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Phil Deakins

Camping these days

24 posts in this topic

I'm a bit bored so I thought I'd do a bit of rambling here. If I am bored, I don't see why other people shouldn't be bored too! :)

Camping still exists in SL but very little of it, and the active population continually turns over, so it's likely that many current users don't know what camping is - so first I'll explain it. It's a system where residents can sit or dance or even walk around within a fixed range, and they are paid according to the number of minutes they stay. 2L per 10 minutes used to be the most common amount. It's an excellent way for people to make a bit of money, but it only existed because the owners of the parcels where the camping was got something in return - not from the campers, but from the system. Every minute that an avatar is on a parcel of land, counts for 1 traffic point (it's measured in seconds these days). Traffic is the metric by which places are ranked in the Places search tab so, the more traffic a parcel gets, the higher up those rankings it would be. That's still true for V1 viewers. It was a two-way thing - both campers and place owners benefited. That's what camping is.

But some people seriuously disliked it, because rankings that were aided by campers (not genuine place visitors/customers) was unfair on those places that didn't employ camping. After all, place rankings ought to be on merit - genuine place traffic - and not on "false" traffic. So LL came up with the rule that, artificially inflating traffic numbers is against the ToS and would be dealt with accordingly, and they specifically included camping. Camping wasn't disallowed but it was no longer allowed on land that is listed in search. That put paid to all camping except when set up by generous people, and when the rule is being broken. So...

Earlier this year, I decided to be a little generous, and I created a camping system. I cut a non-search parcel for it within my store, and I placed 8 camping chairs there. They got used - often full. When a person sat in one, they were told the only 2 rules - (1) an av must not be left unattended and (2) only one av per person. This is what I found...

I found one person with avs on 5 of the chairs simultaneously (the other chairs were occupied or I'm sure he would have used those too). I found people camping for the full period of time in one session and immediately coming back with another av to carry on. I found other people occupying more than one chair at a time, and I missed a lot, of course. I found that I need to watch it and, in the end, I found that I simply couldn't trust people to be straight. I've no doubt that most were perfectly honest and straight, but I found that I couldn't trust people not to take advantage. After several months, I turned the chairs off.

It's a shame because there may be much more helpful camping around if people wouldn't abuse it in those ways. Apart from "illegal" camping, which I'm sure that most of what's left is, place owners get nothing in return - they just try to be a bit helpful. The only way I know of, to prevent people abusing the generosity, is to get the IP address of each camper. I believe there is a system that does that, where campers have to register on a website, but I chose not to go to those lengths with mine.

So... are you all suitably bored now? :)

 

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Howdy, Phil.  I'm curious how on earth you found out that it was the same person sitting in 5 of your chairs at the same time?  Was it different account names?  Did he just up and tell you he had 5 alts inworld at the same time sitting on your camp chairs?  How do you know it was the same person leaving and coming directly back with a different avatar to continue using your camp chairs?  It almost sounds like RedZone.  /me shudders 

I never understood camping.  A linden or two for just sitting there?  NOT for me.  I just buy the lindens as I need them.  I have much better things to do than sit around in someone else's store for hours on end trying to earn a few little lindens.  It seems ridiculous to ME. 

I know that not EVERY person has payment info on file and can buy their own lindens to spend inworld, but, seriously??...

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I still have a couple of money trees around, yes they get abused but now and then someone has the courtesy to say thank you, very very rare these days I must admit.

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You must have been incredibly bored, as the only thing more tedious than camping must surely be watching campers.

Something that used to be very fun in a perverse way was hunting for hidden campers. Pick a store with traffic of 40,000+ despite having really standard-quality goods, look on the minimap for the cluster of green blips, and go for a fly. Find the box-in-the-air and bask in the creepy silence of 20 bots all standing there doing goodness-only-knows-what for the 10 seconds before the security boots you home.

Actually, I must have been really bored to do that and find it fun...

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Marcus Hancroft wrote:

Howdy, Phil.  I'm curious how on earth you found out that it was the same person sitting in 5 of your chairs at the same time?  Was it different account names?  Did he just up and tell you he had 5 alts inworld at the same time sitting on your camp chairs?  How do you know it was the same person leaving and coming directly back with a different avatar to continue using your camp chairs?  It almost sounds like RedZone.  /me shudders 

I knew he was using 5 chairs because he admitted it. The way I'd check for multi-avs is to look at profiles. When I saw a fair degree of similarity, I thought there was a good chance of them being the same person. After unsuccessfully trying to get a verbal response from the first one, I started to unseat those 5 with maybe a minute between each one. They didn't resit - they just stood there for a while and then poofed. The 5th one talked and admitted they were all his avs.

I used the same unreliable method to spot avs returning immediately after the previous av had used a full session - one out, one in can be coincidence, of course, but the timing made me curious. In those cases I talked to the 2nd av and ascertained that they were one person. There were only a few, but the fact that people did it , and some people occupied more than one chair simultaneously, meant that I grew to distrust people on the chairs - so much that I eventually turned them off.

