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Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Funday by Cica Ghost


Second Life Destinations

“Funday” by Cica Ghost, a whimsical meditation imbued with childlike wonder, is open to visitors for one more week!

Cica Ghost is known in Second Life for making temporary creations akin to virtual art installations. While many parts of SL have been maintained for years, these transient regions are a great reason to log in regularly and explore, because you never know what you might miss.

Funday greets you with lighthearted old-timey jazz, which cements the feeling of being transported to a different time and place. One of the most visually striking elements of this region is the distorted sense of size. A cartoonish caterpillar the size of a school bus lounges in one of the large brick blocks. The aesthetic of the region is hard to categorize; it feels like a worn out schoolyard with sprinkles of farm life and bucolic peace. A cluster of brick boxes next to the caterpillar almost looks like an urban cat tree. Murals of children and animals offer trippy optical textures as your eyes comprehend a two-dimensional character in a three-dimensional space.

There is a hint of the adult fable throughout Cica’s work, a reminder that one is never too old to stop and play.

Some of Cica’s previous works that she is particularly proud of include Rust, a patchwork circus of metal gears, and Drawn Town, an immersive black and white illustration-themed neighborhood. Cica has been putting out a new installation every two or three months as of late, and while there are stylistic similarities due to her characteristic approach, color palette and tone are unpredictable. So much work goes into each build, support the visual artists and creators of SL by visiting today!

Video Production Credits: 
Draxtor Despres

 

 

Linden Lab

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon masterfully blends the serenity of ancient artwork with stunning virtual architecture.

Creator Patch Thibaud is actually an architect in the physical world as well, and his years of experience inform every detail of this majestic locale. After observing some work on Patch’s Flickr, Resident Crista reached out to him to build a region for her. Of the request, Patch says, “I agreed to participate as long as I got to do The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which was an ideal subject; an evocative and romantic concept, monumental in scale - and nobody has any idea what the original looked like, if in fact it existed at all.”

Patch’s affinity for building in the metaverse is strengthened by the fact that “there is no one in between me and the final result; I don't have to deal with contractors, estimators, building codes, etc.,” and yet there are limitless possibilities. Furthermore, Patch feels that “in all 3D modeling software I am familiar with, you are working in an abstract, gridded space. In SL I am used to working outdoors, with a beautiful sky and perhaps with beautiful water, and the context of an entire world.”

The concept of storytelling has been incorporated into many visual art forms, and as a trained designer, Patch adopted an episodic approach to the immense project. Patch created an extensive history for the estate: “This build imagines a structure originally built in mud brick by the Assyrians; later seized and rebuilt in stone by the Romans; {eventually} acquired by a cardinal during the military struggles of Renaissance Italy, who rebuilt the temple complex at the summit to include a villa for him and pleasure gardens and pavilions; subsequent alterations and additions by the cardinal’s family, including the ballroom and the Moroccan Garden; and finally the current owner, who restored the whole structure and its gardens, and inserted a gallery for art, built in the modern style.”

Crista is also a longtime Resident, having started her inworld adventures 14 years ago. For Crista, Second Life is “a part of myself… part of my life and {it has} taught me many things that made me what I am now, in RL and SL. I am one person living in two different worlds. A wonderful SL can make a better RL. The Gardens were my SL dream for years… A ton of thanks to Patch Thibaud, I am not sure if we have a better builder. Sharing the beauty he makes, {as well as the} sensations and feelings deriving from it, is the biggest pleasure and satisfaction in this world.”

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Popular Clubs


Second Life Destinations

Music is priceless; it can strengthen social bonds and turn an acquaintance into a lifelong friend. It is also one of the most effective ways to get people connected in a virtual world. 

For close to two decades, Residents in Second Life have been using the power of music and virtual dancing to express themselves and interact with others. The Music category of the Second Life Destination Guide is filled with hundreds of venues playing all genres of music. 

In this week’s destinations video, we are featuring six of the most popular clubs in Second Life, according to our data. Along with the music category, these clubs are also listed in the Popular Places category, which showcases some of the most visited places in SL that are great for socializing and newcomer-friendly, so there are no scripted newbie kickers, payment info restrictions, or adult ratings - all are welcome!

Exhale Dance Club is a great example of how there is literally never a dull moment in Second Life. DJs from all over the world play live mixes 24/7 in this sleek club with a huge dance floor, neon lights, and a peek of the nighttime city skyline through the windows. Exhale’s vibe features a variety of music genres including EDM, trap, hip hop, electro, techno, house, and trance. Visitors can also enjoy special themed events like  DJ battles. There is ample space for letting loose as well as chatting, and sometimes the DJs will make a shout out to individual patrons!

Big Daddy’s Rock Club has been a den of good vibes in SL for over a decade, changing the decor seasonally to keep things fresh. This open air dance floor also has a huge outdoor space to catch your breath and explore. Follow the walkway of Hollywood-like stars to get to know the history of the venue and some notable Residents. And just in case you need a last minute outfit change, Big Daddy’s Mall is right next door. Posters throughout the club offer Residents news of current events and ways to get more connected with the virtual world. Visit today to hear classic and contemporary jams as well as one-of-a-kind mashups.

Fogbound Blues is a laidback and rustic music venue where visitors can grab a seat at the bar, explore the dance floor, or lean against the jukebox to take it all in. The club opened in 2009 and over time gained a loyal following of music loving patrons. Owner Yanik tells us “Looking at it now with 70 avatars in the room, the best blues DJs in SL, and a full 24-hour schedule, it's light years ahead of what I hoped. It has become home for so many regulars. A social hub where friends gather. It's a community. Some depend on it to battle loneliness, sickness, to still feel somehow alive in this crazy era. It's now bigger than me. It's theirs, and I make sure it stays that way.” 

