Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Viewer Developer's Remarks on Resource-Intensive Avatars Sparks Debate


By Bixyl Shuftan

Last month, Hamlet Au interviewed Black Dragon developer NiranV Dean about what the viewer maker felt was an underdiscussed cause of lag: avatars that use of a lot of resources to process. While it's no secret that the more avatars in an area, the worse the lag can get, some of the more popular mesh avatars are more taxing than others. He went as far as to state they used up far more processing power than characters in computer games.

"Maitreya starts with 80,000-100,000 — only the base body. Belleza was something like 200,000+ last time I checked. Modern games use roughly 20-40k for an entire character. A few games use more, obviously, but 20-40k is standard today. So with 100-200k you can imagine how much more straining avatars are. And they are just bodies — [not counting]  clothes, no hair, nothing."

NiranV's solution, he felt, was for users to refuse to buy these polygon-heavy avatars, and to look for ones that have less. One example he gave was the Snokra Snake avatar, which used less then 28,000 polygons, which could be reduced to about 15,000, while "the Maitreya body without hands, feet and head has 125.000 triangles. Belleza has even more." Hamlet himself felt that on average makers of popular furry avatars had done a better job of making quality mesh avatars that didn't use massive ammounts of polygons than makers of popular human ones.

There was no shortage of comments, especially in response to the first article. Some readers stated that high quality/low impact human avatars did exist, including one made by a furry product designer. But not everyone was on board for looking for an alternative. There were comments that decent human avatars had to have all that complexity to look good. And one felt "the barn door is open and the horses are out," saying these high complexity models for better or worse had become the standard and not many would "willingly use what they perceive to be a frankly less-beautiful product." Cassie Middles had a video with tips on how to improve performance either when wearing one of the avatars in question or being around them.



Between the links, there are a lot of remarks in the comments, including a few insults when the debate got heated and a few Not Safe For Work pictures. There's much information and opinions, but what there isn't is a clear-cut solution that satisfies everyone.

Among my friends in Second Life, one is proud of her appearance, and if it uses up a few more resources fine with her. At one point, she complained about people "jellydolling" her and not voting for her in party contests because of it, though no comments about it lately. Others have also mentioned using Maiterya for their avatars. I've also talked a friend who commented his screen would lag like heck, until derendering one particular avatar, then his frame-rate per second would shoot up to 20 fps. One sim moderator told me she had to deal with complaints about one renter's horses which were getting the blame for the lag, when it was really high-detail avatars hanging around at the social spot.

What do you the readers think? Feel free to comment below (but no insults please).

Sources: New World Notes, Black Dragon Viewer, Cassie Middles

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, December 28, 2018

Tiny Carolers At Grendels


By Bixyl Shuften


 Grendel's Children, at Avaria Tor (133, 134, 305) , has always been an interesting place. Long known for having avatars and accessories at bargain prices, it's owners Flea Bussy and Toady Nakamura have been known to do some fun things over the holidays. So on Christmas Day, I went over. Part of the mall had been given a wintery look. And there were other things to get my attention, like this dinosaur skeleton.


But as I was admiring it, a housefly ... yeah, that's it, landed on the thing and it came tumbling down. I had absolutely nothing to do with it *fingers crossed.*


Moving along, I noticed a Christmas tree full of decorations and some folks gathered in front of it.


The Grinch was there, and apparently doing a "Santa's lap" mall job.


Next to the Grinch was a sack of goodies. If this was his doing, he was being quite generous as it gave away a mess of Grendel's avatars. Perhaps slightly dated, but one can't argue with the price.


But not everything had been set up by the store owners and/or the Grinch. There was also a group of tinies near the tree, and they soon began singing some carols. Not exactly Christmas carols. They called them "Wootmas" carols. "We going to carol here, for you biggies? You will love our performance." "Come listen to us, everyone." "Merry WOOTmus!" "We gweat carollers!"


 ~*~ Happy Wootmas everybody, We hope you're having a nice time. We know we are!~*~
~*~ Um, there is Nooo way we're gonna be able to sing the entire song,'cuz we are so ADD that it makes us so hungry, Right? ~*~

 ~*~ So we're just gonna sing the end of the song which I'm sure you'll all agree is the best part so, C'mon Everybody! lets Sing! ~*~


~*~ On the twelfth day of Wootmas, My Drive -Through gave to me: ~*~
~*~ 12 bags of Pepto, ~*~
~*~ 11 pounds of blubber,~*~
~*~ 10 baked potatoes,~*~
~*~ 9 polish hot dogs,~*~
~*~ 8 bowls of chili,~*~
~*~ 7 pints of cole slaw,~*~
~*~ 6 chocolate milkshakes,~*~
~*~ 5 onion rings,~*~
~*~ 4 Egg McMuffins,~*~
~*~ 3 Biggie Fries,~*~
~*~ 2 Happy Meals,~*~
~*~ and A Big Bacon Classic with Cheese! ~*~


"BACON!!!!" "Rub some bacon on it!" "Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom........."


~*~ I'm Dreaming of a White Wootmas, Just like the ones I used to knowww ~*~
~*~ Where the Treetops Glisten & Tiny's, they listen, to hear, The Sleighbells in the Snow! The Snow! ~*~
~*~ So I Yai Yai Yai I'm Dreaming of a White Wootmas, With every Wootmas card I Wriiiiiiiite ~*~
~*~ May Your Days be Merry & Briiiiiighhhtttt, & May all your Wootmases.. Be Whiiiiiiiiiiiite! ~*~

"~*~ HEY!! So WOT DO YOU WANT FOR WOOTMAS?? ~*~" "~*~ HO HO HO!!! MERRY WOOTMAS!!!! ~*~"


~*~ It's beginning to look alot like Wootmas! ~*~
~*~ All across the shire you go! ~*~
~*~ Take a look at the village chalet, ~*~
~*~ The snowmen and the sleigh, ~*~
~*~ With candy canes and tinsel all aglow! ~*~ 


~*~ Its beginning to look a lot like Wootmas! ~*~
~*~ Tinies in every store! ~*~
~*~ But the nommiest site to see ~*~
~*~ Is the waffles that will be ~*~
~*~ Inside your own front door. ~*~

~*~ A pair of bunny hop shoes and lazors that shoot ~*~
~*~ Is the wish of Copper and Reign! ~*~
~*~ Dolls that will talk and go for a walk ~*~
~*~ Is the hope of Jillan and Jane! ~*~
~*~ And Kayak and Toady can hardly wait ~*~
~*~ Till Raglan U opens agaaain! ~*~


~*~ Its beginning to look alot like Wootmas ~*~
~*~ All across the shire you go! ~*~
~*~ Theres a great tree name of Steve, ~*~
~*~ That all the tinies can see, ~*~
~*~ He's GINORMOUS, and doesnt mind the snow! ~*~

~*~ Its beginning to look alot like Wootmas! ~*~
~*~ Soon the bells will start! ~*~
~*~ And the thing that will make them ring, ~*~
~*~ When all the tinies sing, ~*~
~*~ Is right within your heart!!! ~*~



~*~ The First Waff-EL, The Tinies did Say, Was to certain small critters at home as they Ate ~*~ \~*~ At home as they Ate, Licking their Paws, Wishing for NOMS Golden Crispy to Gnaw ~*~
~*~ Waff-EL, Waff-EL,Waff-EL, Waff-EL...Born is the Breakfast Treat that is WAFF-EL! ~*~

"Wall El is favorite breakfast for Kal El!" "Where for art thou Waffles?" "WAFFLES !!!" "~*~ And I want a Bike!! And a Waffle Iron!! And a Snowboard!! And a Ray Gun!!...~*~"

~*~ Wootmas time is here, ~*~
~*~ Happiness & cheer, ~*~~*~ Fun for all, the tinies call thier favorite time of year. ~*~
~*~ Snowflakes in the air, ~*~

~*~ Waffles everywhere,~*~
~*~ Chocolate cake will help us make,~*~
~*~ a feast for friends to share. ~*~



 ~*~ Sleighbells in the air,~*~
~*~ candy everywhere, ~*~

~*~ Bacon treats & festivities,~*~
~*~ & pastries made with care. ~*~
~*~ Wootmas time is here, ~*~

