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Friday, March 30, 2012

Spotlight on Avacar Bluestar, an Active Leader in the Gay Community. Lanai Jarrico Reporting...

Avacar Bluestar and Lanai Jarrico

It’s not too often I get to sit down with another Media CEO and share stories about what brought us to Second Life, let alone simultaneously conducting an interview with one another. Talk about an awkward first meeting set up by a friend...

We were both interested in interviewing the other but unsure who was doing the asking at the time. After breaking the awkward silence, we shared a mutual introduction. Avacar initiated the beginning of an interesting conversation by asking me questions about my history here in the virtual world. It turns out, his virtual world experience started much like my own. I quickly learned that we both have one starting point in common; The Sims Online. Avacar and I joked about making pizza as we sat in my office sharing our stories. He told me how he took over GWN operations when the founder suddenly passed away. At the time, Avacar was a leading writer that wanted to continue his friend’s vision. He shared his dedication and sacrifices and how some of it even created turmoil in his real life. Looking back I’m sure it was worth the effort, but it is now time for him to move forward to another media project. *gasps* Opps! Did I just let the cat out of the bag?

Lanai Jarrico

Interview With Avacar Bluestar

Lanai: Hi Avacar thank you for your time and patience. Im sure you can understand the chaos of deadlines. I wanted to begin this interview by giving readers an idea of who you are. How would you define your Avatar and how much do you both have in common?

Avacar: I’m not tall and built like Avacar. But most of his goals and charm come from RL me. He does get by with some more riskier things though that if I tried would probably get my face slapped.

Lanai: LOL, Right. It’s safe to say people take more risks in the virtual world. SL is the perfect place to free your inhibitions and explore things you may not or can’t in the real world. What I do in Second Life does affect the things I do in my real world. I have to have a schedule and treat this like a job, but it has been a tremendous learning tool that has helped me significantly through school. Do you consider Second Life to be a hobby or an extension of your real life?

Avacar Bluestar

Avacar: It is very much an extension of my real life. I find that I value my rezday more than my birthday.

Lanai: Omg Rezzdays ARE better! We can walk around all blinged out and treat ourselves to any of the amenities Second Life has to offer like renting a spacious ballroom, dj, inviting a crowd and fire cannons if you want to, all for about 5 bucks. The one thing I love about Second Life is being able to connect with people from across the country and around the world. Where are you from?

Avacar: Peach central in the heart of Georgia, USA.

Lanai: Rock on. I’m from the east coast too. Most people stumble upon Second Life because they saw or read about it somewhere, others are invited by someone they already know. What brought you to Second Life?

Avacar: SL for me started off as a way to see and do things along with a RL long-distance partner... we had tried a few other community games and chat worlds before but nothing clicked for us mutually as SL did then. I had tried SL once years before but hardware graphics issues made it impossible to navigate then.

Lanai: I agree, this is the perfect platform for spending time with people in long distance relationships. There are many who develop and nurture long distance relationships in this virtual world. About all the technical issues, I had the same problem when I started too.
I know I experienced drama and awkward beginnings in Second Life, so much so, I began calling it episodes to a never ending dramady. What kind of madness have you encountered in SL since you got here? How much of it inspires what you do today?

I was a member of the SL Chippendales group for 10 months of the 2011 calendar year. I saw plenty of drama in working that gig. The funnier part was watching my coworkers having costume rezzing issues and to them they appear all rezzed, but imagine your co-dancer coming out on stage with a tuxedo shirt and jacket on but no pants!

I have also seen a couple very-bright examples of ‘shooting star’ clubs - where owners spent all their time and creative energy getting their club popularity into the stratosphere but failed to engineer a soft landing during the inevitable decline. Hard crash landings hurt so many people, its no wonder the owners disappear before their ship hits bottom. Cirkuit Dreams anyone?

Lanai: So tell me, How did you get started with media in the virtual world and your current status as CEO of Gay World News?

