Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I Am Me.

Last week some well-meaning friends were griefed inworld by someone who holds a grudge against a single community of people who appreciate SL fashion. My friends only wanted to put on a charity show for Feed a Smile, a organization that provides meals for impoverished children in Kenya. This person threatened to crash the show, and I don't mean just a simple break in--she wanted to shut it down. For me, this action was the last damn straw.

I choose not to mention the name of this person. This person has gained more than enough attention as it is. She gets off on it and the fact that she would go so far as to target a charity function enrages me beyond comprehension. It hurt my friends who only wanted to make a difference for real life kids by doing good things in Second Life. What was originally just a person who seemed bitterly jealous of the MVWs turned into an all-out war against the entire SL fashion community.

This person likes to copybot avatars and then attempts to resell the shapes on marketplace. Next thing I hear, she has gone so far as to send them out in a well-known model group as freebies. The day before this happened, she crashed another agency's show and copybotted more models. Many people filed Abuse Reports. One agency owner even asked a Linden for direct help after an attack took down her sim. The employee told her to file a report. Linden Labs has done very little to hold this person accountable for her actions, which include blatant Terms of Service violations using a hacked viewer designed only to grief sims and people inworld. Shame on you, Linden Labs.

Unlike Linden Labs, I am not going to sit by idly waiting for a solution to waft out of thin air. With the amount of hatred and hurt going around, I wanted to take a positive approach to combating this situation. I went through various ideas, but in the end I chose one that would take away the one thing griefers want more than anything: attention. This was the basis for the "I Am Me" campaign.

This campaign is not aimed at one particular griefer. It's aimed at all of them. My idea is to take all of the attention off of them and channel it into a self-empowerment movement. You don't have to be afraid of griefers. They are just as weak as anyone else. On the other side of the screen they are still only human. They hold no omnipotent powers; they are not gods. Even if they copybot your avatar and threaten to release copies to other people, you need to remember one single fact: Those copies are not the real you and never will be.

As models, we are under the impression that our shapes and skins are the only thing that make us unique, but this is not true. It is ourselves who make us what we are. Doesn't matter if I am a model, fae, hamster, or pop tart; inworld, I am always the one and only Anigma Eulenberg. Even if someone was to come up to me looking the exact same, I'd shrug and ask, "Ok genius, what's the next plan?"

Change your display name to mine and try to enter MVW? Good luck on that, people know how to see usernames.

Take pornographic pics in my copybotted avatar and post them to soil my reputation? Anyone can photoshop me into a pornographic scene anyway, that's not a threat.

Anything else? Oh you're out of ideas? Ok well enjoy looking like me. I don't think it'll bring you much joy or success though because you are missing one thing: my personality. Personalities can never be copybotted. Best of luck trying though.

Once the message gets across that they do not have the power to bully anyone into hiding, the game is over. Some friends have warned me not to become a target but I am already a target for just being who I am. I just got tired of waiting so I went on the offensive and pulled a preemptive strike. Griefers hold no power over me; they are a simple annoyance like a mosquito bite. As long as you don't scratch it, it'll fade away eventually.

I know not everyone is comfortable divulging their avatar's details and that's fine. I am just not going to allow someone to think they have power over me because they know how to look like me. Anyone can look like me, it's not some deeply guarded secret. But there will only be one true Anigma Eulenberg on stage at MVW as Miss Canada during the finals in December, and I can promise you, it won't be some fraud wearing a copybotted shape and skin. It'll be the genuine article, the person who writes this blog. It will be me because only I AM ME.

If you are moved to tell griefers that you will not be bullied, then please join the "I Am Me" Flickr campaign with a photo like the one seen above.

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