From the Outside In…

Posted: August 23, 2014 in Uncategorized
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I feel like talking about transformations today.  A few posts ago, I admitted I was one of those church-people, so I could talk about meaningful transformations.  In my particular brand of theology, meaningful change starts with attitude.  You commit to changing your attitudes, and you pray, asking God to help you change your attitudes.  You take actions based upon the attitudes you want to have.  Over time, the attitudes become inherent and the actions become instinctual and you become the better person you want to be.  You become a blessing to the people around you, and, since, God definitely believes in Karma and in Irony, blessings also reflect back into your own life as well.  (There is an ongoing theological debate about whether salvation comes through works, the actions we take, or faith, the beliefs we hold.  You can search google for faith vs works and find roughly 2.37 gazillion articles about that theological debate, which is a great cure for insomnia.  I believe salvation comes through relationships, primarily our relationship with God himself but also the relationships we have with the people around us.  If we believe, but do not take action, we are either mistaken in what we believe, lying to our selves, or placing another relationship before our relationship with God.  If we act, but do not believe, i.e. if we do the right things but for selfish, wrong reasons, such to impress others or make someone else look bad, we are practicing hypocrisy in our relationships, with God and with others.  If we seek good, healthy relationships with God and with the individuals who touch our lives, we will have good internal attitudes and we will take appropriate actions.  It really is that simple.)

But I’m not going to talk about meaningful transformations today.  I’m going to be shallow and flighty and look for transformations that are only skin deep.  I.e., I’m going to play with RLV traps that allow other people to give me forced makeovers, and see what sorts of interesting trouble I can find for myself.  The last time I blogged about this sort of stupidity was back in November, so I figure I’m due for a little dangerous silliness or maybe some silly danger…

And the condemned girl wore a pretty dress...

And the condemned girl wore a pretty dress…

Last time I went around looking for RLV trouble, I regretted not getting a ‘before’ shot.  Since my plan today is not to repeat the mistakes of the past, but to go out and boldly make brand new mistakes, I start off with this selfy in my apartment.  Next I need some destinations.  The first thing I try is to look through my too huge stack of landmarks.  (Does anyone ever have time to go through and sort all the damn land marks that get automatically handed out with every purchase, teleport, or time you look at someone funny?)  Pitch that… Closed… Duplicate… Hmm, this should have something…

All right, first let’s get this bit of silliness out of all our systems: That Damn Song by Aqua.  OK, apparently I am a Barbie girl, but this definitely isn’t a Barbie world.  VirToys is a shop in the Yardol sim that caters to the doll-ification fetish, where a person is transformed into a living sex doll.  They sell a small handful of sex doll avatars and accessories to help a doll’s master control and use his or her doll.  The most interesting- to me, anyway- is a ‘brainwashing’ collar that supposedly allows the doll’s master to speak and emote through the doll.  I think that sounds potentially fun, although I would rather operate it at a practical joke level than as an ongoing thing.  The transformation trap at Yardol is a factory assembly line that transforms its victim a step at a time.  The instructions claimed that if you had one of the doll avatars for sale in your RLV folder, that would be your transformation, but that the free Barbie avatar was the default.

My second stop is also from a landmark I had on hand.  Warhol’s House of Mirrors and a small nearby shrine to the ‘Unholy Angel’ were my first experience with transformation traps, and I’ve been fascinated ever since.  The shrine offers nine transformations and there are twelve mirrors and a steampunk powered transformation machine in the hall, plus several other unusual sites within easy walking distance, so there is a lot to see and a lot that can tamper with you…

Stop #3: BFA Forest.  No transformations, the magic traps are different here...

Stop #3: BFA Forest. No transformations, the magic traps are different here…

Um, yeah.  Let’s just say I have good reason to look freaked out in this photo, and I teleported back home very quickly… Remember the old science fiction B-movies, where for some inexplicable reason, inhuman tentacled monsters were fascinated by scantily dressed or naked human women?  (That is, inexplicable within the context of the story.  Very explicable in the meta context that scantily clad women help sell movie tickets and, with bad acting and even worse special effects, the B-movies needed all the help they could get.)  Apparently on this sim, all the classic fantasy monsters… hydras, griffins, basilisks, etc. share the same inexplicable fascination.  I didn’t see where the cameras were rolling to make a B-movie, but as I said, I teleported back home quickly rather than staying and looking around…

Stop #4: Stayed at home and catalog shopped...

