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hey prok,
i'll get to the meat of your post later. just wanted to post some corrections in the meantime.

re: usability
the castle is not open yet. there are still some things that LL must add for usablity. this includes invisible waist high invisible barriers to prevent new players from falling off the 3-4 areas that where there are precipes.

re: friends
while i would be more likely to come into contact of builds by my friends, i do not know yadni monde. also, being a designer, most of my friends inworld are naturally also designers.

re: goth
you must be confusing another builder. i have not yet released any gothic work.

re: professional architect
hamlet has mispoken as i am still an intern architect. as i've said numerous times, this does not make me an ultimate authority on the subject but does give me some valuable insight. professionals, though are not a threat to SL but a boon that will only further enrich the virtual world.

the goal of my blog entry is not to remake the world in some meglomaniac vision as you seem to assert, but to provide a way of thinking about and approaching building in a virtual world.

Prokofy Neva

1. Newbies will still fall *down* the stairs even if they don't fall *off* the precipice.

2. Yadni is FIC, you're FIC, it's all one. Class solidarity. Yawn.

3. Goth. Well, isn't Ulrika, Frisch, castles and stuff, well...Goth? I mean, it's Goth to me. I suppose I could zoom in and make a distinction between Bavarian Commie Creampuff Architecture in the Service of Ideology vs. Goth Goth. But...it's, you know, dark, mossy stones with cracks and water dripping ominously with muffled shouts in the distance. I have no doubt that were we to dig up Frisch, we would find bones underneath it.

4. The worst thing on two legs on the Internet is a little bit of education. Semi-educated is always a caution. So, you're...almost an architect. An intern. But...it's not your "professionalism" (yawn) that is a threat to Second Life's amateurs, who abound, thank God.

It's your Creator-Fascism. Seriously. The idea that only architectural perfection spread across sims is immersion! Be gone!

Your way of thinking has to be RESISTED!!!!



lol! ok...

if by goth, you mean gothic, then no. this castle is not gothic. nor is it bavarian. it's romanesque.

i'm not quite sure how i'm a creator facist though. can you elaborate?

Prokofy Neva

Goth covers a multitide of sims. Goth is Goth, and it is Gothic, too. And even if it is Romanesque, it's Goth. This is SL. Goth is a big tent.

I figured out why I find the textures unsettling. They have all that baked shadow stuff in them, but the shadows are only right once a day, given the changing sun.

Creator-fascist because you insist on aestheticism for immersion. You can't be immersed in a newbie hovel on a 512. With Creator-Fascists, the perfect is the enemy of the good.

Creator-fascists also insist on "professionalism," clubbishness, canon, Linden connections, etc. They brook no dissent! they try to take over! They are insidious!


lol. sorry to disappoint you but the shadows are not baked. and they are not meant to "raytrace" but give a sense of diffuse atmospheric lighting. what is unsettling you is "creator - jauani wu" tagged on the build. ;)

i don't insist on aestheticism. i advocate an attention to detail. "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is not a cliche for nothing. furthermore, sometimes beauty is not even the objective.

Prokofy Neva

yeah, they didn't look baked, and I didn't say they were baked in my story, but in the comments, I called it "shadow baked stuff" because it has some gunk on it.

No, the issue isn't Jauani Wu. It's that this build is a departure of other things of yours that I liked better (although they were unfinished and were the work of an architectural student) that had cleaner lines and better articulation. This is muddy Goth stuff. I guess you just did what the client wanted.

You DID elevate "eye for detail" to aestheticism. Don't try to back out of it now. You said detail MUST be provided and MUST prevail. Go read what you wrote. Newbie prefabs can't be immersive for you because they are shacks without FIC-ish DETAIL and BAKING. But...what if the little detail a newbie needs isn't your architectural mathematical purity but just the four walls enclosing avataric love?

What would you know about such things, Jauani Wu?

Nimrod Yaffle

J-wu. We all know Prok is crazy, she even says Weedys hospital visit was a hoax.

"Your way of thinking has to be RESISTED!!!!


