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Hey everyone,

I am a university working on his MA, and taking part in a micro research project (which means that I have been given limited time to complete it) and would very much appreciate it if you could take some time to answer a few questions for me. You will remain anonymous and your identities will be protected, as per the rules laid out by my university's ERB.

A few days ago, I posted a more general question in another subforum; I'm very grateful for the responses I received there, and have been following up on the advice given. I have become very interested in the ways in which SL lets people exercise their creativity and, sometimes address and express sides of themselves that they are unable to acknowledge properly in RL. So, I've decided to research the issue of furries and identity, and have been immersing myself as best as I can in-world, joining groups, exploring sims such as Luskwood, and talking to the residents I meet there. I'd like to supplement my in-world investigations with some broader survey data. I recognize that the forums are only a small part of the resident community of SL, and not necessarily very representative, but the help I've received has already been very valuable.

I have a few questions I'd love to hear your responses to. You can answer here, or send me a DM or notecard in-world. I'd also be happy to meet with anyone in-world, if you'd like. Thank you very much in advance for your help with this:

Was your choice of animal/furry for representation determined by a preference before you came to SL?

Do you represent more than one kind of animal, if so what animal?

Is your furry account your primary account?

Was your choice of animal based upon popular culture -- e.g., anime or manga, books, movies, TV shows?

Does being an animal give you an escape from your in real life stresses?

Is there a religious or spiritual dimension to your choice of animal?

Do you ever represent as a furry in real life (e.g., cosplay, RP, conventions, etc.)?

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39 minutes ago, GiloGiles said:

Was your choice of animal/furry for representation determined by a preference before you came to SL?

Yes.

39 minutes ago, GiloGiles said:

Do you represent more than one kind of animal, if so what animal?

Not really. 

39 minutes ago, GiloGiles said:

Is your furry account your primary account?

Yes.

40 minutes ago, GiloGiles said:

Was your choice of animal based upon popular culture -- e.g., anime or manga, books, movies, TV shows?

As the question is phrased, no.

 

40 minutes ago, GiloGiles said:

Does being an animal give you an escape from your in real life stresses?

Setting aside the fact that in "real life" I am a human animal, 'maybe'.

41 minutes ago, GiloGiles said:

Is there a religious or spiritual dimension to your choice of animal?

Yes.

41 minutes ago, GiloGiles said:

Do you ever represent as a furry in real life (e.g., cosplay, RP, conventions, etc.)?

That would be awesome, but no!

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4 minutes ago, Alwin Alcott said:

where, what, who
what study
what professor(s)
how to verify?

Are you asking for RL disclosure by the poster, Alwin?

This is for a student research project -- a short paper. There's nothing alarming or weird in this very small collection of short questions.

Don't want to contribute? Then don't! He's not studying unwashed socks anyway.

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24 minutes ago, Alwin Alcott said:

where, what, who
what study
what professor(s)
how to verify?

Its a small little project about identities for an assignment, its not being published. At a university in Kent in England. You don't have to help its ok 

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2 hours ago, GiloGiles said:

Hey everyone,

I am a university working on his MA, and taking part in a micro research project (which means that I have been given limited time to complete it) and would very much appreciate it if you could take some time to answer a few questions for me. You will remain anonymous and your identities will be protected, as per the rules laid out by my university's ERB.

A few days ago, I posted a more general question in another subforum; I'm very grateful for the responses I received there, and have been following up on the advice given. I have become very interested in the ways in which SL lets people exercise their creativity and, sometimes address and express sides of themselves that they are unable to acknowledge properly in RL. So, I've decided to research the issue of furries and identity, and have been immersing myself as best as I can in-world, joining groups, exploring sims such as Luskwood, and talking to the residents I meet there. I'd like to supplement my in-world investigations with some broader survey data. I recognize that the forums are only a small part of the resident community of SL, and not necessarily very representative, but the help I've received has already been very valuable.

I have a few questions I'd love to hear your responses to. You can answer here, or send me a DM or notecard in-world. I'd also be happy to meet with anyone in-world, if you'd like. Thank you very much in advance for your help with this:

Was your choice of animal/furry for representation determined by a preference before you came to SL?

Do you represent more than one kind of animal, if so what animal?

Is your furry account your primary account?

Was your choice of animal based upon popular culture -- e.g., anime or manga, books, movies, TV shows?