Muddy’s Music Cafe is a slice of paradise for those in search of a beach vacation. Surrounded by glistening waves, this oasis offers an intimate dance floor and a lounge area with a pool table and piano. The decor is playfully casual, almost like a house party with a pile of records in one corner, musical instruments and statement pieces to serve as great conversation starters for even the shyest of Residents.

Las Muchachas is a Latin dance club with a casual dress code. You’ll hear everything from samba to salsa, mambo, merengue, flamenco, chacha, lambada, and more! The dance floor has the aesthetic of a wooden dock, as if your cruise ship just landed at this tropical locale with a view of the city off in the distance. Grab a festive drink, dance, and enjoy conversation in the cabana.

One of the walls in Peak Lounge is emblazoned with the phrase “When words fail, music speaks,” and we can’t agree more. This ultralounge features DJs from all over the world playing a variety of dance music. The decor feels like a celestial dream, with a modern lounge area flowing seamlessly into the dance floor and DJ booth. It comes as no surprise that Peak hosts exclusive fashion events, with stylish outfits and accessories available for purchase in the entryway. Peak Lounge expertly balances intrigue and hospitality, making all visitors feel welcome.

In the new year, explore new places and make new memories!

Video Production Credits: Draxtor Despres
Music Credits: Todd Squall

 

Linden Lab

Holidays Made in SL


Second Life Destinations

This week we are bringing you five Residents from all over the world who each bring their unique voices and experiences to the Second Life Blogger Network.

Lexy Nexen Headshot.jpg

Lexy Nexen is the owner of Wild Branch Brewery as well as a Second Life YouTuber, where she shares her love of exploration and food. Wild Branch is a craft brewery experience, the first of its kind in Second Life. Lexy tells us it was inspired by “times in life prior to the pandemic, where being in the community of a brewery was a time to bond and make memories with friends, family or even complete strangers over a pint of beer and some good ole board games.” For Lexy, Wild Branch is a chance to “{exchange} real human interaction during the pandemic” in an environment tied to both a specific subculture and of course, warmth and openness to others.

Lexy's websites:
Linktree
Wild Branch Brewery: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Riverbrook/76/90/31

Miwa Bunny Headshot.jpg

Miwa Bunny, who has been in SL for over a decade, tells us that “during the pandemic Second Life became a source of both income and stability, I was able to make connections, meet new friends and keep in touch with all of them.” Miwa manages several brands on top of blogging, with some of her favorite aspects of SL being self-expression and connection. For Miwa, being inworld is “almost like a meditation… for my mental health.” We love to see Residents encouraging others to take care of themselves!

Miwa's websites:
Official Website
Twitter
Flickr
Instagram 
TikTok 

Aurora Mercury Headshot.jpg

Aurora Mercury, a British Resident who is proud of her Jamaican heritage, is “the owner and creator of women's networking group Sisters in SL, a community that helps women come together and network with like minded women. It allows women to meet others from all over the world and gets them out of their comfort zone.” Aurora also made an accompanying magazine for this organization, and she has a YouTube channel where she engages in “meaningful conversations with people all over the grid to discuss topics {that} allow people to share their experiences and perspectives during their journey in SL.” Aurora stresses the value of these shared experiences during the pandemic as a “reminder that we are all going through this together… it’s a different type of connection.”

Aurora's websites:
Youtube: Aurora Mercury 
Official Website
Sisters in SL Website
Sisters in SL Facebook Group
Sisters in SL Magazine
 

Oema Headshot resized.jpg

Oema lives in Northern Italy in the physical world, and for the last seven years has been writing for her blog VIRTUALITY. Oema tells us “I care about communication {and} spreading helpful information to old and new members. So together with some talented friends, we created 360 GRADI: a magazine that talks about fashion, virtual psychology, destinations, art, photography, and music.” 360 Gradi is hosted on her VIRTUALITY blog, and has become a collaborative effort with many other talented Residents, who she gives immense thanks to for all of their contributions over the years. In Oema’s words, “During the time of the pandemic, Second Life helped distract me. Even now during the Christmas holidays, this incredible metaverse called Second Life, where users can create and give expression to their imagination, is a pleasant daily fixture.”

Oema's websites:
VIRTUALITY Blog
360 GRADI Magazine
YouTube
Facebook

Victoria James Headshot.png

Victoria James is a Second Life explorer, shopper, and blogger. Victoria first signed up for SL a decade ago and tells us “I still love logging into Second Life because there is always something new to discover. New regions to explore, new stores to go shopping at (and old favorites), and of course being creative with my own blogging and photography.” It is our honor to share that, like countless others, Victoria found something priceless in SL: “Second Life changed my life… I actually met my husband in Second Life.” They’ve been married for over four years! It is often hard to describe exactly what SL is, and Victoria puts it perfectly with, “To me it’s not a game, it’s an extension of real life.”

Victoria's websites:
Blog
Flickr
Instagram
Facebook


Happy Holidays, everybody!

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: 2021 Winter Attractions


Second Life Destinations

It’s hard to pick where to start with all the winter fun in SL, but here's a curated selection with some behind the scenes info on what inspired these creators!

Crisp Kringle is a wholesome Swedish hamlet on the Frogmore region. Creator Tolla tells us, “I wanted to create a small village deeply covered in snow with a feeling of Swedish lapland, small vintage shops, merchantiles, bakeries, coffee, mulled wine, and of course toys.” Crisp Kringle is open to all Residents, and rumor has it that you can feed carrots to Santa’s reindeer. Get cozy and treat yourself to a Fika today.

Next up is Peaceful Dreams, where the rolling hills are covered in powdery snow and a soft blue glow provides an ethereal sense of wonder. Creator Vega was inspired by “That feeling of the first snowfall, when the snowflakes hit your face and it feels magical. That peaceful walk down a snowy path, with nothing but the sound of your feet crunching in the snow, and finally, that kiss you share with your loved one in a sleigh ride through the snow.” Peaceful Dreams is the perfect place for a romantic winter adventure or a quiet solo moment to appreciate beauty and creativity.

