Please, join me in this adventure that has swept me off the Grid.
Myth? Legend? I am already more than one year old, and ever since I was born I have been hearing tales about the existence of a remote, fantastic place, that has been out there like… forever.
As the tales go, “The Founders” of our world came from out there, probably escaping from three lethal plagues called “stress”, “boredom”, and “frustration”.
(The legend doesn’t say anything about what kind of virus might cause that).
They came in search of freedom, and to pursue happiness and make their dreams come true.
That place, the place they came from, it’s mentioned -in whispers- as “Real Life”.
I’ve heard –as probably most of you have- that the place in impenetrable, remains uncharted, and populated by hostile and deadly predators. Apparently it involves a very large place called “Universe”, that is 15,000,000 millions years old… (I know what you are thinking, but legends are always exaggerated).
It is said that a “Big Bang” started it, and it has zillions of SIMS, that, oddly, are not flat, but round. Some are hot balls of explosive fire and shine light. Some are colder and should be suitable for something the tales refer to as “First Life”.
So… being a curious soul with a knack for adventure, plus the fact that any mystery obsesses me, I decided to explore.
I was told to look for a wise old magical avi that lives in some enchanted forest. I had a lot of trouble finding him. I had to face all kind of perils and challenges. When I got to the forest, the place was terribly laggy, and I had to fight all kinds of monsters, made out of more than one thousand prims. My determination was tried in unbelievable ways.
I crashed to the point of exhaustion. A witch showed up and told me that if I went on I was going to look like Ruth forever and ever, and she cast a spell on me, but luckily I had my anti-spell hud on. I kept on going, struggling with my scripts that had begun to fail by the minute.
By the time I reached the heart of the enchanted forest I had already touched bottom: I was down to the “duck walk” again. I found a very old, short, strange looking being. He told me he was a Slelf. (hardly anybody knows about their existence).
He needed proof of my good intentions. I had to answer a few riddles correctly. The Slelf was pleased with my answers and he was willing to share SL’s best kept secret.
He told me, shuddering, of a place in the Grid that sometimes behaved like a portal to what was known to the ancients as “Real Life”.
This place overlooks the ocean and is located somewhere at one point of the Grid’s edge. (That terrifying place no one dares to look down into… who knows what monsters lie beyond).
I located the coordinates in the map, but had to walk, climb, and fly ‘till I dropped. (There’s no way to TP to that place.) When I got there, I waited. (There are some adjustments you have to do under “preferences” –all of that is secret too, of course-).
Then, suddenly, there’s a glitch. And it becomes a worm. And the worm has drilled a “wormhole” and you jump in and the next thing you know… you are”Out There”!
Everything was blurry. It took such a long time to rez I thought I had fallen into a kind of limbo and I would be stranded there for ever.
But, then, all of a sudden, there it was!!
A huge, amazing SIM, full of sound and fury. It’s quite creepy, because it bears a strange and yet disturbing resemblance to our World. Everything looks very much alike… but I don’t think this “world” is made of pixels.
(What ever it is made of I have no idea. Everything looks… “sticky”).
Avis are called “Persons”.
They don’t seem very friendly, but maybe it’s just a first impression.
I was overwhelmed and needed to sit down. I started walking along the streets of what looks like a very large city.
(Isn’t “pushing” restricted here?).
I found a place were there were a lot “persons” writing on laptops –without a writing animation!!! How weird is that?
They also had a lot of food and drinks that they actually swallowed!!!
I realized the first thing I needed to do was to try to find a way to contact the Newspaper.
I approached one of these “persons”. He looked friendlier than the rest. He kept staring at my legs and didn’t seem to mind when I asked him if I could use his laptop.
I told him where I came from, he seemed genuinely surprised, and he said he vaguely remembered having heard of a place like that.
-I thought that place was a legend, he said.
-What? Second Life a legend? We think this place here is a legend!
-I answered. That kind of made us both laugh. (I have to admit the “person” is good looking and, btw, I’ve never seen a male avi with such good hair).
He showed me how to type without a script, and I managed to log into the SLNewspaper and send this, my first report from “Real Life”. I felt a bit relieved.
