Fallen Gods 11th Anniversary Celebrations in Second Life: Chronos

Second Life fantasy skinmaker Fallen Gods is celebrating its 11th anniversary during the month of October with a variety of events and sales. The glorious Chronos outfit (which comes complete with clothing, skin appliers and the animated attachments you see in the picture below) is on sale for 30% off but only until October 1st, so hurry down! It comes in four different versions for both male and female avatars.

Vanity Fair as Chronos 30 Sept 2018.jpg

There is also a Seeker of Memories hunt going on, where you can pick up various items created during the 11-year history of Fallen Gods. Stone portals are hidden anywhere on the four sims which make up the Fallen Gods, Inc. in-world store location.

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Sansar Pick of the Day: Value in the Virtual at ArkDes

Value in the Virtual at ArkDes 1 27 Sept 2018.png

A real-world art exhibition in Stockholm, Sweden has a virtual counterpart in Sansar. The Architect’s Newspaper reports:

…Value in the Virtual, an exhibit by London-based Space Popular, blossoms with a polychrome array of signs, patterns, and symbols. The show has just opened at Sweden’s national center for architecture and design, ArkDes, under its new director Kieran Long. A new feature of the museum is a smaller gallery space—Boxen, a steel box designed by local practice Dehlin Brattgård—inside one of the two main exhibition halls. It is intended for fast-paced architecture shows curated by former ArchDaily editor James Taylor-Foster, and Value in the Virtual is the first display of work by a contemporary design practice in the new setup.

Entering the exhibition space, you are invited to take your shoes off (to experience the printed carpets on the floors), and once inside, to put on a pair of virtual reality goggles. They are a window into Voxen, a parallel version of the same gallery space produced for Sansar, a social virtual reality platform. During the press preview, an online visitor had already found his way there for a peek. The avatar, dressed in a black bodysuit and a Daft Punk motorcycle helmet, showed up out of nowhere, mumbled a distorted “nice to meet you,” and soon disappeared.

In this realm, you get 3-D views of some of Space Popular’s scenarios: one is a version of Stockholm where public art is updated by the minute; in another the allegorical wall mosaics of the Nobel Prize venue are adjusted to tout recent scientific achievements; and in another a selective nightclub bouncer might actually let you in after all, if you upgrade to a nicer-looking “skin.”

The Sansar experience still seems to be under construction; there is a large empty area in the back. But there is already much to see and appreciate here.

The experience description in the Sansar Atlas reads as follows:

Welcome to the virtual experience of Space Popular’s exhibition at ArkDes in Stockholm.

The exhibition “Value in the Virtual” explores the challenges and possibilities for architecture, design and city planning as buildings and cities will soon get virtual layers when VR and AR devices are increasingly used in pubic.

Visitors can see the physical exhibition at in the gallery BOXEN at ArkDes in Stockholm between the 19h of September – 18th of November. Through the physical exhibition visitors can also visit the virtual exhibition through a headset available in the centre of the space creating the possibility for cross reality interaction.

ArkDes is Sweden’s national centre for architecture and design. It is a museum, a study centre and an arena for debate and discussion about the future of architecture, design and citizenship.

Space Popular is based in London and led by Architects Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg.

Here’s a link to the Value in the Virtual at ArkDes experience.

VRChat Institutes a New Safety and Trust System to Combat Griefers

vrchat-logo.jpg

In response to high levels of trolling, griefing, and harassment, the VRChat platform is instituting an incredibly detailed Safety and Trust System:

The VRChat Trust and Safety system is a new extension of the currently-implemented VRChat Trust system. It is designed to keep users safe from nuisance users using things like screen-space shaders, loud sounds or microphones, visually noisy or malicious particle effects, and other methods that someone may use to detract from your experience in VRChat.

This system is designed to give control back to the user, allowing users to determine where, when, and how they see various avatar features that may be distracting or malicious if used improperly.

The Trust and Safety system is designed so that, even when left on default settings, the system will ensure that someone can’t attack you with malicious avatar features. Malicious users won’t have these features shown, so you can have a good experience in the metaverse.

Basically, every VRChat user is automatically assigned to one of six levels, based on their past behaviour (e.g. exploring, making friends, creating content):

  • Veteran User
  • Trusted User
  • Known User
  • User
  • New User
  • Visitor (the default rank for brand-new users)

Visitors will not be able to upload content to VRChat until they are promoted to the New User rank. In addition:

Additionally, there exists a special rank called “Nuisance”. These users have caused problems for others, and will have an indicator above their nameplate when your quick menu is open. Most of the time, these users’ avatars will be completely blocked. In a future release, users who are sliding toward the “Nuisance” rank will be notified.

