Monday, July 26, 2021

Activision/Blizzard Sued By California, Charges of Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

 

Activision/Blizzard, the company behind some of the world's most popular games, is the target of a lawsuit filed by California. Filed by the state's Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the company is charged with having a "frat boy" culture in which not only are women paid less than men while working similar jobs and promoted less often, but are "subjected to constant sexual harassment."

The allegations are not limited to simple jokes, but include "unwanted sexual advances," being groped at "cube crawls" in which men drink plenty of alcohol then "crawl" their way around cubicles where women work, and more. Activision/Blizzard is described as not investigating the numerous complaints made by women employees, and those who complained were sometimes retaliated against, including being subject to layoffs. The lawsuit also describes, "In a particularly tragic example, a female employee committed suicide during a business trip with a male" who brought sex toys with him.

Activision/Blizzard has denied the allegations, a spokesman issued a statement saying the filing contains "distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzard's past." He would go on to say, "Over the past several years and continuing since the initial investigation started, we've made significant changes to address company culture and reflect more diversity within our leadership teams." Blizzard's President sent an email to employees saying he would be meeting with a number of them about the "extremely troubling" charges. Activision's President stated "there is zero tolerance for this sort of behavior." But over twenty Blizzard employees have spoken out against this response, including one lead game designer, "The statements made by [Activision Blizzard] do not represent us. We believe women, and we will continue to strive to do better and hold others accountable. Actions speak louder than words."

Players themselves have responded with actions such as in-game protests in support of the women involved. It is not yet known how many are canceling subscriptions in response to news of the lawsuit.

Sources: PC Gamer, Yahoo News, Aboutlaw.com

Bixyl Shuftan
 

 

Free Lindens At The Fallout Shelter

 


For those dropping by the Fallout Shelter on Sundays, something new has been added. This weekend, Rebel Wolf announced a raffle that would give a prize to a random winner, if they were part of the sim group or not.

The Insane Wolf is trying something new..He has a raffle gas pump in the Fallout Factory ( dance hall) In theory anyone can click on to enter, and win $200 on Sunday night. Non group members can even enter right now. The prize may increase if there is any interest. But I'm very cheap. Sue Me. Come one come all. Bring your alts! It should work..maybe...hopefully...

Rebel Wolf would tell me, "If there is any interest by the draw Sunday night at or after dance, I may increase the prize to 1000 a  week, group members only, but for now its open to all. ... Don't gotta be here to win. ... If it gets a lotof interest, it stays, and robs me blind with a increase in Lindens to give away. So! Donate to the Deadlands donation barrell, so I can give it away."

The Deadlands is in Paradise Kingdom (87/37/22) (follow the road).

Bixyl Shuftan
 

Weekend in Brief

 


A number of events happened in Second Life this past weekend. Raglan Shire had their Wootstock music event (above) from Friday to Sunday. The Burnstock took place in Burning Man - Deep Hole also from Friday to Saturday. The six clubs of the FCA held their "Christmas in July" club crawl on Saturday in the Sunweaver community. Sunday at the Veterans Isle sim, they held their Homes For Our Troops fundraising concert. 

More on these events later.
 

Do You Have A Story?

 

 
Have you seen a particularly well-detailed sim? Went to a great event? Found yourself in a hilarious "only in SL" predicament? We're very interested in what you the readers have to say. And on occasion, Second Life Newser will print an article or picture submitted to us by one of you, the readers. Send us a story or funny picture, and if we like it, we'll post it as a Reader Submitted. For pictures, jpg format is preferred.

Mail submissions to bixylshuftan(at)gmail.com.

PLEASE include your SL user name and tell us if you wish it to appear with your story.

SL-Newser reserves the right to post in the appropriate section and to investigate any names used in submitted stories (please ask permission before using anyones name or picture or use an alias for them).
  

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Cartoon of The Day: Flying Saucer

 


Taken at the Happy Vixen. So how would a flying saucer end up in the hands of a working class human? Well, I could think of a few possible explanations.
 
By Bixyl Shuftan
 

Announcement: This Week at the Seanchai Libraries

 

THIS WEEK: The Philadelphia Story, more from Weigher, and promises kept in the wizarding world. Join us for stories presented LIVE in Second Life.

All events at Nowhereville (203/43/26) , unless otherwise noted.

