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Strawberry Linden

Digital Art - Cammino e Vivo Capovolto.jpg
Pictured: Digital Art

On December 22nd I announced that the Second Life Destination Guide was being uplifted to the cloud. That process is still underway, however, we have run into some errors. For this reason, the web publishing tool that allows us to update the Destination Guide is still unavailable and will be for the foreseeable future until these errors can be corrected. I am hoping it won’t be much longer than another week or two. I will continue to update you on this status every Friday. 

The submission form for the Destination Guide is also giving errors because of this, so please continue to email your submissions to editor@lindenlab.com and we will add them as soon as we have access again.

In the meantime, you can still find many destinations to explore on the Destination Guide, as well as events to attend on our Events page.

One very exciting event occurring this weekend is at the ACS region. The American Cancer Society is celebrating an important milestone - $4 million USD raised in Second Life to help fight cancer! The party, which features live music and many guest speakers, will be held Sunday, January 17th from 10am to 1pm PT.

 

If you're looking for more places to explore, here are some destination listings for a few of my favorite places on the grid:

 

 

 

 

 

Have a fun weekend and remember, stay safe, stay home, stay virtual!

 

Connect with Second Life on Social Media:
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Tara Linden

Plant the Seeds for 2021 in a Virtual Garden


Tara Linden

Tai Chi blog.jpg

Pictured above: Moonlight Teahouse

Now that we're all obsessed with washing our hands, it's time to get those virtual paws dirty with some gardening! The plants of Second Life are truly one of my favorite parts of coming inworld. I am continually impressed by the botanical creations I see. Some are exact replicas of things from nature, and others are imaginative renderings that look like props from a fantasy movie. While 2021 may not be the fresh start some of us had hoped for, there are plenty of regions waiting for you with space to clear your thoughts and think positively about the future.

The Gardens & Landscaping regions are a great place to get inspiration to build a greenspace of your own, and also lovely spots for a leisurely stroll. Moonlight Teahouse (above) even has Tai Chi poseballs facing the ocean.

Nature & Parks offers more options that are a little spread out. Beaches, wilderness, and enchanted forests are all great places to hang out with friends or have a relaxing moment to listen to the stillness around you. Many of these regions are based on real life places or inspired by cultures from all over the world.

Our Photogenic Spots section is also filled with rolling hills, seaside cliffs covered in moss, and more.

If you're feeling inspired, check out the gardening section of the marketplace and see what your virtual green thumb comes up with!

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: David Rumsey Maps


Second Life Destinations

This week we are traveling around the globe and through time through the extensive David Rumsey map collection.

David Rumsey, President of Cartography Associates, has been an avid collector of maps since the early 1980s. According to his website, the collection “contains more than 150,000 maps... Items range in date from about 1550 to the present.” The digitization of archival materials has made historical content more accessible, and Rumsey had the keen foresight to create an interactive experience with these maps in Second Life.

Rumsey states, “We built the 4 {regions} in 2008 and have continued to update them since then. One of the things that fascinated me early on was the potential to “walk” on the historic maps and fly around them in SL.” Just getting from map to map feels like an adventure; they vary in size and are not only on display but a central component of the region’s structure. The degree to which atlases inform the design gives the region a dream within a dream feel. Rumsey informs us that “The Yosemite map which forms the floor of the site was built with a full elevation model so that it is accurate and in scale. The map is the first truly accurate map of the Yosemite Valley made by U.S. Army topographers in 1883.” 

The video shows a long map of the Tokaido road: Rumsey says that it was made in 1687 and was drawn by hand! “In real life it is a scroll that unrolls to be over 30 feet long. It shows the route from Tokyo (then called Edo) along the coast to Osaka.”

These maps are a visual history of how countries and territories have changed over time.Rumsey’s website even mentions that “close inspection of the {American} maps often reveals the growth and decline of towns, mining excavations, the unfolding of the railroads, and the "discovery" of the American West by European explorers.”

David Rumsey has donated his entire physical map collection to Stanford University, where it is housed at the David Rumsey Map Center in the Stanford Library and open to the public. Visit the virtual collection today to let out your inner navigator! And don’t forget to pin your hometown on the large world map so others can see that Residents from all over have been here.

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres


 

 

Strawberry Linden

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Pictured: White Veil by Bryn Oh and Cica Ghost

On Friday afternoons I usually do my Highlights from the Destination Guide blog post where I share some of the latest interesting destinations from that week. However, the tool we use to update the Destination Guide is still in the process of being uplifted, read the details here. It is one of the final updates left for uplift and we are hoping it should be done by the end of next week. 

Since I haven’t been able to add anything to the Destination Guide, I thought I would share some Art events that you can attend this weekend in Second Life.

 

The Art of Lash VV will be revealed at The Janus Gallery with a party that starts on Saturday, January 9th from 12pm to 2pm PT. Read the details on their blog.

 

Kultivate Magazine presents their January Exhibition Opening at their Windlight Art Gallery on Sunday, January 10th, from 1 to 2pm PT. Read the details on their blog.

 

Don’t forget, SLEA had its big opening on New Year’s Eve! Click over for our Destinations video this week, which was all about the SLEA!

 

You can find even more Resident-run events to attend this weekend on our Second Life Events page!

Have a fun weekend and remember, stay safe, stay home, stay virtual!


 

Connect with Second Life on Social Media:
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Strawberry Linden

Valentine-Shop-Hop-2021.png

While many of us are still recovering from the winter holidays, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and our shopping itch just won’t go away! 

Linden Lab is winding up for a Valentine’s Day inworld shopping event - and we’re now looking for Merchants who would like to participate.

The 2021 Valentine’s Day edition of Shop & Hop will open on Friday, February 5th, and will run through Wednesday, February 17th. This is your opportunity to bring a ton of new customers to your brand, by offering some of your best items. We are looking for Merchants willing to offer a discount on their items (at least 20% off) and provide a small non-exclusive gift to shoppers.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please fill out this form as soon as possible and no later than Monday, January 18th, 2021. We will contact you soon after that date if your application is accepted.

Love is in the air!
 

Linden Lab

As the new year begins, we have some exciting news to share. The migration of Second Life to the cloud is now complete!

All the interconnected services and databases that collectively provide you with Second Life have been migrated to Amazon’s cloud servers. The "uplift" to the cloud will help bring better simulator performance and also improves our ability to diagnose problems and scale our systems for future growth and improvements. 

Here’s a peek at the former cage in our colocation facility that housed our servers since 2009,  now cleaned out and completely empty.

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Many have asked us what happened to the “old” hardware that steadily served up Second Life for so many years. Most of it was too old to have any value and has been scrapped, but it is important to note that as part of our standard security protocols, all of the drives have been shredded and destroyed. Thanks for all the memories, old friends!

While the physical move is complete, there remain some optimization tweaks that we will continue to make to further improve performance over the coming weeks, and of course there are always bugs to hunt. We are truly grateful for your patience, especially during the final few weeks of 2020 as we worked furiously to finish the last parts of this migration.

