First, bear in mind that “being” an android, doll, statue, or any other type of construct – or indeed, anything else you can be in Second Life – is about imagination more than anything else. Without that, nothing you can buy will turn your avatar into anything more than a collection of pixels on a screen – and with it, you don’t need anything else.
That said, if you want to play a construct in Second Life, ACS offers products that will help. We currently offer two product lines:
To be programmed and controlled
The ACS Central Control Unit, or CCU, is the main product used to build a robotic character. It’s most appropriate for an avatar that normally moves around with some freedom, but that can be frozen, muted, or shut down when desired. It also allows you to be programmed with rules you must follow (via roleplaying; the CCU’s capacity to control your actions is limited and nonspecific) and modes that allow others to change your rules with the press of a button.
While the CCU can be used by itself, most users also buy one Access Panel. You can also add a Power Supply such as a Battery, Battery Port, or Wind-Down Doll Key. Units that will control other units may also want to install the Remote Controller Chip.
To be inanimate
The ACS ArtCore is designed for avatars that are inanimate in their natural state, like mannequins, statues, and some dolls. An artwork avatar with an ArtCore can be magically animated using an ACS Animation Talisman. You can buy one yourself and wear it, or others can buy their own and put it on you when they want to animate you. Others can also use an ACS Crystal Mind Probe to monitor your thoughts and feelings without allowing you to move.
But how do I actually become a construct?
Option 1: Do it yourself
You can always make yourself a construct avatar. Decide what you want to be – clockwork doll? metal robot? lifelike android? shapeshifting synthetic being? Come up with some backstory: Who built you? What for? Or were you converted into your current form, and if so, why and by whom? Are you happy being what you are? Do you struggle for independence? Do you long for a greater humanity that you can never achieve? How are you programmed to behave? What abilities do you have? What do you lack?
Then acquire the items you need to make your idea a reality. You can ask other people for suggestions, or where they got elements of their appearance that you like, but don’t just ask “what should I do?” We don’t know. It’s up to you and what you like. But some things to consider include:
- Skin. Realistic synthetic flesh? Shiny plastic? Silver chrome? Visible seams? Glowing lines?
- Hair. Just like human? Impossible colors? Glowing or moving? Bald head?
- Shape. Lots of options, from petite human to giant mech and anything in between. Ought to match your purpose, though – a sexbot probably should be basically human-shaped; a combat droid doesn’t need to be.
- Controls. Naturally, we recommend the ACS CCU, but even if you like that, you need to decide whether you want an Access Panel (and if so, which one) or a Battery (with what options?), whether you are remote-accessible, and lots of other options. And to be fair, there are other good control systems out there – wind-up keys, control switches, power supplies, and so on.
- Clothing. Doesn’t have to be anything special, but it can be.
Finally, find a place to integrate yourself into things. ACS can be a good place, but there are others.
Option 2: Get someone else to transform you
This seems to be the option most people prefer, and it’s understandable. It makes someone else do the hard work, and plays into the submissive desires many would-be constructs have. However, nobody offers fun, creative scenes and concepts as a service – not even ACS. If you want someone to help you design your character, you have to give them a reason to want to help you, and you have to have some ideas of your own. Generally speaking, the more solid an idea you bring to the table, and the more interesting you seem as a person and a character, the more help people will be willing to offer you in fleshing it out. If you want to be transformed into a construct – especially “unwillingly” – figure out why someone would do that to you. Think about what you’re like before the transformation, and how that will affect what you’ll be like afterwards. Have some idea of what you’d like to be like afterwards – not every detail, and be willing to go along with ideas of your partner’s, but have a general sense of what you want to do. Be willing to talk about those things with a potential partner, to see if you have compatible ideas. Nothing is so frustrating as roleplaying a long scene with someone, only to find that they had a totally different idea of where the scene would end up than you did.
You may be interested in the ACS Community Partnerships, which are opportunities for being involuntarily transformed and controlled by ACS. But this is no exception to the above guidelines. We’re not obligated to transform you just because you ask us to. Intrigue us.
What makes someone more likely to want to play with you? I’m glad you asked. (You did ask, didn’t you?)? Not everyone has the same preferences, of course, but some things that most people seem to find appealing include:
- Use language reasonably well. This doesn’t mean you need to be a great novelist, or even a perfect typist, but it does mean your profile and chats should read like you put some effort into them. Use capital letters and punctuation where it’s called for. Spell correctly, and spell out words – no text speak. Make it easy for the other person to understand you clearly.
- Have a profile that gives some hint about what you might enjoy or why someone else might enjoy you. A few lines of poetry and a snarky comment may seem deep to you, but mostly it leaves other people confused.
- Have an attractive avatar. That means shape, skin, hair, AO, and clothes, at least. You don’t have to be supermodel beautiful if it doesn’t fit your concept, but it helps to look like you thought about how you wanted to look and made an effort to look that way. Luckily, SL isn’t like the real world – anyone can look the way they want to look with a little effort, even without spending any money. (And you never need to do laundry!)
- Be nice. Even if your character is an utter bastard – and those can be fun! – be polite out of character, make sure your partner is enjoying your nastiness, and excuse yourself politely if you need to leave in the middle of something.
- Don’t try to get anyone to buy things for you. They might offer, and if they do it’s okay to accept. But either offer to pay for things they want you to have, or let them know up front that you can’t and develop a concept that doesn’t require things you don’t have.