The “person” told me his name was John Smith. (I have never heard of such a strange name in SL). He gave me an “e-mail” address (I think that kind of works like IMs) and hoped to see me soon. I thanked him but I decided I had to move on. People at the Bar were staring at me, as if I looked weird or something. Maybe because I was way taller than everybody else.
I decided to keep on exploring some more.
I started wandering , totally amazed, thinking what to do next, when I remembered that the old SLelf never told me how to get back into SL.
I realized I was in dire straits. I will have to figure that out, somehow, while I’m “out here” gathering information about this place that turned out to be anything but a legend.
Did we really come from here?
Will I ever find out the truth?
If I manage to stay alive, you will hear from me soon.
I think I’ll have a lot of exciting stuff to tell you.
“Out here” is also called “The World”. (I find that an intriguing coincidence).
And believe me… I’m sensing it’s a dangerous place.
Covadonga Writer on assignment in "The World"
Friday, August 29, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Atop the clouds I do lay gazing far away The stormy sea way below crashing on the reef
In between the meadows green fields of flowers do I see, the beauty of life surrounds me.
Embrace what I can It is never enough To dream is such Ecstasy
I awaken to reality oh how I love this Second Life.
Sometimes your dream gets cast away, let it not drift from you Reach out and embrace it smile upon this cloud let not the raging sea take you and dash you Nay never let it get far away
I am always searching for something.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Its quite funny really the amount of people I meet who really do good things in Secondlife but except in their own community they are very little known, Charlene is, in my opinion, one of these people.
We met over advertising - quite normal - but I was really taken aback when I met her. For someone who must have a business brain to be able to run over 30 sims successfully she was so human and also nervous. Some people just don't know how to even start with advertising themselves but still do so well simply because they are real.
I know how trite that sounds here in SL where no-one is supposed to be what they seem, but there are 'real' people in this unreal world.
Trying to get Charlene to promote herself was not possible, she is who she is and people really need to meet her to know what I mean by that.
Charlene Trudeau is the owner and manager of Skybeam estates a huge undertaking and one she takes very seriously but she is so novel in her approach I find it hard to promote her in any way - its just not necessary.
Skybeam has residential land, commercial, mixed use and the sandbox is at the center of things as it should be for anyone with a passion for building, like Charlene, but it has so much more to offer too. Many, even those who use the sandbox, have no idea what the estate offers:
Charlene Trudeau: I did find out that I may have 'low-key'ed things just a bit too much, when a recent person buying in said 'you know I used to use skybeam sandbox a lot but never realized you had any estate land... how long have you been doing the estate thing?'
Charlene Trudeau: I figure at least a sign might be a good idea at this point :)
I asked Charlene about what she tells people who are looking for somewhere to live and have come to see Skybeam, her answer was very different:
Charlene Trudeau: That's funny because my first advice is to do one's homework and research absolutely everywhere they can (including skybeam) before making any decision :)
I suppose that I care about making their life in SL the best one I can... and that I am always an IM away, that I take their investment seriously and believe they should expect something back beyond just the plot of dirt they live on.
That they can expect answers to questions, response to concerns and a community around them (even if they choose not to participate in that community actively) anyone can set out a region and mark it for sale, we're trying to be something more than that.
I asked her about the community and activities:
Charlene Trudeau: right now the 'regularly scheduled' activities are: our friday night dance night, this is held at a different location throughout the estate each week this week, its technically being held off estate, but on a joined partner estate :) we have one big monthly party that I hold at two different times the same day to try to cover more time zones plus on Thursday nights I've started a Q&A with Charlene Trudeau, to just come ask anything about SL, if you stump me I'll find out and get bring back my homework the next week :) I also do a monday morning chat hour to wake up and start the week with.
Some times I don't feel accessible enough to my folks any more so I'm trying to make times to do so.
Now, in addition to that, which is all official 'estate' stuff, I have Neill on Harbour Cove who has put together a sailing club, has two different fishing games available to folks, a swim hud arrangement so you can swim down and explore the water ruins and so on, so resident available activities are starting to crop up too. Then SkyBeam Pastures is designed to appeal to the horse crowd, I have not done well marketing it to date because it came in around the same time RFL really exploded.
