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Thursday, November 10, 2011


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shockwave yareach

And all authors should write and publish under their real names too. And all stage and film actors, they should all use their legal names as well.

It barely takes any research at all to find out why we don't. And the same reasons also apply to SL, regardless of what Facebook and Google have to say.

Rowan Derryth

So true, and yes, I hope to make that leap soon as an academic. Not quite yet though...

Bettina Tizzy

@shockwave Read the second paragraph again, please.

shockwave yareach

@Bettina - so the base issue is that if Second Life goes bust, I cannot use the name "Shockwave Yareach" anyplace else?

Sure I can. I can log into InWorldz and go by that, Tizzy Drinks, or Sparkler Galactakitty if I wish to. I can continue to make mechanica all with 3ds and never set foot in a VR world again and still use my SL name, which isn't the trademarked property of LL mind you. SL's fate and the fate of the nom de plume (one of several I use) are not tied together, anymore than my original use of the first name was tied to the MUCK I created it under when it finally shut down.

CodeBastard Redgrave

Sorry to disagree very strongly there Bettina, actually, my artistic personality wouldn't exist without being pseudonymous. I find this declaration quite pretentious, and even dangerous. We use ways of self expression that is often frowned uppon, and being pseudonymous allows us to express ourselves as artists much more freely, without the stigma being attached to our RL. Yeah I get that LL profits of our art, but exposing our RL will do nothing concrete to help with that. As an artist, I seek to express myself, not to sellout commercially to a RL corporation by pimping my SL works in my resume.

Bettina Tizzy

Hi Codey! I totally get where you are coming from. For some, a level of freedom of expression is enjoyed in virtual worlds that could be uncomfortable or even dangerous in real life. I would point out that your main source of income exists in RL, so your financial future isn't dependent on what you do in SL. But for those SL artists who pay for the roof over their RL heads and everything else, or hope to someday get to that point, crossing over and wedding both worlds might be worthy of consideration. No pretense here... what do I gain from sharing this here and now with you, other than your wrath? I'm just going out on a limb here in the hopes that my own experience might inspire others to do the same. One point that I didn't make when taking Hamlet's interview was this... it turns out that I don't really care what others think. Popeye had it right when he said, "I am what I am." And I am Beverly Millson and also Bettina Tizzy.

moo Money

I, for one, absolutely love being referred to as a corporate sellout resume padder.

CodeBastard Redgrave

My apologies, especially to Moo, because it's not what i meant, and i reacted too strongly. It's all about choice. And it's up to you what you do with it. All i wanted to say is that there's some reasons why some artists prefers remaining pseudonymous, freedom of expression being a strong one. It's perfectly fine to do commercial work, all i meant is that i'm not one of those seeking this.

Arcadia Codesmith

I have seperate avatars that I associate with my real name, and they handle business that might cross between worlds.

I can easily Google up hundreds of people that share my real name, but only one with my SL name. It's a better unique identifier.

And if it limited me to Second Life, how is it I'm posting here?

nexus burbclave

I recently learned the reality of Second Life's control over your avatar due to a misunderstanding that led to some unscheduled vacation time. But here is the thing. Nexus Burbclave vanished from Second Life for about a week, but Nexus Burbclave didn't vanish from the World Wide Web. I have a Web Presence outside of Second Life, and that Web Presence didn't disappear during my "vacation".

Banksy's use of a pseudonym certainly hasn't hurt his artistic endeavors. Many artists use pseudonyms. While I think you are right to warn against relying too heavily on a walled garden for your publicity, I don't think ditching a pseudonym is the right solution for everyone, nor is it the only solution.

My suggestion would be this. If you want to tie your art to your avatar identity, do so. But, don't just do so within the confines of Second Life. Register a domain name for that identity and use that for your portfolio. You might even consider setting up a DBA or an LLC for that identity so that you can use it for contractual purposes.

I think Bettina's suggestion will be a good one for some people, and will probably involve a lot less work than establishing your avatar identity as your brand, but for others the latter will be well worth the effort.