Does being an animal give you an escape from your in real life stresses?

Is there a religious or spiritual dimension to your choice of animal?

Do you ever represent as a furry in real life (e.g., cosplay, RP, conventions, etc.)?

Hewoo, as some of us tinies sometimes say.  

I am a tiny in SL, not a furry, so I don't identify as a furry, although some tinies may consider themselves furries and that is entirely up to them.  

As far as me, I met a Dinkie one day and thought it was the cutest thing I ever saw...and, as I was looking around for clothes, I came upon just adorable clothing for the Dinkie's.  It was Lycia of Dinkie Boutique who really sold me.  Her textures are an 11; she is great and became a SL friend, too.  The Dinkies are just adorable when they dance also and I have choregraphed dances for my Dinkie that are just so great.  I think the Dinkie's could become a #1 hit TV show if they had the chance.  It's purely creative for me.  

If you meet a tiny who identifies as a furry that is entirely between the two of you how you want to deal with it but I do not identify as a furry.  I was just giving you a little insight about my experience with the tinies and how I came to be one which really wasn't a deep mental decision it was purely a creative one, mostly because of Etheria Parrot the Dinkie creator, and Lycia of Dinkie Boutique, both of whom are SL friends and we have great fun together at events.  

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Was your choice of animal/furry for representation determined by a preference before you came to SL?

Partially, yes. I've always had a love of the canid family (dogs, wolves, etc), and I've lived with dogs since I was 10 years old (there were humans taking care of me too, just in case you're concerned ;) ) But my first foray into the furry world was a spin-off from a bit of roleplay I did at my club one Halloween; I chose wolf because of werewolves.  In the end I dropped the roleplay on this (my main account) but I did turn one of my alts into a full-time furry wolf. 

Do you represent more than one kind of animal, if so what animal?

Not yet, but my other favourite animal is the otter. Did you know that otters are one of a very small number of species that continue to play (in the wild) as adults? I can sooo relate to that. If I was a full-time furry, my "fursona" would likely be an orange otter instead of a wolf.

Is your furry account your primary account?

No

Was your choice of animal based upon popular culture -- e.g., anime or manga, books, movies, TV shows?

Not directly, though there are plenty of all the above that feature werewolves.

Does being an animal give you an escape from your in real life stresses?

SL in general, across all my accounts, is an escape from stress, but it makes no difference which avatar or shape I'm using. So I'll say mostly no.

Is there a religious or spiritual dimension to your choice of animal?

No

Do you ever represent as a furry in real life (e.g., cosplay, RP, conventions, etc.)?

No

 

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2 hours ago, GiloGiles said:

Was your choice of animal/furry for representation determined by a preference before you came to SL?

Well, atm I'm a cat and I do love the kitties.  But I do have other animal avatars as well.

Do you represent more than one kind of animal, if so what animal?

Yes, other standard animals of many types, and even nature elements such as trees or shrubs.

Is your furry account your primary account?

Yes

Was your choice of animal based upon popular culture -- e.g., anime or manga, books, movies, TV shows?

No

Does being an animal give you an escape from your in real life stresses?

In a way, yes, I give myself permission to be sillier and more playful as an animal.

Is there a religious or spiritual dimension to your choice of animal?

Yes there is a spiritual dimension to my choice coming from a love of nature....not according to the particular type of animal, but in the choice of animals or nature elements over human presentations.  I feel we don't give enough respect to nature overall and that humans focus too much on their own self, so much so that we are creating the 6th great extinction on earth, and most likely our own in the process. So to balance this out and put humans into perspective with the much vaster universe is a spiritual choice for me in the same way that I prefer to create nature designs in SL as opposed to anything human.

Do you ever represent as a furry in real life (e.g., cosplay, RP, conventions, etc.)?

No

 

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44 minutes ago, GiloGiles said:

Its a small little project about identities for an assignment, its not being published. At a university in Kent in England. You don't have to help its ok 

sure i won't help, but you come in asking us questions without any form of verification for what. Anyone can tell it's a student for a project. At my university any project is documented and verifiable for participants to avoid scams and abuse.

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Just now, Alwin Alcott said:

sure i won't help, but you come in asking us questions without any form of verification for what. Anyone can tell it's a student for a project. At my university any project is documented and verifiable for participants to avoid scams and abuse.