That sounds like something that would come out of a person that would put foil over their windows and on their head because they think the government was spying on them. Go ahead an take a swing at me Prok, I know you will, and you'd probably be right about the things you say about me.

Prokofy Neva

I'm sure any moment now, the BC's Ministry of Health will have that notice up on their website, and the media will have the story. It's just...they've been busy over the holiday. Wait, they didn't have that holiday we have up in Canada. Wait. Well, I'm sure any minute now, yeah...

forseti svarog

The frisch castle, while I agree is not the ideal new-user training location, was important when it was created because it showed an important aspect of SL that was largely missing at the time. When jau and nicola made the castle, it was actually hard to find large-scale, really high-quality builds in Second Life. Frisch (if it had opened!), would have shown a different side of what could be accomplished in SL. There was lots and lots of mainland dabbler quiltwork out there already, still is, and always will be.

Now you'll probably try to take me to task for the word "quality" and call me builder-facist, but I don't mind. To switch to literature for a second, I would wager that you are 1000x better-read than I am. Somehow I do not believe that you at heart consider joe-smith-amateur-short -story to be of the same quality as a Dostoevsky.

Jauani isn't objecting to joe smith's right to dabble in a little short story writing, but as I see it, he is saying that he'd love to see more Dostoevskys, as he defines something of that caliber.

I *love* the fact that SL is so democratic. Anyone who wants to be creative can be creative. I love the chaos of the inner mainland but I also love the quality and thought of a build like Nakama. I prefer to spend more time at the latter... I prefer building the latter (if I had time to build), but that does not mean I think the rest should go away.

This isn't an argument between democracy versus facism. Offering praise is not a threat to democracy. One person providing guidelines for how they think a build should be approached is not a threat to democracy.

You wrote:
"But their entire charm comes precisely in the way they blend but don't blend into the rest of the world, and the prize of finding yet one more good thing in SL that is always around the corner."

If Jau had written the above you would have said "entire charm? ENTIRE CHARM! How dare you try to DICTATE what defines the entire charm!"

I fail to see why all this cannot co-exist. There is plenty of room for it all within Second Life. SL shouldn't be 100% jauani's vision and it shouldn't be 100% your either.

Of course, the great thing is that this argument is meaningless. It never will be 100% any one person or group's vision. It is already way too big for that.

Prokofy Neva

Forseti, that's the most shocking builder-class arrogance to say there was "no example of big builds in SL".

Huh? Why, they were all over the place. I mean, even things like Mocha Cathedral. You're saying something about a building physically taking up square inches of a sim? But there have been Salazar Jack's builds, or Paradise Island or RFrye Isle or any number of places.

We can all agree that there are surprises of charm in SL. We could even partially agree what constitutse charm. But there is freedom for charm *as anyone conceives it* to come around *any corner* when we aren't hide-bound to the aesthetic vision of the professional architect, who says, first there has to be neat corners, build-by-numbers, and my immersion, then we can layer on the rest but hopefully with draw distances pulled down, or left on the mainland far away from the fragile sensibilities of the superior island-dwelling class.

I don't say it should be 100 percent my vision. It's so often the case that when I point out what creator-fascists are doing, they kick up a fuss about my alleged popularism or arrogating my point of view to "we" in the objection to their attempt to hold sway. But it's not. It's a rejection of their grab at my immersion. Jauani never says "SL is all different kinds of things to different people, and here's my take."

Instead, he says, "Here is my manifesto! Here is what immersiveness is, the canon for its best effects, and how it is artistically most successful! And I and my class represent this! So watch out!" That's EXACTLY what's happening!

It would be fine if two people who represented some class on either side persistently argued over what really is immersion by their lights, and defended it against all comers. The argument between even two clashing visions would create freedom for the third to be left alone, and the fourth.

But it's not about that. It's about me telling Jauani and other creator-fascists to leave the world alone so it can breathe.

No, Jauni is saying that unless Dostoeyvsky writes the book we all read, we can't make notes on the margins. He wants the uber-builders to define the world first and make our immersion. That's why it is is subversive of our freedom and ultimately of all our immersions.