Avacar: A few months after I began my game, I friended a user named Thom Nexen, whom I soon learned was involved in this organization I thought was just a new user mentoring group. At the time I was applying RL event organizing skills to SL for the purposes of promoting a single sim's merchants and entertainment options. With my success at doing that and meeting Thom, I offered to volunteer with his mentoring group. The 'mentoring' group turned out to be the Gay Archipelago and was so much more for the gay grid. Thom tapped my aptitude for promoting and together we worked on a GA-wide easter festival event. Now involved with GA, I came to know Fabrice as well. Fabrice's interest extended beyond festival and group expansion and included the very popular GA Blog. At our meetings he would ask if anyone was interested in doing some writing. I sheepishly raised my hand and he tested me with an interview assignment for one of the calendar spot winners of the 2011 GA Calendar. The rest is archived online..

Current status is on hiatus. I have taken leave in order to work on other projects.

Lanai: Ohhh Interesting. Well there goes a giant scoop of the unexpected! Please tell me more about this new project move of yours. I saw GWN as a great news resource for the gay community online. Second Life is a place that bridges the gap between the "real world" and the "virtual world". In what ways did GWN impact the readers and the SL community?

GWN was a great and fun thing to help build from the ground up. We were planting seeds, painting the walls, making everything look nice. We invited many to enjoy our home, put a little of their own furniture into it, use it as a meeting ground, and share its beauty. Then my superior in the project suddenly passed away in RL, and little by little, those he gave all the keys to saw opportunity to assert their restraints upon which I had subordinate limitations. I am currently in the process of making GWN my history and not my future as I execute my exit strategy. I received many kudos for helping people share their stories, histories, joys, and downfalls. As I transition to future projects already started, I wish GWN continued luck in carrying out its mission.

Lanai: That’s a positive way to move on to something new. It sounds like you left your mark on GWN and I wish you the best with your project. Since we live in the real world and people basically carry over their RL feelings and sometimes ignorance to SL, have you encountered much hostility here? How do you deal with that?

Avacar: I am currently dealing with a dose described above. When I cannot overcome this type of opposition, I bow out and use my energy elsewhere. Other than that, I love my haters. That just means you’re doing something right in their eyes... playing the game to your advantage.

Lanai: Yup, it is what it is and the haters can hate on and keep it movin. Second life doesn’t have to be all dramatic anyway, It is a land of fantasy and endless creation. So much to do here. What else do you do with your time?

I am also on the board of Second Pride and do the website for that. Also write for my reviews website whenever someone would like a product or service reviewed and promoted. I am starting a new magazine project with the first issue coming out in late April. I also have a new relationship and enjoy sharing time and adventures there. I recently rented a homestead sim and time allowing, have been working on making it an impressive plot of real estate with an open door policy for my friends and SL family. I also started a bloggers group and do some work on helping the 20+ member bloggers promote their websites to new readers.

Lanai: Wow you are one busy media networker.

Avacar: You have to look at the trends and notice where people are gathering to receive the news, stories, and event information we all crave. If your content is at their fingertips, then your message will get seen before more traditional outlets.

Lanai: Great perspective. Do you ever host promotional events for the SL gay community? 

Avacar: I am on Board of committee that is organizing the weeklong Second Pride event in late June. And some fund-raising events prior. I just DJ'd for Romanum Sims' 2nd Anniversary Party this past weekend to a crowd that wants me back soon.

Lanai: That is great, it seems like you stay active in the community. So, where is your headquarters located?

Avacar: For my new project, the office is located in the beautiful New York City sim owned by Joi Price.

Lanai: With news constantly happening and not stopping for either of us. I want to end this interview with thanking you for your time and that exclusive news. Is there a piece of advice you wish to offer readers, please feel free.

Avacar: As a social game, SL has managed to stand the test of time among its peers. Recently climbing back into Neilsens' top ten online games list helps validate that the work you and I do helps to make this a worthy cause. Networking with others is the often key to success in SL. I have worked in enough different areas now to say many users from around the RL globe are my friends whom I would never have had the chance to meet otherwise. Go for your passion and find others that can help you reach your goals.

Lanai: Well said.


secondGAY Contest now open, Enter Here!

Avacar Bluestar


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