Fifty shades of grey

Second life, indeed IT in general, can be a pain in the rear end. You can happily get along with it for months at a time with no problems at all, then – for no apparent reason – it all goes pear-shaped, leaving you struggling to work out what exactly has goes wrong.

It’s rare that I run into technical problems in SL, and it’s fair to say that very often, when I do, it’s because I’ve done something silly myself or I’m making thoroughly ridiculous demands on my system. Having multiple browser tabs open whilst running SL, with CS6 up in the background, and simultaneously downloading a movie while I’m trying to videocap the inworld action is pretty much a recipe for disaster – but I will attempt these things: Who dares… Crashes!

However, there are other occasions when I’m totally behaving myself, yet things are not doing what they should, and they carry on not doing what they should, whatever I attempt to put things right. It can be intensely annoying. Recently, I’ve stopped seeing in colour – when I log in, teleport to a new destination, or just go for a walk around. Everything is rezzing just fine, except it’s just grey, and it’s staying grey for a ridiculous amount of time – anything up to 10 minutes!

I have no idea what’s caused this. My settings for SL and everything else have remained unchanged and nothing I do seems to make any difference, it just appears that for some unknown reason, I’ve suddenly been plunged into a monochrome existence – apart from me. Yep, the world around me may look like it’s constructed out of cement, but there I am – like a jewel in some sort of colourless crown – resplendent in all my eye-popping glory; although that really is little consolation for the lack of any visual stimulation elsewhere.

It’s more than a little irritating to rock up to a venue, to be greeted by a friend complimenting you on your outfit when you can’t return the favour. “I like that look – uniform grey suits you, it matches your skin… And your eyes… And your hair…” – is not the ideal compliment. Maybe I should just dance for a bit? Aww crap… Which one’s the pink ball?

Eventually, after the universe has aged a little more, it will start to pop into colourful existence: Walls, faces, furniture will start to resolve into their normal vibrant shades and everything is back to normal… Almost. There always appears to be at least one rogue texture that stubbornly refuses to sort itself out, and whilst it sits there on my screen, steadfastly doing everything in its power to hide its true colours, I find my attention is constantly drawn to it, no matter how hard I try to ignore its presence – it’s like the elephant in the room – a big grey thing that I’m trying hard to pretend isn’t there, but despite my best efforts, I fail dismally, my attention ending up riveted to it, oblivious to anything else going on around me.

I now know that if I was every to be reincarnated as an animal, it would have to be as a monkey, ground squirrel, insect or fish – I’m not bothered by which one, as long as it has a fullrange of colour vision, otherwise it’s not something I’d enjoy at all. The fun of chasing balls in the park, curling up on somebody’s lap, or hunting wildebeest on the African plains would definitely be diminished if I was condemned to experience them in shades of grey, so please let me come back as a stick insect instead!

I’m very much an HDR, full tonal range, technicolor type of person and if ever I’m deprived of that, I really feel the loss. It takes me right back to my days as a youngster and the little black and white portable TV in my bedroom… You had to turn a disk to tune in, and if you walked across the wrong side of the room, you’d lose reception. Back then, I had no idea how colourful the world could possibly be – life has taught me that’s something that really should be appreciated far more – and when it’s not there, I really do miss it.

So if anyone has any ideas about how I might fix my blues… Erm, I mean greys, please can you let me know?

s. x

Aaah, we fade to grey (fade to grey)
Aaah, we fade to grey (fade to grey)
Devenir gris
Visage – Fade To Grey

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