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September 2009

EST ARS SECUNDUS VITAE

MUSIC CLASSICAL MUSIC ROLE PLAY WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A ROLE PLAYER FASHION LATE SUMMER, HOT FINDS

ROLE


STAFF Publisher Rohal Schnyder Executive Publisher Leeza Catteneo Editor in Chief Ofelia Laval Advertising & Marketing Leeza Catteneo Art Director Leeza Catteneo Stylists Ana Lutetia Cayce Newell Stacie Pryor Tomoyo Breitman Fashion Spread Photographer Zoe Demar Contributors Express Zenovka Jura Shepherd Marleen Vaughan Ofelia Laval Salvatore Otoro Stacia Villota Therese Carfagno

ROLE MAGA Z I N E

Editorial Office Concetta (194/172/22) Contacts editorial@role-magazine.com advertising@role-magazine.com www.role-magazine.com All the published material has been provided by the mentioned brands. Therefore, ROLE Magazine cannot be responsible for copyright issues and assumes no responsibility for inaccurate content or changes in the products or prices displayed. Copyright by ROLE Magazine. Reproduction or use of the content in whole or in part without the written permission of the editor is strictly prohibited.


EDITOR’S NOTE I guess this is it! Summer is officially over. My brother is in town to visit with me during his vacation so over the weekend we decided to take a road trip. I popped an old Yo La Tengo cd into the car stereo and a song came on featuring a music bed of crickets and slide guitar. We were quiet – both lost in thought as we drove past thousands of acres of soybeans and corn yellowing for harvest. He turned to me and said, “I get that it’s a lot hotter here and things are bigger than at home (New England) but, come on – just how big are your crickets for me to hear them in the car?” I laughed and pointed out it was the cd but realized, yah; the crickets are a constant presence now. Harbinger of autumn. Accept it. The cooling of the northern hemisphere is evident even in our international virtual community. Our September fashion spread features hot back-to-school fashions styled by Stacie Pryor and photographed by Zoe Demar. Stylist Ana Lutetia gives a virtual hand to men wanting to add some new casual clothes to their closet for the fall season in her monthly Masculino feature. Express Zenkova has consulted with male fashion stylists Vasean Talamasca and Gabe Bookmite about which designs they are currently wearing on the grid. The fashion house TOSL is featured by Tomoyo Breitman and Cayce Newell in their recurring Hot Finds spread and be sure to check out their super-popular Mix and Match column featuring separates from Emery, ****The Closet****, Miel, ANEXX and more! Do you ever ask yourself why you stay in Second Life? Do you have strong opinions on how Second Life impacts or affects your real life? I share my earliest in-world experiences in this month’s cover story in the first of what will be a regularly-explored theme in upcoming issues of our publication. Music contributor Jura Shepherd writes about the vast Second Life classical music scene, exposing the deep well of incredible musicians all a mere TP away. Salvatore Otoro returns with a thought-provoking article on the necessary mindset and considerations for in-world role players. Stacia Villota educates us on what it means to be Neko and I take you along for Part II of my adventure on Route 8. ROLE Magazine is pleased to welcome two new writers to our staff! Marleen Vaughan presents us with a peek into the mysterious world of Putrid Bloom and Therese Carfagno weighs in with her thoughts on the state of prefab houses on the grid. As always, we thank our readers and advertisers for your continued support and welcome your comments and suggestions at editorial@role-magazine.com

Kind regards,


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HOT FINDS TOSL

COVER STORY EST ARS SECUNDUS VITAE

38

MASCULINO CASUAL IN SEPTEMBER

16

FOR MEN GABE BOOKMITE & VASEAN TALAMASCA

42 60

ARCHITECTURE MY SORE EYES!

8 16 24 30

COVER STORY HOT FINDS MIX & MATCH FASHION SPREAD

54

SOCIETY HILL MISS GLOOM’S UNUSUAL HOME OF HORRORS

38 43 46 50

MASCULINO FOR MEN ROAD TRIP MUSIC


MIX & MATCH

24

46

ROAD TRIP ROUTE 8 - PART II

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FASHION SPREAD LATE SUMMER

MUSIC

ARCHITECTURE SOCIETY HILL THE HISTORY OF NEKOS ROLE PLAY

50

CLASSICAL MUSIC IN SL

68

ROLE PLAY WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A ROLE PLAYER

THE HISTORY OF NEKOS (OR, HOW NEKOS CAME TO BE IN SECOND LIFE)

54 60 64 68

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FINAL CREDITS


COVER STORY EST ARS SECUNDUS VITAE

Pac Man and Donkey Kong were my introduction to the world of video games. My cousins had a Nintendo and would “school” me and my brother on the fine points of how to play. The blips, lights and repetitive “sucka sucka sucka” sound drugged us in a way episodes of the Hardy Boys and Batman never could. Joysticks + thumb blisters = bliss. By Ofelia Laval

I grew up in the north eastern US and had access to an Ivy League school’s computer center well before I was of college-age and even enrolled. I had no difficultly charming my way onto the library’s computer system by feigning ignorance of my need for a user id and password. Yes, yes, it was that long ago! Once online I’d use the IRC client to talk to boys in school at a Naval Academy in New York. For those of you unfamiliar with the internet pre-world wide web, IRC was one of the first chat rooms where you could join in a group conversation with others online or choose people for one-on-one IMs. My girlfriends and I would talk to the boys from the Naval Academy and then ultimately meet them when they’d come to the school during

a break. At the end of the day we decided the Naval Academy boys made terrible boyfriends as they’d end up away at sea for six months at a time. My high school years were spent playing varsity field hockey and tennis. I drank deeply from the Kool-Aid pitcher and was a card-carrying “Valley Girl” prepster complete with Lacrosse sweaters, button down shirts with upturned collars and the requisite pair of Ray Bans. I had absolutely zero interest in video games. In college I joined a co-ed fraternity filled with selfproclaimed thespians, artists and geeks. I decided I preferred to run with the fringe crowd if for no other reason than I had discovered a serious love of litera8


ture and film and was desperate to find people to discuss great books and movies with. I found that I was now the kind of girl willing to hang out in a smelly basement with a bunch of light-deprived, sweat sock scented boys sucking down Mt. Dew and rolling dice with cheese-dusted fingerprints from countless bags of Doritos. My resolve to achieve the ultimate prize of a meaningful conversation was often further challenged by Star Trek movie marathons. At the time, these were the prices a girl must pay to win time and attention from one of these techie (yet ultimately attentive) boyfriends.

boots accessorized with feathers. Shape. Size. Body Thickness. Aces! I didn’t anticipate having so many choices along these lines and it gave me a moment’s pause. I made my avatar way too tall (of course I only realized this in hindsight) with eyes too big and with lush, Amazonian curves. Every day I’d log in and end up in the nearest dumping station for new avatars without a home location. I wasn’t sure where to go or what to do. I received a whole lot of offers for sex. I met a guy named Milos who chatted me up then TP’d me away to a public beach sim with lots of pose balls and camping dance pads. We were both new and hopped on the various sex pose balls together to see how that worked. As I am sure every single person reading this already knows from first-hand experience, it was a laughable experience and bizarre to see my newly created avatar writing around in the air. We tried all that we could find out of a motivation to find an animation that looked realistic and which actually fit our avatars but that was a futile effort. After a few more bouts of experimentation at different locations with different avatars I was surprised to realize I had begun to identify with my avatar Ofelia. It started to bother me to have some boy’s pixel hands on my pixel body. This realization came at a critical time for me and I almost left SL for good. I had begun to conclude there was nothing in SL outside of cartoon porn and that really wasn’t doing it for me. Maybe it’s the way the camera follows so closely behind our avatars but I very quickly felt Ofelia was an extension of me. Within weeks I realized that the opportunity to so thoroughly create Ofelia on the grid affected how I felt about my own ability to make choices in real life. It was a reminder that I control just as much of my life as I could my virtual life. I felt differently as I walked down the street. I felt differently about my physical body. I admit that overall I felt a renewal of self-confidence, strength and empowerment.

Sadly, my “me time” drifted away as adult responsibilities crept in and a mortgage, executive job, child and annual vacation getaways rose to the forefront. I was sipping a Starbucks grande, non-fat, chai latte while driving to my corporate job in my Volvo sedan while listening to NPR (this detailed information is critical for you to understand what a pathetic stereotype I had become) when a piece on Second Life caught my attention. Second Life was described as a world designed by the inhabitants for the inhabitants - artists, musicians, techies, real world companies, animators. That alone was enough to make me curious but the description of how one could create an avatar to look like anything you could imagine and then interact and talk with others from around the world is what sold me. I had to download this program and see for myself. As one who loves to play with puns and words and consider their meanings the name Second Life raised a lot of associations and really got me thinking of what would I do differently with my life if I could? Would I choose to move so far from where I grew up if I had the chance to do it again? How would my life have been different had I not put others first at critical times? Was I really happy with my life now - today- at this very minute? At the first opportunity I Googled Second Life and found the home page. Software downloaded. Create an avatar. Choose a name. Oh, the name was the easy part. I had just seen the film Pan’s Labyrinth and knew without a moment’s hesitation that my character would be named Ofelia after the story’s protagonist. The surname Laval was also a relatively quick pick thanks to my unhealthy obsession with palindromes. Done and done. Oh! What would my avatar look like? I chose “Goth girl” ‘cuz she had cool hair and

What did I feel like I wanted to do with this renewed strength on the grid? Now I get truly confessional!

