Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Joy of SL Belly Dancing

By Any1 Gynoid, reporting for SL-Newspaper

Get wild, get nakies, and party your tushies off, usually means a trip to SL naughty land, SLs adults only regions. But there is an alternative: belly dancing. In mature sims round SL's main grid, amateur belly dancers are fun party goers who bare it all, or at least most of it, in a brave new form of personal freedom and self expression. Why is it brave? Because I can't even coax most my bff macho party buds to check it out. And they call us "chicks"! Who's chicken now? Ha! Hey, SL belly dancing is guys and ladies and a whole lot of tushie shakin' goin down. Too much fun! This is why God invented the perv cam! lol

When you think about the Middle East, do you ever think FUN? But our mission in SL is fun, and yes we do bring out the fun in every RL culture to SL. Belly dancing has ancient Babylonian origins, but in modern times was revealed to the West at the 1893 World's Fair. The golden age of belly dancing was in the 1960s and 1970s, promoted in part by an Egyptian film renaissance. Which is quite interesting, Islamic cultures were very much more liberal than they are today; even in Afghanistan, women openly wore miniskirts in public in the 1970s. How far we have regressed RL, backwards in cultural values and human progress.

The personal is the political, and you can participate in cultural revolution right here in SL, by shaking your tushie to Middle Eastern beats. Belly dancing in SL is amazingly liberating and extremely fun. In fact, I can only think of one thing more fun in SL, and I shall cover that soon for SL Newspaper. It's NOT sex silly! Shame on your dirty mind! Terrible thang to waste! Tee Hee Hee!

From left to right in picture 1 is Guy Vollmer (a supercool party dude), Garret Mehrens (an impossibly hot dish of male beefcake), me (wearing my naughtiest outfit), and my beautiful friend Acceber Smythe. Picture 2 shows Garret's flip side. LOL Making it painfully obvious why we love belly dancing in SL!  Am I objectifying men? You betcha! And high time for that! Yuppie Buns! Slurp! lol

Anyways, I hope you get a chance to try SL belly dancing soon. Most Mondays at 4pm and Thursdays at 8pm, you will find me slinking round the club Parvana Ayre in Angel Shark Shallows sim, wearing practically nothing and "working it"! You know what I mean! IM me if you dare! Only the brave and truly fun loving need apply. Peace!

There are lots of free silks in SL, and I would be happy to share. In fact I only wear freebie silks when I belly dance. I've tried most of them all and can tell you about the best ones. I fancy my blue & white silks (shown in pictures), my chrome, and my tie dye colors. By losing the top bits, these free silks can work for guys too, just put on a thong, and attach silks to arms and legs. Well at least 1 brave bff was able to do that! There is hope!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Eye on the Blog: Lindens "to Retire the Current Mentor Volunteer Program"

Upcoming changes

The company has decided the time to evolve and grow as a volunteer community has come. While the official Mentor Volunteer Program has been an extremely valuable endeavor, its sheer size has made it increasingly difficult to support, and we need to reallocate our resources at the Lab for other Resident-focused programs. We've decided to retire the current Mentor Volunteer program—launching new opportunities for expanded volunteerism within Second Life.

For more information about the close of the Mentor Volunteer Program, please take a look at our FAQ.

We're sad to see the Mentor Volunteer Program go, but we're also excited about new opportunities! Now is the time participate in new offered programs, create your own programs or groups, or simply volunteer on an individual level. On our end, Linden Lab will work even harder to create the framework that highlights your efforts and supports the efforts of even more volunteers—heralding in a more sustainable and more creative phase of volunteerism. Rest assured that we will always want and appreciate volunteers in Second Life!

Announcing two new programs!
Linden Lab is focused on building robust volunteer programs in collaboration with the Residents of Second Life. Not only do we plan to help support their amazing work, but we also want to increase the visibility of their contributions for other Residents to enjoy.

If you're looking to volunteer, here are two Linden-supported programs that might interest you:

1. Second Life Answers. Residents submit questions and other Residents answer them—it's both simple and awesome at the same time. With over 200,000 page views, the Second Life Answers Beta has been a huge success, thanks to our Residents who participated by sharing knowledge, guidance, and friendly support on a wide range of topics in multiple languages. As Second Life Answers continues to grow, it will become even more effective as it attracts even more questions from Residents and more knowledge from our volunteers.

2. Coming Soon: The Resident Help Network (RHN) Beta! This program, which is expected to launch in about a week, will highlight the “best of the best” Resident-run help groups. There's a lot of great information out there among different help groups, and this network is designed to help our Residents find what they need. To apply to be part of the network, help groups must meet a high standard for helping new Residents, maintain over 50 active members, have an established history, produce documentation on how they help, and submit three Resident testimonials. There are more criteria for applicants, which you will be able to read when the blog and wiki information is available at launch. The accepted RHN groups will be listed on the website, featured inworld, and help shape future new Resident experience. We also hope to have an inworld Resident Help Network Fair early next year, so you and other Residents can learn more about the first groups accepted into the network.

Read more in the complete blog post by Lexie Linden Here.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Brother and Sister Team Up in Second Life to Support Relay for Life

By Nazz Lane
While working on a story, I’d been introduced to Renfew Sperber who along with her brother msw Tomorrow own the Callidora SIM in Second Life. As we chatted about the upcoming event, she told me of her brother’s struggle with cancer and of their efforts on behalf of the “Relay for Life” activities in Second Life and of their ongoing fundraising activities for the American Cancer Society. I found their story compelling and had hoped to meet with both for a conversation. We exchanged e-mails and in-world IM’s to set up a date and time for the three of us to meet. It was unfortunate that msw was unable to join us as his real life job interceded, but he agreed that Ren could speak for him since she was integral to the efforts at Callidora.

Nazz: What was it that brought you into Second Life?