OTHER COMPANY NEWS

Another noteworthy development for the new year is that Linden Lab has new owners! As announced in mid-2020, an investment group led by Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager signed an agreement to acquire the company subject to regulatory approval by financial regulators in the U.S. related to Tilia Inc.’s status as a licensed money transmitter as well as other customary closing conditions. We are pleased to share that the regulatory review has been completed and Linden Lab is now under new ownership. 

While the owners may be new, things are “business as usual” in Second Life. Last year saw strong growth for our virtual world and, as a result of this acquisition we expect even more resources in 2021 to further improve and grow Second Life in the future. 

Happy New Year!

Linden Lab

Second Life Endowment for the Arts


Second Life Destinations

This week Tansee, Coordinator of the Second Life Endowment for the Arts (SLEA), takes us on a tour of this region’s immense and breathtaking landscape.

The Second Life Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with Linden Lab, launched January 1st, 2021. The new initiative, originally announced in September, provides an opportunity for artists to apply for use of grid space to create artistic experiences in Second Life while also promoting the overall virtual arts community in SL.

The SLEA, which is the spiritual successor to the former Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA), bears a colorful aesthetic that is part university courtyard and part amusement park, influenced by art galleries, the cosmos, and more. There are a total of nine regions of varying thematic focus, such as machinima or performing arts. 

This ambitious initiative, which is aided by the help of 21 core volunteers and many more contributors, aspires to give grant awards to selected applicants about twice a year. For the debut exhibitions, the SLEA was pleased to receive wide representation from the arts both in terms of genre, style and nationality. 

On arrival, visitors will be given access to a HUD experience which enables ease of travel around the regions in addition to a teleport network. The Landing Pod provides a view over a Performing Arts Center, Arts Education and Innovation facilities, Machinima Land, and the dPod where SLEA’s archives are located for all to peruse. The SLEA regions are expected to further evolve over time as more artists collaborate and new exhibitions are brought into rotation.

Tansee emphasizes that the SLEA aims to draw attention to all artists, galleries, art venues, communities and art education locations in SL. That goal is evident by the presence of a massive T-shaped “connection bridge'' spread across two regions that aims to connect SLEA to the larger community of artists and venues. As visitors stroll across the bridge, they will encounter numerous promotional posters along the way. There are also additional kiosks that visitors can click to get teleport links and even more information about the wide range of artists and exhibitions to be found across all of Second Life.

While this region is already open to the public, SLEA intends to celebrate in style with a full itinerary of performers and artists during the weekend of January 23rd & 24th. Check out their Facebook and Instagram for news and events. Whether you are a budding artist or a supportive observer, feel free to explore this region at any time.

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres


 

Linden Lab

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2020 has been an eventful year that none of us will soon forget. The global pandemic has impacted all of us deeply and it has also caused many people and organizations to develop a new appreciation for how virtual worlds can bring people together for comfort, connections, entertainment, joy, inspiration, and even income. 

As the pandemic grew rapidly, so too did Second Life. At the initial onset of the lockdowns, Second Life saw about a 60% increase in new user registrations compared to the same time in the previous year and there has since been sustained growth in both concurrency and economic activity. 

We remain as committed as ever to making Second Life the best it can be - and 2020 saw several significant improvements and feature additions that we are particularly proud of.

MIGRATION TO THE CLOUD

It has been a monumental task to move Second Life to the cloud, but we are thrilled to report that this important milestone has been reached as the year ends. All of the interconnected services and databases that collectively provide you with Second Life have been migrated to Amazon’s cloud servers (it's possible that a couple of relatively minor features will require a bit more work, but if so, we're doing our best to have them operational by the New Year). 

The "uplift" to the cloud has already paid dividends in better simulator performance and much improved our ability to diagnose problems and scale our systems. We have only just begun to exploit other advantages of our new platform: the move sets the stage for further substantial improvements.

We truly appreciate your patience during the last few weeks as we worked furiously to finish the last portion of this migration.

ENVIRONMENT ENHANCEMENT PROJECT (EEP)

More advanced and dynamic environments debuted in 2020 with the release of the Environment Enhancement Project (EEP). The new features allow Residents to create, customize, and share environment objects that enable dynamically-changing environments that can be controlled at the parcel level including up to four different, independently controlled sky layers. It further advances the shared experience aspect of our world, and has been an amazing creative outlet already!

LAST NAMES & NAME CHANGES

After being gone for almost a decade, “last names” in Second Life were made available once again in 2020. This means that Residents can now opt to change their name and share the same last name to communicate family or community ties and/or friendships with others in Second Life. We’re pleased as pie with how well-received this has been: a lot of work had to happen on the back end to make name changes possible, so it’s rewarding to know that over twelve thousand Residents have chosen to take advantage of it!

MORE LINDEN HOMES

Our popular Linden Home offerings continued to roll out in 2020. As the year began, we had just launched an all-new Victorian theme and then subsequently introduced additional stilt and log home options. Expect even more in 2021 as our Moles are actively at work on multiple new offerings including Chalet Homes (which were previewed at the Christmas Expo earlier this month).

LIVE VIDEO STREAMING SUPPORT

In the past year, the company has made some incremental improvements to the Viewer to support streaming into SL via Chrome Embedded Framework (CEF) so that it is easy to bring “live” video streaming content into Second Life (such as live YouTube streams). We’ve already seen several high-profile events use live video for world premiere screenings and movie events.

OTHER IMPROVEMENTS & FEATURE UPDATES

We also continued to improve Second Life with additional performance enhancements and features, including significant improvements to region crossings, Marketplace, Events, transaction emails, and the ongoing development of the Second Life Viewer. 

Our Marketing team has also been working hard to maintain the momentum with increased media coverage, improved advertising campaigns and more active social media engagement. You can see their own year-end report in a separate blog post.

2021...HERE’S TO HEALTH & HAPPINESS!

As we (thankfully) bid adieu to 2020, we wish everyone a safe and happy holiday and a safe and joyous new year. More than ever, it is important that we remember to treat each other with respect and kindness in both the physical and virtual worlds. 

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Linden Lab

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It’s been a busy year for the marketing team at Linden Lab. The year 2020 began smoothly with several new ambitious campaigns and promotional initiatives for Second Life as detailed in our March 3 post “The Heart & Science of Second Life Marketing”

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Among the highlights shared in that post and discussed the same week in “Lab Gab” were early-year marketing strategies and accomplishments in:

  • Paid/Performance Marketing - There was a complete refresh of our paid display ad campaigns and dozens of new video ads debuted, as well as improved ad targeting technologies.  
  • Organic, Social Media & Influencer Marketing - We debuted or expanded original social video programming initiatives (“Lab Gab,” etc.), overhauled our new user tutorial videos, and grew the Second Life Blogger Network to more than 550 participants.

The Pandemic Effect - New User & Enterprise/Education Growth

Then, the pandemic hit and it quickly became apparent that the outbreak would have a dramatic impact on the lives of just about everyone in the world (virtual or otherwise). While the marketing team continued to execute on most of its original 2020 marketing plans, it was also clear that there would be some significant changes including a shift in messaging and tone for some of our campaigns. Thus, several new “comfort campaigns” were launched to better emphasize the promise of peace, joy and socialization in Second Life. 

