Strawberry brings us another meme, the Meet My Friend Challenge, inspiring us all to photograph and interview a good friend and sharing them with the world - or at least the Second Life portion of it. I've not done much photography of anyone but myself, so this was a real challenge for me - both in finding a friend who was free for picture taking and interviewing, the whole process of photographing someone other than myself, and the issues which occur when you're fighting with two connections and two accounts.
I had a chance to spend some time with Charlie on his sim, where we both roleplay, Isle of Amras. He's built a lot of it, organized a bunch more using things which he has purchased, and made a fantastic sim for us to enjoy. He also makes and sells clothing, skins, eyes, buildings, and furniture in his store, De La Soul.
Deoridhe: So, how long have you been in Second Life?
Charlie: Five years, give or take, in February.
Deoridhe: How did you learn about Second Life?
Charlie: A friend on IMVU actually got it, showed me how to sign up for it and everything, brought me into Second Life, gave me a few minutes to get used to my avatar, then took me to the GYC. So, from day one, the second person I met on Second Life had a tail butt plug in, and a ball gag. And I have to say - the guy, he was a decent guy; he just happened to have a ball gag, and a butt plug tail, at a gay, furry club in Second Life. We had a conversation when my friend up and left me there - he teleported me there, and he left me there.
Charlie: He told me later he hooked up with someone.
Charlie: The first thing I noticed about the art at the GYC - oh, this is really nice art. The second thing - oh, this is furry art. The third thing - oh, this is furry porn... The first thing I notice when I see art is whether it's good, well drawn art. I was oblivious to it being porn; it is like the third or the fourth thing that registers after all the artistic stuff.
Charlie: [laughing] Are you sure you want this on your blog?
Deoridhe: YES. Just clarify, what's the GYC.
Charlie: The Gay Yiff Club.
Deoridhe: So, with this being your first experience - what made you stay?
Charlie: I was cracking up - I was dying. I'm standing here talking to this guy with the ball gag, and this leather harness, and we're actually having a conversation about how I came from IMVU to here, and he was actually explaining to me how to cam around and stuff, and watching this horse prance by. It was so surreal, I had to go back and make sure I wasn't hallucinating or something.
Charlie: When I joined Second Life, I was very naive and sheltered even if I was open minded, so I'm not sure I actually knew whether that was a tail or not. I was very naive back then - Second Life has opened my eyes to BDSM and other sexual stuff.
Deoridhe: It really shows how Second Life broadens peoples' horizons.
Charlie: Yeah, and most people outside of Second Life - when they've heard of Second Life, they've heard its this bad, really perverted place. That's what everyone has seemed to hear. And that's the first thing I faced - not just the sexual side, but the furry sexual side, which gets very over the top. After that first experience, I just had to come back and see if I remembered it right, since the first time I was there for maybe an hour or two hours.
Deoridhe: What do you do in Second Life?
Charlie: You know that Deo.
Deoridhe: I know, but the people who read my blog don't, so this is a leading question to ask you things I already know.
Charlie: What do I do in SL? I stand there staring off at nothing for hours on end, and then finally make something. I'll be online all day, dicking around and not doing anything, and then eeeeeeeh, making something.
Deoridhe: Fine. So you have a store, and you roleplay...
Charlie: Asking me to describe my store, and my business, and suddenly my brain just stops working and it's like, you can't even remember your name things. Do I have a store? [sarcasm] No, I don't have a store.
Deoridhe: What do you love about Second Life?
Charlie: You can create or be anything. It's so much more advanced than IMVU. I was making stuff there, and then I came to SL and I spent all this time learning how to do those things on Second Life - in between stripping - that I had done on IMVU; you know, making skins, manipulating prims - that was the big one. Within just a couple of months of joining Second Life, I opened up my store, because I already pretty much had what I needed to make stuff in Second Life. I did skins, and then I did the ears, and then tails... it was learning, like anything else.
Deoridhe: What don't you like about Second Life?
Charlie: The sense of entitlement some people seem to get from it. If we're going to be completely honest, it's the entitlement people seem to have just because they're in Second Life. There are some customers who do things to creators and store owners in Second Life that they wouldn't dream of doing to a store owner in real life. That's one of my big pet peeves - I mean yes, it is a game, I hate to say that, but this is also a business.
Deoridhe: What has Second Life taught you?
Charlie: I've learned a whole lot of the technical aspects of things - learning blender and that kind of thing - but open-mindedness
on a personal level is a big thing. When I first came to Second Life I
was very naive. Back then I would have been shocked by a wedding that
had BDSM aspects, and now I was a groomsman in one. Definitely open
mindedness, opening the eyes.
Deoridhe: What are your plans for the future in Second Life?
Charlie: To just keep plugging along, hopefully expand the horizons with the business and, hopefully get it to at least pay for a portion of my real life needs, since I don't have a job right now. I NEED TO MAKE MORE STUFF!
Deoridhe: Where can we find you, on and off the grid?
Charlie: I've mostly left Plurk, but you can find me at my Flickr account. I'm usually on Isle of Amras when I'm logged into Second Life.
Deoridhe: Is there anything you want to share about yourself?
Charlie: I'm an introvert. [laughs]
( More pictures here. )