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Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Your Virtual Passport


Second Life Destinations

This week we’re taking a broader look at the possibilities within Second Life for expression, metamorphosis, and a unique type of freedom from our current circumstances in the physical world. There is no denying that we are social animals, and while we are in this period of indefinite isolation, connecting with others in a dynamic environment can be very rewarding.
 

At this point almost all of us have had to pass up a vacation or event we were looking forward to, and not everyone has access to partially reopened spaces. In Second Life we can safely explore nature, hear the push and pull of the tide, and feel present in a place we’ve always wanted to go to.

The phrase quarantine vacation might seem like an oxymoron, but it is definitely possible in SL. A luxury getaway to the Fashion Week of your choosing is only a few clicks away, and whether you’re in the audience or on the runway is up to you. Plus, this is the only place that we condone riding a motorcycle without a helmet.

What do you miss the most? Recreational sports, the endless row of bookshelves in your library, chatting with others at a gallery reception? All of these things and more are waiting for you in-world. Of course there are certain things about the physical world that cannot be replaced, but there are also aspects of the virtual world that can augment your experience in ways that are inimitable.

It is liberating to give a 3D visual form to parts of ourselves that have traditionally been abstract and interior. Whether it is something you have daydreamed about for years or an aspect of yourself that has always existed beneath the surface, there is no better place to set your thoughts free.

Head to the Destination Guide today for a new adventure. Don’t know where to start? Pro tip: the Editors’ Picks are always poppin’.

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

Linden Lab

We have a bonus Second Life Destinations video for you this week: let’s take a look at Raglan Shire, a community of tinies in the midst of month long Halloween festivities. No need to worry if you are what they refer to as a “biggie,” as they are welcoming to all.

 

As their land info states: “The original community of fun for folks of all sizes. Many different locales, events & activities for anyone seeking friendship & adventure! Whether you're dinkie, tiny sized or any size or shape, come visit & enjoy!”

Every October Raglan Shire celebrates “Shocktober” to celebrate the spooky season, but their revelry is defined not so much by blood and gore as by whimsical creativity.

Attractions include a brand new interactive Haunted House for 2020, where you can choose the level of exposure to Halloween madness: the options are cute or creepy. The Raglan Shire Ride of Horrors is back, and filled with custom rooms created by the community. Hop into that snake cart to cruise through tons of spaces brimming with unbridled creativity. Not to mention the Haunted Wooden Roller Coaster of DOOM is faster than ever before.

Musical performances and many other themed activities round out the celebration of a month that puts creative expression first, in the world of biggies and tinies alike.

Visit Raglan Shire today and you'll see that no matter what size you are, you'll leave with a huge smile.

Video Production Credits:

Draxtor Despres

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: 2020 Election Simulator


Second Life Destinations

This week’s destination is an intriguing and timely recreation of a news studio buzzing with current forecasts in real time as well as a voting booth with instructions for each U.S. state.

The creator is a longtime Second Lifer named Duncan who also works in the political field. (His voice in the video is dubbed by voice actor Reverend Quar for privacy reasons.) Built with data pulled from FiveThirtyEight.com, this region runs a simulation of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election based on the latest state-level forecasts once every ten minutes or so.

A male avatar in a formal suit named Guy Simpleton serves as the host, announcing each state as its corresponding color is filled on the large map behind him, in the manner of the calling of states on election night. Duncan elaborates on the design of the board by saying, “Rather than do a geographic map, I made 1x1x1 cubes for each electoral vote in a state to give voters a better sense of the relative scale of the states as they're called. So Wyoming may be big on the map, but it's tiny in terms of the electoral vote total. The Eastern Seaboard gets really crowded because so many people live there.”

There are also some lighthearted elements to bring a humorous contrast to the table of pundits, such as a nerdy statistician based on Nate Silver (founder of FiveThirtyEight), and a talk show set with some celebrity guests.

