Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Interview with Goddess (ShandyLand Resident)

By Bixyl Shuftan
Goddess (ShandyLand Resident) is a builder whom has made both locations and numerous items for sale, and the owner of Goddess Creations. She's also the owner of Familiar Felines, and the new Club Go. I recently met up with her for an interview.

I dropped by just outside her club in her Lover's Beach sim. After some friendly greetings, I asked, "How did you find out about Second Life?" Goddess answered, "I was a home health aide in realife, my client's daughter (hee-hee). She showed me the place and I was mesmerized (smile). This was seven years ago. I found out few years after my health was bad, (and) took me from real-life work, and I was always a hard worker. So Second Life was my way to work and be creative, and escape real-life pain (smile)."

I then asked, "How did your first days go, and how did Second Life become your way to be creative?"
She answered, "(My) first days were easy for me really as I had help (smile). Someone could show me stuff (in) real life. I felt welcomed though for sure.  I realized after (my) health problems and not working (in) real life I could not afford to pay for things I wanted here anymore (laughter). So I started creating gachas and stuff to pay for all the fun shopping I love to do here hahaha (big grin). I am an artist (in real life, so was also a way to get away from the bad stuffs the real-life pain and things were bringing (smile), an outlet. I met great friends here too that have helped me through a lot (smile)."
I then asked about her more successful gachas, "And interesting about being an artist, what do you create in real life?" Goddess answered, "Oh my High Times and Pot Spot by far hahaha pot heads unite!" She chuckled, "I draw, paint, sculpt among others things I like to dabble in anything creative really (smile). Creating places here too is one of my fave things here to do (smile)." 

I then asked, "Nice, I take it this club is among your creations?" She smiled, "Yes. I put this whole sim together. I did not create all (of) the stuff, just put together (smile)."

My next question was related to her being a club owner, "So how did you get into music?" Goddess answered, "I have always been a lover of music (smile). I grew up (in) real life around rock, Dad was a biker Mom was a Hippie (smile), hehehe. So (I) grew up around great rock and disco music, fell in love as well with oldies (smile). Music is a life form and very essential to my being (smile). I love a lot of types of music, (and) open to a lot of new stuff too and always willing to hear something out (smile).  I wanted clubs here in Second Life as I seen how fun (it) was to bring friends together and share that passion of music (smile). Music is always fun to bond over (big grin)."

I then asked, "Which DJs do you get along with best?" She answered, "Well my best friend is a DJ here, so that's a given (laughter), Dj Nafrini. She also DJs for Deathlands (smile)." I asked, "Did you ever give DJing a try yourself?" She gave a big grin, "I am in the process of getting ready to do so. I am excited about it (smile)." So I asked, "When might your first events be?" Goddess answered, "Not too sure on that yet have lots going on," she laughed, "but I am really hoping to be up and running before Halloween (smile)."

"Before I go further," I then brought up, "what inspired your current look?" She answered, "I seen this outfit on Marketplace (smile). That's it (laughter). I said 'that's cute' and thought (I) need pigtails (smile),  sneakers and done (big grin)." I then mentioned her rings and jewelry, such as her necklace with "Bestie" on it. Goddess answered, "I love jewelry (smile), and yep it my half of me and Nafrinis 'Best Friends Forever' necklaces (big grin), We are real deal besties (laughter)."

I then brought up the Deathlands and Rebel Wolf. Goddess smiled, "I love him and Deathlands (big grin) heehee. Truly though, Rebel Wolf is a true friend and genuine guy.  Deathlands is amazing and the work done there is truly impressive.  I work with Rebel to help bring people there too as I myself am a Deathlander (smile). We are family."
She went on, "I am working on a Deathlands-inspired gacha that will even have the SL Newser be present." I asked about it, and she offered so show me. We walked a short distance to an open area. Then she rezzed a section of old brick wall with the "rad" symbol seen often at the Deadlands painted on. There was also grafitti painted on it, such as "Baron Wolf was here - Aroooooooo!" And on one side, Goddess had put "Bixyl was here." She grinned, "Look Bixyl, you were here." There was also some newspaper on the ground, one piece with a very familiar title. She told me it wasn't finished, "(It) will have animations, (and) other items like this to complete a gacha set. (It) will be an an event on opening. Very excited to do it. Half (of) all sales go to Wolf too. Family sticks together (smile). It will be a fun gacha." Although called a gacha, her items are sold in a way to get around the "Gacha Ban" by Linden Lab a year ago.

