Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Interview With Rudolph

 
By Penny Shuftan
 

A few days ago, I had a chance to interview Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.  My first question was if he is the head reindeer. "On foggy nights, yes. That's when I take the lead,"  Rudolph said.  I asked if that was often. "It's fairly common for there to be some haze," he replied, "But when it starts to get thick, I guess that's about ten percent of the time. Since there's nine of us, that makes it about even."

I asked Rudolph what his goals for this year are, and he replied, "Same as always, helping Santa deliver the toys. Before that, I appear with him sometimes at malls and stores when the kids want to sit on Santa's lap. So that sometimes means handing out candy canes to the kids. And of course there's the kids who like to play 'nose boops.' Heh."

I wanted to know if Rudolph is looking forward to Christmas.  He said, "Of course, I look forward to it every year. It can be busy sometimes, but I like imagining the smiles on the kids when they open the presents."

I was just wondering about Rudolph being a special reindeer, and his response was to smile, "We're all special. We can fly, and as you see a little reindeer magic allows us to stand on back legs and walk around like Santa and the elves when we want to. I do have to admit there was a time in the past things got to my head a bit."

I was curious to see what Rudolph would like the public to know about him. "Well, I suppose mainly that I'm no longer the little guy in the old movies. I've grown up. A little bigger and older, and hopefully a little wiser," he said with a smile.

I was rather interested to know if Rudolph have any hobby.  "Well, I guess I like traveling around," replied Rudolph, "The thing about going about on Christmas, you don't stay on one place for very long at all. Though unless it's the Christmas season, I need to wear a disguise when I'm not out in the middle of the country.  It is nice being able to go about at my own pace. Seeing the elves make all those toys, I took a try at it, but the results left something to be desired. Oh well, the nieces and nephews liked them."

Since I did notice musical notes coming from Rudolph's mouth whenever he talks, I was just so curious to see if he actually sings. "A little, but not very well. The elves thought my version of 'Oh Christmas Tree' could turn one brown overnight. Heh heh,"  Rudolph said with a laugh.

According to Rudolph, his favorite activity is seeing the smiles on the kids when with Santa Claus, helpers at the "pictures with Santa" events at the stores and malls. He said that it's a big deal because it's a once in a while kind of things.

My next question would be if he really live in North Pole on Second Life. "There's several places in Second Life that call themselves North Pole. There is one that's operated by some of the reindeer and elves. Which one it is, well, not saying," said Rudolph with a smile, "I'm sure the residents will like trying to figure out which one it is."

The last question I have is what Rudolph thinks of people staying up all night trying to catch Santa Claus as he arrives at their houses to deliver presents. "It's cute," said Rudolph, "but they very seldom catch him. 'ol Santa simply goes to the next house when he sees the kids waiting for him, and comes back when they're asleep."

After that, he was gone, but before he left, he gave me a warm hug.  Thank you, Rudolph, wherever you are for letting me have an interview with you.  In a way, just by having an interview with Rudolph, he had granted me one of my wishes to continue writing even when I'm in a lot of pain.  That is greatly appreciated.  As I save this article up with a smile, I know that on Christmas eve, Santa Claus, and Rudolph will be working very hard at granting so many people's wishes so when they wake up on Christmas morning, they'll definitely have a big smile on their faces.
 
Penny Shuftan 

The preceding was a fun article meant for entertainment.
 

Monday, December 20, 2021

Fifteen Years Later

 
Bixyl Shuftan

Normally, I pay more attention to when my virtual career as an online journalist began. But this month marked a certain milestone: the anniversary of when I came into Second Life, or "Rezzday." It was fifteen years ago when I first stepped into Second Life.

I had gotten my start into going online with America Online, and stuck with them for a long time, partially because of the easy to remember email address I had. This meant that I was stuck with dial-up. Some online friends were starting to talk about online gaming, notably "World of Warcraft." But one mentioned a place known as Second Life, a virtual world that allowed one to build all kinds of places there. And also to design one's own avatar. My friend would show me the screenshots of their avatar: an anthro lioness whom was dressed up in everything from a Victorian dress to a harem girl outfit.

Finally I signed up with a fast speed service that allowed me to keep my existing email address. I could finally check out the two places my friends were talking about so much. In World of Warcraft, I joined two friends there with Horde accounts, setting up a Tauren druid. But I also decided to give Second Life a try. So on December 17, 2006, I went to secondlife.com, downloaded the client software for the computer I had, then set up an account.

