Goons’ use of culturally familiar Disney-like images as a means to offend and shock residents extends to some goons adopting innocent looking avatars that cannot be suspected of any evildoing. Embracing an avatar that looks like a little girl with pigtails wearing a pink outfit, which curiously resembles a Japanese anime character, Masakazu Kojima, the leader of the infamous goon group W-Hat, writes in the interests section of her profile that drawing is one of her strongest suits. When asked about it, she playfully explains that she has a “degree from the most respected colorogy institute in space.” Accordingly, she has a pink-colored heart in the first-life section of her profile claiming that crayons are best in life, partly because, I assume, they encourage creativity in children.
Masa’s colorings suggest an innocence that can only be present in the mind of a child. “Arbel’s flower,” for example, which became the logo for a charity group named Help for Kids, is a flower she drew to cheer up a lady named Arbel who happened to be sad, and, according to her profile, Masa did not want her to be sad anymore. Her second coloring, entitled “Saved,” is a picture drawn by a friend of hers and colored by Masa, depicting Masa’s resurrection by
John Linden. This picture relates the story of how John Linden removed the hardware bans that were placed on her account, thus allowing her to continue playing Second Life. The exchange that took place at the time of the incident, recorded as a chat log, clearly reveals the gratitude of the goons, perceiving John to be a savior. In addition to depicting the incident as a drawing, goons also wrote this story in the form of a biblical poem, parodying those found in genesis:
The book of John (Linden)
And, so it was prophesyed [sic], there shall be a child.
Lo, the child shall be sweet of tounge [sic], but venom in her heart!
Verily, for she is the re-incarnation of the Evil One.
She shall bring the great down low, the secrets revealed.
The poor and weak shall be reviled, for they were taken by the child’s voice.
THe [sic] great leader of the poor downtrodden, shall unveil the Evil to the Ones On High
And Lo, she will be punished!
The weak ones will be without guidance, and there will be mourning.
Prayers will be unanswered, there will be great wailing and gnasing [sic] of teeth
But, all is not lost, poor ones. For [sic], from the heavens, shall come a great messenger
Clad in the skin of a mortal, but ye shall know him by his radiance.
Verily, the weak will tremble before him, and be afraid. “Fear not” The great one will say, “For I
am John Linden. SHare [sic] with me your plight”
And the weak will speak up, and verily, John was moved.
“Alas, my poor, downtrodden souls. It is not for us on high to decide who is
“Your leader shall be returned.”
And, with that, the great leader of the poor, downtrodden souls was freed from her torment!
There was great rejoicing and love. Thus, John spake [sic] “There is much room in the Second life for all.”
With that, The most benevolent John Linden left the poor, and a statue was risen in his honor!
In this poem, Masa is characterized as “the reincarnation of the Evil one,” clearly suggesting her dark side that possibly caused her to get banned in the first place. But more importantly, this image and its biblical parody provides a good example of how multi-platform narratives work. Different versions of the story and its different parts are captured on slightly different but integrated platforms, thus resulting in a dispersed story that could only be complete once all parts of it are taken into account.
Nonetheless, the subversive attitude towards culture latent underneath this girlish image becomes apparent in her selection of favorite places to hang out. Almost as if to suggest the dark side of childhood, she
lists Baku’s headquarters as her first choice and characterizes it as “a cool place to take it easy.” But the image that represents Baku implies a warning. Instead of displaying the actual sim, the image is that of a cute little anime girl in pink (similar to Masa herself) that has the subtitle “There is something dreadful waiting there for you,” suggesting that things could go horribly wrong any time in Baku.