It is a special moment that you all know: the first time you enter a different virtual game, or more broadly said, world. There is this feeling of feeling lost, not knowing what or how to do things, but there's also this feeling of wonder, a feeling that will slowly fade as you get familiar with the world, until you take everything you see for granted.
Vanessa allowed me to experience this moment once more, by inviting me over to the wondrous world of Second Life (in short: SL). Before I got to know Vanessa, I only vaguely knew something of Second Life. I only remembered that the newspapers were writing about it when it was new: something about how it was all about fashion and that the big brands were all trying to get in. And that it probably was just a hype. Others told me they thought it was all about sex.
Reading the stories of all the pleasantly crazy people over at iRez, I decided it had to be more. And as one of the contributing authors of the iRez blog, I was invited to participate in the New Year's picture... in Second Life.
Who oh who is the real Rav? Vanessa kept mimicking me!
When I logged in with my character, I thank the heathen gods Vanessa was there to carry me around. As a gamer, I usually find my way on the keyboard pretty quickly, but Second Life was very different and not very intuitive. Luckily Vanessa was willing to listen to me panic on voice chat and give me useful directions.
Shopping is big in Second Life. The incentive is present right at the start, as you can choose a pre-made character out of a handful. No body sliders, no colour options, nothing. And they are all super ugly. If you want to change what you look like, you have to buy the changes at shops and add them to your character. There are shops for everything: clothes, hairstyles, skins... even ears and eyes!
Just before, we had spent five hours (no exaggeration, it was literally five hours) on finding the Elvish hairstyle that we're wearing on the picture. And all that time, Vanessa put up with me, it was pretty amazing. The worst part had yet to come, though.
In order to change your face, you could buy "skins". We spent some time looking at posters of faces on walls. I thought that if you would buy one of these, you would ending up looking exactly like the person on the wall. But that wasn't the case. Then I thought it meant you just bought the skin tone, but that wasn't the case either. I didn't really understand Vanessa's explanation but I picked one that looked different but worked anyway.
I think I've worked it out now. I think the skins form a combination between what you already look like and what's in the skin when you attach it to your character. I'm not sure why it works this way, but maybe it is meant to ensure everyone gets a unique face. Very complicated, either way!
This dress reminds me of the Festive Azure Party Dress that I like to wear in LotRO. Very elfy!
After we were done, we rested and talked a bit in Vanessa's amazing lighthouse. It had super hot chairs and looked very surreal. You could even fly to the roof and make weird poses (see the top picture), which we of course did. Because we could, or something, I think.
Now I was ready for the big photoshoot with the other iRez authors... or was I? I'll write about my continuing adventures in the next post.