Monday, March 7, 2011

About Alts

Just yesterday I was given a gadget that lets me detect the use of Redzone, a system that identifies a Resident's Internet Protocol (IP) address in an effort to determine if an avatar is an alt of a banned Resident. Someone is assuming that common IPs mean that the same human is behind the keyboard of each. That strikes me as a potentially false assumption. The IP for my computer is the same for my iPad, my AppleTV, my neighbors, and for the guy in the car parked across the street surfing on the neighborhood's unsecured networks. So if my neighbor logs into Second Life and visits a Redzone-provisioned place where I am banned, she or he is likely to be banned, too.

Silly, I know, and I made the same observation as part of a (poorly written) comment on Tateru Nino's blog post about the Quickware product (apparently it is like Redzone). I also noted that my alts are fairly public. For those of you not up to speed on who I am in various places at various times depending on my various moods, here is a recap and a small surprise.

Uccello Poultry, my first alt, if you think of all my accounts as alts. Not to be confused with Uccello (Resident), a recent account I made to "protect" the name when the new avatar naming scheme was implemented. Ms Poultry is a polymorph but is usually human-ish and sometimes goes by the Display Name of Caitlin Peale or Uccello Peale (sharing a last name with my wife, Angela Peale), though at the moment she is Caitin O'Mygosh for the coming holiday. She is my oldest account and was started the day I turned 18 and could flee the Teen Grid. That avie will remain anonymous if only to keep my reputation cleaner than the sullied state it is in now. My avatar looks very much like the Real Life me, though with my most recent skin purchase I've adjusted the face a bit to better fit the texture.

Uccello (Resident) looks nothing like me, seldom appears on the grid, and has but one "human" form. Nearly 100% of the time she is some form of bird ... "Uccello" is Italian for bird. Flying in Second Life is a great way to relax and that is what I use her for. Sure, I can fly in all my avies, but she needed some purpose.

Usra Ostrich, also known as Mousra in Display Name and in spirit. She is my twin. We have identical hair, skin, eyes, shape, clothes, though she is most often a Loco Pocos mouse. This account was started to help safely explore aspects of my personality with the help of a Real Life therapist. Actually, that is why I started in Second Life, but there's a long story and not that important right now. What you should know about Mousra is ... well, nothing. She's me. Just a mini version. She has morphed in purpose over time and is more or less just for fun now (and not "fun" like most SLers mean it).

Zyx Flux, the first of my pixy alts. As noted elsewhere on this blog, this account was created to help win prizes from Lucky Chairs, but has since taken on a life of her own. She's child-sized and child-like, but is adult verified. I think of her as my landscaper as I'm focusing her inventory on items used to create garden environments. This is helping my main inventory stay in check. But I also love to explore the world with her. Others seem to delight in her presence and are more receptive to chatting. I guess her smaller size and unique appearance make her "less threatening" in some respects. She's not the sexpot that Uccello Poultry often appears to be so folks seem to relax more.

Zyx (Resident), the bigger, more adult version of the previous avie, was born to preserve the name, much like Uccello (Resident) was created. But unlike the bird avie, she's become a complete entity unto herself. In Real Life, I am a rather butch, mousy, plain, quiet lesbian that practices not-standing-out in a crowd. In Second Life, Zyx (Resident) is my fashion model ... the sophisticated, confident me, that exudes a calm womanliness without pretention. But she's still a pixy and plays the role to the hilt. Magic is at her soul. Here is her debut on this blog.

Torii Heron, my very first alt after coming to the main grid. Notice her name is a form of Bird Bird like Uccello Poultry? Yes, I was on a streak. For a long time Torii was an asian woman then she became a fish, but lately she's a bird, like Uccello Resident, befitting her name. Originally she was created as per The Lab's suggestion in the first book on our world (don't buy it, it is dross, but you can see it at Amazon) to make an alt to store excess inventory or to back it up. This was going well until The Lab's servers decided to ruin my life one day by trashing the inventories in all my accounts, including Torii's. I've not really had the heart to cancel her account, though, partly because her name is so cool. No picture of her here but if you really want to see what she looks like, peek out your window. See those winged things flapping about?

Delicate Quandry, one of two alts I share with my Real Life brother (CC Columbo in Second Life), is the surprise I mentioned ... this is her first public outing. Several people know that she is me (or my brother) and henceforth so as to make it clear who is "behind the wheel" I'll make arrangements. She came about partly because the opportunity for a cool name came up, but my brother needed a female alt for modeling and I wasn't giving him my password so we decided to share. Likewise, he has a male alt that we share for the times I need one and to keep me out of his account.

Mystery Woman (not her real name) is another surprise. Not sure what to do with her yet. One person other than my brother knows her, but for their privacy I won't reveal Mystery Woman's name. She is sort of a "get away" alt, like many folks have ... an avie you use to be anonymous. I keep her solitary with no one but "family" on her Friend list and she doesn't socialize, that includes cybering. She could be the reason that systems like Redzone exist as I've used her to "spy" on griefers that have bothered the Isle of Lesbos and for similar activities.

So, those are the names. Ban away. Second Life is a big, big place, and I'm sure I'll find some place other than yours to visit and spend my money. But do me the courtesy and tell me I'm banned, please. It could all be a misunderstanding.

Click Here for more of Tateru's posts on the topic of Alt Detection.

PS: There is one more alt ... but I don't have permission to mention her as even a post-script ... ooops.

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