Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Something Fishy: Second Life's Best Aquatics!

SPECIAL NOTE: Something Fishy has been greatly rewarding just by being explored without any advance knowledge. If you're the sort of person who enjoys plunging smack-dab into the middle of a sim you've heard about, without needing to know any details about where you're going, take this landmark and come back to this article later:

The moment I arrived at SF, I knew I was in for a great time. Something Fishy's design makes it a great virtual reality, and I didn't want my tour to end.

With 80s music blasting, sun, seagulls and an airy open setting that extinguished all my lag-filled nightmares, I landed by a bungalow in the center of the island, and immediately noticed the shape of the whole place: a giant fish with bubbles and "Something Fishy" written in huge lettering!

The authentic aquatic tunnel architecture -- never mind the creators just throwing all the fish against a wall and hoping they sold -- drew my eye next, and I wandered through under water, surrounded by exotic fish, jellyfish, treasure chests, starfish, mermaids, and anemones. With the music now off, I easily heard the calls of a few whales, coming from the NSBW (tm) Whale Call (L$190). This handy device has adjustable sound range, volume, and silence intervals to help set any atmosphere in your underwater environs. And for L$149-L$890, Something Fishy offers the Nature's Smart (tm) line of intelligent fish, jellyfish, and whales. The male and female Baby Whales being offered take up 7 meters, 15 prims, randomly surface, spray water, have their own sound effects, and even follow an adult whale (sold separately) around!

Nothing but nice open space in the sky and plenty of eye magnets on the ground.

Go underwater without getting even your avatar wet!

Something Fishy offers the Nature's Smart (tm) brand of realistic SL wildlife products, including this whale and whale call.

As I was walking around... Hey! It was the fish lady, Maggie Morgan! I struck up a conversation with her.

When I asked her the history of Something Fishy, she told me, "It used to be all squished on the mainland, but I was there three years (inspect the blue fish tanks, you'll see they're 3 years old), and it was really really really hard for me to give it up."

I asked her if she had to use a lot of prim plastic bags to carry over the fish. She laughed and said yes.

Maggie Morgan: My items have evolved a lot in the past three years. However, there is still a market for my original fish.

Lionel Oliva: I see... which are they?

Maggie Morgan: The big blue tanks. The fish and tanks are 3 years old. Never changed, tee hee. What else can I tell ya? We have gone from those stiff fish to flexi realistic-looking fish to sculptie dolphins, rays and sharks.

Lionel Oliva: What is your latest and greatest collection?

Maggie Morgan: Well, the latest and greatest are my hawkbill turtles and rays. The dolphins are over here.

Lionel Oliva: Impressive. So I see you can even buy a fish as it's swimming around!

Maggie Morgan: Yeah! The dolphins have sound, and papa, mama and baby are all different, one prim. The tails wiggle too. I made all that stuff down there in the water too.

Lionel Oliva: This is years ahead of the last dolphins I saw.

Maggie Morgan: Thank you, thank you.

Lionel Oliva: How long did it take you to make all this and set it in place?

Maggie Morgan: Oh, this area? I sat on the end of the pier one day and just said to myself... "What would people like to see?" Probably took about 5 hours total. When things actually calm down I might add more. The reef walk took days.

Lionel Oliva: I've always wondered what kick-starts these gigantic businesses.

Maggie Morgan: Well, I'm just a lil' girl in SL who sells the only thing she could learn to create. But I wonder too when I see other businesses. I hung out with this guy who was creating casino machines three years ago, and he said, "We gotta find something for you to do." We found fish. (points to more fish) Are they not cool? They're animated.

Lionel Oliva: Very lifelike. Do you have an art background?

Maggie Morgan: No, I am self-taught in graphics. I work for the government in IT. And actually, the sculpties were not created by me. I have an exclusive contract with an exceptional sculptie builder. (laughs.)

Lionel Oliva: My brother was the same. He started drawing fish when he was 5 or 6... the most amazing collections of color and form you'd ever see from a little kid.
What else do you hope to add here?

Maggie Morgan: I have momma and baby blue whales. Next I want orcas, and I have an idea for my lower-priced line of fish for those who watch their money. Want to see my reef walk?

Lionel Oliva: Sure....

Maggie Morgan: So yes, I think I'm going to make them flexi, but keep the aquarium-seized ones priced low. Nothing to set the world on fire but we have to think of newbies and such. This reef walk took days on end. Here are some really great jellyfish too. They change color at random and are free-swimming in an area selected by their owner.

Over at the old place, there was no room for anything more than vendors and sales stuff. Here i tried to create an enjoyable environment: swimming with the dolphins; this walk; a beach; you know, more than a store.

Lionel Oliva: Yeah... that's what my publication goes for. Hello JC!

Maggie Morgan: Hiya JC. Welcome to Something Fishy.

Lionel Oliva: This is my friend JC. I have the Times building on his land at JC's Cove.

JC Anvil: Hi you two. This place is cool!

Maggie Morgan: Ty, ty. I'll have to check the Cove out.

JC Anvil: Sweet! Still working on the beach actually. I love your waves here too.

Maggie Morgan: I have the wave guy's vendor here. That's another thing, Lionel. I have quite a few split-profit items. Working with other folks works out well. I've been contemplating buying the hippoVEND System and giving my stuff out for others to sell. Because my fish already swim, displaying them in a vendor took some creativity, which brought me to Jacks.

JC Anvil: My friend 10khz Tone has built a packaging system that will work with his vendor system. It's going to be pretty cool. Are those Aunti Flan's?

Maggie Morgan: Yes, Ante Flan's.

JC Anvil: Ante... lol... I guessed.

Maggie Morgan: I have three little stores here. They all belong to good friends, so they're gratis. My good friend Walter is one of the shop owners. Plus this lady I know has some plants for sale. Did you guys get your free mosaic?

Lionel Oliva: Not yet.

Maggie Morgan: Here. They size to anything and still look good. That mosaic's only free month for the month of September so if anyone wants one he or she should come by ;)

Lionel Oliva: Well, Maggie, that should just about wrap up our interview, but I wanted to thank you for your time and wish you continued success with Something Fishy.

Maggie Morgan: Anytime, Lionel! :-)

Do you think, eat, breathe and sleep fish? (Well, maybe not eat, after you visit :D) This bed can at least take care of the sleeping part. Fish swim around right in the headboard!

Over 100 fish to choose from and dozens on dozens of accessories to accompany your purchases!

The space in SF is luxuriantly designed, with open space, welcoming leisure areas and vendors alternating harmoniously.

A good business helps you forget you're visiting one.

Large and small round aquariums (L$300) stand on a wall in front of a lighthouse.

Wall-mounted aquariums, transparent aquariums, round aquariums... this one changes textures!

Mr. Jellyfish does the wave a few feet from shore as a seagull flies by.

Not exactly a fish person? Take your pick from ducks, jellyfish, dolphins, and several lifelike types of mermaid like the one shown.

Something Fishy can be found at .

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