Ciaran Laval

Well Banksy did alright out of a pseudonym, as Shockwave points out many actors, singers and authors do well out of pseudonyms.

I see it more as an issue of having a consistent identity, if your work is related and you're known as x here, y there and z somewhere else then it will all get a bit fuzzy, consistency is the key issue behind the identity, whether that's via a pseudonym or a real name is a matter of choice, neither is the right or wrong path to follow.

Xander Ruttan

I agree with Bettina/Beverly that SL artists are at risk of becoming trapped in the SL backwater. But given the RL contemporary art world's perception that SL is rife with kitsch (genre art like fantasy, sci fi, crap "visionary art", etc.) obscuring that affiliation may not always be such a bad strategy.

Bettina Tizzy

@Codey - Understand and I love what you do in SL.

To all, this isn't just about money. It's also about letting both worlds see who you are and what you do. I'm extremely proud of my association with the members of Not Possible IRL, what I've learned from them, and what I have yet to learn from them. I also don't care one smidgen if RL people think less of me because of my association with 3D immersive worlds. I know better, and if they will lend me their ears and eyes, I'll be happy to show them why. I also love - and am proud of - my RL work, my friends, my amazing daughter, and more. I'm really only one person doing lots of interesting things (to me) on a number of platforms.

Dividni Shostakovich

If it weren't for ImpIRL, I doubt I'd still be in SL, so it's with no small chagrin that I have to disagree with Bettina and say that I think the issue of pseudonyms is a red herring. I take her point that SL is in its way a walled garden, but the solution isn't for SL artists to "come out" in their RL world. For one thing, there are many artists in SL who never were and probably never will be artists in RL, so they have no RL art presence to "come out" into (for that matter, I wouldn't be surprised if some artists do more interesting work in SL than in RL). So putting their RL and SL names together on the web somewhere would be pointless. Their entire existence as an artist is within the virtual world. The real issues are elsewhere: getting virtual worlds better recognized as environments where people create fantastic art, finding ways to adequately present that work in RL, and ultimately getting more people to see the work in its proper environment. Get people to enter the garden.

The linchpin is that middle point: presenting the art in RL. I think Bettina underestimates the value of still photos and machinima, and overestimates the hurdle of the SL viewer. Some analogies: I've seen many photos of works by Dali and once had posters of several, so years later when I had a chance to see a show, I went ... and was blown away by the fact that some of works on my big posters were quite small! But without the not-quite-accurate posters, no visit to the gallery. I've probably only seen a few photos of Prague and mostly read about it, but that was enough for me years later to include it in a recent vacation. I would've appreciated Prague even more if I knew Czech -- a far greater hurdle than the SL viewer -- but I appreciated it nevertheless. So as I see it, what we need is more photos, more machinima, and a *lot* more publicity to get people to look at them. And recent work in web browser versions of SL and using Kinect suggest other ways in which people in RL can view and interect in SL, even if it's not the full experience of "being there." SL artists can then be known under their true name: the name of their avatars, through which they create their art.

Devon Alderton

The issue of exporting artists' works from SL is probably even more important than the pseudonym concern. If all of your creations are in this one walled garden and it goes, what have you got? And for those of us fans who collect those artworks, please make it easy for us to obtain them outside of SL. Gracie, this means you! You'd have to be terribly enamoured of the idea that impermanence makes an object more beautiful to be willing to put up with this level of sole source environment risk.

Scarp Godenot

Well, I do have a few things to say here. Most Importantly is that Virtual Reality 3D art, VIEWED from inside a virtual 3D space, is ITS OWN ARTFORM. It cannot 'come out', because it only exists inside of VR worlds.

It is interactive, it is immersive. These are NOT things that can be 'brought out' into some other form. Those of us pushing this NEW artform along realize that these are still the early days of an artform that will be around for a long long time. The creation of mesh objects in standardized formats will make this easier to do over time of course.

Second Life can go completely out of business and this artform will still be with us. As Bettina well knows, this art can exist inside of your own virtual world on your own personal computer. It can also be ported off of Second Life. And I suggest that all artists in this medium figure out how to do this and do just that.

