Slink et al: Siddean shutters her brands in Second Life

Siddean Munro has been a long-term content creator in Second Life, having joined in 2007 (and as a point of trivia, is one of the few Second Life residents to have to also have an entry in IMDb!). She has perhaps been best known for the Slink mesh bodies, which have been popular among many Second Life users, myself included for that least few years.

As a brand, Slink has always been at the forefront of innovation in Second Life – notably with regards to mesh: in 2011/2 she released her mesh hands and feet – the latter of which, replacing the system feet, did much to ignite the mesh shoe market in Second Life – and the release of the first of her mesh body types, Physique Original, in 2014.

As such, the sudden announcement made on January 1st, 2023 that, with immediate effect, her Slink brand, together with her more recent Cinnamon & Chai body and her One Bad Pixel brand, have been shuttered, and Siddean herself has withdrawn from Second Life.

As a Slink Hourglass user myself – I moved to Slink from Maitreya on account of Slink being somewhat kinder on the viewer when it comes to rendering the body (and allowing for the complexities and quality of attachments and rigged meshes also worn, of course) – I admit to being shaken by the announcement. For those who made the move to Cinnamon and Chai, launched just 12 months ago, the news is likely to be even more of a gut-wrenching lurch.

However, before, anyone starts stamping feet or getting upset at the apparent forewarning (although I could be wrong about the latter), as Siddean offers good reason for why she has made her choice, and there are also a couple of points to bear in mind.

Following two stressful years of pandemic which I am sure we have all been affected by in one way or the other, I suddenly lost my mother in September of 2021, my grandmother in January of 2022 and my cat Cleo in June. I have been unwell and enduring a lot of chronic pain. I have to be very honest, my spark has dimmed a little and I no longer have the energy to pour into this business like I once did.
I’ve done a lot of soul searching over the last 18 months and have come to the very difficult decision that for my own physical and mental wellbeing, I need to move on from Second Life.

– Siddean Monro

In coming to this decision, Siddean also notes that the break is needed as she wants to focus on a new endeavour – as is her right, and we shouldn’t begrudge her this change in direction.

This latter point is doubly true in that while her decision is somewhat sudden in its implementation, it does not mean that it is the end of the road for the Slink ecosystem as a whole; the bodies still work, and there is a wealth of mesh and applier-based clothing still available on the Marketplace and in-world, the bodies still work with Bakes On Mesh, and so on. This isn’t all just going to vanish – so there’s no need for panic.

Of course, there is a risk that a major change with the avatar skeleton will “break” Slink avatars somewhere down the road on the basis that the avatars are no longer maintained – but there is as yet nothing on the horizon that threatens to do this – and it may never happen; as such, things are not going to vanish overnight. There is also a risk that creators entering the mesh clothing arena may opt not to support the brand and focus on Maitreya and Kupra, etc. However, the entire mesh clothing ecosystem has been skewed towards Maitreya, so this will unlikely make things any worse for Slink users. That said, things may be somewhat different for Cinnamon and Chai users, simply because of the newness of that brand; however, I’m simply not familiar enough with that body to know the potential repercussions, so will not speculate here.

As it stands, I don’t plan to move away from my Slink Hourglass any time soon – although I’m fortunate in that I have a Maitreya body “in reserve”, so to speak, so swapping away from Slink isn’t hard for me were I to decide to do so.

But what I will do here is pass on my thanks Siddean for all her work over some fifteen years in supporting Second Life users. I hope her new endeavour brings her as much success and – despite the rigours of the last 2+ years – all the enjoyment most of her Second Life has brought her.

With thanks to Soft Linden for the pointer. 

12 thoughts on “Slink et al: Siddean shutters her brands in Second Life

  1. Siddean is a true SL treasure. Slink hands and feet were an awesome addition when they came out. I am sure many classic residents will appreciate what that did for the avatar appearance. The news is sad, but we should always remember that as much as we love our time in SL, first life does come FIRST. I wish her much peace and all the best.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow! What sad, devastating news all around. Even before you started quoting Siddean I felt a sadness about the whole thing, and when you quoted her, it just got so much sadder. Avatars don’t exactly “die”, but their fleshvatars do experience a lot of illness and death. Personal, family, even pets passing can be very distressing.

    As Rocky said, the most important thing is to wish Siddean the best and thank her for her dramatic impact on SL technology & culture. It’s “just a virtual world,” still, few of us ever have the chance to have the kind of impact that she had.

    It’s a shame that Cinnamon and Chai are so new. Without them, the “aging” Slink bodies could be bid farewell with less pain. If, instead of charging in with GenX, Belleza had announced shutting down operation for their aging Freya-Isis-Venus bodies, of course people would have been upset, but it wouldn’t have been a huge surprise. For all Slink accomplished, the bodies have clearly fallen out of favor.

    And bodies seem to be an easily changeable landscape. I was amazed at how fast Kupra shot up. And in no time at all it seems to have been partially replaced by Reborn. Shops that were making clothes for Kupra a few months ago are already doing “Lara-Legacy-Reborn”. So even if your body sticks around, things can definitely change.