Finally, there exists a “VRChat Team” rank, which is only usable by VRChat Team members. When a VRChat Team member has their “DEV” tag on, you’ll see this rank in the quick menu when you select them. If you have doubts that a user with a “DEV” tag is actually on the VRChat Team, just open your Quick Menu, select them, and check out their Trust Rank. If it doesn’t say “VRChat Team” under the avatar thumbnail, then that user is not a member of the VRChat Team, and is likely trying to confuse users. Feel free to take a screenshot and report them to the Moderation team!

For each level of user, you can set what aspects of their avatar will be visible/audible to you in an extremely detailed Safety System:

Safety” is a new menu tab that allows you to configure how users of each rank are treated in regards to how they display for you in VRChat. This affects many aspects of a user’s presence in VRChat:

  • Voice — Mutes or unmutes a user’s microphone (voice chat)
  • Avatar — Hides or shows a user’s avatar as well as all avatar features. When an avatar is hidden, it shows a “muted” avatar
  • Avatar Audio — Enables or disables sound effects from a user’s avatar (not their microphone)
  • Animations — Enables or disables custom animations on a user’s avatar
  • Shaders — When disabled, all shaders on a user’s avatar are reverted to Standard
  • Particles and Lights — Enables or disables particle systems on a user’s avatar, as well as any light sources. This will also block Line and Trail Renderer components.
VRChat Safety System.png
The New VRChat Safety System

There is much, much more information on the new Safety and Trust System in their blogpost. The team behind VRChat have obviously put a lot of time and energy into designing this system, and I can say that this is now the most comprehensive suite of tools to combat griefing, trolling, and harassment that I have seen in any social VR space or virtual world, and a model for other platforms to emulate.

After a huge surge in usage in the early part of this year (mainly due to the promotion of the platform by various well-known livestreamers), the number of simultaneous users in VRChat has stayed relatively steady at around 6,000:

VRChat Stats 27 Sept 2018.png

This makes VRChat the most popular of the newer social VR platforms. The new Safety and Trust system will go a long way towards improving users’ experiences in VRChat.

National Cyber Security Awareness Events in Sansar

October is National Cyber Security Awareness month. Maya, the Information Security Director for Linden Lab (the creators of Second Life and Sansar), invited me to meet with her in her new experience, a recreation of the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra, India:

TheTaj 29 Sept 2018.jpg

She explained that this beautiful experience is the setting for a series of cyber security events taking place in Sansar, as part of National Cyber Security Awareness month.

The National Cyber Security Alliance (the organization behind National Cyber Security Awareness month), a non-profit founded in 2001, is a public-private partnership, working with the  U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), private sector sponsors (founding sponsors included Symantec, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, and McAfee), and nonprofit collaborators to promote cybersecurity awareness for home users, small and medium-sized businesses, and primary and secondary education. For more information and tips on how you can improve your cybersecurity, please visit the Stop. Think. Connect. website.

The first event is on October 1st at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time/Sansar Time at The Taj experience, with a panel of speakers on cyber security. Everyone is welcome! Here is Maya’s tweet promoting the event.

Inheriting My Second Life Avatars: Keep Those Cards and Letters Coming!

Well, I’ve already had three people contact me via email about possibly inheriting one of my Second Life avatars. As Dean Martin used to like to say on his show, “Keep those cards and letters coming!”

(And if you ask me who Dean Martin was, I am going to hit you over the head with my walker! *shakes fist at those damn kids on his lawn, takes another swig of Geritol*)

If you missed all the excitement this week, here is why I am drawing up a list of people to inherit my SL avatars via my last will and testament.

Two of them are now already spoken for:

  • Nada Nix (my goth girl avatar) I have decided to leave to Jenn (a.k.a. Xiola Linden), the Community Manager for Second Life at Linden Lab
  • Scarborough Fair (my medieval roleplay avatar) I am leaving to Solas NaGealai, co-owner of Silvan Moon Designs

And here is a complete alphabetical listing of all my Second Life avatars, for you to get a sense of who’s available for adoption into a loving home 😉

If you are interested in inheriting one of these Second Life avatars, please contact me via email at ryanschultz [at] Gmail [dot] com (or via the Contact page on this blog). You can also approach me and talk to me in-world in Second Life, Sansar or another virtual world, or talk to me on one of the many community forums or Discord channels for the various virtual worlds of which I am a part.

