Jul 202015

Trapped In a Tent

LICK in Second Life is interesting. This is the home of The McFly Project and connects differing worlds, from the creepy fairground landing point where you can test your feats of strength to a futuristic landscape that you can use vehicles to travel around.

The Droid I'm Looking For?

I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for, although I did wonder if I had found the Droid I was looking for at one point.


The landscape and items are extremely engaging and so is the exploration, following the clues I found myself in an underwater cavern, with a hint that I needed to pull a lever.

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Jul 182015

SL Going Goth

I saw the above advert for Second Life last night, it says “Explore The Gothic Scene“, which straight away made me think of Marsha Warwillow and SL Goth Magazine. The magazine is as you would expect, largely about gothic culture in Second Life :

slGoth Magazine is an independent showcase of gothic Second Life residents, places, philosophy, fashion, entertainment and events. The articles are written by resident avatars and cover a variety of topics in the gothic community. It is published monthly in-world and is a wearable HUD which supplies landmarks and gifts from sponsors.

I interviewed Marsha back in January, the interview came in two parts, part one and unsurprisingly, part two.

In The Graveyard


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Jul 172015

American Cancer Society In SL

This weekend in Second Life is Relay For Life Weekend. Now if you’re wondering what Relay weekend is, it’s explained on the official Relay For Life in SL website : What is “Relay Weekend” in Second Life?

Relay For Life is the signature event of the American Cancer Society and has been active, and continually growing in Second Life for 11 years. In 2005, the first Relay For Life of Second Life (RFL of SL) was attended by a few hundred avatars and raised almost $5,000 US dollars for the American Cancer Society. Five years later, in 2010 the Relay For Life of Second Life raised over $220,000. The 1 MILLIONTH US dollar was raised in 2011 when more than 2000 volunteers raised over $375,000. In 2012 we passed the 1.5 million dollar mark. In 2014, we passed the 2 million US dollar mark and we are approaching the 2.5 million dollar mark quickly.

Relay Weekend is a fun-filled, overnight event that unites SL individuals throughout the world to celebrate survivors (anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer), remember loved ones and raise money for the fight against cancer.

For more information about RFL in SL please visit the American Cancer Society Region anytime, day or night, all year long.

A host of activities are planned for Saturday and Sunday, a full list of which you can find out about on the page I linked to above.

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Jul 172015

David Rumsey Maps

When you see a headline of ‘Steampunk’ Infographics Beautifully Combine Past and Present, your first thought probably isn’t going to be that this article might mention Second Life, although Steampunk certainly has a thriving community in Second Life.

When you consider that this is an article on National Geographic, you’re probably even less likely to think Second Life is going to get a mention, but get a mention it does.

Close To Home

The article is about how information graphic designers are looking to the past for inspiration for their visualisations and in many cases using modern technology to do so. The author of the article, Geoff McGhee, links this mixture of old and new as :

When information graphics designers also look to the past for inspiration, the result—something I’ll call “steampunk infographics”—tells us a lot about the state of information visualization today.

So where does Second Life fit into all of this? Well the article has a few use cases of people creating maps and quotes the opinion of David Rumsey, who is impressed with the work. The article then points out some of David Rumsey’s work :

Rumsey is no stranger to adapting antique maps for the digital world. Not only are his maps available in Google Earth, but users of the virtual reality environment Second Life can “fly” through and around his collection of antique maps and globes.

Which led me to go and visit David Rumsey’s work and where I found myself getting lost in a virtual world representation of old maps, as well as viewing old maps as textures on flat surfaces too.

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Jul 162015

Linden Lab have announced Viewer-Managed Marketplace Released: Migration Begins July 23, 2015. This is a very important blog post for people who have a Second Life Marketplace store as the blog post explains :

Once your store is migrated, you’ll need to use the Second Life VMM Viewer to manage the inventory in your Marketplace store.

So first things first, when will the migration be taking place? Well let’s go back to the blog post for that information because the migration will not be an overnight change :

The Viewer-Managed Marketplace (VMM) Viewer is now a release candidate, and automated migrations will begin on July 23, 2015. Migrations will be done weeknights between 9:00 PM and 9:00 AM Pacific. Merchants with large stores (over around 5,000 listings) will be scheduled, and we will send an email (to the email address associated with your store) to provide you with advance notice.

For all Merchants, we will send an email at the beginning of the migration process, and another email once it has completed. Merchants will not be able to modify items in their stores during this time, but purchases will continue for any item that is not in the process of being migrated.

Therefore you will be notified before your store is migrated, but you should keep an eye on your spam folders in case emails are incorrectly flagged.

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Jul 162015

Ask The CEO, featuring Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg is still in play on the official Second Life forum. However we’ve learnt a few things from the eleven pages of the thread that currently exist.

The first thing to do is to read the opening post, because that already includes a lot of answers that Ebbe gave at the SL12B meeting. That’s where you’ll find out that Linden Lab are planning to improve media on a prim in Second Life :

We are working on a significant upgrade to the media capabilities of the Viewer (watch for a Project Viewer release). The new support will be focused on supporting modern formats and HTML 5. Content creators should be preparing to convert any older proprietary media such as Flash or Quicktime to the newer formats soon. Longer sound files has not been on the list, but perhaps it should be?

