Daydream Island in the news!
Article published in the Australian Trader (SL Magazine) April 2012, Author: Whelan Ferraris
As often as I can, I seek out Australians and their friends at work or play in Second Life. I’ve had occassion to drop in to Daydream Island from time to time and it came to my notice the sim-owner was an Aussie, a most charming and welcoming lady from my home State by name of Carmsie Melodie.
As we sat to begin the interview, the arrival of many friends or group members gave me the sense of a very communal atmosphere. Not a few but some six or so group members arrived, all willing to provide input. Thus the scene was set, it seemed like a family. As the interview progressed it became evident they were not all Aussies either, they came from all parts of the globe. So I guess you could imagine the traffic when everyone’s in chat and all enthusiastically providing their contribution to the interview - I’m so glad I could swipe and paste text, voice would have been unmanageable!
One by one, the group assembled, took a seat around in their favourite chat corner by the swimming pool. Firstly, Carmsie, then John Wolf, Elvira Mistwood, Ole Andersen, ZAney D’Argent, Alvir and few others I missed. After greetings and small talk was exchanged we got down to talking about Daydream Island and the group they call The Daydreamers.
Whelan: Now Carmsie, about the structure here ... I’m guessing your sim is virtually group managed, would that be correct?
Carmsie: we have only one rule here, that is “respect each other” and oddly it works
Elvira: Also no biting around or she defangs us vampy creatures!
Carmsie: oh yes, fangs are to be left beside coffins in a glass of blood before coming to the sim :)
Whelan: OK and by the fact you’ve gathered your group, I’m thinking its total involvement with all?
Carmsie: When I am not here, people manage the sim on my behalf, yes. - but not in the way you may think - we have no official managers - people just care about here.
Elvira: We take care around and report to Carmsie, we love and respect our family.
Carmsie: Yes, people here make close friendships. we seem to have the difficult SL balance right socially.
Whelan: And has it been a gradual group formation or did it commence in this fashion? and how long ago was that?
Carmsie: When I started, the group was three people.
No idea I think maybe 18 months or two years Daydream has been open, but as people arrived - ‘discovered’ daydream - many stayed. I think one of the key things is we encourage local chat - we can spend hours here chatting. On many sims, everyone is in IM.
Whelan: I can understand that. And from the little I’ve seen, there’s nothing in the way of revenue raising, is that correct?
Carmsie: Well no, but I have a donations thingy and people give what they can when they can, and some nothing at all. There is no obligation, I have a Marketplace store called Pixel Bits that I use to offset sim costs.
Whelan: OK and on that basis it stands self sufficient?
Carmsie: That is my dream Whelan - haha - sometimes - not always. This is like my giant playground - and I love that others play here too! We have fun here. I have created a romance sim (with some discreet naughty places) but I have no SL relationships ever - I am an enabler for others. When I set it up my intention was for me to have fun and - well - like a big gift for SL people as well - that was my goal.
Alvir: I consider the people I’ve met here to be my SL family - and we do play hard. I personally dont come to this sim for the ‘other (naughty) places’ - purely to catch up with the gang on the deck here - and I come here to get my aussie fix!
Carmsie: Whelan - we are a very close community.
Elvira: We love each of us.
Whelan: Any plans for change in the wind, or everyone happy with current setup?
Ole: It is a place you always meet someone you know from before.
Alvir: Communuity? No Carmsie! Family!
Carmsie: And we are nice to noobs - we help them when we can - well most of us do! So no plans for change other than my obsessive landscaping changes :)
Elvira: Just they (noobs) scare me off when they are so many.
Carmsie: The sim was listed on SL’s Destination Guide a few months ago - so we get lots of noobs
Alvir: on my time zone, I see a lot of Spanish people.
Carmsie: They (noobs) throw their own random parties here - I like that a lot. Many Aussies here too, but lots from all over the globe.
Ole: With people from all over the world, it differs throughout the day who is here.
Whelan: So your international mix would also assist management 24/7
Carmsie: it is hard to explain our management here Whelan - because we really dont have any at all - except me!
Alvir: Carmsie is the boss - we’re all the ‘unpaid employees’ - We do it to protect our home!
Carmsie: If someone is appalling, I get IMs and note card chat logs sent to me. then i evaluate and I ban them if necessary, but the ban list here is v short for the time I have been open - It just ‘works’.
Ole: I think all the regulars here keep an eye on things when Carmsie is not here.
Carmsie: I do have employees, but they are fake ones - like the guy who enjoys role playing that he is our barman
Carmsie: But we have over 1300 in the group, oh another thing, here we have the Truthball, it's very popular and helps people meet.
Ole: We have had a lot of fun with it (the truthball)
Carmsie: haha ... more like the soul-search ball with some challenging questions ranging from naughty to nice.
Alvir: Well it makes for an intresting evening ..
Elvira: Many of us had friends and fell in love here.
Alvir: A few weddings yes!
Carmsie: Whelan, before you go, there is one special place on the sim I would like you to see, it is where we remember Daydreamers who have passed away in RL.
Whelan: Some special meaning for you Alvir?
Alvir: Called friends, Whelan.
Carmsie: we had a regular here, Megan - everyone loved her; she was sick; and passed away.
Elvira: but she is living with us. I think of her as ‘went on holiday’ but still sad.
Carmsie: People all wrote stories about their time with Meg and we made a book with pictures - we had it printed and sent it to her rl son in USA. We also sent it with US$400 raised here for his college fund. The book is very special. Daydreamers donated - was amazing - beautiful! That is what it’s like here - agreed guys?
Elvira: Yes exactly!
Whelan: That’s nice folks, a story of genuine feeling.
Carmsie: We really care about each other and help, if we can.
Alvir: One hurts Whelan, we all hurt.
Carmsie: Very true Alvi.
Ole: Yes, I joined SL after Megan passed away, but have been to the memorial place and feel she is someone I knew.
Carmsie: I see many possibilities in SL in terms of ‘community’, this is one way we can achieve it. And I am allergic to drama, so, here’s a nice place to be!
I then followed Carmsie and a couple of the group to a quiet hilltop area where the Daydreamers had built their memorial.
Alvir whispers: Who were the other two Carmsie?
Carmsie: One was a girl who was duped by an SL guy and took her own life, the other is the mom of one of our regulars - she was in here too!
Alvir: Are the other two women recent Carmsie?
Carmsie: The first was Isobel, the next was Meg and the most recent was Tessa - Tessa took her own life in RL. And it's not just me - all Daydreamers contributed to and visit this place. Well, people die in RL, it’s sad but a fact of life - but we make sure we remember them!