Two decisions I had were the name and the starting appearance. Thinking a bit, I remembered a favorite character from the roleplaying games I did with real-life friends: Bixyl. "Shuftan" was close to the old character's last name, so that's what I used. As for appearance, there were several styles of clothes and hair style and color among several human avatars, and one non-human avatar: the "Furry." As a science-fiction nut, I close the latter.

And with that, I turned the viewer on, pressed the button to log in, and what I saw was a sea of gray and shapes. As the seconds ticked on, the shapes gradually took form and slowly went from grey to color. My avatar took shape before me, and I saw I was on a piece of land with grass, trees, and signs and walkways. The sign near me had blurry words for a while, but after some moments they became clear, "Welcome to Orientation Island," with an arrow showing which way to proceed. Taking a look at the controls, I found those for movement, then for sound and music. The music button when pressed, I began hearing smooth gentle background music, as if in an elevator, with the occasional line, "If you open up your mind, you can build a whole new wor-ld."

Progress through the beginners course was slow. I didn't know the term "lag" at the time, though I was thinking molasses. I came across directions on avatar appearance, chatting, and others, but walking from point to point was slow, taking some minutes, and the viewer was prone to crashing. There were others on the course. Some stuck around long enough to rezz, others remained gray as they walked on ahead of me. At one point, events in real life needed my attention, and I had to turn off the viewer for a while. But I would later return to finish things. Eventually I would finish the course, but it took me a while, probably over two hours to cover the amount of territory the same place would take just five minutes to cover when I did a few days ago to take the pictures for this article. There was a teleport to Help Island at the end. But I didn't linger there for additional directions. I went out to explore a few random locations.

A couple days later, my friend and I chatted briefly in an AOL chatroom and we decided to meet up inworld. After I logged in, she Instant-messaged me there, and explaining what a teleport request was, sent me one. Meeting up, she explained a few things and showed me more pictures of scenes acrosss Second Life, the most memorable was of a prank a busty girl played on a guy whom was slouched forward from being away-from-keyboard. She also gave me a thousand Linden dollars to get another avatar later on, "It's no big deal getting a buddy a four dollar cheeseburger in real life." Among the things she herself was proud of was finding a niche in the Second Life clothing market, Victorian dresses, and being able to take full advantage of it. She was making the equivalent of several hundred real dollars a year, after virtual land rental and other expenses. Not enough to quit her day job, but a nice little bonus.

Soon after, my friend would tell me she'd gotten a position of leadership in her home community. So that meant less time for us to chat. I didn't know anyone else here, and my friends in World of Warcraft had no such distractions. So for a few months I didn't get on Second Life much, having fun with my friends in the Massive Multiplayer Online Game. The objectives there were more easily defined, and my friends there were often around to chat with and often meet up with for questing together.

So what would have better kept my attention here in these early days? More friends for one. But I wasn't sure what to do as random exploring was just showing garishly-decorated residential areas. If I had done an Internet search for Second Life websites, it hadn't resulted in anything at the time. There was no Destination Guide of interesting places. Hamlet Au would later invite readers to give their own newcomer experiences (here).

Several months later, my Second Life friend would get my attention again. The Relay for Life was having their "Relay Walk" with lots of things to see. So I went over, and was impressed with the exhibits I was seeing. I think I saw some of the enthusiasm for the event as well.

My interest once again piqued, I began to look up more about the virtual world after the Relay Weekend was over. I found out about Luskwood, and headed there. The place being a bustling area of people after many sims of little but quiet, it took me a little time to get the gist of how people interacted. But it became my first real hangout in the virtual world, hearing about other places to explore.

Although I had gotten a bushier tail, I was still wearing the starter avatar. Not having a steady income in Second Life, and not wanting to put money in yet, I felt I had to be careful, feeling what I chose would be my appearance for a long time. After a great deal of thought, I settled on the Luskwood Red Fox as my appearance, buying the avatar at Luskwood.

After having had the starter furry for months, it felt like I had finally shed my "baby fur."  It is still my everyday look, despite suggestions over the years that I get a more recently made one. I've sometimes commented, "several weeks of thought, several years of use." In October, I caught a lucky break, winning several thousand Linden dollars at a Luskwood anniversary party. With this windfall, I got a second avatar for Halloween: vampire bat. It was fun flying around, but after a while it was back to foxy.

