One Hundred Posts
Seven months ago, almost to the day, I started this blog. All in all, it’s been a great seven months, and a hundred posts that probably won’t change the world, but give me the opportunity to look back over my journey of exploration and growth in Second Life.
My goal in the beginning was to document my exploration of being a non-standard avatar – hence the name xtralarge in the URL. It seemed important to me then to see how people would react to an overweight avi, and I may go back to that, but along the way I gave up on wrestling with the shape tool – trying to make a shape that didn’t have weird triangles sticking out in odd places. Instead I started building a kind of “just a guy” avi.
Anybody who’s spent any time on the grid knows that the vast majority of male avies are overly bulky and blocky. Head proportions seem to be a bit on the small side while arm and shoulder sizes are radically disproportionate. If you’ve ever seen Larry the Lobster on Spongebob, you’ll recognize the archetype. And for some reason, a large number of them seem to think that “shirtless” is the new black. Against that backdrop, I guess I can understand why clothing designers don’t design much for men.
That did raise an interesting question for me, though, and that was “What does a nicely proportioned guy really look like?”
I ran through a series of shape mods based on various artistic traditions and wrote that up, too. But the aesthetic values of the grid aren’t really based on those traditions when it comes to fashion. I suppose that’s no different from RL modeling when you consider what models go through to maintain their artificially slim shapes. The difference is most striking when you realize just how tall models are.
Since then, the majority of my posts have been documenting my experiences as a contestant and model. I’ve taking a lot of photos and started a Flickr account to publish them.
I did get a plum job when the 2009 Clothing Fair opened. I learned that I could get press credentials if I asked, and that those press credentials would allow me a kind of “backstage access” to the show. I didn’t really know anybody there so I kept a low profile and just went to the Fair – documenting what I saw, visiting with the vendors, and writing it up as I went. The resulting series started with a pair of pre-Fair previews followed by a daily report from the floor documenting some aspect of the fair. I have to thank Nevar Lobo who took a chance on an unknown blogger and gave me a press pass. I had a blast writing up the fair, and I hope that it helped raise even a few L$ for the cause.
There have been some other themed posts — in addition to my nightly contest series where I document all the styling contests I entered. Probably the “prettiest” series was the set of articles on the grand re-opening of Caliber, a shop specializing in costume and role play clothing and gear. From Bogies to boggles, the new build there was spectacular and I enjoyed my time creating those photo-stories and meeting some really great people along the way.
And that’s really what it comes down to on the grid. The people. If it weren’t for the people you meet along the way — avatars of reality projected into the virtual world — the metaverse would be a sterile and empty place. I’ve met some great ones in my time in the world and I’m looking forward to meeting more.
Yea, it’s still a brave new grid. And there are still a lot of stories to be discovered and told here. I hope this first hundred is just the beginning and I’m looking forward to the next.