Monday, June 1, 2015

SLife and Times: When Exploring Becomes a Pain in the Neck

by Ozymandius (0zymandi Resident)

After being warmly received by Star Raven who kindly took the time to show me around the immense multi tiered sim of INSILICO, I was looking forward to my next assignment. I had never been to the MadPea sim and was curious to find out more about the gaming company so I sent an IM to Kiana Writer, the founder of MadPea, requesting an interview. A day went by and I received no response until K’ess (Kess Crystal), who I can only assume is the press liaison for MadPea sent me a message explaining that Kiana Writer was too busy to return my IM but she was willing to answer my questions. This message had been left while I was offline, so I replied only to receive the following message… "(busy response): The Resident you messaged has activated Firestorm viewer's 'autorespond mode' which means they have requested not to be disturbed.  Your message will still be shown in their IM panel for later viewing.”
The following day I received a message from K’ess, stating that she would drop me a notecard. I checked my inventory from time to time but found no notecard from Kiana, K’ess or anyone else from MadPea so I sent a message to K’ess explaining I had not received a notecard. The following day I received a notecard from K’ess outlining the fact that, over the last 8 years, MadPea produced over 60 different puzzles, adventures, hunts and games and they were currently promoting a Horror Survival Game called “UNIA”.
According to the notecard; "players find themselves abandoned in a small town where a number of people have gone missing...players find themselves having to solve puzzles, crack codes, fight monsters and survive booby traps in order to solve the mystery and escape their fate." UNIA launched on the 27th April, after 2 years of development, and has already had over 1000 players.
After reading the notecard I sent an IM to K’ess requesting the opportunity to photograph the sim where the game takes place. She was kind enough to send me a teleport to the starting point but explained I would not be able to enter the sim where the game was taking place. The starting point looked to be a junk yard in the middle of a dustbowl town and while the ambience of the sim intoxicating there didn’t seem to be much reason for the lag or the three crashes I experienced while trying to photograph a few signs, some rusting cars and a couple of turkey vultures flying over head. Finally I decided to adjust my graphics settings to try and reduce the lag when I began to received multiple notification from someone named “Lareda”. It was then I realized that a 2 month old vampire was trying to bite me.

“Hi Lareda,” I typed. "I'm writing a review of this sim for the SL Newser, are you trying to bite me?"
“ops ..if u dont want u can dont agree” She replied.
Clearly her command of the English language was not one of her strong suits, but she was a cute little blood sucker so I engaged her in a side interview and asked her how long she had been a vampire.
“yes.” She replied.
Perhaps she was from Eastern Europe.
“Why did you become a vampire?” I continued to interview her as a way of distracting myself from my growing disinterest in the sim.
“i like vampires.” Lareda replied with the kind of insight one might expect from a two month old vampire.
Then I began to think, maybe she’s a plant. Not like a plant because plants can survive without brain activity, but a plant like, maybe she is part of the MadPea game and I should let her bite me in order to gain entry into the other sim. What genius! After all this would explain the MadPea catch phrase; “Release the monster within”
“u know bloodlines?” She asked.
“No I never heard of them.” I replied.
“They are my clan, I take u to there.” She said.
This is it! This is the true brilliance of MadPea, they lull you into a false sense of security with a barren, lag filled environment then send a cute little vampire to lead you into the horror that awaits. So I eagerly accepted Lareda's teleport and soon found myself deep within the bowels of the Bloodline home sim.
With the regional wind light setting this is a dark and murky world full of daunting shadows and foreboding passages but if you readjust your sun direction to noon and it could easily pass for Disney Land. The bright light also helps to spot the night crawlers and it was then I was able to get a better look at Lareda’s clan who, aside from their pointy teeth, reminded me a lot of how my own middle class family would get together in a suburban park for a Sunday afternoon barbecue.

They were sweet, not very hospitable as they didn’t offer me anything to eat, not that I would have accepted, I’m a vegetarian, but sweet and affable folks all the same. As for Lareda, I was beginning to fall for that barely literate child of the damned and, now that I had met her family, it was time to think long and hard about what our next move would be.
“so u want be vampire?” She asked.
“That depends,” I hesitated. "Will becoming a vampire get in the way of my career as a Second Life photo journalist?” I tried to get my avatar to look her avatar directly in the eye when I typed this but our AOs were not in sync. This seemed a tragic metaphor for our relationship. We were crazy for each other but we were from two different worlds and our professions, me as a seeker of truth and knowledge and her as a destroyer of souls, had us moving in two different directions. Maybe that was the sign. That and the pentagram carved into the chest of her pot smoking skater cousin.
“Well Lareda,” I said with much regret. “It’s time for me to go.”
She sent me a friend request. Maybe she felt what I was feeling, maybe she was holding on to the desperate possibility of a future together, or maybe she was still trying to bite me. Who knows?
As for my review of MadPea’s latest game UNIA, I don’t really have one. The Gold Pea Game Pass costs 1000 Lindens ... Lareda bites for free.


  1. There are so many exaggerations and excuses for poor journalism in this piece that I hardly know where to start.

    Firstly I did not IM you and tell you that Kiana was too buy to IM you. I IM'd you and offered my help at Kiana's request because MadPea is a huge team of people. Kiana couldn't possibly respond to every single IM she gets and if you had read her profile you would have seen that press/marketing and sales enquiries should be sent to me.

