[The following was given to the organizers at the InWorldz 6th birthday celebration. I’m pasting it here for those that haven’t been able to read it]
In 2009 I lost my father at the early age of 60. I had a pretty rough job where I was going 12 hrs a day on average on business software. It was mostly web development and database work which wasn’t really my cup of tea. I was in a pretty bad state and I really was looking for a way to dig myself out of the emotional hole I was in.
I found Second Life as an outlet for my feelings. It was great to be able to express myself artistically. I found that I did a decent job at 3d modeling and that my programming experience translated to scripting.
I created a bunch of 3d stuff that I always gave away, and even owned part of a region for a time. I’ve always enjoyed sharing happiness and experiences with others where I could, and I considered renting a full region to try my hand at really reaching out to people who may have been feeling the same pain of loss and letting them know that they were not alone. The biggest problem was that I found was that it was very difficult to justify paying what amounted to a car payment for entertainment.
I did a lot of work in the IBM sandboxes which were a great place to get quiet work done. They were always kept clean and free of drama by PatriciaAnne Daviau a wonderful person who would become a great friend in my real life as well as my virtual life. Patty knew a Scotsgreymouser Janus who in turn knew Elenia Llewellyn.
Elenia Llewellyn and her business partner Legion Heinrichs were looking for a developer to work on server side code for a piece of 3d simulation software called OpenSim. It looked like a good opportunity for me to segway more into the games and visualization side of programming which I had wanted to learn more about anyways.
I agreed to work on the software and I got my own region there to build on. I ended up creating a place that really helped dispense of the emptiness that I felt. To this day “Tranquillity’s Pad” remains mostly untouched. It is my vision of an afterlife where we transcend physical boundaries and can visit far away places as part of a better, more peaceful existence.
Of course, InWorldz work wasn’t all fun and games. Just about every script I brought in crashed the simulator and I ended up having to do massive amounts of work just to try to get the engine stable for any real work. Eventually, Phlox was born out of my frustration and the frustration of our (unexpected) influx of customers. Phlox completely replaced the legacy script engine and runtime, and brought the first of many giant leaps in stability to InWorldz. I was brought on as a founder and owner of the company, and the rest is history.
I and the rest of the InWorldz staff continue working hard to provide an experience that can be as transformational to others as it was for me. InWorldz is about self discovery, and I hope it can continue to provide others with a refuge when they don’t know where to turn.