It arrived - my new laptop! Once I'd set it all up and transferred my files across, I loaded Second Life to see how the graphics card was going to measure up. Boy oh boy, is it good! I am so thrilled. The difference is just...insane.
For some of my more recent, pre-new laptop, screenshots, I had turned the graphics up and suffered incredible lag to take better quality pictures - before promptly crashing, or having to whack the settings right back down the bare minimum as soon as the picture was saved to avoid crashing. The screenshots I am using here for comparison, however, were taken with the graphics running at their normal running rate. They have not been edited in any way, and I have not changed the lighting settings.
I know, right?! Ignore Kitti - she's wearing a different skin, and, obviously, different hair and clothes and stuff, so just ignore her here.
Of course, this difference in vision and clarity can be seen in philosophical terms. It seems obvious to say that how we physically see the world affects the way we interact with it, but just how deep does that go?
Along with a super shiny graphics card, my new laptop also offers more memory, and SL can run on higher graphics settings without even a hint of lag - but this doesn't only effect the world around Kitti. One of the first things I noticed was that Kitti's movements (courtesy of her animation override that governs how she stands and fidgets and walks and sits) were much smoother than I had ever known they could be. The smoothness gives her body language a cool kind of confidence that wasn't there in the jerkier lines delivered to me by my old laptop. Will this effect how I view Kitti from now on?
And if other people are viewing her as moving jerkily, does that effect how they view her? What about those people who have always seen her movements as smooth and confident - have they found my writing of her in roleplay situations disconnected from her body language?
As ever, I have no answers. But it is certainly food for thought.
Now, because I am a little drunk on my new graphics:
Check Kitti's flickr to see some of these screenies in full size.