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How SL started for me.

Finrod Ghennyn

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I guess this story will be a big bore for all the experienced players. But the new players may be inspired by it anyhow on some way or another.

I thought I'd tell you how I ever started on SL. I think it was short after SL had developed from 'messenger login screen' to actual viewer after seeing something about it on the telly. First thing I did was hop onto the grid and I started hammering away. I build some chairs and random furniture witch in my eyes seemed pretty well done. I suppose they will now just appear are cylinders. After finding out building wasn't really my talent, I met a guy called Thoys. He sold bots that we're used in the camping-ages of SL. Next to his shop (where I was usually floating around.) I met a photographer, who made pictures of avatars, processed them in Photoshop and gave them a neutral colored or transparent background. I was greatly inspired by this, I had never done anything into digital art/3d modeling or anything similar. I swiftly went to my home-build 'merchant stall' witch existed from 4 square prims, selling freebie music cds for 1L$. I was usually giving them away for free anyways if I liked the person showing interest. I got myself a trial version of somekind of photo-editing program. The next months I was intrigued by the fun I had on working on peoples avatars. Allot of hours later, I had my own little mainland 'stall'. A square hollow box where the costumer would stand in and be screenshotted with. I'd take away the background and make it something fancy. (Witch would look terrible compared to nowadays.) I only charged about 15 or 10L$, and I was usually done in 5-10 minutes. With as main thought, I was enjoying my life on SL and not getting rich. After working for days on this, i expanded and build a cinema showing movie trailers from Quicktime.com. Ofcourse the only visitor being myself, i had an amazing time. Then i met a friend Jody, he made any prim do magical things. Or atleast, from a noob state of mind. I wanted to learn scripting then. I took on my LSLwiki, and my IM-window and practised for days and days and days. Never really hooked up a big fish, never got a big product because i couldnt build/texture. Also i had 0L$ on me, and i refused to buy lindens. Stubborn as i was, i banged on creating whatever popped-up my fantasy. Even got myself an island in a borrow-work-situation.

Ever since these magical noob-experiences, i miss the old SL. I guess the proffesionals took over, creating extremely beautiful houses. Also the open-mindedness of the residents have changed from social to business. Maybe this is why i charish the people that are still in my Friend-list soo much after all this time.

The message i am trying to transfer through my story is that SL is not at all money. You can have a laugh without a ton lindens, or a flat reaching out on megaprim heights. I hope you enjoy SL as much as i did. Im currently lost in the modern changes, SL being one big mall with trash. Hard to find a fun community.

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Well said.

I first came to SL after hearing about it on tv, looked around, thought this was just a place for oversexed people who only wanted to chat about clothes.

Not for me, so I left.

Two years later I came back to try my new laptop, wanted to see what it could handle.

Minutes before leaving SL for good... again, I tried to search for something I would like, I love history, vintage stuff, old music, etc.

I found the retro scene and never looked back.

Scripting makes my brain bleed, fashion just isn't my cup of tea and simply chatting to people and dancing isn't for me either.

But once I discovered vintage places I started thinking about what I was missing in SL and if I could build it myself.

To me that is the secret of SL: If you can't find something you love, make it yourself!

So still very unexperienced and young (a month or so?) I started building the 1920s Berlin Project.

Just as a little test, see how it would go.

Very small, very basic.

But very quickly people started gathering who shared my love, nay, passion for this era and this city and soon the project started to grow.

Now we have a nearly 2 year old busy full region sim where is a waiting list for apartments and with a community that is so strong, so much like a RL neighbourhood.

So I sort of wandered in and once I got the secret of SL I threw myself, head first, into the past ;)

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I'm very glad your experience is similar to mine Jo, i actually pmed you before you replyed to this that i liked that project of yours. It looks really well done. I want to thank you for sharing your story.

I also think we watched the same show, with the guy that was working on some music player?! Hehe.

I think i'll see you on grid soon, if not best of pleasure with your adventures!

