Meet Aiden Windlow, The SL Parade’s New Photographer

Aiden Windlow has been in Second Life 9 years. He came over from IMVU and wasattracted to the vast freedom of movement it offered over the other. A long time RPer he got involved in superhero RP, taking the role of Batman and also became a GM for the RP. The game went through several versions before finally ending. Aiden also took up SL photography establishing his SL studio, Seasons of Serenity. Through the studio, he offered logo design, AV custom drawn artwork, and other art commissions along with the photography services. He is now staff photographer for The SL Parade magazine along with still working from Seasons of Serenity.
His studio can be found at The SL Parade home offices. Please click here to pay a visit:  Seasons of Serenity Art and Photography.

In RL, Aiden has worked full time for over 20 years in graphic design and illustration under his studio banner Technicolor Raccoon Studios. He has done much work for recognizeable companies such as, Upper Deck, Image Comics, Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Pinnacle Games, West End Games and many publishers of comics and gaming products. He is currently working on several creator-owned graphic novels. Samples of his work can be seen at his inworld studio as well as online here: http://tecraccoon.daportfolio.com/

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The SL Parade Offers Spring To All Patrons

As many may know, I have not been as active in my writings due to Real Life bereavement.  I lost my mother on May 24, 2017 and the grief I have been experiencing has been overwhelming.  Yet, in the midst of my grief, I want to thank the SL community for being patient with me.  I also want to thank all of you for your support during this difficult time…with a special thank you going out to John Brianna and his wife Eles, Hunae O’Neil, Monrocie Core, VP Sandalwood, Mark Taylor, Nita Wunderlich, Luchenpur Darwin, Belyabee and Krystali.  There are countless others that I need to thank, so please forgive me if your name was not included in this article.

Though I have not been writing articles, I have been doing a lot of things behind the scenes to create a more inviting atmosphere at the SL Parade Headquarters.  One of the things I recently implemented was the creation of The SL Parade game room.  This game room features three bowling alleys, an engaging Connect Four game, a checkers board, pool table, and an air hockey table.  Though this items are free to the SL game playing public, The SL Parade encourages donations to help with the upkeep of the website as well as The SL Parade Headquarters.  Thus, there is a donation box located in the game room, and I encourage all who come by to donate what you can.

In addition to the game room, I have also installed a garden at The SL Parade’s entrance.  This acts as a gateway to another feature at The SL Parade Headquarters:  A permanent kind of Spring.  Because Spring signifies renewal and growth, I wanted to make The SL Parade Headquarters a reflection of all things pertinent to Spring.  I have installed two pools–one in front of the new SL Parade Dance Hall, as well as one located in the open seating areas designed for patrons.  In addition to the pools, there are swaying trees and other foliage designed to convey the newness often associated with spring.

The SL Parade Headquarters still has an informal cafe designed for upcoming listening parties that will happen via our partnership with SBE/Kulturezine Media, an RL music distribution company that specializes in Hip Hop, Gospel and an array of other music genres.  Inside the cafe, there is a small stage, a bar and dining tables for patrons to sit.  This, along with an open floor for dancing, allows a more intimate setting to insure full enjoyment of the services offered.

Because The SL Parade has hired Aiden Windlow as our SL Parade Photographer, we have allocated space for his photo gallery and studio.  Windlow’s biographical information will be featured in another article, but I must say that I am very grateful and excited that he is on board!  Aiden Windlow’s gallery is a few doors down from three stores that are available to rent at the SL Parade Headquarters.  If you would like to set up a business at The SL Parade Headquarters, please feel free to contact me inworld or via Facebook.

I also want patrons to notice the element of romance intrinsic at The SL Parade Headquarters.  In addition to being all about renewal and growth, Spring is very representative of budding and new romance.  Because romance (in my opinion) seems to be becoming a lost art form, I wanted to recreate space for those interested in recapturing what seems to be a lost art. One key element of romance is courtship; the act of taking someone you are interested in out on a date, as well as checking on their well-being, should be a constant fixture between those interested in becoming more romantically involved.  To facilitate courtship, I have created spaces on my sim where couples can picnic, dance, and even shop.

Besides the available store space for those interested in setting up business at The SL Parade Headquarters, I planning to set up a flower and novelty shop specifically designed for budding couples.  This flower and novelty shop was inspired by two things:  (1) The belief that couples should offer flowers and/or other items to convey their love and affection to one another and (2) my personal desire to honor my mother, who loved flowers immensely.  In addition to the latter reason, I have personally always wanted to own an RL flower and novelty shop because, like my late mother, I have always loved the smell of flowers and freshly turned soil.

Like the purple-umbrella’d tables designed for virtual dining and conversation, there are two tables by the tentative floral shop that serve ice cream.  Those tables are conveniently located at the ice cream parlor connected to the flower and novelty shop. Please note that any donations made to The SL Parade can also be made at the registers located inside the flower and novelty shop, as well as at the ice cream parlor.

All the items featured on the sim were created by a slew of talented creators…all of which will be featured in The SL Parade.  I have the interviews completed, and I look forward to publishing them for your reading pleasure.  This, along with introducing my newest staff members, will completely be in sync with my intent to create the permanent feel of spring at The SL Parade Headquarters.

