Sunday, October 2, 2011

Anti Bloodlines Attitude Within Second Life

My Personal experience
I used to play D&D and other games where the only option was to be a good guy and wait for a bad guy to do something wrong. Or the game-play was so structured that you had a goal, you meet the goal, you have a goal, you meet the goal... I wanted something new and more than that. (Morrowind solves the problem but it is very unstable. And, you do not deal with real people just NPC's.) I wanted to play a bad guy for once and have an open arena to play in.
I heard of SL and that you could be anything you wanted or could imagine. I was under the impression that meant whatever my RP was it would find a place and be accepted. (I'm finding my experience much different.) I immediately went to the adult section and found a Vampire who invited me into Bloodlines. This seemed to be exactly what I was looking for. It turned out that my new Liege was a noob herself and had no clue of the care and feeding of her minion. I was lost and had no clue about Bloodlines or SL. Out of survival instinct I sought out new resources. I found a new Liege and Mentor. This lady had to teach me how to move and how to get around my viewer as well as Bloodlines.
I had a computer failure and RL issues that kept me out of SL for quite a while. I lost one year in my game play. When I came back I was starting from the beginning again due to the new SL V2 Viewer. All of my old relationships were gone and I again knew nothing about my viewer. But, my mentor was still there and with me. I made new connections and began to prosper in SL.
I took RP and Building classes as well as scripting. The place I took RP classes from made an issue of Bloodlines Players and how they harass people. I took the class 3 times (I utilize repetition for learning) and they said the same thing all three times. From attending other classes such as Starting a Business in SL: I learned it seems it's acceptable to be a furry, a dragon or even start a business as a hooker in SL but it is offensive to play Bloodlines.
I started noticing signs at markets and beaches that said 'No Bloodlines, Violators will be banned.' I noticed a blog that addressed the subject and noticed that most of the arguments were based on misinformation or a lack of information. I tried to help resolve the issue by presenting accurate balanced information that was relevant. I was met with impassioned nonsensical blurts of words that were of little relevance. One person made a personal attack towards me saying I was spamming her email just like all those other Bloodlines Players and would I please stop. I gently explained that the blog forwards relevant reply's, she obviously received offline messages and I was not spamming her email. It was just the blog doing what the blog does.
With respect to others sensitivities I began hiding any groups others may find offensive such as any that would indicate my Bloodlines affiliation. Any group that was not about SL, Education or Commerce was hidden. After about 6 months of hiding my RP I realized there are some people who are just going to be offended and that I was offending myself by hiding those groups. I realized it was not fair to the potential RP partner if I was not upfront with my Bloodlines affiliation and it is not fair to me to hide something there is nothing wrong with. It's a game. That's all it is. There are a lot of other things in SL that have a lot more potential for being offensive. Such as: Prostitution, BDSM, Dolcet, Age Play, Rape RP. But there are those who want to be upset about Star Trek, Cowboys and having a virtual baby in SL. Sorry, taking a step back and taking a look at it I don't see a whole lot of sense to it. (Please understand that I am not trying to be insensitive to your particular RP. I just would appreciate my RP being respected as much as you would like yours respected.)
I was at a market recently and another avi approached me in private chat. I noticed this person discussing Bloodlines in local chat with friends. Since this person was obviously familiar with the subject and I suspected they were aware of the issues and feeling particularly impish and mischievous I sent a bite request. Please note that this was in no way an unsolicited bite request. This person had approached me and was discussing Bloodlines with friends. It is my personal opinion that the request was perfectly appropriate and a rejection would also be just as appropriate if the individual was so inclined. But, instead of showing any grace whatsoever. This individual blurts in local chat without any context to their friends that they are offended by the bite request. This persons friends began attacking me and my clan in local chat. I tried to set the facts straight but they brought in issues that had nothing to do with the bite request or whether it was legitimate or not. I realized arguing would just make the situation worse so I left. The individual I was talking to continued to harass me in private chat so I logged off. This person continued to pursue me in offline emails until I replied "I logged off 10 minutes ago. Do I need to log back in to mute you?" I received a group notice from the owner of the market shortly thereafter saying Bloodlines Activity is cause for banning.

Opt in
Some people complain and petition Bloodlines to make it an opt in game. Bloodlines is an Opt in game. You can only be a part of it if you accept a bite request and/or buy a hud. You can acknowledge the game by wearing and activating the Garlic Necklace. By acknowledging it you are not opting in, you are acknowledging it. You are doing that much by complaining about it.

