Monday, July 15, 2024

Interview With Aldaris (Bawnty Resident) About RFL Team Scorn

 By Bixyl Shuftan
The Relay for Life in Second Life this year has been a big success, with over 462 thousand US dollars worth of Lindens raised. Behind it were over 180 teams. Some have been around for a number of years, such as Team ACTS, the Relay Rockers, The SL Cheerleading Squad, The Sunbeamers, and others. But there were also some new teams. Among them was Team Scorn, the team organized by the staff of the Scorn Rock club. I recently had a chance to interview their team captain, Aldaris (Bawnty Resident).

Bixyl : "To begin with, how did you hear about the Relay for Life, and how did the idea for the team come about?"

Aldaris : "Well, it was you! Or at least it was the close association of the Happy Vixen and the Sunbeamers team. I had no surrounding information other than the fact that there was a link to an inworld location to something called a 'campsite.' It wasn't the first I'd heard of "Relay Weekend" in the week leading up to that moment, but it was the first tangible lead I had to whatever was going on. So I followed it and there you were, at the Sunbeamers site. You told me people would be running by I might recognise and that you were going to bed for the time being. So I went and stood by the trackside and heckled/encouraged everyone and anyone I did recognise! So I took my time, looked around the Sunbeamers camp. I got to appreciate so many people's reasons for running, but still didn't have the greater picture of what Relay was, until Charlee rounded the corner, dashed to the next checkpoint, came back and told me to get running. So I did! I pretty mindlessly followed the track until I saw some eye catching campsites further along. I was taken in by how 'big' the event was - how many people were running by, how much effort had been put into camp builds. Then I slowed down, got to reading. I got to see what it was all for and why. I loved it. I kept on running. I got a little trophy at the end just for taking part. Bear in mind that this was the single biggest 'thing' I'd never come across in SL in terms of scale, participation, and general excitement about it in the run up.

"So I was too late to partake in it that year. But in the time between then and Relay 2024, I got made a manager of the still recently reformed Scorn (Rock Club). Thing is, we're almost entirely new faces except for the owners who've been there since forever. There's nothing particularly binding us as a 'team' except for the shared responsibility to the venue. I thought then that the conditions were right to do multiple things at once. I could unite everyone toward a noble, common cause to give us all a shared history we could be proud of. A galvanising moment to get us all working towards something good, togethe, be an inspiration of hope. 
"I fear that Relay is mostly attended by those - unfortuantely - most affected. I wasn't content to wait to be affected, so I was only happy to bring the message of Relay to those who might not have even known about it before now. I certainly didn't before a year ago ... and, give back. Because despite the overarching theme, despite the sad circumstances that lead to Relay being a necessary event, I very much enjoyed myself. Going around the track, seeing what everyone had built and all of the themed outfits being worn, was a hoot for me. I really wanted to come back and do it again, and what better way than by making my own team?"

Bixyl : "Very good reasons to Relay. About how many are in Team Scorn, and who are among the more active people on the team?

Aldaris : "I think I can safely say there were a core team of five. Of those the most active members we had were; I myself - co-ordinating efforts, performing the kiosk management and dispersal of information pertaining to the weekend. Gwen, who was very heavily into the fundraising side of activities, and the primary builder for our team campsite. And Charlee, who was very greatly involved on the Relay day itself in participation and provision of extra materials. Despite this, we absolutely would not have enjoyed the campaign we had without all members being involved, as well as all of those who donated towards making our team gold on our first ever outing."

Bixyl : "The team made Gold level this year, over 125,000 or $500 USD.  How much did you expect to raise?"
Aldaris : "Silver, at best. And I'd have been satisfied. For our first outing and for being a small team, I thought that was not just realistic but a challenge and one that wasn't entirely unattainable. Especially given the level of support I wasn't expecting. I thought this may well be me, on my own doing it all myself. That didn't happen, people fell in love with what we were doing. We were on pace for silver until we weren't and things hugely ramped up in the last third of fundraising season. We kept climbing. Gold was no longer a distant vision but very much in reach. With only days to go until relay weekend I was delighted to announce we'd surpassed the threshold. It was a wonderful symbol of how united we all were for a good cause and how far we could all go together."

Bixyl : "The team also had it's own campsite. Did anything in particular inspire the design?"

Aldaris : "We modeled it after a narrow slice of one of Scorn's own venues. Our beach stage is a popular one, and so we decided to bring forth a wedge of that with us to the track. Being that Scorn is what brought us all together, it felt only right that we brought a bit of it with us. Having seen other campsites before, I decided to roll in the theme with a grounded twist. 'Decades of Hope' became 'Decades of Research' and the information on display became mainly focused on the tangible efforts worldwide to identify, prevent and eradicate cancer in all of its' forms. An effort we're proud to have been part of."

Bixyl : "The team also sponsored one of the themed hours on Relay Weekend as well."

Aldaris : "We did! As relay drew closer there were five themes yet available to be sponsored: Rainbow of Ribbons, Ride For Research, Music Is Hope, Coffee and Pajamas, (and) Toga Party. Well I thought 'Ride for Research' was an immediately great fit with our camp theme so I went ahead and asked to sponsor it. Unfortunately it must've taken so long to finalise that we wound up sponsoring rainbow of ribbons instead. Not that it was a problem, everyone looked beautiful during that hour!"

Bixyl : "So you were aiming with Research?"

Aldaris : "Me myself, at least in my memory, could not think of anyone I'd lost to cancer. Overwhelmingly that seems to be what a great many campsites tend to do. It's a nice way to remember people, but didn't feel as appropriate for us, so I steered us in the direction of a more hopeful message - that there are very real efforts happening in the world to destroy cancer right now and the participation of the very people operating teams and running the track are the reason that effort is ongoing. A big thank you to everyone who takes the time to make relay happen, whether they're staffing it or participating. It couldn't happen without all of us."

Bixyl : "Which of the events by the other teams during the course of the Relay got your attention? Any other campsites get your attention as well?"

Aldaris : "Will I get laughed at if I say my jaw was on the floor when I passed The Adult Partnership's campsite? They had these two massive bunny girl silhouettes flanking their central stage. I think it was the scale of those that was very striking as well as that they'd offset their campsite from the track by quite a way onto the grass, so it wasn't right beside the track itself. Our campsite was right across from the 'Seekers of Hope,' they had quite a sprawling area as well which was a cityscape and an adjacent pool. I was glad to walk across the track and be at their pool party. On the Relay day itself I was glad to visit friends at other campsites; Sunbeamers, Roos with a Dream, Kitsunes for A  Cure.

"For outright events I might've been glimpsed at all kinds of places! Relaystock, Sunbeamer's Moon Party, Captains' Roundtable,'s Summer Sailstice, Road Warriors' 12-hour ride. I'm sure there were others too but those are the big ones that come to mind. It's been a long season!

Bixyl : "Sounds like you saw quite a bit."

Aldaris : "Things were pretty high octane from the word 'go'. The very same day I registered a team I was being contacted with everything I needed to know, and there were more events than I knew what to do with weekly ...even daily! Some days had more than one and I had to make some tough decisions about where I was going to be, when I wanted to be at everything! Not that it's a bad thing, it's great to see SL so lively."

Bixyl : "So what do you usually do in Second Life when not Relaying, both on and off season?

