Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Interview - Xiola Linden

The lovely Xiola Linden (pictured here in a portrait by Strawberry Singh) joins us today as part of the Mainland Matters Interview Series, which previously featured interviews with Torley Linden and Patch Linden. Xiola currently serves as Second Life's Lead Community Manager. She heads up community initiatives at Linden Lab — including this year's Official Second Life 13th Birthday Music Fest, meetups, and SL13B Gift Shop Hop. She also manages social media and juggles whatever else is thrown in her direction! 

Xiola joined Linden Lab in 2011 and has spent most of her life immersed in the things that shape technology. She commented, "I am curious how tech — including VR — can be applied to benefit communities. This interest is in part what led me to become a Second Life Resident in 2006. In addition to spending lots of time in Second Life both personally and professionally, I am nearly as obsessed with tomatoes as Torley is with watermelons! I love to garden, cook, read, play video games, and to decorate my offline home in a strange blend of 50's retro and classic horror movie monsters."

For each of these interviews, I asked the Lindens to name five of their favorite Mainland destinations with a brief description and LM, and then I asked them to tell me why Mainland matters to them. Xiola's replies are below:

"In no particular order - here are 5 of my current fave mainland locations!

The mix of retro Americana and horror films is right up my alley! I am a huge fan of vintage 50s style and spooky things. There is a juxtaposition in that combination that I appreciate and that carries over into my offline life. Olivia's has also been around for awhile and I have some fond memories of the first time I found it and how much it spoke to my personal interests and aesthetics.

Dark Dharma Haunted Manor

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved Halloween, and as a kid I remember the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland leaving a pretty big impression on my young mind. This place reminds me of that same feeling — the mystery and thrill of things just beyond our sight and comprehension. Things that go bump in the night, and walk the halls after midnight! One of my favorite 'ghost pictures' of the Tulip Staircase also reminds me of the apparitions you might encounter in the Dark Dharma Haunted Manor.

Lutra City Mysteries
Mysteries, stories, and point and click fun — what's not to love here? While I love games from board to console and computer, I have always had a soft spot for those older hidden object and point and click style games. Some of my favorite computer games were the Broken Sword series which combined history, story-telling, and adventure that Lutra City Mysteries reminds me of. It's fun to be a part of solving a mystery and unraveling a tale as you go.

Ivory Tower Library of Primitives
Because of its historical significance, I think this is a spot all Second Life Residents should visit once they've been around for a bit. No matter if you are 10 years old or 10 days old, walking around and discovering some of the history here is a real treat that deepens your understanding of Second Life and the journey from then until now.

Weekly Old Time Radio Shows
This is a new spot to me, that I found when roaming around for this interview. I really like the feel and ambiance of the space — even though it's relatively cozy. Old time radio shows are something I enjoy when I get the chance. One of my favorite parts in Fallout 4 is The Silver Shroud quest, where you get to become the hero of a radio series. It's really cool that the folks behind this space bring that radio magic into a social and shared space for Residents to hang out and enjoy. (Pictured above are Sarah Snow and radio host Klopstick Sandlewood.)

Why does mainland matter to me?

When I first came to Second Life in 2006, I had no knowledge of the teleport system, so I spent several days walking or flying around and marveling at the variety and diversity of experiences I encountered. It wasn't until I'd been here for awhile that my friend who invited me to Second Life offered me a teleport. I was really grateful for having had that chance to wander and discover how much Second Life had to offer. Something like mainland, where you can appreciate the wide range of interests, styles, aesthetics and embrace the kind of inspiration that comes when people who may not otherwise find common interests end up being neighbors. I feel that helps promote acceptance and understanding of that which is 'other' or different from ourselves. Mainland is full of surprises and so many stories from all different walks of life, and to me that is one of its most compelling attributes!"

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