(Here i must explain that Charlene is very much involved with RFL also and is at the moment of this conversation bald for RFL.)
Charlene Trudeau: So from Pastures you can ride up into trailridge, harbour cove and on into the university region and really over into Instituto Espanol which is a Spanish language school
Dana: All part of skybeam estates?
Charlene Trudeau: yup :) Wilson Voight runs the school and its his own private venture but has made his home on SkyBeam
Talking about her covenant and how she goes about selling she had this to say:
Charlene Trudeau: At the time the only covenants out there (and far too many today) mostly said you can't do this this this and this and NO REFUNDS EVER and now and then 'Buy the land, pay your tier, and leave me alone' not in those words necessarily but that's what I felt when I read them.
I was looking to ask people to spend real money for the privilege of living on the estate and I felt that meant I had a responsibility to them too so my covenant is long, and longer now than it was then. I try to explain some of the 'why', not just the rule, which takes time.
Charlene and Skybeam do have a website but as she said its not really there as a sales tool its there so she can keep her residents informed check it out for yourself here http://www.skybeamestates.com/
You can get your own idea of the kind of person Charlene is by reading her blog and decide for yourself. You can read more about Skybeam estates HERE
Saturday, August 23, 2008
I was intrigued when I met two children avatars while working on the SL5B exhibit stories and spent some time talking with them.
I decided to look into the children of sl. Why I wondered ?
I am talking about adults who are living as children in second life, some as role players, I was told they have decided to explore their inner child and live a children in sl.
So I asked my friend Myrtil Igaly to take me touring kid friendly sl.
There are several sims that are really kid friendly and are set up with fun games and places to go explore.
Our first visit took us to Nemo Beach on Goony Island where I met some other children having kid fun. One of my first new acquaintances was wearing a sign that said “ Alms for Orphan “ but Myrtil informed me he had a father in sl.
We took a walk around , meeting a mudzombie on the way who was quickly dispatched by Ricky Geesink, the non-orphan.
They led me to a raft on which we joined about 5 other kids for a ride across the lake.
On the other side we visited a the Vortex, a dj club that accepts kid, adults, furries or who ever wants to come to a party.
We then stopped at another sim, Rascal , where I got to see Myrtil’s store with all kinds of kid’s stuff to buy.
Fergotten Dabu tried so to impress me by giving me fun items to use but I already had them, so he cried!
Our next visit was to a “teen “ sim, Undercity, New Babbage . It looked like a dismal inner city . I learned from Rai Fargis that it is part sci fiction and will become a role play place soon.
“It was a thriving city once, but people built an Artificial Intelligence for security which became too powerful and killed all adults so its only kids and teens here.”
There is a skate park , hidden places to play and lots of visitors.
I visited a children’s mall which had everything a child would need or want for sale. If you would like to adopt a child in sl it is possible too an Adoption Agency, of which there are several.
I was surprised to find that there are so many children friendly places to go and play.
From reading the SLC Blog I learned that they are really into policing themselves as children to be safe from predators and reporting such activity to avoid abuse.
The reason I decided to do this article was the strange policy activity toward children’s builds at the time of the SL5B which changed several times during the preparation and provoked many protests.
I visited the SL5B exhibit by Loki Eliot and friends and wrote about it in Childhood Dreams.
I talked to him after visiting his sim, Goony Beach, which he built for himself originally depicting scenery from his own childhood.
He said “I came to SL with no idea what it was, i chose a kid avatar becos thats what best expresses my personality and i stayed because i love to make things and create stuff.”
He made it for 6 or 7 friends who were some of the few children in sl at that time. Now the sim is a favorite hangout for the kids in sl who number in the thousands..
Take a look at the SLC Blog on the web, and visit the Vortex to get a flavor of the fun to be had and think of your inner child and be kind to the children of sl.
For some they are reliving their childhood like Loki, and for some perhaps having the childhood they never had in real life.
By Gemma Cleanslate
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I found out about Virtual Ability Island through a friend.
She had left me an offline IM and a LM. Her IM was brief and read,
"OMG! Nazz … You have to check this out."
Knowing she rarely overstated things, I decided to take a look.
I arrived at the site and waited a bit for it to rezz before moving. I had apparently joined in on the tail end of a tour so waited until the tour completed before introducing myself to Gentle Heron, the tour leader.
