I don't know if very many people appreciate the Linden roads being built -- surely the people with property next to them mainly do (although there have been some misfires). Route 1 is looking nice, rezz a car in the rez zone and test it out. It sure took the Lindens long enough to arrive at the philosophical position that they should have Governor Linden take care of her Estate at least as well as Anshe Chung does Dreamland, with a little bit of infrastructure and roads (unfortunately, the Number One Land Worker has sold off a lot of her roads in her cash crunch, and shut down some of her prettiest sims, too).
I'm not uncritical of the Department of Public Works, because I think they've made some bad calls (Brownlee juice bar, built with resolute, insolent disregard for all the merchants' builds already on that sim), the Sea of FIC in Nautilus, etc) -- they aren't in fact really open to community ideas (Jack has selected a group of his old friends and their old friends to pay US $10/hour to build their 3-D resumes for their inworld businesses), and so on. But...I suppose every people gets the government they deserve, eh?
I've always been a big fan of Linden roads, even though the ashphalt on my sims like Ravenglass is plug-ugly, and even once prompted me in the forums, to ask, like some goofy sandbox code kiddie, why they didn't make the roads, oh, purple streams and put them on red land for Mars or something instead of building an exact replica of what to me looked an awful lot like the New York State Thruway. The Lindens got better with more attractive roads in the moth atoll continent, with the cobblestones and wooden bridges, and now they're getting even better yet
A road can make all the difference in a world. It's the heart of the metaphor of geographical contiguity, of course, and when you walk on a road, you slow down, and stop the whoosh of the teleport, and the blur of flying, and really see things. There really is a lot more traffic on the roads now that Havoc 4 has made vehicles work better. I actually talk to people travelling on roads more now.
I had always said that the Lindens really needed to "set the tone" on the mainland, with just brushstrokes, really, a road here, a little windmill or gate there, and that's what they are doing and it's great to see -- of course when they aren't building big ambitious projects like Nautilus. I remain a fan of Nautilus, although with my uneasiness about the land not selling there, and also, with the Blake Sea, where I still cannot find a place to rez my beta edition of Alisha Matova's fabulous Bama Bait Boat, which is a lawnchair lashed to a little barge -- perfect for sailing to see how the better half lives at MarkTwain White's Yacht Club.
Half-Hitch, one of the Blake Sea builds for the Sea of FIC.
I also cruised around some of the new builds there, and Michael Linden has done a really great job of making a sense of nautical place with weathered textures, seagulls and so on. He also has lots of clickable freebies that you can use to kit out your own nautical scene. For example, you will wonder how you ever lived without a wooden spool of telephone cable.
I went to take a look at A.M. Radio's Refuge sims last night. I don't like A.M. Radio's sims, to be honest. I realize I am flying in the face of horribly politically-correct and Creator Fascist dogma here, but there it is. I don't like them for one single reason, mainly: they feel fake. They feel fake because he puts them all inside a big box. He doesn't care about really making a world, a world where the edges have some authenticity. He doesn't care how it looks when you zoom out and see the box and the fake screens with RL pictures pasted on them. He just cares that the 'art looks good". And when a sim designer only cares that the art "looks good" and doesn't care about the avatar's sense of immersion, then I feel he has failed in a 3-d interactive world with people in it. Failed because sims can't just be art, but have to be habitats for people, too. That is, sure, make a sim be all art if you like, who can stop you?! But if you are making a *world* and and making *architecture* it can't be merely art, it has to have habitability, which means edges that don't amount to boxes. That's what I think.
If you stand at the crossroads of Refuge in Welsh with the gas station, the plane, and the rusting train in the distance, you can feel as if you are outside of Chicago in the 1930s, and hear "Road to Perdition's" theme song playing in the back ground. In fact, a guy who made a machinima of these sims used the Road to Perdition themes.
You're supposed to say OMG this is just so fucking wonderful and isn't this realistic and isn't this just TOO PERFECT, but I feel...abused in such a setting. I am trapped, like the dragonfly in this jar, with the big boards on the edges of the world are showing badly in the Windlight dawn.
I caught sight of a couple of guys fooling around with the car they had got free from AM Radio by being in his group (you have to join his group and wait for him to dispense freebies -- now and then word spreads that he is giving away just one and everyone is held fast.)
And that's another thing I find horridly elitist and cloying about AM, is that he doesn't sell stuff normally. Very little is for sale -- and given that this one sim is supposed to be for charity, it seems like a lost opportunity. Apparently, he gives away his cars in contests or group freebies - it's like he needs to have an audience always in thrall, and see himself as Lady Bountiful. He doesn't really want to share freebies on asynchronous, but make people dependent live. I hate that. One airplane is for sale for $700. Another sort of engine thing is for sale for $1000, seems a big steep given that it's not clear it's a working car (perhaps someone knows). The airplane says it will fly.I don't see anything else for sale, do you?
One of the guys rezzing the freebie car on himself told me to be sure to go into the house and click on everything. But, there's only one freebie drum and sticks in the house, nothing more beautiful or useful.
Even though I snap pictures and admire the texture and lighting in a sim like this, I feel mauled by art.
In "The Quiet," which I believe was on the Princeton sims taken down now in the openspace culling (even Princeton couldn't afford them, I guess), there was a build that was supposed to like like a New Hampshire farm in the snow or something. Inside, if you clicked on stuff, you would find your avatar whipped into an odd position as if he were in a BDSM dungeon. I found it banal and stupid. All the lovingly obsessive sepia-toned studies of old objects remind me of Counting Crows videos or something, and it feels soooo 20th century. I'm *supposed* to have a tactile experience and ring a bell in the air. I'm supposed to interrupt this broadcast every five seconds with a message that these textures are fabulous and there's old stuff that signifies bunches and gosh, it's deep!
Speaking of art, it's not often I am moved to make art in SL (I did in the Sims more), but somehow, I was, after attending Larry Pixel's rez day party, which was very, very posh (I got away with not wearing a tuxedo only by appearing in my national costume of Sean-Connery-plays-Japinese-warrior). I don't know what behooved me to make a work called My Tiny Second Life featuring a picture of Bettina Tizzy in a ball gown on the wall of a glassed-in scene showing the cherry bed out of the library with Philip's party hat on the bed, an orange chair, and a trophy from Nautilus. Bettina IM'd to ask, "Why the bed and the party hat and the trophy?"
"Art begins, where the question 'why' leaves off," I said, quoting the Russian artist Vitaly Komar, who always used to say that to me -- except *not* when I made two of his art works myself, in a kind of prank, which then sold as part of a scene for tens of thousands of dollars. Heheh. Guess which ones! But truly, I suck at art, and eye is always bigger than my hand. I wish I knew how to tiny-cize these objects more, it didn't turn out right. I don't care for Bettina, and her haughty group, and it's mutual. I have no idea why I made this art work and sent it to her - but I can only say it was emergent, and didn't turn out as planned.
My art work is on sale at my new store in Ross where I made all kinds of junk and where you can find Random Unsung's latest really kick-ass creation, which is a really-working opening-lid Player's cigarette tin for $10 with really smoking cigarettes inside.