Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cranky in the Metaverse - The Lazy Tourist

See the heavy set guy in the loud shirt in the above photo? That's me in Activeworlds. Seems the default when you go to check the place out is "Male Tourist". I played around with the basic instruction/tutorial but didn't get as far as changing my avatar - which I think would have made it possible for me to be the "Female Tourist". Registration requires the payment of a fee (which is admittedly small - $6.95/month I think) but I wasn't happy/curious enough to go through with it.

I must be really cranky today or else Second Life has spoiled me. The complete inability to move my camera around the way I wanted was way too frustrating. I could switch between 1st/3rd and 4th person but I couldn't move the angle of my view around and it was (seemingly) impossible to look at myself in the face. (It reminded me of my frustrations with Blue Mars.) This could just be my inexperience or else the tools just don't allow for it. I tried taking a shot of another "Male Tourist" so you could see what I looked like and the camera automatically downloaded a photo with the same name which didn't overwrite the first one. I didn't stay long - there are apparently some things I expect as a baseline to operating in a virtual world and I couldn't find them in Activeworlds.

One of the reasons I went to Activeworlds is that I want to spend more time visiting sites in the metaverse - I like to know what's out there and what's going on. I looked on my desktop this morning and counted 14 vw icons - 14! I don't have Emerald on there (I've used it and like some of the functionality but found the performance less than expected) and have kept only one alternate viewer - Imprudence.

Imprudence has stayed on my desktop but not because I use it very often - I honestly find it glitchy - when I logged onto SL today with it there was no location bar/about land or Linden dollar information on the screen. What Imprudence has is the ability to easily select grids from the main viewer logon screen. This may be available in other viewers but this is the only one I've seen so far. And this is what I want.

I want the ability to decide where I'm going to travel today without having to open a different viewer. Miserable and irrational of me I suppose - but I don't want to have to keep adding to my collection of viewer icons. What I want is my favourite SL viewer to give me the option of visiting other places in the metaverse. Not only will some of the clutter be gone on my desktop but it'll mean I can go explore without having to deal with changes in viewer interfaces/colour schemes/functionality. Think of it like taking a cross country road trip. I don't have to change cars every time I cross a provincial border in Canada - I want that ease in my virtual universe.

Make it easy for me please. I can't be the only lazy/cranky metaversal explorer out there.

Well OK maybe I am - but I still want this fixed. :)


Maria Korolov said...

You're not the only lazy traveler. I hate downloading new viewers, creating new accounts, and customizing new avatars.

At this point, unless I absolutely have to (for work) I don't go anywhere that's not hypergrid-enabled. With the release of Hypergrid 1.5 and its improved security, here's hoping more grids will turn it on and I'll never have to create another avatar again. :-)

-- Maria Korolov
Editor, Hypergrid Business

Honour McMillan said...

LOL It's not vanity right? We just want ease of use. :)