Unsolicited Bite Request
These are random bite requests given by someone who has not interacted with you and just sends a request for no apparent reason. If I have been interacting with you and then ask you in private chat if you would like to play Bloodlines; That is not an Unsolicited Bite Request. If I have been interacting with you and then send you a bite request because I feel it is appropriate; That is not an Unsolicited Bite Request.

Garlic Necklace
Some individuals are so offended by a bite request that a solution has been provided in the Garlic Necklace. If a Garlic Necklace is worn by an avi and activated, it is impossible for a Vampire Hud or Lycan Hud to send a request. When I say impossible, I mean as impossible as a city bus giving milk. It cannot happen. It is impossible.

Data Base
Some people are so upset with Bloodlines that they are even offended by the Garlic Necklace saying 'You are still in their Data Base' with the same alarm as if we are talking about redzone. Well, to date there has been no report of any concerns about the Bloodlines Data Base. But, most of the alarm about Bloodlines is from people who do not know about Bloodlines and have never investigated the real issues. First, if you wear and activate a Garlic Necklace; Someone can not go to the Bloodlines Web-page and enter your name and bring up any data on you whatsoever. Your name is just not accessible. Second, if you accept a bite request; the name of your avi exists and that's all. There is no other data accessible whatsoever. Third, You only have a profile if you buy one of the 4 available huds. The information available is only game related. For those who still have a concern that 'They' are 'hacking my SL account', discovering my ISP Address and are going to hack my computer and steal the $2.58 I have in my checking account. Well Hey, You are in the SL Data Base and I have heard more rumors about SL accounts being hacked than Bloodlines profiles. If you are that concerned then you have 2 options. 1) Terminate your SL account, go home and play Monopoly. 2) Join a watch dog organization and when you actually come up with something call me up and let me know about it.

Ok, This is another issue that some people get upset about. First what are Alts? Alts are a second account (or third or fourth...) from the same IP Address or email. What are they for? LL originally allowed them so more than one person in the home could play SL. What are they often used for? The person who mentored me in SL had an alt for building. When she was not role playing and needed time to think; she found it therapeutic to stand on a platform at 3000m and build things. I have an alt that is my premium account. I wish I had made an alt for building. I often need to express my creativity by building or scripting and my role play partners get all upset because they feel I am ignoring them. Alts have legitimate uses. Then someone in the back says 'Yeah, but....' Some people have more than one role play. They could RP in a Gor Sim on Tuesday and a Star Trek Sim on Thursday. Is there anything wrong with that? ( Rhetorical question. The answer is: No! ) Most talk about alts is 'what are they trying to get away with?' Why are they hiding? Most controversy with alts has to do with griefers. Not every alt is a griefer. Hey, you know I do have some right to privacy? I keep my religion out of my work place don't I? I don't talk about work in church do I? Well, it seems to me there are legitimate reasons to keep some things private and separate. Now, regardless of how you feel about alts, Alts do exist in Bloodlines. The number one player in BL possesses 6901 souls and only has 125 bites resulting in the collection of those souls. Ok, even those of you who do not have a clue as to the mechanics of Bloodlines can realize the numbers do not add up. So how did he do that? He bought the souls! How did he buy the souls? Alts! Someone started accounts, bought a hud, bit the alt. drained the alt for the Blood or Lumen and sold the soul and possibly the account. Do that 6000 times and you can make some money. Now again, I am not saying it is right or wrong, but I am saying it happens.

Mars Bracken is just making money off of...
Guess what? Ford Motor Co. is just makin money. United Airlines is just makin money. Time Warner is just makin Money. Oh yeah! And LL is just Makin Money! Ya know somethin? Nothin wrong with that! That's why they are in business!

Its a pyramid scheme
Its a game with elements of 'I'm better than you'. That's pretty much what games are. Can you win? Yeah, get 6902 souls. Then I'll get 6903 and so on. You want to win? Ok, go ahead! You wanna know what else is a pyramid? Your Federal Government. Your Church. The place you work at. The Police Department. The Military. The United Nations. Fema. Jerry's Kids. Just because it has a pyramidal structure doesn't mean its bad. It just means it is! Back in the Old Testament; Moses was told by his advisors to distribute his responsibility because it was to much for one person to handle, it would stress him out, and not all issues would be handled with the concern they required. Ok, it's a pyramid! What is the alternative. The Old Testament says Nimrod was the first to impose his will on others. There's your alternative. Absolute dictatorship. You either have a distribution of power or centralized power. Every organization comes down to that.

