Thanks to an unusual set of influences (namely: Noted author and Internet Jesus Mr Warren Ellis, my fellow Something Awful Goons, and most notably my best friend the lovely and talented kai_loi) I have been tinkering around with Second Life. In fact, I’ve just signed up with a premium account.
Like most human endeavours, a lot of SL is total shite. However, there’s some truly excellently creative stuff going on in it, and I’m having a BLAST tinkering with the creation and scripting stuff.
It’s truly a psycological goldmine, however. 95% of the occupants have an avatar that looks like a hunky, buff, underwear model with a cool haircut (if male) or the female equivalent which is of course a human barbie doll avatar in a revealing outfit. Is this really how most of humanity wants to present itself, given a BLANK CANVAS to work with? My own avatar looks as much like me as possible – though it’s actually quite tough to create a fat beardy weirdy in game – there’s no “Beer Gut Size” slider bar in the Edit Appearance section – a critical oversight.
It’s big big fun, though the learning curve is steep when it comes to handling inventory (which includes shapes, animations, sounds, etc, as well as objects).
It’s CERTAINLY the closest thing we have to a Snowcrash-style metaverse. And even in it’s current primitive form, one can see the kinds of things that form in a malleable digital universe.
Fascinating stuff! I intend to play around with it a great deal more.