This is going to be a very interesting undertaking! I’ve gotten a lot of comments from other folks on SL who think this is a great idea, and now they are thinking about their future plans for their digital assets as well. Some of them already have designated somebody to sign into Second Life and tell their friends what happened to them, in case they disappear suddenly from the grid. I think this is an excellent idea, and something that all users of virtual worlds should seriously think about and plan for.

Think of it as a sort of digital power of attorney. Who do you trust to take your computer accounts in hand if you should die suddenly, and undertake to notify all your online friends and colleagues? Have a plan in place!

UPDATED! Leaving My Second Life Avatars to Other People in My Will: Taking the First Step in Figuring Out Who Gets What SL Avatar

Ryan as Maria
What do you do with a problem like Ryan?

(This picture came up on my Facebook memories today, and I wanted to share it with you. Those of you who know me well, know that this captures me and my personality, absolutely perfectly! As journalist Hunter S. Thompson said, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” I am now, officially, a pro weirdo!)

First, I wanted to say a heartfelt “thank you” to all the people who reached out to me yesterday (and today) with best wishes for a successful outcome after I made my recent blogpost. Some of you are people whom I know in real life, and some of you are people I only know through Second Life, Sansar, or another virtual world.

Among the many well-wishers was the CEO of Sine Wave Entertainment, Adam Frisby (the company behind the virtual world Sinespace), who told me:

Pre-emptively, since your blog post hinted (and good luck btw!); we do allow transfer of accounts to an estate, with appropriate verifiable and official documentation. Generally though we consider accounts non-transferable in other cases without official exemption.

So Sinespace has a policy similar to Linden Lab’s for Second Life, where I can designate another person to receive my avatar and its inventory in the event of my death.

I’ve spent the evening thinking about how best to undertake the task of matching up my friends (both offline and online) and family with avatars from my Second Life avatar collection.

I have only made one firm decision so far: I am leaving my Scarborough Fair avatar (a medieval roleplayer with a huge inventory of medieval clothing collected over the past decade) to Solas NaGealai, the co-owner of Silvan Moon Designs, from whom I have bought many a beautiful historical gown in the past. (I’m also a blogger for Silvan Moon Designs.) Here’s what Scarborough Fair looks like:

Scarborough Fair in Snow White Gown by Oubliette 19 Apr 2018

As for the rest, well, I thought I would start off by posting an alphabetical list of all my avatars by name. That way, people can let me know if they are interested in inheriting an avatar with a particular name.

(I’m sorry, but I honestly couldn’t think of any easier way to do this than via blogpost. The communications involved in this whole process are going to be a bit of a nightmare, especially since I don’t know how to reach many of you, except through Second Life, Sansar, etc. And I do know that many of you follow and read this blog.)


Here’s the complete list, with a brief description of the purpose of each avatar (these avatars all have legacy first names and last names):

  • 2My Fairlady (freebie Altamura Emanuelle mesh avatar)
    Emanuelle 2 4 Aug 2018.png

     

  • Abiding Shepherd (a male urban angel; Seraphim in the City of Lost Angels roleplay; Akeruka Leon mesh head and Altamura Robert mesh body)
    Abiding Shepherd 26 Sept 2018.png

  • Alexandra McKenzie (originally a female Scottish pirate for historical roleplay; Genesis Lab mesh head and Afrodite mesh body by LUCYBODY)
    Alexandra McKenzie.png

  • April Mayflower (little girl; has a Toddledoo mesh head and body)
    April Mayflower 26 Sept 2018.png

  • Artist Scientist (originally a neoVictorian/steampunk avatar)
  • Autumn Winter (originally created as the avatar embodiment of Autumn)
  • Banjo Haystack (country bumpkin)
  • Beau Coeur
  • Betsy Blitz (1950s/1960s historical roleplay avatar)
    1950s Retro Look 30 June 2018
  • Bok Choi (Chinese man; Chinese emperor)
    Bok Choi 27 Sept 2018.jpg
  • BRlTNEY Spears (Britney Spears look-alike avatar, with a lowercase-L instead of an I in the first name; her nametag looks like “BRITNEY Spears” in-world)
    Britney Spears 27 Sept 2018.jpg
  • Bumbly Rumpler (Afro-Canadian/Afro-American; Akeruka Lulu mesh head and the non-freebie version of the Valentina Altamura mesh body which I got for only L$300 at the 2018 Skin Fair)
    Altamura Valentina Body Akeruka Lulu Head.png

