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Linden Lab

Second Life Spotlight - Dash Huntsman


Happy Pride Month! Today we are shining a spotlight on Dash Huntsman, an innovative new content creator that considers Second Life to be a safe haven for the LGBTQIA+ and credits the community for their support in his transition journey.

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How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I joined Second Life in 2010. Wow, it’s been 13 years! I was playing a mass of other games with a friend. I was really into MMORPGs (Massively multiplayer online roleplaying games) back then, and they asked me if I wanted to join them on another game. I remember coming online and thinking it was basically a version of the Sims but with other people! She introduced me to a roleplaying sim where I could sword fight and shoot a bow and arrow. I wasn’t very good at it but I felt like I was Xena. I remember having a blast creating all sorts of storylines and getting into mischief. I became a transient on Second Life and have explored different types of communities, and the diversity and creativity in Second Life have always astounded me.

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You are new to content creation in Second Life, tell us how you got started and what kind of tools you use to create.
Last summer, I took a leap of faith and saw Joey Macmoragh offering mesh classes tailored for Second Life on my Facebook. I enrolled and have had a blast making content ever since. I opened my store Aardvark right after the class ended on the first week of August. I’ve been hitting the ground running ever since. Honestly, I’m super excited about creating content and get antsy when I’m not making something. I use Blender to create my 3D items. I make everything from scratch, starting with a basic shape, usually a cube. After that, everything goes into substance painter, where I do the textures, and with some luck, patience, and little chaotic flailing, an Aardvark creation is rezzed into Second Life. 

Where do you get the inspiration for your creations and what are some of your favorite pieces that you have created?
I get a lot of my inspiration from random memes or jokes. I founded Aardvark on the mindset of food, fun, and decor. I’ll brainstorm randomly about how to make people smile or laugh. My partner also helps me brainstorm different ideas on things she finds on social media. She has just as an imaginative and witty brain. Other people will sometimes drop me random suggestions, and I’m always appreciative and honored when I receive recommendations. I’ll get tagged in the odd meme or random product someone sees in real life, and it’s so cool to think that someone thinks of Aardvark. My top 3 that I hold dear are Sassy Vases, Gingerbread Fighters, and Potatoes.

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This meme on my Facebook showed a vase that seemingly looks like it’s judging you. It inspired me to bring this to life. These vases are all personality and say quite a few things back at you when you click them. 

I also like to make everything interactive. So much of my stuff makes a funny sound, talks back, or animates the avatar somehow. For example, I made a set of Gingerbread Fighters over the holidays last year, and they were so fun to make that I couldn't help but laugh as they came to life. My partner offered to make sound effects for them, so she practiced “karate” in the hallway, and well, you’ll just have to come by the shop and hear them for yourself to see how that turned out!

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Lastly are my positive potatoes and tater family. For some reason putting a face on a potato makes them adorable, and I wanted to inject positivity into the world. So these little spuds were created; sometimes, a potato gift can bring smiles when we don’t have the right words to say. 

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You credit Second Life for assisting in your journey of self-discovery. Can you share in what ways SL has impacted your life?
I’ve met many amazing people on this platform and will always be in awe of the creativity and talent here. Second Life is a safe haven for a lot of the LGBTQIA+ community. It allows us to express ourselves with the grace of anonymity where we may not be able to express who we truly are in real life. Second Life was the first place people referred to me by he/him pronouns, which was comforting and validating.

2018 I found SL's Facebook community. I didn’t know it existed! It was another way to comfortably express my thoughts through words and photos. I started to blog and was able to express all these complex emotions about my gender identity through photography. I came out as a transgender man in 2019, and I started documenting my social transition on my SL Facebook. I wasn’t entirely confident with coming out in real life with people that knew me personally, but online I was open with all of it: the good, the bad, and the ugly. I didn’t feel alone anymore, nor did I want others. I talked with other transgender individuals, parents of children with questions, people questioning, and allies about their stories and struggles. Everyone wants to be seen and heard, and I finally felt that in who I was.

Sharing my transition in such a raw way gave me the confidence to do it in real life. At the end of 2019, I started to seek options to transition medically, and in 2020 right at the start of the pandemic, I started hormone replacement therapy with testosterone. I continued to share the ups and downs of coming out to my family and workplace and how my body changed.

