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Creations Park Made in Second Life


Made in Second Life

Dive into the heart of creativity and connection in Second Life with the latest addition to our Made in SL series, "Creations Park Made in Second Life." 

In this two-part feature, we highlight the inspiring stories of Barbie Alchemi and Carlyle Chaparral, two remarkable Residents who have transformed their virtual experiences into avenues of real-world impact and cultural enrichment. 


Creations Park Made in Second Life Part #1 - Barbie Alchemi

Hi Barbie, how did you get into Second Life? 
My brother lived on the East Coast while my mom and I lived on the West. Although we always had a strong love bond, we did not have a lot to share in our phone conversations. One day 14 years ago, he began to excitedly talk about Second Life. We had no idea what that was, but Mom said “If we want to communicate with him, we need to learn his language.” It was our love for my brother that got us involved in SL and motivated us through the learning curve. 

Few people would want to share SL with their mother, but it brought us together as a family again. People would ask Mom how often she got to see her son and she would have to bite her tongue because she wanted to say “I just saw him last night. We were playing with our Kitty Cats in our garden!”

What is Creations Park in Second Life? Please give us a bit of history and explain what people can do in your region.
After being in SL for a year I heard someone say, “How you spend your time and money shows where your true values are.” I wanted to use SL in a positive way to raise donations for Team Fox, the charity arm of The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. We have now raised over $48,000 US. Our Dad had died with Parkinson’s and a year later Mom was diagnosed with the same disease. When she came into SL we were amazed to see the benefits it gave her in Real Life (RL). Mom was also documented in The Drax Files: World Makers Episode 13 back in 2013

In Creations Park I wanted to create beautiful environments and experiences. The idea for the Ethereal Light Level was influenced by Mom’s near-death experience. She described it as if the air was made of love and everything she could see was made of light with many more colors than our eyes could see. She also said she had access to all knowledge. When she came back into her body the only message she brought back was “Our purpose here on Earth is Love and Service.” Creations Park was built based on that message. For me, the most meaningful thing I do each week is the Parkinson’s Support group which has been ongoing for 12 years. Although this group was started by Mom, it has continued after her passing. 

What encouraged you to stay in Second Life?
My now deceased husband rolled his eyes every time I turned on Second Life. Eventually, he came to understand and respect what I had accomplished at Creations Park. My friends all thought I was crazy.  I told them I felt like I was an early explorer when all the people of “the old world” were afraid I would fall off the edge of the earth when getting on a ship to sail out to see “the New World.” It was the endless creative opportunities and deep friendship connections that kept me coming back. 

Your experience with folks of your generation: how would you alleviate potential fears of taking part in a “digital” community like this?
There is no age in Second Life. You are as young as you feel. Although there is a learning curve, this is also true for anything of value in life. My biggest fear when I came into SL was that everyone would be fake and how I could possibly trust enough to make a friend. A few weeks after I joined, I attended a philosophy group which asked the question “Where do you feel more authentic: in SL or in RL?” Much to my amazement, every person in that group answered in SL. That opened me up to trust. I discovered I was able to “feel” the essence of the person behind the avatar, and it had nothing to do with what they looked like. I know that SL has taught me more life lessons than I ever could have had by only living one life. 

What is the future of virtual worlds like Second Life?
Second Life will always have a future as long as the residents find value in the creative and social connections. SL has the ability to fill areas of a person’s life that might be missing in RL. It has been my desire to follow a path to use Second Life in a positive way.
 


Creations Park Made in Second Life Part #2 - Carlyle Chaparral - Savoy Ballroom

Hi Carlyle, what is the Savoy Ballroom in Second Life? What can people do?
This is the mission statement of Savoy in Second Life:
We create the authentic, realistic experience of being at the Harlem Savoy Ballroom during the Swing Era. We teach the music, clubs, bands, and especially the dances of this era and their legacies today.  We educate our guests about the role swing dancing played in dissolving segregation in the 1940s. We empower others to creatively achieve our mission and our partner organizations’ missions. 

Guests at Savoy most often come to meet people and dance. They may come for one of our many live entertainers; singers, instrumentalists, and DJs who perform mostly during the European prime time and US Prime Time hours. Our dancers have the unique experience of our Savoy couples dance animation machine, which names the dances according to their actual type of dance and organizes them by type and tempo. This allows dancers to pick dances that match the music just like you do in real-life dancing.