  • Cher Popstar (Cher look-alike avatar)
    Cher Popstar 26 Sept 2018.png
  • Chi Mai (Chinese woman; Chinese empress)
    Chi Mai 13 May 2017_001.png

  • Clay Loam (originally created as a satyr/faun; freebie Altamura Max mesh body)
    Clay Loam 27 Sept 2018.jpg

  • Coffee Philter (unisex; either male or female)
  • Coupon Clip (one of my main avatars, currently a 1950s-styled dancer for tips at the Pino 1951 bar; Akeruka Maia head and Belleza Freya body; this avatar has also has been Alice in Wonderland; she also is the avatar embodiment of Winter/Christmas, with lots of snowy/winter/white/ice blue outfits)
    Coupon Clip at Pino 1951 Bar.png

  • Diana Huntress (originally created as a medieval archer; Altamura Giselle mesh head and Altamura Jenny mesh body)
    Diana Huntress 2 25 May 2018.png

  • Easton Weston (fat cop with doughnut; Piggu Jonathan fat man avatar)
    Easton Weston 27 Sept 2018.jpg

  • Elizabeth Queen (historical roleplay avatar, Queen Elizabeth I of England)
    Elizabeth Queen 27 Sept 2018.jpg
  • Elvis Popstar (Elvis Presley look-alike avatar, complete with white jumpsuit, microphone and wearable spotlights!)
    Elvis Popstar 26 Sept 2018.png

  • Escher Rembrandt (originally a neoVictorian/steampunk avatar)
  • Eve December (originally created as a Cabaret singer/Liza Minnelli look-alike)
  • Evil GossipGirl 😉 (Genesis Lab mesh head and Afrodite mesh body by LUCYBODY)Evil Gossipgirl 16 Sept 2018
  • Faerie Moon (male fairy)
    Faerie Moon 27 Sept 2018.jpg
  • Fairy Queen (female fairy; has a Yabusaka petite mesh avatar)
    Fairy Queen 27 Sept 2018.jpg
  • Fidelity Constantine (young Victorian woman)
  • Fire Bird (Firestorm phoenix/warrior superhero)
  • Fortune Telling (originally created as a fortune teller; gypsy)
    Fortune Telling 27 Sept 2018.jpg
  • Gene Pool (Asian- or Indo-Canadian)
  • Glee Delight (this is the avatar that got all the pink clothing! I think I will leave this avatar to Torley Linden of Linden Lab—all he has to do is add some green clothing and he’s all set!)
    Glee Delight 27 Sept 2018.jpg
  • Good Read (currently a very old man with a pipe and a smoking jacket)
    Good Read 26 Sept 2018.png

  • Grace Westland (old woman; Grandma)
  • Happy Delight (unisex; either male or female)
    Happy Delight Moon 13 Jan 2018_001.png

  • Hearts Delight (1960s hippie chick; harlequin)
    Hearts Delight 27 Sept 2018.jpg
  • Heath Applemoor (Ennis Del Mar avatar for Brokeback Mountain roleplay)
  • Heath Homewood (my main male avatar; Catwa head, Stray Dog skin and Belleza Jake body; owner of most of my non-clothing inventory assets, such as trees, houses, furniture, etc.)
    Heath Homewood Second Life 20 May 2018

  • Heilige Nacht (Seawolf dragon avatar)
  • Ilsa Svenska (blonde Swedish avatar; Altamura Giselle mesh head and Altamura Jenny mesh body)
    Baby Monkey 13 May 2018.png

  • Indigo Blue (male Na’vi from the movie Avatar)
    Indigo Blue 27 Sept 2018.jpg
  • itinerant Scribe (medieval scribe)
  • Jacqueline Laville (Victorian maid; housekeeper for Prim & Proper Cleaning Services; as a joke, I like to put her in various unexpected spots, like random stores or Frank’s Jazz Club, where she busily dusts or vacuums; “Lift your feet, hun.”)
    Jacqueline Laville 26 Sept 2018.png

