Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Second Life is a GAME

Second Life is the most insidious game of all.

We quickly push away from the 'game' label because there are no clear protagonists or antagonists. There is no universally defined objective. Without these essential elements Second Life just doesn't fit the 'I-win-you-lose' model of contemporary gaming.

The truth is that when you enter into Second Life for the first time you do so as a loser. You are born with the absolute minimum amount of resources. Just enough clothing to be 'decent'. Just enough Linden Dollars to get you hooked on the economic drug of this most insidious game.

In order to "prosper" you have to game Second Life. Materialism and economic wealth in Second Life mirror the values of the capitalist societies in Real Life. In a true ironic twist there are no 'natural resources' (to my knowledge) in Second Life. It is not possible to 'farm' or grow 'food'. I seriously doubt that there are Gold or Diamond mines. I do not see any 'pulling-oneself-up-by-one's-bootstraps' opportunities in Second Life that parallel Real Life.

Second Life is all about stuff. "He who has the most toys wins."

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hats, Buckles and Boots

Rent-a-Bums worked the Locash Cowboys show last night at the Big "E" Rivermont Lounge. Was pleasantly surprised by the energy and showmanship of Chris and Preston.

I don't do magic!

...and here is the simple reason why. Seth Godin shared the following line with us in his post Notable...

I believe she is good at the standard but limited in considering the notable.
(Attributed to one of Seth Godin's co-workers.)

I don't do magic because I am unable to manifest anything as wondrous or mystical as that which swirls and eddies around me all the time. This line, "I believe..." is a prime example. In the course of one sentence the speaker was able to convey a concept so involved that it broaches on the magical.

Something borrowed.

Seth Godin posted the following Painting fakes. I enjoyed it so much I just wanted a copy for myself.

Ed shares this story with us, via a friend of Pablo Picasso.

I was staying with Picasso in his studio. Every day, dealers would come by to authenticate paintings they were trying to sell... they would ask the painter if the painting was real or a fake.

A dealer came by one day, Picasso glanced at it and without hesitating said, "fake." Later that day, two more were identified as fakes.

The second day, a different dealer came by. Picasso hardly looked up. "Fake!" he bellowed.

After the dealer left, I couldn't help myself. "Picasso, why did you say that painting was a fake? I was here, in this studio, last year when I saw you paint it."

Picasso didn't hesitate. He turned to me and said, "I often paint fakes."

Up to my A..a..a..ankles in alligators!


I have been fighting fires for the last two and a half weeks... Not literal fires, thankfully, but those pesky jobs that land high enough up the priority scale that they demand immediate attention. I have been coming home drained, mentally exhausted. If I get to come home at all. Seems some of my fires are 'extracurricular' (Now there is a wonderfully strange turn-of-phrase. One of my fires was the Parents Open House at the High School my daughters attend.)

So I unwind, have dinner, and then I put my feet up, open GoogleReader and read all the wonderful items that really diligent knowledgeable dedicated bloggers write. That is when I get really really frustrated.

Not that my writing is all that good. But I should be practicing. I should be putting fingers to keyboard. Instead I look down at the swirling dark waters that are rising now up to my waist and I remain ever vigilant for the beady eyes of the next lurking alligator.

. . .