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lol Tiffy. I used to stand in the store a lot in case anyone needed any help. I'd stopped doing that but setting up camping gave me a reason to do it again. I wasn't there all the time, of course, but I was there quite a bit. I made a few friends while there and had some pleasant chats.

 

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Marcus Hancroft wrote:

I never understood camping.  A linden or two for just sitting there?  NOT for me.  I just buy the lindens as I need them.  I have much better things to do than sit around in someone else's store for hours on end trying to earn a few little lindens.  It seems ridiculous to ME. 

Some people made long-lasting friends through chatting while camping. Some people used to leave their avs camping while they did RL stuff. Some people used the time to sort their inventories. All of them got a bit of money for nothing and, from that side of things, it was good for SL in general.

I always had a business so I never needed camping money but there were times when I camped - when I went out to lunch sometimes. After all, never look a gift $L in the mouth :) The best camping I ever came across was one that paid 1L/5 minutes. It was a dance pad in a club where a friend of mine worked. If I was going to be there, I might as well get the free money. The sim crashed while I was camping there, and it crashed in such a way that the camping system kept on paying me every 5 minutes. I did everything i could to stop it but I couldn't. Logging out didn't stop it. I even went to bed for the night with the computer turned off and when I logged in the next day, I found that it had been paying all night and it was still paying me. The owner had tried everything he could to stop it but he couldn't. I think the solution was a sim restart.

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Tiffy Vella wrote:

You must have been incredibly bored, as the only thing more tedious than camping must surely be
watching
campers.

Something that used to be very fun in a perverse way was hunting for hidden campers. Pick a store with traffic of 40,000+ despite having really standard-quality goods, look on the minimap for the cluster of green blips, and go for a fly. Find the box-in-the-air and bask in the creepy silence of 20 bots all standing there doing goodness-only-knows-what for the 10 seconds before the security boots you home.

Actually, I must have been really bored to do that and find it fun...

I used to get a lot of fun out of doing exactly the same thing. It was like going on a treasure hunt of sorts, but I did get paid to do it while I worked for one of the virtual weekly newspapers that was in circulation at the time. 500L$ for each photo, and then a regular amount for a column I wrote. I certainly made a lot more money than I would have done by mere camping.


 

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lololol Marigold..I'm a goose for doing that for free! But it was fun.

 

And I was just poking at you you nicely, Phil....I hang out in my store too, and like chatting to customers sometimes.

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Fun is very under-rated. And the green-dot hunting is definitely something that is enjoyable for some of us, paid or not!

I went on to be a ghost-hunter, which was exceptional fun for me, but very boring for other people, and it did become like a full-time job for me at one point (and I definitely did that for free!).

Anything that feeds the pleasure centre of the brain and harms no one else is valuable to a person's well-being, and never a waste of time.

 

 

 

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These were my favourites. Traffic bots, not campers, back when they were allowed. They were hidden in randomly scattered invisiprim spheres that didn''t show up with highlight transparent. They did show up with some of the Render Metadata settings (top). What gave them away at first, though, was that the spheres didn't hide the prim shoes some of them had on (bottom)! Vanity was their downfall!

invisibots.jpg

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Drongle McMahon wrote:

These were my favourites. Traffic bots, not campers, back when they were allowed. They were hidden in randomly scattered invisiprim spheres that didn''t show up with highlight transparent. They did show up with some of the Render Metadata settings (top). What gave them away at first, though, was that the spheres didn't hide the prim shoes some of them had on (bottom)! Vanity was their downfall!

invisibots.jpg


Fab fab fab :matte-motes-grin:

Some of my favourite bots were these (and I was promptly banned from the sim by an ejector device while I was there haha)

box bots.jpg

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...

It's a shame because there may be much more helpful camping around if people wouldn't abuse it in those ways. Apart from "illegal" camping, which I'm sure that most of what's left is...

It may be that most remaining campers are also sure that most remaining camping is illegal.  If so, they may not feel a lot of compunction about abusing camping.  They probably figure that they're participating in an "illegal" activity (even if their own acts are legal), so "abusing" an already corrupt system doesn't seem much of an additional violation.  Maybe they're cheating the person paying out for camping, but that's usually somebody breaking the rules anyway.  Or maybe they're cheating fellow campers, but those are just other people participating in the same "illegal" activity.  Either way, it may seem a bit like stealing from a thief.

Now that camping is banned, a camping system seems a pretty good means of selecting for people comfortable with corruption.  The point is, one wouldn't want to generalize this to the broader population of residents, nor to camping as practiced before it was outlawed.

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As far as I know, camping is banned only if the purpose is to game search.

