By Bixyl Shuftan
I recently went to the recently opened Vietnam Veterans Memorial’s virtual counterpart here in Second Life. Besides viewing the very well detailed replica of “The Wall,” I met up with one of the men behind it, Evian Argus. I gave him an interview, and he took me on a tour of the sim.
The virtual memorial was opened to the public in Second Life on November 7, coordinated with the 25th Anniversary ceremonies in Washington D.C. Between then and Veterans Day, about 1000 residents came over. And as I looked the place over, people continued to drop by to visit. Upon entry, one is greeted with a movie screen showing both images of the real wall and it’s replica here, along with audio of some of the names of the fallen.
The Three Soldiers Statue is “made up of mostly prim design w ith some sculptie objects,” with a total of 484 prims. Asked if there were any problems making it, “I had this sculpture made of all sculptir designing by another artist. It did not meet my design specifications, so I did not use it, ” So he paid the man and hired Meleni Fairymeadow, whose work with mostly prims he felt better captured “the true essence of the emotion of the individual soldiers.” Fairymeadow also worked on the The Vietnam Veterans Women’s Memorial, taking a total of about 70 hours and about 4 16 prims.
Finding an individual’s name was made simpler by the builders, “We have four directories. You can search for any name on the wall, and teleport to that name on the exact panel, and leave flowers or flags for that name, right from the Directory.” For testing, I had to pick a name at random from a list of names online, choosing Frank Blas. It took a few tries, but it worked after a couple false starts. Besides the option of teleporting to the name, one can also have the area briefly marked with a white arrow and walk down to it. Flags and flowers left will show who they are left for.
For further information, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Second Life has it’s own website: (http://ww w.thewallsl.com/). A Youtube report is also available: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?
On a final note, I was not able to start and finish this article in time for Veterans Day. But as Evian Argus noted, tributes to Veterans are not confined to then and Memorial Day.
“Thanks for coming, and your interest in the Wall.”
* * * * *
Addition (May 25, 2015): This was among the first articles I wrote for SL Newspaper, and still among my favorites. "The Wall" would be up for a few more years. Finally on Veterans Day 2011 when I looked on the map for it, it was no longer around.