    It's clearly states in my profile that I am the Sales and Marketing Director MadPea. So there was no need for a 'journalist' to assume anything about who I was. Journalists normally check their facts...well usually.

    I originally contacted you at 3.58pm on the 26th May. You were offline. We batted IM's back and forth offline (as for my busy message - I won't apologise for being busy/afk/asleep...that is actually exactly the purpose of a busy message). I sent you the required information twice, apparently the first time it was lost in the either and you received it the second time at 7.00am on the 28th at which point I immediately tp'd you, as requested, to the starting zone.

    I am not a journalist but I have checked my logs for all these times...and while you appear to have made it out to seem like days upon days before you got the information it was in fact less than a day and a half. I also provided you with links to several sources of information including our websites none of which you seem to have made yourself acquainted with.

    On 9th April 2015 I sent an email to Bixyl inviting them or a pre-launch press tour of UNIA. We took journalists and bloggers through the whole game and provided a lot of information to them about the back story and purpose of UNIA. My email was never responded to. A reporter would have had lag free early access for a couple of days to take pictures which might help someone with low capacity graphics or capabilities.

    As for the incident with the Bloodlines vampire your comment "This is it! This is the true brilliance of MadPea, they lull you into a false sense of security with a barren, lag filled environment then send a cute little vampire to lead you into the horror that awaits. So I eagerly accepted Lareda's teleport and soon found myself deep within the bowels of the Bloodline home sim." This amused me greatly. Yes, obviously MadPea doesn't want people to come and play our game we want them to tp out with a Vampire Bunny to another sim. Most of this article just made me shake my head THAT comment did at least give me the relief of a good laugh.

    1. I'm glad to find out who have a sense of humour. The truth is if you spent half the time showing me around that you spent writing this complaint, you probably would have gotten a better review. Please review the Insilico article. I am fair and honest with my reviews. It is not my fault I found a two month old vampire's clumsy attempt to steal my soul more interesting than your game.

  2. Oh Bixyl, Bixyl.. after years and years of being a MadPea supporter and active in the group, you let an idiot like that write for you in hopes to get more readers?
    Poor journalism.
    I have always had the respect for SL Newser and we offered you a personal tour from both me and Kess just like we did for BURIED and you didn't show up. If I spent my time giving tours for every single person asking (keeping in mind that it takes hours to go through the concept and scenes) I wouldn't have the time to develop more. I'm fully focused currently developing part 2 of UNIA as well as a brand new game called The Collection, not to mention leading a global team full of talented individuals.
    However, kudos on your pathetic attempt here to shame us. People can make of it what they want. We are proud of our game and have people playing and enjoying it. It's incredible how the reporter didn't even bother trying the game with the HUD that's one of the most advanced things seen on the grid! The game start area is filled with info how to start and yet he doesn't bother to read.
    Rest to be sure, MadPea will carry on bringing out immersive adventures that will push the limitations of Second Life. Just like we have been doing since 2008. SL Newser can find itself without more invites.

    1. Hi Kiana, it's nice to finally hear from you.

      First of all, there was nothing personal about the article and it was not my intention to shame you. Secondly, if I'm an idiot then what does that make you?

      You spend 2 years developing a project and can't be bothered to spend five minutes talking to a journalist. Even now, as you criticize my article you do not speak to me but to my editor, who should be applauded for having the courage to publish a controversial review.

      Perhaps it is this elitist belief that you are too good to talk to the help that has caused you to become stagnant in your creative process. A true artist would realize that we draw inspiration by interacting with life, and improve by accepting the criticism of others. We need to accept the good and the bad reviews of our work, especially when they are sincere, then learn and grow. Locking yourself away in an ivory tower will only lead to you producing work that is unoriginal and filled with cliches. This is what happens when a person reaches their peak. Their arrogance causes them to think that they are beyond reproach and there is no need for self improvement. What follows is a long and inevitable state of decline.

      PS Great job on using your criticism of my article to promote your other projects.

  3. Haha very good, very entertaining, well written. As a piece of humorous prose it did its job, it made me giggle, snorted out loud at "reminded me a lot of how my own middle class family would get together in a suburban park for a Sunday afternoon barbecue" bit. Sir you have a gift for Grammar and satire, sadly alas you lack a talent for journalism, which is what this piece purports to be. I happen to know how courteous, mannerly, timely and professional Kess (without the apostrophe, oops the devil is in the details Sir) is when dealing with things under her remit, whether it be in her RL accomplishments (of which there are many) or her many projects for MadPea, or her general communication and friendliness towards her many friends. It is fairly easy to choose a subject, with the predetermined plan to make fun of it or use it as a comedic entertainment. It is much more difficult (at least for you) to hunt the facts, be unbiased in your portrayal of said facts, then write a truthful account of what you have found. Really? a SL "journalist" who needed to ask what bloodlines was?.. Thank you Sir for the entertaining piece, it made me giggle, I see you in the future writing some really good satirical novellas maybe in the irk of Terry Pratchett maybe (or....maybe not)..but if I were to be seeking a blog with the information I was looking for on an item I was interested in, I am sorry Sir, I would need to look elsewhere as you seem to be a tad short in the fact department. Perhaps go back to Unia, this time with an open mind, play it as its meant to be played, immerse yourself in it, then come back and write this piece again armed with the information that this piece lacked, I look forward to reading THAT piece when its finished.... have a good day Sir and watch out for the vampires.

