diary of a 2nd life newbie. part 1

by Alphaville Herald on 27/06/04 at 6:34 pm

– by montserrat tovar llewelyn

one day i more or less gave up on tso because it was boring and because the wall tool was apparently buggy and my joy in building was greatly diminished because of that. walls are an issue for me now. it is part of the pain that tso created in my life. my somewhat limited happiness about skilling was also smashed because i began to notice that if i did not skill all the time, i lost skills — they degrade at a rate that makes me think that what tso really wants you to do with your life is to spend it watching little avatars lift weights and play the piano while your meatbody melts into a brainless and flabby ooze. i think one of the last times i was on tso i electrocuted myself just for fun over at knights templars with uri. you gotta wonder about a game where the most fun you can have is being dead.

lots of people were leaving tso. i thought about building a monument to all those people who left, kind of like one of those memorials where there were lists of names . it became clear after a while though that this was nothing but a giant time sink because so many people were leaving, and if people are leaving, who cares if there’s a memorial? so i gave that up. there were fewer and fewer interesting personalities to interview. i just went to sleep on the switch except for poking at a few people who richly deserved it, on the herald. i believe that uri got fucked over by tso management, most of whom i am sure are 45 year old virgins with their heads up their butts, more or less. i believe that uri is entitled to restitution from tso for the property and pets he lost when he got dumped by tso. there are people who would disagree with me about that. let them eat flyspecked buffet.

i went through a period of feeling icky and annoyed with the whole idea of games because of tso. i felt like i needed about 42 showers and an airlock and a cleanroom suit. i didn’t really want to go near a game. but i began to see the pictures published in 2nd life herald and i thought they were interesting. i felt especially curious about 2nd life’s apparent possibilities for making expressive life-forms. so i thought ok. i will prepare my spirit. i will try 2nd life.

i went to the site & signed up for an account. i had questions right away: for example – i noticed that i could pick a first name, but that i had to choose my last name from a dropdown list of family names. right away i wondered, with some exasperation; what does this mean? what happens if i choose one name and not another? should i want to belong to a particular tribe? if i belonged to alphaville herald house, should i want to be a sklar, like uri? what if i choose linden? can i be a linden? there is nothing there that i could find to explain the name thing. so then i wondered: is the game trying to be like life where you just get born into a family and then well, more or less, tough shit? this was the question in my mind. it is the question that was never answered.

i happily gave my account information and created my account. i had my name angst, and then i followed the link to log in. and then you know what happened? my system crashed, utterly and completely. it crashed. this is unpleasant, i thought as i rebooted my system. i am a masochist, apparently. when my system was up, i went back and tried again. you don’t know why things crash sometimes. sometimes it is just that the moon is full and the jackels are singing somewhere. sometimes it is just the butterfly wing beating that causes the hurricane so i went back. i went back and i crashed again. i did this a couple more times. i am persistent.

the last time i crashed i thought: well i better read some more about this thing. it was then that i found the list of graphic cards. it said, in this list, that 2nd life will only work on about five or six systems. you don’t have the graphic card they want, you can’t play. bear in mind that i am not using a 1990 286 fossil system. nope. i have a new system which is perfect in every way except it doesn’t have one of the wretched graphics cards on the list. to say that i was annoyed at this point is putting it mildly. the words techno-elitist-pigbrain came into my mind, but i am ladylike in the extreme and would never say such a thing. i wanted to ask: hey. explain to me about this card thing. how come you designed a game using what amounts to proprietary cards? that is a question I would like mr linden to answer. comfort me with apples, mr linden, because otherwise i cannot say to your game: thou art fair, my love, thou hast dove’s eyes.

i am going to have to spend bucks to get a system just so i can play 2nd life. i cannot tell you exactly how much that enchants me, especially since as you might guess the meter on the account is of course running and they will collect their fees. i am an enduser, mr linden. i want to feel loved and wanted. i don’t feel that way right now.

