Wednesday, January 25, 2012

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Have Furries Fairly Fled Second Life for Furry Forums?

Tess Linden and furry

One day recently, software engineer Tess Chu was walking through a hotel, when she stumbled into a furry con. This was a fortune-filled encounter, for while she's now a Senior Software Engineer and Analyst at Kabam, the leading Facebook strategy game developer, her previous life was at Second Life, as a Studio Director at Linden Lab. So on finding out she was an ex-Linden, the phalanx of furries were fairly friendly. For as everyone knows, furries have been among the more active subcultures in Second Life. (Though probably not as large as often assumed: A community leader estimated it to be under 20,000 during SL's 2006 hype wave.)

In any case, after Tess told them she was an ex-Linden, the furries in the hotel told her a fairly different tale:

Furrycon furries

"Unfortunately," as she recalls, recounting their conversation, "the hype is over and they said most of the traffic is now on forum sites instead of in clubs in Second Life." Which was an interesting observation to make, though now that the furrycon furries mention it, I'd say it's likely accurate: For after all, few if any of the top popular sites in SL are furry-themed. (Though to be sure, SL still enjoys a furiously fanatical furry following.) So Tess found a fulfilling furry factoid. Also: "We had a good laugh about how I learned what yiffing is, too."

But I put the question to the furry forum here: Just as avid about SL, or as the furry con furries suggested, not so much anymore?

Photos courtesy Tess!

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Adeon Writer

Furst.

(Forgive me.)

Pussycat Catnap

We're still in SL in big numbers.

But most online furries are the gamer sort. And SL just doesn't have that 'kill an elf' factor going for it.

Of two major discussion forums I've tried over the last year - one outright banned all mention of SL, while the other had a small sub-forum devoted mostly to people saying who their SL avatar was.

The thing is, it is not that the hype for furries in SL died down, but the hype for SL died down.

And not having the most popular spots largely means that what you really have is a wide spectrum of diverse spots combined more connectivity with other scenes. In today's SL, you don't have to hide out in 'furry' town in you have a furry avatar. They're just spread out among the other folks.

You could also say there are less 'white people' left in SL, because none of the top sims are devoted to white-power groups (that I know of). But such a statement would well, be insane.

On another angle, more avatars of a non-caucasian look -are- showing up in SL every day. But sims devoted to them are not.

Log into SL, and you can see furries and folks of many colors (including white folks ;) ) -everywhere-, but just sim count from the outside of SL and yeah, it might look different, because people don't ghetto-ize along these lines as much anymore.

Pussycat Catnap

- As an added aside to this. Hit up a place like Luskwood, and there is still a sign warning anti-furry griefers that's been there since 1837... :D, but nobody bothers to grief furries anymore, and non-furries show up all the time and chat with everyone else like there's nothing odd going on.

Likewise, go to IYC, the top furry-dance club, and you'll see non-furries there just because they enjoy that crowd (which sadly for me, isn't my crowd - wrong musical tastes- but I give it props anyway for being a good scene).

And I've gone to all sorts of events and clubs as human, furry, or neko and even Tiny, and no one cares anymore.

- So you're less likely to find avatar-type themed places among newer sims.

shockwave yareach

So what if the "active" spots aren't furry? Is there not Furnation? Sunweavers? The enormous Valley island chains? Luskwood, one of the very very first paying customer of LL, is still where it was created many years ago.

You folks will be surprised, but furries aren't in SL to do the "popular" in-crowd things. If we were, we'd sit in front of our TVs and watch "The Bachelor" along with the rest of America's sheep. We are in SL to have fun with other furries. We spend money (lots of it) to hang out and have fun with other furrys, changing shapes and enjoying similar laid-back and borderline silly folks.

While I have noticed fewer furries in SL, I have noticed fewer people overall in SL. I'm not aware of any great furry flight out of SL. There are still quite a few of us inworld and as this is one of the few places we get to appear as we like (without spending 2K$ and a year's work on costuming), we'll probably be the ones turning out the lights when LL finally dies from their mismanagement of the grid.

Alazarin Mobius

Still here after all these years. Looks like SL's got plenty of mileage left in it too.

shockwave yareach

I thought I heard synthesizer music in the background :) Hey Alazarin!

DD Ra

I think furs are still numerous in SL, but as said before, SL in not as hype as it was, and furry are less segregated.
So it's more usual to see furry or tiny AVs who do not think of themselves as "furs".

J

An interesting question. I still meet new "furs" who join SL all the time, while some old timers (not all) have moved on. As was already stated, a lot of people have animal avatars in SL and they might not consider themselves "furries" in the sense that a fur-con crowd might.

The more serious aspects of furry, adopting a character to represent you, is a very visual process and I know plenty of people who have tried SL just to see what it was like to represent themselves as an animal in a virtual world, only to quickly lose interest because the type of animal they wanted did not exist, or their current avatar needed to be modded and the user had no idea how to even begin doing that in a way that satisfied them. As a user created virtual world, SL is all about customization, and that's both a blessing and a curse as far as the type of people it attracts.

Osprey

'...only to quickly lose interest because the type of animal they wanted did not exist, or their current avatar needed to be modded and the user had no idea how to even begin doing that in a way that satisfied them...'

I've often thought that a 'Mod My Attachments' permission for Friends would allow for the development of beauty salons and such.

Silverfox Rainbow

as a former furry i still see them all the time - half the fun was moding the avis and such, alot of them do tend to just do their own thing and such, The shelter gets a regular influx of new furries all the time, so they are still around

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

The Hillbilly exodus from SL has been particularly painful to me, personally.

When those griefers posing as fake Revenuers burned our stills, it was a death-blow to our cultural niche.

foneco zuzu

I saw furries all time, at races, at bikes sims and so on!
I still can't quite understand Hamlet mood, some days He is the biggest fan of Sl(see Os grid posts), other times looks likes He is its big detractor!

Beasil

This seems like a lame hip new alternative to Second Life. What's the next big thing in furry hang-out technology? MUCKs?

Laurence 'GreenReaper' Parry

Actually, MUCKs are still very popular, and not just with furries. Just yesterday I added four more articles about My Little Pony MUCKs/MUSHes to WikiFur.

Dave Bell

My own guess is that conventions and SL might be almost parallel worlds, If you can go to a convention (not just Furry) you can satisfy some of the social urges which might otherwise draw you into a virtual world.

Personally, I find conventions are not a practical option for me. I do use forum-like places, but they don't satisfy all the desires that SL does. There are other virtual worlds, such as FurryMUCK, which still continue, and were around long before SL.

There's nothing quite like SL, and not everyone wants to socialise in SL. I think there's likely to be a lot of truth in the observation that the hype is over.


Valintino

Oh furrys are still around and our numbers are suprizeingly large i just joined the furry crowd a few weeks ago, and have no regrets vary nice people ^_^, also fuck the greifers i have greifing protection and such so i can take the haters.

and in the end just mute, derender, eject from land(if its my land) problem fucking solved

RaKeT

Hey, thats me in the top image!!! amazing photo. Thank you for posting.

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