Friday, January 31, 2014
There's no shortage of occasions on Second Life when someone could use a helping hand. Newcomers at beginning areas often need advice on where to go and what they can do. And of course there's the ever-present problem of griefers. And ignoring them hoping they'll go away doesn't always work. One group with the goal of helping out with both, and more, is the Green Lanterns, led by Greenlantern Excelsior (Hal Jordan).
"So how did you find out about Second Life?" I asked him. "I don't remember where I first heard about Second Life," Greenlantern answered, "But as with everything on the Internet, I asked Mr. Google about it and he showed me a link." When asked how his first days went, he answered, "I wandered aimlessly along a large road and looked at the buildings and signs along the way. There was not a Welcome Area that I remember, and no Mentors to provide help. Finally I found an object called, something like, 'The Big Damn Book of Second Life' that provided some information. I always remember how I felt back then, and that's why I love to go to the Welcome Areas and help new residents." I chuckled a bit at the name.
So what was the purpose of the Green Lanterns in Second Life in a nutshell? Greenlantern answered, "The Green Lanterns can be described in basic terms as a Neighborhood Watch in Second Life. We dress as members of the Green Lantern Corps from the comics, and patrol the grid looking for those in need of help. We assist new residents in making the transition from Real Life into Second Life. We submit Abuse Reports to Linden Lab when griefers attack. We educate landowners about security arrangements. We provide security patrols for Second Life events. We adhere to several standard ethical principles which are described on our blog at http://thegreenlanterns.wordpress.com/about/. We only have three standard rules: 1) No Drama, 2) Have Fun, and 3) Don't be Evil. The group has 105 members, and we are actively recruiting new members who enjoy helping others and removing griefers from the grid through the use of timely and accurate Abuse Reports."
"Just why do griefers grief?" I asked him. Greenlantern's answer was, "I wrote about that in the very first post on our blog, and I have come into contact with most of these different griefer types. Here's a canned answer to that: The Exploration of Griefer Play document lists several categories of 'griefer motivations' that may explain many of the reasons that griefers engage in griefing."
Category – Game influenced
Motivations – Anonymity, Boredom, Greed, Protest, Testing, Game premise
Category – Player influenced
Motivations – Spite, Victim vulnerability, Revenge
Category – Griefer influenced
Motivations – Ritualization and group identity, Reputation
Category – Self
Motivations – Bad mood, Wanting to feel powerful, Attention, Enjoyment, Role-playing
" 'Greed' is a new one," Greenlantern added, "some griefers apparently make money by griefing for hire. That is disgusting. It's obscene that someone would get paid to conduct what is essentially a denial of service attack. These venue owners are losing money as a result. It should be referred to law enforcement, in my opinion." Were these incidents on the rise? "I don't have a good feel for whether incidents are going up or down," he answered, "They don't seem to be newsworthy items, so we don't hear a lot about them, or at least I don't."
I then asked a question which I myself had to deal with, "There has been some debate as how griefing incidents should be covered. Some feel they should often be documented to show others, notably the Lab, what's going on. Others feel people should keep quiet about them, as not to give them an audience and too many stories might give Second Life a bad name. Did you have an opinion on this matter?" Greenlantern paused for a moment, then answered, "My opinion has changed on this subject. I used to write numerous blog articles showing how bad and how frequent the griefer attacks were. My thought was that maybe someone whose last name was Linden would see the articles and realize that something needed to be done. But now I think not that the attacks should be hidden, but that they should be discussed in an intelligent way so people can come to reasonable conclusions about what should be done. I even made a couple of videos of griefer attacks, but I think now that there isn't much point to showing a sandbox full of cubes."
Is there such a thing as a reformed griefer? Greenlantern's answer was, "Yes! I know a few of those. They have stopped griefing for several different reasons, including fear of legal action, and gaining enough maturity to leave childhood pursuits behind." *smile*
So besides dealing with griefers, what has the group been doing? Greenlantern answered, "We have been spreading out across the grid. Some of the venue owners we helped have graciously provided space for us to build an outpost on their parcel or sim. It is just another example of how people can exhibit a stunning amount of kindness and generosity to anyone who wants to help them. We are considering rebuilding our parcel too. ... Reduce prim count and increase the number of cool looking gadgets! Actually we have been thinking about it for some time, but today a couple of newer members started talking about it seriously, so I will send out a Notice and we will see what happens."