Aldaris : "Well on-season provides a deluge of events to attend and so I try to make as many of those as I can while still running our own campaign and club. But when the season closes up I'm quite in love with the expansiveness of the grid. I have a fondness for bike rezzers and cycling my way across continents, or at least as far as I can get until the bike despawns and I'm left hovering in the air on a sim boundary. In fact I love all manner of vehicles - hang gliders, sail boats. They usually all end up the same way but it's a wonderful mode of experiencing the vastness of Second Life. I adore Blake Sea especially for the open water to sail on there. I'm a big fan of interactive art installations too, the kind of art that allows you to walk in or through it, or have a tactile experience. I can't get enough of the works by Regi Yifu. I think some people's first exposure to him has been at SL21B this year in the house made out of tubes and rainbows. But really, anything that plays with perspective will draw me right in. Optical illusion exhibits are right up my street too, there's not many but I'm glad when I can find them. If I'm not in the mood to concentrate on steering, many places across Second Life offer hands-free tours you can take across a variety of mediums and vessels.  Trains, Submarines, Boats, Hot air balloons, Scuba Diving.. it's not an exhaustive list but there's a serenity to just hopping on a mode of transport and letting myself be taken around a space to be shown what a designer wanted me to see. Even if those aren't there, I appreciate any beautiful place and there's no particular genre for me, I love them all!"

Bixyl : "Sounds like you take the time to experience a lot here. What were your plans for next year's Relay for Team Scorn?"

Aldaris : "There weren't! The rush of relay weekend still feels fresh. Doing Team Scorn has highly experimental and we haven't had an earnest discussion about how the experience was for us yet. There's been some talk about what we could do differently so the interest is there. Now that we've had the experience of doing it once we'll be able to look at what we did, what we enjoyed doing and hopefully what we want to do with ourselves next season, knowing what we know now."

Bixyl : "Was there anything else you wanted to add?"
Aldaris : "I don't think so, that was a comprehensive look into the perspective and history of a first year Relay team."

Friday, May 3, 2024

It Came From Fantasy Faire Chat: Stuck Frog

By Bixyl Shuftan
The Fantasy Faire may have ended, but people have a way of hanging onto the fun times.
The sims were closed sometime on the night of May 7 and 8, probably just after Midnight. And throughout the day afterwards, there was plenty of chatter about the good times. Then someone posted a short video, one of the giant frogs at the fair, nicknamed "Ten Ton Tammy," stuck between two rocks.
[15:00] Mila (Mila Irata): we dig the Faire!
[15:01] Alia Baroque: [14:58] Alia Baroque:
[14:58] Alia Baroque: [14:56] Sonya Marmurek: poor Tammy, worked hard through whole Faire, has finally time to visit, and gets stuck!
[14:58] Polenth Yue: Didn't make it giant frog size!
[15:01] ℒυηα Ƈυяℓуѕ-Aмєтнуѕт (LunaRose Amethyst): hahahaha

And then, it got weirdly funny
[15:01] Wondering Fairelander: That is one giant bubble butt
[15:02] Astra Xenia (EroDoll Resident): I wasn't going to look but then you gotta mention bubble butts
[15:02] Astra Xenia (EroDoll Resident): Perfect
[15:02] VιLḧعLmiηα ĦعmLØςк  (DenaNash23 Resident): lolollollllll
[15:03] Wondering Fairelander: I'm glad to be helpful!
[15:03] Gwen Enchanted: ROTFL
[15:03] VιLḧعLmiηα ĦعmLØςк  (DenaNash23 Resident): why are the cheeks so disporportionatley small though ? lol
[15:03] Gwen Enchanted: The Dowager is just happymaking. :)
[15:03] Gwen Enchanted: Vilhemina: She's been dieting!
[15:03] Wondering Fairelander: I can't believe you asked that question in Second Life, Vilhemina.
[15:04] VιLḧعLmiηα ĦعmLØςк  (DenaNash23 Resident): lol, i t .. i mean .. lol
[15:04] VιLḧعLmiηα ĦعmLØςк  (DenaNash23 Resident): >.>
[15:04] VιLḧعLmiηα ĦعmLØςк  (DenaNash23 Resident): it looks liek a frog that has splatic easter eggs glues to its butt lol
[15:04] Astra Xenia (EroDoll Resident): @VιLḧعLmiηα those are what those frog's butts look like irl too
[15:05] Beautiful Storm (VorellaKepesk Resident): think about it. would you want a frog named 'ten ton tammt' with a badonkadonk that could smash a small city?
[15:05] VιLḧعLmiηα ĦعmLØςк  (DenaNash23 Resident): LOL
[15:05] Wondering Fairelander puts Vilhelmina into a special contact set for insulting Tammi
[15:05] fyre (fyreflower Resident): bahahaha
[15:05] Beautiful Storm (VorellaKepesk Resident): give kermit an aneurysm with though kinds of frog cheeks
[15:06] Clover (CloverDunne Resident) flutters through chat with her teeny tiny itty bitty Pixie sized bubble butt ^^
[15:06] Snowlord Resident: i regret slightly I didn't pick up the ten ton tammy's, but perhaps a variant will come out later. it's okay though. I came to quills main shop and got spinning sausages. who could ask for more than that!
[15:06] fyre (fyreflower Resident): pictures kermie in the 'hurt' video*
[15:06] Clover (CloverDunne Resident): O.O
[15:06] Beautiful Storm (VorellaKepesk Resident): spinning bacon slices?
[15:06] Snowlord Resident: well and I did get the raver. lol
[15:06] Snowlord Resident: round sausages!
[15:07] Beautiful Storm (VorellaKepesk Resident): Triple T has everythin Kermit could want. she'd loud, proud, and pink~
[15:07] Beautiful Storm (VorellaKepesk Resident): wait-
[15:07] Snowlord Resident: what what in the buh' what what in the buh!
[15:08] VιLḧعLmiηα ĦعmLØςк  (DenaNash23 Resident): you wanna do what what bubble butt? lol
[15:08] fyre (fyreflower Resident): lolz
[15:08] Wᴏʟꜰ Bʟᴀᴄᴋsᴛᴏʀᴍ (WolfBlackstorm Fairelander): lol
[15:08] Snowlord Resident: :P
[15:09] VιLḧعLmiηα ĦعmLØςк  (DenaNash23 Resident): :P :P
[15:09] VιLḧعLmiηα ĦعmLØςк  (DenaNash23 Resident): lmao
[15:09] Wondering Fairelander: Does anyone have a Buh! gesture?
[15:10] Snowlord Resident: the tunny says buh! lol
[15:10] Tree (TreeRat Resident): Don't even wanna think about buh buh butt
[15:12] Snowlord Resident: you do though.. haha (fyi volume check first.. ) 

Eventually, the chatter moved on to other subjects. But the cheers and chuckles continued.

On another note, one of the Fairelanders had a gift for everyone, an "After the Book Book."
Good morning, Fairelanders. Now that the Faire has ended I wanted to thank you all for being you and helping to inspire my poetry. This year I wasn’t done writing when the book had to go up for sale. So here is a free companion book. I hope you enjoy this little memento. ~Sidhe Fairelander (aka Banshee Heartsong).
One can get it through the Fantasy Faire group.
Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, April 12, 2024