One of my favorite places has an area witch is not in search with camping – up to 12 avatars at a time, paying L$ 2 each 10 minutes. The only purpose is to help people that need a few L$ while all have a good time socializing. It has an anti-bot device (each cycle appears a question that the person has to answer correctly or is eject from the camping system). I spent much time there as people are fun, lots of talking, active people, many jokes, sometimes I spent my time helping newbies that appears there,

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My system also has a question/anti-bot system but bots weren't the problem for me.

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There was nothing ever particularly helpful about camping.

Getting the equivalent of a RL penny for sitting around for an hour is and as a waste of time, and depending on where you live, what kind of computer you use, and how you normally would otherwise utilize your computer, it can actually be a net loss in income.  Many if not most campers were oblivious to this fact back when camping without restriction was allowed.

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Right: Camping is only banned on parcels set to show in Search.  (That, however, is orthogonal to what I was rambling about, which was how the average camper's perception of camping may be very different from how it once was, and how that may lead that average camper to behave differently from how campers did at one time.)

And at one time camping was a win-win-lose thing.  It helped the campers (not a lot, in terms of L$s, but for those too young to remember, it really was a social activity at one time, and one could script and sometimes build while camping, too).  It helped the camping host with traffic (even dwell, maybe, but that was before my time).  The only people who really lost were the people trying to find stuff in Search. 

Of course, there was really no possible way to fix that without taking away the benefits to the camping hosts, and thereby the campers, too.  By the time they got around to doing that, however, camping was already dying out.  "Automation" by traffic bots caused the camping payout to dwindle to a tiny fraction of what it was when I was a newbie camper, and most of the remaining campgrounds were infested by camping bots (not so good at socializing).

It's great if some places have found a way to revive social camping.  It seems a little weird that it's still camping though, as opposed to some other more stimulating activity for newbies.  I wonder... with region crossings much improved now (as long as one doesn't wear scripted attachments, HUDs, and such crap)... maybe group tours of Mainland sites would be more interesting.  (Sort of the "roving tip jars" in reverse: they *pay* the riders instead!)  I mean, if the paying host derives no benefit other than good will, why keep the participants captive to a camping pad?

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You are right that campers may see the owners as breaking LL's rules so campers may break the owners' rules without giving it a second thought, but I'm inclined to disagree. From my limited experience of camping (in my store) most campers don't know LL's rules concerning it. Maybe only the odd few know the rules. So, imo, perhaps the odd few do think the way you suggested, Qie, but that's all.

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Qie Niangao wrote:

(...)

It's great if some places have found a way to revive social camping.  It seems a little weird that it's still camping though, as opposed to some other more stimulating activity for newbies.  I wonder... with region crossings much improved now (as long as one doesn't wear scripted attachments, HUDs, and such crap)... maybe group tours of Mainland sites would be more interesting.  (Sort of the "roving tip jars" in reverse: they *pay* the riders instead!)  I mean, if the paying host derives no benefit other than good will, why keep the participants captive to a camping pad?

This place uses a camping board, not camping pads. People has to stay in a range of 20 or 30 m from the board, I’m not sure as I never camp there, I just like to stay there talking or, when I can, helping newbies. :smileywink:

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I've seen that system before. I camped in it once but the boundaries weren't clear and I didn't feel safe moving around very much :)

Another place I camped operated a system where you had to stay in the sim - an island - so, unless you TPed out, your presence counted. It was a good payer too - 3L/10 mins - so there were always people waiting for campers' times to be up (limited session length).

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Dagmar Heideman wrote:

There was nothing ever particularly helpful about camping.

Getting the equivalent of a RL penny for sitting around for an hour is and as a waste of time, and depending on where you live, what kind of computer you use, and how you normally would otherwise utilize your computer, it can actually be a net
loss
in income.  Many if not most campers were oblivious to this fact back when camping without restriction was allowed.

I disagree. Camping was very useful for many people. If the computer was going to be on anyway, for whatever reason, camping allowed the earning of small amounts of money in the background. Also, camping allowed people to do other SL things, as Qie mentioned. And if a person was logged in and doing something that didn't require moving around, camping allowed the person to earn a bit of money while they did it; e.g. if I'm going to spend time sorting my inventory, I might as well get some camping money while I'm doing it. Or, if we are going to just stand here chatting for ages, let's camp together and earn a bit at the same time.

It may well be that leaving a computer on solely for the av to camp (e.g. overnight) was a financial loss for some people, but I don't think that most camping was done like that.

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Phil Deakins wrote:... If the computer was going to be on anyway...

Which is why I said depending "how you normally would otherwise utilize your computer."

You can speculate as to whether or not they were otherwise using their computer while afk camping but you have no way of knowing.  They could very well only be on to camp while going about their RL away from the computer.  I personally met a lot of campers that did this and many of the camping sites used to show how long each avatar had been camping.  It strains credibility to claim that an avatar that shows over 12 consecutive hours of camping time is someone who is otherwise using their computer and I saw a lot of that at some of the largest camping locations.

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