Meeting up with people at Luskwood, I made friends as Lomgren Smalls, Caelia Bailey, Hervy, and Kara Nakamori.  Lomgren and Caelia, the latter under another name, I would stay friends with to this day.  Kara and I would become close friends for the next several months. She would introduce me to another group of friends, notably Blarion and Keli, whom hung around at a less populated, and less laggy place: the Student Travel Association sims, or STA. My adventures with Kara can be read about in their own article written in March 2011.

Looking up websites about Second Life, I eventually came across the Second Life Newspaper. They asked for Reader Submissions, and giving them a few, I was offered a job there. I was thrilled and happy. I now had a steady income doing something I liked, writing, and an office as well.

So one year later, December 2007, I was doing pretty good. I had a circle of friends, a steady income, and a couple places to hang out. Life, or in this case virtual life, was good.

Since then, quite a bit has happened. Much of it has been documented in my stories for the Second Life. I would end up living or hanging out a few communities before ending up at the Sunweavers in Spring 2010, and a few months later going from writing for the Second Life Newspaper to Second Life Newser. Some things however have been given little or no attention in my writings. Sometimes I go about exploring, and other times I'm just relaxing with friends. I've met many new friends. Sadly, I've had to say goodbye to a number. Such is life, virtual and otherwise.

People come here for different reasons, to see the creations others have made, to roleplay in a way simple tabletop gaming doesn't allow, for music and art, to interact with other creative souls like themselves, and more. The result has been a virtual world unlike any other place online. While some individuals have had their time here and departed, others have been coming here to take their place. Perhaps the day-old newcomer you come across today will a year later be a highly successful fashionista, live musician, Relay for Life team leader, or maybe online journalist.

It's your, and my, Second Life. Let's make the most of each of ours.

"If you open up your mind, you can build a whole new wor-ld."


Reprinted (mostly) from 2015 article

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, November 26, 2021

Looking Back: The Misadventures of Clumsy Cooper

 
By Bixyl Shuftan

Before coming to Second Life, I was a writer of fiction, both short stories and longer tales. When I joined Second Life Newspaper, it was a change to writing about the news. But I never did lose my talent for stories. When the Second Life Newser came about, after a few months in Autumn 2010 it gained a sponsor: the Podex Exchange, occasionally called the Podex Bank, owned by Jacek Shuftan (no relation). As our first sponsor, I wanted to do an article about them about once a month at least. The first few went just fine. 

Problem was, when a bank does it's job right, it's boring. And I didn't want to just write the same thing over and over. So I did some creative fiction of a dragon using the bank. Then I had the idea of a bungling bank robber who's efforts were more comical than threatening. So came the story of him trying to hold up the place with a freebie popgun, and only getting himself knocked out and arrested.

Jacek liked the adverts, so I continued to do them, alternating between satisfied customers and more of the clumsy burglar's attempts. I often used props I had in my inventory. Sometimes I would include an avatar that happened to be there, or some of the surrounding scenery. 

On the robber's second attempt, he tried a rocket launcher but was foiled. Third attempt was ballooning his way over, but that was a bust. Then came masquerading as a pirate. On Thanksgiving, he impersonated an  American Indian. On February 2012, the burglar finally got his nickname, Clumsy Cooper. Thanks to Cupid's arrow, he was unable to try at the bank that month. But in March was back with some St. Patrick shenanigans

Then came one tale I made with pictures I took underground with the avatar and a friend, the burglar trying underground tunnels to sneak in and foiled again. In August 2012 was a tribute to the Olympics that year. Then came another Talk Like a Pirate Day tribute that went badly for him, and worse for the other would-be bank robber. He took a short break, but was back in Feb 2003 for Valentine Day shenanigans, as well as April for Easter Bunny bungling.

Podex moved in April 2013. So the story that month was the burglar's plans being foiled by that. Then came the effort by Linden Lab to shut down Linden exchange services. That put the Clumsy Cooper stories on hold for a few months. With the situation resolved, Jacek introduced the Podex Art Gallery, which was the target of another unsuccessful effort by Clumsy. November brought another Thanksgiving stunt from the robber

March 2014 was a tribute to the Ides of March. After a break for another few months, he was back for another Talk Like a Pirate Day tribute. In November was the introduction to a semi-regular character whom would be referenced to a few times: The Mastermind. January 2015 had an attempted nighttime burglary that went bad like any other time. In March 2015, Clumsy got the squeeze on by a naga passerby, "Snakes, why did it have to be snakes?"

