Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Supremacy of Twinity

There is nothing, nothing at all, like an urgent deadline to make time wasting seem like a good idea. Of course, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to time wasting, between all the many online and RL activities available here in the Western world. But it seems likely that if you're looking for the Supreme waste of time in virtual worlds, Twinity is it. It's hard to say which was more surprising, to notice that my first visit to Twinity was back in 2011, or to discover it still exists. The fact that little has changed is no big shock, for while someone who's been away from SL for a couple of years might be amazed by the advent of mesh, Twinity was always that way.
Putting a map on the wall just makes it even more obvious (and sad)
that these guys never did get around to recreating 3D cities.

It always takes a bit to remember how stuff works, and sheesh what is going on with that nose??! becomes your number one obsession whenever you dig out an old avie. Luckily most places are empty, so nobody's going to notice your body overhaul. 
You can check out any time you like, but ...
Moving around on this grid makes the Kitely Waitaminutesighwhileweturnonthelightsare yousureyourealllyneedtogotothatsim? room seem positively supersonic. Wherever you go, you never feel like you're properly 'outside', not even when you get to the ghetto. The oversize buildings here make you about the dimensions of a cat which, in turn, makes the animated cats about the size of rats, I suppose. And surely that's a CGTexture texture there, isn't it? Maybe not.

And then, for absolutely no reason at all, there was Jabba. He wanted to dance, and one doesn't like to be rude.

 Another thing that's creepy about Twinity is the desperation of people to find someone to talk to, and one can't help wondering if the Cloud is going to produce the same sort of generation of visitors, not doers, wandering around hoping someone will offer to hang out. As opposed to the grumpy old builders we have in OpenSim.

The Twinity chat room was alive with rich cultural banter, as always. And grey is the new sexy, as we all know. Only there seemed to be just one shade of it...
So what is there to see in Twinity these days? It looked like a lot of their original vision, to recreate famous cities of the world, has been shelved. Not surprising, in these days of bomb scares and cities on alert. They have a Washington DC which is 98% obelisk, and jingoistic music. You can't cam back far enough to see if it has a tip. Believe me, I tried.

The Egypt build is enlivened with these NPCs although they are transparent, almost holographic. And this appeared to be the entire build. 

Well, OK, maybe they can't do authentic whole cities, or even neighborhoods. Let's try something atmospheric. How about The Sewer? 
This turned out to be an attempt at an American street scene somewhat confusingly 'located' in Germany. I didn't go and find out what that watchtower is guarding, seemed wiser not to. The two guys were NPCs again - burn victims, judging by their faces up close.
I was just getting ready to leave when I saw the Main Attraction of the region - the eponymous sewer entrance! 

Immediately my mind raced to the famous subway build by Aley, with all those fabulously witty ads, and the escalator, and the less than hygienic restrooms, and the often ghostly train running by. So down I went!
The Twinity 'sewer' runs for about 10 m before stopping. It was pretty atmospheric, with the bags of trash and the green water and the one giant cockroach and son, slowly rotating and scaring the heck out of me just for a moment. In fact, so scary was it, I fell in the water. And couldn't get out.
In Twinity, you can't double click tp  anywhere, so you're pretty much trapped in a situation like this. Walking is the only option, you can't fly or run. You can't properly see what's up ahead of you in order to make your choices. It's kinda real world in that respect, and that's not a good thing, not when you're up to your ankles in virtual sludge.
An easy choice
You can't effectively cam away from your avatar, you can't really adjust your clothing, or make anything, or do anything but chat. The builds would make a beginner in opensim laugh with derision. But people here probably don't know any better, because they have never been able to interact meaningfully with prims, so chit chatting is enough for them. Supremely pointless.
Of course, it's all pixels. We should be out there curing cancer and bringing world peace. But if not, if you have to be online passing the time, surely ... imagine a world where you're not inspired to learn Qavimator, or Blender, or Audacity, or Gimp, or how to make machinima or music or customize your NPCs. Imagine a place where you can't click on stuff and see who made it, where there are no freebies you can customize, where you can't experiment with anything other than the mildly porno conversations of a few sad and lonely souls. Would there be any point in being there?
Although, I did give Jabba my number, so if he calls ...

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