Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The End of a Sim, But Not a Community

By Bixyl Shuftan

It was March 21st when I got the news. Dreamers Cove was gone, and with it my old home, Woodlin. The other sim in the area had vanished a couple weeks before.
Woodlin was created almost a year ago, and when I first saw it in Summer 2008, it was mostly the form I had known it. Dreamers Cove was the main of the two sims in Woodlin. Most of the residents lived there, either in treehouses or apartments built onto the larger trees that stood a few hundred meters high. There was also a shopping mall where people could get new clothes, accessories, avatars, etc. Dreamers was also where the Margaritavile beach club was located. The sim also boasted a movie theater (for a time, people could see movies in their own homes as well). All was built in a sim with a natural look to it, where one could explore the trees, hills, and streams, occasionally finding some hidden caves. The largest one was a temple where one could meditate.

Hopeful Shores was the second sim of Woodlin, only occasionally ever have anyone living there, and fewer trees. But it had two good clubs. 6th Circle was the hell-club there, inspired by another one that had gone out of business. Later on came Star Tails, the highly-colorful space club that regularly hosted parties to the end. Late in 2008, a space station was built and Star Tails attached to it.

The Woodlin area was built and managed until recently by Dax Loon. Staticminded Waco became co-manager in January, and full manager in February.

I made a number of friends there. There was Bubbles, whose lighthearted manner and bubbly friendliness were always a cheery sight. There was Aiko, whom was a bit of a prankster, but always wanting everyone to have fun. There was Maria, whom was often seen with Aiko and her partner in crime" in mischief, though the more I knew her the more I saw of her sweet and tender side. There was Mega, whom liked firing her guns and causing explosions (away from peoples houses). There was Miki, the self-described lil imp, whom was known for her line of clothes and webcomic. There was Galvanized, whose movie voice made him popular with others and one of the best DJs. There was Rory, who proved to be a great event organizer and club owner. There was Aikos partner Foxy, whom also made a name for himself DJing. There was Isegrim, the big but not so bad wolf as I called him, whom was known for eyeing the ladies, but so big-hearted none of the girls minded. There was Jessica, whom was a bit of a tease. There was Danikia, whom was an up and coming DJ this year. There was Ekedo, the quirky little DJ whom is best described as young at heart. And there are many others whom I lack the time to mention.

The times we had. Where to begin? We saw movies together, laughing at humor and cheering at the action. We played games of Una in the space stations lounge, cracking jokes over voice and laughing harder than we had in weeks. And of course all the parties we had, and not just in the clubs. We would have a dance party out on the deck of one of the apartment trees. This included a few beach parties with the landlady dancing around in a bikini and guitar.

Although this may be the end of the Dreamers sim, it is not the end of the community that for months called it their home in Second Life. Foxy acquired another sim: Foxworthy, also known as Willows Thicket. Running the location with help from Aiko, he has offered a number of houses for rent, some housing other old neighbors of his. With the close of Dreamers Cove, he plans to eventually offer more residential places for them. In the meantime, the residents of Willows are continuing to keep in touch with old friends.

The land may be gone, but the happy memories remain, and friendships forged over time between neighbors in SL continue.

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mend a Broken Cyber Heart

So awhile back, one of my SL loves dumped me cruelly, hurtfully, and for stupid reasons. I know that probably sounds pessimistic but break-ups are rarely pleasant. But as it did happen on SL, I decided to wander about looking for distractions to ease the hurt and take my mind off things. So on that note, I give you...


5) Go dancing! Yeah I know that sounds simplistic but SL has no shortage of dance clubs of all sorts, including our very own Secret Seductions, and sometimes dancing mindlessly to good music with fun people around is a great way to soothe the ache. For a lot of people it's healthy to be around people after a break-up. It also doesn't hurt to just dance the anger away. I find personally that channeling break-up anger through dancing is a lot healthier and positive then stewing on it.

4) Go exploring. I found that with so much hurt in my heart, it was a perfect time to look up some things on SL I had been meaning to look for but kept forgetting to. I looked up the Apple store, and had fun browsing all the virtual computer props. Even put one on my desk in my office. Then I looked for various themes. I found an actual Transgender support area, hidden amongst all the shemale sex clubs, and met some really cool supportive people there. Just search the places tab for anything you're into, goth, rave, art, etc, and go exploring. You'll be amazed how easily you get distracted from the hurt.

3) Learn to build or create. Get yourself to one of the many public sandboxes here on SL and start building. Create something. Experiment with textures and shapes. Build a house, a car, a guitar, anything you can imagine, you can build in SL. I'm just a beginner myself, but I found it incredibly cathartic to even just build a box with my logo on it. It was liberating, and helped me ignore the hurt awhile. So go get yourself building, and see what you can come up with.

2) Hanging with friends. A simple yet easily overlooked option. There's always SOMEONE on SL more than happy to shoot the breeze and gab happily for hours about anything and everything, or even nothing in particular. Talk about your break-up. Talk about the weather. Talk about that new prim outfit you bought that you don't think quite looks right, but talk. It really is the best way to purge negative energy from a break-up, to just talk it out, or talk about completely unrelated things. But talk, and soon you'll find the hurt fades into the background.

1) GO SHOPPING!!! Okay, this one probably usually only applies to us girls, well, except if there's a good hardware store on here someplace. But the best medicine sometimes for us ladies when we're hurt is to go shopping. Spend frivolously on things we don't need, or just window shop looking at nice stuff we can't afford. Shopping is a great stress reliever, because you get so caught up in all the cool things you can find that for a while you forget you're hurting. Shopaholics unite!

Of course we know nothing ever truly makes the hurt go away. Only time can do that. But for the immediate moment, it helps to have fun ways to make you stop thinking about it. And that's really the best painkiller isn't it? So go have fun. Hurt is only as painful as you allow it to be.

Now give me a hug dammit!
Penny Sautereau

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Primmiest House in Second Life?

By Bixyl Shuftan

I’ve seen a number of homes in Second Life, both apartments and small home rentals, and larger homes on one’s own virtual land. But Felina Fermi owns a place, along with her partner Rhypanthian Abilene, that has quite a large number of items. One visitor supposedly called it “the primmiest house in SL.”

Felina herself doubts she truly holds the record, but feels her home is certainly among the top for the most prims per square foot in a residential home, “I have seen people with *bigger* homes but they don't decorate it to the fullest with every room and every spot filled.” And indeed, just about every spot has been filled. Even a wastebasket had some paper wads next to it. The kitchen counter has often had numerous food trays with goodies on t √hem. A working home-entertainment system allows her and  her guests to watch one of a broad selection of movies. A number of pet cats walk about the living room, meowing and purring.

Unlike some homeowners in Second Life who strived to take full advantage to make what otherwise would be difficult to impossible, what Rezzable termed “Not Possible In Real Life,” Felina was determined to make a home representative of the North American middle-class dream, filling the house with what she would get in reality if she had the cash, “I wish I could afford all this in real-life.”

Is Felina’s home really “the primmiest house in Second Life?” Do any of you, the readers, know of anything with more?

Bixyl Shuftan


Felina told me of their prim space they were using 2830 out of a capacity of 3017. It held a lot, with lots of food on the dinner table, food and cooking gear in the kitchen, a fire extinguisher near the stove, sliding curtains in the shower, a working pool table, computer with wallpaper and icons, lots of pictures on the wall and potted plants around, "people don't ... often ... use a lot of pictures and plants," a working home theater system where she Rhypanthian frequently watched movies, and and a lot more. Among the virtual homeowners I knew, Felina was one of a kind, and as the years went by would continue to be so.