The Drax Files 9: Fashioning your world

Elie Spot is a name well-known in the fashion world of SL. The co-owner of Mon Tissu and Celoe, now both on their dedicated and stylish region of Mayfair, she’s also the subject of episode 9 of The Drax Files.

Involved in Second Life since 2006, Elie is very much an example of the way in which the physical and the virtual can blur together and complement one another. Given her father designed games and her mother is a graphics artist, it is perhaps not surprising that Elie herself is a designer in the digital domain. But to leave things here would be to miss out on the most interesting part of her story.

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Mon Tissu and Celoe in Mayfair

Having joined SL at nineteen as a means to escape a very hectic daily routine, she has not only established two successful brands in-world, she’s found the additional skills and understandings she’s gained through running those businesses have helped to enable her to take-up business opportunities in real life, such as with Cake & Whiskey, which she co-founded in Spring 2013, following-on from the creation of Offbeat and Inspired in 2012.

Elie-spot

As one might expect from both a content creator and long-term resident of Second Life, Elie has an understanding of the nuances of the platform, and the reasons people find it so attractive and appealing. The ability to create almost anything you want, for example, or to be able to create and build a business or brand, to share with others in a myriad of ways, and the opportunities for escape and to be whomever or whatever you want.

In discussing this and Second Life, Elie touches on one of the stigmas attached to Second Life from the world at large.

“It’s just a very common misconception that if a person sits down at a computer and starts talking to other people online that they’re hiding, or that they don’t have social skills.” she says. “I mean to take a personality type and look down on it like that and to project that on an entire culture of people? It’s just a little bit strange.”

It’s what I’ve been known to refer to as the “Star Trek syndrome”: the views that people involved in Second Life and platforms like it need to somehow “get a life”. Sad to say, the attitude isn’t necessarily restricted to people on the outside looking into Second Life; there are a lot of examples of people engaged in the platform taking a stance of perceived moral  / social / intellectual superiority over others, simply based on how those others like to portray themselves within SL, even though in doing so they do not impinge upon the lifestyles or in-world activities of those looking down on them.

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Freedom of expression

That people do is really a shame, because Second Life can be liberating, and allows us all to reach past barriers and inhibitions defined by circumstance and / or society, and enjoy a freedom of personal expression and freedom of interaction with others from around the globe whose interests overlap with our own. The fact that some people are unable to accept others purely on the basis of how they seek to express themselves through their in-world appearance, perhaps speaks more to the prejudices of those unable to give acceptance, and to their own limitations of imagination and creativity.

Elie’s insights aren’t restricted to the unfortunate habit of stereotyping SL users, however. She is, first and foremost a very successful businesswoman in Second Life, and as such has some very clear and practical advice to give to those wishing to start-up a business of their own, as well as touching (again) on the wealth of opportunities presented in SL for doing to and the freedoms one can experience which are in may respects unique to the platform.

This is another excellent insight into Second Life and the broad potential of the virtual medium. Elie’s narrative is both clear and direct, but also carries a warm passion for the platform which is a joy to listen to, marking this as yet another outstanding piece in what is already an outstanding series.

Continue reading “The Drax Files 9: Fashioning your world”

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One ToS to rule them all: Linden Lab issue new Terms of Service

Update: I’ve been furnished witha link to a document comparing the current ToS with the “old” SL ToS, which has been posted to Google Docs by Sean Brady. See Related Links at the end of this piece.

LL logoA new Terms of Service was issues by Linden Lab on Thursday August 15th. Second Life users logging-in for the first time after around midday SLT, while those who had been previously logged-in found themselves being asked to accept the new ToS upon re-logging after midday.

The new ToS appears to be an attempt to provide a single, all-encompassing document which can be applied to all of the Lab’s properties and products. As such, it should not be taken as referring purely to Second Life.

To help with this distinction, the new ToS is presented on Linden Lab corporate web page, as distinct from the Second Life-branded web page, and is linked-to from other LL properties with the (current) exception of Desura, which continues to have its own ToS for the present.

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The Updated Linden Lab Terms of Service

Where Second Life is concerned the differences in between the new ToS and the last release version, dated May 6th, 2013, are very clear from the opening paragraph on through the document, which has been completely reshuffled and should actually be read through as a result. There are some significant changes in both wording and content, including, but not limited to (from an SL perspective):

  • A major set of updates to the dispute resolution / arbitration section (Section 10)
  • A new section (Section 7) on Infringement Notifications, including notes on the DMCA process
  • The removal of any need for LL to provide a 30-day grace period following any Material Change to the ToS. All changes, Material or otherwise, will now come into immediate effect on publication of the updated ToS to the relevant services. The onus on keeping up with changes to the ToS is now with users.

One thing to keep in mind when reading the updated ToS is that it is no longer applicable to just Second Life – as noted above, the same ToS is linked-to from all of the Lab’s properties, therefore certain sections of the new Terms of Service may have greater applicability to other services than to Second Life. Those sections which are specific to SL do appear to be clearly indicated as such.

Related Links