We asked each of our sponsors to answer the same questions so that we could shine the Avi Choice Spotlight on them and share with our website and magazine readers. Read on to see how each one answered and visit them inworld! When you’re there, tell them AviChoice said HELLO!
FUNSIES® IntelliGrow® Babies – Rebekah Recreant
Q: Hello! Thank you for sponsoring the Avi Choice Awards!
A: It’s our great pleasure to have this opportunity!
Q: When did you arrive in SL the first time and what brought you to Second Life?
A: It was in mid 2006 when a friend asked me to come look at a 3D world she was enjoying. The name of it is “Second Life”. She was a Game Master in an MMORPG I was playing at the time.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about how you’ve spent your Second Life? Hobbies, interests.. things you’ve learned along the way ?
A: When I began Second Life, everything was created from prims only. I noticed a lot of the items were not my taste nor style. After playing with prims for about a week, I started to create my own clothing. I used to sit in a local store “camping” while creating. My favorite item ever was bunny slippers. Really. When I put that sphere and another sphere and linked.. textured and saw those bunny slippers… I was hooked!
I have learned to create what I find stunning, funny, interesting – because I need to create something I can support. I discovered that my hobby in SL was to make things and give them away. After awhile I began selling the items I made and FUNSIES came to fruition. My wonderful husband surprised me one day by making my ice cream cone baby (dubbed such because back in 2007 babies were made from prims and not sculpts) animate and play peek-a-boo. This was never seen before in SL! I was in awe! With his skills and love, our animated babies were born. My husband does all of our animations.
Q: Please tell us about your business in SL. What do you sell/promote/service? When was it founded? How many organizers/founders? How many SLers do you staff, etc?
A: FUNSIES IntelliGrow Babies are AI children that begin as newborns and grow to adults. These are not controlled by humans, but rather unique children in their own right. We have filed for a patent back in 2014 and are thrilled to know it’s almost completed. We also offer the :EDEN: Role Play Hud which is much like FUNSIES children, but for avatars. The system took 8 months of beta testing before release this month.
FUNSIES was founded in April 2007 under the name “ABC Maternity”. When another company took our name and created confusion, we decided to change it to something unique and trademark it – FUNSIES became the name of the company and we have it and IntelliGrow trademarked.
FUNSIES has two founders; my real life husband and myself. We employ approximately 12 SL staffers; some are also real life employees.
Q: Was there a special reason you chose to sponsor this final Avi Choice Awards?
A: Until this nomination we weren’t aware of the Avi Choice Awards. We’re honored to support something that is community driven.
Q: Do you have any specific charities you support in SL? if so, who and why?
A: All charities we support are in real life only. FUNSIES directly supports animal welfare groups, individuals with cancer, as well as St. Jude’s Children’s hospital. The charities we support are not available in Second Life. We’re quite particular with whom to support and those with high managerial income from donations are excluded by us.
Q: Do you want to share a look at your life outside of SL with us? What do you or did you do for a living? Does your family support your SL aspirations?
A: Our outside life is one filled with amazing people, a lot of animals and all from rescues, as well as providing support to others. Prior to Second Life, my husband and I owned (and still own and operate) one of the oldest IT companies and I also did a lot of counseling. We began our IT business when the internet was still in diapers. I obtained my doctorates degree and my husband has his programming degree. We are also very strong Christians and believe that helping and loving others is vital to the health of the world. We attend a wonderful church in Second Life named “Calvary Chapel” head by Pastor Sugar Zucker and his wife Ai Zheng. Pastor Alex is a pastor in Scotland in real life. Our family supports what we do in SL and are in awe with each new creation. My brother lives in San Francisco and personally visited Second Life’s offices after I told him about our new venture. I recently told him about the Avi Awards Nominations and his reply was, “of course you were nominated! You guys work so hard and put your heart and soul into it.” I love you, Nicholas! ♥
Q: Anything else you’d like us to know about you, a special mentor, friends or your business?
A: I’m an open book! I am truly a “what you see is what you get” person and never ever will tell you something just because I think you want to hear it. I believe we are all equal, we all matter, every life is precious and may I add, if you are considering suicide please don’t – there is someone that you matter to so much, even if you don’t realize it. Don’t break their heart – time changes things and feelings of despair do not last forever. My motto is “everyone has an amazing story to tell – we just have to be willing to hear it.”