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These “comfort campaigns” were a hit, bringing in thousands of new residents at a lower cost than we’ve seen in years. The success of this campaign spawned several other variations along with a community focused approach with similar messaging and tailored visual creatives.

The media took notice, too. A new wave of mainstream media coverage emerged in 2020 including prominent articles in The Telegraph, Wired, Mashable,  VICE, Business Insider, Elle, FRANCE 24, Le Figaro, CBC, Billboard, Le Monde, and many other global outlets.

Further, we saw growth from the enterprise and education sectors as several organizations began to re-conceptualize their annual business gatherings or conferences due to the pandemic. In the past few months, Second Life has hosted prominent conferences and events for Museweb (covering innovative uses of technology in museums), Gen Con (one of the largest tabletop gaming conferences), IndieCade (an independent gaming convention), Dutch Design Week (covering the convergence of art, fashion, and design), the International Pineapple Association (a trade show for the pineapple industry), CODAsummit (an art and technology conference), and the Oral History Association (an annual academic conference for oral historians).

Brand Partnerships

We’ve also seen several media and entertainment companies use Second Life as a replacement for public or private events impacted by the pandemic. Instead of a real-world screening event, Adult Swim held a world premiere event for its show “The Shivering Truth” in Second Life. During the event a themed virtual movie theater was created that matched the aesthetics of the show. Attendees could be among the first to watch two episodes before they debuted on the cable network while interacting with some of the creators and crew. There was also limited-edition virtual swag to further get fans excited.

 

 

Another example is our partnership with the independent animation studio Titmouse (“Star Trek: Lower Decks”, “Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures”) which moved its infamous annual Smash Party to the virtual world so that partygoers could interact and socialize safely from home this year since the physical party was impacted by the pandemic. As part of the event, the virtual party space included lots of interactive surprises and elements to entertain the attendees including a virtual “smash cage,” red carpet arrival area, free branded virtual giveaways and virtual food trucks that enabled guests to order real food for home delivery during the event. There were also random and hidden “Easter egg” events that would be triggered to keep things even more interesting.

Other well-known media and brand partnerships are in the works for 2021, too.

Second Life Book Club & Music Mondays

Among the other noteworthy new initiatives launched in 2020 were the Second Life Book Club and Music Mondays. 

Since its launch in April, the Second Life Book Club continues to feature leading and emerging authors each week and the publishing industry is starting to take note. Producer Draxtor Despres reports that the show is already pre-booked for most of 2021! In addition, publishers are also starting to coordinate signed book giveaways and other promotions associated with the show.

Music Mondays has also gained traction via weekly editorial coverage that highlights the many talented independent musicians of Second Life. Over 25 musicians have already been profiled with several more already in the queue for 2021.

Second Life Merchandise Store

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We also launched the Official Second Life Merchandise Store, available through RedBubble. The store offers Second Life and Linden Lab branded clothing and accessories, with a very inclusive range of sizes. The past year even includes some limited-edition holiday items for Halloween and the winter season.

Brand Refresh & 2021 Commercial Campaign

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In 2020, we also gave a slight refresh to the Second Life logo as we retired the soft green color in favor of bright blue to reflect the boundless energy of our residents who create amazing content and experiences.

You’ll start to see the new look and colors across many of our 2021 campaigns including our first broadcast-quality commercial. Speaking of which, how about a “first look” behind the scenes of the forthcoming spot?

2021...HERE WE COME!

While we are happy to put 2020 behind us, the marketing team at Linden Lab is looking forward to launching many exciting new campaigns and partnerships in 2021 that we believe will broaden the audience of Second Life even further.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Linden Lab!

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Strawberry Linden

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Pictured: Luane's World

One of my most favorite part of my job description is updating the Second Life Destination Guide. I discover beautiful new locations to explore, all created by you, the Residents! We know how beloved it is to our Residents as well, that’s why we wanted you to be aware of a temporary freeze on new additions to the Destination Guide over the next few days and possibly until early in January.

Why? As part of our overall migration to the cloud, some of our web publishing tools (including what we use internally to update the Destination Guide) may be unavailable for our internal editorial team. 

The good news is that the web version of the Destination Guide will still be accessible to everyone, and so will the Destinations floater that you can find on the toolbar in your Second Life viewer.
Destinations Floater.jpg

We just won’t be able to add, update, or delete any entries during the uplift process. If you want to submit or update an entry, please email the information to editor@lindenlab.com and we will get that done as soon as we have access to the tool again.

We apologize for the inconvenience. In the meantime, discover the beauty of the season by exploring the winter category, which now showcases over 100 snowy destinations to explore!

 

 

Connect with Second Life on Social Media:
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Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Silent Night


Second Life Destinations

This week we are transported to Silent Night, a glittering winter park available until January 10th.

Creator Nessa Nova of Unicorn Landscaping became a Resident about nine years ago and says that shortly after, “I rented a parcel and taught myself how to terraform. It is now my main business in Second Life.” As you wander from section to section, it is clear that a skilled hand created Silent Night, as it feels like a portrait of winter’s tranquility. Among the natural cycle of the seasons, winter is often seen as symbolizing the absence of life, but Silent Night is a reminder that stillness can be an opportunity to observe the vibrance around you.

This brumal landscape is the latest of Nova’s many creations in SL. It feels like a movie set, with visitors starting at a train station before following a path through the snow and glowing trees to a cafe, an ice skating rink, a carousel, and more. The atmosphere feels at once unique and familiar, like a communal reverie. Of her aptitude for creation, Nova informs us that “Coming from a family of painters and artists, the love of art is in my blood. Though instead of using an easel, paint and a brush, Second Life’s digital world is my atelier, and a [region] is my canvas. I start with an idea, a picture in my head, a colour or a feeling. Sometimes I progress as I go, but most of the time the world I intend to create already exists in my mind and I can mentally walk through it when I envision it.”

Nova explains that Silent Night, which is a satellite of the Lost Unicorn Group, is not just about celebrating the holidays but also “to remind us to remain hopeful in these dark times.” As a bonus level of interactivity, Nova adds: “Natalie Starlight, curator of the Lost Unicorn Gallery, is organizing a photography contest. Pictures of the Silent Night [region] can be submitted to the Lost Unicorn Flickr Gallery until January 3rd. After January 10th Silent Night will be gone forever. (Unless someone decides to buy the [region] as is.)”

This sounds like the perfect opportunity to show off all the free gifts you picked up at the Winter Shop & Hop. Throw on that new scarf and take in the wintry elegance of Silent Night before the snow melts!

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 


 

Strawberry Linden

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Pictured: Snoweeta

Each week, the Second Life Destination Guide editorial team reviews dozens of new locations and events worth exploring. With all those beautiful destinations to check out, we thought we’d highlight a few of the entries that stood out to the editorial team. Don't forget to check our Recently Added category to see all the latest additions to the Destination Guide!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got a spot that you’d like listed in the Destination Guide? Make sure to drop us a note at editor@lindenlab.com or submit your spot via web form.

Connect with Second Life on Social Media:
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Tara Linden

Winter Photo Challenge


Tara Linden

SecondLifeWinterChallenge.jpg

It's time for another photo challenge! Whether you're going for festive or cozy, share a picture of your escapades in one of your favorite winter regions. It can be a solo or group shot, and let us know the name of the region.

