Our title Always in Season refers to the fact that, at their peak, lynchings occurred twice a week and for reasons as arbitrary as sheer boredom. At times well-planned with advertisements and excursion trains reserved for out-of-towners, lynchings were akin to the sport of hunting, and blacks were “always in season.”
The setting of Always in Season Island is based on the August 7, 1930 lynching that occurred in Marion, Indiana where more than 10,000 people came to watch the torture and murder of two African American men, Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, and the 16-year old who narrowly escaped, James Cameron. Cameron lived until June 2006 to the age of 92 and became a businessman, civil rights activist, author and lecturer, museum founder, and a husband and father of three.
While Always in Season Island mirrors the tenor of the crowds that gathered to participate in lynchings, our SIM does not use gratuitous violence, and the actual murders will not be seen. However, by assuming the roles of people involved in the lynching, completing tasks and responding to prompts that can encourage or stop it from happening, interacting with multimedia displays, visiting real world websites that explore related issues of violence while still in SL, and sharing their experiences with others in-world and out using Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube — visitors will gain a personal sense of the extent of the human loss caused by lynching and learn how this history relates to dehumanization and violence happening today.