Goodwill hunting

huntHunts are one of those peculiar sl activities that bemuse those for whom they hold no interest and can be utterly addictive to those who succumb to their charms. For a long time i fell into the former category – i couldn’t understand the attraction, or become enthused about the whole business of poking around in obscure corners of stores to locate items of dubious worth, when i could be doing something a lot more interesting instead. It was only a couple of years ago that i finally relented and gave my first hunt a go and surprised myself by enjoying it immensely. That’s not to say i’m a hunt addict, but i do go through the occasional spate of hunt fever when all i do is trek from store to store in pursuit of those elusive packages.

That’s not to say i hunt indiscriminately – as they say, your mileage may vary – and the quality of hunt items varies considerably; there are some real gems to be had if you pick and choose your themes and locations carefully, whereas i’ll frequently miss some places entirely if they’re lacking in appeal or practicality. You’re unlikely, for example, to see me rooting around in a massive mammaries merchant or a poses emporium… they’re just not my thing.

tunnela1_001Of course, hunts operate on the basic premise that we’re a greedy bunch, who’ll grab anything we can get our hands on if it’s not nailed down, in the hope that while we’re at it we might just be tempted to splash our cash on something else that catches our eye whilst we’re hunting down those hidden goodies. If you’re anything like me, it’s a premise that works – far better, in fact, than any form of advertising i’ve yet come across – much as i like a freebie as much as anyone else, it’s not been unknown for me to spend a small fortune on instore items that i might never have seen had i not been in the vicinity sating my desires for free stuff. It’s win-win the way i see it!

Even so, i’m certainly not a dyed-in-the-wool hunter – it’s very easy to become so absorbed in the business of tracking down freebies that all that precious spare time you should be expending on R&R is frittered away, and with diminishing returns for all the effort. You get to a point where it’s not worth the time, frustration and inventory bloat and normal SLife needs to regain control from the driving need to hunt. As with so many things, moderation is everything… something i learned after my first, and possibly only attempt at the fabled Twisted Hunt, last year. Now if ever there was anything to put you off hunts for life, the Twisted Hunt must be a hot contender… however, i recently undertook an even more challenging hunt: one of the more challenging hunts i’ve yet undertaken, a hunt that felt more akin to an episode of CSI than sl.

labyrinth1_001

Lost

Have you ever lost something so completely that you’ve given up hope of ever finding it again? That’s a situation i’m sure we’ve all had to come to grips with at sometime or other, in rl and also in sl. Like the time i was having an inventory clearout and accidentally moved a folder stuffed full of my favourite items into another folder, which i subsequently deleted, blissfully unaware of what it contained… and then i emptied the recycle bin. That taught me a lesson i’ve not forgotten – however, in the immediate aftermath, an awful lot of searching for the missing items took place. First there was the puzzlement of discovering a folder was missing, then the hunt to try and find it, followed by the realisation of what i’d done. Not a happy time!

However, this latest hunt for a missing item was somewhat different in both it’s scope and methodology. The item in question was last seen and worn some time ago and was subsequently lost – or, perhaps more accurately, misplaced. The bottom line was that i’d forgotten what it was called, had no idea who created it, and couldn’t remember whether it was an object, attachment or some other form of wearable, all of which made finding it again rather challenging.

On many occasions since misplacing this elusive piece of kit i’ve tried to hunt it down, without success, and i’d come to the conclusion that it was gone for good – possibly lost in the Great Inventory Deletion Disaster of 2012. Even so, hope lingers on and, with renewed vim, vigour and optimism i dug out my ‘cold cases’ dossier and set about a dedicated search to finally solve the mystery, once and for all.

searchStep 1, was a painstaking search through my inventory. Anything that looked like a potential candidate was rezzed, worn or added, but sadly without success – but was it something my previous avatar had owned? A relog, followed by another long and involved inventory search demonstrated that it wasn’t! Well, by now i was pretty sure the pesky thing was well and truly lost, so it was time to consider replacements – but without a creator name or clue as to what it might be called, i was a bit stumped. Nevertheless, i tried a whole string of keywords, none of which produced recognisable results. How about a Google search? Worth a chance, i thought… but completely fruitless – it was time to start thinking outside the box!

Working on the time-honoured principle of, ‘when was the last time you recalled seeing it?’, i cast my mind back a few years to the event when it had been given to me; an event i knew i had photo’s of, and – sure enough – a detailed review of my screen grabs turned up three images of that very occasion, and there it was in the pictures, one question remained: how the heck was this going to help me in my search? This is where i got sneaky and all forensic!

A quick check of the image metadata told me it had been created on 8th February 2011; now i had to find the chat log for that date – not an easy task, considering the number of viewers i’ve used, with two different avatars, and the possibility that i’d lost the logs anyway in my recent PC crash and rebuild. However, fortune was smiling at me: the log was there and all i had to do was scour it for the transaction in question… only is wasn’t there. 😦

A lesser person might have given up, but not me – i puzzled over the odd state of affairs and then it struck me: time zones! The eight-hour difference between SLT and my local time meant that the event had actually taken place in sl the day before, and sure enough there it was!

And guess what – it had been in my inventory all along!

Now that’s a hunt!

s. x

But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for
U2 – I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

 

 

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4 Responses to Goodwill hunting

  1. Malaki Ashland says:

    The suspense is killing me! What was it?

  2. Great post! I have always thought that Hunts are a great tool for the orientation of new residents to the ways of SL. It requires so many of the fundamental actions one must learn to master SLife. And the most important lesson may well be: enough is enough. You have to stop hunting sometime so you can actually wear or use the items you’ve picked up.

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