Sadly, it's time to cut NWN loose from my regular reading (and virtual worlds in general). The country is pretty much equally divided politically. Over-dramatizing issues like this is exactly what turns many of us off. Taking sides just alienates the other half of your customers, as Linden Lab and other businesses are doing. Business exists to sell product, not to make political statements. Not just leveled at you you, Hamlet, but this is a one-sided soap opera that seems bound and determined to overstate every issue and demonize everyone who doesn't agree. Thanks for all the great articles, insights and fun over the years. May there be many pieces and books in your future.
Sorry to lose a great and supportive reader. There are lots of political blogs to discuss whether opposition to Trump is over-dramatized, though speaking specifically of virtual worlds, Trump's FCC appointee is very much a direct danger to their operations, just as Trump's campaign promises to crack down on Internet porn is a direct threat to the many participants in Second Life's cheerfully libertine virtual sex content. That to one side, it's worth pondering how much Linden Lab's anti-Trump stand as a company is alienating its users:
Second Life image artist Whiskey Monday created this powerful metaphor against political apathy, inspired in part by her and her daughter's participation at the Women's March and at tomorrow's Moral March in Raleigh, NC:
"We'll be marching for access to healthcare and voter's rights," she tells me. "These are issues that effect everyone. But I feel like could carry ten signs, and they still wouldn't say enough."
In the read world, I am a 28 year old gay male, who’s no beauty queen, jock, muscle god or beefy manly cake made out of testosterone; I am simply a bear cub. In my virtual world I am a glamazonian queen, my very own personal barbie. Make no mistake; my virtual me and my real me are integrally linked, we are one being. She is my female side, manifested in the virtual world of Second Life... As a gay man, I have suffered horrific discrimination throughout my life which has impacted me in many ways, one of which is not wanting anybody else, regardless of race, religion, sexuality and so on, to have to go through the same horrors. Unfortunately we now have a President who has opened the flood gates of hate, intolerance, prejudice, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia and it hasn’t just stopped there. Now we are building a wall, and turning our backs on what America is.
Much more here. How did Prue achieve this text-based affect? Through Photoshop, after watching this tutorial:
"When I was the 'embedded journalist' in Second Life for Linden Lab, one of the first installations that users built was a carnival promoting marijuana legalization, including a roller coaster-type ride in a giant bong," he says.
Singh, a Muslim-American who blogs about avatar fashion interspersed with her political views, her culture, and activism under her Second Life pseudonym, tells me she was hesitant to co-found the Avatars Against Trump project. "I've already been getting quite a lot of trolls trying to look for ways to paint me with a negative brush," she said. "I just didn't have the energy to fight them online anymore... "I can't let the terrorists win, as the saying goes, right?" she said.
Strawberry and Cajsa Lilliehook have already built the group up to have hundreds of members and many dozens of images, a testament to their influence among virtual world fans. Vice asked me if there's any value in putting real life political protests into a virtual world context. I answered this way: