Essay: A History of the Second Jessie War

by Alphaville Herald on 17/09/04 at 11:09 am


Stanford is an old, laggy simulator/server, strategically situated between the Jessie combat sim and the Federal sim, which until just days ago was home to Club Elite, the most popular destination in Second Life. Stanford was nevertheless a fairly sleepy sim until last month when a Second Life gang named ?The Associates? bought up two thirds of the simulator with plans to build a mega-mall. What transpired next was a series of battles, conflagrations, acts of intimidation, harassment, broken business partnerships, betrayals, and plain old drama, along with fireworks courtesy of some of the most gifted script writers in Second Life. It is easy enough to take the whole thing as war gaming or gangster/soldier roleplay, but that is probably a mistake. Arguably, what we saw during the past month was a genuine clash of real world values fought out on a virtual battlefield by virtual tools, and, perhaps, even a glimpse into our own future.

Jessie is, if nothing else, politically conservative ? a place where pro-Bush billboards can be seen everywhere. One can also find plenty of southern flags flying, reflecting the fact that not a few residents are southerners in real life. Many of them came here via the online game World War II Online (WWIIOL), and identify themselves in SL as WWIIOLers. Indeed SL has been used by them as a place to plan battle strategy for their attacks in WWIIOL. The resident?s of Jessie have a strong sense of tradition, whether that be southern tradition, American tradition, or the tradition that has emerged in Jessie from the past year of battles (chronicled by Hamlet Linden in New World Notes). Jessians like the community that has emerged. They want to keep the place as it is. Translation: newbies and mall rats stay out!

Southern Flags fly in Jessie

Tank Levy and One Song were something else altogether. One Song is the leader of one of the most notorious gangs in Second Life. Supported by at least one extremely strong script writer (rumored to be Klintel Kiestler) he can ruin your whole day with lag bombs (i.e. devices that eat up computer processing time), banning devices that can teleport you home, and spamming scripts that, once attached to you, will spam you with teleport requests or who knows what else until your eyes bleed. He also runs and erotic dance club/cyberbrothel, where prices for various services are brazenly posted over the bar. Tank Levy came to One Song and The Associates with money and a dream ? to have his own mega-mall in SL. The two formed a partnership, with Tank providing the financial backing, and One Song providing the muscle and intimidation. Whatever would one need that for?

Tank Levy

One Song in his Club

What’s on the menu at One Song’s club?

The Brains behind One Song? Klintel Kiestler is rumored to be One Song’s scriptor.

While the Associates were able to buy up large plots of land in Stanford, there were still pockets of land owned by others dotted throughout their territory. The problem was to get these residents to sell out, and if they wouldn?t sell out at the right price?, well that is where One Song came in. One resident who fell into the path of One Song was Ruby Wilde, who didn?t want to sell her land for 15K lindens. Her property had one boundary on the Jessie border and the other three borders were adjacent to property owned by The Associates. One Song promptly set up banning devices on those three borders ? devices that would teleport her home to another sim if she came into contact with the property division. Thus, to enter her property she needed to navigate the free fire zone of Jessie.

Ruby Wilde

On top of this, One Song added his own brand of verbal intimidation while Jessie resident Cyanide Leviathan came to the defense of Ruby, as this transcript shows:

One Song shouts: DYKE!
One Song shouts: DIE!
One Song shouts: MWAUHAHA
Cyanide Leviathan: i just called jeff [linden] again
One Song shouts: u kow what u could use hun…some real big cock…..u know what ur so bitter, always licking all that pussy cant be satisfying enough can it now
Ruby Wilde: now I am a dyke? lol
Cyanide Leviathan: don?t say anything back
One Song: this is some nice plot
One Song: wouldn?t u agree all
AngelTk Beckenbauer: yeah its lovely
AngelTk Beckenbauer: heheh
One Song: roflmao
One Song shouts: Uri if u can put some actual sense into that dyke’s empty head I will give u $1000
One Song shouts: best of luck she is a fucking retard
One Song: muwahha
Cyanide Leviathan: i think that constitutes as harassment
One Song: sure it does…sure
One Song: complain to a linden again hunny
One Song: see what they do
One Song: they will ban u
One Song: for annoying them
One Song: with non important matters
One Song: that?s also in the TOS