    1. The fact is I wrote about what happened, not what you and some other supporters of MadPea want to hear. If you want to read propaganda maybe you should start your own newsletter. Also I did spell K'ess with an apostrophe.

  4. I haven't tried this game so I have no idea whether it's any good or not. Must say that having read this blog post I still have no idea as it didn't address the game at all. On the other hand, if I wanted to know what it's like to act with a sense of great entitlement and impatience and then follow a noob to the Bloodlines sim you nailed it.

    1. "I haven't tried this game so I have no idea whether it's any good or not."

      "On the other hand, if I wanted to know what it's like to act with a sense of great entitlement and impatience"

      It would seem you make a habit of making ignorant statements.

  5. You could have read the UNIA notices and bought a HUD to access the game.

    AH ! You wanted to score a FREE HUD — gotcha. That is why you are miffed.

    That is “cheap" journalism.

    1. "Gotcha" What did you get? An assumption at the most. Ah... cheap criticism.

      I am doing MadPea a favour by writing a review, good or bad. See all the free publicity they are getting from the reposes of you and their other sycophants? ... Or would "alt" be a more appropriate term?

  6. When exploring becomes a pain in the neck. You make your choices, you choose your direction. This is something I am currently teaching my 8 y.o. daughter and since your mother missed teaching you this, let me take the opportunity. You are responsible for your behaviors, you chose to go to a game and then foolishly follow a common sl problem and then blame that long standing problem on the creators of a sim, and bypass their hard work. You then took your decision and are using it as ammunition against a creator, game, sim YOU took no time to explore. ANY sim in SL has this problem, however unlike the rest of the general intelligent populous you made the decision to follow this person and abandon your story. Personally had you been in my employ I would have tossed this piece back on your virtual desk and told you to put on your big girl panties and go actually investigate and write the dang article you were supposed to write in the first place.
    It is obvious while trying to find a piece about an excellent and popular attraction for which you missed your invitation through your own lack of communication which you then turned around and tried to blame on others again not taking YOUR responsibility in the matter, that you have absolutely no idea what the hell you are talking about. This is poor journalism, poor choices on your part, and completely unfair on the behalf of the creators. UNIA was an awesome experience, although now that I think about it, perhaps it is better you followed the vampire since the game itself requires more intelligence than you seem to possess.

    Carrie Browning- Second Life

    1. Evidently I touched a nerve, otherwise you would not be making personal attacks against someone you never met. Now the question is, could I have touched a nerve without writing the truth?

    2. Yes because the exact nerve that you touched was one that was irritation from an article written that was devoid of actually writing about your subject. As someone that works in journalism, your piece was not only fluff, poorly written, but also an attempted shock piece that pandered to the concept of literally writing about nothing in your attempt to seem witty, as are your responses to people. Lame.

  7. So, 4 paragraphs about your own bungled attempt to blog about UNIA, and 18 paragraphs about a noob vampire?

    Dear, oh dear :)

    Shoddy piece of writing by an unfocused, impatient pendant, at best.

  8. This article took me 5 minutes to read. I will never ever get them back. Crap.

  9. The following is the Group Notice sent Kiana writer. Trying to control what bloggers or "press" is not the way to do things. If you're not happy with the press you're getting then TRY TO DO BETTER. But requesting your group members basically harrass someone to try to get you better reviews is just plain childish. Shame? Yeah Madpeas, you should be ashamed.

    Surprised with the shame and ridicule of SL 'press'
    Sat, Jun 06 2015 9:55:20 AM PDT
    Dear Peas,
    while we are working hard to make sure that we can keep bringing you the quality experiences, sadly there are always forces in play who try to shame us and ridicule what we do. I saw this review of UNIA from a blog that we have always supported. If you have a moment, check it out and feel free to share your thoughts with the editors of SL Newser

    1. Explain to me what part of that is encouraging harassment? Because I see it as them calling out on shady journalism, which as the target of said shady journalism they have every right to do. All it says is to share their thoughts...that can mean good or bad. Just because those who responded felt that the article was written poorly, unfairly and in bad taste doesn't mean that someone else won't disagree. But if these people wanted to post such a horribly flawed piece of writing on a site that is supposed to be an active supporter of that which they are insulting, you better expect some whipash.

    2. When you say she should try to "do better" that makes it seem like it is somehow her fault for you letting someone who blogs for you post something that never should have been posted. If you asked them to blog about Madpea or UNIA they have failed and you have failed by letting that be posted. I don't usually respond to these kind of things but you are basically letting someone blog about something they have no knowledge of. And I am afraid that falls back on you. To be honest no one is at fault here but you. I in no way seen where Kiana said please go harass these people. But by not taking responsibility for it you are making it worse. The game is by far one of the best I have done in sl. They always do an awesome job and that is why they are so popular. I am trying my best to understand why you would let someone post something like that. Maybe if you own up to the fact that this shouldn't of been posted about Madpea and UNIA then all this would be resolved. So in my opinion you are the only one that has been acting childish.

    3. It's only horribly flawed because MadPeas feels they are being wronged. As for "asking someone to blog for you". If they can't take the bad with the good then they shouldn't be having people blog for them. Except maybe all of you that can't get past the fact that there's no OMFG THIS IS SO AWESOME! in there and see that there's NO REVIEW to be upset about. He stated his experience. If they don't like how he felt about his experience then they SHOULD DO BETTER.