At around this time I was wandering from sim to sim looking for what it was that so many people were doing here. Surely they couldn’t all be having cartoon pixel sex? I discovered a notecard warning people 9


about the dangers of getting caught up in something called Gorean slavery. I had no idea what in hell this was but, according to this notecard, once one was involved, it was difficult to escape. I nosed around and quickly determined a life in Gor was not for me but if I were honest with myself, and with you, I admit there were elements of the master/slave relationship that made me curious.

followed her while she tirelessly shopped at stores such as Gritty Kitty, Fallen Angel, and Devil’s Moon, I learned how to shop, rez, wear stuff and had made my first virtual friend. At this point in my avatar’s evolution I was beginning to feel like I had found my footing but would still be downright traumatized when men with prim penises worn on the outside of their pants would repeatedly push into Ofelia and harass her. I was surprised by how angry it would make me and how much it would upset me. Truth be told, I was struggling with separating my emotions from my physical representation in avatar form. It made no sense to me that I would feel so angry when some sex-crazed idiot would push my pixel representation. I mean, that avatar – Ofelia isn’t me, right? If I was successful in playing out the master/slave scenario would that experience, assuming it was positive, be beneficial to me real life? Is it possible to virtually live out areas in which we lack real world experiences and attain some portion of the various missing emotions that we feel we need?

Without getting into my childhood back-story it’s simpler just to say I had not one but two fathers who totally dropped the parenthood responsibilities. To this day I’m not sure what a healthy father/daughter relationship looks like. The idea that I could virtually push myself by relinquishing all control to a man who would both care about me and care for me (with very little risk - or so it seemed) was an experience I felt compelled to seek out. New mission! Find a virtual master! Once again, I really had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I did an in-world menu search on the term Master and ended up TPing to a random sim and walking around. I met a creepy orange-haired man named Denim Blue. He was (for reasons I to this day not understand) holding a stick and wearing a black mask. He asked if I was seeking a master. I said yes. He told me to get into some Gor slave pose. I had no idea what he meant. Next thing I know he’s transferring dozens of slave poses to me and instructs me to memorize them. I do and within 15 minutes he’s testing me on my recall. At this point I realize his avatar reminds me of the possessed doll from the Chucky movies and so I TP’d out of there. I ignored his IMs commanding “Girl, return!” Nah.

As we continue to explore this evolution of one woman’s avatar we’ll consider the challenges of balancing real world and SL emotions. If you’re willing to discuss how SL has affected you in ways you didn’t imagine please email us at editorial@role-magazine.com.

Maybe it would be better if I found someone whose language I didn’t speak? I ended up in a German slave sim and wandered about searching for the master hoping he’d take me on. I found him and, after an increasingly confusing back and forth thanks to Google online translator, I found myself dancing on a pole in his club. Definitely not what I wanted. Nein! While on the German sim I was noticed by an experienced resident. She quickly claimed me as her own and, since she spoke English, I figured this might not be such a bad idea. Turns out what she really wanted was me to be her shopping buddy and I patiently 10


HOT FINDS TOSL

Summer may be ending but the bright colors remain, or at least in this month’s issue with our featured store, Tree and Ocean SL, otherwise known as TOSL. Quinlan Quimby, the mastermind behind TOSL is indeed a remarkable, talented individual. Styled and Written by Cayce Newell and Tomoyo Breitman

TOSL is definitely a buffet for those looking for adorable, cheerful apparel. This is evident in items such as the Punk Princess dress and the Madeline cape. On the other hand, items such as the Sergeant Pepper Pants will definitely satisfy those looking for a slightly edgier outfit. TOSL also offers a selection of yummy, beautifully crafted accessories. Shoe fanatics may also wish to take a peek in this store. Be it the store décor or the clothes, shopping at TOSL was definitely a fun and cheerful experience. Here are some looks we’ve put together from their collection! TOSL in Second Life: Herman Melville (171/62/59) TOSL Flickr Stream: www.flickr.com/photos/quinlanquimby

Skin: Sundust [Dark] Beach-Osprey 2 by :GP: Hair: Sakura Curly Bob -Brunette- by Redgrave Blouse: TOSL *Tulips*Sculpted Blouse v1.4 Poppins Pants: TOSL *Sergeant Pepper* Crimson leather (modified) Bracelet: TOSL *Adamas Wood* bracelet Brazilian Nights Ring: TOSL *Fruitilicious* ring Cerises Earrings: TOSL *Fruitilicious* earrings Cerises Shoes: TOSL *Puff* Platform Shoes Opium Poppy Pant cuffs: from DIS hunt capri by Persona Belt: WideBelt(Embossing)_White by *COCO* Pose: KB-You Love It by [LAP] 16


Skin: Petal Frex [Dark] Beach-Osprey 1 by :GP: Hair: Piper II in pitch by Maitreya Dress: TOSL *Umbrella* dress Sterling Lining Earrings: TOSL *French editor* earrings Chocker and bracelet: TOSL *French Editor* ChokerBracelet Set v1.1 Bag: TOSL *Tulips* Sculpted mini bag Soleil Shoes: TOSL *Punk Princess* heels Moonstone Pose: WG-The Dakota by [LAP]

Skin: Petal Frex [Dark] Beach-Osprey 1 by :GP: Hair: Casquette in black by Tricolore Skirt: TOSL *Vintage Embroydery* skirt Creme Cape: TOSL *Madeleine* cape Mustard Tweed Boots: TOSL *Sweater Wellies* Butterscotch Bag: TOSL *Funky Hobo* Marley’s Medley (re-attached) Undershirt: GlamTank in beige by MichaMi Leggins: Lace leggings semilong in brown by +mocha+ Socks: Jane socks - flor dark - raw umber by Miel Pose: TC-Cool Kid by [LAP]

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Hair: >TRUTH< Ingrid - cocoa Skin: [ROCKBERRY] Aoki D natural Top: TOSL *Puff* Blouse v2.2 Printemps Stripe Corset: Hasi`s corset belt black Inner Shirt: Modd.G Lorrelle Summer Halter (Black) Skirt: TOSL *Urban Peasant* Skirt v1.1 Rio del Oro Bag: TOSL *Equus II* Red Tartan Earrings: TOSL *Dove & Dew Drop* Earring v1.2 L Sunrise Bangle: TOSL *Adamas Wood* Bangle v2.1 Brazilian Nights Shoes: TOSL *Puff* Platform Shoes v1.1 B&W Poppy Pose: coventure*for PrimSkirt stand 6

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Hair: Maitreya Bo - Kala Jeera Skin: :GP: Sundust [Light] April-Rainbow 2 Tank: !Ohmai : Basics Loose Racerback [MAROON] Pants: TOSL *Sergeant Pepper* Pants v2.2 Aubergine 2Tone Skirt: TOSL *Urban Peasant* Skirt v1.2 Starry Eyed Bangle 1: TOSL *Fruitylicious* Charm Bangle v1.1 Tangy Bangle 2: TOSL *Lickin’ Good* Bracelet v1.2 Rainbow Creamsicle Necklace: TOSL *Girl’s Best Friend* Necklace v1.1 Gin & Tonic Belt: [Pink] The Bandage Sash Belt Bag: TOSL *Funky Hobo* v1.2 Marley’s Medley Shoes: ANEXX_FringePumps_Copper Pose: Pretzel*Poses – Not So Wild Girls Night Out 4

Hair: [PF] Raine-<Honey>-Dolly Tears Red (dkbrow) Skin: >TRUTH< Valena - ivory Dress: TOSL *Punk Princess* Dress v1.3 Sugarplum Necklace: TOSL *French Editor* Necklace v1.3 Bangle: TOSL *French Editor* Bracelet v1.1 Bag: TOSL *Giftbox* v4.1a Round Sepia Red Shoes: TOSL *Sweater Wellies* v1.7 Pewter Pose: Dare R. Longo 9

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MIX & MATCH By Tomoyo Breitman & Cayce Newell

LOOK 2 C + G

LOO H + K1 F + C + E Hair: [Shag] – Adore Me – blonde Skin: []::Tuli::[] Hope (sunkissed/br) star (Group Gift) BandAid: Domestic- V Kiss My Knee Band-Aids Hat: {Boutique} Old West: Staw Cowboy Hat Shoes: :=:RW:=: Slingback Black Pose: [LAP] – O&E – Pondering

