Sunday, September 18, 2011

You Say PoTAYto, I Say PoTAHto

All right, Linden Lab!  All right, third party viewer makers.  Can we PLEASE have a single version of reality here?

Last night, a friend and I had (approximately) this conversation:

Susie Avatar:  I have a new title.
Me (looking at her group tag, for Frank's Place):  Cool.  Did you just visit, or did you get a hostess job there?
Susie Avatar:  Huh?  What are you talking about?
Me:  Your group tag for Frank's Place.  You mentioned a new title, and I was wondering if you just went dancing there or if you got a job.
Susie Avatar:  LOL, I have no idea what you mean.
Me:  Your GROUP TAG!  For FRANK'S PLACE!  Geeze, Susie, YOU brought it up!
Susie Avatar:  No I didn't.
Me (exasperated):  You did so!  You said "look at my new title"!
Susie Avatar:  It says "Mentor's Delight" now, instead of "Mentor's Despair."  I don't see anything else.
Me (peering closer):  Oh!  You mean your TITLER!  I see it now.  Not bad.
Susie Avatar:  What's this group tag thing you were talking about?

Then followed a lengthy discussion of the avatar nametag, and the options for it that you can set in your viewer.  You can choose to not see nametags at all, or only for a little while.  You can choose to see the user name, the Display name, and the Group tag.  Some viewers will also show you what viewer a person is using.  (Set these options in Me/Preferences/General).

So, one avatar might look over my head and see: 
Lindal Kidd.

Another might look and see: 
Oxbridge Professor
Lindal Kidd (Firestorm)

This isn't the only place in which one person's Second Life "reality" can be different from another person standing right next to them.  In fact, it's not even the most potentially confusing -- not even close.  I'm sorry...I know you developers meant well, and wanted to give us choices and flexibility, but it's taking more and more time just to straighten out what we're seeing and talking about to each other.  Could we PLEASE go back to a single ground truth?  Thanks.

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