Monday, November 26, 2012

Meet Myf

I have noted before that I am not a "gamer". Apart from a couple of blasts around the track in Mario Kart, I have never been compelled to go in pursuit of the Super-Duper Sword Of Killingness*. This is in no small way down to the fact that I am fiercely competitive. I don't start things I can't win, and if I start it, you had better assume my endgame is to win it.

I'm not really one for shooting, blowing up or setting my problems on fire. And I like to dabble ... and dabblers don't win races.

Since knowing Shippy, and as a direct result of Second Life having become a place of work and not leisure, I have been logging onto Clone Wars Adventures and have completed Guild Wars - Prophecies.

I had to start from the very beginning. In fact I still don't know how to move with anything resembling agility, and every achievement has come as the result of repeated smooshings.

I started Guild Wars 2 last week. Please meet Myf Rogue, and her companion/mentor Jyotis Ravi.

 I could write at some length, believe me, about the game culture, and what it's like to stumble into this microcosm. How intensive is the preparation and research, how resourced these players are. How it's natural instinct to them to make use of tools within and without the world they inhabit. And I probably will consider these things at other times. Because I really love this game.

Myf and Jyotis in Rata Sum, the capital of Metrica Province
"we're setting out on the journey"
Myf and Jyotis are Asurans -:
"The Asura value intelligence and intellectual superiority over all other attributes. Individual asura will dedicate an entire lifespan to building a portfolio of successful projects or becoming the foremost expert of some tiny aspect of the arcane. They constantly seek to prove their own intellectual superiority, and by extension the superiority of the asura race. This typically results in asura being arrogant to the point of rudeness towards others, especially towards non-asura races. The asura have quickly established their intellectual and magical superiority over the other races and view them as useful primarily for heavy lifting, taking risks, and asking stupid questions."

No comment on that at all. I admit, I chose an Asuran because Shippy already was one, although it was also because he thought the character type would suit me. Before I entered Guild Wars 2, I would have told you I wanted to be a typically beautiful human-type character. I don't really "get" how people spend their online lives as other creatures, maybe it's just been to fantastic for my fairly pragmatic nature.

There is just something so endearing about watching these two tiny creatures scamper through Tyria, exploring, adventuring, learning ... and fighting. The game is best played full-screen, and to do so cuts you off, somewhat, from the usual distractions like facebook updates, emails and IM from other forums. It's also such a beautifully made world, it's so easy to immerse.

Jyotis and Myf are agreed it is like having their own movie to influence, participate in, and ultimately consume. That's not dissimilar to what their Second Life counterparts have been heard to say. "Proper" gaming involves quests, challenges, the acquisition of skills, and very little of the "lifestyle choices" of Second Life. It is very goal-oriented, and in that sense, a refereshing diversion for chryblnd Scribe.

I'm still getting smooshed. At time of writing, I am a level 24 stain on the ground :-).

You can expect to hear more of Myf Rogue and her adventures in this lovely alien environment.

Music to read this post with:

Track 06 from The Unofficial Soundtrack for Guild Wars 2, composed by Jeremy Soule

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Chry's interview with Gem Karas from the Australian Trader

One of the most inspiring and talented people I have met in SecondLife has to be Chryblnd Scribe, a tireless and enthusiastic worker for her group Idle Rogue and Second Life in general. Her infectious personality seems to inspire other to give of their best.
Caught up with Chry this week to find out a little more about what makes her tick!

Gem: What was your first impressions when discovering SL?

