Wednesday, August 2, 2017

A Double Sim Move in the Sunweaver Estates


By Bixyl Shuftan

The map of the neighborhood the Second Life Newser office sits in will soon be changing. For years, the Sunweaver Estates has had Pacific Waters in the northern part of the land owned by Cynthia Farshore and the home of the Farshore Field airport. And in the eastern middle part of the landscape there was Sunlight Bay, owned by Nydia Tungsten and the home of Mouse Hole Manor. Right now, the two sims are undergoing an ownership swap. When finished, Mouse Hole Manor will be at the end of the estates in Pacific Waters, and Farshore Field will be in Sunlight Bay in the more centrist position with planes able to fly in from two directions.

Over the last 4 air shows and in general this field has been hampered by the restrictions of only having one open side. I have asked Nydia to help me by doing a land swap. So starting now you will see things disappearing on Pacific waters and Sunlight Bay, don't be alarmed.


Yep, here's the deal, Cynthia needs a sim with access on both sides for her airport to do better. She has come to me asking if we can swap. I see no reason we can't help her out. So, that means we need to pack everything up and be ready to move. I would like everything up by Thursday if possible. I have a few Idea's on creating a home  for us, maybe a beach house? We'll see. Please start packing things up when you get this notice. Thank you my angels.

I would have a few words with both Cynthia and Nydia on Tuesday evening inside her Goblin Cave. Cynthia told me, "I'm just now getting the working area cleared." Of how long it would talk, "The aim is to have the some things in place and ownerships done by Thursday evening. (The) reason is the local renfair starts this coming weekend, and my tent has about everything but Internet. ... Nydia already has her sim cleared. I need to get all my things off so we can changed renters." Sunweaver chief Rita Mariner, who was there, stated, "Everything but the road is off Sunlight Bay, but if I need to remove that, it's a minor thing."

Cynthia stated it was she who first had the idea of switching the sims, "I begin seeing problems when I first built the strip. I had it a lot shorter because you were so close to the sim border taking off one way. And then you hit the sim crossing coming in but others as well as myself found it too short. Long story short, found the sim with only one open way too confined, First air show, everyone including me kept running into the sim border and either the plane went poof or crashed. Over time things got better, but nothing can fix the closed borders but getting a sim with open ones. So I started looking at what sims could fit the bill and one was Sunlight Bay. I like it because it was centered and opened across."

The airport owner mentioned some possibilities, "You can put a runway in and use both ends, or put in two runways in an 'X.' There can be more area for a wharf. You can see Raschid's pierside warehouse is stuck in a tiny nook. ... I will try to have a passage all the way around, you'll notice right now you can't sail behind Nydia's house. There wil certainly be open water where there is right now. However, to place the things there will be less water. But you will be able to sail through. I do want a small port so we can have boat traffic, as well as plane. Which means we may be able to seriously look at a boat race for next year's Relay for Life." Rita then boke in, "I do want a pedal car race next year too." Cynthia commented, "Rita wants a race using cars she is capable of driving." "Slow enough to stay on the darn track!" Rita laughed.

Cynthia looked around the Goblin Cave, "I will see if I can give it a slightly larger dance floor, since we have dragons among us now," meaning DJ Geerkil and a few of his dragon peers, "So it will need a larger entrance and dance floor. Both easy to do when it is moved." Rita joked, "Since dragons smoke, we will have to designate this a smoking bar." There was a bit of joking back and forth for a few minutes.

It was agreed that everyone would be ready to swap the sims on Thursday, "I think Thursday is fine," Cynthia felt, "I can see I'm still going to be packing through tomorrow. Just look at the cave alone how much there is."

After Rita left, Cynthia stated of the railroad bridge connecting Pacific waters to the sim to the south, it would still be around, but probably adjusted slightly. The Puddle Jumper mall would not be moved, but torn down and replaced with a more 19th Century looking building, "It's building design is not fitting with the steampunk theme I'm aiming for. ... It will be a taller one to take less land space." She didn't have a design for it just yet, " looking around but may still just build my own." Much of the road around Farshore Field would likely be scrapped, though, "Tjere already is one running through. That said I, will have it stored and can pull it out for the Relay races. "And the new way the sim will be laid out will allow new things to be thought up for the races."

"As Shocky (Shockwave Yareach) said, it's exciting. The door has opened to new possiblities. ... It will be a lot of work coming so there will be constrution for a long time."

Talking with Nydia, She told me, "When she approached me with the Idea, I agreed that an airport should have at least two ways in and out, and we spoke some more, and I agreed to the swap to help her out. So we emptied out our sim today for her to start her side." She then took me to Sunlight Bay. "Goddess, this place looks empty...." Nydia looked around, " It hasn't looked like this in a while." For only the second time in many years, the first being a brief time between the taking down of the old Castle Mouse Hole and the setting up of the new Mouse Hole Manor, the sim was practically bare. there was only the Sunweaver road going from HV Community to the east and to Sunweaver Space to the north,

"Seems wierd not calling this sim home any more *laughs* But, one of the Angels had a need for a better area. We will still be in the Sunweaver community, which is a very important thing to us, and to me. I have been with the sun weavers from almost day one as you know. Being here among them, being allowed to have one of my Sims here with Rita, it means a lot to me."

I asked Nydia about any possible changes to the vicinity of Mouse Hole Manor besides the move. She told me, "I am toying with a few ideas, semi tropical themed, you know me. I have always been a sucker for a good beach. We plan on still having the open water area for the community, for small  boats and personal water craft, maybe even some fishing. Rita and Cynthia will have the road and train coming to our sim, to maybe a pier and have the house across the lake." I mentioned Cynthia's plans for a wharf and boat traffic, and suggested if there might be a little boating between the two sims. Nydia answered, "There is the small river between the two sims, so that is quite the possibility."

Nydia allows a few guests to reside at her manor, and I asked how they were handling the move. She answered, "Of the ones that live here most have said they had no problem with the move once they knew why. I think the most difficult part of the move for me is picking up each of the movies, almost 300 of them. *laughs*" "That is a lot of movies," I commented. "Yeah, but again, it is more of a hang out thing. I leave them out so no one needs to be in a group or anything to come watch them, quite a few of them have been requests. I don't mind opening my home for people to watch a few movies. As long as they respect personal spaces ( Bedrooms) and respect others that are there, all are welcome."

Nydia thought more about possible changes, "We started a theater, when we first had that 1/4 sim, an underwater theater. I am thinking I may put up a form of water theater thing time, with innertubes for seats....maybe? Ranchan helped me with that (the theater), I am no builder by any means, I am lucky I know so many talented builders. ... We'll have the family club of course, have a personal water craft everyone can use. ... I want someplace that the Angels can be proud of."