Restorative growth and renewal is what The SL Parade is all about.  It is my hope that you come by and visit the sim, and partake in embracing the sentiment of Spring.  After all, in SL we can create a season of permanency no matter what season we are currently experiencing in RL.  To visit the SL Parade’s Headquarters, please click the following link:  The SL Parade Headquarters, Cafe and Garden Entrance.

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Editorial: Reciprocity, or Going Where Your Bread Is Buttered

Have you ever been on the receiving end of mass teleports (TPs) and group conferences from an array of hosts, DJs and venues?  Prior to disabling my group chat feature, I did.

And while I initially had no problem with these habitual TP’s, etc.; it began to take a toll on me.  The mass TPs and group chats seemed like a cattle call rather than a way to commune and get to know other Second Life community members; there was nothing personal in them, and the only time I ever heard from many of these DJs and hosts was when they were having a party.  There was never an individual, nor personal hello…not one conversation held that conveyed anything other than “letting go” at yet another elaborately orchestrated party.

This realization would become especially perplexing when I would invite these same individuals to gatherings at the SL Parade Headquarters, because whenever I had an event, none of them would turn up to support it.  And while I understand that many SL community members are busy at various clubs and other venues, I also think it prudent that if one asks for support, then there should be willingness to give the same support to others business owners, too.

This mindset is a little bit more than going where your bread is buttered.  Though a lucid reference that has been used since the 1500’s, the concept of “going to where your bread is buttered” stems on the concept of reciprocity. According to Wikipedia, “…reciprocity is a social rule that says people should repay, in kind, what another person has provided for them;[1] that is, people give back (reciprocate) the kind of treatment they have received from another.” (wikipedia.org)

The power of choice is ours when it comes to patronizing venues, but in an ideal world, this patronage should center around the concept of reciprocity.  If I attend a venue for instance, and I am tipping DJs, Hosts, and the venue to boot, it would be nice to get that same support, too. Further, not only should I receive this support, but others that regularly patronize a given venue should as well.

from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/398850110732632719/

And this concept of reciprocity should not be limited to clubs, but also be intrinsic in SL churches and other types of venues, too.  In terms of the SL church, it is my belief that reciprocity should come in the form of direct community involvement.  From holding private conferences between two individual members who have publicly bickered on social media, to mapping out fundraisers for community members that are experiencing real life hardship, this form of reciprocity should be in accordance to what a real life church would do.

Wikipedia also vividly describes another tenet of reciprocity by providing examples.  The online encyclopedia states, “By virtue of the rule of reciprocity, people are obligated to repay favors, gifts, invitations, etc. in the future. If someone receives a gift for their birthday, a reciprocal expectation may influence them to do the same on the gift-giver’s birthday. This sense of future obligation associated with reciprocity makes it possible to build continuing relationships and exchanges. Reciprocal actions of this nature are important to social psychology as they can help explain the maintenance of social norms.” (wikipedia.org)

I would also like to stress that the kind of reciprocity that I am encouraging is not negative.  I am encouraging positive (and balanced) reciprocity.  When practiced in this light, reciprocity is more than a moral obligation; it also entails the building and cultivation of relationships within social groups. With this in mind, how can a venue–let alone a DJ, Host, etc.–ask for the SL community’s support, yet fail to give the very same support they ask for in return?  Though a rhetorical question, I would argue that if the true definition of reciprocity was practiced, it would facilitate some sincere interaction and effective business building.

ReRe Sandalwood relaxes at the SL Parade’s Cafe…

The last time I questioned motives and priorities in Second Life, I got pounded upon.  However, this pounding will not stop me (nor should it stop you) from stating the obvious:  it is important to support businesses (DJs, hosts, etc.) and venues that will go out their way to legitimately support the success of others.  Doing so creates a more personalized atmosphere, while also demonstrating a sincere effort in legitimately supporting in-world businesses.

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Etopia’s 10 Year Earth Day Celebration…And An Earth Day Clue!

Happy Earth Day To Everyone!!

NOTE:  The SL Parade has placed prizes all over its Headquarters in celebration of Etopia’s Earth Day.  Aligning ourselves with not only Etopia, but with Whole Brain Health, Nonprofit Commons, and Center Ground; The SL Parade has opened it’s virtual doors for you to not only take a look around, but to claim your prize!  To acquire a clue to find YOUR prize, please read this entire announcement, then pay a visit to The SL Parade’s Headquarters

Etopia’s Earth Day celebration this year is a multi-sim event. Etopia has partnered with Whole Brain Health, Nonprofit Commons, and Center Ground to bring you a variety of workshops, tours, music, and film.

Enjoy the festivities and Thank you for 10 fabulous years!!