Chry: Heh ... like so many of us, I rezzed on the Pond Estates, and was bumbling around, more than a little out of my depth, when Parky Lane dropped out of the sky looking all kinds of glamorous, and helped me find my way from orientation into the game lol. I have never lost that sense of wonder, that instant bonding as I learned I could create things, put things together that were really beautiful, and meet other people who have this same (sometimes untapped) creative streak in them, that SL lets loose.
Gem: To us you seem to be a woman of many facets, are there parallels in Rl?
Chry: It is my profound belief that, if you allow it, SL simply distills and underscores who you are as a real person. And you will know who you are, what moves and motivates you, and what you wish you could change, if you pay attention to the choices you make in your Second Life. There are many things it turns out I am, in RL, that I didn't really recognise until they wove themselves through the ether.
Gem: What was your Inspiration behind Idle rogue?
Chry: I was raised by people who lived the philosophy that you get out and create the community you want to be part of, and that is all that I wanted Idle Rogue to be. A community where like-minded people could come and be who they are. Idle Rogue grew organically. I'm a little bit alternative, so it's a little bit alternative. The people who enjoy it best are people who have similar interests to mine, and they are who makes it strong. Idle Rogue is the community I always wanted to live in.
Gem: Have you had any disapointments?
Chry: Of course! We are dealing with humans, and I am relentlessly human myself. I've had painful personal losses that I still struggle to accept. I will say, though, that my biggest disappointment, and this is true for many committed SLers, I think, is that SL remains a misunderstood "fringe" medium. We all, to a more or less degree, treat it like our dirty little secret, and perpetuate the notion that there's something not-quite-right about having a virtual life, when in fact, having a virtual life allows us to explore, trust, create, love, in a way many people will NEVER get from their real life.
Gem: Your greatest highlights are?
Chry: My greatest moments have come from times when I see my friends and family pull together. There are times on Idle Rogue, or with Guerilla Burlesque, or when a group of Idle Rogues travel to an outside event, when I am just bursting with joy to part of such a diverse, engaged and clever group of people. They make friends wherever they go, they get involved with things on the grid, they're people who do, and they do it without bullshit or drama. An Idle Rogue is never alone, and that's actually a pretty awesome thing.
I often say that everything I do, I do for Idle Rogue. The highlight is and always has been that Idle Rogue is worth it.
Gem: Where to now for Chryblnd Scribe?
Chry: Honestly? I have no clue. I am flattered to be offered marvelous opportunities almost constantly. And I am lucky to have the time to be able to accept some of them, though the unadorned truth is that I badly need real life work.
All I really do, in everything I do, is look for ways to help my friends live the kind of Second Life they want. I manage time and resources in a way that lets them get on with doing the (much cooler) stuff that they do, and by "they" I mean the musicians I work with, the dancers in Guerilla Burlesque, the content creators on Idle Rogue. It turns out that this is a kind of leadership, but it's just so exciting, for me, knowing that if I do my stuff right, they can do their stuff brilliantly. It is most definitely, as anyone will tell you, a work in progress, but I'm getting there!

For the few who have yet to see Guerilla Burlesque (SL), it's a show not to be missed, the talent and professional performers make this a rivetting hour of music and dance.
The key to Chryblnd Scribe's success is simple, good music, good friends, and a different slant on life, she helps open your eyes to what can be.

Story by Gem Karas
Pictures by Whelan Ferraris Australian Trader, November 2012
Dresses: Left - GizzA - Dolly Dress [Lace]
              Right -  salt. summer romance vintage sundress
                           Slink Womens Natural Barefeet (Mesh Rigged) (with thanks to Sho Kyong for her patient help with skin-matching)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Still a dancer, always

I don't get time to dance very often. I have commitments that include managing the Second Life engagements of Jordan Reyne and DeepSky Timeless, and a commitment to maintaining the Idle Rogue sim and community. Dancing as a soloist for Guerilla Burlesque has become a fairly demanding pursuit, the bar is very high indeed, and I don't have time to learn the skills the other dancers regularly deploy.

I am frankly in awe of the dancers who arrive at every rehearsal with fully-realised, clever concepts that are freshly developed. It's a rare thing for a Guerilla Burlesque dancer to need to run a repeat, and is more often about performing to their own personal satisfaction than it is about a creative block.

We just went through the Halloween season. Our performances were watched over 500 times, and we did five fresh shows, each with a rehearsal (some shows featured repeat acts). It was hard work, and every dancer dug deep and found the stuff to make it great. We made a lot of new friends, and we did some amazing things. My team is better, faster, stronger than ever, and they make me incredibly proud. Not least, for me, is the fact that our last show, on home ground, was the best. I love that they treat Idle Rogue so well, because Idle Rogue loves them very much.

