The Month of Games - July 12th - 31st, 2014!

Psychosis, Stress and The Holidays – Mental Health Awareness Retreat

Original post @ Skittles In The Pit by .

Psychosis, Stress and The Holidays
Last night I had a severe outbreak of paranoia. I hadn’t felt like that in years now. It goes to prove that I will always need to manage my condition in order to stay in recovery and that sometimes I will relapse. And there is nothing wrong with relapsing. In order to get back on my feet and feel better, I followed all of my coping skills and got myself quickly into recovery once again.
Today I woke up brand new as if nothing even happened last night, full functioning once more. With part of my condition being psychosis, I realize that I will always have to do certain things to avoid full blown episodes such as stress. 
I have been through a lot of changes lately, holidays are coming up and that means being in situations that I feel unease with and on top of that I had a lot of salt last night. Believe it or not what you eat has a lot to do with your mental health. All these things compiled together caused me to have a psychotic break. I started to hear voices, see things that were not real and feel extreme paranoia.
How did I overcome it? I used my coping skills.
I immediately turned to second life and other websites in order to distract my mind. If I am distracting my mind nothing else has full power. I kept breathing in slowly and exhaling slowly, reminding my body to relax. While breathing I used affirmations. “There is nothing wrong. I am ok. Everything is alright. I am safe. I am grounded. I am here in the present. I am alright” 
When I felt that my coping skills will not work, I kept reminding myself that it was alright to go to the hospital if need be. I decided to give myself a few hours to try and calm down and if I didn’t I was not afraid to go to the emergency room to get medication and the help I needed. 
In the end my coping skills did work and I woke up doing well but I never doubted myself going to the hospital if it came down to that. I have drank Haldo before and it has done wonders for my psychosis therefore I am not afraid of medication nor getting treatment.
So what I learned for the holidays when dealing with psychosis?
1. Keep stress to the minimum if possible. Try to not make big changes in your life during the holidays as the holidays seasons in itself is stressful enough.
2. Watch what you eat. Eating high salts and sugars can exacerbate your condition. 
3. Remember your coping skills and apply them if need be. Whether is breathing techniques, distraction techniques, grounding techniques, or music therapy….keep these things in mind and apply them according to what works for you. Only you know what is best for you to feel better.
4. Drink your medication/s if you have them. Many medications do work and can help with your condition.
5. Phone someone. You might just need to have a chat with someone in order to figure out what are your options during difficult illness time or just talk about how you feel. 
6. Don’t be afraid to go to the hospital if need be. If you feel a threat to yourself and/or others, don’t be afraid to seek help. 
Remember that everyone heals differently, copes differently and reacts differently to medications. So it is always important for you to research what are your options and what works for you in order to feel better. 
Happy Healing and Holidays Everyone =]
Check out what I am wearing from XIAJ @kustom9, :REBELL: and more HERE
***LEGAL DISCLAIMER: the information provided is not intended to replace any professional help. Discretion is advised. I am not a professional nor pertaining to act as such. The information given was gather from personal experience and educational resource.

Visit http://skittlesinthepit.blogspot.com/2013/11/psychosis-stress-and-holidays-mental.html for actual post date.



You Survived Yesterday – Mental Health Awareness Retreat

Original post @ Skittles In The Pit by .

 You Survived Yesterday
You survived Thanksgiving Day and for that you should celebrate today. No matter how bad it got yesterday you pulled through. You should be proud of yourself. You should acknowledge your strength. 
Don’t feel guilty if you didn’t make out your door yesterday or didn’t accomplish the things you wanted to. It doesn’t make you any less for it. It just means you had limitations and it is alright to have limitations. Nothing wrong with that.
Take time today to love yourself, you deserve it no matter what <3
Check out what I am wearing from .iRetro @The Dirty Turkey Hunt 4.0 HERE

Visit http://skittlesinthepit.blogspot.com/2013/11/you-survived-yesterday-mental-health.html for actual post date.



My Wish Right Now – Mental Health Awareness Retreat

Original post @ Skittles In The Pit by .

