I recently wrote a piece in which I mentioned that people who join and stay in SL tend to find a niche that appeals to them and stick with that as a central tenet of their virtual existence. This by no means the case for everyone, but many of us do have second lives that are coloured by a particular hue of the the SL spectrum and to which we naturally gravitate and relate. A simple illustration is to ask the question ‘What do you do in SL’ – those who can give a definitive, structured response, are likely to fall into that category… “I’m a builder”, “I’m a DJ”, “I run a store”, are typical examples of this.
Inspired by those quizzes in women’s magazines that we always find ourselves doing to kill time in the doctor’s waiting room – you know the sort: score between 0 and 10 and you’re a social climber, between 34 and 50 and you’re likely to be a misanthropic dictator with insane murderous tendencies, (I usually score around 63) – I thought I’d put together a brief, (perhaps a little tongue in cheek), guide to the stereotypical characters you might bump into – or find yourself emulating – inworld.
These are awfully clever sorts for whom very little appears to be impossible. When faced with the question “Can we break it?”, the reply is invariably, “Yes, we can!”, and they do so with aplomb and panache. They are apt to stand staring at half finished projects, shaking their head and muttering, “You see… who needs mesh anyway?”, before consigning the whole lot to the trashcan. Builders believe the world, whether real or virtual, evolved from a simple plywood cube and are equally as likely to ask how many prims something is as they are its price… often to the bemused stares of RL sales assistants.
These are mostly either failed builders, or people who design RL websites. They know 101 ways to hack Google and can play Youtube videos that are banned in their own country. Scripters will often combine their web design knowhow to create horribly difficult to navigate websites, and objects full of LSL scripts that perform functions that nobody has ever wanted. Scripters will universally state they can build a better viewer than anything already available, but simply don’t have the time due to their ongoing inworld project to create a sensor that really can tell who your alts are. Scripters of both sexes have beards and never shave their naughty bits, (if indeed they possess any).
DJing inworld is a horribly complex task that takes years of practice, immense musical knowledge, and costs thousands to do even remotely seriously – this is what DJs will tell you. In reality, anyone who can rip audio tracks from Youtube, write notecards and click a mouse button is fully qualified to command the exorbitant tips, (a.k.a. ‘listening tax’) that DJs command. The best way to make a DJ happy is to flood the screen with gestures proclaiming them as •·.·´¯`·.·• ✭✮✯✰☆ Superst★r DJ! ✭✮✯✰ •·.·´¯`·.·• The best way to annoy a DJ is to tell them that their music is crap. Similar to, but not quite as awesomely talented, are the sort of half-breed wannabe DJ/Club owner, but failed, characters known as ‘Greeters’, whose sole purpose in SLife is to be rude to you for not giving them a tip when their chat bot said ‘hello’ to us.
Shoppers and Hunters
Shoppers and Hunters lie at different ends of the same SL scale. Your typical Shopper has an inventory so large that the whole Grid lags when they log on and a bank balance so negative that the government are considering a public bail out to keep them afloat. SL to the Shopper is like Amazon, but with stores you can walk around, indeed virtual goods are more important to them than the real thing, and most are happy to be drip fed caffeine and sugar, in lieu of food, simply so they never have to miss a sale. Hunters, on the other hand, are on a mission to clothe, house and equip themselves with anything, provided it’s free. Normal considerations such as something being utter crap, tasteless, the wrong size or just plain awful, do not come into the equation – the important thing is the price tag, and that price tag has to say L$0!
That’s all for today… But fear not, if you haven’t spotted yourself yet, there’ll be more of the same tomorrow!
Substitute your lies for fact
I can see right through your plastic mac
I look all white, but my dad was black
My fine-looking suit is really made out of sack
The Who – Substitute