Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Being Active

I do a lot on Second Life, much of it with a goal of increasing the overall visibility of child and family role playing on the grid. With all the negative media coverage we've had to endure, I've felt it necessary to increase the amount of positives out there. Plus, well, it's a bit of what I do in the real world, so it's something I'm pretty familiar with doing.

To tootle my own horn, I've recently been the subject of a big interview on New World Notes (thanks to my win in their Uncanny Valley contest), I was a guest on Tonight Live with Paisley Beebe, and I am part of a group art show in the popular Cannery Rezzable sim. I also try to maintain a high profile in the Second Life Forums, the LiveJournal "second_lifers" group, flickr, and Snapzilla, attend Linden office hours, and keep up my "M2 4 Kids" page in the Metaverse Messenger newspaper. I would like to think all this has helped to make people think better of us kids, by using myself as an example.

The down side of this, however, is that many have only seen me. Their entire concept of kids is based around the idea that all kids are, well, a lot like me -- and we all know that isn't the case. There's at least one other gender out there, lots of other species, and about a hundred billion trillion different kinds of kids to be had.

The SLC officers, I know, are all very visible, and we have others amongst the overall SL kid world who have gained some visibility. Yet I encourage each of you, within our own comfort zones of course, to do your own part of being visible. Consider the following:

* The Second Life forums or other sites like SLUniverse or LiveJournal could always use other kids, especially because regular discussions of child avatars can and do come up. We're all valid members of Second Life, and all "belong." Speaking up and letting all them know you exist can help them see just what us kids are all bout

* Flickr and Snapzilla for photos, and YouTube for video, are great places to post a visiual record of who you are and what you do in Second Life. I personally have used a video from Camp HardKnock many times to show people just some of the things us kids are capable of, and it has helped people to recosider their feelings towards us. Ditto with my still photos. You can use most of these sites for free, and they also serve as good spots to store some of your inworld memories, too.

* Linden office hours. I regularly attend Torley Linden's office hours, and try to make the office hours of the governance team, but there's many others I'm not able to hit. Being seen at these meetins is no sure fire way to avoid some future changesin Linden policy, of course, but they do help to humanize us, and make kids something other than "that thing."

* Just be yourself. Being seen out and about, doing what you do, can be the most effective thing ever. Let people out there see that kids in SL are well, just being kids and having fun and all that.

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