********  Schedule of Events ***********

**** THURSDAY 4/20

7pm SLT: Earth Day Kickoff Party with DJ Dani.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Etopia%20Island/131/96/23

**** FRIDAY 4/21

8:30am SLT:  Showing of the film “Before The Flood” followed by discussion. Before The Flood looks at how climate change affects our environment and what society can do to prevent the demise of endangered species, ecosystems and native communities across the planet. This event will be held at the Nonprofit Commons Ampitheater.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Plush%20Nonprofit%20Commons/102/140/26

11:30am SLT:  Bridging Worlds – The Etopia Experience (Namaara MacMoragh) Presentation will share how Etopia bridges the Second Life experience with real world application of sustainable living ideas, works to raise awareness about the impact of climate change, and how collaborations with other Second Life communities benefits everyone.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Etopia%20Island/84/157/23

2pm SLT:  Tour & Discussion of The Importance of Wetlands and Marine Life. Meet at Etopia Quest to explore the wetlands and marine life of Etopia with a discussion of the impact of climate change on this fragile ecosystem.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Etopia%20Quest/172/101/25

6pm SLT (tentative):  Showing of the film “Before The Flood” followed by discussion. Before The Flood looks at how climate change affects our environment and what society can do to prevent the demise of endangered species, ecosystems and native communities across the planet. This event will be held at the Bayview Ampitheater.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Etopia%20Island/84/157/23

Friday Sister Sim Events You Don’t Want To Miss …

10am SLT:  Sunvibes Workshop on Inspiration Island  – Join the folks at Whole Brain Health on Inspiration Island for a musical journey from country to country. What better way to appreciate other cultures than our own than by listening to tunes from around the world?
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Inspiration%20Island/219/102/27

**** SATURDAY 4/22

9am SLT:  Bamboo Bike Tour of Etopia Island with Namaara MacMoragh. Learn more about some of the most popular spots on Etopia and discover some of our hidden treasures. Join Nam as she shares the story and the fun of Etopia.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Etopia%20Island/194/56/22

11am SLT:  Climate Change Game with Marly Milena at the Climate Change Platform on Inspiration Island. This symbolic modeling exercise explores various perspectives on climate change with a discussion on how we can use this experience to foster dialogue, sharing of information, and raising awareness of this issue.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Inspiration%20Island/13/82/701

LIVE Music At KATJA’s
** 12pm SLT – The Vinnie Show
** 1pm SLT – Max Kleene
** pm SLT – Torben Asp
** 3pm SLT – Phemie Alcott
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Etopia%20Prime/59/141/23

2pm SLT:  Earth Day Open Mic- come share your writing: fiction, non fiction, poetry, essays about what inspires you about the Earth. life, climate change, and sustainablity. It can be your original writing or the writing of your favorite author. You can read yourself, have someone else read for you or just come to listen. Join Bhelanna Blaze & Namaara MacMoragh at the Etopia Ampitheater.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Etopia%20Island/84/157/23

5pm SLT:  Fighting Climate Change with Permaculture. Join fate Paule as she shares her experiences creating a permaculture lifestyle and how this approach can make a difference in our daily life while creating positive change for the future.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Etopia%20Homestead/211/57/24

Saturday Sister Sim Events You Don’t Want To Miss —

10am to 10pm SLT:  A Celebration of Music at Center Ground from featuring an array of DJ’s. Not attending a discussion or taking a tour? Be sure to stop by Center Ground for fun, friends, and great music.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Han%20Loso/121/43/65

**** SUNDAY 4/23

11am SLT:  Sustainability Sunday – Topic is Value of Earth Day Awareness (does it change behavior? how can we increase impact, reach, etc?)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Etopia%20Island/194/56/22

Sunday Sister Sim Events You Don’t Want To Miss —

9:30am SLT:  Meditation at Inspiration Island with Dani Ballinger. Everyone interested in meditation is welcome at the Whole Brain Health Meditation Group. This intro is filled with instruction for beginners and interactive discussion. It’s a wonderful opportunity to contemplate our relationship to our mother earth today.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Inspiration%20Island/214/212/701

 

*** Other Activities ***

  • 10th Anniversary Birthday Hunt (20 April – 30 April)
  • Guided Walking Tour of Etopia Island
  • Guided Tours (Balloon Prime, Eagle Mtn, Dragon Surprise)

 

 

 

SL Parade’s Earth Day Clue (for the hunt):  

Way in the forest deep,
the gift is deeply hidden,
look toward the ground, as it is tightly wrapped
Once found, it is yours to keep

Please pay a visit to the SL Parade Headquarters to claim your prizes!

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Reminder: Come to The SL Parade’s Big Band Party on Sunday, April 9, 2017!

 

Walk the SL Parade’s Red Carpet and join our Big Band Party!

Reminder:  Don’t forget that tomorrow, The SL Parade will be having a BIG BAND party from 2 PM SLT – 4 PM SLT at The SL Parade’s Headquarters. Come in your formal best, and be ready to strut your stuff on the Red Carpet and have Luna Morandiere take your photo!

Be sure to come out to the Big Band party on Sunday, April 9, 2017 from 2:00 PM SLT to 4 PM SLT!  Click here for your limo:  Limo to The SL Parade’s Big Band Party!

