Wednesday, May 30, 2007
There's a reason why the game we play is called Second Life. We enter this place. Make friends. Maybe get a job. Buy land, and get a home. Possibly even fall in love, and get partnered. Then comes the day when you make the biggest decision of anyone's life: To bring another life into the world. However, since all sex in SL is safe (physically, if not always emotionally), and there aren't any cartoon storks around, virtual child bearing involves shopping, some planning, and listening to what your tummy tells you.
In order to get a better perspective, I sat down with two expepectant mothers inworld, Katie Morphett and Tenya Babii, to ask them what made them want to go through SL pregnancy, and how they were finding it.
Voodoo: Katie... what attracted you to becoming pregnant in the game?
Katie Morphett: Well, I saw someone pregnant, and Bubbles and I thought about it for awhile, then recently we went to BOJ (Bundle of Joy) and bought a package :)
Voodoo: Bubbles being your partner?
Katie Morphett: Yup .
Voodoo: Now Bubbles is female too.... I understand she is also pregnant in game?
Katie Morphett: Yes, that’s right.
Voodoo: Is there an SL father?
Katie Morphett: Nope. It's a game, and we both thought we didn’t need to.
Voodoo: Moving to Tenya for a moment... what made you think this was something you wanted to do?
Tenya Babii: Well, one day I was thinking to myself “Can we have babies on here?” and I figured I would type in search and see and I saw that we could. Well the other day me and Cryptid started talking about kids on here and I asked him about having one, and he said yes. So I already had my shape in my Inventory and showed him, and he said yes.
Voodoo: and Cryptid is your partner?
Tenya Babii: mmhmm
Voodoo: He's a Furry, and you are a Neko... do you have any idea what the baby is going to be? Or is that going to be a surprise?
Tenya Babii: Well, we have been to a place that has furry babies and we are both lions so are going to have a baby girl lion cub
Voodoo: Now... Tenya has only just become pregnant... Katie, when did you… conceive, if you will?
Katie Morphett: Well, I'm giving birth October 30th. We planned the pregnancy April 30th . :)
Voodoo: so... a 6 month pregnancy?
Katie Morphett: Yes :)
Voodoo: Was there a reason for choosing that amount, rather than 9 months?
Katie Morphett: Well, we were going to make it 9 months, but then we thought... "that will be a long time..." So we decided to pick a date, and that’s when we are going to give birth .
Voodoo: Right... and Tenya... how long are you going to be pregnant?
Tenya Babii: We are having ours in september because sl preggos only last 4 weeks
Voodoo: How so?
Tenya Babii: I was told that by a friend who had her baby, that they only last 4 weeks
Katie Morphett: Well, the longest is 4 weeks, but we bought out bellies and we are waiting lmao
Voodoo: So it's more determined by the pregnancies you buy?
Katie Morphett: Yes.
Tenya Babii: Right, I do mine by appearance, so I can do mine by the day and my baby whisper (messages given off by the pregnant tummy, regarding cravings and feelings) goes by trimester
Katie Morphett: Yeah, I have the interactive tummy, but I bought the whispers too .
Voodoo: so... you purchase a tummy, whispers, and then a baby... are there any other expenses?
Katie Morphett: Well, maternity clothes, baby furniture..
Tenya Babii: the ao (animation over-ride), if the baby does not come with the ao
Katie Morphett: The pregnancy ao [ though i haven't gotten that ]
Tenya Babii: Me either
Voodoo: Is there anything for the birth itself?
Tenya Babii: Yes, you can have the birth on sl. You get on the table and have the baby
Voodoo: wow... I assume it doesn't take 36 hours though
Tenya Babii: nooo, I hope not
Voodoo: Katie... how have your friends reacted to yours and bubble's pregnancies?
Katie Morphett: Well, they are mostly all happy for us, like whenever they see us they rub our tummy or something close.
Voodoo: Do you wear the tummy at all times? As I know the temptation is to change our looks all the time?
Katie Morphett: Well, yes, I keep my tummy on all the time, cause I wanted to have the baby, so i have to keep the tummy on :)
Voodoo: I take it you will too, Tenya?
Tenya Babii: Yes
Voodoo: May I ask, do either of you work in SL? Or are you on maternity leave, so to speak?
Tenya Babii: Cryptid is working
Katie Morphett: I work, At a Really Awesome Club, Called Carnage :) I Don't want to give up there even after i have the baby, lo l. And Bubbles is continuing with her slave clothing business (Cerberus Designs). I am opening up a furniture store as well
Voodoo: May I ask what you do at the club?
Katie Morphett: I dance, NOT strip, though ;)
Voodoo: And how have the patrons reacted to a pregnant dancer?
Katie Morphett: Well, it’s not rare to have a pregnant dancer, I have seen a few in my sl life. They treat me like most dancers, except they tend to click my tummy alot :)
Voodoo: If I may ask, are either of you pregnant in real life?
Tenya Babii: Noo
Katie Morphett: I am not :)
Voodoo: Any plans to be?