My Wish Right Now
I wish people came together and spoke about mental health like they do cancer and HIV. How people come together for gay rights and civil rights. Organizations joining forces together for the common goal of one cause, knowing there is power in unity.
I cried when I took part of relay for life this year and it wasn’t a good cry. I cried because I saw designers, club owners, organizations, and people come together to raise awareness for cancer as well as funds. Everyone was so helpful and supportive of each other. Every single person was considered amazing for their efforts (in raising awareness and funds) no matter how big or how small.
When it comes to mental health it seems to be the total opposite. People are ashamed to spread awareness because “omg people are going to think I’m crazy..I’m a loony…I’m pathetic”. People tend to hide their mental health groups more then proudly show it. They tend to not even advocate due to the high stigma and discrimination of the illness.
But was even worse is that organizations fight each other. Instead of coming together for the cause they attack one another of whose better and yet many are not doing what they are suppose to do…focus on mental health! Not how big the organization is! Not how many members you have or don’t have! Not on how famous your group is or isn’t! And surely not! on how much money you make out of the organization. The sole focus should be always the advocacy, true advocacy of mental health!.
It seems people don’t matter with this cause and many tend to look the other way. Somehow we are less human and overlooked. As if we didn’t have feelings and emotions. Just some bag of apples that sit in a corner emotionless. If WE, the people with mental illness don’t stand up then who do you expect to change things for us?
I started to advocate for mental health because I am! mentally ill and you have no idea how much abuse I have seen. From “doctors” (if you can call them that after the abuse), therapist, and those involved in helping the mentally ill to family members, friends, and society in general. I am not going to sit around and wait for someone to change things…I will simply try my best to do what I can. But I am going to tell you this. I, alone, can’t change the world. There is power in unity and until we realize that, mental health will continue to have issues with many people hiding in shame instead of standing up and educating. With people hiding behind stigma and not standing up and providing resources. With people trying to bring another organization down, instead of rising up, getting together and raising awareness.
Martin Luther King said “There is power in unity and there is power in numbers”
I don’t know why people are so afraid to stand up for themselves but I will tell you this….In order for there to be change, we must rise up and stand up for what is right. It is the ONLY way, things will! change. Don’t expect change by doing absolutely nothing.
With that said, I have been trolled for a while now on running Mental Health Awareness Retreat and recently my account was compromised. I was ready to give up, I won’t lie. After much hardship one just feels this urge to quit, to give up, to not continue with what’s causing the hurt anymore. But thanks to the support of those around me who helped me to continue to see what it is that I fight for daily, I will not! be giving up. I will continue to advocate for mental health until I am no longer alive and/or things change. Until people start to come together for mental health like they do for relay for life. Until people start to talk about mental health openly without shame, proudly! displaying their mental health groups just like relay for life. Until people start supporting others who are mentally ill just like they do cancer.
As many of you know, the only thing touched during the time my account was comprised was the mental health awareness retreat group. Nothing else to my knowledge was touched. I assume then that this is an attack towards mental health and what we do.
No matter what happens from here on, I will continue to do my best to raise awareness and provide resources for mental health even if it’s not via second life’s platform and I hope that you (the readers) will also take a stand and rise up, raise awareness for mental health, talk about mental health, provide resources and come together for the common goal of one cause….to change the outlook on mental health from a negative view to a positive view.
If you will like to support Mental Health Awareness Retreat and what we do, you can share our blog where people are able to find resources for various mental health disorders. You can host a sign in your second life land that will give out the blog and Mental Health Awareness Retreat’s LM. You can share our facebook page. And you can share our pintrest page.
You don’t have to support Mental Health Awareness Retreat to support mental health either. You can raise awareness and help stop stigma in different ways such as talking to others about mental health, offering them resources and information; educating others. Writing about mental health in blogs and/or web pages, forums and groups. Starting an event that helps raise awareness and stop stigma on mental health and many other things. Feel free to research on what appeals to you.
Together we can end mental health stigma and change how people see the mentally ill from a negative to a positive light <3
Take a look at what I am wearing from DOZZE and [geek.] HERE

Visit http://skittlesinthepit.blogspot.com/2013/12/my-wish-right-now-mental-health.html for actual post date.



I Am A Champion – Mental Health Awareness Retreat

Original post @ Skittles In The Pit by .

