- Posted May 18, 2008 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Stories from Second Life
Furries in Second Life
Second Life is pretty much divided into two groups, Furries (furries are animal avatars) and Human avatars. You do meet others, robots, insects and skeletons walking about, even ‘tinies' (very small avatars that only reach up to the average avatar's shin, although lots of the tinies are animals as well) whatever you want to be, you can be it in the virtual world.
Although I would say there are more human avs', there is definitely a large presence of furries in Second Life, as you tend to see them wherever you go. I have always loved to look at the detail furries give to their appearance. You can get some fantastic furry avs' wolves, foxes, cats, mice, rabbits and many more, in fact any animal that the owner fancies. One of the most popular animals are cats that are half cat and half human, these sophisticated creatures are called Nekos. I suppose the thing that fascinates me is the fact that some people prefer to be an animal than a human avatar, so I went out to ask some of them how they feel about being a furry.
I have known Lyssa Yost for quite a while and she always looks stunning with her wolf/Fox attire. She describes herself in her profile as a Folf, fox plus wolf, and she looks awesome. Lyssa told me that being a furry fits her personality, and besides, she says, who wants to look average!!!
I had heard that furries in particular suffer from griefers, human avs', or human avs' using another av dressed as a furry, who carry out attacks on an individual furry or invade the furries' islands. I spoke to some of the avatars at Luskwood, (a beautiful sim for furries where everyone is welcome). They told me that they do get griefer attacks there, although they are very well organised and eject and report the offenders. Kamatz Kuhr told me that Luskwood has several systems in place for such management. Even if the griefers are banned though, as Seathal Sawchuk pointed out, the griefers can always create another account and come back.
As you know griefing is widespread all over the Second Life Grid, so it's hard to say if these areas do get extra attention from people who want to cause trouble by griefing. I asked Lyssa why she thought these people grief against furries and she said that they don't understand it, or are afraid of furries. Another Luskwood furry, Tengu Yamabushi, told me ‘we don't dwell on them much... that just gives them what they want - attention. We warn/eject/ban/report them - often in less than 30 seconds.
Furry Kurzar Ninetails said ‘I was just harassed by people claiming to be SL police', not in Luskwood, but elsewhere on the grid. So harassment can come in many forms. I asked Lyssa if there is an overall feeling in Second Life that furries are treated as an underclass, getting almost racial or snobbery type abuse from certain human avatars. She said that was the case from some human avatars, she went on to say that most of the human avs' she knows are ok with it, but some people just can't accept furries.
I travelled to a place called Rocket City another nice friendly sim for furries and met furries Lost Oddfellow and Maxis Neely and I asked them if lots of people liked being animals, Maxis said ‘very much so' and Lost agreed saying he ‘loved it'. Lost is also in a wheelchair in the virtual world, quite an unusal sight in any world, a dog in a wheelchair, but he looked very elegant and he and Maxis made me very welcome.
I asked about the fun things that make people want to be furries, Lyssa said that being a furry is amusing all in its own rights and that she enjoyed having a tail, as well as the feeling of being her own person. She loves talking to people and having a good time. Luskwood also holds many events, for instance, they have live music from musicians like Frogg Marlowe and Jaycatt Nico, so there is quite a social side to being a furry in Second Life.
I have met quite a few furries in my first year in Second Life and must admit that I haven't met many that wish to cause trouble, you do get a few, but then in all groups you get some bad apples. I have always been made very welcome when I have gone to places like Luskwood and find there seems to be a camaraderie amongst them that human avatars don't seem to have. There is room in Second Life for all groups to live side by side and intermingle with each other, may the furries continue to enjoy all that the virtual world has to offer.