Stories told in open voice unless otherwise noted. All times SL/PT

* * * * *

--------->> COMING THIS WEEK

**SUNDAY, July 25th ,  at 1:30pm: TEATIME at The Movies:"The Philadelphia Story."  Join Corwyn Allen, Gloriana Maertens, Caledonia Skytower, Da5id  Abbott, Kayden Oconnell & Elrik Merlin for a backyard festival of radio drama versions of some of the finest and well beloved films of the golden age of 20th C cinema. Popcorn provided.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Nowhereville/204/44/2603


**MONDAY, July 26th ,  at 7pm: Eric Vinicoff & Marcia Martin's WEIGHER continues with Gyro Muggins.
    

**TUESDAY,  July 27th at 7pm: HOGWARTS: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide continues with Caledonia, live on stream. (Cale got a little distracted by the Mirror of Eridsed last week, so this week she will deliver the backstories of many of the Hogwarts faculty, as previously promised)
   

**WEDNESDAY, July 28th at 7pm: DEFENSE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS Greatest Hits. From Gilderoy  Lockheart to Madeye Moody, and sommat in between with Caledonia, live on stream.    


**THURSDAY, July 29th,

   ~ at 7pm: WE CONTINUE from "The Book of Dragons."  Finn Zeddmore takes the story floor with this tale by Ann Leckie and Rachel Swirsky

   ~ at 9pm: SEANCHAI LATE NIGHT.  Finn continues with late night contemporary sci-fi-fantasy from online sources such as Espace Pod, Light Speed, and Clarkesworld.

   
**FRIDAY, July 30th at 2:30pm: Terry Pratchett's UNSEEN ACADEMICALS continues with Caledonia Skytower at the Seanchai lanai-firecircle (90 minutes).


***


Saturday, July 24, 2021

Burnstock

 


Imagine ! Burn2 had that wonderful Conception event two weekends ago and here we have another weekend of fun on the playa coming up! 

Burn2 Burnstock
Burnstock is an annual fundraiser which will take place this year over the weekend of July 23-25, 2021. All funds received go toward the purchase of additional sims for our annual "Octoburn" event, where we "echo" the traditional look and feel of Burning Man in Black Rock City.



I took a horse ride around the playa to see that it is set up for lots of dusty open space for motorcycle rides and you can rezz your bike . The gas station looks prepared for business.


There will be dj’s and live shows, and a Bike parade is planned. Check out the calendar for times here. https://www.burn2.org/event-calendar/ . The opening is at 6pm SL time and it extends through Saturday and Sunday until midnight Sunday .


I checked the gift area and there are still tables full of gifts to pick up in case you missed them at the past event. It is located to the right of the road before the entrance to the playa.
The motorcycle club parade is at 2 pm SL time on Sunday. I hope I can make it. 

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Burning%20Man-%20Deep%20Hole/206/34/25

Gemma Cleanslate
 

SL Video: "Uncover"

 


(Click here if the video does not play)

By Furrex on Oct 2019, "Song: Zara Larsson - Uncover (DJ V1t & DJ Johnny Clash Remix)"
 

Friday, July 23, 2021

Game Review: Wasteland Survival

 
As busy as I am with the paper, I do take a little time for games. One that got my attention recently was "Wasteland Survival" on Steam. As the title suggests, the objective is to try to survive in a land laid waste to by disaster. With a dog as your companion, you scavenge for resources while fighting off zombies, animals, and the occasional NPC survivor. The price of the game: Free. So is the game worth playing?

Read the review in Other Grids, MMOs, and Games.
 

A Visit to Inspire Space Park

 


This week, I decided to drop by Inspire Space Park. It's considered a "must-see" area as it's a visual treat with it's sights of what could best be described as a cosmic dream with it's asteroids, planets and stars orbiting all around the planetoid and rocks you're on. It's not a new area, but has been around since 2008. But thirteen years later, the place still looks dazzling. 

We wrote about the place a decade ago. And we wrote about one of the many events there a few years ago. But it's best to see such a place in-avatar. Head on over along or with a friend and just admire things from the platform or hop on a poseball and just drift away in the stellar skies of imagination.
 
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Shinda/33/223/1560

Bixyl Shuftan
 

Press Release: HFOT July Benefit

 


Frets Nirvana and US Military Veterans Group announce 2021’s July benefit for Homes For Our Troops in Second Life for July 25, 2021!  

Frets Nirvana, longtime supporter and contact for Homes For Our Troops in Second Life in conjunction with the US Military Veterans Group, announces the 2021 July benefit for the Veterans Support Organization Home For Our Troops at Veteran’s Isle .  

Frets Nirvana states:  “HFOT is a privately funded 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization building specially adapted, mortgage-free homes nationwide for the most severely injured Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of these Veterans are multiple amputees, paraplegic, quadriplegic or suffered severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Since its inception in 2004, over 90 cents of every dollar spent by Homes for Our Troop has gone to directly support Veterans. DURING THAT TIME HFOT HAS BUILT 313 SPECIALLY ADAPTED HOMES NATIONWIDE FOR EXTREMELY INJURED VETERANS.”

In 2020 the community in Second Life sent  $15,750 to Homes For Our Troops, thanks to many kind hearts and great Second Life performers. THIS PUT SECOND LIFE’S DONATIONS EFFORTS IN THE TOP TEN OF HOME FOR OUR TROOPS DONORS IN 2020!  

