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WDWfanatic742
05-09-2007, 12:38 AM
5/8 – Ahoy matey! Ya come seeking virtual adventure and looking for Yavn? He's back and with a few VMK tales to tell!

Where is Yavn?

Hello! Is it me you're looking for? I know, I know, many of you have been asking where have I been (a close second was why was there no column last week)? Well, since our trip to Walt Disney World it's been incredibly busy and I took a little time off.

Our visits to WDW are always filled with lots of meetings to discuss what will happen next in the game, and this trip kept us very busy! We have something very special planned for you - but I can't say anymore until what we have planned is a little bit closer to launch. But trust me, your patience will be rewarded!

Wishes Do Come True (Must Read)

A few months ago it came to our attention that one of our players had been sick. We were told by his friends in the game that some days he felt good, while other days he didn't feel so well. Soon we would find out the truth about what his friends meant by being "sick":

Last year CL_Slinkyman, a long time player of VMK found out he had Hodgkins Lymphoma, a cancer that attacks mostly boys as they enter adolescent. Slinkyman was lucky; he has a wonderful support team both at home and with his friends on VMK. In fact, VMK was key to keeping his moral up. During all his chemo treatments Slinkyman would log into VMK via a laptop at the hospital and forget his real life - because in VMK there is no cancer.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation was kind enough to grant Slinkyman his wish of a Disney Cruise, but when I learned his true wish was to meet me, I discovered a little pixie dust can go a long way.

Words can not describe our trip (although life changing event is more appropriate) to meet CL_Slinkyman and his family. Needless to say our day together was amazing and proves that dreams really do come true! Get better CL_Slinkyman!

Now let's turn our attention back to the game and talk about some of the really cool stuff happening now:

Make Tracks for Alice!

This week we started selling some of the Alice in Wonderland Dark Ride items – check out the Fantasyland Specials where you can pick up some of the Alice tracks and well as the first released pieces of Alice furniture! And before you ask, we'll have Ramp Tracks available but you will have to wait a bit longer for them. ;-)

Quest-A-Plenty

In honor of Pirates month, this past weekend we launched our updated Pirates of the Caribbean in-Park Quest at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The new Quest offers up to 8 questions (if you play at Disneyland) to test your Pirates knowledge - and for your efforts you can win the awesome Pirates of the Caribbean Fortress Room card. Sorry, the Pirate Well Chair is no longer part of the Quest - it's gone for now, but not forever.

Another Quest we also launched was the new Print-From-Home Tomorrowland Quest! The reward for that Quest is the Inner-Space Suit Magic Spell.

M-I-C… See, it's our pal Mickey Mouse!

Finally, this past weekend we also launched was the Limited Edition Mickey Mouse Television card. Now when you complete 3 or more in-Park Quests your reward will be this beautiful foil card (and the virtual in-game item that goes with it)!

So get to the park and get Questing - as the Mickey Mouse Television cards won't be around forever and how you can get the card is also subject to change! The real question though is what do you think of this cool new reward? Do you want to see more Mickey stuff? How about some Donald or Goofy furniture? Let us know!

The Great Big Pirate Quest

Arrgh! So you think you're a Pirates of the Caribbean expert? Then why not try our Great Big Pirate Quest? Aye, need some incentive? How about a Cursed Strom Pin? The Quest runs from Monday May 21st until Thursday May 31st – so be sure to play!

To Terebethia!

Did you catch Bridge To Terabithia at the movies? What did you think of that tree house? Why not play the new Bridge To Terabithia Trivia Game and win this very cool VMK Terabithia Tree House Chair? It goes well with almost any room and is a great way to get a bird's eye view of the Kingdom. Just stop by www.bridgetoterabithiadvd.com later this week and play. There's no limit to how many Tree Houses you can win so play as much as you like - now we just need ropes to connect them and we can make an Ewok village!!! Uh, sorry, wrong movie!

One more note I'd like to mention, there are some changes on the way to the VMK Staff, with some new faces joining the team - as well as others who are moving on. We're also in the process of revamping our moderation program and over time we're planning many changes to help make VMK even better.

Finally, don't forget this Friday both the boys and girls Pirate Tops go on sale and ye best be buying them before they disappear! That's all for now, be sure to check back next week for more news on what I've been up to...

