The Rabbit Hole

23Sep06

I’m not a geek in any traditional way but without my keyboard and internet access, my life is a mess… I bank online, shop for as much as humanly possible online, write letters, send large amounts of emails to my friends around the world, skype them when we’re online, create documents, download photos from my camera and am putting my entire cd collection on a hard drive or 3. In my workplace I’d be lucky if I use a pen to write 2 dozen words a day, compared to the thousands of words I type.. Everything is electronic.. Yet I don’t use my pc for amusement… I don’t find pcs or online gaming remotely interesting, I don’t go to chat rooms and I don’t use instant messagers (tried ICQ years ago and was under whelmed).. everything i do with it is about making my real life easier.. except for my card games…

I’d heard a lot about SL, both through mainstream media and my geek rss feeds.. When I read a BBC feed about Duran Duran playing in SL, I knew it was time to investigate this place. After all, I knew there was money to be made – most articles had mentioned that.. and if an 80s band wanted some publicity by deciding to play there – well, it must be on the blunt side of cutting edge.. i.e. it was becoming non threatening enough that they think their fan base will follow them in..

So, after a chat with a true geek friend, we decided I’d go in and look around – see if there was any money to be made and then he’d do whatever scripting/creating was necessary.. I’d write a business case and a feasibility study and then if we thought it was worth putting some cash into it we would.. All very sensible. LOL!

So, I go to the website and sign up.. first hiccup.. I was so serious about this that I gave them my cc details and when they processed the signup, the details had vanished! Not the end of the world, as it’s possible to have an account without providing the details.. First of a long line of technology challenges that SL needs to deal with.. I know I’m not alone, as I know of 2 other people that it happened to as well… The Lindens loss.. and ours of course as if you don’t give them payment details at the signup stage you don’t get a lump of SL cash to spend when you arrive in world.. But considering the database security issues a few days after I first signed up, probably not a bad outcome.

So, signing up and downloading the software was the easy part… Then I went down the rabbit hole..

And landed on a sand dune..

What should have happened was that I followed the arrows through the induction.. gained an understanding of the world, the avatar, the interface.. Problem was that I didn’t see the sign.. because I’m not a gamer, didn’t even know how to turn the avatar around to take the sights in.. but I could make her walk forwards… so I stumbled down the dune, checked out the user interface, had a little play with the keys that moved the avatar and went off to embrace this brave new world..

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