Spit-Wrath my pet dragon is not house trained yet, at least his particle effects are not. I had decided to experiment with Spit-Wrath’s options, and opened up the note card that had accompanied his egg (at the time of purchase). I clicked on his head after selecting ‘Aggressive – set avatars on fire’, and caused a fire to rage just above my avatar’s hair. When I walked away the fire continued to burn, but now it hovered above where my avatar had been sitting. I tried editing, and deleting it, etcetera, before I realized I had a particle effects problem. (I also wondered when I might feel the urge to set other avatars on fire?)
I have encountered this particle problem once or twice before. This time last year I had a snowflake generator (a freebie) that sent giant, pretty snowflakes swirling all across the shared island (I was unable to not stop it for days). This is not the way to make friends and influence people in Second Life, as it can slow down the server, causing headaches for other local avatars. (Avatars with headaches, there’s a thought… a new spin on Social Presence Theory?) Most people exploring Second Life encounter this little problem sooner or later. I have wondered whether it is a trick played on newbies, and folks who can’t resist a freebie? In this case, the note card that came with the dragon did not give me directions on how to put out the dragon fire once ignited.
As it’s getting close to Christmas, and I am filled with Christmas spirit (plus wanting a break from writing rather turgid papers) I am posting this solution to help other folks manage runaway particle effects problems.
Mission accomplished! All that remained after my dragon-fire was the smell of burnt Tiki house, plus the annoying sound of a virtual smoke detector buzzing in the background. I waved a synthetic magazine at the detector, and opened the simulated windows to let imagined air into my artificial room. And all was well with my 3D make-believe world!