Levelling out

enoughOver the course of the past few weeks i’ve been watching with interest the progress of a particular SL11B build – i’ll preserve the anonymity of the people involved in putting it together, which includes an eclectic mix – a mix which mirrors, in many ways, the broad range of characters that generally inhabit sl.

Within the group are some well-meaning, although somewhat clueless folk; seasoned professional content creators; willing, albeit slightly reticent, amateurs; a few cheeky chappies and – i wouldn’t mind betting – a whole bunch of silent spectators, equally divided between those who’d love to see the whole venture be a resounding success, and those who are praying for a catastrophic and embarrassing failure.

What’s most fascinating to me is the way this whole mish-mash is fumbling its way to completion. It’s not quite ‘design by committee’, but some of the drawbacks of that methodology are clearly visible, although i’m not entirely sure that the ‘committee’ members are actually sitting around the same table at times. What surprises me, more than anything, is that there are some extremely competent, talented and focussed individuals involved in the process, whose very presence should really have meant the build was completed within days of the sims being open, yet progress has been achingly slow and – to my mind, almost impossibly far behind schedule.

This whole scenario illustrates for me one of the peculiarities of sl – or maybe it’s really the way we all live our lives, it just happens to be more apparent in sl… We tend to be very much one-trick ponies, who – once we peak – level off and stay where we are.

Let me explain: Little Miss/Mr Noob arrives mesh-faced and wide-eyed in sl – for a while, everything is a little bit crazy then, after a while, we settle down into our own particular niche… builder; dancer; DJ; sexologist etc, etc, etc. And there we stay for the rest of our SLife, perhaps in time becoming expert builders, dancers, DJs and so on, but rarely moving outside our own teeny weeny world within a world. Once we’ve reached that point, we find it difficult to broaden our own particular set of inworld talents or to diversify. So, throw any random assortment of residents together and you’ll probably end up with some very skilled people and some, shall we say, not so skilled ones – however those with skills will rarely be much good at doing anything else that doesn’t fall within their normal remit, and those without will flounder around, doing things that they think are cool and pretty damn good, and feeling jolly proud of their efforts, when really they’re a little bit, er… crap.

stoned_001However, it is ourselves who choose at which point we wish to plateau – just because someone has been in sl since 2007, yet still wears boxes and has never heard of Windlight, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are inept; because in sl most of us pusue a pathway that meets our needs, and then stop, even if there’s still a long way we could theoretically go. It never ceases to amaze me just how many people there are in sl who have, quite literally, been around for years, yet their viewer settings are a complete mystery to them, they’d struggle to build a plywood box, and couldn’t tell you who’s currently running Linden Lab. Yet these very same people are perfectly happy with their lot for the simple reason that their second life doesn’t require them to know any of those things for them to get along.

Nothing at all wrong with that – after all, if you’re happy with your lot in life, whether real or virtual, there’s no real need to amass anything more than you need to stay happy, but it does mean – particularly in sl – that if you’re planning on doing something as a team, you really do need to be a bit choosy about whom you select as co-conspirators: you can have all the experts in the world, but if they’re expert in the wrong things, you’re not going to get very far. Similarly, you might have some terribly committed and enthusiastic amateurs, but that’s not going to get you very far either.

As for that build i’ve been keeping my eye on… i’m sure it woll all work out and be fabulous, because if there’s one other thing i know about sl people, somehow they always come up with the goods, whatever the odds!

s. x

Take your time, hurry up
The choice is yours,
Don’t be late.
Take a rest as a friend,
As an old memory
Nirvana – Come As You Are

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This entry was posted in Builder's bum, Philosophicalisticality, RL, SL, SL11B. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Levelling out

  1. Fantastic insight here Serendipity – I can really relate to that in SL and RL. I think there is a lot of activity at the beginning of anything new, when there is both a pain to overcome – i.e., the discomfort of incompetence as well as the joy of learning new things and being challenged. These are two strong motivators at the the opposite ends of the motivation spectrum. And then you hit the plateau where it is very difficult to progress further without putting in a lot of additional effort, and that’s where most of us hang out, unless we are committed to something being extraordinary!

    • Thank you, Ella – i think that often, once we’ve risen to the initial challenge of a new environment or situation we do tend to become quite settled and comfortable and we need to have the ability to motivate ourselves with further, self-set, challenges in order to progress further.
      The interesting aspect that sl brings – as you’ve noted in your own blog – is that the learning curve and challenge tends to be very much front-loaded. Perhaps it’s not surprising that those who successfully navigate the complexity of those first early days in sl do indeed find a level at which they are comfortable and may feel little inclination to challenge themselves further – at least until sufficient motivation can stir them into action!
      s. x

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