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Friday, 8 January 2010

Spotlight on ................Billy Arentire

On my travels around the London sims, I have a habit of clicking on new buildings or objects to see who has built or installed them and one name comes up time and time again, that of London Team member Billy Arentire. Billy seems to be making an endless contribution to the virtual capital and I thought I would catch up with him to ask him about his Second Life!

I asked Billy what it had been like when he first joined SL, he told me “I had no idea what Second Life would be like when I first landed in an Orientation Island. I didn't even know what an Orientation Island was. I landed at one of those un-manned stations with lots of people doing the things they do when left to their own devices. I found a quiet corner of that sim and taught myself as much of the interface as I could before I began my second life.” I wanted to know how Billy had heard of SL, he continued “I found Second Life when a colleague opened a Sim and asked if I would help him with it. It truly is a place where anything is possible. It allows me to express the creative side of my nature and I've been in SL ever since.”

And how did Billy arrive in the London sims? he told me “London has always been my favourite city, after my colleague closed his sim I began searching for sand boxes to build in. I didn't discover the London Sims until after I met Sim Manager Torric Rodas. And London has been my home ever since.”

I asked Billy what his first impressions were when he joined virtual London, he said “(When) I first came to London the only person I knew was Torric, but as I spent time here I began to meet people and make friends. I was impressed with the style and detail of the sims and the friendly nature of its residents. My first job in London was as a Host in Mayhem Dance Club in the Mayfair sim. I had such a fantastic time that first night and things have only gotten better. From Club Host I went on to co-manage Mayhem and eventually Club Manager. It was then that I knew I'd found a home in Mayfair and VL London.”

Billy is an excellent builder and has created some wonderful areas in virtual London, I asked him to tell me some more about his building and designing talents, he told me “Thank you very much. As much as I loved working at Mayhem my true passion has always been building and eventually I was promoted to London Architect. I learned to build at first on my own and then sought out help and advice from other builders on the grid. When I began building in London the Architects were also a great help to me. Recreating the style and architecture of London is a rewarding challenge, and by the way, we are recruiting builders at the moment so if anyone is interested please IM me.”

Because virtual London is a ‘Gateway’ where new people arrive, sometimes Billy has to deal with some tricky customers, griefers included, I asked him how he went about this, he told me “A little bit of kindness goes a long way. I find that most people simply don’t understand the etiquette on Second Life. Coming from the Gateway I have come to realize that new residents are grateful for the help and sometimes I will get an IM from someone months later thanking me for the help they were given.”

I asked Billy about his thoughts on the future of virtual London and he said “I think that VL London has an extremely bright future. I see some exciting things coming and there may even be a surprise or never know. London is a living breathing ever evolving estate and I see some fun and exciting things happening in it's future.”

Most people like a break from their usual surroundings and I asked Billy if he liked to explore the rest of the SL grid, he told me “I do explore the rest of the grid, not only for entertainment but to keep up to date on building techniques and new things going on in Second Life. Because I am so active in London I don't have as much time to explore as I'd like.”
And what was his opinion of SL as a whole? He said “I do think that virtual worlds will see an increase in popularity. With the internet expanding and people being able to connect from all across the globe, places like VL London will only increase in popularity. We are on the cusp of something bigger than we can imagine and its nice to be in on the ground floor of it. I think too that Second Life offers an excellent opportunity for real life business to increase their presence.”

I asked Billy if he would like to add a few words, he told me “When I came into Second Life I never imagined I would find such wonderful people and opportunities. It has been my great privilege and honour to work and build on the London Sims. I've met some lovely people in London and work with the most talented people in Mayfair.”

And I think Virtual London is honoured to have you based there Billy! Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

Janey Bracken

1 comment:

Ed Follet said...

Nice 'spotlight' janey, Billy is a great guy who I'm sure will leave his mark on London for a long time to come.