Later that day Ruby sold her land to One Song for 20K Lindens. Across the border in Jessie, however, people were not happy. A mega-mall was the last thing Jessie residents wanted, first because of the newbies it would bring, and second because of the lag (computer processing overload) it would induce. WWIIOLer James Few erected a giant wall spammed with signs of BEWARE OF EVERYTHING, which incensed One Song. Over the next few days tensions mounted until, on August 22, a group allied with the Associates, called The Cartel, erected a giant sign with the message: Fuck you WWIIOLers.

The wall erected by James Few.

A LUV message from The Cartel to the WWIIOLers in Jessie.

Later on August 22. a full scale war broke out. As the WWIIOLers took up their positions and a fully armed flying mechanical moose stood point, the residents braced for the attack of One Song

Chaunsey Crash and his WWIIOL men at their HQ in Jessie during the battle.

The infamous, fully armed flying mechanical moose defends Jessie.

Jessie resident Pancake Stryker and KM Grand Admiral Karl Friedricks man the barricades while the flying mechanical moose stands point in the distance.

When One Song finally entered Jessie, he hurled invectives at the residents as they pelted him with gunshot fire and cannon fire, with little effect, thanks to the body armor his scriptor had made for him.

Mega-Mall developer One Song enters and hurls invectives at the Jessie Residents.

Father Callahan attempts to shield Pancake Striker from the degrading invectives of One Song.

But the Jessie residents would soon show that they had strong scriptors of their own ? like the engineers of the TechSol group in Jessie, which came to the side of the WWIIOLers. They might not be able to kill One Song, but they could certainly lag bomb a mall into uselessness. As I flew about the battle zone with an invisibility shield I came across TechSol scriptor Lance LeFay simply observing from a mountain top. Was he taking notes? Was the other shoe about to drop?

Events moved very rapidly after that. On August 23, Tank Levy gave an interview to the Second Life Herald, presenting the friendly side of The Associates, and taking issue with some of One Songs tactics. He also made it clear that he was the owner of the new mall property and that it was principally his project. Within hours, Tank Levy was booted from The Associates, and One Song charged him with attempting to cheat The Associates. An alternative explanation for the dissolution of their business partnership would be that One song took umbrage at Tank?s remarks in the interview, or that the previous day?s events had showed him that Stanford would be too laggy to support their project. In the days following, One Song turned his intimidation tactics against his former associate Tank, asking him for money for services rendered (?all that land baron work?).

One Song, at his club, announces the firing of Tank Levy

One Song: ?I did all that Land Baron work for nothing!?

On August 24, seething because members of the WWIIOLers had called him a pussy, One Song returned to Jessie to stage a largely symbolic fire bombing attack on the WWIIOLers headquarters, which ironically is a scale model of the German Reichstag.

The Reichstag burns again, as One Song raises The Associates Corp Flag.


History keeps on repeating, it seems.

On August 25, two members of the WWIIOLers, wearing tags identifying themselves as ?terrorists? attacked One Songs erotic club, shooting it up with firebombs and taking time out to do some pole dancing. When the entire sim of Baku crashed the next day the ?terrorists? were all too happy to take credit

Cy hits up the bar

Jackee and Cy, shoot up the club.

[Terrorist] Cyanide Leviathan shows off his gun (made by Opfor).

The fire hits club guests and dancers

The day after that, not wanting to be left out, Baku crashed again and an agent for the TechSols claimed credit. What happened? ?Not sure?, he said, but ?maybe it had to do with my invisible, physical, hollow, twisted, cut, advanced cut torii doing math equations?”

A TechSol engineer celebrates the crashing of the Baku simulator/server, which supported the territory where One Song?s club was located.