Renfew: Initially I came in to research the viability of the second life platform for my real life work. I was challenged by our engineers to come up with a way to provide more worldwide communication and peer-to-peer collaboration opportunities to them. We are dispersed ... seven countries. So this was a big challenge. I bought a copy of Wired to read on the plane trip back from France and stumbled on an article about IBM and what they were doing in second life at that time (2007). Light bulbs started going off in my head and after a couple of months I built up the courage to come in to research a bit more.

Nazz: Does your company still use second life?

Renfew: My company never bought into the idea … a little too new and untested, although they did seriously consider my proposal. It is really following this initial testing of the waters that the story of our lives, mine and my brother’s … and our evolution in second life begins.

Nazz: When you started, had msw already been diagnosed with cancer?

Renfew: Yes, he had been diagnosed with colon cancer in January 2007. In fact, he spent his birthday that year in the hospital room after having had this diagnosis and three feet of his colon removed. He was in chemo at the time that I found out about second life and came in. I needed a partner in crime, and could not think of a person more likely to support this and see the potential of the technology and least likely to laugh me out of the room. I told him about it and the next day he had an avatar and was here. He has been amazing and inspiring.

Nazz: Is that when you both became involved with Relay for Life?

Renfew: Yes, we had purchased the islands and developed them to create a test site for the work project. During that same time msw joined the survivors group in second life. It was amazing for him. He had not responded well to his chemo and was very sick. In real life there was not a local survivors group within easy commute distance, so the second life survivors group became a lifeline for him. In the group he met many people and through them he became involved in Relay for Life. Also I need to mention Dolcebella Zabaleta. Dolce is msw's real life wife. She also came in and comes to most of the concerts. So this is real family thing. She has been incredibly supportive of him, me, and this entire journey. Ishtar Roux has been our team captain for the past two relays. After the work project fell through we seriously had to reconsider what we wanted to do with the island(s) and our second life journey. We decided to use the islands for hosting benefit concerts to raise money for RFL. This started in early 2008. After the relay ended, we decided that we wanted to continue to raise money year-round for the American Cancer Society. msw contacted them and made arrangements for special kiosks to be made to allow us to make direct donations year-round. We launched these benefits October 2008 to supplement the RFL season.

Nazz: How many islands do you own?

Renfew: We have just the two, Callidora and Kleio.

Nazz: Callidora is for events?

Renfew: Callidora Beach is the home to our benefit concerts. We have had the great gift to be able to work with some amazing talent and this just would not have happened without them. From October 2008 to July 2009 we raised just a little under $6,200 USD for the ACS.

Nazz: With the end of RLF, will you be doing same this year?

Renfew: We plan to kick off in October again. Finalizing the schedule now, but typically we've run the events the third Saturday of every month. We will continue through July 2010 and the take August and September off as we did this year. Our goal is to break $8,000 USD this year.

Nazz: How is msw doing, he’s still in remission I hope?

Renfew: msw is doing great. He is still in remission and we are incredibly thankful and humbled by this. I wish he was here to tell you about his experiences as a survivor in second life. A number of months ago the survivor group pulled together a number of survivors and had them share their stories with the rest of the survivor groups. msw participated and told his story, along with a number of others. I was totally blown away … sitting on this side of the screen, just listening and watching the chat, truly left me without breath. The power of the ways that second life can provide community and support to individuals that are in such situations was very clear and incredibly moving.

Nazz: It sounds like an incredible journey for you both.

Renfew: He is my only brother and we are very close. I was there with him and his family after the surgery ... to be able to have him here is an amazing gift. We live in different parts of the US and second life was a way to keep very close during this time in his life. We joked that we talked more in a single week after second life than we had in a month before that. Put on the headsets and there you go! It has been so very wonderful, being able to share all of this with him. And look at what he created … this beautiful … beautiful place. An architect in real life, this was a way for him to really exercise his imagination and became a healing place for him. I wish I could find the words, you know, to really articulate all of this … there is a great deal of emotion involved.

Nazz: Any closing thoughts or comments you'd like to share with my readers?

Renfew: I think that the one thing that comes to mind is that the journey in second life is not always the one you think it will be. Serendipity steps in and the process you, the vision you have, the work you do evolves. msw and I talk about this a great deal. We found things here, and in ourselves through being here, that we could not have possibility imagined. Being open to possibility and embracing it is a big part of the second life experience.

Nazz Lane

* * * * *

Dana Vanmoer mentioned this article to me in a conversation online yesterday, from when this article was reprinted on Friday September 7 2017. The Second Life Newspaper would fold less than a year later, and Nazz Lane would leave virtual journalism to concentrate on writing fiction. But the Relay for Life in Second Life would go on, to continue to strive for the day a cure is found for all cancers. - Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday, August 23, 2009

“We Gotta Say Goodbye, For the Summer” - Bahama Beach Club Closes

By Bixyl Shuftan

At 6 PM Saturday August 22nd, the Bahama Beach Club at the Goldrush sim held it’s final event. Club owner Rory Langdon was the DJ that night, playing classic rock for a “Back to the ‘60s” beack party, with some guests and staff in their swimming trunks and bikinis. Instead of in the club, the party was held on the beach sands.

Rory Langdon, or Joe Ward in real life, has been playing music for over 30 years, with experience as both a DJ and club manager. Experience he brought with him to Second Life, both DJing and club managing here. In March 2009, he decided to start up a club of his own, buying up some land that already had a nightclub there, “Club 9:30.” As it turned out, there really was a Club 9:30 in real life. So he kept the building for a while, setting up a small beach club next to it, poles holding up a thatched roof, with a danceball overhead with a particle streamer sending down a light show at times, with a picture of a blue parrot behind the DJ stand, which became known as “Flip the bird.”