In fact, we should have a discussion about Germany and what's happening aesthetically and politically there, too.

Why is it, that Americans, and Canadians, are getting together, to make a huge orientation design, that represents their idea -- Disneyesque and almost touching in its naivety -- of what Germans "would like" or "will feel is familiar"? What, we're to expect all Germans to love old castles and crumbling steps and baked textures? Is this some Disney Germany? Some Hollywood movie set Germany?

(The same hilarious cliches prevail with the Korean sims too).

Why would we want to make the German's entry experience a cliche Germany, old castles where they fall down the stairs?

Jauani himself said that immersiveness is contained in his build precisely because you keep winding down passageways and the texture all looks like RL in the sun.

But...why castles?

(Were any actual Germans consulted lol?)

And...why is it that Germans, as opposed to, I dunno, Americans or Koreans, are to be treated to the epic proportions of immersive castles, and not put into a 19th-century strolling pastoral Art Noveau scene (or whatever the style Ahern is supposed to be)?

Did somebody think that the Germans who came to SL would be particularly interested in architecture and would need a big build to wow them?

Is this gigantism of the sort the Soviets and Nazis or to go back further, the Ottomans and the Romans practiced, giant, romantic, epic, palatial builds to dwarf the individual and impress him with the state's power?

BtW, I didn't deal with each build Jauani mentions. I visited Nakama and I was of two minds about it, so I want to take the time to go back and carefully explore the whole thing.

On the one hand, I was delighted that there was at last something DIFFERENT in SL. Something with COLOUR and INTEREST. The mind and eye are truly delighted visiting Nakama. It's an ambitious and immersive build, and it immersives by not following the rules of gigantism, Stalinesque or Gothic mausoleums dripping with moss like the Frisch concept, steering away from classical canons of architecture in one sense by avoiding all those Goth/Gothic/Romanesque/Celtic scenes entirely. It's not an Old European build, though of course if we look more closely, we'll be sure to find that conversation.

On the other hand, I'm a little unsettled by pop Asian culture as practiced by Americans. Of course, pop Asian culture is already a response to Westernization with all those round-eyed anime characters, and then Westernerns re-popping the Asian pop are even more eye-popping.

It's almost a stock cliche for SL that if you want to look urban and edgy, you pick something that looks Japanese. Works for me! But we should examine what that is, what it means.

Yumi Murakami

I saw similar posts on the forums and I was a bit bothered as well.

I often see folks complaining about ugly/boxy builds and similar things around but the essential problem I have with those complaints is that without including any method of faciliting better work - whether that's in the form of education (and I mean artistic training, not just technical tutorials) or improved tools or better building blocks or SOMETHING - without that, the complaints basically come down to, "(some set of people) shouldn't be allowed to build."

Perhaps I'm odd in that I don't feel very immersed to look at the builds above. My first reaction is usually "hey, look, someone who's really good at 3D art.. um.. made some good 3D art. Woot." I don't particularly want to be immersed in a medieval village, although I can understand that lots of people might. I far prefer being immersed in a land where people can be free and experiment as they wish, and the whole mishmash of the mainland as it stands creates that impression far better than isolated parts created by the few who are most talented.

But maybe that's just me being strange :)

robin winter

i swear is it your lifes goal to yawn and rip at every one who has something to say? you go on and on about elitest ppl in SL. have you looked at yourself? can anyone say "hypocrite"!!!

(yawns at prok)

forseti svarog

lol prok, if it was builder-class arrogance than I would have been talking about my own build, not someone else's. There were other big builds out there, absolutely, but frisch turned a lot of builder-class heads for the quality of its texturing and the scale of the project. I'm not saying there were NO examples already existing, just that there weren't that many.

I've been hearing from a lot of different types of people that in their opinion the overall quality of building in Second Life continues to go up, and I think I agree. What do you think?

and yumi, I don't think your comments are strange at all: "a land where people can be free and experiment as they wish". For a lot of people this 3D representation of expression and freedom is glorious. Of course it can also be an eyesore -- it just depends on the mix of people and size of plots... and it can turn nasty as one person's eyesore is another person's michelangelo... and they share a border...

prok didn't you go on a negrate campaign about builds once? I don't mean that in an attacking way, it was so long ago I do not remember the details.

