Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ignorance, Violence and Racism in Second Life

I ran into a few old friends at my old stomping grounds today. We chit-chatted a bit, everything was all honkey dorey.. then they started telling me about a group of griefers who'd been there earlier and how much fun they'd had sparing with them.

It wasn't long before the "griefers" re-emerged. I sat quietly and listened, trying to get a handle on what exactly was going on. Soon it became evident who was trying to get something stirred up.. and it wasn't the supposed griefers. I cued up my mic as I was gently prodded to join in. I politely announced that I wasn't taking sides in the matter.. I'd just be quiet.

But when I heard "Get away from me nigger!" I got pissed. I didn't say anything.. I was trying to stay out of it... until one of the old gang started talking about sewing up a delicate part of the female anatomy.. and another.. on voice.. stated, "I hope someone rapes your daughter."




In what world.. in what sort of warped mind.. in WHAT situation does crap like that become an acceptable response to ANY statement?

I was livid.. and I let people know.

The individual who made that last statement started to backstroke immediately. I told him how sick and twisted I felt his statement was and how I hope he didn't have kids.. if he did he should never be allowed to see them.

Not an unreasonable statement to make, in my opinion.

And then... his response?

"Oh I have a daughter.."

There was more... the other went on to make statements about certain people being a poster child for late term abortion.

These were adults, not children who snuck in on Mommy and Daddy's computer. These were people I had counted amongst my friends on SL. I was angry, sad, embarrassed and disappointed all at once.

After everything calmed down, one of the old gang, the one who wanted to take a needle and thread to someone's vagina, apologized for his outburst. I was trying to think of something non-judgemental to say.. and for obvious reasons found it difficult.. but before I could respond he added, "But I enjoyed it."

Enjoyed it.

ENJOYED threatening the torture of the female body, in front of a group of people.

Throughout all of this, a newbie was hanging out and asking questions. He was curious if this was the norm.. if this was how people acted in Second Life. I wanted to tell him that Second Life, as in first life, is what you make of it. If you walk the grid with a hate filled heart, you will find hatred. If you go looking for a fight, you will find it.

If you embrace others with an open mind and an open heart... you too will be embraced.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Loves Me Some Monkeys

Quite possibly the cutest avatar I've seen in Second Life. Ever.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Prejudice in Second Life

One of the great things about Second Life is, you never know who you might run into while wandering the streets late at night. When I spotted this fashionista, with her shiny latex body suit, I just had to strike up a conversation.

She was surprisingly friendly.. looks can be deceiving and was eager to tell me all about her dominatrix who apparently keeps an entire herd.. flock.. harem.. troop.. whatever the word is for a group of submissives.

When I complimented her on the lovely collar, we somehow got on the subject of the Neko lifestyle and she started asking me a lot of questions about the different types of roleplay in SL. She wasn't very new, but I got the impression that her experiences in the metaverse were limited to her current situation.

She seemed surprised that anyone bothered to engage her in conversation, which made me think about how residents are judged by their appearance here, maybe even more than in First Life. The reason seems to be that in SL we choose who we become, externally, while away from the computer, much of what makes up who we are is out of our control... like the language we learn to speak, the color of our skin, our sex, etc.

Here, it seems, prejudice against some groups is excused, because they've chosen to express their individuality in a way that differs from the masses.

I think maybe we shouldn't be so quick to judge. Second Life should be a safe haven to explore those little quirky kinks of personality, things you'd never do in real life.

On a side note.. I haven't seen headgear like that since the fourth grade when Donny Mathews got his uber orthodontic braces over Christmas vacation to fix his overbite.


I think he's still in therapy.

That's my two cents worth (or like 50$L) for now. We'll talk again soon. Ya'll have a good one and I'll see you around the grid.

Friday, June 19, 2009

When I Threaten to Sing, Watch Out

Hiding Place

The big news this week seems to be the fresh new "adult" sim, Zindra. I haven't been yet, most of the chatter I've heard on Twitter and Plurk from people who have checked it out is.. "meh." I'll wait until the Grand Opening rush settles down, then I promise I'll bring you a full report.