No worries 

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41 minutes ago, Alwin Alcott said:

sure i won't help, but you come in asking us questions without any form of verification for what. Anyone can tell it's a student for a project. At my university any project is documented and verifiable for participants to avoid scams and abuse.

How exactly does it even matter?  Scammed for what?  Abused how?  You argument is illogical.  They aren't asking for any RL info ffs.  

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Just now, RowanMinx said:

How exactly does it even matter?  Scammed for what?  Abused how?  You argument is illogical.  They aren't asking for any RL info ffs.  

thankyou i just wanted a bit of data for an assignment, Im trying get a masters degree to help better my life and my families. You do not have to anwser if you dont want to

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1 minute ago, GiloGiles said:

thankyou i just wanted a bit of data for an assignment, Im trying get a masters degree to help better my life and my families. You do not have to anwser if you dont want to

I would if I were a furry.  Good luck

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51 minutes ago, Alwin Alcott said:

sure i won't help, but you come in asking us questions without any form of verification for what. Anyone can tell it's a student for a project. At my university any project is documented and verifiable for participants to avoid scams and abuse.

The OP isn't asking for any RL demographics and the questions and answers are posted publicly in this thread so the level of threat to the personal safety of anyone here is almost exactly zero (and no greater than the threat to any person by posting anything in publicon the internet).  Not all college/university courses or assignments are at a high enough level to require ethics-board approval. This one is just for a class assignment, not a Masters degree, of course it's not going to be "verified".

If you don't like it, don't answer it, but don't put other people off helping this person with their study. All education, whatever the level, is valuable. 

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4 hours ago, GiloGiles said:

Was your choice of animal/furry for representation determined by a preference before you came to SL?

Sort of. I didn't have a definitive decision on what species my character was before joining SL. However I finally decided on Hyena about 5 or so years ago. SL wasn't necessarily reason why I decided on that though.

4 hours ago, GiloGiles said:

Do you represent more than one kind of animal, if so what animal?

Until I have a Hyena avatar, I am mostly using a sabercat which I use as mountain lion(or cougar, puma, panther, etc. Same animal, different names) avatar. However, I have a boat load of avatars, so if you'd like to take a look: https://tinyurl.com/chaserzaksavatars (Please excuse the tinyurl link. Not sure if LL fixed the issue with my domain name yet.)

Of those, I primarily use: Sabercat, Imp("Cat" like imp), Ghoul(dog like ghoul), Inca-ren(Fluffy alien thing).

4 hours ago, GiloGiles said:

Is your furry account your primary account?

Yes, both my primary and secondary bot account(Saltyalt Resident) have furry avatars.

4 hours ago, GiloGiles said:

Was your choice of animal based upon popular culture -- e.g., anime or manga, books, movies, TV shows?

Nope, I pick which avatar I use based solely off own opinion, sometimes discovery of a animal I haven't seen before and think is neat, such as a Fossa.

I will say that I base my avatar highly upon myself, such as height, weight(when applicable), eye colour(occasionally), and hair colour(when applicable).

4 hours ago, GiloGiles said:

Does being an animal give you an escape from your in real life stresses?

Honestly I never thought of this before, but now that I think about it, I'd say yes. I'd find using a animal avatar easier than a human because I have less worry of having to make it look nice, because I can just make it look like animal and am done. With human avatars, I have to worry about lots of different styles. Granted clothing styles would also apply to furry avatars, but it just seems a bit easier for a furry avatar.

4 hours ago, GiloGiles said:

Is there a religious or spiritual dimension to your choice of animal?

Nope, agnostic atheist(Meaning, I don't who is right, so I'll sit around until some solid proof comes along in regards to existence or non-existence).

However, I do know that some have chosen their fursona based off spiritual reasons. I do remember that there was a thread on a furry site in regards to "Why did you choose your fursona?", where a Native American guy said he had chose his fursona as a bear because of a spiritual journey of sorts(I can't remember what he said it was called, but it is apparently a tradition thing). I'm not too familiar with Native American culture, but that is from what I recall reading in the thread. Perhaps someone here will know what it is called(if there isn't multiple similar things and my remembering isn't too vague).

4 hours ago, GiloGiles said:

Do you ever represent as a furry in real life (e.g., cosplay, RP, conventions, etc.)?

