So Rodvik Linden introduced us to the fun that is basic mode to the SL viewer. Supposedly it's to help people when they first come to SL if they get basically the Fisher Price version of a viewer before they put on their big boy/girl pants and move to the real viewer.
Well, I obviously couldn't pass it up, so I downloaded the beta viewer, set it to basic, and yanked my alt, Piper, out of retirement and put her to work. I wasn't going to do it myself, obviously. What if I mess something up? Poor Piper. She gets the short end of the stick on so many levels.
Logging in, you discover immediately that when they say basic, they're not whistlin' Dixie. You have no inventory, no landmarks, no way that I could see to set the lighting, and no money. You get to pick from a bunch of avatars on the bottom row and that's what you get. You can't even mix and match items from different avatars.
Piper is usually more of girly badass type normally, so this was about as close as I could find.
There is a How To button so you can learn things like how to move around, how to change your view, how to find places to go, etc.
When you open up the People tab, there's a minimap. This is actually in the Advanced beta viewer as well, and is a feature that I like.
Of course, there was no one on the island at the time because people have lives.
This is all well and good up on my photo platform, but we needed to find somewhere to go. However, you don't have search. I guess Search is too scary for new people? So you get Destinations instead. Okay, great. I clicked on Fashion For Life and off Piper went.
It was nighttime on the sims there, so she couldn't see much. And the worst thing of all?
Oh, and it has that point and click and walk thingy that Hamlet Au is so crazy about, but I kind of found it dumb. Probably because I was mousing over items and ended up walking on top of them because my finger jumped and clicked the button. Noob style, yo.
Needless to say, if you've been in SL for more than a week, basic is not for you. Piper was quite happy to get back to normal.
She might keep that outfit, though.
I have one real question about this whole thing.
How DUMB are people these days?!
Many of us have been in Second Life for years and managed to survive. They took away choosing a last name because it apparently scared people to have to pick a last name by themselves. They have to dumb down a viewer so much because folks can't learn to walk without having their hand held. Hey, you know, I complained too when the viewer changed but I got used to it. My brain works just enough that I can figure out that oh, this little button on the sidebar is my inventory! Exactly HOW is this basic viewer supposed to keep people here? It's not like anyone can help them out with helpful landmarks and freebies. They have no inventory! No one can let them stay on their land. They can't teleport home! No, really, they don't have the ability to teleport home!
I'm not a super smart person and I don't know much about business, but I do know that this basic viewer needs to be a little less basic because the last thing we need are more really dumb people walking into Second Life.