Where Our Journey Begins is a photogenic wonderland offering many interactive winter activities. Experience the snow fall around you, coating the trees in soft white, and don’t miss out on the view of the glowing sky from a ski lift. Exquisitely carved gazebos and fountains give this region a rustic flair. Creator Vivian feels that “During the pandemic it is especially important to have places where one feels happy and content and {can} share these places with others, because these hard times are affecting all of us. Our place is here for people to meet and experience the holidays together.”

Snowdrift has a playfully surreal tone, with a chandelier at the entrance and reindeer with ornate antlers covered in lights and ornaments. Creator Whimsy has a very special relationship with Second Life: “After a near fatal car accident resulting in traumatic brain injury ended an 18 year career, SL gave me an outlet to stay connected and meet new people while I was homebound recovering.” Whimsy is now a mixed media artist who describes SL as “a lifeline to keep my creative spirit alive,” as one can see by visiting this enchanting region that melds natural beauty with a fairy tale aesthetic.

Inspire Space Park, co-owned by Delain Canucci, Jamilah "JaMee" Rossini, and Bonny Greenwood, is sort of a cultural institution. This region has been around for almost as long as SL itself, and the winter makeover will take your breath away. Cute forest critters, Ice skating, and the characteristic floating meteors are just a few of the things that make this place so special. Delain tells us, “What we did at Inspire with winter is to show people that even though we are in space, we still love to see beautiful environments. We will never change the main look of the park, but with special seasons we will decorate and try to make landscapes that leave people in awe.” This blend of science museum and winter wonderland is truly something that could only be found in SL. Jamilah has been visiting Inpsire Space Park for over 15 years, saying, “I will never forget that first time stepping into space. I was in awe at the sight I was seeing and how incredible it felt being in space, even though it was virtual… These three individuals (the original creators Earth, Raphael and Grafx, who recently passed away) came together and built a place to chill, meet others from all over the world and enjoy the music. I found home here.”

Now that you have a diverse set of options to choose from, we hope to see you inworld today! Ice skating, snowboarding, skiing and more are just a click away.

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres
 

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations - Film Threat


Second Life Destinations

Enjoy next level watch parties in SL with the new Film Threat virtual cinema experience!

“We’re amazed at how Linden Lab was able to bring the spirit of Film Threat to life in this virtual space and thrilled that we’ll be able to conduct screenings and other special events in a whole new way,” says Chris Gore, founder of Film Threat. “It’s our hope to grow this venue and events to engage with Film Threat and indie film fans around the world.” Film Threat is the leading independent film news and review site, offering the scoop on the latest releases as well as curated picks from past decades.

Inspired by theaters and film festivals from the physical world, this two-story virtual cinema venue offers a unique and immersive way to experience movies. The space was first revealed back in July for Kickstarter backers of Gore’s upcoming Attack of the Doc documentary as part of an exclusive sneak peek. This region offers food trucks, sleek cafes, and modern lounges to house insightful discussions amongst Residents. Additionally, Film Threat-branded exclusive collectible merchandise can be found at booths throughout the venue.

Once a month, Gore will host virtual panels with leading filmmakers, actors, and Film Threat critics. The first upcoming event is on October 28th from 11AM to 2PM PT. Featuring Corona Zombies, this maniacal zombie exploitation gets a contemporary update. The Film Threat founder will be joined by co-producer Bill Butler, and cast members Cody Renee Cameron, Alex Skuby, and Robin Sydney.

The next two events scheduled will feature Insert Coin (11/18) and I am Santa Claus (12/16). There will also be collectible and exclusive film-specific virtual merchandise for each event. Mark your calendars, who knows what you’ll discover through the power of film?


Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

 

Chris Gore will also be on Lab Gab later today at 9am PT, Watch it live on YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter!

 

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Laurel's Halloween Nightmare


Second Life Destinations

Explore the haunted theme park at Laurel’s Halloween Nightmare, with 19 horror movie scenes from classics like Frankenstein to modern horror like Saw. Scares lurk around every corner in this dazzling monument to all things frightful.

Creator Laurel Bradders (a.k.a. Baby Ghoul) is a Halloween fanatic, telling us “This is my fourth annual haunted theme park. I try to go bigger every year and top what I did the prior season.” This labyrinthine region changes stylistically as you go deeper, encompassing everything from Medieval castles to whimsical spookiness to futuristic nightmares. Don't be afraid to get lost: teleport portals will transport you from scene to scene.

The dedication is real, with Laurel putting in almost a year's worth of planning into each build: “My friends think I am crazy but, starting every January, I begin buying and collecting new ideas for the upcoming Halloween season. I get custom work done by script and mesh creators in SL.”

As thrilling as Laurel’s work is, the inspiration comes from a poignant effort to memorialize someone very special. Laurel explains, “I do it for my mom really. I lost her in 2015 and she was a huge horror genre fan. We used to watch all the spooky movies together and decorate as much as possible for Halloween. She made it great every year!” This labor of love is beyond impressive, with references to “Dracula to Kong vs. Godzilla with some Freddy Krueger and Pinhead thrown in as well!”

Halloween is one of the biggest events in the virtual world, and you don’t want to miss out on the hard work of a Resident who is clearly an expert on the subject. If you don’t know where to start, Laurel has groups on Facebook and Discord that can connect you with others in search of a good fright!

Come see Laurel’s Halloween Nightmare for yourself, if you think you’ll live to tell the tale.

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

 

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Hauntings


Second Life Destinations

Kick off a month packed with virtual scares at Hauntings, an eerie region that gives ghost towns another meaning.