With his partner Marai McMahon helping to manage things, Rory had planned to run both clubs with events in both every week. But problems in real life cut down on his time in the metaverse, and the prim content limit limited what he could do with both clubs. So they decided to take down the nightclub building, building a a bigger beach club. They also put a little more detail in the beach. adding rocks, a waterfall, palm trees and hammocks, a secret cuddle spot, and more. Some people dropped over between parties just to see the beach scenery and relax. The new bigger club was renamed the Bahama Beach Club, though sometimes simply called the “BBC” as a pun on the famous media company.

Besides himself, Rory had other music-makers performing. Bosco sang at the club for a time. Later on came DJ’s SonicBlu and Boo Gearhead. And throughout the club’s history, there was ScratchMusikatt the “Chaos DJ,” playing for the late at night while he also performed in real life.

The club and it’s grounds took up a quarter sim, but prim limits limited what Rory, Marai, and the staff could do. There was talk about buying up a half sim, or maybe a full sim in the future for things like a staff residence home. Then his old friend and former neighbor Foxyfurman Kumaki who runs the Foxworth sim offered a deal. Rory and Marai now have a section of the sim there for a club, which will be opened sometime in the near future. This time, it will be a nightclub to go along with Foxy’s casino next to the place. The land on Goldrush will be sold.

So, the Bahama Beach Club comes to a close, at least for now. It’s likely it will come back in some form, but the place at Goldrush will be missed.

As the final party came to a close, virtual champagne was passed around, and toasts were made.

“To this place being good to us, memories made here.”

“To memories old and new, to friends who shall never be forgotten.”

*  *  *  *  *

Addition (2015): In the Summer of 2008, I came across and made friends with the people of Woodlin, eventually joining the community in October. But over a period of weeks from January to March 2009, the place fell apart due to drama, the majority of us heading over to Foxworth, owned by Foxyfurman Kunami. But while Woodlin had it's own clubs, Foxworth didn't have one. It's entertainment was an open-air gaming hall with machines of Foxy's construction. Enter Rory Langdon, whom was one of Woodlin's DJs, and was the manager of it's short-lived "Margaritavile." Wanting to stay in the club business, he got some land in a sim separate from Foxworth that already had one, and went to work with help from Foxworth's residents. More of the club's history could be seen in this article of the place, that was published in August 23 2009, the day after its closing party.

  Rory never did open his nightclub. Events in real life intervened, and he was forced to take a hiatus from Second Life. While he was able to make occasional reappearances, he never could stick around for very long. Some months later in March 2010, Foxworth itself had to close down. Marai and a few others were able to relocate to a place they called Glen Meadows, but there was no room for me. But there was another group of friends I had with their own estate: The Sunweavers. ScratchMusikatt did end up meeting a special friend at the BBC, and their friendship continues to this day, as does his DJing.

Bixyl Shuftan


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Space Frontier Saturn V Moon Rocket Ride

By Bixyl Shuftan

It was about forty years ago last week that Apollo 11 went to the moon, mankind landing on an alien surface for the first time in history. Many of us in Second Life know of space areas, such as the International Space Museum, but can one find a place where the moon landing is re-enacted?

The answer: Yes, but it’s not quite finished.

In the Space Frontier Workspace (formerly known as the Space Frontier Sandbox) near the Sci-Lands, there is a Saturn V rocket on a launch tower. Built to scale (two avatars at it’s base in the picture can just barely be seen), the rocket stands high in the air, connected to the red launch tower. The rocket is very realistically detailed, and includes a “sound HUD” for audio from the Apollo 11 mission (does not always work) which one gets by clicking an old-fashioned computer on the launchpad’s corner. This grand build was made by Wicked Quasimodo.

One enters the rocket by clicking on the command module, almost at the top of the Saturn V. The huge vehicle launches at 32 minutes past the hour, every hour, with the tower’s gantry retracting just a few minutes before. If you’re outside, it’s a spectacular sight as the great behemoth launches into the air. If you’re inside the rocket, you’re in for quite a ride.

I had the fortune of speaking to one of the people responsible for the sim, Rocket Sellers. “I was just mitigating some space debris here,” he told me, “impromptu erotic photo studio in the sky. ... I’m the owner of record here, and there’s a crew with cleaning powers. I try to clean politely so they do not reincarnate as pesky griefers.”

Asking about the Moon rocket, “It’s still a work in progress. This is Version Two. Wicked Quasimodo had an earlier build, but Havoc 4 broke it. This one is lower prim, and the lunar module is sculpty. It really should be on NASA property, but there’s no NASA region that will adopt it. He first tried on the NASA CoLab Testbed, but the sim was just too lagy, and there was just too much junk in the sky. So he began working on it here, with the idea it would find a home at NASA for the Apollo 11 Anniversary. Instead, NASA put some posters around with landmarks to here.”

“The first iteration did the whole flight profile, including splashdown back on Earth. ... The last time I took the trip (on this rocket), we only got to lunar orbit. ... I don’t know if it lands yet or not.” Rocket Sellers then mentioned a famous name dropping in, “Last week, we had an avatar named ‘Buzz Aldrin’ visiting here. I asked him if he had taken the Saturn V Apollo 11 ride to the Moon yet. He answered, ‘Yes, 40 years ago.’ ... I don’t believe it’s really Buzz, although I can’t figure out how he got the name. ... I guess Linden Labs is not assiduous about protecting famous names.”

Rocket Sellers invited me to go along for a ride on the Saturn V, and so we and one other person got aboard the command module. And at 32 past the hour, the rocket roared and thundered up into the air. The ride is best seen with Environment set to Midnight, and being a Second Life spaceship, the stages shake a little as it travels upward. Eventually, the first stage falls away, and then the second. Soon, the ship comes to orbit a megaprim Earth, “It’s very beautiful from up here” “Approaching New Guinea.”

There is a black square under the Moon rocket at this stage. Rocket Sellers explained, “That’s the work platform, and also when you transfer to the Lunar Module, it keeps you from falling through space.” The Command Module does have windows that you can see your avatar from the outside. But looking inside through either mouselook or panning, the inside is quite detailed with numerous instruments and panels.