This region is a well-rounded snapshot of the current U.S. political climate: protests on both sides taking place, a courthouse, as well as a voting booth outside of a post office scripted to outline local U.S. voting procedures.

Duncan has recently experienced some health issues that have prevented him from being as physically involved with this election as he would prefer, so he created the election simulator in an effort to present the facts in an impartial way so that people can make the decision they feel is right for them. “I see voting as a matter of thinking locally,” Duncan says, “building community and institutions that can be trusted."

Whether you’re there for a couple hours or 10 minutes, alone or with politically engaged folks from the U.S. and beyond, you will definitely leave with something to talk about. Visit the Election Simulator today!

 

Video Production Credits:

Draxtor Despres

Linden Lab

Imaginación Hecha en SL: Arietu Kyori


Second Life Destinations

This week Drax spotlights Arietu Kyori, a 24-year-old communications student and Second Life designer in a special interview predominantly in Spanish.

Hailing from Mexico City, she is an extraordinary multitasker with an inventory housing about 500 avatars. She also views SL through an analytical lens, writing in a university thesis that “Second Life is all about being able to freely express yourself. Young people can show more facets of themselves than they can in the real world.”

One of the ways Arietu illustrates this point is through her brand, Hanzel, which specializes in skins and accessories. As one can see from her Flickr, Arietu has a colorful imagination and encourages others to explore the possibilities that exist in this unique environment.

Although she lives in a big, sprawling city, Arietu chooses to focus on family life at home with her parents and sister, as well as honing her design and English skills through interacting with a global community in SL. “I learned most of my English by making conversation in Second Life,” she says, “and in terms of using Blender and other tools to make 3D content for SL, I learned from others inworld and by watching YouTube tutorials.”

Arietu'swares have been covered by Seraphim, and you can shop from her catalog at events such as SoKawaii Sundays and several regular hunts. She also has her own small skybox store where she concentrates on selling niche products for fans of anime, like modified skins for the popular Kemono avatar, among other content. “In order to be successful in SL you have to find something that nobody else is offering and then you learn how to make those things. Anybody can do this!”

Arietu's parents fully support their daughter’s creative endeavors in SL (probably because her school work is diligently pursued), although as Arietu chuckles, her mother’s internet skills might need some brushing up: “My mother is still trying to figure out YouTube.”

Well, on behalf of Second Life, we’d like to let Arietu’s mom know that we would love to see you inworld. SL has great community gateway programs full of wonderful folks who would love to show you how things work, and you might even bump into an avatar or two sporting your daughter’s whimsical designs!

 

Video Production Credits:

Draxtor Despres

 

P.S. If you’d like to protect yourself with a matching SL facemask, you can get one at our brand new merchandise store.

 

Linden Lab

We have entered that time of year where unforeseen events can occur in even the most tranquil Linden suburbs: this week’s Destination Guide video explores the Halloween Haunted Neighborhood.

 

One of the many benefits that Premium account holders can receive is a land allotment to use for a Linden Home. These neighborhoods have been landscaped to perfection, the transportation is smooth, and the locals are friendly. In most Linden Home areas, waterfront homes are available, as are single-family homes with beautiful yards, and there are plenty of customization options. But somehow, just a few days ago, this dreamscape has become a nightmare that Residents can’t wake up from.

It is immediately apparent to anyone familiar with the Millbank region that the atmosphere has been altered. The light is subdued, and a gloomy fog hangs about. Strange noises can be heard in every direction, ranging from a whirring chainsaw to screams dappled with eerie childrens’ laughter.

Today's video follows a masked character with bulging eyes and an unnerving smile as he prowls the streets, lurks in a derelict carriage, and watches an unsuspecting couple with his unblinking gaze. We are given clues as to what heinous acts may have taken place here, but the mystery remains unsolved. A stately home sits with an open door and ominous red light emanating from the windows. A cemetary can be found with creatures bursting through the cement.