Although Nydia's home will now be at one end of the Sunweaver Estates instead of the middle, that doesn't mean she'll be less involved, "Just because I will not be next to my sim HV (Community) doesn't mean I won't still be keeping an eye on it." She will still be dropping by Ranchan's space carrier a few times every week and her partner Brandi Streussel has her shop next to the Newser office.

And so, the Sunweaver Estates will see the biggest change in a while with two sim owners swapping sims and structures. And both will be exploring the new possibilities that the move allows them to take advantage of. The Sunweavers could very well see more flying and boating around in the near future.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, July 31, 2017

Little Issues: Explaining The "Fox Reporter" Look.


By Bixyl Shuftan

Most of what I write about is at least mildly serious, such as charities, or a location someone spent a great deal and time and effort to make. But occasionally there are certain trivial but amusing, nagging, or both, issues that aren't going away from your mind. Especially when someone keeps reminding you.

As a fan of science-fiction and fantasy, I've had as my look a "furry" avatar from the start of my Second Life experience. Initially, it was the starter "ringtail" that was available as an option for a beginning avatar at the time. But once I had the cash for another, after some thought I chose upon the Luskwood red fox avatar. I had roleplayed a felinoid in a sci-fi game a few years before. But after reading Tiffany Ross' "Cyantian Chronicles" in which the foxfolk in her story universe had one of the more detailed and interesting, sometimes tragic, histories of the peoples there, perhaps it was time for a change. That the red foxes in the Cyantian stories were traditionally soldiers or blue collar workers was the reason for the fur color.

At first, I would wear a green shirt, which was a leftover from my days in the "Runescape" MMO (what I played before "World of Warcraft"), along with clothes similar to what I wore in real life, a brown jacket and slacks. I had to skip the shoes as my feet were just too big. But after I landed a job in James and Dana's Second Life Newspaper, I used my first pay to get myself a white fedora and tan leather overcoat. Since I was a reporter, I wanted to look like one. And so, I went about in the classical 20th Century reporter's look. And with the most popular news channel being Fox News, well, that helped add to it with the "fox reporter" catchphrase.

Over the years, I would get other avatars, from Lusk stripped skunk to Kani bunny to AX hyena, to black human, and many others, which I change to on occasion. But the Luskwood red fox has continued to remain my main avatar. I sometimes change to other clothes while still being foxy, such as the red Victorian era suit I occasionally wear at the Steamlands, or a black jacket and jeans while on a motorbike. But usually I can be found with the fedora and overcoat. Although all of my avatars, aside from the human, are PG nude due to the coat of fur, I always go about with at least a pair of shorts in them, except for the mesh tinies and micro fox, which I have yet to find pants for.

Most people are happy with this look, calling it neatly dressed. But one friend for some time has been nagging me a bit, "Why do you wear clothes?"

Although she on occasion has on a full dress, she prefers going about with very little clothes. If someone had a coat of fur, even a short one, she feels realistically would mean he or she couldn't wear much for long. The overcoat and long slacks, she feels, would realistically lead to me quickly overheating. So she feels the coat and pants have to go.

I disagree. For one, this look was popular even indoors in the days before air conditioning. People just dealt with the heat. And in the colonial era when Europeans went to travel about, or take jobs, in places in the tropics, while a few were "going native," most continued to wear their existing clothes meant for a much colder climate in the hot tropical sun. Even if they didn't see the locals as "savages," it was simply the thing to do.

Tiffany Ross would also say a few things on the matter in her comic forums some years ago. The furry people of her fictional world of Cyantia didn't have a nudity taboo, but most who lived in cities and towns still wore clothes in public. As she saw it, clothes allowed her Cyantians, as well as humans in real life, a chance to distinguish themselves as individuals, even for those who aren't fashion snobs. Plus it helped distinguish themselves from those who went "feral" and abandoned civilization, and their clothes.

And of course, if you're standing upright, your "family jewels" are more exposed to things like low branches and flying rocks. So some kind of cover is needed to prevent what realistically would have you bending over in pain.

So the clothes stay. While you may see me in something other than the coat and fedora on the fox on occasion, or an avatar other than the fox such as the skunk at some Relay events, if anyone sees me stark naked in public, it's from a computer glitch.

As for why always a male avatar, aside from when my friends raise an enormous amount of money for charity, that's an issue I've already discussed in December 2013. As for why I haven't replaced this avatar that's been around for over ten years, that's another story.

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, July 28, 2017

My Alt and I: The Story of Rezzdammit Resident


By Bixyl Shuftan

One subject my neighbors occasionally talk about are "alts," short for alternate accounts. Sometimes ridiculed, sometimes seen as a convenience, sometimes viewed with annoyance, sometimes feared, they've more or less become an aspect of Second Life.

Rita Mariner, the leader of the Sunweaver community, is considered an "alt champion" with her "Sawyer Squad," dozens of avatars, mostly female and with "Sawyer" as part of the name, used for her "Tiny Empires" game. Only a few get used at a time, either for herself or to help out a friend. There's also tales of a super-griefer, whose name I won't bother to mention, who supposedly hid behind hundreds of identities. But most who have one obviously limit themselves to fewer, probably one or two. At least one friend sees alts as an alternative to "shapeshifting," enjoying being lots of appearances, but not wanting more than one tied to a name.

For years, yours truly never bothered to get one. Then in March 2012, I found out about the new Linden Lab place for newcomers to Second Life: Destination Island. Since the land was barred to me, the only way to get a look was to create a new account. So I did. But what about the name. I thought for a bit, then recalled my friend Nydia Tungsten's favorite gesture, "REZZDAMMIT!! D:" Well, the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. So I typed it in, and it was accepted. I then typed the name and password into the viewer, and Rezzdammit resident was born.

As I mentioned in the article, my experience with Destination Island was a disappointment. And that might have been the end of the alt, except for his name. A few days later at a community party, Nydia used that gesture. And on a whimsy, I brought up another viewer, logged in Rezzdammit, and he appeared, "You called?" That caused a bit of confusion until I explained what was going on. After that, I figured I'd be using Rezz some. So I sent him a package of free Wingless furry avatars, eventually settling on the Wingless red wolf. When controlling him, I gave him something of a goofy "country bumpkin" personality, "Heyas! Watcha doin'? Hyuk-hyuk!" He didn't sound too smart, but was always good-natured.

As Steelhead, who sponsored me at the time, had meetings at the same time as a community club I was helping to run, I had the idea of sending Rezzdammit there to listen in and take notes. He would be a member of the group as well, and got into a number of the Steelhead community's zany chats, often when some detail that was a bit complicated went over his head and he would mistake what was being talked about for something else, usually in a way that resulted in chuckles. Because he was often in Steelhead, I usually had him wear something that fit in with the place. Eventually, I came across a steampunkish hat in a gacha that was a rare item, and it became a lasting part of his usual outfit.