Eventually, the faring on the last rocket stage separated, and the Lunar Module, folded up, appeared. The Command/Service Module then rotated, and connected to it. Passengers could then right-click to board it. The connected ships then went into Lunar orbit. Unfortunately, the ride did not progress any further. It had yet to be finished.

Despite this and the tiny flaws, this reporter, can only consider it a great and memorable build, especially if one is a space fan, or otherwise nostalgic for these glory days of the manned space program.

The Space Frontier Saturn V Moon Rocket is at Space Frontier (154, 126, 137).

“It’s good when a rocket or space person finds the place.”

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, July 24, 2009

RFL Walk: The Really Wild West Exhibit

By Bixyl Shuftan

With so many exhibits on the Relay for Life walk, there just isn’t the time and space to write in detail on each of them. But I did get a sneak peak at one, the “Really Wild West” by the Passionate Redheads.

The exhibit was set in the Old West themed area of the Relay for Life Walk in the southwest corner of the RFL Endure sim (the other west sim was RFL Courage just to the east), the road just on the edge of the RFL Advocacy sim to the south. The place looked like it was set in some mountainous desert, with Native American music in the background. Just behind and to the right of the sign over the entrance was the main building, a two-story adobe structure that served partially as a store, offering a number of items for sale for charity. But the place also had some messages of inspiration. Nearby next to the road were some whimsical “Armadillo Crossing” signs, with armadillo nearby.

Paths and bridges helped one up the mountains. One could walk around to the various sights, but there were also teleports to the more notable ones. There was a mine in which one could hop on a cart and ride down the tracks. There was a river rafting ride, in which one could make their way down the twisting mountain waters. There was an Indian Circle, in which one could sit on a blanket, get a drum and a stick, and beat in rhythm.

The completion of the exhibit was announced in a few group chats a couple nights before the Relay for Life Walk officially started. People headed over, gathering at the adobe building, and having a party around the hot tub. When this reporter checked a few days after the Linden lease ended on Tuesday, it was still up.

Most of the work on the exhibit was done by Lomgren Smalls. Of the theme of the exhibit, “We found out we were on the ‘western’ themed sim already,” he explained, “I thought blending in with what was already there was a good idea.” Others had told me Lomgren had spent so much time on the place, he got only a few nights sleep in the days just before it was finished, “If you count actual hours ... I put in around a day, to a day and a half of work. Others did more as well, with the river, the detailing, the plants, etc. If you count real-life time... it was done in... 4-5 days.” Of the various attractions, “We all contributed toward the ideas. Daaneth loved the mine idea. We were all just spouting out ideas quickly.” Lomgren had no idea how many stepped off the track to look around, but he had a good idea what they felt, “Everyone's loved it.” Although pleased to hear it was still up, he felt it wouldn’t me much longer before it would vanish into the blue, “Anything after (Tuesday) is a bonus.” Despite the temporary results, Lomgren was still happy to have built the place, “That Relay is awesome, and more people should try to get involved. And that building it was fun, if exhausting.”

For his work, the Passionate Readheads awarded him, along with Dusk Griswold, the first Annual Fimi Awards, named after the late Artistic Fimicloud.

On July 21, Daaneth Kivioq announced the Passionate Redheads had raised 2,425,968 L, or over $9,300.

Bixyl Shuftan

Addition: This would be the first Relay track camp of the Passionate Redheads team I would see. It was part of a great introduction for me to the Redheads. The team would do other exhibits in the future, but this was among the most detailed and interactive by it. Despite all of Lomgen's work, and that of those helping him such as Alleara Snoodle, he never did win an official Relay award for the build. Sadly, the team would fold in 2013, but many of the members would come together again under a new team: the Sunbeamers.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Rabbicorn

I was in the audience at an event when a friend told me about something in the IBM 3 sim that she told me was must-see, “I don’t usually recommend places, but this ... “ So I decided to check it out.

I teleported over, and found myself in a room that looked like it was surrounded by television static, with a couple pages explaining how to get about. But with no portal to the exhibit, the only way to go was down a road, my vision around me obscured by the visual equivalent of white noise. Eventually, it cleared on the road itself, and I soon noticed a room through the static that was brighter than the rest and had some color. I could also make out some people inside. So I went inside.

And there was Bryn Oh, the artist behind the exhibit in her gray, ghostlike avatar. She was looking at some notes on the floor with someone. The room itself had a dark steampunkish feel to it with a phonograph in one corner and some sparking equipment around. Two others came into the room to congratulate Bryn on her exhibit. After that, Byrn turned to me, and after greetings she explained the area, “This is a story that is told in stages, through poems. It is about the character behind me.” She turned to a bronze mechanical form behind her on a table lit by a spotlight, part rabbit part unicorn, “The Rabbicorn.”

Bryn went on, “This is the first part (of the story) here. In the hand of the creator is a poem.” She told me I could zoom in on the poems, or “you can click on it to see it on screen. It’s easier that way. When you have looked at the scene, there is a teleport to the next one.” The teleports looked like black magnifying glasses with white sparkles around them. “Oh, one more thing, there is a machinima ... on top of a tower, there will be a TV there. Click on it. That tells more of the story.”

And so clicking on the first teleport took me to the first part of the story, the place showing a tinkerer having just built the Rabbicorn, and having to make a decision about the creation. Further teleports lead one further into the story, each place a work of art, and soft music in the background adding to the beautifully surreal atmosphere. At one point, the teleports lead to a climb up a debris-filled tower. Although one could just fly up with a flight feather, it’s better to try to walk and jump your way up as much as you can. It is around here one finds a link to the machinima Bryn mentioned. Watching it isn't necessary for the story, but does help add to it. It is not much longer when one gets to the end and the fate of the Rabbicorn.