See you in VMK!
Yavn

WDWfanatic742
05-09-2007, 12:44 AM
Pictures

CL_Slinkyman Avatar (http://avmk.disney.go.com/avmk_v0300/en_US/media/calendar/YavnSpks-2007-05-08-SlinkymanAvatar.jpg)

POTC Quest Card (http://avmk.disney.go.com/avmk_v0300/en_US/media/calendar/YavnSpks-2007-05-08-Pirates2007Questcard.jpg)

BTT Treehouse (http://avmk.disney.go.com/avmk_v0300/en_US/media/calendar/YavnSpks-2007-05-08-TeribithiaTree.jpg)

It's really cool to see that Yavn and the entire team made an effort to meet up with Slinkyman to boost his spirts. With the game, Yavn loves teasing us and this week is no more special than any other week with this special news. The Bridge to Teribithia Treehouse looks really cool. Maybe Tom, Patti or Figgie can work their magic and get the pictures up on here since I still can't attach anything...

LittleDragonErin
05-09-2007, 02:09 AM
Slinky has been on my friends list for a long long time. Even before I became a CL. It's really strange because I did not know about what was going on with him in real life until around October of last year. I had no clue who AceBugDozer was either, but occassionally she (although since the character was a boy, I saw him as a he), would be in the room with Slinky and constantly thank me for being his friend. I didn't even know what relation Bug had to Slinky. A couple months later, Slinky asks me, "You know Bug is my mummy right?" And I was like...oh...okay. But Bug is a boy....weird. And didn't really think anything of it, until I noticed BugDozer on the Dis boards and put 2 and 2 together with her stories about him. It was just really strange finding out all this after all that time. Bug later would tell me all the stuff I had done in the past that meant so much to him but I didn't know or realize the weight of my actions then. So when I finally read all those stories, it just made me cry because I didn't realize how much a difference I was making in somebody's life and not know it.

I'm glad Slinky had such a great time meeting Yavn and CaffDawg. If you ever get the chance, you should read the story his mother posted. It's very very touching. Even that week of fulfilling his dreams, there were struggles he went through. It's just a great experience to read about.

Chescat
05-09-2007, 03:29 AM
I read that story and it just made me cry. Its just not fair that kids have to go through such an awful disease, it just not right. He seems to positive and that's so awesome. I have a new respect for Yavn and Caffdawg to grant him his wish. They were so awesome to spend the time with him.

Maybe on a positive note, my cousin had Hodgkins Lymphoma when he was 9. Went through lots of surgeries and chemos and such. It was a long time ago, so things have progressed a lot since 70's and 80's. We lost him at age 37, but he lived a lot longer than we ever expected. I'm hoping with all the new things out there, Slinkyman can beat the odds like my cousin did. He seems to have the same positive attitude. :mickey:

On the subject of the Pirate Quest. Its interesting Yavn shows May 21-31 for Cursed Storm Quest. Yet under the Event Info, it shows a quest for Memorial Day weekend May 25th-May 27th. You think this might be different? I'm hoping its the Pirate Magic for those who didn't give it. The Buried in Treasure seems to be given out with Treasure Detector when that's available.

Also did you catch it said pirate top this weekend. :D

chrisb26
05-09-2007, 09:24 AM
When I first read that story I was surprised I had never known that he had that. Although I didn't really know Slinkyman. But from what I have seen of him you would never really know. He is very posititve. I thought it was great what Yavn and Caffdawg did for him. All the bad things people say about Yavn but he still seems like a great guy to go and do something like this. He had said he changed his trip plans just so they would go along with Slinkyman's that was very nice of him.

This pirate quest at first I was kinda mad that they would be awarding Cursed Storm Magic. Then it occured to me that since it isn't tradeable that now I would be able to get it on my new character that I make in the park when I go! I am guessing that it isn't pirate magic because that is what the boys pirate costume is about. No real need for the magic anymore. Unless you want a sparkle magic that is at least for the boys. That still makes me wonder what will the be the prize for the quest the 25th-27th and if it will be different.

The newsletter also said something about getting new staff as well as losing a few of them. I am wondering who this will be. I was thinking whether or not it would be a Host or not. I guess we will just have to wait and see who is leaving. I guess we will know soon enough.

LittleDragonErin
05-09-2007, 11:34 AM
I was joking with a couple friend in game about Cursed Storm being the quest prize. Double the crashing, woot!!!! Hee hee! I get the feeling though that Yavn just mixed up his dates.