Reader Submitted: Tutu For The Relay

  On Sunday April 7, The Second Life Cheerleading Squad and the Cure Chasers were holding a joint fundraiser. 
 Join the spirited SLCS Cheerleaders and compassionate Cure Chasers as they host a Relay for Life event like no other, set against the enchanting backdrop of a Sarah's Magic Kingdom . Get ready to rally for a cause as you immerse yourself in the magical world of Disney while supporting cancer research and awareness. Experience the joy of giving back as you participate in themed activities, and live performances, all in the company of fellow supporters
At one point, Alison Flow announced in Relay chat, "Just 3K more at the cheerleaders funday get cure chaser bill wheelwright into a tutu for the rest of the day. can we get some remote support for that?!!" To which Bill responded, "ALISON!!"
[16:29] Alison Flow: just 3K more at the cheerleaders funday get cure chaser bill wheelwright into a tutu for the rest of the day. can we get some remote support for that?!!
[16:29] Bill Wheelwright: ALISON!!
[16:29] Alison Flow whistles
[16:29] Sienna (Sienna Thor): and....we are going until 9 pm Bill
[16:30] Bill Wheelwright: 900; EASTERN??
[16:30] Alison Flow: tysm trader
[16:30] Trader Whiplash-Ballinger (Trader1 Whiplash) sends L$1
[16:30] Bixyl Shuftan: :D can you send me a picture for the Newser, and a transcript of local conversation when it happens?
[16:33] Alison Flow: woot. we all did it!!!!
Well, I got transcripts, and a picture
[16:33:23] Gail Anna Cooljoke Bayn (gailyana.mehler): ~YAY!!! \  \(@o@)/  /  YAY!!!~ Bill!
[16:33:27] Sue (sue.terr): get it off get it off get it off get it off
[16:33:29] Gail Anna Cooljoke Bayn (gailyana.mehler): thanks for being such a good sport!!!
[16:33:31] Luna Atheria (lunara.atheria): 👏  👏  👏  🅰🅿🅿🅻🅰🆄🅳🆂   👏  👏  👏
[16:33:31] Luna Atheria (lunara.atheria): 👏  👏  👏  🅰🅿🅿🅻🅰🆄🅳🆂   👏  👏
[16:33:31] Bill Wheelwright: if Sue leaves, it's cause she's on UK time
[16:33:32] Vik Svoboda: Uraaaaaa!!
[16:33:36] Lady Ren 'Superjinx' Flow (ren.float): ☆☆☆☆AAAAPPPPPPPPLLLLEEEESSSSAAAAUUUUCCCCEEEE☆☆☆☆
[16:33:36] Lady Ren 'Superjinx' Flow (ren.float) applauds
[16:33:39] Luna Atheria (lunara.atheria): woooo hooooooooooo
[16:33:42] Betty Woodford (betty.helstein): ♩♪♫♬✭✭✭✪✪✪☺✪✪☺✪☺ APPLAUUUSSSSEEEEE ☺✪☺✪✪☺✪✪✪✭✭✭♬♫♩♪
[16:33:42] Taylor Aerallo: *.¸.*´ ★ `*.¸.*´APPLAUSE  `*.¸.*´ ★ `*.¸.*´
[16:33:42] Taylor Aerallo: Applause!!
[16:33:43] Krissy Goode: APPLAUSE!!!!
[16:33:43] ・cutie・ (suthrncutie): lol Sue
[16:33:46] Krissy Goode: Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyy!!! :D :D :D
[16:33:48] Taylor Aerallo: *.¸.*´ ★ `*.¸.*´  APPLAUSE  `*.¸.*´ ★ `*.¸.*´
[16:33:49] Sienna (sienna.thor): if Sue leaves, it's because you put on a tutu
[16:33:56] Sue (sue.terr): no will stay just for you Bill
[16:33:57] ・cutie・ (suthrncutie): LOL
[16:34:04] ・cutie・ (suthrncutie): YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!
[16:34:12] ・cutie・ (suthrncutie): ooooo sooo pretty
[16:34:19] Gail Anna Cooljoke Bayn (gailyana.mehler): thanks so much everyone
[16:34:19] ・cutie・ (suthrncutie): so so pretty
[16:34:23] Sienna (sienna.thor): I hope Bill is wearing underwear
[16:34:34] Sue (sue.terr): take the rest off Bill
[16:34:36] Gail Anna Cooljoke Bayn (gailyana.mehler):  :::::: 𝕋𝕌ℕ𝔼! ::::::
[16:34:44] ・cutie・ (suthrncutie): there we go!!
[16:34:52] ・cutie・ (suthrncutie): our RELAY CHAMPION!!!
[16:34:52] Sienna (sienna.thor): love this song
[16:34:59] Gail Anna Cooljoke Bayn (gailyana.mehler): lol he's here with the cheerleaders, and we will teach him to always wear spanx!
[16:35:10] Sue (sue.terr): lol
[16:35:12] Krissy Goode:    ~❊❥❊~TUNE! ~❊❥❊~
[16:35:12] Krissy Goode:      I ❤ THIS  T U N E ! ! !
[16:35:23] Alison Flow: trader wants you to stop by T1 after 5pm to show off the lengths you'll go to for a donation, bill
[16:35:29] ・cutie・ (suthrncutie): Bill you make that tutu look goood!
[16:35:37] Kristina Curtau is online.
[16:35:45] Renee Wheatcliffe (renee.littlepaws) is online.
[16:35:48] SLCS Trivia: What is the name of the lead horse on Disneyland's Carousel?
[16:36:05] Bυɳɳყ Ƒєηмσяє (mimi.bunny) is offline.
[16:36:12] ・cutie・ (suthrncutie): I swear I've seen this played out before
[16:36:18] ・cutie・ (suthrncutie): the tutu and shoes
[16:36:23] Corrie Jean Braveheart (corrie.snugglepuff) is offline.
[16:36:32] Bill Wheelwright: the shoes are the formal ones.
[16:36:41] Bill Wheelwright: dance shoes did not come with the outfit
[16:36:44] Gail Anna Cooljoke Bayn (gailyana.mehler): the shoes are what makes it yes!
[16:37:31] ・cutie・ (suthrncutie): YUP!! found you BILL!!
[16:37:34] ・cutie・ (suthrncutie):
[16:37:58] Sienna (sienna.thor): I've never seen this Bill guy before in my life
[16:38:07] Luna Atheria (lunara.atheria): woo hooo bill i knew you would look GREAT
[16:38:17] Luna Atheria (lunara.atheria): so hot!!
[16:38:18] Gail Anna Cooljoke Bayn (gailyana.mehler): What's gonna work?
[16:38:18] Gail Anna Cooljoke Bayn (gailyana.mehler): TEAMWORK!
From Ren Float

[16:35:23] Alison Flow: trader wants you to stop by T1 after 5pm to show off the lengths you'll go to for a donation, bill
[16:35:29] ・cutie・ (suthrncutie): Bill you make that tutu look goood!
[16:35:37] Kristina Curtau is online.
[16:35:45] Renee Wheatcliffe (renee.littlepaws) is online.
[16:35:48] SLCS Trivia: What is the name of the lead horse on Disneyland's Carousel?
[16:36:05] Bυɳɳყ Ƒєηмσяє (mimi.bunny) is offline.
[16:36:12] ・cutie・ (suthrncutie): I swear I've seen this played out before
[16:36:18] ・cutie・ (suthrncutie): the tutu and shoes
[16:36:23] Corrie Jean Braveheart (corrie.snugglepuff) is offline.
[16:36:32] Bill Wheelwright: the shoes are the formal ones.
[16:36:41] Bill Wheelwright: dance shoes did not come with the outfit
[16:36:44] Gail Anna Cooljoke Bayn (gailyana.mehler): the shoes are what makes it yes!
[16:37:31] ・cutie・ (suthrncutie): YUP!! found you BILL!!
[16:37:34] ・cutie・ (suthrncutie):
[16:37:58] Sienna (sienna.thor): I've never seen this Bill guy before in my life
[16:38:07] Luna Atheria (lunara.atheria): woo hooo bill i knew you would look GREAT
[16:38:17] Luna Atheria (lunara.atheria): so hot!!
[16:38:18] Gail Anna Cooljoke Bayn (gailyana.mehler): What's gonna work?
[16:38:18] Gail Anna Cooljoke Bayn (gailyana.mehler): TEAMWORK!
One example of some of the crazy fun at the Relay
From  Lady Ren 'Superjinx' Flow (Ren Float) and Alison Flow

Monday, March 4, 2024

Interview With Jarden Alexis on The PBC Cultural Arts Center And The Black History Month Exhibit

By Dancerina Starlight,
The Second Life Newser focuses on capturing Second Life news that would be of great interest to the community.  This article captures the establishment of the Premier Business Center Cultural Arts Center by Jarden Alexis. It's an interview developed by SLN's reporting team. It is located on the northeast side of sim; surrounded by greenery and cascading lights of many colors. The edifice has two-levels with historical categories, space for adequate entertainment, lounging, and of course, walk-throughs.

