MeFi in SL II April 1, 2010 9:23 PM   Subscribe

The First Virtual Museum of MetaFilter In-Jokes in Second Life is now back, after a few false starts and some land-skipping. (Some lengthy, rather SL-wonkish commentary inside.)

Originally a rental in Peronaut sim, the museum cost more per week than I wanted to spend, so I upgraded to a Premium SL account for the free tier on a 512 sq. m. parcel -- smaller, but cheaper.

I destroyed the museum, bought a roadside parcel beside Psychotic Neko (a shopping mall for catgirls and guys), and erected a new museum and hangout deck there. The location turned out less than optimal when I learned that dozens of nekos with animated ears and flexiprim tails tended to slow the region down. It didn't help that my immediate neighbor had started building a dubious shop of provocative virtual tights for underage boy avatars.

I sold the parcel to the owner of Psychotic Neko (who was more than happy to add the land to her empire so she could block off the boy-tights shop's neon signs with walls), and found a cheaper lot in Cartmel region, surrounded by empty land (recently abandoned by adult stores who had been herded to Zindra). The new place was near a main road, just a few regions from popular newbie areas like Pooley, Waterhead, and Orientation Island. The lot is limited to 512 sq.m. and 117 prims, which presented a fair challenge to the task of building a modest lulz collection, so I kept things simple.

The museum itself, and the point-of-entry coordinates, are underground. This way, occlusion ensures that your SL viewer can load only what is seen, not wasting time rendering the outside till you're ready to see that. When you do want to go upstairs, there's a blue house with some chairs and a hot tub, and a screen that can play YouTube videos and browse to URLs.

There's the SLURL again, or if you're in-world just go to secondlife://Cartmel/85/105/42.

If you manage to make it there, and need additional guidance, just press the button that says "Please Hope Me."

If you're a MeFite in SL and you run something, send me the SLURL so I can put together a MeFite Landmarks box. I'm also open to your recommendations for good resources and sandboxes for MeFi noobs to do more in SL.

(Totally not an April Fools Day gag, and yes, I have a first life, and I've seen the "get a first life" site, thanks.)
posted by brownpau to MetaFilter-Related at 9:23 PM (65 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

Oh, I almost forgot: screenshots here, and if you can't get into Second Life but want to see the place, here's a video walkthrough.
posted by brownpau at 9:25 PM on April 1, 2010


And there are free shirts.
posted by brownpau at 9:27 PM on April 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey free shirts! That's really nice looking I don't do much in SL but I enjoyed the walkthrough.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:33 PM on April 1, 2010


I can't say I've ever spent more than 5 minutes in Second Life, but this is pretty dang awesome regardless- thanks for the screenshots and tour for us outsiders!
posted by potch at 9:35 PM on April 1, 2010


Say SLURL out loud.

Also, wouldn't this be The Second Virtual Museum of MetaFilter In-Jokes in Second Life? Or The Subsequent etc?
posted by carsonb at 9:54 PM on April 1, 2010


It orbits the Pacific clockwise. When they fire up the boilers on the Enterprise, it can control its direction a little bit, but real navigation is a practical impossibility with all the other shit lashed onto it. It mostly has to go where the wind and the Coriolis effect take it. A couple of years ago, it was going by the Philippines, Vietnam, China, Siberia, picking up Refus. Then it swung up the Aleutian chain, down the Alaska panhandle, and now it's gliding past the small town of Port Sherman, Oregon, near the California border.

As the Raft moves through the Pacific, riding mostly on ocean currents, it occasionally sheds great hunks of itself. Eventually, these fragments wash up in some place like Santa Barbara, still lashed together, carrying a payload of skeletons and gnawed bones.

When it gets to California, it will enter a new phase of its life cycle. It will shed much of its sprawling improvised bulk as a few hundred thousand Refus cut themselves loose and paddle to shore. The only Refus who make it that far are, by definition, the ones who were agile enough to make it out to theRaft in the first place, resourceful enough to survive the agonizingly slow passage through the arctic waters, and tough enough not to get killed by any of the other Refus. Nice guys, all of them. Just the kind of people you'd like to have showing up on your private beach in groups of a few thousand.