4 Responses to “diary of a 2nd life newbie. part 1”

  1. JamesMiller

    Jun 27th, 2004

    Well, quite frankly, get used to it. Many new games can’t use integrated graphics card, or whatever card your system has. Just about every graphics card under the sun is supported by SL, save for a few really old, crappy ones. I predict, that within the next two years, no new games will be able to run on integrated graphics (like most PCs have), nor the older graphics cards that some PCs have today.

    As for the lastname thing…most names don’t mean anything. Users of “There” may want to pick Thereian or Therian. Employees of Linden Lab, makers of Second Life, must use the lastname Linden. The lastname Tester is saved for employees of Linden Lab that are doing tests on the software. Other than that, they have no meaning. Pick whichever you want, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t put you in a family, it doesn’t put you in a tribe, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a name. They have names because they don’t want to see names like “Billyboy23204″ — they’d rather see “Billy Miller”.

    Again, it does suck that your PC isn’t able to play SL. Unfortuntely, that’s just the way the world works. As new things come out, old things can’t be supported by the new things. If Second Life were able to work on your graphics card, Second Life would probably not be as ground breaking as it is.

    Spring for the new graphics card. Not only will it make SL run, it’ll make SL look beatiful, as well as any other game you might decide to play.

    (P.S. — I recommend nVidia. ATI hasn’t been very helpful when it comes to fixing ATI related problems w/SL.)

  2. Urizenus

    Jun 27th, 2004

    I have to say that I feel Ms Llewelyn’s pain here. It’s hard to run out and upgrade all your computers, so I have a supported graphics card on one, an unsupported card on this one, and a supported card with apparently the wrong driver on the third (and updating the driver hasn’t put an end to complaints about my driver). But the real pain comes when trying to get friends online. As Phil notes, people with up to snuff boxes are still a minority, and I feel bad about badgering people to upgrade.

    Now of course in just a short bit of time we will all have boxes that meet the specs required for *today’s* game, but will that be enough for tomorrow’s game? Will we need yet another graphics card a year from now? You say that cutting edge games require good equip, but if this is a cutting edge game and wants to stay that way will it have to sit on the front end of the technology curve forever? That’s my concern.

  3. humdog

    Jun 27th, 2004

    dear mr miller:

    i would like to clarify for you that i am
    not running an “old crappy” card or system. my
    system is under a year old. just so you know.

    if “just about every card is supported by SL”
    why then is the list of supported cards on the SL
    site so very brief? if “just about every card”
    were supported by SL, wouldn’t it be easier just
    to list the cards that are not supported?

    as it is now i am going to have to print out
    that list and take it with me to the hardware
    store just to make sure that i don’t flush
    several hundred dollars (for a card) or several
    thousand dollars (for a system) down the toilet.

    this material is from the 2nd life site:

    “Laptop graphics cards are often different from non-mobile graphics cards with similar names.

    “Second Life supports the following laptop graphics cards:
    Nvidia: GeForce 2 Go, Quadro 2 Go, GeForce 4 Go, Quadro 4 Go, GeForce FX Go, and Quadro FX Go
    ATI: Mobility Radeon 9000, 9200, and 9600; Mobility FireGL 9000

    “Unsupported laptop graphics cards:
    ATI: Mobility Radeon 7000 and 7500

    “The following is a partial list of popular laptops containing supported mobile graphics cards:
    Dell: Inspiron 8600,8500,5150,600M; Latitude D800,D600; Precision M50, M60
    IBM: ThinkPad T40 with ATI Mobility Radeon 9000
    Toshiba: Satellite Pro with GeForce 4 Go chip
    Gateway: 450XL
    HP/Compaq: Pavilion zd7001us, Presario X1000
    Fujitsu: Celsius Mobile H
    Alienware: Area-51M
    Winbook: J4 with ATI Mobile Radeon 9000

  4. Michael

    Jan 30th, 2007

    Yeah, I agree that it sucks some computers – like for that instance mine, apparently with Radeon Mobility 7000 – won’t work with Second Life.

    I only have a bit of hope that now that they went open source with SL, things might go better. I’m a uni student and at the moment can’t really afford a new computer, so I’d be happy with any basic support, even if I’d have to switch off 99% of special effects.

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