Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Avatar Profiling?

I've spent large chunks of my Second Life hanging around infohubs and, as a result, around griefers. Not just being on the receiving end of attacks, but in the company of friends who's only goal in this virtual life was to disrupt everyone else's experience as much as possible.

Oh you know the type.. we accuse them all of being prepubescent, bed wetting, pimple faced little twerps who've hijacked mommy's computer while she's out banging the neighbor, but in reality they're usually sad little pudgy men with a dependence on Viagra or militant cat ladies who never get out of their apartment and who log on to the grid for no reason other than to show how obnoxious they can be.

Last Saturday night's discussion at the Second Slice Café was supposed to be about holiday memories, but instead I ended up playing whack-a-mole with the ban hammer through about half of it. We had a great turnout, but about half of them were griefers and while griefers in themselves are a nuisance, what really pickles my pixels is that I KNOW why they're there as soon as I see their avatar or read their names.

So just ban them, right?

That would be the simple thing to do, but would it be the right thing? Wouldn't that be like.. profiling? What if it is? Should I even care?

What do you think?

Moving on..

This week the topic will be:  Using SL to live out your RL fantasies

What do you do in SL that you can't do in RL? Changed genders? Explored an alternate sexual preference? Opened a business? Gotten married? Stayed single? How do you use Second Life to do all the things can't do in RL?

This Saturday at the Second Slice Café at 5pm SLT. I hope to see you there!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mahala's Winter Romance


While out Christmas shopping last weekend, I met the nicest man. We hit it off immediately, aside from the obvious age difference. I found myself wanting to spend every spare minute in his company. He dressed a little funny and had a weird laugh, but I thought I was in love. All he talked about was wanting to sneak in my house in the middle of the night, bringing me gifts.

What more could a girl want?

Nicky was secretive about his job, I thought he ran orphanage or something because he was always talking about the little people he surrounded himself with and making toys for all the children.

Santas lap

We had many long, intimate discussions until the wee hours of the morning, yet he still refused to tell me his real age. I also had to talk to him about his personal hygene.. the dude NEVER changed clothes, yet oddly always smelled of gingerbread and eggnog.

Maybe it was his aftershave.. I don't know.

I started getting suspicious, with all the secrecy surrounding Nicky, my new found love, but it was hard to stay focused on finding the truth when I remembered what he could do with that fluffy, white beard when the nights are cold and a body needs warming.

Nicky was a sex machine.

In the throws of passion he did get a little down and dirty. I guess he's one of those guys who's into calling names. The first time we did the nasty (he likes to call it "exchanging gifts") I was a little taken aback when, on the verge of.. ya know.. completion.. he started screaming "HO! HO! HO!"

I wasn't sure what to say, so I just answered with, "Dat's right, and you's my jolly old pimp daddy."

He gave me a really strange look when I said it.

Santas shop

Once the new wore off the relationship, I started taking all the secrecy more seriously. I channeled my inner Nancy Drew and began following him, leading me to a cute little house on a snow covered sim. I pushed the unlocked door open and walked inside, shocked by what I found.

A sweatshop operation full of children with pointy ears and strange clothes. Obviously they were the children of immigrants, being forced to work in return for smuggling their families into the country.

"Hellooo," I called, hellbent on wheels to rescue these poor babies from Nicky, who just the night before had rocked my world like no other.

"No time to talk, very busy. The boss will be back soon and the toys aren't ready!" answered the little guy in the yellow hat. He seemed frightened "the boss" would come back early and he'd be in trouble. I wondered what Nicky did to them when they didn't perform to his liking.

The wild eyed look in the little guy's eyes spoke volumes.

I had to find a phone to call the authorities, but up there in the boonies, there wasn't a cell signal. I wandered up the stairs, past the poor children, who'd been worked so hard in their short lives, they had the faces of little old men. No one tried to stop me as I headed for the stairs, everyone was working so hard, they were oblivious to my movements.

I climbed the old, creaky staircase, careful to be as quiet as I could. I could hear a fire crackling in the room ahead, meaning it was probably occupied. I rounded the corner and was nearly blinded by the green glow being cast by the walls.

So much GREEN. It would have made Martha Stewart break out in hives.

Santa and the Mrs

I stood, dumbfounded. Magic crayons were dancing over pages in the corner, the fire crackled and popped over the barely audible sound of Christmas caroles dancing on the breeze.

And there he was, napping in the corner, snoring loudly. I suddenly forgot the sweatshop and the strange little Type A children with the weird accents downstairs when I spotted...


And? Although she was snoozing too, I got the impression that she could TOTALLY kick my ass, so I contained my anger, turned around and quietly headed back down the steps.

Sometimes in life you just gotta pick your battles and I wasn't about to tangle with that rough lookin' chick.

I finally made it back to the cabin, put my feet up and shook my head over the whole thing. I eventually did call the authorities, but they just laughed at me. I needed to let it go, what I'd seen and more importantly how I'd fallen for old Nick.

But I'll always be a little turned on when I hear someone say, "HO HO HO."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Stuff I Ponder When I'm Bitchy McCrankypants

  • Who the heck is Ashyne Demonista and why is everyone Googling them? That name is generating a lot of search traffic for me. 
  • If your neighbor has their little parcel positioned 700 meters in the air, why would you stick your oddly shaped, plywood block RIGHT beside them when moving a few meters up or down would make everyone happy? Seriously, I'm tired of moving. 
  • If you're having an event, is it really necessary to send out a group notice one hour before, then a half hour, then fifteen minutes and another one screaming that I'm missing the event of the century once it begins? Oh yeah.. and THEN post the slurl in group chat on top of that? You're just being annoying, not enticing me to join you.
  •  If you are a merchant in Second Life and your income depends on people being interested in your product, stop bitching because you get alot of IMs with questions you don't think are worthy of your time. It's called CUSTOMER SERVICE. Look it up. When they STOP asking, then you can bitch.
  • Your competitor/customer/neighbor being unable to speak/write perfect English does not give you the right to be a big, flaming a-hole about it. I'm constantly amazed by the residents I meet from South America, Eastern Europe, Japan... all over the world.. who speak English as a second language and manage to do business in SL, where English dominates. Were the tables turned, I wouldn't last a day if I had to know Portuguese or Russian to get by. So stop being a snot. You're making the rest of us look bad.
  • Do you think Tinies are creepy? Child AVs are all perverts? Furries are kinky, sex starved deviants? Fairies and Elves all celebrate Pagan ritual and threaten your core belief systems? Well, you're wrong, but fine. If you insist on making assumptions about people based on what form they take as they walk the grid, just stay in your little red-lined, protected little parcel, hiding from everyone so you can be sure you won't be offended. My philosophy is: if you think it's wrong, don't do it. But stop passing judgement on everyone else. It's not your place.. or mine.
  • Maybe I shouldn't blog when I'm cranky.
This week's topic at the Second Slice Cafe: Share your funniest holiday memory. Any holiday and/or family gathering qualifies. Did Uncle Bob shoot off his big toe while he cleaned his rifle on the Fourth of July? Did cousin Sue get too drunk at the Christmas Eve gathering and try to have her way with the garden gnome? We'll be telling our holiday stories at the Second Slice Cafe this Saturday, 12/5/09 at 5pm SLT. I hope to see you there.

I promise I won't be Bitchy McCrankyPants by then.

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