M is for Myg

Live your god damned dream

Plod and the Holiday Quest for a Silly but Utterly Cool Bag

I want you to now, I got distracted 73,110.5 times writing this post. I don’t know what to tell you about that, but I wouldn’t read anything into it, like maybe this post is, shall we say, not as interesting as it could be. Don’t think that. Not until after you read it anyway.

So, here is the BIG PRIZE I TOTALLY WON after spending the better part of very late last night poking around at Plod.

Plod Holidy Hunt Prize

It is an utterly silly shoulder bag, one of the truly most useless items one can own in SL. But the silliness and the detail and the style of it – I had to have.

Now I don’t normally do hunts. Why? They are a pain in the ass. They take effort that normally I’d put into, oh, I don’t know, changing socks or turning onto my other side while in lying in bed. In other words, I am lazy (and have a doctor’s note to justify it) and would usually rather plunk down $L for something I want and NOT have to spend a bunch precious time and patience looking around for it. Especially the patience, because I have very little of that to spare. Plus I can’t even find my damn car keys in my own purse. Finding stuff hidden around a sim? Not my idea of a good time.

So with that disclosure, you may be wondering how indeed I did get sucked into the holiday hunt at Plod. It started out innocently. I got a notice from the Boing Frommage group about Elka’s new location at the Plod sim. Now, I own pretty much everything that Boing Frommage has put out, but I was curious to see the new spot so I went for a visit.

I just loved the look of this place. As I get back into content creation, I am in the middle of pondering different design styles in SL, because I am drawn to many different types. But in the end I am the biggest sucker for a good imaginary/storybook or comic book feel. Such as the one captured here:
Kurotsu

This is the inside of a store called – uh oh – I hope I remembered it right – Kurotusubaki. Hoo. Those Japanese stores do NOT make things easy on us poor monolinguals. You can buy a few cute things here, like an animal hat with ears, a few poses, an animated rug. NONE of the cool stuff in this photo, mind you. But I’m blogging it for the build, not the merchandise. (Apologies Kurotsubaki, your merchandise is totally cute, but your build in Plod is what really got me.)

Plod has all the elements of an immersive storybook SL experience. And you know what? That stupid holiday hunt gave me the right “mission” to go exploring. Their products are really whimsical feeling, like the dirty bag I won with a lit miniature Xmas tree and a tiny animated squirrel hanging off of it. The builds are also well worth exploring, and some things you can buy and take with you like this treehouse:

Plod Tree house

So if you are into this kind of style, go take a look. And if you want the bag, be prepared to work for it. You will have to find yourself in some fairly weird places, such as the land of bigass squirrels:
Squirrel's nest

I will say one thing. The people behind Plod are waaaaay into squirrels. I don’t know what that says about them, but don’t be alarmed if you find yourself here staring at a hungry looking bushy-tailed rat that’s 12 times the size of your avatar.

As for hints? I won’t give away too much, but I will tell you that you can find two of the elusive snowmen that you must collect (ten in all) in the last two photos. They are small and only count once. You won’t find any in any stores that are not Plod (another hint!)

So while I normally hate holiday hunts (though I appreciate the creators who work so hard to put the stuff together and make the event happen – kudos to all of you, and it is great marketing, as I did manage to spend a decent amount of $L whilst hunting last night), I have to tell you I had fun. It got me talking to strangers again, something I haven’t done in SL in a long time and seriously one of the more entertaining things to do there.

And the bag! It’s like so cute!

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New to me – Heart Garden Center

Myg in snow

See, I’d bought this very very cute (sorry, Kyoot) hat/hair combo and was wearing my Artilleri coat from last winter, totally edited to fit my big ass belly, and really wanted a spot to do winter pics.

Wandering around, I stumbled to the Heart Garden Center. That link takes you directly to the winter area, where they have adorable lit up trees and things, including Christmas trees, all at totally reasonable prices. If you’re looking to do any outdoor winter scenes, they’ve got snow mounds and stuff like that too. I always went straight to Botanic for any tree/outdoorsy related items, and I still love that place, but this place is definitely worth a romp.

playing in the snow

And romp I did. I was thinking this would be a perfect spot to create a holiday greeting of sorts. If you’d like my pinkified take on this scene, just go there and use a midday setting with a sailor’s delight sky in windlight settings.

That is all.

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What the hell is “real” in Second Life?

Why do so many SL stores have information desks and cash registers that are almost always abandoned? I get the idea of trying to make the store feel like a “real” store. But then that’s the problem. If they’re trying to emulate the vibe of a “real” store, and there’s never anybody working there, then you feel like the store isn’t really open. And I don’t think that’s the feeling retailers want their shoppers to have, is it?

It makes me think about the trend of realism in Second Life, and about how silly it sort of is – at least from my perspective. For example, James/Hamlet Au had two pieces in New World Notes yesterday that talked about how “real” Second Life is or maybe could or perhaps should be. In one, he showed a lovely photo of a pregnant woman (or female av, at least) and her partner, and quoted the photographer as saying the inspiration is partly “to show how much SL can be real.”

SL can be real, but doesn’t it have it’s very own reality? And that reality doesn’t actually include things like pregnant women, which is reality borrowed from the world of skin and bones. New avies don’t pop out of female avies’ nether regions in SL. That’s a “make believe” playing house moment in SL, not a “real” moment. A real moment is when an asshole orbits you off your own property for fun, or when you bust a gut laughing at something Romana says while Alex is playing kick ass tuneage over the stream. At least, to me that’s SL “reality.” Pregnancy is not.

In the other, he asked “Would you give your avatar a more realistic shape?”  I for one have to say, “Hell no!” In fact, I should probably have a less realistic shape. Trust me people, my shape is a little too realistic these days in RL. I think that the trend of representing oneself as realistically as possible in SL is a bit lacking in imagination, to be honest. It seems to ignore vast opportunities for creativity and vision in the creation of our digital selves. (Sophrosyne Stenvaag delivers a helpful smackdown on this topic at her blog.) And by the way, I appreciate Hamlet’s posts – I’m not arguing with them. They were pretty thought provoking.

Now, I understand that some folks want to have plus-sized avatars, perhaps because they are working to towards through (sorry, the typo was making me insane. edited 8/11/08) their own feelings of acceptance about being overweight in real life, and/or maybe they are pushing an agenda to get others to drop their prejudice against people who are overweight. That’s cool, really. There’s a purpose there and it’s a damned good one.

But for me, the opportunity to create a digital self (and multiple digital selves, as I have more than one, and some are far less realistic than I normally am) in any form my imagination conjures, is the actual reality of Second Life. And I consider it one of the most important features Second Life has to offer.

You are you every day. Don’t you want a chance to be someone, well, different? In some way?

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