Friday, January 2, 2009

The Newbie Experience?

Last night I was bored, so I thought I'd go look for some new dances for my chimera. Sine Wave's sim gives me a headache in about 5 minutes, so I thought I'd head over to Henmations to see if they had anything new.

Could Henmations PLEASE make a separate dance store? Because it is horrible that people simply looking for dances have to go there and have this mess standing all around them.

Oh noobs.

He was 2 days old. She was 6 days old, and blinging for all she was worth, which I didn't capture. Before they had even rezzed in for me, the first thing I saw him say was "I'm not hiding it because I don't know if I'll be able to find it again."

Yep, he was talking about his Freenis.

Somehow he managed to talk this girl into sitting on one of the beds so they could chat. Me, being nosy and bored, which is never a good combination, I decided to follow just within their chat range [thank you, Mystitool] so I could see what kind of moves new residents are using these days.

The results were highly hilarious!

Unfortunately, Henmations is a magnet for newbies, since they are one of the top paid classifieds and since most of their items are sexual. They DO have some really awesome dances but it's hard to shop there at times because of the new people who assume SL is all about sex. I hadn't been there in a couple of months, at least, and I have never gone alone. If they'd open up a separate store for just the dances, I'd imagine they'd sell a lot more. Just a theory on my part.

Anyway, so Newbie Bob and Newbie Summer [not their real names] make their way over to a bed. I make my way over and stand on the other side of the wall so I can hear them. Now you'd think that with Bob's Freenis hanging out, sex would be immediately what he wanted. Oh no, not so. You see, Bob and Summer didn't know to sit on the poseballs. They just sat on the edge of the bed while he proceeded to grill her about her music tastes and why she felt the need to change what she was wearing. I'm assuming she was wearing something else when they met because the whole time I saw her, she was wearing a "Pirat" outfit with the belt embedded into her butt.

I was about to just go on and check out the dances when suddenly Newbie George entered on the scene. His approach to Summer was a little more direct.

"You want sex?"

He's protecting her.

Bob decided to stand up to protect Summer's honor.

Bob: "This guy wants sex and I want to talk, who do you want?"
Summer: "What?"
Bob: "He wants to have sex with you and I want to talk."
Summer: "Ew, get away!"
Bob: "Who?"
Summer: "George!"
George: "That's ok, I'll come back later. With a bigger penis."

At this point I'm practically snorting my drink out of my nose. And I should say that I'm cleaning up their sentences quite a bit, as it was mostly chatspeak and bad grammar.

So Bob begins questioning Summer's musical tastes again, briefly, and then suddenly launches into questions about her personal life. He wanted to know if she had a boyfriend in real life, or one in Second Life, and why she didn't have either. Then he tells her something that had my whole group laughing. [I share, what can I say?]

Bob: "You know why women can't find Prince Charming?"
Summer: "What?"
Bob: "I'll tell you why."
Summer: "Ok."
Bob: "I'll tell you why you can't find your Prince."
Summer: "I'm waiting."
Bob: "It's because you're looking for the Prince, not the frog."
Summer: "... what?"

Then some girl came up to look at the bed they were on, and Bob assumed that she wanted sex. The girl said "Pfft, yeah right" and wandered off. Bob said he knew that girl would have sex with him [I seriously doubt that she would have], but he wanted to stay with Summer. Summer said he should go and try out his new Freenis. I was starting to think Summer was done with Bob and his mess, because then she got up and started to walk over to the dances. I followed, of course, because I was there for dances anyway.

Summer: "Could you take that off?"
Bob: "Does it bother you?"
Summer: "Yes."
Bob: "Why? It's not real."

Now this is where it got interesting. Bob believed because Second Life wasn't "real," that he could do anything he wanted. He could ask for sex without being polite because it's not real. He could walk around with his Freenis hanging out because it's not real. And he honestly couldn't see why anyone would have a problem with what he was doing.

Of course, when it appeared that Summer did not share this mindset, he backtracked a bit and said that he didn't want to be rude to her because he knew there was a real person behind the avatar. What? And the rest of us are NPCs or something?

But it did get me thinking. How many other new residents are coming into Second Life thinking that they CAN do anything they want? Sure, you can do things like fly and become a neko or an elf and wear the most fashionable clothing. Sure, you can build and drop full grown trees and never drown. But this wasn't even what Bob was talking about. Bob didn't think he had to not show his Freenis! Bob thought he could tell anyone what to do and they'd do it! Bob thought sex was what Second Life was truly about!

Second Life isn't a place where you get points for being rude. You'll never be the #1 SL God because you think you're good looking. People don't do what you want in SL just because you tell them to because we are real people behind the avatars, and we don't owe you a thing. I know that Linden Lab is looking to fix that first hour new user experience or whatever they're calling it, but when?? And are the SL mentors really doing their jobs out at these orientation places? Is there a guide that they follow when explaining Second Life, or it is just up to each individual mentor?

All I know is, there needs to be a big sign at every welcome area.

"Put Your Free Penis Away."


Unknown said...

LMAO! I am so glad you are nosy!
YAY for MystiTools!

Velicia said...

