Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I'm not Dead, Just Semi-Retiring: In Search of SLPurpose

There's nothing I love better than to find a great novel that extends into an ongoing series. But no matter how great the initial volumes are, most serializations eventually get stale and repetitive. It's a rare fictional character who can stay fresh over the course of more than a half dozen outings. And in some cases, like the Anita Blake novels, the long tail ends up sucking the life out of a once vital character. If I were Anita Blake, I'd be wishing Ms. Hamilton had put me on ice about six books ago and only revived me when (or if) I had a fresh new purpose for existence (other than contributing to her bank account).

Over the past six months or so, I've been having a harder and harder time finding an SLPurpose. And instead of letting my character and work drift into burn-out, mediocrity, self-plagiarism or mundanity, I'm going to semi-retire for the time being and only emerge when I have something worth sharing. This will likely mean less blog posts, comics, machinima, etc. for the near future. At least until I figure out the next compelling stage of my virtual life.

It just occurred to me that this same process is true for a company. There's been a lot of fair criticism of Linden Lab recently for making changes that are moving Second Life away from the frontier-spirit of its genesis to a more controlled, family-friendly and boring version of itself. But in some sense, I think they are  trying to find their own new SLPurpose without the luxury of being able to take a time-out. Or maybe not. Interesting to consider.

Anyway, I'll still be out there most days on Twitter (@botgirlq).


Lalo Telling said...

Funny... earlier today I was remarking to myself how quiet you'd been lately. You'll be missed here (that is, your blog), but I for one understand the need to regroup.

Interesting point about the Lab, too.

See you on the Twitterpated pages :)

Unknown said...

Personally, I find that most people are indeed boring themselves, and most Second Life creators build boring stuff.

So I may agree on Second Life becoming boring .. because the more people will use Second Life, the more boring stuff will be created.

Pioneering emerging technologies is cool because you live that experience together with other pioneers. As soon a technology becomes useful and widely accepted, the pioneer approach fades away.

Chrome said...

Creating a body of original work on the scale which you've done, Bot, is an exhausting enterprise. In looking back over my own work I see that it runs in cycles; action and contemplation, all in their proper time. Looking forward to your next venture; in the meanwhile, enjoy the rest. :)

sororNishi said...

I have to agree with everything said above.

I think there is a sort of "post-natal" depression for all artists and creators. After you have given you have to somehow change direction before giving again or it ends up, like you said, as a repetition.

The Lab needs to manage the post-pioneer phase and, yes, find a new purpose....I think chasing money is not a strong enough "cultural glue" to hold the design together..... a bit of idealism works wonders..

Enjoy your break..


Splash Kidd said...

I was thinking the other day that Botgirl's was getting a tad to pale & was in need of a bit of R & R. Perhaps a bit of R & R on a virtual tropical beach, endless rounds of virtual tropical drinks, virtual waves lapping at your virtual feet, a virtual Don Ho playing music in the background. Wait!!! OMG, I almost forgot you need a break, not more virtual-ism! Sigh, well Botgirl just remember when the going gets tough, "joke them if they can't take a F**K"!

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" Forevermore.