Strawberry and I took the photo above at Silent Night. It's absolutely gorgeous but I was not prepared for the cold, as you can see from our frosty breath. I'm also probably about to trip over my untied shoelaces. 

Will your pic be silly or dramatic? Featuring a snowman or an ice skating rink? Scope out the winter attractions soon, we can't wait to see what you get up to!

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Holidays Made in SL


Second Life Destinations

This week we are listening to five inspiring stories as Residents share how they celebrate the holidays in Second Life.

Isabelle Cheren, a video artist and blogger, speaks highly of SL Residents’ adaptability to the current social isolation in the physical world. Given the depth of connections people can have with each other in the virtual world, she thinks people may be more inclined to give it a try. Having grown up in Australia, Cheren says the winter holiday spirit of SL “feels like those films I used to watch when I was a young girl because… we never had any of this, the snow, that Christmas tree, all those things.” She also has the advantage of living with her friend, prominent SL YouTuber Yorkie, so they certainly never run out of ideas for inworld adventures and activities.

Squid and Timberwolf, a couple who met in SL this year, are proof that love can be found even in the darkest of times. Squid is a student in Derry, Northern Ireland, and Timberwolf lives in Central New York. They have been together for 6 months and getting a place together inworld has been a breeze. Squid says that SL has given them “a sort of proximity that we don’t have physically with each other,” which is so valuable in long distance relationships, especially now.

Rosie Gray lives in the Confederation of Democratic Simulators (CDS), one of the oldest communities in SL. It comprises six interconnected sims of varying themes that are governed by one administration. Gray affirms that “snow is greatly anticipated” in the CDS: Residents happily engage with the technical aspects of changing the terrain textures to make way for skiing, ice skating, and the magic of winter. Their commitment truly pays off, with Gray adding, “you can absolutely feel presence here.”

iSkye Silverweb and Slatan Dryke are another long distance couple in SL. With Silverweb in Wisconsin and Dryke in Italy, one look at their avatars shows that their bond is undeniable. They are Dinkies, which is a type of Tiny. Of their anthropomorphic feline figures, Silverweb says “they’re really cute, [with] round tummies,” and like many others, their favorite activity is ice skating. They are also both active in Virtual Ability, a community gateway for Residents with disabilities. Silverweb, who is deaf, says that “in SL there is the freedom of being able to express who you are in the choices you make with your avatar.”

Game Wylder, Todd Squall, and Lain Southpaw from Club Furzona emphasize that the winter holidays in their region are all about uniting different people from different backgrounds. Furzona is a community-based, cyberpunk themed region with a constant rotation of events, music, and  games. The large outdoor area has been transformed into a winter themed space, and Furzona welcomes all, not just furries.

The concert at the end is by Fly Kugin, a violinist from Istanbul, Turkey. It takes place in her region, White Mask. We hope that you all have a safe and relaxing break for the winter holidays, and remember that each season has its ups and downs. Spring will be in the air before we know it, so for now, let’s enjoy our ugly sweaters and unleash our inner snow bunnies upon the gorgeous winter regions forged by the love and creativity of SL Residents.

Video Productions Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

 

Tara Linden
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(photo of Zak Claxton taken at Lutz City of Templemore)
 

This week's featured artist is Zak Claxton, whose smooth and easygoing tracks range from indie pop to alternative rock. With over a decade of experience playing music in SL, his shows have an atmosphere of heartfelt exuberance that makes every person in the room feel welcome.

Please check out his music and videos!
http://www.zakclaxton.com
https://zakclaxton.bandcamp.com/releases
https://theystolemycrayon.bandcamp.com/releases
Video for "Blew the Dust Away"

1. When/how did you hear about Second Life?
The shortest possible answer is that in fall 2006, my friend and former bandmate Mike Burns called me to chat one day and said, “Have you heard about Second Life? Duran Duran has an island there.” None of these words made any sense to me at the time, and I had to have him explain the entire concept of a virtual world. I was living here in the Los Angeles area, and the woman I was seeing lived in Seattle. We’d been taking trips back and forth to spend time together, but Second Life seemed like an ideal way to be able to hang out and feel like we were connecting beyond the aspects of emails, texts, and phone calls. I told her about it, and we signed up together on October 12, 2006. At that point, I had no idea that music performance was at all possible in SL. On one of our early virtual dates, we looked in the event listings to find something to do, and noted that a person named Keiko Takamura has hosting some kind of concert, so we went and checked it out. My professional background and career is in audio technology and musical instruments, so it didn’t take long at all for me to try doing my own livestream shows in world.

2. What instruments do you play?
My primary instrument for all of my SL performances is the acoustic guitar, supplemented by occasional harmonica. As a singer-songwriter, I find that keeping things simplified and streamlined helps keep the focus on the song itself. My SL shows are 100% live, with no backing tracks or prerecorded material, though I think all SL music performance styles are appropriate and welcomed. In real life, I’ve spent nearly my entire life as a performing musician, and my instruments also include electric guitar, bass, piano/keyboards, and the art of music engineering and production.

3. You mentioned on your Bandcamp that you are also in a band. Could you tell us about some of the pros and cons of solo work vs. being in a group?
I love playing in bands, but there is a massive difference between the process of being a solo artist versus a member of a band. The biggest difference is that to do well in a band, it requires a serious time commitment among a group of people for rehearsal, and there are also the challenges of having to balance the differing goals and musical styles of multiple people. As a result, there’s often a lot of compromise, and when you hear about bands breaking up due to “creative differences”, that’s a real thing. As a solo artist, I have the benefit of playing whatever music I choose to, and it’s much easier to hop onstage by myself and do my thing. That being said, the fun and camaraderie of being in a band is something every musician should experience at some point. I am currently a member of a recording project called They Stole My Crayon, along with Christina Lee and Bunny Knutson. Our debut album came out in 2016, and we are slowly working on a sophomore release.

4. You said you've been playing music in SL since 2006, wow! What are some of your favorite aspects of the way the music scene has evolved?
When I got started in 2006, live music in Second Life was still a relatively new concept, and the entire community of SL music performers was maybe 30-40 people. Over the years, that’s grown immensely. There are now hundreds and hundreds of people who perform live shows on a regular basis in SL. I would also say that the quality of overall talent in SL has gotten better and better over the course of time as more and more serious real life musicians discover SL and bring their music shows in world. In terms of the music scene beyond the performers, the challenges that SL-based live music venue face have remained the same. It’s a difficult task to operate a live music spot in SL and be able to break even on the expenses. Also, like anything done successfully, it requires a high level of organization and coordination between the artists, their management, their fans, and the venue’s staff. I’ve been very fortunate to have had excellent support from many SL venues, and I’m always grateful to them and do whatever I can to help them do well.

5. Tell us about some of your biggest musical influences.
If I answered that question completely, you’d run out of room on this web site. I started on piano at age three and guitar at seven, so I’ve had over 40 years to accumulate musical influences. Some of the big ones that are manifested in my own original music and my SL performances: Neil Young, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, David Bowie, Kurt Vile, Sun Kil Moon, R.E.M., and many others. That being said, my personal tastes as a listener are extremely wide. I am mostly into new indie folk and indie rock artists and bands, both hard/edgy and soft/introspective, and I seek out new music constantly.