    4. Irkalla - I can confirm that we NEVER ask people to blog for us except for our bloggers in our product blog groups for our sales items. We did NOT approach this person for a review he approached us.

  10. Wow, the trolls are even trying their hand at journalism. I'm sorry but this is the biggest pile of BS journalism that I've ever read. Madpea is a wonderful thing, and I have nothing but positive thoughts for them. The gifts are always top notch and the hunts well thought out. All the time and effort put into the projects they create is easy to see. Even with graphics settings turned down.

    Personally, I've seen better journalism from fox news, then this steaming pile of s###! And that saying a lot. How disrespectful and biased towards Madpea and everyone that works with them. You sir, now have much, much more to worry about then a few vampires in second life!

  11. This is what happens when you hire a babe in the new world to investigate a highly noted creator and game. When you get a VIP invite to PRE look at something so amazing, you do not 1/ miss it and then 2/ send some newbie in who has no clue what sl is even about, to be waylaid by a bloodlines vamp, who can't even speak English to begin with. YOU should be ashamed to have even posted just poorly done work, if i had been a follower this alone would have had me leaving. You owe Kiana and Kess along with the UNIA staff a heartfelt apology.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. When I saw the group notice, I was actually interested in what was said to see good or bad as I have not done this current game and wondered if worth the large money outlay. But there was no review of the game, just a lot of carry on about the red carpet treatment being given.

    Worse still to me, was the lack of tolerance shown. Sure newbie vampires are annoying, they should not be allowed to lurk outside places (yes I understand hard to police around the clock), but having a go at someone because they speak English poorly is ignorant. Why must all the world speak English? Find a nice free translator, ask them what language and converse in a decent manner. To expect everyone to speak one particular language is truly arrogant, and I do not find great humour in it.

  13. I’m sad to see this piece posted on the slnewser; I’ve always liked the site, and respected the work Bixyl does. How this made its way past his editorial oversight, I am not sure. I suppose Bixyl, like the writer, thought it was humorous.

    First, some bona fides. I’ve been a journalist in RL for more than 20 years, I have played many of MadPea’s games in the last few years, and in that time have had a number of interactions with Kiana and other members of the crew.

    Problem #1 - lack of research. It sounds like the writer didn’t bother to find out anything about MadPea or UNIA before jumping in.

    Problem #1 - taking a potshot at Kiana. I don’t know Kiana, so I am not going to gush about what a wonderful person she is, but I can tell you this: busy people are busy. It sounds like you misrepresented your interaction with her and Kess, but even if you didn’t, you can’t expect a busy person to suddenly drop everything for you. Do I hate getting fobbed off to a PR person? Yep, but it happens all the time. The trick is to be patient and work with the PR person to get what you want — like scheduling an interview with the person you want. It just requires some work, time and understanding. Maybe chocolates or a bottle of Pinot Noir. . depends.

    Problem #3 - Fault attribution error: Lag is something that happens everywhere in SL at one time or another. Crashes are, much of the time, your own problem. Who did you interview to find out if this was a universal problem with the sim? I would have told you that I have never crashed there, and rarely experienced lag.

    Problem #4 - Vampires: Are you that new that you were surprised to find a vampire hanging around a popular sim looking for someone to bite? Again, kind of a universal problem, and if you had talked to whoever was on duty it would have been dealt with (oh, did you know that MadPea almost always has someone on in the group or on the sim to deal with problems? Nice touch of customer service, that.) Instead, you encouraged a vampire. Thanks for that.

    Problem #4 - Mocking someone who speaks English as a second language: ethnocentric and rude.

    Problem #5 - Expecting a free pass: Yes, in RL, I get a free pass to almost everything. That’s because often I am already known to the people invovlved, and if not, I have credentials. Now, while I would like to think that Kiana, Kess, etc. are aware enough of my SL photography that they would jump at the chance to have me photograph one of the MadPea games, that is a fantasy.

    The conversation would probably go more like this:

    Bear: But Kess, I am writing a review of UNIA for Bixyl Shuftan at the SLNewser. I won’t be able to do a good review if I don’t have access to the full game.

    Kess: …oooh…hmm, let me check with Bixyl.

    Kess, a few moments later: Great, Bixyl confirmed you are working for him. Let me TP you around to a few of the exciting spots and explain what’s going on, then I’ll give you a hud so you can work through it yourself.

    I could go on, like pointing out that the basic hud only costs L250 — about a dollar — and would have got you into the main section of the game.

    But a quick review instead: I wouldn’t want to call UNIA MadPea’s best game ever, but that’s just because I am a Cinema Noir fan, and loved Mad City and the game there.

    But what really makes UNIA interesting is not so much the gameplay itself, but that it is a complex, layered game, incorporating different types of play into a cohesive larger game structure. That is something new in this type of virtual world gaming, and it is going to be exciting to see what MadPea builds in the future from the groundwork and skills they have developed while creating UNIA.

    The atmosphere they have created is also outstanding. You can feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as you wander through the desolate town (seriously, Ozymandias, “growing disinterest?”) or look out over the cornfields on the second level.

    It took me about a week, playing off and on, to get through the game, which brings me to my only real complaint about UNIA. It was over too soon.

  14. While Kiana sent out her note to all Peas because she was unhappy about this article, nowhere does she ask us to harass or shame the writer of the blog, she only tells us to feel free to share our thoughts. So here are my thoughts:

    1. Kiana (maybe unwittingly) is actually doing this blog a favor and driving lots of traffic to this article and the blog in turn. So while her response above is that she will no longer support SL was a backfire.

