Friday, September 21, 2012

Hobo from home

 Hobo. I say that, you probably think Thinkerer. But not this time: it's Patti Mallory, aka Judy Muircastle, who for years has had a Hobo dream all her own; a living, growing place of spills and thrills, the Hobo Fun Fair.
 Judy Muircastle: I built my first park on SL in 2008. It was built in the memory of my late RL husband. He felt so sorry for the homeless, and he loved amusement parks in RL,  so I decided to call it Hobo Park. I went to SL under the advice of my RL brother to get my mind off things. When  I learned I could build, I knew right away what I wanted to do, and started studying. It really has helped me heal from it all - it's just so much fun!

I visited the SL version with
Scottius Polke, Otter Extraordinaire, SL builder, and author of the Real life book Aessemblage. We tried out the dodgems. I got some scary elbow action going on there - it's remarkably like my RL driving posture. The otter came close to finishing up as roadkill, then hopped aboard my car, and we got it to fly up the walls.
From there, a trip up into space,to float around among the planets. Then back down, via a super-smooth taxi ride, to terra firma.
Builds like this take you out of yourself, and it's no surprise that Judy gets literally thousands of visitors on any given day, to the SL version.
Judy Muircastle: I just love to watch people enjoying the park! I started building about 4 years ago. I took scripting and sculpting classes in SL, and watched a ton of tutorials on Youtube. When I heard you can make your own sims in OSGrid, and they were free, I thought I would try it - wow, it's a builders paradise! You can really learn, if you want. It's like having unlimited prims! I like the free, sharing culture of OSGrid, and I gave away loads of stuff. One of the things that bothers me about SL is the greed. When I first visited open sim, none of my scripts would work. About a year later, I returned and found many scripts would now work
OSgrid is a great place, I experimented all the time with textures and sculpts. Scripts are very limited there, but you can make them work if you work at it.
Scripting is a challenge and a passion: if something won't work, she loves to figure out workarounds. But in some cases, there's nothing to do but wait for the technology to catch up with Linden Labs. One big example is physics; Open Sim can't support the physics tour script, which is ironic, since the huge regions of OSGrid are simply crying our for a means of civilized travel. The jerky, jumpy 'tour script' currently in use isn't a patch on the SL version - but things will of course change, improve and leap forward as they have in so many other ways. Positive thinking, Judy pointed out, is essential for any creator. Other rides have presented their own unique problems, but on the whole the two parks were comparable in their variety and sheer dazzling array. Among Judy's visions for the future are a giant rocket ship, a sail boat tour, and underwater sims. But while ideas may be infinite, it all takes time, perseverance and the cooperation of the technology. The differences are not limited to script capability. The Second Life park is full of signs warning about lag, beggars and griefers: recently two enterprising residents made themselves Park manager tags, and were going around asking for money. The OSGrid park has a freer, wilder feel to it. No lag, few people about, and lots to explore, including the dark Hobo Junk Yard, with its wicked grunge look.
Earlier this year Judy began having trouble with OSGrid's teleporting system. She couldn't move around her estate via tp, without logging off. This made working very tedious and, in the end, she decided to close the site until the problem is solved. The undeniable truth of the matter is that the crowds - the return Judy gets in terms of people enjoying her work - continues to be massive in SL and minimal in open sim. Does she miss her OSGrid park?
Judy Muircastle: I miss all those prims, and the people who came to visit. I still go in, to practice building sometimes.
Her experience, then, like that of any pioneer, is a mixed one. The space and freedom of open sim, the spirit of adventure and adaptation that open sim offers remain precious values. Yet, for all the good friends that she'd met in Open Sim, it's in SL where she finds herself involved in a spontaneous dance video with furries - what fun! So for now, at least, it seems the Hobo in Judy Muircastle is at home - in Second Life.

No comments:

Post a Comment