Are you courageous enough to find out for yourself what happened here in the Millbank region? Will you explore alone, or bring a friend? Visit the Halloween Haunted Neighborhood today, and don’t forget to bring a flashlight!

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Sandboxing Around the Grid


Second Life Destinations

A big part of the magic of Second Life involves building and scripting objects in real time and playing with prims. Sandboxes are designated areas for Residents to experiment with the art of building in SL, alone or with friends, in a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of way.

If you don’t own land or your landlord just has a small area restricted to rezzing and finetuning your models, fear not. There are many different sandboxes in SL, and many are attached to helpful groups where experienced builders are at the ready to assist with tips and tricks. 

In the video we see several sandboxes featured, including one of the very first ones in Morris, which has been around since 2003 when the Welcome Area of Ahern came online.

The Ivory Tower of Prims can also be seen in the video. Not only does it have script-enabled sandbox areas with a separate damage-enabled weapons testing area, but The Tower is also an info hub for aspiring builders with lots of tutorials on how to manipulate the basic building block of SL: the almighty prim.

Another friendly sandbox area is the one embedded within the Amsterdam community. Don’t worry, many people in Amsterdam in SL speak English, so don’t hesitate to approach a friendly (flying?) Dutchman or woman if you are stuck with a building challenge.

There are even more places for your imagination to run wild in the sandbox category of the Destination Guide, and for premium Second Life members, there are exclusive members-only sandboxes available as well. If you ever feel stuck, in addition to chatting with members of building groups, please don't forget to check in with the building forums

 

Video Production Credits:

Draxtor Despres

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Asiza's Islands of Love


Second Life Destinations

This week Asiza Wolf takes us on a tour of her floating Islands of Love, a seamless amalgam of her varying cultural interests that features steampunk ships, meditation areas, a concert stage, and more.
 

 

Asiza’s real life alter ego, Toni Harper-Dunlap, is a former professional singer and dancer who has graced the stages of The Apollo, Carnegie Hall, and Toast of the Town (later The Ed Sullivan Show), so you’d be lucky to catch her perform some impromptu jazz standards here.

Asiza says of the virtual world, “Second Life tickles me. It is my kind of thing. I am having a natural ball every day!” At the age of 83 Asiza/Toni is as creative as she has ever been, with Second Life her playground of infinite imagination.

Asiza turns the stereotype of the lonely old technophobe on its head, proclaiming “I am not afraid of technology. A busy mind is a good thing when the body can’t be that busy anymore. I am the happiest person that I have SL. It is a wonderful something to have in one's life. I have a new life here now and I do intend to truly enjoy it for as long as I am able to.” Her independent and robust spirit continues to thrive inworld and out; proving age is not a thing to be pitied but a badge of honor.

Asiza also refutes the misconception that people who are passionate about virtual realms don’t have a fulfilling experience of the real world: “I have a beautiful family, I love them to pieces. I’m busy doing my thing and they are busy doing their thing… They’re breathing their own air, I’m breathing mine.”

As Asiza/Toni is a practicing Buddhist, she has placed a replica of her home altar on the islands for anyone in search of quiet contemplation under the soft cosmic glow. This region is a visual representation of her dreams, character, and hobbies. There are a few hidden gems here too, like Asiza’s favorite room, which is a serene lounge with a purple (her favorite color) piano surrounded by flowers, as well as a salsa club located inside an active volcano.

To get the full schedule of regular performers, join Asiza’s group: SL’s top jazz and soul singers such as Scorpio Aeon and Tony Slade do regular shows here and weekly DJ events happen down in the fiery depths of the VolcanSiza Club. Asiza’s Islands of Love truly welcomes everyone, so visit today to see the spectrum of vibes.

The three songs Drax and Asiza/Toni recorded in Palm Springs in 2019 & the two tunes Scorpio Aeon performed in the video are available for download here.

 

Video Production Credits:

Draxtor Despres

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