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Monday, May 4, 2020

CLUB FURZONA – THE SL HOME FOR RL DJs – JOSH (THOMAS1 BELLIC) REPORTING



When I first met Game Wylder, he was live mixing for a Pirate-themed event at Furzona, one of the hottest clubs on the grid.  Just when I thought I’ve seen it all, I stumble into a nightclub full of peg-legged, eye patch wearing, parrot carrying Furries, dancing to some of the HOTTEST music anywhere on the Grid!  Over the next few minutes, Game described how Furzona  is a club run by RL veteran DJ's who have been mixing for years, and the place is built solely on the passion of Music.  Later on, in between gigs, Game was able to speak with me in greater detail




Josh Bellic (JB):   What inspired you to open Club Furzona?

Game Wylder (GW):  When I first joined Secondlife, I spent a few months figuring out what I wanted to do. I eventually stumbled upon Furzona. I don’t know what, but something enraptured me. It could have been the lights, the people, or the club itself. But something made me want to stay.  I eventually became a DJ at Furzona, and started out as a playlist DJ, just having stupid fun, but over time, I developed my skills and taught myself how to mix. Eventually, I found myself being promoted to Host Manager, and then eventually a Director.  About 5 years ago, the club went on hiatus, as the previous owner wasn’t able to dedicate any more of his time or money to keeping the club open. Around this time, I was already on a hiatus myself.

When I came back a year or so later, now about 3 years ago, things had changed in SL. Many clubs were focused around adult content, and the quality of music had died down. I spent some time club hopping, and decided to hang around a few clubs that somewhat reminded me of Furzona, but just left more to be desired.  I noticed that the problems we had before only got worse, with there being places where people just go afk and poseball. It didn’t sit well with me.  

After someone random accidentally called the Club Furzona Group in SL, an old friend of mine and I started talking, and I had that crazy idea: Let’s Revive Furzona. He and I just started talking logistics for a bit, and eventually, we decided to reach out to some old team members, we immediately got a yes from them, and once we had a handful of people, I reached out to the old owner, to see if we were allowed to use the Furzona name, and we got approval. At that point, there was no turning back, we decided to bring back Furzona for good.





       
JB:  So then, do you have business partners?

GW.  While I am the primary owner, my colleague Todd Squall is in equal ownership. Furzona is not a business, but a passion project of everyone who works here. We're a club run by DJ's with a passion for music, for everyone who's passionate themselves about music.
       
JB:  Tell me about your clientele, please? It seems like a rather eclectic group of music fans.

GW:  We cater to everyone who enjoys music... everyone comes, not just Furries. We have several staff members who don't have furry avs.  While we are more focused towards Furries, we want to provide the best club experience in SL, for everyone to enjoy. Our target is to provide a place with a really cool atmosphere, and to make sure everyone feels welcome.
       
JB:  What types of events do you run here?

GW:  Every Week, we run various events and contests, like game shows, or themed parties, but every quarter of the year, we host giant festivals, akin to Burning Man, or Qlimax.
  

     
JB:  Where do you find your staff?

GW:  Our staff typically start out as patrons who become passionate about the venue. They really get hyped up about the music and the staff. As I said previously, we're all passionate about what we do, and that passion shows. We're all about supporting our patrons, and making them feel welcome. A lot of people have simply turned around and said "I want to help", and they submit an application.

JB:  Do you have plans for expansion of the club and sim?
    
GW:  Oh yeah, we've been working on something. We have a dedicated team of engineers that are constantly testing new technology within Second Life. We have mesh modelers, programmers, and audio visual technicians who work together to bring our stages to life, and we're constantly looking into new ways to improve performance as well as visuals.  Recently, we debuted our new screens. Using video game practices (such as culling) to hide parts of the screens that patrons won't normally see, we can improve render performance for everyone within the club. And these are just the beginning, we wanted to see what was possible within the limitations of SecondLife.

Orson Welles once said; "The enemy of art is the absence of limitations."  When you look under the hood, Second Life is full of limitations, and this results in typically poor performance due to an aging engine structure. So at Furzona, we are presented with the following challenge; How can we emulate an EDM Night Club experience without requiring a monster of a computer?  And that's the challenge we're constantly facing; building new HUDs, mesh, and screen technology, while breaking our limitations. Needless to say, I'm proud of the work my team has done, and we cannot wait to debut our new technology, and for those who are interested, you won't have to wait too long.
       


JB:  Anything else you would like to tell our reader?

GW:  When I decided to re-open Furzona, I wanted to do it with one goal in mind; Make people smile. It's not uncommon for me to get a message from a patron or a staff member letting me know just how happy they are to be here, and every time I read those messages, it makes my day.   I didn't rebuild Furzona for myself, I rebuilt it because I felt like something was missing from SL. I wanted to rebuild the one place that was always focused on it's passion for music, events, and most importantly; it's community. We constantly are trying to empower our patrons and staff to share their artwork, share their photos, their projects, and to take pride in their passions, as we take pride in ours.  If you want to stay up to date on our events and community, feel free to join us on Discord, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. Here's our links;




So there you have it folks.  If you have a hankering for one of the best, most realistic nightclub experiences anywhere on the Grid, grab a ride to Furzona – and listen to music played the way it was meant to be.

SURL:  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Bikini%20Bay/218/166/1501 

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