You can't make an apple into an orange without one or the other suffering in comparison. Art viewed inside of a 3D world is the point. The medium is the message. (and the massage) The idea of 'crossing over' to 'real life' just isn't possible, UNLESS you want to change your art to fit a different media. Then it is no longer what it is meant to be by definition: immersive, interactive virtual reality art viewed inside a virtual world.

As far as art names go, please name a single graffiti artist for me currently using their given name. I'm sure there are a few, but mostly no. Your name as your brand can not only apply to your given name. This should be obvious by now. What is important is being consistent in the use of the brand.

I would NOT advise Bryn Oh to change to her given name for example. Her brand is already established. Go with it.

I am not against name linking myself, and do it in SL, on Flickr, on Twitter and elsewhere, BUT there are very good reasons for many people to have anonymity, and it doesn't necessarily mean their brand is defective because of it.

Kimberly Rufer-Bach

It is not more noble to starve in a freezing garret than it is to "sell out." Been there, done that, and I can tell you it's really hard to type with gloves when you can't afford heat. Artists who can't afford to eat stop creating, get day jobs, and far too often give up their artistic dreams forever.

I think it's more noble to make the sacrifice of "selling out" for a while so you can eat without going on welfare, put away some dough, and then have that cushion of dough on which to dine while creating your masterwork. At least the art gets into the world then, without yet another talent being smothered by an unrelated career, or potential early death due to lack of health insurance.

I saw the apology, but it doesn't undo the harm. That sort of attitude and statement, through repetition, is what creates starving artists. Everyone else expects to make a decent living out of their work, but if you do it as an artist suddenly you get called a sellout by other artists (only other artists ... And we all know why, even if saying so is taboo).

Ah well, I'll go turn up the heat a little, and that will cheer me right up.

I think anyone who is working professionally in SL, whether they're an artist, a programmer, an event facilitator, etc., should at least read and consider Beverly's advice. It won't be right for everyone, but it is a matter that shouldn't go without consideration.

Skylar Smythe

Remember when Second Life was just fun? A place to go create and be and see and build beautiful things for the sake of ... art.

Maybe part of the problem is people have stopped dreaming and playing... and migrated to using their recreation time to ramp up their C.V.'s...

It is supposed to be fun.


Hamlet Au

"Banksy's use of a pseudonym certainly hasn't hurt his artistic endeavors."

Banksy's doing great, yeah. Can you think of anyone else? I can't, certainly not any working on his level. I don't recommend following a course that seems to be working for just a single exceptional case. Also, millions of people have seen Bansky's work in London, the West Bank, and LA, while tens of millions have seen it online, in *Exit Through the Gift Shop*, etc. etc. Any artist who blatantly ripped off his work would be immediately recognized. By contrast, maybe under a hundred thousand people have seen any one work of famous SL art, at best. If their work gets ripped off, especially outside SL, what recourse does a fully anonymous avatar have?

Kimberly Rufer-Bach

A part of what problem, Skylar? Viewer 2? SL's lousy retention cannot be blamed on CV polishing, as most newbies do not stay long enough to learn to stick a couple of prims together, let alone become disillusioned artistic sellouts.

I don't know anyone who has had more fun in SL than I've had. Having fun and making money aren't mutually exclusive. That's just another of those destructive artist myths.

This myth about using SL work to buff up a resume/CV is even more ridiculous. I buffed up my PORTFOLIO in order to get more work IN SL. Because I loved building things inworld with my friends, wanted to do it all day long, and had to make it pay in order to do so. And in my neck of the woods, you might be laughed at if you put SL 3rd party dev work on your resume without disguising it.

It's amazing the myths people will believe.

People who make money in SL really can sprout RL wings and fly like birds, though.

Scarp Godenot

Hamlet sez: "Banksy's doing great, yeah. Can you think of anyone else? I can't, certainly not any working on his level."

This statement is just ill informed. I will list a few of the hundreds of artists that go by non given names.

