April 23, 2009

Losing grip

My Second Life falls apart around me. People I feel very close to drop away, take announced or unannounced breaks, log in less and less, ponder the sense of it all, seem tired, worn out, desillusioned. Consider coming at all anymore, or play with the thought of starting over. And leave me scared. Scared to be alone. Scared to be left behind. Scared.... to be not loved. Not worthy. Not important to them.

I feel like drowning, like treading water, like reaching out for a straw of normality. I reach out for an illusion of normality, pretending to myself it'll all work out, dreaming and hoping and wishing that it will all be the same again. But I feel the world dissolve around me. I am scared. So scared.

Sometimes I wish I was a loner. Not needing other people. Doing my thing. Sometimes I wish I was a cynic, my heart shielded by bitterness, my soul hardened by mistrust. Sometimes I wish I could keep a distance.

But I can't. I am who I am. I need people. I need closeness. I need love.

Don't forget about me. Don't leave me here alone. Please. Don't. Please.

April 18, 2009


Who am I? What do I want? Where do I go? What happens? What happened? What will happen? What do I do here? What do I do next? Am I happy? Will I be happy? What is right? What is wrong? Who are the people around me? Do I know you? Do I know me? Who am I? Changes.

April 09, 2009


After some months with my ex-partner, we realized that the daily routine was threatening to overwhelm our relationship (which was partially a business relationship as well). We had our little rituals, met every other day, but there was something missing. At this point the idea of a vacation was born. We had an event coming up, and after that event we wanted to take a week off, go explore, spend time with each other, set ourselves to "busy" and only enjoy SL together. It never happened though, we never made this vacation, and probably this was the turning point in our relationship.

Last night I made a mini vacation with a person close to my heart (who prefers to remain anonymous for the time being and is therefore blurred out in the photo). Following London Spenglers great advice on dating in SL we scheduled time together ahead. Yes, we do see each other almost daily, still we put a special time aside, planned it ahead, switched on busy mode and gifted each other with exclusive, non interrupted time.

We wanted to try sailing in SL, so I found us a boat that seemed not too simple and not too complex, and we had two leisurely hours cruising the New England sims, until we found a nice island for some cuddles. The most remarkable line of the evening was "It has been a long time since I had such an immersive experience" - what better compliment can there be?

Funny enough, we did not talk much. We talk more during our almost-daily encounters. We just enjoyed being together, being at peace, having a joint experience of pleasure and relaxation. Those three hours of exclusive recreation refueled my emotional batteries immensely.

Take a SL vacation! Break out of your routine! Set exclusive time aside, go into busy, use an alt if necessary! Spend quality time with your partner! It is worth it!

April 04, 2009

Share your online status

AjaxLife developer Katharine Berry has developed an interesting web-service that allows you to share your Second Life online status on your blog or webpage. There are three ways how you can display the online status, all described at http://avstatus.kathar.in/. My preferred method is rendering the status as a graphic, which is done by constructing a special URL along the lines of http://avstatus.kathar.in/avs/r,g,b/r,g,b/your_name.png - for example like this: "I am ".

April 03, 2009

Mr. Puffy Chin and Mr. Striped Face

Please meet my two nemeses as of late, Mr. Striped Face and Mr. Puffy Chin. Mr. Striped Face has been haunting me and friends on and off for a while, often accompanied by his friend Mr. Striped Body. However for about 10 days their visits became very frequent. And Mr. Striped Body seems to get some pervert pleasure from displaying my IM window all over my avatar body.
Mr. Puffy Chin introduced himself to me about a year ago, making my face (and only my face) swell and my chin making Jay Leno green from envy. I got rid of Mr. Puffy Chin by adjusting various parts in my shape by one notch and re-save the shape. However during the recent attack of both, that does not help. Multiple rebaking gets rid of Mr. Striped Face, but after the next teleport he is back with a vengeance. Switching into a different shape sometimes gets rid of the nasty bugger, rebaking sometimes helps as well. Relogging drives Mr. Puffy Chin away as well - but not everytime. Usually simply waiting helps.
The two haunt me almost daily, costing me nerves, annoying me. I wish I could get rid of them, but even ritually cleaning the cache does not help. What's up? Anybody out there able to help me?

P.S. I should mention that my video card driver is unchanged for ages.

April 02, 2009

Peter SoNotALinden - Analysis of an April's Fool Joke

Yesterday I announced that I will be joining Linden Lab as Peter Linden, responsible for the multilingual efforts at Linden Lab. Of course this was an April's Fool joke. The joke occurred to me spontaneously - I did not plan it in advance. I tested it in the Ch'know groupchat where Nikki and Callaigh promptly fell for it, so I decided to beef it up a bit and post it to the blog. I expected a few people to fall for it - but I was surprised how many people actually bought the story, or at least saw it as rather probable.

Clues that the story was not true:
  1. Resident accounts who become a Linden do neither get cancelled or frozen - the person is free to continue to use their account.
  2. Usually Linden Lab employees are rather discreet about the name of their non-Linden-account, and there are also very few reports of publicly announced resident-to-Linden promotions.
  3. As Katharine pointed out, someone going to work at the Lab would not disqualify the work done by using phrases like "proper localization of the viewer" - though it is an open secret that certain viewer translations are abysmal.
  4. Also it is highly improbable that a person whose position is more marketing-related will work on any changes to the LSL language.
  5. One of the deliberately included clues which - from my perspective made the joke quite obvious - was the bit about analyzing the language used in Instant Messages. Nobody commented on that part, everybody seemed to accept that the content of IM's is accessible to the Lab. And most likely it is - but in that case it will surely not get publicly announced.
So I'm not a Linden after all - you need to stick with Peter Stindberg for a while. But why did so many people believe it, or at least did not outright rule it out? I was surprised at that for a bit, until it occurred to me that the core of my joke is highly probable.
  1. There are about 40% of native English speakers in SL. and while it is true that a lot of the other users (like myself) manage English fairly well, localized content for them might be appealing.
  2. It is definitely a good idea to become less US-centric and focus on other countries too. The Lab has made many steps into that direction, has a European office, made a lot of multilingual activities already.
  3. Appointing a person who is familiar with the languages in SL and with the communities is definitely a good idea. On occasion I wondered how few Linden Lab employees actually seem to have a second life of their own.
So basically my joke had a core believable enough for many. I hope nobody is annoyed or angry now, or feels deceived. Thank you for all the comments - I hope you can laugh with me. and remember: it's not laughing about you, but laughing with you about the joke!

April 01, 2009

One journey ends, the next journey begins

The journey of Peter Stindberg has come to an end. This morning's email brought the final confirmation - the account will be put on hold. My journey will continue though - as Peter Linden.

Based on my experience with translation work in Second Life, I will coordinate the multilingual efforts of Linden Lab. This includes proper localization of the viewer into the major SL languages, creating multilingual versions of the Linden Lab blogs, creating language specific portals for each country and working closely with the communities in-world for those languages, but it will also focus on adding multilingual capacities to the Linden Scripting Language. Part of this will include work with the metrics group to determine a resident's language more reliably through behavioral patterns (which sims get visited, what language gets used in open chat and IM's) than the simple viewer language detection.

I thank all my friends and readers for their support so far, and I hope they will extend their friendship to Peter Linden as well.

Good bye - and hello!