Thursday, May 21, 2015

FLASH ! Silent Art Auction to Benefit Relay for Life

If you like to sail, like art, and want to help in the fight against breast cancer, here's an event for you!

Sail4Life, the Second Life sailing community’s Relay for Life team, will hold its Silent Art Auction, May 22-24. All sailors and landlubbers from across the grid are invited.

Original, one-of-a-kind, maritime-themed artwork by SL artists will be available for auction.  An anonymous donor has volunteered to match the total donated in the auction kiosks.  All proceeds go to Relay for Life. The artwork will be on display at the serene, seaside Holly Kai Park at

The Silent Art Auction begins with a party featuring DJ Joy Canadeo, Friday, May 22, 5-7 p.m., in the Holly Kai Park Party Pavilion at The auction closes with a party featuring DJ G. Winz on Sunday, May 24, 3-5 p.m.

For more information, contact Winnie Sweetwater, chair, Sail4Life team.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

What You See Is What You Get

This week, the blog buzz has been about the controversy between two virtual world bloggers, Eric Grundhauser and Hamlet James Au.  Mr. Grundhauser wrote an absolutely wonderful piece about his exploration of Second Life, guided by the knowledgeable Ziki Questi (who has a wonderful blog of her own...go read it and bookmark it!)  He was taken to a number of stunning regions that showcased the skill and imagination of Second Life residents...the "Best Of Second Life," if you will.  Do read his article here:

Hamlet James Au runs the longtime New World Notes blog, another place I recommend bookmarking.  But this time, Hamlet stirred up a lot of controversy by taking exception to Mr. Grundhauser's portrayal, saying that it ignored all the Second Life sex and porn.

Inara Pey posted a very reasoned response to this, in effect saying that yes, SL has sex and porn...but that it is definitely not the "main thing" on the grid.  Depending on how you estimate it, pornographic content is somewhere between 5 and 20% of the virtual world.  Nalates Urriah also has a great rebuttal post, with links to other thoughts by other writers.

My purpose here isn't to join the debate on one side or the other.  I just want to make four points.

First, to Mr. Grundhauser:  You noted the strange absence of people in the places you visited, and speculated that they must all be off hiding in other locations.  Well, yes and no.  Second Life is limited by technical considerations to small groups of avatars in any one place.  The maximum number of avatars that can possibly fit into a region is 100 (40, on the Mainland) and things start to lag very badly well before that limit is reached.  The recent Linden Meetup event filled its region to bursting and frame rates were down in the single digits.  In the second place, there is a huge amount of land area on the grid, compared to the number of concurrent users.  With over 20,000 regions, and a typical concurrency of around 40,000 or so, you can see that even if we were spread out evenly, there would be only about two avatars per region.  Because we are NOT spread evenly, but clustered at popular places, there are a great many empty regions on the grid at any given time.

Second, to Ziki Questi:  Congratulations!  That was one amazing tour de force.  You took Mr. Grundhauser to some of my favorite places, and showed him (and me) a lot of places that I really must find time to visit!  This brings up a very vital point:  Second Life has many of these pockets of artistry in world building, but they are not always easy to find.  Unlike the stores and clubs, they don't advertise.  They may not hold Events, so you won't find them that way.  The only way you can find these wonderful places is if someone takes you there, or you read about them in someone's blog.

Third:  What that means is, it's up to YOU, the Second Life user, to find the really amazing places.  Talk to more experienced friends.  Read blogs.  Go charging around the Map, teleporting to random locations just to see what you might find.

Fourth, and last:  We make our own world.  That's true in a literal sense in Second Life, where everything in the world has been built by us Residents, but that's not really what I mean.  We make our own world, in Real Life and in Second Life, by our choices, every day and every hour.  Are all your groups stores?  Your world is fashion and shopping.  Are they all clubs?  You're a socializer and a party girl.  Are they all sex places and kink?  Then Second Life is, for you, a world of pornography.  Our choices make our virtual world...and our real one...and our inner, spiritual one.  What You See Is What You Get...and What You Get Is What You See.

Make good choices.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Be a Part of the Biggest Party on the Grid - SL12B

Just a quick note!  If you have an idea for an exhibit, or a presentation or a discussion forum or an entertainment...or even if you just want to volunteer...applications are now open for SL12B, the celebration of Second Life's 12th Birthday!

It happens next month, June 21-28.  This year's theme is "What Dreams May Come," which seems to me to be both eminently suitable to Second Life and an invitation for the most surreal Birthday ever (and that's going some, they are ALL surreal and an invitation to sensory overload.)

