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Second Life Spotlight - Saffia Widdershins

Linden Lab


This week we are shining a spotlight on Saffia Widdershins, a powerhouse woman that has years of promotional work under her belt, including an incredible job of hosting many award shows, pageants, talk shows, and more!


How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?

I first heard about Second Life in early 2007, when my team in the Medical Sciences Division of the University of Oxford asked me to go into Second Life and see if it might be useful to us. I went in and did a little exploration... and was fascinated by the whole environment and decided I wanted to explore more thoroughly. I created a second avatar to do this - so Saffia is actually an alt!

Prim Perfect Magazine - Covers of the first (2007) and last issue (2015)

In addition to being renowned in Second Life for hosting a variety of events, you are known especially for your in-depth interviews. When and how did you get into broadcasting in Second Life? 

My first venture into media in Second Life was with Prim Perfect, Second Life's first home and garden magazine. As my (real life) husband said... "You're planning on a virtual magazine in a virtual world, telling virtual people what virtual furniture to put in their virtual homes … and you're planning to make real money doing this?" After we'd been up and running with the magazine for six months, I thought we could also have a presence on Second Life TV, so I contacted the popular network SLCN (later Treet TV) and asked if they'd like a home and garden show. That was the start of MetaMakeover, which was planned to be a home makeover show, but it very rapidly expanded far more into looking at places and events, and so it soon became Designing Worlds. And so it is to this day! There's a longstanding team behind it - in addition to myself there's Elrik Merlin, Aisling Sinclair, Wildstar Beaumont and - recently, Bain Finch who is a second videographer.

A double page spread from The Primgraph by Terry Lightfoot

Designing Worlds is such an amazing resource for creators. What are some of the other shows and events, past and current, that you have produced? 

I've also been involved with Happy Hunting, which was produced for a number of years by Cinders Vale and Petlove Petshop. And, of course, there was the thriller/fantasy story of The Blackened Mirror, which was a group production by a very talented team which included Zander Greene, Da5id Abbott, Aisling Sinclair, Petlove Petshop, Lorin Tone, Terra Volitant, Mavromichali Szondi, Angie Mornington, AvaJean Westland, and others. And then there was The Primgraph, a magazine for the Steamlands, which ran for several years.

One event that is so close to my heart is One Billion Rising. We recently held the 10th annual event, as it's been running since 2013. That's a long time in Second Life! It's part of international events held around the world on February 14th,  drawing attention to the statistic that one in three women worldwide will be beaten or raped during her lifetime - which adds up to more then one billion women and girls. It's an event with music, dance, art, and poetry. For many people, men and women, it's very powerful - it certainly is for me. I've been involved with the team leading it throughout - it actually started by the editorial team of Prim Perfect; when we read about the event, we wanted to be part of it! Over the years, many people have been involved - the team this year included Dawny Daviau, Briony Writer, Adele Ward, Cherryblonde Scribe, Meegan Danitz, AvaJean Westland, Jenny Anatine and some amazing volunteers who came in all shapes and forms! 

Designing Worlds visits One Billion Rising in Second Life 2022 

Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.

Well, quite a lot of them are people I'm lucky enough to work with - or have had the opportunity to work with in the past!

Deep breath...

I would have to look at people who have created some amazing events, such as the teams behind events such as Fantasy Faire. The organisational skills there (led by Elizabeth Tinsley and Zander Greene) are amazing - and every year the creations of the designers just blow me away. One of my favourite things that I do each year is to lead the Company of Faire Folk on the tours we have each year, where a group of us go and explore each region of the Faire in turn, so we get to admire the work of creators like Alia Baroque, Saiyge Lotus, Sharni Azalee, Kayle Matzerath, Kilik Lekvoda, Walton Wainwright and Loki Eliot. The Tours run very smoothly, thanks to Aoife Lorefield and the rest of the LitFest team - the Literary Festival and now the Film Festival, led by Chantel Harvey, are components of Fantasy Faire.

And then there's the Home and Garden Expo, led by Kaerri Rae, which is the most wonderful way of seeing the best of home and garden design in Second Life. As well as the lovely furniture design, I always look out for Cassie Eldamar's doll houses - really beautiful, intricate models of Victorian houses - and a library, a pub, a lighthouse - all tiny with amazingly low land impact.

So many people contribute to Second Life in so many ways ... Marianne McCann, OldeSoul Eldemar, Desmond Shang, Mosseveno Tenk, Maxwell Graf, Froukje Hoorenbeek, Tymus Tenk and Truck Meredith, Kaya Angel and the wonderful team behind Grendel's - Flea Bussy and Toady Nakamura. Toady also runs wonderful classes teaching people to build in Second Life every week.

Final Scene of Much Ado About Nothing for Fantasy Faire 2017

Are you currently working on anything new?

Actually, yes. I'm working with Zander Greene (and many others) on a new series set in the same universe as The Blackened Mirror series. It's called "Harland Quinn and the Omega Hex", and I can say this about it ... When a lethal, magical anomaly out of the pages of legend begins wreaking havoc all across the Fairelands, it falls to a mismatched band of heroes to stop it before it’s too late. A Dark-Elven femme fatale, an erudite librarian, a rough-and-tumble sanitation worker, and a hard-boiled Private Detective will have to overcome their differences if they’re going to solve the enigma of the Omega-Hex and a mysterious scientist who may not be what she seems. We're planning to release the first three episodes at Fantasy Faire this year, and the next three next year. There's a very large team behind this - as you can imagine!

The first episode of The Blackened Mirror - 2012

Where can people follow your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.

Prim Perfect Website  
Prim Perfect Facebook  
Designing Worlds Website
Saffia on Flickr  
Saffia on Twitter  
Saffia on Facebook  
Saffia on YouTube  
Saffia on Vimeo  
You can watch many of Saffia’s interviews with the Lindens & Moles on YouTube

A Media Project from 2014 by Saffia Widdershins

We hope you enjoyed learning more about Saffia’s successful years in Second Life! Each of these weekly Spotlight posts will feature a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup

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