The part about the staff made me a little sad. I've gotten to know several of them over the last few months and it would make me sad to see any of them go.

varcity
05-09-2007, 01:58 PM
ok, sorry to do this, don't mean to take away from the slinkman story because I was learned about his problems about 3 months ago somewhere else. But now that Yavn has announced that he met Slinkyman, two problems arise:

1) VMK values have been DESTROYED! you all know why.
2) How many people are going to use contact us with fake issues to meet now?

I was very surprised when Slinkyman got his wish. He is very deserving of it!! Such a strong kid, glad he could find a happy place out of it all.

The tree house looks awesome and like a lot of fun! I can't wait for that one.

In game pirate quest: Why do we need something to crash us more? Thought something new would come out for a "special" weekend.

In park pirate quest: Why are they limiting the prizes? currently only 4 prizes are rewarded for 3 quests. Not enough to throughly entice me into the parks. Not great marketing.

Well, Yavn spoke. :mickey: Don't want to bad talk him, but not much by way of info. We still need to know about epcot furniture and those pins, peter ride pieces, ALR piece length of stay. Probably more, but he has a build coming that should provide more juice for us.

RenDuran
05-09-2007, 02:41 PM
Interesting that for a game that discourages meeting other players outside the game, the big man himself broke the vmk rule! Obviously Slinkyman had extenuating circumstances, but it's still a violation.

My best to Slinkyman and his family!:mickey:

Chescat
05-09-2007, 02:46 PM
ok, sorry to do this, don't mean to take away from the slinkman story because I was learned about his problems about 3 months ago somewhere else. But now that Yavn has announced that he met Slinkyman, two problems arise:

1) VMK values have been DESTROYED! you all know why.
2) How many people are going to use contact us with fake issues to meet now?

I was very surprised when Slinkyman got his wish. He is very deserving of it!! Such a strong kid, glad he could find a happy place out of it all.
I slightly disagree. Slinkyman's parents arrranged the Disney Cruise and the WDW events through Make A Wish. They gave Make A Wish his wishes and its them that went to Disney and let them know what the wishes are. We have been following his illness for a while and its known to most of the VMK community.

Yes you will have some whiners out there that try to say they are sick. But for somebody to get their wishes fullfilled through Make a Wish. That's not usually a good thing.

Usually in the gaming community, pictures are normally attached to heads of companies and lead programmers. I see them usually at those E3 conventions. Disney just hasn't done that option for safety sake of their staff. I'm surprised pictures haven't surfaced before when Yavn and his staff have shown up in the Innoventions Cave at DLR.

Again I commend and have major respect for Yavn and Caffdawg to arrange their schedules to make Slinkyman's wish come true.

LittleDragonErin
05-09-2007, 03:34 PM
Usually in the gaming community, pictures are normally attached to heads of companies and lead programmers. I see them usually at those E3 conventions. Disney just hasn't done that option for safety sake of their staff. I'm surprised pictures haven't surfaced before when Yavn and his staff have shown up in the Innoventions Cave at DLR.

Again I commend and have major respect for Yavn and Caffdawg to arrange their schedules to make Slinkyman's wish come true.

I have to slightly disagree as well. Many people have met Yavn and other staff in real life that I know. Some have even taken pictures. But they are requested to not post those pictures. Bug (Slinky's mom) asked permission prior to posting those pictures of Yavn, Dawg and TikiT. Yavn himself asked Bug's permission to post about the meeting. If you read Bug's write up, she mentions that they met other staff as well throughout the day, but did not mention names or post their pictures. And I will second what Cat said, many of the players have prior knowledge about Slinkyman's real life ordeal. There were several in-game events that players put together for him. That's how many of the staff found out about his situation.

I agree that this will cause some players to try things, but (from what I understand) the meet with Yavn wasn't arranged by Disney or even Make a Wish. Make a Wish arranged the cruise and the park visits. Yavn found out that Slinky's real wish was to meet him, so since he was going to WDW anyway, he rearranged his schedule to fit with Slinky's visit. So, kudos to Yavn, Dawg and TikiT (and other staff who met with Slinky) for taking time out of their schedules to meet up with Slinky.

varcity
05-09-2007, 03:34 PM
Yavn: The Make-A-Wish Foundation was kind enough to grant Slinkyman his wish of a Disney Cruise, but when I learned his true wish was to meet me, I discovered a little pixie dust can go a long way.

Make a wish granted the cruise, Yavn knew he wanted something else VIA (x) (a vmk web board). VMK set up the meet then, correct.

Krystal_Rose
05-09-2007, 03:57 PM
I have a new respect for Yavn and Caffdawg to grant him his wish. They were so awesome to spend the time with him.

