M is for Myg

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Archive for the 'Fight for Topgol' Category

The scenery wars

Update on the fight for Topgol. (Please see the post directly below for backstory, if you are interested.)

The shitty ad cubes are down!  The wall is down and an apartment building is now standing in its place – a very big improvement.

I am no longer banned from my neighbors’ property.

I do not know the reasons why, and do not wish to speculate too much. If my neighbors or Richard Palace care to comment, I’d be interested to hear what they have to say.

This is a definite step in the right direction. Let’s hear it for progress.

I also want to explain something about this blog.

I maintain that this is my blog and I can do whatever it is I want with it. As such, I also have to take responsibility for its content – and I do.

When I post something, it’s a contract between me and my readers.  I can’t take back something I said in real time (god, if only I could…).  But it seems strange and dishonest to take down something I posted simply because someone has a problem with it. Even if that someone is me.

That’s why I offered to post something new if the situation changed, and that’s what I’ve done.

Let’s hope things continue to get better from here. I have a good feeling they will.


Things that make SL suck – reckless development

Report from the Fight for Topgol.

Some things make SL suck. You know what they are, right? Let’s talk about how the place looks to newcomers on the mainland:

A Vision of Hell, originally uploaded by Khamudy Mannonen.

I’ve been writing about what Second Life is good for. I’ve been doing that because I really believe in Second Life as a platform for people, digital or otherwise, to get shit done. I was compelled to write that series because there are actually quite a few problems in Second Life that make it suck, and as is the mainstream media’s way, these are the issues that get the bulk of the attention. While I sincerely hate to do more calling attention to Second Life’s quirks and, er “growth opportunities,” in the name of helping things improve for all of us for the long term, I gotta.

Today we’re talking about land developers.

Alex and I own a nice chunk of a mainland sim called Topgol, which happens to be the home of -=CLOCKWORK=- Go on and visit – we’ve worked really hard on it. So have Sable, Romana and Martin. We’ve created a nice, grungy urban theme. It’s not like mainland sims you often see – like the one pictured above. It’s got a look, a feel, a community.

So whThe fight for Topgol is back onen our new blingin’ neighbors came in and put up a shitty ad cube in the middle of town, we didn’t like it. I posted about it here. In addition to the ugly ass ad cube, there’s also the matter of their club and mall being extremely ugly. Their property, in the middle of the sim, seriously degrades the overall look of Topgol – but you know what? I didn’t even complain about that because there were buildings and streets and I thought, well, I’ve seen worse.

In any case, my neighbors were offended by the post. I think they felt, oh I don’t know, a little threatened. They took down the cube, put up huge walls, and then banned me and Alex from their land. Martin Squeegee, another land developer who actually works to preserve the theme, approached them to get them to take the walls down. After like, sheesh, two hours of talking to them they took down all of the walls except the one bordering our property, which they designed to look like this:

(That’s me with my irate neighbors as they are scripting the wall to move and induce seizures I guess…)

Now, I had put a wall up too. I figured if I was banned from their land, no way did they get a road into Mainline. But I textured my wall with brick so it’d look like Romana’s loft – you know, not hideous and antagonistic. When they went INSANE and started building 50m high walls everywhere, I took it down.

They told me if I didn’t take down my post, they wouldn’t take down the wall. They felt that since they took down the ad cube, I should take down my post. I explained, oh no no no. That’s not how it works. If they work with the community, I’d be happy to post something about that and it would portray them more positively. But if they continued to act like giant babies, well, I’d likely be writing about that instead.

Today I went in and the wall was down, and an apartment building was up. And over it, a nice huge fat spinning ad cube. So here’s the rub.

In the rare instances when strangers gather around a common purpose like building a sim within a theme, that’s something worth respecting and preserving. It is an ideal of community and cooperation that shows the world what’s possible when human beings respect one another and work together.

Technically my neighbors can build anything they want. As they said, “This is mainland. If you want community you have to go to a private sim.”

But I think we’ve proven that you can have community on a Mainland sim. Hell, even the casino looked like it belonged, and you know how pissed off I was with the lag. But they bought in Topgol because they loved what we’d done and they didn’t destroy the look of it.

As Richard Palace, the land owner here (my neighbors are tenants) suggested I do in his comment on said post, I contacted him. His solution was for me to take down my post.

I figured the best way to respond was this.

Dear Richard Palace and all mainland land developers:

When you allow ugly shit to populate the mainland, you lower the quality of Second Life for all of us. Your income is intimately linked to how well Second Life attracts and retains new people. One of the most common criticisms of Second Life is the poor quality of how it looks. You are largely to blame for this.

If you keep developing mainland into digital ghettos, you will continue to be at odds with the greater good of Second Life and its residents. And if you come do it in Topgol where there is an established community, I will take the piss out of you every chance I get. It’s all I can do in the fight for a Second Life that isn’t pathetic and abused for the gain of a few thoughtless individuals.

I’m not for a lot of regulating. I wouldn’t advocate Linden Lab set covenants, etc. I just ask people not to be dumb asses. I know with a particular type of money grubber, that’s too much to ask. But then expect verbal beatings. Repeatedly.

And one last thing. Linden’s latest policy on ad farms should put these types on alert. It doesn’t apply to my neighbors, but it does imply that they are not real happy about those big spinning ad cubes fucking up the scenery. THAT’S BECAUSE AD CUBES SUCK – AND SO DO THE LOSERS WHO USE THEM.

