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I’d never been to Armidi before (I know, I know, but my Second Life isn’t *mainly* about fashion. My fashion excursions are not thorough or carefully planned!), but in the course of reviewing Second Life blogs for the massive blogroll on Second Links, I saw a picture of a jumpsuit from Armidi and felt like I needed to get it just as soon as possible.

When I arrived, I was really impressed by the gorgeous build…impressed and opressed, because it was beautiful, but I also felt kind of caged. I’m a winged girl, after all, and the slightly low ceilings (about 5 meters! but they felt a little low in Second Life) and the black everywhere and the needing to find your way around and the corridors made me less interested in shopping and frankly, a little jumpy.

I couldn’t figure out why this would be, at first. After all, if I were in a place like that build in First Life, and I weren’t preoccupied with the fact that I would be very unlikely to spend the amount that clothes like those would cost in a First Life store, I’d probably love the architecture: it would feel like exploring, and the size of the rooms would feel expansive. What was different in Second Life?

And then I realized what it was: I had no space for my camera crew.

In Second Life, we’re hauling around a camera crew with us everywhere. We have to have enough room to get the shot, and if we don’t, we find ourselves looking at the inside of a wall instead of seeing ourselves or our friends or the things we came to look at. And space isn’t the only requirement: the lighting needs to be wonderful too. Really dark skins are very difficult to do well in Second Life. Why? Because even a very good computer screen with a very good graphics card can’t deliver nearly the subtlety and detail that we see in First Life, and if everything isn’t lit up nicely, things are hard to see.

So a space that would feel expansive and easy to explore in First Life feels cramped and dark in Second Life. Well, them’s the breaks: you have to design for the life you’re in!

And on a side note, although Armidi has done a beautiful job displaying their wares as clothing items in a sort of rack arrangement, I’m not so sure I like that nearly as much as I do the typical Second Life panels-on-the-wall-with-models arrangement. I mean, it’s nice to see what the items look like, but I want to know what they look like *on* someone. Maitreya does the same thing, and the effect is much more like a First Life store…and a bit less appealing as a place for me to shop.

^^^\ Kate /^^^

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