A Field Guide To Lindens

We talk about them all the time; they get the blame for pretty much everything that’s wrong with sl and they have almost mythical status… but who are these mysterious people we call the Lindens? – Is it true they have laser beams for eyes?; Are they in league with the Undead in a ploy for world domination?; Do they covertly monitor your internet and steal your bandwidth for their own secret purposes? The answer to these, and many other equally scary questions is, of course, in all probability, ‘yes’… But don’t let that worry you – this simple field guide will help you to recognise and deal with Lindens, if you should ever come across them in sl.

What is a Linden?

A Linden (Lindenoticus Opensourcicus)

Lindens are the elusive demi-gods of sl, not to be confused with lindens, (with a small ‘L’), which are a unit of virtual currency. This is important because you can’t exchange Lindens for goods or services, keep them in your purse or accidentally put one through a washing cycle because you accidentally left one in your jeans’ pocket, (although you may be sorely tempted to try it!). When you think about it, it’s a bit presumptuous really for the Lindens to name their currency after themselves – if we had the same scenario in rl then Brits would be paid in ‘Lizzies’ and the American exchange rate would be around two Elizabeths to the Obama.

The same Linden unsuccessfully trying to hide behind a wall

How to recognise a Linden
Lindens think that they can only be spotted when they want to be. This is an illusion brought on by overwhelming smugness and an inflated superiority complex. Even when they move amongst lesser mortals in alt form, Lindens are dead easy to spot because they’re the only one’s with laser eyes. They also tend to look a bit like noobs and get terribly excited about things that are really rather dull.

Linden alts can be rather unimaginatively named, often being an anagram of their Linden name or exactly the same name, only without ‘Linden’ on the end.

If you ever come across a Linden wearing their ‘Linden’ tag, then be afraid… They’re on official business and are probably looking for victims to meet their perma-banning quota or will try and press gang you into writing the code for a new viewer.

A couple of Lindens hard at work

What do Lindens do?
The primary function of all Lindens is to break sl. Imagine a huge army of residents, all doing their utmost to make sl a great place, whilst behind the scenes, a small but dedicated force of Lindens are working just as hard to balls things up. The Lindens have some fearsome tools in their arsenal… TOS, lag, Jira and an incredible ability to completely ignore the voice of the masses.

There are legends that, in the dim and distant past, Lindens worked with residents to improve sl and were visionaries, with wisdom and open minds. It seems hard to believe such things could be true.

Where are they?
He’s behind you! Well, maybe not – in fact it’s quite likely you’ll never run into one, unless you’re a developer, griefer or sycophant.

If you know where to look, you can find them… either on their own private Sims,  or you can enter into the abyss of The Lab itself, where you’ll find massed Lindens, squirming and suppurating in their own juices – it’s fiendishly difficult to break in, and once there, you’ll want to break straight back out again.

Characteristics of Lindens
Unlike other secret societies, Lindens do not have secret handshakes, wear funny hats or use strange codes to communicate, however there are some distinguishing characteristics, that will often scream ‘Linden’ even when they show no outward signs of being one.

A typical Linden profile - Note the defining Linden characteristics

For some unknown reason, many Lindens choose to have a cartoonish animal avatar – no-one really knows why, that’s just the way it is. Those Lindens who take on human form will often resemble noobs and display a ‘rustic’ style of dressing. Lindens have a tendency to shy away from responsibility and will often have a whole range of profile picks that effectively ‘tell you where to go’ eg. ‘If you have this problem, go to support… If you have that problem, go to the Jira… If you have the other problem, go to the doctor’ – anything, in fact, to direct queries away from them.

Even so, you may have difficulty communicating with a genuine Linden – they are capable of remarkable feats of self-control, such as ignoring IMs, open chat and notecards as if they never even existed. Much of the time they can appear to be ‘away’, but there’s no real way to tell – try poking them, or spraying them with expanding foam and see what happens.

Lindens often cultivate catchphrases or jokey, stock-in-trade responses… it’s because they think they’re famous.

How to wind up a LindenThere are many things that you can do to upset a Linden… Here’s a few choice examples –

  • Create your own viewer that’s better than theirs, then offer them the good bits to port back into the official viewer;
  • Find out their personal details off LinkedIn, then ask them to be your rl friend on Facebook and Skype;
  • March around outside Linden Lab with a placard proclaiming; ‘I’m not a real person, I’m pixels!’;
  • Tell them that sl isn’t a game and that The Sims is rubbish;
  • Ignore them if they talk to you and don’t read any notecards they send you;
  • Become an ex-employee and be far more successful as a non-Linden;
  • Write a tongue-in-cheek, irreverent blog post about all their secrets.

You are now a fully-fledged Linden spotter. Commiserations!

s. x

All for freedom and for pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world
Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants To Rule The World 

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8 Responses to A Field Guide To Lindens

  1. LOL! Love this post! I’m on the lookout now!

  2. LOL!!! Great post, thanks for the laughs… 🙂

  3. Reblogged this on ramblinginavirtualworldwithshug and commented:
    Tongue-in-cheek? Are you sure?

    • Well, yes, in a fond sort of way that also says, “This is how an awful lot of residents perceive Lindens to be like… Is that really a good thing?”

      Judging from the crazy amount of interest this particular post has generated, i seem to have touched a nerve; in some cases, a rather raw and painful one. i’ve always felt that Linden Lab is terribly inept when in comes to communication skills, (as are a great many residents too, i’m afraid), and it is this, rather than the technical problems that afflict sl, that is a real cause for concern – if only it weren’t so. If people honestly thought that the Lindens were the good guys then they wouldn’t spend so much time badmouthing them and asking them to justify themselves. i’m convinced that better dialogue between the Lab and residents is key but i’m not seeing much to indicate anything is likely to change any time soon.

      s. x

  4. I loved this, thanks for posting, so much fun to read. Made me smile 🙂

  5. Uccello says:

    Described every Linden on my Friend list to a “T”!

  6. Mistletoe says:

    Reblogged this on The Lionheart Times and commented:
    Humorous article by Serendipity Haven

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