Shuless – Episode Two

by Alphaville Herald on 13/05/08 at 7:36 pm

Iona finds a home

by Iona Nikolaidis

When I created Iona as my avatar in Second Life, I only had a vague idea of the effort and real work required to explore the metaverse. So, after leaving Orientation Island (for you non-Second Lifers, Orientation Island is where you go to learn a few basic things about your newbie avatar before you unleash her on the world), I thought what to do, what to do, what to do with this strange new avatar that is and isn’t me. Luckily, SL has databases to tell you where to go for its residents who don’t want to think too hard about it or otherwise ponder.

Yes, I speak of the “Popular Places” search in the in-world database. Much like RL, the residents of SL seem obsessed with, um, err…well, with exploring the Sims of the flesh. At any given moment, the most popular places in SL involve multiple pose balls that will contort your avatar into any number of sexual positions.

Me, not being immune to curiosity, visited a place or two. One thing I quickly learned is never jump on a random sex pose ball in an online sex club if you don’t want your avatar to be immediately mauled by some dude avatar with a free pecker.

That got old, really quickly. At this point, I had been playing SL for about two weeks. I had hit a wall. I needed to go other places. So, I again turned to “Popular Places.” Where to go, where to go…

FESTIVAL ISLAND! SL is thick with folks into hardcore techno music, Goa, trance and any number of variations on the theme. Festival Island, at the time I started playing SL, was a hugely popular Sim where folks could stream techno and earn some Lindens just by dancing! Why wouldn’t it be popular? So, I teleported over there and came upon one of the most laggy places I had found thus far (lag = very slow response time and movement in-world, which relates, I think, both to the number of users in the Sim at a given time as well as the technology you are using to access the Sim….heaven forbid if you had to use dial up!)

Once the world rezzed for me, I saw lots and lots and lots of avatars. Unlike the sex Sims, the avatars here took time to accessorize! And unlike the sex Sims, the avatars here would often decline my immediate and unsolicited offers of friendship (something they should really tell you about on Orientation Island). At Festival Island, I began to realize that if I was going to play this game for more than two weeks, I needed to interact with people just like I would in the real world. Find an avatar you like, ask them a question about their profile or what their avatar looks like, and see where it goes….kind of like the modern equivalent of “Baby, what’s your sign?”

Zigma McMahon was one of the first avatars I met with whom I had an actual conversation and whom I actively sought out when I logged on to SL. Of course, ours was a friendship forged on a misunderstanding. I thought his 12 foot tall avatar was a female avatar (Zig, I don’t know if I ever told you that, but I did. Sorry!) By the time we had had several conversations, I realized I liked talking to him and it didn’t matter if “he” was a “he.” Zig was born into SL a few weeks earlier than me, which is like light-years in SL time (or dog years….). He brought me to places I wouldn’t have found on my own. And while Zig was bringing me to the hottest new trance clubs in SL, I also learned that reading the profiles of other avatars was a much more efficient way of finding places you might want to settle your avatar into. Just like RL, you need a place to inhabit in SL. Kind of like your own virtual Cheers.

It bothers me a little that I can’t remember precisely how I found the Witches’ Brew. Iona has spent so much time there, and met almost all of her closest SL friends there, including Alexandra Shu. But at the time, I was just playing a game, so you will have to forgive my memory. I didn’t consider I might someday like to recount this. I know I found it by reading someone’s profile at the techno club Zig and I landed at one night. And I thought, “Hmmm, that place sounds a helluva lot more interesting than staying here and pretending my avatar is rolling on E.” So I told Zig see ya, and teleported over to Evalua, the region that housed the Witches’ Brew.

The Witches’ Brew pub is owned and operated by an avatar named Trinity Cole. Trinity operates – or operated, I am not sure which tense to use – an online radio station called Radio Akasha ( This place, unlike the Goa/trance/techno dives, played music I knew. New Order, Bauhaus, any number of darkwave artists….I had found my niche! I couldn’t be happier.