I feel the same way Cat, what a wonderful thing they did for Slinky. The story also made me cry when they talked about playing VMK from the hospital bed, because there's no cancer in VMK. My heart goes out to Slinky and prayers for strength for him. Woot! Woot! to Yavn, Dawg and anyone else involved in making his dreams come true!!

LittleDragonErin
05-09-2007, 06:11 PM
Make a wish granted the cruise, Yavn knew he wanted something else VIA (x) (a vmk web board). VMK set up the meet then, correct.

Yavn found out through numerous letters from family and friends of Slinkyman written in to Yavn and the rest of VMK staff.

varcity
05-09-2007, 08:09 PM
Read that about an hour ago and saw all the pictures after reading yours (posted at the same time) because I trade over there as well.

Well, I do agree it was a great thing for yavn and dawg to do. I fought tears back reading the trip report. But it is still a meet. Just voiced my point and I am over it.

Randypandy
05-09-2007, 08:25 PM
I clicked on the site to do the quiz for the bridge to terabithia tree and i all got was the info on the movie? where is it?

Chescat
05-09-2007, 08:29 PM
I understand about people's feelings about the meeting. But think about how VMK has been run in general.

When VMK started, if you went to the parks you took the VIP tour if you could get in. So when the 10-15 people got together for the tour, people as they normally would do ask what how long you play and your character's name. After spending a couple hours with people you got to know them. I meet SparkleMeTink this way.

When you stand in line waiting and waiting for your cards to be turned in at the VMK booth. People has a tendency to ask how long you been playing and may I ask who your character is. Or you see somebody. I saw Keys this way.

When you go to the Innoventions Cave at DLR. You could stand there for hours (like Genie, rofl), playing. You have your character up since you play cave games and win prizes for fastest. I met Monkey this way and crashed every computer in the cave that day but his! i see a lot of people there all the time (except of course Little).

Problem is, VMK is a marketing tool that wants you to go to the park. So people are going to meet, by accident or whatever. Thing is to not meet kids under 18 without a parent there or give out personel information. (I tried to get rid of Varcity, but he just kept following me, singing yoho yoho)

Anyway, that's my two cents. :mickey:

Chescat
05-09-2007, 08:31 PM
I clicked on the site to do the quiz for the bridge to terabithia tree and i all got was the info on the movie? where is it?
Newsletter said it was suppose to be up later in the week. We shall see. :cool:

varcity
05-09-2007, 10:38 PM
by accident

[begin rant] not deliberate. [end rant]


(I tried to get rid of Varcity, but he just kept following me, singing yoho yoho)

What are you talking about? I have NEVER walked so fast to get away from soemone in my life. It was embarrassing with you running after me, waving, yelling out: "Varcity!!! Wait!!!!" Sigh, then she catches me a suggests small world... :mickey:

LittleDragonErin
05-09-2007, 10:39 PM
When you go to the Innoventions Cave at DLR. You could stand there for hours (like Genie, rofl), playing. You have your character up since you play cave games and win prizes for fastest. I met Monkey this way and crashed every computer in the cave that day but his! i see a lot of people there all the time (except of course Little).

I don't think we're allowed to meet. Between you crashing computers and me breaking mice, they know to not have us there together at the same time or the cave could blow up. ;)

Speaking of meeting people in the cave and asking who you are... Yeaaahh..... - shudders - I think I have nightmares from that incident.


Sigh, then she catches me a suggests small world... :mickey:

And what, sir, is wrong with small world?

No, I'm not asking you JP, I'm asking varcity! :P

mickeytinkerbellprincess
05-11-2007, 01:15 AM
Oh my! I've been gone for a few days and I miss so much.

I cried when I read Slinkyman's story. It is so touching; I can't believe that Yavn and his crew went to see him! I knew a person who was in the hospital; he was so happy when people visited him. :pixie: and wishes for Slinkyman!

bigpapiortiz34
05-16-2007, 03:58 PM
Slinkymans story is so touching. I read about him meeting Yavn and Dawg, and wow, that must have been amazing. That kid has been through so much, its just great that he gets his dream come through for him. Its great that Yavn put him in the newsletter. HOPEFULLY no little kid tries to pull off a sickness just to meet Yavn. That would be awful.

Anyway, glad to see the newsletter came back! I am so used to reading them, I got very mad when there was no newsletter. Seems as though Yavn is slacking off again this week too :(