And so Second Life’s 10th birthday is upon us, and i have to admit it’s caught me a little by surprise. Can it really be SL10B already, surely 9B was only over a couple of months ago? Perhaps old age is setting in more rapidly than i realised and the years are flashing by before they register… ah the folly of a misspent youth!
Anyway, to hasten me further into ever-deeper depression, the theme for this year’s celebrations is ‘Looking forward. Looking back’, although if you’re anything like me, the amount of time spent looking back as the years progress is horribly disproportionate to the amount we spend looking forward; even so, it seems a pretty appropriate theme to adopt to celebrate a decade of sl.
As if to add its own endorsement – or perhaps just from a sense of perverse fun – sl itself has been at pains to remind me of the ‘good old days’ and how things were in the, (not so distant), past. To be absolutely fair, i’ve had little to complain about in terms of performance and the inworld experience of late – sl has been remarkably well-behaved for me, to the extent that i’ve been able to get on with my virtual life without any real gripes – i really should have known better.
This past week has been an unmitigated virtual disaster!
It’s been a very long time indeed since i’ve sat forlornly staring at my computer screen in the vain home that i might eventually see fit to resolve from a curry-cloud into some semblance of my normal self. Oh, if it had only been that simple – multiple relogs failed to fix the problem; neither did replacing my hairbase or eyes have any effect; clearing my cache absolutely nothing whatsoever, and even resorting to – horror of horrors – the old last chance saloon of the character test failed, at least on the first couple of attempts. Eventually something fell into place and the unprepossessing girl in pink polka dots and baked-on undies stood mocking me from my screen. Success… of a kind.
These things happen, i suppose, and when they do we just shrug our shoulders, grin and bear it and think to ourselves, “at least things aren’t as bad as they used to be”. Famous last words, i’m afraid because, having been through the shrugging of shoulders, grinning and bearing once, you don’t really want to be doing the whole shrugging, grinning,bearing thing again, the very next time you log on… or the next time, or the next – it all gets ever-so-slightly tedious when the first half hour of every session is spent rebuilding yourself, if indeed you can actually rez at all. Yes, this week has been ‘the good old days’ all over again – half the time i’ve spent inworld has been as a sort of hybrid between polka-dot Ruth with her nasty pony tail and waddling walk, and Yours Truly, who i’ll grant you, often has even scarier hair and is also pretty prone to waddling walks at the best of times.
It’s almost as if sl, in its own subversive preparation for celebrating 10 years of piddling people off has taken Larry Olivier’s words from The Jazz Singer to heart: “If you don’t know where you’ve come from, how can you know where you’re going!”, and taking great delight in reminding me just how irritating things could be before we had all these new-fangled delights of mesh, hassle-free sim crossings, and all the other improvements that we’ve somehow taken for granted as they’ve been rolled out. Mark my words: the sl we see today may be all shiny and lovely, but beneath the surface there lurks still a virtual heart of despair and frustration, ready to remind us when we least expect it, of the fundamental borkedness of the world we inhabit.
Still, better the devil we know, eh?
As for SL10B, i’m at a bit of a loss… last year i hosted the SL9B Story as part of the wider Grid celebrations, although i can’t say that either the story itself or the Gridwide events were a roaring success. This year, i’m tempted to apply for a plot at the main site – i simply don’t have the space at Nowhere Land – but, at best, i’m a mediocre builder and i can’t say that i’m feeling particularly inspired at the moment either… even so, i can’t help thinking i should do something.
Something will come up… it always does.
I look around at a beautiful life
Been the upperside of down
Been the inside of out
But we breathe
Stereophonics – Maybe Tomorrow