I explained to her that I was a freelance reporter and would be interested in possibly doing a story.
She agreed, but needed a little time before she could meet and she asked me to look around for a bit.
While waiting, I wandered over to the TP point and began reading the signs that surround an arriving visitor. "Virtual Ability Island has been developed through a partnership between the Alliance Library System and Virtual Ability Inc. (VAI).
The goal of the partnership is to develop and island with an orientation and training center for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses." The welcome sign read.
I pulled out a blank note card and started writing out some questions in preparing for our chat.
"Hello Nazz, I'm free now if you're ready." Gentle called out as she approached me. "So how can I help you? And should we do this in IM?" She asked.
I replied that IM would be fine and begin with my first question.
NL: Tell me a little about Gentle Heron?
GH: I'm a Mom of three from Colorado. I have MS and work part time from home. I am president of the RL 501(c) 3 Corporation Virtual Ability, Inc. The Virtual Ability group and this island are two projects of that corporation in second life. We are an all volunteer / donation group.
NL: How was it that VAI discovered SL?
GH: Two friends, SuperQuiet Heron and Sodapop Heron and I checked out virtual worlds because we wanted to find a community where we could "live" virtually since we were all pretty much affected by our impairments. Second life was the most fully developed at that time. We came in here June of 2007, which was before the corporation (VAI). We founded The Heron Sanctuary (THS). It is a group, not just a place. The group is a support community for people with any kind of disability. The two groups, THS and VAI have a hangout island, called VAI Sanctuary. The groups work together.
NL: An Interesting choice for a name, any significance beside the obvious of you three having the last SL Surname?
GH: Of course, a sanctuary is a safe place, where those who are alike can come together for mutual support and can be among those who understand your situation. On our website you will see a summary of the research showing the benefits to people with disabilities of coming into and interacting in virtual worlds. In real life I can't stand unaided, but here I can walk, swim and dance ... anything. Because of that, for me, and for many others, this is far more than a game. It IS a second life.
NL: How many hours a day do you put in SL?
GH: Uh oh! A dangerous question, some days none at all, if I am too worn out or have too much work for my real life employer. Other days, well, let's just say it's more than eight. Working on this island project really is a full time job. I also work part time work for an educational research firm from home and I have three children to support, remember. MS really limits the energy you have, so that limits what you can accomplish. You really have to prioritize.
NL: What has been your most interesting experience in SL so far?
GH: Interesting? Gosh so many. Would you believe I have been bull riding in here? There are so many fun things to do in SL that I can't in RL, even simple things like going to a concert or seeing an art gallery or simply walking in a forest. Those are things I used to be able to do, and I missed them, but I *can* do them now in SL.
NL: Tell me about some about your plans for VAI and this SIM?
GH: The reason to do this island is to bring more people into SL, to support their learning to use the computer here, and to get them integrated into SL society. We have other ideas we'd like to try, but need to plan carefully and make sure this is successful first. One thing we are experimenting with is a form of housing that reinforces the feeling of community. We'd like to do more experiments along those lines. We're also exploring ideas about enabling meaningful paying employment.
NL: How will you know when you've been successful here?
GH: Success isn't how many people we keep in the group, but how many move into SL and they begin to interact and take advantage of what goes on in SL. But surprisingly, many stay or come back to the group to help others.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Let’s be honest: don’t you sometimes find yourself staring at you avatar , wondering who the hell that virtual person is?
It’s supposed to be you… but… Is it… really?
It is said that the biggest load we carry in our lives is our personality. Our personality is the result of our basic self, after being molded as we interact with the people and circumstances we have to deal with in life.
It takes a lot of strength to be “that person” the others have come to know and take for granted.
It is OK.
That’s the way the world goes around.
But that social personality is there at the expense of other possibilities that remain hidden behind our face, the face that stares back at us from the mirror every morning, that glances back at us from the store windows as we walk by.
And sometimes we are tired of that face, of answering to the same name, of being so predictable.
So, since the beginning of times, other masks were made, probably in the hope of becoming someone else.
But, if you think about it carefully, it becomes quite clear that the fake mask, by concealing, actually reveals.