Katie Morphett: Not that I know of :) I think I’m happy with my little girl, for now :D
Tenya Babii: One day. I hope to be still young though and wish to have one of my own:)
Voodoo: One final question... you are pregnant... you give birth... you have the baby you bought... are you planning to have it grow up? And will you have someone take on that role?
Katie Morphett: Uhm, Yes, we want someone to take on that role, after the baby "grows up" :)
Voodoo: How will you choose that person? Do you have someone in mind?
Katie Morphett: well, not really, I guess we are going to a clinic and meet some kids, to see who will take the best role .
Voodoo: and Tenya... have you considered that far ahead?
Tenya Babii: We have not talk yet about that we will when the time comes but till then we just want to think about money and getting everything ready and how i am going to pay for it all because cryptid is leaving and when he comes back i am goint o have the baby and everything has to be done i dont have time to really think about the future for the baby... I have to take one day at a time an try not to stress
Voodoo: Well.... I'd like to thank you both for speaking to me, and best of luck with your babies.
Posted by Brutha Voodoo at 9:26 PM
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
The avatar is our most personal representation in the digital world of Secondlife. Due to the highly customisable nature of the avatar, it becomes in many ways our virtual selves, embodying the way we want to be seen by those we encounter. After all, our own bodies we are born with, and can only be altered through concerted effort over time, or extreme surgeries. But our avatar is how we choose to look, with our form, skin and clothes being changeable with a couple of clicks. It becomes the person we either wish we were, or feel that we would like to explore living as. We can become our fantasy self, sexy and stylish, muscled and powerful, exotic and wild... Or we can build our virtual self to be true to our real forms, or at least a stylised version of ourselves, to allow us the feeling of our real selves living in this magical, impossible world, flying, fighting and exploring strange things we could never find in the real world.
It is this relationship between the avatar and the creator that is explored in a project entitled "Alter Ego: Avatars and their creators", an exhibit being shown in SL (Click Here for SLURL), and also being reproduced as a book in the real world. In the exhibition, various pictures are on display. These pictures either show a snapshot of an avatar in SL, or a photo of a user. When you click on the picture it switches to the alter-ego of that person. As you stare at the avatar picture, you try to imagine what kind of person lies behind it, and when you switch the picture to the photo, there is almost always a surprise. The pink-clad psycho cheerleader becomes a twenty something male. The be-suited black man becomes a hip-hop white man. The Star Wars bounty hunter becomes a young boy suffering from poliomyelitis. The reasons behind the choices these people have made go unspoken, but pictures speak a thousand words, and after looking through the exhibition, you may never look at another avatar the same way again.
Posted by Brutha Voodoo at 11:23 PM
Monday, May 21, 2007
Posted by J.T.J. at 12:21 AM
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Lynn Ryan passed away on Saturday 12th May taking her SL avatar
I know she will be dearly missed by us all.
Night night Stickie wicket, I love you, sweet dreams, love and hugs miss you xxx
Posted by DV at 1:53 PM
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Now that you have some pocket change and are well along in your search to land that high paying job its time to consider the options at your disposal for making the best use of those hard earned Linden$. In this fourth (and final) installment of this series we will look into some lesser known aspects of the financial world that exists here in SL.
Let’s admit right now that this article isn’t for everyone. If your interest in SL is to explore some fun places, makes some friends and do some chatting and you are happy just buying the Linden$ you need to do that then you need not concern yourself with investing. But before you go, let me offer you one last bit of advice. Regardless of whether or not you have an interest in investing your money, you certainly do not wish to lose it. Sadly, SL has its fair share of cons, scammers and outright thieves.
Theft is rare but it happens. If it does, report it. Normally Linden Lab will take appropriate action to restore your funds and deal with the ‘purp. Scams and cons are another matter. Whether it’s a “double your money” sure thing or a “gift” item, you can’t be scammed without your cooperation. The old rule “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is” applies perfectly well in SL. Beware of avatars bearing gifts.
So for those of you still here, let’s dissect this investment thing in terms simple enough that even I can understand them. If you have enough money on hand that you can consider investing some of it then you have four basic options. You can deposit your money into a SL bank. You can invest in the SL stock of SL companies. You can purchase and develop land. Or you can lend or invest directly through “private placement”. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. And each has its unique risks. Let’s take a closer look at each option.
SL banks are similar to the everyday RL variety. They take in deposits, make loans and offer various banking services. If you deposit your money with a bank, they will pay you interest for the time you leave it with them. Rates vary but 1%-2% a week is typical. Normally these are ‘demand deposits”, meaning you can take your money out any time you like, often through conveniently located ATM units. You may be able to negotiate a higher rate in exchange for agreeing to leave your money on deposit for a certain period of time. Ask the bank.
Banks are a good place to leave funds that you have no immediate need for but may find you need to access in the short term. Unlike RL banks, SL banks do not insure your deposits against loss. If the bank fails or the owners vanish your money could go with them. Remember SL banks are trying to run an honest and profitable business, so they should be able to offer some assurances against losses. There has been only one case of a large SL bank failure, and most depositors were able to recover their money in that case.
A riskier option offering potentially much larger returns would be to invest in the stocks of SL companies. These tend to be land development companies that need cash to purchase and build up lands that can then be rented or sold. But there are other businesses you can consider. The simplest way to buy stock is on a SL stock exchange. You can locate an exchange using Search.