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In 2021, through the generosity of friends, family, creators, performers, and entertainers, we created a fundraiser called “From her to Me” to help me get top surgery. It’s a gender-affirming procedure that is a double mastectomy. Honestly, my mind is still blown. On February 14th, 2022, I had my top surgery. I wouldn’t have been able to have this surgery without the help of so many people from Second Life.

I owe Second Life for so many things that have impacted my real life. I've built impactful relationships with many people who have touched my life, and I will forever be thankful. I hope my story can show others that you are not alone. There are a lot of transgender individuals on Second Life, and although the world can be scary, be proud of who you are. It took so long to accept myself finally, and I want you to know that you are just as valid in your journey of self-discovery.

June is Pride month and in Second Life many members of the LGBTQ+ community find this to be a safe space to express themselves and feel empowered. Are there any activities or events that you’ll be taking part in or are looking forward to during this coming month?

I’m proud to participate in a couple of events celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community. First, I’ll be participating in several events hosted by Pride at Home. The owners, Tink and Coral, have graciously let me create a Transgender Resource Hub at the Pride at Home Sim. There I’ve left some resources and information to help transgender people and allies. Pride at Home opens June 1st. 

In addition, I’ll be one of the judges at the Live Drag Race Competition hosted by SeraPride on  June 18th at 5 pm SLT. During the event, Aardvark will match all donations up to L$20,000 to benefit Rainbow Railroad, a non-profit organization that assists LGBTQ+ individuals. 

I also have some fun plans and gifts for Pride with Aardvark and will spread some fun shenanigans all over the grid. So stay tuned; I hope to see you all around the grid!

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The Transgender Memorial is located at the Transgender Info Hub at the Pride at Home Sim. Each candle is named and represents a transgender or gender non-conforming person who was lost in the act of violence. There are 88 candles in total for the 45 lives lost 2021, 32 in 2022, and now 11 in 2023. We've also included a guestbook to leave messages and a small display of resources about Transgender people in history, basic terms and terminology, and words of kindness.

Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.
So many people have inspired and helped me along this journey, and I could write a book about each of them. However, some of the residents and creators I admire the most are the ones you never know what they will create next, and I strive to be one of those content creators. Lundy Lovely from Hive has such a fantastic aesthetic, her eye for detail and how she lets customers customize her products are incredible. Kota Kirax at MoonRabbit is one of my favorite brands that create so many outside-the-box ideas and is so witty! I’ve been a long fan of Radio and Lattee Bixley, the creative geniuses behind Junk Food. They bring comforts and nostalgia from the real world into Second Life. Finally, Ikari Ichibara from Tardfish is a creator of the most kawaii things and, honestly, one of the best at cute Animesh! It’s always cool seeing what they all come up with!

Where can people see your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.
Everyone is welcome to stop by the main store located at beautiful Peaceful Shore
Our marketplace and Flickr have our full catalog
Also, you can view some fantastic work from others with Aardvark items in our Flickr Group
Or our Facebook

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Thank you, Dash, for sharing your heartwarming journey with us!

Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup

Linden Lab

Today, we are shining a spotlight on Iki Akiri, the talent behind Violent Seduction, a virtual fashion boutique specializing in elegant, Gothic, and Lolita styles.

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How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I've been in Second Life since 2005 and heard about it through some friends on a forum I was running at the time.

My early days involved turning up unannounced to people's houses in a party hat and forcing people to party. It was always my birthday. Endless entertainment for me, maybe not so much for them. My friends can vouch the troll never left.


You’ve been creating content in Second Life for many years, how and when did you get started?
I started my store around December 2008 as a hobby right after finishing high school. I had not had an easy life prior to this point and I turned to art to regain my energy. I had been in and out of Second Life for a year or two, but I wasn't happy with a lot of the style of clothing Second Life had to offer in 2008, so I started making my own and never really stopped. 

It was just a drive to make things that don't exist yet and it became a hobby and a tool to help me destress. Over time this became a lifeline and learning tool that supported me through many other hardships and redundancies after. I am so grateful for it.

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Do you have a background in 3D content creation and what kind of tools do you use to create your content?
I was originally an aspiring 2D artist working to become a concept artist. By the time I had started my degree in Game Art, I had decided that 3D had more freedom, more prospects, and an easier barrier to entry than concept art for my future, so I switched to the 3D electives early into the course and graduated in 2012.

