The Lay of the Last Avatar

So the world didn’t end last week after all, which is a good outcome, I guess, not least because it means that the $80 I spent last month on renewing my Second Life premium membership for another year hasn’t been completely wasted.

It has been almost completely wasted though, since I don’t currently possess a computer capable of running the viewer, and I have no plans to purchase one in the immediate future, which will obviously limit my enjoyment of the service a bit (unless the Lindens get their act together and release some sort of mobile client). I did hesitate a little before handing over the cash, but in the end my sentimental attachment to my virtual land was strong enough to convince me that the relatively modest investment was worthwhile.

Sir Walter Scott, in his narrative poem The Lay of the Last Minstrel, wrote:

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!

There are a few places I have stayed in the real world that have seemed like home, for a while, but that feeling invariably faded, as time moved on and people and places changed. I have occasionally tried to recapture it, but without success – you can revisit a physical location, but you can never really go back, because the person you used to be exists only in your fading memory.

So I find it comforting to think that there is some corner of a virtual field that will be forever the same, a home for my eternally youthful avatar. I can only hope that there are enough other people who feel the same to keep Linden Lab in business…

4 Responses to The Lay of the Last Avatar

  1. Ciaran Laval says:

    What are you trying to run Second Life on? You didn’t buy an iPad did you?

    Have you tried the lumiya third party viewer, that’s apparently good for mobile devices, I haven’t tried it myself.

    • johnny says:

      No, I’m struggling on with my ancient P4 desktop. I could probably persuade it to run the viewer if I put in some more memory, but tracking down some old DIMMs, then taking the whole machine apart to fit them, seems a lot more trouble than it’s worth, seeing as how I’m not actually missing Second Life that much. I have investigated a few of the alternative viewers, but I’ve not been able to get their Linux versions working with my system. Again I could probably solve this if I could be bothered, but I can’t.

      Just about all my internet use these days is via my smartphone anyway, so I’ll probably just keep on wishing for the Lindens, or someone else, to produce a 3D iPhone app.

      • Inara Pey says:

        If you’re an Android user and have a reasonable smartphone, I’ll repeat Ciaran’s comment, if you’ve not already tried it <a href="http://www.lumiyaviewer.com/"Lumiya. It will run on most smartphones & all Android tablets, offers a 3D in-world, navigable view, mesh support, a host of text-only features, etc.

        Essentially, it is close to being a full-blown viewer for your smartphone / tablet.

        At the risk of sounding like I’m self-promoting, I’ve followed Lumiya’s development closely ever since Oz Linden tipped me off about it – reviews are here: http://modemworld.wordpress.com/tag/lya/

      • johnny says:

        Alas, I bought a new iPhone just this week, so I’ll be sticking with iOS for the next couple of years at least. I tried to convince myself that I should switch to Android, but in the end I concluded that the advantages were too slight to justify the hassle of having to adjust to a new ecosystem. I guess I’ll just have to wait until Lumiya comes out as an iPhone app.

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