I can't speak for jauani... he does just fine speaking for himself LOL, but I can say as a builder I think there is room enough for everybody and everything. It's a virtual world! Resouces are no longer finite.

Prokofy Neva

Forseti, I really wish you would go back and read the two operatives paragraphs from Ms. Wu's Manifesto, and honstly, tell me what you really think is up here, and whether or not you endorse this:

To wit:

1. "mmersion requires seamlessness and attention to detail. architecture in secondlife, like the surface of the av, should be scrutinized down to the very last pixel."

Well, gosh, this sounds like a mere canon of style, eh? Sounds like merely due diligence, pride in one's work, good craftsmaneship. This is Jauani saying, hey, don't flutter your boards, be neat, hide the seams, etc.

But...the words REQUIRES and SHOULD and the fussiness involved further lets us know that immersion can't happen UNLESS these details happen. One flutter, one prim hair out of place, and illusion is ruined, and suspension of disbelief is hopelessly foiled. Well, baloney.

Then there's this:

2. "it's not sufficient for one enclosed space to be finely constructed. it requires that the next space be so as well. and the space after that. immersion works better when the surface of one space frames the next. it reinforces the notion of world."

It's not enough to have one sim or 4. He needs 16. He needs, well, lebensraum. Scope! Not only is the breadth of vision needing the lebensraum, immersion REQUIRES this and WORKS BETTER when the surface of one space FRAMES the rest. FRAMES it. It's his eye, his view-finder, his frame, or the frame of his confreres. All with their imposed, unifying vision.


Well, WHOSE notion, white man?

This is utterly controlling and subversive of freedom, let me tell you. This ought to be obvious to the honest person.

Builder-class arrogance makes a fetish of not crassly feting their own builds like a common newb who has wandered into BUILD forum by mistake and gotten a tongue-lashing from the odious Chosen Few (ugh). Builder-class arrogance makes a fetish of lavishing praise on their own class' accomplishments, good or bad or indifferent.

frisch turned a lot of builder-class heads for the quality of its texturing and the scale of the project

I'm not seeing this. Because of its bigness filling up a sim? But there have been other big-sim-full-builds. Because of its texturing? But even your gal pal Aimee Weber has been baking textures and putting them out to cool on the window sill for ages. Lighting? Ditto. Sheer breadth of vision? No, there are many more immersive builds.

To me, a build like Tusk, not to single it out, has much more that is interesting, intricate, discussable, immersive, etc. The people live there. They use it. It's a work of art, a scultpure, but one that has inhabitants. If a path is lit or dark, it's done with a sense that a human figure in their avatar has a need for that path to be lit or dark, not because abstract art blotches need to fit somewhere on somebody's canvas.

Frankly, the avatar imperative in inworld architecture is even more felt and more of a pressure on designers than in RL.

In RL, a city planning commission or wealthy patron lets you make a big building like a sculpture, regardless of whether the whole community likes it or needs it, and in SL people expect the same attitude and liberalism. In RL, buildings can get inflicted on people without consent. Not an awful lot has to be thought about what people think of a building. That is, in some cities there might be requirements to put park spaces in them or luncheon areas or copy shops or something, but if it has some jagged edge, looks like it is falling over, or has some sharp blade, your discomfort with that shaping and art is of absolutely no relevance.

In SL, if avatars don't traffic to your land, if they don't have a comfort level, if they hate your sharp edges, you might suffer, not be able to get noticed, not pay tier even.

Of course, the builder class egos who'd like to do this in RL but lack budgets can inflict it on SL for pennies a day. But...in fact the pennies get more and more per day per prim, and that's a deterrent.

While you're willing to pay lip service to freedom even to be ugly, you hope it will be on some other sim, over there, away from view, and you yourself, moved to islands, and didn't even try to preserve your own elaborate builds on the mainland, because who can pay the tier that way?