Have the Lanterns ever had to disclipine a member? Greenlantern's answer was "I can't think of a single occasion when I have had to do that, and no one has ever been ejected from the group. We did have one member who was reported to be griefing in a sandbox. When I talked to him about it and asked him if itwere true, he confirmed it and then resigned. Another member had a sudden change of personality and became very angry with everyone. She went into the same sandbox and attacked a resident using griefer tools. When I talked to her about it, she resigned too. Our rules and code of conduct is very clear about the consequences if anyone is caught griefing, and everyone knows it."
So whom among the Lanterns had distinguished themselves? Greenlantern answered, "There are so many members of this group who have stepped up and done amazing things that I wouldn't want to give a list of names because I might forget someone. A shorter list would be the inactive members. Of the other Lantern groups, the one that stands out in my mind is The Blue Lantern Corps. Several years ago it was led by an amazing guy named Nomad Parx. He energized the group and it was growing and patrolling and creating some impressive equipment. When he left, the group withered away."
Greenlantern described a recent incident, "Last week we got a frantic call from a lady working at the Ocean Casino Hotel. She was being attacked by griefers and her parcel powers weren't working. So several Lanterns responded and we used our parcel powers to eject and ban the griefers. They stayed out on the sidewalk which was the public part of the sim, and we stayed in the parcel and faced them down. It reminded me of a scene from The Magnificent Seven." He handed me a picture of the incident.
It was about then the two of us parted ways. For those interested, one can head to the Green Lantern Headquarters at The Unknown Country (159/147/2023), where one can get information about the Green Lanterns, and an application to join up.
Monday, January 20, 2014
By DrFran Babcock
I know what you’re thinking, but you are wrong. This is The Oldbie Project, and not an exposé tabloid article.
If you remember, the purpose of the Oldbie Project is to explore the lived experience of being a newbie in Second Life™, and Stroker’s rez day is November 8th, 2003. I would have never asked for an interview, except that my few encounters with “the man who brought sex to Second Life™” were always pleasant.
On July 27th of this year I came upon an interesting stream in the Second Life Universe forums. (http://www.sluniverse.com/
php/vb/general-sl-discussion/ 85577-will-real-slim-shady. html
) Poster eku Zhong tantalized the forum regulars by asking: Guess who’s back?
The answer, of course, was Stroker Serpentine. If you are unaware of the
history of all that preceded this return, you can read the links at the end of
this interview, but I will not go into those now, as they do not pertain to The
Enough procrastination, here are Stroker’s very short responses to my questions. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to see that he was being reticent, but there is still value in his answers, and they repeat themes that have been stated previously in this series:
Stroker: All my friends in an adult 2-D world called "Seducity" were migrating one by one. The thought of creating my own content intrigued me.
SL Newser: What are your earliest memories of Second Life™?
Stroker: Naked people arbitrarily falling from their sky platforms.
SL Newser: What kept you logging back in during the early days?
Stroker: Naked people arbitrarily falling from their sky platforms!
SL Newser: What are your fondest memories of the early days?
SL Newser: Naked people arbitrarily falling from their sky platforms!
SL Newser: What are your funniest memories of the early days?
Stroker: How embarrassed the people were that fell from their sky platforms...naked.
SL Newser: Did you fall in love in Second Life™?
Stroker: I fell in love with the people of Second Life. Their diversity, nationalities and creativity.
Stroker: Who was your favorite Linden?
Stroker: Bub Linden. He was a riot!
SL Newser: What were your favorite activities?
Stroker: Creating and selling content and using the proceeds to buy sex slaves! Muahaha!
SL Newser: Do you still log in? If not, why not? If yes, what keeps you coming?
Stroker: I log on most everyday. My partner SensualMami is the sun on my face. She is my muse.
Stroker: It’s not *all* about sex. There's also art, games, clubs and amazing residents from all corners of the world.
The take-away from all this is that Stroker is back, and we can all wait and watch and see what unfolds.
New World Notes – legal stuff
Second Life Wikia:
Thursday, January 16, 2014
By Gemma Cleanslate
Two of my oldest friends in Second Life are Kikas Barbenco and Marmaduke Arado, partners not only in SL but also real life. They are performers of wearable art at many events and regions around the Second Life grid. They also live in my home sim, Thorstar, where they have a home that I can only describe as a reminder of a visit I made to a Mardi Gras float factory in New Orleans , LA, USA. There are items of interest that can be used to create their scenery for their plays waiting to be used. They have all the possible items you can find all around the sims mostly great freebies. Kikas wardrobe is the envy of everyone who watches the shows . Marmaduke has wonderful tuxedos and great bathing suits ... and physique.