We choose a mask that represents someone else we also are, deep inside.
Someone else that needs a face, because our flesh and blood face has already an owner.
The person that looks like we do everyday.
The person that answers to our name.
Masks, of couse, are related to myths. And myths are the richest source for tales.
Our real face is the mask we are wearing to portray our authorized personality.
When we choose to wear a mask, we are giving permission to a hidden part of the personality we project in public, to show up.
Maybe a darker side, maybe a brighter side, but most probably a truthful side. A side that has not yet been tamed.
In our society we don’t wear masks, unless we have to attend a costume party.
Or outlaws that obviously need to hide their faces. (It’s quite obvious here that the mask is showing who they really are).
But our personality is a load we carry. It takes it’s toll.
It keeps our mind sound, but it’s a bit like a straitjacket.
So, when we dream about being some one else… we dream about freedom. A freedom we long for, even if, given the choice, we would stick to being who we “officially” are.
Think about the myths and tales that were built around a mask. Off the top of my head… Zorro, the Lone Ranger, Batman, Spiderman, The Phantom of the Opera, The Man in the Iron Mask, Darth Vader, Gatubela, Superman.
Remember: masks are both, concealing and revealing.
In all the cases mentioned above… when the character wears the mask… his real self shows up, often displaying a very different personality, and a different name.
So the personality that lives a “normal” life, is really used to mislead people about who they really are.
Looking “normal” is the real disguise. The masked outfits unleash and reveal a deeper nature that otherwise remains hidden.
So, besides Halloween and costume parties… what other chance do we have to hide behind a mask , conceal our real life personality and reveal who we really are?
I am thinking about Second Life.
And I’m not talking about becoming “somebody else”.
I already wrote about that, explaining why I don’t think that’s possible: those myth based characters I mentioned, are not schizophrenic. They are just very complex beings… that have understood that sometimes the personality that relates to our identity is a heavy burden.
It has promised to help us feel safe, and to keep our act together… but it’s also a jailor that won’t let us out of the cage, if it thinks we are planning to stop flying in circles and instead, fly away.
So take a little time and take a good look at the character you have created in SL. Or all of them: the main character… and the alts.
This “game” is much less innocent than it seems.
Those characters are concealing who you are supposed to be in RL. But they are really revealing you who you also really are, who you really want to be, the way you really feel about your inner self.
Watch yourself in the mask you’ve made from scratch from the default avatar. What does it tell you?
And… most important… Are you listening?
Friday, August 15, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
On my journeys I came upon a very lovely place. It is called SL-refuge.
It is a place where ladies in need of help may come for a bit of rest and peacefulness.
I met Sgt Panama who along with Josephina (of the beautiful Club Josephina) run this delightful and beautful build.
The land is donated and built by Josephina and consuls with Sgt Pan. Sgt Pan is a wonder in herself, Knowledge of several languages, a veteran, a Mother, a welder and a wonderful caring person.
I wandered over this land and sat on a bell atop the church.
It is such a peaceful place and Bree loves the comfort of watching from high above to see lovely grounds. Surely there is peace to be found here.
Please to read all that is offered here, whether it be for yourself or perhaps you know of someone who would benefit from what these ladies offer you.
I congratulate your efforts Josephina and Sgt Panama and oh yes, I cannot forgot gladys the cleaning Lady hahah what a delight she is. So shy, I could not coax a picture from her, but I heard her singing as I wandered around.
Be sure to come visit the Club Josephiina and also visit the Old Mill and shopping is nearby enjoy my friends.
Need a home for the homeless? Somewhere temporary yet safe to stay until you get back on your feet? No money, yet want somewhere to rest your head after a busy day wandering the streets of SL?
Welcome to the Second Life Refuge. We provide free, time limited (depending on demand) temporary accommodation for those genuinely in need. We have basic etiquette and behavioural standards as we want people to be safe and comfortable during their stay.
The location of the refuge because it is on a need-to-know basis, applicants for the free housing need to put a brief explanation as to their need on a notecard and drop it to Josephina Bonetto in-world.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
What are we humans up to when we have the place for ourselves, when no one is watching?
I guess there’s quite a list of activities that most of us have engaged in when we are “home alone”.