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Heather Ann: Furries Are Discriminated Against In Second Life

No Furries Allowed

In many sims, you will see these signs or find it listed in the sim rules. At first I wasn’t sure what a furry was, so I had to check that out. Once I understood what a furry was, I still didn’t understand why someone would want to dress up as an animal in a game where you could be anything you wanted to be. In fact, one of the first people I met in world was a life sized white tiger. For many days, I had no idea if the person behind this avatar was male or female because the name was unisex and the conversation was neutral. It wasn’t until the tiger invited me to go dancing did I find out he was a guy.

One thing I learned about people who walk around in SL in animal avatars is to never underestimate them. I have met many Furries over the years. They come in an array of personality types, from shy to outgoing, as well as creative.  Many are also introverts, while others are extroverted. Also, their ages range from teens to individuals in their forties….but they are not limited by age range. Even the sexual identity of the furry varies; a furry’s sexuality can be aligned with the LGBTQ+ community, be heterosexual, or be non-sexual.

Overall, being a furry tends to be a freeing experience…it’s like Halloween every day….wearing a costume. Some of the furries I have spoken with tell me being furry has allowed them to overcome serious social anxiety. As their character, they are able to explore in world and are also free to interact in ways they couldn’t do on a daily basis in the real world.

Thus, if Furries are such interesting and diverse creatures, why are they discriminated against on some sims? I can see in some sims with strict role play why a limitation of characters is a must. However, in clubs or other causal sims, it really shouldn’t be a problem.

Discrimination is discrimination no matter how you look at it. And why do most people discriminate? Because they fear the unknown.

My suggestion is to not let fear stop you from possibly meeting the most interesting person–or Furry–you have ever experienced.

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Furries: The Spirit Animals of Second Life

There is a little bit of animal in all of us, but what if we truly seek to embody the very animal we can best relate to?

If you truly want to embody your spirit animal, becoming a furry may be the best way to go.  According to Megan Garber’s November 6, 2014 article entitled “Your Spirit Animal:  An Investigation,” a spirit animal can either be a person or thing that a person deeply appreciates; to better identify this appreciation, a person can literally embody their admiration for another person or thing by claiming it as their own (Garber 2014).

Within the context of the furry, the sense of ownership specifically relies on identifying, as well as incorporating key characteristics and strengths that the animal of their choosing has.  For instance, a person may appreciate the mane of a lion, as well as a lion’s hunting skill and prowess.  Yet, in appreciating a lion, a person may see a bit of themselves in the animal; like the lion, they may have a “mane” of thick hair, or they may be very skilled at hunting down a person or a thing that they want, not to mention have a strong social prowess that is difficult to shy away from.  They see the attributes of the lion in themselves, and readily embrace that side of themselves by claiming the lion as their spirit animal.

Dennis Avner before and after his conversion into a human feline….

While the concept of embracing your spirit animal in Second Life may seem more tangible to the average person, it is important to note that in Real Life, embodying your spirit animal is just as tangible (if not more so).  Dennis Avner (age 50), for instance, was a former US Navy veteran that had at least 14 operations aimed at morphing himself into a feline, complete with whiskers, ears and a mechanical tail (White 2012).

Avner, according to the Daily Mail’s September 6, 2008 article entitled “Cat Man – The human ‘tiger’ that enjoys climbing trees and eating raw meat everyday” is descended from American Indians, and has spent ‘an uncalculated amount’ of money on making himself look like a big cat (The Daily Mail 2008).  Avner’s dedication to morphing himself into a tiger occurred soon after having a discussion with a Native American chief who inspired him to ‘follow the ways of the tiger’ (The Daily Mail 2008).

II. One of Two Furries:  Anthropomorphic Furries

In contrast to Dennis Avner’s literal, cosmetically enhanced feline morphing, becoming a furry in Second Life can–in a hosts of ways–be a bit more simpler.  Jaysen Katscher, who has been an active Second Life community member  for 10 years and a month, says that becoming a furry was a matter of seeing an inworld avatar up close and wanting  one for himself.  “Six months to a year after I first landed…” Katscher explains, “I found a WereHouse on a Therianation sim. While there, I saw the smilodon avi and instantly had to have it….”

Jaysen Katscher

Katscher alludes to the choice he made to become an anthropomorphic furry.  Anthropomorphic, according to Wikipedia, “…is the attribution of human traits, emotions, and intentions to non-human entities…” (Wikipedia).  In the context of being a furry and participating in furry fandom culture, examples of anthropomorphic attributes include exhibiting human intelligence and facial expressions, as well as the ability to speak, walk on two legs, and wear clothes (Wikipedia).

Katscher, as he explains, functioned as a human in Second Life before finding his first furry avatar.  He explains, “I wasn’t even aware of a fandom in RL or SL…I was just amazed to find this and wanted it. I was partnered at the time and she wasn’t keen on my being a furry in here. So I sneaked around, in a sense, trying to spend time with a version of myself that I enjoyed being over ‘just plain old human’. She eventually accepted what I was about and even tried it herself, though she preferred being human. Real life happened for her and she drifted out of SL…After that, I was a full-time fur and avatar collector. Giant robots, dragons and other creatures all in my inventory for whenever I got bored. I always came back to my smilodon or tiger, though. They were home for me….where I felt at ease with myself and my lot in my 2nd Life.”