Unfortunately, June 2015 would see Linden Lab ordering the Linden exchange services to close down again. This time it would be for good. As a result, Podex would close it's operations in Second Life. But rather than leave Clumsy's tale unfinished, there would be one more story in November 2015 in which Clumsy would deal with the shutting down of Podex and find closure. 

That would be the last of the Clumsy Cooper stories. They had lasted four and a half years. In the past six years, I never did write another tale about the character, though the unlucky bandit who never learned his lessons could easily be used in another story, such as a cameo in a webcomic. Perhaps someday I will. In the meantime, the twenty stories about him are a noteworthy chapter in the history of the Newser, and an example of one writer's use of creative fiction done with the purpose of both advertisement and entertainment.

Bixyl Shuftan
 

Friday, November 12, 2021

Reader Submitted Poetry: Glory

 *


The War Suite - 4: Glory
------

Another year has passed again,
he hung on his crutch in the driving rain.
The parade of young ones marched by,
with music and banners that filled the sky.
Quietly, since there was nothing to say,
the one legged man, met up again that day.

He was the last of the expeditionary force,
expected to be present, of course.
They knew his number, rank and name,
they said that the enemy was to blame.
The mayor, from the tribune, told the same old story,
ending with words like: Sacrifice! Honor! and GLORY!

Glory! What the HELL is that worth?
Glory! That is nothing but HELL on earth.
Glory! I was lucky, I just lost my leg.
Glory! My friend was found like a broken egg.
He was GLORIOUSLY torn apart by a gunpowder keg.
Don't give me that about HONOR and GLORY!
Mayor, I want to hear you say: We are so very sorry..

/Laura to war victims, who are forgotten and neglected
March 5, 2019
 

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Reader Submitted Poetry: The Gray Platoon

 


The War Suite - 3: The Gray Platoon

She saw them coming over the moor.
pinching her arm to be sure.
She wanted to shout his name,
but it would not matter, it was just the same.
They were not there. They were gone for long,
and yet, she swore she could hear their song.

And if she listened hard enough
she heard his voice, sure enough.
"Please wait for me, my darling Rose!
When I return, I will propose!"
For seconds only, she saw them pass,
Fragile. As if they were made of glass.

The Gray Platoon of the dead, marched by,
and the old old woman wiped a corner of her eye.
They died that day. Bodies never found.
Shattered bones, tossed around...
Sara never got her Patrick back.
He was vaporized in a grenade attack.

/Laura, to those whose lovers never came home. March 5 - 2019

Submitted by Aola Tyrian
 

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Reader Submitted Poetry: The Soldier

 
The War Suite - 2: The Soldier

The battle fog hung heavy over the killing field.
 Broken and scattered remains were revealed,
when the wind dispersed the veil,
that shrouded a soldier sitting alone on a pail.
Descending towards the soldier - the angel of death.
No sound was heard, not even a breath.

The angel landed, folding her wings,
and there was a single tone, of a bell that rings.
It was ONE of the sounds the soldier heard.
The other was a song of a joyful bird.
Said the soldier to the angel:
Take me! I am ready.

Said the angel: You have done what you could.
You did your duty, when others fell, you stood.
Come with me Soldier, now it is your turn.
No more sorrows. No pain. No burn.
I take you to the eternal rest.
You died a soldier, and your soldier soul is blessed.

/Laura, March 3, 2019. To the ones who fell in battle.

Submitted by Aola Tyrian
 

Monday, November 8, 2021

Reader Submitted Poetry: Be Ready When The Call Comes

 
The War Suite: 1: Be Ready When The Call Comes


Be ready when the call comes!
Be ready! Be ready!
Be ready when you hear the drums!
Hold the mare steady!

Sit up, ride with us, to the task ahead,
the task that you fear and dread -
Nothing else can curl your soul,
more than this, our task and goal.

Hold your head up, be proud,
sing with a voice that is clear and loud!
You will sweep fear away.
Not even demons will dare to stay.

The path ahead, is one direction.
There is no shield and no protection.
Be ready, hold your head up high.
This is the day, when you fall and die.

/Laura March 4 -2019 for the War Pavillion

Submitted by by Aola Tyrian (Ratatosk Independent)
 

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Still More Halloween Locations


By Bixyl Shuftan


This Halloween season, there's a lot to see and explore. The Newser has reported a number with several articles (1) (2) (3), including Bellisseria's and Calas. This is just a small fraction of those around, 130 listed in the Destination Guide. But, we have time to list a few more. 