As my own dance commitments have shrunk, new faces have appeared on the team, and these are truly interesting, natural performers. You will enjoy getting to know them, as they have already shown a distinct personal style and a heartfelt dedication to creating great works. We are honoured, in so many ways, that they chose to work with us.

My act for the final show was based on two thing. The first (as always) was the song, Juular from The Devin Townsend Project. The second was the *~*Illusions*~* Civetta Venetzia Mask which was every bit as majikal as wearing a mask is in real life. In case you missed the act, enjoy the song :-)


Thursday, October 11, 2012

and now we are four ...

So my rezzday came and went, with a minimum of fuss, and that is what I'd hoped for. Other years, especially last year, were crazy big events, and that always flattens me. I was particularly naughty last year, I know how much time and effort everyone put into it and I behaved very badly. It wasn't intentional. I am just surprisingly bad at unexpected attention. Not something I had to worry about this year lol.

And as I go into my fifth year as resident of a virtual world? Do I still believe? Does it still compel me? Yes. Of course. I am there less now, because so much of my SL is actually work, I have to go somewhere else for mindless distraction, which is ironic. And it's fair to say the raging battles of the past twelve months took their toll, the enjoyment has been muted.

I still believe SL teaches us everything we need to know about ourselves, if we choose it. Sometimes the journey down the rabbit hole is bewildering and unclear until you are able to pause and reflect. That's true of first life, too. As always, Second Life simply compresses the time required, distils the experience. It's the internet, baby. With pretty pictures.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

it's out!

My photoshoot with Graham Collinson was released last night. I am a little nervous :-D There's a bit ... well ... more ... of me than I usually show. I have issues with the rampaging sexuality of Second Life. As Esoteric Trinity notes, in his fabulous bio, I am not a big fan of the so-called "raunch culture'. I am all for women taking ownership of their sexuality, that's what virtual burlesque has been for me, and what I hope it is for my sisters in dance. But it's fair to say I chose burlesque as a way to explore these notions because nudity is not required. So what, exactly, am I doing with my boobs out?

In the first place, the Guerilla Burlesque Exclusive group was created to give fans of the show a greater depth of interaction with the stars - and I do call them stars. Every dancer has her own motivation, she designs and creates her act according to the things she finds beautiful and moving; she offers you a little piece of her soul, her own soul, or the bits she is willing for you to see. These girls work hard, and think hard, and give hard, and when the audience watches them, they have certain expectations of each dancer as an individual. We know Diawa will give us brilliant choreography. We know Chewie dances from her heart. We know SexyS will bring us something quirky, we know Sho will add little pieces of wit to her set. The dancers of Guerilla Burlesque are personalities, and the Guerilla Burlesque Exclusive group was set up to thank the fans for their support of that ideal.

Despite the name, Guerilla Burlesque does not present a strip show. That was an active choice as we left the confines of the Virtual Burlesque group. We really just wanted to dance, and I personally wanted to produce a "show" - something that was designed with an audience in mind, as first priority. Nudity is, for Guerilla Burlesque, just one of the ways you might add the spark to your act. As we get better at building and meet better scriptors (because so far we kinda suck at scripting ourselves), the wow factor is as often a clever script, or an amazing particle, as it is a great rack.

But that's not to dis a great rack, either. I am proud of my avatar. I love the way she looks, she is the me I would be if I could choose the parts: her hair is the same colour as mine, her famous eyes are an enhanced version of mine. I took off my glasses and shaved off a hundred pounds, most of which I injected into my bottom lip, but otherwise she is me. Okay, maybe not lol ... but I built her, and I stay true to her. Her skin will always be League, her hair will always be strawberry blonde, and she will always wear the lip piercing that was her first gift from her first lover. As for her rack - did you know I actually reduced her breast size from the original freebie shape I still wear? I did it because I wanted her to look good dressed ... and then I made her famous for undressing :-)

You can get the photos by joining the Guerilla Burlesque Exclusive group. It costs 1000L to join, and I am worth every one of 'em. My heartfelt thanks to Graham Collinson for making the photoshoot such a gentle and natural process, and to Esoteric Trinity who did the same as he drew words from my mouth and transformed them into a wonderful tribute ♥

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dear Floor

As it's becoming obvious, from your behaviour, that you follow this blog very closely, there are a few things you probably should know:

1. Telling my good friends that I am a "sl rl stlaker, and could possibly put your privacy at risk" (sic) is a dumb idea. They already know me, and they know what you're suggesting is preposterous.

