Jun 192016
 

Medieval Faire1

The Second Annual Unmasking a Cure (UAC) Medieval Faire opened on June 17th and runs until June 26th. The event is a fundraiser for Relay For Life in Second Life and items will be on sale for that purpose with all proceeds from those sales going to Relay For Life.

Signs and Map

The faire is in the style of a renaissance faire and activities include jousting, en garde, sword play, magic, archery, and horse racing. There will also be entertainment with a dozen live performers and numerous DJ’s entertaining the medieval masses.

Looking For Directions

There are over 50 merchants participating at the faire too so if you want to kit out your avatar or just take a look at the wares available, this may be the faire for you.

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Jun 172016
 

Bear and Dwarfins

Time machine time, back to the annals of history, all the way back to June 23rd 2003 :

Residents and prospective residents,

Welcome to Second Life!

I am pleased to announce that today, Monday June 23rd, we are releasing Second Life version 1.0, and opening the service for general availability.

We’ve been able to reach this milestone through a combination of very hard work in creating a unique new technology and product, and the amazing efforts and engagement of our Early Creators and beta residents.

A ‘ball-drop’ ceremony was held in-world last night to celebrate the release.

Along with the many early residents of Second Life, let me salute our entire team of ‘Lindens’ for bringing this amazing experience to life. It has been a tremendous effort and, well worth it.

Philip Rosedale
aka Philip Linden

With that, Second Life was officially born. This Sunday, June 19th at noon SLT (12:00 PDT I think!) the doors will open for the Second Life Community Celebrations to mark Second Life’s 13th birthday! Hurrah!

Hairy Hippo Fun Land

The brief version of the schedule is :

  • Sunday, June 19, noon SLT: Opening Day
  • Thursday June 23: The Birthday
  • Sunday, June 19 to Sunday, June 26: Sims open with performances
  • Monday, June 27 to Sunday, July 3: Sims open for viewing, no performances
  • Sunday, July 3: Staff party
  • Monday, July 4 to Wednesday, July 6: Breakdown
  • Thursday, July 7: Sims go offline

However that’s a very brief version of a celebration that will involve DJ’s, Live Music, Panels, Entertainment, Interviews and much much more.

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Jun 172016
 

Danger

Whilst reading last week’s Highlights from The Second Life Destination Guide I noticed a place called Plagues of Egypt. The blurb informs us :

Explore this Egyptian-themed build representing the Egyptian plagues circa Moses and the 10 Commandments.

So I decided to go and take a look.

Plague

The location is a parcel named Xiao Tiangang on a region called Devils Mind. This is certainly an atmospheric parcel and I found myself sliding my feet on the street, bending my back, shifting my arm and then pulling it back.

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Jun 152016
 

Christian Petersen over at ArtSlant has published a great interview : The Wednesday Web Artist of the Week: LaTurbo Avedon. This is an interview with digital/virtual artist, LaTurbo Avedon but what makes the interview great for me is that it goes beyond artwork and delves into areas of avatar identity, creative spaces and much more.

I speak a lot about how good Draxtor Despres Drax Files : World Makers series is, because it gets to the real physical person behind the avatar, but Christian highlights another way of how avatars can evolve and how lines between the physical and virtual world can blur :

The artist LaTurbo Avedon may be a computer-created avatar but she is very much alive. Her identity has been created through very real experiences and interactions over numerous websites, social platforms, and gaming consoles. The notion that there is a “real” person behind the avatar becomes increasingly meaningless as the division between all of our online and IRL identities blur and dissipate.

That’s a fascinating way of looking at how avatars can evolve. LaTurbo Avedon has evolved via many platforms but she has deep roots in Second Life which go all the way back to 2006 and in her time in Second Life LaTurbo built and ran a club, which exemplifies a strong engagement with the environment because running clubs, even in the virtual world, is not as easy as some may think.

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Jun 132016
 

Casper Warden

Linden Lab have blogged;  Casper Warden of CasperVend Collecting Donations to Support Victims of Orlando Shooting :

In light of the tradegy that struck Orlando nighclub, Pulse this past weekend, Casper Warden of CasperVend has set up a kiosk in his mainstore to collect donations for the GoFundMe set up by Equality Florida to benefit and support the victims of this horrific event.

When I visited, Casper was actually there, but I didn’t want to bother him, he was doing something with the sign in the picture, which also acts as a collection kiosk.

Pulse Nightclub Fundraiser

Casper plans to donate the funds raised to the Equality Florida GoFundMe page. which has been created by Ida Vishkaee Eskamani, a Development Officer with Equality Florida, she resides in Orlando, Florida.  People can of course donate directly on that page if they prefer, rather than inworld but you want be able to donate Linden Dollars on the GoFundMe page of course.

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Jun 112016
 

Kevin With Guitar

Last night I visited High Fidelity to watch Kevin M Thomas perform live. Kevin is not new to performing live music in virtual worlds, he has been performing in Second Life since 2007, see my previous blog post for more details.

Arriving at the location I was informed by way of a pop up that my LOD settings had been reduced due to the complexity of the scene, which is a nice touch. LOD means Level Of Detail, which will dictate what I can see and from how far away I can see objects.