Some of our guests tour the Swing Era Museum that surrounds the Ballroom. This explores the key events in swing history as well as the bands, venues, music, and especially the dances of this era. In the sky above Savoy, our Museum also presents an Avatar-scale model floor plan of the original Savoy to experience just how huge it was.

Developing dance classes in Second Life was our original mission before we envisioned Savoy. Our Dance 101 Class located in front of the Ballroom is an introduction to dance in Second Life. We teach people how to recognize six different kinds of music and choose dances to match. Our Dance 301 Class -The Birth of Swing, is a full-immersion experience taking advantage of the capabilities of our virtual world in Second Life. You enter a room which transports you to some of the key venues of the early Swing Era, as you dance along with the bands and music that occurred there.

How did you get into SL and did it take time for you to decide on focusing on Savoy/teaching dancing? 
I first came to Second Life in 2006 having read an article about it in a prominent business magazine. My wife soon joined me and we had a marvelous few years exploring the experiences of this virtual world unlike anything we could have imagined. I built a real estate business in SL that was surprisingly profitable and had a lot of fun meeting tenants from all over the world. We found ourselves dancing in SL so much so that we started dancing in real life. In 2010 we both left SL and became avid dancers, dancing swing, country, ballroom, and Latin at a wide range of real-life clubs and colleges.

In 2014, I came back to SL with two specific project ideas in my mind. First, to make dancing more fun and realistic in Second Life. I want to apply the things I had learned in real-life dancing including dance classes and the social experience of dance groups. Second, to explore the medical concept of vivid motor image therapy to see if the uniquely empathic experience of Second Life could utilize high-repetition dance mental imagery to rebuild neural and cortical damage. The teams of people I have brought together have made great progress on the first project, resulting in Savoy. I hope to be able to address the second project in the future.

What background in regards to dancing and music do you have IRL?
I have an extensive background in music dating back to my high school days singing and playing in marching band, jazz band, and rock and roll dance bands. As an adult, I have been performing in church rock bands for many years and also in coaching youth church bands. I have played a lot of different instruments including acoustic guitar, 12-string guitar, electric guitar, banjo, and mandolin, but for the past 20 years or so I have performed primarily on bass guitar and keyboards.  

As far as dancing goes, when my wife and I left SL and began dancing a lot in real life, we took some formal dance classes and countless pre-dance event lessons. The experience of dancing with a variety of partners, as you do in real-life dances, was very helpful to hone our skills. Most dance events, particularly those held in colleges, will have a free dance class at the beginning where you can learn the basics and dance with people who are more experienced.  

Your experience with “older” folks in Second Life: how would you alleviate potential fears of taking part in a “digital” community?
I think by now people of all ages have experienced taking part in a “digital” community, ranging from social media sites like Facebook and Instagram to dating/friendship sites. Perhaps less experienced by “older” folks are the virtual game worlds which most young people have played,  some extensively. The challenge of SL in particular is that it is not a game to play but rather an alternative place to live a different, fantastic life (or lives.) What you experience here can be so emotionally potent that it is common for people to leave SL for a time, and then come back and do it again. However, the broad diversity of experiences and particularly the people that you meet and live with can make it all very much worthwhile. 

What is the future of virtual worlds like Second Life?
It seems to me that essentially all of the virtual worlds created so far have been an environment that was created by programmers for users. The theme might be educational or simply game playing but it is you reacting to the program. Some of these Virtual Worlds, particularly the games, have been fabulously successful in the number of people playing.

The one exception is Second Life, where the virtual world you experience is created by you and the people you are experiencing it with. Linden Lab has been providing this virtual world for decades and it is clear that so far no competitor can get close to matching the realism of what you actually experience in SL. I think the success of Second Life in the future will depend upon Linden Lab communicating the SL experience to potential new residents. I have found the video series that Drax has created called “Made in SL'' to be particularly effective in doing exactly that. Finding a way to incentivize existing residents to spread the word about SL may be the key to growing this world.


Teleport to Creations Park and the Savoy Ballroom now, and immerse yourself in the vibrant communities, breathtaking landscapes, and cultural richness that await. 

 

 

Made in SL Landscape 3b.pngMade in SL Landscape 2b.png

 

Video Production and Interviews by Draxtor Despres
Logos by Marianne McCann

Linden Lab

Meet Alistar Snook, the owner of the Second Life Cycling Federation, a venue that is dedicated to biking. Ignite your passion for cycling by joining their group and participating in their weekly events.