Most of my time on the grid this week was spent hanging out close to home, watching the he-man rearrange furniture, listening to a little music and dancing.

When I did venture out to the hub, there was more "Grief Wall" drama. Once again, battling groups have been established, big stupid billboards plastered across the road, shouts from the road about the trash hanging out in the "parking lot."

It was entertaining for about a minute and a half. Give it a rest already.

Maybe I should crank up my mic and give them a winning rendition of "Kumbaya." That'll teach 'em.

That's all I have this week. Ya'll take care and I'll see ya on the grid!

Be sure and check out Pixel Pony, real life products that celebrate your Second Life.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blue Haired Old Ladies Need Love Too

Every so often I like to go back to where it all began, back to the Bear Infohub to sit on the wall and see if any old friends wander through. While it's true that most of the traffic consists of freshly baked newbies, you can usually also find an assortment of us long timers catching up on the gossip, seeing who's hooked up with who, what illnesses are being fought and who's missing in action.

A couple of nights ago, I stopped by for a bit and ran in to an eccentric Bear resident, a club and DJ school owner with land near by. She's always great for entertainment, sitting off in the corner, rambling on to anyone who'll listen about how she's been mistreated, how unfair life is, quoting Linden Labs Terms of Service, calling everyone there loiterers and panderers.

You know.. sorta like those old bag ladies you see sitting in their own urine on the side streets downtown, waving their fists and mumbling incoherently about conspiracy theories and alien abductions.

Bless her heart.

I'm only a little ashamed to admit that we had our fun with her, then moved on. I know it's unkind to pick on people like that, but sometimes you just get caught up in the moment...

Don't judge me.. okay?

I went back last night... the SLag was hell by the way... and hung out for a few minutes. Soon shouts started coming from the land next door.

"Walk through the Grief Wall!"

It was her.

What the hell? Grief Wall?

So I'm thinking.. like a war memorial? What the crap?

After a few minutes, I think I figured it out. Bless her heart. She must be a grieving little blue haired old widow in her first life, trying to talk herself back to reasoning. That's what she meant by "walk through the grief."

I felt bad for exchanging banter with her. It must be hard, living there alone with her 36 cats in that tiny apartment. I think ya'll should join me in keeping her in our thoughts and hope she gets back to wellness soon.

Until we talk again, ya'll take care.


P.S. This has been a tongue-in-cheek account of actual incidents at the hub. I'm not mentioning the individuals name because I don't want to give her the self-Googling satisfaction. TTFN!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Greenies, Hearts and a Fowl Mystery

It's been a week full of happy surprises and new discoveries for me in Second Life.

Have ya'll ever heard of Greenies Home? I'd heard it mentioned, but never visited and really had no clue what I was in for when we popped over last night to check it out. In what looks like a giant apartment, where the cat could knock you into the next sim with one swat, tiny green aliens hide in every nook.

On the floor below, little temporary rezzable race cars fly around on a makeshift track and a dollhouse is just the right size for tiny avatars. I had a ball peeking inside cabinets and drawers, even the refrigerator. Itty bitty flying saucers, Greenies sailing in the kitchen sink, even a store where you can buy your own Greenies products.

After spending a few minutes exploring, I had already fallen in love with the tiny green men, with their itty bitty smiling faces... but I made sure I saved the landmark when I peeked inside one hidden nook and found this little fella enjoying some alone time:

In other news...

For a long time now, my profile has said I was done with romance in SL. I worked hard to keep my distance from people, put up walls, become the self crowned Ice Queen.. but then... and old friend came back into my life and I learned an important lesson:

"Never say never again."

And.. I'm happy.

That's all I've got for this week. We'll talk again... just as soon as I find out what all this weird chatter is on Plurk about adopting cocks, toys, breeding and building cages.

Let's hope they're talking about chickens...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Is That a Carrot in Your Pocket?