Human Hud
The Human Hud is relatively new and has no capability of delivering a bite request. It can deliver a request to an Avi that has either a Vampire Hud or Lycan Hud which says 'Hey, Will you please bite me?'. The largest portion of Bloodlines Players is Humans.

Humans with Vamp/Lycan Huds
Like I said: The Human Hud is relatively new. But those of us (yes me) who predate the Human Hud were grandfathered in, so you can have Humans with Vampire Huds or Lycan Huds. And a new Human can play Bloodlines with a Vampire Hud or Lycan Hud. But there is no advantage to playing as a Human with a Vampire Hud or Lycan Hud unless you plan on being Turned or Enraged soon. The fact is there is an advantage to playing with a Human Hud. With a Human Hud you can take advantage of Cider Barrels and if you become Revenant you are more easily returned to a Human state (and more cheaply also). With the Curse, the Vampires and Lycan need a supply of Blood and Luman to sustain them and the only source is Humans. The random bite request that is complained about will just not sustain a Vampire or Lycan effectively and only renders a soul if that avi purchases a Hud for themselves. The bottom line is a random bite request is just a poor approach to the game for someone who is playing as a Vampire or Lycan and makes little sense for a Human.

Hunger Vs Bloodlines ( Vs Prodigy?)
This comes directly from the Hunger website. I am presenting it to you in its entirety so you know the context. The reason I offer this is to present a 'compare and contrast'. If you have ever written a persuasive paper or taken part in a debate you know this is just used to give a rounded perspective of a subject to bring out certain relevant points.

The Hunger Game

A game of skill, chance and cunning; It's kill or be killed, and it's not for the meek!

The Hunger is a complete Vampire, Lycan, Hybrid and Hunter game system within SL, with many species in your underworld universe. Hunt your prey, seek them where you can and most of all, watch your back; You never know what is lurking behind those dark corners of Second Life! We would like to welcome you to The Hunger!

You do not need a lot of equipment to play our game, just a HUD and blood. You can feast for the strength free of charge by biting your way through the SL universe. Our game is discrete so as not to disturb any non-players you bite. They will not receive a popup and they will not be told you've "bitten" them. The Hunger Hud does not actually remove anything from any avatar, the strength you get from bites only exists within our game, and your victim will not become a part of The Hunger simply by being bitten. They will also never appear on our website in any way.

To begin your journey you will have to join one of the families within the Hunger Universe, depending of what species your hud is, for example Vampires join vampire clans, and Lycans Lycan Packs and so on but Emperors, Hybrids, Hunters and Familiars may join any of the other species' families.

Once you've bought a hud, got turned (joined a family) and registered on the hunger web site, you will be able to view the clan and pack information and statistics. If you are a Leader owning your own family you can manage your family from the web site.

Where you go from there is up to you. We hope you enjoy the fun; You're sure to meet other supernatural species of the SL universe, and experience the thrill of the hunt and the kill.

So how do you join the game?

Just come on over to our store where a member of staff will help you. Whether you need help deciding which species to choose or have general questions about the game, turnings, locating a loving but deadly family etc., we have a full staff who are always here to help.

Please note, the huds are distributed with Copy Only permissions meaning there are No Refunds. This is required to allow us to freely distribute future updates. All information is available before purchase by clicking our vendors or speaking with our staff. If anything should go wrong with your HUD our technical support will do all they can to help you out, and fresh copies can be freely provided.
To be in accordance with TOS, when you buy the HUD you agree to the conditions and terms of the game rules. You will be asked to confirm this when you first wear your hud, and you can view the most up-to-date rules by following the link in the menu on the right.

MAIN RULE. This is a kill or be killed game. Meaning you will not run around reporting people to sim owners just because you are killed. Therefore, if your a DJ let's say at a club and you have chosen not to go dormant and are killed, that is not the killers fault, it is your own and is strictly between you and the killer. If you are a tattle tale then you are the one breaking the rules. You will also never tell the humans you are feeding off them. This can give some people the impression you have somehow taken something that belongs to them, some will not understand that the blood only exists within our game and they inevitably get upset and contact us about it. Yes, we can usually resolve this by explaining nothing was taken, but we've got better things to be doing, so if you can't handle not being a tattle tale or keeping with the masquerade then please do not join! The rules can be provided by any staff member, read on this website, and are provided when you purchase the HUD, so please read them carefully, preferably before your purchase. Please Note: The Hunger reserves all rights to make changes to the Game Rules as we grow and change and to help keep the game play fair and balanced.