One place I checked out was "Whitby - Birth of Dracula." The Guide listed it as "This build by Hera (zee9) is based far more on the FF Coppola Movie than the book and is nothing much at all like reality. It also has a very strong Lovecraftian feel and is sort of English Innsmouth."


The entrance of the area was at the docks of a town. Walking inland, there were the runs of a church, and there was a manor that was well furnished, including a portrait of Vlad Dracula, whom was much bloodier than his fictional counterpart.


There was one other person at the manor dressed in a maid's outfit, possibly part of some kind of RP. I also saw a kind of vampire kit. Would it work against a bloodsucker?

Cloud Lake (16/242/2657)

Another spot is Old Town at Adagio Breeze (197/59/3603)

"Moody, ghostly, creepy and fun. Once a charming and peaceful spot in rural America, when the events began happening, folks moved away. No cars stopped at the motel; the farm lies abandoned. What happened here?"

One scary place that's also an interactive adventure is "Silent Town: The Otherworld." It's located high above the Chief sim. While you could just explore, to get the full experience, get the Grim Combat System, and a weapon. 

After getting the gear, go up and you'll find yourself in a spooky seemingly abandoned town. Right away, you get a thought on where to check out first. There, you should find a tool, and another clue.

Unfortunately, you're not quite alone, having zombie dogs and walking undead to contend with. So keep that baseball bat or gun handy.

I haven't gone very far yet, but this game looks very interesting. Maybe soon we can have a more in-depth article about it. 

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Chief/43/90/691


Besides Halloween, this is also the time Dia Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) takes place. This holiday is mainly celebrated in Mexico, though is also celebrated to a smaller extent in the United States and other countries. The dead are honored, but in less of a solemn and mournful tone and more of a happy, sometimes humorous one. It's not only for the deceased as the living share sugar skulls and mock epitaphs. 


In the Instituto Espanol sim, there were some displays, and murals painted on the sides of buildings.


 And the local cemetery was decorated with balloons and toys. 


 The Gacha Guild, or "The Guild" as they've renamed themselves, has adopted a "Day of the Dead" theme. And for their Halftime Hunt, one goes into a maze to look for sugar skulls. 


To play, get and wear the HUD, then go into the trap door leading to the maze. Then you navigate around, dealing with dead ends (pun intended) and the occasional trap. Thankfully death is temporary as you only get knocked back to a save point. Once you find a skull and click on it, you can't click on it again until the next day.


Finding the skulls are worth points, from 5 to 15 depending on how rare. The points can be used to spend on prizes.

Also going on is the "Spooky Strides," taking place in a couple temporary sims south of American Cancer Society.

I dropped in on one event with live musician Harmonia Trefoil singing, with the audience in the middle of a spooky fog. 

Also there was Nance Clowes, Trader Whiplash, and Arizona Ballinger. 

Making Strides is a Relay for Life fundraiser, which raises money for the American Cancer Society. Keep an eye on the Relay for Life Volunteers Group in Second Life, or Discord, for times of events.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Spooky%20Strides/113/195/24


Playland Park at Viam Autem Sapientiae (110/135/3301) had a few Halloween-themed rides the new one was the "House of Bones."


The ride had you going through catacombs filled with skulls and bones, with skeletons in various positions. 


Celeste Cazenove really "boned up" her techniques when coming up with this ride.

I could go on and on, but then I wouldn't be able to finish this article in time for Halloween. Whether you chose to explore, have fun at parties, or both, have a Happy Halloween.

Bixyl Shuftan
 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Reader Submitted Poetry

 

Submitted by Aola Tyrian (Ratatosk Independent):

A Song to Humanity
-----------------------

To be human is many things.
It is very human to communicate.
but also running, because you are late.
To pluck a tune on them guitar strings,
Is a very human thing to do,
singing is very human too.

In fact, creating something clever,
that springs a songbird when you pull a lever,
with another human smiling, as its only purpose
is very human too, of course!
.....but so is being callous....
....and doing mean things out of malice -
letting your heart grow cold and coarse...

I want to be human on the sunny side,
and not to hurt and laugh when my victim cried.
It is not always an easy thing
to say words that does not hurt or sting.
To stand up for a stranger,
and help the stranger from misery and danger,
is a human good, that you can do -
because that stranger, is a human too.

