Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Here's Looking at Lou, Kid

Ye Deare Readers may recall that I like making tiny prims and kinda dabble in creating jewelry in Second Life. Most of my projects are custom one-off items, sometimes commissioned by people as gifts for their friends or groups or partners, and sometimes things I do on a whim as a rez-day gift or a spur-of-the-moment thing. ("Uh, what's this for?" "Happy Wednesday!") Most of the time when I turn over jewelry to someone, it is literally out of my inventory: those objects are unique in Second Life and only exist in one place. The original recipient can usually give one of my items to someone else, but they can't make copies or sell it; similarly, once I give an item away, it's gone: I don't have it anymore. I like to think that those objects have a little bit of virtual value for being unique.

Anyway: people are always asking me if I have a store or if I sell items, and for well over a year I've been saying "Nope!" or "I can't be arsed." But now that's starting to change.

Beginning this weekend, a Lou Netizen jewelry item will be on sale in Second Life to anyone who wants to buy it. However, the proceeds aren't going to me: the item is being sold to benefit the ALS Association. It's a swanky vaguely steampunky monocle festooned with happy little tiny prims:

Oooh tiny prims! See the little teeth on the gear?

Buyers will get four versions of the monocle: one with a flexi chain and one with a nifty (non-flexy) ribbon, both in silver and gold variations to complement outfits. They come with modify and copy permission, so buyers can change them around into unrecognizable disasters…or just make the chains/ribbons longer or shorter if they like. The red lens is in theme with the ALS event.

The monocles will be on sale for $100L at the ALS Vigil, an in-world event at Second Life's Nonprofit Commons on May 16 running from 5-7PM SLT. The vigil coincides with a real-life candlelight vigil in Washington D.C. the same day. Other exclusive items from other makers will be on sale to benefit the ALS Association; I believe the items will also be available for purchase after the event. The monocles are exclusive to the ALS: they won't be available from any other source. The ALS Association also has an inworld office in Heath Commons.

Update: for a limited time, the monocle and other items exclusive to the ALS event are available at the ALS Association office in Heath Commons. Look up on the second floor.

So why did I bite the bullet and decide to put stuff out for sale? Part of it was timing: this seemed like a manageable project and it landed in my lap in a gap between other major bits of work. But a significant part of the appeal is that any sales go to support a good cause. I don't personally suffer from ALS, but I know someone in real life who is living with the condition. Trust me when I say it's no fun.

What is ALS? Formally it's amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but it's better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. It attacks motor neurons: people with the condition lose voluntary control of their muscles, tend to develop uncontrolled movements, and eventually suffer from muscular atrophy. Famous folks with ALS include, of course, baseball's Lou Gehrig, but also physicist Stephen Hawking and musicians like jazz great Charles Mingus.

There is no cure for ALS, but research is ongoing, and the ALS Association is all about supporting research into treatments and cures as well as supporting folks with the disease. In the last ten years the ALS Association has put about US$50 million towards ALS research, and has developed an extensive care network for sufferers and their families. Of course, the ALS Association is an American organization, but the research benefits everyone.

I know the business of in-world charities in Second Life can be a dicey one: while the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life effort is very well-established in-world, the mostly-anonymous nature of Second Life means just about anyone can say they're collecting money for a charity, then just take the Linden dollars out to their own PayPal accounts. (This isn't a terribly uncommon tactic at infohubs to prey on new residents.) I'm satisfied the ALS Association presence in Second Life is legit, but feel free to do your own homework. Worst case, you're down $100L and up four extremely nifty monocles.

So now stuff I've made is for sale. Armageddon must be nigh.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! Pigs are not flying; Cold front is not approaching hell. The world feels a little happier now. Congratulations for another step.

    ALS is not fun. Thanks for supporting a charity.


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