I Am A Champion
This video I am going to share helped not to quit once. I didn’t have a support group. I didn’t have family members that supported me nor a mental health team because I was so severely mentally ill that I couldn’t even leave my house to attend therapy. All I had was inspirational videos to help me make it through at one point in my life while struggling with my mental health illness.
I hope this video helps you to not give up as much as it helped me =]
Of course my mental illness is not a game. Of course not everything in this video applies to me. But here are the key words that helped me to not quit but rather persevere and keep on going:
“Who am I? I Am A Champion!
That’s right, and you need to remember….I will conquer what has not been conquered
Defeat will not be my creed
I will believe what others have doubted
I will always endeavor to pull esteem, honor, and respect….
I have trained my mind and my body will follow
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
I will acknowledge the fact that my opponent does not expect me to win
But I will never surrender
Weakness will not be in my heart
I will look to my comrades and to those who are a part of me in this world and those have trained me
and I will draw strength from them
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
I will gladly go out into the field of battle
And I will move in everything I can do….
Because he cannot stop me
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
No one will deny me, no one will define me
And no one will tell me who and what I am and can be
Belief will change my world
It has moved continents, it has moved countries, it has put men on the moon
And it will carry me through this battle
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
Defeat, retreat: those are not in my words
I don’t understand those definitions
I don’t understand when things go wrong
I don’t understand mistakes
But I do understand this:
I understand victory,
And I understand never surrendering
No matter how bad things go my heart and my mind will carry my body through limits and weakness
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
Today will be that day
Not tomorrow, not next week, but right now, right here
In your house and in your homes
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
History will remember me
I will not let worrying affect my cause
I will define myself
I will write my own pages
And no one will tell me what I cannot be
I will never give up…
Because who am I? I Am A Champion!
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
Who am I? I Am A Champion!”
Check out what I am wearing from [Urban Wealth] and more HERE

Visit http://skittlesinthepit.blogspot.com/2013/12/i-am-champion-mental-health-awareness.html for actual post date.



Rape Culture – Mental Health Awareness Retreat

Original post @ Skittles In The Pit.

Rape Culture
Rape culture is where society excuses, tolerates, normalizes and condones rape/sexual assault. People victim blame (“she asked for it, look at how she was dressed. She was practically naked”, “She shouldn’t be alone late at night”, “If he wouldn’t have stolen, he wouldn’t have gone to jail and gotten raped”, “He shouldn’t have gone to the bar”). They trivialize sexual assault (“Boys will be boys!”, “oh you know how guys are”). They pressure men to “score” (“I bet you can’t get that girl in bed?”). Rape culture assumes that only promiscuous women get raped and that only “weak” men get raped or men don’t get raped at all.
Today I deleted someone from my Facebook because they wrote “rape and record it”. That person is not the only person that takes rape as a joke. I’ve come across countless of people who use the word rape as a joke by saying things such as “I’m gonna rape you lol”, “I raped the replay button”, “She wants it…she likes it rough”.

Ain’t nothing funny about rape. And using it to toy around, victim blame, and anything else that defines rape culture, only degrades the severity of just how horrible rape is. Then people sit there and wonder why our society has a RISE in rapes. Because is seems to be a dam joke, that’s why!
Just about two days ago I heard someone in Real life say “human trafficking doesn’t happen in America. That only happens in poor countries”. I have to admit that my jaw fell. Obviously this person did not hear the recent news where the FBI arrested 150 people and rescued 105 children in a 3 day operation in America.
It almost seems to me that people don’t want to see how horrible this crime is. As if it’s better to joke about it and ignore it then face the severity of the issue. I guess we are so used to living a good life that accepting HORRIBLE things do! happen in America too can taint our “perfect” bubble that we live in. 
Well I am going to burst your bubble! Let me tell you what rape really means. Rape means HORRIBLE nightmares, flashbacks, and mental health issues for the victims. Rape means FEAR. Rape means HURT. Rape means TEARS. Rape means taking a part of someone that you can’t ever give back. It’s a form of killing someone.
Rape can happen to anyone. To you, your mother, your bother, your sister, your aunt, your uncle, your friends….anyone!
Laughing about rape won’t stop it. Trivializing it won’t stop it. Excusing it and ignoring it won’t stop it. 
What will stop it is avoiding using jokes with the words rape. Speaking out if you hear someone else making a joke or trivialize rape. Taking someone serious if they tell you they have been raped and supporting them. Being respectful of other people’s boundaries. Always communicating with sexual partners and not just assuming consent. Get involved! and help stop rape and violence <3
Here are some resources if you have been a victim or want to learn more about rape and sexual assault :
RAINN – International Sexual Assault Resources (resources from around the world)
One In Six – Resources for men
Stop It Now – Sexual Abuse Prevention, Helpline Resources, Adult survivors and more.
Take a look at :REBELL: New release HERE and more.

