Career Guidance, Courtesy of Duran Duran!
Well, that’s not exactly true – Duran Duran didn’t physically pull me aside, so to say, and give me advice on where to go in my career…. But whenever anyone asks me how I started working for Metaverse Mod Squad, the story always begins with my favorite group, Duran Duran.
Let’s set the stage. It’s summer of 2006. I had just resigned from teaching music after 16 years, and didn’t know what I was going to do next. As a card-carrying Duranie since 1984, I had become very active on the official Duran Duran Fan Community message boards. This was my only foray into virtual communities – as I had never had any interest in chat rooms, and didn’t play any computer games. I had never even dabbled in “The Sims.”
So, when Duran Duran announced in August 2006 that they would be joining the virtual world Second Life, with the goal of putting on a live concert there, my first response was, “Sign me up!” My second response was, “What the heck is Second Life?” Nevertheless, I was among the wave of Duranies who entered SL that very day, most of us taking the last name “Durant” for our avatars.
My first few days in SL were interesting. It was challenging just figuring out how to move my avatar, find friends, and navigate this new world. The moment that changed everything for me was when I discovered the 40’s-themed dance hall and casino, Guys & Dolls. Within this dance hall I made my first and best “virtual” friends, one of whom introduced me to a gig where I could host weekly events in a certain television series-themed area of Second Life. All of a sudden I had a job! And I was even paid in real USD, not Linden Dollars! I took other assignments for the same company, gaining more experience and exposure to this budding industry. I had come a long way in a year – from barely knowing anything about virtual worlds, to having a real, full-time job in Second Life.
It was during this time that I became aware of the Gossip Girl sim in Second Life, and their unique community moderators run by a certain company called Metaverse Mod Squad. Being curious, my fellow community managers and I took turns checking it out. The moderators there were truly “mod” in their 60’s get-ups, and it seemed like a fun and thriving community, based in large part on the efforts of those moderators.
When the project I was on came to an end, and the company had no plans for further similar projects, I wondered if I might have a shot at becoming one of the Gossip Girl’s Mod Squad. Before long, I found myself in the stylish black uniform of the Metaverse Mod Squad in Second Life!
From Gossip Girl I moved into moderating in kids’ virtual worlds, and then was promoted to project and community manager of a particularly cute and cuddly virtual world. There have been ups and downs, but I am endlessly grateful for the opportunities I have been given as a part of the MMS family. And proving yet again that this path has unexpected twists and turns, I am now working in a field I never expected… as a member of the Payroll and Accounting team, and I love it!
But what about Duran Duran in Second Life, I hear you ask? Well, we waited and waited, we were teased with hints and promises, but as 2006 became 2007 the SL Duranies either gave up and left, or decided to make the best of their Second Lives, with or without the band. Then, almost 5 years after the original announcement, the Duran Duran Universe in SL opened in June of 2011. And if you visit Azizi, Tlon, Sanhedralite, or Khanada, there’s a chance you might run into one of the band members. A very, very small chance, but a chance, nonetheless!
Payroll and Accounting Assistant