Jarden, I am humbled, yet honored, to have been asked by Second Life Newser (SLN) to interview you and capture the work you have done to establish the PBC Cultural Arts Center (PBC CAC) to share with Second Life (SL) residents.  I realize that the PBC CAC is just one part of what you do here at the Premiere Business Center (PBC). Thus, it will be very difficult for me to only focus on this aspect of your overall work so I will try not to use my peripheral vision to avoid getting impressively distracted by your surrounding projects.

I will need you to keep me on task with the PBC CAC so I won't get drawn to the other surrounding projects. I remember writing an article about PBC about a year ago and also remember last year you had a similar expose event. I remember having plans to write about that and then real (RL) happened. This time SLN is ensuring we capture PBC CAC by extending awareness through journalism.

With that, thank you for agreeing to sit with SLN to discuss your current project, PBC CAC.  

SLN 1:  How was the PBC CAC established and what is its purpose?

J1:  February is Black History Month in the United States and the PBC Cultural Arts Center was established in 2021 as a month-long Black History project. The idea for the PBC Cultural Arts Center originated several months prior while I was planning and setting up for an Art show to promote the works of my SL sister Indea Vaher prior to her passing away on January 31, 2022. At some point during planning and set up Indea decided that she didn't want to display a lot of her real life work in Second Life so we ended up halting plans for the art show.

With the month of February approaching I wanted to do something of substance on the PBC sim for Black History Month that would integrate the PBC mission. Since I had already started set-up for the art show, somehow a thought came to mind that I could use the setup for black history month as a means of educating, motivating and inspiring others through exhibits that would detail African American contributions that impacted the world!  I began online research and before long the bottom floor of the venue was filled with Black History exhibits that included black history facts, black leaders and activists, pioneers, innovators and more!

SLN:  Fascinating beginning, Jarden.

SLN 2:  What types of resources does the PBC CAC recognize?

J2:  Currently the exhibits stem from past achievements and contributions that have major impacts on society made by African Americans as pioneers, inventors, or innovators. There is also information about the Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter movements, as well as bits and pieces of the arts which include or will include exhibits in the categories of performing arts, literary arts, and visual arts.  As time permits I will work to incorporate more information and modern contributions by black people including black children.  

SLN:  You seem to really have a vision for expansion and capacity. Wonderful!

SLN 3:  Specifically and categorically, how do you identify who and what will be displayed in the museum?

J3:  With the month of February designated as Black History Month in the United States, each year there is a RL Black History Month Theme which I attempt to incorporate into the exhibits while staying true to my PBC mission and the initial reason for establishing the PBC Cultural Arts Center, which is to display educational, motivational, and inspirational information from past to present pioneers which include, but is not limited to inventions, innovations, and critical contributions.  

SLN:  I see, Jarden.

SLN 4:  What are the criteria for inclusion in the PBC CAC?

J4:  Exhibits will display milestones and achievements of Black people past and present including children who have done extraordinary things, or made sacrifices, and world wide contributions, that have a significant impact or could impact on a global scale.

SLN:  So, what I hear you say is that your focus is vast and extend beyond the conventional United States approach to Black History Month, but will include the continuum of historical implications across the world. Great!

SLN 5:  What are some named individually, whether past and present?

J5:  Let's begin with Barack Obama, the first African American elected as president of the United States in 2008 and Kamala Harris who is the first female vice president and the highest-ranking female official in U.S. history, as well as the first African-American vice president.  There are also Pioneers and innovators whose inventions and ideas or improvements have greatly impacted the world. You will find information on The Civil Rights Timeline, The Black Lives Matter Movement, and so much more. It is a lot to name and a lot more to add. As time permits I will update information with modern contributions and provide information on black children who have made major contributions as well.

SLN: Very well. You have started at a good place and with recognizable names. Thank you.

SLN 6:  How are resources added to the PBC CAC?

J6:  Through online research and resources as well as suggestions that are researched and added as an exhibit based on their contributions.

SLN:  I would imagine with the vastness and variety you have on the sim altogether that perhaps your sim is opened to the SL public. With that--

SLN 7:  What does your traffic on the sim resemble and what do you hope for the future direction of the PBC CAC?

J7: I don't monitor traffic much unless there is a PBC event. PBC is a global multicultural sim, it is open daily and everyone is welcomed! I am happy and appreciative to see people as they explore the sim and all that PBC has to offer. I am tremendously grateful for those that visit and or attend the PBC events. I believe that collectively we make PBC and PBC events a success!

As far as the future of PBC I hope to provide more events that demonstrate the PBC mission with hopes that someone is impacted positively by something that they have done or seen on the PBC sim whether exploring or attending a PBC event.

SLN:  We are in SL. The reality is that just as in real (RL), SL has people from all over the world. Often times we can all wrap our arms around what is familiar to us; often forgetting that there are people from all over the world around us in SL.

SLN 8:  What are the benefits of bringing awareness through this historical and artistic format in SL?

J8:  PBC  is a Global MultiCultural sim with a mission to motivate, educate, and inspire. Second Life is a platform with a global multicultural audience therefore it is a great place to share information and spread knowledge and awareness about the many past and present contributions of African Americans and black people.

SLN 9:  What is your inspiration? What do you hope to gain from your work?

J9:  My Inspiration comes from the encouraging words and support of those around me as well as my passion for the things that I do in SL.  I believe that if I am going to spend a lot of time in SL, I want to do something more than play "a game." I want to do something constructive and impacting with hopes that I can encourage or inspire others to do the same. There is satisfaction in the thought of bringing awareness and increasing knowledge to a large audience and making a difference that could potentially impact real life relationships through the knowledge gained from visiting PBC or a PBC event!

SLN: That is inspiring.

SLN:  Let's take a look back at 2023.

SLN 10:  You had an event in 2023 commemorating some notable African Americans/Black, etc. Who were some of those people highlighted in the cultural center last year? Are they still factored into the museum?

J10:  The PBC Cultural Arts Center was recently moved from its original location to where it stands now.  Prior to the move there were a lot more exhibits which included people like Dr Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Claudette Colvin, Harriet Tubman, Carter G. Woodson, Maya Angelou, Benjamin Banneker,Jesse Eugene Russell, Tony D. Hansberry, II and so many more. Those exhibits were removed during the move, but will be added back as time permits. Last year the exhibits consisted mostly of the Civil Rights Movement time-line and that exhibit still remains as part of the PBC Cultural Arts Center today.

SLN: You have really invested quality time in your establishment of the CAC.

SLN 11:  What is the difference between last year and this year?

J11:  Last year the exhibits were based on The Civil Rights Movement Time-line.  This year the museum still includes the Civil Rights Movement Time-line, but in addition to the Civil Rights Movement, you will find information about the Black Lives Matters Movement and many other categories such as inventors, innovators, the , science, musicians, choreographers, and more.

SLN:  Isn't it amazing how a vision can unfold in a way that fills in the blanks or gaps of the outcome?  Wonderful.

SLN 12:  What do you hope residents in SL would gain from such an enriched edifice with historical knowledge?

I would hope that the museum and its content will increase knowledge and awareness of SL residents and ultimately lead to people realizing that contributions of Black People are critical to the world, and without the efforts of these pioneers, inventors, innovators, doctors, scientists and so many more along with their groundbreaking contributions where would this world be!

I want people to realize that Black History is not just American History! Black History is EVERYONE's history! BLACK HISTORY IS WORLD HISTORY!

SLN:  WOW! On that note, Jarden, this interview has been so enlightening and enjoyable. It is always a pleasure to sit with you and learn of your work in the SL community. Before you provide any final remark, I understand there might be congratulations in order?

SLN:  Do you care to talk about it?  Well, if you don't know what I am talking about--Does "Destination" sound familiar? Yes, someone has let the "cat out the bag" and shared that PBC is now a Destination local.  

