Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: games

FURALITY: Fandom founder Sy Sable looks at the virtual convention with 15,000 furries.

by Dogpatch Press Staff

F.Y.N.N. The Hologram Fox – Furality mascot by @Spainimation

1980’s furry fans first gathered with room parties at science fiction conventions, until Sylys Sable helped co-found the first convention for furries in 1989. Sy was there from the birth of a worldwide subculture to a new kind of experience with virtual furry conventions today. These offer many of the features of live cons, while accommodating more members across geographic and social isolation. The premiere virtual con, Furality, started in 2020 and soon beat the live furry con attendance record. Sy is the guy to tell us why!

Editor note: Sy submitted his story after the latest Furality event in June 2022, but it was delayed. Since then, a situation with VR as a community (of several platforms) could use explaining. In late July, VRchat implemented a security update that seriously upset their users, causing massive backlash and review-bombing. A statement from the company addressed the situation: cheating and Griefing by malicious users was out of control, and their solution was removal of game modding. But many good-faith users depended on mods, including for accessibility (like for disabilities) and felt their creative work was sabotaged by the update.  

Meanwhile, furries talked about jumping ship to other platforms. A friend of Sy (another old school furry fan and VR user) said that Second Life isn’t officially supporting VR, NeosVR is having a tragic fall from “crypto BS” (a feud between owners, would-be investor control and creators), and ChilloutVR is in “very early days… They are in that scrambling to scale stage.” This makes a cloudy future, but Sy’s story highlights what stands out as the best of the community. 

Furality in the eyes of Sylys Sable.

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History of Furcadia, the Guinness Record-winning furry MMO, and Q&A with co-creator Dr. Cat 

by Patch O'Furr

In the early days of the internet, on dialup BBS’s and the pre-smartphone web, many fans knew they were furry before it had a name. When they logged on to find each other, a home PC became a fantasy portal for instant chatting with other talking animals. It was thrilling because who wants to play a regular human? Some haters treated them as the black sheep of nerds, but looking back, they were the first wave of a major force in the culture.

In the late 1980’s and 90’s, MMOs/MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) popularized internet communities for fun. MMO’s were an evolution with graphics added to text-based MUDs (Multi User Dungeons) and MUCKs; starting in the 1970s, these were often accessed through universities. Some let users build their world, and were significant to early organized furry fandom, like FurryMUCK (1990), Tapestries MUCK (1991), FurToonia (1994), Sociopolitical Ramifications (1994) or TigerMUCK (1994). Eventually World of Warcraft grew to dominate MMO’s with millions of users.

The furry MMO Furcadia was at the front.

Furcadia facts:

  • It was founded in 1996 by Dr. Cat (Felorin) and Talzhemir, with many other contributors.
  • In its heyday, it was called the largest online furry community (- wikifur) with tens of thousands of users. It was also one of the first freemium online games.
  • Dr. Cat (below): “In the 1990s, I feel like I was one of the first people to move, along with the rest of the fledgling new online games and MMO segment of the industry, from a vision of ‘Games as a Product’ to ‘Games as a Service’… Furcadia started out as one of the very first significant scale user created content games in the industry.”
  • A 2003 Gamespy article reviewed its part in indie game development, and placing as an award finalist at the Independent Games Festival.
  • In 2010, it earned a Guinness World Record for being the longest-running social MMO.
  • In 2012, Furcadia raised $106,835 in crowdfunding to develop a full-game overhaul called “Second Dreaming”.
  • Weird: years before My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic existed, Furcadia had an MLP environment that had Nazi Ponies vs. a Resistance, to fan regret.

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Ironclaw: The Book of Monsters, by Tempe O’Kun and Ursula Vernon – Review by Sha

by Pup Matthias

Welcome to Sha of Red Furros — the Spanish language furry news site out of Mexico City, founded in 2009. Some articles will be translated for other readers to enjoy, with light editing to make it smoother. – Patch

Here’s an addition to our articles about Ironclaw, the anthropomorphic role-playing game in it’s 20th anniversary. Recently, Ironclaw’s “The Book of Monsters” was presented at Anthrocon. It’s a bestiary for the base game.

This book originally began its Kickstarter on Aug 21th, 2018 where it quickly reached its funding goal.