Wednesday I was able to attend a performance in LEA2. KG Shine, titled, "Me Kikas, You Marma: The Extraordinary Adventures of Kikas and Marmaduke." All their art is put on behind a red curtain. When the curtain rises Kikas is usually in some difficulty from which Marmaduke must save her ... however Kikas is sometimes (mostly) the heroine of the story. Some scenes are frightening, some humorous, some that seem to be private and the audience becomes an intruder. Their misadventures are often unimaginable except in the mind of the creators, but such fun. Peeking behind the curtain is frowned upon but is enlightening.
The first few times I went to see their shows years ago they were so simple and cute with a few wearable art pieces and short in duration. They have progressed so far in their scenery and story lines it is amazing. I love to see their shows, always something new. Many artists attend to see the performances. The audience enters into the spirit of the show and expresses its thoughts openly which adds to the performance.Kikas and Duke enter into the fun with their responses. If you are interested in seeing their performances you may join their group for notices: The Wearers.
Monday, January 13, 2014
By DrFran Babcock
I don’t think you can help with this, but I am giving it a shot anyway. I have a friend—no, not me—and I am just about to give up on her. Before I do that, I wanted to ask you about the situation.
My girlfriends and I are a close-knit group. We do a lot of the things most girls do in Second Life™: shop, dance, go to parties, and talk, talk, talk in voice. We do have a few guy friends who come along with us, but mostly we are together having laughs. It’s really nice, or at least it was really nice until recently.
We are always ready to incorporate new ladies into our group, and Brittany seemed a perfect addition, with her quick wit and Australian accent. She quickly caught on to our ways, and became an important member of our shopping expeditions. She changed clothes even more than all of us, and her taste, while different, was very interesting. Things could not have been better, and we all enjoyed having Brittany with us on our jaunts.
Every crowd of girls has a ringleader, who is the person who generally sets the agenda for the get-togethers, and decides what is to be done. Rowena is our mistress of ceremonies, and most of us are more than happy to do whatever she suggests for our romps through the virtual world.
Our new friend Brittany seemed very taken with Rowena, and spent more and more time with us, seeming to court favor with our leader. There didn’t seem to be anything unusual about this initially, but that all changed one day when Rowena didn’t respond in a timely way to an IM that Brittany sent her.
Brittany started to IM all of the other girls to ask why Rowena was ignoring her. We all know that sometimes Rowena gets involved in things and doesn’t pay attention to her IMs, and none of us was particularly bothered by this. We knew that sooner or later Rowena would look up and see her IMs. However, Brittany was not able to just accept the situation. She kept IMing us and her questions evolved from asking why Rowena wasn’t responding to her IMs, to why was she always left out of everything, and she wasn’t going to take it anymore, and she needed real friends, not untrustworthy people like Rowena. We were all pretty shaken by what developed, but Rowena patched it up with Brittany and the group partied on.
Sadly, this scenario of Brittany melting down whenever she perceived that she did not get enough attention from Rowena continued and got stronger and stronger. She un-friended and re-friended her several times. She attempted to enlist us in taking sides, and helping to negotiate discussions about her lack of attention. She said: “I can’t take this anymore!” so many times that we stopped listening.
All of us really had enough, and were ready to say good-bye to our newest member, but a few of us had the good sense to realize that people who behave this way are usually dealing with some sort of trauma from the past, and have little skill in dealing with it. That was when I thought of asking you what to do.
Is there anything we can do to help Brittany be one of us? Thanks,
One of the Crowd
Dear One of:
Thanks for your letter, and for your concern. I think it’s admirable that you have such compassion for this person. Most people in SL would have dumped Brittany the moment that she started to cause disruptions in the group.
You are probably correct in your assessment of the situation. Brittany most likely is responding to her present time as if it was the past. We all do this. The relics of our childhood remain with us; usually throughout our lives. A child who grew up being severely criticized will almost always be sensitive to criticism. Since all of us—this writer included—don’t really think about the connection with the past, we are doomed to repeat old patterns and habits. Whatever Brittany is going through is not really what is going on in the group of girls in Second Life™, but something that is a reenactment of something from her childhood. If, for example, Brittany was the child who was left out of things by her mother, she may be responding to Rowena as if she was the mother who left her out. Of course, I am merely speculating about the exact circumstances, but the intensity of Brittany’s responses makes it clear that the past is calling her.
