Friday, July 8, 2011

Opie, Andy and Google Plus Musings in the Heartland of Second Life

Psy City (moderate)

I know that the name Psy City and a self proclaimed description as an "Industrial Style" town will call up images of a futuristic post apocalyptic creation full of role players who look like mutated cyborgs.  Well it does to me.  However, I found instead a virtual Mayberry which, although dedicated to all kinds of electronic music, would feel comfortable to those who like to imagine the simpler times a number of decades ago.

I began my journey today after seeing this photo by Shoji and thinking it looked like a place with a sense of humour.  On that count at least I was correct.  This is a very cool place with some truly funky details and deserves a good look around.

Psy City (moderate)

One of the things that struck me is an apparent obsession with automobiles and the obvious need for remedial driver training in this town.  Even the police can't drive straight - unless the officer was trying to climb the curb and hit a pole.  The citizens of the town though are optimists. When you get to the car wash (billed as the "Best Hand Job in Town") a group of you can work on one that once was a classic.  I don't think a wash will be enough to fix it.

There is a nice ambience in Psi City.  It's quaint without being "cutesy" and it has some lovely touches.  The small city zoo is fun and the town park comes equipped with a photographer.  As with most even slightly urban areas you'll find street work in progress although the workers themselves must be taking a long lunch.  You can also explore the sewer system - lots of trash here and there but the smell isn't too bad.

Psy City (moderate)

The animations and poses that lurk in various locations are sophisticated and far more realistic than I had expected.  The details and textures in this town are impressive and it gives you a feeling of welcome and warmth.  The life you'd live in Psi City is much more low tech and less complicated than the one we live now.  Wandering around made me a little nostalgic to be honest.

Part of my being drawn to a simpler time might be explained by the fact that I finally joined Google +.  I was just settling in and wondering how many windows I'll now need open to try and keep on top of things when I heard that Google might, in common with Facebook, have decided that avatars are not welcome.

Psy City (moderate)

The logic of banning avatars has never made sense to me.  If it's for advertising purposes, well my searches and activities are all done under this identity so targeting me isn't hard just because I'm an avatar.  If you want my real life name because you need to find me for the police you can still do that.  If you want it to give to somebody else then you can go suck on the hind end of a rhino. 

This real or imagined dismissal of avatars from "mainstream" networks gives Second Life a chance to enter that realm.  Add circles to web based profiles and make the new chat features there work properly and I'll use it. 

I'll keep exploring Google + til such time as the company clarifies their position on "identity".  If it turns out to be slavishly following Facebook's bigoted trail then I'll quit.  I'm probably as networked as this brain can handle already so I would like one location that handles most if not all of my needs in this area.  It would be cool if SL could deliver that.

Psy City (moderate)


Anonymous said...

I was very excited about Google+ til the news began today about them banning people using aliases (that is, avatar names). I posted about that this morning to my blog. I'm with you 100%. I spend a great deal of my life/time/MONEY as Ahuva. Ahuva is real. I find it annoying, discouraging and intrusive to face being banned because I like being called Ahuva instead of my birth name.

Cisop Sixpence said...

Google has a chance to make Google+ better than Facebook by allowing the users to retain some privacy. As mentioned above, if they needed to find out who I am for a criminal investigation they could do so easily. If they wanted to send me advertisements, my Avatar is the one who reads those, and does all the online activity, so don't expect to talk to the human of the house. Talk to the avatar.

Anonymous said...

First oddball comment:
Could swear I saw that diner in a recent movie about a man who's a cop investigating the connection between his child's abduction and the 1960's murder of a mentally retarded boy. In the movie the Diner is used to flip back and forth between past and present - where its either a busy bustling place or an abandoned wreck looking very much like your screenshot. And eventually plays a key role in helping him work out both cases.

Second side rant:
I always think its interesting when people refer to that past as simpler times - and a comment on NPR by comedian Louis C.K. (7/7/2010 Fresh Air) sums it up well. In joking with Chris Rock he pointed out that he could time travel to any point in history and be OK (actually before the rise of the Romans, give or take a few centuries, he probably wouldn't be), but Chris would have trouble if he ever went back before 1975. 'Simpler times' thus has a very bad connotation for me, as I'm a boat similar with Chris (you can see me having attacked a few sim owners on the forums over this... when they claim historical but gloss over brutal honesty - Why doesn't 'Beave' have any Black friends, and does father really know best? :) ).

Honour McMillan said...

@catnapkitty fair enough - but I was thinking of the absence of the internet and the simpler times as a child watching the show on tv. Didn't mean to imply that the world was a better place. :)