Swoon, Dondi, Lady Pink, ESPO. Seak. KET, Tracy168, Pushead, KR, Haze, WK Interact, Saber, Mr Jago, Mars-1, Parra, Skinner, Mister Cartoon, Munk One, SAN, D*FACE, MAC, Word To Mother, Slick, Kill Pixie, Blek Le Rat, MARE139, TINHO, Tes One, VHILS, DZINE, Basco, Morning Breath, EINE, Becca, MudWig, Rostarr, Rockin' Jelly Bean.

Go ahead, look em up. Varying degrees of fame up to super famous. And I could make this list much much longer.

So my point? You don't need your given name to get your art seen. It is all about the branding of the name you present.

Kimberly Rufer-Bach

If you already have a reputation in your field when you come to SL, it makes a hell of a lot of sense to associate your RL name with your avatar. I have a very strong drive to put my money, effort, face, and name where my mouth is ... some sort of extreme ideal about artistic honesty and conviction, I suppose. Would not expect all others to do the same, especially if they have kids, spraypaint buildings illegally in the night, have ambitions of a future political career, an employer who might not like their hobby, etc. I doubt most other folks did their early SL poseball experimentation wearing their RL name on their profile, either.

SL, and life, is not the same thing to all people. It ain't one size fits all.

Kimberly Rufer-Bach

Scarp, I've never heard of any of those folks (though I've heard of Banksy). But I bet everyone has heard of Mark Twain, Bob Dylan, Madonna, John Denver, and Richard Bachman.

Hamlet Au

Scarp, I looked up one name you cited, "Saber", and that seems to be the guy's real life name or the one he now uses legally. And his real life background is quite well documented:


Photos of him in real life are all over the web too. That's quite a different case from Bansky, who far as I know, has all his biographical details and appearance (beyond being a male Briton, probably) obscured. And for that matter, quite different from an unknown artist whose artwork is only known to a subset of users of a relatively small online community, and whose artist's name and work will become even more obscure, if the corporate owners of that community fail to grow it or allow it to wane.

Also, Bettina did say "A pseudonym isn't a bad deal in real life for [artists]." And she's right. Her point is that a pseudonym that's only meaningful in Second Life is probably a bad deal.

Dizzy Banjo

I think for me linking my real name and my avatar name has always been a complicated issue. But I have tried to do it in a very transparent way for a long time now.

Dizzy Banjo was also the name of my music company, which was formed around the time of starting to use SL in 2005. As an avatar, becoming Dizzy Banjo and through that exploring different sides of my creativity was definitely a fascinating journey of self discovery. This process itself would be perhaps my biggest recommendation to anyone to try a virtual world, or indeed to use a pseudonym in any sphere.

Since early 2009 I have worked almost exclusively outside of SL. The use of my avatar name in relation to my work has almost disappeared. In fact, I see many people who previously did do work under a SL avatar name, now practically disowning that work.

This is undoubtedly due to SL's loss of cool factor. There are many times, especially working in the tech startup / music / games industries, that explaining work done under an avatar name is a point of potential ridicule in a conversation. I also think this considering SL as a source of embarrassment extends to some tech journalists and bloggers who may have bought into ( or partially bought into ) the hype wave and now rebel against it to demonstrate they ARE still cool. They often still hype up current projects blindly.

I think this kind of behaviour is a shame. I remain proud of many of my virtual world music projects. SL, like many visionary projects, was and is a wonderful positive opportunity to explore something new and highly creative ( even if in just a personal exploration way ). It has been very successful in letting millions of people do that over its lifetime so far. If it doesn't become mainstream, it hasn't failed. It just may not be a mainstream idea. To me that makes it interesting. It may not make it cool. The public ( and the money people ) like 'winners' which dominate entire sectors ( like Facebook ). As I have said in previous pieces on this site, I think SL may take many years to get to a state where it could possibly become adopted in that way.