Your question asked about what to do about this. Unfortunately, my response is neither a quick fix, nor a fix at all. It is Brittany’s job to find out how to get past this problem. The only thing you and your girlfriends can do is find some way to stick with her, despite her maddening behavior. Brittany lacks the ability to trust others, and feel at ease with them. You ladies can help her by being constant no matter how angry she becomes. If you keep letting her back in she may start to feel more comfortable in the group and lose the need to be constantly validated by Rowena.
I wish you luck and stamina, as that is what will be required to break through this roadblock in your group’s progress. Let me know how you make out.
Obligatory disclaimer: The column Ask DrFran is the work of DrFran Babcock, and may not reflect the views of SL Newser as a whole. Please direct any correspondence to DrFran Babcock. I look forward to hearing from you.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Frolic Mills is a name which has been known in Second Life media for most of it's history. Known as Juan Delgado in real-life, for several years he was the owner of the "Best of Second Life" magazine, a publication with an emphasis on Fashion and culture. In December 2013, he suddenly announced while addressing the audience at the Miss Virtual World Pageant that he would soon be transferring control of the magazine and retiring. Recently, Frolic agreed to talk to me about his time at the magazine. We met up at his lodge at Bonaire Country Club Boulevard.
"Welcome Bixyl," Frolic greeted me with a smile, "Please take a seat as soon as you rezz." I thanked him for the invitation, and complemented his place before starting the interview.
"To begin with," I asked Frolic, "how did you find out about Second Life?"
"I saw an advertisement on TV," Frolic answered, "and I was already playing in other virtual environments, so it was an easy jump for me."
"How did your first days go?" I then asked.
"Just like yours," Frolic mused, "lost as lost can be! But I communicate well, so I was a question maker machine! Anyone I saw, I would jump on. They were the good old newbie days and I do treasure them."
"Did anything stand out as particularly memorable?"
Frolic's answer was a surprise, "I was raped by green monster on my first day. About a week later, a friend of mine opened the 'PENIS FOR FROLIC FOUNDATION.' And believe it or not, in just a few hours people at some disco got together and donated enough money for my first private member! I knew I was gonna stay in Second Life forever!"
My response was to raise an eyebrow, then chuckle, "Well, you certainly found a way to turn around something that would scare the begeesus out of many." After a pause, "How did you get the idea for doing a magazine in Second Life?"
"At the beginning of 2007, when I rezzed, it was very hard to get much info on anything," Frolic reflected, "There were only two magazines inworld. One was about women's fashion, and the other was PORN! (very lovely by the way. So when I started discovering all the great things Second Life had to offer and the work of many artists, I decided I needed to share the information." Frolic smiled, "That's how the Best of Second Life came about."
"Heh, did it start out as a fashion magazine?"
Frolic shook his head, "No it was never a fashion only magazine. We covered the best of Second Life in all areas: from architecture to furniture to sims to fashion - we did it all!"
"How did it go in it's first days."
Frolic handed me a notecard from a recent magazine article, reminiscing about Best of Second Life's first days. He had written about his first cover photoshoot with Raven Pennyfeather. The Grand Opening event thrown for his publication, he had written as dozens of Second Life's top content creators arrived, he felt like, "Everyone we considered fabulous was there and I was nothing but a newb with a very ugly magazine."
"Heh, it does read like the opening went a bit hectic," I told Frolic, "but as the past seven years have demonstrated, it obviously went well."
"Yes," Frolic reflected, "seven magical years!"
"What was your favorite subject to cover?"
"The whole point of BOSL and my biggest joy was to discover new talents on the grid," Frolic answered, "But it also turned into a fantastic platform to help out models and charity events. I really enjoyed it all."
"Sounds good. Besides your first week, which topics you've covered have been the most memorable?"
"I'm sure that was an interesting place to cover," I told him, "I don't suppose anyone connected with the band ever came on while you were there?"
Frolic looked back at the coverage with pride, "Oh yes! Nick (Rhodes) did a concert live once (from there)."
"That must have been something," I commented, "there have been a number of tribute bands, but the singer himself behind the avatar ..."