Learn more about the history of SLCF From Alistar:

Bill Jobs founded The Second Life Cycling Federation (SLCF) in early 2021 to promote cycle racing in Second Life. One of Bill’s tracks was the alpine road at Breakaway region, in association with the Chamonix sports event complex.

Scripter and SL content creator Claire had been racing in the group for a while when she offered to help Bill re-script his basic bike in a more optimized way. 

Bill is absent from SL now, but we did not want his SLCF creation to fade away so in January 2023 we began to rebuild the Federation.

Claire made a new bike using some of Bill’s previous bike mesh, and added many new features.

The SLCF group is free to join. We hold races usually Saturdays 2pm SLT and of course provide free bikes.

We modify the track route each week - sometimes at Breakaway, and sometimes we get invited to visit other roads and tracks like Hell On Heels group at Bikers Bay, at LC Racing Circuits, and the Rebel Riders group.

There is a Fastest Lap challenge that is open all week, then we race that road at the weekend. It is easy to get started, but harder to master than you might expect!

Some people are very competitive and practice a lot to win, and others just ride for fun and to make new friends.

We hope one day that Bill might return, and while we wait for that day we will ride our bikes!

See you on the track!”

Links: 
Website with all results: https://slcfederation.altervista.org 
Discord (includes a lot of other Second Life Sports)
Flickr (also includes other SL sports)
Destination 

 

Cycling Made in SL.png

Video Production by Draxtor Despres
Logo by Marianne McCann

 

Linden Lab

Comics Made in Second Life - Diavkha


Made in Second Life

Meet Diavkha, a set designer and storyteller who has taken their passion for world-building to the next level by creating a unique and immersive series of comics using Second Life.

Learn more about Diavkha from this short interview and video as the next installment in our Made in Second Life series!

What is your name and how long have you been in SL?
My name is Diavkha, people have told me it sounds Slavic but it's an original name that I came up with. I like to have something unique and catchy! I've been in Second Life since 2018.

How did you get started making comics?
In the beginning, I just did photography, sometimes I would write short stories or descriptions of what the picture was about to give it a bit of context even though the picture might not show it. 

Last year I thought it would be an interesting project to create a deeper and expansive narrative and flesh out my writing skills. SL is perfect for that because of the sheer amount of content available within the platform to build worlds and characters.

There was also another reason that inspired me to create Beyond Star and that is my nephew, he loves things about outer space and adventures.

Where do you get the avatars and the sets from?
Most of our avatars wear the mesh heads from the store BeSpoke, they are wonderfully designed, unique, and different from what's available. Because I wanted to have non-human characters I specifically saw a lot of potential in their options. 

We also use other outfits, poses, and building kits from stores like: Process of Elimination, Contraption, SKNK, Unholy Duality, Fanatik, and more. 
I’m very thankful for these creators and their work that allow us to build imaginative worlds and characters.

How many episodes of Beyond Star are there?
At the moment we have 6 Episodes completed and are working on number 7 right now which is almost finished. The idea is to have 9 Episodes total for the first chapter/season of the project.

It was important to build the characters, themes, and worlds with a sense of pace and to let the story grow.

Each Episode can take a few months to be completed as there is a process: beginning with a script, then building sets and characters, taking the photos, and finally editing.

Can SL comics compete with “real” comics made the “traditional” way, in terms of visual fidelity and storytelling?
I don’t see a reason why they couldn’t. While some people might think illustrating traditional comics is a more valuable endeavor, the items used in SL were also created by real humans who put a lot of love and effort into making them. 

The tools might be different, what's important is to have a good imagination and use the potential of the platform to create a compelling story.

Are you self-taught? What is your background?
Since I was little, I always loved creating my own worlds and stories, sometimes I would write these stories for school and plays. I studied Graphic Design and Animation and I have a lot of interest in history, politics, science, and religion. 

My RL job allows me a certain amount of flexibility to devote to the arts and to other projects like Beyond Star.

What tools outside of SL do you use for making the comics?
Primarily a web-based editor called Pixlr, it's similar to other picture editing software and has enough tools to work with. I always try to do everything within SL, so that the editing process is less outside of it.

We are using Blurb at the moment for the printed comic, if you’d like to support us you can purchase a copy here: Beyond Star on Blurb  

What does SL mean to you?
Second Life means a lot of things, to start, it feels like an open canvas for creators of all types. It also means connections with other people, even though the boundaries of reality prevent you from seeing them. In SL, you can share moments that feel just as real and unique as they would be in real life. Sometimes those moments are more powerful just because you don’t have the weight of the real world upon you.

