Archive for October, 2009


On consumers and how to handle the content theft issue

October 30, 2009

Real life deals with content theft, copyright infringement, and piracy issues. Real life designers and brands are constantly hounded by problems of their items being imitated and sold into the black market or at third world countries where corruption can turn a blind eye and let them be sold rampantly in public. Movie makers are afraid that the movies they produce that takes a lot of money to make will only be taken by pirates who will illegally sell copies at a cheaper price.   
As Second Life opens up and becomes more accessible to people, SL imitates RL and the same problem lies deep in Second Life, and with a unique twist. There are facets of consumers in SL that are different and unique to the virtual world. There are consumers who don’t mind–as there are also in RL where there are people who don’t mind at all to buy fake Chanel because they just want to look trendy. Virtual or RL, there are such people, who do not mind the ethics or artistic license of it all. Hoodwinked they are not, THEY KNOW what they are buying is fake. There are also residents in Second Life who don’t care where the clothes they get for free come from–as long as they are free, and they look great without spending anything, and for as long as SL is “just a game” for most of them. They don’t login to be consumers, they are just here to check things out, explore, chat, flirt and maybe use a sexbed or two. I often talk to these kinds of people while randomly going to places. 

While I love the idea of raising our voices and being heard, there leaves to be the question of how to reach out to those kinds of people–OR if these kinds of people ought to be in the radar for Artist’s Voice or Stand Up! peeps or not. These sorts of people may know its wrong, but why would they care or mind? They haven’t invested anything inworld to care, no designer friends to worry about, no artists/creators in their Friends List that they can feel a glimmer of compassion for. Most of all, they don’t really equate virtual goods as real, the way most of us already do. Virtual goods are yet to be valued the same way as real items are valued. Despite the articles we read, the reality for many is still that there is no value in virtual goods. When people login SL for the first time, or casually, they expect things to be free.  

And even things change in the future and virtual goods are taken seriously, it doesn’t mean that the content theft/copyright infringement will end. It will just be in the background, a constant reminder that there are people who still choose this path of stealing content. The very best we can get and should be getting is cooperation from LL. But then again, we never know what their plans for SL are and how this issue will affect their plans.


My favorite outfit # 1

October 12, 2009

I’m not a fashion blogger, but my love for clothes in Second Life is just as immense as the next female avatar out there.  If I were to say how much I spend my money in virtual clothing, I’d surely get in trouble.

Every Monday, I’ll try to recall which outfits I like and document them so I can get a clear picture of what items I really like on my avatar.

First off, is this outfit from Bare Rose. Haruka Kish first wore it when she represented Japan in the Miss Virtual World competition. I really love this dress because of the way it was created, nice and flowy, it embraces my figure and brings out that Asian look and feel. The textures are finely detailed and I really like the shade of blue that June Dion used for this dress.

There’s no need for more accessories as this dress comes with a necklace, so I finished it off with a nice pair of Courtisane’s Devoue shoes in black.


Beyond Skin Deep

October 1, 2009

Addendum: This post is in reaction to the comments.

It’s disheartening to read something like this that is so ignorant. 

I’m personally not exposed to black fashion, and I really regret that I wasn’t able to attend the show because I would love to see and be educated on what makes African-American fashion the way it is. Certainly shows like this are also meant to educate people like me with little interaction to certain ethnic groups, and SL is a perfect place for such education. 

There is a purpose to shows such as Ebony, it’s for people who lack the awareness that such fashion exist. SL is about options, of expressing diversity nowadays. We can’t avoid diversity and people must know more that such diversity in fashion exist. If we embrace diversity in the forms of Neko, Goth, Asian or furry, why can’t we embrace Ebony? People who choose to be in that skin color should be able to make that choice and enhance their look.

Those who were residents long enough in SL would complain about the “lack” of diversity and cookie cutter skins. Before it’s hard to find really good looking dark skins out there…now that there are so many options, and people are not afraid to experiment, one agency tries to represent the shift and people are making a huge deal. 

The true irony of it all is that while people have no trouble putting up fashion shows for Asian-oriented fashion, Goth, and such, when a fashion show that featured a collection of designers dedicated to the African-American culture brings up the narrow-mindedness of some people in the grid that are reacting to it and interpreting it in their way. There shouldn’t be any hesitation to showcase the things that define a certain race or culture, it’s not stereotypical at all, it’s just showing what is there, a slice of RL that made it’s way into SL. The fact that SL fashion history would list this event as happening so late in the age of SL fashion says a lot about how in a world where race is optional, we are still judged by the color of one’s skin and there are people who find a problem in showing off one’s ethnicity.

“Well if you can be whatever you want in SL, then why would you want to be in SL who you are in RL?” People would ask.

Why not?

Black,white, brown or yellow–that shouldn’t limit us from our creativity, at times designers find inspiration from race and the culture it accompanies. They can either mix it up–make it multiracial, globally-infused fashion, or they can stick to the fundamentals and make something that is truly “Ebony” or truly “Japanese”.

Gattina’s post title just reminded me how impossible the lyrics’ words are. As long as you’re human in SL, you will have certain affinity with a race that is skin deep. You can’t change that, but what you can change is something that is located beyond the skin, your character, where one is truly supposed to be judged on. And that will enable you to transcend races, when you transcend races, you won’t see the fuss or fear the emergence of shows such as Ebony, but embrace it.

People have the right to color, to diversity. People don’t have the right to be bigoted.