It was homesickness, probably; I really only wanted to go and see Tower Bridge. The virtual world Twinity is famous for its precise reconstructions of London, Berlin and so forth, and for the longest time I’ve been thinking it would be nice to walk the bridge. So in I went. And yes, yes, I know it’s still in Beta.
Obviously. It’s pretty, their version of St Paul’s. Pretty, but not immersive. It’s very clean, too clean.
They pay you to go through the Twinizen Tutorial (shouldn’t that be Twitizen? Oh, right, no. No.) You learn how to walk, run, see, speak to others, and shop, and you end up with a whopping 450 globals, enough to buy some more black hair (there’s a hair color option in Appearance but I couldn’t make it work), a dress and a couple of pairs of shoes. None of it would pass muster in the freebie store of an Open Sim grid, let alone in Second Life. You can’t fault them for choosing different keyboard shortcuts, but it’s all very awkward; no at-will TP to another space, no camming out to any distance worth mentioning, the volume controls are tucked out of sight, and you can’t drag the screen out to the size of your choice. You can’t inspect objects, or properly zoom in on them, and of course, you can’t build. At least, maybe you can, but if so, they have hidden the tools very thoroughly.
Well, not all the tools were hidden. Who could resist Deepak’s classic chat-up line, as he browsed the sex animation shop, and I browsed the (probably equally erotic) columns of the Brandenburg Gate. He asked me what an avie was, I found that odd. I wonder what his 6 achievements are; they clearly don’t include finding the ‘Hide my current location’ option in Settings. It’s also odd that you can’t change the sky without going deep into the innerds of the system to sync it with your RL location.
In Berlin there’s this quite almost interesting recreation of the Berlin Wall, but not really. Sepia is a nice touch, but it’s not enough.
Where were all the people? I saw a cluster in the Search feature and TP’d right over. It was a shop auction. I kept my hands to myself, and admired Twinity’s version of lag-induced slow rezzing. That’s quite cool; you’re a shadow of your former self.
Twinity is money-based, and so it’s back to 2007 and quizzes for cash. I wonder if they also have camping. Shoot me now. Just look at how much money you can get for answering a few trivia questions, one every 15 seconds or so! Bear in mind a pair of basic shoes is going to cost you 50 globals.
Beefy turned out to be a guy in black suit. It turned out to be a pool party. And me without my sequin bikini. Or sparkling wit. Volimkia “Dirty sex” reminds me of a painting. Or maybe it’s a photo from Belsen. Not sure. I decided not to join the Snake Mafia, and went to look for the sex anim shop instead.
Apparently sex in Twinity involves a lot of waving.
I wandered around Central London, still trying to get to Tower Bridge, but it didn’t show up in Search, and I couldn’t TP there.
But on the whole, I’d stopped caring. Twinity (yeah yeah, Beta version,) has very precise architecture, but it’s like plastic fruit, photo-realistic, but fundamentally unsatisfying. Add to that a lot of bad radio, very greasy hair, some new-b friends you could probably do without, and lots of open windows obscuring the screen, and one’s left feeling oddly homesick. For Viewer 2.