  • Jake Greenwood (Jack Twist avatar for Brokeback Mountain roleplay)
  • JeanGuy Perrin
  • John Peacock (pirate; Johnny Depp look-alike avatar)
  • Joy Delight (this is the avatar that got all the purple clothing!)
    Joy Delight 27 Sept 2018.jpg
  • Karin Vasser (one of my favourite avatars, named after my mother; princess; geisha; she has all the kimonos!)
    Karin Vasser 13 May 2017_001.png

  • LadyGaga Inventor (Lady Gaga look-alike avatar)
  • Layne Carpool
  • Ledba Loon (get it? “lead balloon”? Piggu June fat girl avatar ; also a witch; has all my assorted witch outfits, brooms, etc.)
    Piggu 2 21 May 2018

  • Lily Pond
  • London Bridges (British male avatar)
  • MARlLYN Monroe (Marilyn Monroe look-alike avatar, with a lowercase-L instead of an I in the first name; her nametag looks like “MARILYN Monroe” in-world)
    Marilyn Monroe 26 Sept 2018.jpg

  • Mary Fang (Bloodlines role-play vampire; owns an Infinity amulet to avoid the Bloodlines blood curse, on which I very stupidly spent L$7,999!!!)Vampire Makeover After 1 22 Sept 2018
  • MaryPoppins Popstar (Mary Poppins look-alike avatar)
    Mary Poppins
  • Mason Carver
  • Maya Sass (Indo-Canadian; has my entire sari collection; Bollywood actress; Maia Akeruka mesh head and Afrodite mesh body by LUCYBODY)
    Maya Sass 27 Sept 2018.jpg

  • Michael Sixpence (Elizabethan courtier)
  • MichaelJ Moonwall (Michael Jackson look-alike avatar)
    MichaelJ Moonwall 26 Sept 2018.png

  • Morden Winkler (my gay clotheshorse avatar, named after a pair of towns in Manitoba’s Mennonite Bible Belt; Catwa head, Stray Dog skin and Signature Gianni body)
    Bakaboo 3 13 Aug 2018
  • Nada Nix (my goth girl avatar; she wears only three colours: white, black, and red; I think I will leave this to Jenn, the Community Manager for Second Life at Linden Lab, since I know she has a thing for goth!)
    Nada Nix 26 Sept 2018.png

  • Notecard Writer (my professional librarian avatar)
  • Oceana Waters (my mermaid avatar; has a complete collection of mermaid outfits and AOs)
    Oceana Waters 27 Sept 2018

  • Olga Thorsveld
  • PARlS Hilton (“The Paris Hilton of SL”; Paris Hilton look-alike avatar, with a lowercase-L instead of an I in the first name; her nametag looks like “PARIS Hilton” in-world)
    Paris Hilton at Frank's Place Jazz Club in Second Life 12 May 2017_001.png

  • Peace Dove (the avatar embodiment of peace)
    Peace Dove 27 Sept 2018
  • Pepper Salter (originally created to be Red Riding Hood or Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz)
  • Peter Church (black Jamaican)
  • Pixel Farmer (originally created as my artist avatar; has the non-freebie version of the Valentina Altamura mesh head and body which I got for only L$300 at the 2018 Skin Fair)
    Altamura Valentina 2 11 Mar 2018_001

  • Prayerful Vigil (female angel; currently has the Altamura Giselle mesh head and the Altamura Jenny mesh body)
    Angel Michaela 3 30 Mar 2018.png

  • Queen Ishnoo
  • Richard Lionheart (King Richard historical roleplay avatar; knight)
  • Rose Queen (one of my favourite avatars, a Caledon/steampunk/Victorian old woman; LAQ Vivien mesh head and Maitreya Lara mesh body)
    Rose Queen Exploring New Babbage 14 Mar 2018_001

  • Rose Rage (originally created as a female drow/dark elf)
  • Ryan Harbour
  • Ryan Love
  • Santa Rudolf (my Santa Claus avatar; I pull him out every Christmas and he travels all over the grid, wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!)
    Santa Rudolf 26 Sept 2018.png

  • Scarborough Fair (Medieval, Renaissance, Elizabethan England, 1920s Berlin & Chicago historical roleplay avatar; Akeruka Lulu mesh head and Maitreya Lara mesh body; owner of various Mikki Miles musical instruments such as lutes and harps; I am leaving this avatar to Solas NaGealai, the co-owner of Silvan Moon Designs)
    Scarborough Fair Playing Lute 21 August 2017_001.png