Although creator Bekks Heartsong was introduced to SL by her brother 14 years ago, she tells us that “I was very confused and not grasping the concept… Fast forward maybe eight years: I 'accidentally' ended up in an older virtual world (that's another story) and learned how to build houses there, but once I became bored of it I attempted SL on a different account again, started learning to navigate and… stayed.”

A quick visit to Hauntings is an excellent reminder to not be discouraged if you ever have trouble navigating the virtual world. Look at how far Bekks came! In fact, Bekks says “I am still here because I absolutely love the creativity of it all. I think I'm doing pretty well decorating,  then go see a great region and realize I have a lot more to learn.” Second Life is always evolving, but that is precisely because of the ingenuity of Residents.

A walk around Hauntings is like a walk through one of your childhood favorite Halloween movies. A clearing in the forest reveals a Slenderman-like being, creepy corn stalks, and of course, a haunted house. Don’t forget to look up! A menacing dragon is perched above, breathing fire on all who dare to approach.

You will also encounter a spooky stage covered in a rolling fog. Bekks tells us “Among many other events I host "Almost Live" Karaoke on my region. It is not live but almost, hence the name. It was established in 2018. Singers send hosts pre-recorded share links from their fave karaoke app (SingSnap, Smule, etc.). Avatars perform onstage while the link is streamed on an external browser. It's an amazing group of very supportive people. It's perfect for those of us who do NOT wish to sing live, but enjoy sharing our songs.”

Visit Hauntings today for a perfect mix of goofy fun and scary ambience.

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Cann!bal


Second Life Destinations

Escape to the inviting environment and soothing sounds of Cann!bal, a tropical paradise that has been in development for over 10 years in Second Life. 

Now on its own estate and spanning four adjacent regions, Cann!bal has been a work of love by Chotaire Seelowe

Here’s a description of the inspiration for Cann!bal in Chotaire’s own words:

“I've always loved beaches in real life, so when I came to SL in 2006, I randomly started searching for terms like "Hawaii" or "Bora Bora" and  found "Bora Bora Isles," a Polynesian beach that was actually built by the owner. I realized that it is a rare sight to find an estate where the owner actually created the content and didn't just buy it from random stores. It impressed me. And I had this feeling, if I only tried hard enough, I could even make something more realistic, something even better.

Never in my life have I enjoyed programming, but I realized to create something really unique I would have to learn scripting as well. That's how I became a scripter. I got my own region for Cannibal Island to showcase all of this and become my own landlord. 

Then, when mesh got introduced into SL, I had to accept that one person can't do it all, so I started showcasing other people's builds too. This is how I got in touch with other creators and we started to cooperate. I still work for many of them. Today Cann!bal Island still pretty much looks like it did in 2011, except that due to weekly updates everything is much more polished and always makes use of the latest technology offered by Linden Lab.”

Chotaire clearly loves the challenge of invention that Second Life offers and appreciates being able to create environments that can then be seen by other Residents, and experiences that will stay with them for a long time to come.

Take the teleport to Cann!bal Island and see it for yourself -- you might even lose yourself in its lush environment or perhaps in one of its many dance clubs!

Video Production Credits: Draxtor Despres

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: The Looking Glass


Second Life Destinations

Explore a more cryptic envisioning of fantasy at The Looking Glass, where enchantment and dark secrets abound.

Creators Marcus Inkpen and Sharni Azalee have been selling a wide range of items related to fantasy under The Looking Glass brand since 2011. Marcus tells us they were brought together by a mutual passion, saying “We were both into the darker Alice in Wonderland type whimsical fantasy stuff and we've been exploring that ever since.”

The Looking Glass is a large region that could take hours to explore. From the long bridge leading to a mysterious castle to the beautiful floating islands, the amount of detail in every component is reminiscent of many iconic works of fantasy that have been uniquely interpreted by Marcus and Sharni. Sharni says, “We have tried to make a region that is entwined with many genres so that everybody can find their ‘special spot’ there. {It’s} especially wonderful to see when people take the time to find the little hidden areas in the region.

If you are feeling a little stressed out, The Looking Glass is the perfect place to let your worries float away. Sharni tells us “SL for me is an escape from the pressures of r/l. I have a very stressful r/l job, so to be able to log into SL and relax and get lost in a creative bubble is a perfect balance. The friends I have met here from all over the world give me a wonderful reason to keep coming back.”

In addition to photogenic exploration, Marcus tells us that The Looking Glass hosts “regular events with live music, DJs and particle shows. Everything you could ask for! Sharni and I have also been involved in all of the Fantasy Faires since the beginning and we are looking forward to it every year.”

Come visit The Looking Glass today to experience a different side of fantasy in the virtual world.

Note: There is an art exhibit of Marcus' r/l alter ego J Matthew Root at http://jmrart.com, as well as a store of select merchandise in the basement that is also available on the Second Life Marketplace.

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

 

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Deer River


Second Life Destinations

Come enjoy the tranquility of the wilderness and the earthy colors of fall at Deer River.

Creator Kess Crystal has been a Resident for years, enjoying a multifaceted virtual journey. In fact, Kess believes that “everyone’s experience is different and can also change over the years. Back when I first joined SL I was a DJ in a rock club, my own rock club, so I had started to live in the entrepreneurial worlds of SL even back then.”

Last winter you may have visited Snowdrops, another region Kess created. Encouraged by the experience, Kess tells us, “Autumn/Fall is my favourite season and I started to get the urge to create something for Autumn while binge watching a series called Virgin River on Netflix.” Bodies of water and the grace of their movement play a big role in the atmosphere in Deer River. From the stunning azure blue of the river to the breathtaking waterfall and ponds, there is a palpable sense of wonder from being close to the water here. In fact, Kess says the waterfall was a direct homage to the show, and that “fans of the show will notice a lot of nods to the series… the log cabin, the food truck both feature, as well as of course the river that runs throughout the region.”