Eventually, he would get dragged into the Tiny Empires game I was in, ending up under someone who was under me. And sometimes I'll bring him in to get a free acre or ship. He's only at the medium level of the game, so he can't take part in tournaments yet. Maybe someday.

I used to have at the bottom of his description that he was my alt. But at the suggestion of a friend, I changed it to simply saying this was an alt, but invited the reader to guess who. With a name like "Rezzdammit," it's going to be obvious to those familiar with Second Life inside expressions that the user had experience with the virtual world when signing him up.

Reactions to him have been mostly positive. When having him look in on places that know me well when I can't be there, I try to tell the owner, or at least one of the staff. The name has gotten numerous chuckles, and his goofy personality has gotten more than one person to say they wouldn't have known it was me otherwise. GoSpeed Racer told me about a group for those with catchy or amusing names. So he joined it, and often has the title "Cleverly Named." Not everyone appreciates him, however. As "dammit" is a mild swear word, he's blocked from Luskwood and the pony sims.

After five years, Rezz as he's usually called has become more or less a familiar sight around the Sunweaver/Angel community, and at Steelhead again now that it's back. I had been using him to do a few games that I'd be interrupted while doing under my main account. But lately he's been occasionally getting ringed up with IMs while doing those. But in exploring the new Linden entry area, I had to create still another alt. so perhaps he'll be used to explore an area undisturbed at times.

But in any event, the goofy red wolf will continue to make occasional appearances, and tip his mechanical hat before heading out, "Gotsta go, sees ya laytah."

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, June 23, 2017

Grey Nacht's Greenie Tribute


By Gemma Cleanslate


Ah,  the Greenie House! For those who visited I am sure you recall it. For those who never saw it, I am sorry.  You missed a wonderful destination. The Humans never know who caused all the mischief in the house.If you look closely you can see us gathered t the kitchen sink for a fishing contest. We avatars  were very small in that enormous house. It was put there by Rezzables. Finally that company moved it all to Opensim in June 2010.  This video will give you an idea of what it was like when avatars visited the house.  



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIK2BpJ_s8A


Once in a while Grey Nacht pulls out all the Greenie paraphernalia and sets it up in his sim. Many of us still have our Greenie avatars and pull them out for that event.  That is Grey in the red hat overseeing the fishing.


 That is me inn my paparazzi Greenie avatar. It is great fun for those who recall the house and the stuff in it.


We hold a contest amidst the decor that we remember from the house. 
I took some pictures of us there fishing in our Greenie avatars and having fun!. It was great to recall those times. 
Thanks Grey!!!
Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Looking Back: Sean Voss' Second Life Tours


By Bixyl Shuftan

For several months from late 2007 to spring 2008, I was among those who was part of a group that explored various places around Second Life: Sean Voss Tours. A resident named Sean Voss, whose motto on his profile read, "Hello, I know something about everything but nothing about anything," would go around the Grid, looking for interesting places to explore. And on Tuesday evenings, we in his Virtual Travel Hub group would meet up at his Landmark Island and go to the best places he found. There was a different theme every week.

Over time, Sean showed me and the others, which included my friends from the STA area at the time Blarion and Keli, some interesting places. Some of which I would write about for the Second Life Newspaper. One week was sports-themed, and we went to a baseball stadium and a bowling alley, a go-kart course, and what I found to be the most fun "Dive World" which offered virtual scuba diving. The later was from PADI, a worldwide diving organization, to encourage people to get into real scuba diving, which I imagine it did. I had to adjust the scuba outfit for my furry avatar, but it made for a fun picture. Another fun trip was at Weather Channel, where we could surf the waves on the beach. We would also visit NOAA Island, which had the distinction of being funded by the US government through someone in the department. It's three-dimensional weather map and the tsunami exhibit were fun to watch.

Another memorable visit on Sean's tours was to Bedrock, a depiction of "The Flinstones" hometown. It was fun in itself, but as it turned out underneath the jail was a "sex dungeon," which gave us some chuckles. One has to admit not many would think of looking for such a place there. One tour was about adult-themed places, a capture-roleplay or CARP maze, a BDSM area, and a place that was the more romantic kind of naughty. Then there was "Hillarious 2008," a place of cartoonish political satire done in three dimensions. When Blarion asked the owner Christophe Hugo about a "Herald" article of a red mosque at the place, he was thrown out. And after i wrote about the place for the SLN, I was told all of Sean Voss' group would be banned in response for my action. Recently, Christophe stated that at the time he was dealing with numerous griefers, and it wasn't always easy telling apart skeptics from trolls.

Other places included the popular Greenies sim and a sister build Kings Rezzable. We would visit the SS Galaxy and talk to the cruise ship's captain. He offered each of us a coupon for a discount if we wanted to book a room later. There was the Sculpties Factory, which Sean called a virtual wax museum of famous people such as Jimmy Hendrix and Marylin Monroe, the Mexico sim, and more. As for his place Landmark Island, one could pick up landmarks to the places that were on his tour. Sean and the managers of the STA where I hung out at the time knew each other and the STA would tell people of the tour group and Landmark Island. When the STA was shut down, Sean told us we were free to hang out at Landmark Island if we wanted.

In December 2007, Sean published a book under his real-life name, Sean Percival, about these and other locations in Second Life: "Second Life In-World Travel Guide." It listed over 200 places, intended for both new users who didn't know where to go for fun, and more seasoned users looking for more places. It's still available for sale on Amazon for about five dollars. But by now most of the places have gone, so the book is more useful as a description of what Second Life was like in it's heyday.

Sadly the tour group didn't last for longer than it did. In retrospect, Sean would either had to take a break, or scale back the tours to once or twice a month if they continued. One day when we showed up for the tour group, he wasn't there. Instead, we were told by someone he was canceling the tours, at least for the time being. Soon after, we got a notecard with the following.

My beloved tour group! Apologies for not getting a notice out to you earlier today. Spidey told me lots came by for the tour and she had to deliver the bad news. Due to an over active first life with work I’m not able to login to SL much these days. The ongoing technical problems have also been a major issue as well.

So I need to take a break for a few months and hope to return again then. I’m hoping you are able to stay in this group and join us again in the future. The tours have always been a great pleasure for me and want to thank anyone who has come along for one. I’ll send a notice if anything changes and a tour is upcoming and when possible forward on any new landmarks that come my way.

And so the tours came to an end. I would drop by Landmark Island once or twice more. But Blarion, Keli, and I would find other things to do. A few months later, I saw Sean log on and instant-messaged me. He was happy to hear from me, and sent me a teleport. I dropped in with him next to Torley Linden in the Paris 1900 sim. What I remember is Sean saying he was planning on doing a video here, and we ended up looking around and in the Moulin Rouge. That would be the last I ever saw of him. Eventually, Landmark Island itself would vanish. I'm sure I messaged him, but I can't recall any response of his.

