Here’s an idea that I absolutely adore.
I was checking out the Free*Style blog and noticed one of their writers, Sileny, reference her separate SL food blog. The Sweet Side of Second Life blog pretty much confines itself to food related items, and I just love the idea of that, and how much fun you could have, and Sileny probably is having doing it.
This has now become my most recently bookmarked favourite ‘niche’ SL blog!
Think about it. We don’t need to eat in SL. We don’t need to sustain our avatars’ health and well being in that way. And yet quite a bit of the grid revolves around food & drink. Bars, restaurants, top-end classy restaurants where some avatars role-play the parts of waiters, Maitre D’s and hosts. We hold or attend BBQs in SL for further social interaction, and we constantly will add in small food & drink related items to our SL homes to give them that ‘lived in’ look.
I’ve often gone on at length on these pages about the need for more ‘niche’ blogs. SLN covers the naturist lifestyle, obviously, and there are others who work in the general arena of ‘pixel porn’, publishing in-world ‘mens magazines’, which maybe replicate the Playboy format – some writing and photos of nude women. I’ve bemoaned the fact that guys don’t, in general, blog a great deal and thereby leave a vacuum in the world of SL blogging. No blogs about bikes or cars or yachts, as far as I know, areas that would be ripe for picking given the visibility of all three within SL (particularly boating/yachting maybe even more than bikes & cars). No blogs about war-gaming or role-play, something else fellas like to do in and out of SL. To me, that’s another area that would produce a vibrant, successful ‘niche lifestyle’ blog.
Imagine extending the ‘food’ element of SL blogging to include restaurant and cafe reviews. Imagine a blog that cross-fertilises between SL & RL, publishing recipes for chocolate muffins or pasta dishes while reviewing the decor and ambience of the SL cafe or restaurant in question. How cool might that be?
In my seven years in SL I’ve seen numerous changes. Flex hair, mesh clothes, mesh bodies and so on. Each step has improved the realism of the game (although I’m personally not sold on mesh yet). We’re promised that SL v2.0 -Sansar- is just around the corner. The virtual world moves forward. I do think that flipping backwards and forwards between the game and semi real life is an area of SL that hasn’t yet been fully explored and exploited by players, and I hope that more people will blog about the game, and specific areas of the game, in the future.
‘The service during the meal was excellent at X’s Virtual Diner, although I felt we waited a little too long to get the bill, as the waiter seemed too busy with other diners’.
Imagine paying for an SL meal. What I mean here is that in some of the restaurants where people do role-play waiters and waitresses, we’d normally ‘tip’ the player for excellent service, just as we tip RL musicians who feed their music into SL concerts. Imagine not tipping the waiter. Instead, we select from the menu, get that very item delivered to our table and rack up another L$15 to our final bill. At the end of the night, we’ll have ‘paid’ for the meal, with the cost effectively being our ‘tip’ to the role-player acting out the role. Cool? I think so.
Blogs that blur the lines between the real and the pixelated would, for me, be an important forward step in developing SL. We try to do this a little within the context of SLN. If you look at many of our ‘naturist wardrobe’ postings, we’ll focus on elements of clothing or accessories we recognise from RL naturism and work them into an SL context. For me, that would just as readily work with, for example, bikes. ‘I took the Phallus 1200 out for a spin, she doesn’t handle too well on corners and I didn’t beat my all-time speed record around the test track’.
I applaud Sileny’s running of an SL food blog, and it’s something I will be checking out on a regular basis. Why? For me, SL is all about an enhanced experience as the game progresses in time. Imagine gathering a few friends in SL (or simply yourself and a significant other) and tossing a raw mesh stake onto a BBQ, then changing it to medium, or well done, according to taste.
I know. I know. I’m now running away with a series of unconnected thoughts now. Consider this: if SL has been able to develop matters of sexuality to an incredible level of realism (fertility huds, etc) then why can’t we apply the same processes to the eating experience, the drinking experience, the motorbiking or sailing experience? Huds that control the cooking…sorry, but my imagination is now running away with me! 🙂
By way of illustration at the small things that can be achieved, let me point you at Howie’s home, where a tray containing port and cigars is always available. (Howie does occasionally run naturist parties at his place and anyone of his friends who comes online can pop by and ‘enjoy the hospitality’). I took these photos a long time ago at one of these parties and, sorry, I’ve forgotten the name of the guy featured (if you’re reading, I remember you asked for the blog’s URL, let me know who you are 🙂 )
By clicking on the cigar box, or port bottle, you will receive a cigar or a glass of port to wear, complete with animation (and ‘smoke’ trail).
Very simple things, but they certainly enhance the SL experience. I helped myself to some port, I have to say, but passed on the opportunity to smoke a virtual cigar 🙂
We have the technology, certainly, and all that needs doing is for people to use their imaginations to push the added realism potential forward. Sileny’s blog is another step on the path to creating a cross fertilisation between RL blogging and the SL experience.