Deer River is filled with opportunities for bucolic recreation. Put on your hiking boots and explore the numerous trails, go horseback riding, and stop off at the outdoor cafe for a pumpkin spice latte. 

Kess succinctly describes the inspiration behind this woodland reverie: “My vision was to create a photogenic seasonal {region} where the natural beauty of the colours of the season are the star.”

Kess is also the co-owner of Seraphimsl.com, saying “through that, I get to meet a lot of the incredibly talented creators whose work I use to create my scenes. Second Life has brought me many real life friendships… It’s the bonds with those people that keep us in this wonderful world.”

Drop in for a soothing dose of nature at Deer River today, but be sure to watch out for the wily raccoons that like to hide by the camping tents to steal some snacks!

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

 

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Shadezar


Second Life Destinations

Go back in time by visiting Shadezar, a fantasy roleplaying region inspired by the Mediterranean and Middle East.

A notecard given by creator Hera/Zee9 at the region’s entrance reads: “You may ask: Why am I in an attic, in a nursery? For as long as I can remember I have wanted to do a Neverland for adults. I even came up with a name for it, Neverworld X…” This starting point emphasizes the experience of being transported to a fantasy world, and has teleports to Vanesha, also referred to as Neverworld X, and Shadezar. You are instantly taken to a world of domed buildings and colorful tilework, surrounded by sand and sea that exudes a timeless sense of romance. 

Shadezar is fantasy, sword and sorcery roleplay. It bears intricate recreations of architectural styles from different points in history such as Roman Antiquity and Ancient Persia. A notecard gives the following as story background: “This is the age of Iron, called the Formorian Age. There is only one great land mass called Gargantua, split into 5 main regions. The burning deserts of Samhara are located in the midlands. Shadezar  is the largest City in the Samhara Desert. Built upon a rocky outcrop, on a small island that splits the great Namhar river,  before it flows into the Sarazin Sea.”

The atmosphere of Shadezar is built upon respect for the thematic elements and roleplay experience. Please check out notecards from Hera for rules on the dress code and what type of weapons are allowed so that Residents can seamlessly engage with others and have fun. There is also information on the types of characters available (priests, merchants, beggars, etc.)  for those who are new. This exact location within the region has more information on the roleplay: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Cloud%20Lake/90/116/22

Hera has built and taken down many places in SL over the years; Shadezar is the result of combining old memories of virtual creations into one grand location.

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

 

Linden Lab

This week we immerse ourselves in the surreal digital art of Mistero Hifeng at Cammino e Vivo Capovolto.

Upon landing, the region feels like an art gallery crossed with a movie set: the type of thing that would cost millions of dollars in the physical world but can be created by anybody in Second Life.

Mistero’s style blends the abstract with symbolic imagery seamlessly. The use of light and water are key. Slow moving raindrops and a moving floor of water that looks like glimmering mercury... There are also several clocks strewn about haphazardly, perhaps an homage to Dali, one of the great figures of Surrealist art.

Abstract humanoid sculptures can be found throughout the space, often embracing each other. While they may seem plain from far away, closer inspection reveals that they express a wide range of emotions. The amount of detail given offers the hint of a narrative but the rest is a mystery for guests to put together. What is the purpose of the train tracks that lead nowhere? Mistero is indeed mysterious: he does not comment on the purpose of his installations. He does not offer any help to interpret it, which makes it even more powerful!

This region is a shining example of Second Life’s ability to serve as a conduit to one’s imagination. Come see Mistero Hifeng’s art today to experience the unique art of the metaverse.

Check out Mistero Hifeng's socials for more information on his work.
Facebook
Flickr
Instagram 

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Ethereal Realms


Second Life Destinations

Experience the magic and tranquility of Ethereal Realms, where you can float through an enchanted forest or visit the colorful cyber city above.

Creator Rapa Tone, who lives in Japan IRL, tells us “I started to design Ethereal Forest to be a place for elves, pixies, a place for all mythical creatures to relax and be at peace. As the place matured and more people came to visit, it started to become a place for all people, even regular humans, to find a place of solace in these dark times…”

A great degree of thought and preparation went into even the smallest of this region’s details. According to Rapa, “Ethereal Forest features many objects by many different SL creators, all placed together. When I started designing my {region}, I was thinking how can I make a hidden forest that is occupied by three people and still, no one can really see it?”

When it came time to bring this idea to life, Rapa “spent one month building everything with no design or thinking, just an intuitive, creative stream of consciousness.” This was deeply informed by Rapa’s many walks in Kyoto, Gifu, Hyogo, and the beauty of the Chūbu region. Ethereal Realms seamlessly blends the tranquility of a Japanese garden with the otherworldliness central to the aesthetic of the fantasy genre.

Make your own adventure at Ethereal Realms today.

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

 

Linden Lab

Art Made in Second Life: Tucker Stilley


Second Life Destinations

This week Drax spoke to Kate Stilley-Steiner, sister of acclaimed artist Tucker Stilley, who uses adaptive technology to continue making breathtaking art 20 years after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS). 

Virtual Ability’s Cape Able Island hosts art exhibits by deaf artists and/or artists with disabilities. Exhibits change quarterly, and just like a physical gallery, the works can often be purchased privately through the artist.

Tucker’s new collection is called ‘Palimpsessed,’ and he describes his creative vision as follows:

“The term “palimpsest” describes the unnatural sedimentary accumulation of imagery, information and concepts. For instance, on a billboard, many years of imagery may suddenly form an inexplicable Dada collage after a twister rips the surface down to bare plywood; leaving a dog, pulling the underpants off a sweaty cola bottle, who is smoking a cigarette with half a handsome, torn, lopsided grin. Fragmentary meanings combine into the mysterious. Unsaid, unthought, unquestioned dream of the present. I treasure this moment. I am palimpsessed.”

