Sunday, October 10, 2010
A Hell of a Good Universe Next Door: If You Can Find It
Location: Core 1 Region, Reaction Grid
My colleague Lee (Beeble Baxter in SL and now, Reaction Grid) decided to take the plunge and join me in the SLexodus. He'd given up, in frustration, in trying to download a third-party viewer because the path to a Mac OS version of Hippo Viewer (very stable in RG) is about as straightforward as the path to Nirvana. If you were Pol Pot.
Finally, we had the software downloaded. Our conversation went something like...well, no, I'm making it up but this was the spirit and the sequence of the events:
Beeble: "This is not very intuitive."
Iggy: "Remember SL in 2007? It's not hard. Breathe slowly, Beeb."
Beeble: "You are the one hyperventilating. So where is the pull-down for this grid?"
Iggy: It's...CRAP!...Reaction Grid is not on the *$%&^@ pull-down for Grid Manager!"
Beeble: "Google it."
Iggy: [Googling the completely transparent "Reactiongrid URI"] "There! Put in this arcane code, stand on one foot, say 'Iä! Iä! Yog-Sothoth f'taghn!' five times, and make those settings your default grid in Hippo."
Beeble: "Oh, yeah, this is going to get a lot of folks line up to try virtual worlds. Remember our colleague who used to put the entire text of the e-mail in the 'subject' line?"
Iggy: "I need a drink or maybe just a blow to the head."
Beeble: "Done. I'll log on."
As Lee and I struggled with setting up a third-party viewer to get him to Reaction Grid, I realized the difficulties that SL-focused educators will have when they join the SLexodus. We have habits of use that are hard to break, and, frankly, third-party viewers and logging in to a new grid look deceptively familiar.
I walked to my office as soon as Lee's newborn RG avatar rezzed. I logged on and found myself...in Jokaydia Grid.
Oh oh. How do I get back from a hypergrid hop? There were no listings for Reaction Grid's main grid at the Hypergates pages I noted last time.
Iggy: "Oh oh. I'm stranded."
Beeble: "Where can I get a furry head?"
Iggy: "I'll make you one!"
The advantage of being stuck with SL's awkward interface and many bugs is the craftiness it teaches. I was logged in with Imprudence, and luckily I recalled the "login location" setting. I had set it earlier to Reaction Grid's Core 1 region, where Beeble was getting himself some newbie clothes.
A relog had me standing beside him. We then did an inpromptu interview with Cammi, another visitor from the Inworldz Grid and SL. She's a scripter and is looking to expand her services beyond SL.
As many of us are. Though only three of us were present in the region, it felt suddenly a lot less lonely beyond the throngs of SL. It felt a lot like 2007, though no one was running around naked at the welcome area asking for "the sex."
e.e. cummings was right: Let's go.