It’s a collaboration between Tempe O’Kun (Windfall, Sixes Wild) as the writer, and Ursula Vernon (Digger, Dragonbreath series) for illustrations.

For Sanguine Games Book Of Monsters, Tempo and Ursula reimagine the world of Ironclaw with the premise that in a world where animals can talk and form societies, why wouldn’t plants be able to walk and hunt?

Imagine a tree that can walk and transform into any other character, or fungi that attacks using toxic mist. These imaginative scenarios can make for very funny situations (like being chased by a maniacal, murderous onion), to very creepy ones with a tree-clone of a recently-deceased loved one following you around.

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Second Life’s philosophy of genuine expression for Furries.

by Patch O'Furr

Announcement – until March 31, vote for the Ursa Major Awards to support the best works of furry fandom!

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.

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Vote for the 2018 Ursa Major Awards to support the best works of furry fandom.

by Patch O'Furr

Go here to vote for the 2018 Ursa Major Awards. The deadline is March 31.

Before nominees were chosen, the 2018 Recommended Anthropomorphics List made a much longer collection of suggested works. It’s useful as a guide for those looking for new furry stuff (and those interested in the recently added fursuit category may want to see the special requirements there.)

Please share this announcement, and help raise attention for the furry fandom equivalent of the Hugo awards for science fiction. They’re chosen by fans, not committee. Volunteers do the hard work of publicizing, organizing, counting votes, and mailing out engraved awards. These volunteers are the Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association (ALAA), a membership organization dedicated to promoting works that furries love. They welcome suggestions for how to expand this effort.

The ALAA is supported by donations via PayPal (paypal@ursamajorawards.org) with 100% of the money going towards cost of the awards. Please consider donating.

The ALAA has done this for many years with only very modest help, and previously had stories here about lacking resources. One of the founders, Fred Patten, has recently passed away. In March 2018, member Bernard Doove commented:

The ALAA has needed volunteers for years, but we have lost members rather than gained, and we are all doing as much as possible to keep the Ursa Major Awards running. I’ll be donating money from my personal funds once again for the 2017 Award trophies, and I will be flying up to Queensland where the awards ceremony will be held at FurDU this year in order to run the event. The cost of that comes out of my own pocket too. I’m willing to do my bit for the cause, but we desperately need more people with the skills required to improve it.

Check out the UMA tag to learn more about them. Here’s the nominees for 13 categories. Winners will be announced on May 23–26 at AnthrOhio 2019.

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Representing furries in 2018: Good news on CNN, Sonicfox, and a tiger on Jeopardy. (Part 1)

by Patch O'Furr

In 2018, fandom had so much going on that this needs two parts. Part 1 has the media, and Part 2 is for conventions, charity, art, celebrities, awards, spending, and more. 

Pic: Cecil Shepherd (center) with Mr. Disko and Patch

Ever been on an aircraft carrier? The USS Hornet, in Alameda CA, is docked across the bay from San Francisco. It’s a fearsome wedge of rust-flecked metal bigger than most city blocks, and bristling with guns, planes and artifacts from WWII to the Apollo Space Program. Now it’s a national historic landmark and museum, but if you walk down the cavernous hangar deck and look at photos of Pearl Harbor in flames, it almost tingles with the smells and sounds of a global struggle against the evil of fascism. It made me think of my grandpa in the South Pacific, taking islands from Japan. It could make the world’s biggest hippie feel a sense of pride and humbleness from the history there.

Look ahead a few months, when this ship will be full of furry animals throwing a rave. That’s the cutting edge of turning swords into plowshares!

The second Space Camp Party is coming. On 12/9/18 it started with a photoshoot on the ship that drew a whopping 130 fursuiters just for a pre-planning meet. Previously in March 2018, over 500 went to the first party at Faction Brewing (a converted aircraft hanger on the same navy base). From early demand, the followup is likely to reach the size of a single-day con.

While I was doing silly poses in my rat suit against a giant ship anchor (does Bad Dragon make one of those?) – I thought of furries taking over the ship and conquering the nation. Next, the world. Then the blue skies above, and then the moon.