Because Katscher was a radio jock for the first four years he was involved in Second Life, he often worked for and alongside Second Life humans, which often presented challenges for him.  Katscher continues, “…it presented its moments when people wouldn’t get why I wouldn’t completely change my avatar to suit them…I even tried the ‘walk a mile in my paws’ explanations with some…”

He asserts, “Since then, I have come across a bunch of great people who take me for me and don’t judge my looks. It’s been a great decade being a part of this and even getting to meet some people in here that became part of my family in real life.”

Rhythmic Nalvir (viviandreamer)

Like Katscher, Rhythmic Nalvir (viviandreamer) also functions as an anthropomorphic furry, and has been an active Second Life community member for eight years.  Yet unlike Katscher, Nalvir has always functioned as a furry.  She explains, “I always been into the furry community on here. I was a furry before joining SL…I have always loved animals growing up, so being a creature where you’re a humanoid-like animal sounded awesome to me…especially when I first heard about it 10 years ago…I also love the art styles and character creations people put behind there fursonas (NOTE: Furnsonas are, according to Wikipedia, ‘Anthropomorphic animal characters created by furry fans’)…”

Though both Nalvir and Katscher came across their furry-based spirit animals in different ways, both admit that being a furry allows them to be creative.  Katcher reiterates this claim by saying, “I get to express myself. I’ll admit to a guilty pleasure in the compliments from people who message me that they wish they could do the same, but are too afraid of being judged for it.”

III. Kit Mahogany:  The Feral (and hence, second) Furry

Panther Amorosi and her beloved pet cat, Kit Mahogany (also known as Kit-Kat)

Besides anthropomorphic furries, there are those that believe in completely emulating their spirit animal by embodying them as a feral furry. Also known as either Non-anthro, full non-anthropomorphic, and/or non-morphic, the feral furry is a term used to describe a fictitious character or fursona that does not share virtually any human characteristics or traits associated with full furry/anthro beings (WikiFur, the furry encyclopedia). Less commonly, it is used to describe just a regular, feral, non-sapient animal (WikiFur, the furry encyclopedia).

One of many SL Community members that chooses to embody their spirit animal as a feral furry is Kit Mahogany.  Affectionately known as Kit-Kat, Mahogany is a male jaguar that periodically turns into a snow leopard when the occasion calls for it. In either rp-based spirit animal mediums, Mahogany can often be seen at various venues with his owner Panther Amorosi.  Because Mahogany’s owner is a DJ, Mahogany accompanies Amorosi to all of her DJ sets.  When asked what he loved most about being a feral cat, Mahogany explains, “I love being able to just lay around soaking up music and sunshine, lazing like a real cat does. No one expects much of you so it’s very relaxing.”

What makes Mahogany and Amorosi’s relationship really special is that both are embodying their spirit animals in different ways.  Mahogany actually embodies his spirit animal by literally becoming a feral cat, while Amorisi does so by closely aligning and caring for Kit Mahogany.  Kit Mahogany reiterates this by saying, “Panther Amorosi, a human, takes care of my home and feeding needs…and I mainly live on a diet of fish…”

Kit Mahogany as a snow leopard…

When Kit Mahogany was asked about the creation of his fursona, he explains, “I decided to create a furry after being an SL newbie for about a year and a half…I was intrigued with the possibility of taking on a fursona (persona for furries) and living as a furry in Second Life.  My first avatar was an Anthro type (stands on two legs like humans), then I discovered the Feral type (goes on four legs and is more like a real animal)…”

“About a year later…” Mahogany continues, “…I settled on being a Melanistic Jaguar, as I had always loved cats…I enjoyed watching my domestic cat for many hours, and this gave me insight as to how to act like a cat for my in world RP.”

Because he also became enamored with the snow leopard, Mahogany decided to embody the in world role of that animal too.  Mahogany says, “I fell in love with the Snow Leopard avatar two years ago and felt that I could work it in as my ‘Winter Aspect,’ changing back to a Leopard for Summer…”

All admiration aside, Mahogany does acknowledge one key challenge of emulating a feral furry. “The constant challenge…” Mahogany says, “…is to try and work out how to express ideas or complex actions only by emote, as my character is a mute…that is to say, in the RP, Kit-Kat cannot speak (as a real Leopard would not speak) and so somehow, he must convey an concept by emoting. I suppose I am a ‘purist’ in that way as I try not to ‘speak’ while being in character.”

IV.  Discrimination Against Furries

As in all things that are readily embraced by some, there are others out there that simply do not understand the reasoning behind becoming a furry…let alone embracing their own spirit animal.  Jaysen Katscher, for instance says that as an in world radio jock, he often experienced challenges from various venue owners.  He explains, “When I was a radio jock in here, I’d get the ‘Can you be human here?  We don’t want our clients freaking out.’ Then, off the gig, there would be the ‘Yiff in Hell, furfag’ jerks….Not so much now though….”

Rhythmic Nalvir (viviandreamer) relaxes with her SL partner and RL boyfriend, Daeron Nalvir (daeronnavlir)

For Rhythmic Nalvir (viviandreamer), one of her biggest challenges is helping others understand that her fursona is not a form of role play; rather, it is actually an extension of herself.  Nalvir explains, “Rhythmic is me in furry form so when you are talking to her, you are actually talking to me. I don’t like to hide behind a character…I want people to know me.”

