Where Have All the Nekos Gone?

Or the Kitsune, the furries, the tinies. 

Just recently, when I saw a Neko walk by in a shop, I was surprised (almost shocked) to see one, and then I realized that my surprise stems from the fact that I haven’t seen a neko or much of any of the hybrids or the other cultures in SL in a very, very long time.  Certainly, not as routinely or in the same numbers as I once had.

Kitsune, naturally
Me, as a Kitsune, naturally
It’s not like I’ve actively looked because it hadn’t really crossed my mind…not until my reaction to seeing a Neko made me feel like I was looking at an endangered species.  

As is probably universally true inworld, one of the things I have always loved about SL is the wonderful creativity and expression in the virtual world.  It shows itself not only in the formal art installations but also in everyday ways, down to the way we look and the cultures we enrich.   I like differences in style and cultures (irrespective of whether or not either one fits my aesthetic, with the only thing falling clearly outside of my tolerance zone is any kind of griefing culture-activity).  These differences (even bad fashion sensibility or lopsided physical proportions) are, for me, a wonderful expression of creativity and experiments in throwing off or at least exploring FL labels in a way that FL rarely allows us to explore.  But for some reason over the past few months (and maybe it’s only because I’ve been in too many shopping malls), I’ve noticed that unlike my first and second year in SL, I’m not running into many different cultures or aethestics everywhere anymore.   Which leads me to wonder (without any judgement cast in either direction):  is the larger SL community outside of the formal artists still as varied and as culturally rich (in appearance, style, and society) as I remember it being?  Has some other more stylized culture and standard for virtual beauty-expression in look and dress and action achieved a critical mass inworld?  Or could it be that the FL tendency to compartmentalize has crept into SL and other virtual worlds and spurred the creation of specific role play sims, daresay continents, daresay OpenSim worlds to separate and organize same with same?   I don’t know if any of this – or any combination of this – is the case.  Perhaps, like I said, I’ve just been in too many inworld shopping malls recently (although that never stopped the cultures from combining in the past).  But I’m curious to hear your views on this.  And in the meanwhile, I have a feeling that for a bit I’ll start looking at SL through the lens of these questions. 

I also have a feeling I’ll be dusting off my Kitsune ears and tail a bit more than I have in the past.   Just because.

A Neko in Paris
A Kitsune in Paris


I need to figure out what I did to the camera settings to create this strange kind of ghosted echo on my images.  I think I customized the size too large is my hunch, clearly misunderstanding a weblog on photography that suggested doing so to reduce the pixels in the image.


8 thoughts on “Where Have All the Nekos Gone?

  1. Pretty fox! 🙂

    I hope it’s just the places that you’ve been spending time in lately; I’d hate to see SL’s species-diversity shrinking. There might be some natural effect, as the population grows, that the original high percentage of creatives and oddballs would naturally decrease somewhat over time, as more mainstream folks come in; I hope that effect stays small!

    I was at a random live music performance the other night, and remember noticing a vampire (not Bloodlines or anything annoying as far as I could tell) and a tiny fox-or-something, and a strange stringy red-skinned person, and a, um, not sure, maybe plant or something 🙂 dancing up hear the stage. I’ll have to start paying more attention and see just who I notice where.

    Maybe the nonhumans are just getting tired of shopping. Unlikely as that sounds! 🙂

    1. Thank you! 🙂

      I agree…it could very well be all the shopping malls (which are increasingly FL mall like structures in their build, so perhaps that’s why the increasingly FL looking people). But I do wonder if there’s some kind of drop-off rate with the early creative adopters or some kind of larger cultural shift happening. I’m with you. I hope any effects caused by either of those things – if those things are happening – stay small.

  2. Maybe the “fad” is finally dying out. That would be a blessing to me. I got tired of seeing the trendy people going stupid over it. It’s nice to be something you’ve always been in a game rather than be something because everyone else is doing it.

  3. Nods, I hear you, Lynn, and thanks for commenting! 🙂 And yet I can also understand ppl wanting to experiment. But much like you’re saying, I’ve never been one to follow the crowd. As social creatures, we all do that to some extent or another, but when we stop using our own imagination or stop exploring because we adopt what others say we should, that’s when it’s extremely troubling.

  4. Hmm…the way you show the kitsune…it’s a well blend of cuteness, prettiness and elegance.

    People nowadays tends to accept certain forms of aesthetics and reject others. Perhaps that’s why various forms exists in the world. We can’t force others or self to accept everything, but we can acknowledge their existence. Choose whatever you like.

  5. Thanks! And I agree that it’s good to know and like ourselves, and be willing to learn. I’ve found that’s a good way to be open to the world and to be happy.

  6. Great post, Michele! If I think about it, some of my neko friends have been wearing ears and tails less often. It is hard to say if we get so we don’t notice or there actually are fewer. Of course now you’ll have me watching to see if I notice 🙂

  7. Lanna, thank you kindly :)! I agree…it is hard to say. It’s funny…since I put up this post I’ve seen more nekos and kitsunes lately. I’ve been wearing my ears and tail too, a bit more and I’m glad for that. I’m all for the “mainstream” FL fashion sensibilities…it’s just the often very limiting FL labels and constructs that often come with “mainstream” judgements about what’s in and what’s out that I’m not so wild about. The power and beauty in SL is the ability to challenge/go beyond/view differently those constructs. So an all-out migration of FL societal judgements is worriesome. But like I said, I’ve recently seen more neko/kitsunes lately. So we’ll see where it all goes! 🙂

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