Thursday, March 27, 2008

I am in Au & almost famous

When I logged in tonight a friend told me I had been quoted in Wagner James Au's recent "New World Notes" post about the trademark-in-a-teapot tempest that is blowing like a lazy hooker through the slogosphere.

Full schoolgirl-lovin' here:

An SL bloggers group has an extended conversation here, and offhand, I tend to agree with Kanomi™ Pikajuna [emphasis & ™ mine!], who says, "A company as dependent as Linden is on the goodwill and contributions of their community cannot possibly be stupid enough as to harass their fans for failing to put a TM after their company name. My guess is these guidelines are there to give them protection and cause to go after bogus currency exchange web sites and other profiteers."

I agree with Wagner James Au! (Even if he did not follow our new branding guidelines regarding the Kanomi™ brand!). Now some of you are probably like, "Great you were quoted by another sloser like yourself on yet another sloser slog." But this is not just any sloser slog! This is Wagner James Au's slog! He is like, almost famous! He writes for like Salon, and shiz. Check this action out:

"I think it was on the "Crusher" level of Doom II that the joy of killing really kicked in for me ... Crack the barrel, chamber two more shells -- backpedaling and dodging all the while, as the survivors converge -- and fire again. Timed just right, it becomes a perfectly choreographed danse macabre (fire, reload, dodge, fire) on a stage you quickly turn into an abattoir."

A danse macabre in the abattoir of Doom! Can you hear the double-barrel of buckshot crackling through that prose like bran flakes in milk?

Now remind yourself that this was not written for the 532 people who read articles about Second Life The Place That Shall Not Be Named.

No. This was not written about Philip "Phil Linden" Rosedale's apologetic retreat -- like a bashful neko-slave boi caught giggling on Mistress' throne -- from the one job at Linden Labs that pays actual money instead of that Camel Cash they give everyone else.

No, faithful followers of fashion. This was written for the old skool the Bill Gates-funded, Michael Kinsley-edited powerhouse the Hambrecht and Quist-backed, San Francisco-based ex-hippy, post-Gen X freakshow of publishing that authoritatively explains to baby boomers who stopped subscribing to magazines in favor of subscribing to websites what they should say to impress some Starbucks barista with a hangover and metal shit jammed in her nose.

The Au-some article quoted above was launched in the wake of Columbine, when the ability of suicidal high school students to acquire automatic weapons after making numerous death threats videotapes and suicide notes was discovered by some politicians you probably voted for to be entirely the fault of videogames.

Au's piece would not go unanswered, however. It would achieve near immortality by being quoted on that mausoleum of adventure game reviews, Old Man Murray, who characterize Au's effort as:

"...(A) pretty standard spasm of crackpot theorizing punctuated by one tragic instance where citizen of the world Au finds he's reached the expressive limits of the English language and must resort to French. It is not until the the second page that things turn weird and, finally, interesting:

'Play a first person shooter long enough and its morbid reality seems to descend over your awareness like a grid, accompanied by a kind of adrenalized hyper-awareness and euphoric rage. Grid, adrenaline and rage stay with you, far past the point when you exit to the desktop...'

"He seems to think that this 'grid' is a concept familiar to his readers, a common feature of the human experience for which further explanation is unnecessary. He mentions the 'grid' again in the very next paragraph:

'For the overwhelming majority of us, with well-adjusted social lives and a diverse range of interests, the grid recedes. But it's not at all hard to conceive, absent those factors, that the grid would remain in place.'

"I don't know what the grid is. Perhaps one can't be told what the grid is. I do know that Mr. Au feels we gamers are trapped in it. I also know that it's only a matter of time before he reaches the inevitable conclusion that death is the only surefire escape from the Grid and that he, Wagner James Au, can become the "savior of the Grid" by shooting at us from atop the hood of the car he calls home."

What Old Man Murray could not foresee, even with their time-traveling antics, was that Wagner Au's overwhelming vision of the Grid was a prescient reference to his enduring presence in Second Life.

For by continuing to blog about Second Life -- lovingly known as "the Grid" by those who dream of prims and lindens -- Wagner James Au has become one of us. He is no longer in the"overwhelming majority ... with well-adjusted social lives and a diverse range of interests," for whom the grid recedes. He is shooting at reality from atop a rezzed Benz outside of Bad Girls, waiting for his neko-catgirl's Gorean master to log in.

As for Old Man Murray, he has gone on to work for Valve Software, a software sweatshop renowned for its highly-sophisticated, extremely-polished, story-driven murder simulators and military indoctrination & training games.

I agree with Wagner James Au!

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