"It was a huge story," he told, "even Linden labs placed the cover of my mag on their Facebook page that month.This was no tribute band, it was themselves." He reminded me that the article was from August 2011.
"Sounds like you've had quite a busy seven years." I told him.
Frolic smiled, "Busy and fun."
"I imagine," I then changed subjects, "I recall it was at the Miss Virtual World pageant in which you announced you had made the decision for someone else to run the magazine."
"Yes,correct," Frolic kept his smile.
"I imagine that was a tough decision."
"Well, yes and no," he answered, "I think it's important to know when to retire." He paused momentarily, "I have so many new games I want to play. I played editor, and I believe I won for seven years!" He smiled, "maybe it's time for me to start playing something else."
"So time to write about something else," I asked, "and leave Second Life to someone with a fresh perspective?"
Frolic smiled again, "Exactly."
Bringing up the publication's new owner, "I imagine you had a number of people interested in filling your shoes."
"Well," Frolic thought for a moment, "the first advise I gave to the new owner was to not try and be me. Many tried and all failed. I told her to do things her way and under her own vision. I hope she really does that."
"I'm sure she will," I assured, "What was the second?"
"Oh, I don't remember the second one." Frolic then laughed, "Who remembers the second anything?"
I chuckled with him, "Heh, ... About the new owner, Reign Congrejo, what has her experience in Second Life media been, for those who don't know yet?"
"She and I met during the 2011 Miss Virtual World Competition," he told me, "And she then opened her own Color Of Couture pageant, so she knows what it is all about. She also worked for another magazine many years."
"So now that you're officially retired from the magazine," I asked, "what do you plan to do in Second Life and elsewhere once you've had a while to rest?"
"No idea just yet," Frolic smiled, "but I will tell you my mind is spinning rather fast! When I get there, you will know."
"Care to tell us what games you're goofing off in at the moment?" I asked with a chuckle.
I complemented him, "can you tell about a momento or two?"
Frolic pointed to the table in front of him, "The ballerina in front of me is my favorite sculpture of all time! I got her in 2008."
I looked at the statuette, made by Unreal McCoy, "Nice."
"The poinsettias were custom made for me last year, and they became a best seller for the creator." He again smiled, and looked towards the door, where a number of photos were on the wall, "the pictures behind me tell quite a story. In one of them I am with my Second Life son. Anyways, a very special place for me."
Frolic handed me another notecard, one of his last editorial of his magazine.
I had two choices: One, to completely delegate BOSL and hope for the best, or two, turn it over to a new person who has the willingness, the enthusiasm and the fresh ideas to carry BOSL & CO forward.
When a dear friend expressed her interest in purchasing BOSL I knew my answer had been found. A great RL executive indeed, a person who has proven herself beyond any reasonable doubt inside Second Life, but most importantly someone who has been close to my organization for many years, and was even a participant in MISS VIRTUAL WORLD. She understands the purpose of BOSL and I truly believe she will continue to deliver a fantastic body of work under her new vision. I looked at the card, " 'With everything that is going on in Venezuela, I need to focus on my real life work and health.' Did you want to add anything to that?"
Frolic shook his head, "It's just what it is."
"I'm sorry," I answered.
"BOSL took way too much time, and I am done with it." he added.
It was about this time that the interview was coming to a close, "Did you wish to add anything, Frolic?" I asked.
"I am all good," he smiled.
We both thanked each other for our time, and I tipped my hat and went on my way.
I will be busier in Real Life, but I will continue to log in to SL as much as I can and knowing me, I will probably find a third life. Where might this new life lead me?, I don't know, but you are all welcome to play with me when I get there.
This marks the end of an era for me, this will be the last time I produce MISS VIRTUAL WORLD, THE BEST OF SL January issue will be my last magazine. But I wanted to tell all of you what this world has meant for me. Never in my entire life have I been happier to come to work day after day after day for nearly seven years now. While most people drag themselves to work, I actually had to drag myself away from BOSL. I suppose I've had my share of fame and awards and recognitions, but for me what has been the most important treasure are my friends and my beautiful staff who remained with me through thick and thin. I have friends and staff members who are still with me since 2007! Along the way I also picked up many others that have enriched my life in every possible way. You all know who you are.
Through it all, your words of love, support and encouragement have been my pillar of support not just this year but for all the year's past. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for giving me this inexplicable wonderful and beautiful life.