Taking a look at Bryn’s blog, the exhibit opened on Friday July 10. She also stated that it was originally planned that no more than 6 avatars would be allowed in the sim at one time, feeling lag would ruin the experience. It was not an easy decision, as she worried some might get the impression that the small numbers meant their fellow residents had little interest in the finer arts in Second Life, “So if I can't limit the sim to 6 or so, and you find yourself in a laggy mass of people then please come at another time when it is empty. It really is meant to be seen this way. It has a mood brought on by the story, ambient sounds and being alone brings out the quiet mood of the story.”

An exhibit that is well worth the time to go see.

“The Rabbicorn” is at IBM 3 (56, 50, 23). To read more about this exhibit and other projects by Bryn Oh, click here for her blog.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, June 29, 2009

Facts not 'smoke' about Australian 'Ban'

Poppy Zabelin, Chair of the International Relations Committee of Relay for Life of Second Life, writes:

Like many others we’ve been concerned about the rumors out there that Second Life is being banned in Australia.
Relay for Life of Second Life is INTERNATIONAL and we would have grave concerns about Second Lifers in any country being excluded from Relay, not to mention the wider ramifications.
The source of the confusion appears to be a story published in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Basically, selected ISP's are trialling a scheme to block access to adult content games.
An internet critic is quoted as saying 'the move to extend the filtering to computer games would place a cloud over online-only games such as World of Warcraft and Second Life, which aren't classified in Australia due to their online nature.
' Now, a ‘cloud’ is NOT the same as an outright ban, although some sources are now saying it IS. The Metaverse Journal responded on June 25 in an open letter to Senator Conroy objecting to the ban, and the Australian Christian Today wrote on Monday June 29 that ‘It was confirmed by Australian Minister for Censorship that online games such as Second Life is banned in the country.
These have been picked up by hundreds of blogs and forums around the world.
There is nothing like checking the facts first.
So Ember Farina, Australian ‘Ambassador’ for RFL of SL and Team Captain of the Friends Fighting Cancer RFL of SL team, who in real life is an Australian firefighter, contacted the office of the Senator in question and spoke with an associate there, and says:
‘It appears to be something related to GAME ratings. SL is not classified as a game at this stage. IF there was a complaint received in the future to the Gaming Commission then it would be addressed but his associate seemed fairly comfortable that it's not an issue in this circumstance.’
Ember went on to say:
‘I asked the Senator's associate if there was anything in writing to support this but there wasn't. As far as the Senator's associate was concerned this only came to light because a newspaper article jumped on it - SL was never mentioned nor targetted by the Senator.’

Linden Labs have yet to comment officially, but the whole thing seems to be a misinterpretation of the Australian government’s ongoing censorship/filtering scheme trying to block extreme violence games and child pornography.

Editors note: Since writing this and sending to us Ms Zabelin has heard from Linden Lab;

From:Peter Gray (Pete Linden)
Hi Poppy,

As far as an official Linden Lab statement on the issue, we can currently confirm that: We have received no indication from the Australian government that it intends to block Second Life.

I hope this is useful.


Talking it over with an Australian friend this morning she expressed surprise at the idea since she did not consider secondlife a 'game' and also told me that the government is considered fairly progressive.
To me it comes across as chinese whispers that have got way out of hand without due cause and of course without all the facts.
Irresponsible reporting can cause a lot of damage and this story could actually cause the senator to look more closely at secondlife now the media storm has started.
Many thanks to Poppy Zabelin for getting the facts on this story and allowing us to publish it here.

Dana Vanmoer


Poppy's Blog:

Sydney Morning Herald


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Memorials to Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett

Thursday June 25 saw the deaths of two famous performers in the US, Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett. In real life, people expressed their sorrow for their departures. And in Second Life, people did so by erecting memorials to them.

Of the memorials to Michael Jackson, probably the best one was in the Paradise Plantation sim. It had a pagoda, a number of pictures, notably of the singer throughout his career, and numerous flowers and candles. Above it was a circle of pictures that had flowers emitting from it a short distance.

Talking to one of the people at the sim, the large memorial had small beginnings, “... tried to find a memorial, and couldn’t the night he, passed. So we cleared the beach, and put a rose on the stand. Um, and that, *points* happened.” Others had added their own items to that lone stop-animation rose until it had grown to what we saw. People were still placing items there. He went on to say, “Here in Colorado, when a tragedy happens, everyone joins together and makes a big memorial.” When someone thanked him for building the memorial, he answered, “No, YOU did.”

The memorial is at (25, 243, 21) in the Paradise Plantation sim. I was told the sim was being used as a nude beach, though those not wearing much were some distance away and when walking near the memorial usually put their pants back on.

Farrah Fawcett’s passing after a long struggle with cancer did not make the news as big as Michael Jackson’s sudden heart attack. This may be why there were fewer memorials. I was told about one by a friend in the “caLLiefornia” sim, and it was at (165, 156, 25 ). There were a few pictures of the 70’s actress, and a number of candles. People can still put flowers, candles, and other items there. The sim has another memorial, one to Michael Jackson, not far away.

Rest in Peace

Bixyl Shuftan

Source: Cait's Finds in Second Life

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Demonstration in Second Life Supporting Iranian Protesters

On Thursday June 25th, a number of people in Second Life in support of the protesters in Iran, whom have been speaking out against rigged elections despite the violent crackdown resulting in arrests and deaths. At 2 PM and 7 PM SL time, people gathered at the Palais Orleans Art Studio in the Roissy sim, many from the “Support Iran” group. A few held signs with raised fists on one side, and a picture of Neda, whom has become a symbol of the protests, on the other. The signs could be picked up in the Studio, along with memorial candles. The studio displayed pictured of Neda and the protests, and the people also passed around a green armband with a broken heart symbol. There were also “I am Neda” shirts.