    2. I enjoy being a MadPea member and I have enjoyed many of the games and hunts they have produced in Second Life. I appreciate that they put a lot of intense hard work and dedication into what they do and they do it very well.

    That being said, I think maybe Kiana should have stepped back, counted to 10, reread this article and maybe poured herself a nice glass of wine to sip on instead of responding to it in any way, shape or form (in-world or on the blog comments).

    Key points to always remember from Business 101:

    MadPea is a business. Kiana and Kess, no matter how they or we look at it, are representatives of MadPea. As such, any response from them represents MadPea. Always be mindful of that.

    Any press is good press. Whether what is written is good or bad it mentions your name and gives you brand recognition.

    Reputation will make you or break you. MadPea has an established reputation in good standing. One writer, new or otherwise, is not going to change that. It's when a whole slew of them gang up on you that you'll need to pay attention and see where things are going wrong.

    Responding to negativity with negativity is never a good thing. In many cases, it's better not to respond at all because it could make you look worse.

    3. I believe Kiana acted in haste when she decided to blast SL Newser over the publishing of one badly written article from an obviously new journalist. This is where counting and wine could have helped her with more rational thought.

    4. The article in particular, is all over the place, which is what leads me to believe this is a newbie journalist. I agree wholeheartedly with Bear and what he said above, and I'm going to add just a few tiny things...

    Your title is your intro to your article. Thus, your entire article should have been about exploring and how it was a pain in the neck for you.

    Stick to your topic. Readers don't care that you initially intended to do a review and failed miserably so you changed topic. They came to read about your topic.

    When attempting to do a review, never make it personal. A reviewer has to focus on the subject and remain unbiased by external influences. If you had continued with your initial subject and reviewed UNIA, the review should only have been about UNIA. Not about your failed communications with the MadPea team, not about the general lag in SL, not about newbies playing Bloodlines. UNIA.

    I did find the pieces about the bloodlines sim and interactions with the people there enjoyable. Humor is always good.

  15. Are you for real?

    Forget the fact that your review on a game turns into some strange rant on how you we not given red carpet treatment by people who are extremely busy and then turns into what reads like " the first day adventures of second life resident that runs into a newbie vamp", your closing quote is the most uneducated garbage I've seen in SL.

    " The Gold Pea Game Pass costs 1000 Lindens ... Lareda bites for free."

    You obviously have absolutely no idea about Second Life let alone anything Mad Pea does ( or Bloodlines for that matter )

    $1000L is roughly a whole $4US, which for hours of entertainment, is pretty cheap if you ask me.
    For your whole $4US you get the chance to play a game that people have spent hours (yrs) making scripts, textures, mesh models, writing scripts, recording voices, sounds and I'm sure a whole lot more work.
    Do you have the slightest idea on the cost of uploading all these things let alone the work involved in making them? After reading that appalling attempt at writing I'm going to guess that's a big fat NOPE!
    If you want to be known as a reporter I suggest you start learning how to research your subjects so you don't look so silly.

    PS vamps may bite for free but once bitten you're going to pay a hell of a lot more than $1000L for all the paraphernalia that goes with it. But you'd know that if you did your research.

    PSS Bear above said it all perfectly

    1. Did you have anything educational to add or say that the posters before you didn't say or did you just want your 15 minutes of anonymous fame? I think we know the answer, but do you? Hahaha, funniest part of this blog I read all night, maybe they should hire you!

  16. WOW. People take this stuff too seriously. Venom is actually spewing from some of these comments! It's a blog people, these are not professional writers, and they are blogging about Second Life. SECOND LIFE. I confess, a roommate sent me here to see this or I would never have found it myself. I have an avi in game but I am not as passionate as you are about your virtual world, and even I know the difference between being helpful and being nasty. Trolling is a whole other level, and commenting just because someone else told you to do so without even reading or absorbing the actual story is just being a mindless twit lemming. Kudos to you for going over the cliff! You've done the world a favor and we're better off without you!

    To Bear and the other posters that offered insight, thank you for trying to help this writer hone his skills. Writing isn't easy. As a journalism student I can attest to that.

    To the writer, stick with it man, don't give up. Take the knowledge offered here and tuck it away. You are learning and even though the lessons may be hard, they are well earned and most likely won't be easily forgotten.

    To the editor, dude, you probably skipped the mark on this one, not for me to say. I've not been around the Unia thing or whatever company sponsors it, but publishing this badly written piece is not what I would expect from a professional SL blog, had I known a real professional SL blog existed before now. Actually, I'm not really sure one does.

    High 5's to my roomie for sending me here and wasting my time. I'm thinking of taking screen shots of this into my next journalism class. It's a perfect example of what to do, what not to do, and public reaction. Mine included. TA!

  17. "To the writer, stick with it man, don't give up. Take the knowledge offered here and tuck it away."

    Unfortunately I found none in any of these responses. There is no knowledge to be found in hate mail. However I encourage the people who wrote to read what they have written and learn from your own words. Is this really who you want to be? Nameless and anonymous cowards resorting to petty insults to silence someone simply because their opinion is different than yours.

  18. Whoah! Quite a heavy response.

    When I got Ozy's article, I saw it as a lighthearted "life and times" piece written with humor in mind. I never expected this kind of reaction.