6. What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you?
I have to give you two of them. First is the aspect of it being a real community. I have attended a number of SL Live Jams, where members of the SL music community get together in a physical location along with fans and friends, and do multiple days of live performances. I’ve attended those events in places like San Diego, Orange County (CA), Nashville, and Minneapolis. I have gotten to know people via the SL music scene who have become lifelong friends, and I highly value those relationships. The second aspect is the fact that a person like me has been able to cultivate a worldwide following as a musician. I would not have ever been in a position to do all of the touring and promotion that it would traditionally require to have music fans throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia, but due to SL, that’s exactly what I’ve done over the past 14+ years. Second Life is a great platform for any musician who wants exposure to a global audience who is eager for good music.


Thank you, Zak!


If you or someone you know would like to submit content for Music Mondays, please fill out this form

Strawberry Linden

Christmas Carnival at Storyland Park.jpg
Pictured: Christmas Carnival at Storyland Park

Each week, the Second Life Destination Guide editorial team reviews dozens of new locations and events worth exploring. With all those beautiful destinations to check out, we thought we’d highlight a few of the entries that stood out to the editorial team. Don't forget to check our Recently Added category to see all the latest additions to the Destination Guide!

This week we have some more winter destinations, fun events, and some spectacular art installations!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don't forget to also visit the following Linden Lab Events:

 

 

Got a spot that you’d like listed in the Destination Guide? Make sure to drop us a note at editor@lindenlab.com or submit your spot via web form.

Connect with Second Life on Social Media:
Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Flickr | Pinterest | Tumblr | Plurk | TikTok | Reddit | LinkedIn

Linden Lab

Shop & Hop Winter 2020 - 1024.jpg

Joy to the grid, the winter festivities have begun!

 

WINTER SHOP & HOP 2020 - NOW OPEN!

Our 2020 Winter Shop & Hop is now open with 180 participating Merchants, 9 shopping regions, and tons of ideas for all your holiday shopping needs! It will be held till January 3rd, 2021.

In the great gift of giving, most Merchants have provided at least one gift (no group needed) to share with you this holiday season and have put deep discounts on many of their top products. Scroll down for a complete list of participating Merchants, and the slurls, in alphabetical order.      

 

LAB GAB - TODAY!

Tune into Lab Gab later today to see Strawberry & Tara Linden give a quick run-through of Shop & Hop. They will also be exploring a few other festive winter-themed regions. Watch live on YouTube at 11am PT today.

 

SNOWBALL FIGHT - DECEMBER 18!

Speaking of livestreams, there will be two of them on December 18th at the Linden & Resident Snowball Fight, at 10am PT and again at 2pm PT. Get your warm clothes and throwing arms ready for the snowball showdown of the year! You can pelt your fellow Second Life Residents and Lindens with a bevy of sparkling snowballs, launched fresh from the snow arsenal available at the arena. If you can’t make it inworld yourself, you can watch the live streams on youtube at 10am PT and 2pm PT

 

Check the Second Life Public Calendar for all event updates!

Happy Holidays!

 

A complete list of participating Shop & Hop Merchants in alphabetical order is below:

