Archive for drama

Viva la SL Revolution

Posted in Op/Ed, SecondLife® with tags , , , , , , on September 20, 2009 by Prad

Twelve months ago, a group of smart and switched on people combined two of Second Life’s most popular multi-authored blogs and formed The SL Revolution – a blog with the aim to not hold back from what needs to be said. A group of people who didn’t take themselves too seriously – guys and girls who simply enjoyed Second Life, and didn’t think of themselves as journalists or fashionistas. They were simply normal people who were too busy laughing at the dumb things going on within the SL community (in particular the SL blogging, or SLogging, community) with the same out blogs churning out the same old dramas.

So the Rev was created to give a wide angle lens – to inject some humour back into the SL blogging community, and remind everyone that actually your petty little dramas are meaningless and you should really try being constructive to the Second Life efforts, instead of just trying to bring each other down all the time.

We mocked Plurks with extreme sexual content and made fun of the PostSecrets. We laughed at the girl who liked to make lists of names, and we’ve reminded you all what an opinion is really worth.

But then we’ve also offered advice on how to create eye catching promotional images and thought about the Freebie issues and how it affects the SL economy. We’ve looked at the impact of blogging on ourselves and in world, and

And we’ve talked about Drama. Again, and again. And then again.

You see, the SL Rev makes fun of these things, but then we’ve also caused drama too. And on an opinion blog, that’s pretty easy to do. But there’s a smart way of calling people out – it involves not saying anything, but saying everything, and that’s an artform which most the writers here at the Rev employ in their writing. We’re fortunate that we’re not a trash blog which creates witch hunts. Or is fortunate the right word? After all, blogging is about who has the most page views, right?

Wrong.

Blogging is about intelligent discussion where people are happy to give thought out opinions on matters and discuss/debate in a civilised manner which doesn’t involve trashing someone without reason.

A year ago, I wrote that the growing popularity of blogs which are kicking off witch hunts will cause nothing but paranoia and ill-feeling within the SL community – I said the situation would hit a point where people would start basing their opinions simply on what a blog has published, rather than seeking out the truth themselves.

And why? Because by giving into this witch-hunt mentality, we create group-think. The type which involves someone who is quite happy to go after someone they don’t know (probably due to a lack of self-confidence or immense jealousies). They exploit a part of human nature in which people love drama (as long as it doesn’t involve them) and this creates an atmosphere where it becomes normal for ideas and opinions to be suppressed, rather than openly discussed in a sensible manner.

The number of bloggers who have risen up by trying to crush others is on the rise, and I can only see it creating an SL where people will be too afraid to say what they think. But blogs like the Rev continue pushing back the boundaries and will carry on fighting the good fight – because no matter what the fucktards say, we refuse to be silenced, and we refuse to be told what to write. We won’t put up with self-referential little spiteful groups who feed drama and insanity – we’ll carry on mocking those types, and we’ll carry on speaking our minds as individuals. Without fear or favour.

So Viva la SL Revolution – here’s to the past year, and may the diversity of writers here long continue to bring some of the best discussion to the SL community.

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He Said, She Said, They Said.

Posted in Op/Ed, SecondLife®, Virtual Worlds with tags , , , , , on September 1, 2009 by Prad

Firstly, I’d like to thank the SL community for upgrading it’s drama from chickens to hair. You have no idea how happy that makes me.

As the TruthHawksRocksMadisonGarden’sJellyBeans thing descends into more comments than I care to read, I can’t help but think of the old He said, She said, They said scenario. It’s been around since the dawn of time, and we all know it oh so well.

It’s starts when someone says/does something which then offends someone else. So they get growly and then spout off about it, and suddenly a lot more people come along and offer their own opinion. Before you know it, you got yourself a full scale drama on your hands, which, in this crazy-mixed-up-grid of ours, will encompass as least three platforms of social media.

Usually, we need a love interest which keeps the story going. Add in a near-death scene and some special effects and you have next summer’s blockbuster release. But usually all you need are just some normal people going about their way and crossing paths.

Because it’s human nature for us to have disagreements, and to see the same thing very differently. What makes Second Life worse for this sort of thing is the “They said.” element – people as a entity, given a small scale situation, will be like fuel to the fire. Add in an audience, and suddenly you’ll have a few dozen people with more popcorn than you can shake a stick at.

To be clear, I don’t actually care much for the whole hair “confession” thing – my interest lies in how this third party gets involved and what role they play.

In many cases, the third party seems to act as an escalator of the situation. They can be residents in world, on Plurk or on blogs. And they’re territorial. They stick to the home territory of the side which they back. It’s like watching a really bad nature program being played out on a colourful timeline.

The third party will be anyone looking in and offering an opinion – a friend, a relative, a customer, a reader or someone completely neutral. However, with the way the Second Life community seems to work, it’s a very small grid and everyone seems to know each other in these circles. So the third party also tend to be insiders – they’re in the know about some, if not most or all of the details. This gives them the impression that they’re informed enough to offer their own opinion.