    Sorry about the lack of a response to your email, Kiana. The message you sent me must have gotten lost in my filter.

    As for the quality of Madpea's games, I'd thought they've always been good. I never thought their integrity was in question. We'll continue to write about their games if people reccomend them to us.

  19. Wow. I was thinking this morning that I should go back and write something a little more encouraging for Ozymandias – I didn’t want the amount of negative feedback to discourage him from pursuing his writing.

    In fact, I was thinking that in my own post, I had used a hammer to drive in a tack. Now, I am thinking a sledgehammer would have been a better choice.

    You’ve written many silly and negative comments along with personal attacks in your replies, Ozymandias. In light of the verbal beating you took, that’s understandable. But it was a big mistake, proving that you have a long way to go before you can call yourself a journalist.

    Be clear about one thing. Your review was not fair or honest. As some of the posters have noted, it wasn’t really a review. It was just you lashing out because you felt slighted and an exercise in poor judgment that you repeated this morning.

    For the record, I have nothing to gain by defending Kiana, Kess or MadPea. What inspired me to write was the shoddy journalism, which I see far too much of in relation to SL.

    Bixyl, I can understand how you might have seen this as “light-hearted.” I wish you had read it with a more critical eye initially; I see the humour in it as well, but it is clear to me that the humour is only there to cloak a vindictive bent. It is unfortunate that this shoddy work reflects on your site, but you chose to publish it.

    Ozymandias, a final word. If you want to be taken seriously as a journalist, it’s time to own up to your errors instead of insulting people. Go buy a game pass, join the group, find out what it’s all about and then write a real, honest and accurate review.

    1. "Ozymandias, a final word...”

      I find this difficult to believe.

      The reason why my responses to the comments made by the MadPea groupies are irreverent is because not one of these comments should be taken seriously. If you were a real life journalist you would realize that a video game should not warrant the kind of passionate response demonstrated by the MadPea pea brains. It is a game, not the Arab Spring or the Occupy Movement or environmental reform. These are important issues that I suspect the Pea brains have little knowledge or understanding because they are too busy playing video games to experience real life. As for you my pontificating stuffed shirt of a Bear, you hollow man, whose voice sounds like wind through dry grass, if you were a real life journalist you wouldn’t be wasting your time writing replies to my blog. If you were a real life journalist you would realize the word journalist comes from the word “journal” which comes from the French word “jour” which means “day”. In other words, a journal is a daily account of one’s experience from an individual’s point of view which is exactly what I’m writing.

      BTW : I find it somewhat coincidental that you submitted your latest post only a few seconds after I had a rather dull and insincere conversation with Kiana Writer. If you aren’t an alt, then try not to be a tool.

    2. Man, you are just digging yourself deeper. Lack of research seems to be a failing for you.

      It might be an idea to look someone up before you accuse them of being an alt. I may not be FIC, but I have a pretty solid background/reputation. If nothing else, you could ask your editor about me.

      But whether you believe I am a journalist, or even that I exist, doesn't matter. All that you have done here is make sure I no longer feel bad for the amount of negative feedback you are getting.

      Note for Bixyl: letting this noob keep insulting your readers is probably not the best plan.

    3. just wow...Bixyl is this really the kind of person you choose to represent you? It's just plain rudeness now with the slnewser stamp of approval.

    4. "Ozymandias, a final word...”

      It’s difficult for you to let someone else have the last word isn’t it?

      You are not a mediator you are a provocateur. You are not an authority on journalism you are a heckler who is being used by MadPea as part of a hate mail campaign to silence a journalist from expressing any ideas that might go against the MadPea advertising agenda. If you were a real life journalist you would not be supporting censorship.

      And I am not insulting readers of the SL Newser, most people who regularly read the SL Newser are not even aware that this article even exists. The only people who have read this article are the Pea brains Kiana Writer has invited to this little book burning party. So I guess I should be thanking you for giving me an audience to write for.

  20. I think it’s shameful that MadPea and Kiana Writer need to resort to encouraging people to behave in a hateful manner to generate publicity for her business. On the other hand, if it helps to create interest in your product… Down with the free press! Down with freedom of speech!

    0THELLA ( MAGE Magazine Editor in Chief )

    P.S. Please send an IM to 0THELLA (zero) THELLA , if you would like to join our group. We may or may not be doing a review of MadPea in our next issue.

    1. Yeah it's sad that Madpeas can't control the press. Oh but they could become the Rupert Murdoch of SL and start their own press empire to spew whatever they believe is the truth.

    2. And yet with her reply, and promotion of her own product, in support of someone in her employ as his photos are all over her magazine site.....she is doing exactly's not even worth it. Yeah, totally take a pass on joining that group. Cause yeah, like I really want to read her their piece, oh wait, you could just reprint Ozy's piece yourself the time of doing actual journalism as well.

  21. Hey all! I know a good joke! (Hold on to your socks. You're gonna laugh!) Do you know the one about the guy who went to explore the UNIA game?: He didn't HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

  22. Hi all,

    My name is Arduenn Schwartzman. I had a modest share in building and scripting UNIA.

    Someone pointed out this blog post and made clear they weren't too happy about it. So that made me curious.