Doing an Internet search more recently, I found a blog entry dated May 8 2008, close to the time of his farewell message to his tour group: "Virtual Exits: Second Lite Residents Turn Their Back." He seemed to express mixed opinions, wondering if Linden Lab had lowered the bar a little too much on entering the place, "Introduce the concept of an economy and naturally you’ll get your wantrepreneurs, scammers, greifers, and general weirdos that make things interesting. Following the local news and gossip here and you’ll find its very much some bizarre society seen commonly in Twilight Zone episodes." Of the virtual world's infrastructure, he felt the Lab did either band-aid solutions to problems, or ignored the problem. Between the low-lifes and the technical problems, he stated it was his observation many of their most talented residents were walking away, including himself. "Between the myriad of grid issues and increasingly busy first life, my free time and interests have wained. ... I still have no doubt virtual worlds have some place in the future. However, I can't help but feel they will be given to us by companies, and not the user-generated polar opposite. Perhaps they can meet somewhere in the middle. ..."

Sean's website at https://seanpercival.com/ describes him as "an American investor and entrepreneur" who "invested in over 120 startups, and founded several of his own." One of these startups was Wittlebee, a kids' clothing store, of which he gave up his position as CEO in 2013. He currently offers to help aspiring startup companies through his services. His blog features advice for small businessmen, but also goes in to other topics such as Tron and Bitcoin.

It seems Sean Voss/Percival has left Second Life behind, but has been keeping himself busy.

Sources: Techcrunch, seanpercival.com

Image Credit: Sean Voss

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Remembering Artistic Fimicloud


By Bixyl Shuftan

Cancer is a deadly disease. According to Wikipedia, almost nine million people a year around the world die from it. Striking down men and women, rich and poor, men and women, young and old, it takes away many individuals in the prime of their lives, leaving behind saddened family and friends. In Second Life, while avatars do not get cancer, the people behind them do. For the Relay for Life in Second Life, it's mission is to raise funds for research for cures and treatments has brought thousands to take part, from it's most active participants to those just stopping by to make a small donation. Sadly, along the way some of the Relayers have passed on. Catt Gable, Shady Fox, Alliez Mysterio and others would not survive their personal fight with the illness.

For the Sunweaver community and the Passionate Redheads RFL team in their early days, among their numbers was Artistic Fimicloud. In Second Life, she was known for her pink fox avatar. In real life she was Stephanie Koslow, an artist who did a number of pictures. Sadly, she also suffered from cancer, a struggle that had gone on for years. On May 26, 2008, the woman behind the little pink fox passed away at age 49, a sad day for both the Sunweaver community and it's team, and for the Relay.  Some days later, there was a memorial service in the Colorado sim. One artwork of her made since showed Stephanie's spirit rising from her body as her pink vixen avatar. "I Relay for Fimi" became a title seen on a number of the Redheads and others. Fimi's treehouse continues to remain up at the Sunweaver Estates at Sunweaver Bay (179/155/33).

Since her passing, every year there has been an event of some kind in her honor. The following year there was a candlelight vigil, of which Ishtarkiss took a number of pictures of, as well as a "Blowout" event featuring art and screenshots. Beginning in 2010 (more pictures by Ishtarkiss), there have been memorial dances in Fimi's honor. This year was no exception, with the Happy Vixen and Club Cutlass running events on the week of her passing nine years before.

The Happy Vixen's event was at Tuesday May 23 6PM, with DJ Tantari at the booth. Several people wore pink outfits or pink avatars in Fimi's honor. Tantari had made a "Pink Fox" track just for these events, "The search for a cure goes on in her memory. Never give up! Never give in!" The track was a combination of fox-themed and other tunes, but ended with a somewhat sad song, "Goodbye" by Ulrich Schnauss. "After every journey, one has to say goodbye," Tantari concluded the track.

Club Cutlass would hold the larger of the two events on Friday May 26, the ninth anniversary of Fimi's departure. The event was also at 6PM. Sabine McGettigan, the longtime leader of the Passionate Redheads team, was among those at the tribute. Also there was Sunbeamer team captain Rita Mariner, Dusk Griswold, and Shockwave Yareach whom also knew Fimi. Once again, many showed up in pink avatars, pink outfits, or both. On the wall was a picture of Fimi, and on the floor one of the pink fox statuettes that represent her.

In the nine years since Fimi left us, much has changed with both the Relay and the community and team she was part of. Some have left, and others who never had the chance to know her, including myself, have come in. The Passionate Redheads team would fold and become a part of Relay history as a top-ranking team to the end, it's members of the Sunweaver community forming a new team: the Sunbeamers.

People continue to suffer and die from cancer. And there have been a few conspiracy theorists whom wonder if there is some kind of plot behind the scenes by the powerful of Capitalist and Communist and Islamist lands to keep a cure from ever being found, or that a cure has been found but the medical community is so fearful of quackery it will not accept anything more than strictly conventional medicine. But most of us realize the struggle to cure cancer is a more difficult one than getting to the moon. With that, we knew where to go and it was a matter of building a big enough rocket with the means to get a team there safely and back. Finding a cure for cancer has proven more difficult as it's not just one but a multitude of diseases with a multitude of causes. But every fundraising event, every dollar donated, whether to the Relay for Life or a number of other reputable charities such as the Susan G. Komen Foundation, brings us closer to a day when a cure for the last form of cancer has been found.

In the meantime, in and out of Second Life, people will continue to help, with time, money, and in my case a pen.

"We shall remember,"

Source: IshtarKiss Flickr page 

Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, April 1, 2017

ApRiL fOoL!



Happy April Fools Day from the Second Life Newser!




Yes, there is an "Ark Park," but Linden Lab isn't part of the team developing it.

 May your April Fools Day be filled with joy, merriment, and general foolery.

For previous April Fool jokes, check out 2016, 2015, 20142013, 2012, and 2011.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Furry Discrimination


By Grease Coakes

Sometimes in Second Life I just want to chill and hang out at one of the many dance clubs in Second Life. Maybe to work on a writing project with a live DJ jamming tunes for me or goof off talking with friends. Electronic Music Informer is a good source of various music clubs to whatever music genres. Until one day when I walked into a club that was against furries which surprised me, as the majority of human clubs accept me for who I am.

So I find a club at Anaconda (42/32/22) that was playing hip hop. I was accepting that they were playing different music. It’s boring to hear EDM or electric dance music all the time. I was there for less than a minute and suddenly I got an IM from nowhere

Šassy Hausмaηη - Ivory  (Sassy Lexenstar): WE NEED TO CHANGE HUMAN PLEASE
Grease Coakes: why?
Grease Coakes: Furries aren't allowed?
Šassy Hausмaηη - Ivory  (Sassy Lexenstar): NO FURRY
Šassy Hausмaηη - Ivory  (Sassy Lexenstar): NO
Šassy Hausмaηη - Ivory  (Sassy Lexenstar): MOM WILL BOUNCE YOU
Grease Coakes: That's racist :O
Grease Coakes: I don't understand why don't you allow furries?