Cruise on over to the website to read more.  Bookmark it to keep up with news and announcements.  And start making your plans now to be a part of it!  It's a week long, nonstop party, the biggest annual event in virtual reality.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

FLASH! Inworld Meetup With the Lindens

Hello again, faithful readers!  It's been a while.

Today I noticed a blog post on the SL website.  Xiola Linden announced the date of the next in-world Meetup session (May 14), and threw the location of the meeting out for Resident inputs.  You can suggest a spot to hold the event.

To let your voice be heard, cruise over to this Forum thread:

Monday, April 27, 2015

Goodbye,, Correction: Galaxy to Be Under New Owners

As reported by Daniel Voyager and Inara Pey, the famous SS Galaxy cruise ship will be no more after this coming Sunday, May 3.

The Galaxy has been in Second Life for more than the eight years I've been here, and it is one of the most amazing builds in the virtual world.  It stretches across three whole regions, making it almost twice as long as the biggest Real Life cruise ships.  Its eight decks contain cabins that could be rented (you could live there!), stores, swimming pools and water slides, several dance venues, including a large domed ballroom, and many other features and amenities.

The Galaxy featured many events, including a lot of weddings.  So many, in fact, that it has its own blog!

When you step aboard and begin to explore, the Galaxy gives you the look and feel of a Real Life cruise ship.  Her appointments are incredibly realistic, especially considering the limitations of the Second Life building tools at the time of her construction.

Although the ship itself is stationary, the Galaxy provided the experience of "going to" different ports through its "Ports of Call" program, in which teleporters at the dock would whisk you off to the location that the Galaxy was "visiting" at the time.

Several years ago, the Galaxy nearly went away when its owners decided they could no longer afford the tier payments, but it was rescued from that fate and went on gracing the waters south of the Blake Sea for another five years.  This time, the problem does not seem to be financial, but other events and changes in the lives of her management.

If you have never visited the Galaxy, be sure to do so this week.  It's your last chance to see a marvelous example of just what Second Life can truly be.

Fair winds and following seas to you, Lady!

SS Galaxy Aft Embarkation Port

HAPPY CORRECTION:  See the comment below.  The Galaxy will be staying, but under direct Linden Lab ownership.

Friday, April 24, 2015

FLASH! Another Translator

A few posts back, I gave out a link to a free translator on the Marketplace that appears to be working.  I've just been made aware of another one, available in world.  Here's where to get it:  (Thank you, Dav2!)

This translator appears to have been made by a Japanese creator.  It's very intutitive and easy to use though, so the lack of detailed English instructions should not prove to be a difficulty.  It is not entirely free, but it's "donateware" and your donation can be as little as $L1.  However, I suggest a more substantial donation -- working translators are very thin on the ground just now, and this is a very valuable tool.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Here comes SL12B

Every year, Second Life residents celebrate SL's birthday.  This year, Second Life will turn 12.  The actual Birthday is June 23, but the SL12B regions, with hundreds of builds and exhibits made by Second Life residents, and many concerts and events, will be open from June 21 - June 28...this celebration is way too big to be constrained to just one day!

The organizers of SL12B are now taking applications from would-be exhibitors.  If you would like to have an exhibit this year (or even if you just want to keep up on news about the event) bookmark this page:  This year's theme is "What Dreams May Come."

Some of the things we can expect to see:

  • Many live performers and DJs on several giant stages
  • An enormous Birthday Cake, which will also be one of the Event stages.  This cake will be exploded!
  • Tons of freebies and handouts
  • Live presentations and seminars
  • A Time Capsule, with contents typical of this year in SL
  • Linden Bears  (If you don't know about these...each LL employee is encouraged to create his or her own unique teddy bear.  If you happen to meet a Linden in world, ask them if you may have a Bear to commemorate the encounter!)
  • Hundreds of exhibits from the sublime to the whimsical, showcasing the creative talents of Second Life's Residents
  • Looks backward, looks forward
  • Amazing art
The annual Birthday celebrations are an absolute Must See event.  Each year when I go, I'm blown away by the things to see and do.  It's an absolute sensory overload...much like attending a World's Fair in Real Life, but even more so!

Maybe I'll see you there!  I'll be the girl standing in one spot, slowly turning around and around trying to take it all in.  IM me, but don't feel offended if I don't respond right away...I'm not ignoring you, I'm just in a daze!