With the recent problems Flash has been facing, many would say that this can’t come quickly enough! That’s also the place where you will learn a little bit about differences in the approach Linden Lab are taking with Virtual Reality Head Mounted Displays, in Second Life and Project Sansar. When it comes to Second Life :

We don’t have any specific plans at this time, but with our open source Viewer, third parties could certainly integrate new hardware and we’ll continue to experiment from time to time.

Whereas when it comes to Project Sansar :

Right now, we’re focused on making Project Sansar an ideal experience with the Rift. In the future, we’ll probably support other hardware as well, but some of the challenges we’re solving for with the Rift – latency, frame rate goals, etc. – are things we’d need to get right for any HMD, and we don’t want to diffuse our focus by integrating lots of peripherals right now, when there aren’t any consumers who even have the hardware.

This is understandable because Second Life is already here and would need a lot more work to optimise for use with VR HMD than Project Sansar, which is a work in progress at a time when these devices are coming to the market.

Moving on past the opening post, Ebbe, Pete and Danger have all provided more answers to additional questions. I’ll highlight some of the answers but not all of them. The thread is worth a read and if you read the thread, you may even have questions of your own

A very interesting question came up wondering whether Project Sansar you have instancing for terrain and inworld mesh objects, Ebbe replied :

Yes, we’re planning to support instancing of entire experiences. 

That sounds interesting, very interesting. I hope it means what I think it means!

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Jul 152015

Draxtor Despres has published a video on YouTube of the Second Life related parts of The recent Dr Phil show. I’ll embed the video under the cut, if you’re already under the cut, then the video is at the end of the post!

I blogged about this episode of Dr Phil on Monday, the day before the episode was aired. I have not seen the full episode but the show featured the extremely serious issue of gaming addiction. The first thing to point out is that the young man who was the subject of the episode of the Dr Phil show is not a resident of Second Life. This isn’t to say that Second Life can’t prove to be addictive, but I feel it’s worth pointing out that Second Life wasn’t his game of choice.

The parts of the show that do relate to Second Life feature Dr Phil inworld with an avatar that looks like the real life Dr Phil.

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Jul 152015

Vortex Alleyway

Eric Johnson over at Re/Code has reported : At Investor Event, VR Startups Brace for Slow Growth. The article centres around venture capitalists who seem a tad reluctant to buy into the Virtual Reality hype cycle at this moment in time.

UploadVR co-founder Nick Ochoa told the venture capitalists that they looked nervous and a report being prepared by his site backs this claim up. 164 venture capitalists have invested in VR companies until now, but 142 of them have done so only once.

Caution does seem to be the order of the day, Eric quotes High Fidelity’s Philip Rosedale as saying :

We will probably see lower adoption than everyone expects in the next year or so, but it will pick up,……My advice is, don’t overspend right now. Stock up for three or four years.

This seems to be a very sensible stance to take. VR has a lot of potential and a lot of exciting scope, but it has not yet delivered.

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Jul 152015

I was googling news about Second Life today when I stumbled across articles about Tottering Biped Theatre. One of the issues regarding googling Second Life is that you get a lot of results that are not related to the virtual world. There are plenty of articles about recycling and television shows that are getting a Second Life, but not so many about Second Life the virtual world.

This is sort of the case with Tottering Biped theatre itself, with the exception that they have a performance entitled “The Second Life“, which is about :

The online virtual world of ‘Second Life’ stretches thousands of kilometers and millions of visitors. While searching for her lost sister, Jessica struggles to find out what – and who – are real. Life and its double are at stake in this multi-media exploration of loss in the digital age.

‘The Second Life’ was developed over a 3 year period after winning honours at Ontario’s professional playwright development centre, Pat the Dog. After a sold out run at Hamilton’s Theatre Aquarius, The Second Life is coming to Burlington’s Performing Arts Centre Oct 21-31, 2015.

Now one would assume that this isn’t about Linden Lab’s Second Life, but it’s inevitable that due to the proximity of the subject matter, people will make that link.

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Jul 142015

Meet Ebbe Altberg

At SL12B Ebbe Altberg was interviewed live on stage by Saffia Widdershins and Jo Yardley. The fact that it was live inworld was emphasised when gremlins struck and delayed the interview, but Ebbe stayed past his allocated time to answer questions. The video of the interview was recorded by Chakat Northspring and can be found here. Inara Pey, posted a transcript of the meeting, which can be found here.  I posted a hot off the press summary of the meeting, which can be found here.

However there were some unanswered questions and it seems a feeling that there may be some follow up questions. Linden Lab have now blogged that further questions are welcome in a blog post entitled An Interview and Q&A with the CEO :

The interview ended with some audience Q&A, but there wasn’t time to get to all of the audience questions, and of course not everyone was able to watch the interview live in the auditorium and ask their questions.

So, today we’re opening up a new Forum thread to address some of the questions we didn’t get to and to give everyone an opportunity to ask their own. We’ll answer some of the frequently-asked questions we spotted in local chat at the “Meet the Lindens” interview at the top of the thread, but feel free to add your own questions to the forum thread and Ebbe and other Lindens will endeavor to answer as many as we can. Join us in the Forums, here.

The forum thread, which I’ll link to again, is entitled Ask The CEO. Whereas it’s not quite a Reddit Ask Me Anything session, it does give Second Life residents the opportunity to ask question of the CEO, with other Lindens likely to answer some questions too.

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