Aemeth is a freelance illustrator and blogger for Juicybomb. She is a recipient of the Joe Schuster Gene Day award for her work in Wayward Sisters, and was nominated for an Ignatz Award for the same anthology in 2019.
The world around us right now is changing, and a lot of people are rejecting old racist ideologies that have made up quite a bit of America’s history. It’s daunting to want to get outside and protest, but luckily, there’s a lot of messed-up things within Second Life you can turn your attention to. You don’t even need to leave your chair!
Because I’m black, it’s easy for me to see all of the things I have seen and not be surprised by them anymore. I can’t say the same of my white counterparts. I think the breadth of how ugly race is depicted in this game might shock some of you.
It can also tell you some of why I decided to largely part from the game and am looking at its gradual changes with trepidation. Other virtual worlds have more updated stances and intolerance for these things, and yet this stuff persists by and far in Second Life because… I don’t know why. Free speech? Is that it? I don’t know anymore.
I will now go in and describe the tiers on which this problem persists in this virtual world.
I found myself on this map in VRChat not long after signing up for the game. I didn’t know what was going on at first. People were waiting in this lobby like it was a real club. I could hear muffled music as if I were outside a real building. A group of girls chattered away near me, talking about what club to hit up next since their favorite dj’s set was over.
Inside, people were dancing. A moderator was positioned off to the side and looking over the crowd like a bouncer. As I had no one to talk to and didn’t have a VR headset at the time, I left once my curiousity was satisfied. I wouldn’t return again for half a year. That’s when my experience changed entirely.
Do you like my outfit today? As soon as Neve announced this new release, I ran to get it! Grime and Grit are a respective top and shorts set that makes me feel like it’s the 90’s again. Not that the 90’s were a particularly great decade for me growing up, but sometimes it’s fun remembering the fashions from back then. You can grab this set from Uber.
So, who called for Ryan Schultz to be banned from Second Life and Sansar for correctly reporting that Sansar was due to be shut down after a round of layoffs? Who did that? You owe Ryan an apology.
The poor guy was reporting on what he knew. He got a reliable source that said shutdowns were happening. Despite the shortage of comments I found on his blog entry about it, he says he got a lot of backlash and someone calling for him to be permabanned from Linden Lab’s social worlds. How petty! What a trifling thing to do, especially when he was right all along.
Not long ago, I bought an Oculus Quest and have been diving into the world of virtual reality. Doing everything from establishing a boxing practice routine with Thrill of the Fight, to exploring different maps in VRChat, there’s been a ton of things to see and do!
There are a few things I’d like to show you, though, just to bring home the point of how lovely and how immersive virtual reality can be.