This, along with others stealing Nalvir’s art and artistic interpretation can make things very difficult for a person that has truly embodied their fursona.  For this reason, Nalvir has the following warning in her Second Life profile:

PLEASE DO NOT STEAL, COPY, TRACE, USE HER IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM OR COLOR OVER ANY OF MY PIECES OF ART I GOT DONE OF HER. RHYTHMIC TOOK ME 3 YEARS TO FINALIZE I WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF SHE WAS NOT STOLEN.

Like Nalvir, Katscher often relies on warning-based stipulations to not only establish boundaries with the SL public, but to stress how important it is for him to truly express his furry self.  Katscher would often tell various venues that since they are hiring him, they have to accept him as a furry.  In fact, Katscher says that he would tell them, “‘You’re hiring a furry ‘jock’. I’m willing to dress to be appropriate for the event or venue. I will not change anything else. If you insist on a human-looking jock, may I suggest – (link to DJ Referral Group)'”.

Besides establishing boundaries, Nalvir, Katscher and Mahogany all agree on the importance of surrounding yourself with those that embrace who you are.  In terms of great places to hang out, Jaysen Katscher suggests furries frequent hangouts that are furry friendly. “FurNation…” Katscher says, “…is a furry hangout…Muddy’s Music Cafe and Muddy’s Country…while not exclusively furry are fur-friendly and don’t give me a hard time showing up in fur avis…”

Rhythmic Nalvir (viviandreamer) prefers adult-rated places like the YIFF CLUB, YIFF ALLEY LOUNGE, KNOTTY BEACH, IYC, GYC, and JUST POSEBALL.  She continues, “…apologies, as these are all adult places…I just like to go to them cause there usually filled with [anthropomorphic and feral] people….”

For Kit Mahogany, the best place to be is beside his owner Panther Amorosi. Because his function is primarily as a pet, he is generally embraced by whatever venue Amorosi frequents, and can be seen at Fogbounds and a plethora of other venues, too.  Mahogany continues, “Kit Kat’s role in the Amorosi family is as a family pet. The role is light and easy and would not be considered a complex feral RP. That is to say, no hunting or mating RP is taking place at all.”

V. Furries and Their Families:  Another Way To Align With Like-Minded Individuals

Jaysen Katscher poses with his SL human family. “The two standing with me…” he says, “…are Tinsley (short one) and Bella…”

As Kit Mahogany mentioned earlier, creating an in world family is another way for furries to surround themselves with like-minded individuals. Because Mahogany functions inworld as a pet (and hence, a member of Panther Amorosi’s family), his role is a relaxed one.  He reiterates this claim by saying, “I would say overall that I chose to go furry as it appeals to my relaxed side, nobody expects much from a cat, except to see it laze around or chase a toy. This way, I get to enjoy the company of friends in an easy going RP manner, no stress. It is my break from reality and isn’t that what SL is about?”

As if echoing Mahogany’s sentiment, Rhythmic Nalvir (viviandreamer) agrees that she can be more relaxed around her SL family.  However, in Nalvir’s opinion, relaxing around her SL family means having the flexibility of sharing your true Real Life personality with them rather than role play.  She explains, “…I have a family on here and we are all furries…We been a family for 5 years now and we are all really good friends…but we don’t role play. There just like me…they act like themselves….and we don’t do the whole daddy/mommy thing…”

Rhythmic Nalvir (VivianDreamer) poses with her furry family…

While Jaysen Katscher also has an SL family, his family is mostly a human one that enables him to be himself.  Katscher continues, “My family is mostly human, and while I don’t have a role, per se…I don’t get treated differently for being a furry, I think….”

In addition to having an SL family, both Katscher and Nalvir both have furfinity.net accounts; these accounts allow them to connect with other furries, as well as admire their artistic efforts.  To contact Rhythmic Nalvir (viviandreamer) on furfinity.net, please click here:  Rhythmic Nalvir’s Furfinity account.

To contact Jaysen Katscher on furfinity.net, please click here:  Jaysen Katscher’s Furfinity account.

References:

“Cat Man – Human tiger who enjoys climbing trees, eats raw meat everyday.” Daily Mail.com, September 6, 2008. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1052934/Cat-Man–human-tiger-enjoys-climbing-trees-eats-raw-meat-day.html#ixzz4dcm8KV3r)

Garber, Megan.  “Your Spirit Animal:  An Investigation.” The Atlantic, November 6, 2014. (https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/11/your-spirit-animal-a-cultural-investigation/382369/)

Pierce, Allen.  “Tapping Into Your Spirit Animal.” Pachamama.org (https://www.pachamama.org/blog/tapping-into-your-spirit-animal)

White, Steven.  “The End Fur ‘Cat Man’:  Former Sailor Who Had Radical Surgery To Look Like A Tiger Found Dead.” Mirror (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/dennis-avner-dead-cat-man-1435103)

Winterman, Denise.  “Who Are The Furries?” BBC News Magazine, November 13, 2009 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8355287.stm)

“Furry Fandom” Wikipedia.org (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furry_fandom)

 

“Non-anthro” wikifur.com [http://en.wikifur.com/wiki/Feral_(term)]

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The Hangout: More Than A Place To Park Your Avatar

Whether to demonstrate our fashion prowess or escape from Real Life, many of us come to Second Life for a myriad of reasons.  Yet, what if one of those reasons involves the desire to encourage others to not only network, but to help one another too?