    As you noted in your own love of Hourglass, the many clothes for HG on the grid won’t go anywhere. They’ll be available for a long time to come. Before GenX, Belleza had pretty much become Freya. You could find some Isis. And it was slim pickings for Venus. I like Venus a lot. And while most clothing isn’t made for Venus, and probably nothing new is, if you wander around, you can still find nice things for Venus. If Venus can still live, sort of, then surely, Hourglass will be supported with existing clothes for a long time.

    Your observation that it’s at least theoretically possible for the body to break at some future time is interesting. I suspect it might not. A lot of bodies would break. But it’s at least possible. It’d be nice if she could close up and transfer the content to someone who could do an update if necessary. Perhaps there just isn’t the income in updating a legacy body to make that worth someone’s effort.

    I know a lot of people who own a lot of bodies. And a lot of people who seem to only wear an outfit once. In the Physical World (PW) this is really bad. Buying “Fast Fashion” and only wearing it once or twice is a big problem. They say you shouldn’t buy PW clothes if you aren’t going to wear something 50 times. It is more flexible in SL. And given how much peeps love to shop, I wonder if moving on from Cinnamon and Chai might not really be that big a deal. If you’re wearing Cinnamon, Chai, Prima, Tonic, Slink at this point, Freya-Isis-Venus, etc etc… you aren’t getting the most clothes made for you.

    I think some people buy bodies and then look for clothes to fit. Others buy bodies to wear the clothes they want. If you want to buy any clothes you see and like, at this moment it seems like Lara-Legacy, or Lara-Legacy-Reborn. As I mentioned, Kupra seems to already be fading for designers. But there are also Kupra-only shops filled with fun clothes that only Kupra can wear. That ecosystem might be fine for a long time.

    You mentioned Hourglass still working. And that it will work until the unlikely day that LL redesigns the avatar skeleton. I’ve always wondered about Meshbody/Legacy. Perhaps someone better informed than me can help here. If I understand correctly, the Legacy HUD must talk to an external web server. I think that’s why it loads so much slower than other HUDs. AFAIK most other body HUDs don’t have this requitement. ATM Legacy is more active than Slink has been, but if they ever did shut down their server, would all Legacy bodies be instantly be defunct?

    Having said so much about female bodies, I have to at least offer sympathy for the Male Avatars of the Grid. The fashion world has served them so much less. In the PW it might be similar. But there are a lot of fashion options for fleshvatar males. SL Male avatars have much thinner pickings. I hope they’ll get more attention in the future.

    Congratulations to Siddean. What an incredible run. And while the end may be sad or abrupt, a clear end and not just a forever fade out, is nice.

    As for you and your HG body, Inara, I’m sure you will enjoy wearing it for a long time to come.

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    1. Well said on all points. Regarding Legacy – I’m afraid your question will have to be answered by someone informed: my use of mesh bodies has been limited to Maitreya, Slink and a relatively short play with Kupra; so I’m pretty ignorant on the subject!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I love this idea, Cayenne! I’m definitely not holding my breath for it! But it’d be nice. Continuity for existing users and a path forward for new avis. If the in-development new mesh starter avis really will be one-piece body and head then there won’t be a path forward to heads & bodies from the grid. What I’ve heard of the new avatars seems like a mistake.

      In my comment I said it’d be nice to hand the bodies off to someone for potential future updating. But I noted that might not be profitable/worthwhile for a designer/developer. If Siddean is done with the bodies, and we’re not holding our breath for LL to acquire them, it would be nice if Siddean would “Open Source” them. Make all source materials open to anyone. Then, if needed, some generous avatar or team could update them, not for financial gain, but for the benefit of the grid. That the SL viewer is open source has certainly been a healthy thing for the SL experience and avatars everywhere.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. No, I wish not.we need something new and with better complexity.
      Not everybody likes slink or ever bought her products.

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  3. Our dear Siddean. I can completely sympathize with her I lost quite a few in the last year including my sweet kitty of 9 years. It can put you in a whole different headspace quickly. My condolences to her, my thanks for all the beautiful creations and my wishes of good luck and peace and love for her future.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been a fan of Slink for many years now. I create in sl so I owned all the slink bodies and even bought them as gifts for some friends and my working alt. Creators can make or break a body. Even though Slink was and probably still is one of the top optimized bodies out there many creators were dropping slinks for various reasons. Same thing happened to Venus, Isis and Freya from Belleza. Mainly because its too much work to cover all the bodies. I am very saddened to see Siddean go. I hope she gets well and finds health and happiness in whatever she chooses to do. Respect ❤

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  5. For people that can’t afford to buy lindens..bring some of the freebie shops back they had great clothes in there I really miss those shops please bring some back…thank you

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  6. Never ever bought her products. Super expensive.
    When it was time to buy mesh body i chose Maitreya. It is not exactly what I wanted, many places are horribly done, it has its complexity, but better but better than slink and much more merchants making things for it.
    Slink physique is an exactly copy of Wowmeh, basically.

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  7. Sad to hear of Siddean’s hardships. I know Real Life throws us a lot of curveballs leaving us beaten down and at times devastated. I hope and pray she is able to find healing and peace and is able to find her spark again. Thanks for your contributions to the community and for being helpful when moments were confusing.

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