She then offered to show me around, "Of course this is club GO (smile). We have skate rink and game room here, 80's inspired." We went through some underground rooms with a Fantasy-themed look to them with the carved stone, and then into an underground club, also Fantasy themed, "This is GO Enchanted, (smile) club for more meditative and odd music (laughter). Over there is Nuvo's cave (smile). He is a real-life musician from Australia, play's here (smile)."

Goddess called GO Enchanted, "Our cave tavern (smile)." I asked what that meant, and she smiled, "We will have open mic nights and live poetry reads. Hahaha yes!"

She then took me through a shopping area, with numerous small stores. "Goddess Gacha Garden," she told me it was called, "has been resell place (for) over three years (smile). Many looks and locations through (the) years (laughter), always small."

I asked her how the Gacha Ban by the Lab a year ago affected her sales. "Very bad," Goddess told me, "My sales are half what they were."
Going to one of the larger stores, we were greeted by a message, "Welcome to Familiar Felines, a magical place to buy and sell KittyCatS Breedables." She told me, "You can get to my store through the teleport over there and will be others as well coming soon (smile)."
We moved on, and eventually into an opening in the ground, going down some stairs, "Down here is Squirrel's Cave," she smiled, "will be belly dance events here." She then pointed to a fountain and smiled, "This fountain I made, one of (my) new items." We walked over an area using a bridge, which had two of what looked like magic portals, "Ports down there will work soon," she smiled then gave a big grin, "I am working on a VIP bunker."

She then showed me another large store, which was where she sold her own items, "Gachas," she smiled, "I have one not out yet (laughter), will show you one think you might like for x-mas (laughter), is fox set (big grin)." I asked about it, and she TPed me to a secret spot on her sim whose location will not be revealed. There was a Christmas tree, and a full set of fox items, from a fox painting to a fox carpet, a plush fox doll, a fox lying on a cushion, and more. 

"That's all my stuffs for now," Goddess smiled, "(I) will have my dragon store and vip coming soon." I asked her if there was anything else she wanted to mention. She told me, "We have really one mission here and that is to spread love and kindness (smile). All are welcome here, no dress code no judgment (smile). Only children are not aloud in clubs; all else welcome with open arms (smile)."
After a little more chat, we had to go our separate ways. 

Goddess' Club GO is at Lovers Beach (6/40/2004). Goddess Creations is at Lovers Beach (152/187/21). The Gacha Garden is at Lovers Beach (163/131/2002).

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, August 26, 2022

It Came From Bellisseria Chat: UFO Sighting

By Bixyl Shuftan

Chats in the Bellisseria group are often interesting. You might hear a joke from a Linden or Mole. You might hear some useful information, especially if you're after a Linden home. Often, there's a lot of joking around. Like on the afternoon of Thursday August 25 when one resident reported a spacecraft sighting, with photo evidence. 
[17:55] Teresa Firelight: I was standing on the deck of my stilt home when this thing suddenly appeared 10 M above me... not sure... think this is a bit too invasive into my space?  (image above)
[17:55] Marius Darkheart: aliens are here
[17:55] POMF (Denise Foxtrot): shoot it down
[17:55] AlexBrandon Resident: if its above your parcel ...yes
[17:56] AlexBrandon Resident: unless someone is building and had to move something
It had been hanging around for a few minutes

[17:56] Teresa Firelight: yea.. still there several minutes later.. here is view form another angle:? 
[17:56] Trish Philbin: YIKES !
[17:56] Marius Darkheart: Definitely aliens
[17:56] Teresa Firelight: there is a rez zone  next to my place.. pretty sure it is there cuz of rez zone, but would be nice if they moved on
[17:57] AlexBrandon Resident: definatly against the rules if it stays there
[17:57] Snowlord Resident: for sure it's pretty big. maybe they are trying to fly
[17:57] Trish Philbin: can you click on it and see if it has an owner name on it?
[17:57] Teresa Firelight: now it has lowered to my deck level and is smashing through my house.. maybe they are having trouble steering it?
[17:57] Marius Darkheart: Set phasers to stun.
Talk soon turned to just what this thing was.

