Friday, 19 June 2009

clarification ... SL6B and institutionalised urbanism

If you are not a regular reader of these pages then my post on SL6B may have caused some confusion, and, reflecting on what I wrote (as I do), I decided some further clarity was needed.

My lecture at the LandExpo was meant to show, politely but clearly (questionable, in the end, how clearly the point came across) that, compared to the energy and manpower that has gone into the development of avatars from the duck-footed Ruth to the current day, Flora has been left a bit on the side-lines.

3 photos on a stick still is the current offering in the Library to newcomers as “tree” whereas all manner of dodgy avatar costumes are provided.

Second Life has a bias towards the urban sprawl, and Public Works sees the provision of roads, for example, as an improvement to the environment.... Bay City is another poor example, the assumption being that Mock Human housing is what is needed.

So...we come to SL6B.
An asteroid where vegetation should be caged... Flora is secondary in Second Life (at best). The ‘story so far’ could just have easily involved the destruction of all biospheres as suggested by Barney, or the terraforming of the asteroid shortly after its colonisation. Escaped plant species could have morphed and colonised the entire surface, leaving little space for buildings...
Any number of alternative stories could have been envisaged where Flora was not relegated to glass jails, but, they weren’t (envisaged).

Why? Well...this is where I shouted “stupid”, (to clarify), because this nonsense is so ingrained in LL that it is “institutionalised urbanism”.

Now, for 4 million or so years we survived very well on this planet as a species without roads, dodgy architecture, in harmony, more or less, with the natural world.
This connection with nature is deep in our individual and collective unconscious, thats obvious. Not in SL tho. Thats the stupid part.

Stupid not to use vegetation as an important part of the SL experience, but to relegate it to second best, symbolised by the caging of plants at the sixth birthday.

Six years and still no real change in attitude to Flora.


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