I really didn't want to use this. Last time I checked there were two levels of resources for free and pay, and the archive module had no linebreaks after date ranges, generating a growing mass of characters almost impossible to navigate. Looking at the Blogroll list on the right, I see they still haven't gotten their act together. I've gotten lazy on MySpace, where I could just make another album of pics for a milestone event or topic tied to a blog entry. I'll have to find a place that allows hotlinking and easy guest access to albums. I already know the best, but I'm too lazy and don't want to have to log in and out all the time there. I do that already with so many other places.
Okay, so how did I end up in Second Life?
I was born in New Orleans a first generation American. We moved to Chicago and stayed for three years before moving to NYC. Majored in Advertising Art and Cartooning & Animation in High School of Art & Design.
Other than two years in Cal Arts to study character animation in their Disney program, I've lived in Queens NY since ten. I can certainly namedrop and make you ooh and ahh over who I went with when I did, but I don't depend on acquaintances and contemporaries from my time there to define me.
Animation, Advertising and graphics, comics... I had jobs and I've been published officially under two names (one for the adult stuff), but just like show business, you have to be that minute fraction to live comfortably at it. For 20+ years I've done customer support of some sort or another as a day job, allowing myself to enjoy art and creativity during my downtime, occasionally taking a freelance assignment.
Wait I'm Getting to It...
The Internet in 1995 - following a persona change in 2000 and swearing off Trek simming forever, I decided to continue as an homage to the Holographic Doctor from Star Trek Voyager. An event in 2002 changed everything: a Creation Convention in Las Vegas hosted with simulcasts in a virtual 3D environment online. Vir-Con, which was created in VRML and utilized Blaxxun Contact browser plug-in for shared event and interactive chat, was definitely the future. From there I found Cybertown, an entire city of chat environments structured with a hierarchy, where members worked like busy little bees to maintain designated areas, make fake money, and buy fake stuff in their fake mall. It was there I started making 3D stuff, offering my creations there and other Blaxxun communities around the web. Eventually I was able to get a couple of my worlds added to their Suburbs for posterity. Another activity, one which I probably enjoyed the most there, was hosting trivia contests. My friends and I became an independent group called Team Trivia, hosting in two communities (we tried a couple in iCity but it was a bit awkward).
Sometime in 2005, two years after CT became a subscription site, the threshold of tolerance for those in charge who were oblivious to the pay factor hit its limit. An entire colony was overhauled without checking with the neighborhood staff or residents, thus alienating users and driving them to Second Life by word of mouth from many who had already joined in 2004. This occurred in waves as paid subscribers were dissed repeatedly and those responsible cost Cybertown's owners a ton of money in lost revenue. "You should come to Second Life. I miss your art and your pools," someone said. At the time I was curious and wanted to check SL out, but with Win98 I was not eligible.
Here it is...
In January 2006 I tried for about fifteen minutes from my office PC but wasn't impressed. I'm not sure why the maneuvering was difficult at the time, but I found navigating the landing area of Orientation Island very unwieldy. It could have been the office firewall. That's how come my alt Doc Chowderhead has such a great name - they still had great choices.
Oops, False Alarm
Two months later, after having been duped into resubscribing for Cybertown an additional year while waiting for some projects to be approved by procrastinators, my friends and I said good riddance to them (and all the stuff I amassed over the course of 3-1/2 years) and joined Disney's Toontown Online. It's been very satisfying to drop anvils and pianos on corporate stereotypes in a place where other players couldn't rip you off (you can't sell there, only buy gifts). And the animations are just great. For a cartoonist, what better place is there?
Here it Is (really)...
As much as I enjoy Toontown, I've missed creating. I hadnt really much reason to since my departure from CT and other Blaxxun communities. When I upgraded to a new computer this year, within the week I joined Second Life in earnest. Or I tried to.
I was pretty disappointed with the selection of surnames. Yes, I could have selected Zimmermann and tried to effect Doc's fan-chosen name Mark Zimmerman (many hardcore doc came up with that independently) with creative spelling, but it was decided with my online buddy (Seven/Blaxxun aka Abby/Toontown) that we'd register together with the same surname. We didn't want anything too Aryan, which seemed the bulk of selections whenever we checked. Then we noticed Henhouse. We monitored a special site for two weeks until we were both able to be on at the same time and register. The special site would give us the gateway page which offered Henhouse on a site we could read (most of the time it appeared on Chinese and Japanese gateways) but each time we were told it was no longer available.
We were really psyched about having chicken names, so we settled for Plan B via CSI's sign up page. Thus Holocluck Henly was born.
It's been over three months. Maybe by now I'm in Second Life for four? I still feel new. There's so much to learn despite all I have. So many old friends from CT and Blaxxun are very established here, so I have a long way to go. But this is a milestone week with two shops no longer "Coming Soon." Tomorrow is show and tell in Lummerland (follow the Flo Votes blog link for more on this weekly event), and I'll be doing a presentation while at my parents' home. It's so nice that Dad upgraded this year too.
So here I am as Holocluck Henly. Or Doc Chowderhead. Or Snurky Snoodle. The alts are for testing stuff and are not as likely to give superficial acquaintances the time of day - just a head's up about that. If you actively play Toontown Online and have a MySpace login, drop me a line in SL. I have some more links to add here for sure - including to my SLX page and homes - and much to write about and show you after exploring the grid for over three months, but I wanted to get the long-winded life story out and about.
See you again soon!