Thursday, July 11, 2013

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Miss Metaverse Manners Redux: How To be The Most Well-Mannered Shopper at SL's Hair Fair 2013

Clawtooth Hair Fair
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

One of Second Life's biggest annual fashion fundraising events, Hair Fair, opens its doors this Saturday July 13th. You'll be able to buy hundreds of brand new styles like the one above, Tootsie from Clawtooth. Of course I want you all to be on your best behavior at this event (especially since it's one of my personal favorites) so I'm donning my Miss Metaverse Manners hat once more to adress the best way to behave at big events like Hair Fair. For starters...

No one is there to see YOU

Events like this are not a runway show. The only people who care what you look like are you and the assholes who are looking to pick fights with people whose rendering cost is in the red. Whether you believe that avatar scripts and attachments cause lag or not, strip off your extra layers and attend in the simplest clothing layers and hairbase that you can. It's a gesture of good will that costs you absolutely nothing. It demonstrates that you give a shit about their experience, as they should about yours.And no, you don't need to accessorize, you don't need your AO. No. One. Cares. In an event of this scale, most of us are there to get in and get out as quickly and painlessly as possible.

But at the same time...

You don't have the right to be an asshole to others

You are not the rendering cost police. It's not your job to call out everyone who's walking around with a cost in the red. If you see a newer player dressed to the nines, you may want to send them a friendly and polite IM explaining how some people feel about attachments and scripts at big laggy events, but it's not your job... And more importantly in most cases, even if they strip down to nothing but their tattoos, you probably won't notice a significant change in the area lag.

If it really really bugs you, I'd suggest you spare yourself the grief and get a third-party viewer like Firestorm which will allow you to de-render avatars and objects around you.

Be a good customer

Remember that many designers have been working right up to the last minute to fill their storefronts. They're tired, and they're going to make mistakes. Pay attention to your transactions to make sure that everything you're buying is going through, and if you run into any problems send then a civil notecard explaining the issue in as much detail as you can. Absolutely do not send IMs like "hi" or "are u there?" if you need customer support. Hair Fair is an incredibly busy period for participating designers, and useless IMs like that only serve to cap their messages even faster.

Got any other etiquette tips worth keeping in mind this weekend? Don't hesitate to share in the comments!

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Mixed reality iris 2013Iris Ophelia (@bleatingheart, 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.


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Chandni Khondji

What I actually like to do is slap on a full alpha layer, meaning be really invisible.. grab the demos i want and then Teleport home to try them there before going back to buy those I want. It maybe two Teleports more but much less stressful than trying to rezz the hair demos in the lag.

Tracy Redangel

I use this:

You can also join the hair fair group and try on hair at HOME, because most of the creators offer their demos through the group notices. Really, this is the best way to save your own sanity....just peruse the hair through the group, wait a couple of days when all the hoopla dies down, then go shopping at the event.

There's plenty people can do to be considerate of others, but unfortunately there probably will be a bunch of tummy talkers, heavy scripts, weapons, attachments, annoying gestures, etc etc etc.


I will not go without my open collar and sub ao hud, bui no other scripts i'll wear!
Tired of seing all being blamed on scripts use, get a good connection a good computer and stop whinning!

Arcadia Codesmith

Thanks, Iris. If I may add one piece of advice, go during off-peak hours. Attending Hair Fair with the server populations maxxed out is like swimming in molasses. Crystallized molasses.

Like Tracy, my friends and I usually have a private demo party off-site where we try on all the Hair Fair group demos. Fair warning: it's a marathon. There is a LOT of new hair introduced every year at this event.

Tracy Redangel

As long as your cpu clock timing is under .08, you are not causing any significant lag with your scripts. If you're on Firestorm, you can check this by right clicking on your avatar and selecting script info from the menu, and it will tell you.
Even with a very fast connection and a gaming computer ( I can usually run around in-world on my PC with graphics cranked up and running full shadows) it is well-known that very popular events have a lot of lag. Some hair people wear causes lag, and yes overuse of scripts DOES contribute to lag. It's not a huge sacrifice to be considerate of others and take off your crap before you go into a heavily populated sim. But if you want to be inconsiderate...mazel tov.

val kendal

/me whispers 'I de-render everybody...'

I didn't know about getting things through the Group, that's fabulous!

Wolf Baginski

Linden Hair is OK, but a bit ugly. The thing to watch for are those older prim hair items which were made with a script in every prim. Each script consumes server memory, and when the server has to start paging script RAM to hard drive, you have problems.

The necessity for that script excess is long gone, but there are still good-looking but old hair items around which suffer from the problem.

Hair with a lot of flexi-prims will still have a high rendering cost. But if you minimise the scripts and flexi-prims you can look good without messing up everyone.

CronoCloud Creeggan

I use Salome's shadow avatar set as well, if I think it's going to be really bad. (I check the map) Last couple year's Hair fair weren't bad at all. I wore normal stuff during off peak hours and picked up demos from the group.


Since it was Hair Fair, I went invisible except for my bald head so I could try on the demos (I'm crap at finding my way back to the right booth if I TP out).

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