  • Schnitzel Wiener (Bavarian German in lederhosen)
  • Silver Quick (originally created as an elf or troll; now unisex/both male and female)
  • Sim Hopper (hiker with a random teleport backpack; also a superhero)
  • SisterMary Blister (short, fat Catholic sister; comes with an Abranimations HUD to rezz a flock of penguins to follow her around)
    SisterMary Blister 27 Sept 2018.jpg
  • Sitcom Writer (butch lesbian; fitness model with DEV mesh head and body)Sitcom Writer 26 Sept 2018.png

  • Sternen Nacht (wizard, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings)
    Sternen Nacht 27 Sept 2018.jpg
  • Summer Fall (the avatar embodiment of Summer)
  • That Guy (“Yes, I’m that guy.”; Akeruka Aron mesh head and the freebie version of the TMP male avatar mesh body, with all the free clothing that now comes from TMP)
    That Guy 27 Apr 2018.png
  • Treehugger Cliffhanger (unisex; either male or female)
  • Unusual Delight (Queen of Hearts avatar; Akeruka Lulu mesh head and the dollarbie Classic eBody mesh body)
    Whysical 1 16 May 2018

  • Valentina VonBaum (redhead; the avatar embodiment of Valentine’s Day; Altamura Giselle mesh head and Altamura Jenny mesh body)
    Scandalize Dress 14 May 2018.png
     
  • Vanity Fair (my main female avatar; Catwa Kimberly head, The Skinnery Daria skin and Maitreya Lara body; over 216,000 items in her inventory, mostly clothing)
    Vanity Fair Prim Drop Happy New Year Bay City 1 Jan 2017_001
    J&W Jewelers The Secret of Jade Necklace and Earrings.png
  • Velcro Zipper (drag queen; clown)
    Velcro Zipper at Franks 3 APr 2018_001

  • War Hawk (warrior; Roman gladiator; avatar embodiment of war; has an Aesthetic mesh bodybuilder body)
  • Winona Sweetwater (First Nations/aboriginal Canadian chief)
  • Woofie Roffo (wolf; TWI Timber Wolf avatar; also a German Shepherd dog)
  • Xena Kleb (originally created as a court jester; also a harlequin)
    Xena Kleb 27 Sept 2018
  • Yvonne Leblanc (*DOLLCOCO* doll)
    Yvonne Leblanc 27 Sept 2018.jpg
  • Zelda Leeming

Almost all the female avatars have the three free group gift Bento mesh heads from Akeruka (Lulu, Kumiko, and Maia). They also have all three free Altamura mesh avatars (Jenny, Valentina, and Emanuelle). They may also have the dollarbie versions of the Classic and Curvy eBody mesh avatar bodies and the freebie Afrodite LUCYBODY mesh avatar body.
Maia Head 1 June 2018.png

Almost all the male avatars have the three free group gift Bento mesh heads from Akeruka (Aron, Keiji, and Leon). They also have all five free Altamura mesh avatars (Robert, both versions of Max, Tommy, and last year’s TeleportHub.com group gift Aaron). All male avatars also have a complete set of the freebies from Kauna men’s clothing.

All the unisex avatars have both the male and female mesh avatar heads and bodies listed above.

If you are interested in inheriting one of these Second Life avatars, please contact me via email at ryanschultz [at] Gmail [dot] com (or via the Contact page on this blog). You can also approach me and talk to me in-world in Second Life, Sansar or another virtual world, or talk to me on one of the many community forums or Discord channels for the various virtual worlds of which I am a part.

THESE AVATARS ARE ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY *NOT* FOR SALE! THEY WILL ONLY BE GIVEN AS AN INHERITANCE IN MY WILL, IN THE EVENT OF MY DEATH, in accordance with the Second Life Terms and Conditions (Terms of Service) and Linden Lab’s posted official policy on Death and Other Worries Outside Second Life.

I must have your legal (real life) name for my will, and a reliable means of contact (telephone number preferred; email address is acceptable). I will NOT be giving any avatars to anybody that I do NOT know, or with whom I have NOT had at least one good, long, in-depth conversation! I do want to know who you are (and what you plan to do with my avatar) before I leave you one of these avatars, on which I have spent a great deal of time, energy, and (in some cases) money. I will be in touch with you by phone (or email, or chat) and I alone will make the final decision as to whether or not to let you inherit one of my avatars, and which one(s).

