Remembering Djduerer Zou

by Alphaville Herald on 10/10/07 at 12:56 am

by Pixeleen Mistral, Sports desk


I met Djduerer Zou as he was trying to sort out how to sail a Flying Tako sailboat in Sanchon – and having a rough time of it. I’d been racing sailboats in Second Life for a while, and I spent some time showing DJ some of the tricks – and made a friend. This was back in the days when the main thing I did in Second Life was organize and run sailboat races, and occasionally indulge in some small amounts of yacht club politics and drama. That sort of thing was what seemed to come with playing the big time virtual sailing game, back in the day.

DJ was playing a different game, though. For him, Second Life was a way to re-live some of what he was missing in RL – sailing and dancing. On bad days, DJ was probably the slowest typist in the metaverse and would go AFK without warning. This used to drive me nearly crazy. In time I learned the unpredictable disappearances and uneven typing happened because DJ was ill – terminally ill. Second Life was more than an amusement for him – it was an escape. On good days DJ could sometimes manage to complete a race or two with the rest of the metaverse sailors. He also gave me advice – some of which I took to heart.

The sailing world’€™s petty dramas seemed quite important at the time, and I was furious when another yacht club decided that the absolute best time to schedule their races would be in direct conflict with when I had been running my races for the last 6 months – as if the game was all about traffic and popularity. DJ’€™s advice was to reschedule my event to see if the other club would follow and step on me again – this would tell us what they were really all about.

I moved my event, the other club rescheduled to conflict with my event again, but all I could do was smile. Then they started more events scheduled to conflict with both my and another club’s events. It was about this time I started thinking that winning in popularity and traffic might not be the most important things in SL.

Saturday afternoons were usually when I spent time with DJ – these were the quiet times in SL before weekends became complete lag-fests. We even waited to run races until weekend evenings so that there would be more people online. Times have changed.


Eventually, DJ and I drifted apart. We were on different schedules – he was on a short clock in RL but was spending more time online than I could. When I did see him, he seemed to be having a good time, and he had made a lot of friends.

The last time I saw DJ, he was getting ready to sail a race in Nantucket sim – he seemed to be feeling well, and IM’€™ed me to come crew for him. Unfortunately, when I arrived in Nantucket I was instantly ejected and banned. The race director felt I had been harboring griefers or had a smart mouth and a bad attitude or something equally silly. I complained to the estate owner – to no avail. When I complained to DJ that this was not fair, he said I should just wait – it would work out in time. But DJ didn’€™t have much time left when he told me that. I still regret not making a couple alt accounts to sneak into Nantucket and sail with DJ.

I happened to stop by Nantucket sim this evening and discovered that after two changes of ownership I am no longer banned. So DJ was right, eventually.

While getting my bearings in Nantucket, I started talking with Stvdadrgn Flyer, one of the managers. I mentioned how I had been banned, and after a few questions, Steve led me to a bench that he said I ought to see. He says a lot of people stop by – to look at the memorial and remember. So I sat on the bench and remembered.


14 Responses to “Remembering Djduerer Zou”

  1. Punky Pugilist

    Oct 10th, 2007

    Thank you for this article. My grandfather who is also very sick spends time here in Second Life with some of his grandchildren who welcome his participation. Yes, SL is trendy, and kind of self obsessed, but virtual life can be a godsend to those whose lives are limited by sickness and suffering. Thank you again.

  2. BigJack Rolls

    Oct 10th, 2007

    I have met a fair number of people in SL who, for various medical reasons, can’t get out and participate in RL as often,or as well, as they’d like. I have SL friends with lupus, with MS, with Peripheral Neuropathy. I have friends who disappear without warning and come back two days later to tell me that they “had a couple of bad days”. But despite that, they remain cheerful and upbeat and happy to have a place to live their lives. SL is a godsend to them, a way to interact with others, to dance, to have fun, to do in some small way what they otherwise couldn’t do.

    We hear a lot about griefers and the like. There’s drama, arguements,breakups, cheating, etc. all around us. But there are also people in SL who have a haven here. They use SL as I feel that it’s intended to be … an alternate life that in some small way is better than their RL.

    A salute to all of you out there with RL medical or other issues who have found a home with us. You walk among us, unknown for the most part. You make friends with us and cherish every moment of your SL existence. We welcome you.

  3. Sioban

    Oct 10th, 2007

    A moving tribute to your friend.

  4. tina

    Oct 10th, 2007

    I too spend time in SL to lose myself for a few hours when I don’t have to think about being sick. Maybe some people don’t understand but I am so happy I found this place a few months ago, I’ve only been here about 2 months.

    And thank you for your tribute to your friend, it actually made me cry. It’s nice the put up a memorial to him.

  5. Poppadoc Rasputin

    Oct 10th, 2007

    Whenever I read a story like this, it brings me to tears to think about the griefers that enjoy getting their “lulz” by screwing people like DJ out of what little time and freedom they can enjoy here.

    Have a good time with the weight of that karma, kiddies. Glad it’s not my lot in life to annoy the sick, disabled and elderly. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.

    Happy trails, Djduerer Zou – wherever you are.


  6. Cocoanut Koala

    Oct 10th, 2007

    Beautiful piece, Pixeleen.


  7. Lulzvan

    Oct 10th, 2007

    I still wish i could have crashed what ever grid he was on.

    The one that got away…

  8. Annjella Allen

    Oct 10th, 2007

    Thank you Pixeleen for the very touching account of your friendship. It just underscores the fact that we must do our utmost to be gentle and kind to others in SL. Our time in both SL and life in general is indeed limited and i for one therefore choose to spend it in a positive manner. Griefing, sitting in judgement of the behaviour of others, the constant drama and negativity that seems to permeate certain peoples’ SL activitites should have no place here. Please go out into our world today and spread love,compassion and understanding to all the citizens you meet, be they healthy or infirm….Lets do so in honour of Djduerer Zou.

  9. Anon

    Oct 10th, 2007

    Awwww. rest in peace

  10. Kahni Poitier

    Oct 10th, 2007

    That actually got me weepy, Pixeleen.

    Very nice post. Thanks for sharing that.

  11. TIllery Woodhen

    Oct 10th, 2007

    Thank you.

    I had a friend when I first got on to SL. Not terminally ill be in a wheelchair. The group we hung out with drifted apart and I haven’t heard from him in months, even though I do think of him often. Thanks for reminding me of the connections we make here.

  12. lulzedtosleep

    Oct 11th, 2007

    It’s a shame that lulzvan got yanked from mom’s tit too early for his liking. *head pats the dickless wonder*

    Anyway, nice piece. Bringing humanity back to the forefront is always desirable and good for us all.

    It’s nice to see something not ragging on LL or defense pieces written by griefers.

  13. Wayne

    Oct 11th, 2007

    Great story. I never thought of SL in this light before.

  14. Lillie Guildenstern

    Oct 11th, 2007

    DJ was a wonderful person, full of life and smart-assed remarks, and lots of hard-won wisdom about many things, more than just advice on the many places Pix has been banned from! He was a wonderful spirit, a gentle and kind man, who had a profound effect on everyone who took the time to get to know him. He is sorely missed!

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