But, returning to identity : Paradoxically, recently I have started a personal music project, which, unlike most of my work, isn't done for a particular client brief. I wanted to do this under my real name. But sadly its used by a well known musician already - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Thomas_(musician)

So this has forced me to consider using a pseudonym again. The question for me now is, am I still Dizzy Banjo? Or do I want to explore a different pseudonym which is more representative of where I am now. I am still undecided.

foneco zuzu

Lovely topic but for one little detail!
Only a fool will risk to use his/her real name to access Sl in several countries, still to many!
And i guess a few are forgetting again that Sl is not only USA!
And due to recession,Our leaders will go to appeal more and more to repression and anonymous in virtual worlds Will be as doomed as in all internet! Then it will not matter how you will be shown to others, cause you lost the freedom to even connect!
And as some said, the main goal was lost when a user logs in and forgets that its all about HAVING FUN!

Typote Beck

Hello, i just post to add about my personal experience. My pseudonym "Typote" is a way for me to protect myself not only in terms of real professionnal life, but in a psychological way. My father was a painter and he doesnt want me to have the same signature than him on paintings. Then i never painted because i had been affraid to be bad. A pseudonym is the way to invent my territory. It is yes a secret garden. But without this secret garden, i would be in impossibility to product things, there would be psychological blocages. To be an artist is a strange dream to invent ourselves, so why not to invent the pseudonyms the avatars, multiple identities, maybe schyzophrenic, maybe mythomaniac, but creative. Sorry for my english. SL could be the overflow of dreams on reality. But i understand, than in terms of implication, we could want to have our real names into SL, it is a way to give it a serious sense, an importance, as a real virtual art, not only a game.

Arcadia Codesmith

So we end where we began: there's no one right answer for every artist.

But yes, if you do employ a pseudonym, it doesn't hurt to get it out beyond the walls of the garden, into other forums, possibly into other virtual worlds. You don't have to employ your real name to accomplish this. Proverb: eggs, basket.

Gracie Kendal

Devon, let's talk!!! LOL

Interesting article for sure!! Of course this is a subject that is very dear to my heart. Most people know me by my SL and RL names because I DO blur the boundaries between worlds. But I am an artist in the real world using second life in my art. I have been very lucky to have had RL shows using second life and in fact I have a solo show coming up in Los Angeles in May that will further this dialogue about anonymity/pseudonymity and what it means to have an avatar in this immersive environment. I am proud of the work I have done in Second Life. Slowly, more and more people in the real art world are 'getting it.' And I am proud to help blur the lines between the two.

There are many artists from SL I would love to follow in RL, but I am content respecting their artistic statements of only using their Avi names.

Gracie Kendal/Kristine Schomaker

Kimberly Rufer-Bach

Dizzy, that was a great post.

You've probably already considered going by Dizzy Thomas, but I'll throw it out there anyway. Or maybe you could use your real name with a middle initial (like Michael J. Fox did in the same situation).

Scarp Godenot

The point we are talking about ISN'T total anonymity. The point is using a non given name as your ARTIST NAME. Something that is relatively common in today's art world.

Your artist name is what your audience knows you by. It CAN BE your brand. Your second life avatar name CAN be a brand across any media boundary depending on how you use and promote it.

Therefore linking your avatar name and your given name is neither necessary nor sufficient in the world of art marketing.

This is the simple point I'm trying to make, and one at odds with ms Millson's statement of artistic necessity.

I hope this is more clear as to my thinking on the subject.

Dizzy Banjo


Ha I hadn't considered mixing up the names.. Oh you've opened a can of worms now..

Perhaps I should revive one of my old pseudonyms - which is an anagram of my real name :

Robot Hamster :D

Kimberly Rufer-Bach

If I saw something in the mainstream news about a musical artist named Robot Hamster I would definitely keep reading to find out what they were all about.


"It wasnt "nyms" that killed the beast... it was many a bitch pretending to be the beauty".

Aliasi Stonebender

I think Bettina is making some entirely ridiculous claims, personally. This is not to say that you *shouldn't* associate your real name with it - even as I'm on the pro-pseudonym side on the Social Network Nymwars, having an identity that's firmly associated to real things can be a plus when you're talking real money.