~*~ Wootmas time is here, ~*~,~*~
~*~ tinies drawing near, ~*~
~*~ Oh that we could only see, ~*~
~*~ such goodies through the year, ~*~


 "~*~ And I want a Remote Controlled Boat! And a New XBOX!  And a Big Box of Chocolate!!  ~*~" "~*~ And Some Sweet Shoes for My Paws!!! And I Want One of Those Things That Make those PYEW PYEW PYEW Sounds!!! ~*~"

~*~ Sleigh bells ring! Are you listening? ~*~
~*~ In the shire, snow is glistening! ~*~
~*~ A wootiful sight, we're happy tonight, ~*~
~*~ Walking in a waffle wonderland! ~*~


~*~ Gone away is the blue bird ~*~
~*~ Here to stay is the new bird ~*~
~*~ He noms on chocolate ~*~
~*~ With bacon on a stick ~*~
~*~ Walking in a waffle wonderland! ~*~


~*~ In the shire we can build a snowman ~*~
~*~ Pretend that he's a chef from outta town ~*~

~*~ He'll say 'Want some waffle?' We'll say 'YEAH MAN!' ~*~
~*~ Then he'll pour the syrup while we chow! ~*~


~*~ Later on we'll conspire ~*~

 ~*~ As we riverdance in the shire ~*~
~*~ Tiny faces alight ~*~
~*~ With all the presents in sight ~*~
~*~ Walking in a waffle wonderland! ~*~


 "WOOTCAKE!" "~*~ SAWCE!!! ~*~" "~*~ HO HO HO!!! MERRY WOOTMAS!!!! ~*~"


~*~ O' Little Sim of Raglan Shire, Where Tinies come to Playyyy ~*~
~*~ To run and chitter endlessly  and RiverDance all dayyyy ~*~
~*~ And in the Snow of Winterfest, Tinies are heard to Call.. ~*~
~*~ To Visitors of Biggie Height, Asked Why Are You So Tallllllll? ~*~

~*~ Hark the Tiny Critters Sing, Glory to the Waffle King! ~*~
~*~ Peace on the Grid & Syrup mild, Otters & Ferrets Reconciled! ~*~
~*~ Joyful with all your fur so slick, Raise up your Cookies on a stick! ~*~
~*~ And with upward paws proclaim, We shall RiverDance again! ~*~
~*~ Hark the Tiny Critters Sing, Glory to the Waffle Kinnnng ~*~

~*~ You Better Watch Out, ~*~
~*~ You Better Not Cry,~*~
~*~ You Better Not Pout, I'm Telling You Why, ~*~

 ~*~ Santa PAWS Is Coming To Town,~*~

~*~ He's Making A List, And Checking It Twice ~*~

~*~ Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice,~*~
~*~ Santa PAWS Is Coming To Town,~*~


~*~ He Sees When You Eat WAFFLES, ~*~

~*~ He Knows When You Eat CAKE,~*~
~*~ He Knows If You've Been Bad Or Good,~*~
~*~ So Be Good For Goodness Sake! ~*~


~*~ You Better Watch Out,~*~
~*~ You Better Not Cry, ~*~
~*~ You Better Not Pout, I'm Telling You Why, ~*~

~*~ Santa PAWS Is Coming, ~*~
~*~ Santa PAWS Is Coming,~*~
~*~ Santa PAWS is Coming To Towwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnn, ~*~ SANTA PAWS IS COMING TO TOWN! ~*~


~*~ Here we come A-waffling please feed us Breakfast Food! Here we come A-hungering so help our Starving Mood!~*~
~*~ Knives & Forks Come to Me, And a Warm Butter Patty, And please Serve us some Syrup &
Chopped up Pecans Tooooo...~*~
~*~ And Please Sprinkle some Berries on them Toooo! Here we come A-waffling please Feed us Tasty Treats!~*~
~*~ Here we come A-chittering so give us something Sweet!  Thanks to All for the Snax! Now we all can go Chillax!~*~
~*~And go about the things that we all Dooooo..... And Happy Holidays from All of Us to YOUUUUUUUUUU~*~

"~*~ I CAN HAZ MOAR WOOTNOG PLZ?? ~*~" " ~*~WAFFLE!!!!!!~*~"

~*~ Here we come A-waffling please feed us Breakfast Food! Here we come A-hungering so help our Starving Mood!~*~
~*~ Knives & Forks Come to Me, And a Warm Butter Patty, And please Serve us some Syrup & Chopped up Pecans Tooooo...~*~
~ And Please Sprinkle some Berries on them Toooo! Here we come A-waffling please Feed us Tasty Treats!~*~
 ~*~ Here we come A-chittering so give us something Sweet!  Thanks to All for the Snax! Now we all can go Chillax!~*~

~*~And go about the things that we all Dooooo..... And Happy Holidays from All of Us to YOUUUUUUUUUU~*~
~*~ Jelly Beans, Hunks of Cheese, Sugar Frosted Ham. All Deep-fried, Toast on the Side with Wootberry Jam.. ~*~
~*~ Chocolate Cake all wrapped in Bacon, Nachos on a Stick! Come Along, Let's eat some Noms & Hope we don't get Sick... HEY!! ~*~
~*~ Nomming Treats & Sweets, from Our Raglan Shire Buffet, Fills our little tummies, with Food this Holiday! ~*~
~*~ Just singing 'bout it now, Make's our Hunger Rise! We can't wait to grab a Plate & Stack it real High.. Withhh.. ~*~
~*~ Jelly Beans, Hunks of Cheese, Sugar Frosted Ham. All Deep-fried, Toast on the Side with Wootberry Jam.. ~*~
~*~ Chocolate Cake all wrapped in Bacon, Nachos on a Stick! Come Along, Let's eat some Noms & Hope we don't get SICKKKKKKK! ~*~


The "biggies" who were nearby listening applauded, "Beautiful bravo!" "You guys are great!" And the tinies were appreciative, "~*~ THANK YOO!! ~*~" "Merry Christmass every tiny!" "Thank youse." But it didn't take long for the tinies' mood to turn to something else other than singing, "NOW WE RIVERDANCE!!!!!!" "When do we riverdance?  Can we do it now?" And the tinies started doing their Riverdance move that would make Michael Flately proud, "I hope the floor can take it." But unfortunately, all that feet pounding had a predictable effect on the nearby Christmas tree, and it's decorations came crashing to the ground. "~*~ ZOE EM GEE! ORNAMENTZ!! ~*~" And the tinies scampered away, "Take care everybuddy!"

And so ended the tiny caroling at Grendels, at least at that time of day. Knowing Toady, she probably had some replacement tree decorations, and brought the tinies back later that day with promises of a waffle or two.

If you want to grab the freebies while they're still up, head to Avaria Tor (133, 134, 305).

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, December 13, 2018

What Happened to Aero Pines?


By Bixyl Shuftan

It's been months since we've reported about Areo Pines. This place in Second Life was noted for it's nature scenery, horseback riding, and holding special events across the year, such as it's 9/11 Stairclimb Tribute events and it's Superbowl parties. But over the years, the sims were slowly trimmed back until there were just a few left. It's sad to say that when I went to check up on the place during the Thanksgiving holiday, the place was gone from the map.

When I talked to Aero's former owner, Cindy Bolero, she told me she had turned the place over to someone else in 2015, "and early this year, January I think, she closed the park and redesigned the sims. I was out with eye surgeries n' stuff for a year, and this year been working on CERTsimulator, the FEMA disaster management and practice virtual world I've been working towards for five years."

Besides real life challenges, there were other reasons for her giving up Aero Pines. The money and management was one, "(It) was much work and great expense. ... So many different languages. It was a lot of work to do translations of all our information." But another was the change in the people who were coming over, "We were getting (a) huge amount of visitors in recent years, but it wasn't the same. ... it became mostly men preying on our endless supply of day old females. There was no more community feel, just a meat market." She does still hear from a few friends from previous happier times about the park, but times have changed, "Now I host private VWs profressionaly serving good causes, instead of just playtime."

But Aero isn't completely gone, "I never really announced it closed, but I have announced that its moved." She had gotten a place on the Sinespace grid, and duplicated part of the park there, but it hasn't been worked on in a while, "I haven't had a chance to upgrade it. It's still in winter from 2016. ... there may be a 12th annual Winter Festival if I get time to improve the sinespace version. I have to go on travel this week for a FEMA program management training. So many worlds, so little time. (smile)"

I did take a short trip into Sinespace to check out Aero Pines, or Winter Festival as it's called there. Going about on that virtual world is a bit different than Second Life, but I got there and was able to get a sled ride. But hopping off I was back where I started from. Sinespace takes some getting used to.

Sadly, it looks like a great area in Second Life has now become part of it's past, with that's left of it in another virtual world and pictures on it's Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/aero_pines_park/

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, December 7, 2018

Mysterious Circles Appear on Montecito Bay's Streets


By Bixyl Shuftan

Just as Montecito Bay has been putting the slime and maw monsters behind them, there's a new mystery afoot. My first clue to what was happening was a group announcement by Becky Nostferatu on November 24.

I swear I just saw lights, guys. All over! And now, we're getting some weird circles on the ground... so strange. I wonder what it could mean for the sim? We better keep our eyes open!

But it wasn't until a few days later when I dropped by the sim. I talked to a few people, Moff (MoffettMephit Resident), Emorald Resident, Lem Aiko (LemonPledge Resident) just outside the Magnum Opus, the "MO" still under reconstruction with scafolding outside the building and the "Crux Construction Company" signs. Kardinal Klo (Klomonx Resident) was working on it, "Okay, I need to do the under colors, and the dome texture and move the windows out if they haven't yet." Lem, who was in his hard hat, might have been helping him but at the moment was taking a break.

As we talked, I noticed some markings on the road, like the "crop circles" seen on TV news and social media occasionally. I then brought their attention to it, "Say, what's that on the road?" Moff replied, "Oh, some degenerates playing a prank, or something. Street department hasn't had a chance to clean them off yet." Lem's answer was, "I dunno, they just appeared there. (I'm) pretty sure kids are spray painting them." Emorald answered, "We THINK some kids are just spray painting it. Not sure yet."

I looked to Emorald, "What do you mean 'we think?'" He shrugged, "That is the best guess I have honestly." "Cops couldn't prove it yet," Lem told me. "Why not just pressure wash it off?" I asked. Lem answered, "I ain't getting paid for it. It'll eventually wear off." Emorald told me, "It was done once, and was back the next morning." "Any more of these?" I asked. Emorald answered, "I have seen a few." Lem told me, "Yea, at every intersection. A lot of paint wasted, Must be a college prank." "But yeah Bix," Emorald commented, "who ever is doing this prank, A+ for effort."

Moff then had to leave for something. I then brought up Becky Nostferatu's group message, "Checking the Mont Bay bulletins, Becky says 'weird lights' showed up just before these circles." Lem told me, "As far as I know, the only cameras that caught anything was the ones at the gas station, they saw some sort of black shadow fly across the screen and then the ones facing the intersection went dead." "So that's all that was noticed before these weird shapes?" "I think the weird lights were kids playing with high power laser pointers. They will kill a camera very fast. It's all a big hoax, though a well put together hoax. Like I said, they get points for effort."

I then asked, "What are some of the (other) locals saying?" "There's a guy over on the east side who swears he saw some flying saucers," Lem answered, "I think he's on something." Emorald asked him, "Was that the same dude that got evicted from that one abandoned building Lem? I think he was living, next to the hotel?" Lem answered, "I don't know, but he snoops around my warehouse a lot too. The guy is a conspiracy theorist." Emorald added, "I know there was a guy living in that building, had to really clean the place up. Someone had a hell of a drug lab there." "Yeah, you wonder who was responsible, but innocent till proven guilty."

Not long afterwards, I bade farewell to the two, and looked around. Sure enough, there were more of these strange patterns on the asphalt in other places. Either they were done by a machine, or the painter had a very steady hand. I did notice one building with a few strange pictures. But before I could take a picture of it, a huge spider appeared, which freaked me out to the point I forgot about making the shot. Normally such enormous arachnids are found in the tropics. But considering the recent maw monsters and now these street circles, well, know knows?

And so Montecito Bay now has some more weirdness on it's hands. Or considering the Cruxes, additional weirdness. What happens next? Time will tell.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, December 3, 2018

Pixel to Pixel Closes: Statement From the Group


"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
- From Ecclesiastes 3, but also from a very good Byrd's song from 1965.

The Bible causes strong emotional reactions in people, from those who fervently believe it is the divine Word of God to those who think it the most dangerous fraud ever perpetrated on humankind.  But no matter where you find yourself on that continuum, within the chapters and verses and poetry of the script can be found great truths.  Ecclesiastes 3 gives us one of those truths:  For every thing there is a season.  It goes on to list what seems to be an exhaustive list to support the idea, but there is one repeated theme throughout; everything has a beginning and an end.

It started with a need.  Jadyn Firehawk, herself a fairly new arrival to Second Life and inspired by the group, Virtual Ability, recognized a feature of the world that a lot of us missed - she saw the opportunity for those with disabilities to live a meaningful virtual life in ways they could not anywhere else.  She saw a chance for millions of people in the world to live and walk and laugh and love and....function...without their supposed disability being a factor in their relationships with others.

But Jadyn the dreamer is also Jadyn the realist, and she recognized that many of those same individuals who could benefit so greatly from what SL had to offer also often had RL limitations to resources.  There was nothing she could do for those with no access to the internet or a computer, but there was something she could do for those with access but limited financial resources to fully enjoy a regular life in Second Life.

Many of us know the Serenity Prayer and its plea to a Higher Power to help us know the difference between what we can change and what we cannot.  Though perhaps inspired by that, to our great blessing she didn't take it to heart.  No, her actions are better described by the words of Edward Everett Hale:  "I am but one, but I AM one.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something, and I will not let what I cannot do interfere with doing what I can do."

So, Jadyn founded the Pixel To Pixel Foundation to provide a weekly stipend for those with disabilities so that they could enjoy a more complete Second Life.  The dream became action, and the action became perseverance, and the perseverance became a foundation that worked with a network of compassionate donors and a list of grateful recipients who were able to update their avatars and purchase things to make their lives a little better and, in many cases, purchase things that they could use to create.  Jadyn created a gallery so that those who created artwork would have a place to sell their art...to earn their living in SL.  Through Jadyn's hard work, aided by individuals who believed in her vision and gave of themselves, she was able to grow P2P so that it was able to provide support to dozens of people and hundreds of stipends over the years.

It was not always easy.  There was a constant need for fund raising, and always, always, more people who needed help than could be provided for.  It was sometimes heartbreaking, but over the years, with dogged determination and unmatched fortitude, Jadyn pushed on.

It has taken a toll.  Nine years of constant fund raising drives, nine years of pouring over applications for aid, nine years of the joy of being able to help and the sorrow of not being able to help everyone.  It takes a toll.

And that brings us back to Ecclesiastes.  There is a time to begin, and there is a time to end.  The time for this great and marvelous and selfless act of compassion to come to an end has arrived.  The decision was not an easy one, and it was not taken lightly.  Something you may or may not know about Jadyn, she has her own disability.  She has struggled with it even as she provided for others.  But the scale has tipped, and it is time for Jadyn to take care of herself.

Now, this isn't going to happen all at once.  There are resources available to continue making stipend payments until the first week of January and those payments will be made.  But effective December 1st we will no longer be soliciting donations and we will be shutting down the donation kiosks that can be found scattered around Second Life.  We ask that those who use personal giving boxes deactivate them by taking them up into inventory.  Any excess funds we might have as of January 4th, 2019, will be donated to Virtual Ability, SL's main disability support group.

Of course there will be questions and concerns and grief.   There will be temptation to direct such things to Jadyn, but we ask that all such be directed to me (Sandi Glas) for now.

In closing, we want to thank our generous donors, sponsors and volunteers who have made this nine year journey possible and express our love for those who were recipients of that generosity.

With all our love and affection,
The P2P staff.

* * * * *

A heartfelt thank you to Sandi Glas for helping me to make my very difficult decision to close down the P2P Foundation. She's been an indispensable sounding board for me over the past several months, as well as having been a valued supporter over the years in a number of ways. Thank you, Sandi.

Jadyn Firehawk

Pictures from the Newser

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Commentary: Has the Collapse of InWorldz Stopped Many Second Life Residents From Considering Another Virtual World


By Bixyl Shuftan

When there were a number of residents raising serious questions about Linden Lab and the future of Second Life in late 2013 and early 2014 during the ToS Content Creator controversy, when it looked like Linden Lab was reserving the right to take any content it's customers uploaded and use it for it's own purposes or even sell, some started making plans to leave. While a few talked about leaving virtual worlds altogether, most comments I heard were from people saying they planned to head to another virtual world. Of these, some talked about an Opensim world, but most talked about one particular one: InWorldz, the second-largest of the grids in population. The concerns got to the point a number of my neighbors got a few sims in InWorldz as a "lifeboat" in case Linden Lab shut down our virtual world. It was stated at the time that if Second Life folded, about a third would head to InWorldz, a third would head to OpenSim, and a third would give up virtual worlds altogether. But eventually, Linden Lab responded to the residents about the Content Creator controversy, and the plans to head to InWorldz were put aside. But still, if anything happened to Second Life, InWorldz was still around as our "backup."

So with Inworldz itself folding in July this year, how has this changed the answer to the question "Where would you go it Second Life shut down?" If Linden Lab was hoping for some to consider their "Next Generation Virtual World" Sansar, they're in for a disappointment. I've only heard of a handful of people saying they go on Sansar regularly, and only one region from the older grid has moved there. Sansar has more going against it besides the people here already having a virtual home. While Sansar looks good, you can't really interact with objects and people like you can in Second Life. And even among next-generation worlds, Sansar is far behind VR Chat in popularity. Some of the comments I've read are from people who remark that socially it has more of the feel of the early Second Life.

Listening to friends, some stated they would head to Opensim. But there's no one world that people seem to favor. When InWorldz fell, there was a great diaspora of the residents among a number of places, Kitely, Sinespace, DigiWorldz, Discovery, Tranquility, The Great Canadian Grid, and many others. When talking to my virtual neighbors, many commented they'd spent more time with friends in games, such as Ark Survival Evolved or Fortnight.

So with no "second place" virtual world, it appears instead of an exodus mainly to one destination, a shutdown of Second Life would mean a virtual diaspora with it's residents heading to a number of far smaller worlds and a number of MMOs. Once seen as "Internet 2.0," it would be the end of an era when a virtual world could hope to have thousands of active residents.

There is one thing to consider. At this time while many residents still have the love-hate relationship with Linden Lab they've had for years, it's much better than the days of 2013-2014. While a number grumble that the Linden's effort on Sansar could have been much better spent here, there's no crisis of confidence like there was in the ToS CC Controversy, no big worries that Linden Lab is going to steal the content of it's users, or that they plan to up and shut down this world. If there were, they'd start making more serious plans for exit strategies again.

So while today things look like the sudden end of this virtual world would mean it's users would be scattered in the wind, perhaps five years from now, the answer will be different. That is, unless the big fear is realized and Second Life really does end up shutting down.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, November 26, 2018

Eleven Years of Reporting


By Bixyl Shuftan

It was about eleven years ago that yours truly got his start as a reporter here in Second Life. Before coming to Second Life, I had been writing a few science-fiction stories and posting them on a personal website. They got some reads, and a little fanart. But by 2007, I felt it was time for a break, so put that on pause. In the meantime, I had taken an interest in Second Life, and that year started logging in on a regular basis. Wanting to know more about this virtual world, I began looking up websites and blogs. I eventually came across a few newsletters, the one getting my attention the most being "Second Life Newspaper." It was owned by JamesT Juno and run by Dana Vanmoer. After a while, I came across an invitation for it's readers to send in "reader submitted" articles. So I wrote a few and sent them in. James and Dana were impressed, and invited me for a job interview. After several minutes of talking, I got the job.

Although I wasn't always sure what would make for a good subject in the first few weeks, I soon got the hang of things. I would write about a variety of subjects about the people, places, and events of Second Life. While occasionally my stories were a bit on the sensational side, such as writing about "Zig Zag" and her adult media company, more often than not, they were about how Second Life sometimes mirrored real life, such as the 2008 Presidential Election, people doing good things in Second Life, notably the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Relay for Life, the various things people made here, or people just having fun such as the games and virtual pets. And of course I was part of a great time, some who would become my friends.

In Spring 2010, James and Dana were having to deal with real life situations that would not go away, and made the decision to close the Second Life Newspaper. Four of us, Gemma Cleanslate, Grey Lupindo, Shellie Sands, and I made the decision to start a new paper with me as the leader. And so my role changed from just another writer to the head of the team. Over the years, the team has seen people come and go, such as DrFran, Zymbers Slade, Grease Coakes, Majik, and others. But the team remains, with Gemma and I still writing stories.

As Second Life has changed, I've written about new places, things, and people here, such as the development of mesh and Bento. I've written about other virtual worlds, such as InWorldz. And as my friends here also play games outside Second Life, I've written about those as well, such as Minecraft, World of Warcraft, and more. But the main focus continues to be this virtual world. I'm able to write one, two or three larger stories each week, plus briefs for the front page about Linden blog announcements and other breaking news.

So now what? For one, I plan on continuing what I've been doing all along. But I also have something else going on. Before getting into journalism, I wrote a few fictional stories, some short and some long. And recently I've started up on another science-fiction novel, "The Corsean Encounter." This is the story of two men as they end up on an alien world that in some ways is quite familiar, in others very different, in a pivotal moment in it's history, and the decisions they and their friends and enemies make will affect the world for generations to come. As of now, it's slightly less than halfway done. The Newser keeps me busy.

Eleven years later, much has changed. But the primary objective remains the same, getting the word out about the people, places, and events, of Second Life.

"And that's the way it is."

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

My Cape Heron Lots



By Deaflegacy (Kalaya Karringten)

I remember the day I saw all these Cape Heron lots.  They are at a good size and have plenty of prims available.  I was living in an apartment back then.  I was paying one linden a week.  I really liked having an apartment but I couldn't resist asking myself if I'd like to have a parcel.

I talked to Stepin (stepinwolf.darkstone) about getting a parcel because he owns several parcel lots.  Stepin recommended that I talk to the manager of the parcels.  I did and got a parcel.

The parcel grew into two.  The next thing I knew, it not only grew into three, but into four as well. It was my desire to have a lot with some trees and a big house.

Soon enough, my lots have became a home to my family.  I also have some trees as well as a large gazebo for a piano so Ari (arisia.vita) could play on our piano for us to enjoy his music.  I did get some horses.  I have been taking care of horses for some time now.  I even named my horses after some people in real life. I cannot say who but I know who they are.  They are my inspiration.

I shouldn't say 'my lots'. Instead, because I'm sharing the lots with a few other people who are in my family, it should be 'our lots'.  So I think from now on, I'll say, 'our lots' because I like to share our lots with my family members as well as best friends.

For security reasons, I cannot say where my parcel lots are but I can tell you that it's Cape Heron.

I hope to have these parcels for a long time. I'm willing to pay for these parcels for a long time to come because I have started to consider our lots as a home.  A home to go to.  A safe place to be. It's a really good place to be.

I can definitely say right now that I have two homes – one in real life and one on Second Life.  Only that our lots are more beautiful than my real life home.  That's a fact.

Deaflegacy

Monday, October 15, 2018

My Horses on Second Life


By Deaflegacy

My horses are not just the most beautiful animals on Second Life. They are also on my lots for a reason. What reason is what? Some people might ask. The reason is simple. They are my inspiration and at the same time, good for my mental health.

It was Bixyl Shuftan who first introduced me to the whole idea of having horses, him having been given a few by a friend. At first, it was just two horses of two different kinds. Their names were Beverley and Lorne. I named them after my real life best friends. My real life best friends too are my inspiration. Over time, I would get more horses and name them after my real life inspiration. I have even named some horses after Bixyl.

With Bixyl's help, I am able to take care of my horses. I would check on them once or twice a day to make sure that they have their hay and salt licks. I would make sure that they are getting along just fine.

I love my horses very much because they are more than just inspiration. They are my family, too. The new horse got named Six String after my partner, Six String (roleplayismylife) because I love Six  very much both on Second Life and in real life. I hope to one day ride horses with Six. We did it before and have a lot of fun. But we only did it within the lots. We will be riding horses one day around Cape Heron.

My horses have so far taught me a lot about myself, some I already know and some I don't already know. I am very thankful to Bixyl for showing me the horses. Now I have something else to look forward to every time I get on Second Life. That is to take care of my horses. Thanks so much, Bixyl. The horses mean a lot to me.

Deaflegacy

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Montecito Bay Versus The Slime And Maw Monsters


By Bixyl Shuftan

As Montecito Bay approaches it's first anniversary as an incorporated sim, things have been getting a little weird around town. Or if one considers that a number of it's residents are cruxes, a little weirder than usual. For the past week, there have been sightings of puddles of green slime. In one group chat, MoffettMephit (Moff) commented, "I take it y'all have heard about the emergency broadcasts? The ones that talk about the slime? All I can really add is, if ya see any of that around here, I wouldn't go touching it. Fact is, our top scientists are on this, and they think it has to do with the Gacha Guild." Asking questions only got various comments from various other local residents. Some were saying if ferals licked it, they would grow two extra heads. Others boasted they licked it with no ill effects, "tastes like jello." Other theories included the slime was the result of cruxes throwing up after having "the special" from a local diner.

A few casual glances around turned up nothing. Finally, one Saturday night I dropped by the "After Dark" event at the Magnum Opus club. There was scaffolding on the outside. I was told that this would be the last event at the "MO" as it's sometimes called before it was renovated. There was a small pile of furnishings ablaze in the corner. I was told that was furniture and things that were to old to reuse when the rennovation was done. Some of the locals were looking unusual, looking like three-headed cerebus dogs or sporting two heads, possibly a result of the slimes.

Asking about the slimes, I was old there was some on the beach and the Studio 86 club. "They were here, Moff used a vacuum," Twocoin told me, "He said 'Not in this club!' And then out came the bleach." Moff, who was DJing, responded, "Authorities have begun to suspect the origin being from another sim. Just don't touch that stuff." Kardinal Klo asked, "Do you think they have any idea what they're dealing with?" Moff responded, "We have put our top scientists on it." Emorald commented, "I have tried to get a close look at the slime. But, every time I try and get close, the scientists shoo me away." Magpie Hyena spoke, "One of the staff managed to uh... contain one of the beasties ... somehow. in a tiny bag."

Since the boardwalk and beach were just across the road from the Magnum Opus, I took a quick look over. Before long, I saw some slime. But on top of the goop was what looked like the lounge chair from Hell. It looked like an open set of jaws that had somehow been removed from it's owner, with a huge set of fangs. It looked like it was waiting for someone unwary enough to sit down, and then gulp them down.

I went back to report this to the people at the club. Hearing my description, Moff swore, "Oh s**t! Those are back too?! ... Those teeth things. After the show, we'll have to get the city flamethrowers." "What are those things?" I asked. Moff answered, "I have no idea." Magpie spoke, "They're certainly odd. I hear some local pets have been missing, and I bet they're to blame."

Moff went on, "One of them had a CRUX tongue! I mean, can we blame cruxes for this?" Emorald asked, "It EAT a crux ???" Moff answered, "I don't think so. It's too organized." Kardinal Klo remarked, "They show signs of intelligence, sentience, even." Magpie joked, "Seatience, that's a good way to put it, Klo." "Sentience!" Moff corrected. "No no! Seatience!" Moff then realized the joke and chuckled, "Oh! Ha ha!"

Twocoin asked, "Wait... Are we still talking about the pets or the crux?" Moff went, "If it were cruxes, there'd just be a big pile of slime covered teeth things." Emorald spoke, "They are like raptors" Magpie remarked, "Better hope those beasties don't go over your head like that joke." Twocoin responded, "It would NOT go over my head. My reflexes are too good. I would catch it." Moff then tossed a record his way. Twocoin joked, "Moff's breaking records in all categories.."

Magpie then looked around, "Anyone feel like they're being watched?" Moff answered, "What?! NO! I mean, I wasn't until just now." Klo went, "Yes, but, I mean, I have two heads." Twocoin remarked, "It's like there's some human with a camera pointed at the back of my head. Also, Klo's friend is staring at me," he pointed to a Halloween skeleton in a cage. Twocoin pointed out, "... there are dogs all around her."

A comment by Lem got Moff to joke, "Where's those teeth things when you need one? Sacrifice Lem to the slime." Magpie cautioned, "Hey Moff, I wouldn't wish for those teeth things, even as a joke you know. Don't wanna jinx this party." Moff didn't heed the warning, "I do! Let one bite that Lem butt!" "Gosh, be careful what you wish for!" Lem remarked, "My butt might swell up, nobody wants to see that. I got bit by a zombie one time, and the zombie died.]"

Then Twocoin saw the party had a new arrival, "Oh! There is a tooth thing right there!" Magpie blurted, "WHAT?!" Klo wondered, "Is it attracted to music?" Emorald wondered, "How did that get here?" Twocoin then noticed, "And another right there." "We attracted them!" Magpie remarked, "with the loud kickass tunes!" Moff then noticed one had a long, striped tounge, "Oh sh**, it's the crux tongue!" Twocoin went, "Mateo is AFK quick sacrifice him!" Moff shouted, "GO POKE IT LEM!" Lem then changed into his Halloween avatar, "I need to be my ghoul." Magpie then warned me one had appeared near me, "U-uh... B-b-bix...?!" I quickly got out of the way.

Then Moff remembered their fire, "Wait! We have flaming furniture!" Magpie blurted, "Someone set it on fire!" Moff then grabbed some of the furniture in the fire pile by an unlit end and tossed it onto one of the maws. But it was soon clear it wasn't having any effect, Klo observing, "It does not appear fire helps."

With the creatures not making any more aggressive moves, Magpie was rethinking the idea of getting rid of them, "I'm not so sure. I know some of our authorities  have noticed that when its domesticated it doesn't seem to uhhh...drool as much." She then grinned, "Though I'm sure you could make it drool with the right treats?" Emorald asked, "But, how do you domesticate them?" Magpie answered,  "Someone told me that a whole damn mess of  sciencey types down at the SCP facilities have managed to tame these guys." Moff asked, "Tame them? For what?" Magpie went on, "They've boxed them all up and put 'em in a little machine, like some sorta snack vendor. Somethin' called a gacha." Apparently the folks down at the SCP foundation in Dewdrop have managed to breed these guys to just sorta...cuddle. They'll let you sit all over em and won't be bothered. I imagine they're still fixing some kinks, so, I'd be cautious."

Emorald commented, "They do look....kinda cuddly." Klo followed, "Hmm, one of you should try and sit on one." Moff suggested, "Again, Lem, go ahead!" Lem asked, "Go ahead what?" Moff told her, "Go touch the teeth thing!" Magpie was unsure, "I don't know, who here's a brave enough soul to give that little beastie a pat?" Klo commented, "'soul' you mean 'sacrifice'." Lem then began approaching one. Magpie reacted, "Be careful Lem." But whem Lem touched one, the result was, nothing. Magpie responded, "Hmm. Well they seem a lot more docile than we were anticipating." Emorald observed, "They haven't eaten him yet." Magpie suggested, "There's no blood and gore yet. Maybe it's scared of you Lem." Lem joked, "I'm not zesty enough."

Thinking it over, Magpie made a decision, "Well, I guess I've lived  a good life. I'll try to mess with that curious little purple and green one." Emorald wasn't so sure, "Wait Mags! Let me go first." Magpie asked, " A-are you sure?" Emorald answered, "I am small enough, I can get away fast." "Er... okay Em." Emorald then sat on the maw, and the reaction was, nothing. Magpie asked, "Is that slimy?" Emorald answered, "A little, but like, the tongue is soft, like, velvet." Magpie was amazed at the sight, "That thing is literally just letting you chill on its, tongue?!" "Yeesh." "I mean you ARE a mousey looking thing. I'm shocked it's not, just chomped! Well, maybe it isn't the thing that's been, making the local pets disappear, maybe."

