Watch Mon Métaverse, reflections on Second Life, Meta and more

Courtesy of Tutsy Navarathna
Following the creation of Meta accompanied by the grandiose announcements by the media singing the praises of future metaverses, we can rightly ask ourselves, which metaverses and what future are we talking about? … My friend, Yann Minh, a fellow explorer of cyberspace shares with us his thoughts and fears.

– From the introduction of Mon Métaverse by Tutsy Navarathna

With these words, Tutsy Navarathna leads us into his latest video, one that among his most thought-provoking (which is saying something, given the depth of content and ideas that are always embraced by his work).

Yann Minh

Published on his You Tube channel on January 16th, Mon Métaverse (“My Metaverse”) offers thoughts and reflections on the futures of “the metaverse” from both Tutsy and cyberspace explorer Yann Minh, who has been active within, and considering, virtual spaces for over 20 years.

Running to just a touch over 5 minutes, the video is a fascinating dissection of the current hype around “the metaverse”. Within it we are invited to consider what we have had up until now, and the choices we may face in the future. Do we hold on to we have thus far had: a digital life of almost limitless horizons and infinite diversity in which freedom of expression and creativity are embraced; or are we going to allow ourselves to be herded into sanitised corporate-defined spaces where expression and creativity run second to the surrender of personal data to feed the corporate revenue machine, and activities are governed by fake corporate morals.

When I thought twenty years ago that we were heading towards a more flexible, versatile and mature future, in fact the opposite is happening. We are clearly heading towards an infantizing, paternalistic future similar to the time when religious morals massively imposed their absurd rules on individuals.

Yann Minh, Mon Métaverse

This is a subject that can be debated at a length that will easily exceed the 5 minutes of the video. However, the beauty of Mon Métaverse is that Yann encapsulates these concerns eloquently and concisely, challenging us to think about our digital future without belabouring the message. In doing so, he positions things perfectly for Tutsy to present a – frankly – marvellous and honest look at the richness we have within Second Life, perfectly illustrating what “the metaverse” should really be about: the creativity of individuals, built without the data-hungry maw of algorithm and data collation sitting beneath it.

Beyond this, and on a personal level, I couldn’t help but see a possible broader context within the video; a more subtle questioning / challenge. It comes both in Yann’s comments around Facebook / Meta as the tip of an iceberg and the follow-on statement regarding religious censorship. We already know Facebook is responsible for the spread of disinformation – a practice it is unwilling to stop, and which has assisted the open growth of authoritarian politics that are, to no small extent, founded on a fake moralistic and divisive organised religion. As it turns out, this was in fact something that both Yann and Tutsy had also been considering in developing the concept of the video, as Tutsy informed me.

We are faced with a system that’s increasingly dominated by normalising algorithms in the service of a radical, conservative, authoritarian right unchallenged by most of the media. Within digital spaces, Meta is just the tip of the iceberg which as Yann Minh puts it, “leads us to a paternalistic, infantilizing future”; it seems high time we express our opposition to the way our freedoms and democracy are being so challenged least, as Yann notes, we see the absurd rules of the religious conservatives imposed on all of us within virtual spaces as well.

– Tutsy Navarathna

Thus, Mon Métaverse folds into itself a broader narrative that is not entirely out-of-place, and which adds further depth to its message for those who like to ponder such matters.

But, leaving messages and narratives aside, Mon Métaverse stands as a superb promotional piece for Second Life, both within the broader context of “the metaverse” and as a means of offering insight into the platforms power to attract, engage and retain users. This makes it more than worth the time take to watch it, and I encourage you to do so, either by viewing it below or clicking on the link within the video panel and watching it directly on Tutsy’s You Tube channel.

2022 ALS Awareness Week: a call to artists

Music stage, Harvey Memorial ALS Awareness Week, 2021

Every year the Italian community in Second Life comes together to host the Harvey Memorial Ensemble ALS Awareness Week, a festival of music and art dedicated to raising funds for AISLA, the Associazone Italiana Sclerosi Laterale Amiotrofica for research into, and treatment of, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), in memory of Second Life resident Harvey22 Albatros, who passed away from the disease.

First held in 2015, the festival has raised over L$2.8 million (roughly €9,000 / US $10,267), and this year it will take place from 13:00 SLT on Sunday, February 20th and run through until 17:00 SLT Sunday February 27th, 2022.

A 2D artist display area for The Harvey Memorial Festival 2022. Credit: Sniper Siemens

As noted above, the Festival offers a mix of music entertainment and art, and this year, event organisers, Sniper Siemens and the Supporto Italiano group, want to expand the latter by presenting an art auction / exhibition. To this end, they’ve  asked me to help spread the word.

In short, they are seeking donations of art for the auction / exhibition from both 2D and 3D artists in Second Life, with the requirements summarised below:

  • 3D artists:
    • Artists will have a 10m x 10m area in which to place their art.
    • Each artist can use a maximum of 300 LI for their art.
    • A maximum of 8 display spaces are available.
  • 2D artists:
    • Artists can donate up to 3 pieces of art.
    • Art should be suitable for display on an easel (see example image)
    • Easel can be supplied, if required.
    • 1024 resolution recommended for submissions.
    • 8 display spaces are currently available.

In addition:

  • Art must be submitted to Sniper Siemens no later than 3 days prior to the festival’s opening, and will be placed on display by the organisers.
  • All art will be displayed through the week of the festival in a display area directly adjacent to and surrounding three sides of the main music and entertainment area, where it can be easily viewed by those attending the event.
  • Bidding will open on February 20th, and close on the afternoon of February 27th, when the highest bidder for each piece of art will be charged for, and receive, the art.

All questions / enquires about the art auction should be directed to Sniper Siemens.

3D art from the Harvey Memorial ALS Awareness Week, 2020 (Solkide Auer (l) and Cica Ghost (r)) 

About ALS

Sometimes also referred to as motor neurone disease (MND) or by the synonyms Lou Gehrig’s disease and Charcot disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a specific disorder that involves the death of neurons that control voluntary muscles. For about 90-95% of all diagnosed cases, the precise cause of the disease is unknown; for the remaining 5-10% of diagnosed cases, it is inherited from the sufferer’s parents. There is no known cure, and symptoms generally first become apparent around the age of 60 (or 50 in inherited cases). The average survival from onset to death is three to four years. In Europe and the United States, the disease affects about 2 people per 100,000 per year.


AISLA Onlus was founded in 1983 with the aim of becoming the Italian national reference centre for the protection, assistance and treatment of ALS patients, promoting information on the disease and stimulating the competent structures to take adequate and qualified care of the sick.

Headquartered in both Rome and Milan, the Association is recognised by the Italian Ministry of Health, and currently operates 64 centres in 19 regions across Italy working with the support for local doctors, psychologists, physiatrists and consultants to provide support for ALS victims and their families (medical support, information, and general assistance). In addition, the Association supports research into the causes of ALS, and provides training in helping and caring for victims of the disease.