Guys, have you ever sat down and considered exactly how many events there are in Second Life these days? Every day, another event.
I have a confession to make; I’m suffering a severe case of event fatigue, and I refuse to be alone in thinking that I’m the only one who is completely overwhelmed by them all.
But don’t get me wrong, there are many amazing monthly events, and I would miss them if they ceased to be.
I’m the first in the queue for Fameshed and Collabor88, so I could be accused of being a total hypocrite by moaning about events as a concept. But let’s be honest, it’s quality NOT quantity that I’m moaning about here.
It’s very clear that some events are better than others; so what is it that makes a great event?
In one word: Originality. There are regular events on the calendar that quite frankly I just wouldn’t set foot in. Why is that?
Because the items on offer are, quite frankly, crap, and as a community we seem to find it very difficult to admit when something is below par. Am I being harsh here? No, I’m being honest. I know that Second Life is a builder’s paradise and it empowers us to create our dreams, but there’s a lot of truth in accepting the knowledge that just because you can craft an item of clothing or texture a template doesn’t mean that you necessarily should. (Let alone charge for it!)
And that brings me onto another point, and one that really drives me mad. There are a number of events on the calendar that regularly feature textures, pictures and logos that can be found in their original locations after a five second Google image search. I don’t want to see famous brands in Second Life unless they have a legitimate reason to be there. I’m in a virtual environment wearing bespoke items created for it, so what could possibly make you think I’d desire to wear something by Chanel or Nike?
Here lies the problem; for some, looking stylish in world means covering themselves head to toe in logos and designs that have been sourced illegally, and that’s just not on.
Unfortunately it’s relatively easy to take a texture or design, load it into Second Life and apply it as a texture. It shouldn’t be, but alas, it is. Within minutes you can create a wearable item that you can flog and make a profit on, and the original designer will be none the wiser.
It’s unfair, unimaginative and crass. It’s cheating.
I’ll be honest here; if I see a really elaborate pattern or design on a template item I immediately try to determine if it is original, if it’s been purchased under license, or if it’s been taken without consent.
It’s not hard to do this and please don’t be afraid of putting a content creators nose out of joint by posing the question to them before you hand over your hard-earned Lindens. If you’re curious about the origins of a design then all you need to do is drop a note card to the designer and ask them. In fact, I implore you to do just that. If they have nothing to hide I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to tell you how it was made and where the textures were sourced from.
Sadly, some people don’t like admitting that they’ve ripped someone’s work off and can get very offended and even threatening when you challenge them, but that reaction stems from fear of being found out.
As a community I feel that we’re way too accepting; there are only a few designers out there who advertise their work as 100% original, and to my mind it’s something that we should see so much more. So let’s make a stand. Don’t patronise events or purchase from creators that blatantly rip-off logos and textures and pass them off as their own. Challenge the assumptions, ask the questions and hopefully we’ll encourage more designers to be open and honest about their creations.
Let’s see if we can bring it to a point where the badge ‘100% original’ is the standard, not the exception.