Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Metal mickey

One of the first places I ended up exploring in SL was Whimsy, an amazing and diverse place with kayaks, train rides, whales, active volcanoes and a giant tiki head. You could tell an awful lot of time and tears had been poured into the place by Cheyenne. When I'd briefly met Chey, only a few days into my Slife, she'd told me about her next project, something she was currently working on. She told me that it wasn't finished yet but I'd be welcome to have a look around and sent me a landmark to the Whimsy Kaboom Robot Sanitorium. Later I went a had an explore and liked what I saw but as it wasn't finished I resolved to return. One day.

So it was with great glee I read the other day that Cheyenne has declared the Robot Sanitorium open. Last night, when I had a little spare time I headed down there to take a nosy.

I think the first thing I have to admire is just the detail of the place. It is so obviously lovingly designed and textured. A real feat of engineering beauty and design. I am still amazed daily at the magnificent mental architecture that spills onto our screens as a result of the labours of some talented designers and programmers we share our SLives with. I am sure different people work in different ways, but I often wonder if places are designed and visualised before being realised, or whether they start and evolve with no set plan, but just a cloud of vague ideas. So yeah, the Robot Sanitorium - as well as being visually complex, it's interactive and humorous. You can even follow through an intricately imagined mechanical process to become a robot yourself. After my first experimentation with changing avatars the other day (and the whole velociraptor in the burlesque club thing) I was a bit less tentative about becoming something other than the usual Marnix.

OK, so you follow the signs and wander the tunnels and end up in a sort of reception areas. Once you sign the consent form on Bender's clipboard you receive the basic starter bot box. This is where your journey into robot-dom begins. Just follow the arrows.

You head through the door, follow pipes and tubes, and end up in the conversion room. First stop, the hydaulic press. Here you get crunched, munched and squeezed into your robot shape. It kind of feels like once of those car crusher things you get in scrapyards I guess. As part of the process you end up red hot. And not in a sexy way.

Hmmm, does my bum look big in this?

As any good robot knows, the way to cool down a smoking bot is to take a bath. And luckily enough the next stage of the process fulfills that need. Simply click on the crane to be hoisted up and hauled along an overhead rail before being plunged into liquid nitrogen. Aaaaaaaaaahhhhh! Refreshing!

The next stage is intellect. At the moment you're just an empty metal shell. You need a brain. Moving right along you reach the brain section where you are implanted with your relevant processors and programmed using Asimov's three laws .

And then that's it. You're done. Robot finished. All that is left is, like any good make-over show, the before and after shots. It's just a subtle change, eh?

But lest we forget, this is a robot sanitorium, complete with padded cell.

No padded cell will hold Marnix however, and I escaped the guards and made my way out and headed back to the main floor. Glowing head is punishment for inmates who use the lifts, I think.

Klaatu barada nikto, Cheyenne.


  1. Just stumbled over your blog from Joonie's blog because I have a lot of time on my hands, apparently. And even though my SL days are over (I lived a fruitful SL and I retired, I guess lol), I have to say I find your blog a great read, it reminded me of some fond memories, especially in the beginning of my SL journey, except for your experience shows the differences in between how SL was in my time and how it's now... and it also shows that some things never change. Oddly, I also met Chey during my first couple of days in SL, back when she had just build Pele and she was very kind to the noob I was. Glad to see that this openness is one of the things that stayed the same :)

  2. Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Bitter.

    Just checked out your profile. Rather young to be retiring from SL aren't you? You have your whole SLife ahead of you!

  3. What I figured is that I'm too young to retire from RL just yet, and let's face it SL consumes a lot of the precious RL time that we're given. As for SL, I think I took all it could give me so I'm good to go :) I lived in various houses, skyboxes and apartments in all sorts of neighborhoods, I fell in SLove a couple of times, I got married, I got divorced, I was a fairy, a dancer, a photographer, I wrote for a SL magazine (which sadly doesn't exist anymore), I had my own photostudio, I "grew down" to re-live my childhood as a child avatar, got adopted into a slightly crazy yet wonderful family, I roleplayed at SL Hogwarts and throughout the whole deal I had many amazing (and less amazing people) come into my life and out of it... I think I'm quite done there now, I once read this wise statement that one should grab all the opportunities SL gives you and learn as much about themself as they can, and then go and take this knowledge into RL :)

  4. Looking at that list of what you experienced in your time, Bitter, I can totally understand your decision. "Been there, done that, got the t-shirt".

    I hope the saying proves true for you and that your RL is now so much richer for having had your SL.

  5. Cheyenne writes about the different approaches that she and her beloved Sweetie take to SL design and building in her blog. They make quite a team, and I can't wait to see what else they come up with.

  6. Oh yeah, totally didn't mean to dismiss Sweetie's part in the whole thing. I hope that wasn't how it came across

  7. Chey and Sweetie are an amazing pair. It's a shame you weren't around to see teh amazing things they had done on Pele.

  8. Oh, no... that wasn't my intent. Just wanted to point you at Cheyenne's blog where she writes about how they do things.

  9. Yeah, I knew that Melissa. I just wanted everyone else to too.


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