Hair: (Dernier Cri) Julie – Brown Shades Skin: [ROCKBERRY] Aoki D natural Socks: Pig - Socks Mit Suspenders - Antique Mint Sock Glasses: Shade Throne - KURT SUNGLASSES black Bag: Aitui - Bag - Night Messenger - Freedom Wanted Shoes: ELAN – Engineer Boots Pose: Ks2cool Pose 22

B

A ***The Closet*** OffShoulderFloralSet_BRW

C Apple May Designs Susan

***The Closet*** HempScarf

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D The Dogs Blame Collection and hedi scarves - grey


Hair: .:[ Tiny Bird ]:. Girl Anachronism – Black Bean Skin: :GP: Sundust [Light] April-Crocus 1 Shirt: (Part of ) !Ohmai : Summer Breeze DARKDEPTHS Tights: Stocking 5009 dark lime green by Tsukasa Vultee Necklace: .+*AA*+.Layered flower necklace *black Bag: -tb- Chic Satchel (black) Shoes: MIEL FLOR JANE – LIGHT

Hair: [Aden] WindBlown (Black) Skin: :GP: Sundust [Light] Beach-Osprey 2 Glasses: HOC - Rectangle Framed Glasses #001 Bag: HOC Apparel - Takeout Bag Red Shoes: ANEXX_LeatherGladiatorHeels_Black Pose: Ks2cool Pose 59

LOO

K

4 E + G + B

LOOK 3 E + C

LO

OK A + F + 4 D Hair: AOHARU_HAIR_Bailey01b(Espresso) Skin: [ROCKBERRY] Aoki D natural Mouth Accessory: [SC] Surf Couture - Chewing Wheat Shoes: (Milk Motion) My pocahontas sandals Pose: *MayoNaise* Come to Me Model/Stylist: Tomoyo Breitman

E Emery Outfit Florencia

F Emery Jacket Nine

G Emery Outfit Dora 25

H

Baiastice Ryon ‘70


Skin: Petal Frex [Dark] Beach-Osprey 1 by :GP: Hair: Alice is emo in Onyx by (Posh) Bag: Chic Satchel (black) by Tres Blah Socks: Loose Socks - Plain Dirty [White] by +mocha+ Shoes: RibbonBeltPumps in White by ANEXX Pose: Aw-Cheese by [LAP]

LOOK 2 C + E + F + G

LOO B + K1 E + F + H

Skin: Acorn Frex [Dark] Beach-Osprey 1 by :GP: Hair: Lux by {HTD} Nails: nailE[Purple] by :bijou: Bag: BR Suede bag brown type B by Barerose Socks: Socks B by Emery Shoes: Powder Puff wedge (strapless) in spruce by Kookie Pose: TC-Aw Shucks by [LAP]

B

A ***The Closet*** OffShoulderFloralSet_BRW

C Apple May Designs Susan

***The Closet*** HempScarf

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D The Dogs Blame Collection and hedi scarves - grey


Skin: Sundust [Dark] Beach-Osprey 2 by :GP: Hair: Unbirthday Redux in Twix by !lamb Earrings: *Fruitylicious* Earrings Cerises by TOSL Bag: Bag-with-a-heart by *COCO* Belt: TwinSkinnyBelt in red by AOHARU Shoes: FringePumps in red by ANEXX Pose: KB-Glimpse by [LAP]

LOO

K

4 A + B + E

D

+

LO G

OK

+

3

H

Skin: Linda_Natural_FrozenMakep_BlackEB_G2 by [PXL] Hair: Rene in Pink03 by :bijou: Bag: Casual Pochette (Black and White) by ETD Shoes: ZipUpLeatherBootx_SilverWhite by ANEXX Pose: DQ-Balancing Act by [LAP] Model/Stylist: Cayce Newell

E Emery Outfit Florencia

F Emery Jacket Nine

G Emery Outfit Dora 27

H

Baiastice Ryon â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;70


FASHION SPREAD LATE SUMMER Styling by Stacie Pryor Photos by Zoe Demar Location NOTsoBAD NOTsoBAD (71/192/30)

Model: Gabby Panacek Skin: :: Exodi :: Lily Cedar (Romantique - DkBrow - Faded) Eyes: :: Exodi :: Vetro Eyes (Blue)(Lg)(Veins) Hair: SLink Kimiko Skirt: *Muism* [Tartan Buckle Skirt]_Milan Vest: H&V: oh letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s be preppy Shirt: Zaara : Isis Shirt *white* Socks: Pig - Knee Sock Mit Suspenders - Red Red Sock Shoes: >TRUTH< Mina Flats [toffee] Bag: HOC Apparel Hemp Bag (orange) Pose: VPoses_GR_05_1(F)

Model: Catero Revolution Skin: <TheAbyss> Orion Eyes: Philotic Energy - Realistic - Obsidian Eyes Cardigan: *Curiosity* Checked Cardigan Green Shirt: Schadenfreude Peach Oxford Shirt Pants: [W&B] Boyd Dress Trousers INDIGO Shoes: Adam n Eve Mens Shoes - M110 (HS) Ruddy Pose: VPoses_GR_05_2(M)

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Model: Strawberry Singh Skin: :: DUTCH TOUCH :: DuNe :: Cocoa *LEAVES* Eyes: Poetic Color eyes by Lano Ling - quicksilver - medium Hair: >TRUTH< Grazia - chocolate Tank: !Ohmai: Basics Loose Racerback [PITCH] Cardigan: *Linc* Button Down Shirt Black Pants: Primitive Design_fight club reborn - black red Shoes: *ordinary* - Garago- (black) Bracelet: * (NS) Rock’n’Rolla rosary beads Hair: >TRUTH< Grazia (color of choice) Bag: :sey Enamel BostonBag[A/black] *Tex7 Pose: VPoses_GR_05_3(F)

Model: Ethan Porterfield Skin: [PXL] Jude Spring Face00 HH0 BH0 Eyes: []:: TULI ::[] quiet eyes - green Hair: >TRUTH< Zach - walnut Cardigan and Shirt: Meriken Co. Cozy Camel Navy Undershirt: Schadenfreude White Oxford Shirt Pants: MIEL MO POCKET PANTS - driftwood Shoes: [ hoorenbeek ] Docker Shoes - White Leather Bag: CHABINNS ECO BAG(L) Pose: Reel Expression Male Wall 6

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Model: Clementine Ishtari Skin: League Skin Suntan - Misty - Lilac Wine Eyes: Exodi - Zbilka Eyes (green) Hair: Exile Cherry Champagne Shirt: [MG fashion] RolledCuffsShirt (sand) Cardigan: Aitui - Sexy Buttoned Down /Mauve/ Pants: Ducknipple Sundays - Yellow Suspenders: { Kari} - New school suspenders (black) Tie: *Muism* [Lose Skinny Tie]_Knit black Shoes: AKEYO_shoes_CHUCKS LowTop Bracelet: Action Plastic Banglets Starz Ring: Kunstkammer Snowdome Ring - bronze

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Model: Stacie Pryor Skin: *Staged* Cerra Warmth (Pale) Eyes: Burroughs Eyes - Tribute to Claude Monet - Palazzo da Mula Vest: (Elephant Outfitters) Andy Denim Vest - Sepia Shirt: fri. - Striped Capsleeves (GREEN) Skirt: (Milk Motion) My Jeans skirt black Socks: MIEL JANE FLOR SOCK - BRIGHT Shoes: (Shiny Things) Hyasynths - black Scarf: Maitreya Long Scarf *Sepia Hair: .:[ Tiny Bird ]:. The Art Teacher II - Pomegranate Pose: [LAP] Adoringly Pose Set

Model: Matt Hutson Skin: <TheAbyss> Scorpio_Origin 1 Eyes: Lost. Realistic eyes - Ocean Blue Hair: ND *Deviance* - Mocha Shirt & Vest: Young Urban - Charlie Brown Blue (Sleeves/tails) Jeans: Primitive Design_RioT-Jeans Dark Blue Shoes: *Kookie* Snugs - Mocha Watch: [ hoorenbeek ] Magnum Digital Watch - Brown/Black/Silver Pose: [LAP] Adoringly Pose Set 33


MASCULINO CASUAL IN SEPTEMBER By Ana Lutetia

September is a great month to go on vacations. Particularly in the beginning of the month. It is still warm and you won’t find places as crowed as they are in August. It is still possible to go to the beach and appreciate the last warm rays of sunshine. For a guy to feel comfortable, nothing feels better than casual street wear. A hoodie, jeans and sneakers. Would it be great if they were your everyday attire? I believe most guys simply don’t like to shop or don’t like to TP around buying clothes. With that in mind, this casual look can be found all in the new male section of Naive. All of the clothing includes all layers and some sculpted attachments which didn’t even needed editing. They are the right size and fit perfectly in the right spot. However, if you need to edit that will be no trouble at all. The sneakers are from a place I am very fond of and which sells their creations at extremely reasonable prices. Actually, they aren’t even really bargains but are more of a steal. In September we begin to notice the days are getting shorter and shorter but we have to make the most of it. It’s not cold as Autumn but it’s beginning to get chilly in the end of the afternoon and it’s necessary to dress with this in mind. Keeping it casual, this look is a little more sophisticated. It’s perfect for those occasions when a guy wants to look good but not over-dressed. Keeping in mind that guys prefer not to TP around, the next store to explore is Moonshine which has recently added more items to the male section. The long sleeve shirt with rolled sleeves, worn with a tee on top, looks great and has a very casual feel when teamed up with regular pants and nice shoes, all working to make a guy look and feel comfortable. The sculpted parts in the collar, sleeves and legs didn’t need any fitting and they look very natural. To complete the look, I added some casual shoes from another store which I am also very fond of.

