January 6, 2007

Lindsey Breyer scores big

Onder Skall reports from a camping chair on Parrothead Island, ParrotHead Island 128, 128, 27 (Mature)

You pick up a few things when you’re sitting there in a camping chair doing absolutely nothing. You learn that time isn’t measured in seconds, but L$ per minute. You learn that if people will pay you to do nothing, you must be working too damned hard at your day job. You learn about the evils of “anti afk” scripts and about dirty magazines that appear in your HUD, and a number of other things.

Beyond all of this, though, you learn one major thing: SLingo is the new Tringo.

I had blown all of my L$ looking into possible avenues for publication of Second Life Games in-world (no luck yet…), and so it was a-camping I a-went. I soon discovered SLingo was far more popular these days than Tringo is. This damned game is everywhere!

So I do a little surfing and find a Flash version to play. It’s basically BINGO, but with five numbers called out at once, a scoring system, point modifyers and a limit of 20 turns. Highest end score wins.

Now, years ago I had the pleasure of doing some charity work at a smoke-filled BINGO hall. Never once was I really tempted to play, but then again, I was busy working. Maybe that was just my perspective. After all, large crowds play these games (both BINGO and SLingo) on a pretty regular basis. I had to find an independent source.

After a quick hunt I find somebody on Parrothead Island completely kicking a SLingo machine’s ass. Allow me to introduce the lovely Lindsey Breyer, who was a bit camera shy and didn’t want to get her picture taken:

Onder Skall: do you play [SLingo] much?
Lindsey Breyer: I’m here in Parrothead often using playing slingo with others
Onder Skall: oh is there a group version?
Lindsey Breyer: hmmm….over on the other side of the island
Onder Skall: huh ok… so what’s the key to winning?
Lindsey Breyer: have the highest score at the end of 20 rounds
Onder Skall: well yeah that’s the rule, but do you use any kind of strategy to help you win?
Lindsey Breyer: just pay attention and click the numbers
Lindsey Breyer: the numbers play themselves
Lindsey Breyer: lol
Lindsey Breyer: and so does the devil

[Note: in SLingo, if the devil comes up your score is cut in half. Randomly, an angel will come up at the same time and cancel it out.]

Onder Skall: so it’s a bit like a really slow scratch ticket? 🙂
Lindsey Breyer: kinda I guess
Onder Skall: oh something I can’t figure out… when is the pot handed out?
Lindsey Breyer: solo slingo pays at the end of the day to the player with the highest score for the day.
Onder Skall: oh so at 12am PST?
Lindsey Breyer: 12am SL time
Lindsey Breyer: Wanna see where the group slingo plays?

[A quick trip to the other side of the island…]

Lindsey Breyer: group pays at the end of the 20 rounds
Onder Skall: do they normally have a host?
Lindsey Breyer: always a host….but no game right now cause it is too early
Lindsey Breyer: a host will eventually show up
Lindsey Breyer: but not sure of the time
Lindsey Breyer: but the people behind you dancing are usually here playing too once the host shows
Onder Skall: ok… how much does the house keep of the pot? Or is it 100% payout?
Lindsey Breyer: 100% payout
Lindsey Breyer: whomever wins is expected to give back for the next game 30% if they paid to play
Lindsey Breyer: if they did not pay to play then they are expected to give back 50% for the next game
Onder Skall: is it mostly regulars?
Lindsey Breyer: pretty much
Onder Skall: ever have somebody run off with the pot?
Lindsey Breyer: I’ve never seen it but I guess it could happen
Onder Skall: that’s awesome though that people are honorable
Lindsey Breyer: pretty much
Lindsey Breyer: everyone around here pretty much knows each other.
Lindsey Breyer: I’ve made some good friends here
Lindsey Breyer: Some who have helped me tremendously learn the ins and outs of SL

There’s something else you can learn from camping: when it comes to games, community makes all the difference.

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