Not long ago during my LONG FFXI career, my linkshell had a website. We had a forum and talked to each other, shared cool websites, planned our in game events, etc. At the bottom of our forum posts there was a space for a signature picture. A member of our linkshell, Arkangel, made beautiful signature pictures in photoshop. He charged 100k in game dollars to make them. He justified this because it took a lot of time and effort to make them and this was time he was not in game to make money. In FFXI money was everything. I'm sorry to say that I spent more time making virtual money than I have making REAL money in probably close to 3 years. You can even buy this virtual money (called Gil) for real money on the internet. It is severely frowned upon, and people get more worked up about "gil sellers" in game than they probably do about any real life issues. This all sounds really silly unless you play these games and get sucked into the addiction. Anyway, I couldn't justify playing for 16 hours, or whatever it would have taken to make 100k gil for a pretty picture of my character to put on our website, so I made one. I got a copy of photoshop from my brother and started playing around with it. It was FUN! I had a program that let my pick a character model type from the game, watch it do all of the moves (run, jump, weapon skill, cast magic, etc) and dress it up in any of the game clothes or armor. Did you ever play with paper dolls as a kid? Ha! Well this is virtual paper dolls, but now they move! Here is the very first signature I ever made:
I made 3 signatures that first day. One for me, and one for each of my 2 oldest in game friends. Guy and Wite (Yes, my name was much cooler than theirs). After I made a few of these signatures for my friends, more people in the linkshell started asking me for signatures. I enjoyed doing them. There came a time where I spent more time making signatures in photoshop than I did actually playing the game. I have over 50 of these burned to a disk.
Here is the signature that I used for myself. Yes, I made it all. Yes, I made the exploding planet. Yes, my character Birgette was a red headed midget...lol I, personally think I got much better at these things as I went along. I even learned how to do animations, which apparently I can't upload to blogger. Click here to see carbuncle.
So, I have developed these photoshop skills, and if you look at the signatures, they do, in fact look a lot like mini scrapbooks... so I decided if I can't pull out all the scissors and the glue, I can still fill my photo albums. I searched the internet for scrapbook page ideas, and made this this morning. I printed it out an put it in the first page of that magnetic type photo album that my friend gave me. Voila! Instant scrap book. Isn't technology wonderful?