While I would consider getting or making a fursuit, and perhaps partaking in conventions, I have severe germaphobia, so that'd be out of the question, at least for now. Perhaps in the future I would consider getting a fursuit. However I only would represent as a furry where appropriate. While it is part of my personality, I know that there is the issue of making people uncomfortable and just being out of place in scenarios. That being said, I wouldn't represent as a furry IRL on a regular basis.

Edited by Chaser Zaks
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1 minute ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Is "yeener" ok, or is it considered derogatory? 

I use yeen, yeener, etc, all the time. Even if it was, stuff like that doesn't offend me. I've even been considering setting my forum title to "Designated yeen". this has been done.

Edited by Chaser Zaks
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Before I answer these questions, I would like to note that I do not identify as a furry. However, as a Kitsune, my avatar DOES have animal characteristics (fox tail and fox ears) but is otherwise fully human. To some, this still qualifies as being a furry though I do not agree with these people. LOL.

  • Was your choice of animal/furry for representation determined by a preference before you came to SL?

I would say yes. In the 1970s, depictions of humans with animal characteristics were very popular for a while, and this led me to a subconscious feeling that humans were meant to have a tail.
Well after I started in SL, and had been wearing wings, cat tails, dog tails and other animal (real and mythical) parts off and on, I ran across images of Horo (sometimes also referred to as Holo), a character from the anime Spice and Wolf and this set me on my path of my Kitsune-hood.

  • Do you represent more than one kind of animal, if so what animal?

No, I only ever have fox features.

  • Is your furry account your primary account?

Yes. I have alts, but I don't often use them. 

  • Was your choice of animal based upon popular culture -- e.g., anime or manga, books, movies, TV shows?

In a way. I already mentioned that I was inspired by Horo/Holo from Spice and Wolf. However, that character is (part?) wolf, not a fox whereas I am part fox in SL. 

  • Does being an animal give you an escape from your in real life stresses?

SL as a whole provides me with an escape and a means to express sides of me which are either hard, or impossible to express in real life. The tail and ears only provide a visual element for me, it does not add or remove any properties or alterations in my behaviour or demeanor. In other words, it is not a roleplay element, it's just visuals on top of my general SL experience.

  • Is there a religious or spiritual dimension to your choice of animal?

Not for me personally. However, in Spice and Wolf, the main character, Horo/Holo is the town's goddess of harvest. I do not know if this element of the story is based on a real Japanese deity or not.

  • Do you ever represent as a furry in real life (e.g., cosplay, RP, conventions, etc.)?

No. I have no desire to. 

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Was your choice of animal/furry for representation determined by a preference before you came to SL?

Actually it's inspired by my RL BF calling me "Kitten", on account of the fact that I can go from cute and purring to a ball of hissing fury in 0.5 seconds flat. So naturally my first furry avatar (way back in 2006) was a cat, and it's still my preferred one. 

Do you represent more than one kind of animal, if so what animal?

A regular housecat (ginger tabby) is my usual one, but I also do tiger, lion and neko (cat-human hybrid) I was a cat furry for most of my first year or so in SL, then I went Neko for many many years. Now I'm much more "experimental", but my furry avatars are all feline of some kind. I don't regard them as separate identities, they're just costumes. I'm always the same "me" regardless of how I look.

Is your furry account your primary account?

All my furry avatars are on my main account, but I'm not a fulltime furry. My primary form is an elf.

Was your choice of animal based upon popular culture -- e.g., anime or manga, books, movies, TV shows?

Not at all, no. My appearance as an elf is, but that's a whole 'nother story.

Does being an animal give you an escape from your in real life stresses?

No more so than any other avatar. It just depends on my mood of the day. SL in general is a stress reliever for me.

Is there a religious or spiritual dimension to your choice of animal?

Hmm, no I don't think so? I'm a pagan in RL, but that doesn't factor into my choice of avatar in SL. 

Do you ever represent as a furry in real life (e.g., cosplay, RP, conventions, etc.)?

Nope.

200309_001.thumb.jpg.5469d60e7f9f0a10caeed25e9ae3301d.jpg

My current cat avatar, with my first one in the inset.

Edited by Maitimo
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4 hours ago, Paul Hexem said:

Wait, hold up.

Are you saying there is someone that wants to study our unwashed socks?

Never know, perhaps his class mate has decided to do an assignment on the human condition in relation to pretending to be a sock puppet. If so he might want to come here as well to ask about those sort of things...

https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Sock-Puppet-complete-avatar/3261788

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