Visit http://skittlesinthepit.blogspot.com/2013/12/rape-culture-mental-health-awareness.html for actual post date.



Knowing Your Limits – Mental Health Awareness Retreat

Original post @ Skittles In The Pit.

Knowing Your Limits
There is a real life story going around about a guy in China, Tao Hsiao, who committed suicide after shopping for hours with his girlfriend. Tao had told his girlfriend that he had enough with shopping after five hours and demanded that they go home instead of continuing to shop. Instead of respecting his limits, his girlfriend insisted on going to another shop. Tao had other options as well, but perhaps he didn’t know of them. 
People who viewed the news began to laugh via social media. “Ha,ha! that’s something I would do because my girlfriend shops a lot”, “Ha,ha! he seriously is going to kill himself over shopping? What a dummy” Comments like these were made. For me, it shows just how much we lack on educating the public on mental health issues.
Many people don’t talk about depression, psychosis and other mental health issues due to stigma and therefore people viewing from the outside don’t know what it is like for someone with a mental health illness to suffer.
I remember one day being out for pizza. At the time I was severely mentally ill but didn’t know it. All I knew was that I heard voices and saw things that were not real but due to the lack of education, I didn’t know it was a mental health issue, just something wrong with me. I remember the pizza shop suddenly becoming so crowded and I saw someone that triggered me. That was when I asked my friend if we could leave but she insisted that we stay a bit longer. She didn’t know how ill I was either.
So there I sat. Trying to pretend I was alright. High on anxiety, my mind flipping out and on the edge. Hearing voices, seeing things and I was not able to move because my friend insisted we stay. When we finally left I broke down miserably. I cried and cried and cried for what seemed forever and thoughts of suicide definitely peeked into my mind.
It took time for me to learn to always! listen to my body and leave when I feel very high on anxiety on a situation and it took time to teach others to respect my space.
Not too long ago I wrote a post “Don’t let anyone or anything set your limits” and I will repeat that again…Don’t!. If you feel high on anxiety and someone is telling you stay no matter what, don’t allow them to set those limits for you. Excuse yourself and leave. This is an option Tao could have used. He could have just said “I will wait for you in the car or at home”.
I no longer let people keep me in situations that make me feel worse mentally. I stand up for myself and tell them “I am sorry but I must go”. I have even had this happened to me in doctors appointment where the front desk won’t allow me to wait outside. I tell them that either they change my appointment for when the doctor will be available for me within 10 minutes of my arrival or find me another office that respects my limits. At the end of the day I am only hurting myself if I stay in those kinds of situations (where I push my mind over the limit and stress it) and that I refuse to do.
You will always know what limits to respect and what limits to challenge.
The holidays can be even more stressful for many, so please be careful with your limits and other people’s limits. And don’t be afraid to talk to others about your mental health and what they can do to help you feel better. You might be surprised how great people respond. For the most part for me, secretaries work with me and are willing to take one or two minutes out of their time to get me and call me in from outside the office when it’s my turn or I hardly have to wait to see the doctor since I still suffer with anxiety. 
Happy Healing and Happy Holidays Everyone =] Stay Safe
Take a look at Reckless New Release and more HERE
***LEGAL DISCLAIMER: the information provided is not intended to replace any professional help. Discretion is advised. I am not a professional nor pertaining to act as such. The information given was gather from personal experience and educational resource.

Visit http://skittlesinthepit.blogspot.com/2013/12/knowing-your-limits-mental-health.html for actual post date.