    Here's how I interpreted Ozy's journey:

    1. Plans to write a UNIA review
    2. TPs into sim
    3. Sees "a few signs, some rusting cars and a couple of turkey vultures flying over head"
    4. Crashes several times and experiences a lot of lag
    5. Is bothered by a Bloodlines vampire at the game start
    6. Disappointed by the crashes, the lag and distracted by the vampire, decides not to wite a review after all, but instead give the story a humorous Bloodlines plot twist

    First, UNIA is not a laggy place. And that's not the Ministry of Truth speaking. I know what causes lag. I'm not telling anyone here what causes lag, because that's biting the hand that feeds it.

    Second, based on this review, the unaware reader might decide not to waste their precious L$ on UNIA. Then again, the blog has 44 members and 0.9 comments per blog post, so, to my opinion, not much damage done. I would not even have bothered to comment.

    I also noticed, however, that the (non-)review upsets a few 'Pea Heads' and, personally, I find it quite undertstandable that they jump into defense for the MadPea builders who largely remain in the background. After all, this is a review based on a 5-minute impression of //the starting point// (which is freely accesible) of a game that took two years to build, spans two sims, has a dozen of wonderfully-crafted sceneries; not just on the ground. Consequently, to my greatest grief, I watch the Streisand effect unfold before my eyes: 40 comments of flaming between the MadPea fanbase vs. the SL Newser fanbase.

    I would have waved this whole blog post off and not commented on it. But I see that people are hurt by it because two years of hard work are summed up as a laggy place with "a few signs, some rusting cars and a couple of turkey vultures flying over head".

    Instead, I would like to place a comment here, dedicated to the content creators, whom I greatly admire and respect—people like Harter Fall, Fae Veriale, Indigo Lucerne, RAG Randt and numerous guest builders, who put a lot of efford in making UNIA an unprecedented gaming experience on the Second Life platform. These guys remain largely unnoticed, and I think they deserve a little bit more respect for their hard work.




    Arduenn Schwartzman wrote;

    "Here's how I interpreted Ozy's journey:

    1. Plans to write a UNIA review
    2. TPs into sim
    3. Sees "a few signs, some rusting cars and a couple of turkey vultures flying over head"
    4. Crashes several times and experiences a lot of lag
    5. Is bothered by a Bloodlines vampire at the game start
    6. Disappointed by the crashes, the lag and distracted by the vampire, decides not to wite a review after all, but instead give the story a humorous Bloodlines plot twist"

    Allow me to remove the assumptions from your interpretation.

    1. I am assigned to write a review of UNIA
    2. I am new to SL so I never heard of MadPea
    3. I found out who the owner of MadPea is and sent an IM to Kiana Writer introducing myself and my intention to write a review of UNIA
    4. Joined the MadPea group and explored the MadPea sim.
    5. Spoke to people at the MadPea sim but did not get any useable quotes as most responses to my questions were; “Why don’t you contact the sim owner?”
    6. Never heard back from Kiana Writer but was contacted by K’ess. Sent K’ess a link to my review of Insilico and told her I wanted to write a review of MadPea
    7. Played IM tag with K’ess until I told her I would settle for a press release given to me via notecard.
    8. Met with K’ess at the UNIA starting point. Spoke to K’ess for 5 minutes then was left on my own to explore the sim starting point.
    9. Experienced multiple crashes and lag until I lowered my graphics to the lowest quality and my draw range to 30 meters. ( I use a brand new Mac Desk Top with Firestorm viewer so I very rarely experience lag )
    10. Encountered a vampire.
    11. Decided that writing about my encounter with a vampire would be more interesting for my readers and more merciful to MadPea than giving my assessment of how unimpressed I was with their sim.

    Now I pulled my punches but since the Pea Brains continue to harass me on this issue I will tell you what I really think of MadPea.

    If I was the owner of a sim or a business in SL or real life and a journalist sent me a message I would respond. After spending 2 years on a project how much effort or time is require to type; “Thank you for your interest I will send our press liaison to contact you” ?

    10 seconds ... 30 if you type slow.

  24. I am a photographer and model for MAGE Magazine, which was started by 0THELLA approximately 3 months ago. We get new members everyday and sometimes I am contacted when they can’t reach 0THELLA because I listed in the group as an administrator. As an administrator I have teleported noobs to sandboxes so they can rez the magazine, which we distribute in the form of a 3D book. If noobs don’t know how to find objects in their inventory I teleport them to the Firestorm Support Region so they can follow the tutorials to help them get started. I do this because I believe public relations are important.

    If a reporter approached me to talk about MAGE Magazine or the SL Newser I would jump at the opportunity because these are publications I believe in. The fact that K’ess contacted me means Kiana Writer received my message but could not be bothered to respond. If you look at Kiana’s response to my article you will see that she does not address me but instead addresses the editor. Again demonstrating that she feels speaking to a lowly noob reporter is beneath her.

  25. This is the problem that MadPea faces. For all the work put into making the sim and the games, the leadership is proving itself to be out of touch with the “common” person. Please bare in mind I do not enjoy giving a discouraging review. As an artists I take pride in my work and for those of you who invest your time in these kinds of endeavours I sympathize but after receiving no response from Kiana and a minimalist reception from K’ess I began to wonder how they would respond if someone who wasn’t affiliated with the press approached them for information about their company.

    I am not the owner or founder of any sim or group but, if I was and someone wrote a bad review about something I did, I would contact that person to thank them for the review and, if I thought the review was unfair, I would explain why I thought it was unfair. I would then try to persuade the reviewer to give me a second chance to prove my product, sim, group, is better than their first impression. If that failed I would accept their review, learn from it and improve. I am not the only one who thinks this way, there are a lot of marketplace reviews, positive and negative and, with some of these products are notecards that requests I contact the manufacturer before giving a bad review. Remarkably enough even freebie items come with these notecards so this should demonstrate how there are many people in SL who understand the value of customer relations and want to ensure the customer is happy with their product.