Tucker’s art has been lauded for years, with the  LA Times describing it as “breathtaking images of the frailty and strength of the human condition.” Creativity runs in the family: Tucker's sister, Kate Stilley-Steiner, is a filmmaker. The strength of their bond is incredibly inspiring, proving that the encouragement of family and community can help you do anything.

Visit Tucker's exhibit at the Cape Able Island gallery today to see his images of resilience and the truth of his extraordinary spirit.

The exhibit is co-presented by Second Life, Virtual Ability, Inc., the Cape Able Art Gallery, Cohort of Disembodied Artists and Citizen Film. Tucker Stilley’s work has been curated by distinguished artists Sam Durant, Randi Malkin Steinberger, Kate Brown and Craig Milanesi. His work has been featured nationwide including at the Venice Beach Biennial in collaboration with the Hammer Museum, the Disney CALARTS Theater, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Monte Vista Projects, the Keystone Art Space, Artist Curated Project (ACP) LA, the Nave Gallery and Hen House Studios. 

Special thanks for facilitating the virtual exhibit at VAI to Gentle Heron and Eme Capalini

And here is a special treat for Second Life residents: Tucker’s graphic novel - which he actively continues to write - “The Permanent Record of New Jack Rasputin” is free to download here!

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres
RL Footage courtesy of Kate Stilley-Steiner 

 

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Elvion


Second Life Destinations

Escape to a wonderland of wildflowers and rolling hills at Elvion, a quiet sanctuary for daydreaming and the like.

Built by creator Bo Zano out of adoration for “Elves and other creatures... a relic from my long time playing Skyrim. It is now in its sixth version, every version being unique in style.” Elvion shares some familiar traits with other fantasy realms of Second Life, such as an ethereal atmosphere with a soft amber glow buzzing from the trees. Yet it is a completely original interpretation of the theme. The train station at the landing point gives it a modern feel, like this could be a small English country town.

Bo tells us “I have always been fascinated by 3D modeling and rendering. After I found out I could "edit" in SL, I have been building {regions}.” Elvion has gone through many remodels, with Bo saying “With every iteration I try to improve things and apply the lessons learned from previous ones. But, it is also about finding a way to be creative. To put my thoughts and feelings into creating something that inspires…” The landscape is stunning, and each step forward along the overgrown rail tracks feels like the unfolding of a peaceful reverie.

With Elvion, teamwork has proven to be invaluable. Bo says, “The last versions of Elvion I have been co-building with my RL and SL partner Una Zano. I do mostly the landscaping and exteriors now, while she makes amazing interiors and decorative scenes.” A special part of Elvion's personality involves the furry friends roaming around. There's an adorable English Bulldog hanging out, as well as farm animals. The cliffs overlooking the water provide an amazing view and speak to the variety of terrain found here.

In the creator's words, “Enjoy beautiful vistas in this relaxing paradise, from stunning ocean views and forest trails to detailed interior scenes. Elvion is an ideal place for photographers, bloggers and couples.” Visit Elvion today!

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

 

Linden Lab

The Zenescope Metaverse comes to Second Life!


Second Life Destinations

Created in an exclusive partnership with the acclaimed comic book publisher Zenescope, the all-new Zenescope Metaverse is bursting with magic and mystery. In this week’s “Second Life Destinations” video, Zenescope co-founder Ralph Tedesco gives an exclusive “first look” at this exciting new virtual world experience.

Immerse yourself and discover the many secrets hidden across this vast Second Life region offering dark and twisted games and experiences inspired by the Zenescope universe. In partnership with Epik, visitors can snag limited edition collectibles inspired by heroes, villains, and Zenescope favorites such as Cinderella (a.k.a. “Cindy, the serial killer princess”), Belle, the Mad Hatter, and more.

This huge region is so highly detailed that it might just take several visits to see everything. Start your journey in the wide courtyard where you can connect with others before exploring. As you traverse this enchanted realm of flowing brooks and glistening flowers, keep an eye out for hidden locations and easter eggs referencing some of Zenescope’s most iconic tales. 

Meet new friends as you wind your way through the Hedge Maze and discover games that you can play together like the whimsical Goblin Golf. Don’t miss the special quest to score the ultimate prize -- but beware of the Jabberwocky, among other fantastical creatures.

Zenescope Metaverse - 2.jpg

Zenescope Metaverse - 1.jpg

Experience storytelling and comic books in a whole new way at the Zenescope Metaverse -- check it out exclusively in Second Life.

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: The Dollhouse Forest


Second Life Destinations

This week we are visiting The Dollhouse Forest, which currently has a macabre theme. 

Creator Lil Brat (stylized as ღ Lil вЯαⓉ ღ) tells us “I felt like I needed a place of my own to show my creativity, my craziness, and the creepy corners of my mind.” Many of us love spooky things all year round, and Lil Brat was influenced by things like the Goosebumps books and old nursery rhymes with morbid undertones. In fact, there is a Nursery Rhyme Garden, of which Little Brat says “Here I have put out different scenes from different kinds of old nursery rhymes. I have read a lot about the background history of them... From Queen Mary (aka Bloody Mary) to the black plague, to kids falling down from trees.”

The landing point gives you the option to teleport to the seasonal platform or enter through the maze. Don’t miss out on the scenic route, as it is filled with “many different artistic pieces. I love art and want to be supportive of other creators in Second Life.”