_-FAS-_ http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurelian/233/100/53
-Secrets- http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snowflake/99/23/53
:::boyberry::: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurelian/202/101/53
::C'est la vie !:: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurelian/155/60/53
::K:: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurelian/153/28/53
::LUNA ROSA:: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurelian/99/51/53
:UNA: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Halcyon/153/25/53
!APHORISM! http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurelian/28/99/53
. Infiniti . http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurelian/23/159/53
.: Runic :. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurelian/55/157/53
.EscalateD. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Halcyon/103/24/53
.peaches. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurelian/96/201/53
.Tardfish. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurelian/104/233/53
[ Aleutia ] http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurelian/92/89/53
[CIRCA] Living http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurelian/158/232/53
[HC] Hopes Creations http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurelian/158/203/53
[Krescendo] http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurelian/88/164/53
[QE] Designs http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurelian/197/158/53
[Sheba] http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurelian/228/158/53
{ wren's nest } http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Frosted/208/101/53
{le fil casse} http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Frosted/156/56/53
{ViSion} http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Frosted/158/26/53
* SK * ( old " Sweet Kajira " ) http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Frosted/99/23/53
**UTOPIA@Design** http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Frosted/99/51/53
*Elite Equestrian* http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurelian/167/168/53
*Epic* http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Frosted/60/100/53
*paper moon* http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Frosted/24/100/53
/studioDire/ http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Frosted/24/157/53
#ADORED & VICE X http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Frosted/165/93/53
1313 Mockingbird Lane http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Frosted/54/161/53
3rd Eye Perceptions http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tinseled/158/26/53
777 Motors http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Frosted/92/89/53
A.D.D.Andel! http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Frosted/100/200/53
A&D CLOTHING http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Frosted/99/228/53
ACORN http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Frosted/156/239/53
Addams http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gilded/167/168/53
Afterparty http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Frosted/158/203/53
AlaFolie http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Frosted/197/158/53
Aphrodite Shop http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Frosted/94/165/53
Ashbourne & Co. Fine Jewellers http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Frosted/228/158/53
Astara http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gilded/229/102/53
Astralia http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Frosted/161/163/53
Atelier Burgundy http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gilded/202/101/53
AVEC TOI http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gilded/155/60/53
AZOURY http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gilded/153/25/53
Baby Ghee http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gilded/103/25/53
Baiastice http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gilded/99/51/53
BananaN http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gilded/60/100/53
Bauhaus http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gilded/24/104/53
Bee Designs http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gilded/23/159/53
Belle Epoque http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gilded/56/154/53
Birth http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gilded/197/158/53
Blackstone http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurelian/102/26/53
Bloom Furniture & Decor http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jubilant/94/163/53
Blow-Up http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gilded/226/153/53
Blueberry http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gilded/165/93/53
Body Language Sweet Lovely Cute http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gilded/92/89/53
BONDI http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gilded/103/195/53
Boudoir http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gilded/95/166/53
Bumblebee http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sugarplum/228/158/53
Candle and Cauldron http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gilded/99/228/53
Candy Kitten http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gilded/161/233/53
Caverna Obscura http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gilded/158/203/53
CELESTE http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Golden/229/102/53
Cheval D'or http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Golden/202/101/53
CHEZ MOI FURNITURES http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Golden/155/60/53
ChiC buildings http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Golden/158/26/53
ChicChica http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Golden/99/23/53
CHIMAERA http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Golden/103/56/53
ChiMia http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Golden/60/100/53
Chop Zuey http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Golden/165/93/53
Clover http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Golden/28/99/53
CONSTRUCT http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Golden/23/159/53
crate http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Golden/50/155/53
Culprit http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Golden/100/200/53
DaD - Virtual Living http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Golden/99/228/53
Dahlia http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Golden/155/235/53
Decoy http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Golden/158/203/53
DEEP STATIC http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Golden/197/158/53
E-Clipse Design http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Golden/228/158/53
E.A.Studio ( Eclipse Art Studio ) http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Halcyon/197/158/53
Eclectic Stars http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Halcyon/229/102/53
Enchante' http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Halcyon/202/101/53
Entice http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Halcyon/155/60/53
etham http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Golden/92/89/53
Eudora3D http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurelian/60/100/53
Exile http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurelian/162/94/53
EXMACHINA http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Halcyon/102/56/53
Faida http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Halcyon/60/100/53
Fantasy China http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Halcyon/28/99/53
Fantavatar & Moonstruck http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Halcyon/23/159/53
FlowerDreams http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Halcyon/54/161/53
Foxy http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Halcyon/100/200/53
GA.EG & Gaeline Creations http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Halcyon/99/228/53
Genesis Lab http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Halcyon/157/232/53
Glitzz http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sugarplum/155/60/53
HANGRY http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Halcyon/158/203/53
Harshlands http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Halcyon/228/158/53
Hayabusa Design http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Golden/167/168/53
HILTED http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Halcyon/92/89/53
Holli Pocket http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jubilant/227/99/53
Inner Demons http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jubilant/202/101/53
irrISIStible http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Halcyon/165/93/53
Jinx http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Halcyon/90/162/53
Juna Artistic Tattoo http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jubilant/155/60/53
K&S http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jubilant/153/24/53
Kaithleen's http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jubilant/104/24/53
kunglers http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jubilant/165/93/53
Lacrime dell'anima http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jubilant/99/51/53
Laminak http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jubilant/60/100/53
Lapointe & BastChild http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jubilant/92/89/53
lassitude & ennui http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jubilant/28/99/53
Libertine http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Golden/88/164/53
Lilith's Den http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jubilant/23/159/53
Luas http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jubilant/54/161/53
LYBRA http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jubilant/100/200/53
Mad' http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jubilant/99/228/53
MadPea http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jubilant/157/232/53
MedievalFantasy Store http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jubilant/154/200/53
MINIMAL http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jubilant/197/158/53
Mirage Treasure Co. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jubilant/238/153/53
Miss Chelsea http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sugarplum/229/102/53
Modulus http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sugarplum/202/101/53
Moon Rabbit http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sugarplum/158/26/53
Mosquito's Way http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sugarplum/99/23/53
Mossu http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sugarplum/99/51/53
Myrrine http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sugarplum/60/100/53
Myth http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sugarplum/28/99/53
Narcisse http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sugarplum/23/159/53
ND/MD http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sugarplum/54/161/53
Neve http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jubilant/167/168/53
Never Totally Dead... http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sugarplum/165/93/53
NeverWish http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sugarplum/100/200/53
Normandy http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sugarplum/99/228/53
On A Lark http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Halcyon/157/166/52
Oshiro http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tinseled/197/158/53
Paragon Dance Animations http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tinseled/229/152/53
Petit Chat http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sugarplum/154/233/53
Pink Cream Pie http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sugarplum/158/203/53
PIXEL BOX Design http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sugarplum/197/158/53
pixicat http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sugarplum/88/164/53
PoseAble http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tinseled/66/98/53
PULSE http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snowflake/229/102/53
RAWR! http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sugarplum/167/168/53
RNK http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snowflake/202/101/53
ROZOREGALIA http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sugarplum/92/89/53
Rumah Kita http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snowflake/155/60/53
Salt & Pepper http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snowflake/158/26/53
Schadenfreude http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snowflake/165/93/53
Secrets of Gaia http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snowflake/93/63/53
Short Leash http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snowflake/60/100/53
Simply Shelby http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snowflake/28/99/53
Something New http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snowflake/23/159/53
Son!a-Edge http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snowflake/56/154/53
Spookshow http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snowflake/100/200/53
Spyralle http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snowflake/99/228/53
Star Sugar http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snowflake/161/233/53
Stardust http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snowflake/158/203/53
Stories&Co. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snowflake/197/158/53
Supernatural http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snowflake/228/158/53
Sway's http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snowflake/91/95/53
Tachinni Clothing http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tinseled/229/102/53
tarte. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tinseled/167/168/53
Tentacio http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tinseled/202/101/53
The Annex http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snowflake/88/164/53
The Forge http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snowflake/167/168/53
The Stringer Mausoleum http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tinseled/155/60/53
tivoli inc http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Frosted/229/102/53
toksik http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tinseled/99/23/53
Trompe Loeil http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tinseled/165/93/53
Unicorn http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tinseled/99/51/53
Valentina E. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tinseled/92/89/53
Velvet Whip http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tinseled/31/103/53
VENGE http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tinseled/23/159/53
What Next http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tinseled/88/164/53
Wicca's Originals http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tinseled/56/158/53
WK - Wild Kajaera http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tinseled/100/200/53
YS&YS http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tinseled/99/228/53
Yūgen http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tinseled/161/233/53
Zibska http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tinseled/158/203/53
Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: VOIR Gallery


Second Life Destinations

This week we are highlighting VOIR Gallery, a slice of early 20th century Birmingham, England, in which street gangs ruled the urban cobblestone landscape.

The aesthetic of VOIR Gallery is inspired by 1920s Birmingham to be specific, during the Second Industrial Revolution and increasing tension among the poverty-stricken working class. This environment brewed many legendary street gangs that roamed the town between the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th.

In fact, these gangs left behind such impressive legacies that they have been depicted in numerous films and television shows. VOIR Gallery’s creator, Effy, designed the region as a virtual fan fiction of sorts. For those familiar with this genre, numerous details can be found that serve as an homage to notable characters.

Given the intricacy of the world within VOIR Gallery, role playing is not required but certainly encouraged. Effy’s boyfriend Frenchy, who runs the VOIR Gallery group, plays the character of Tommy Shelby. Details of his history have even been worked into the region, such as his Romani heritage, drug addiction, and horse race fixing.

VOIR Gallery is the perfect place for historical reenactments or the creation of fan fiction in the form of machinima, photographs, storyboarding, graphic novels, and more. Who will you be? What side of the law will you be on? Visit VOIR Gallery today to find out and let us know if you made your own fan art by submitting to our Flickr.

Please note that in order to access this adult-rated region, you must have payment on file.

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

 

Linden Lab

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We'd like to announce that we've added a couple wintery items to our official merchandise store on RedBubble. A wholesome and humorous play on our logo, we hope these can bring some lighthearted joy to kick off a hopeful and positive attitude for the start of 2021.

We've also added the Linden Bears of April and Coyot to our collection of pocket tees.

Head to our store to take a peek. Redbubble is currently offering discounts on duplicate orders of the same item. 

Tara Linden

tone MM top.png

Tone Uriza at Blues Seduction

This week's featured artist is Tone Uriza, a local blues legend in his home state of Arizona and an active Second Life musician since 2007. 

Check out his website to listen to his music and learn more about his lengthy performance career.

He also plays at his own club, Blues Seduction (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Rainy Valley/238/227/21) every Saturday at 7pm SLT.