I've always been fascinated by the creations in Second Life, probably because I seem to lack the "techie-geek gene" that gives others the ability to create artificial life from pixels and scripts. If I had plenty of $L, I'd buy an island and populate it with nothing but scripted critters and plants, where I'd just sit back and marvel at their wonder.

Okay, that makes me sound like I've got some kinda weird God complex, so maybe it's good that I'm not SL wealthy.

My first major purchase in SL was my horse, seen here at Amore Island. He's a great conversation starter and probably, on some level, makes up for that RL childhood dream of a pony on Christmas morning.

As I popped around the grid yesterday, looking for new places to visit, I saw a listing for "Jenny's Oceanfront Retreat." I'm always up for checking out the beaches, so I headed over. When I got there, there were tp choices for different points around the island, including a horse pasture. I imagined green fields filled with horses, moving and neighing, with flowers and... well...

I had to check it out.

I was shocked when I landed and saw this:

"Is that a carrot in your pocket or are you happy to see me?"

I won't elaborate on the um, choices in ways to erm.. interact with Trigger. I felt a little icky just taking a picture, but it was my duty as a journalist.


Ya'll have a killer week on the grid. We'll talk again soon.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lindens and Latin Lap Dances

Last night, while on another shopping adventure around the grid in search of a see-through nightie (don't ask, I'm not tellin') I got an IM from one of my friends. He was excited when he had accidentally stumbled upon some kind of meeting with a Linden at the helm and offered me a tp.

Since we're on the subject of Lindens, let me pause for a second and ask if ya'll have noticed them popping up a lot more lately? Just an observation.


I took him up on his offer, I was tired of shopping and welcomed the chance to spend time with a good friend. When I arrived, I found a gathering of avatars surrounding a small table. Seated at the head of the table, was Blue Linden.

My friend and I stood quietly in the back as a lady with a strong accent asked questions on voice, which were answered by Blue via text. Most of the questions were your standard fare, topics covered numerous times on the "official" blogs and in various news articles. My friend and I exchanged text privately, thought provoking repartee, commenting on the meeting in progress:

Me: "Dude.. this is just like Wedding Crashers. They have no idea we don't belong here"

Friend: "It's okay, I think I can take Blue if I have to."

Me: "Reckon there'll be snacks? I could go for some cheese and crackers... oooo and punch. Green punch with those floaty ice chunks would totally rock."

Friend: "Shhh.. someone just said "porn."

I kinda lost track of the discussion around then. They were talking about servers and copybots and.. ya know.. stuff. I was considering bailing out when this guy showed up:

Me: "I wanna monkey!"

That's when things started getting interesting. The monkey dude totally lept into Blue Linden's lap.

I swear.. I think he was giving him a simean lap dance. I would have taken pictures of the actual act, but I was too busy laughing my ass off.

I think someone must have IMed the monkey because suddenly he leaps from the table and starts saying crap like, "Why did you tp me here? I didn't know I was on the table. What is this?" and I was all like.. dude.. If you're going to give a Linden a monkey lap dance.. you should totally own it.

Don't wuss out. Gawd.

After the lap dance, someone offered Blue a moist towelette for a quick cleanup (okay, I made that last part up, this isn't like.. the Enquirer or some crap) and Blue said he had a question. He asked what group what group the onlookers were members of.

What? He didn't even know what was going on?

Suddenly I didn't feel as bad.

It was soon discovered that we'd dropped in on a university group of Spanish speaking folks taking part in some kind of research.. or something.

Now I was really worried someone might engage me in conversation. My Spanish is limited to the .99 menu at the Taco Bell drive-thru.

Soon it was over, Blue Linden left, the monkey hung his little head in sadness and there was an explosion of excited chatter.. all in Spanish.. when my friend and I decided it was time to make our exit.

I'm still not clear on what was going on. I suspect Blue stumbled upon the group by accident, but who knows?

All I know is.. everyone should get to see a monkey give a lap dance at least once in their lifetime, even if it's in Second Life.

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