May 042015
 

Ship Ahoy

On the outside Britannia Village looks like a quaint British village. The river, the boat, the pub. However beneath the surface, and above the surface actually, there’s something else lurking.

Britannia Village is also gearing up for this week’s UK General Election, and there’s a distinct Vote Labour feeling to their political persuasion.

Discussing Politics

Whilst wandering around I discussed the forthcoming election with a protest Gnome. Holding a Vote Labour placard he told me to beware Tory supporters who may be lurking in the strangest of guises.

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May 042015
 

Spires Of Andolys

The Fairelands of Fantasy Faire 2015 will soon disappear as if by magic. All the events are over, the vendors have been packing up and we’ve all been going home. The event was of course part of the Relay For Life fundraising effort in Second Life, for the American Cancer Society. In terms of that fundraising effort Fantasy Faire 2015 has so far raised L$ 7,627,066, which amounts to a very impressive US$ 30,508. This is a record breaking effort so thank you to everyone who contributed to and promoted this fundraising.

Trapped!

The event overall saw a mixture of the weird and the wonderful. The old and the new. In terms of new events, both the literary festival and dance and particle shows have been hailed as a success and are likely to return for future Fantasy Faires if possible.

LitFest Audience

A number of traditional events also took place. Roleplaying, which is of course an important element of Fantasy in Second Life was well represented at The Faire as three groups played out storylines, as explained by The Sunday Daily Recap on the Fantasy Faire website :

The roleplay groups have also concluded their storylines: NeoVictorians have safely traveled home, the Trial of Lut challenged the Sanctuary RP Community with a surprise ending and yesterday The Rickety Weasels finally managed to save Poppetsborough after freeing the Paper Wizard and returning light to the beloved popup book world.

On top of that there were more traditional themes such as DJ’s, live acts, Jail and Bail and Auctions.

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May 032015
 

YoZakura

The end of Fantasy Faire 2015 is nigh. Bags are being packed, transport is being arranged and the sun is going to come down on the Fairelands for another year. This has been a charming event full of entertainment, art, roleplay, adventure and much more.

Second Life merchants have been displaying their fantastical wares to a grateful audience of fantasy enthusiasts. The Faire has exemplified that there is a market for these concepts.

Wildehaven Marsh

The King, Queen and Chancellor of Fantasy Faire were elected. The nominees were based on people’s favourite fictional characters and after a topsy turvy campaign that saw votes swing one way, or another, Sir Terry Pratchett’s characters fought off a strong Steampunk challenge to sweep the board :

  • King Of Fantasy Faire – Havelock Vetinari
  • Queen Of Fantasy Faire – Granny Weatherwax
  • Chancellor Of Fantasy Faire – Greebo The Cat.

The results were announced at a spectacular May Day ball on Friday.

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May 022015
 

Rynn Verwood Jailed

Shocking scenes unfolded at Fantasy Faire 2015 today when the honourable Rynn Verwood of Solarium was placed behind bars as part of the Jail and Bail event! Rynn who appeared to be in possession of some sort of mystical wand was guarded by Zander Greene as calls to make bail were made.

Sheriff Cassie Eldermar

Meanwhile Cassie Eldermar was ensuring that nobody stormed the platform to illegally release Rynn in the role of law enforcer and Sheriff. Cassie was assisted by other sheriffs, whilst other people engaged in dance.

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May 022015
 
A May Day Ball Should Be Here

May Day Ball

Fantasy Faire isn’t just about magic, shopping, jail and bail, literary festivals, competitions. No there’s more to it than that, there’s dancing too and tonight there’s a May Day Ball!

The ball takes place between 5pm – 7pm SLT and is described as :

A new Special Event at the Faire! Don your formal fantasy best and join us for this enchanted evening. DJ Gabrielle Riel hosts the festivities including the final voting for and announcment of King, Queen and Chancellor of Fantasy Faire 2015.

Being a Dwarfin, I’m not sure what they mean by formal best? I mean I’m a King, I have a crown, I’m always in my formal best, even when I’m trawling through taverns and drinking mead!

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May 012015
 
Image Should Be here

The Drax Files

Episode 29 of The Drax Files World Makers takes us to the dystopian cyberpunk world of InSilico. The storyline on InSilico takes place in the 25th century, although it should be pointed out that Buck Rogers isn’t involved.

Insilico2

This is an absolutely fascinating episode because in five minutes it packs in so much about the disparate parts of Second Life that make up the whole. Here we learn about people who are storytellers, scripters, builders, landlords, tenants, roleplayers, photographers, bloggers, the curious and more all converging on this dystopian landscape.

Insilico3

We get to hear how the story of InSilico evolves every day, something which a virtual world environment allows. This is the power of user created content and in particular here, user created storytelling. This is an area oft overlooked when people talk about user created content. People think of clothing, buildings, scripts but storytelling can very much be user generated content too.

