Skywriting Something Awful — Satyr Sim Prim Hacks World Map

by Pixeleen Mistral on 04/09/06 at 3:20 pm

W-Hat associates take to the skies to air grievances

by Pixeleen Mistral, Herald National Affairs desk

The skies over Satyr

When I stopped by Satyr sim Saturday afternoon, SL resident Gene Replacement told me, “It is kind of dumb that it’s totally cool for people to sell chat spies but we’re not allowed to have a mature parcel name or gore in this mature sim.” I visited Satyr after I noticed that the SL world map showed 8 black sims surrounding a pink Satyr sim with what appeared to be the image of cartoon character Bobby Hill inside. I was presented with a high resolution image of the texture the Satyr residents planned to put in the map. What they actually managed to get on the map was cropped. Trust me, if you are a fan of Hank and Bobby Hill from the “King of the Hill” series you might not want to see the high resolution image, which is definitely Not Safe For Work (and is, of course, reproduced in slightly censored form at the end of this story). On the other hand, could this mean that the W-Hat crowd is developing a more refined sense of theater rhetoric griefing?

[UPDATE: Monday morning the sky hack is still visible on the map, and the official Linden blog suggests that the world map is only updated weekly.]

As I spoke with the residents in Satyr I discovered that they apparently have found a new use for the megaprims mentioned in the site on Friday. Megaprims allow very large areas to be covered with a single prim, and so get around the 10 meter limit on size that most residents contend with. If some alienated group wanted to use the SL world map to get attention, megaprims would be ideal — and the people I met in Satyr certainly seem to desire some attention.

Satyr residents are notorious for an in-your-face outlook on SL and the foibles of both the SL culture and Linden Labs. The avatars I spoke with seemed a bit defensive and upset that the officers of their land group keep getting banned. Odd that this would happen, but life in SL can be hard. Especially for those that don’t fit in with the current Linden mythology. Gene’s concerns were raised in the Second Life forums, but since Linden staffers seem to have retreated to a walled garden of blogs, these concerns mostly likely fell on deaf ears. Gene Replacement told me that associate Isometric Bedlam was apparently perma-banned for a trademark violation on some “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” gear. While Gene claims that the trademarks had expired, there is some question about the Lindens’ ability (or willingness) to carefully investigate these sorts of abuse reports.

Gene Replacment (in wristwatch necklace) with charity case from that other virtual world (left)

A further problem for the group is a member being banned for a “crude and offensive parcel name”. However, Gene Replacement claims that other groups have similar names without getting in trouble. For instance, he cites the example “Cheaters House of Uninhibited Sex — Don’t get loved, GET FUCKED Free SexHornyHousewivesecretlovershardcorefuckingslutsorgyswingersgangbangfetishbdsmwhoreaffairsRPswappingsharecyber sexroughsex”. I’m pretty sure that last word is one of those multisyllabic german compound words, and if the Lindens are a bit weak on the new High German, perhaps they accidentally let this one slip though. On the other hand, it may be that the Satyr group’s particular artistry with familiar anglo-saxon words was what pushed the limits too far. Perhaps this is a case of tortured artists if not tortured prims?

The campfire this time

As we sat around the campfire, my hosts in Satyr claimed that the Lindens are practicing selective enforcement and harassing them. Given their alleged association with the Something Awful/W-Hat crowd, it is likely that some residents are applauding whatever rough justice is being dispensed by Linden Labs. This gets at the core of the problem. Lacking any clear system for showing how they reach decisions on which specific phallic symbol is offensive, Linden Lab appears to wallow in a sort of opaque gray goo of jurisprudence, judgement, and justice.

With a small small number of Linden staffers available to police the metaverse, any sort of TOS enforcement is bound to feel selective to those on the receiving end of the ban stick. While the W-Hat crowd in Satyr is intentionally pushing the limits and then complaining about uneven enforcement of the TOS, it is clear they are also more than a little interested in attention. This points out the fundamental contradiction in their rhetoric — if Gene Replacement really just wants to make mature images for his group’s amusement, perhaps a private island with a strictly controlled access list would be a better venue than a sim on the mainland? I asked the group in Satyr if they had any message for the SL Herald readers and they told me to suggest you “don’t fucking come to Satyr.” I assume this is due to ongoing problems with visitors who look around, are offended, and then abuse report these conceptual artists.

