Episode 3 of TMJ Podcast – Wolfie Rankin, Australian Furry in Second Life

Episode 3 is live and it features an interview with veteran Australian Second Lifer, Wolfie Rankin. We discuss a wide range of topics including furries, ABC Island and the Australian community in Second Life.


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Any feedback on the podcast is welcome and feel free to comment below this post. Suggestions of future guests or topics also very welcome.

Furries, sexuality and griefing: one viewpoint

I received an email today from well-known Australian Second Life resident Wolfie Rankin, with some fascinating thoughts on sexuality, furries and the issue of griefing. His views in full below – the only alterations are changes to spelling and capitalisation:

“Some interesting things have come to light during a discussion with a friend who’s an Officer at a large Furry Sim.

It turns out that a lot of griefers, including those in well known griefing groups, are Furries themselves.

This will sound strange, but here’s how it works.

Furry #1 has a bad fallout with his Gay lover on Secondlife, So rather than taking it on the chin, decides to seek revenge… returns to SL as an Alt, loads up with weapons, and griefs. He may target his former lover or grief the entire sim where they hung out.

Or another scenario is that he asks someone in a griefing group to do it for him.

How do we know for certain?

Well it turned out that quite a few from that certain SL griefing group also had accounts on a well known furry art page and had used similar names to the ones on that art page.

Once this information came to light, quite a few from this well known griefing group suddenly left it.

I’m not putting Furries down, as you know, I’m one myself… However, it’s well known that some Furries are also huge “Drama Queens” who whine a lot and cause the rest of us to grind our teeth. They’d be the best candidates for this kind of thing.

Also, I’m not saying that griefing groups are entirely made up of furries, that’s not true.

It’s very clear now, that many who go griefing and target potential gay areas of SL, have personal sexual issues… For instance, a young lad who’s having feelings, but can’t cope with the idea that he might be gay, might takes it out on others who he either thinks are gay, or are openly gay.

In other words, he’s trying to assert his heterosexuality by targeting anything even loosely considered to be “gay”

Saying that it’s done for “Lulz” is simply a thin veil hiding larger problems, when you spend hours in the day griefing SL and then making a video of it for YouTube, there’s definately something not quite right.

People who are secure in their sexuality would never worry if the bloke up the road is gay or bi or whatever”.

It’s an interesting take and there’s no doubt those sexually conflicted may adopt aggressive measures to assert one viewpoint. One of the key opportunities and challenges that virtual worlds offer is exploration of social issues like sexual identity. What are your thoughts on the issue – is the viewpoint above a valid one?

Interview – Wolfie Rankin on Furries

Recently I was chatting to well known aussie SL resident Wolfie Rankin and we discussed the idea of covering what it means to be a furry. I posed a bunch of questions to Wolfie, and his responses are below:

Lowell Cremorne: What’s the history of furries?

Wolfie Rankin: It’s difficult to say when the genre began, some have said that it reaches back to the 1960s. Some say movies like Watership Down, Disney’s Robin Hood, Jungle Book, and Fritz the cat got the ball rolling.

Human beings have had affinities with animals for thousands of years, and have dreamt of having the strength and speed of animals. Look at our cars – Viper, Jaguar, Bronco, Mustang etc.

Women call their hubbies “Tiger” and men wish they were horses (at least in part). Then there’s the US Bald Eagle emblem.


Lowell Cremorne: How does one become a furry?

Wolfie Rankin: Being furry is not something you do one morning for the sake of fashion…although it has occured in the fandom now and then. I have seen times when skunks were “in” this week and foxes were “in” the next.

Disney was probably a furry, and I’m sure that Mel Blanc, the voice behind Bugs Bunny, was a furry. as he once said in an interview that Bugs was his alter-ego, that he didn’t just play Bugs, but he was Bugs on the inside.

Lowell Cremorne:What made you decide to be a furry?

Wolfie Rankin: In my case it was automatic, The thoughts were already in my head. When a friend introduced me to the internet in the late 90s, I found there were werewolf and furry newsgroups. I joined alt.horror.werewolves, where incidentally, I met Jakkal, who made the Avatar I use on SL.

To discover there were people who felt a lot like me well, that was great.

Lowell Cremorne: Is there any significance in the type of animal persona a person takes

Wolfie Rankin: There can be, it could be a spiritual thing, or even an expression of sexuality. I’m really just wearing my insides on my outsides, I suppose that’s how it works.

I’ve had some deep talks about reincarnation with some people and wondered if souls of animals could come back as people, why not?

Listening to Dr. Karl on the radio years back, he said that “if reincarnation is real and there’s more people every year, then where are all the new souls
coming from?” A good question… I noted that there’s less animals every year too, so where are their souls going?

Lowell Cremorne: What are the downsides of being a furry in SL?

Wolfie Rankin: Not many really. Furries often worried what would happen when the broader populace discovered furries and especially after certain TV programs (MTV and ER) focused on the “shock horror” aspects of the genre.

But I think most people I’ve met are very comfortable having furry friends. If anyone has been worried about it but wants to talk about it and find out what it’s
all about, they discover that there’s nothing to fear.

Lowell Cremorne: What are the upsides?

Wolfie Rankin: Ahh well we did “sorta” have a Second Life in ye olde internet which were MUDS, purely text based, but had to remember who and what each other was, for me that wasn’t always easy. It’s partly why there’s so much furry art, as people would hand draw their avatars or pay someone else to do it… and say “this is me, this is what I look like”. It was fine for the day, but to actually see each other in Second Life is a lot nicer. There’s still art though, and it’s bloody good too.

Lowell Cremorne: There’s a perception I’ve come across that furries are gay. Thoughts?

Wolfie Rankin: There’s no real difference between furries and anyone else as far as sex goes, all tastes are covered and catered for, which includes straight furs too.

Lowell Cremorne: If I like the look of a furry avatar but I don’t “feel” furry, can I still wear one?

Wolfie Rankin: Of course, by all means have fun… it should make no difference to anyone what you choose to wear as an avitar in SL, as long as it’s not deliberately offensive, of course!

Lowell Cremorne: Any furry links you’d like to share?

Wolfie Rankin:


Furry comics: [try these out, they’re loads of fun]

Buster Wilde [Gay Werewolf]

Kevin and Kell

A doemain of our own

Carpe Diem

SL Education vs Personal Beliefs

We have been tracking the growing number of educational facilities setting up presences in SL. Many have been active in setting up and conducting both courses and specific lectures in-world.

A recent email list posting amongst SL educators raised the issue of a student declining participation in the SL portion of coursework due to “personal beliefs”. The ongoing thread has covered a number of possible scenarios and reasons behind such a refusal and this may be a good thing given recent postings here about under-age content and use of “mature” areas when setting up a presence as an education provider.

Given the emergence of SL as an exciting and different medium for the delivery of courses and syllabus content the issue of not being penalised for refusing to participate in in-world coursework is a new and never before encountered tension that educators may have to deal with in a formal policy manner.

It has been discussed amongst educators that both strict Islamic and conservative Christian students object to graphic representations of the human body. As one educator stated, “In this case, SL would certainly be a religious problem.”

For SL based course-work it may mean requirign strict body and clothing forms for students when participating and locked areas for course particpants only.

A wander through either the Australian or Foreign Universities currently engaged in SL has shown most people in casual dress. But if a student were to choose the form of a furry or other such form, would it distract from the lecture, offend other students or in some way draw a code of conduct indiscretion under SL or the University’s guidelines?

Then again, maybe the term “hippy” may need to be rephrased to encompass fippies (furry), aippy (age-play form) or mippy (monster style students).

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