After that, I learned a lot about lighting and rendering during my time working in Archviz. This allowed me to learn the specifics of light and material properties early on before a lot of games had built the visual equivalents into their base engines. 

I taught game art (UE3-4) for 5-6 years while I was running my store on the side and this also gave me the added motivation to teach other SL creators using the curriculum I was already teaching, but with a pipeline more suited to Second Life.

Since then I've been jumping into indie work specializing in high poly assets and skilling up using adapted game industry standards in parallel to my work in Second Life to keep me up to date. 

The main programs I use regularly are 3DSmax, Marvelous Designer, Substance Painter + Sampler, Zbrush, and Marmoset Toolbag. I add, remove or switch programs, pipelines, and plugins depending on the type of item I'm making or if something new seems interesting/applicable to test.

I also do the majority of my quick reference sketches using Fashionary sketchbooks and lately; Procreate using a fashionary template. Imagine the satisfaction when I found out these were recorded, what a time to be alive:


You create high-quality Gothic styles that are always efficiently using the latest technologies available on the grid, such as PBR. Do you have any tips and/or advice for creators looking to increase their content creation skills?
Yes! My advice would be to start looking into alternative pipelines, programs, and engines, expanding your problem-solving skills with more than what you are used to. Learn what the industry is doing right now and see if you can learn those tools and techniques to improve your own quality. Focusing on efficient content allows you to work in a nonconstructive way alongside the gaming industry, meaning your portfolio and skills will transfer and you'll be able to pivot and adapt as a creator during things like the addition of PBR and future updates if you keep on top of your ongoing learning. 

Find Game Art 3D tutorials and watch them in your spare time. Dedicate an hour (30 mins even) every day to learning a new 3D skill, or alternatively, if you don't have time to learn; build those tests/skills into your work as you go. You'll get better very fast and it is absolutely worth the time even if it's not 1:1 applicable with Second Life. It might be valuable information later down the road.

I'd highly suggest finding some local Game Dev Discord channels local to your area and sharing your work, asking for constructive criticism, and adapting on the feedback of peers with wider experience. You can make a lot of local friends in the industry and improve super fast this way! 

There are so many benefits to aligning yourself to a more efficient workflow, and it does wonders for networking in the real world too.


Where do you get the inspiration for your designs and what are some of your favorite pieces that you have created?
Fashion is definitely one of my major loves my whole life. I have been designing clothing well before I started in SL and had some real-world experience watching seamstresses work with patterns at an early age too. My love for fashion is the main driving force that keeps me creating here.

My inspiration often comes from seeing certain cuts, wrinkles, or fabric types and building a design around the idea I'd like to test in 3D. As a result, I don't often use complete pieces of reference and will take snippets of many different references to create something new. I personally feel that Second Life is a research and development tool in a way so I enjoy pushing myself into different styles and testing to see if people think they're cool or not while I keep pretending to be a fashion designer. Perhaps it will be real-world applicable to me one day.

I'm inspired stylistically by a combination of substyles namely Larme Kei, Gothic Lolita, Otome Fashion, Cyberwear, and Techwear as well as designers like Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens, and Iris Van Herpen. I will often be inspired by random objects I've seen while traveling or historical Victorian patterns I'm itching to translate into Marvelous Designer. I also really love to use SL to experiment with my designs by crossing different substyles and seeing if that will translate into the real world. Tying my real-life fashion style into my design process is so important for my creative motivation.

My favorite works are generally the ones that were the most annoying to make. They act as my heavy-hitting portfolio pieces as some of the technical aspects are fiddly and need a lot of early problem-solving to achieve efficiently for Second Life. I hated doing it and didn't sleep for most of it, but now I love them:

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Nemissa Set - Regicide Set - Theia Set

Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.
I'm a bit of a hermit and honestly, I don't get out much, so my inspirations are people and friends I've followed for quite a long time:

Hinadori Chang (ひなどりさん♡): I've followed Hinadori for many many years. The way she combines sub-styles together and presents them in an old "Street Snap" style really resonates with me. If you've ever collected any Japanese fashion magazines you'll understand immediately!

Contraption: Walt builds some of the biggest, coolest, and most efficient builds in Second Life. They're beautiful and I'm so excited to see more from him - especially with the upcoming PBR updates as well as his work with world/sim building.