Land is a time honored investment that tends to hold its value, but presents its own challenges and risks. There is a good explanation of land ownership in the SL knowledgebase, and anyone seriously considering a purchase should be familiar with it.
As always, Search is your starting point to locate parcels in which you may be interested. Before you buy be sure you know your purpose for the land, and take great care to ensure that the parcel meets your needs. You can only alter the features of the land to a limited degree, so if you want to build an airport don’t buy a mountain. Once you find a parcel you have to buy it. Prices are set, for the most part, between buyer and seller and as a rule land is not cheap. Especially for us new folk.
Once you have your land there will be other expenses associated with ownership. You will owe taxes every month to Linden Lab (your first 512 sq.m parcel is tax exempt). And you will want to develop and build. This can be expensive. Land purchases are one thing you may just want to go ahead and purchase the Lindens for. But you can get a mortgage from a bank. And saving, while requiring more time, is a surefire way to raise cash.
A final use for your investable funds is a “private placement”. This involves making a loan or investing money directly, with no bank or stock transaction involved. This offers the potential for superior returns, but is also the most risky option. You should avoid this until you have accumulated some knowledge and experience. Even then you should restrict private placement activity to funds you can afford to lose. Barring deliberate fraud, there is no real recourse should your investment go bad.
That brings us to the end of our mutual journey through newbieness. If you have made it this far with me you can hang up your newbie mantle now and join me for a drink at the SL Millionaire’s Club. Okay. Future Millionaire’s Club.
Posted by SL-ConnieMcMahon at 5:23 PM
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Playing secondlife for a lot of months now. But when i found this sign, and tried it I felt like a newbee again. Did anyone knew this ? Ofcourse anyone did, but do the common long time players know full functionality in SL. I wonder. Same as the CTRL-ALT-T command.
Please feel free to add more of this facinating key-combinations in the comments of this article. Would love to read all about them !
Posted by J.T.J. at 2:04 PM
Saturday, May 12, 2007
One way to get Linden Dollars (L$) is to simply buy them. The first thing to realize is that Lindens are not play money. We’ll talk here in terms of US dollars, but L$ can be easily converted to and from a number of different currencies. That means you can turn your L$ back into “real” money just as easily as you bought them in the first place.
What makes this possible is an amazing invention called LindeX. LindeX is a currency exchange that is very much like its RL counterparts. Without going into the details, LindeX matches a buyer of L$ with someone who wants to sell them. For example, on Friday afternoon sellers were offering L$1,000 for US$4.06. Pay that price and you get 1,000 Lindens. Simple as that. The seller has converted her Lindens back into US dollars. Depending on the supply and demand, prices rise and fall to a level at which sellers find willing buyers.
But suppose you don’t want to buy L$. You may prefer to make yours the old fashioned way – stealing them. SL has no shortage of cons and scams, but that is a topic for another day. Meanwhile there are plenty of ways for Residents to earn a Linden living. If you are under 30 days old you may be pleased to discover that money does grow on trees. Search places using “Money Tree” and you will be rewarded, literally, with dozens of locations where these arboreal miracles are found. Look carefully through the boughs (Mouse View is a real help here) and help yourself to the cash. After 30 days though the trees will stop bearing fruit for you. Begging can be effective approach for the truly newbie. People like to help, and will often hand you a few dollars if you seem sincere. Just don’t overdo it, it gets old quickly.
Camping and dancing are popular ways to earn money. To Camp you find a spot that offers you a certain amount of L$ in exchange for standing, sitting or otherwise occupying the spot. Dance “pads” work in a similar way only you have to dance away the time, collecting more money the longer you dance. You will almost always find a few pads in clubs and bars. Neither way is going to make you rich. L$2 for 10 minutes is a common rate, although you can find higher if you look. But if you have some time to kill, why not pick up a few bucks while killing it? Sweeping the streets, planting trees and painting walls are less common versions of this same approach.
Any of these methods will generate some pocket change, but to earn any significant amount of money you need a job. There are two ways to find one. The most common is finding someone to hire you. Again Search is your ally in this quest. Search the Classifieds for the kind of job you want, then contact the employer and apply. What sorts of jobs can you expect to find? There are many sales jobs and don’t dismiss them. They are usually open to anyone and can provide a good income. It might be selling real estate, rental units or working in a shop. But if you have a special interest, by all means search for a job doing that.
If you are so inclined, there is always demand for dancers, escorts and adult “personal services” workers. This can be a very lucrative field, but it’s not for everyone. If it appeals to you, check it out.
Another approach is creating your own job. It’s a lot more work, riskier and potentially a lot more profitable. How do you create a job? Pretty much the same here as in RL: Find something people want, provide it to them and charge for it. It really helps a lot if it is also something you enjoy. Always wanted to be a photographer? Start a photo business. You get the idea.
There’s a lot more to becoming a Linden Millionaire than this of course. Land ownership and development. Rental properties. Banking and finance. We’ll take a look at these next time.
Posted by SL-ConnieMcMahon at 4:31 PM