What does it all mean? Are they just boys engaged in tit-for-tat macho posturing, or is something meaningful going on here? While of course there is an element of fun to the whole thing, there are principles being fought for here, in particular the desire of Jessians to preserve their community, and also a sense of outrage at the tactics of One Song in cases like the intimidation of Ruby Wilde. One Song and The Associates are a kind of metaphor for greedy, land grabbing, developers that push aside little people with their money and connections. This too, I think, struck a cord with Jessians, whether out of a sense of chivalry or just unmitigated dislike for One Song.

What makes this conflict especially interesting, however, is that the parties to the dispute have had to resort to the kinds of weapons that are possible within the context of the game ? they have to rely upon the scripting possibilities (lag bombs, for example) allowed by the architecture to check their foes. If war is *politics* by other means, perhaps virtual war like the one on the Jessie/Stanford border is *war* by other means. Is this a positive step or just a sad commentary on us that even when we can start from scratch and build worlds of our own design all the real world conflicts seem to be recapitulated in the virtual world.

It may also be of course, that when we look at these conflicts we are looking at our own future ? a future where much of our lives unfold in virtual spaces (work places, meeting places, etc) and where we may seek ways to defend the traditions of our virtual spaces against bandwidth barons. When that day arrives, let?s hope we have strong scriptors at our side.

13 Responses to “Essay: A History of the Second Jessie War”

  1. humdog

    Sep 17th, 2004

    it is the second to the last paragraph that is the most interesting not just because it seems true to present reality.

    i often have wondered why al-queda has not turned its very energetic forces towards infowar.
    it seems so efficient and elegantly symbolic relative to their desire to take down western society.

  2. blaze

    Sep 17th, 2004

    At the very least, it’s an accurate precursor to what cyber-warfare will look like.

  3. Death Grace

    Sep 17th, 2004

    that is history nothing has happened in quite some time. also might i add to that my bombing of jessie with hundreds of grenades that were lagging the server and killign anyone that came close. God i love war.

  4. urizenus

    Sep 17th, 2004

    hmmm good point. I left out the grenade spamming incident. didn’t know that was your handiwork death.

  5. Miravoir

    Sep 18th, 2004

    Great story Uri. You really know how to capture the reader’s interest. I didn’t really pay much mind to Jessie (too busy shopping in the mall :> ) but once i inadvertently dropped in as a 2 week old newbie and was pretty well treated, in general (though my welcome committee was more interested in looking up my skirt than actually conversing) :) It’s too bad all of this had to happen. I hope all goes back to normal and the brave jessians can go back to happily blowing each other up without any further molestation :)
    The whole drama, however, has made for quite lively news :)

  6. urizenus

    Sep 18th, 2004

    but yeah, like Death said, things have calmed down. for now.

  7. Yuki Callahan

    Sep 21st, 2004

    This is sooo stupid.You people act as if everything a player does is like real life!Get a real life geez -.-

    tkrmshr -.-;;

  8. urizenus

    Sep 21st, 2004

    Yes Yuki, would that they had lives as rich as yours — reading blogs about games that you don’t care about and telling the participants what they should be doing with their lives. If you are the role model of what they *should* do then I guess they all should become board trolls. Tell me, do you call up sports talk radio shows and tell the other callers to get lives? Just asking… I really do wanna know what makes a fucktard tick.

  9. Death Grace

    Sep 24th, 2004

    ya that was my handy work was alot of fun.

  10. Lisse Livingston

    Sep 26th, 2004

    Why on earth does someone need a “business partnership” in order to build a mega-mall? What does it need more than one person for? Just buy some cheap land, not far from a telehub – put up a building, divide it into rentable areas, hold a couple of opening events and you’re done.

    Methinks more than one person in this story simply wanted the drama more than the mall.

  11. Cinda Valentino

    Sep 29th, 2004

    Wow, looks like I missed all the fun :(

    Does someone see something wrong with this picture?

  12. urizenus

    Sep 29th, 2004

    so where where you, cinda????

  13. Jester Spearmann

    Sep 15th, 2008

    I came here from a link in the New Jessie war museum, This is the sort of thing that would (now) be classed as ‘greifing’ though it looked like fun to me. shame I was not around at the time :)

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