[17:57] Snowlord Resident: it looks like a void ship, and if so, it's massive and meant more for a region. is someone there?
[17:57] AlexBrandon Resident: that's circa 2004 ...
[17:58] POMF (Denise Foxtrot): yes sometimes vehicles are bigger than the rezzone, but that thing is huge ... He ll most likely loose it on some full parcel on his trip
[17:58] AlexBrandon Resident: Just yell about how bad the build is
[17:58] Snowlord Resident: oh yes, could have lost part for sure
[17:58]   ͞C:ノフCtrlFaultyDelete ͞   (TonyBowlin Resident): Sadly switches phaser back from kill...
[17:58] Marius Darkheart: 2004 called and they want their UFO back
[17:58] Snowlord Resident: it's an amazing build if it's what I think it is. But yes its a bit much there
[17:58] AlexBrandon Resident: Just make sure its not Torley Linden driving it
[17:59] AlexBrandon Resident: Opppsss did I say that ?
[17:59] Marius Darkheart: lol
[17:59] Trish Philbin: lol
[17:59] Mel (MelpomeneThalia Atheria): It looks like a giant bot fly to me
[17:59] Snowlord Resident: i'd say IM the owner and see if they lost part of it

And then, just as soon as it appeared, it vanished.
[17:59] Teresa Firelight: wow that was a close encounter of the undesirable dimensio,. finally gone ... but pilot fying back to rez zone
[18:00] AlexBrandon Resident: lol
[18:00]   ͞C:ノフCtrlFaultyDelete ͞   (TonyBowlin Resident): Its just a d*ldo from one of those kinky vore sims.
[18:00] Snowlord Resident: is it by void Teresa? just curious
[18:00] AlexBrandon Resident: lol
[18:01] Atheas Zenovka: I think it's the Vogons mapping out the new expressway
[18:01] Teresa Firelight: Yes snow it is
[18:01]   ͞C:ノフCtrlFaultyDelete ͞   (TonyBowlin Resident): Run
[18:02] Teresa Firelight: There is a rez zone on the side of my house then a void
[18:02] POMF (Denise Foxtrot): towels...I sell need a towel
[18:02] Teresa Firelight: lol
[18:03] Snowlord Resident: ah okay. yes that ship is massive!!
[18:03] Teresa Firelight: looks like they finally decided to try and rez it somewhere else
[18:03] Snowlord Resident:
[18:04] Snowlord Resident: it's literally meant for a full region lol
[18:04] Teresa Firelight: yea it looked some thing like that
[18:04] POMF (Denise Foxtrot): more of a art thing also
[18:05] Teresa Firelight: I think they were intending to fly it over the ocean regions
[18:05] Snowlord Resident: it's too big to be a daily traveler for sure. but i love voids creations. they are amazing!!
[18:05] POMF (Denise Foxtrot): looks smaller than Spykers ships tough
[18:05] Snowlord Resident: just unboxing one of their items is an experience in itself
[18:07] POMF (Denise Foxtrot):
[18:07] Snowlord Resident: omg I tried to cam out on the youtube
[18:08] Snowlord Resident: that looks pretty nifty so far!!
[18:09] Marius Darkheart: Yeah.. wow.
[18:09] POMF (Denise Foxtrot): that one I linked is pre mesh and simsized ...but can flay and cross sims lol

Chat soon changed to other subjects. But no doubt this close encounter will be remembered for a while.

And if anyone asks, no, there was no sighting of Elvis (or Ray Stevens) in the area.

Image from Teresa Firelight

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, August 15, 2022

Miss Suzanne Super Sweet Speaks About Burn2

 By Bixyl Shuftan

Burn 2 is Second Life's longest lasting and largest annual art and music festival. Based on the real-life Burning Man festival that also tales place every year and attracts tens of thousands, it has attracted many fans and a number of spinoff events. It has been a party to look forward to every year. 
Unfortunately, this year there has been trouble behind the scenes. A number of the Burners have resigned, and there have been accusations from some of them against the group's leadership. The Newser contacted one of the Burn2 Rangers, Miss Suzanne Super Sweet (SuperSuz Resident), and asked for an explanation of what's going on.

*  *  *  *

Question: Who is the owner of the sim and what part does that person play in oversight?


Answer: The Burn2 sim is owned by Michael Mikel (M2 Burner) and is funded by the Burning Man Project, a 501c3 non-profit organization. The Burning Man Project produces the annual Burning Man event in Black Rock City, and provides year-round support, connection, education, and grants to Burning Man communities in more than 40 US States and 35 countries under its Regionals Program. M2 sponsors the Burn2 sim under the Burning Man Regionals Program  and is ultimately responsible for Burning Man intellectual property used on the Burn2 sim.

