Monday, June 17, 2013

SL10B: Interview With Doc Gascoigne

By DrFran Babcock

Doc Gascoigne is well known in Second Life™ for his philanthropy and commitment to events such as Burn and the Second Life™ Birthday celebrations. I didn’t really know him well, but have bumped into him at many of these events. I have always had an affinity to him since his name is Doc, which is what most of my friends here call me.

I was thrilled when co-SL Newser reporter, Gemma Allen contacted me to ask if I would like to conduct an interview, with Doc. I was pleased and astonished, because he is not someone known to give interviews.

So join me as we meet this wonderful co-leader of the Second Life™ Tenth Birthday Celebration:

SL Newser: My first question is always: How did you find out about Second Life™, and what is it that keeps you here?

Doc: I got an email from Second Life™; a try us out email. I was a member of, and I thought: Wow another interesting place for me to try out, so I went there. My graphics card crashed, and I went to hunt down another. In I was a mentor and worked the newbie island.

What keeps me here is the community.  When I was a mentor we made connections to new residents and we often recruited those who found Second Life™ amazing and wanted to be a part of the community.

Almost 9 years later I still find new recruits, and I still feel that sense of community. I still want to be a part of it all.

SL Newser:  You are well known in Second LIfe™ for being a mentor, your participation in Burning Life, Burn, and the Second Life™ Birthdays, yet very little is known about you. What is it that made you agree to an interview at this time?

Doc: At nearly 9 years and for the 10th  Birthday, I decided to finally be interviewed and only by you. (laughs). In all my time as a mentor, volunteer and event lead I never thought, no matter how many times I had been asked, anyone wanted to hear what I had to say.  I do not consider what I do as anything special other than to recruit and round up people and set them up for volunteer opportunities. When you are part of the community, you want to be a part and participate. This year’s gathering expresses what true community is about.

Community is not just a word it is an entity; a living, breathing entity (Author note: emphasis mine). It’s interacting population of various kinds of individuals in a common location. Our common location is Second Life™. It was truly humbling for me to see so much collaboration that the Second Life™ community has shared for this event.

SLNewser: What are the things that you like about SL? You have been here a long time, and you have seen many changes.

Doc: The gadgets are my thing—both simple and complicated. Little bells and whistles and ingenious things we buy or people generously give for free that make Second Life magic. You have to enjoy the Engineer's Motto: If it isn't broken, take it apart and fix it....again and again!

SLNewser: What’sit like to organize an event as big as this birthday celebration?
Doc: It is a lot of work. It is a giant undertaking that without the help of over 1000 people (!) would never come to fruition.

We seek out really great people from all over Second Life™. The main trick is spreadsheets. I make a wicked spreadsheet. I find our best volunteers also have a love of Second Life™ community. They are natural leaders, generous, with various skill sets and backgrounds. We know that with each great interaction we “pay it forward,” and bring more people into our little army of volunteers. It is a Borg-like thing, we assimilate residents and make them part of the volunteer collective. (Author note: But, like, a positive Borg thing, right?)

SL Newser: What do you hope people experience when they visit SL10B?

KT Syakumi suggested we use the theme “Looking Forward, Looking Back.” We would like everyone to share the momentum of the event as we see ourselves: from whence to hence.

SL Newser: Pie or cheese? (Obligatory homage to Metaverse Messenger, the badly missed SL Newspaper)

Doc: Pie

SL Newser: What would you like folks to know about Second Life™?

Doc: You are a valuable asset to Second Life™.  Second Life™ is a community built with user created content. You are a part of this community. It will be your knowledge and skills that will help others continue to build and create.

SL Newser: Anything else you want to share ?

Doc: If you enjoy the party this year think about becoming a volunteer next time. Stay in the SLB Community Group for info and updates. Come join us! 

Haha, I guess Doc means: You will be assimilated.

If you see Doc during SL10B, thank him for his selfless service, and his passion for Second Life. I know I will.

DrFran Babcock

1 comment:

  1. I met Doc for the first time when i stumbled into the burning life in 09. I knew i had to be a part of such a great collaboration of artists, and Doc is where i landed as a volunteer with the dj stage. I still remember my first shift, being new and nervous and doc getting out his trusty lawn chair, parking it right next to me on the stage and staying with me through the whole event. Such a quiet & giving soul, he has touched a lot of people in this place we call home and I wonder if he knows just how many. I still volunteer for anything he is a part of because I know, not only is he there for us all when we need him, he puts his whole heart into the celebration so we could all be a part of it :) -Thanks Doc