Um, also see the Things page. You've already read about my work in Second Life. This goes more into the play parts.
I believe that to help and/or excite our customers best, I must be an incarnate example of what it means to live a Second Life. I've done so much of what's possible, yet continue to find more. Here are some of my time-tested favorites, with my unique twists. I've accepted I can't avoid the busman's holiday, and while some of the following overlaps with my job duties above, they all connect together:
- Shopping - This is cited as such a popular inworld activity. You may find these details useful:
- At least once a week, I like to load the Marketplace and browse all the Featured Items by repeatedly clicking the > arrow. These items are often indicative of trends and quality goods, since it costs to advertise there. I insist on using my mouse's middle button to open each item in a new tab so I can peruse at my leisure.
- I look for eclectic objects that could lead to bigger trends. For example, I remember when virtual pets were an academic experiment before booming to "our mainstream". I love when creators make their stuff sensibly interactive — makes me mad when one-click actions (to simplify sitting, buying, etc.) aren't used and should be!
- I also have browser bookmarks set to pop open many aggregators so I can get a big-splash view of what's going on in SL now.
- To all you creators expressing astonishment that Lindens actually buy stuff — thanks, keep doing that. It's encouraging and I can show coworkers why they should do it more.
- Avatar customizing - A consequence of shopping. I am totally obsessed!
- I enjoy jaunting around and assembling an awesome appearance out of scattered parts. A pretty dress may call for lovely accessories! I've had at least 123 avatar forms over time, a mixture of ones I've put together myself and the generous talents of content creators. As you can see, they span the spectrum of Second Life subcultures. I've heard women likening doing this to playing dress-up with dolls.
- I go to hangouts and like attending big Linden Lab meetings just to see who has cool avatars (and has filled in their profile). On occasion, I contact someone just because they have an intriguing profile. Yes, profile art is a hobby.
- Avatar appearance is an unspoken yet richly-articulated extension of how you feel.
- Gaming - Trivia: When gambling was allowed way back, that's how I made a nice pile of L$.
- I'm an avid gamer outside of Second Life — my faves include Mass Effect 2 and Assassin's Creed II. Yes, Steam r0x. So when I'm inworld, it's natural for me to look for experiences that are similar in look 'n' feel, without being overly derivative. Getting looks with WindLight and camera control HUDs are two techniques.
- I have an intense habit to click on things and see what they do. I like highlighting games that set a new high bar for what other interactive fun should aspire to be.
- Brett Linden and I did this Games video. Great fun.
- Bringing my dreams inworld
- I've been building Torley island (see below). I'm addicted to cyberpunk + watermelon and I've combined both in a techno, quasi-minimalist realm of unbridled imagination! As my wife puts it, "the ecstasy of creation". We like to be surrounded with what inspires us. But that's not all: I'm doing it to understand content creation firsthand — to eat the cat food with our customers. It's also key to know how varieties of inworld objects and their settings (transparency, glow, shiny, etc.) interact with each other. I'm also exploring key features like shared media.
- It's worth noting I built an earlier watermelon house because zoning code and material constraints didn't allow me to do that in the "real world".
- Snapshot-taking and movie-making - The cycle of creation — cause and effect — is tremendously energizing. In today's remix culture, it's cool to see who feeds off each other and gives back to the communities.
- I made many of the early resources on inworld photography + video, which led to empowered Resis who've evolved the artforms in amazing ways.
- Since Flickr is one of the biggest and best resources for snapshots raw and processed, I use this link to show me photos with SLurls, in hopes I can buy or visit what I see in kewl pictures! Please include SLurls as pointers as much as possible — it makes the difference whether someone is a spectator to an experience or an active participant.
- Snapshots and movies have many subtleties, and there are still a multitude of bugs I hope will be fixed so the experience is easy to get into and rewarding to dig deeper — instead of cringing when you find out all your photos turned out black... that's only supposed to happen offline!
- Spreading memes
- I used to blog lots more about my inworld adventures. Nowadays, I tend to show pictures rather than text. But on my personal blog (unofficial), I still clip #secondlife niftyness.
Things I did a lot of but don't currently:
- Roleplaying - I grew up on MUDs. I can type long, descriptive paragraphs. I'm all for extensive character backstory and I'm a worldbuilding geek. I still browse RP regions today but it's more of a substantial psychological investment than I can bear.
- Dating - I am a by-experience believer in using Second Life to find true love. I had several shorter-term relationships leading up to finding my wife in SL (in 2006) and getting together in RL. Ravenelle Zugzwang is one of our oldest Residents dating back to 2002 — I have a thing for cyber-cougars! ;) We've also done a lot of model shoots together, which counts as another fave thing to do.
- Cross-grid vehicle trips - Once on a tricycle (more like a warped penny-farthing), another with alternating planes. I did some walking spiels with friends, too. Region crossings downed me and the world is much bigger now, but I wanted to roam and see what I could find.
Holy crap that was longer than expected! Onwards...