Please conclude this interview with your elaboration on that aspect and any other final remarks you might have.

J:  *Laughs* I can say this much, this was not something that I had even thought of nor expected!  I was extremely shocked to get an IM from Strawberry Linden while busy still setting up exhibits and unaware that she was standing outside in front of the PBC Cultural Arts Center!  I was honored to give her a tour and I was very happy, and more than grateful to hear her say that she was going to add the PBC Cultural Arts Center to the Destination guide under three categories:  social awareness, museums, and galleries! I am hoping that she will eventually return to explore more of the PBC sim along with other Lindens who might enjoy all that PBC has to offer! PBC is open to the Public and ALL LINDENS!!!

JardenAlexis and Strawberry Linden

Dancerina, I am more than grateful to you, Gemma, and Bixyl as well as for the rest of the SL Newser for your excellent coverage of PBC events in times past and for this interview today! Not only has each one of you helped to bring exposure to PBC, but you have also attended and supported PBC events. Through all of you, I am inspired, and fueled by your presence, your support and every PBC event that you attend!

You have provided the SL community with an excellent introduction to PBC, The PBC Cultural Arts Center, the PBC Mission, and all that PBC has to offer. I am extremely grateful for your time and this amazing opportunity to sit and chat with you! Thank you so much for all that you do, not just for PBC but for the entire SL community! Your work does not go unnoticed and you all are tremendously  appreciated!

SLN:  What a way to conclude this interview! Congratulations to you and PBC for having earned a space in the Destination Guide!  Jarden, thank you very much. 

Premier Business Center has a social media presence at:



Again, thank you for your time, Jarden.

Submitted by: Dancerina Starlight and the Second Life Newser Team

Monday, November 27, 2023

Letter To The Editor, And Response: The Borrower

 Dear Newser

I've been in Second Life for a while, and know a number of people. Some are cool, some not so cool. Among the not so cool is this one guy who's always hitting me up for money. Sometimes it's for Lindens to rent out a place. Sometimes it's for real money for real life, saying he needs a new pair of pants or a new music player. He eventually got himself banned from one club I hang out at for pestering people with his "Can you give me some money?" But instead of getting the hint, he keeps it up.

Just what is up with this guy? Why won't he stop? And is he really as hard-up as he says, or is he lying?

Annoyed and Irritated

Dear Annoyed,

To start off with, some people really are short on money. In real-life, my late Father once had a co-worker named Tate. Tate was a hard enough worker. But he had a problem. After he got his once a month paycheck, after paying his bills he would spend all his money on things like a new hunting rifle, a new fish-finder, etc. And by the time the fourth week came around, he was so short on cash he was quite literally picking up roadkill to cook, which got him the nickname "Buzzard." He once asked my Dad how he managed to save money, and Dad tried to tell him. But Tate never did. "Buzzard" Tate would end his days a poor man with little in his bank account.

Why don't he and others save their money to avoid trouble down the road? Some feel these people just aren't very smart, at least when it comes to money. Others wonder if life hands them problem after problem that doesn't allow them to build up their savings, they conclude that once they get some money they might as well enjoy it then and there before something comes along to take it away.

Unfortunately, there was one such person I came across in Second Life. And while Tate prided himself on being self-sufficient, this person was not.

This person, who I'll call Frank, was someone I ran into through some friends of mine who told me he had been the one-time owner of a sim before he had to turn it over to others due to financial difficulty. We had known one another for a while, and one day he told me he needed a few bucks for cab fare so he could make a trip he needed to otherwise he'd be in trouble. I was in a generous mood, so gave him the few dollars. Well, he was someone on my Facebook list at the time, and I soon saw a picture of him showing off a new clock! Infuriated, I told him I didn't appreciate being lied to, and defriended and blocked him.

It would be some time before I ran into Frank again. I had decided enough time had passed, so unblocked him as a courtesy. He had told me he had come across some more money at the time, so was able to make the trip and get the clock. He seemed like a decent enough guy at the time, and he would end up meeting up with another friend of mine who was in therapy for emotional problems and since he seemed to be helping her out my impression of him improved. But not all of my friends liked him. One considered him a thief, telling me he was once arrested for shoplifting. When I would later question Frank about that, his response was it was true but he had ran out of prescribed meds for mental illness.

Time went on, and Frank was soon asking me for money again. The first time it was a large amount of cash to get an item of his out of the pawn shop. I told him I couldn't afford to pay that much but eventually gave him a few dollars. Eventually I heard he was asking/bugging other people for cash. He got in trouble at clubs for doing so, warned not to do it again and banned when he did so anyway. He was also asking me for money for other things, and I began having less and less patience with him.

Then my friend with emotional problems contacted me, frustrated. She told me she had given Frank over two hundred dollars with his promise he would pay it back in a few days, but he didn't. Infuriated that he had taken advantage of a woman's troubled condition, I kept at him to get him to repay her the money. He was upset at me for doing so, saying he would soon pay the money he "borrowed." Others found out and were doing the same. Finally one day he angrily told me he was sending her the money, leaving me with a bitter message accusing me of being unfair and selfish. My friend would confirm the story. But I would never see this account of Frank's again. Either he had deleted it soon after, or someone's AR report had gotten him banned from SL.

Since then, I've heard of a few other stories. One was of one generous soul who ended up giving one friend hundreds of dollars before real-life financial difficulties forced him to stop, and the "friend" continued to beg despite being told hard times had befallen the giver. I'd also heard about someone else who when times were good would spend his money on fancy things like computer equipment, but when times were bad he had little savings and would beg friends for cash so he wouldn't have to pawn his toys for a fraction of what he paid for. And when times were good again, instead of saving for another rainy day, he went back to spending this money on fancy toys. He was caught in a vicious cycle that ensured he'd continue be short on money much of his life.

How should one handle a borrower? If you don't know them and you don't have a lot of Lindens, the answer is pretty obvious. If you've come to know them for a while and you think they're being sincere, it gets trickier. You may need to tell them that you will give them one good-sized amount of Lindens, to keep as long as they need it, but there will be no more until they pay it all back. How you handle it is up to you, and will likely depend on how much money you have to spend in real life. If you're making a lot of money in real life with few expenses, you can afford to be a little more generous. But if you're looking for work, and/or have a wife and kids to worry about, then you're not going to have much to spare. And if they keep asking you for cash again and again, there may come a day in which you need to block them to keep your peace of mind, as well as those around you who may notice something is bothering you.

And for any borrowers reading this, I ask you to take a long hard look at your situation. Yes, life sucks and we need to treat ourselves once in a while. But we need to do what we can to prepare for inevitable rainy days ahead, which will come. And our friends who seem better off may not seem as prosperous as they appear, and even if they are will not be happy to be repeatedly asked for cash to help you out, especially if they think you've done little to prepare for trouble. Continuing to ask those around you to support you is a sure way to end up with few friends, perhaps none at all.

And if you're a scammer, someone whose attitude is "A fool and his money are soon parted, and I'm going to fleece those sentimental fools for all they're worth," then I hope one day karma catches up to you, with interest, at loan shark rates.

Just my two Lindens on the issue. Have a great Second Life.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, September 4, 2023

Reader Submitted: Is There Really That Much Hate On Furries?

 From Zada Bury

Lately I was read the article about the hate against Furries. Then there was also the readers submit with the flag. Soft (Linden) was also post something on Twi- I mean X.

I was see while doing a Drive a picture on the wall - Furries are everywhere, in a way. And most time it seems to work smooth. And then telling people about the hate again.

But is it such big thing? Somebody was commenting it would take getting around in a not that well known avatar to get the experience. I would say, I am not really known in SL. And I am 90% of the time in a furry-avatar (sometimes also a Neko and rarely a human).