23 Veterans and their families received the keys to their forever homes in 2021 and the donations received in Second Life were part of that effort.  Currently HFOT has 62 projects underway for extremely wounded veterans.

Home for Our Troops benefit concerts feature premier Second Life talent monthly at Veteran’s Isle.  The July 25 concert for 2021 is scheduled from 4PM to 9PM PST.  Featured artists will be DJ Waya Snowpaw, BGSinger, Varda Silver,  Naughty and RickyliveMusic.

Sponsored by Frets Nirvana and the U.S. Military Veteran’s Group of Second Life.  To learn more about Homes for Our Troops visit https://www.hfotusa.org.
 

Announcement: This Saturday at The Science Circle - "Follow The Food" Part 3

 

"Follow The Food"

Saturday July 24

7 to 8AM SL time 

Organized by Stephen Gastor, Cotreva Scientist

In the Auditorium

For more information, Click Here

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/The%20Science%20Circle/67/129/32

 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Cartoon of The Day: Alt at The Meeting

 


Taken at an FCA Meeting. ScratchMusikatt Fox sent his alt to a meeting, then sent his main over. It made for a rather amusing situation, as well as my imagination coming up with possible explanations.
 

By Bixyl Shuftan

 

Announcement: Vote For The 2022 Relay Season Theme

 

It is time to vote for our 2022 Relay For Life Theme!

We asked for suggestions the last 2 years and this year we are using some of the ones that were previously submitted.

There were plenty of good ones to choose from:

1     Heroes of Hope (Superheroes, first responders, personal heroes, great people in history, survivors, etc.)

2     Lights, Camera, Hope (movies/series/hollywood)

3    Hope Floats (oceans, rivers, swamps, rain, waterfalls, bridges, ice, water, etc.)

4    Decades of Hope (1920s, 30s, 40s, etc.)

5    Toon Out Cancer (cartoons, animation, etc.)

Here is the link to vote!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdiz3LTuaUzpqS1xP5o82Y_L1cks-qSQYjBnbtx9Z4duZEs6w/viewform
 

Announcement: FCA Club Crawl

 


Furry Club Alliance Club Crawl

Featuring six clubs

Saturday, July 24th
Theme: Christmas in July

12 -2 pm - Club Zero Gravity

DJ: Lexi
Host/ess: Nikki

Sunweaver Space (129, 249, 3597)

2 - 4 pm - Bouncing Bunny Beach Club

DJ: Snowy
Host/ess: Kylee

SunWaterThree (75/56/25)

4 - 6 pm - The Happy Vixen

DJ: Mattie
Host/ess: Nikki

Purrfection Estates (236, 219, 24)

6 - 8 pm - Club Cutlass

DJ: Geerkil
Host/ess: Jenni

Sunweaver Bay (114/117/757)

8 - 10 pm - Xanadu

DJ: Jessie
Host/ess: Perri

HV Community (67/207/4051)
 

10 - 12 pm - Club Balance

DJ: Maliit
Host/ess: Brandi

Liwei (113/23/53)
 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

VWBPE Announces Delightful Doowangle (Barbara Truman) Has Died

Barbara Truman, 1962-2021

It is with great sadness we inform our community that one of our own Thinkerer Award recipients, Dr. Barbara Truman (sl: Delightful Doowangle), has passed.

Barbara was a campus activist who became a virtual world champion. She dreamt of being a virtual world architect to create the future while empowering others to do the same, especially for accelerating and incubating R&D to improve quality of life.

Barbara had over 20 years of experience in US higher education as an educator, scholar, administrator, and researcher. 

In these roles, she participated in national and state associations, presented on critical educational topics, and published articles related to teaching and learning with mediated technology.

Barbara’s doctoral research, conducted in virtual worlds, explored why vesting in immersive, virtual communities using embodied avatars matters.

Since February 24, 2006, Barbara was active as an advocate and connectivist who built bridges for virtual world communities and championed learning in virtual worlds.

She donated her time to over a dozen virtual world groups, organizations, and conferences to strengthen virtual world education.

Her doctoral research, exploring why vesting in virtual communities matters, anchored her transdisciplinarity research with the MIT Presencing Institute, advancing our understanding of embodiment as virtual physioception and virtual-intersubjective presencing.

Barbara received the Thinkerer Award in 2019 for her outstanding dedication and leadership in education. We are so fortunate to have been able to recognize her and her efforts.

If you would like to offer a tribute in memory of Barbara or send condolences to the family you can follow this link https://www.acommunityfuneralhome.com/obi.../Barbara-Truman/

From VWBPE Facebook Page 
 

New Welcome Island For Starting Residents

 
For some newcomers to Second Life, their first steps will be at a new place inworld. There's a new entry place for those starting out: Welcome Island.

