The Second Life of Daxiong Ling

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A night-time calm.


I'll keep this really brief, because I don't want to ruin the moment.
I'm experiencing night time using the Windlight viewer for the first time. The moon is shining high, as I lay sprawled out on the deck just below Gogo's Treehouse Bar. Seperating me from the sand covered surface is an ugly leapard skin towel and beside me is a crackling fire. The crickets are chirping behind me as I stare out across the lake in Mindio.

Just... wow. So Zen. It makes me miss my old nocternal lifestyle.
Almost a Haiku.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Destruction/Creation

I've said before that I may be a little fickle. In all honesty, I know that I most certainly CAN be fickle. This trait compliments my overall impulsive and spontaneous nature that materializes on both sides of the grid.
Whether you're aware of it or not, I was emperor of Tianan Palace. This is what culminates when you build your own castle. You obviously become it's ruler and supreme god/human embodiment. However, in true Prince to Pauper fashion, I have foregone the life of a royal to join that of the common resident. In Layman's terms, I got bored. In RL I'm chest deep in frozen participation and I'm getting a severe case of the blahs. Since SL is a place of digital fantasy where a person can make anything happen, I took it upon myself to free up some prims and create a tropical paradise. I home on the grid is a waterfront view, but it's far from a tropical island. It looks far too temperate to be tropical. 233 meters up, where my palace in the sky once stood, you can now find wet sand, palm trees, and freebie tiki constructions. Turn on the speakers and I get to listen to reggae to aid in completing the illusion.
This sudden compulsion to create something new has pretty much been my common theme throughout my lifetime (approaching eight months old!!). Since I purchased my first 512sq. plot in July of last year, I have been continuously building something. Since I bought my land in Mindio I've done the following:
  1. Built Sunflower Studios
  2. Rezzed and decorated my above sky-level (ASL) retreat
  3. Destroyed ASL retreat and created Tianan Palace (took 2-3 weeks)
  4. Collaborated with Moriz to enjoin his land to mine with a walkway and elevator
  5. Created "Winter Wonderland" to celebrate Christmas
  6. Removed all forms of winter and collaborated with Fuene and Rio to create our Tree Villiage which includes Gogo's Treehouse Bar
  7. Built home for my friend Tomoya Yokosuka
  8. Created "Hell" in collaboration with Fuene and Rio which includes mazes and a mini-adventure
  9. Destroyed Tianan Palace and replaced with a Sky-Boxed tropical paradise.
How does this not sound like a kid playing with LEGO™? As with LEGO™, sometimes you must destroy in order to create (bless Linden's and their idea of prims). One must fall in order to stand-up. Only when you've lost everything are you free to do anything. I could probably dig deeper to find even more catch phrases to say the same thing. What is it that makes us want to destroy and re-create? Why is it that we want bigger, better, stronger, or completely different? It's a strange idiosyncrasy of human nature that I don't understand, but evidently can't deny. Given this, it makes me wonder what I did before I existed on the grid.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mrrwaarrrmmmphh.

The title says it all, doesn't it? Maybe not.
Please don't confuse that word (?) for a sign of frustration or anger. Nor understand it to be someone in mid-coitus. No, no, it's better than that. Much, much better.
I think it's safe to say that I've been experimenting with my existence a little more as of late; yet another journey of self-discovery and exploration. It appears that I may be somewhat fickle.
A couple of days ago I was handed a "zombie" skin from Fuene and Rio, and at that point something happened. There was a little murmur inside of me that grew excited at this new look. It was to be the beginning of something larger. Later that day I began my search for other pieces that would match this new ensemble. It's like there had been a gaping hole somewhere, nay a hunger that this new look somehow appeased. This new holy grail search consumed my being with such ferocity , a pack of angry lions coupled with the threat of nuclear destruction could have ever stopped me. Certainly enough, I found what I craved--and then some. Now I can become a certified flesh eater.
I had a brief conversation about this with Monica and I reminded myself about my love/hate relationship I've had with the zombie genre all of my real life. A relationship I thank/blame none other than Michael Jackson for. Yes, the music video for "Thriller" is what began this dim and dreary path. It's done nothing by grow and manifest ever since.
I have to say that I enjoy converting myself into a zombie. There's something exciting about walking around with arms outstretched and zombie-grunts emanating from my person. Random walking paths lead me to trails of curiosity from others who happen to be in my proximity. They're not afraid-- as there's really nothing scary about the grid. They are simply agog with what's before them.
I retract the statement about nothing being scary on the Grid. There most certainly is. As a matter of fact, I saw things quite disturbing on my search for mushy gray-matter. Then again, what's scary to me might be tantalizing to someone else.