Edward Travis, The Hangout Proprietor and Founder

As if this question were posed directly to Edward Travis (known as Travis Suave inworld), he dutifully answers it via the creation of The Hangout. While The Hangout is a place for SL community members to party and relax, it’s important to note that Suave has created more than a place:  he has also created a website directory aimed at connecting SL business owners to not only customers, but to other business owners as well.  This, along with the creation of The Hangout Radio Station encompasses a multi-layered effort to spread the word about SL businesses across the grid!

Suave’s creation of The Hangout is especially beneficial for businesses who are currently not listed in Second Life’s Destination Guide, because it allows owners a choice as to how their business is advertised, as well as the flexibility to choose what target audience they wish to market to…in a way that dutifully functions with, yet independently from Linden Labs–all in one swoop.  To sign your business up, please click on the following link:  My Radio Stream.

Travis Suave, whose Real Life occupation specializes in Sales and Website Development, brings a plethora of real life work experience with him; this real life work experience becomes more fluid and tangible within the scheme of Second Life because it represents how real life skills can benefit SL community members.

II. When The Hangout Was Founded And Other Ways It Helps Businesses Flourish

There is ad space and store rentals available at The Hangout; contact Edwad Travis for more details….

Founding The Hangout in June 2015, Suave has successfully maintained his venue’s location for over two years.  In fact, if you would like to take a look at The Hangout parcel, please click on the following link:  The Hangout.  When asked about his business’ endeavors, Suave answered, “My aim is to help people in [the SL] game… get their brand out there in a much easier way then the way it is usually done in world…”

To meet this goal, Suave relies on his ability to personalize service to SL business owners, just like he does in his Real Life Sales profession.  His business location for instance, offers a variety of scenic backdrops aimed to entice even the most discerning customer.  For instance, there is a beach area that overlooks a scenic ocean…complete with crashing waves and a modest gurgling current.  This scenic beach area also features a venue perfect for wedding ceremonies.

Asharhia, owner of The Asha Group. Asharhia is also responsible for landscaping The Hangout Sim…

There is also a very interactive forest, a children’s playground, bustling restaurants and a romantic waterfront for couples interested in bonding with one another.  This, along with acknowledgment of the Asha Group’s landscaping contribution to The Hangout, are indicators of Sauve’s willingness to help employ other businesses to realize his goal of helping others.

The Asha Group is owned by Asharhia, who is also responsible for the creation of the Africa sim located at Caprina.  To take a look at her additional landscape contributions, please be sure to also pay a visit to Africa by clicking here:  Asharhia creates Africa.  Feel free to also contact her via Facebook by clicking the following link: Asharhia.

Visiting Africa, as well as visiting The Hangout Sim will offer SL community members an interactive look at Asharhia‘s work, while also supporting Travis Suave’s efforts to create formidable connections with SL business owners.  To take a look at The Hangout’s Waterfront please click here:  Waterfront Romance at the Hangout.

III. The Hangout Venue: Offering Intimacy At Its Finest

For those that crave a more enclosed yet intimate environment, Suave has also placed a venue in the sky that aims to showcase live performers as well as DJ’s.  Enshrouded in blue and seemingly crushed velvet, this venue features white drapery and has its walls and ceilings bordered in gold.  The stark color contrast, along with a pleasantly smoky vibe, make this section of the hangout perfect for romantic outings…or even as a place to meet up with friends, family, and colleagues.

This stage will be used for live performances, and is located inside The Hangout’s Club venue…

This, along with an area of The Hangout sim designed to cater to the needs of SL families and their children, make for a destination that not only addresses a varied audience, but one that offers personalized service with the aim of catering to the discerning SL community member. This is because, as a consumer himself, Travis Suave began to realize that he wanted to offer more to the SL community then merely a place to park their avis while mindlessly listening to music.

He explains, “…I saw people hanging around [different venues]…and all they were doing was standing in one spot, looking at each other as they listened to a stream…”

Suave contends that this mindless listening and standing around is one of many key things that can lead to unnecessary in world arguments and griefing.  Thus, Suave’s goal is to not only create a way for others to positively network with each other, but to do so in an environment that is healthy and safe.  He continues, “My goal is to not only create something more than a place to hang out in world, but to also create a place that helps others find a different place to go and not be harassed with drama…”

To better demonstrate how The Hangout sim encourages peace within Second Life, please take a look at the slideshow below:

He is also interested in using The Hangout (including the website, as well as his radio station and his variety of venues) to foster new ways to function in world; in fact, Suave believes that there is more than one way to get the word out about your business, and he also believes that a business owner has to be flexible and open to change in order to help their business better flourish.  Suave explains, “I want to build on creating a strong information center for people; I want to help SL Community members locate great places to hang out and to find businesses that will gainfully assist them in their endeavors.  I want to help people come up with new ways of doing business within the Second Life game, and better assist those who are open to change…In fact, I prefer to be around people who are open to new ways of thinking….that are open to change.”