Hearing that new accounts were already entering Second Life through the new place, I created a new alt to take a look. The new sign-up process doesn't offer a choice of appearances. Every male logs in as the same brown-haired human with facial hair, jeans, an open shirt, and carrying a radio. Women were logging in wearing red dresses with white blouses and carrying pocketbooks. A "Welcome Island Guidebook" opened up, providing instructions on how to move around (on the Linden Viewer that new accounts are asked to use, one can walk about using the WASD keys).

There were a few areas to be used as one went through the Guidebook, for practicing sitting, introducing newcomers to the ability to change appearances with the various starter avatars (aside from a couple fierce-looking werewolves, the only alternatives to human were a few vampires and elven avatars), and getting attachments and wearing and detaching them. Overall, it looked like a park area, with plenty of greenery and plenty of places to sit, with some water.

Not everyone there is a newcomer. I was messaged by someone almost right away welcoming me and asking if I needed help. So it looks like volunteers are there at times to help out those who are new. I was also invited to a group, "The Newbie Mafia," then cautioned about accepting any more invites.

Near the end, the Guidebook brought up the Destinations Guide and the Events page, encouraging people to explore the wider virtual world, with a nod to the Guide's "Newcomer Friendly" section. It also invited people to check out blogs about Second Life. My new alt's first journey ended at New Citizens Incorporated, though someone could have easily checked out London City if they didn't mind the crowd there.

Not everyone appears on the New Welcome Island. I ended up creating two alts as the first I made appeared on the same Learning Island I did four years earlier. So the Lab hasn't replaced the previous newcomer places, at least not yet.

Comparing Welcome Island to the two-sim Learning and Social Islands, the new experience is faster and quicker. There's nothing on how to jump or fly, no introduction to building, no instructional videos, none of Social Island's games that made learning a little more entertaining. At least there wouldn't be if it wasn't for the helpers who were at Welcome Island. 

This new area seems more dependent on volunteers, and perhaps people at newcomer-friendly areas the new residents would see, to answer questions. But there's no comparison to Destination Island of 2012 that offered very little instructions and newcomers could very well end up in a place that threw them out for being too young, and the new resident experience introduced in 2013 that was apparently so bad the Lindens discarded it in a few months. The Learning and Social Islands came about in September 2013, and have been around for almost a decade with one change in 2017.

While Welcome Island is closed to all but brand new accounts and volunteers, there is a Welcome Back Island anyone can visit to check out what the place is like.

Hat Tip: Daniel Voyager

Source: Uccie Poultry

Bixyl Shuftan
 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Apollo 11 Anniversary

 


It was 52 years ago, July 20 1969, that humans first set foot on the Moon. The Eagle lander from Apollo 11 touched down on the Lunar surface. In Second Life, there are a few reminders of those days. One is the Saturn V rocket at Spaceport Bravo (57/57/38).
 

There was also a display of the Eagle at National Space Society (50/100/3674). 

In the past, there were other exhibits, such as the Saturn V rocket that took off every half hour, taking with it anyone in the crew capsule. And today there was space news as Jeff Bezos took off in the rocket his space company made, which was a leap for private manned space programs.

Happy Moon Landing day

Bixyl Shuftan
 

Events This Week at the Sunweaver and Montecito Bay Clubs, The Fallout Shelter, and Furry Fashion Lounge

 

Here's what's going on at the Sunweaver and Montecito Bay clubs, The Fallout Shelter, and the Furry Fashion Lounge.

Club Cutlass: Best in B, B&W Night, Xmas in July

Happy Vixen: Summer Colors, Cute and Sexy, Bunnies and Feathers, Naked, Club Attire, Christmas in July, TBA, Wolves and Coyotes, Night Life

Club Zero Gravity: TBA

Bouncing Bunny Beach Club: Country, Christmas in July, Foxes and Mice

Xanadu: DJ Christine, DJ Jesse

Montecito Bay:  CAYA, After Dark

Furry Fashion Lounge: Wings, Sci-fi, Retro, Leather and Lace, Felines, Late Night, Fantasy, TBA

Deathlands Fallout Shelter:  DJ Wolfy, DJ Shapes

Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'.
 

Safe Waters Foundation Meeting


This weekend, I dropped by a meeting of the Safe Waters Foundation. This is a group promoting merfolk and other residents who prefer aquatic avatars, and their communities. They also promote underwater exploration and well-designed underwater areas, as well as real-life ocean conservation. They have a meeting every Saturday at 10AM to discuss matters. 

There were a number of mermaids and mermen there of various appearances, talking about various projects. One was the TCS, "its a craft/trade/rp system that allows you to trade goods with other mers or landers. You can harvest and create things." Something else that got my attention was one little tiny merkitty in a big hat almost as large as the avatar. 

Thankfully no dogfish to chase her around.

Union Passage (93/240/2)
 
Bixyl Shuftan