That map thing is vaguely frightening, especially zoomed out.
posted by Bobicus at 9:56 PM on April 1, 2010


This thing gets me back on to SL for the first time in ages and then no-one is in the clubhouse... Looks lovely though!
posted by zachlipton at 10:00 PM on April 1, 2010


And it keeps telling me "This object is not for sale" when I try to get my free shirt. What gives?
posted by zachlipton at 10:03 PM on April 1, 2010


What is our policy here for using URL-obfuscators (i.e. j.mp) on links? I don't like following them because I can't tell before I click where I'm going.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:09 PM on April 1, 2010


Sorry, zachlipton, I fixed the shirts.

Chocolate Pickle, I dunno, I find the the unobfuscated URL even less descriptive.
posted by brownpau at 10:17 PM on April 1, 2010


The point is that with the unobfuscated URL I know I'm not being sent to goatse.cx.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:39 PM on April 1, 2010


Provocative tights for little boy avatars? Oh man.

I have a theory about online communities.
Without barriers to entry and/or mods, any online community will eventually attract fetishists and/or creeps of various stripes until nobody else wants to go on there and the boytaur dolphinkittens have the place to themselves.

See: 4chan, chatroulette.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:45 PM on April 1, 2010


Once again, I am reminded of how much I miss the image tag.
posted by 517 at 10:51 PM on April 1, 2010


Fuck Second Life. I'm not signing up for a GODDAMN THING.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:11 AM on April 2, 2010


this is a fitting monument to mefi
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:44 AM on April 2, 2010


Love you brownpau, but I'm with the 'don't use URL shorteners on Metafilter (or anywhere else for that matter)' crowd.

Considered harmful.

URLs are 'universal' for a reason. They are the threads from which the proverbial web is woven. When all of these idiotic Twitter-driven URL shortening services die, all the links people made using them will die too, and then it's web-cancer time, friends and neighbours! Not that we're talking the Library of Goddamned Alexandria here, of course, but still. It's pissing our grandchildren's data punchbowl.

If there's any good reason to hate Twitter -- and people so often are compelled to cock a hip and cop an attitude, all mock-bemused at the very idea -- it's that it has spawned this profusion of soon-to-be gone URL shortening services. I mean, hell, I've got half a dozen more reasons that when geared up I'm willing to shout at the kids on my lawn, but that one might be the best.

That said, good on you for making this thing, whatever it is.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:57 AM on April 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Fuck Second Life. I'm not signing up for a GODDAMN THING.

WELL GOOD FOR YOU.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:58 AM on April 2, 2010


Pissing 'in'. Pissing a punchbowl would hurt. And also not make sense.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:01 AM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


The cat sitting on the scanner was my favorite touch.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 4:20 AM on April 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have no SL. What is Bobicus talking about? It sounds awesomely frightful.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:26 AM on April 2, 2010


The italics Bobicus posted are a passage from Snow Crash. How they relate to SL and the museum is lost on me though.
posted by carsonb at 4:29 AM on April 2, 2010


Ah, thanks.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:45 AM on April 2, 2010


OOLONG!!!!!!! Yay!!!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:52 AM on April 2, 2010


The cat sitting on the scanner was my favorite touch.

I kept looking to see if it still has its claws!
posted by Omnomnom at 5:07 AM on April 2, 2010


The italics Bobicus posted are a passage from Snow Crash. How they relate to SL and the museum is lost on me though.

brownpau's description of finding a locations for the museum in Second Life makes the place sound eerily like the Metaverse described in Snow Crash.
posted by FishBike at 5:36 AM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not that we're talking the Library of Goddamned Alexandria here, of course, but still.

Just because there is nonsense on it doesn't mean there isn't also sense. The Internet far (far far far) outstrips the Library of Alexandria, at least in absolute terms.
posted by DU at 5:43 AM on April 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


So: don't kill it by using URL shorteners from Joe's Awesome Hut Of Short URLs that'll disappear next week, is the point.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:45 AM on April 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


I did use j.mp, which is an alt URL for bit.ly, which is fairly established among URL shorteners. But yes, in retrospect I should have made it brownpau.com/mefisl or something. I got lazy.

