Wednesday, June 22, 2016

More on the Clinton HQ

By Bixyl Shuftan

In early June, it was discovered that the Trump Manor and HQ in the Lionheart Ahadi sim was gone, later discovered to have moved. In it's place was a different building supporting Trump's opponent: Hillary Clinton. The building had been set up by Candace Larganta (candacelarganta). Eventually, an interview was arranged, and Candace and I sat down to talk.

"How did you find out about Second Life?" I asked her.

"Well, I heard about it around 2004," Candance answered, "but I didn't have a powerful enough computer at that time. And then a few years back, a friend said I should revisit it, especially in regards to the animatic capabilities. I'm involved with film production and run a post=production company in real life, mostly editorial for film and music videos. So, we'd come to SL to make basic backgrounds for green screens. Windlight is perfect for that. It's fast and easier to use, at least for me, than creating something in after effects."

"Eventually, we moved off of Second Life, and now do animatics on an OpenSim server at work. So, I never really started here to socialize, but to create. I've seen some wonderful things here -- very beautiful and inspiring. That's kind of it."

"How did you get the idea to build this location?" I asked.

"I'm an active gamer and 3D environment enthusiast," she told me, "and read Wagner James Au's blog. That's how I found the Trump sim. I visited a few times, and even participated in the 'raid' from the nearby sim. It was in Kotaku. A couple weeks back, I wnated to revisit. But the Trump site was gone. Seeing that Bernie and Trump had something of a presence, although it's quite a small number in regards to the total SL population, I wanted to do something for Hillary supporters. It was just too good to pass up this opportunity and stake a claim, especially since their was the Trump TP landmark in all the blogs. And the first rule of campaigning is never move your URLs or landmarks. (laughter) Obviously, that not really into Trump. I'm guessing it's a RP type of thing."

"How long did it take to build this location?" I asked about the build.

"A matter of hours," Candace answered, "and I've been dressing it up since.I do a lot of building in OpenSim, so it's easy to set up." "Was anything difficult at all?" "As far as set up? No, no dificulties actually."

I then asked, "I take it after the place went up, there was no shortage of confused visitors?"

"Still they arrive," Candace told me, then laughed a bit, "It seems half of them are very pleased that it's a Hillary site, and the other half are bewildered. My goal was to make a place to find info - and I'm still creating informational boards, and redirect those interested to real-life resources." "Basic information about the candidate?" "Yes, but more importantly to stake a presence. After all, it may be a better use of my resources to donate the 'rent' from this site to the Clinton campaign. Yet, I still think it's important to have a presence here."

While she talked, I panned around, looking inside the building. There was an office with pictures and campaign posters on the upper floor, and something else, "It does certainly draw attention ... I notice a few rooms besides the main one, including a kitchen and a ... computer server room?" That, I felt, would get people thinking of Clinton's email controversy still under investigation by the FBI. This was something I would expect from an anti-Clinton area, not one supporting her.

"Well yes," she answered, "I'm not here to pitch a product, but to show a reality,  that our candidate is human, fraught with flaws, yet still the best choice." She then drew my attention to a build with a "Hillary for Prison" sign, "As you can see, there are some who think she should go to prison for what is essentially, a policy issue, not a criminal infraction. And it's just screwy thinking." "I noticed the building nearby," I commented. Candace giggled, "Yes, JP Trump's monument of creativity. Old Woodbury University assets (Woodbury was a sim with a reputation for harboring griefers years ago). If that's what floats their boat, more power to 'em."

I then brought up, "When I talked to him, and the owners of the Sanders locations, they told me some visitors with opposing views were civil, but they also had their share of griefers. How has it been here?"

"Some have been very cool to speak with," Candace told me, "Quite enjoyable actually; they know they RPing a position. The others are, well, not that interesting... followers, bored people at computers. I think of each avatar as the embodiment of an end-user somewhere out there. I'm not here to debate, however - I'm here to provide a space. I'd much rather use my energy in real-life politicking for that." "So no real problems with griefers?" "They try, I suppose, but I could (care) less, seriously. It means they are thinking about Hillary. I very much doubt that they are even US constituents though. I notice British locations all the time, (and) Americans never use the word 'mate' or 'whilst.' But that's just a hunch." "So you think the ones closest to being griefers are from overseas?" "It's possible. It struck me as odd, that's all. And I think someone had mentioned that JP Trump is based in the UK.I think I read that in Kotaku." "JP did say something about having an Irish background. And one of the flags at the manor was Irish." "Maybe that's it. I don't take them seriously at all. They are roleplaying being Trumpgoons and that's fantastic, keeps them off the streets (grin)."

I then asked, "So with the primary season over, what are your plans for the HQ in the future?"

Candace answered, "We're going to dismantle after July 4 and pop back up around September, or October, when things really get going. Summer is very snoozy." "Labor Day has been when things started to heat up in the past." "Oh yeah, that's a good time, definitely. (It) depends on work commitments for me as well, butit should be easy and quick to set up a new spot." "Any idea where that will be, or here if it's still open?" "I don't know yet - Lionheart is very well run. But it may be better to move elsewhere.. we'll make that determination later on." 

"Can you tell us your plans for after Election Day?" I asked. "I'd have to think that one out. For Second Life, no idea. In real life, a nonstop 24hour celebration of Hillary's win. This is perhaps the most important election in the last 50 years."

"How is this election so more important than the others?" I then asked.

"There is a cultural and class cold war being fought in the US right now," Candace answered, "Ignorance is an outright virtue (for the opposition), as is uncivil behavior. If a majority of Americans choose the path that trump provides - it really calls into question our role as world leaders, thinkers, makers. And I don't think that will help out in matters of economics or security. However, I don't think that a majority of Americans want to go down that road. But if they don't get out the vote - well, then we're sunk into a Presidency that is based on whim rather than rationale. That's frightening."

It was about this time that the interview came to an end, and Candace and I gave each other our goodbyes. Later on, Candace would message me there was a new Clinton HQ in Bay City at Argos (36, 253, 25).

Lionheart Ahadi (151/7/28)

Nixyl Shuftan

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