Wednesday, March 28, 2012

« This SL Pic is Full of Awesome (But Little Post-Processing) | Main | Kickstart This: Epic RPG Game Satirizing Epic RPG Games »

Penny Arcade Nails Second Life's New Sign-Up Page Avatars

Second Life Penny Arcade

Penny Arcade's latest strip is on Second Life, or more precisely, Second Life's new user sign-up/avatar selection page. To say more is to give the joke away, but if you're not a hardcore gamer, you should know that Penny Arcade is easily the most-read and influential comic strip among devotees of PC and console games, and the passionate sub-culture that's sprung from them. (Long ago, in an attempt to attract gamers to SL, Linden Lab advertised on Penny Arcade, mostly to little avail.)

Given its influence, all this means the Penny Arcade strip will pretty much frame how gamers will see SL's new user sign-up page. Which is to say:

SL sign up page

"What strange virtual sex fetish do you want to explore today?"

Link via SL's Reddit group.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bf74053ef016303629988970d

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Penny Arcade Nails Second Life's New Sign-Up Page Avatars:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

shockwave yareach

If you're blimp, that means you're not really turned on yet.

Adeon Writer

That's funny because just yesterday I was running around as the default monster truck avatar. I even gave him a giant monocle, mustache, and top hat. 

SadButTrue

As an aside, if you pay attention at infohubs...griefers almost always go for the unicorn or the rabbit..lol

Stone Semyorka

Linden Lab's PR surely sucks. They should be proactively out front ahead of this nastiness or, afterward, responding strongly with positive messages about their
product, Second Life.

LL should employ some people who can understand the ramifications of their public face..

tito devinna

ya know as much as people try to downplay the whole fetish thing in sl it may be one of a few things that is keeping the whole SL world afloat.
Let’s be honest we have whole regions classed as adult, which is also the most expensive land. I don’t think they have created all this land for my personal interests and shopping habits alone. I don’t find myself standing alone in a sex sim to often.
I love how SL ers get indignant about the fetish aspect of the game when really at some point SL should except that the whole sex fetish thing is a viable, money making, interest attracting, part of the game.
Sure there are many other wonderful things to do in SL which attract revenue, but sex/fetish is an equal part as well. I don’t know the answer or claim to. I just think pretending like it is some kind of small sick nitch group with only 2 or 3 members when we have whole regions dedicated to the subject, is both immature, stoopid and self defeating for the game.

Iggy

I actually like the latest default avatars, especially the "vehitars."

There's a lot of other things to be grumpy about in SL, but that won't matter to potential SLers until Linden Lab gets its marketing, signup, and first-hour processes straight.

Cindy Bolero

Well at least they pulled the vampires and fairies off the Secondlife home page and now picture more sensical human avatars. Maybe SL can get back to attracting new users other than gamers and teens. Of which don't help the virtual economy much.

As a solution provider trying to support and promote practical use of the platform for education, training, health support networks, science, music industry, etc., it gives us hope that Linden Lab does care about its existing customers. My team was just about to throw in the towel after five years (and a quarter of a million dollars later in tier). The fairies and vampires on the homepage had denied us the ability to get anyone to take our projects seriously.

What would be even better, is in the avatar selection page, offer normal humans first, before a bunny, robot, airship, or goth (another teen attractant). I shudder every time I try to bring in real life friends and colleagues, hoping that the bunny avatar won't make them lose interest with signing up.

Average gamers and teens don't have money to go on shopping sprees and buy or rent land. Many just go around begging for Lindens getting banned from areas. Average adults that have interests other than realms, fairies, and vampires, often have real money to blow on virtual products and land. And one would think that average adults would be the demographic to target for sustainability of Secondlife.

jo yardley

/me sighs.
Not only does this indeed support that image of SL that almost scared me off, it also shows the confusion new avatar choices can create.
We should just have normal (realistic scaled) human avatars to begin with.
It has happened several times that I get some airship avatar visiting our sim, 1 day old, I tell them about our rules and that they have to change.
Useless because the new viewers make it so that IM's are often not that obvious, people don't spot them.
So the ejecting starts.
Sometimes they do get the IM and tell me they choose the airship for fun, not expecting it to be their avatar they would be stuck with.
And then I can explain someone who's 1 day old with a different viewer how to create a human avatar...

Ann Otoole InSL

/me dies bwahahahahahahhhhhhhhh!11

Pussycat Catnap

I think we're reading too much into Penny Arcade here.

PA is obviously making fun of not what the new avatars represent, but of what people from outside already bring to them as an assumption about the avatars.

And this:
http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2012/03/23
A strip from 2 entries prior...
Demonstrates that PA is really about taking something and finding the funny misconception in it.
People won't come away from that thinking Star Wars was really an early gay-pron flick... they'll just laugh at at the PA characters running with the gag on certain conservative groups...

Pussycat Catnap

"We should just have normal (realistic scaled) human avatars to begin with."

Not every sim has such a lack of creativity.

The new choices allow people to more fully realize that SL is many things, all in one umbrella, and that its a place to explore varied themes.

We had your choice of human only, during M. Linden's realm. It was bad then, its even worse now.

Adeon Writer

The blog post referencing the comic has now been posted, apparently they took a trip into SL recently, which was triggered by finally getting around to watching Life 2.0.

http://penny-arcade.com/2012/03/28/zeppeling

Pussycat Catnap

"As an aside, if you pay attention at infohubs...griefers almost always go for the unicorn or the rabbit..lol

Since 2009 and a short stint in 2006 - I've seen MANY griefer attacks. Only once by a pack of furries - using x-rated art rezzing as their method. All the others were by human avatars.

I could rationally draw a conclusion, through my anecdotes, via the logic you're implying; that humans tend to be griefers.

Or I could be more sane, and just say "griefers use whatever is convenient for standing out in that moment."

Jo yardley

Pussycat Catnap, creativity has nothing to do with it...
We just have more interest in realism then the whole fantasy scene.
History is exciting enough as it is.

If people join, become realistic humans, they soon find out they can change into something different and will find a way.
If people join and see these unusual avatars, it may scare them off.

Like Cindy Bolero said, if I help friends join up in SL and they see the robot and the airship and the vampire, they think they are joining a kids game.
And if, for fun, they decide to be something unusual, it is a lot of trouble for new people to undo this.
Changing your avatar can be quite a hassle.
Enough to scare someone off for ever.

What I would like to see, what might work rather well, is the possibility to create an avatar BEFORE going into SL.
We have seen this in many games, such as The Sims.
Before anything happens, before you go anywhere, you can already have lots of fun to create your avatar.
Head, skin, face, etc.
It does not have to be as detailed as the avatar creation inworld (but it could!) and on its own it would be a fun thing to do on a website.
Create an avatar on the SL website!
It will also help you learn how to change it later.
And then, you could add a few unrealistic options as well.
Here you go, this is your avatar, do you want to be a man or a woman?
You choose and see a basic avatar, then you see a few buttons that let you change sex again, but also choose an animal, furry, robot, whatever.

I don't mind the options being there.
I just don't like the way they are offered now.

Wolf Baginski

I haven't looked at the sign-up process this year. They don't seem to have gotten any better at explaining things to the new players.

jo yardley

As for griefing at infohubs, the only way to combat that is to either give every new person a private area in SL to start out.
Although.... perhaps this could be something good for a browser based viewer thingy...
After all, you won't need that much power to run a simple empty field where you get to test out your abilities as an avatar.
Maybe this too is something that could be done outside of Second Life.
All alone, you have time to learn how to move, watch a few videos with instructions, etc.
Then you can use search to find a nice sim to go to and then, only then, do you start up your real SL viewer to enter the real SL.
And you get teleported to the sim you choose.
No more infohubs full of annoying people, but straight to the sim you want to explore first.

Iggy

Whoever said that teens have no money don't have any teens around.

Maybe not enough for renting a sim...but enough to blow on stuff they don't need. Get the masses of them in and it might become bunny foo-foo land, but the bucks will flow.

Arcadia Codesmith

What's with the anthropocentrism? All my avis are human (most of the time), but variety is the spice of life... and variety is a HUGE net positive for Second Life vs. the other virtual worlds that offer nothing but vanilla human avatars.

If it scares a few people off, well, did we really need more intolerants?

