Ever since details about Project Sansar started to be made available the SL community has expressed its dismay that – as far we know, and that’s not very much at all – the chances that we’ll be able to port our inventories into the Lab’s new world are limited. Speculation is rife, and riddled with assumptions and supposition – it’s pretty much a dead cert that you won’t be able to transfer anything for which you don’t own full permissions, but that aside nobody really knows what, if anything, we’ll be able to take with us if we choose to go.
Personally, I don’t think that anything other than full-perm mesh will be transferable, and to be honest, I tend towards the view that if we’re going to get a truly optimised and improved virtual world, then it’s probably better to allow the export of the bare minimum – even though it’s going to hurt – limited to our avatar name and linden dollars.
Understandably, this is an uncomfortable prospect, and likely a deal-breaker for some. Already the debate is raging across the metaverse,even though we currently have no idea what the facts are. Some, faced with the threat of having to start again from scratch, have taken the opportunity to go into full-on Linden-bashing mode, whilst others will simply shake their heads and talk about the glory days of 2006 for as long as anyone will listen to them.
I won’t deny that it’s a difficult choice we face – the prospect of waving goodbye to the, not inconsiderable contents of my inventory is not something I relish… I wouldn’t like to think how much time it’s taken to amass it, or the frightening cost of doing so. However I value those items in terms that go beyond the merely fiscal, and I suspect that many of us are much the same.
There are items I’ve squirrelled away over the years that tell a story… It’s both my own story and the story of how SL has changed over time. Memories and reminders of the past: Those Pathy Avro eyelashes I was so thrilled to pick up at a freebie stall as a struggling noob; outfits from stores – Pixeldolls, Urban Dare, and others long gone from SL; that pizza – my first attempt at using the build tools, and the multicoloured stool – a friend’s first foray into building. There are gifts and cards, messages and pictures, given to me by special friends, some of whom are no longer around. All of these things are special to me; I’ve formed an attachment to then, one which is not easily broken.
Similarly, my avatar is not just a playing piece. Unlike the scotty dog on the Monopoly board, I’ve formed an attachment to her, she is an extension of the real me, and I’m not sure how I would feel about slipping into a completely new skin. Like an organ transplant, the new me, would never entirely be the same as the original, and I’m pretty sure there would be a strong chance of rejection.
So, bring on Sansar, yes! But please not at the expense of losing my memories and identity… That just wouldn’t work for me at all.
However, lost in all the angst, worry and rancour pervading the SL community when it comes to Project Sansar, are we perhaps forgetting one vital point? After all, there’s plenty to reassure us that SL is going to be around for a long time yet, and despite the doom and gloom that the naysayers may be peddling, there are no indications that Sansar will be sounding the SL death knell, so maybe all this concern is completely unnecessary – the chances are that Seren, along with all her inventory and the junk it contains are going to be around for a long time yet.
Who knows… She may even outlast me!
I don’t want to spoil the party so I’ll go
I would hate my disappointment to show
There’s nothing for me here so I will disappear
The Beatles – I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party