Insomnia Angel: I don't know how to explain this, but whenever I see Insomnia Angel reference a tiny aspect of an outfit I've only seen on display in the basement of Laforet it makes me so happy, like an inside joke only 3 people get. She gets fashion in and out for the same styles I'm interested in. ♡

Tonktastic: Real OG, Tonktastic has been pushing efficient content longer than anybody I can think of. Highly recommend looking at his breakdowns over the years! 

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Where can people see your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.
New Website: violentseduction.com  
Mainstore: https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Violent%20Seduction/221/135/169 
Entire Catalog on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/violentseduction 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/violentseduction.SL 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/violentseducti 

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Thank you, Iki, for adding your style and expertise to the Second Life fashion community!

Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup 

Linden Lab

Today, we are shining a spotlight on VWEC, an innovative Eduverse in Second Life designed to provide educators with support and advocacy for educational initiatives in virtual worlds. Learn more from coordinators Valibrarian Gregg, Elli Pinion, and Dodge Threebeards.


What is VWEC, how did it get started, and which communities are involved? 
VWEC stands for the Virtual Worlds Education Consortium, and it began in January of 2021 when many educators realized we had been working for years in isolation and we saw a need to meet to share best practices, ways to advocate for education in virtual worlds, and tips for overcoming obstacles.   

We moved to the newly created VWEC Eduverse in May 2022. We have 48 groups that have regions located in the Eduverse and almost 400 members in the VWEC Group.

First Meeting of VWEC Jan 2021

What are some of the goals of VWEC? 
Initially, our intention was to meet quarterly to discuss and brainstorm about the future of education in Second Life and support educators. We gathered the educational groups that we knew about together and wanted to highlight them, as there was no need to reinvent the amazing “wheel” of work that was already being done here. And it took off! And we have a Welcome Center and Eduverse Reserve.

Now we have formal Vision and Mission Statements:

Vision: The goal of the Virtual Worlds Education Consortium (VWEC) is to bring educators together to share what practices have been successful and to tackle obstacles across virtual platforms and communities.

Mission: The Virtual Worlds Education Consortium connects educators, learners, digital citizens, and virtual communities of learning to share and develop best practices for teaching and learning in virtual spaces.

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Tell us more about the frequent events that happen and how Second Life Residents can get involved.
In addition to our Quarterly Meetings, we have five weekly Fireside Chats where educators in both formal education and non-profits who also teach, can share their experiences and tips, as well as talk about research and approaches. The VWEC Fireside Chats are held in English, Spanish, and Polish at various times of the day to bring in time zones across the globe.

VWEC also presents a bi-monthly Expert Series that showcases successful teaching and learning in Second Life. There are monthly tours of educational communities, as well.  All events are on the website at vweconsortium.org, as well as InWorld.
We encourage members to help at our Info Center and through our Instructor Development Projects.

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VWEC Expert Series - Photo by PI.Illios

How can educators not yet in Second Life join VWEC?
New educators can find more information on our website at vweconsortium.org. If email is a preference, we have a Google group at metaverselibraries@googlegroups.com. We are happy for them to email us directly for information.   

As a Community Gateway, instructors or their students can join Second Life on our website at https://www.vweconsortium.org/sign-in/secondlife.php. They will land at the VWEC Welcome Plaza to find teleporters to orientation gateways.   

All three of you also have individual educational projects related to the VWEC, tell us about some of those.

Valibrarian Gregg (Dr. Valerie Hill in RL), a professor of Library and Information Science has a background as an educator and librarian. Currently, Val is the Co-Coordinator for the VWEC and is responsible for the VWEC Info Center. She serves as the director of the Community Virtual Library which is a real library run by information professionals in a virtual world. In addition to supporting VWEC, the library holds programs, shares exhibits, provides classes on information literacy (metaliteracy in digital culture), and provides traditional library services alongside innovative metaverse resources such as databases, holodeck read-alouds, and tours of immersive educational simulations. Val’s research on changing literacy led to the adoption of the term metamodernism (our current philosophical moment) in her book Metamodernism and Changing Literacy and numerous research articles, webinars, and presentations on digital citizenship, metaliteracy, and virtual learning environments.