Take a mobilised community like the Second Life fashion/social media world – I estimate say about 1,000 avatars are in this circle. People tend to behave in a systematic way – you do what you do, keep your nose clean and conform to avoid getting outed by a vulture blogger. Yet, the same community is motivated by a meaty news story – people love to see others getting down and dirty, as long as they can watch from a safe distance.

Everyone watching is a third party, and everyone offering an opinion is a third party. Simply by giving attention, it will escalate.

The police force have a simple three word method to de-escalate such situations: Prevention, Resolution and Containment.

Prevention is pretty simple – spot a problem before it occurs and deal with it in-house. It takes someone with patience and the ability to provide, teach and build bridges whilst maybe swallowing some ego to be able to stop a situation from occurring before it turns into a “thing”.

Resolution is required once a conflict of interests has been established, and the lines of communication have become public. Disputes and feelings of unequal power can lead to rash words being exchanged, and before you know it, everyones crowding around and there’s a guy with a dodgy accent selling beer nuts for a dollar.

Resolution requires a mediator to step in and sit the two main parties down, and reach an agreement that both sides can accept. This is almost never be done in public where everyone is watching – it simply doesn’t work, because of the “They said” factor. Keep it simple and closed doors, and if a resolution is reached, the whole thing just goes away and people move on.

Containment is stopping the situation from engulfing even more people into it – just the initial parties is more than enough to cope with in any disagreement. Start adding new people into the equation, and you have a much tougher time trying to arbitrate a dispute. At this point, you want to bring in the peacekeeper – that’s the guy who simply doesn’t care what everyone’s problem is, but tells everyone to chill the feck out, or else he’s going to get cranky.

Getting people who shouldn’t be at the table to go away again is the harder part here – the third party in these cases get too close to the situation, and simply aggravate it. To reach resolution, things have to be kept simple and manageable.

The Second Life resident pysche has always been that Fighting is Inevitable – it’s always going to happen, and it’s just a case of who’ll be next, and how much popcorn we have left.

Changing that pysche to one that makes us understand that Fighting is Preventable will go a long way to a more harmonious bunch of people

There’s an old Irish saying:

“Is this a private fight, or can anyone get in?”

Public disputes are preventable if you want to be able to resolve them. Recognise what stage the situation is at, and take steps to diffuse it before it gets out of control – that way, the involved parties suffer less stress, and the popcorn manufacturers will finally go out of business.

Itchin for a Fight…

Posted in SecondLife® with tags , , , , , on August 4, 2009 by ♥JellyBean♥

It’s been a very long time since I’ve been very interested in anything related to SecondLife. I basically log in, play Zyngo, and log out. Sometimes I’ll buy hair but by the next time I log in, I’m lucky if I remmy that I bought it, let alone what it was named. I use to follow my bloglines religiously – Oh I need to remmy to buy that, there’s a new release, oh that’s cute! Slowly but surely my real life blog subscrips started outnumbering my SL blog subscrips… and now? Well now I barely even check in on that. I feel like I should feel ashamed, but nope, there’s no shame here.

I was thinking today that the only thing that seems to spark my interest lately in SL is a good fight, some dramz or pretty much any conflict I can find. I don’t always need SL for that though as there is plenty of it on plurk. Mostly SL folks too. It’s where I’m planted, where I can feel connected without actually logging in & it appears to be SFW.

In any society be it online, offline etc. there’s always going to be conflict. There’s some that embrace it (raises her hand high), some that cry about it, victims, and the victimizers. The ones that are the biggest dramites, we love to hate them. I bet you can name 3-4 off the top of your head right now. I’ll give you a second to think on it.

I guess we can call these shit starters, dramites and llamas necessary evils.  A necessary evil is anything which, despite being considered to have undesirable qualities, is preferable to its absence. We have those people in SL and on plurk. I’ve seen a lot of dramz lately and I’m just eating it up. As ya’ll know I’m one of the few that actually admit that I loves me some drama, as said many times before. I love drama in a box, with a fox and all while wearing socks… or even just with my morning coffee.

Basically it comes down to this… although everybody loves to whine about the shit stirrers, they are a large part of what makes us keep coming back. So mayhaps just mayhaps we should stop publically hating, blocking & muting the necessary evils, grab some popcorn & watch the show. After all everyone loves a good show.

Have you hugged your llama today?

Second Life Drama

Posted in Parody, Satire, SecondLife®, Virtual Worlds with tags , , , , , on March 14, 2009 by Prad

The by product of the two largest driving forces behind Second Life (Love and money) is, of course, Drama. We watch it, live it, participate in it and laugh at it. We laugh at how pathetic it all is, and wonder why the people involved don’t devote their passion and time into something more productive. And then we realise we’re watching it unfold and close the window.

I’ve never failed to be amazed that people twice my age can kick up such a fuss that’d put High School kids to shame – it’s amazing how catty and bitchy residents can get.

SL drama, obviously, will pretty much always originate from Second Life. Whether it be by a failed relationship, a competing store or just because someone has a complete lack of any social skills. What differs Second Life dramas from Real Life ones is that they very rarely involve politics or religion – oh no. It’s much more childish and pointless than that.