Shape: [M] m.Mauro - Shape 2 | by Manifest Shapes (modified) Shape: Same Shape Skin: (IS) Ander - Este - Shaved (Bald/Smooth) Skin: (IS) Ander - Este - Stubble (Bald/BodyHair) Hair: Exile Fastball auburn Hair: Exile - Fastball in auburn Eyes: :: Exodi :: Vetro Eyes (Grey)(Lg)(NoVeins) Eyes: :: Exodi :: Vetro Eyes (Grey)(Lg)(NoVeins) Shirt: MoonShine-Apres Mirage Tee: *BOOM* Essential T (Men’s/Unisex) reg -smokePants: MoonShine-Basics Button Pocket Metal Hoodie: .: Naive :. Men - Mainit Hoodie Green Shoes: HOC Apparel - Casual Loafers Jeans: .: Naive :. Men - Grunge Jeans Gray Poses: IZUMIYA Model Pose Sneakers: magi take chucker sneaker - green Poses: IZUMIYA Model Pose 38


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FOR MEN GABE BOOKMITE & VASEAN TALAMASCA By Express Zenovka

Most folks already know Vasean as that friendly, likable elf with a great sense of style. What they might not know is that he’s an avid reader, especially of urban and paranormal fantasy. Vasean cites these genres of books as the greatest influence on his style, inspiring the fantastical elements of his outfits. No matter what he wears, he adds his own other-worldly accents, or he isn’t happy with the end result. Even Gabe admits that his personal style is a tad bit “different,” tending to be “over the top, loud, and colorful.” Gabe delights in taking common clothing elements and using them in an unexpected way. He also calls his outfits “unsexed.” He has no qualms about wearing women’s items like the hair, shoulder warmer, and stockings, since he believes clothing and hair should not be limited to any gender.

Vasean Talamasca

Gabe Bookmite

BODY Skin – <TheAbyss> – [ Adam Crius][ origin ][shaven][death][ bald][ shaven ] Hair – Sadistic Hacker – Magnoria-II(black)(no script) Eyes – <<< negaposi >>> – Neko 2 eyes Grave left & Chocolate R Ears – SLink – Elven Ears Metal Free Pointy Left & Elven Ears Chains n Rings Pointy Right Feet – Step Ahead – Mens Sculpted Prim Feet

BODY Skin – !SIGZ: OCEAN (BEACH TAN) Soulpatch Hair – .:[ Tiny Bird ]:. Kissy Kissy - Brownie Eyes – Expressive eyes gray by Nany Merlin Tattoo – BEEFCAKE Rockstar Tattoo CLOTHING Shoulder Warmer – *BOOM* Warm Shoulders -white Tanktop – ~momo~musical top grape 1 Shirt – {Gisaci} Liscio Vest - Navy Shorts – a.C STD.Madame - Eldora Pants Crown – CheerNo.PRINCIPE hair CROWN [SilveR] Belt – *aC.Std::ValentineMUSICAL*Belt Gloves – Emery - Gloves #Egg Stockings – *TOAST* Striped socks Shoes – PornStar Xtra Hi-Tops MultiColor v2 (Boxed)

CLOTHING Shirt – [LeLutka]– wifebeater seashell Pants – * Deviance *– Brown leather pants Accessory – HaT MechaNic – King Bear Necklace & Brother Wolf Feather Piece Accessory – *BLITZED* – Chorus bracelet - black ( M ) Cigarette – .:Hermony:. – SpecialBlend Cigarette (Noir)

POSE MaitreyaMModel01

POSE MaitreyaMModel08a

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43


ON THE ROAD AGAIN ROUTE 8 - PART II

With a spring in my step, and the chorus to “Born to be wild” ringing in my ears, I slipped on my favorite sunglasses, lit a cigarette and headed out under the pixel sun. Last month I began a journey to explore the roads of Second Life and record my adventure. Like most people I know, I’d been away from Second Life only a few days since first logging in almost three years ago but I found I had fallen into a pattern and spent my time on a small handful of sims. As our writers turn in stories each month about the multiple role play sims and shopping sims I found my curiousity renewed. Thus the idea for a virtual road trip along the SL Route 8 was born! By Ofelia Laval

so they built a “tunnel” through which travels TP to the continuation point. One would have thought that the Lindens would add eminent domain to their long list of god-like powers.

Lindens have created multi-sim roadways and waterways under the name Linden Department of Public Works. Rez areas are available with great frequency and the Lindens, with the help of trusted SL volunteers nicknamed “moles”, have terraformed and landscaped the roadways adding touches such as bus stops and national park-type “You Are Here” information maps along the way.

As the business-in-a-box shops melted away and I passed one too many outcrops of copybotted prim race cars for sale (ARs were filed, natch!) I was thrilled to find an opportunity to pose for a picture on a camel. I had joked earlier with Leeza that I felt the second half of this road trip would be best enjoyed camelback so I was pretty surprised to actually stumble upon one!

Having spent every logged day of my residency on private estates I admit to feeling over-stimulated by the many different aesthetics expressed in close quarters when I wander the mainland sims. Being on Route 8 is very different in that regards. I am struck by the amount of free land along the roadway and relative minimal buildings.

This trip afforded me my first opportunity to see the aftermath of an SL auto accident. Police car versus scooter. Since the scooter was wedged underneath the police car I declare the police car the big winner. There were no signs of either driver but there was a building a mere 10m away with a sign clearly marked “Bar.” Draw your own conclusions!

I decided to start out on the massive Route 8. I split the road in half and worked my way north and traveled to the half-way mark for last month’s article. This month, as I covered the upper-most half of the route I found I had the road entirely to myself, save for one encounter with a woman riding along on a mountain bike. We stopped to talk to each other and she revealed she had had a disagreement with her boyfriend and was out for a ride to clear her head.

One unfortunate recurring theme is the presence of copybotted prim sports cars for sale which are often illegally rezzed on Linden land. It’s disheartening to see items which are clearly stolen sold for a fraction of their value and it seems like added insult to injury to have the sales occuring on land reserved for all residents to enjoy.

Leeza Catteneo joined me for part of the trip and we discovered Rosalita’s Diner while we were together. There wasn’t much on the menu but it provided a delicious photo-op! Another interesting element to the road is a portion where apparantly LL was unable (or unwilling?) to reclaim land for the creation of Route 8

Have you taken a road trip in SL? If so, we’d love to see your pictures (editorial@role-magazine.com)! If not, what’s stopping you? 46


47


MUSIC CLASSICAL MUSIC IN SL

This month, ROLE Magazine takes a peek at one of Second Life’s® more illusive music scenes. Classical music in SL can lay claim to some of the most populated groups related to music. Even so, it seems to exist beneath the SL mainstream radar to the extent that it’s not uncommon to hear: “Really? Classical music in SL?” It isn’t the nature of SL residents to be exclusionary. We are however mostly made of social groups and they don’t always overlap. In many cases, there are groups that other groups are just simply unaware of. It’s easy to imagine an SL music underground of hipsters, hanging out in gutted warehouses but in the case of Classical, its marbled recital halls, music scholars and fashion is completely optional. SL’s Classical music underground is vast, accessible, and it’s full of surprises. Here are some highlights to enchant the curious and get our feet wet in an amazing area of SL music that strangely, is still unknown to many. By Jura Shepherd

Music Academy Online sim at Utwig

stream but the displays go much further by providing links to information, info panels, and imagery from the periods. There are venues for live performances and lectures, and other exhibits too. You can find a reproduction of Gustav Mahler’s composition hut, contemporary exhibits with movie and game music themes and even a “Fashion and Style through the Ages” exhibit where visitors can purchase period costumes and other items.

If you’re curious about Classical music, a devotee, or anything in-between, there’s no question that your first stop should be the Music Academy Online sim at Utwig. The sim, created as equal parts learning center and music theme park, is an interactive extension to The Music Academy Online. As it became clear that Second Life could be a powerful tool for education, the real life organization saw great opportunity in bringing its devotion to Classical music to virtual worlds and did so in a big way.

The effect of the sim is brilliant. It draws visitors in with a sense of exploration and clearly lays out the timeline of music history in a non-ambiguous way. The sim is well thought out and it’s obvious that an effort was made to avoid the sense of cloying academia. The Music Academy Online has also extended their reach by partnering with Treet TV on a show called “Music Academy OnLIVE”. Hosted by Benton Wunderlich, the talk format show features artists, composers, performers, and scholars who share their art and love for what they are doing.

