Posts Tagged ‘second-life’

The RPG Scrollbars: MMO Jails And Virtual Porridge

Backstage areas have always fascinated me. Behind the scenes in theatres, where all the glitz and glamour dies instantly the moment you step where the public isn’t meant to see – down lethal staircases and in filthy preparation rooms. The tunnels in places like Walt Disney World, where cast members travel to avoid ruining the magic, and tough security guards probably not wearing mouse ears emerge to haul off trouble-makers. And in games, especially online ones, there’s often parts that we’re just not meant to see, from developer tricks to places for the GM team to hang out.

Quite often, these include prisons. For the really naughty players to go.

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The RPG Scrollbars: The Best Punishments For Cheaters

Over in Everquest II, they’re trying an experiment at the moment – what’s that? Yes, Everquest II. People are still playing it. The original as well. I know, I’m surprised too, but never mind. Specifically, they’ve created a prison server called Drunder. The idea is that instead of banning trolls, griefers and cheaters (presumably up to a certain point), they can simply throw all the troublemakers in server jail and let them play together with no possibility of escape. Nothing can possibly go wrong! If you want to indulge in the anarchy then you can request to be sent there, but again, it’s a one way trip for your account. Has Daybreak finally discovered the ultimate fix for bad online behaviour, though? Let’s ask our special ethics correspondent, a snowball in Hell.

Well, while we wait, I thought it’d be fun to take a look at how a few other RPGs have decided to have a little fun with their dodgier elements, both online and off.

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Second Life Players Made An MMO Inside Of An MMO

In what is probably the most impressive creative project in Second Life since the giant penis sculptures of SL retail, a group of players have used the game’s building and scripting tools to create an in-game cyberpunk MMO. So, yeah, that’s an MMO made inside of an MMO.

Remnants of Earth [official site] has players take on the role of a hero who has been left behind on an abandoned Earth. Despite the MMO nomenclature, this is essentially a fully-featured table-top RPG. In this game-within-a-game players must interact and role-play with one another through scripted events. You can also do things like crafting and go on quests.

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The Drax Files Are Good Documentaries About Second Life

Second Life is too easy to make fun of, be it for the failed gold rush when advertisers gambled on the future of the metaverse or for the sleazy commercialism that still defines many in-world locations. These things, while true, make it too easy to dismiss the creative projects you can find within that world if you know where to look.

The Drax Files: World Makers, a series of documentary shorts available on YouTube, is useful assistance in knowing where to look. Created by ‘machinima journalist’ Draxtor Despres, each episode mixes Second Life and real-world footage to profile some of the people devoted to making interesting things within the long-running MMO. I’ve embedded a trailer and linked some of the episodes I’ve enjoyed so far below.

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I, Spybot: NSA Docs Detail Spying In WoW, Second Life

Orcs? More like TERRORISTS

I’m not quite ready to declare privacy dead, but it’s reeeeeeeeeallly not doing so well in this day and age. Each racking cough brings up phlegmy handfuls of news about intrusive government and corporate programs – not to mention services that have normalized broadcasting every aspect of our lives on public channels without really considering the consequences. Admittedly, I don’t think it’s all bad (I use Twitter and Facebook all the time; I have no one but myself to blame for that), but many initiatives are absolutely overstepping our boundaries and rights. The NSA, especially, has hit a rather frightening point-of-no-return, and unsurprisingly, it’s taken to snooping around inside games on top of, you know, pretty much everything else.

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Store: Bought – Second Life Dev Acquires Desura

Even this random Second Life citizen is surprised. Well, at least insofar as that character model can express anything humans would designate 'an emotion'.

Second Life is still a thing! Trust me: I checked. Now I must go wash my eyes with acid and bees, for it’s the only way to be sure. More importantly, however, creator Linden Labs is actually up to a bunch more stuff these days – including interesting (and sadly mobile-only) interactive narrative experiments and a buildy, kinda Minecraft-ish thing. So naturally, it’s gone and purchased PC indie game and mod purveyor Desura because… I don’t really know. But I mean, why not? Desura’s a solid, largely open platform with thriving communities like Mod DB and Indie DB under its weirdly shaped umbrella logo thing. There are certainly worse starting points if you want to dive headfirst into the world of online game storefront management.

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Minecraft By Way Of Second Life: Patterns

You know, when you think about it, Second Life and freeform voxel builders like Minecraft really aren’t all that different. I mean, both offer players tremendous creative freedom – which they generally mold into either a) likenesses of their favorite TV/movie objects or b) unspeakable, physics-defying flesh horrors even your greatest nightmares wouldn’t dare conjure up. So I suppose it kind of makes sense that Second Life creator Linden Labs would try its hand at an easier-on-the-eyes craft-’em-up. Maybe? A little? Granted, Patterns does at least look quite attractive – if a little familiar.

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