One person at the first demonstration thought thirty to forty people showed up, some arriving a little late and some needing to go early, “We had a good turnout.” The second was smaller in number, but no less determined to make a point. There was also a security guard from the Justice League to keep any possible griefers away.

People were invited to make comments and give news they might have heard. Rene Grigorovich used voice instead of typing to make his point, “All these people are asking is for a free and honest election as is guaranteed by the constitution. .. the regime is absolutely bestial in how they treat the opposition. ... I would ask you all to keep these people in your prayers. ... thank you.”

There was one Iranian among the people in the second gathering, “I’m Iranian,” Melody Rosca told everyone. She was living outside the country. When asked how well Iranians could use the net, she answered, “I know that Internet connections have been next to nothing for the past day. I know that cell phones are shut off after 5 PM.” When asked if any SL resident in Iran could still get on, she answered, “All I know is that those I know are having lots of difficulty getting online and transferring information.” At another point, she spoke, “... it is extremely important for us, all of us, to remain aware. Knowledge is always power, and it’s no different in this turmoil.”

Thursday 25th was also the day singer Michael Jackson passed away, leaving some to wonder if the media coverage might distract the attention of the American public. Melody commented, “I’m afraid that just because there wasn’t as much news today, or perhaps tomorrow, or even a week from now, everyone will forget and just assume it’s over.“

The group talked about the role of Internet blogs and Twitter in helping the protesters get images and information outside the country. However, some described the theocracy as making it harder for the people to communicate with the outside world. Melody told, “... information is being filtered much more drastically than a week ago.” Someone else mentioned satellite dishes were being confiscated.

One man had a story to tell, “I have a personal stake in the protests. I’m in love with an Iranian woman. I don’t know if she’s alive or dead. ... I have not spoken to her since last October, when she told me she asked her father for permission to marry me. ... She and I had many low-level arguments concerning her government. At first, she thought I believed all Iranians were fanatics. Then when she realized I made the distinction between her government and the people, she still insisted that I was wrong, that is was not like that in Iran. She honestly believed Iran was a free country, and that her government would not actively harm her. It took her several years to begin seeing the truth.”

“When she told her father that we wanted to marry, he confirmed all that I had said to her and more. She broke off contact after one final conversation. We talked on the phone for hours that last night. ... If a pro-government militia ever found out she was in love with me, the girl whom got ******ed to death with a baseball bat would have been luckier. ... They’re chopping down protesters with axes and shooting them in the streets. What do you think they’ll do to a woman who’s in love with Iran’s proclaimed ‘Great Satan.’ ... My desert rose is much stronger than she thought she was. My greatest fear is she took to the streets. I decided within a few days of the election that if she called me, I’d be forced to say things I did not mean in order to convince any officials tapping her phone line that she no longer had any ties to America.”

Some were concerned, wondering at one point the possibility Iranian government agents were conducting searches in SL. Still, there was optimism, “It might take a generation ... but the Iranian people are seeing what their government is capable of now. The Iranian people overthrew the Shah and they will eventually overthrow the current butchers.”

Eventually, the vigil came to an end. People wished each other well, some vowing to continue. We were told the Art studio would keep the pictures of demonstrations and candles and signs, “for the foreseeable future.” Palais Orleans Art Studio and Designs is at the Roissy sim at (31, 58. 24).

“Freedom is worth dying for but dying is easy ask your selves is it worth losing everything for and possibly being tortured to death for? this is the question the brave freedom fighters of Iran have asked themselves. They said yes, and for that courage I stand with them.”

Bixy Shuftan

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Remembering Three Residents Who Passed Away

By Bixyl Shuftan

Death is the last thing on the minds of most people when they log onto Second Life. Unfortunately, people behind the avatars can expire, and the previous week brought three reminders that our virtual friends can one day be beyond our mortal reach.

Last week, Julie Apocalypse passed away after a long struggle with cancer. She was best known in Second Life for becoming the Queen of Bohemia in Tiny Empires. Besides a memorial being built for her, a service was held in her honor by dozens of her friends. Mojo Fiddlesticks and Raymond Goalpost headed the service. Mojo told those planning to attend Julies real-life funeral that it was requested purple be worn, I am attending for each and every one of you.

Raymond gave the following speech, Thanks for everyones patience with the move. We have all gathered here today to remember Julie Apocalypse. She passed away on May 17th, 2009, leaving behind family, friends, and her legacy which has touched many of us here in SL. I know that people are perceived in many different ways, depending on circumstances, and I wish to share with you my thoughts about Julie and then allow others to speak as well.

I have only known Julie though the game we played called Tiny Empires. From what I know of Julie, it was one of her passions. Julie was always eager to teach, to coach, and to help players, no matter what kingdom they were from. She was competitive, but fair. She relished running Bohemia and being online at all hours to not miss the next Trader or Festival. She was dedicated to leading and guiding all of us Bohemians, which in a way she saw as her children. She was witty and had a great sense of humor. And she was a stickler for proper spelling and use of language.

Many of us didn't really know how sick Julie was till we heard of her passing. Unfortunately, I knew along with several others which she had sworn to secrecy. And sometimes it was a burden to bear, but something you do for a friend. After Julie moved in with her daughter to become closer to her family, she was online much less often. She would still visit from time to time, but her visits would be short due to the amount of pain she was in. She was always trying to protect her Bohemian children from the truth and she put up one hell of a strong fight.

It was during one of these last visits to Second Life when I spoke to her. It really summed up for me what she felt about the spirit of Bohemia. Julie had come online to give us our tax amnesties, etc., and she TPed me to the castle so that I could liege her in preparation for my ascension to lead Bohemia. So I TPed, and in one of those great SL quirks my avatar appeared naked to me! Too embarrassed to ask Julie if I was naked, I acted normal chatting with her as I checked my clothes in my inventory and saw that yes, I was fully clothed, so not to worry. So we carried on, discussing her health and small talk, then lieged, and she told me she must go, due to her back being so sore.