Remember when you were kids?.
Maybe you were ten and had a newborn baby brother. Didn’t you even once take the pacifier from him and gave it a taste… for old times' sake?
Girls love to get their hands on someone else’s doll… and sometimes brake it. Haven’t you ever gone through you parent’s drawers and closets, trying on their clothes? I loved to walk around in my mother’s pumps, and, I don’t know how… she always knew I had had them on the next time she decided to wear them. Not to mention what I did to her make up.
We often suspected we were being held prisoners. Those people couldn’t be our real parents. We must have been born Princes and Princesses and… “Oh My God , they must be so worried at the Castle, trying to find us.” We needed proof. So we turned the house upside down trying to find old pictures, or letters, or stuff that would tell us things about who the grown ups we lived with REALLY were.
Then we get older, and decide not to look for proof anymore… we start looking for loose change in pockets and, if possible… for cigarettes. Or grass. (Which might have shed a new light on who our folks were… maybe they weren’t such twits after all.)
Teenage guys also apply themselves to the stack of Playboys the keep under the mattress along with the Spiderman comics. I guess they also spend a lot of time trying to unscramble the porn channel.
When we are older… I guess we girls use that free time to wax our legs, to pluck our eyebrows, to paint our toe nails, to smear all kinds of concoctions on our face.
Guys get hungry and eat chicken out of the fridge without using a knife and fork, or even a plate.
Sometimes they get bored and try to fix household appliances, that, like Humpty Dumpty, will never be put together again.
Some people like to go around the house stark naked. We also might play some very loud music and dance like crazy around the house, or watch an old movie – a very sad one- so we can cry to our heart’s contempt.
And… we also log in to SL, when we are home alone. And… what is it we do in SL, when we are alone… when no one is watching? When our friends are not on line?
The feeling is pretty much the same… isn’t it?
At first…when you are noob… the quantities of goods and services related to sex becomes intriguing, to say the least. I always found porn basically ridiculous, a total turn off. But all those places for kinky sex… and all those gadgets… SL seemed to have an infinite supply.
Avi’s are always kind of cute, no matter how pervert they want to look, ha ha, so I never took that seriously. But… I was quite amazed and curious and did a lot of exploring… by myself… when no one was watching. (Com’on!!! Don’t tell me you didn’t.)
But then there’s also“normal” sex, and when you are a noob you don’t know it comes along with the furniture. When I bought my first bed I didn’t understand what the hell was that. So I spent a lot of time –home alone-, trying to figure out how that worked. And I was NOT going to ask around… and decided to put that away for good.
(Needless to say a couple of months later a boyfriend became part of my Second Life and OH did we figure out how those scripts worked…) (blush).
You know what I really like?
To go shopping by myself and try on clothes and shoes.
I like to go looking for new hair styles. I spend a lot of time trying those “demos” on. I try to find a new look, trying on some make up too. I spend a lot of Lindens and I often end up looking like before I started. I also try something on and decide to “edit”. It’s amazing how good I am at trashing perfectly good items.
When I realize, once again, that my inventory is unmanageable, I spend some time sorting it out. That is boring, so I give up quite soon.
Then I start checking my friends “profiles”, to see if something has changed. Let's see… are these two still together? Did they add some new info about themselves?
Except for those very few and really close ones… WHO these people really are?? Maybe this cool handsome latin lover is an old lady from Cincinnati who is fed up with Bingo and now finds her kicks in SL.
I am sure some of them are alts, but It’s really a challenge to figure that out. I have some suspects… though. They better watch themselves. I’ll blow their cover sooner or later, he he.
Then I decide to update my profile. Change the photos, add new pics. What groups do I belong to? Why am I in an S&M club??? Was I drunk? Let’s get out of there.
What about doing something useful?Time to go once more to a sandbox and try to improve my building skills. I can only build very simple things… mostly square or flat shaped. So whenever I try to do a more complicated object it turns out to be such a contraption than immediately attracts the attention of other builders who know what they are doing and try to help… which spoils the fun of being alone playing with prims.
Then I decide to go exploring. Find cool places and meet people that I’ll keep to myself for a while.
“I have some friends that my old friends don’t know… hahaha”.