Then Moff reappeared, with a weapon. Mateo Firecaster commented, "Oh s**t! A Crux with a gun!" Twocoin remarked, "That's not a gun, that's a rocket launcher!" Emorald, still on the creature, looked to the armed crux, "Why do you have a gun Moff?" Moff responded, "Gee, guess!"  Magpie tried to get him to back off, "Moff wait! It, I don't know! It doesn't look like it's hurtin' nobody! And it was immune to fire! I don't even know if a rocket will kill it!" Moff was unpersuaded, "Now move!" "Wait!" Emorald told him, "we sure we wanna do that? I mean, what if killing one pisses them ALL off?" Moff was unmoved, "Last warning." Twocoin wondered, "What if it makes babies?" That was enough for Moff, who then fired, "Welp! Sorry Em!" Magpie blurted, "Oh Jesus Moff!" Lem commented, "Hard hat for safety." Moff then grinned, "Potato launcher!" Emorald, still moving around, laughed. Magpie observed, "I don't think they liked that." Moff responded, "They don't like potatoes?! Then they are evil." Magpie then noticed one more, "There's another one that seemed to dig from the ground below you when you did that!" I commented, "It looks like they did like that and some showed up for more."

Magpie commented, "These things are tough, but, they're just kinda, chilling out." Moff had another idea, "Torch the building." Klo asked, "Is this akin to setting the house on fire when you find a spider? ... Set the MO on fire, the aliens are here?" Lem then called out, "Em!" Emorald asked, "What?" Lem sat on another of the maw creatures, "Come sit." Moff joked, "Lem and Em make out on one, maybe that'll kill it." Magpie was surprised, "That one's just... letting you two cuddle together with it?!"

Moff noted the music band that was playing at the time, "Clearly these two like The Scorpions." Klo responded, "Who doesn't like The Scorpions?" The white crux DJ then had an idea, "HEY HEY HEY! Could these be like the aliens in Mars Attacks? If we yodel....." Klo liked the idea, "Oh s**t, play some, uh, Indian Love Call? Is that it?" Twocoin joked, "Play some Jane's Addiction. Nothing survives that." Klo asked, "Do these things even have ears, or do they just feel vibration?" Another new one was seen in the room, Emorald saying, "What is that one over there? ... Looks like it was, sewn together." Moff finally had his musical weapon loaded, "Oh Em Gee! Are you all ready?!" He then started playing Slim Whitman's "Indian Love Call." Magpie asked, "Moff are you gonna soothe these beasties with some great tunes?" then realizing what was being played, "Oh boy, YOU ARE!" "Here we go!" Klo remarked at the music, "If this doesn't kill them, we're screwed!" Moff responded, "If they start dancing, I'm leaving."

Then Magpie noticed, "One of them is gone. Moff, I think it's working." Klo blurted, "Oh s**t. Does 'Mars Attacks' again tell us the truth?" "This song is saving us!" Magpie exclaimed. "This song only has ninety seconds," Moff reminded, "So I hope the next one works!" But at the end of the song, there was not a maw in sight. "Are they all gone?" Magpie asked. "Seems they are," Emorald answered. "Welp, guess 'Mars Attacks' taught us a thing or two!" With "Piece of My Heart" playing, Magpie suggested, "If this song really is sending them scurrying back to their nests, they are missing out on some great taste."

Moff then loaded in the next tune, "The next song, is one you all can sing afterwards! Cuz it is true! Y'all ready!" Then came the song, "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life." Klo started laughing, "Moff taking all the credit for that is he." "IT TRUE THO!" Moff boasted. Klo remarked, "Nevermind he's who probably brought them here."

"I'll play a couple more after this, but then I'm running away," Moff told everyone, then started singing

There's not a problem that I can't fix
'Cause I can do it in the mix
And if your man gives you trouble
Just you move out on the double
And you don't let it trouble your brain
'Cause away goes trouble down the drain

Magpie then had a thought, "That's it! I bet they use the sewers to get to and from the sims! ... You sent those troubles down the drain, Moff. (grin) ... you never know what those sneaky SCP  foundation scientists are workin' on. Maybe someone installed some sorta tunnel to and fro." Moff responded, "Those sons of bit ... We need to go get them! Where are they at?" Magpie answered, "Well I think they're opening up their facilities to the public soon. But I know you can hang out in the lobby in Dew Drop. They're having some sorta, 'Gacha Guild' sale. But, there's been word that a lot of little beasties from different corners of the SL  world are inhabiting the place. Maybe that's why they're opening up their labs soon. Maybe they want help from patrons and consumers. Maybe we need to help them track down all the escaped monsters! I'm trying to find an old clipboard I found  at the place. I think it said..that they'll be opening the doors to the labs on the, 12th? But anyone is welcome to the gacha guild event they're having above the labs now. Just, be careful. You never know what sorta things are lurking in the dark corners."

And so ended the night of the slime and maw monsters. But this is unlikely to be the last Montecito Bay sees of them. And even if it is, no doubt some other form of zaniness will emerge to take it's place.

As for the Gacha Guild, it is at -
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Dew%20Drop/120/250/1739

Bixyl Shuftan

Note: The preceding was a "fun article" based on some interactive RP at the time

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Tales From Outside SL: Plagued Doctor at the Furry Con


Over the years, a few furs in Second Life have complained about harassment from human clubs. But it seems one has encountered it at a furry convention in real life.

JB Raccoon told me about one of his Second Life friends who went to "Furry Migration" in Minneapolis. His costume wasn't a fursuit that most associate with these cons. Rather, it was something from medical history, a plague doctor outfit. For those who don't know, this was the outfit often worn by doctors during the Black Death and other epidemics in late Medieval times. The outfit was all black with a hat or hood, and a mask with a birdlike "beak." In times of old, it would often be stuffed with smelling slats or other substances with strong aromas due to the belief plague was caused by bad odors. But at a modern con, it just makes someone look like a character out of Mad Magazine's "Spy vs Spy."

The man had a few props with him, his cane, a lantern, and claws. "All of yesterday day and today, I walked around with these props and other staff members did not say a thing about them," he explained to JB, "I wore my claw in the left hand, leather one on my right, cane and in left, lantern in right for the later hours. Most of the morning if wore one claw and glove with just my doctors bag. Any other detail, I can get is people commenting how good it was, suiters waving at me. I think some staff liking it, or volunteers." But on the evening in question, " I was walking out of the 4th floor and back to my room when this staff member asked me about my props,and now that I think of it was was something about putting a sticker on them, but I said I’m leaving them in the room for tomorrow."

"So he was there from the opening to current and had no issue 'till then," JB told me, "He had all those props on him since yesterday when he first arrived, and none of the staff approached him. Now, all of a sudden it becomes an issue and he needs some sticker or Lord knows what, that no one seems to know anythng about. I asked some other sources I have about this 'sticker' and was asked what I was smoking. ... Sounds to me like someone just didn't like his outfit. That has been rumored to be a problem there at FM that I have heard from several other attendees over the last couple years. ... I just do not understand why they didn't say something when he went through registration, the staff didn't seem bothered then by it. ...He's not the only one that does cosplay there, they have tons of anime outfits as well."

JB then showed me a youtube of the Furry Migration Parade (https://youtu.be/tyiRnKVT0dg). He also showed me a few still pictures, "About midway through," he told me, "there's a suiter twirling a staff, but with the restricted vision, that's dangerous yet allowed. I see a lantern being used in the parade. Someone else as a plague doctor with a spear type staff in the parade." He also showed me one picture of someone in a hockey jersey with a hocky stick, "You and I both can tell that's no prop, that's the real deal there and can be used as a weapon. This pisses me off."

JB demanded an explanation for why his friend was singled out, but never did get a response, "I'm blasting them on Twitter and all I'm getting from them is silence." So since some furs are in Second Life, he asked the Newser to have his side of the matter explained. He did ask that his friend's virtual identity be kept quiet, at least for now, "He wants to just be named as 'The Attendee.'"