Maybe people insult me on voice ... but I can read and write English and Typonese - understanding spoken English, special in different loudness and in a flood other noises might go wrong (special if then also the TV or radio is on or I check YouTube or edit videos) ... so voice is off ... and "Is an insult an insult, if the addressed one not get it?"

It is (for luck) rare, my club becomes griefed ... and the most (and less) trolls we bore out. But is that "Furry specific", as my club is for all species (as long them match an adult appearance, fit trough the door and aren't e.g. war-robots)?

Now you can maybe claim, I don't interact much. Usual you find me in my club. That one is for all species, even the most are Furries (actual Party: 26 participants, 4 human, 22 furs, all having fun). No problems.

Then I am around shopping. Maybe I am in some shops not long enough in a shop to rezz, in others for sure. I was experience before years once an issue, a mall was eject me about "to high ARC". My rant to the owner of the crappy security-system, you can imagine, the excuse was lame. Also the shop-owner got my complaint, and guess, which mall was have in a couple of weeks a store open for rent, as the shop moved?

But anyway: No specific hate against furs.

Also you find me on Linden-events. Them are anyway open for all kind of avatars. As also a lot of the Lindens use non-human avatars, it would be anyway very weird.

You know me also from the "Drivers of SL Grid Drives", where I am since around two years active. This group is open for all kind of people and the drivers are often even more diverse, than the people in my club.

Also no problem,. or not? Once there was a place (group of private Sims), which was hosting the drive in a part, sponsor it also a little, but demanded on "human avatars only." There the Drivers was enforcing their own rules: "Swallow your pride ... or we wont come." You can guess, who was preferring more to have traffic and promote themselves (even the lag was more of a "stay away from here!" sign).

I can understand, if a place say "Here only Human avatars" (or "only furries") , about their concept (even that is stupid). And I can easy accept it, if the place isn't exclusive. For example: If 1-of-100 hangouts make these limitations, it's stupid, but "okay, that I can handle." If it would be 1-of-5 spots for "The new Unobtanium-Game" (nothing real), or "the only store which sells ZYXXYZ-walking houses," it is "not okay."

But that I don't see as hate against Furries.

Maybe somebody else can write about negative experiences, them was made, and how it was come to happen?

Zada Bury

Monday, August 21, 2023

Commentary: Is Furry Discrimination Widespread? Probably Not

 By Bixyl Shuftan

You're enjoying a place in Second Life. Maybe it's a club you heard about. Maybe you're exploring around, and going through someone's land. You're minding your own business and behaving yourself when you're stopped by someone in charge and told you have to change your avatar or leave, the one that you see as the real you in Second Life and into one that you see as unlike at all what you consider yourself to be here. Naturally, you don't like the idea, and you either ignore the person, or tell him or her that you don't understand what the fuss is all about. The next thing you know, there's a flash, and then you realize you've been booted from the place. Or maybe the person was a lot nastier, calling your appearance sick and perverted, and demanding you either change to what they consider acceptable or else, or just simply kick you out.

Naturally, you'd be a little resentful, especially if it was the later. And if you hear about this happening to friends a lot, it may make you a little more cautious about going around new places inworld.

Unfortunately, this is how some furry residents feel about Second Life. I've heard of tales of this kind of harassment from some, and some even if they haven't gone through it themselves, the stories about it happening to others make them hesitant about visiting unfamiliar places inworld. The problem was recently brought to light in an article written by Samuel Roberts for the SL Enquirer.

As a Second Life fur, I'm happy to hear those in human avatars are addressing that the problem exists. But just how bad is it really?

I first wrote about the issue in March 2009 following an incident some furry friends were barred from a beach. After more than two years in Second Life, I'd only personally been asked to leave just because of the furry avatar once, and a week later had bee invited to a fancy event that only asked that I wear a suit. The article drew a number of responses, most siding those who wanted freedom from harassment. After that, I'd only been clearly told twice to leave because of having a furry avatar, and one of them was likely the place in the first article. There was one place in which a bot whispered to me that nonhuman avatars weren't welcome, but no further action was taken. There was one political place who threw out an alt of mine for being furry, but not me when I showed up later, or the one other furry that was there. One place I was invited to a few years ago, I tipped the DJ and hostess after some good music was played out of courtesy. The hostess messaged me that they usually didn't allow furry avatars, but they couldn't in good conscious boot someone who tipped the staff. Also a few years ago, JB Raccoon would ask me to write about one incident in which he was booted from a club after being there for an hour.

Grease Coakes would also write about two incidents he was involved in, here and here, which happened a few years apart. His earlier article got a few noteworthy comments. One commentator remarked he found it hard to sympathize as the club in his real-life town wouldn't allow you in unless your shoes looked expensive. Another commented that while she'd been harrased, the hostess seemed to be reacting less out of furry hate but instead thinking all furry avs were script-heavy. Someone else brought up another issue: feral avatars. One commentator had visited a club in a feral horse avatar that claimed to welcome everyone, but were booted, the person saying they kept bumping into people and the commentator was saying she'd been trying to avoid that.

And it's not all humans against furs, but occasionally the other way around. In my early days in Second Life, one friend in a human avatar once came to me in tears, saying she'd been thrown out of a furry area because of her avatar "I had no idea furries could be so cruel!" She would never visit a furry area again. And then there was an incident I personally witnessed about a decade ago. At one furry club, a human DJing was performing and the party went smoothly with people having fun until all of the sudden one of the foxes went ballistic, ranting and raving and calling the DJ a "hairless ape." The vixen owner, who had personally hired the DJ, saw this, and in a fit of rage booted out the offender, then offered the DJ her apologies. But the damage was done, her leaving soon after and saying she'd never play at another furry club. And discrimination can backfire in unexpected ways. I heard about one SL church in which furries were welcomed with open arms for some years, then when it's first pastor retired the new one insisted parishioners "keep it real" and told the furries if they wanted to keep coming, they had to change to human avatars. Well, as a result, not only did the furs leave, but so did many of the humans who didn't like their furry friends given the cold shoulder. The church folded soon after. The club that JB had gotten the boot from would also fold soon after.

There were two other details that come to mind. One was luck. Some people just seem to avoid trouble while others seem to run into problem after problem. So sadly with the law of averages, some furries would see more problems than others. And then there's that bad situations weigh more heavily on most peoples' minds than good ones. In grade school, I read a poem by a black man who had gone to an amusement park as a child, which had plenty of roller coasters, food stands, and games. But years later, his only vivid memory of the event was being called the N-word.

It should be noted most of the incidents I've heard of happened years ago. But how are things today? Talking to one furry neighbor, it was her opinion while the problem still existed, it wasn't as bad as it used to be. Much of the reason she felt was that attitudes among many of those who prefer human avatars were changing, such as being willing to go furry on occasion themselves. She'd seen a number of furs in recent years of who if you looked at their profile had a human picture.

Just after I started writing this, someone messaged me and complained about a supposed incident, not human against furry, but furry against furry. She claimed because she was a tiny mouse avatar, at a small furry club she was pressured to engage in strange roleplay, and thrown out when she refused (in a included notecard with a conversation with one of the staff, the person denied any wrongdoing).

So in conclusion, yes, discrimination against furries is a problem. But it most likely isn't as bad as some make it out to be, and probably isn't as bad as it was in the past. And it isn't just furs getting the boot, but humans and others can and do experience it as well. But it is appreciated that people like Samuel are trying to do something about it.

In the meantime, most places don't care what you look like as long as you behave. And in the case of music venues, just about all appreciate someone who tips. So don't let the stories about a few clowns ruin your plans to explore all of what Second Life has to offer.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, August 14, 2023

Drivers of SL

By Bixyl Shuftan
In a virtual world in which you can get from place to place by teleporting and flying, people in Second Life don't really need a car. But many of us have one or more and use them anyway. Sometimes people will use them to race. There's also cargo delivery games in which cars and trucks are an option. But sometimes people will go ahead and take them out for a leisurely drive with no particular destination. Or perhaps there is a destination, but you're not in a particular hurry to get there, and the real fun is cruising and watching the scenery go by. As one particular Chuck Berry song put it:

Riding along in my automobile
My baby beside me at the wheel
I stole a kiss at the turn of a mile
My curiosity runnin' wild
Cruisin' and playin' the radio
With no particular place to go.

