I am one of the 500 Premium subscribers who recently received a home from Governor Linden. I guess I have been seen changing clothes in the sky? Or perhaps it was my penchant for abandoning my homeless avatar in art exhibits for the night? Actually, I know it was just a bit of luck and reckless abandon that won me a home. I had received an email offering me a ‘private setting to relax, socialize with friends and more’. The email told me that the first 500 email respondents would be given the opportunity to sign-up for a Linden Home. I decided to ignore my mother’s advice and moved fast to sign up before reading the small print. This lead me to a web site where I was given a somewhat limited choice of house styles and once I had selected my house I was asked to name it.
Naturally, as soon as I had the time I signed into Second Life and zoomed over to see what Governor Linden had put under my freebie Christmas tree. I landed in front of my new (ever so slightly boring) house (but remembering the oral hygiene of gift horses I will say no more about that… except that the hobbit burrows look rather cozy). It took me a while to open the front door and I even started to wonder if this was the reason the house had been given away? (i.e. the house lacked an entrance). I tried to jimmy open the windows with a virtual credit card whilst feeling a little flummoxed and telling myself I really should have read the small print. (Linden Labs have given you a house. To achieve entry: 1. Stand outside aforementioned house. 2.Use your camera to pan through the exterior wall. 3. Locate staircase. 4. Select ‘sit here’ position. 5. You will now be teleported through the masonry to selected seating if you are lucky).
Then I saw Geo Linden standing on the lawn and tried to ask his advice but all to no avail. I suspected that the tiny little mute blue avi was a lawn ornament. This caused me to wonder if all the freely bestowed houses had Linden statues scattered across their lawns? (Visit Marianne McCann’s Snapzilla site to see her album titled ‘Linden Hunting’ featuring 685 Linden photos to date!) It makes a strange kind of sense to consider a range of Linden gnomes scattered across the various Linden housing estates of Second Life suburbia.
I noticed that my mini-map had started to look like a Christmas tree with a loose wire in the fairy lights, green dots kept popping in and out at irregular intervals as assorted avatars (with premium accounts and 512m of unused tier) manifested themselves to see what Santa Linden had given them. I watched a number of avis head over to the Geo Linden lawn ornament and guessed they were thanking it for the free house and asking him about the door opening trick.
Dear reader, I am happy to say I did manage to get into my house. I even dug out some dusty freebies from my inventory and deposited them in my new abode. However, I have one sad thing to report, my Geo Linden gnome is no longer on the lawn! I guess some drunken students stole it for a prank? Maybe my Linden gnome will return with a photo album one day?
To read more about Linden Homes take a look at the following Linden blog posts. You can peruse the (ever evolving) small print of Linden officialdom (and then watch as it dissolves like a crumbled bouillon cube in the active comment columns):
sluniverse.com’s discussion forum (Currently full of chatter about about the freebie homes.)
A few words on Linden Homes by Malaprop