What points do I want to bring out to you?

Hunger is not an 'opt in' game. As you can plainly see 'You will also never tell the humans you are feeding off them.' Hunger also has the same problems Bloodlines has 'This can give some people the impression you have somehow taken something that belongs to them, some will not understand that the blood only exists within our game and they inevitably get upset and contact us about it. '  So, what is Hunger's solution?  'never tell '  The point is that another vampire game goes on around you every day in SL. You are being attacked and bitten daily and you do not know it. They also have a data base and you are as much a part of it as you are the Bloodlines data base. The difference is with Bloodlines you have the option to say yes or no. With Hunger you do not. The reason you have the opportunity to complain about Bite Requests is because Bloodlines give you the opportunity to say No. Hunger does not. In reality; all the complaints that are made about Bloodlines are true about Hunger. Except the complaint about the rare instance of the unsolicited bite request. And the worst thing you can say about that is you have met a person who has not yet refined their role play skills. You can say the same thing about random friendship requests. May I ask you? Were you ever new to SL? Did you ever need to rely on the good grace of others and their understanding? Also, is it right to condemn 10's of thousands for the poor RP skills of a few? Isn't that how prejudice begins? Do you like being subjugated to the role of 'Dumb Blonde' 'Insensitive Man' 'Religious Fanatic'? Why would you want to group all Bloodlines Players to the role of 'Poor Role Play' and on that basis restrict all of their activity everywhere in SL? You don't do that to Steam Punk, Furries, Elves, SciFi or any other group.

What about Podigy? Podigy is a new game that is so secret, the only way in is by special invitation to a select few. As of yet I am unable to gain any insight to the game, the rules or the goals.

My 3 concluding points are:
1) Tolerance
2) Tolerance
3) Tolerance

My experience is that I have never gone through a time where I was unaware of Bloodlines in SL and had thousands upon thousands of unsolicited bite requests. The Clan my Mentor brought me into presented itself as a 'Polite' Clan that always asked before biting. I therefore never went through a period where I was sending thousands upon thousands of unsolicited bite requests. 'Cold Calling Bite Requests' at a noob welcome hub just doesn't make a whole lot of sense if you know anything about the game. And Bloodlines took away the ability for new Human players in the game to send bite requests by remove that ability from the Human Hud. ( Again, you can still buy a Vampire Hud or Lycan Hud and play as a Human but it really does not make a lot of sense to do that unless you plan on being Turned or Enraged soon after.)
My experience is that I have suffered far more harassment from those who are offended by Bloodlines than seems anywhere near reasonable. I have suffered clear and obvious griefing as a reply to what at the most can be regarded in the 'Opinion' of a RP Partner as 'Poor RP'. And again that is in the opinion of the RP partner. It is not my opinion. I regard my actions as reasonable & appropriate under the circumstances and if you have a different opinion I respect your right to hold that opinion and I expect you to show me the same respect.
Random Unsolicited Cold Call Bite Requests just plain do not make any sense whatsoever. If you have had this experience please let me apologize to you right here and now. The only explanation that makes any sense is you met a noob that did not have a clue. I don't know about you, but when I first got to SL I was that noob and I did not have a clue. If it were not for an excellent Mentor (my Bloodlines Liege) and a good Bloodlines Clan, I would have bailed on SL after the first month. There are many ways to play Bloodlines. You can go after that 6902nd soul if you like, but the Bloodlines I know is about relationships and helping others.
I hope in my compare and contrast to another vampire game ( Not to tear down or point fingers at the other game. Just to compare and contrast and bring out the truth of the issues at hand.) you will realize that many of the arguments against Bloodlines just do not hold water. Such as 'Opt in', 'Bite Requests', 'Garlic Necklace', 'Data Base', 'Pyramid Scheme', 'Making Money'. When you take an objective look at these issues; there is little for a reasonable person to complain about. If you feel differently that is your prerogative, but It is my prerogative to feel you are beyond reason and your feelings are contrary to the facts.
The bottom line is that it is perfectly reasonable for me to expect to play Bloodlines unharassed just as I do not harass your game play regardless of what it is. It is also reasonable at this point to expect the same attitude from you in our interaction. And by the way...  Yes, I do practice what I preach...... It is also reasonable to regard your anti Bloodlines harassment as griefing and to act accordingly. It is only fair to inform you that my chats are logged on my computer and will be included in a griefing report if deemed necessary.

~ Wolf

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