For those who like driving for it's own sake, there's a group in Second Life for them: Drivers of SL. I heard of this group thanks in part to the videos posted by Zady Bury. Talking to her about the group, she had a few things to say. She stated the drives aren't designed by just one person, but "there are multiple people checking them, before (they) become released. ... because every driver, every computer, or connection reacts different. So the programmer might have no problems (but) the normal drivers might have ... trouble," going onto say the group has over five thousand members. None of the drives are outright races in which there's a declared winner, "Some of the drives are also 'cooperations' with e.g. 'Grid Haul' or 'GTFO'. And some drives work together with the sponsors ... others just finish, and then TP to the location/store of the sponsor.

The drives vary a lot. Zada brought up one announcement of a drive not long before we talked:

"Capital Motors Grid Drive in One Hour  ---  There's more than one way to complete the four, unnecessarily and increasingly difficult challenges you'll travel to on this weekend's drive, but it is not likely that most will complete more than 1 or 2 of them, so don't get frustrated, because either way you'll get an awesome reward from Capital Motors upon finishing this trip!

"VEHICLES NEEDED: Road Vehicle (any), Watercraft (any), Aircraft (any plane recommended, but helis will work too)

"First drive 11.30a Or Midnight"

So what were the rewards for doing a run? Zada would tell me they were " 'different in their quality.' At 'Surplus Motors,' we got the regular vehicles. ... Average vehicle shops (also air, ship, etc.) sponsor the drives. But it can be anything. Once we got weapons, other time (period) clothes, gadgets, etc.) To be honest, yes, a great reward makes fun. But it can also just be 'something' (simple), as the most fun in the driving."

From Zada Bury's Youtube
Of who leads the group, Zada told me with a smirk, "Well, the 'head' or face of the DoSL is Christi Charron. But the drives and so are teamworks. Meaning they are most times for each week 'programmed' individually,. so you need an idea, checking the possible ways, and so on. I could also (try) programming a drive, but I struggle with the tool for it. It is pretty powerful. Christi seems to manage it all, or showing the directions." She would go on to say she never saw her scolding anyone or telling them to make changes, "I think she is a 'networking central.'"

She went on to say that with the large number of people in the group, there were some who wanted longer drives than others, "a usual discussion is the length of a drive, which depends on a lot factors. Some are faster around, others slower ... works the sim-crossings or makes SL trouble,. and all of that. There are the people (who feel) '2-3 hours are enough,' and (those who) want '5 hours and more!' It is like 'you can't make it right for all.' Lately after the normal drives, (there is) also a 'bonus leg' added, which seems to be a good solution for me. So, you do the normal drive, get the reward, and (whose who) have time (or the urge), doing also the 'bonus leg.'" 

Zada would say some places were easier to drive through than others, "(A) nice to drive is Bellisseria, about the road network and rezz-zones, and more friendly (and enforced) community standards about ban-lines and security-orbs. Zindra is often complaints about the lag and so, well, the lands are 'full', lot various textures, or lag, than sims with (a) lot abandoned lands on the 'normal' mainland. Also the Zindra-roadnetwork is, a shame. Private islands are difficult, as them are not connected, but the NavHUD can Teleport. Mainland works best. Some roads are or were made in the past 'unlucky', crossings over 4 sim-edges, for example, but most drivers can handle it."

from Zada Bury's Youtube
The group had people with all kinds of avatars, "Everything is ok, human (for sure), furry, anime, feral, dinkies, some also toddlers . The Japanese drivers ("Inaka-Team") is often also around in pretty strange avis. Also it does not matter, if mesh or classic." This wasn't usually a problem, but there could occasionally be complications. Child avatars could get in trouble in some places in Zindra. And when going through private areas, "if they make limitations, (the drivers) can decide to 'swallow it or no visit.' One land made (among) their rules no furries for example. There are such things, where we enforce own rules. at other areas. One example is the National Forest, no motor vehicles, for example." While some could switch to bikes or horses, "I use a feral vixen *smiles*  The "National Forest" parcel had a huge, VERY huge cave system."

Zada went on, "The drives bring you to or along interesting places, you maybe would never (have) seen or visited before. Oh, and the people, you find there people you never would have expected." Zada told me she met one from an old comic project, as well as community people in Zindra and other places, "and building up some 'other'relationships."

Of the navigation HUD, "the programming takes work, nothing to do automatic. If you have a long straight road, easy. But even if it just have a curve , you need to set the waypoints along it, even the NavHUD might not need to give orders, like turn in x meters left/right' and walking is even more detailed."

Another of the Drivers of SL group I talked to was Jazzimus Maxwell. He maintains the three Drivers of SL headquarters, and we met at the first one. The group had over 5000 members. Jazzimus felt it had a few hundred when it started. The group drives every Saturday at Noon and Midnight SL time. Jazzimus guessed on any one drive, between twenty and eighty take part. "We also have events each year ... usually summer and winter camping events, boating and driving while camping. We get a land sponsor and you get a space to camp, with limited prims of course. It's very popular. Oh, and we do a space camp too. We work together with GTFO! as well. That's another thing as thats a whole other 'game' within a game. And we do a GTFO drive each month, meaning we incorporate GTFO on the grid drive. ... You collect XP points for delivering goods to and from GTFO hubs on the roads, or on water or in space. They do not equate to any physical rewards, just points."

"The neat thing about Drivers of SL," Jazzimus went on, "is it's a way to socialize and have fun. A lot of people need friendship ... and this is a great way to start. We also work with the Roadway Cruiser Group at the end of each month, we usually do s sim track drive on those." He would mention they were somewhat linked to the Leeward Cruising Club and the Skyward Flying Club, "driving, flying, boating, they have events each week as well, and they provided a HUD for each event. Not as complex mind you as our NaviHUD, but more of a locator HUD. They also socialize at the end of each event with a dance party. We only works (with) the Roadway Club officially, but a lot of our members are in all three groups as well."
He would also say the group had a Flickr page, a blog, and several drivers who posted on Youtube, including Zada Bury.
Jazzimus would then take me out for a drive in a Tide racecar, leading to a joke or two about "making a clean getaway." We drove around on the mainland for a while, crossing a bridge or two and at one point going offroad. After riding around in a while, we went on a plane for a while, going over the water, passing some ships and islands, eventually landing on a small aircraft carrier. 

I would also have a few words with the group's founder Christi Charron. Christi is also known for being in the Second Life Cheerleading Squad. Talking to her, she told me the HUD used by Drivers in SL had it's orgin in the SLCS, "Originally the Nav HUD we use was created for the Second Life Cheerleading Squad, and was used for friends to find our weekly friday 'Destination Unknown' party. where you HAD to follow the navigation HUD to find it, after having being given the starting point. Patty Croquet, a SLCS Cheerleader and super geniun, created the NAV HUD for us, and still improves on it today. The Nav HUD is what makes it all possible.

"We stopped having the parties and after a few years I dusted off the HUD to go for a drive, and sent a group notice in a few vehicle groups asking if anyone wanted to join.  When I showed up for the drive, there were 30 or so people there, and I was expecting one or none. So that was a clue that others enjoyed this, and we just began having them weekly from then on, and the Nav HUD has vastly improved during that time, as it can now track what we're doing inworld as well as point us where to go."