 

Q: When/how did you hear about Second Life?
A: I found out about Second Life in January of 2007. A friend of mine that played drums in my hometown, Kyle Bronsdon (aka Kyle Beltran in Second Life), sent out an email to all of his musician friends and fans about a virtual club that he had created. He said we could all come and see his avatar perform on our computers. The catch was it required creating a Second Life account. Because some of our peers were technically challenged (mostly baby boomers) most just ignored the email. But I did not. You see, I began studying digital electronics in 1976. From 1980 to 1989 I worked for a digital electronics research and development corporation as a line tech and later as a senior technician for reliability engineering. Needless to say, I used computers on a daily basis for testing line product as well as new designs from engineering. All the while playing music professionally at night. In 1990 I quit my day job and went full-time as a professional musician and sound tech. Meanwhile, I began raising a family and wanted to stay close to home while my wife worked by day as a computer aided drafts person for a missile corporation. Her job required a computer so we got our first PC in 1995. I became fascinated with it and started building and fixing PCs for myself and others. So when Kyle emailed about Second Life I had come to a time when I was not playing in the real world much, so I said yes please to SL. And I was so happy I did. It came very naturally to me as I was also a casual gamer. My experience with sound tech made it easy for me to set myself up with a stream and start playing to a worldwide audience. I left for a short period to take care of health issues, but it’s all good now. I came back in December of 2019 and started getting bookings right away. Soon I was able to set up a club of my own. I like having one as a backup in case I have a cancellation or just feel like playing when nothing is scheduled. One of the great aspects of Second Life is the flexibility. Real world performers and clubs don’t have nearly as much flexibility. I play several venues now on a regular basis, and I have Blues Seduction, which is the name of my club.

Q: How did playing music become a part of your life? 
A: Well that's an easy one. It runs in my family. My dad played guitar, my uncles played guitar, my maternal grandfather played guitar, my mom played piano, and her mom played guitar as well. An interesting fact about my maternal grandfather: he played guitar and sang in the brothels that peppered the Arizona-Mexico border at the turn of the last century. So when I asked my dad for a guitar at 9 years old, he immediately said yes, took me down to Sears, and got me my first guitar. I’ve been playing ever since. That would be 56 years. Well except when I had to have carpal tunnel surgery. LOL.

Q: Are your band members also SL Residents?
A: Only one, but the band was retired a few years back in the real world. His name is Marx Loeb aka Speelo Snook in Second Life. He DJs in SL these days. My friend Kyle is also still in SL and sings/plays piano in his own club, Meatspace.

Q: Blues music has been interpreted in so many different ways, how do you personally describe it?
A: Historically, everyone knows where and when the music came to fruition. But it has transcended history to become a major thread in the fabric of American life. The blues are nothing more than a good person feeling bad and having a musical language or vehicle to communicate that, and possibly rid oneself of the feeling. It can also be a very celebratory type of music, such as the blues from the New Orleans area.

Q: Tell us about the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame experience!
A: The Arizona Blues Hall Of Fame is a virtual place where musicians and supporters of the blues can pay homage to the outstanding achievements of the great players in our state who have used their music and notoriety to promote and preserve the blues heritage. I am humbly honored to be included as an individual player. Additionally, my band The Torpedoes was recently inducted this year.

Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you?
A: I think that would have to be how much they support one another and care for each other. And it allows all kinds of collaborations by musicians that would have never come together otherwise. But there are so many, it’s hard to name just one. All I know is that I love to play for people and Second Life has been a blessing for my soul. Thank you, Linden Lab.

 

Thank you, Tone!

 

If you or somebody you know would like to submit content for Music Mondays, please fill out this form.

Strawberry Linden

Tis The Season.jpg
Pictured: 'Tis The Season

Each week, the Second Life Destination Guide editorial team reviews dozens of new locations and events worth exploring. With all those beautiful destinations to check out, we thought we’d highlight a few of the entries that stood out to the editorial team. Don't forget to check our Recently Added category to see all the latest additions to the Destination Guide!

We have so many winter destinations being submitted that we can't keep up! Keep an eye out on our Winter Attractions category over the next few weeks for lots more opportunities to explore!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also have an upcoming event at Winter Wonderland, the Linden & Resident Snowball Fight! It's on December 18th, don't forget to add it to your calendars!

 

 

Got a spot that you’d like listed in the Destination Guide? Make sure to drop us a note at editor@lindenlab.com or submit your spot via web form.

Connect with Second Life on Social Media:
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Linden Lab

This year’s SL Christmas Expo is bursting with bright and merry delights - all for supporting the American Cancer Society and the fight against childhood cancer. It's never too late to get on Santa's good list: this holiday market features over 225 merchants, all of whom are giving a portion of their proceeds to the American Cancer Society. You will also find many holiday activities including the annual snowman contest, Christmas tree lots, raffles, auctions, and nearly 100 live performers for your entertainment! 

10th Annual SL Christmas Expo.jpg

Linden Lab has also joined in on the fun! We are revealing the next edition of the coveted Linden Home series and providing several One Of A Kind Auction items, along with some special surprises!  

Residents can:

  • Vote (by donation to a special ACS Christmas Expo Kiosk) for your favorite decorated Linden Home at the 3rd Annual Lights of Hope Home Decorating Contest.
  • Bid for an exclusive Linden Home Package, including a 6 Month Premium Membership; a Private Bellisseria lot with their choice of a Linden Home.
  • Bid to Create a New Linden Last Name to be added to the list of choices for new members.
  • Bid to Name a Future Bellisseria Region (3 Available).
  • Purchase a Limited Edition Linden Christmas Ornament, specially designed for the 2020 Expo and only available at the Expo.
  • Pose with Santa Patch and his elves! A very special opportunity to pose for a picture with our VP of Product Operations, Patch Linden, and his team - on Wednesday, December 9th from 1pm to 3pm PT, in the main SL Christmas Expo region

The Christmas Expo runs from December 4th through December 13th, and more information about the auction, schedule of events, and the American Cancer Society is available on their website

Head over to discover the magic of the holiday season and the joy of giving!

 

Don’t forget to also check out the Linden Home Preview for an exclusive first look at the newest Linden Home theme!

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Nord Storm


Second Life Destinations

Nord Storm is a vast steampunk roleplaying experience featuring an abandoned laboratory, a sacred cathedral, retro gadgets, and more in a wintery mountain town.
 

For those unfamiliar, steampunk is a retrofuturistic subgenre of science fiction, and it has a sizable devotion in Second Life with many steampunk regions to explore. Nord Storm is a huge region with architecture and technology bearing the distinct aesthetic of what would be considered futuristic through a 19th-century lens. 

Upon arrival, you are greeted with the message: “Here you can fight monsters, solve puzzles, upgrade avatar skills, craft, cook your own food, earn experience coins, play team games, fish, compete with other residents in skills, and much more... The game is available to all users.” Sounds like enough activity to fill up what’s left of 2020!

You first enter Nord Storm at an open air train station. In order to participate in the game component of the experience, you can receive a HUD from a machine nearby. The HUD has a built-in collision-based combat system. To hunt ghosts, you don't have to wear a combat system, but if you want your avatar to be able to deal damage to them, the combat system will allow you to do so.

You are free to explore on foot, but who wouldn’t want to use the time machine? All you have to do is launch the portal by reclining in the car seat. Click on the monitor to select one of the many locations in this world.

