Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Immaterial Girl

Blogging doesn't pay, apart from the dubious honour of being plagiarized and having my photos stolen, of course; but shopping for pixels was never  high on my To Do list. Isn't it better to be inquisitive than acquisitive? If you consult the blogosphere  about the state of shopping in open and closed worlds, there are dozens of capitalist rants about quality, rights, and self-affirmation through the almighty dollar; and just as many equally boring blogs about freedom, la rivolucion, and fetid fools. Good grief.

Shopping! But not on Craft; it does have a rocking freebie shop, but the hypergate beckons.

OK, it's true. When it comes to manufactured goods, nobody beats Second Life; InWorldz is getting a lot of brand-name stores, but why pay real money to re-purchase all my favourite stuff, which then only looks like grey blobs and unrezzed flexiprims, just so I can re-meet all the people who used to be in SL?

Among the closed, money-oriented worlds, Spoton is surely the worst for shopping. Part of the magic of retail therapy is the chance to soak up the atmosphere of the store,  otherwise you're just an Amazombie. In Spoton they kill the immersive element by forcing you to buy through a website similar to SL's Marketplace; same principal, you have to buy their currency (at a price) and then they also take 5% of the purchase price of every item, this on top of the $4 monthly fee for the right to build and the $30-40 you pay for a sim and 15k prims. It's a place to go when you want to build, try out new things, and be quiet. Very quiet.

The website SpotOn Synergy, which features a Double Dutch Delivery system, allowing content providers to make their goods available on different grids, at different prices, is not very user friendly and has very little on offer, and frankly none of it, including my stuff,  is going to win awards for style or quality.  Tessa Harrington the grid owner promises, "they're going to get more very soon" - better goods, more people, regular interesting events, it's always all going to happen 'soon'. Since there's virtually no-one in SpotOn and its fragmented, childproofed miniworlds, not having much to buy doesn't seem a big deal. Pioneers are rarely consumers.

What about Open Sim? This is Freebie Heaven, Klarabella Karamell's hipster marketplace. Simple furniture, fireplaces, textures, buildings and plants are available here, along with a number of sculpty farm animals. No, I don't want to know why you need a sculpty goat. In German and English she invites OS creators to donate their original work, and while this is far from being steampunk quality, it's a resource for people who just want a chair to sit on. For fun (and to see if I can really bring things through the hypergate) I bought this sculpty cat.

Then it was off to Wild Shopping on the German Grid - wild as in Wild West, not erotica, the sauciest shop was Lady Fashion, featuring the latest accessories for the mid Victorian floozy.

Ouch.  By the way, if you're going to gridhop, it's wise to wear trousers or a skirt, prim skirts don't always make the trip. On sim Wild Shopping you're going to need OS$ to purchase your ankle boots and corset, although there was  a free buffalo skull. Who could say no to that. Show of hands.

Back in Craft, and YAY the cat came too, there he is, on the couch. I kind of like my wind chime cat better, but then he's never been through a hypergate. When he's done, with his nifty scripts and all, he'll be available in the freebie art shop on Arts Park, in Craft.  No charge.

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