So here’s how it rolls: Someone says something that somebody else doesn’t like. That person retaliates with personal attacks, which the other person then responds to. Then the friends turn up in hordes to protect their friend, and the whole thing embroils into a small scale fiasco. And of course, Second Life being Second Life, obviously someone has to blog it..

So then it’s out there for anyone in the world to see. Before you know it, it’s being spread on Plurk, across Twitter, into Flickr and other bloggers are wading in with comments and their own entries. All the minions group up and form sides, backing each other up in their blog entries and making a big deal out of what initially was a small little thing.

It’s important to note that there are never any winners – just a whole lot of losers who are mocked silently amongst the masses. Regular participators become “blacklisted” for embroiling themselves in drama at every given opportunity, and people class them as someone who has serious mental issues. You know you’ve hit rock bottom when I’ve bothered to satirise you.

People seem to like examples, but the scenario above will fit just about every SL drama you can think of. If you find this post offensive, then it’s likely because you’re the subject of it. But just for you, I’ll do an example, because you probably wouldn’t mind a model to practice out your next dose of drama with.

Blogger#1 posts a blog entry with a slightly passive aggressive tone, but nothing worth really noting.

Plurker#1 reads the post and goes off on a tangent on Plurk, calling Blogger#1 homophobic/xenophobic/sexist/racist/emoist/idiot/freenis.

Blogger#1 responds to the Plurk and writes a nasty response to get back at them.  Plurker#1’s friends all feel like they have to be offended too, and go to Blogger#1’s blog to leave nasty anonymous comments.

Plurker#1 then goes to their blog and bothers to write something with is longer than 140 characters, and winds up with something nonsensical, catty and venomous. Blogger#1’s snarky friends turn up to make stupid comments on the blog entry, and Plurker#1’s friends respond in the same entry, creating a huge orgy of empty-mindedness which the blogosphere turns up to see.

Then sections of the blogosphere decide they want to take sides, and use posts on the feed and Flickr pics to illustrate their points.

Other people watching the chaos descend just sit on the sidelines and shake their heads, wondering how the hell these people are able to function without being locked up in a padded room.

Finally the whole thing just gets blown out of proportion and someone satirises the whole thing just to remind everyone how stupid it all is.

Confused yet? You should be.

Drama makes this world go round

Posted in Op/Ed, SecondLife® with tags , , , on November 9, 2008 by hawksrock

dra·ma:

1:  A situation or succession of events in real life having the dramatic progression or emotional effect characteristic of a play

2:  The virtual air that allows avatars to breathe in Second Life.

Kitty reclaimed the term “slut” here.    I am about to reclaim drama.

Mention the word drama, and you are immediately hit with rolling eyes, whispered IM conversations, circulated notecards, and tales of woe and angst among the collective exes.   I am going to unscientifically say that drama is one of the most cited words in profiles across SL:   “I hate drama.”   “Take your drama elsewhere.”  “Drama free zone!!”

“My name is HawksRock Gunawan, and I embrace drama.”

I want every one of you to participate in an exercise with me.   Let’s think for a long second about what Second Life would look like without drama.  Are you thinking about it… for real?

Let’s think of a few things we would have to give up:

1) Relationships would be permanently abolished.  It would be free love with equal access amongst everybody.

2) Content creators would just produce things for the virtual good, and provide them for free because we couldn’t be so crass as to put a price on anything for fear that someone might not have the means to purchase it and they could potentially have hard feelings.

3) Linden Labs would have to step in and implement some controls around things like language, avatar expressions, and eliminate any sort of negative pose balls.

4) All avatars would have the default set to the 30 second smile.

Can anyone say… boring?    I used to write short story contests when I was in high school.   I was taught that every story has to have the following elements:   a setting, plot, characters, point of view, theme, and CONFLICT.   How boring would Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs be without any conflict?   I mean when Snow White finishes cooking, cleaning, and servicing the dwarfs do they all just sit around and eat apples?  Without conflict, you don’t have much of a story line.    Some games like WoW have built in conflict where you have to choose either the alliance or the horde, knowing that your goal in life is to get strong enough to kick the other sides ass!

Believe it or not, I am not advocating we all take up weapons and start mowing down each other.    Although, this is a fun hobby in SL as well.   I also do NOT advocate drama that is done in a mean way and is just intended to hurt others.   But I do feel that there is such a fear of “creating drama” in second life that individuals are afraid to voice their opinions in an open format.   People are so afraid of backlash, that they will not take a stand when they see something that they don’t agree with.   No one wants to be labeled as a “drama whore!”  The just want to read about it as it impacts others.

Don’t be afraid to speak your mind.   We need an engaged passionate populace willing to stand up and say what they think is right.   This last open sim fiasco demonstrated that the population is very willing to take on LL if they make a mistake along the way.   People are less willing to take on other issues from my experience.   Embrace drama if it means embracing the truth, and shining a light on injustices in this virtual world.    And besides, making a billboard of your neighbors getting it on three doors down is just kinda funny.    😉