The sim’s creator, Benton Wunderlich, began the work at Utwig in January 2007 with the idea of builds in each section being illustrative of the periods they represent. For example, a recreation of Rosslyn Chapel represents the Medieval Period (400-1450). A Palazzo Strozzi represents the Renaissance (1450-1600). To represent for the Baroque period (1600-1750) stands a lovely Italian villa. Emblematic of the Classical period (1750-1810) is Independence Hall and for a bit of a twist, the Romantic period (1810-1850) is represented by the Borden residence, site of the infamous Lizzie Borden murders during that time. Of course each section has appropriate music via the parcel audio

The Classical Improvisations of Tip Corbett There are many Classic music performers in SL and they cover many styles. So much so that it’s nearly a 50


crime to single one out, but Tip Corbett offers such a unique Classical music form and SL provides a near perfect backdrop for it. The man behind Tip, Gregory Hall, holds degrees from UC Santa Barbara and the Curtis Institute. He’s an elected member of the American Composers’ Alliance, has received commissions from the Music Teacher’s National Association, Arcady Chamber Orchestra and more, and has internationally distributed recorded works. To have such a credentialed composer in our relatively small world is remarkable enough but Tip Corbett’s musical gift to SL is something more precious than that. Tip’s choice of performance is to create piano improvisations using the techniques of classical composition. This style, although once quite common for great composers like Liszt, Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart, Bach and others

has been all but abandoned by composers for nearly a century. Another key point to appreciating Tip Corbett’s performances is the realization that each improv is unique, and once his fingers leave the keys of his piano, that singular piece of music is gone forever. “I use a fairly strict musical language, as did pre-20th century improvisers.” Corbett tells us as he makes a distinction between his style and that of “chance-music” of early twentieth century improvs or even more familiar forms of improv like Jazz. He continues to define Classical improvisation as “…when you attempt to use the techniques of classical composition: imitation of melodies, slowing down or speeding them up; creating large improvs structured to some extent like classical pieces, using a wide range of harmonic and 51


Music Island

melodic resources.” When described as words, it’s a bit of a mental exercise to imagine, but when heard, the nuances are quite tangible even to the casual listener.

Founded and coordinated by Kate Miranda, Music Island is located in the Cedar Islands and features an open air amphitheatre. There are regularly scheduled Classical music concerts and other cultural events. Use the blog for links in-world and check out the very well organized schedule of events.

For Tip Corbett, Second Life is a uniquely satisfying place to give performances. He acknowledges marginal technical challenges but says:” Venues are much more varied and open to new ideas in SL, as RL is largely divided between clubs where only certain kinds of pop/jazz are done, and concert halls where largely dead composers are played.” It is customary for Tip to engage his audiences by encouraging questions and making it clear that the performance is a two-way interactive affair. Referring to his audiences, Corbett adds: “Folks are more open-minded, and SL allows you to share ideas through chat that you never could in an RL performing environment.” Tip’s willingness to embrace the dynamics of an SL audience provides mutual benefits for both parties. Tip’s openness allows him great liberty to experiment and in exchange, his audiences get to witness the creation of beauty that will only linger as a memory beyond that particular moment.

Classical Music Ball at Sunset Jazz featuring DJ Amy A weekly institution every Friday 5PM to 7 PM SLT. DJ Amy Ferguson spins Classical music for a formal dress crowd. Sunset Jazz, owned by all-round SL music diva Circe Broom, is one of the oldest live music venues in SL. The Classical Music Ball is an easy-going social mixer set against the musical backdrop of the great composers. Classical music is alive and thriving in Second Life. The examples in this overview are just a small sampling of the choices available and are only meant represent the variety of Classical music resources in-world. The Second Life Classical music community is a who’s-who of highly credentialed composers, artists, music educators and other professionals. Far from pedantic, the community has gone to lengths to simply make the enjoyment of Classical music available to SL residents. For those who wish to learn more, the Classical music community has an open door to their collective learning and experience as well. They love what they do and want to share it with us.

For a show schedule check Tip Corbett’s profile inworld or join his group “The Mysteria” for updates. Other gateways, gems or curiosities Amadora Recital Hall An 80 seat recital hall located on the A piacere sim. Owned by musician Clarissima Schumann, the Amadora Recital Hall hosts live events featuring top level Classical performers in Second Life. Throughout the month August, Amadora hosted “A Super Short Course in Music History with Juniper Eames”. The casual introductory course was given by Juniper Eames. In real life, Juniper is Judith Eckelmeyer, a retired professor of music history from Cleveland State University.

Music Academy Online Utwig (108/155/22) Amadora Recital Hall A piacere (112/194/2)

Duo Appassionato

Duo Appassionato www.duoappassionato.org

Violinists’ duo and SL residents, Izabela Jaworower and Young Zeid perform regularly in Second Life. Both are members of the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra and see performing in Second Life as a resource for generating interest in Classical music. Search the group “Apassionato Violin Lovers” and join for updates.

Music Island music-island.blogspot.com Classical Music Ball at Sunset Jazz featuring DJ Amy Laurel Arts Isle (149/70/301) 52


53


ARCHITECTURE MY SORE EYES!

Have you bought a house in Second Life® yet? To search the market for prefab houses is an experience that doesn’t give much relief for those with sore eyes. It may in fact give you sore eyes. By Therese Carfagno

So there I was, wandering around in a house for sale, feeling that I’d somehow stepped into a daytime soap opera from the 80’s. Yes, it was that ugly. Dark red, heavy curtains hung next to flower pots filled with flat, pink flowers. There was a patterned texture in the roof, where there doesn’t need to be a patterned texture, and there was no texture where there should have been texture, like on the stair’s railing. It was just white and blank. The house was filled with bad paintings of sunsets and horses running in the moonlight. Looking closely, there were a lot of glitches between the prims, and textures hadn’t been applied very well. Something invisible on the balcony made me stand two meters above it.

that they must be doing well and that a lot of people actually buy their houses -- I am not sure that they should. I think there are prefab houses out there that are so much better. Yes, I’m a coward. I’m not going to give you the name of that particular shop. This is also because I’m soft at heart. Obviously, a lot of work has been invested in the making of these houses, and I’d rather not rip apart an innocent person’s best efforts. I’m sure they’ve done their personal best. The problem is that other designers can do it better, and I want my fellow home-buying citizens to have the best options available. With that in mind, here are a few words on what constitutes a good Second Life home plus I will name a few of the prefab house designers in-world that I actually like.

So, why should I care? Why bother writing about a house full of questionably bad taste and full of texture errors? Well, I do care for several reasons. I was looking at a house in a home designer’s shop that appeared at the very top of the search results list of home designers when I searched in-world for prefab houses. This store occupies a whole island, meaning

I made it a point to visit most of the prefab house shops that made it to the top of the SL search results list. I was quite depressed to see how many of them were not very good. Some were bad, some okay, some 54


had a few good and original houses among a dreary lot, but only one of them could offer a few houses that were of supreme quality – that was a shop named Vision Homes I fell in love immediately with their Timber House. But, now I am jumping ahead. I’m going to stay grumpy for a few more paragraphs.

Quality can often be judged by looking at the details. Not always: There are some brilliant artists that don’t pay much attention to the details when working with grand ideas. But, this is a good rule of thumb when looking at houses to purchase. Are the textures stretched or cramped? Are there glitches in the walls or windows because the prims don’t fit? Are the textures flickering because two prims compete for the same spot? All these design flaws should be warning signs.

One thing that many of the prefab shops had in common was that their houses looked so “”2007. The houses looked flat and dull, and used textures in a very uninspiring way. One thing I don’t like is when builders upload pictures from real life and stick the textures directly onto prims. I don’t want to see a cupboard filled with 2D bottles. I want to see real bottles. Too primmy? Then just leave the shelves empty. I don’t want to see doors with pictures of doorknobs. I don’t even want to see photos of real life bricks used for wall texture. I believe in separating SL and RL as much as possible – especially when it comes to aesthetics.

A recurring source for frustration for me as a shopper was the use of water in the home. Yes, having a waterfall or even a small river inside a house is something that should be encouraged in Second Life since it’s actually possible here. Water can be beautiful. But water that looks like painted cardboard is not beautiful and if it doesn’t move what is the point? Fortunately, there are a few good house builders on the grid, and now we get to the good part!

Which brings me to my next point: Often the houses looked so screamingly conventional. They look like prefabs from a boring RL cataloge. Place some columns in front of the door, add a veranda, a garden with a swimming pool, a fireplace, a huge bathtub, et cetera. Boring, boring, boring! I noticed there were many failed copies -- doors placed at the far end of the wall, doors opening the wrong way, doors made for giants causing you to look up at the doorknob, roofs without room underneath them, solid prim wood, bricks that were out of alignment and floors with boards didn’t fit into together.

