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I’ll try to be open minded here, but it’s going to be hard. I set up an account at “There” today for the first time to check out the new State of Play Academy, and I was kind of shocked at what I found.

Benjamin Duranske's Newbie Avatar 'BenjaminNoble' at There's State of Play AcademyEarly impressions? Well, you hear people complain about the graphics in Second Life from time to time, but There looks just awful. As Simon says, “I don’t mean to be rude, but…” the world of There looks a like the designers of MarioKart are holding a garage sale on a tiki beach. Screen after screen of blocky, pixelated, repetitive scenery, and all the avatars, no matter what they’re wearing, look basically the same. Honestly, I’m amazed that anybody considers this platform a competitor to Second Life.

I’ve also got a list of about twenty seemingly crippling interface deficiencies, but I’m attributing at least some of them to me not knowing what I’m doing.

So here’s my idea: readers, if any of you use There with any regularity, can you show me around? My avatar there is BenjaminNoble (spaces aren’t allowed) and I’d like to see this from the perspective of someone who understands what we’re looking at.

And by the way, can somebody “There” hook me up with a shirt, a pair of pants, and some actual shoes? Though I’m allowed to change my face for free, I appear to be stuck with an orange Hawaiian shirt, tan board shorts, and a pair of hideous mandals until I give the folks that run this flea circus some money. Which seems, frankly, like extortion of the vilest sort.

Of course, I haven’t tried dune buggy racing or hoverboarding yet. Maybe that’ll change everything. Dude.

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8 Responses to “What the Hell am I Doing “There?””

  1. on 28 Apr 2007 at 12:32 pmProkofy

    Funny, I went to There recently and re-signed on, hadn’t been there in a while. I had the exact same experience, trying to find my way to this interesting SOP Academy. Hope to finally attend a class there soon. I thought it might be restful to be away from some of the complexity, lag, performance problems etc of SL, but the user panel annoyances and non-intuitive stuff, after SL anyway, were barriers for me.

  2. on 02 May 2007 at 10:16 amBenjamin Duranske

    Thanks for the comment, Prokofy. I managed to find the academy, but haven’t actually seen anyone else there yet.

    And an update: either no readers use There often enough to give me a tour and a new shirt or none of you want to be seen with my total newbie avatar. Given the nature of the place, my money’s on the former. The offer is still open — give me a tour and a little help and your little Thereian will be forever immortalized on these pages.

  3. on 07 May 2007 at 3:30 pmmochino8

    you arrogant muppet …. listen have to give the game (world) more than 5 mins to unfold…. u think walking around for 5 mins then making your amature judgement is impressing anyone ? in real life does anyone give u clothes and stuff when u demand it… NO….so why should they in the game…it is a virtual game …NOT A CHARITY…u want clothes go to oxfam….oh p.s as the game progresses u do get given clothes and items even a car… :-/

  4. on 07 May 2007 at 3:31 pmSailorGuy


    I’d be more than happy to give you an orientation tour around There.

    Feel free to contact me in-world and I will try to extract you from “The Island Of The Orange Shirts”. lol


  5. on 07 May 2007 at 3:58 pmBenjamin Duranske

    SailorGuy – Thanks a lot for the invitation. I’ll definitely take you up on that.

    For the record, I’m clearly kidding a little bit here (okay, I thought it was clear, I guess mochino8 didn’t). Given the limited amount of time I’ve spent using the software so far, I can’t really come down too hard on it yet, and I’m aware that a lot of my initial frustration just comes moving from one interface to another.

    Also, there may be a little disconnect, because I’m not really looking at virtual worlds as “games.” Even in WoW, I’m mainly interested in guild politics and governance. Viewing There as a “game,” (as mochino8 says he does) I can see how he would be a little upset at somebody thinking he’d get a free whatever without doing whatever you have to do to get the thing normally (e.g. “it is a virtual game …NOT A CHARITY…u want clothes go to oxfam….oh p.s as the game progresses u do get given clothes and items even a car.”) I was viewing it as a virtual world more than a game, so I thought somebody might hook me up, sort of as a professional courtesy, as I’d do for somebody new to the virtual world that I spend most of my time in. Just a different perspective.

    And for whatever it’s worth, I’ve yet to find an online community that wasn’t largely populated by l33t n00b h8rz, so I don’t hold the response against There’s users generally in any way at all.

    Like I originally said, there are places I definitely want to visit in-world (such as the State of Play Academy), and since “There” takes a very different approach to intellectual property than Second Life, I want to cover that too.  So I’m glad for the invite from SailorGuy, and I’ll look forward to seeing it through the eyes of someone who has been on for a while, and covering it here on Virtually Blind.

    See you “There.”

  6. on 07 May 2007 at 4:42 pmTheyCallMeNascar

    1. I will give you a car/buggy if you have a premium account.
    2. I will give you the shirt of a Malwart Greeter is you would like, if you are a premium member.
    3. I will give you a pair of jeans, if you are a premium member.
    4. Stay out of the forums, if you talk like that in There Forums you will be banned from them, that is unless of course you are a MAB Member or There Employee or the Friend of either.
    5. Look out for satelites tracking your movements… Wait that’s real life… mY Bad

    TheyCallMeNascar No spaces they aren’t allowed.

  7. on 08 May 2007 at 4:46 amaztec3

    Benjamin Duranske,
    please feel free to give me an IM if you notice me in-world (or drop me an email since I assume you can view my email address here :-) and I’ld also be glad to give you a tour and answer whatever questions about THERE that I can.

    I’m a Developer in THERE too and more often than not you can find me hanging out in the Zephyr area of THERE (think of it as our WILD WILD WEST area) — I’ll be glad to loan you a paintball gun for your protection.

    Enjoy being THERE,

  8. on 08 May 2007 at 3:47 pmDocD

    Just so you are aware, to overcome the camera interface you complained about, change the settings. Click on There>customize>world, and select default action mode. Now you can look around with your mouse. Then all you need to do to get the control bar back up is hit ctrl. As in SL, there are also many user made addons that make it better. As far as the cost of items, keep in mind, to make objects in SL, it’s basically free, in There it costs. But we also don’t have penises flying around…. As far as the graphics, get out and see the world, see some Neighborhoods, there are much more and better user created content. For instance visit the Fairy Tale Village

    Or any of the other decorated NH’s
    Do know that when you first go there, it will take some time for you to download the assets as they are not part of the There Client install, but user created places.

    Aloha and Welcome to There,


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