Do you have a place that you call home? Rent/own?
My partner and I rent a small piece of land, we’ve had it for over a year now and it's our happy corner. We use it as our home and work area for the comic and other projects.

Please mention your collaborators. 
The project started originally with my partner Elarik Nokturne and myself, later our friend Ayumi Suki joined in. They both have contributed to the project with ideas, sets, and even the title of the story.

Any final thoughts?
My hopes are that with this project, people can see SL in a positive light and see its potential.

 

Comics Made in SL.png

Video Production by Draxtor Despres
Logo by Marianne McCann

Linden Lab

Music Made in Second Life - Micheal


Made in Second Life

Meet Micheal (mjvusl), a brand new virtual world Resident that has already done over 100 shows in Second Life!

Learn more about Micheal from this short interview and video as the next installment in our Made in Second Life series!

Hi MJ, tell us more about yourself.

My name is Micheal. Before anything else, I'm a dad to two amazing children who are full of life, super talented, extremely intelligent, and truly a blessing to know and watch grow. After that, I’m a live performing singer-songwriter. I collaborate with many engineers and producers but I usually produce my own music. I play a wide array of musical instruments and my favorites are keys and percussion. I feel it’s very important to my career to understand the business side of music so I’m also an entrepreneur. I own multiple businesses outside of music and entertainment while also consulting others with their businesses and ventures. 

How long have you been in Second Life and how has your experience been so far?

I came to SL in November of 2022. Compared to other platforms, SL provides a life-like feeling to its residents. It allows me to create my likeness in its entirety, from facial and body structure as well as my voice. I’m even able to move like myself. The people here are so kind and supportive. The platform is an artists’ playground made by the residents for the residents. The staff is unlike any other that I’ve ever encountered. They are very helpful and invested in the work they do here. 

You write original tunes as well as covers, are you going to write and produce more originals? Is that where the train is headed?

I’m always writing and my experiences in SL inspire me to write many more songs. I intend to write about my journey here in SL, songs based on relationships I’ve built here, and the overall poetic and artistic value of this open-ended world. 

Tell us more about the types of gigs you do.

I’ve performed in-world and IRL at weddings, baby showers, nightclubs, music festivals, private dining events, award shows, charity events, and grand openings. The list goes on and on. I have no limits, I go where I am called and prepare a set that is specific to the event and the people in attendance. I produce my own backing tracks that allow me to collaborate with anyone at any time, granted they are able and willing to do so.

Do you have any advice for musicians not familiar with playing music in virtual worlds?

My advice to musicians is if you’re looking to travel the world in a short amount of time come to Second Life. Performing virtually is the future and SL makes it so easy to recreate your likeness and take your show on the virtual road. A lot of times I travel in the physical world and I’m able to perform in virtual reality between RL shows and while at the venues I’ll be performing at. You can put on a whole concert in Indonesia while at home in New York wearing a robe.

Nobody is doing everything all by themselves and especially in SL we have a wonderfully collaborative atmosphere. Feel free to give a shout-out to your friends and collaborators!

Ok, I might forget a lot, but notable people include: Alix Constant and ACI Muzik, Carmen Lashay aka Brielle Armani and Micheal LIVE,  Vrutega, Tarah Chosen, Lucille Antoinette, Cassel Patheos Goorin, Jason Sutton, Combination- My Band, Johnny of Paragon Dance Animations, Sabreen Fanci Reign, Taboo Reign, Glamaris Montclair,  Cherry Rodriguez, Cece Alessi, Novel and Mae Hooly and Hoolyville Records including Eyema Straaf-Yazimoto, CEO of CheBeddu Choreography, Jay Trilogy and Rico Rodex of HBAM (Hustle By Any Means) Ent., Sabina Valeska and Cali Gula from AVTV, Nesto, Tekila, Horrorz and my whole Smokefest Family, Omega Nu Theta, SecondLife, Mason Santiago, Chris Brown SL, Kitora Yong and Pretty Yong Thang for designing my skin based off of my RL likeness, Mr. Red and his lovely wife, Victoria. Kirie Cho Marani, David Heather, Javon and Exeter, and the whole Second Life community. 


Check out Micheal’s linktree and attend his next show, live in Second Life!

 

Music Made in SL.png

Video Production by Draxtor Despres
Logo by Marianne McCann

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