Howie The Harp – Mental Health Awareness Retreat

Original post @ Skittles In The Pit.

Howie The Harp

If Howie the Harp were alive today, he would be the one man I would love to work with side by side. I would have learned all I could in regards to advocating for mental health and then put all of those lessons into practice. Because you see, Howie managed to accomplish such great outcomes in mental health care that now a days I could only wish for.

Howard Geld, known as Howi the Harp (because he loved to play the harmonica), committed his life to helping the mentally ill and homeless after he spend some time in institutions himself. He experienced horrible care in these institutions and wanted to change that.

He is credited with being a pioneer in advocacy for mental ill consumers, founding and co-founding many organizations that are now part of national and international mental health movements. He advocated for alternatives solutions to medications, the rights to outpatient care, the rights to housing for the mentally ill homeless, and much more. He even began a program that is in place till this day called Peer Specialist Training center which trains former patients who are recovered to help others with mental illness who are just beginning their journey in healing.

He was diagnosed as a schizophrenic, psychotic, manic-depressive and psychotic depressive but instead of giving into the system and just being another number, he chose to advocate for mental health, create movements that made changes, and stood up for what was right. When I look at Howie the Harp I know that all things are possible if I continue to advocate and be a voice. He is living proof that changes in mental health IS possible.

Here are two amazing links to read more about Howie the Harp:

Howie the Harp’s Work
Who Howie the Harp was, what he did, and his death

How about you? What are you doing to advocate for mental health? Feel free to share in the comment box.

To see what I am wearing from .iRetro, XIAJ, and The Frost Event click HERE

I hope you can bear with some fuzzy noise, definitely worth watching
(remember this video was made when technology was not at it’s best)

Visit http://skittlesinthepit.blogspot.com/2013/12/howie-harp-mental-health-awareness.html for actual post date.



Find Something To Live For – Mental Health Awareness Retreat

Original post @ Skittles In The Pit.

Find Something To Live For
The number one thing I dislike people telling me when I am feeling suicidal is “think of all the people you will hurt”. It is the same phrase I’ve seen over and over in many resourceful sites for suicide prevention. I don’t know about you but this doesn’t help at all. Heck, why would I care about hurting the people who hurt me! The same people I feel are better off without me. The same people I feel don’t care at all. So yeah, this is the last thing I care to hear about because in the back of my mind all I’m thinking is “and? your point is?”.
What does help me though is thinking about the people I want to live for! The people I care enough to not find me dead. The things I enjoy and want to keep on doing. That! is what helps me.
When my medication seems to fails and other coping skills, this is the one thing that holds me on. With the lows of bipolar even telling my mind that things will get better doesn’t help sometimes. I know for a fact the darkness will pass but somehow my mind tells me “yeah, right!”. Therefore I hold on to those people and things I want to live for. It always seem to help.
I’ve heard of people who have literally been saved from suicide because they have family members to live for, while other people have survived because they know their pets need them…who else would care for their pets, feed them, and groom them? For others is their lovers, and for some is the work they do in the world. 
Eventually it does get better. The darkness does drift away and many wonderful days do arrive where is much more then just! surviving. Days where we really enjoy ourselves and feel alive. It is those same amazing days that make it so worth it that we held on.
There are other ways you can prevent suicide as well such as calling a hotline, medications, taking a walk outside, talking to someone about what you are going through, speaking with a therapist/doctor, listening to uplifting movies/videos/music, making sure you don’t have a vitamin deficiency and so much more.  
Find what works for you best. What helps you get through your darkest times. In the end, the dark will fade away and it will get better <3
Take a look at what I am wearing from XIAJ, F R O S T event and more HERE
***LEGAL DISCLAIMER: the information provided is not intended to replace any professional help. Discretion is advised. I am not a professional nor pertaining to act as such. The information given was gather from personal experience and educational resource.

Visit http://skittlesinthepit.blogspot.com/2013/12/find-something-to-live-for-mental.html for actual post date.



Creator’s Illegal Activities & Customers Exploited – Mental Health Awareness Retreat

Original post @ Skittles In The Pit.
Imagine going to a store and purchasing some wood, tools, and other materials to build a house. As you settle your things on the check out table, the cash register tells you “before I ring your purchase, just know that when you build the house you can’t sell it for less then $ 100,000 dollars.” How would you feel? How about if you now knew that it is illegal? Not so great, huh?