I left Satyr wondering if a group that feels compelled to skywrite images over 9 sims should really be upset when interested parties visit with a view to a kill abuse report? While the Satyr residents play the victim card, Linden Labs’ opaque justice system also raises a few questions. Perhaps both of these groups deserve each other? In the meantime, megaprims and slow map updates would seem to be an open invitation to more user-created content, so I suspect the arts scene in SL will get more interesting soon.






(but censored just the same)…






Okay, don’t say we didn’t warn you:


58 Responses to “Skywriting Something Awful — Satyr Sim Prim Hacks World Map”

  1. Baba

    Sep 18th, 2006

    Gay 4 Philip is a tolerant group and we are serious about our beliefs. We believe that everyone, be they gay, straight, furry, griefer, or longwinded blowhard, can come together in peace through Philip. Being gay for Philip is not about who you are or what you have done. It’s about our hopes and dreams for a brighter future.

    I am asking you to stop this assault on the good people of Gay 4 Philip. We are just trying to live better lives through our devotion to Philip.

  2. Arahan Claveau

    Sep 18th, 2006

    The creativity and originality on display at Satyr and Baku is very valid and worthwhile and is the reason I mentioned Satyr in the top 20 places to visit in SL on the Channel 4 website >

    Apart from the inventive, subversive humour on display, I’ve seen work there that is also highly political, confrontational and uncompromising, an example being powerful statements against the fast food industry.

    Certainly Isometric Bedlam, Balsamic Prunes and Gene Replacement are all extraordinarily talented individuals whose work I admire and respect. But crucially they have a sense of humour about themselves and I assume have no patience for anyone with delusions of grandeur.

    I’ve been physically pushed around myself when visiting Satyr but I find it all rather harmless and amusing, responding with outraged indignation is like a red rag to a bull. If you have an inflated ego then, that will be exposed and exploited, which I suppose is a good way of keeping anyone without a sense of humour or open mind away.

  3. Prokofy Neva

    Sep 20th, 2006

    Any comments on your Channel 4 pals now Arahan? They’ve all been banned from Second Life for um “creativity” related to crashing the grid and other forms of repeated and systematic griefing. This isn’t about an open mind; it’s about a closed mind. Their humour isn’t the witty satire you imagine; it’s puerile bullshit. For shame.

  4. Leif Ming

    Sep 20th, 2006

    None of this matters now, anyway, since V5 (“Residents of Satyr”) has been mass-banned. The selection in this banning is seemingly random, too. Some were, some weren’t. Regardless of what the “offender” had done.

    Furthermore, that database hack? I actually know who did it. And it wasn’t a goon. They don’t even know what SA is most likely.

    It’s all unrelated.

  5. Arahan Claveau

    Sep 20th, 2006

    Excuse me Ms Neva but I never “imagine”(d) anything, the conclusions I reached are based solely on what I have seen when visiting Satyr over the past year or so. And they are not my “pals”, I doubt whether any of them know me at all.

    I never mentioned you in my above post, so it’s quite revealing that you however responded with several sarcastic comments, I’m sure intended to provoke an argument.

    Incidentally, the list I made for Channel 4 includes a wide variety of places to visit because I think it’s important people experience the diversity Second Life has to offer.

    There’s nothing more to say, but I would appreciate it if you do not try to drag me into something personal, I’m really not interested.

  6. Random Writer

    Sep 20th, 2006

    God is this still going on?

  7. WebMetricsGuru

    Dec 19th, 2006

    Tarp Covers IBM Theatres in Second Life

    A colleage sent me this article the other day about SHOCK! Banned Griefers Tarp Covers IBM Theatres…The problems appear to have started with an overloaded server room at the Linden Lab colocation facilities – resulting in serious ove…

  8. [...] for himself under a number of names, pushing the envelope of the metaverse with a variety of high visibility exploits and a series of account bans, and winning third place in the 2005 Avatar of the Year [...]

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