Be sure to keep an eye out for places marked with gold coins. When you sit at the designated earning spot, coins will be credited once a minute and can be used to purchase different items that enhance gameplay in the shop. You can also redeem prizes in the factory once you accrue enough experience points.

More details, pictures, and maps can be found at the official Nord Storm website.

For those more interested in admiring the architecture and environment than the gaming aspect, there is no pressure to conform to any specific gameplay rules. Everybody is welcome to visit the church, peruse the library, enjoy a quiet moment in the garden, or take a ride in the steampunk train.

If you’d like to adorn your avatar in steampunk attire, the marketplace has outfits and accessories for all levels of commitment. This region takes winter wonderland to the next level with the highly detailed levels of interactivity, gorgeous terrain, and hidden treats. Let Nord Storm whisk you away today.

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres


 

 

Tara Linden

Donn Devore MM Logo.jpg

Donn Devore at Gonja Land

 

This week's featured artist is Donn Devore, a talented multi-instrumentalist who creates electronica and post rock inspired by the paranormal, his spiritual experiences, and more. He even has an album of Brony music!

Please check out his official websiteBandcamp, and an extended YouTube set.

 

Q: When/how did you hear about Second Life?

A: It was around the Thanksgiving holiday in 2006 when I saw a news story on tv about SL and virtual worlds. I had been playing WoW for a couple of weeks but I wasn’t that interested in quests and monsters. SL seemed more interesting: with an economy, virtual real estate, you can fly everywhere, meet people, make out with them, have a laugh, and no one is trying to kill you. I explored SL for a year before I decided to perform. I saw musicians performing for crowds of 80+ listeners in a sim and thought, I can do this! So I learned how to set up a Shoutcast audio stream and started playing gigs, singing cover songs and playing acoustic guitar. That was in October 2007 and it’s been an interesting ride. 

Q: What types of instruments do you play?

A: I play guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, synthesizers, organ, drum machines, and various electronic devices. I’ve played guitar and keys since I was about 9 years old, I took lessons as a kid and studied music in college. I performed in metal and hard rock bands all through high school and college but was always creating electronic music in my room with synthesizers and drum machines. I worked as an audio engineer in recording studios for many years so that experience helps with the technical aspects of performing a live stream show since it’s essentially a live broadcast of a studio session. 


Q: While there are so many types of music software, do you have a favorite or do they each serve different functions?

A: It depends on what kind of project I'm working on. I’ve been a Protools operator for over 20 years in recording studios. It’s the most stable DAW and is especially good for recording acoustic instruments and bands, and it’s better at synchronizing with video or film. But in the last 5 years I prefer to use Logic Pro and Ableton Live for electronic music production. Ableton is a loop-based digital audio workstation which lends itself well to electronic music, letting me trigger samples and loops in real time to create a song from sections instead of a pre-recorded track that plays the same every time you play it. I use Logic Pro for a few specific instruments because it has the best sounding Hammond B3 organ and electric pianos in the game.  I perform using Ableton Live and Logic Pro in combination with real keyboard synthesizers. With Ableton Live I can create song arrangements on the fly using an 8x8 grid controller like a Novation Launchpad, triggering different loops that play the various sections of a song. It gives me control over each individual instrument in the mix. I use drum pads and note repeat functions to play live drum fills, create transitions, and dial in delay and reverb effects on the fly. Or, I will let the loop run for a while and I’ll play melodies or improvise solos on keyboard or guitar.

Q: I'm a fan of electronic music and I really enjoyed your album Telepathic Alien Communication. Did you have a strong reaction to the Pentagon releasing UFO videos? Although it quickly faded to the background with all the 2020 madness! 

A: Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed the album.  As a fan of the paranormal and ufology I appreciate this question, and I could speak for hours on UFOs and the decades of government cover up. We’ve known since the 1970’s that UFOs have shut down nuclear launch control systems like Malmstrom AFB in Montana and visited military bases in the UK. Other countries have released video and information about UFOs. Our military has known about them since the 1940s going back to the Roswell crash and the Mt. Rainier sightings or the Phoenix Lights in 1997 and other more recent events like the Tic Tac videos released by the Pentagon. I’ve followed many of the authors and speakers in the UFO community that have advocated for disclosure for many years so it wasn’t really a surprise, but it was an odd time to drop that information on the public given what we’ve all been dealing with in 2020. Most people either didn’t notice, didn’t care, didn’t believe it, or said “I’ve been saying this for years and I told you so!” I’m probably in that last group. But we should always be skeptical since we've been lied to and they have reversed their position on this topic many times in the past.

My personal contact with aliens was through a series of shamanic experiences. With the intention to quit smoking cigarettes in 2015 I used psilocybin mushrooms to help me overcome my addiction to nicotine. In those ceremonies I communicated with different alien-like entities. This is a common report from people who travel in these spaces. I composed most of the songs for that album as a result of those intense experiences. I spent the next three years recording and mixing the songs, all the while suffering from serious health problems as a result of a toxic mold exposure. This album project was part of a long healing process for me and the ‘aliens’ gave me encouragement to continue on the path, to find ways to heal myself from a painful chronic illness, to tell my story and help others. I’m in a much better place now, despite the current pandemic, since through that crisis I have learned many different methods for maintaining my mental and physical health. Music is a part of that along with a healthy diet, yoga and exercise. 


Q: Where would you suggest starting out to someone unfamiliar with the SL music scene?  

A: For listeners, the fastest place to find music inworld is through the live music listings in the search tab. Search for live music events inworld and go to lots of shows. If you want to get onstage and perform, search for open mic events. It doesn’t matter where you start, just go to lots of different places to listen and watch what people are doing, and you’ll get a feel for the environment and find a place you like. Make some friends, talk to hosts and venue owners. The scene is like a small town with hundreds of musicians and dozens of live venues where we all play on a weekly or monthly basis. There are many live music announcement groups you can join inworld to get artist info and landmarks for all the shows happening or upcoming.


Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you? 

A: Sharing a few precious moments of live music with other humans listening from around the world is meaningful. Music relieves stress and reduces anxiety for the listener. It transcends language, political and cultural boundaries, it can lift spirits, make you cry, make you laugh, make you dance... It can have an emotional impact on the listener, remind them of the beauty and joy in the world, and how awesome it is to be alive. When someone tells me they have been inspired by me or my music to improve the quality of their own life, that's meaningful and makes me proud of what we are doing here.

 

Thank you, Donn!

If you or somebody you know would like to submit content for Music Mondays, please fill out this form.
 

Strawberry Linden

Silent Night.jpg
Pictured: Silent Night

Each week, the Second Life Destination Guide editorial team reviews dozens of new locations and events worth exploring. With all those beautiful destinations to check out, we thought we’d highlight a few of the entries that stood out to the editorial team. Don't forget to check our Recently Added category to see all the latest additions to the Destination Guide!

Have fun exploring and stay safe for the rest of the week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got a spot that you’d like listed in the Destination Guide? Make sure to drop us a note at editor@lindenlab.com or submit your spot via web form.

Connect with Second Life on Social Media:
Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Flickr | Pinterest | Tumblr | Plurk | TikTok | Reddit | LinkedIn

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