Well that is exactly! what is happening in Second Life and people seem alright with it for the most part. I want to believe that is due to ignorance and that is why I want to shed light to this illegality taking place.

I personally didn’t know this was illegal until a recent argument between two designers erupted. One designer was the original creator of a mesh template and the other was the designer using the template. The mesh creator accused the designer of breaking her TOS because she had a sale, the creator’s tos read in part:

“You are NOT allowed to:

- give away the RAR, pds, tga, dae, obj, or clothing for free & full perm……
- sell your creation under 120L. The outfits are professional done and we don’t want to destroy the sl economy.
- give away as freebies or group gifts.
(If you see anyone acting against my tos please report to me asap that i can take action)”

Now most people like me (when I was blind to LAWS) would say “but this is the creator’s work, there is nothing wrong with this person making their own TOS for their own creation that they sweated an arm and leg for” WRONG!

Around the world this is called price fixing and it is ILLEGAL. Price Fixing is where sellers come together or alone to buy or sell a product, service, or commodity only at a fixed price or try to maintain the market at a certain price by controlling supply and demand. This may lead to high prices and bigger profits for all sellers. Sellers agree not to discount the sales price lower then agree to as a minimum price.

What Does This Mean?

Profit for the seller and designer, exploitation for YOU! the customer, due to the higher prices in place. Normally, in a place where competition is allowed and there is no price fixing, sellers can have sales, sell at a lower cost, be fair to customers while generating a profit.

How Does Price Fixing Happen In SL?

There are two ways this can happen. One is by expression (I randomly chose these examples by entering “template” in the search box in the marketplace) which looks like this:

“Overall price can not be less then my item(s) total current selling price. For example; if you used 3 of my items which are $ 250L each, total outfit can not be any less then $ 750L.”

“You can price it as you like as long as it’s not below 70 lindens”

“You are not permitted to advertise clothing made from our mesh products in any form (modified or as is) as a freebie, dollarbie, or less then 99L on SL marketplace. This ensures everyone has a fair opportunity with our templates.”

The second way is implied, where a designer/creator speaks out in public or to another designer and says something along the lines “why is that person having a sale or lowering their cost? This is what ruins our market!. People shouldn’t sell their items for a much lesser price”

Does This Even Benefit Creators/Designers In The Long Run?

No!  Creators/Designers gain more by providing more values to its customers then their competitions do by either lowering prices or providing better quality items/services.

And people who are price fixing will always! be out done by those who put their customers first! After all customers are more likely to shop when prices are reasonable, there are sales, and there is a lesser price for a better quality item elsewhere.

Price Fixers are also outdone by other businesses who are more liberal.

If Price Fixing Is Illegal, Are We Allowed To Report The Creators/Designers doing this? 

Of course you can! Just like any other laws such as the intellectual property laws that second life follows, anything that is Real Life law, SL must! abide by it.

You can look up your local Antritrust Office if you are in the USA and report it via their website or phone. For example my site is NY. In that site you will find their phone number, how to file a report, how the complaint is handled and more.

In the UK you can report it by finding your local Office Of Fair Trading (OFT)

In Other countries you will have to look for your local consumer/commerce commission and/or look up your antitrust laws offices.

What Can Happen To Them?

They can be prosecuted as a criminal for federal offense and/or fined.

Feel free to google and find out what happened to some companies that got caught =]

But How Can Someone Be Punished In Real Life When They Are Selling In SL?

Remember that Creators/Designers make real life money (in the case of a mesh creator we are talking about A LOT of money, enough for the feds to care) and that SL follows Real Life laws. For example with intellectual laws anyone in second life can real life sue a person stealing their copyright/trademark and other kinds of work. Here is what the TOS say for second life in regards to real life laws….

LL’s TOS: “Intellectual Property Rights” means copyrights, trademarks, service marks, trade dress, publicity rights, database rights, patent rights and other intellectual property rights or proprietary rights recognized by law….Because the law may or may not recognize certain Intellectual Property Rights in any particular Content, you should consult a lawyer if you want legal advice regarding your legal rights in a specific situation. You acknowledge and agree that you are responsible for knowing, protecting, and enforcing any Intellectual Property Rights you hold, and that Linden Lab cannot do so on your behalf.”