And that’s round three, folks. Stay tuned…


Experiments in virtual diplomacy

The fight for Topgol is back on

There are two kinds of land developers in Second Life: those who give a shit, and those who do not.

Topgol currently has one of each. One developer bought up a bunch of Topgol, and seeing the value of cooperation, built his properties with respect to the theme we have going on here. We are a Philadelphia themed sim, but what is unusual, nay, special about Topgol, is that we are just a bunch of random residents who wandered in, loved the idea and decided to cooperate. We don’t know each other outside of SL, we don’t make any money from our ventures (hey, we’re not against it, but that’s not how this came about). We just realized that if we worked together we could keep the place looking decent and we’d all enjoy it more. And through that cooperation we actually became close friends.

The second type of developer is the type who does not give a shit. He bought a bunch of property and rented it out and as you can almost make out above, his tenants have posted shitty awful ad cubes in the center of the town, on the edge of our properties. They have built a god awful ugly mall. You can see this shit from the roof of Clockwork now, and man, that pisses me off.

We’re trying to come up with a solution. Something reasonable. I reached out to one of the tenants, but no response. I don’t know if that’s because the dude speaks no English or not. But regardless, we need an approach here that encourages cooperation. Next step is to approach the land developer.

So I ask you, dear readers, what do you think will be more persuasive. Uzis? Or no uzis?



It’s been a long time since we’ve had any real action around Topgol. When we last left our heroes, it looked as though Topgol was in the safe, capable hands of a few loosely connected but largely agreeable folks. But then the major landholder flaked and sold out to a *cough* asshole I mean land developer. And hence, a ton of crap has been put up in its place.

Romana, Sable, Alex and I hang onto the Northeast corner, our last bastion of urban blight in the sim. But it was inevitable that sooner or later the outside world would encroach on our haven.

Meet my new neighbor.

Our new neighbors

Now I’m not saying he’s a bad guy. In fact he and his partner were quite nice. They are clearly new, and obviously the most industrious of newbs. And they are plenty Dutch. And not English speaking. And oh, so sexeh!

They opened a new sex club, El Muchacho (which means “the boy” in Spanish so um, um…?) complete with rentable sex rooms and dancing poles. They gave us a tour and everything. But the best part was they gave me a free shirt (and yes, it is fully rezzed):

Our new neighbors

I asked, “Why are the Dutch so sexy?”

That’s because the last owner of a sex hotel in Topgol was Dutch too. And I am quite sure if they could have spoken any English, there would have been a fine answer.

Alas, they could not.


Let’s hear it for small steps in virtual diplomacy–Topgol style!

Some thought it was impossible, and for all I know they’re right. But the owner of the local casino in Topgol is considering removing his camping chairs.

Could we see progress?

He IM’d me to let me know that Linden is considering a change to advertising rules for casinos, which might allow for other means of producing traffic. If this goes into effect, he said he would pull the camping chairs. Now, of course I understand his willingness to pull the chairs has to do with the change in Linden policy, not necessarily any action on our behalf. But. Still.

I believe his motivation to make any change comes from a desire to work with us.  I believe he wants to be part of a community that is growing and getting more organized and collaborative every day.  And when I ran into him last night at the Slippery Noodle (a rockin’ blues club in Topgol with live music), we actually had a really nice chat.

Now we’ll see what happens, but for the moment I remain optimistic. Not just for Topgol, but for the future of virtual politics.

Viva Topgol, people.


Hate thy neighbor

I’m at a loss these days.


Every time I turn around, someone or something else is pissing me off.


If it’s not the casino with its bazillion scripts and campers, its griefers who come into town and leave their shit laying all over the place. Read more


Fight for Topgol–Second Life server troubles

Server trouble

What’s wrong with this picture? Okay, none of yr smartass comments about “You’re in it, Burgess.” Shut up. I’ll tell you. First: No ao. I don’t use that Linden Lab default stick-up-the-ass stand even when I’m constipated. Second: No hair, when I happened to want hair. Third: No boots. What are those little black booties? Pumps? And what is up with Linden Lab’s idea of avatar feet? They’re ugly enough when everything’s working. I know you sickos want to stare, so hit “more” and take a good gander. Just make sure you’re not eating.

Read more


LAG fights Lag!

Fight the fucking lag, that’s what I say.

Fight Lag with LAG

You want to know how? Well get your ass over to CodeBastard’s post on the topic. Codie gives clear explanations for client-side lag, network lag and sim lag and offers suggestions for what to do about those things.

Unfortunately, we know far too fucking well in Topgol that if sim lag is your problem, there’s not all that much you can do unless somehow you get Linden Lab to actually give a shit. Seems they’ve got their hands full these days looking to widen avenues for restricting their customers’ freedoms, but that’s another post entirely.

Peaceful Protest 2

Otherwise, like us you’re left with putting public pressure on your neighbors who are resource hogging. Thanks to concerned bloggers, Topgol Citizens and friends, the Lag Annihilation Group (LAG) was formed. (IM Alex in-world to get in the group). We started with the logos and the T-shirts made by Codie. Then Wrath made us some signs. And Vint went and spoke with the owner of the 12 Monkey casino chain, and sweetly clued him in to what can happen when a bunch of bloggers get passionate about an issue.

And my god, we’ve hardly started.


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