The fact that you uncritically characterize this mausoleum with newbies falling down the stairs as turning heads lets me know that you don't really want the world to be free. Or you at least you figure it should be free somewhere where I don't have to look at it...

As for this urban legend about Prok and his "negrating campaign," I find this an oft-told false story with real legs given it artificially to discredit me.

On the forums once, I proposed as a means of dealing with the ugly builds problem building networks of negrate posses. This was more than a year ago. I didn't know at the time that mass orchestrated negrating would be prosecuted by the Lindens.

I thought the negrate should have value and should be taken seriously. So I said the problem of grief-building of the kind on Ordinal's Griefzilla should be a perfect textbook case of the community using the negrate.

I never got to do or lead or inspire any such mass campaign, however. Everyone was afraid of it. Many blasted it. Many screamed that there was no way to identify what we all mean by grief builds.

This is silly. In fact we do know what they are and mainly agree.

The idea is not to slam an awkward newbies build.

Yet fear that will happen keeps people in thrall.

So I took it on myself in about a half dozen cases at most, negrating certain really obstructure and onoxious builds.

I can remember a couple of famous uglies that I negrated and urged others to, like that guy doing an "experiment" named "Biff" who was an alt or something, who had ugly textures, spinning crap and tried to get people distracted from some other issue by creating a stir around Anshe's land. It was lame.

Another thing I did was give people triple negrates for their bad forums behavious. Should their building skill be affected? Absolutely. You can't build a community or an institution with such bad behaviour.

So, your fears that I went around negrating things I just didn't like aesthetically are misplaced. When I negrated grief buildings, they were all clearly seen as such.

Yumi is absolutely right, that the idea

forseti svarog

Well there's a middle ground. For really high quality "immersion", yes you'd have lots of land and really high quality work. That's usually not practical. That doesn't mean that you can't keep the concepts in mind when creating a small piece of work on a small plot of land -- IF you want.

This isn't law/policy you are fighting against, and it has no chance -- NO chance -- of becoming policy, so the notion of fiercely resisting some guidelines that are one man's opinion... This isn't threatening anyone's build freedom.

By the way, I think you and jauani are talkign about two completely different types of immersion. You are talking at a macro level, world-scale, and he is talking very discrete, project-scale.


jauani wu: strive for more!
prokofy neva: revel in mediocrity!

Schwartz G

How dare good designers strive for good design!

It's mind-boggling how you can go from begging LL for a more realistic SL on July 3rd, then on July 5th scream bloody murder about someone making a realistic building.

Prokofy Neva

Uh, no Ms. Wu, it's more like this:

Prokofy Neva: strive for more excellence through freedom from totalitarian castes and canons by architecterati!
Jauani Wu: Revel in my so-so fussy perfectionist architecture forever and keep others not in my caste down!

Forseti, re: "has no chance -- NO chance -- of becoming policy, so the notion of fiercely resisting some guidelines that are one man's opinion... This isn't threatening anyone's build freedom."

Baloney. Of course it does. Just ask Zhdanov! Just ask Vyshinsky! Artistic rules in the service of totalitarianism often thrive! And of COURSE it's already policy when we have Lindens helping build AzureIslands to give it that LindenLook (R), and we have Jauani Wu getting paid by LL for building on Orientation Island to give it the LindenLook (R), and we have free islands being given out, and cut-rate non-profit island rates being given to all LL's friends and LindenLook (R) or LindenApprovedLook (R) everywhere!. Please, you're being silly!

And no, we're not talking about different scale. If it were up to Ben Linden and Jauani Wu, they'd just build the world, on as many sims as they can get their hands on, get the immersion, and laugh all the way to the bank at the stupid blingtard newbies who would come and revel in the um perfection of their mediocrity. They wouldn't grant freedom to newbies except on little 512s off-camera somewhere because newbies=clutter.