Later on, JB would tell me, "He had someone speak to staff today, before the closing ceremony. They told them without a name of the individual that did approach, nothing could really be done. However, they did offer the 'zip-tie' that was referenced as what is used to indicate accepted props. I am guessing they had some colored cable tie to indicate to other staff it was approved." So it seems the issue was resolved finally, though not without confusion and a damper in what should have been a fun trip.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, August 6, 2018

Reader Submitted: Partial Furry Ban


By Lia (Female Winslet)

On August 2, I visited The Lounge: Jazz By The Bay. I was promptly asked to leave by the host on duty, Benj Mimulus, a member of the furry community, because I was wearing a quadruped avatar. The Lounge bans feral furry avatars. The owner, xaphyre.ansar, confirmed this partial furry ban and that feral avatars will be asked to leave.

Upon arrival at The Lounge: Jazz By The Bay, my first impression was that the venue was small, possibly a recently opened club. DJ Speelo was playing reasonably good tunes, although his mic work needs improvement. He seems to interrupt tunes haphazardly and sounds as if he is shouting over the music. I had been there before in an anthro form, and this was all what I had experienced before.

Mr. Mimulus immediately began sending me instant messages telling me that formal dress was required. Confused by why he would be telling me this, I said I understood that and I was using a quadruped avatar. He again told me that formal dress was required. I pointed out that quadruped avatars typically do not wear clothes. He again reiterated that formal dress was required.

It took me a few minutes to realize why Mr. Mimulus kept telling me that formal attire was required. Until then, my experience had been that clubs either do allow furries or they don’t. And the typical dress code at a formal dress venue, if furries are allowed, is something like the one at Sweetheart’s, which states "4 legged furries must wear fur and 2 legged furries must be fully clothed please."

Eventually, I realized that the problem at The Lounge: Jazz By The Bay was with my avatar. Because quadruped avatars do not normally wear clothing, Mr. Mimulus wanted me to change avatars, not just clothing. I told him that I do not change avatars for anyone except myself, but I would leave if my avatar posed a problem for him. He confirmed that he would like me to leave, and I did.

I reached out to xaphyre.ansar, the club owner, to describe what had happened. I asked if it was correct that quadruped avatars are not welcome at The Lounge. She confirmed it was, explaining the policy this way: "[W]e discriminate against anyone not wearing clothes[.]"

Discrimination against furries is nothing new in Second Life. Frank’s Place is a particularly infamous example. But this was my first experience with a partial furry ban, in this case one affecting only the feral members of our community. It was also the first time that I have seen a furry choose to work enforcing a ban on members of his own community.

I hope that the club owner will recognize that discrimination is not the way to go. Until then, I hope that furries and our friends will boycott this club. And I hope that Benj Mimulus will stop enforcing a discriminatory ban against a part of his own community. He should never have taken this job and, if the policy does not change quickly, he should resign and go work in a place where all are welcome. As a furry himself, his active participation in discrimination against his own community provides xaphyre.ansar with a degree of cover to claim that the partial furry ban is okay.

Lia

Editot's note: the picture is of the avatar in question at a club that is happy to have well-behaved visitors, regardless of appearance (as long as larger ones are careful where they step).

Friday, August 3, 2018

Reader Submitted: Collection of Places That Restrict Furry Avatars


By Lia (Female Winslet)

The sole purpose of this list is to help furries be able to explore Second Life without running into hostile receptions, including bans or being asked to leave because of their avatars. I understand that some owners may feel their restrictions are justified by a desire for historical accuracy, a certain ambience, or other reasons. The reasons for the restrictions are irrelevant and I do not pass judgment on them. I only note that they exist. However, because I do not want to reward these policies or encourage harassment or other bad behavior, I will not provide landmarks to their locations.

I have reviewed the TOS and this list appears to be completely legal. However, I want it to be very clear that this is ***not*** a list to be used for harassment, punishing, or otherwise acting badly. This is a list of places to avoid so that you don't get instantly ejected, banned, asked to leave, etc. No aggressive acts against any of these locations. If that becomes a problem, I will end this list.

The vendor, the list, and the script are copy and trans, but no mod. This way you can distribute copies of the list if you so desire. But the admonishment not to harass cannot be removed.

For questions, corrections, or to report other places that should be on the list, contact Lia (female.winslet). If you are an owner whose location has been erroneously included, please contact me to let me know and I will correct the list.

Adult Tropical LATINO BLUE BEACH RESORT
============================
From the place profile: "No avatars under 60 days aloud [sic], no child avatars, only human avatars."

Aux Bains du Paradis
==============
From the place profile: "Human avatars only."

*BDSM RAINTREE BDSM*
================
From the place profile: "HUMAN AVATARS ONLY*

Berlin 1920
========
Excerpts from the SIM rules:
Our rules;
-1920s clothes only
-Realistic avatars only

-Animals shouldn't talk, walk on 2 legs, be half human, etc. And yes... in Berlin people didn't have wings, pointy ears, claws, vampire teeth, etc, except on stage.

Bogart's Jazz Club
============

This is a part of Frank's Place, which is one of the more well known anti-furry spots. Please see the entry for Frank's Place.

Cage and Cell Club
=============
From the place profile: "Human avatars only."

Club Texas
=======
The rules posted on the community forums include "No Furries."

The Dreamer's Island - Surf
===================
From the place profile: "Human avatars only."

Fairweather Beach
============
From their place profile: "Human avatars only."

Feral Woods Beach and Farm
===================
From their place profile: "Human avatars only."

Frank's Place
=========
Franks The Elites and Franks Place Jazz Club do not allow non-human avatars to use these facilities. You may be ejected and banned if your avatar has any "non-human" features (tails, cat ears, ect.).

Frank's also has a notable reputation for homophobia.

The F**k SPOT - Gangbang and Bukkake Room - Human Avatars Only
==============================================

They put it right in their name. 'Nuff said.

Gianfar Peaks of Pern
==============
Pern roleplay community. Furries are okay as long as th-ey are not engaged in the roleplay at all. But only certain canon feral avatars are permitted to engage in the roleplay.

Golden Sunset Beach
===============
From the place profile: Normal human avatars only[.]

Grandpa's Interracial Warehouse
======================
From the place profile: "human avatars only."

Gregfield 1 and 2
==========
From the place profile: HUMAN AVATARS ONLY!

Hook-Up Hall - "Let's Hook-Up" = %100 Human Only
===================================
From the place profile: %100 Human Avatars Only

House in the Woods
=============
From the place profile: Adult human avatars only.

House of FED
=========
From the place profile: FED Home of human only sadists and victims.

Isla de Amores
==========
From the place profile: Human avatars only. No children or furries.

Libentia
=====
From the place profile: Human avatars only. Exceptions; wings and mermaid and mermen.

~ The Lounge: Jazz By The Bay ~
======================

Cocktail/evening dress only. Quadraped avatars are deemed not compliant with the dress code because quad avatars do not wear clothes, so quad avatars are asked to leave. Anthro furries are allowed. Since there are multiple clubs with similar names, to be clear, this one is a jazz club founded by Xaphyre.Ansar. Xaphyre.Ansar confirmed the policy and called it discrimination.

MacLeod's
=======
From the place profile: Human avatars only.

Manatee Naturist
===========
From the place profile: Human avatars only.

Masters/Mistresses Harem
==================
From the place profile: "Human Avatars only!"

Playa Perdida
=========
According to their place profile "Adult human avatars only[.]"

Pleasures XChange @ Serendipity CMNF
===========================
From the place profile: "Respect and tolerance is expected. Only human avatars."

Ramshackle Gentlemen's Club
====================
From the place profile: "...NO animal Avie or Child Avies Human Avatars Only..."

Ritz New York City
============
Club owner says furries are "a problem" and not welcome at her venue. This is a venue created specially for RFL fund raising and RFL official policy does not tolerate this type of discrimination. Current status is unclear.

*Secret Life Lounge*
==============
From the place profile:

STALLION JAZZ CLUB & HUGH'S BOUTIQUE
============================
From the place profile: "HUMAN AVATARS ONLY."