When I went there a second time without reason she booted me to a safe haven here at the Vilania sim. What really surprised me is that I was banned there just for being a furry. When I tried to go there to get more answers I ran into a message that said, “Teleport failed You are banned from the region.”

So not only did I not get a reason of why furries are not allowed at this club, I was also banned. That’s sad that in Second life that I ran into a racist club. It’s bad enough to see racism in my first life. Second Life should be a place to chill and relax and if I choose to be a walking talking fox then so be it.

I’m part of a group called  “Furs Against Social Inequality.” I shared my story within the chat group and got some swift responses.

Second Life should be a better environment then the real world to hang out at a club with or without your friends. It’s unfortunate although rare that there are clubs in Second Life that don’t allow you if you’re different then the human norm. Second Life is a fantasy where you should be allowed whomever you want. It’s a shame I found a club that wasn’t okay with that.

Grease Coakes

Editor's Note: The Newser has reported on avatar discrimination a few times in the past, a recent commentary in January examining them.

Monday, March 20, 2017

What It's Like To Acquire A Sim


By MajikVixen (bluevioletvixen.lorefield)

I knew that by the time I had four different parcels I was paying tier on, things were becoming a bit ridiculous, and it was time to investigate actually getting a sim.  With the beginning of Sansar underway, and the new increase of prims allotted to Second Life from Linden Labs, I figured there surely was a good solution to my predicament.

The first thing I did was call Linden Lab.  They gave me a good page off their website to go to (I have listed it at the bottom of this article in the URL section, and rehosted it at Tiny URL).  At that "Name Your Land" page, you can create a name for your region (or see if the name you want is available), find out which areas of the grid are available to make a sim (by putting in coordinates or another region name), and even click to chat immediately with a more-than-happy-to-speak-with-you sales associate.

I found the Linden Lab sales associate very informative, but my gawd, the prices were astounding! $600 USD for the initial buying price of a sim PLUS $300 USD a month tier -a car engine goes for around $500 USD.  Plus you have to take into account, their policy of residents not being allowed to own Homesteads without owning a Full private region, because Homesteads are essentially an add-on for a full region (not physically, but from a sales perspective).  Sadly, there are no discounts available.  Linden Lab only has the Premium incentive to offer: 1) weekly L$300 stipend deposited to your shop, 2) L$1,000 sign-up bonus for first-time Premium Account subscribers to be deposited to your account after 45 consecutive days, 3) Linden Home or 512 Square Meter Tier allotment for use towards a parcel on the Mainland, 4) Expanded Live-Chat customer support, 5) Exclusive Virtual Gifts, 6) Premium-only accessible areas and experiences in Second Life, 7) Exclusive activities and games, 8) Increased cap on missed Instant Messages, 9) Increased group membership limits, and 10) Voice Morphing.

I was a bit thwarted, but I decided to continue my research with one of the companies in Second Life that I had contently rented from for over a couple of years now, ZoHa Islands.  My relationship with them started because I Fish Hunt, and every time I went to their buoy, I was always greeted personally by a sales representative.  No matter that all I was interested in, was just catching fish, they were always polite and wished me good luck, consistently.  I thought that was really cool.  They built a good rapport with me, and I finally took them up on their offer one day, and haven't looked back.  They recently implemented a new system, where you must file a ticket on their website to get a response to any inquiry (I have listed that at the bottom of this article as the second link in the URL reference section).  They do this to make sure everyone gets answered and nobody gets accidentally missed on the group chat.  Tammy Mayo (tammiedee.mayo), a very helpful and patient representative, contacted me, and we talked for about three hours initially (but really, she did earn her commission, poor thing, *laughter*).

At the time, my main concern was being able to have a sim connected to my previous home of Faerie Crossing, a land of 10 neighbored regions.  Now, it is not possible for ZoHa to make a sim from scratch, off of any place on the grid, and sell it to you.  Nonetheless, they do have a fabulous selection of already existing regions to choose from (starting at $30 USD for the initial buy price, and about $120 USD per month for homesteads).  It is entirely conceivable to get a sim and have it moved (it costs a one-time fee of $150 USD, which is what LL charges).  However, in order to move a sim right next to another, and become neighbors, you need to have permission from the owner of the other region first.  All the areas on the map in the first link (under "Region Location" "Region Coordinates") that are cross-hatched in red, are these types of places you need to get permission for.  Everything else is fair game.  Also, it is just as easy to have any of ZoHa's sims renamed (it costs a one-time fee of $50 USD, which is also what Linden Lab charges). 

Next I had to decide whether I should invest in a Homestead sim or a Full.  The difference between them is not just price, but prims and avatar capacity.  They are exactly the same size of 65,000+ SqM.  However, a Homestead can only host 20 avatars at any given time, whereas a Full can have up to 100.  You also get 5,000 prims with a Homestead, but with a Full, you get 20,000.  This is why Homesteads are usually cheaper.  I figured it would be safe to give the Homestead a try, and I could always change to the Full later if it ever became necessary.  It's not like I was planning on renting out parcels or anything, so what the heck?

It took about a day or less to change the title of Vita Nova into Zamargad.  As far as Linden Lab paperwork goes, the Governor of ZoHa Islands owns it, but I have full control of the region.  From making it Moderate, who can visit (open to the public or not), generating parcels, to even writing my own Covenant; Zamargad is a little piece of me that I get to share with all who dare to tread it.  Not a bad deal at all.  I saved $950 USD (OMG!), and ZoHa gave me a current resident discount (for having already been a client).

After recovering from the shock and depression of being banned from my previous Faerie Crossing home of three years, and with some powerfully supportive decorating suggestions and tips from friends, it took about a month to finalize Zamargad.  I learned that the best way to see Second Life is to tick these in my viewer settings: "Automatically change environment to use region/parcel settings" and to "Use Firestorm Parcel Windlight Sharing."  Environment settings really set the mood for what kind of ornamentation is best.  I chose a night theme so the glowing vegetation and other structures had just the right touch of mysteriousness and wonder.  It took about $200 USD of birthday and Christmas money, and countless, relentless hours of scouring the Marketplace to turn my new home into a masterpiece.

I wanted an epic grand opening, and I definitely got one!  Vinnie (acoustic.rhapsody) of The Vinnie Show, one of the performers for my grand opening, mentioned something very key for setting things in motion, in the preparation of this event.  In anticipation of all the traffic this would generate, we were worried about crashing my Homestead of Zamargad.  Vinnie suggested a work around of using a parcel on a Full sim, and then having a tour of Zamargad afterward.  Tammy helped me again to get the grand opening party parcel.  I only had to rent it for a week, and I got another discount for having done so.  I went back into a productive creative mode, and designed the grand opening parcel set, so that all I had to do was "Take" it from Zamargad, and rerezz it at the parcel.  The grand opening was definitely a success!  Over L$2,500 were raised in donations during this all day event.  I was very pleased that everyone came to support and share my reverie with me.

