We're back this week with three new reader questions, so let's get to it!
Why does everyone yell at me when I wear my facelight!?
To be honest, I don't understand why many people still insist on wearing facelights. When they originally became popular, it was because lighting in Second Life was more or less always the same, and attaching a light or two in front of your avatar's face provided more flattering lighting than the environment. You saw your avatar more or less how others would see you, so it was easy to tell when a facelight was needed. When Windlight was introduced, people began tweaking and playing with their own lighting settings independantly. Now, you can't know how someone else sees your avatar.
More often than not, facelights that may look fine on your screen are blinding beacons to everyone around you. If you're in a shop, this glare can also wash out vendors and make it difficult for other customers to browse the merchandise or the surroundings. Simply put, facelights have been unnecessary for years, and generally they do more to hide your lovely avatar than highlight it. Ditch the facelight and try optimizing your windlight settings instead (this awesome tutorial by Ryker Beck will show you how to get started.)
Keep reading for more virtual manners tips!
Dear Iris, Is it considered to be rude for a friend to teleport people (that I don't know) over to my skybox while we're hanging out without even asking beforehand?
Oh boy, this is incredibly rude-- and even if you did know the teleportee! If you have land security setting or a security orb, you can limit the access to your land so that your friend will have to ask you, so you can then add the person to the access list. A much simpler and more honest way to manage the issue, however, is just to tell your friend that you'd really like to be asked before they teleport people to your place. If they want a specific reason, it's fair to tell them that your skybox is a personal space, not a public one.
Sometimes it seems to me that respectful politeness (i.e. calling others Sir and Ma'am) is only common on Victorian/Steampunk RP sims like Caledon, and on sims dealing with D/s. I can't understand why this politeness is offending or annoying some people?
Even in RL, hearing Sir and Ma'am is becoming a bit of a rarity. I'm 24 myself, and I'll admit that I see those ways of addressing people as somewhat antiquated, and something that I've only ever used for novelty's sake. In general society seems to be moving towards more casual interaction. Because these kinds of interactions aren't a part of most of our day to day lives anymore, many people may misinterpet them as something to be offended or annoyed by.
The best thing to do if you find yourself offending someone unintentionally with something you've said is to apologize, and explain that it was simply a miscommunication. It is a silly thing to get offended by, but even if you don't understand why it bothers them there's no shame in a swift and sincere apology.
Do you have your own virtual world etiquette quandary? Email me at ophelia.iris [at] gmail [dot] com, or submit anonymously to the Metaverse Manners Formspring. Be sure to include a pseudonym (i.e. "WTF from the Welcome Area") so you know when I'm addressing your query!
Iris Ophelia (Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Times and has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and with pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.