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Second Life Extreme Makeover


Like most people, I’m not an omnivore when it comes to new technology. More of a picky vegetarian: I may set my laundry out to dry thanks to an SMS alert or scan my own groceries just to see what happens, but it really depends.

I don’t read the manual first, most of the movies I see aren’t comic-book adaptations and chances are that if I corner you at a dinner party, it won’t be to evangelize about the GPL3.
So I am a latecomer to Second Life. It’s hard to admit, but I really don’t get it. I’m a lousy gamer by any measure — the only one I’ve ever been any good at was analog Trivial Pursuit, but only when I covered entertainment and read tabloids every day — and have never had the patience or imagination to properly play a role game.
Just two words explain why I’ve now taken an avatar: peer pressure. A relentlessly cool multi-media designer friend has caught the Second Life fever.
If it weren’t for her, I would’ve never made it out of Orientation Island. Not because I couldn’t figure out how to move (who cares?) but because the pixel hair was giving me trouble. Any way I tinkered with it, the effect was cheesy: think Nia Peebles circa 1980. This was very disappointing because, unlike my actual hair, I’d made it stick straight.
I wasn’t going anywhere with that hair. No way.
Teletransported back to high school, fortunately in this new life I have a popular, hip friend who gets it. Diana, aka “Bianca Foulon” in Second Life, zapped me out of freshman limbo, bought me a decent hairdo, some great shoes and sent over a killer dress she made. She also upgraded the skin and handed over a more elegantly-proportioned body, since the standard tends towards a pneumatic sex-doll look.

Be there or be square

Trouble is, just like in high school, when you start running with the in-crowd the stakes keep getting higher. Diana’s organizing a fashion show in Second Life and demands that I be in it. On Thursday.
Now, the virtual catwalk is no cakewalk. Avatars don’t actually teeter on their heels but for some reason, the sexy gait Diana made for us tends to list to one side. And once you fall off the catwalk (yes, fall off the catwalk!) it’s a bitch to get back on. Not to mention the humiliation.
Diana was getting slightly frustrated as her male colleague and I tried to find our runway legs yesterday. Ivano, whose alter ego is a Twiggy type, couldn’t get his catwalk groove on at all and the regular street walk just doesn’t cut it. She pounded the command for the runway walk into the instant messaging system until he finally understood what he had to do.
She was patient with me until I tried to walk too fast and the skirt flounces made it apparent I’d forgotten my Second Life underwear. (Yes, underwear. Who knew?)
To save face, even though it’s not my face, I’m going to have to practice until I’ve figured out exactly how many steps to the end of the runway, memorized the key combo for turns and can quickly change outfits (with underwear!) backstage.
A virtual Negroni if you can figure out which one I am.

Share  Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 11:31 AM | Permalink

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