Thursday, June 19, 2014

The resourceful noob

The Daughter of Gears tower
     I just wanted to relate a funny little story.  So one of the things I have worked on over the years is to noob proof some of my artworks as I build them.  What I mean by this is that while my work generally is designed for the advanced user of our virtual world, made a bit complex and requiring the use of an adept cam and so on, I also know that the artworks tend to appear on destination guide (a guide to virtual world events found on the Second Life website eg http://secondlife.com/destination/bryn-oh-singularity-kumiko )  What that means is that my work also will get people appearing from the destination guide post who are on their first day or week in a virtual world.  Noobs are adorable, I like noobs.  They are like little kittens all clumsy and prone to sudden little naps.  They stand in your personal space or walk right over you heading, unerringly, to the one place in the sim where they can get stuck.  They are unpredictable and remind me of how magical virtual worlds are when you first arrive.
Anna's Many Murders
For the Daughter of Gears, Rabbicorn Story and Standby noobs would attempt to climb the main tower only to get stuck under steps whirling and twirling until they logged out.  At Anna's Many Murders they would immediately rush off of the mountain on the outside and get wedged like sardines on top of each other.  Over time I would begin to recognize danger areas for noobs and put up anti-wedging deterrents.  Eventually I got to Imogen and the Pigeons and decided to just corral them in the main desert area because there was no way they were going to fly the chair, climb the main steps or have any hope of making it up the self rezzing then falling steps.  I am sometimes surprised no doubt, as my friend Alixxbella whom I met when she was just a week old, was busily making her way through all my work in a very competent manner, but in general noobs take a few months at least to get good with using sl in an advanced manner.
Anna's Many Murders
   Anyway, so a few months ago I designed a sim for a project called the Russian Avant-Garde.  You can read about it here if you like http://brynoh.blogspot.ca/2014/04/the-golden-age-of-russian-avant-garde.html  Within the Menage museum in Moscow's Red Square there were four kiosks designed to allow visitors at the museum to explore the artwork within Second Life.  So essentially people would sit down and attempt to navigate the virtual environment as noobs not a day or week old, but rather seconds old.  This was, as you can imagine, quite a challenge for me.  (You can visit the virtual space here)
Imogen and the Pigeons noob corral
The Golden age of the Russian Avant Garde
     The build itself was all catwalks high above the ground. It was inevitable that they fall off, however, I placed invisible walls all along the catwalks and so on.  Long story short I noob proofed the build.. or so I thought.
     The museum had four kiosks as I mentioned, and with each station was created an avatar for them to use, so four avatars named Avantgarde 1-4.  At the beginning of the project Rose Borchovski (working with the organizers in Moscow) friended me on one or two avatars and over the course of the exhibit noobs on the other kiosk avatars would somehow find my name and friend me, then speak to me in Russian which my Google brain deciphered.  So in a unique and unexpected new way these noobs unintentionally invented an escape against my attempts to protect them. Many times I would log into my Sim Immersiva and find an Avantgarde avatar wandering inside the Singularity of Kumiko's main arrival area.  They would have somehow opened my profile and teleported to Immersiva, away from the build they came to see!  How someone would manage to do that at the museum is beyond me.  It is remarkable really, initially they must have clicked on something I made and found me as the creator, then opened my profile and teleported to my sim.  That is a lot of work for someone sitting down to a kiosk.  Once at Immersiva they would wander around in that little enclosure for hours until someone opened the red door into the main story to the Singularity of Kumiko.  I  would watch them rush through the door into the story and promptly get murdered by Mr Zippers.  I would sometimes message them and offer to help them find their way back to the Russian Avant Garde sim, but they would never notice the message.  Anyway, I just kind of found the whole thing funny and worth relating.  I have a deeper respect for the noob and its ability to get into mischief no matter what precautions are taken.  I really think someone should create a nature show style machinima describing the various noobs.  The bling chested duck waddler, the random friender and so on.
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