I also realized, after a few fumbling tries at heterosexual cyber with Zig, that I wasn’t great at being someone other than myself. Don’t get me wrong….I have lied to other avatars in SL, and misrepresented who I was, and probably always will, to some extent. That is the nature of an online environment with an assumed identity. But a sustained campaign of misrepresentations, and the effort required to keep all the storylines straight, is beyond my interest and probably my ability. I started hanging out at the Witches’ Brew more and more. In addition to playing music I liked, the pub was lesbian-friendly (well, at least virtually lesbian-friendly). At first, none of the other avatars really talked to me. The fact that my avatar was so poorly dressed/designed may have factored into this virtual snubbing, along with the fact that she “looked” straight. Unlike the sex Sims and even Festival Island, the avatars at the Witches’ Brew were, for the most part, highly and richly designed. So I would sit Iona on a little stool at the pub, waiting to chime in on the chat if I could. I didn’t really generate a lot of interest until Zig inadvertently helped me out. On one of the last times I saw Zig in those early days, he went off on me while I was in the Brew that I was hanging out at a club with “lesbians,” an outburst that earned him a public smackdown from me and, apparently, a ban from the club from Trinity. Yelling at him in public that he was a homophobic bigot apparently gave me some credibility, and a few avatars started talking to me. It felt good. It felt like a good enough virtual home. And so I started hanging out at the Brew almost exclusively.

[Shuless appears courtesy of and is reprinted here by permission of Iona Nikolaidis]

13 Responses to “Shuless – Episode Two”


    May 13th, 2008


  2. pixeleen mistral

    May 13th, 2008

    @SPACETARD: this is episode 2 of a serial so some of the more nuanced plot lines are just being set up now. i’ve read ahead and trust me – there will be all sorts of exciting chase scenes, car crashes, lolcats, and perhaps even something for a religious scat lover like you. keep the faith!

  3. janeforyou Barbara

    May 14th, 2008

    Wel newbees go to ” moust popular ( POPULATED) ” Places,i tryed to set a shop in one of them ar 1200 L a week rent for 20 prim ( stupid) but i had to trye lol! NO sales over 4 weeks…. ( iknow,, wast a idiot) I found out 24 campers… 60 Nebee males with there new willi out IMAOOO The vendor and my logo used 15 min to rez,, and non shopped and i asked a few why not.. ” i dont got any mony, all i got are freebees ” poore guyes, so i gave a few of them my 350 free sex items box lol!! Then i just left the place with my vendor and logo, lesson learned. :-)

  4. Angel

    May 14th, 2008

    jayneforyou’s spelling makes baby Jesus cry.

  5. anon

    May 14th, 2008

    so you essentially greeted new players with sex toys

    gee and i wonder why your game is failing to catch on to the mainstream

  6. Just Me

    May 14th, 2008

    I also found out the hard way that traffic numbers are meaningless when it comes to sales . Between bots, campers, and noobs, the numbers dont’ translate into sales of items in your shop at all.

    It’s very difficult to find a GOOD place to set up a shop.

  7. Peridot

    May 14th, 2008

    This has got to be the dullest Herald article I’ve read in a long time. Who cares about your mundane Second Life? Even Penny’s “articles” were better than this.

  8. janeforyou Barbara

    May 14th, 2008

    @ Angel .. lol my spelling makes the devil him self cry,, am a Barbarian, but thanks for notesing my post hehehe

  9. Aya Pelous

    May 14th, 2008

    its just the sim owners who need to make money off a well populated area. traffic is crap and usless because of the bots.

  10. Towelie

    May 15th, 2008


  11. bored

    May 15th, 2008

    What’s up with all this thinking???? Where’s the action?????

  12. Rock Ramona

    May 15th, 2008

    many moons ago,my father told me…son..if you dont have something interesting to say,then say nothing at all,what has the herald come to,is uri letting his dog pick out who writes and what they write in the herald???id rather see several days of nothing new than see this garbage,whatever happend to the good ol days when you sucked,people told you and you either got better or gave it up,now we have people telling people who truly suck at something that ..ohhh yer so wonderful…just so they dont get their feelings hurt…this is why there a a gazillion blogs that no one reads on the interwebs,,and this is soon going to be another one,,cmon Uri,ive known you since the SSG days in tso and i know yer better than this

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