February 11, 2008

Fabb: An introduction

Greetings to anyone who's coming across this blog for the first time; my name is Miller Copeland, otherwise known in real life (RL) as Jason Pettus, owner and right now sole employee of the Fabb prefabricated housing company for the videogame Second Life (SL). You've come across the official blog for Fabb, where throughout the year I'll be posting news, photos and videos concerning the latest with the company; and since this is the very first entry of the new blog, I thought I'd take the opportunity to explain a little more about me, my history with SL, and the aims of Fabb in particular.

I've actually been a resident of SL now since spring 2006; what I did for my first year there was actually run an arts-and-culture publication called In The Grid, which covered not the workings of SL itself but rather the activities of its most interesting artists, programmers, sex workers and more. ITG was an extremely fun blog to maintain, and definitely had its share of readers in its heyday (actually being ranked at its height by Technorati.com as the 13th most popular blog about SL on the planet); but unfortunately the game client for SL itself kept getting more and more complex and bloated during that same time period, eventually becoming almost impossible to run on my piddly little Mac Mini here at home in RL Chicago. I was unemployed at the time, so couldn't justify buying a brand-new computer just to play SL, especially when my Mini worked just fine for everything else in my life I do with a computer; and this all happened in spring 2007 as well, at the same time I first opened what has now become my main day job, the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography (CCLaP). For all these reasons, then, I decided in April of that year to finally shut down ITG probably for good; and it was also then that I got out of the habit of porting into the Grid on a regular basis, the situation that existed all the way to winter 2008.

It was in January of this year, in fact, that for the first time since getting my beginner's plot a year previous, one of my neighbors decided to sell land that was directly adjacent to mine; I ended up buying it off them, raising my total land ownership in the Grid to 1,536 square meters, meaning that I now would have to pay a monthly "property tax" to Linden Lab for the first time. I used this additional expense, then, as an excuse to finally get serious about a small-business idea I've had for awhile now, a prefab housing company specifically inspired by Modernist architecture from the 1950s and '60s, but also containing space-age elements and other physics-defying details one can only accomplish in the Grid. My goals are real simple for now, to merely make at least the US$8 a month I now have to pay as a property tax on my virtual land; and since I enjoy obsessively detailing things, I thought I'd go ahead and get the Fabb blog up before any other aspect of the finished company, so that I can actually share the details of setting up the company itself.

I encourage people to drop me a line if they'd like at ilikejason [at] gmail.com; or just keep coming by the blog, where over the next couple of weeks I will be getting into Fabb's philosophy, posting a ton of photos of the company's first three houses, and explaining more about how for a short time you'll be able to earn a free house if you're interested. For now, though, I welcome you, thank you for coming by from wherever it is you came from, and invite you to come by again on a regular basis (or just subscribe to the RSS feed and be done with it -- I make it a full feed just for that reason). Oh, and if you're curious about the dual-gender portrait seen in this entry, I happen to be what's known as an "omnisexual" in SL; that is, I exist as both genders there, and switch between bodies on a whim depending on my mood, two halves of what should ultimately be considered one person. I mostly exist as a woman in the Grid, to tell you the truth, despite being a male in RL, mostly because women's fashions are a lot cooler and more interesting there than men's; needless to say, the gender reversal has led to all kinds of interesting situations and realizations in my life over the last two years, especially into the ways that men treat women when there are no other men around to see them. Yes, I'm very upfront about my real-life gender while in SL, even when rezzed as a woman; the times I play a female there are strictly for the fun of it, not to pull a fast one over anyone in particular.

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