She would tell me the events became weekly in September 2017, and the group, "increases at an average rate of 100 new members per month or so. We've done one every week, sometimes two or three for our periodic weekend camping events. So around 60 per year for over five years now.  Each drive is like a simple video game mission. Some are more complex than others." I asked her how complex can they get and what was the most complex one. Her answer, "A simple 'go here go there' drive takes about 16 hours to create, the average drive takes about 30 hours to create. Some can take as much as 80 hours of work or so.  The most complex drive we had I think was within a storyline resembling 'Back to The Future,' where they went forward in time and have to go into space to steal plutonium from a satellite to have fuel to return back to their own timeline.   Some have had helicopters chasing them like a James Bond movie. and some have had a string of 30+ (drone) police cars chasing them across an entire continent.

"The one that gets the most comments is likely 'A Christmas Drive' we (typically) do annually, it is a mix of 'Its a Wonderful Life' and 'A Christmas Carol,' where the person doing the drive is cast as the role of a combination of Scrooge and George Baily.  It shows them 'what SL would be like if its closing' due to people not getting premium accounts or spending money. It kinda shows them that someday this could and will likely have an ending, one I saw similarly in another online game Ii played as a teen."

Of the game's sponsors, "Every drive has a 'sponsor.' The sponsor of that drive has their name associated with that drive, ie : 'Capital Motors Grid Drive.'   Each sponsor supplies a reward to be given to every person who completes the drive within its two week time-frame. After two weeks, the drive reward may no longer be available, Drive rewards are almost exclusively cars, but can be boats or planes. almost always its a vehicle.  If the reward isn't a vehicle, they're usually given one elsewhere in the drive.  Each drive ends AT the sponsors store, where they're shown their car demos if any, and vendors, and are directed to join their VIP group if they want, and even visit their MP store.  It improves the sponsor's sales and get them some exposure that can otherwise take many months or more. We typically have  sponsors scheduled Three months in advance, so its very popular with vehicle sellers. Sometimes an airport or some other location will sponsor a drive, and find a reward to give us."

And what was the most unusual reward? " We have gotten some crazy ones. most of the super unusual ones come in the form of 'Easter eggs.'  They may be hidden in a crate they're delivering for someone else as part of the drive, and would only be seen if they look in the box out of curiosity.  Some have been some really unusual 'walkers' that have you sitting on what amounts to a bug with 6-8 articulated, animated legs, that actually move like legs, and push the vehicle forward. They can even climb up walls (laughter)."

I then asked with the builder of the HUD being with a Relay group, have there ever been any fundraising Drives? Christi answered, "Most dont realize that The Drivers of SL is owned by The Second Life Cheerleaders, but that connection is being made more evident more and more over time. We have had fundraising drives and have one yearly that both ends at, and tours the annual RFL walk, the nav hud continues to direct them around the track after their initial drive, and points out interesting locations, as well as encouraging them to donate to RFL.  We don't do as many charity drives as we should, though many end at the monthly SLCS Funday Charity Events for RFL purposely for that reason. I typically embed things like that within drives, vs. making them entirely charity focused, as I fear that might give some the impression we have an agenda other than just having fun each week. This group is more focused on helping each other and treating each other well than most i think and hope.  It's more of a giant group of friends than it is a random touring group. 
From Zada Bury's Youtube
"We try to make sure everyone is included, and even try to translate most drives into Japanese for our growing population of friends from there. Typically 350 complete each drive with the two week timeframe.  over the years to come, another 200 or so will do the drives from the archives. Pyo Igaly (who is a Japanese female) assists with the Japanese translation, and works hard to help with that as well as tst the drive. LukeFlywalker Fittinger also tests the drives weekly and broadcasts a weekly radio show for the drivers. Eowyn Southmoore and Camanula Aeon help host the two drive times we have weekly, as I'm very absent minded and will forget to send the notices out otherwise (laughter).  and Jules Catlyn does a great job in helping to moderate group chat and to spread an infectious, nice temperment within the group."

Bringing up the Japanese drivers, I asked if the group was getting the most interest from Japanese users besides American ones. Christi answered, "I believe there as many or more Europeans/British and Russians doing the drive collectively as folks from the US. The Midnight Drive each week has the most attendance, and is made up of mostly non US participants."

I asked about some of the more interesting personalities in the group. Christi's respons was, "Oh My God, a grid drive start can be like a Mardi Gras parade.  Some drive conventional vehicles, but some are crazy and may have a restaurant on the back of a truck or otherwise resemble parade floats (laughter).  People who attend drives become friends quickly and the , particularly midnight drivers, are really a varied sampling of avatar and personality types from SL.  Some may be furries or goth avs, some may be  more 'kawaii', some very military. But we all know each other well and get along well as a fun group of friends that has sort of a 'misfit' feel to it, in a good way.

"Nadnerb is a pony av for instance. Beylana wear black always and makes sex toys. I do SLCS stuff, but were all very good friends who may not have otherwise met. Its an interesting and funny (combination) in person. One avatar who is Bender from Futurama, makes us all laugh constantly with his quick wit. As a group we take our time, and typically take about 5 hours to complete a drive that takes a single person around an hour. Most don't do the drive as a group. About half or more do the drive alone, or with their small group of friends. If we have challenges during the drive, completing them is a never a requirement for completing the drive and getting the reward. One can always skip those portions is we have them in a drive.  some take a helicopter down the road where they're instructed to use a car, and may even ask in group if this is okay, and it is, pretty much anything goes and one should have fun on a drive in the manner they see fit, in their own vehicles of their choosing, usually ones they've customized, or even made entirely on their own."

From Zada Bury's Youtube
Going over the HUD, she would say, "The Nav HUD is pretty specific about where they go, and even for how long sometimes,  we try to give them as much slack as we can but have things like banlines and peoples private parcels we have to worry about keeping them from invading. It has a simple arrow that points in the 12:00 position if headed the right way. If they need to veer right some, the arrow would be more in the 2:00 position or so. As an example, many drivers stream their grid drives weekly, or make videos of them afterwards. And they're interesting to watch, particularly for me, as I can see how they're reacting to the hud instructions as well as a vehicle I may have created. Some are Japanese, I can see how they're reacting to the translated version as well.

"Each week I try to do something someone usually doesnt know or expect that a hud can do. Zada Bury creates short videos of her drive that show the highlights:  this one is her doing the Christmas drive where they have to deliver presents to Drivers' homeowners across Bellisseria, for a person they assume is Santa. In this particular drive, Santa's truck has a surprise in that it allows them to walk, while still seated on the truck, and the nav hud tells the truck when to do this (so they can deliver presents to Drivers homeowners in Bellisseria without their vehicle being returned). The nav hud can teleport them, fade their screen in and out, tell where an object is, or if the avatar is sitting, and if so on what, and can make them sit for so long, or get a drink or other attachment and detect it, or even make them fly the entire course on autopilot, and at high speeds, up to 300 mph. A typical avatar driving speed is around 25 mph otherwise.

From Zada Bury's Youtube
"We also use planes, boats spaceships, and even have camping events 2-3 times a year where we camp n the snow, space, or even on boats for the entire weekend. One has to drive to the event to find the campground, which is part of the experience, similar to the original SLCS 'desintation unknown' parties originally intended for use with the nav hud. The camping events are really popular and have around 200 people or so camping in their vehicles all weekend, or sitting around the bonfire playing games or dancing.

"While we promote businesses and patronize peoples parcels and builds each week, and give them traffic theyre likely imagined when building their place, we have a not so well known agenda in promoting spending money on SL in general, whether through premium accounts, or buying merchandise or rent, in a small effort to try and help extend the longevity and viability of SL for Linden Labs."

It should be noted that the conversations I had with Zada, Jazzimus, and Christi took place a few months ago. Since then, their main headquarters had moved to the Hugues sim, and "the other at the airport got a massive makeover and so it moved." I would also be told the number of people in the group had gone up to over 6100.
The drives are continuing, with the drivers having fun.

One can follow Zada Bury's videos on her Youtube channel here:

For the Flickr page, (some pictures iffy for work)

Bixyl Shuftan