The seasonal platform is currently WWII themed, as Lil Brat enjoys learning about history. She says “The seasonal platform I change up every season 100%... Last year at one point it was a mix between Secret Garden and {an} Alice in Wonderland tea party…”

This region is a testament to the friendship and community Lil Brat has found in SL. In fact, according to Lil Brat, “The Dollhouse itself was a gift from one of my best friends in SL, and I absolutely love it.” It seems that people coming together over common interests is now more important than ever. Of her inworld friends, Lil Brat says “I definitely couldn't have done any of this without them. Friends are definitely something you're gonna need if you are gonna create something in SL. For support, but also for help and someone who can build you up if things get hard at times.”

Visit the fantastic and spooky landscape of The Dollhouse Forest today.

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

 

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Auld Lang Syne


Second Life Destinations

This week we are visiting the Scottish Highlands of Auld Lang Syne.

Creator Elo put enormous effort into this realistic portrayal of the Scottish Isles, where you can get lost on the rolling hills covered in wildflowers and daydream by the stones adorned with moss. Regarding the inspiration behind this region, Elo tells us "I've always adored secluded, rural, hidden places and look at old buildings {and} ruins as a million untold stories of the past, ready to be imagined again with fresh minds. I find a sense of romance in a building once loved, now home to nature and wanted to try and bring that same romance into Second Life."

This region is ripe for storytelling, with ruins that have been reclaimed by nature and time. There are also small cottages and flocks of sheep, connecting the past to the present. Who lives here? Come and find out!

Elo is completely self-taught, making this ornate landscape even more impressive. It is informed by their genuine interest in "great charm in the small details, those wee scenes {and} stories that can often be overlooked or missed by visitors..."

Auld Lang Syne is incredibly detailed and realistic, making visitors feel completely transported. Elo says “I've always been conscious that travel for many is difficult, and now with Covid, for some {it is} impossible. Yet the beauty of SL is that you can visit so many beautiful parts of the world and many not of this realm too. If I can make one explorer smile when they visit, then I feel I have succeeded."

Let this dreamy landscape whisk you away so you can discover the mystery of the past or write your own story. Visit Auld Lang Syne today!

Video Production Credits: Draxtor Despres

 

 

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Craggy Island


Second Life Destinations

This week we are taking a stroll through Craggy Island, a peaceful and picturesque island off the coast of Ireland.

Created by Mishi Masala and Zucker Zabelin, Craggy Island in Second Life is not intended to be an ‘actual’ depiction of the fictional island that featured in the Channel 4 British sitcom Father Ted, but instead it draws more inspiration from the rugged landscape of the west coast of Ireland. 

As creator Zucker Zabelin tells us, "its fields and rocky outcrops (the ‘crags’ that make the island ‘craggy’) are dotted with occasional weather-beaten ruins of stone walls.” Zucker tried to visualize a harsh climate with spartan living conditions which have driven away most of the former inhabitants of Craggy Island. “It is now mostly populated by farm animals and the few hardy souls that still live there,” he says, “braving the elements and eking out a precarious living.”

Mishi Masala and Zucker Zabelin also added a lighthouse, which warns passing ships to steer clear of the dangerous coastline. “The shipwreck off Craggy Island attests to the perils awaiting any vessels that may foolishly venture too close to the coast, “Zucker continues, “but for all of that, Craggy Island is blessed with spectacular photogenic views - and of course the Craic.”

There you have it. Now enjoy a quiet stroll through Craggy Island, and if you snap some images, share them in their Flickr group.

Video Production Credits: Draxtor Despres
 

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Cocoon


Second Life Destinations

This week we’re jumping to the 25th century to visit Cocoon, an immense cyberpunk region for roleplaying, photography, and exploration.

According to the official website: “...An event referred to as the Transcendence War in the distant past left most of Earth ravaged. Humanity has taken to floating cities and orbital stations to carry on.” An oligopoly of mega corporations has assumed a position of authority, and it is up to you to decide who to align with in the fight to survive.

For roleplaying, you have an extensive array of characters to choose from. The main categories are humans, mutants, cyborgs, synths, and replicants, but each of these have modified subtypes to add specificity. As you become more familiar with Cocoon’s massive geography and its extensive lore, you will come across the various factions that have formed in this society. Be careful, and choose your allies wisely.

There are also publicly available weapons and vehicles, so as not to exclude newcomers. For those who are hooked on the cyber life, check out the private rentals. Admins Cece, Cervantes Rexen, and Kusa are valuable resources in addition to the Cocoon website.

Cocoon is a fantastic place to explore for non-roleplayers as well. The amount of intricate detail in this megalopolis is absolutely stunning, so come check out the future today!

Video Production Credits: Draxtor Despres

 

 

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Sommergewitter


Second Life Destinations

This week we are visiting Sommergewitter, a rustic German-language island that evokes the peace and beauty of a summer vacation home.

Created by SL and RL couple Seraph and Nida Nirvana, Sommergewitter is a German-language region composed of a rustic island. You can find a few farm animals wandering around and a few cozy homes in various corners. Seraph and Nida are one of the many Second Life love stories we are proud to share: they have both been Residents for over a decade and met in 2014. This eventually led to meeting up in the physical world and they are now in a long-distance relationship.

Seraph and Nida found that their familiarity with hanging out in a virtual realm was advantageous during the pandemic. They tell us “We spend our lives together in one or the other world, but we are together every day. The lockdown during the pandemic was no problem for us. Second Life has kept us close.”

Sommergewitter is based on a Hallig, which Seraph and Nida describe as “a type of small island typically found in the North Sea, and we structured it in such a way as if you were experiencing an oncoming summer storm as you settle into your vacation spot.”

Seraph and Nida built Sommergewitter in 2015, and it is of great sentimental importance to them. They explained to us that it has been maintained in its original form, like a moment frozen in time: “For about six years now we have tried to keep the region the way it was originally built. Mostly because that's where our relationship started but we also wanted to create a piece of continuity, something where people know their way around, even if they haven't been inworld for a long time.”