2018 is an intense year with many furry news stories topping ones that just happened. It’s too much to easily keep up with, and Fred Patten’s death affects publishing here, but on the plus side, I’m now paying for articles. Get in touch about submitting your story. And check out how much cool furry stuff there is to share.

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Sonicfox Just Won Best Esports Player – and the Future of Furry is Bright – by Tempe O’Kun

by Pup Matthias

Welcome to Tempe O’Kun, author of Paranormal Furry Romanceanthropomorphic-animal Westerns, and a frequent guest of the site.

You might not be into pro gaming. Maybe your interest in gaming is limited to what you play yourself and the occasional piece of fan art. That’s cool.

But let me tell you why you should care.

  • Furries are visible.

You might not have noticed, but we’re rainbow animal-people. Midwest Fur Fest just passed 10,000 in attendance, a world record for furry cons. In some ways, the fandom will always be our weird little club, but we’re not some unknown niche anymore. Not when one of us breaks into the trending topics on Twitter.

So somebody is going to be the face of the fandom—or rather, various people are at different times. And we’re lucky that our two recent high-profile furries (SonicFox at the Game Awards and Bucktown Tiger on Jeopardy) have been really upstanding guys.

And it’s not just a public persona. As it happens, I talked to SonicFox at MFF last weekend. I ducked away from my book launch for a few minutes to say hey. And, even in suit, he made a little time to stop and chat with me. Just as you see in the video, he comes off as a sweet and sincere person. He’s absolutely someone we want as a go-to example of a furry.

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LondonFurs Gaming presents: Furry Invasion on October 13.

by Patch O'Furr

@LondonFurs are a large community of creative artists, costumers, and fans of anthropomorphised animals. “We host bi-annual seasonal events, too!”

If you’re anywhere near the UK, get ready for their Furry Invasion event at the Heart of Gaming, in Croydon, London. It’s an evening of tournaments, VR, arcade, and e-sports with prizes, and it’s sure to be the highlight of the LFG Online community.

“I’m super proud of the team involved in the set up and am really excited to be able to promote and support gamers in the furry community”, said Londonfurs chair Ani Boxer. The group has just bolstered its committee with new members. It’s currently run by 20 volunteers and is soon to have it’s 300th furmeet. Whatever game brings you to this meet, everyone’s a winner with dedication like that.

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Furry Awakenings

by Patch O'Furr

Where do furries come from? Here’s how ones who answered were zapped. Below: A picture is worth 1000 words. Classics & nostalgia (blame the 80’s!) Born This Way. Self Discovery and forbidden curiosity. A community or even family, and a fascinating hobby. – Patch

A picture is worth 1000 words

Classics & nostalgia

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Discover the best of furry fandom with the 2017 Ursa Major awards, and 2017 Cóyotl Awards.

by Patch O'Furr

Thank you for helping Dogpatch Press to win the Ursa Major Award for Best Magazine of 2017!

 

Ever have a hard time knowing where to start with furry media? Does the horizon get lost in the digital sands?

Look no further than the Ursa Major Awards.  That’s the Furry equivalent of science fiction fandom’s Hugo Awards, mystery fandom’s Anthony Awards, or horror fandom’s Bram Stoker Awards. The Hugos also have the Nebulas to  complement them – and Furry has the Coyotl Awards for literature, as voted by the Furry Writers’ Guild. That’s not all – furry literature will also soon have the first Leo Awards, to be announced at AC 2018. (What’s the difference? The Leos are fandom-specific and voted on by a panel of judges.) The Ursa and Coyotl winners were both announced this month, so they’re all listed below to encourage you to check out some cool stuff you might not have seen.

URSA MAJOR NEWS

The winners for 2017 were announced at a presentation ceremony at the Furry Down-Under 2018 convention in Surfer’s Paradise, Queensland, Australia, on Saturday May 5.  FurDu posted a video of the ceremony including a slide show created by Ed Otter:

There was a lot of talk about it here before they were announced. Fred Patten saw growth in activities like fursuiting competing for attention with fan media, while maybe the awards could use a boost for reach after lower voting this year than in the past. A lack of staffing and funding led to appeals for help, while Anthrocon began offering matching donation to support writers. For 2019, the Awards will be presented at AnthrOhio.

Here’s a few things that stood out about the winners:

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