Feels good for like two days. Then they get deleted. (My true friends are a very serious thing).
What about searching for cool animations?A new hud, so I can change the way I walk, sit, fly?
A new game for my parties? Dances!!!! Oh, yes. Need some new dances for my Chimera. I spend quite sometime trying them on. Last ones I got? Very slow dancing ones. Worth every penny. Ask my bf.
And what people do when they are NOT home alone… well… no need to comment on that.☺))))))
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Throughout history, human being and its technology have always been in an intricate two-way relationship, changing our concepts of being and reality along the way. With the creation of Cyberspace we even made ourselves a new plane of existence, a new being. With usercreated, immersive 3D virtual worlds like Second Life being the pinnacle in that field at the moment.
Despite the fact the Second Life world is entirely created by its users, by its residents, the grid operator Linden Lab uses a totalitarian control and governance model which is all too common with providers across cyberspace.
The fact this world is being created by its residents and the intricate interdependency relation stemming from this between Linden Lab and the residents, should be cause and basis for establishing a novel relationship between provider and user, that truly acknowledges the residents' investments and existence, essential for the creation and sustaining of the Second Life world.
Therefor, the SL Democratic Movement calls for Linden Lab to balance the Terms of Service and governance of the Second Life world:
We demand that future contract changes will be negotiated.
Accordingly, we demand change of the pretext of the Terms of Service regarding change of contract to enable this.
We demand a meaningful socio-political dialog between Linden Lab and the SL community and a public, transparent, non hierarchical structure with meaningful voting procedures and a possibility of referenda to enable this.
We demand the abolishment of articles 2.6 and 3.2.b and similar statements in the Terms of Service.
A profound change in these articles will make room for the full acknowledgment of you and your investments and for protection against arbitrary banning and deletion and in effect towards rights of due process and fair “trial”. Accordingly, the abuse report system should be changed towards these goals.
We want Linden Lab to actively further and intensify its open source plans and efforts, towards open sourcing the server code and a truly open grid.
SL Democratic Movement's campaign for democratic reform of the rule of Second Life has been underway for several months, and is motivated both by tensions between Linden Lab and their customers in Second Life and instances of mismanagement of the service as well as by a deep-seated philosophical conviction that users of Second Life ought to be acknowledged with their participation in the world both by right and necessity.
SL Democratic Movement is a non-profit organization advocating self-rule, transparent and fair governance, resident rights and democracy within the virtual world of Second Life.
Monday, August 4, 2008
The wind is blowing and the leaves are rustling
The springs are flowing and the mind is dreaming
Doth Lady Bree know from hence she drifts?
Across the seas, the waves do carry forth
A land awaits her, the time is far away.
Let not the sands carry her from where she wishes to go.
Her love of adventure may never evolve
The mind is searching for ways to part the clouds,
willing to speed her to the land she most desires.
What lies ahead, the future is yet to reveal
I live in a land of dreams, what else is there?
Whether your dreams come true or not, is it not wonderful to have a dream in your life? To me it is and I hope those who read this have one too.
I am always searching for something.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
A good place to learn stuff while on SL is a place called Help Island. I was there and had a bad experience because I didn't ask questions, I hope by telling you about it you can learn from my mistakes:
I was at Help Island walking around and learning and exploring, when a girl walked up me and asked if she could bite me and that she needed to bite 25 people before she could get a badge.
I asked her if anything would happen to my avatar and she said no, nothing at all, so I let her bite me.
It appeared that nothing was wrong.
Then I talked to someone, who I knew, who happened to be a healer. She healed me and it took about 15 minutes. So my health was lowered by letting her bite me? I was told I would vanish had I not been healed.
When going to help island and if you have questions always ask someone who is a mentor, or ask questions from someone you might know in SL who has been here awhile, and if you're uncertain about anything then use your good judgement and don't let them do something to you.
Some people just might tell you something that isn't quite true, like your avatar being hurt.
Your avatar can never be hurt.
There is no health or death to an avatar unless you're in a role playing battle sim and even then as soon as you go to a different sim the health is reset.
I'm still a newbie myself and learning, I hope I can help you to avoid some of the common pitfalls and decoys in SL for us newbies.
Remember to always have fun here on SL