I also learned that it actually doesn't matter where your region is on the grid.  You could be an adoption sim, surrounded by BDSM sims.  In any event, "location, location, location" doesn't matter, unless you're going for Mainland. And in that case, it's because you want to be a part of a historical continent, pricing, or clear rules instead of a covenant.  If your region is awesome, people will come, no matter what.  There are no such things as designated areas of the Second Life grid for fantasy, or any other what-have-you themes, even in Mainland where ironically the only constant theme is variety.  At one time there were a bunch of fantasy regions surrounding the realms of Faerie Crossing, Elf Circle, Farhaven, and Isle of Wyrms, but that is slowly dissipating.  I would love to see a huge continent of fantasy, but I suppose it's like when per say, a cell phone company buys out another cell phone company and they merge ... and they keep on buying all the other cell phone companies until there is almost a monopoly ... and then they split and get bought out by other cell phone companies altogether, and the cycle repeats.  It is just the nature of business and things. 

According to Rabbinical mythology, Zamargad is the name of the land to which Lilith (Adam's first wife) betook herself in her flight from Paradise (the garden of Eden). And it is near the Red Sea, which could be metaphorically construed as the disapproving neighbors cross-hatched in red on the "Name Your Land" map. - Thus I do toy with the idea of poetically moving a water sim away from the fantasy realms I once knew...  But Zamargad currently rests, nestled between a bunch of other private estates on the grid, and is happy there for the time being.  Despite my otherwise assertive soul and meaningful trivia, I do think there are better things to put my money toward... like tipping performers and venues!

But that is what it's like to get a sim.  Lots of research, preparation, anxiety, support, a new found appreciation of everything that goes into all the places you visit in Second Life, and of course, the big payoff - celebration and sharing your imagination with the world!  Very fulfilling and worth it.  If I had more money and ideas, I'm sure I would do it again.  ...I hope this article helped you some, and gave you a bit more perspective on the matter.  Here's to your dreams coming true as well!

Additional Information:

SLURL:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Zamargad/143/108/21

URLs:
https://tinyurl.com/go2djxd
http://blog.zoha-islands.com/request-form/

Group:
^v^/<|;) (Group Key: 0dceeb4c-62ab-9436-ca6a-5f46106681b4)

Avatar Social Network:
http://www.avatarsocialnetwork.com/profile/MajikVixen
http://www.avatarsocialnetwork.com/ASNpage/BatsOutOfHats
https://asners.com/MajikVixen

MajikVixen (bluevioletvixen.lorefield)
Email: MajikVixen@GMail.com

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sacred Cauldron's Lesson


“A Lesson In Humanity And Other Folklore...”-

By MajikVixen (bluevioletvixen.lorefield)

What does religion in Second Life mean to you?  Some people do not separate real life from Second Life, they admit that SL is just an extension of their real life.  Is it therefore important to find some spiritual grounding for your avatar?  I happened to think so, until I ran into a situation that made me feel really uncomfortable. 

It began with me recently seeing another article on Sacred Cauldron, Witch School, Wiccan Seminary, part of the Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary, and I immediately took some personal interest.  I visited the Sacred Cauldron sim, and a lovely helper greeted me and answered some immediate questions.  She informed me that she volunteered to help pay for her classes, and they treated her very well.  I honestly liked the feel I got when I was there, I was given the impression that I could enroll and volunteer too.  It had been a dream of mine to fulfill my spiritual needs and to find a new place to belong to, especially since I spend so much time in Second Life.

She directed me to the application part of the Wiccan Seminary website, where it asked me for personal things like my legal name, phone number, birth date/time/place, current occupation, educational background, magical training, High Priest/ess contact info., and medical/mental/disability/learning issues, etc.  I filled all this out, of course, in good faith (part of the Wiccan Rede is "An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"), thinking that perhaps I would be on my way to a scholarship. 

The next thing I did was contact Belladonna Laveau (belladonna.yarrowroot).  The helper said I should contact her, as she's the dean, and she would help me figure out what classes I needed (I had completed previous Wicca training in real life, and I was unsure as to how that worked with this new school).  I also informed Belladonna that I was looking for a possible scholarship, and explained that I was on a fixed income, various other things, long story short, I'm not Richie Rich, but that my intentions were pure and dedicated (I even offered to help teach a class on The Secret / The Law of Attraction, as compensation).  She got back to me a few hours later explaining that they understandably needed some proof of my income to qualify me for a scholarship, and a letter of approval from my current HP/s.  I confirmed with her where to send my proof of income to, and that my training was complete (but that she was welcome to contact my HP/s).  She thought that was wonderful, and that they should be able to set me up the next business day.  So I sent them  proof of my RL income to the e-mail address she requested it be sent to, and gave her my HP/s contact information.

Upon doing so, I received two e-mails (one of which included a manual PDF):

"Welcome to the Wiccan Seminary!

     "Merry Meet,

     "Thank you for your interest in WiccanSeminary.EDU. I am contacting you to help you register and transition into campus life. Please take a few moments to create a profile for yourself on www.wiccanseminary.us and set up your subscription payment at: http://www.wiccanseminary.edu/WSTS/tuition.html

     "Once you have set up your profile on the class website www.wiccanseminary.US and set up your subscription for payment for your classes, please take a moment to look over the 100 Level courses. We will need you to send us your two elective choices so you may be placed into classes.

     "Please remember that your monthly subscription covers your core classes and two electives and is under your control. We can not stop or terminate the subscription from our end and when you complete your schooling, you will need to terminate the subscription unless you wish to continue to support our efforts for Wicca.

     "We have you scheduled for Joining the Circle: Orientation, which occurs Wednesday at 7pm PST

    "Have you created an avatar in Second Life and visited the Virtual Online Campus, Sacred Cauldron? Have you joined us at any of the online classes, rituals, or events?

     "There are so many fun things to do everyday. Our next session began on April 3, 2017, but you are welcome to join in your classes once the registration process is completed. I’d be happy to meet you on campus, show you around and introduce you to everyone. When would you have time to set up your avatar on Secondlife.com and meet with me?

     "Please remember that you can always find updated information on the Google Calendar in the lobby of the Castle on SecondLife or on www.wiccanseminary.edu website. To see the Session Dates, view the calendar by month and look up at the top of the calendar for extended date listings.

     "I look forward to hearing from you. I am attaching a copy of your Student Manual that has lots of great information that you will need in order to succeed here at WiccanSeminary.