    Yes, my review was sarcastic but what Kiana Writer could have learned from it is to improve her customer relations. Instead, she chose to risk her public image and the image of my company by initiating a hate campaign. This demonstrates a failure to make intelligent decisions on the part of Kiana Writer. MadPea is an established SL company that relies on their customers belief that MadPea produces exciting and positive experiences. I guess many of their customers must be sadists because only sadists would get pleasure from staging a character assassination and I see very little gain for MadPea in staging a hate campaign, especially a hate camp against a little known noob reporter.

    If I was a stockholder in MadPea, I would sell my shares immediately.

  26. In addition to this Kiana Writer has demonstrated that she would rather invest her time and energy to attack someone instead of co-operating. Each one of you has a choice to make. You can either be a positive person, someone who is helpful, generous and friendly or you can be a negative person, someone who is uncooperative, miserly and hostile. Kiana Writer has demonstrated that she is negative because she chooses to use her words to insult me instead of using her words to talk about her sim. She is negative because she uses her status as a group leader to organize hostility instead of organizing her group to welcome new members.

    Now with regards to my review of the actual sim. Reviews are important because they keep people from making mistakes they may regret. As a model for MAGE Magazine I need to put a variety of costumes together ranging from Winged Warriors to Massive Minotaurs, I have limited time and money to do this, so the reviews I read in the marketplace are important to me. Even when considering a Freebie purchase I read the reviews because I don’t want to waste time going to a sandbox to unpack something if it is not going to meet my needs. It’s true that in the real world 1000 Lindens isn’t a lot, if this is the case, why didn’t Kiana or K’ess, offer to give me a free HUD?

    The truth is that the editor of the SL Newser, Bixyl Shuftan, offered to pay for my Game HUD, and I probably would have taken her up on this offer but Kiana / K’ess didn’t even bother to make a sales pitch. Is business for MadPea so good that they now expect people to ask them to give them money? If I really wanted to shame Kiana Writer I would have written; “After seeing the starting point I decided not to ask K’ess for a Game Hud, not because I didn’t want to waste the Lindens, but because I didn’t want to waste my time."

  27. Arduenn Schwartzman wrote;

    "First, UNIA is not a laggy place. And that's not the Ministry of Truth speaking. I know what causes lag. I'm not telling anyone here what causes lag, because that's biting the hand that feeds it."

    The implication behind this comment is that MadPea is blaming their customers for the lag.

    According to Second Life Wiki under the section “What Causes Lag?”, there are three issues sims deal with. 1 how many avatars are nearby 2. how many textures are visible 3. how many scripts are running in the sim.

    I have been to many sims filled with dozens of people in close proximity and not experienced lag. When I was at the MadPea starting point there was no one else in the sim. This would lead me to conclude that the lag was caused by an excessive amount of textures, scripts, poor planning and design. The fact that MadPea would rather blame their customers than take responsibility for the weaknesses of their designs is another example of the negative approach MadPea has towards public relations.

    It’s unfortunate that I have nothing good to say about MadPea, and with every ignorant statement and accusation the alts and tools of Kiana Writer insist on posting you are giving me more negative things to write. I do not enjoy this, I do not enjoy writing bad things about other people because I am an optimist, I want to believe that there are people out there who take pride in their work and are willing to talk about it and share their talent with others. This is why Insilico got such a good review. Not only is it a visually spectacular sim, that is lag free and interactive, but the admins encourage you to visit and talk with them and get involved.

    I’m just a noob reporter, I have no previous history with MadPea, therefore I have no reason to write anything but the truth. My advice to anyone neutral who reads this thread is to ask yourself; “If these people are truly creative, then why are they spending so much time trying to destroy the credibility of an insignificant noob?"

  28. Arduenn Schwartzman wrote;

    "Instead, I would like to place a comment here, dedicated to the content creators, whom I greatly admire and respect—people like Harter Fall, Fae Veriale, Indigo Lucerne, RAG Randt “

    Thank you for providing names for all those anonymous posts.

  29. BTW as you keep missing it...even though several people have pointed it out...there's no apostrophe in Kess. As for your ignorant ill-informed, rude and rather pathetic ravings you may now return to being a writer no one reads or cares for....We will continue to be amazing game creators with thousands of happy customers. Toodlepips!

  30. Kess, who has recently changed the way she spells her name, wrote; "As for your ignorant ill-informed, rude and rather pathetic ravings you may now return to being a writer no one reads or cares for…."

    For three days I did not write anything on this blog because, well to be honest, I had better things to do. Then, only ten minutes after I write a response to Arduenn, you reply. It seems you are looming over this blog like one of those turkey vultures from your sim. I must say I am flattered by the attention. Unfortunately I’m not really interested in dating an alt with as much laggage as you seem to be carrying.

    1. LOL Oh sweetheart you really are so very good at being wrong. My name never has been K' just can't read very well and I've already seen enough evidence that factual writing isn't your strongpoint either. I do think you have heaps of potential with totally made up fiction though. All the best!

  31. Hi Ozymandus.

    TL;DR. Nope. Not going to be dragged into your little flame war. Bai.

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