Stop #4: Stayed at home and catalog shopped

And sometimes the dangerous transformations come to you… After my nerve-wracking experience in BFA, I thought it might be safer to stay at home and get my transformation traps out of the Marketplace catalog.  I searched for RLV and transformation, and found a number of amusing looking possibilities.  The first one I tried was ‘Delicious Milk’ from Tinker’s Toys.  Rez a glass of innocent looking milk.  (I just rezzed mine on the floor, where it looked kind of shady.  The truly evil would place it someplace where a glass of milk looks inviting, like next to a plate of chocolate chip cookies in a residential kitchen or on a counter in a diner, so that innocents would go ahead and take a drink unsuspecting.)  Voila, transformed into a cow human hybrid with giant dripping udders.  Worse, the cure to unlock the transformation is to convince eight people to milk you.  (I don’t know how sophisticated the transformation is… if I were to convince one friend to milk me eight times, does it count?)  Even more insidious, the eight glasses of milk they produce carry an identical curse, so you probably should warn them you are toxic…

I have a confession to make: I planned to ‘cheat’ and unlock myself from the ‘bovinification’ by ducking out of RLV and changing back to myself.  Since I’m used to being trapped in a form for thirty minutes or an hour (the usual for the various forms I’ve found in and near the house of mirrors) I did decide to wait out a half-hour.  I just didn’t feel like either a) explaining my awkward predicament to friends and associates or b) brazenly asking strangers to milk me, knowing full well where such a conversation was likely to lead.  I forgot to take into account the power of newb-ness.  I was wandering around an adult mall, nothing I’ll recommend as the prices were high, and most of the fashion looked like it predated mesh.  On the other hand, at least I found some place sleazy enough that I wouldn’t be hassled for being trapped as a naked cow-girl hybrid with swollen breasts that kept dripping milk, and at least I could look over the RLV and adult merchandise.  I never did have to cheat.  Instead as I wandered around, eight random strangers milked my breasts.  None of them tried talking to me, either in IM or in local chat.  Instead, they just noticed that the chest of the transformation could be interacted with, and poked and prodded to see what would happen.  It was an interesting experience.  I’m a tease and a flirt, so many feminists would argue the way I generally dress and act is a form of self-objectification.  And I’m fascinated by RLV, a tool that invites others to violate my autonomy and self will (check out this link for more about feminism and objectification).  One could argue that when I set out looking for naughty and risqué transformations I was ‘asking for it’, that I had no right to expect anything different, and that anyone reducing me from a person to a mere sexual plaything was only following the example I myself had set.  I don’t really have the words or logic to lay out an intellectual rebuttal to that argument.  Nevertheless, I was indignant and offended.  I find myself wanting to either find or design a tank top that says “Excuse me, my face is up there.”  And my gut reaction to the “I was asking for it” argument is that the argument is equivalent in kind (although not degree) to claiming a rape victim ‘asked for it’ because she wore a skimpy dress to an underground rave.  Because I’m the sort of person who likes to have the words and logic to explain my thoughts, I’m marking this line of thought to explore later, but I did promise shallow flightiness for this post, so back to poorly thought out explorations…

Final Stop (#5): Decided to hang out at Cavity.

Final Stop (#5): Decided to hang out at Cavity.

My last exploration of the day was Cavity, a small maze of RLV traps and gadgets.  It claimed that there were clockwork dolls that had escaped; I was looking for more ‘doll’ or artificial person transformations.  It had the look of a work in progress, a design where a horror story was still being worked out, but there were some interesting things and traps.  I was most curious (and scared) about ‘possession by a past victim’.  This item locked on (to my mouth) and would not remove, but all I could see was that it gave me a titler that claimed I was possessed, and the instructions warned me not to leave adult sims until some one else removed it for me.  I really don’t know what it did.  Maybe if there had been another person around while I explored, the possession would have forced me to attack them or interact in some other way. Maybe I was unknowingly saying things, blocked from my own hearing, but there was no one around to tell me I was talking crazy.  Maybe if I had been chatting with someone the possession would randomly change what I was saying.  Or maybe I had put on something similar to the brainwashing collar I saw at stop 1, and I should be thankful that whoever held the other end (probably Cavity’s owner) was otherwise occupied.  I took some pictures, and I like the upside down pic I posted best, even thought it occurred before I was given bright red butterfly wings which was the only transformation that occurred.  And yes, I have already ‘cheated’ to remove the possession.  Better safe than sorry on this one…

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