Unfortunately, this isn't limited to SL. You see that kind of attitude all the time in games like WoW, and it's no less annoying. Best thing to do is ignore and shun people like this. They get the idea eventually. Unless, of course, you're spying. That's always fun.

Anonymous said...

AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! This is hilarious!

Here's to hoping Summer finds Mr. Right, or the frog.

Anonymous said...

That was indeed funny Ali.
Unfortunately not all the new residents are helped by Mentors, since they aren't all "born" in help islands or Welcome Areas where us Mentors are and being around 1700 in different time zones turns out to be very few of us for all the new residents logging in daily.

If this one had crossed his path with a Mentor, he would know how to find his freenies in inventory.

To answer your questions about a "guide to mentorship" there is a TAO of Volunteers that gives the highlights on how to act but not a real manual, so each of us mentors do it in our own way - and believe me that politeness and awarenes of the people behind the avis are the most common lines in mentoring :o)

Anyhow I did laughed hard reading your post... and if you kept the name of the I-don't-want-to-loose-my-freenies guy I will gadly mentor him into SL rounds and abouts.

Kharisma Llewellyn said...

(still rolling about laughing)

My goodness, aren't people fun?


Udge said...

I am one of those mentors you're calling lazy (or inept or whatever) and would like to put in my L$5.26

No, there is no manual for the new user experience. We are given a certain amount of training, and we do have help resources available, but what we do is to answer questions and offer advice. We are not there to "lead" people.

There used to be a systematic, organized, introduction on the Orientation Islands, but apparently the newbs found it too constraining so it was abandoned. These days they arrive on a Help Island which is unstructured and unscripted. They run through the Tutorial in the Help menu (see for yourself) if they find it, or if a mentor tells them to. That's it.

Many newbies do think that SL is only about sex, because that is what most old media reports on SL are still saying; and many newbs do think that the rest of us are NPC's, because the video games they are used have them.

A large minority of newbs want nothing from the "new user experience" except to end it and get to the mainland for sex and camping. Only about a fifth of newbs are interested and confident enough to ask questions of a mentor, even assuming that there was one present.

We do the best we can, helping those who want to be helped.

Alicia Chenaux said...

Ok, I never called the mentors lazy. :) However, I do know a few who are SL mentors and I've yet to see them go hang out at any of the welcome places. [And no, I'm not going to name names.] So I'm really kind of basing my thoughts on that off of a few that I know.

I know that you can't help people that don't want it, and often language barriers are probably a big problem, but I guess I just wonder how much help is being given or is able to be found if it's wanted.

But I do agree, the media markets SL as a big orgyfest, and that really needs to stop.

Anonymous said...

LOL! You just got yourself a new devoted reader for life after this post.

Rob / Mo said...

Hi, found you from someone's Tweet. So fun and so sad.

I do agree places like Henamations would be well served by separating the type of content, but the traffic, and therefore sakes, is likely being driven by traffic because of the sex aspect, but maybe not. I bet most of the people actually buying stuff are not the ones attracted to this stuff.

As for newbies and mentoring, without respect to cluelessness, both technical and social, I have tried to throw in etiquette tips here and there in the Hey Avatar video tutorials.

Great blog. Fun reading.

Isadora Fiddlesticks said...

I enjoyed this post, it was amusing , but it's also something to be thought more upon. LL better be serious when they want to fix the New User Experience.

I was not satisfied with the mentor program last year. I attended Orientation, and was supposed to be a full fledged mentor, but somehow they didn't do that and took so long before they told me they had to suspend the program for a while...:(

I'd help SL in my own way, but I don't want to be ignored again by LL, here I was wanting to help, and they messed it up.

However, given that, I feel sympathy for the Mentors, most newbies nowadays just want things handed to them in a silver platter and some of them just don't care.

Suztv said...


This was a great story... I would love to see more of them. It's fun to spy on people and make fun of their newbieness. Oh ok, maybe that's cruel - but it is fun. I wish people didn't think that SL was just about sex...

Sylvia Trilling said...

OMG that is too funny. But after I stopped laughing it really made me think.

The inability to imagine others have feelings and considering those feelings happen plenty enough in real life too. I am reminded of something I learned in a great Tantra for Women class I attended some years ago. Our very wise teacher told us that many men "learn" about women's sexuality through porn, not quite getting that the women are acting and not responding in ways that are real to their experiences of their own bodies and desires. I imagine our noob was sincerely believing a bigger penis would please Summer from his unfortunate porn training.

How to set people straight is an interesting question. I could imagine a class on social skills in SL, at least for those who have enough awareness that such a thing is valuable.

Anonymous said...

I had a similar "but it's not real" excuse thrown my way one day, when I rezzed in my private home only to find two noobs "enjoying themselves" there.

Noob Girl was honest, immediately confessed that they had intruded and were sorry. Noob Guy was too busy covering up his embarassment by insisting that *I* was in the wrong for not posting "no trespassing signs" or other means by which he could identify that it was a private home.

Either way, your experience reminded me of a hilarious blog I stumbled onto a couple weeks ago:


Anonymous said...

i know this problem and im really pissed of about that...

in the next week the mainstore will expand and the dance animations will be on a seperate (pg) sim.

More than 100 brand new single and couple dance animations will be available then :)