seat-- why not? This is virtual reality anyway!).

One building held photographs which distributed notecards giving fascinating tidbits about Harlem history. That was it for places of interest.

Both Virtual Harlem and Virtual Montmarte might one day be great sims to visit, and certainly it's exciting that the world's universities are not only investing in Second Life but working on collaborative projects-- but quite frankly, the VH and VM sims are far from ready to be seen. So why, in a world full of fabulously designed, fun-filled, and entertaining sims, is Katt directing us to places where the builders apparently haven't figured out how to put alpha on windows?

Clearly it's not the quality of the destination that matters to Linden Lab, but who is doing it. If I as an individual build a mind-blowing destination, it does't begin to compare to a half-assed, half-completed, poorly-textured build that is done by TA-DA, universities. Or corporations.

Lame, lame, lame.

Second Life is about content. Those who create it are secondary. And the sooner Linden Lab figures that out, the happier I and a lot of other people will be.


Melissa Yeuxdoux said...

It's reminiscent of the RL companies that set up shop in SL and thought that just being there would bring hordes of people to buy their badly made items. I hope that these folks learn and improve.

Aesop Thatch said...

Ironically, I built some of the builts in the Virtual Harlem sim. Thanks for saying they are 'competently built'.