Botha Architects have houses that are architecturally daring and built with a careful exhibit of their good taste. Their Tara House, for example, is a clever mix of wood, stone and glass. The Vienna House is cool and sleek and the Chaplin House is a warm and cozy cottage. Builder Sergio Botha might want to consider working on his finishing touches. The Santana House has a huge front wall that’s not finished (pull those poor, stretched stones together!), and the Quartz House has glitches in the windows and a floor texture that was not seamless. This goes to show that the 55


truth is not always hidden in the details. Botha does manage to represent both creativity and quality.

large windows, brown blinds, and elegantly integrated swimming pools. If all this sounds a bit cold, let it be said she has a way of making her houses look warm and bathed in sun, as if they stood along the Mediterranean Sea. They often also open towards the nature that surround them, be that sea or land. My guess is she’s inspired by Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Scandinavian, Greek and Moorish architecture.

Dolphin Designs’ Jordy Ishnoo does some marvelous things with low glow and warm colors, but doesn’t seem to really bother much with making his textures flow seamlessly together, and he too will place 2D pictures of books in a bookshelf. Still, he has a personal style, some nice details and good solutions when it comes to organizing a house. I could have lived in one if given the modifying rights to put my finishing touch on the house.

What Bartlett does might seem simple, as she often has a clear, minimalistic style, so I’ve seen attempts at copying her. But without her skill and taste, the attempts fall flat. It’s not enough to stick to white, brown and beige, and large windows, to create a tasteful house; you also need to have a sense of proportions, of how to logically build up a house so it feels meaningful to wander through, and you need to find exactly those textures that are strong enough to carry a minimalist design. Otherwise, it will just look amateurish, which is the sad fact for so many prefabs.

Ace’s Spaces by Ace Albion, and Park Life by Parker McTeague, are located together on one sim. They have a good selection of modern houses. Some in dark wood, stone and metal, others in white concrete with huge glass windows. Living proof that low-prim does not have to mean low quality. With a bit of reluctance I mention 2Xtreme. They advertise in this magazine and it would be fair to suspect that I write about them because of that. But really, not mentioning them would be strange, even if they’ve released only one house so far, as their Beach House 01 are among the best prefabs you can get. I look forward to see what they will come up with next.

2Xtreme Pride Isles (170/229/22)

Then there is Barnesworth Anubis. He has a wide range of different looking houses, from old, European styles to more modern, and most of them look quite conventional. They’re neatly crafted and look beautiful. Definitely a better choice than my first mentions could deliver.

Barnesworth Anubis Demersal (54/43/36) Scarlet Creative ScarletCreative (65/2/21)

The Loft has four houses that are solid and masculine. They’re quality builds using impressive textures, but one is not to my liking (729 Pemberley), and one is a bit schizophrenic (The Bago looks like two different houses from the front and back, I like the back part best, despite the annex build with the white window frames), while Hattan and The Pusa Hilton are really good. The princess of prefab houses in Second Life is Charlotte Bartlett. Her shop Scarlet Creative offers a range of elegant and neatly crafted homes that’s a true joy to wander through. Bartlett’s trademarks are light wood, off-white marble, grey tiles, sea-colorS, very 56


SOCIETY HILL MISS GLOOM’S UNUSUAL HOME OF HORRORS AND THE HABITUAL HOSPITALITY SHE EXEMPLIFIES . . . The horror genre shows us what we don’t want to see, right? Whether it’s giant spiders about to attack a small town or a dead child that has come back to life to seek revenge, we cover our eyes. Our hearts race with excitement at the ghoulishness of each scene, book or comic we read with the lights on low. By Marleen Vaughan

Horror taken one step further, shows us what we don’t want to see in ourselves and in society. It brings out all of the ugly and spotlights it in no uncertain terms. Our dirty little secret is presented in living color and sometimes even 3-D. Racism, bigotry, adultery, social hierarchy, prejudice...it’s all there - in metaphor.

this happen? How does one cultivate a community of people who, for lack of better terms, are misanthropes? When Miss Gloom and I first corresponded about this article she brought up two quotes by Antonin Artaud, a French playwright, poet, actor, theatre director and advocate for expression of pain.

So when a Second Life® community revolves around all things horror, what does that say about the members OF that community? How does something that is so hell bent on showing the ugly, become so popular? Aren’t we naturally attracted to the light of humanity, to use a cliché?

He said, “It is not opium which makes me work but its absence, and in order for me to feel its absence it must from time to time be present.” and “All art embodies and intensifies the underlying brutalities of life to recreate the thrill of experience.”

Putrid Gloom, owner of the Gloomyville sims and Show Me on the Doll shop, has cultivated a following unlike any other. Fashionistas, role-players, furries, and any other brand of social misfit adore her and her community. She seems to transcend all social cliques and yet, she is irreverent as a day is long. How does

Miss Gloom responds, “I think both of these quotes illustrate my point, in order to truly understand the light you must also experience the darkness. Without comparison, the concept of the light is meaningless.” To set the stage for understanding the social attrac60


tion to the Gloomyville sims and horror shops that reside on it, I think it’s prudent to first discuss the genre itself. Miss Gloom explains, “Certainly all aspects of the horror genre allow us to explore the darker emotions without coming to any harm. The more we know about ourselves, the more well rounded we become. So therein lays the paradox. Experiencing the dark nature of man IS to experience the light of humanity.”

But is that really true? I think so, yes. Recently, a close friend of mine was assaulted in real life. Soon after, she rather accidentally watched the movie The Brave One. The film is about a woman who seeks revenge on potential assailants by shooting them. My friend identified deeply with idea of retaliation, so much so, that it shocked her. While, I didn’t see that connection when watching the film, I can now offer another level of compassion needed to console my friend. The horror in that depiction – which is happening RIGHT NOW in every major city - gave me a vehicle to understand something I really didn’t “get” prior.

Yes, this does sound a bit esoteric, but do allow us some leeway on this. Miss Gloom extrapolates further, “When we vicariously experience horror type situations, it helps us evolve as human beings. For instance, when we watch a horror movie we tend to identify with the victim. We feel their fear. We root for them. When there is a chance of escape, we can imagine all of their thoughts and feelings as if they were our own. I believe this connection seeps into our subconscious and enhances our compassion for those who suffer these traumatic experiences in reality.”

However, that movie is considered a dramatic thriller. The metaphors are clear and the intent of each character is plain to see. So, what about horror? Most of us are not experiencing Body Snatchers or Nosferatu, except possibly in mental hospitals. Do people really see 61


the analogy? That Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a metaphor for 1950’s culture that was choking the life out of its citizens? Or that Nosferatu was a metaphor for unbridled, candid sexuality in the 1920? I mean, Dracula’s head does look like a giant penis after all?

Back to Putrid Gloom… To understand how Miss Gloom has become so popular, you have to first understand her shop. Show Me on the Doll (SMOTD) is an apparel, shoe, accessory and even furniture shop that specializes in the horror genre. You can see her primary influences, when you walk in the door: circus horror and decadent vaudeville with a twist taxidermy. As Miss Gloom put it herself, “..creepy couture is in.”

Quite possibly. I’m no film major or critic, but it seems reasonable to say metaphor is clear. Maybe it is something that matures inside of us, like an unborn alien. It sits inside of you waiting for the most inappropriate opportunity to rear its head. And when it does come out, it burst open your chest horrifying all of those around you. Your family and friends petrified by your revelation, and you are left bearing the weight of fully grown new idea running around your brain.

When Miss Gloom decided to expand her shop, she started with a modest sim design. “I originally bought Gloomyville to house my main store and nothing else. I wanted to create something that was ostensibly pretty normal, but that had an eerie atmosphere, an ‘impending sense of doom’ if you will. Very few places in SL have this kind of feel to them, most go for the stereotypical Halloween-ish theme which does noth-

It’s fucking surreal.

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ing for me. I prefer a sinister undercurrent.”

Remember when I said she was irreverent? This is what I was referring too. “Therein lays the romp.”

However once Miss Gloom built her shop, she realized she needed more to it. “With just my store there, I wasn’t getting the feel I wanted. So, I built a little swamp village in the surroundings. The idea in mind, if by chance anyone fancied a little creepy store somewhere, I would be happy to take them in.” That’s what vendors did. They flocked to her sim, thus expanding her community. Now her SMOTD customers had a fellowship with new vendors and their pool of fans.

There is something magical about being caught up in dark, mysterious scenery and giggle until you fart because you’re running around with a plunger on your head. Her romp, is our joy too. It is because of her light-hearted irreverence that Miss Gloom is able to gather all the winning forces to her side. She has created a community that feels at home with itself. No judgment. No critique. No need to think of the next big clever thing to say. It’s like arriving home and Miss Gloom is there with a cuppa tea, a plate of biscuits and a decapitated head sitting her lap.

The Gloomyville vision expanded. “I hadn’t anticipated how popular Gloomyville would be, and every building was rented out on the first day of me opening. I really thought my sim would be visited a few times a week by loyal customers and people coming for the novelty value of going to the creepy girl’s store.” Novelty aside, Miss Gloom’s community became all encompassing. People liked visiting and hanging around. Not just because of the vendors, but because of atmosphere the sim evoked. “It became a place where misfits can come hang out and not be judged. No-one cares here if you want to go sit on a rock and be alone and not talk to anyone, it just adds to the general ambiance.”