     "Blessed Be,

     "Tarren/Badger

     "Enrollment Coordinator

     "Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary"



"Greetings  ---RL-Name-Removed-For-Privacy---

     "Thank you so much for applying for a Service Scholarship at the WSTS.

     "The Scholarship Program offers access to classes in exchange for your skills and effort in a given position.  The minimum time requirement for any Scholarship position is between 15 and 20 hours hours per week.

     "Before you are granted access to your classes, you must complete a 30-day probationary period. If you can be placed in a position where your service can be of value to the school, your tuition will be waived as long as you uphold your scholarship commitments.

     "You will need to plan on attending the Career Counselor's meeting at 5:00pm SLT on Wednesday's which is posted on the calendar in the Lobby of the Sacred Cauldron. You can also contact Capewind Dept. Director or Belladonna Laveau, Dean of Wiccan Seminary.

    " We are so glad to have you as a part of our growing student community, and look forward to working with you as you grow with us.

     "Should you need immediate access to your classes, you are welcome to move forward with paying tuition for your classes. There are several tuition levels that may be able to help you.

     "Bright Blessings,

    "Capewind,
    "Volunteer Director"


To both of these e-mails, I responded by explaining my real-life work schedule, and that Wednesday would be a problem for me, and to please help.

I waited a couple of days, and Wednesday anxiously drew near.  I then, finally decided to contact Belladonna again.  She responded a few hours later that she never got my e-mails and that they would not be able to provide me a service scholarship because I work.  That the scholarship requires 15 hours of work a week, and already I was having scheduling issues.  Furthermore, that I should consider a hardship discount instead.

I was baffled.  Now, the e-mails I got, looked very much like "welcome aboard" letters to me.  I was just concerned about getting my initial bearings and welcome class underway.  The manual I had been sent along with these e-mails prided itself on the students being able to earn their degree through just the use of the website, and that it wasn't necessary to go inworld (it also contradicts itself and says that at least 1 hour a week for class labs is required as a Freshman).  My main concern however, that I also shared with Belladonna, was that a school would turn down a scholarship to someone who was trying to better themselves by working while being on a fixed income.  And how would I not have enough time for spirituality and their school?  In SL, I have been self motivated enough to have my own store, my own sim, write for the SL Newser, write the Lindo TOS, have a great rank in the Fish Hunt game, and had even worked my way up to Gateway Guide in Faerie Crossing and edit their Magic Messenger.  I additionally pointed out that this could be the beginning of a good business relationship, as once I was properly trained by her school, I could broaden their schedule to other hours that weren't previously available for people all over the world.  I explained that I gave her all my details upfront, especially RL info., but now, because of my RL work schedule, my scholarship was no longer a consideration?

Belladonna responded that wasn't about me not being able to attend events, that it was about the needs of the school, as scholarships are not guaranteed.  They found that people with already full schedules do not do well in scholarship programs, and based on the information I provided, I was not qualified.  She wanted someone who would be reliable in their job duties and someone who can be respectful to others when there is a problem.  Consequently, there were no job openings, not even for mascot (which I filled out the application for as well).  She added that she was not discriminating against me, she was just following the policies set forth by the school.  To that, I replied that it seemed she was judging me unfairly, and that a disclaimer would have been nice before I took a chance in sending them all my RL information in hopes of such. 

Lastly, Belladonna explained that the 2 received e-mails I got with the manual that made me think I had already been accepted, were actually form letters (as in, pre-written corporate letters that everyone gets).  She asked if I had noticed the part where they mentioned my monthly subscription covering core classes and 2 electives.  I told her I did notice that part, and I figured someone would respond to my e-mails and explain it to me, or that they would be covered in orientation on Wednesday.  She then said that she had responded to my application (during this last instant message), and that the others had written her about the fact that I did not qualify, and wanted her to make a decision so I wouldn't have to wonder any longer.  After figuring out the circumstances and feeling a bit duped, my last reply was, "This whole thing has been a fantastic journey of wanting something and not being good enough to get it, but I thank you for the lesson and wish you well," and it seemed rather hypocritical but expected, that her last words were, "Blessed be."


I'm sure there are probably lots of testimonials that would say otherwise, however, my final thoughts for those of us who are genuinely kind people and trust too easily (and can therefore be taken advantage of): 

♦NEVER give out your real life information and make yourself vulnerable, unless you are SURE that it is worth it, and you have researched the crap out of the asking party's intent.  Just because a website looks official, doesn't mean that it actually is.  If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

♦Any spiritual school, especially from Second Life, that is going to send out form letters to applicants, does not strike me as professional, instead they come off in the end as impersonal, manipulative, and not worth any investment.  If they give the impression that they are too busy for an applicant, then their goal of trying to coerce money (or other things) out of potential applicants seems counterproductive.

♦Always be on your guard; never be so desperate to fill a void in your heart that you end up throwing yourself or others under the bus.  Trust takes time for a reason, but all things of value are worth the wait.  Sometimes being an overachiever and being on top of everything means to have the virtue of patience.

I wish you all well in your SL: go forth, being true to yourselves, as well as wary.

By MajikVixen
MajikVixen@GMail.com

Editor's Note. I contacted Belladonna Laveau about the matter. Her response was "MajikVixen had applied for a service scholarship, meaning she would be allowed to attend school in exchange for working for us. Based on the information she provided in her application, she does not qualify for a scholarship. We welcome all students, and we make it possible for every person, who truly wants to go to school to do so. We have policies and limits, that protect the integrity of the school, the applicant and the rest of the student body. We have many hardship programs, which fit into almost any budget. We did our best to help MajikVixen, but were unfortunately unable to meet her demands."

Monday, March 13, 2017

Mauritius in Real Life and Second Life


By Mylie Foxclaw

The 12th of March is an important date in a very tiny part of the world, often overlooked by many but still significant for those residing there.  For those who are wondering, on 12 March 1968 Mauritius gained its independence from the British Empire, becoming a democracy.  Usually, as many residents have never heard of Mauritius, we get asked all sorts of questions.  Hence, through this post, you can learn a bit more about us.  

While Mauritius is unheard by most people, we do have Second Life residents from this little island. But first, let me tell you a little bit about us.  Mauritius is a tiny little island of 1.4 Million (yes that’s correct) inhabitants.  I fondly call it a tini-mini dot on the globe.  It’s situated near Africa, most specifically close to Madagascar (yes we do like to move it too).  We’re known for our beaches.  In fact, during my first two years in Second Life, I found a Mauritius sim and this is where I met a few Mauritians.  It was a beach type of resort with a dodo.


We’re the third smallest country in Africa and also among the most developed countries in the region.  We rely on tourism, ICT and the financial sector.  We’re also known because of the Dodo which originates from our country.  We speak French and English and Creole is our mother tongue. We’re a multicultural state with people originating from Europe, Africa and Asia and we respect each and every culture.  Sega is our national traditional dance.  The traditional sega is very popular, even today though there are some musicians who have added a little modern twist to it. 


