Friday, July 28, 2017
My Alt and I: The Story of Rezzdammit Resident
By Bixyl Shuftan
One subject my neighbors occasionally talk about are "alts," short for alternate accounts. Sometimes ridiculed, sometimes seen as a convenience, sometimes viewed with annoyance, sometimes feared, they've more or less become an aspect of Second Life.
Rita Mariner, the leader of the Sunweaver community, is considered an "alt champion" with her "Sawyer Squad," dozens of avatars, mostly female and with "Sawyer" as part of the name, used for her "Tiny Empires" game. Only a few get used at a time, either for herself or to help out a friend. There's also tales of a super-griefer, whose name I won't bother to mention, who supposedly hid behind hundreds of identities. But most who have one obviously limit themselves to fewer, probably one or two. At least one friend sees alts as an alternative to "shapeshifting," enjoying being lots of appearances, but not wanting more than one tied to a name.
For years, yours truly never bothered to get one. Then in March 2012, I found out about the new Linden Lab place for newcomers to Second Life: Destination Island. Since the land was barred to me, the only way to get a look was to create a new account. So I did. But what about the name. I thought for a bit, then recalled my friend Nydia Tungsten's favorite gesture, "REZZDAMMIT!! D:" Well, the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. So I typed it in, and it was accepted. I then typed the name and password into the viewer, and Rezzdammit resident was born.
As I mentioned in the article, my experience with Destination Island was a disappointment. And that might have been the end of the alt, except for his name. A few days later at a community party, Nydia used that gesture. And on a whimsy, I brought up another viewer, logged in Rezzdammit, and he appeared, "You called?" That caused a bit of confusion until I explained what was going on. After that, I figured I'd be using Rezz some. So I sent him a package of free Wingless furry avatars, eventually settling on the Wingless red wolf. When controlling him, I gave him something of a goofy "country bumpkin" personality, "Heyas! Watcha doin'? Hyuk-hyuk!" He didn't sound too smart, but was always good-natured.
Eventually, he would get dragged into the Tiny Empires game I was in, ending up under someone who was under me. And sometimes I'll bring him in to get a free acre or ship. He's only at the medium level of the game, so he can't take part in tournaments yet. Maybe someday.
I used to have at the bottom of his description that he was my alt. But at the suggestion of a friend, I changed it to simply saying this was an alt, but invited the reader to guess who. With a name like "Rezzdammit," it's going to be obvious to those familiar with Second Life inside expressions that the user had experience with the virtual world when signing him up.
Reactions to him have been mostly positive. When having him look in on places that know me well when I can't be there, I try to tell the owner, or at least one of the staff. The name has gotten numerous chuckles, and his goofy personality has gotten more than one person to say they wouldn't have known it was me otherwise. GoSpeed Racer told me about a group for those with catchy or amusing names. So he joined it, and often has the title "Cleverly Named." Not everyone appreciates him, however. As "dammit" is a mild swear word, he's blocked from Luskwood and the pony sims.
After five years, Rezz as he's usually called has become more or less a familiar sight around the Sunweaver/Angel community, and at Steelhead again now that it's back. I had been using him to do a few games that I'd be interrupted while doing under my main account. But lately he's been occasionally getting ringed up with IMs while doing those. But in exploring the new Linden entry area, I had to create still another alt. so perhaps he'll be used to explore an area undisturbed at times.
But in any event, the goofy red wolf will continue to make occasional appearances, and tip his mechanical hat before heading out, "Gotsta go, sees ya laytah."