But I think Bettina is seriously out of date when trying to claim it'll all be stuck in "SL's walled garden". I've used the name Aliasi on the net for a long, long time. SL did cause me to add Stonebender to it for the purposes of SL, it's true, but it's not like I'll NOT be Aliasi, or CAN'T be Aliasi Stonebender, if LL went belly-up. Similarly... uh, hello? Never hear of OpenSim? Given much serious virtual-world artwork in SL is gonna have a heavy sculpt/mesh component these days ANYWAY... I would think backing things up and throwing them on an OpenSim as Rezzable did with their stuff is fairly easy to do. SL gives you a pool of users for exposure and you don't have to worry about hunting down your own server or paying extreme amounts when something popular blows through whatever transfer caps your hosting company has on your account, nothing more.

Rowan Derryth

Ok Hamlet, Scarp's list was indeed specialised and obscure.. go google (if you need to) Crash (you'll need to add 'graffiti artist' to that one) or Blue Man Group. What about El Greco? Da Vinci? (Because his actual name is Leonardo - Da Vinci is just the place he is from).

The point which I think is being well made is that it is more about what one identifies with and settles as their artistic name, and as well, I'm all for multiple artistic personas (Rrose Selavy anyone?).

My initial agreement with Bettina is rooted in the fact that, like her, I am NOT an artist but someone who deeply believes in the artistic activity of SL, and wants to see it taken seriously. I see my own role as one who translates that to the contemporary art world in a way which helps them understand its critical value. I am not overly concerned with whether some here may desire that or not; it is what I DO as a visual culture historian/critic. I do see where, for those who are practising artists in RL too, keeping a divide between your avatar's work and your first identity's work might be counter-productive. At the same time, I support that choice - it isn't for me to say what is the proper way forward here. There are often very good reasons why this choice is made.

As well, the reason this article spoke to me is because I HAVE for certain been laying low with my virtual identity. It isn't a massive secret, many know. But I've not connected my virtual writing with my RL academic research - yet. It is something I hope to do in the not too distant future, as again I wish to promote all the amazing work being done in virtual realms as a very valid section of contemporary artistic practice. But as a writer, there are less eyebrows raised when I say that I write under a pseudonym.

It's all about finding ways to make this work more accessible - and I completely agree that translating it to RL is a challenge, and that virtual worlds are the platform, not just the sketchbook, for this work. In terms of the validity of showing photographs or machinima in lieu of accessing the 'real' virtual work; well, precedent for this has already been set by artists like Andy Goldsworthy - much of his environmental art is ephemeral, existing in the depth of nature for as long as it will. We know it from photographs, and though I have myself trudged through the woods of Dumfries to see some of his work (what the wind and time haven't taken down), this is 'not possible in real life' for many! I think showing this work in machinima or photographic form simply needs to be viewed as another iteration of the original.

Hamlet Au

"But I think Bettina is seriously out of date when trying to claim it'll all be stuck in 'SL's walled garden'... Similarly... uh, hello? Never hear of OpenSim?"

OpenSim has a far smaller userbase than SL, maybe 20-40,000 at most. I think Bettina is actually being very up to date. The idea that SL avatar identities were concrete and meaningful enough to extend into and be recognized by the outside world was pushed in the 2006-2007 era, and during SL's hype wave, it seemed like that might become the case. But we're now very very far away from that era.

To put it another way, here's a question worth considering: What current SL avatar identities whose RL owner is generally unknown have any broad name recognition outside SL now? (Besides those who got some media attention during the hype era.) I can't think of any for whom I could make a very strong case.

Aliasi Stonebender

The fact that OpenSim has a small userbase is... as basically meaningless as the ratio of webservers that use Microsoft's IIS versus those that use Apache, to the end user. It's backend; the viewer client is the thing.

The last point I find strange to make; a side effect of getting mass media attention is one's RL identity is likely to be swiftly revealed, at least if the name is obviously 'not normal looking'. (Hands up for everyone who can tell me Stan Lee's real name without checking Wikipedia!) What I think is more important is what people tend to call you - are you Stefani Germanotta or are you Lady Gaga?