Pussycat Catnap

What Arcadia said above me.

This is 2012, not 1973. People aren't scared of fantasy anymore.

We've had decades of literature, movies, and video games.

The days of "D&D, fantasy, and Science Fiction is spooky stuff for people who need to be institutionalized" are -LONG- over...

If anyone's still scared of it, they need help...

If there is anyone out there scared of variety, they need... to be removed...

Its a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-national, global world we live in. If you can't handle diversity; go elsewhere.

The variety in the avatars -STRONGLY- sends to message to new users that this game is one about being anything you desire - maybe not your world anymore, but still your imagination.

You want humans, they're in there. You want to remove choice from other people, GTFO.

Tateru Nino

@Stone There's not really any nastiness involved. That's how people see Second Life and there's precious little available to them to correct that impression.

Mention Second Life to most people and (if they've heard of it at all) they're likely to say something like "That weird sex place?"

Of course they have that impression. Why shouldn't they? The predominant information available to them says that Second Life is a sex game.

Damien Fate

Xenius (creator of the Zeppelins) and I had a good laugh about this :D

Deoridhe Quandry

I cracked up! I actually have an avatar in one of those ships (heavily retinted), so seeing it show up on Penny Arcade was a trip!

Melissa Yeuxdoux

I'd like to believe that, Pussycat, but... in the SW strip, there is a character there pointing out that the fellow is going off the deep end. In the SL strip, there's no contrary view; the sole character present spouts, and hence the strip's author is arguably pandering to, the stereotype that Second Life is all perverts--a stereotype not just prevalent in the mainstream media but also at least present in tech media (e.g. Leo Laporte and Chris Pirillo).

Adeon Writer

I'm trying to think of a witty group name to create for people who love people who love airships.who love airships.

Arcadia Codesmith

The way I read the strip, it's an epiphany that maybe there's something more to Second Life than nubbin-bumpin'... such as the doggedly unsexy zeppelin.

It's less making fun of Second Life than of Gabe's (and by extension, many gamers')limited perception of Second Life.

It's also a sign we're still alive and well on the geek culture radar. Yay us.

Veri

Saying that an anthropomorphic airship would only not be welcome in a sim lacking creativity is an incredibly ignorant and indeed rather offensive assertion, Pussycat.

There are countless RP sims with elaborate settings that have developed and expanded through *years and years* of collaborative creativity where certain "characters" -- like an an anthropomorphic airship -- would not be welcome simply because it would break the carefully established setting and environment.

That has nothing to do with a lack of creativity or diversity, as many of those sims are themselves sci-fi, high fantasy, and the like. It's simply about maintaining the integrity of a setting.

shockwave yareach

1) you folks running your RP sims certainly have the right to request people be dressed in period costumes and look the part of the activity. A roman simulation will not be a good place for the monster truck AV, for instance. At the same time though, you guys need an entry point where the rules for the rest of the sim are spelled out so folks don't have to intrude when they simply TP in. The noobs looking for stuff to do don't know that they are ruining other people's fun by walking into the Berlin sim wearing a furry avatar.

You want to have RPing fun in specific avatars. I've no issue with that. The problem is that you don't take measures to keep out those who aren't in your RP group. So 2) is, make everything but the entry portal spot Group Only with banlines. Only folks who understand that they have to be in period garb while inside the sim will be asked to join said group and be permitted to enter further than the welcome area. Tada, problem solved.

But don't beat up the noobs for failing to magically know that your sim is for fairies only (or whatever). There are better ways of keeping out the nonRPers from group lands while giving newcomers a chance to learn what your RPing sim is about. If you won't bother to restrict your land to your group and create an entry portal to explain what's required to enter that land, then you will always be intruded upon.

foneco zuzu

Sex, why so many are scared by this word?

Axelfox

@ Tateru.

Pretty much this,one time i mentioned it on a site that is not furry friendly and got banned. They don't realize there are musicians on here who have concerts and such.

Connie Arida

Gosh, we SL people really do take ourselves seriously. All this hand wringing and furrowed brows over a comic strip. :)

Krinkles Q Klown

Bwahahahahahahahahaha!

/me loves Penny Arcade

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.