A post-apocalyptic wasteland, its water polluted by toxic chemicals – this forms the setting of an incredible and revealing photographic story installation at Toksik Jello.
“What is Beanz?”
That is the question asked of us at the beginning of Toksik Jello. And the journey which follows is an exciting, illuminating one, each step taking us closer and closer to the answer.
The industrial wasteland of Toksik Jello forms the setting of this brilliant story which details the interactions of a young boy called Beanz with the “Onion Kids”, who hide their true identity behind false personas created to deceive others, much like the layers of an onion.
A blue neon sign points the way to a small row boat waiting for us. Using the boat, we set out on a journey to find out more about Beanz. As we hop from island to island, the story unfolds through several statues of him placed throughout the region and we learn how he is targeted by an Onion Kid. Along the way, we are also introduced to a few other interesting characters like The Troll, Mr. Roboto and Peeeeahhh, the Mushroom Man.
The Story of Beanz is presented through some beautiful rhymes created by Jordy Zippy Banana. Reading Jordy’s poetry and deciphering the hidden meaning behind each rhyme is part of what makes Toksik Jello such an amazing experience. It is also a powerful medium which is used well to get the message across.
What is even more fascinating is the fact that the concept, design and execution of Toksik Jello has been done entirely by true SL roleplay kids – a community that is widely misjudged and misunderstood because of the actions of a few.
I had the opportunity to speak with some members of the Toksik Jello Crew – Jordy, Kippy, Tommy, Milo – and they were a fun-loving, pleasant lot.
“The character of Beanz was inspired by social politics in Second Life, people being judged or hounded out, kids not talking to other kids, taking sides of cliques, and general rivalries,” says Jordy, who played a major role in the creation of Toksik Jello.
The Toksik Jello crew plans to convert the region into a roleplay sim where kids and adults can both engage in properly regulated roleplay.
Talking about it, Kippy, another important member of the Toksik Jello crew, says, “Kid avis get lumped in together a lot, but we’re not all the same.”
Jordy laments, “Roleplay opportunities for kids are so limited. People have this urban myth that a community owner can get banned as soon as we kids teleport in. They judge us on the back of a few bad examples.”
Toksik Jello is located on the region adjacent to the Next Gen Inc. Adoption Agency, which has been providing family roleplaying opportunities to SL couples and kids for over a decade. Tommy, the owner of Next Gen Inc. and also Kippy’s RP dad, is happy to help sponsor this project as it will offer roleplay that is more diverse than family lifestyle roleplay.
As Jordy aptly puts it, “Not every kid has parents or wants them; some love the idea of living in dirt, adventure, forming alliances and battles in a fictional setting.”
The story of Beanz, the crew tells me, is not entirely fictional. In fact, it takes inspiration from the true experiences of several SL roleplay kids. Jordy tells me that almost everyone – adults and kids alike – who visited Toksik Jello has identified with the story of Beanz.
“Gaslighting and cyberbullying are big buzz media subjects now. Even in SL many of us have had to deal with people on alts who mess with others psychologically and emotionally”, says Jordy. “People are bullied off the grid because of these trolls. I think this is why a lot of people identify with the story here, maybe find solace in it that someone else understands what they’ve been through.”
Toksik Jello was the result of months of effort, creativity and team work by a set of dedicated individuals. After visiting this incredible region, you will realize that this hard work has indeed paid off.
Milo and Jordy were the ones who initially came up with the idea of designing the sim as a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a nod to the Wasteland sims. Adversities bring people closer together, helping each other to survive and band together. What better than a post-apocalyptic scenario for that to happen!
If you look closer, you’ll see each of the six builders have their own little themed island within the larger theme of Toksik Jello. Jordy has brilliantly stitched together all the loose strings in this amazing photographic story installation to bring it to life.
Toksik Jello is open for public access while the crew finalizes the rules and guidelines for roleplaying. After that, it will exist as a gated community for those who could not find roleplaying opportunities due to the toxicity and clique gameplaying that exists at some places – a place where people can create and make friends away from any toxic social bubbles. Factions, alignments, goals and missions for the roleplay are all being planned out and will be revealed at Sci-Con on May 13th.
Visit Toksik Jello now, explore its unique post-apocalyptic landscape and discover the story of Beanz!
The post-apocalyptic landscape provides some unique photography opportunities which you would not want to miss out on. Click HERE to visit Toksik Jello inworld.
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