Friday, August 3, 2012

Virtual Antiques

No, I'm not talking about the often very ornate and lovely steampunk Victorian stuff you find in Caledon.  I'm talking about Old Stuff.  Old, in Second Life terms.  Stuff that was created, say, more than five or six years ago.  Like Real Life antiques, a lot of these items don't work any more, or are irrelevant to today's Second Life in other ways.

But, again like Real Life antiques, they serve a purpose.  They remind us of the Old Days.  They serve as a window into those times for those of us who were not there to experience them personally.  In the ever-changing virtual world of Second Life, antiques are often rare...because people toss out their copies, or in some cases Linden Lab deletes them from the grid entirely.

I'm not a collector of antiques either in SL or RL, but I have a few, and I know of a good many more.  Items made by Starax Statosky  are a prime example.

Starax was famous for two things, primarily:  his sculptures, and his wands.  The sculptures were made in the days long before mesh, or even sculpties, using simple, ordinary prims...and yet the best ones have an amazingly organic look to them.  The wands had a number of functions, relying heavily on the temp-on-rez scripting functions to create objects on command.  Both the limited edition sculptures and the few remaining wands command high prices among collectors.

You can see some Starax sculptures, and other SL artists, on display at the Blackwater Sculpture Art Gallery.

"Drowned", by Starax.  See it at the Blackwater Sculpture Art Gallery

I don't own any high-dollar Starax collectibles, only a couple of his full perm items.  But I do have an item made by another departed resident, Gunslinger Kurosawa:  A beautifully detailed, fully functional, customized Colt .45 semiautomatic pistol.  Two, actually...I had Gunslinger make me a custom left-hand version as well as buying the standard right-handed weapon.  I'm glad I did, because you can't get them any more...and they are stunning work.

Other antiques are not such high quality.  For example, the cosmetics and skins offered by L'Oreal as a gift box at the Greenies sim, the sneakers provided by Nike, and other Second Life items intended to promote Real Life commercial brands.  These tell the tale of corporate America's brief love affair with Second Life.

Or consider the humble Voting Box.  These green boxes-on-a-stick used to be found everywhere in Second Life, and you still see them here and there.  When clicked, the box thanks you and registers your vote (only one per day per customer!)  A daily total is shown above the box in hovertext.  These boxes used to connect to the Linden Lab servers, and votes were used as a factor in determining a place's popularity, and ranking in Search.  However, that function has been turned off for years, so the Vote Box counts as an SL antique.  They used to be a free item in the Library...perhaps one of the people who maintains old Library items still has them.  Oh, and you'd better keep your copy of the SLExchange Magic Box, too.  Direct Delivery will render them an instant antique when it's fully on line.
 Another scripted item which will soon be an antique is the flight assist.  Since LL increased the unassisted flight ceiling to 5,000 meters, there's little need for our Flight Feathers these days.

Sims can be antiques.  Some of the builds on the Old Mainland continent could, arguably, qualify.  Inara Pey recently wrote about Svarga in her blog, as have I.  Svarga is a wonderful example of the "old" Second Life...none of its content makes use of sculpties or mesh.  Perhaps the three-sim long SS Galaxy cruise ship could also be considered a "living antique".  It's been around at least as long as I have. If you you haven't seen it, you should.  It really gives the look and feel of being on a huge cruise ship.


The SS Galaxy,
Avatars can be antiques.  Gather up your courage some time, open your Library, and find Ruth.  Then put her on, using Replace Outfit.  Yes...that's how we used to look when we first came to Second Life.  Pretty primitive, huh?  Many of the animal and fantasy avatars at Grendel's Children are becoming antiques, and the process will speed up now that Mesh avatars are available.

Even viewers can be antiques.  Did you save your old download of Viewer 1.23?  Me neither...but hopefully someone who's fond of archiving old software code has preserved a copy.  I'm not sure what good it will be...but then, what good is a buggy whip?

Freebie collections can be sources of antique skins, clothing, and other items.  Not valuable antiques, of course, because they are so readily available...but still, a glimpse into the past.

In the Real World, items aren't considered an antique unless they are at least a hundred years old.  Our virtual world's rate of change is so fast that if we waited that long, Second Life itself would be an, even five years ago is "back in the Old Days."

I wonder...could we re-purpose one or two of the now-largely-irrelevant Infohubs as Museums of Second Life?


  1. Well! I just don't know *what* to say! Just because I date from 2006, you're classifying me as "antique"? (Actually I've been an antique quite a lot longer than that...) - as always, a thoughtful post, Linnie :))

    1. Don't think of it as being old, think of it as being nicely aged, like a fine wine. Besides, I'm in the rocker right next to you.