Thanks to the people who reported bugs and tested stuff out. I was able to make a few improvements to the museum, like have a phased skylight that people so people can fly in from above, correct some freebie-giver options, and the "Please Hope Me" message now signs off as Todd Lokken. I also grew the cypress tree in the corner so it blocks the obnoxious ad banner in the neighboring sim more effectively.
posted by brownpau at 6:01 AM on April 2, 2010


You are going to make me install the Second Life client, damn your eyes!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:02 AM on April 2, 2010


I don't know anything about Second Life but from what I can gather, this is a pretty sweet thing. Yay brownpau.
posted by Kwine at 6:03 AM on April 2, 2010


The point is that with the unobfuscated URL I know I'm not being sent to goatse.cx

No, you really don't. Unless the link is to a site that you already trust any site could be fixing to expose you to goatse (et al). An obvious shortener has several advantages (shorter URL, tracking, obfuscation), and several disadvantages (might go dark, obfuscation), but it is still just a link to some random resource on the web somewhere. Could be anything. No different than any other link you don't already trust.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:37 AM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's very cool! I have enough trouble getting things done in my First Life, so I'm impressed with the effort and attention to detail even though I'm unlikely to revisit my short initial visits to SL. Thanks for the video.
posted by Miko at 6:47 AM on April 2, 2010


I don't want to be exposed to SL anus.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 6:52 AM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Expanded the short urls. General policy on mefi is we'll change 'em when we see 'em and please don't, since there's really not any sort of win for using them in this context, but otherwise not really a big deal. We may not actually need to have a full-on argument about it right here and now, though.

brownpau's description of finding a locations for the museum in Second Life makes the place sound eerily like the Metaverse described in Snow Crash.

I know. The writeup killed me, brownpau. I love living in the future.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:42 AM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


ARGUE ARGUE ...naptime
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:44 AM on April 2, 2010


Needs more elephant piss.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:51 AM on April 2, 2010


Okay, elephant piss is coming.
posted by brownpau at 7:57 AM on April 2, 2010


Showed up, got the free shirt, said hi to brownpau. Then we sat and watched youtube together, and then I came back here. I prefer my web browsing experience unmediated.

Hi brownpau!
posted by Meatbomb at 8:53 AM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


others prefer theirs unmeatiated.
posted by gman at 8:57 AM on April 2, 2010


I didn't see a plate of beans anywhere.
posted by workerant at 9:03 AM on April 2, 2010


workerant - The plate of beans is totally there but it's not the kind of beans you expect. Let's just say a shallow bowl of refried beans was a lot easier to make than a plate of string beans.
posted by brownpau at 9:23 AM on April 2, 2010


String beans? WTF? The plate of baked beans was exactly as I had always imagined the proverbial "Plate of Beans" to be.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:21 AM on April 2, 2010


I'm currently eating a lovely ginger garlic beef stir-fry on a bed of bean threads.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:24 AM on April 2, 2010


Chocolate Pickle: "The point is that with the unobfuscated URL I know I'm not being sent to goatse.cx."

dirtdirt: "No, you really don't. Unless the link is to a site that you already trust any site could be fixing to expose you to goatse (et al). An obvious shortener has several advantages (shorter URL, tracking, obfuscation), and several disadvantages (might go dark, obfuscation), but it is still just a link to some random resource on the web somewhere. Could be anything. No different than any other link you don't already trust."

To demonstrate dirtdirt's point, I've made this page with an innocuous URL that will take you to goatse.
posted by Plutor at 10:47 AM on April 2, 2010


Plutor, why did you lie? For those of you feeling cheated here is a link to goatse.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:53 AM on April 2, 2010


URLs are 'universal' for a reason.

Sorry stav, they're not "universal" but "uniform." But I agree with you on the rest of it.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:00 AM on April 2, 2010


I always imagined them to be a plate of fava beans with a nice malbec*.

*What? You were expecting chianti? Isn't that a bit overpowering for the subtle flavors of liver and fava beans?

See we can take this meta and make it metameta!

posted by Pollomacho at 11:28 AM on April 2, 2010


For the god damned Migs Signal.