I say this as one who has bought land off the auction and tiers it to be next to Ben's builds, and who loves Ben's dams and Xenon's dams, roads, walls, whatever. Sure, I'm a sucker for Linden aestheticism, too. But I often pause and think of how creepy it is that only the Linden builds give Linden protection. That is, sometimes I see land dealers or land owners increasing value of land because it's next to my rentals which stay put and have rules, but that's nothing like the value of Linden Protection (TM). Only the Linden textures and builds really really look real in this world, have you ever noticed? I find that characteristically spooky. And I don't know the technical reasons for it except that they made the deep architecture of the whole world itself and all the terraforming and everything so it's easier for them to make the textures and lighting and whatnot to go with it better, I suppose.

Schwartz you are one of those people so blinded by your litte tekkie sect hatred that it's hard to even have a normal conversation with you. You're merely interested in playing gotcha and writing tripe to try to shame and humiliate. You are a fucking ass, too, for coming up to me inworld and saying "Howdy M'am" and "How's the female" and stuff like that to me inworld, intended to attempt to humiliate and harass me. Yes, a fucking asstard, for sure.

Now, I don't say to Jauani Wu, "How dare good designers strive for good design!". That's pretty fucking ridiculous. I'm all for good designers, I praise them, I welcome them, I buy their prefabs, I listen to them, I follow their careers, I wish them well. I don't even favour one style or anything of the kind.

What I *do* do is fight back when the cynical and cunning Ms. Wu declares a Builder's Manifesto. Not just "My Aspiration to Good Design" or "Support Me In My Design Career". But..."LL MUST do this...SL MUST do that...THIS is required...without THAT this can't be..." etc.

Manifesto. Not just My Resume. But a manifesto for the whole world.

Teri Snow

Although I don't always agree with the comments on your blog, I have rented from a number of people in Second Life. You are one of the fairest, one of the most helpful, and you have some of the most beautiful properties at reasonable prices it is hard to select one. I had trouble with the rental machine and you were right there to help me. Thank you for doing a great job of what you are in sl to do.

Schwartz G

'But..."LL MUST do this...SL MUST do that...THIS is required...without THAT this can't be..." etc.'

Isn't that all you say, ever?

Prokofy Neva

Sure. It's my right to say it, just like it's Jauani's, but a) I'm not paid by the Lindens b) I don't do Welcome Area builds for them c) I don't write a Builder's Manifesto calling all those in my class to join me d) I don't have scores of builders then fawning all over me and justifying me the way you all are justifying Jauani.

That's the difference. Slight, but, significant : )


i don't understand how anything from A through D have any relevance to the discussion. besides being figments of your imagination (ie class, fawning), there is absolutely nothing significant about them in respect to comparing the validity of our positions.

Prokofy Neva

Your failure to understand how working for the state in a country, and being subject to the canons of Zhdanov, lets us know just how much you are immersed in it.

Who are you, that you get to write a Builders' Manifesto, Jauani Wu?

forseti svarog

"Who are you, that you get to write a Builders' Manifesto, Jauani Wu?"

prok, I know that's a dramatic statement that probably had a fun ring to it when you wrote it, but really... of all people you shouldn't be calling anyone's freedom of speech into question.

And teri, you are not alone. While I argue with prok all the time, I don't think I have ever heard a tenant say anything negative about prok.

Prokofy Neva

forseti, why is it calling into question *freedom of speech*? It's not that at all. You're trying to interpret it that way in order to evade the real challenge. What it's calling into question is *legitimacy*.

IMHO, Jauani Wu has no credibility or credentials to be calling on the world to follow a Builder's Manifesto. Furthermore, his Zhdanovism has to be rejected. It's coercive. I don't want perfection, especially *his* perception. I don't want fascistic aestheticism, the buildings all have to be prim-honed to a "T" and run for 16 sims in a row or they can't "immerse" me the "right way".

I can be immersed in my 512 newbie shack, and see infinity in the pam of my hand, thank you very much.
That's what it's about.

Jauani's Builder Manifesto is Anti-Freedom, especially anti-newbie freedom.

We should dub Jauani the founder of the new Socialist Surrealism School of Architecture which is to be de rigeur in virtual worlds.

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