I know that many of you already have significant investments in your own avatar(s), but if you are interested in one of these avatars, let’s talk. It would give me great pleasure to know that somebody will appreciate and use Second Life avatars which I have lovingly created and designed, and for which I endlessly shopped for freebies! 🙂

And, I apologize in advance to the staff at Linden Lab for the work that this will likely create for them at some future point. Please understand that I am only doing this because I love Second Life, and I want my creations to have a life beyond my death, and continue to give enjoyment and pleasure to people after I am gone. I do not plan on dying soon, but it pays to be prepared for any eventuality!

And I realize that by publishing this list, I may get into trouble with Linden Lab for having so many avatars. You know what? Fuck it. I might have cancer, and nothing else really matters right now.

UPDATE 7:06 p.m.: I have added a few more pictures to my list of avatars, so you can see what they look like. I also had a nice long chat with my psychiatrist today, and she made me realize that what I am doing here is simply trying to assert some control in a situation where I am not in control. This is apparently a very normal, human response to a situation like a health crisis.

UPDATE Sept. 27th: I couldn’t sleep, so I updated this blogpost with more pictures of my avatars.

Cancer, Death, and Virtual Worlds

marcel-scholte-524343-unsplash.jpg
Photo by Marcel Scholte on Unsplash

Yesterday, I found out that I might have bladder cancer.

I’m going to have surgery on October 3rd. The voluminous paperwork I filled out yesterday said it was for a “Transurethral Resection—Bladder Tumor”. I underwent all the standard pre-operation routines: EKG, chest X-ray, bloodwork. (Yes, I had to pee into a little cup.) The urologist who is operating on me will be doing a biopsy to see if I indeed have bladder cancer. (Thank God for Canada’s universal healthcare system.)

This is all happening so fast that it is making my head spin.

And, well, obviously, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my own mortality.

I actually don’t have a lot of material possessions. My biggest purchases in life have been my computer and my car. And I don’t have a will yet; I’ve been putting it off, and putting it off, and putting it off. Nobody wants to think about death and dying. But now it’s time to start to think about who I want to leave my possessions to.

Ironically, over the past couple of weeks, I have been reading the book Living and Dying in a Virtual World. Reading about how people deal with the death of someone they knew from Second Life. And, as Strawberry Singh herself wrote very recently:

…I was recently reading a post on RyanSchultz.com about a New Book on Second Life: Living and Dying in a Virtual World by Dr Margaret Gibson and Clarissa Carden. The book takes readers into stories of love, loss, grief and mourning and reveals the emotional attachments and digital kinships of the virtual 3D social world of Second Life. If you are interested in reading it, it’s available on Amazon (this is an Amazon affiliate link).

Reading about this book got me thinking about how often I’ve heard it happen that people create friendships and relationships in Second Life (and other virtual worlds) and then one day one of the friends just disappears. They never login again and their friends are left wondering what happened to them. People usually start to assume the worst and think that they’ve passed on, and sometimes that is the case, but regardless, it’s always heartbreaking.

Recently I’ve been very busy in the real world so my blog posts have been a bit sparse. If I don’t blog for a week or so, a number of you reach out and check up on me, to make sure I’m okay. It’s very sweet and actually pushes me harder to find time to login and blog again. Juggling both lives can be hard for a lot of people but I never want to give the impression that I’ve suddenly left SL without a word or something worse has happened to me in the real world.

I thought I would take this opportunity to make you guys a promise, a birthday promise. I promise that if I ever plan to take extended time away from Second Life, for whatever reason, I will always do a blog post and let you guys know. I’ve already been doing this, when I go on vacation or if I have a family emergency come up. If you notice that I have disappeared for a while, maybe a week or two or maybe even three or more and you haven’t heard a word from me, it’s most probably because real life has me so incredibly busy that I just haven’t had a chance to login. I will definitely be back, as soon as I get the chance, I will be back! Now the promise: if something were to happen to me in the real world where I will never be able to return, I have asked both my husband and my brother to let you guys know, either through my two best friends in Second Life (Zaara Kohime and Winter Jefferson) and/or this blog. My husband and brother have all of my passwords and Winter also has access to this blog and can write posts here.