I'll just eat a forearm and leave it at that.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas in SL-Town

It took some fancy, last-minute coordinating, but my nearest and dearest in Mindio were all able to get together on Christmas Eve to get festiv--SL Style.
If you've every been to Abranimations (and if you haven't, for shame) you may have seen their giant keyboard. My good friends Fuene and Rio played a wonderful rendition of Silent Night as a surprise Christmas gift for the neighborhood. Although this my sound like a small task, it most certainly wasn't. Both Fuene and Rio played together which posed a couple of technical issues such as lag between not only with the servers, but between themselves as well. They overcame such obstacles and provided great entertainment for all in attendance.
Afterwards, we moved to Moriz and Liz's place for some campfire, and ballroom dancing. Although engaging in a few dances, I also had some time off the floor (it's a lot easier when you don't have an SL "partner") which allowed me to focus on some photography. To assemble a good portfolio isn't as easy at it sounds on the grid. To get the best shots relies on a combination of good animations coupled with patience and the clich├ęd "good eye". Further complicating the activity is avatar movement. You can't simply tell an animation to hold it's position--making time also very important. Although I was able to capture some good moments, I still have a long way to go to really have it mastered. Despite being an amateur, the snaps made for great gifts to pass out to my friends.
As the first SL Christmas for all involved, I think it's safe to say it went well and that we all had a good time. What's left now is the lingering question... what to do about New Year's.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Much to do about nothing.

What's a resident to do when he can't get home?
As soon as my RL Avi gets returns from his day job, he checks the weather, his RSS feeds, and then logs onto the grid to bring me life. Sure, there might be a couple of other tasks he does before hand, but he inevitably arrives in Mindio. That's not to say he doesn't have a life outside of SL because he does, but he certainly enjoys being in a digital realm with our digital friends who in turn also have lives outside of a screen. Really, we all just like to congregate. As many of us have seen, digital bonds can be just strong as those in the fleshie-realm. This is, of course, when the grid is actually running.
On this day, December 11, the grid has been done for many an hour. My RL Avi came home, did some household tasks, checked the weather, read his RSS feeds, and tried to help bring me home. We were both denied at the login due to some tech stuff. This barrier to life has left me as a mere piece of consciousness that resides in a small corner his grey-matter. It's from this home that I conjure up these words here. What else is an avatar to do when trapped? Might as well force my way out somewhere, right? This at least makes a convenient channel.
Thinking about it does make me wonder where our RL Avi's end and where our SL ones begin? I'm sure it's different for everyone on the grid. Some of us arrive simply to become a play thing; an interesting place to build, create, network, and spend time. For others, it's an avenue that helps fill voids present in their real lives. Some us come here to escape or explore.
Regardless of reasons, there must be a certain element that mirrors in both sides of the screen. In some cases I'm certain there are those who mirror almost identically. If this is true, then it could be true to say that Second Life is part of their complete whole. Does this mean that when someone's second life becomes part of the whole, that the division between SL and RL is non-existant? To me this idea sounds somewhat disturbing, yet comforting at the same time.
Downtime is a dangerous thing my fellow ones and zeros. I hope the grid comes back soon lest I think too much more about this. It hurts.