By DrFran Babcock
I have known Pammie Venkman for many years, although we have not crossed paths in many years. I was a member of the Elf Circle for several of my years here in Second Life™, running a building school with Rodney and Vanilla Jessop, and loving my time with these peaceful, fun-loving, dedicated and passionate people. I participated in Relay for Life with the Circle of Life team for three or four years. Pammie was, and is, and elf famous for her purple hair, a feature with which she was associated, and for which I envied her. Purple is my favorite color. I caught up with her this year during the Relay for Life building period when I noticed she had a designer build.
SL Newser: Pammie, how did you find out about Second Life™, and what is that has kept you here for all these years?
Pammie Venkman: My husband told me about Second Life™. I have some health problems and cannot get out much. He was reading an article in Discover magazine about the cornfield time-outs that were once used as a punishment—boy does that date me! I logged in and got hooked. I stay because of my friends, and, of course, because I can live purple:). The volunteer things I do here give me a sense of purpose that I found missing before I joined.
SL Newser: You are famous in the Elf Circle for your purple hair. How did you come to be an elf? What do you love about the Elf Circle?
Pammie Venkman: Heehee. I don't always wear purple hair, (well I do most of the time), but I am always purple. When I first came into SL it was a wild time—kinda like the old west. A lot of people were quite rude in many different ways. Then somehow I found out about groups. I have always been a Science Fiction & Fantasy fan. Looking through the groups I thought: Elves! YES! I visited a few elf groups, but knew Elf Circle was home right away. I love Elf Circle because of the people here. At my first rez at the Elf Circle Drum Circle there were many folk who said hello and welcomed me. I am happy to help keep that tradition alive now seven years later. I also love the fantasy builds here -- and the fact that I can do my own. I like to help keep Elf Circle a good place to be by volunteering. I am a council member, a guardian and a greeter. I spend most of my SL in Elf Circle sims.
SL Newser: On to Relay for Life. Please let us into your creative process a bit. How did you go from idea to build this year? What are your favorite tools for content creation?
The design group held a meeting and we bounced around ideas. We all quickly coalesced around the botanical theme—we are Elves, after all. One of the ideas was a rainforest; not sure who came up with it. We all liked it. Going on the rainforest theme, I first researched what, if anything, the rainforest had to do with cancer. When I found out that 25% of the active ingredients in cancer-fighting drugs came from the rainforest I was off. I visited rainforest sims in SL for ideas, and checked out the marketplace (I am not a great builder, I am more a decorator). When I saw Luna Bliss’s waterfalls, I knew that was the basis for my rainforest. The members of my design team helped by terraforming, creating and placing many of the items used. With my own prims I just moved things until I was pleased with the look. Thankfully the team all gave me rights to their prim so it could be done. I used Photoshop to create some signs (learning as I went) and did more Google research for information to be used in the hunt items. I asked everyone I could to help look over the sim to make sure things were not awkward or hanging in the air! My favorite design tool is my camera, or you could also say my eye. I am one who creates organically, not by the numbers so much. My second favorite tool is the delete key.
SL Newser: Why do you Relay?
Pammie Venkman: The same reason we all do. Cancer is an insidious disease that takes too many people. Research has given so many hope and much longer lives. Money is needed for more research—so I relay. My personal story is of my grandfather, aunt and two brother-in-laws that I never even met (one died at age 12), and losing a friend or two.
SL Newser: What would you like the rest of the world to know about Second Life™?
Pammie Venkman: Second Life™ is what you make it. There is the fast and sexy hangout we hear about in media, with the headlines about it breaking up marriages. Then there is where I go. It’s where people stay for years. All kinds of people of any age meet around some idea to socialize with others and enjoy the company. You can listen to music (even live music) and dance better than you ever thought you could. One can be as creative here as one can wish. You can even get involved in things that make a difference in “real” life.
SL Newser: What's next for you? Do you have any plans for new projects? In the off season (until the 2014 Relay) I plan to learn a whole lot more about Photoshop. Perhaps even make some cool PURPLE trees! Maybe I’ll become a creator.
Well, in my humble opinion, you don’t have to make “things” to be a creator. Pammie has spent years creating harmony and peace in the Elf Circle, and sharing her open heart with the people of like mind. The Elf Circle is a generous and loving group. At this writing, The Circle of Life’s relay team has reached Sapphire level, and contributed over a million and a half Lindens to the American Cancer Society.
You can visit Pammie’s wonderful rainforest, and, learn about the cancer-curing treasures hidden within. You will have to hurry though, the sims won’t be around much longer. Walk through the dark and lush jungle today.
Pammie Venkman Designer Build: http://slurl.com/secondlife/