The Burn2 Burning Man Regional Contacts are 3V and myself, Miss Suzanne Super Sweet.  M2 Burner is not involved in any planning of events, building or attending planning meetings.  He does, however, remain a part of the committee that is consulted for restrictions such as banning or even removing someone from leadership.  M2 has faith in the current Burn2 Leadership and expects us to deal with our problems internally whenever possible.  For more information about the early history of BURN2, we have that on our website here. 

Question: Why was Deep Hole access restricted for two months?


Answer: We stated the reasoning for the closure of Deep Hole, here:   

I feel a need to clarify some things. At the time, it seemed the appropriate step to take, to pause and cool things down, and let the Burn2 leadership, in conjunction with Burning Man Network leadership, work on the issues that had arisen. For the Burn2 leadership, this was just as unexpected as it was for the community. I explained that Deep Hole was closed as an intervention to calm down the conflict which had escalated between some individuals.  The plan was to provide a cooling off period and also work with our leadership, where much of the escalation was occurring.  This cooling off time for leadership and  intervention included blocking access to Deep Hole and canceling the next event for the purpose of providing more time to look closely at our processes and policies. 

During the cooling down period and going forward, the leads worked together on specific goals.  We still have a lot of work to do and we will be asking others to help us move forward.  Eventually, we will be looking at our structure, improving Burn2’s culture, and strengthening the teams that help to organize events. Volunteers will have opportunities to join the teams that match their interests. 

Deep Hole was reopened on the 31st of July.  On reopening day, there were several people there who had resigned from their volunteer roles in protest.   I issued an apology for the decision to shut down Deep Hole  and how that negatively affected the community.   I explained the reasons for the cooling off period and attendees shared their frustrations.  The main reason given was that during the months leading up to the cooldown period, there were particular incidents that happened between individuals that continued to escalate due to offensive behaviors between those individuals.  This led to many people reporting high physical and mental stress.

Question: Why were some people dismissed and/or banned?


Answer: The reasons for dismissals and bans are kept confidential, out of consideration and respect for the privacy and dignity of the individuals involved. Decisions about dismissals or bans are not taken lightly and are, for the most part, made by a committee of experienced people who have been deemed by Burning Man management as capable and with the qualities needed to make the least restrictive and most inclusive choices possible and reasonable. The committee takes care in reviewing the cases. They try to understand and deliberate before making these decisions.  I am a member of this committee.

Burn2 is guided by a liberal ethos along with the 10 Principles of Burning Man.  Determining the line of inclusion is a constant challenge. We strive to be inclusive and supportive of volunteers in Burn2. We also hold those in leadership to higher expectations as custodians of responsibility in Burn2. 

I will refer you to this page, which talks about the rights and responsibilities of volunteers. 

Question: What happens now?


Answer: I have been working with leadership during the cooling down and know that there have been many hours committed to improving policies.  This includes policies governing the leadership.  Several policies were developed or are being developed, such as, the Code of Conduct Policy for Leadership.  We created additional policies for the Burn2 community: the Burn2 Code of Ethics, meetings policy and groups/chat policies. These are designed to foster a more positive and communal spirit in our interactions with each other. We seek constructive feedback focused on creating procedures, policies and decisions with the aim of improving the regional culture. We want to end the practice of public finger-pointing, personal accusations and allegations targeted at individuals, by defining a private complaint process.  Planning for this year’s Octoburn event is getting underway, at the weekly planning meetings on Sundays at 9am SLT and Thursdays at 9pm SLT.  In addition, there is going to be separate meeting time that leadership is setting up with the Burn2 community to give even more opportunity to talk about the shutdown and the work that was done with the leads in conjunction with Burning Man management during that period. I hope that we continue to take the feedback and make changes.  Not all will be implemented but all will be considered.  I know that not everyone is going to be content with this.. I am staying open to ideas on what to do about our problems by focusing on the suggestions, ideas and solutions that are about policy and processes that leadership and others use to operate. I look forward to that because we can always get better and improve on what we have collectively created and what we have been given to creatively express art together.  This is my personal goal.      

*  *  *  *  *

The upcoming Burn2 event or "Octoburn" will take place from Friday October 7 to Sunday October 16. Of the Burners who left the group, some have been active in the Burn ONe area and having events of their own. What happens as time goes on remains to be seen.
Correction: The header that lead to the article stated that Burn2 had been going on since the start of Second Life. We were counting the time period of Burning Life, which was the virtual version of Burning Man until Linden Lab ceased it's sponsorship after several years. After that, there were a number of changes, including the name which was changed to Burn2.

Bixyl Shuftan