Second Life: Just Barely Scraping Along The Bottom

There’s been another upgrade to Second Life, and I haven’t been online consistently in a couple of months. So I went online today to check in, pay rent, sort inventory; boring stuff to some, but for some reason the purposelessness is relaxing to me. While doing this I like to hang out somewhere with a good music stream.

I’m currently located at the Gardens of Apollo[SLUrl link], and found that the nicely detailed gardens are now a bit too detailed for my “big” computer if I set the graphics display to “high,” and woefully undetailed if I set it at “Recommended.” Translation: “What your poor slob of a processor and graphics card can handle.”

Which is kind of annoying, because David had upgraded this computer a few months ago with a better graphics card.

Here are the current specs. This is probably why I’ll never be serious about online virtual worlds (World of Warcraft whaaaaaat? Lich King whoooooo?). Because I’ll never bother to shell out the ducats for a truly high end system, as I’m not constantly “inworld.”

Second Life | System Requirements

Cable or DSL
Operating System: 2000, XP, or Vista XP or Vista
Computer Processor: 800 MHz Pentium III or Athlon, or better 1.5 GHz (XP), 2-GHz (Vista) 32-bit (x86) or better
Computer Memory: 512 MB or more 1 GB or more
Screen Resolution: 1024×768 pixels 1024×768 pixels or higher
Graphics Card for XP/2000**:

* NVIDIA GeForce 2, GeForce 4 MX or better
* OR ATI Radeon 8500, 9250 or better
* OR Intel 945 chipset

NVIDIA Graphics cards
6000 Series:

* 6600, 6700, 6800

7000 Series:

* 7600, 7800, 7900

8000 Series:

* 8500, 8600, 8800

GeForce Go Series:

* 7600, 7800, 7900

ATI Graphics Cards

* X800, X900, X1600, X1700, X1800, X1900
* x2600, x2900
* x3650, x3850

Graphics Card for Vista (requires latest drivers)**:

* NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or better
* OR ATI Radeon 9500 or better
* OR Intel 945 chipset

NVIDIA Graphics cards
7000 Series:

* 7600, 7800, 7900

8000 Series:

* 8500, 8600, 8800

GeForce Go Series:

* 7600, 7800, 7900

ATI Graphics Cards

* X1600, X1700, X1800, X1900
* x2600, x2900
* x3650, x3850

Also, it’s abundantly clear even to me, a non-creative, non-builder, non-landowner, that something is terribly wrong in AV-ville. Sure, there was a wacky story this week about the couple that married in real life, married in Second Life, and then the wife found her husband in an online affair.

No, this is about the little things; friends and groups of friends pulling back from the amount of virtual “land” they own, an increasing number of group messages offering land for rent, homes for rent, anything at all for sale. Sad announcements about open space being let go, because the price recently shot up. Notecards of online chats with the “Lindens” posted in public places with protest flags and “Save Open Sims” signs. And really small, little things, like the Gardens of Apollo. The sim owner may have changed the music stream from a rather expensive one run as a subscription by Artists4Mercy so something less expensive. It sounds totally different today, but I can’t confirm that it’s actually been changed.

I’ll have to talk to some friends and see what’s been going on.

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