I bid her goodbye and TPed to my home and was almost instantly asked, WHY ARE YOU NAKED? Naturally I turned a deep shade of red and meekly IMed Julie, Um ... Julie? ... was I naked when I was with you? And she just said to me, Why yes you were. I thought about saying something but ... what the heck ... this is BOHEMIA. We had a good laugh about that, and I know that as she logged out of SL she had a smile on her face. ... And that is whats important. Making special memories, laughing each day, and having experiences we can smile about.

I know that only scratches the surface of Julies personality, but she will be forever remembered by me for who she was and what she stood for.

I also have a message from Steelcobra Calamari who could not be here today, and asked me to speak for them:

Hello all, friends, friends and family of Julie, Bohemia. Sorry I could not be there as at this time I am just getting off work (wishes he could fire his RL boss). Well, just want to say ... Julie was one who inspired, motivated, and was always determined. She was a guiding soul to those that knew her. Willingly and selflessly helped those in need. She also had much humor as well. She always insisted that I should be a misfortune teller and open up my own psychic office. She will be missed on the physical. But know that she will continue to love us and smile on us in Spirit.

Raymond concluded, and Mojo spoke next, I used to take pleasure in talking in innuendoes ... that were sometimes so near to the bone. And Julie never told me off. (laughter) Her only exception was that she thought the word arse should be permitted. ... lag sorry. When she became ill, she refused to let me tell anyone anything. She refused to believe what the nurses told her in January this year. ... She spoke to me on the phone, and her main worry was that we were missing tax amnesties.

Mojo paused for a while, then resumed speaking, Sorry about that. SL always picks its moments. Even right at the beginning, on Boxing Day evening when she collapsed, her first words were, I need to get to the computer so I can give the permissions. She made her daughter ring me. The last time I spoke to Julie ... she admitted that it was terminal and she was not having treatment. She told me she had 6 to 12 months to live. What she forgot to say was that three months had already passed. She forgot on purpose, to protect me.

When I started Tiny Empires, there were no kingdoms. Someone bought me a TE HUD. I loved the game and moved the first time someone bribed me. I had no idea what I was doing. (laughter) Then Julie lieged me. I moved about 3 or 4 times ... daily ... and she said Hi ... within minutes she had given me more advice and help than the last 4 lieges had in total. And she explained to me that she lived about 1 real-life mile away from my house. That was our bond. She taught me everything as well.

People think that I knew Julie more than them. Okay, she sometimes confided in me about Bohemia, and I was her right hand man. But she didnt know me more than you ... nor did I know her more than you do. She loved each and every one of us, individually, for our minds, our souls, she loved all good people and stood for everything good. She never complained. She was an inspiration. She told me on the phone Bohemians were her children. Everyone she encountered on SL were close to her heart. But she was an intelligent woman, and she kept me at arms length because we met online. She was private, but loved wholeheartedly. Yes, her family knows how much we all meant to her. And that is why they have invited me to attend next week.

She cried, and said she didnt want to abdicate, but that she needed to for the good of the kingdom. Raymond was chosen by me because he believes in the Bohemia as created by Julie. And Julie never questioned my decision. She trusted my choice because she knew I didnt wasn't to ascend as I am not online as often as I would need to be.

She nearly died at Christmas when she first collapsed. And a few weeks later, she got an infection which sent her delirious and put her in the hospital. The nurses were going to let her go. Her daughter begged for antibiotics. She came home two days later, and came straight online as she had not been so for a whole week. She told the room, I have a trapped a nerve in my arm and cant type. Then she IMed me, and said, I nearly died. They brought me back from the brink of death. !! I said, and you told the room you have a sore arm!! Are you insane?! Please tell them. It sounds like you are being blasé. She said, no, I dont want to worry them. And I dont want sympathy.

Because she lobed us, and did not want us to feel pain. Also, she would not want any of us to sit online 24/7 and become ill. She wants people to see their real-life families, etc., and stop and smell the roses, and she wants us to remember her for what she stood for.

With the end of her speech, her fellow mourners spoke one after another, God bless Queen Julie.

Special thanks to Lomgren Smalls for providing the transcript and picture.

* * * * *
On May 26, 2009 a service was held for Artistic FimiColoud, whom had passed away from cancer one year before. She was Stephanie Koslow in real life and was 49. At her memorial at Park Galleries, people gathered passing one another memorial candles as soft music played in the background. A few people wore I Relay for Fimi tags.
Artistics friends talked about their late friend, her life online, her art, about how the little pink fox refused to admit defeat.

Artistics memorial at Park Galleries remains, at Park (234, 41, 78). Her work can continue to be viewed there. There is also a landmark to her treehouse home in Second Life, Sunweaver Air (42,116, 21), which continues to be maintained and has a number of pictures of her around the place. Most are various screenshots of her life online, but one there was one picture of Artistics avatar lying curled on the ground while an angellike being with a face much like her real-life one rose into the air. She also has a place in Second Life named after her, Fimi Falls, in Hope Gardens in the Colorado sim at (189, 44, 25).

Peaceful journey, little warrior.

* * * * *

Lohti Aeon's profile description didn't have much. A few groups, a picture of his virtual self, a single location. A man of few words, his 1st life tab simply stated, I'm a 19-year-old soldier who spends his spare time on his computer, after balancing out school, family crises, work, and other mumbo-jumbo.

In real life, he was Specialist Jacob D. Borton of the US Army. Described as a shy video gamer in his high school years, he joined the Army and was sent to Iraq. He was described as reserved, but not afraid to come to the aid of someone he felt was being pushed around, He wouldnt say much unless there was some injustice being done, and then he would speak up.

Borton met his end not at the hands of Islamofacist terrorists or their booby traps, but by one of his own comrades. He was one of the five soldiers killed at the combat stress clinic at Camp Liberty on May 11, 2009 by a sergeant sent there whom left the building and returned with a gun. Borton is described as putting himself between the shooter and another man, trying to talk the assailant into putting his gun down. He was 20 years old.