 Laura, trying to to be a good human.

About Rhythm
---------------

Life has its own rhythm. Every day has its own rhythm.
I feel the beat and enjoy it.
There is a code to life, an algorithm -
that lives themselves emit.

There is a song that you can hear
but only with an open mind.
Built up by souls from far and near.
It is the song of human kind.

The music is both weak and strong -
Sung from New Yorkers to Achaeans.
Sung now, before, during eons.
It is the song about where we belong.

Take my hand and walk with me
along the path that life outlined!
Lets join the chorus, lets turn the key
and unleash the song of human kind.

Laura, February 20, 2019
 

Monday, September 13, 2021

September 11 Memorials, Past and Present

 
By Bixyl Shuftan

The September 11 2001 attacks are one of those few events in history in which people remember where they were when they heard the news. Like Pearl Harbor decades ago, it led to war. And thanks to the Internet, many many thousands shared images and personal stories. Second Life wasn't around yet when 9/11 happened. But once it was, memorials and other tributes began appearing very early in it's history as soon as 2004 (New World Notes article). 


Over time there have been a number of 9/11 memorials. One of the largest and best known was the one a quarter-sim in size by Alliez Mysterio. It was up for only two or three years, but it was well-attended.

(Click here if the video fails to load)

 Another one that got attention was the memorial at the New York City Block sim. Owner and creator Cheri Bing was from Brooklin New York City, and 9/11 had been very much up close and personal. A firefighter group would hold an event there to honor the fallen. Alliez's memorial would last until about 2009. The New York City Block memorial would stay up until the sim closed in early 2011. 

Areo Pines Park had a "Stairclimb Tribute" in honor of the fallen firefighters. Cindy Bolero would have it up each September for several years. These were two transparent towers in which one could get and wear a free fireman's uniform and climb the 110 stories to the top.

Stagg Island had a well-done marble memorial with plenty of detail, such as the two square waterfall fountains meant to represent the Twin Towers. On Sept 11 itself, people would gather for remembrance events. 

The Stairclimb would be up each November for several years until the shrinking size of Aero Pines park eventually meant there wasn't enough room and the park would eventually close in 2018. 

Also in 2018, the Stagg Island memorial would move to the Yellow River sim after the death of it's builder Fazio Magic. Geena Zackerly would keep it running for a couple more years, but 2020 would be it's last year.


Currently the largest detailed memorial in Second Life is the replica of the real-life Flight 93 Memorial, over Copperhead Road, which was made last year in 2020. Owned by Paul Woodrunner, the main part is the "Tower of Voices," a 93 foot metal structure with 40 wind chimes. 

But since last year, more work has been done on the place. The memorial has doubled in size to include the marble "Wall of Names," of which an event was held at the one in real life on September 11. There's also the visitor shelter and a replica of the gate to the crash site.


One other memorial was "Always Remember" which this year was in Gold Haven. Dropping by on September 11, I ran into the owner Bryston Vanvleck. "I appreciate you visiting all these years," he would tell the people there. Asking when the memorial first came about, he told me, "Well, I started building my NY lofts back in 2007, I believe it was 2008 or 2009 when I first held a memorial in the store. (The) following year, I started building this and it has evolved over the years. ... I have thought about replicating the real-life New York memorial many times. But people do appreciate the intimate simplicity of this one."

When it was brought up just about everyone could tell where they were when they first heard about 9/11, Bryston responded, "That is what this place is for, to reflect and share your stories. I meet so many good people with heartbreaking stories they share. But anyone who was alive will tell you exactly where they were that day. I visited ground zero 3 weeks after it happen and it had a profound effect on me."


Among the stories was, "I was riding the bus down 16th street to go to work when dozens of fire and police cars zoomed past us. The bus was full and everyone's phones started to buzz. That's when I heard someone flew a plane into the Pentagon. The father of a friend was on that plane. What was scary was not knowing what would happen next. Rumors circulated vans were filled with explosives, etc. Surreal indeed."

As this year marked the 20th anniversary of the attacks, it's noteable that Second Life not only has residents whom were young children when they happened, but is getting residents whom hadn't been born yet. Plus some older residents whom were around when it was just a few years before have passed on or otherwise no longer able to get online. The event is transitioning from recent history that practically everyone witnessed to history that more and more people never saw for themselves but know only from recorded media. And of course from memorials, both in real life, and in Second Life.

Video source: Hamlet Au

Bixyl Shuftan