Monday, October 23, 2017

Barbie Alchemi on Creations For Parkinson's

By Wesley Regenbogen

About Barbie Alchemi

Barbie Alchemi is the founder of Creations Park. She created this place with the help of her family, and holds events there for Team Fox, for the Michael. J. Fox Foundation. Her real life father died with Parkinson’s and one year later her mother was diagnosed with the disease as well. Her brother introduced her to Second Life about eight years ago and her mother spend more and more time in Second Life and it improved her real life by doing so. They were all so amazed that Second Life had a so positive influence on her real life management of the disease that they felt that they needed to do something positive with their time on Second Life. Her mother is 90 years old in real life now and she is still active in Second Life today!


I met Barbie Alchemi in Creations Park. First I asked how she got into Second Life and how she created Creations Park. The answer to that question is in the introduction above. Next I asked how the raise money fo the foundation in Second Life. They started to raise money and awareness for Parkinson’s disease. Over the last eight years they raised 10 Million Lindens ( over 40,000 USD ). In addition to raising donations, they have held a weekly support group, which is open to anyone with Parkinson’s.

This year they created a Gotham Halloween Event, which is held the whole month of October 2017. They have 75 shops with fashions and home and garden decorations. Barbie told me, "You can explore our Haunted House, Cemetery and Asylum with wonderful details and surprises at every turn. We have a fun Amusement Park with Halloween themed rides and also a Lil' Pumpkin Park for families to bring their children"

They will have a fabulous line-up of DJs and live singers. They will have three performances of the "Misfit Dance and Performance Art Troupe" at 5pm Oct 21, 28 and 29. There is a raffle and auction. And we have a terrific HUNT with original gifts in every shop for only 10L each!

Then I asked how the donations are done for the foundation. She replied to me We believe it is very important for people in SL to know how their donations are handled. Our family covers all SL expenses. Team Fox has arranged to have LL to wire all donations and money raised directly to the Team Fox Headquarters. Visitors can donate at the cute Ghost Kiosks we have around the sim. And 50% - 100% of all shop sales are scripted to go to the official Team Fox Account.
"We are extremely proud to tell you that The Michael J Fox Foundation has the top rating from Charity Navigators. Team Fox gives 100% to The MJF Foundation. They have perhaps the lowest overhead of any major charity, at only 11% !!! Which means that 89% of Your donations are going into the most promising research. We are getting closer every day to a cure. And when that cure is found it will help lead to a cure for all other neurological diseases. “
Then I asked how she manages to create the sim and the decorations. She wanted to thank a few people for this, "This event could only be possible with our talented team who has worked so well together." She listed them as.
Rose Mikaelson (djroseathena)- Events for Parkinson's Coordinator
Nola Hellershanks- Events for Parkinson's Co-Coordinator
allιє pαrĸєr (swazeyrivers)- Event Music Coordinator
Miyushu Babii- Assistant Decorator
Ayesha - Solace Beach Estates (ayesha.lytton)- Amusement Park
Linden Labs- Region Sponsor
Then I asked her how she sees the future of the sim and the events she holds for the foundation. She told me, “ Gotham Island will be here for the month of October. Creations Park has been our permanent region for 6 years now. We will continue with the fabulous Shopping, Hunts, Music and on-going weekly fun activities which we all enjoy. Our Events for Parkinson's Team has some fun plans for another big event this Spring and more in the future!"
I thanked her for the interview and wished her luck with the sim and her events for the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
You can visit the place at this SLURL :
Check out this video :

Wesley Regenbogen

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

News and Commentary: "Fat Shaming" Publicity Stunt By Store Draws Protests, Traffic

By Bixyl Shuftan

Trolls have harassed stores throughout the history of Second Life. But it's not often when it's the store that does the trolling.

The "No Fat Chicks" meme has been around for some decades, both an insult to women of large size and a suggestion that the speaker is both shallow and insensitive. As it's usually men with juvenile streaks in their mentalities that use it, I was surprised to hear about a store that had a sign with the slogan, and an image of a black outline of a large woman with the international "not allowed" red slash sign. Beside the sign was another offering free "No Fat" shirts made for the store's (thin) female avatar.

Looking at the profile of the owner, I found this description:

Fat in your body! Fat in your a**! Fat in your boobs! Fat in your brain! Fat! Fat! Fat!.... OMG!!!!
Remember that real beautiful girl Is the slender and graceful, and not looks as a fat pig!
Stop to be fat! Back to graceful!

Yours truly has seen a few female avatars in the past several years sporting what could be called a "Kardashian" look, large behinds and thighs. While there are ways to suggest the more extreme forms of this kind of look are less than realistic, this is hardly the way to do so and expect people to listen. On the Second Life Friends Facebook page and New World Notes, there were pictures and descriptions of protests of women avatars, both large and otherwise, at the store. While yours truly came at a time there weren't any, there was someone at the store who told me there had been, "Yesterday there was a protest here, it's a horrible shop. Today I came to see if there were people protesting."

But have the protests backfired? The presence of the women were certainly an increase in traffic, which does get noticed by the inworld Search function. So they may have inadvertently ended up drawing shoppers to the place. There was a sign at the store placed by the owner that appeared to be aimed at the protesters.

Thank you very much for promoting my brand, my store and my products! Before I was need to pay money for to raise a traffic, but you do it for free! Please continue your flash mob! Do not stop! I love you all!

So if one can look however they want to, why would these girls chose to be plump? Yours truly can think of a few reasons. Maybe they don't want to look like everyone else. Maybe they're plump in real life and see wearing a thin avatar as being less than honest. Maybe they're trying to avoid being IMed for sex repeatedly. In any event, it's their avatar, and with a few exceptions such as racial stereotypes, they can look however they want to.

And it's my impression most men would prefer a woman with a few extra pounds and a sweet disposition than a thin woman who's a rhymes-with-witch.

Image Credit: Fia Wycliffe

Bixyl Shuftan