Second Life’s philosophy of genuine expression for Furries.
by Patch O'Furr
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Luca is a long time Second Life user who recently sniffed her way to my inbox with a news tip: many furries in that world want to show this one what they’re all about. (I noticed that she’s pretty good at this – having appeared on Vice’s Motherboard with a video about the huge size of the world. It tells me that while it may not be as big as it was a while ago, it’s still very active.)
Luca believes that Second Life’s philosophy of Virtual Existentialism / Embodiment allows furries to genuinely, fully express who they are without physical limits. So she made a video to promote their wish to transcend the inner self on the virtual plane of existence.
The video invited me to learn more. I went to her friend’s apartment roof garden to meet her: a friendly fox lady in a white and red dress, with puffy shoulder-length hair and light blue eyes.
First I asked, what’s the coolest thing about Second Life that might catch an outsider’s notice?
“The coolest thing is how there are so many furries spread across the whole Second Life Grid (which numbers in ~24,000 regions), living and co-existing with so many non-furries who are just accepting about us!”
What’s most appealing about it personally?
“Other than for self-expression, the technically limitless customization of the users’ avatars. You can have an OC of ANY kind, and there’s a good chance that you can create that on Second Life either using existing components, commissioning other people to make it for you, or make it yourself. You can create from scratch, mod existing bodies, heads, textures, scripts, sub-components, and more to fit what you need.”
Why is it good for other furries as a community, business or hobby? How about user data?
“Since you mentioned businesses, the top furry creators on SL make TONS of money on Second Life (a creator I know made about $5k a month the last time she told me about her income), and I have many creative friends who make smaller but still substantial money from 3D or art commissions, or other services for other furries and non-furries. They come from many age demographics on SL, but most that I know are between 18-30, with occasional 16-17 and some older furries in their 30s, 40s and 50s. Most are from the US but it won’t be so weird to meet furries from other countries.”
Is there a brief list of furry communities and their history?
“Currently some of the big ones (and SFW to list) are Another Furry Sandbox, Dascoyote, Aldora, and Pixel Hills. Luskwood is also big but not too active and the furries who do hang on Luskwood are generally older too which is cool to see! I would list even more but there are simply too many, every big community that I listed is kind of a big deal for every furry on SL, there’s none that’s seen as more important than the others.”
Any predictions for it?
“By looking at how the furry community has been progressing over the years and the overall SL community, I would say quality of furry-related items would be much better and there would be more furry communities popping out because Linden Lab recently lowered land cost which allowed more people to own more land for cheaper.”
Can you think of an emotional story about genuine expression there – maybe meeting a friend, having help to get through a hard time, or just feeling super into that furry head space?
“Over the years I frequented a rather knit-tight furry community on Second Life whose staff are furs who don’t fit in with the majority of furs who come on Second Life (I’d rather not go into details). A few years ago they decided to band and live together in real life, which was pretty cool to see! And while stories like this about people or furs who met online are not that uncommon nowadays, it was personally a really heartfelt moment of joy for me to see friends whom I’ve known for years banding together for what they believe in. And two of my closest furry friends finally met in real life a few months ago and will marry soon! Moments like this are testaments to my and many other users’ belief that you see people for who they truly are inside – which is one of the reasons why I’m so vocal in my support of Second Life.”