So, like Strawberry, I am making you the same promise: I will not just disappear from Second Life one day without letting everybody know what happened to me. I will set something up, and I will do the same thing for all the other virtual worlds where I am a frequent visitor. I don’t have details yet, but when I do, I will post them here on my blog.


Earlier this year, and quite obviously, not knowing that all this was going to happen to me, I wrote a blogpost about how I want to leave my Second Life avatars to other people when I die:

Here is a photo mosaic of all the avatars I had created during my first five years in Second Life. (I created this photo mosaic back in 2012, as a sort of ceremonial way to wean myself off SL and move on. Of course, that didn’t really happen! I took a long break and came back in 2016.) Many, if not most, of these avatars I have since deleted, but I have kept the rest of them.

slmosaicFINAL.jpg

I understand that it is currently against the Linden Lab Terms of Service (TOS) to give your SL avatar to another person. I believe that we need to make an exception. I would take great pleasure from knowing that some of my Second Life avatars, on which I lovingly spent so much time and money, would live on after I die. It would be a kind of digital immortality.

Of course, I understand that Linden Lab does not want avatar accounts to become a commodity, something that is bought and sold on the marketplace. I was surprised to find that there are even some places online where people actually sell their old avatar accounts, especially those legacy accounts created with a proper first name and last name; this might even be one of the reasons why LL is bringing back avatar last names.

I would never want to sell one of my avatars; I find the very idea repugnant. But it would give me great pleasure to be able to freely give one of my avatars as a gift or a legacy to a friend or family member. And I want Linden Lab to explicitly allow this.

Second Life is soon turning 15 years old. I’m certain that this sort of thing has happened in the past. And I’m quite certain that some of the people driving an avatar in SL are not the original creators. As more of SL’s original userbase starts to die off, this will be a perfectly natural thing for some avid SL users to want to do.

And no, I don’t think it’s creepy at all. The people to whom I would leave my avatars would be free to do as they please with them, redesign them, or give them on in turn.

And I found out that you can, indeed, leave your SL avatars to other people when you die. Linden Lab actually has a process and procedures in place, to deal with just that possibility.

Which leads me to my next point.

Simply put, I need to figure out who gets what avatars when I die. Yes, avatars. Plural.

My (at times, obsessive) hobby over the past eleven years has been to create and design many Second Life avatars, most of whom have interesting legacy names; that is, a proper first name and last name, like my clown/drag queen avatar, Velcro Zipper:

Velcro Zipper at Franks 3 APr 2018_001

You see, she’s both a clown, and a drag queen. (Both involve wigs, and a lot of makeup!) Here’s a picture of one of my clown looks for the same avatar:

Velcro Zipper 25 Sept 2018.png

Here’s another, more classic clown look:

Velcro Zipper 3 26 Sept 2018.jpg

Over the last decade, I have built up a whole inventory of clown-wear for this avatar (mostly freebies I have picked up here and there), and recently, I have expanded it to include drag queen accessories like big hair and ballgowns (again, mostly freebies).

(Yes, I know what some of you reading this are gonna say, I know, it’s a strange hobby. Some people golf. Others play solitaire. I happen to create Second Life avatars. What’s your point? I happen to be damn good at it! And it has given countless me hours of enjoyment, and a boundless outlet for expressing my creativity. So don’t judge me.)

I have spent a great deal of time, money, and energy designing my Second Life avatars, and God fucking dammit, they are all going to live on, and provide enjoyment to others, long after I am gone!!! I am not—repeat, *NOT*— going to let all my hard work and creativity go to waste!!!

I also have to figure out who is getting my stuff in all the other virtual worlds of which I am a part: Sansar, High Fidelity, etc. This means that I am going to have to initiate discussions with the people running the various metaverse companies, many of whom have probably never even considered the issue before: what do you do when you want to leave your avatars and other virtual world possessions to other people when you die?

Well, I have decided that It’s high time to start having those discussions. Avatars are property, pretty much the same as any real-world property. (My lawyer is going to have an absolute field day drawing up my last will and testament!)

Stay tuned for more details.

And please, don’t worry about me; I am going to be fine, no matter what happens. And I am not depressed. I just need to take care of things, work out all the details.

I may also need to suspend blogging, and be absent from the various virtual worlds, for a period of time. I do hope that you all understand.

As it turns out, like the hobbit, I’m off on an unexpected journey. Wish me well. And if you believe in God, please say a prayer for me. I’m going to need all the help I can get.