Live Music In High Fidelity

I had not had to mess with my LOD settings for a while in High Fidelity so it took me a while to find them and this is exemplified in the image above, Kevin’s Guitar does not appear in this shot. I would advise people to stick with the reduced LOD settings in general in a situation like this, but I wanted to take some snapshots so I wanted to tweak those settings.

What we can see in the above picture is Kevin’s avatar and on the screen, the actual band, who were all in a room together to perform. This provided an excellent perspective to what exactly was going on here and highlighted the fact that real people were very much involved in the performance.

The Real band

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Jun 102016
 

Kevin M Thomas is a name that should be familiar to fans of live music in Second Life. Kevin has been performing in Second Life since 2007 and has an inworld group with over 7,000 fans.

Being a musician of course is a portable skill and Kevin is taking advantage of that portable skill by taking his performances to other platforms. Today Kevin will be performing at a music jam event at 15:30 PDT in High Fidelity at hifi://open. That’s 23:30 British Summer Time … I think!

Kevin recently spoke to Caitlyn Meeks, Director of Content for High Fidelity and Caitlyn has posted some of that conversation in a blog post : Live Performance in High Fidelity.

There are some great points in this blog post and one of them is an issue I’ve raised before, the potential for Worldwide reach in virtual worlds, Kevin says :

Performing in VR requires incredible energy as a performer as you do not normally get the fan feedback as you would in real life, however the payoff is greater as you can build a much larger fan base in VR as no one is limited by where they live to attend a show.

Worldwide reach doesn’t just cover musicians, back in March I blogged : Comedian Sami Shah Exemplifies The Advantages Of Virtual World Reach. Storytellers, artists and film makers can all build reach via Virtual Worlds and as we move forward, more immersive Virtual Reality environments.

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Jun 092016
 

Spoonful of Sugar

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, as well all know. A Spoonful of Sugar Festival 2016 also has links to medicine, it’s a Second Life based event to benefit Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders.

The event will run from September 9th – 25th and the festival organisers are now accepting applications for participation :

Due to the overwhelming positive response to this event we expect the spaces to go quickly and many have already been filled. Spaces are filled on a first come first serve basis.

To learn more about the event, you may go to the home page and watch the video so you can get a feel of what you are getting involved in.

MSF/Doctors Without Borders is thrilled we are doing this and very excited and impressed by our ‘community without borders’ here in SL and how we seek to use our time to the benefit of so many worthy causes.

The website has plenty of information about the festival, about the organisers and about MSF, some of the names will be familiar indeed, for example Harper Beresford is involved as blogger manager and I really need to ask Harper how she manages to fit so many hours in a day because she works so hard for so many Second Life events. Continue reading »

Jun 092016
 

Over at Giant Bomb Janine Hawkins has published an excellent post : Guest Column: My Mother’s Games. The byline of the article sums things up very nicely :

Instead of flipping through photo albums to reminisce, guest contributor Janine Hawkins loads up her late mother’s saved games.

The name Janine Hawkins will be familiar to some of you, Janine’s pseudonym, Iris Ophelia, may be more familiar as that’s the name she used when she wrote for New World Notes.

The article itself takes a moving and extremely interesting look at the games Janine’s Mom played and the memories those saved games bring back to Janine.  The games listed include Journey, Dragon Age II, Dragon Age : Inquisition, The Sims and Second Life, which as we all know, isn’t a game but fits nicely into the article.

When it came to Second Life, Janine did not login to her Mother’s account to see where she had last been, she instead took a look at her Mother’s art folder and shares a screenshot from there on the Giant Bomb article. Janine explains :

So I didn’t log in to her account and take a screenshot of her avatar as she left it for this article. Instead went into her art folder, and picked a piece of hers to share. Her experience with Second Life isn’t about her game state or where she left off, it’s about what she made.

Janine’s Mother found Second Life to be an excellent avenue for her artistic expression, an expression that had been stifled somewhat earlier in her life.

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Jun 082016
 

An image should be here

Episode 38 of The Drax Files : World Makers takes us to the world of Second Life fashion in the shape and form of the wonderfully inspiring story of Eboni Khan, owner of The House of Hucci brand.

Eboni simply radiates throughout the episode as she tells us how she overcame a rather large degree of adversity to prosper inside and outside of Second Life.

Outside Hucci

Eboni, a single Mom went to a Management Information School and progressed to a job as an IT Manager. Unfortunately, Eboni was laid off and it was then that Second Life and Eboni’s creative skills came to the fore. Eboni explains :

If it wasn’t for Second Life, I don’t know how I would have made it through the recession.

Eboni points out that Second Life has a low barrier to entry, which is more true today than it was many years ago because with the Second Life Marketplace, you don’t even need to own a plot of land to start selling your wares.

An Image Should Be Here

Eboni also discusses how it’s volume of sales that provides her with an income she can live on. Most items in Eboni’s store cost around a dollar, so you can quickly see that Eboni sells a lot of items and that there’s a market in Second Life that consists of plenty of people who are willing to engage in microtransactions.

Hucci Counter

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