Door to America: A destination for new residents into SecondLife : Moonite1687 REPORTING

1 month ago 21

As established SecondLife (SL) users, how many of us can remember our first time touching down in the virtual world as 'newbies' or new residents. It was daunting, exciting, novel, and an overall adventure that would continue to unfurl. The experience is the same for many new residents that have no prior knowledge of the metaverse. Now, add in the criticism, the rules that act against new residents, and the harsh treatment and discrimination that many faces, and this increases the anxiety and intimidation that many feel when trying to interact with residents with years of SL experience their belts. On the side of the more seasoned users, this separatism comes from new residents pleading for lindens or other handouts, and the antagonizing behavior that some of the new residents subject SL users to creates riffs and barricades between them other new residents and the possibility of receiving enriching support. However, many newcomer-friendly communities are cropping up throughout SL to move the dial on new resident support in a positive and more inclusive direction. 

Door to America is an organization that started in January 2022 to create a safe space for all new residents. A conversation with Angelor Galanter reveals what Door to America is for and is planning to do to ease the transition from real life to SecondLife for many new residents. 

Moonite1687 (M1):  Who started this initiative?

Angelor Galanter (AG): Karlee Heartsong and I started [Door to America] together, and this was a mutual decision to highlight the importance of "human connection" in SL, to be an extension of "self", but there are other reasons to be in SL. 

M1:  So, the reason for Door to America is to encourage human connection and support self-expression?

AG: Yes, for example, imagine the one ember of passion you hold for life [you] bring it here and let it blossom without all the metrics you are judged for in rl. [Be it] poet, artist, creator, builder, and you can meet others who feel the same. A person can crystalize and develop themselves and relationships here. 

Angelor and Karlee, the co-founders, designed the space to foster self-expression through some of the perks on the Door to America sim. Angelor mentioned that the sim is home to a seven-layer track feature 4000 meters long that acts as a learning aid for new residents. There they can learn to manipulate objects and how to maneuver their avatars. New residents can also come to listen to live music performances, play card games, fish, dance, go for a horseback ride, and more, making human connections and feeling a part of a welcoming community. 

Their website, which launched roughly a month after the sim with online, features a list of destinations, tutorials, a covenant for their sim, and a link to meet the teams behind Door to America. 

When asked what the plan for Door to America's future looks like, here is what Angelor had to say: 

M1: Can you share with me any plans for the future of Door to America? Anything in the pipeline that you can share that will enhance your mission?

AG: I've sent letters to AARP and other real-life organizations to enlist their acknowledgment or sponsorship from colleges to employment, work at home, general disability, and social networks [sic]. Now, it's a matter of becoming a gateway first.

For those unaware, a gateway in SecondLife is a community in the registration pathway on SecondLife.com. These gateways offer their orientation path and give Residents a more accessible direction in the virtual world. Angelor hopes that Door to America will spur a resurgence of SL users by becoming a gateway community, taking the 900,000 user mark to an additional million to increase the number of human-to-human experiences that we all could share. 

To learn more about the Door to American initiative, please visit the website: https://doortoamerica.bogspot.com/ and the inworld location: 

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Door%20to%20America/232/14/24


Read Entire Article