This power couple likes to keep busy. They also make machinima, such as Opera Ball in Vienna, and an ode to Tolkien's elven town of Rivendell is one of their latest projects. Kick off your summer vacation today by dancing in a summer thunderstorm at Sommergewitter.

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

 

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Alpha Tribe


Second Life Destinations

This week we are transported to the surreal landscape of Alpha Tribe Tomorrow.

Creator Alpha Auer made Tomorrow a very large and immersive exhibit with a premise that is open to interpretation. If you think the attention to detail looks like that of an experienced professional, you are correct! Alpha is known as Elif Ayiter IRL and works as a designer and educator in Turkey.

She has co-authored the LPDT2/3 series of {region} wide installations based on Roy Ascott's concept of distributed authorship and La Plissure du Texte. These works were featured in international art exhibitions such as ISEA2011 and the 2010 multimedia festival at Incheon, Korea’s Tomorrow City.

The Tomorrow installation at Alpha Tribe has a surreal environment, with a unifying theme that Alpha describes as “an entropic world in which nothing is expected to ever change.” This appears to defy time, which is also a prominent element here: Alpha tells us “The landing point is 'Yesterday,' where all sorts of people are frolicking in an old garden. As for the narrow valley ahead of you, that is 'Today,' where the two hapless boys have just found a mysterious smartphone…”

Tomorrow is a mesmerizing blend of grey dystopia and childlike whimsy. The static characters include literal fat cats, humanoid sculptures, pigs, and even what Alpha describes as “The trickster god Kokopelli and his merry tribesmen... embodying the essence of 'Tomorrow’: blind belief. 

The notion of surveillance society is implied by watchtowers and drones, with Alpha saying “The {region} is an allegory. I am actually telling a pretty serious story, but I wanted to tell it in a humorous way, not get all miserable and dark about it.” The cartoonish tone is on purpose. Alpha says there is “a retro element to the figures, which is quite intentional since I love that mid-20th century period in design.”

For those curious about Alpha’s technique, she says “I made the mesh in Zbrush Core, and then took it to Blender for the final output. I spent most of my time with the textures which I made in Photoshop and then applied in Zbrush.”

There are too many details in this creation to mention, so we suggest just hopping over to Alpha Tribe Tomorrow to see for yourself. After your visit, don’t forget to check out Alpha’s store. It’s like a trip to the gift shop after a day at the museum.

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres


 

 

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Transgender Resource Center


Second Life Destinations

This week we would like to bring attention to the Transgender Resource Center, a place of community and support in Second Life.

The TRC is of particular importance to Shilo Ravenhurst (she/her, they/them), who has been in SL since around 2007. About a decade ago Shilo decided to change to a female avatar, and found it to be empowering and freeing.

While Shilo is realistic about the aggression that trans people often face, she speaks highly of the safety that LGBTQ+ people can find in SL: “It’s an open world where you’re free to be who you want to be, to be you as you want to be seen and addressed.”

The TRC holds meetings twice a week for trans and gender non-conforming individuals. The meetings on Thursdays (7PM SLT) are called “Topic Night,” where they discuss the news and current events. Cisgender allies are welcome to join this meeting and show their support. For those who are not familiar with this community, the term cisgender refers to people who identify as the gender assigned to them at birth.

Shilo tells us that the Sunday meetings (11AM SLT) are “more akin to what your typical transgender meeting in real life would be, like a support group. We talk about our week, about who we are, and introduce ourselves to people if they’re new. It is typically closed to cisgender people because of the sensitive topics and such.” Safe spaces are important for many reasons, and there is a special comfort in being around people who also experience the specific challenges of certain marginalized communities.

Shilo loves changing outfits and has many avatars, although the one featured in today’s video is her main avatar. Shilo says that “when you can’t present as yourself in real life, then it’s a lot easier to be who you want to be inside of this virtual world.”

There are many support groups in SL, and we want to remind you that in SL you are never alone. Shilo says of her experiences inworld, “Second Life has done a lot for me. It’s where I met my partner, it’s where I met many lifelong friends. I think it’s a great place to socialize and explore with other people.”

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Euphoria


Second Life Destinations

This week we are taking a look at Euphoria, a region dedicated to life, loss, and love.

From Euphoria's creator, Kris Miss:

The inspiration behind Euphoria has a lot to do with the Covid pandemic. I lost so many relatives and family friends in just a year's time. Trying to cope became difficult and overwhelming, really. How does one mourn for several at a time? I was exhausted, to say the least. I come from a long line of huggers, and to hug my family during that time was out of the question. So how do I deal with my loss and still carry on? I kept logging into Second Life to try and forget. But inside me, I really wanted to express how I was feeling because I don’t want to forget. I want to always think about them, even when I log into Second Life. 

So, I decided to create Euphoria not only for me but for everyone else who is trying to cope with a loss. 

When I think of my family, I picture them in a place that’s truly peaceful and beautiful. Euphoria is my vision of that place. It took over two months for me to do. I just wanted the {region} to be special enough that even Second Life Residents would want to visit and memorialize a lost loved one there as well. And, now it is. Euphoria is my little oasis. I get to visit the memorial wall every day and as many times as I like. 

Second Life made it possible for me to at least be with friends, and I will forever be grateful. They helped more than they know. And if I can return the favor, I do hope the {region} brings comfort to them and others who may be missing a loved one.  

I hope more people will take advantage of the services I offer, like meditation and memorializing their loved ones. Meditation helped me a lot during those dark moments and I believe it can help others, too. SL Residents can also add their loved one's name to the memorial wall or light a candle for them. And maybe, while visiting, someone will meet their true love and have a wedding at the {region}. Now that would be truly special!

(Music for this video was written by Draxtor in memory of Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Linden, who passed away on June 3rd, 2021. You can download the piece “For Ebbe” here. You are welcome to use it in your own work,  but if you do, please credit Draxtor.)

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

 

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