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Kudos to your industry.

SL reminds me of medieval days, with people being sort of thrown into the mix to sink or swim, find a craft, turn to politics, become influential or starve, etc. 

Once filthy lucre enters in it does taint everything.

Then again you could look at it as, it went from the Middle Ages to Renaissance without a Dark Age in between (unless you count 6 6 06.)

I think the freebie mindset (not as a springboard but forever, i.e. everyone else work, but gimme all free) and the professionals raising the level of creation to unattainable by most has ruined the old cobbler and tradesman days that felt like Medieval SL.

But what can ya do. Time marches.

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You are very right, but i do think with the right guidance a new player may be kept away from the mix and pushed forward into the right direction.

I feel that you do not need hands of gold, or infinite pockets to achieve your goals on SL. Residents are in general very friendly and giving aslong as you deserve it. Griefing is not the way to get to those places.

I do miss Medieval SL, and you are right that the bigger corperations are taking over from the small craftsmen. I used to know some very talented builders on SL that payed there IRL rents from what they earned. Not by spamming there logos on forums, or flooding mainland with adboards .. but by pure quality and originality.

It rips me apart to find out they were torn off by the mass.

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It does seem a lot more commercial and professional and slick for sure. It is mimicking the real world more, where there are haves and have nots, and it seems nearly impossible to climb from low to high, but all too possible to fall from high to low.

That said, it's still more possible in Second Life, due to it being a micro economy, and many niches still being available. 

You are hinting at guilds, another medieval thing. Good for those who are in them. 

Maybe you just mean people helping people. Unfortunately I find that to be very limited. People will point each other to online tutorials, rather than actually offer to mentor them, and teach them. The latter is what is actually needed, but no one wants to give up their perceived edge, by giving their 'trade secrets' away.

Another medieval (and younger) idea? Apprentices. Show me the last time you saw anyone in SL take on one of those? 

There are things I'd love to learn but no teachers are to be found. I'm not talking about classes which teach you one thing, but someone to teach everything.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, I have been out of this world for ages. I thought Linden Labs had some kind of line-up of people volunteering to mentor? I think it was due to the support line?

Also there aint that many people willing to take time, sit down and listen to there 'mentor' anymore. Time is money, and they'd rather figure it out by themselves. I myself have been offering tutoring nearly 8 hours a day availability, there was just no interest. Especially if you combine it with time-differences!

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I joined SL after seeing an item obout it on BBC news in the summer of 2006.  My initial experience was disappointing, mainly because of the computer I was using.  At first it seemed like a small island with stepping stones and confused people saying 'hi' and 'woot'.  I realised there was more but it took a while for me to work out how to leave Orientation Island.

But within a week or two I'd started making stuff and I'd become a Premium member and bought my first little plot of land - when land in SL was several times as expensive as it is now.

I learned building in the rough and tumble of public sandboxes.  I remember building a house and an elephant wandered in and up the stairs.  Sandboxes were a a surreal and chaotic experience.   A robot introduced me to the concept of sky platforms where one could build in peace.  Now, I suppose, I've become somewhat immune to surreality since it's everywhere in SL.

For a long time SL was mainly a creative outlet for me.  I made things and sold them on little stalls I set up on small plots of land.  

When I was eventually able to access SL from a more up-to-date computer it was like a re-birth.  Brighter colours, WindlIght sky effects, smooth animations and a lot less lag.

I probably spend less time on SL these days than I used to, and I don't make so much.   I'm just happy to wander arround and visit music venues and galleries.

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This is what got me into SL:


I'm not sure it was this lecture. It could have been an earlier one. I used to have a blog that would pull recently uploaded photos from flickr having the tag astronomy. I noticed that one of the photos that turned up was about a lecture in SL. I had heard of SL before, but I had not realized it was used for scientific lectures. Intrigued, on a boring winter night in January 2010, I joined SL to see what it was about.

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