Smiling, she says, “I guess even misanthropes need a place to belong to.”

Gloomyville Attol (113/137/21) Gloomy Creek Baie St Anne (13/137/22)

Soon, loyal customers and friends alike were begging for expansion of the sim. More shops! Residential Homes! Demands were being made, and she saw the opportunity for modestly cultivating the horror theme. After a short time, a second sim was purchased and attached to the first. While some land owners have overgrown very quickly, Miss Gloom has stayed humble to her roots and true to the cause. This has allowed her community to expand without bursting at the seams. Today, the Gloomyville sims still remain an accepting group of friends that all share a common excitement for the horror genre. Miss Gloom says candidly, “Well, I didn’t set out to cultivate a community (wonders whether Charles Manson said the same thing). I just built stuff that I thought was cool and it turns out I am fashionably dead.”

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Pictures by Bobby Yoshikawa 64


THE HISTORY OF NEKOS (OR, HOW NEKOS CAME TO BE IN SECOND LIFE) You’ve seen us around… strange human-like creatures wearing cat ears and tails. At first you found it rather odd. But then you kept seeing more of us, and began to wonder, who are these creatures, and what are they doing in Second Life®? By Stacia Villota

The “who” part is pretty easy, actually: we’re Nekos -- human avatars with cat ears and a tail, who enjoy affecting a cat-like attitude in Second Life. True to fickle cat nature however, we’re not always *entirely* human -- some of us are further along in our “transformation,” preferring skins with calico spots, furry belly texture, or tiger stripes, and/or wearing cat-like accoutrements such as paw feet boots and whiskers. Yet even these more feral Nekos still maintain a human shape.

man comic books in 1940, followed closely by Osamu Tezuka’s catgirl mangas (Japanese comic books) in the 1950’s (which inspired numerous cartoons). Next came the American television cartoon “Josie and the Pussycats” in the early 1970’s, and the Broadway musical “Cats” in the early 1980’s. Clearly some sort of personal feline transformation was afoot (apaw?). During the 1990’s however, it was the Japanese culture that took “dressing up” to a whole new level. By then, all sorts of manga and anime (animated movies) were featuring little girls sprouting ears and a tail, including one of my favorites, “The Cat Returns” by Aoi Hiiragi. That anime in particular appears to have inspired young female “cosplayers” (costume players) all across Japan (and eventually the rest of the world) to begin “dressing up Neko” in first life. And right on the heels of this phenomenon came Second Life.

So how the heck did we start appearing in Second Life? Allow me to provide a bit of history: Neko means cat in Japanese, so you might assume it started there. However, the admiration for all things feline goes much further back in history than Maneki Neko and Hello Kitty. Cats have been found buried in ceremonial graves on the isle of Cyprus 8,000 years ago, worshipped as the god Bastet in Egypt, and revered by countless other cultures throughout time. Somewhere in more recent history, this admiration began inspiring humans to dress up as (or sometimes even transform into, depending on the story) cats. Consider the villainess “Catwoman” who first appeared in Bat-

The very first Nekos in Second Life simply called themselves catpeople or catgirls (getting called a Neko in Japan is a whole ‘nuther matter if you’re a guy…). So it’s still somewhat of a mystery how “cat equipped humans” came to be called “Neko” in our 65


little virtual world. My best guess is that the term “Neko” evolved due to the growing influence of Asian residents in Second Life — people who in their first life were already dressing up as Neko cosplayers, and simply carried it full time into their virtual life. No one knows for sure, but it’s possible this was the catalyst that turned Second Life’s early “catgirl” phenomenon into the full-blown “Neko culture” it is today. Just how popular has it become? It’s hard to say. Like cats, we tend to lead fairly private lives, but lately with the help of an online Neko community and the Virtual Neko blog, more and more of us are meeting up in Second Life to dance, hang out, or go shopping together. When you consider there are over 90 stores selling Neko ears and tails alone, surely *someone* has to be buying all those furry bits!

So there you have it. Born of a strong affinity for all things feline, rooted in Japanese manga and American comics, inspired by anime, and now living and evolving in the virtual world of Second Life (not to mention other virtual worlds)… it seems we Nekos have a pretty fascinating history behind us.

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ROLE PLAY WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A ROLE PLAYER

What is role play? Some think it is a mere game played by young kids. Others believe it is a game played by adults with overactive imaginations. Yet for those of us whose hobby it is to role play, on an almost daily basis, it is a means of entertainment and mental exercise that pushes us to quickly develop a story line in an impromptu fashion. I’m not here to tell you that this is for everyone because it isn’t. It’s something that takes time and dedication to perfect. By Salvatore Otoro

choose. You cannot arrive at a Gorean sim such as Cardonicus and expect to play a cyborg, superhero, or vampire character there. Gorean sims are based on the writings of science fiction novelist John Norman, and the characters in these sims are usually Masters, Mistresses, free men, free women, and slaves. The settings are usually villages or forest type areas and the play usually involves some BDSM. Your character in a Gorean sim will act according to the stories in the novels. In the same way, you cannot arrive at Galactic Core , a Star Wars role play sim, and expect to play characters based on the Star Trek genre. Though both are science fiction sims they involve different characters, settings, norms, and rules that differentiate them from each other.

When people ask me what role play is, I give them the easiest possible analogy. I tell them, “It’s like a movie. We are all actors in it and we each play our part as characters.” Well, that is a simple analogy but it does not begin to answer all the questions I’ve gotten about role play including how it works, how you know who your character Is, how you know what to say, and how you can just arrive and start if you’ve been gone a few hours, days, or weeks. These are all very good questions however the answers have to be explained thoroughly to be understood. If you are just starting to look for a sim to play in, you need to look at what type of character you are hoping to play. Of course you can reverse the process and look for a sim first then decide what your role will be there. Not all sims allow you free-form role play. By free-form I mean that you are allowed to make your own character and play it as you see fit. Those are the two choices allowed to you when you begin your quest to find a sim to play in. The idea is to find a place that fits your character and that your character fits in.

We’ll continue with my explanation about my use of the movie analogy. Every role play sim you arrive at has a different theme and setting which defines what kind of play will take place there. Some sims will instead have set roles that need to be filled and played as per the game moderators (GMs) and/or Role Play Coordinators (RPCs). Many of the superhero sims, for example post a list of characters that need to be filled, such as villains, citizenry, and superheroes. These sims follow strict role play based on superhero cartoon,

The following examples will give you an idea of the contrasts between your character and the sim you 68


movies, and comic books which dictate what roles are to be played there and how these characters are to be played. A free form role play sim will allow you the freedom to play a character of your choosing in the manner in which you see fit.

That brings up another important point to think about role play. Even though we have fun and enjoy it immensely, it is serious business for all players involved. Don’t think for a minute that this is a foolish game with fools behind the characters. Role players are very meticulous and serious about their role play. They do not welcome players that interrupt a scene with no purpose but to disrupt. In fact, most role players will call you out if they spot you saying or doing something that would be breaking the rules of the sim or that would not be cohesive to the scene. Sometimes even a good role player will make a mistake. Actions need to be role played so it’s not as if objects appeared out of nowhere without an explanation or you perform an action and don’t describe it with some detail. Role players are also very involved in their character’s appearance, behavior, interaction, beliefs, etc. Head into most any role play sim and you will see some elaborately costumed avatars. Characters in a role play sim, especially those who are allowed to tailor their characters as they see fit, will make every attempt to look original and different from everyone else. They will purchase skins, tattoos, jewelry, accessories, hair, and even weapons to achieve that individualistic look that will set them apart from the others.

GMs and/or RPCs are crucial to the sim and its role play. Using our movie analogy as a base, they hold important roles critical to the sim and the type of role play conducted there. They are in essence the writers, producers, and directors of the film. They formulate stories, create characters, write background information, and create a plot upon which the role players will add their character’s actions and reaction. Most storylines have a set endgame to them and will usually be sim-wide thus allowing stimuli from across role play groups and characters. This also encourages teamwork as enemy factions join together to fight a common threat such as a scourge of Non-Player Characters (NPCs) attacking the sim. It also encourages interaction among groups or players that may never have dealt with each other before. Their jobs are to create role play that will engage all players to participate. In this way, they provide players with fun role play that allows you to build upon your character.

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You may be in a coven of witches but that does not mean that you all need to look like similarly dressed twins. In fact, individual style and appearance is not only appreciated by other players but by the various faction leaders as well.

involves not just speaking, arguing, and discussing, but it also involves conflict. We are not all constantly in a blissful attitude and therefore there will be arguments, fights, battles, and wars that will take place. Do you want to go at it with your bare fists, a pair or machine guns, a razor sharp katana, or your magical powers alone? It is doubtful that other players will wander unarmed and let you off easy if you are not ready for combat.

