Rik "Rikomatic" Panganiban wrote a moving tribute to beloved soul singer Sharon Jones, who left us after a long war with cancer earlier this month. That might not seem like something you'd usually read in a blog about virtual worlds, but the thing is, Rik used to write for New World Notes. And when he wasn't writing about events in Second Life, he'd often be breakdancing or lindy hopping or some combination of the two, which is how he wound up dancing onstage with Ms. Sharon Jones on a regular basis -- even at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem. Rik is someone I often mentioned as defying the stereotype of what a virtual world geek was supposed to be, so it's fitting that his experiences at Sharon Jones shows remind us what virtual worlds can be at their best:
[W]henever I would start to freak out before a performance or competition, I would remember being onstage at the Apollo, and that feeling of just letting go, and my tension and fear would abate. Sharon led me to that breakthrough moment, and for that I'm eternally grateful.
I was not the only one. You could see in her true fans at her concerts what a profound effect she had on thousands of others. She drew the most diverse audiences of young and old people, people of all races, sizes, and mobility. When she performed, we danced and clapped and shouted and let her love wash over us. It was ... spiritual.
More from Rik here. And more from Ms. Jones below:
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