Taken at the Happy Vixen. Rita's skunk doctor avatar, though not her character Dr. Odiferous.
By Bixyl Shuftan
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Spotlight on SmacemanSpiff Grau- Mixing Business and Pleasure with Humor
Second Life is a virtual melting pot of people from all walks of life. In this unique global community, everyone has a story to tell no matter if they are in the virtual world for business or pleasure. Through the years The SL Enquirer has interviewed …
Second Life is a virtual melting pot of people from all walks of life. In this unique global community, everyone has a story to tell no matter if they are in the virtual world for business or pleasure. Through the years The SL Enquirer has interviewed countless avatars and toured thousands of locations to learn more about the people behind the creativity and their virtual lifestyles.. For many, the attraction to friends and partners is based on the similarities in their likes and needs. Real-life looks and personal detail seem to fall into the background. The best part is we all meet each other from the inside out. Individual personalities are more important than looks. Not to say an attractive avatar can be a plus for those who want to enhance the fantasy and role play side of the grid. Meet SmacemanSpiff Grau, winner of The Spotlight Feature Drawing at Terry’s Place Sunday Showcase. He is an 11 year veteran of Second Life who has seen and done a lot and embraces the community in business as well as leisure activities with a good sense of humor. SLE met up with Smace to get a glimpse at how he views Second Life and what he does.
Interview with SmacemanSpiff “Smace” Grau
SLE: Hi Smace it’s a pleasure to meet you. How did you discover Second Life?
Smace: Hi! Thanks for the opportunity! Second Life, for me, was initially a way for me to escape. I was going through a rough patch in life and had heard of SL as an online world with the creation and social aspects. I figured it could be a good distraction for me. I didn’t know much more than that and had no idea what to expect, so I signed up to see what it was all about!
SLE: I bet it was an eye-opening initial experience! I’ve come across a lot of creative names but yours stands because it looks like a misspelling of “Spaceman” but according to the trusty Urban Dictionary, Smace means having an unusually small face and an average-sized head like a Keebler Elf. I had a good laugh with that one. What inspired your name?
Smace: Ha!! Well, those elves make some really good cookies, especially the ones with the fudge stripes… but no, it did not come from the vertically challenged bakers. It was a typo from trying to register Spaceman Spiff, the alter ego of Calvin from the syndicated comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. I love that kid and his tiger. It ended up being a good mistake to add some originality to the name. Excuse me for a minute while I go measure my face to head ratio…
SLE: So I was right! LOL! Would you say Second Life is an extension of your real life or just a game?
Smace: It is definitely an extension of my real life. Even my partner in SL is my partner in real life, sharing a desk and sitting 3 feet from me. The person I am in SL is pretty much the same as on the other side of the screen, minus a few grey hairs and with a better wardrobe.
SLE: That has to feel great to find someone who enjoys Second Life as much as you do and omg yes the wardrobe here makes my rl character jealous! Someone once said Second Life is just a chatroom with sh*t to do. I have to agree. What type of activities do you get involved in on the grid?
Smace: Music started out as a big draw for me, and still is. It is fun to hear new music and I do enjoy fun banter with people. I also love to see new sims that people are building, especially the ones that use custom-made or modified objects pieced together. I am amazed at the creativity and attention to detail. Also, shopping, because… shopping.
SLE: Absolutely! After 16 years, the creativity in SL still amazes me. With over 11 years of virtual world experience under your belt, what events have stood out the most to you?
Smace: Well, there was that one day when I met my wife… that was kind of a big one…
SLE: Aww that's sweet! So, you have a small shop in-world that features some of your creations like migrating Canadian Geese, neon signs, go-karts, a rocket blaster, and even a Zamboni. I mean who wouldn’t want one of those? Just the name alone is pretty funny. I personally like the wood signs Lol. You also have a marketplace shop that features even more things. Can you share with our readers how you would describe your products and what inspires them?
Smace: I’m the type of person that likes to figure out how things work, which is also how a lot of things in my life end up broken. As far as inspiration, a lot of it comes from my wife who says "you know what would be fun" or "can you make me a...". The rest comes from me asking myself the same questions. I try to make things that are fun and interactive with a little bit of whimsy. Everything that I make and sell at Spiffy has made me smile at some point. I like to push all the buttons and see what they do, which is why I try to add all the buttons to my products. I’m not a professional creator by any means, but I really enjoy the building process and hope that I can make things that other people will enjoy, too. Every project introduces new challenges, which is kind of like a game to me. I’m not sure if I’m winning yet, but it sure is fun!
SLE: I still haven’t mastered placing pictures flush to my building walls and it drives my manager crazy, but I definitely can see how trying new things and nurturing your creativity can be exciting. Aside from getting inspiration from your wife, Do you create custom products for customers?
Smace: I have not been asked for any custom products, but I’m always up for a challenge!
SLE: I always wanted a rolled-up newspaper with a beat-down animation in case I need to attack a griefer. Are you up for that challenge? Anyway, I can tell you have a sense of humor. It’s almost a must in Second Life with all the weird and wonderful things it has to offer. Besides creating interesting products, what other things do you like to do in Second Life?
Smace: I like to play. Dressing up in costumes for parties, playing with toys, shooting snowballs, exploring new places, taking silly pictures, dancing all the dumb dances… I love using the space as a playground amplified by ridiculousness. Rando and I have built and been managing a farm on a homestead we call Walsh County. When you add go-karts, it’s endless laughter among the rows of wheat.
SLE: lol, I’m trying to picture that. Too funny! Do you have any advice you would give a Noob just starting out in Second Life with no direction?
Smace: Whatever your reason for being here, roleplay, creating, meeting people, dating, exploring… remember that the characters you interact with have a real person behind the pixels. We all have a story and a life. Have fun. Make it your own Second Life, but not at the expense of others.
SLE: That’s great advice. Congratulations on winning the Spotlight Feature drawing at Terry’s Place. Thank you for taking some time out of your day. It was a pleasure to chat with you. Before we go, is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Smace: No, thank YOU for taking the time to do this! This has been great and I really appreciate it! I don’t have much else, other than to suggest looking up your name in the Urban Dictionary before agreeing to an interview with The SL Enquirer.
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Taken at Club L!vew!re. By Bixyl Shuftan
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