Giff (aka Forseti)

I remember Bettina well from my SL days. Her energy and artistic eye was fantastic. I agree that there is some incredible art in world that most of RL sadly is oblivious too, and that won't change anytime soon.

Her advice is sound. It is very hard to have multiple names for yourself if you are trying to build a recognizable brand. You can have a real name, or a pseudonym like Sting or Pink, but stick to one.

Kimberly Rufer-Bach

Forseti! Oh-em-gee, I can't believe it! I was just thinking about you the other day, remembering when we were both Tinies selling flappy wings. So nice to see a post from you. :)

Robward Antwerp

It was good to read Dizzy Banjo's response to this debate around the effect of using a pseudonym. Having a pseudonym is not something that is mutually exclusive from a real life name... nor is it necessarily equal to a real life name. I see virtual world identity intertwined with real world identity. The beauty of both is we are free to explore that enmeshed identity. For me... much of of what a pseudonym offers by way of artistic expression is that very exploration of identity. Exploring the concept of identity by using an pseudonym is both freeing and constraining at once. Clearly there are positive and negative impacts to the use of either a 'real' identity (a fascinating concept of it's own) or a 'virtual' identity. Some of those impacts are material and some are not. Either way... it is worth valuing and exploring identity in all it's guises.


Digital artists on elfwood, deviantart, renderosity, even renderotica, literotica, and elsewhere... long before SL; have made quite a success for themselves with pseudonyms.

Some scholars claim even a certain famous 14th/15th century English Playwright penned his works under a pseudonym. Something that hasn't seemed to harm his popularity much, though his descendants, whoever they may be if any, might wish they could collect royalties somehow...

I think a better response would be to have a unified form of digital presence, across many platforms. Be it linked to the 'meat body' or a pseudonym. Unless you plan to stand in a gallery in Soho chatting it up with brainless models, all you really need is enough consistency to be found where your work needs to be found.


Draxtor Despres and its derivations are trademarked under US federal law. Walled garden? Mmmhhhh.....NOT!

Connie Arida

I Have a RL that has nothing to do with art. SL "Art" is for me a pastime, not a mainline. But to get to the idea of having eyes see your work, why not post it in other forums like Flickr, Deviant art..( the list goes on) and not rely on the few visitors to an art sim. My sim, for example is in the top of the "Art" search in the SL search..but the visitor numbers are small compared to the totals i get via Flickr, Koinup and Renderosity. The fact that you have your "real life" name attached is a very small contributor to the amount of eyeballs that see your "Art".

Alpha Auer/Elif Ayiter

I just stumbled across this, months later I'm afraid. And I am somewhat surprised by the vehemence in some of the responses to Bettina's suggestion. If your SL identity is an extension of your RL identity (as is the case with me and Alpha), then why not merge them? Which is what I have been doing since day one.

If however, your SL identity is your creation, an alternative 'self' (as is the case with my 4 alpha.tribe avatars), then there is an RL precedent for that in Fernando Pessoa who wrote as many different people - not just with pseudonyms but through 'heteronyms,' as he called them. And he proclaimed proud possession of all of them since they were in fact a very complex system of creativity: Their combined text was his magnum opus, something which he was highly aware of. So, why would he have concealed his ultimate creative act? He didn't.

As for whether this will help make life easier in the RL art world, or in academia and so on - wish I could say that it were so but the merged identity of Elif/Alpha hasn't made an iota of difference in my case. Outside of a few exceptions, the people who know me in SL as Alpha couldn't care less about who I am in RL. And my peers in RL are not even remotely interested in Alpha Auer.


There is something spectacularly unique and wonderful about creating art that fundamentally involves an immersive virtual experience. This art form will never go away. As humble as my creations were (most notably Edtech Retreat) I will never forget the deep fulfillment from making something that even just a few enjoyed. I'm very happy to have randomly found this post several years after personally leaving SL for other pursuits (skilstak.io) but seeing and reading of Bettina/Beverly makes me smile in a way that goes beyond nostalgia. (Mo Hax)

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