Elli Pinion (Dr. Becky Adams in RL) was the Director of Online Course Development and teaches Educational Technology and Virtual Worlds at the University of New Mexico. She is the Co-Coordinator for the VWEC. Presently, she is working to complete the Welcome Center since the initial build Opening Ceremonies, develop our Models for Teaching exhibit hosting seven instructors who teach in Virtual Worlds, expand the Educational Resources area, is establishing the Eduverse Representative Assembly, and support our teams who are part of the VWEC including our first Student Challenge-athon coming this fall. Elli’s research is in Online Professional Development for Educators.

Dodge Threebeards (Dr. Greg Perrier in RL) has managed the Second Life program for the Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) since December 2012. He taught biology at NOVA for many years and incorporated interactive activities in Second Life into his classes. As manager of the program for NOVA, he developed workshops to increase faculty and staff interest in using Second Life with students. Pre-pandemic, NOVA averaged about 400 students a year using Second Life. Use declined drastically during the pandemic as NOVA required all faculty to use Zoom and commercial online labs, but it has climbed to over 90 students using Second Life in the spring semester of 2023. During his initial year in Second Life, he benefited greatly from the support and advice from more experienced educators. Thus, he was excited to see VWEC emerge as a program to provide such support and advice as well as encourage collaboration among educators.

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VWEC Quarterly Meetings - Photo by PI.Illios

Where can people learn more about VWEC? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.
The best place to learn about VWEC is at our website vweconsortium.org and InWorld
VWEC EduversePlaza 
VWEC Eduverse Plaza Welcome Center
VWEC Eduverse Plaza Deck and Fireside Chat
VWEC Eduverse Plaza Info Center   

Flickr Group
VWEC YouTube channel has curated playlists across educational communities

For more information contact:
Becky Adams: reada321@unm.edu  
Valerie Hill: valibrarian@gmail.com  
Greg Perrier: gperrier@nvcc.edu

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Thank you, Val, Elli, and Dodge for your inspirational work at VWEC. We’re looking forward to attending VWEC’s first anniversary on Saturday, May 20, 2023 at 11:00 am PT!


Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup 

Linden Lab

Today we are shining a spotlight on Cain Maven of Maven Homes. For over a decade, Cain has been at the forefront of virtual home design for the Second Life community - learn more about his journey!


How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I first set foot in SL about 14 years ago. Some online friends of mine had migrated here after the game we were playing was shut down. Needless to say, I stayed longer than I planned to -- which was every bit as much about making new friends as reconnecting with old ones. Then there's of course that certain magic that SL possesses, and that we all keep coming back for more of.


You’ve been creating content in Second Life for many years, how and when did you get started?
The plan was not in any way to start creating content. I had bought myself a nice modern villa and had fun furnishing and landscaping. Then, one fateful day, I decided that one of the rooms was too small, so I set out to modify it. I soon realized that I could maybe build whole houses, maybe put them up for sale, maybe... you see where this is going. In those early days, most of the revenue stream stemmed from my friends' pity purchases; fortunately, things got a little bit better over time. In 2010, I acquired one of my competitors and early this year I expanded with a third region.


Do you have a background in 3D content creation and what kind of tools do you use to create your content?
Sadly, I don't have a background in 3D content creation. My formal education is as an architect, but I somehow got sidetracked and ended up in journalism, software development, and graphic design. While I had tinkered a bit with various (now discontinued) tools, it wasn't until SL gained support for mesh upload in 2011 that I sat down and taught myself some new and useful tricks. My current toolbox includes Blender, Substance Painter, Photoshop, and copious amounts of coffee.


How would you describe your virtual architectural style and what are some of your favorite builds that you have created?
I'm not sure I have an architectural style per se... but if forced to choose I would probably say modern/contemporary. However, I do dabble in many different styles, with a possible fondness for Mediterranean Revival; it's hard not to love the old masters of the Italian Renaissance and their impact on today's designs. That said, I think it's challenging to do good work in a style that you don't personally like, which probably is why you will see some stylistic omissions in my portfolio. In terms of favorite builds, I would pick the Cosimo mansion (because every home should have a dome) and the modern Pacific, because its entire being centers on the collision and cooperation of weird angles.


Are there any other projects or events that you are working on? 
The main focus for 2023 is creating a collection of smaller homes -- and hopefully, being able to get into some of the bigger events. If they will have me.


Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.
Looking back, Robert Galland pretty much owned the architecture market when I first started out. He, therefore, became the reference, the benchmark, and the competitor I measured myself against. Robert is still active and remains an inspiration. I'm also a fan of Danny Bourne of reBourne fame -- his treatment of light is second to none. And when it comes to daring concepts and outside-the-box thinking, Sergio Botha is the master.


Where can people see your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.
My current selection of homes is available at the regions Maven Homes, Maven Homes 2, and Quantum Luxury Homes.



Thank you Cain, for helping Second Life Residents create a virtual home away from home.

Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup 

Linden Lab

Today we are shining a spotlight on Anu Papp, an artist, musician, dancer, and kundalini yoga instructor who has brought her skills into Second Life with her own dance company, Muse Dance Co.  


How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I joined Second Life in April of 2007. A friend of mine from Oregon who was already a resident told me about Second Life. At the time I was the CEO of a non-profit, In Gaia’s Lap, and its division Artist4Mercy. Through means of internet radio, our tag was to “connect the Globe through the power of music to bring awareness to the needs of children in orphanages”. He told me it would be a great platform to promote the non-profit. Telling him I was not a gamer lol, I created Anu Papp, and one day while exploring Lost Gardens of Apollo, I hear “This is Anu. You are listening to the Artist4Mercy.” Little did I know I was already reaching Second Life through music. Nor did I realize that Dane Zander was one of my biggest donators in the physical world. From there I went on in the hope of creating a better world virtually.


In the physical world, you are an artist, a photographer, a musician, a dancer, and more! How does your background inform and shape your work in Second Life?
I am a licensed Kundalini Yoga Instructor. In addition, I am an artist of many mediums. In my early days of Second Life, as a folk vocalist, I performed live around the grid.

You can hear my music here: Featherbed by Anu (soundcloud.com) 
I believe that its all inclusive and ever evolving. As I grow in the physical world, my virtual world is a reflection of that growth. Second Life is my arm that connects both worlds. It allows me to run communities and organize events, teach, make friends and confidants when the time is needed.

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In Second Life, you have a dance company called Muse. Can you tell us more about your experience founding and managing it, and when and where is the next show?
I began dancing in Second Life by hosting a small sacred dance circle. One day I was told by one of my guests that she was wheelchair-bound. The dance circles brought her alive because she could actually move! Sadly she has since left this realm, but it was the seed that fueled my continuum in dance. I manage all shows solely on my own. From set design to streaming music to laying out the choreography, I am a one-woman show. With a multitude of HUDS on my screen, I move people, change sets, and manage the entire production. We have over 40 dancers with Muse Dance from all parts of the globe and as I often say, it takes a village. I am grateful for each dancer who dedicates their time to be a part of the team and visions of Muse Dance.


On Sunday 7 May at 9 am SLT Muse Dance will be presenting Mystic India.  

A dance performance created around the colors of the chakras and culture of the Punjab region of India. Chakras are one of the many lenses through which we view the energetics of the world. Everything from yoga asana, meditation, colors, and how we interact - has a charge behind it. The subtle body, or energetics, are part of our experience of living just like our physical bodies. Join us as we travel the journey of the soul through dance. 

Mystic India 2023 - Official Trailer:

You currently have a destination in Second Life that is a real-life replica of the iconic Taj Mahal. What inspired you to create this, and do you have any plans to expand on it?
As my personal life has always been involved in yogic and meditation practices, the culture of India is strong in my heart. Ironically my region Ravenhart was the same theme in 2008, so I have returned full circle 16 years later. Future plans include meditation and tai chi areas, and Swami Café for social connections. The theater of Muse Dance is also located in the same region, so continual dance performances, including but not limited to, cultural, ballet, modern dance, and even some musicals.   

With the events of our World over the past 10 years, it's important for me to offer everyone regardless of your religious beliefs, a place within Second Life to find your Nirvana.

Visit the virtual Taj Mahal in Second Life!

How has Second Life impacted your life and what do you enjoy most about being a Resident?
I laugh when I say this, but like many, I grew up in Second Life. It allowed me as an artist to expand beyond anything I could have imagined. It's been my canvas. It allowed me to “put smiles on sad faces” as said by Paramahansa Yogananda. There is such joy when I present a dance production or design on my region Ravenhart where others can experience things they may not be able to do in RL. Muse Dance Co. is poetry in motion and I have no intention of stopping as long as I have breath. 