A perfect example to this is to walk around Lost Angels and check the various characters that inhabit it. The demons are not all about red skin, pointy tails, and pitchforks. The angels are not all about wings and halos, with a harp nearby. The vampires are not all about capes and fangs. Sure, these are the typical stereotypes that exist with this type of genre but some do believe they should look like this so they can look the part. A scan around the sim will show you many different characters that you really cannot typecast into any certain role. How you look and how you present yourself is as important in role play as it is in real life.

Combat, though, is not all about swordplay. Some enjoy the thrill of role played combat that is described in great deal by all the players involved. I’ll be honest. I’m not a big fan of role play combat because I find it lengthy and time consuming. That being said, for many, it is an enjoyable way to fight one another while describing things that cannot be done with a combat meter. Actions such as throwing a person, leaping to avoid the lunge of a sword, or being grazed by a bullet are imaginative ways to describe a combat scene. Now we get back to the movie analogy. Such rich descriptions of combat would be akin to describing a fight scene in a movie. In this type of role play, actions are spoken of as attempts which allow the other player to be struck or dodge the hit. A problem with role play combat is when one or both players continually evade damage. This is considered GodModding which is when players try to play God by being impervious to damage, influence, or attacks. In

All pictures by Salvatore Otoro

Weaponry is also a very important part of your character. If the sim you will be playing in uses CCS, DCS2, RCPS, Gorean meter, Spellfire or any other type of metered combat system, you will need weapons that will work in that environment. Not all weapons work with all combat meters so you must choose carefully before making a purchase, down to making sure it is a legal weapon in that sim. Now, some will say, “I’m doing role play, why would I need a weapon?” Role play

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any movie with combat involving fists, guns, and/or swords, the combatants will not evade every attack. You may evade death but not at least some form of damage.

ing on their appearance, clothing, weapons and even their background. You can start out spending minimal Lindens to equip and dress your character but eventually you will feel the need for improvement. A good place to get started with an outfit and accessories that will not break the bank is Bare Rose. Weapons are many and vary on cost, though it all depends on how sophisticated you want to get.

The more we go into the art of role play, the more we learn that it mirrors the set of a movie and that it is not child’s play. Now comes the hard part or the easy part, depending on how much you wish to invest upon it; your role in all of this. Let us say that you want to play a drifter, wanderer, or nomadic type character. Perhaps you are passing through and decided to stay. You need a background for your character. Some role players will work extensively on their background, mostly for their own satisfaction. It however, serves an important service for you and how you conduct yourself as your character. Perhaps you spent some time in another place or time and while casually conversing, you allude to the fact that you know of the subject matter being spoken. Take my character, which spent some time in Japan, and will ask for sake when he’s at a bar or pull a prized bottle of it from a hidden place in his apartment when he wants to celebrate.

Speaking of popping up, we should look at what happens when we go on vacation, take a few weeks off, or decide to go on hiatus due to Second Life intruding upon your real life or vice versa. Storylines, for the most part, revolve among a group of characters unless we are talking about sim-wide role play where the entire sim participates. We all have real lives to deal with which means we cannot be online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or 365 days a year. Some of us work, have families, other hobbies, and errands to run which mean, we cannot be on the sim all the time to partake of what happens and does not happen. We go back to the movie analogy for this explanation. If your character is the focus or center of the role play, taking off a few days may not matter but a few weeks or months would kill off your story completely. If you are a supporting actor or your character is simply not one of the main personalities for that scene or event, a few days may not mean much. As always, if these are foreseeable events such as work or vacation, letting the other players or your faction leaders know ahead of time is crucial. Not only is it common courtesy but this way, other characters can get on with their game without having to worry about whether or not to write you out of a scene.

Your character’s background is not something you need to share with the rest of the players. It should be more of a guide for you to decide how this character will act or react, who they will befriend and who they will fear, what they will like or dislike, even down to their psyche. Of course, the hardcore role player will do this just for fun while others may not see a need for it. Role play is very involved in your character and how it interacts with other players. You may see this as needless and trivial since you would not necessarily be sharing it with others, but some role players have groups and websites that encourage you to post your character’s background. They do it mostly so that all the players can share their back stories with the rest of the group or faction. This is a way to encourage players to not only post a background story, but also to use it in their role play. I have done some research online and even purchased a few books to get a better feel for my character’s past which is a mix of fable, folklore, and real life events.

The longer you remain away, the more catching up you will have to do when you come back. Some sims, such as Gotham City, have stand-in players that will continue a specific role in case the player is away for any reason. They have such a stand-in for the Batman character. Be forewarned though, that leaving for a long period of time without notifying anyone may lead others to believe you left and in some cases you will be demoted or removed from the faction or group. It is a good idea to keep in touch with other players or your faction leaders so you can let someone know that you’re still around and have not quit the game. Everyone has real lives to deal with but a quick

As you can see so far, role players take their fun very seriously. They don’t just pop up on the sim one day and begin to interact. They spend some time work71


email or IM never hurts. When you don’t touch base with your other players, you leave them wondering if you had a real life mishap or if you just decided to quit.

see if it’s for you. Practice makes perfect. Don’t go to a role play sim expecting to be an expert player and able to handle the toughest challenges. I was once a new player with no experience in any sort of role play. I stood around, listened, and watched what was happening around me and learned how they did what they did. I learned to react, each time in a quicker fashion, to whatever I was being told or whatever was going on. Role play takes a lot of imagination and in most cases preparation to get where you want to go with it. GMs and RPCs put a lot of work and effort in getting the game going and making the game play interesting and fun. Role play is a good mental exercise for everyone. Take it up and see what it’s like. You may be surprised how much of an imagination you have within you.

This brings to mind a word about entering the game and making acquaintances in character. There is a 99.9% chance you know none of the players in the sim out of character. You are starting fresh, sort of like the new kid in school. Don’t be hasty in trying to friend everyone you talk to because it will be denied most of the time. You have to get to know these players in character. By in character I mean as your character or in the role you have chosen. You also have to remember that some groups or factions will be secretive about their day to day and who they associate with. New players are treated as spies or threats until proven otherwise, simply because of how these groups operate. This does not mean by any stretch that everyone will shun you, but simply to be aware of the intricacies of the game. If you are being ignored, do not take it personally. Learn to separate yourself from your character and you’ll see things in a different light. The Role Player’s Creed is a must and should be followed always. It is a list of rules which every role player should follow.

Cardonicus Cardonicus (9/234/501) Gotham City Gotham City (52/174/42) Lost Angels Lost Angels (151/85/53)

In closing, I’d like to offer a challenge those that want to try their hand at role play but have yet to do so for fear they will be no good at it. Give it a chance and

Galactic Core Galactic Core (131/178/556)

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FINAL CREDITS PEOPLE & LOCATIONS PEOPLE AND PLACES ARE LISTED IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE.

TOSL IN SECOND LIFE: Herman Melville (171/62/59)

GLOOMY CREEK Baie St Anne (13/137/22)

TOSL FLICKR STREAM: www.flickr.com/photos/quinlanquimby

CARDONICUS Cardonicus (9/234/501)

NOTSOBAD NOTsoBAD (71/192/30)

GOTHAM CITY Gotham City (52/174/42)

GABE BOOKMITE

LOST ANGELS Lost Angels (151/85/53)

VASEAN TALAMASCA MUSIC ACADEMY ONLINE Utwig (108/155/22) AMADORA RECITAL HALL A piacere (112/194/2) DUO APPASSIONATO www.duoappassionato.org MUSIC ISLAND music-island.blogspot.com Classical Music Ball at Sunset Jazz featuring DJ Amy Laurel Arts Isle (149/70/301) 2XTREME Pride Isles (170/229/22) BARNESWORTH ANUBIS Demersal (54/43/36) SCARLET CREATIVE ScarletCreative (65/2/21) GLOOMYVILLE Attol (113/137/21)

GALACTIC CORE Galactic Core (131/178/556)


ADVERTISERS :: 2XTREME :: Pride Isles (163/227/22)

MUSIC MATTERS MAGAZINE www.mattersofmusic.com

ANSE CHUNG www.anshex.com www.anshechung.com www.otherland-group.com

FRI.DAY fridayofsl.wordpress.com

RUMBLER BOA www.rumblerboa.com SEMOTION SEmotion (51/56/33) REACH ISLES www.reachisles.com ENKYTHINGS Orbiuna (172/135/25) BAIASTICE BAIASTICE (153/126/25) ADDIXION addiXion (123/137/28) www.addixion.info SHOOZ addiXion (129/237/29) AMBIANCE INTERACTIVE FURNISHINGS Lux Prometheus (139/47/307) ADJUNCT Acrux (109/224/21) HAIR SOLUTIONS Elite Island (141/133/22) FUSION SIMS Fusion Crossing (128/128/22)


THANK YOU.


ROLE MAGA Z I N E

ROLE Magazine September 2009  

ROLE Magazine is a monthly publication dedicated to highlighting the many facets of Second Life™ and to showcase the most interesting people...

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