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May 012015
 

SL Go Gone

SL Go from OnLive, which allowed people on older hardware and mobile devices to experience Second Life at high resolution settings finally came to the end of its life on April 30th. Today when you launch the application you just receive a message informing you that an error has occurred. In some quarters people will say that the error occurred at Sony HQ, but I think it’s a bit off to bash Sony too much.

The real issues were explained in that final blog post from OnLive : A Bright Future for Cloud Gaming at Sony. The title of the post sounds bright, the reality wasn’t. However there’s an interesting tie in with future developments, which I’ll come to shortly. In the blog post OnLive admitted :

Since 2012, the company has dramatically improved its technology and business models such that all of its 5 services are gross margin positive, ranging from 43% to 86% margin. The fact that we had such positive margins should prevent repeat speculation that we were “crushed by infrastructure costs.” The company also was able to achieve conversion rates from free trial to paid of between 64-78% for its services. Despite these positive metrics, the lifetime value (TLV) of a subscriber was still less than the cost to acquire subscribers (CPA), but they were converging. While we knew we could not get to break-even on our own, we believed that there were many large companies who would be able to get there due to: 1) being able to communicate broadly and inexpensively (lowering CPA), 2) having their own distribution platform for the service, and 3) being able to license the most popular games and MMO’s, the latter 2 would have had the effect of both reducing CPA and reducing churn (thereby raising TLV). Despite these positive developments, we were unable to entice an acquirer who wanted to continue the service, and Sony already had their own service.

That pretty much sums it all up. OnLive were not turning a profit, although their metrics were improving. Sony did not need another platform for streaming games. Whereas there were other interested parties, Sony put their money where their mouth was and purchased what they felt they needed. Whereas this is without any shadow of a doubt disappointing for those of us who genuinely enjoyed the service SL Go provided, the cold harsh realities are there for all to see.

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Apr 302015
 

TangleShimmer Grove

One of the cold harsh realities about Fantasy Faire is that it’s not on for long enough! This means I haven’t got to look at anywhere near enough items, stores or events. However today I found a bit of time to stroll through the green grasses and woods of Tangleshimmer Grove. This regions yields some surprises because despite it’s bright outlook, it’s actually the home to Goths, Pagans and Muses.

SL Goth Display

The region itself has been created by Searlait Nitschke, who also sponsors the region under his Roavenwood brand. The regions is described as :

Deep in the heart of the wood is the secret place of Fairies. Golden light bathes the lush green as flowers dance and the early morning dew lays a glistening shimmer over the world.

I can’t argue with that!

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Apr 292015
 

Vote For Your King & Queen

The current voting statistics for Fantasy Faire’s elections for your favourite fictional character to be King, Queen or Chancellor of this year’s Fantasy Faire are showing a definite Sir Terry Pratchett tinge, as characters from Sir Terry’s work are ahead in all three categories. When it comes to the King we see current scores of :

  • Havelock Vetinari – 3700
  • Baron Klaus Wulfenbach – 3152
  • Tyrion Lannister – 925
  • Gilgamesh Wulfenbach – 350
  • Legolas Greenleaf – 260

What we can tell from this is that Lannister Gold is currently no match for Lord Havelock Vetinari’s cunning, when it comes to votes, at least. However there’s still plenty to play for and remember that in this case, the rules of the election do not mean that one man, one vote, means Lord Vetinari being the man and having the vote.

When it comes to the Queen, there’s a witch ahead, but the lead is most definitely slender :

  • Granny Weatherwax – 4270
  • Queen Zantabraxus Of Skafander – 4200
  • Maleficent – 1196
  • Agatha Heterodyne – 500
  • Galadriel – 250

This one will definitely lead to a nail biting finish.

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Apr 282015
 

Garnet Psaltrey

Today at Fantasy Faire 2015 the literary festival has been concentrating on Pratchett Day. The day is dedicated to the late, great, Sir Terry Pratchett. When this post goes to press you will have missed :

Share your favourite Pratchett extract!
Moderated by Judi Newall
Bring your favourite quotes or longer extracts to share with other Pratchett friends – and join in our discussion. Free Fedora hats

However fear not, there’s more!

 

Pratchett Fans

If you read this just after I publish it, you will be able to attend (all times in SLT) :

12 noon – 1pm
Who is your favorite Terry Pratchett character?
Moderated by Judi Newall
Come and talk about your favourite Pratchett character – Vetinari or Granny Weatherwax? Samuel Vimes or Nanny Ogg? Susan or Death? Or do you love a character who appeared in just one novel? Free Fedora hats

However if you miss that, fear not, there’s even more!

 

Pratchett Day Audience

This afternoon in Second Life you can attend :

2pm – 3pm
What is your favourite Terry Pratchett novel?
Moderated by Judi Newall
A discussion for Terry Pratchett fans. Which is your favourite novel, and why? Come along and share your favourites! Free Fedora hats

Now even if you miss that, you’re not out of luck because there will be more Sir Terry Pratchett related events today and later in the week.

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