2. The article you're referring to drew information from your blog and myspace page, which you insisted, demanded, nagged and threatened me to visit. That's not stalking, you silly moo-cow, that's you begging for attention.

3. All that happened a year ago. Build a bridge, as they say in the classics. Nobody cares but you, and you care a little more than is healthy.

Monday, May 14, 2012

and then it was a year ...

[2011/05/15 01:24] Shippy: do you dance couples or will it crash you?
[2011/05/15 01:24] chry: I do if I'm not running the event lol ... but when I am working it's just distracting
[2011/05/15 01:25] Shippy: no worries.. .:)
[2011/05/15 01:25] Shippy: plenty of other ladies...
[2011/05/15 01:25] Shippy: ;)
[2011/05/15 01:25] chry: indeed, though I will take a raincheck?
[2011/05/15 01:25] Shippy: OH please :)
[2011/05/15 01:25] Shippyt: haha...
[2011/05/15 01:26] Shippy: -hands Cherry the largest rain check ever-

... and that, as far as I am concerned, is how it started.

I want to tell you about my best friend. We met in Second Life, on his second day. The attraction was instant, and it was obvious. The exchange, above, happened two weeks later, by then I was already looking for him to log on, and feeling that awesome little rush you get when you've met someone you really dig who digs you too.

I say he is my best friend because we spend every day (his night) together, we go everywhere (on the web) together and we share everything in our lives with each other. Okay, maybe not everything. But the only things we don't tell each other about are the ones it is decent and respectful for us to keep private.

My best friend is married, in his real life, to a woman he loves very much. She doesn't want a Second Life, and she doesn't especially approve of his. She does not approve of me, and I understand that, and am careful not to demand anything that might be hers by right. That suits me, by the way. I am a single mother, and I have no intention of foisting some guy on my son. I tried that once, and it didn't go well. I don't get out much, and I don't want to. My son and I have a loving, engaged life just as it is, and I plan not to make any changes to that. In that respect, in fact in most respects, having a close relationship with someone online, that we act out via Second Life, is ideal for me.

Not everyone who comes to Second Life has come to find themselves a real life. Nor, especially, to damage the real life they have.

Now ... I hear what you're thinking. Something along the lines of "it's all good fun til someone loses an eye". I can only tell you that we are careful with eyes around here. We do not lie, we do not steal, and we try to make sure that everyone has what they need to be content.We're careful to respect and love the people around us. That's an active choice, in any relationship, by the way. It's the most important choice.

Of course, I don't need to tell you all this. It's no-one's business but that of the people who are living it. But I am aware that people wonder - neither of us think of or act like our outside comittments are a secret. So now you know: this is how we sleep at night. 

Onto the fun bit. Our friendship is based on a mutual love of words, music, entertainment, games, silly puns, flirting and being as good as you can be at whatever you choose to do. We play other games together, we talk about politics, the cosmos, atheism, sex, our past, our dreams, our hobbies, our friends. We dance. We build. We compare notes about the things we see, about life, every day, and every day we find we agree.

He lets me feel safe by letting me be completely open ... and by protecting me while I am open. He listens to me, and acts like my friend. He supports me when I am right and he tells me when I am wrong. He makes the things I care about seem like they're valuable and important by being interested in them, and responsive to them. He encourages me to be a better person by being a better person. My dreams and visions fit into his hands, and his dreams and visions set mine alight.

I have never known this in a man before, and it is heady, it's fun, and it gets better every day. 

Shippy ... ringrazio il mio amore. I hope that's right :-) You are the lightning that sets me to flame, and I am having the very best time of my life.