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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Second Life Children Launch Keyword:YOUTHSPOT to Connect the Community - Shiny Blackheart Reporting...

The oldest youth group of second life has a new campaign to help foster an inclusive and accessible community for the children of Second Life.

The group Second Life Children, established in 2006, co-founded by citizens Gemini Enfield and Linnian Sugar, helps SL kids get together, but the mission has been challenged the group said. A notecard distributed by SLC lamented a run of recent closures of youth focused SIMS; attributing the loss, “due to a lack of support or awareness that the location even existed.” The grid wide, global economic crisis was also attributed as creating difficulty for youth sims and others.

“Knowing where to go is a problem many of us frequently encounter.” SLC said. To simplify the process of finding kid hangouts and events the group created a searchable term inworld. Typing YOUTHSPOT into the search field yields a list of locations and events as a result.

SLC ‘s campaign is informing and encouraging parcels to participate by emphasizing the benefit of “getting found” which SLC says, “is easy.” The simple addition of the word youthspot to the parcel description even the last word, assures all locations that are enrolled in the Linden’s Second Life Search Directory will be located. (Linden Lab charge L$30 a week for inclusion.)

Approximately 28 locations are using the youthspot searchable term, but SLC’s relaunch of this project is in the early stages. In the last week, work has only just begun and an outreach team has compiled a significant list of locations to canvas, “and will be encouraging the owners to use the term and agree to inclusion into the directory magazine HUD.” co-founder Gemini said.

The HUD is a major component of the new campaign as the creation of The ‘keyword: youthspot' Directory Magazine, a wearable HUD that will list all of those searchable parcels but also many of the places that are not listed in Second Life's 'Search Places'.

Gemini explains, “The general idea is to encourage virtual kid locations to use the term ''youthspot' in their parcel descriptions. Then virtual kids can use Search in their SL app and the results would list a large amount of places they can explore.”

There are as many reasons why users play a child in Second Life as there are users, but at least six reason are listed on SL’s website:

·         A way to recapture some of the spirit of youth. Much like the old Twilight Zone episode, "Kick The Can," it allows one to 'be' a child, and run and jump, and play unencumbered with the responsibilities of adulthood.

·         "Re-imagining" bad childhoods. Many SL kids have faced childhoods filled with illness or disability. Many (by no means all) were victims of sexual or other abuses as a child, and this is allowing them to "rewrite" some of those childhood experiences with much healthier ones.

·         Related to the above, many may also want to have childhoods they could not, with all the toys and goodies they may have been denied for some reason. Always wanted that Easy Bake Oven? Go buy or make it in SL. Want the big swing set, or a pony, or whatever? All yours for a few pennies.

·         For fun. It can be a fun type of character to play, allowing for a childlike innocence and whimsy to come to the forefront, and providing for many opportunities to be "silly" that might not otherwise feel comfortable in an adult avatar.

·         A few may feel more comfortable in the role of a child, for whatever reason. While some of these might fall under various "philia" subsets (adult babies, for example), not all do.

·         Some may simply enjoy the roleplaying challenge of playing a kid, which isn't always as easy as one might think.

·         Some avatars may specifically create a child avatar to "escape" from the sexual content in other areas of Second Life. This may include victims of RL child abuse or it may not.

The youth avatar scene is a vibrant, hilarious, and creative one and the Second Life Children group and many others hope to keep the community thriving and spriteful. As the song goes, “I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside.” Youthspot encourages just that.

Interview with Second Life Children co-founder Gemini Einfield

*Shiny BlackHeart (narayanraja): Questions from Shiny to Gemini

SB: When was SLC established?
GI: SLC was established Spring of 2006.

SB: Who are the citizen founders/admins?
GI: It was co-founded by Linnian Sugar & Gemini Enfield.

• SB: Any thing you want to mention about the SLC parcel or any parcels?
GI: We have 2 adjoining parcels in the Orleans sim on the Bay City continent.
We are planning to host some future events there to encourage use of the keyword youthspot

SB: You mentioned significant closures:
GI: I mentioned many sims and virtual kid locations had closed, but that was a grid wide issue when the global economic crisis occurred.

SB: How many over time?
GI: Hard to say

SB: What percentage of the community uses ‘YOUTHSPOT” in search directory now?
GI: At the current time 28 locations are using it, but we haven't relaunched to the wider community yet.
Work has just started this week and we have drawn up a large list of locations we plan to visit,
and will be encouraging the owners to use the term and agree to addition to the directory magazine HUD.

SB: What kind of correspondence did you have with Linden Lab about YOUTHSPOT, (If any.)
GI: We have never discussed the project with Linden Lab.

SB: Are you personally reaching out to Parcels along with the campaign to encourage them to use Youthspeak?
GI: Yes, we plan to speak to everybody before including them in the directory.

• SB: Any recent parcels start using that might want to comment on their experience?
GI: Not yet

SB: Given these questions any other thing to come mind you’d like to share that might help the story?
GI: Keyword : Youthspot is a relaunch of a project started in July 2010 but was never taken to the next level until now.

The general idea is to encourage virtual kid locations to use the term ''youthspot' in their parcel descriptions.
Then virtual kids can use Search in their SL app and the results would list a large amount of places they can explore.

The 'keyword : youthspot' Directory Magazine is a wearable HUD magazine that will list all of those places and
many of the places that are not listed in SL's 'Search Places'.

We would also like kid friendly locations to add the words 'youthspot friendly' in their parcel descriptions.
This will also help us find them so we can include them in the directory too.

For more information or to get involved SLC Group and Land links are listed below here:

SLURL Link Hint:

Second Life Children Youthspot Parcel/Sim: Meet other boys and girls in Second Life.  All children welcome!  Release your inner child and learn about all of the fun youthful activities going on in SL -- Be a kid again and meet other kids ... Boy and Girl

For more about Child Avatars visit:

Additional Information:

-Shiny Blackheart


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