Tom's Prisoners
===========
From the place profile: "Male human avatars only."

Tranquil Tiki Island
============
From the place profile: "Human avatars only and no weapons allowed."

Turtle Coast Adult Beach
================
Sim rules do not allow furry avatars. Neko is reportedly fine. Apparently sim management may be somewhat lax in enforcing the policy.

U N I F I E D - Adult MEN/MALE AVATARS Only Culture Connections:
==================================
From the place profile: Adult Human Male Avatars Only.

White Horse Hollow
=============
Quote from sim rules:
~~~~ What is not allowed in our sims:
Bronies; Furries; Trolls - not welcome


Lia

* * * * *

Editor's Note: There was a small miscommunication with Lia when she handed me the list, I thinking she intended this for publication. As it turned out, she didn't. But she was okay with it.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The "Two Vixens And a Wolf" Radio Show


By Bixyl Shuftan

There's a new radio show done by three residents of Second Life: Two Vixens And a Wolf. The vixens would be Svetlana Snowpaw (Sarah Golem) and Roxy Noir-Snowpaw (creatureofthenight2011 Resident). Greigh VonGottreich (Greigh Dingo) is the wolf. Svetlana has a blue and white fox avatar while Roxy's is purple and white. Greigh's coat is a simple black. The show appears on the AllFurRadio stream, an Internet radio frequency aimed at fans of furry science-fiction and fantasy. I met up with the new media stars at their station in Rabbit Valley, and they invited me to take a seat.

On the question on how the radio show got started, Svetlana told me, "I want to say I was the one who initially pitched the idea to the All Fur Radio station owner, Markus Damone, when he had asked me if I wanted to DJ for him again since he was reopening the station for a third time and I had done DJing for him back when it was first open years ago back in 2007 I believe? Well anyway I was excited to do that, however after over ten years and four computers later I had lost a lot of my music and wanted to help out anyway I could. So It didn't take long for me to ask Roxy, my mate at first if she would be comfortable doing a talk show, and she agreed, but we both knew we needed a bit more, so we got approached Greigh about joining our little venture to which he seemed delighted by as he had recently got a new studio mic and wanted to put it to good use."

Asked how the first days went, Greigh responded, "Here's what happened from my angle. Initially, I was anxious and outright nervous as I never did anything like this before ever. I've performed DJ'ing in the past but never talked on the microphone. Some folks call me DJ Deadmike or The Jukebox because of this sort of thing. But once we started off with the show (initially with the test shows), I felt more comfortable once I've warmed up to being on the air for that moment."

Roxy spoke of what they have, "We have different segments throughout the show, Greigh's 'The List of Greigh' which he talks about incidents that are realistic and can range from bizarre to hilarious. Svet has a news-broadcast update entitled 'The Good, The Bad, and the Furry' which there are all sorts of articles from social media to real news that we discuss. My segment is a media review, somewhat like Ebert and Rupert did in the 90s. We discuss media, music, film, and even upcoming media releases that we are interested in. We have done trivia games where two of us go against each other, and even have storytelling moments where we jawjack about life, the community, and interesting topics. We never discuss religion, politics, or race since these tend to be topics we hear in the real world. Everything about our show is to bring a smile or to brighten one's day.

"We have had one guest thus far on the show and we ended up have a great reception with the audience even bringing in our segments with 2 The Ranting Gryphon. The show is all about having fun and smiling even when the world around us seems to be falling part. We are constantly revising the show and this is something we enjoy doing as we want to relate more to our audience. Greigh's segment is my favorite."

Greg broke in, "The fun part is that the show is flexible, given with what we're working with from time to time too." Svetlana nodded, "Yes so if our work gets in the way we can flip around the schedule of how the show flows, seamlessly and get stuff reorganized on the fly."

I asked more about their interview with The Ranting Gryphon, whom is one of the furry fandom's personalities. Greg told me, "The way our first guest came about was by surprise by the boss. We didn't expect anyone wanting to do a guest session with us at all. Plus it was a neat treat to have 2 onboard with us." A nearby friend of theirs, Shoshi Darkpaw, remarked, "God you should have seen excited Svetters was." Greigh grinned, "Heard nothing but 'EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!' for at least 15 minutes." Svetlana kept a straight face, "Oh yeah, apparently our boss, Markus Damone, knew 2 The Ranting Gryphon from years back. And so it wasn't to difficult for us to get 2. However I recently got a hold of Uncle Kage to do an interview with us or be a guest on our show some time after AnthroCon.  Getting guests is kind of like fishing, you just have to put your line into the water and see what bites." I asked when "Uncle Kage" (another personality of the fandom) apperance on the show would likely be. Svetlana answered, "It's still up in the air, we are to speak with him after the con, but we are trying for late July, but we have booked the Youtubers, Moms of Furries for August 6th.."

I asked how often Second Life is discussed on the program. Their answer was at the moment, not much, "... we dont get out much. We talk about our personal SL stories and pasts." The did say they would read the Newser more often for stories.

And this being live radio, I asked about their funniest bloopers. Svetlana grinned, "Oh let me tell you. ..." Greigh commented, "Two words: Murphy's Law." Svetlana continued, "Well yeah since the show is relatively new we are still working out bugs and everything that could happen did happen. The best one though ... down stairs someone was cooking and set off the smoke alarm, which was audible on air. So we decided to go to break after joking that we may be in danger." Shoshi, who was still nearby, chuckled, "Oh, I wish I heard that! I would have been dying!" Svetlana continued, "So our breaks are usually 1-2 songs long with possible ads and then we come back. Well we resumed the show like normal after two songs and five minutes into the next segment. I was talking, and then looked over and noticed we were no longer broadcasting, to which we immediately hooked back into the server and apologized to our listeners and joked about the situation and actually had to ask our listeners, 'What was the last thing you heard?' "

Svetlana moved on to another blooper about concerning a rookie mistake, "The other blooper came from the purple fox across from me, Roxy, when she was discussing how new she was to the fandom and said 'I'm the baby fur' while we had 2 Gryphon on air with us, to which we all just went 'Noooooo!' and laughed because being that she is somewhat fresh to the fandom she doesn't know all the terms and we had to immediately explain to both her and the listeners that was the WRONG terminology." "Et Tu Murphy's Law?" Greigh asked. Svetlana responded, "It's something you just can't make up." When I asked if the furry fandom had it's own term for newbie, Svetlana answered, "I haven't found one that I really like other than 'NewFur.'"

And then there were their reactions to bloopers, Svetlana saying, "We have an  inside joke during the show, because we all manage to slip up now and again, however when we start dropping F-bombs like B-52 I slam my fist on the desk and go 'This is a family show DAMNIT!' and it puts us back in check for the most part but the show is still a PG-13 show." I asked how creative they could be about using otherwise clean language to describe something that wasn't quite. Svetlana answered, 'Well there is a lot of sexual innuendo which is not planned, but both Greigh and I are smart-asses and sometimes cannot control what comes out of (our) maws." So who at least had some control? Roxy answered, "That would be me. I end up biting my lip and blushing uncontrollably as I have the thoughts and just start randomly giggling. I end up yelling at both the vixen and wolf as they make me blush the whole show. But that just shows even though I am innocent, I'm not completely."

And what were their future plans? Greigh answered, "At this point, we're wide open to things in the future. Depending on how things turn out over time. We're going to also target on attending cons as best we can as well in the future." Svetlana told me they'd be doing a live show at a panel at a con in Philadelphia from August 10-12, "Also our show lands on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. So we will definitely make a Christmas Eve Special as well as a New Years Eve special, I will have to talk to our boss, Marcus, and do a extended four hour show to bring in the New Year."

We would talk about a few other things, such as goings-on in Second Life, and eventually, it was time for me to check out another event, so I bade them good day and left the radio station.

"Two Vixens and a Wolf" broadcasts every Monday from 5-8PM (8-11PM EST) and rebroadcast on Wednesday at the same times. Besides it's station location in Rabbit Valley, it has a Facebook page and a Twitter account.

https://www.facebook.com/2VAWallfurradio/

https://twitter.com/2VixensandAWolf

Bixyl Shuftan