Please check out some additional photos compiled of The Hangout here:

As seen in the above photos, The Hangout offers the SL community a way to not only demonstrate their openness to change, but in also actively spreading the word about how business owners make a profound difference in the community they serve.

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For Immediate Release: Kultivate Spring 17 Art Show Starts April 3, 2017!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Kultivate Spring 17 Art Show

Dates: April 3 to April 9, 2017

Website: https://kultivatemagazine.com/kultivate-magazine-spring-2017-art-show/

Location: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Water%20Haven/146/139/22

Kultivate Magazine is pleased to announce its second annual Spring Art Show! This show will feature a week long celebration of 2D and 3D art. Over 50 artists are participating in this week long show. The event will feature both a juried and non juried component. Juried participants are competing to win a shared prize pot, gift cards, and more. The week long show will feature a variety of live performers, tribute bands, DJ parties, a photo contest, and two special hunts. This year’s event will also feature a new series, “Art Talks,” which will feature informational sessions on a variety of topics such as photography in Second Life, copyright and Creative Commons, Photoshop and GIMP tips, and more.

Participating artists are (in alphabetical order): Alexavion, Alpha Auer, Amona Savira, Anouk Lefavre, Aradia Aridian, Artandsoul Constantine, Belua Broadfoot, Bevie Oh, Bryn Oh, Calystiamoonshadow, Catalina Staheli, Daisydaze, Byrnedarkly Cazalet, Elle Thorkveld, Emberdearheart, Dakota Lavarock, Grazietta Cazenove, Hana Hoobinoo, Ilyra Chardin, Eucalyptus Carroll, Isis Desmoulins, Iskye Silverweb, Jaime Poutine, Jamee Sandalwood, Honey Bender, Justmetrying Resident, Inquisitor Titanium, Kayly Iali, Kodymeyers Resident, Layachi Ihnen, Lucia Tophat, Jayapplebutt, Kacey Macbeth, Myra Wildmist, Ninaporras, Paradox Messmer, Retroye Resident, Roxaane Fyanucci, Sabine Mortenwold, Sandi Benelli, Saulgoodie Resident, Lulyboop, Sheba Blitz, Silas Merlin, Slatan Dryke, Michael Lysios, Sparkie Cyberstar, Syphera Inaka, Talligurl Resident, Tisephone, Tiszo Cioc, Pam Astonia, Vivienne Darcy, Warm Clarity, Wintergeist Resident, Sch511 Resident, Solde Rothmanay, and Veruca Tammas.

The Kultivate Spring 17 Art Show would not be possible without the following sponsors: MadPea Productions, The Keys Live Music Venues and Management Group, Chiffon, Sonatta Morales, and Mahlberg Tailors. Media partners for the week long event are: The SL Enquirer, Seraphim, The SL Parade, Port Elysium News, and The Miss SL Organization.

About Kultivate Magazine:
Kultivate Magazine is a publication about the cultural aspects of Second Life. The goal of Kultivate Magazine is to support art, culture, photography, music, and fashion. Kultivate Magazine consists of the magazine, The Edge and The Edge Gallery, The Windlight Art Gallery,  The Red Gallery,  The Kultivate Bailywick Gallery, The Kultivate Select Gallery, Ristorante Ivanna, & The Tribute and Crown Pub. Kultivate Magazine is proud to be the media partner and primary sponsor of Team Diabetes of Second Life, an official and authorized team for The American Diabetes Association

For More Information:
https://kultivatemagazine.com/kultivate-magazine-spring-2017-art-show

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My Stream Online Radio: A Internet Stream Press Release

Press release:  Mr Travis Suave (etravis51) introduces My Stream Online Radio:  A Internet Radio Stream.  This radio stream is designed to meet the needs of the SL Community, specifically by allowing listeners the choice of listening to who they want, when they want.  So, if you want to be in the know of who started their own online station…be it a talk show or even a music show that features gospel, country, Reggae, R&B, House, etc.; My Stream Online Radio:  A Internet Radio Stream is for you!

My Stream Online Radio: A Internet Radio Stream is also the place to come to if you want to find the best Poetry stations available; this, along with a plethora of other important information, is at the SL community’s disposal.

Yet, in order for this resource to flourish, individuals like YOU are needed.  Thus, My Stream Online Radio wants to add YOUR business stream to its website.  Actively participating in this process will not only enable others to easily find your business, it will enable others to also listen to your stream.  This, in turn can also act as a way to increase traffic on your SIM and bolster your business sales, too.

To learn more about My Stream Online Radio:  A Internet Radio Stream, please contact Mr Travis Suave (etravis51) inworld or via Facebook at Edward Travis.

To take a look at this resource, please be sure to visit the site’s web page by clicking here:  My Stream Online Radio:  A Internet Radio Stream.  Also, please be sure to visit Mr Travis Suave’s Hangout Park by clicking here: Hangout Park.

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