As internet has become more accessible, there are more people discovering the internet.  Social media is a common favourite by most people.  Gamers seem more rare, at least in Second Life.  I have met a few fellow Mauritians in 2016 and it was a pleasant surprise.  The fact that SL is so huge makes it so amazing.  It’s really a chance meeting if I do actually meet another Mauritian.  The Mauritius sim does not exist anymore but maybe in the future someone may reproduce Mauritius with its popular landmarks to give Second Life a better idea of Mauritian Culture. 


Mylie Foxclaw

Monday, January 16, 2017

Commentary: Will Linden Lab Not Allow Adult Content in Sansar?


By Bixyl Shuftan

With the development of Sansar, Linden Lab is once again getting some attention from the media of the kind they enjoyed in their glory days of 2006-2008. They promise a virtual world rich in detail. But one thing that has almost never come up are questions about what rules and restrictions will it's users will be under, such as that of adult content. It's an issue that while some argue a libertarian approach is best, "let the customer decide," others feel the controversy generated by stories of virtual strip joints and pranks of flying genitalia attacks hurt Second Life and hindered it's acceptance by the general public, and Sansar allows for an opportunity to appeal to people wary of adult content.

About a decade ago, Second Life was the darling of the tech media. Computer magazines, business publications, and even mainstream media newspapers and television programs wrote about it. TV dramas had Second Life as part of an occasional plot. Politicians came to the virtual world. Major corporations had places here. But eventually the wonder people on the outside were expressing began to change, to the confusion about what to do and how to do it, the glitches and lag, and whispers about the adult content. Two infamous examples of the latter were a video of a child rape roleplay and the "flying penis" attack during a live interview of Second Life real estate baron Anshe Chung.

The result was that some considered Second Life an "adult" area, even though most places didn't cater to that kind of activity. One notable example is the "Twitch" live streaming service which considers broadcasting from Second Life a bannable offense. When I talked about Second Life with friends and coworkers, the majority brought up the porn, or "cyber noggie" as they sometimes called it. One writer I talked to about the matter called it part of a sad reality of human nature, that it is so much easier to get people to read about controversy than a story where people are doing something constructive.

When you allow people a great deal of freedom, for better or worse some healthy young adults, and some not so young, are going to take advantage of it to express or at least find a release of their more hormonal side. Fortunately most are willing to follow some rules about it, though as some women can attest, there's always a few whom seem to think of nothing but their baser desires and don't particularly care where they are or if others around would rather not deal with it. And of course there are the griefers whom get their jollies by harassing and shocking people, and a barrage of flying dongs or pictures of an obvious sexual nature will certainly do it.

As Linden Lab had created Second Life to be "Your World, Your Imagination," they didn't have any rules about sexual content at the beginning. Perhaps being computer programmers and engineers they never took into account how much people would take advantage of the freedom to create and engage in virtual porn. So it was simply a case of taking actions against griefers when enough people complained. But when the controversy of the child rape video came along, they realized they had to do something out of both personal revulsion and fear about their product getting blacklisted. So came the first rule in Second Life concerning adult activities: none concerning child avatars - period. There was enough paranoia about the matter for a time that some were wondering if Linden Lab was trying to discourage all use of child avatars, and to this day some in short but still adult and tiny avatars grumble about not being allowed in some areas where the rules allow adult activity but don't necessarily cater to it. But that's another issue.

In 2009, Linden Lab began taking another look at rules concerting adult content in Second Life. It established the "Adult" rating for areas allowing explicit content and activity, where before there was simply two ratings "PG" and "Mature." Their Adult Content Policy also affected the "Search." The result was large numbers of residents expressing concern, some alarm, that this was just the beginning of a widescale censorship campaign by Linden Lab, some suggesting that the newly created continent for adult-themed residential areas, Zindra, was actually a Trojan horse, saying that the Lab would soon restrict adult content and activity to the continent, and then get rid of it as a "cost saving measure" like they did with the Teen grid. Some even wondered in it's paranoia that Linden Lab would disallow nonhuman avatars out of fear they'd be used for exotic fantasy screenshots of an adult nature, or just simply out of meanness. Linden Lab got the message, and stepped back from enacting further rules rather than risk further alienating it's customer base.

So today, the issue of adult content in Second Life has more or less long been settled. But with the development of a new virtual world, Sansar, it's just a matter of time before it comes up there.

At the VWBPE conference in 2016, Ebbe Linden stated that Linden Lab had "no plans to disallow" adult content. But many of Second Life's core user base have continued to express skepticism about Sansar, and it's my observation more are feeling it's not a place they'll be spending most of their virtual world time in. So perhaps seeing the opportunity for a fresh start and that they don't have much to lose from a customer base that's happy with what they already have and reluctant to move over to their new product, they may decide to make rules discouraging, if not outright banning, adult content and activity.

Banning adult content in Sansar would mean that people with an attraction for that sort of material, and perhaps the more libertarian-minded, would be disinclined to try Sansar. But Linden Lab could easily argue if that's what they want, they can head to Second Life and say that by making their new virtual world free of it, they're doing a favor for those whom would rather not be exposed to it. Freedom from "flying penis" attacks by griefers. Freedom from Flashers. Freedom from horndogs rubbing up against you. Well, perhaps not 100% Freedom. Hackers whom are determined enough no doubt would be able to find a way to bring adult content in and grief with it. And of course it's possible the ban would not be widely enforced by Linden Lab so those whom searched for it long enough would eventually be able to find adult content and if they were careful would avoid being banned from Sansar.

Something else to think about is whom will Linden Lab be marketing Sansar to. In Second Life's early days, the majority of it's customers were from Generation X. While some Millennials have come to the virtual world over the years, they never took to it like the previous generation. While young adults in general have a reputation for having a taste for adult content, Generation Xers had a reputation for seeing it as less of a big deal when they were, and today are more in favor of more libertarian approaches. Millennials in contrast have had a reputation of having their parents looking over their shoulders a lot more and having monitors and "net nannies" restrict what they can and can't see. While no doubt there are still plenty of Millenials just as hard-nosed as the previous generation, the stories of "Safe Spaces" on campuses these days suggests a new generation with lower tolerances, or rather a reputation of such.. So while Second Life remains the virtual world where one can see it all, for better and worse, Sansar could become Linden Lab's "Safe Space," where users will be free from the sight of huge breasts, gore, and Donald Trump.

Or perhaps Linden Lab will simply carry over their adult content policy from Second Life to Sansar, either having forgotten the earlier controversy, deciding it's best to let individual customers decide and deal with the choices of others, or simply hoping for the best. We won't really know until we see it for ourselves.

Bixyl Shuftan