“10.2 The applicable law and venue is in San Francisco, California.”

You agree that this Agreement and the relationship between you and Linden Lab shall be governed by the laws of the State of California without regard to conflict of law principles or the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods. Further, you and Linden Lab agree to submit to the exclusive personal jurisdiction and venue of the courts located in the City and County of San Francisco, California, except as provided in Section 10 regarding arbitration.”

“11.1 The Service is a United States-based service.”

“Linden Lab controls and operates the Service from its offices in the United States. Linden Lab makes no representation that any aspect of the Service is appropriate or available for use outside of the United States. Those who access the Service from other locations are doing so on their own initiative and are responsible for compliance with applicable local laws regarding your online conduct and acceptable content, if and to the extent local laws apply. Subject to the terms of this Agreement, we reserve the right to limit the availability of, restrict access to, or discontinue the Service and/or any content, program, product, service or other feature described or available on the Service to any person, entity, geographic area, or jurisdiction, at any time and in our sole discretion, and to limit the quantities of any content, program, product, service, or other feature that we provide.”

As you can clearly see, LL abides by real life laws and those laws are the ones of the USA, California where price fixing is completely illegal.

What Can We Do As Customers?

Besides reporting it, you can purchase 100% mesh from Creators/Designers who do not sell their templates or you can purchase from Creators/Designers who do not follow price fixing.

In Conclusion-

We as customers must stand together and united as much as Creators/Designers stand united over TOS being respected. I don’t get how these same people talk soooooo much about TOS, intellectual properties, copybots and scammers of their items, getting highly upset if such laws in place are not respected but then they lack respect for customers? Many who are real life disabled, low income, and struggling. I definitely am not going to support creators that are doing this nor designers who are purchasing from creator’s doing this and I suggest you don’t either. By doing so, what you are supporting is exploitation and illegal activities.

Thank you to the designer that opened up my eyes to this <3

UPDATE: I want to clear things up since people are still confused on what price fixing is, by saying things such as “various designers set at a different prices therefore is not fixed”. Price fixing doesn’t just refer to the actual price an item is being sold at. It also refers to setting a maximum or minimum price in an industry. Here is an example of a lawsuit where a similar debate occurred: Apple E-Book Price Fixing Trial

Visit http://skittlesinthepit.blogspot.com/2013/12/creators-illegal-activities-customers.html for actual post date.



Antitrust Laws & Virtual Worlds

Original post @ Skittles In The Pit.
Yesterday I made a post in regards to price fixing. What it means, how it happens in second life, How it is illegal, Who to report it to, What the consequences are, How the law is applied, What customers can do, and what why I stand up against this. 

I’ve seen there was a bit of a confusion with the post therefore I wanted to clear things up. First, I wrote this from a customers perspective. If you are a designer and you bought a template with a specific tos, it is assumed that you read the tos on the product prior to purchase. That means that you may have entered a legal binding. This is a whole different matter that I won’t even touch basis with.

With that said, that doesn’t mean that either party (designer or template creator) has the right to set a fixed minimum price on a product to sell. This is controlling the market and it is illegal! For smaller businesses who want to rise in the market this can cause an issue as they are not allow to be competitive and offer lower prices. In a court of law they can argue that the person setting the minimum price has made it near impossible for them to make a profit with their small business. 

On the consumers side, they can argue in a court of law that they didn’t get a fair price as a merchant might have sold an item for a lesser price if they would have been allowed to. This means, the consumer was blocked from purchasing at a lower price and therefore incurred a loss. You can face a civil lawsuit in this matter. 

You could also be sued privately for unfair practices, unfair competition, and monetary damages.

Following these practices of setting a minimum prices doesn’t only exploit and monetarily damages consumers, doesn’t let small business rise, but also it affects our real life market!

How Does A Virtual World Affect A Real Life Market?

As I said in my last post there is a conversion in currency where lindens become real life dollars. That affects our market when it is being controlled, monopolizing the virtual world. When you monopolize, you don’t allow others a fair chance at business and allow them to be competitive. 

