Like trolling, griefing in second life is a common form of activity within the virtual world platform. Griefers are commonly referred to as players that enjoy forms of annoying, harrassing and often disrupting the intended order of a sim or a region in Second Life. It is ultimately frowned upon but has been referred to by many academics as a vital element of sustaining life within any given society, especially one like second life.
Griefers deliberately irritate or anger other players within a game, using aspects of it in unintended ways. A griefer derives pleasure primarily or exclusively from the act of causing nuisance in online gaming communities, since griefers often cannot be deterred by penalties related to in-game goals.
The term griefing dates to the late 1990s, when it was used to describe the willfully antisocial behaviours seen in early mass multiplayer games.
Methods of Griefing in second life range from a variety of forms from deliberately trash talking and provoking other users to deploying scripted weapons and particle emitters that cause the servers and framerate to lag significantly.
When deployed, these scripted disruptions become often unstoppable for hours, taking over a region and turning it virtually unusable.
Scripts in Second life are used to often manipulate the environment dramatically. When deployed in a variety of ways, scripts can deform avatars, put them in cages, set them on fire or put a thick fog around them. They become useful tools when wanting to disrupt an environment with other avatars in it. They can somehow be compared to hacking by understanding Second Life’s scripting protocol and manipulating it to allow for un-planned activities to take place.
Like everyday traffic on the roads or extremely long queues, virtual worlds seem to almost share similar problems although manifested through digital forms of value. Most areas in second life are capped to a maximum of about 40-50 users per area. This is because anymore avatars would cause significant lags to the the framerate and performance of the environment. When lags do happen (and they happen very often), an increased difficulty to navigate and communicate results in avatars leaving the region to areas with less lag. This has become an annoying aspect of technology that many of us encounter even when we’re trying to load a simple web-page.
In Second Life, the environment is generated by feeding us information through its network based system and then having its users Graphic Cards generate majority of the textures and colours that make up its landscape. Because of this, Mesh complexity becomes an import consideration to take into account when developing a well function game environment or virtual world such as Second Life. This is probably why land in second life is restricted to 175 individual meshes or prims.
Most games on the market are developed with low poly-count models in order to render the environments in real-time efficiently. In the case of Second Life, the fact that its users create majority of its world leaves very little control on aesthetic and quality. They range from extremely simply meshes to high complexity models with a substantially poly-count.
In obvious cases, high poly-count models cause significant performance issues and are often the result of the virtual world’s inability to sustain a good frame-rate. This comes down to even the complexity of your own avatar. If an avatar’s complexity is too high, it will cause performance to issues not only to your viewer but to the others around you, often getting you kicked out of a populated place.
Poly-counts are the amount of triangles or surfaces on a 3D model.
Intrusion and Exploration
Exploration in Second Life is key to the purpose of the platform, it allows for endless regions to discover and islands filled with bars, clubs and shops. However, we find that many islands, plots of land and property are made exclusive and inaccessible to uninvited users. In most cases, its possible to intrude and sneak into private property but security scripts will eject you within 20 seconds up into the sky and into the adjacent plot.
It is also possible to add and edit other users’ property and creations if they allow it. This is has led to various forms of vandalism with random shapes and objects, customising and adding.
Buying land in Second Life is a way for many business and organisations to market themselves. it is also a good way for any user to build and create their own buildings and objects for the world. Workflows include using external 3d modelling programs such as 3ds Max or sketchup and then importing them into the grid with a small fee. There is also an inbuilt 3d modelling program that allows users to build in a variety ways.