It was this week in which news of Borton's death finally reached his friends in Second Life. In response, space has been purchased at the War Memorial Annex in Ileina Cova for a memorial plaque in honor of the fallen soldier whom like the rest of us had a virtual presence here.

Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Breezes Thoughts

First view of the morning is delightful for me.
where shall I roam this day to see. I have a craving for sweets you see. ah I know exactly where to go. Follow me if you please.

Is this anyway to camp??
even the bartender is ignoring me. Mercy sakes Bree you are losing it.
I know, but whats a girl to do?
I asked for a drink , he said get it yourself little lady. I raised my glims at him and the look went squinty. finally I got my drinks.
Just goes to show. Persistance is what it takes. 
Now here is my craving satisfied? No not quite. haha but It is close.
Munching on Jellybeans standing amongst the hedgehogs that like to bite my Saadi. and the peacock squawking at him as he frowns mightily. Me in latex and a western hat and gun waiting to venture to a mixup contest. This is the way I go tonight.
Variety of stuff I can get into?

Breezes Babii

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Kiana Writer of MadPea Productions

By Nazz Lane

Id first become aware of MadPea Productions while working on a story where Id come across a
poster about a game created specifically for a grand opening event at a business related SIM. Id taken the informational note card offered by the poster into my inventory and reviewed a little later. When I did, the concept fascinated me and Id decided to find out more about a company that builds games within a game. So I contacted Kiana Writer, the founder and director of MadPea Productions. She graciously accepted my offer to meet and be interviewed for the SL Newspaper.

When the arranged date and time arrived, so too did a TP request from Ms Writer and I took the ride over to MadPeas Production Headquarters on Orange Island. We exchanged pleasantries before moving to the community area where she said she liked to be while working. She then warned me that we may have multiple interruptions from visitors, so we should do the interview in IM.

Nazz: What bought you into second life Kiana?

Kiana: hmm... I came here out of curiosity and got instantly addicted.

Nazz: What was it that caused the addiction?

Kiana: SL is what you make of it. The only limit is your imagination. I just loved meeting people from all over the world, and the possibilities in SL are endless, you can really lose yourself in here.

Nazz: Im reading from your profile "We create fantasies that are beyond your imagination..." that and from what you'd just said, was that the inspiration for forming MadPea?

Kiana: Definitely, when I came into SL, I was really surprised how little there actually was going on you can create anything here ... and yet people were choosing the same activities as in RL. I saw the potential to bring my stories alive in here and I absolutely love it.

Nazz: How did you come up with the name MadPea?

Kiana: *Laughs* a moment of madness I guess. It just seemed to fit us perfectly. We wanted something cute and crazy to describe us.

Nazz: It is memorable. You've been in SL for nearly two years now ... have changes in SL changed your vision for MadPea?

Kiana: hmm... let me think about that one From the technical point of view the engine has improved, which enables us to make the games more realistic. And of course more and more people are joining SL, which is great.

Nazz: I was recently at the Sigma-Aldrich SIM and saw that MadPea had developed a game for their opening last October ... did you approach them or did they approach you?

Kiana: They came to us. They saw what we had done here at Orange and wanted a fun little game for their opening.

Nazz: Was the idea for "Reaction" MadPea's?

Kiana: We sat down with Georgianna from Sigma-Aldrich and talked about what they would like and then proposed Reaction to her.

Nazz: How many other RL companies have done something similar?

Kiana: We just finished a game for MacMillan Publishers/ Nature Publishing group, and the game 'Notes from the Voyage' will come out on soon, and we're currently working on a game for Orange which will be the biggest game we've ever done. We have several proposals at the moment, but since we are a small team, we usually carefully select the clients.

Nazz: Earlier you'd mentioned that SL has allowed your stories to come out, are you a writer?

Kiana: Like you, I'm a journalist but I've been writing stories since I was little. Actually I came to SL when I started writing my first novel in English, because I wanted to learn more English ...that was nearly two years ago, and I only completed one chapter I got so hooked on making games instead.

Nazz: Do you think you'll finish the novel eventually?

Kiana: I think it's going to turn into a game here.

Nazz: Which MadPea game has proven to be the most popular with SL'ers?

Kiana: Eek! That's a tough question. The games we have out at the moment are very different yet, we have the same players playing them all. Within and Firefly are more challenging and Swamp Hotel is currently on the Linden Showcase, it's a smaller game.

Nazz: Why do you think the games have gained so such popularity in SL when a number of people consider SL a "game"?

Kiana: I think everyone here reaches a point ... when the shopping and clubbing just aren't enough. We don't make just games, we provide a whole community. You get to meet like-minded people and one thing I was thinking actually ... you get to play our games as yourself in a strange way. For example, if you play a game on a console, you have to choose a character, but in SL, you tend to spend a long time making your avatar into your persona and you truly get to live the story as yourself. We build the games from the player's point of view, to give the player a true experience. The feedback we get is so funny at times some people have been really scared

Nazz: You'd mentioned "community", since the inception of MadPea how big has the community gotten?

Kiana: Were at 1058 members at the moment and we have a Hippogroup for those that don't have group space. And now we have a problem, because the group is so big, the notices don't reach everyone and the group chat fails all the time, we need that for communication.

Nazz: Do the members of the community interact in SL and RL and in the "game"?

Kiana: I don't know about RL, although I've heard rumors that some members have met in RL after they met each other in MadPea games but yes, we have events where they come to meet each other we are also working on making our website more interactive and one thing I think is so fantastic, members that have completed a game, help out others that are just starting.

Nazz Lane: Any closing thoughts or comments you'd like to share with my readers?

Kiana: Stay tuned, as we'll be bringing out some really big games during the next couple of months, they will truly blow you away.

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