[this is good]
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 11:54 AM on April 2, 2010


The problem I have with Second Life (and the similar Sony Home on PS3s) is that I'll install it, customize an avatar, go wandering around and wonder what I'm supposed to do next. Sure, it's neat to see the stuff people have built, and the little in-games things can be diverting, but ultimately I always wonder what the point is.

Still, as a lover of the Metaverse concept, I'm inevitably drawn back in whenever someone puts something like this together, because I so want there to be a cool alternate universe, but it's equally inevitable that I'll eventually get bored and go to something less visual but more filling. Like here, for example.
posted by quin at 11:57 AM on April 2, 2010


MetaChat is an in-joke? Who knew?
posted by Danf at 12:10 PM on April 2, 2010


No, no, the screens just cycle through realtime screengrabs of MeFi and its subsites and spinoff communities, just as a kind of window garnishing. Stand around long enough and you'll see it refresh with another section of the site.
posted by brownpau at 12:21 PM on April 2, 2010


String beans? WTF? The plate of baked beans was exactly as I had always imagined the proverbial "Plate of Beans" to be.

At the 10th in Boston, it was a can of Heinz's Beans.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:21 PM on April 2, 2010


So let me get this straight. The broom ... it doesn't actually vibrate?

Thanks bp.
posted by crunchland at 12:47 PM on April 2, 2010


Good news, everyone: I learned a little more LSL. The broomstick now vibrates.
posted by brownpau at 1:06 PM on April 2, 2010


It looks too...professional.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:40 PM on April 2, 2010


brownpau's description of finding a locations for the museum in Second Life makes the place sound eerily like the Metaverse described in Snow Crash.

Yeah, I got that too (it was a good writeup brownpau, even from an outsider's perspective!) and if Bobicus had quoted a passage relevant to SL—like, I don't know, Like any place in Reality, the Street is subject to development. Developers can build their own small streets feeding off the main one. They can build buildings, parks, signs, as well as things that do not exist in Reality, such as vast hovering overhead light shows, special neighborhoods where the rules of three-dimensional spacetime are ignored, and free-combat zones where people can go to hunt and kill each other. ...—I wouldn't have had any trouble making the connection. But referencing a map (what map? I just watched the video.) after quoting The Raft intro? No sé holmes.
posted by carsonb at 1:46 PM on April 2, 2010


Sys Rq: It looks too...professional.

MeFi is no longer a boyzone, so it can't really look like this, can it?
posted by carsonb at 1:49 PM on April 2, 2010


Metafilter: Okay, elephant piss is coming.
posted by iamabot at 4:03 PM on April 2, 2010


Visited, snagged the shirts, sat on a doughnut. Nicely done, brownpau!
posted by deborah at 5:57 PM on April 2, 2010


I'd sign up for Second Life, but...I have a real one, so no.
posted by jonmc at 6:34 PM on April 2, 2010


...he said, posting to an internet message board.
posted by brownpau at 7:22 PM on April 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


zing!
posted by eddydamascene at 7:30 PM on April 2, 2010


I always wonder what the point is

Well, think of it like a combination of Legos and IRC. If you like building stuff and/or chatting, it can be a lot of fun. They also have voice chat now, but I've never used it.

I barely log in anymore, but I got the impression the last time I was there that most of the adult stuff has been banished to an area that you can't stumble into accidentally. It sounds like you're not likely to be massively offended these days unless you're trying to be.
posted by Malor at 3:03 PM on April 3, 2010


Perhaps a bulletin board? A way to submit (and receive) landmarks, events, SL-related URLs, and groups of interest? A link to the in-joke wiki? I'm happy to help put together a package to help SL noobs.

Meetup?
posted by moira at 11:21 AM on April 4, 2010


Landmarked! I love it , and can't believe you have done it in 89 prims.

I am bummed that I missed this discussion while it was still on the front page, but if anyone sees this comment, definitely find me inworld, I would love to have a virtual mefi meetup.

I am Kristine Kristan there, and next login I am going to join the Metafilter group.

For those looking for something to do in Second Life, there is quite a music scene with some really excellent original musicians that can be pretty fun and social. I'm currently working with one on his virtual tour and I also have an info resource (in the form of a neighborhood record shop)for live original music in my community of Chilbo.
posted by krix at 10:34 AM on April 6, 2010


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