Miss Ophelia's Metaverse Manners: The Etiquette of Using (and Abusing) Second Life Templates
Iris Ophelia's ongoing take on etiquette & ethics in virtual spaces
I recently wrote about the pros and cons of templates and pre-made kits for Second Life content creators, and unsurprisingly the topic created a lot of discussion and raised a lot of questions. Though my opinion on the issue may differ from your own, hopefully my template etiquette advice will still be helpful!
I make things in SL but I use building kits and full-perm pieces. There's nothing wrong with what I'm doing but some people are really snarky and go out of their way to tell other people where I'm getting my pieces. Why do people resent what I'm doing and how can I stop it?
Templates are controversial, and some people feel very strongly that they give people an unfair or uncreative advantage. Using templates "correctly", that is in a way that helps you grow as a creator and helps the market grow and diversify as well, is nothing to be ashamed of. If people ask, be honest and upfront about your use of templates and full-perm building kits. You shouldn't need to hide something unless you're ashamed of it. Simply put, anyone bullying you for using templates and kits correctly is in the wrong. Because opinions are so sharply divided on this issue you'll never be able to please everyone. Haters gonna hate, so focus on building things that you can be proud of, with or without the templates.
What's wrong with recoloring?
Well, personally I think it's just boring, boring, boring. I'll be horribly blunt and ask you a question: If you want to be a creator, why don't you want to create?
I want to start designing skins with templates but you always hear about people who use skin templates and the templates end up having stolen parts in them so the template designer gets in trouble. If your templates have stolen parts do you have to take your products down? You're not the one who stole so why should you be punished?
It seems like every few weeks a skin designer is pulling their line because of a template they used that contained stolen content, but when you're in the market for them it's hard to discern which templates are trustworthy and which aren't. If you end up with a bad pack, it's not your fault. You aren't the thief. However... You are still selling the end result of a theft. Taking your product down to rework it and eliminate stolen elements isn't a sign of guilt, it's a sign of respect -- respect for the original creator and for their work. It's frustrating as hell but it's a courtesy that you would probably want if you were in their shoes. And heaven knows we could all use a little more courtesy in both the virtual and the real world!Tweet
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.