But This Is Lindens NOT Real Life Money, You Are Not Able To Sue Me Because I Don’t Follow Real Laws, In The Marketplace In SL There Is NO Real Law.

Then why follow pedophilia laws if sl doesn’t follow real life laws? Why follow gambling laws if we don’t follow real life laws?

If you think having a different currency can stop you from following the law, PLEASE read these articles. They are based on antitrust laws and virtual worlds. The law can prosecute designers/creators for this.

Antitrust Law and Virtual Worlds by Marques Tracy. In this lengthy yet well written article you will see cases from virtual worlds that have reached federal courts, how there is a economic affect of real money trading in virtual worlds, and how the antitrust laws can apply to virtual worlds.

Intellectual Property and Information Wealth: copyright and related rights edited by Peter K. Yu. Here we see how people can abuse their intellectual properties in order to control the market. I quote “The antitrust laws were designed for precisely this scenario: indeed, the doctrine of copyright misuse has been expressly created to limit contractual abuses of copyrights that lead to control over secondary markets.”

A real life case that was in question is the case of Facebook credits. Facebook credits whose virtual currency is different from real life, called Zucchini, was accused of it’s system being anti-competitive. The consumer watchdog, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group filed the complaint with the Federal Trade commission. In this case, Facebook didn’t allow developers to offer a discount to users. This meant that consumers will have to pay more. Facebook eventually settled with the Federal Trade commission. Although the matter seemed to have been handled then, they were accused again of violating the antitrust laws. I will leave you to read the article.

As you can see, I have provided way more legal links (if the last post didn’t have enough) to further back what I am trying to say. There are many designers in second life that thankfully provide consumers/costumers with fair pricing without having a controlled market. As I said in the prior post, I will support ONLY 100% original mesh creators and/or designers that do not have these controlling policies. As a consumer, I am not getting the best price I can get as there are road blocks to this

If you see on the terms of these templates, people are not allowed to have sales, use them for hunts and have other restrictions that limit what best offer a designer would love to offer us (consumer) for their items. As a consumer/costumer I simply cannot sit here and support something, knowing! I am possibly being ripped off. At the end of the day if you purchased a template for 10L or 100,000L, you should be able to sell your creation for whatever price you want so long as you respect the copyrights. 

Allowing the designer to value as they wish allows consumers/customers to choose freely who they want to buy from. Restriction on low prices only makes us, the consumer, spend more for an item we could have possibly gotten for less and limits how a designer wants to run a business.

I cannot support something that is illegal, that cheats off customers, and that monopolizes a market.

I value every designer and I am thankful for each and everyone of them for making my second life experience more enjoyable but I know plenty of stores that don’t do this at the cost of buyers. I know the market is horrible if you don’t have a limit because people give things out for free, but I am sure there can be a better system constructed without the violation of legal laws and the exploitation of buyers. In another note, I know plenty of businesses like I said who run just well and make great amount of money without breaking the antitrust laws. 

For those of you who want a list of those stores, feel free to im me in world or leave a comment here if you want to see the list up in a post.

Also I started a group called “Consumers United” in second life. Here is the link to join secondlife:///app/group/3e6d0c9a-317b-f6a4-70c3-22e1158d309b/about. It’s free. The group is to keep you informed on anything consumer related such as scams, yard sale scams, copybotters etc. We are working on a page where consumers can post reviews and rate businesses. It is a page for customers by customers. 

As Marques Tracy said in his conclusion (the link provided above) “While we should not punish those who have achieved success, we cannot sit idly by and watch as they exploit their market power and destroy competition, often at the expense of the very users they are supposedly trying to attract.”

UPDATE: Manufacturer – Imposed Requirements - You can’t control the market or impose a price whether minimum or maximum but! you can suggest a retail price. For example “Jeans Template – suggested retail price $ 200L”. And the same creators sellers can legally decide not to sale to those designers that do not price the item at the suggested price. That is a different story. Feel free to click on the link above and read more on how you can legally control your items =]




Visit http://skittlesinthepit.blogspot.com/2013/12/antitrust-laws-virtual-worlds.html for actual post date.