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Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.
Each dancer of Muse Dance Co. is amazing and continues to be the fuel that keeps me creating. They are all my heroes. Oriolus Oliva from region Verdigris - amazing sim and human. Catherine Nikolaidis for her intricate photography. Jojo Deed who has since left Second Life was the push that got me into blogging. China & Goodies and all the builders that create such beautiful historical work. Ulysses Cabaret, my dearest and oldest friend in Second Life, who was my inspiration in learning how to build. Last but not least, my Second Life partner who is also my physical world husband of 20 years. He is who keeps me going in all worlds. Too many to list but the journey to now has been an amazing ride.

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Where can people see your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.
Muse Dance: www.musedancesl.com
Blog: www.anupapp.com
Flickr: Anu Papp | Flickr
YouTube: | muse | dance company - YouTube
Our cinemaphotographer: Glynola Productions - YouTube
Facebook: Anu Papp | Facebook
Soundcloud: Stream Anu music | Listen to songs, albums, playlists for free on SoundCloud

Watch this mesmerizing video submitted by Anu for her Spotlight feature. 
It is the official trailer for Anu Papp's original production "State of Grace" choreographed for Muse Dance Co. of Second Life.
Video by Glynola Productions

Thank you, Anu, for bringing your artistic mind and endeavors to Second Life. Attend Muse Dance Company’s next show, Mystic India, on Sunday, May 7th at 9am PT!

Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup

Linden Lab

Today we are shining a spotlight on Yu Zhu (Jamaicasianbaby), a multi-talented Resident with an impressive array of skills, from photography to vlogging to styling, and even landscaping!


How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I have been in Second Life since 2011. Actually, I can't quite recall the website where I first saw the ad for Second Life, but I do remember that it immediately caught my interest because I’ve always enjoyed playing life-simulation games, like the Sims, since I was quite young.


Your Second Life photos are amazing, do you have a background in photography, and what are some of the tools you use to enhance your images?
Thank you, and unfortunately, I do not have any background in photography. I was raised by very traditional, well-intentioned parents who preferred that I attended dental school instead of art school. My late older brother, who passed away in 2020, was actually able to become a photographer/videographer. He was always very skilled with computers and gadgets from a really young age. He was the one who introduced me to the program Adobe Photoshop when I was around 12 years old and he taught me how to select objects in an image to remove the background. 

When I was under a tremendous amount of pressure during dental school, I was able to use SL photography as an escape and an outlet for some of the frustrations I felt at the time. As much as I hate to admit it, I am sort of a pushover by nature so I found some satisfaction in portraying a more assertive and endearing character through photos of my avatar. My aim when editing snapshots was to enhance the realism of this character and the scenes as much as I could. I started with the old skills that my brother had taught me and I continued to polish those skills, learning mostly by trial and error since I didn’t know of many SL photo editing tutorials at the time.


Around 2013 I was introduced to Flickr and that was where I started sharing my work. I soon started blogging and enjoyed it for a few years. This experience pushed me to experiment with different ideas and concepts, which then in turn helped me to further develop my skills with SL photography. After some time I started receiving requests for portraits and store advertisements. In the past, I used to be more active with accepting clients and have done ads for various stores like Addams, Bad Unicorn, Cold Ash, The Forge, and others. I have drastically reduced my client intake since then because my hobby started feeling too much like ‘work’ rather than something fun and creative. In any case, I have no regrets about the experiences as I was able to learn a lot through them and met some really great folks along the way. 

Recently, my partner upgraded me to a custom gaming pc so I was finally able to start playing around with Black Dragon viewer. After having used Firestorm viewer for years on my laptop, I was blown away by the quality of graphics on Black Dragon and how it’s able to significantly augment the overall aesthetics in Second Life. This viewer definitely helps to enhance images and make them more realistic with less requirement for post-editing of snapshots in Photoshop. It does take some time to become familiar with all of the settings. I am still in the process of learning myself, but I have really grown to enjoy using this viewer to capture my raw images.


You have your own YouTube channel, can you tell us how you got into creating videos, what kind of content you focus on, and what are some of the tools you use?
I think the moment that triggered the chain of events that led me to start my channel was around the end of 2022, when I logged into SL after a long time and was going through my inventory with an intense feeling of guilt. I couldn't believe the embarrassing amount of unused items that were just sitting in my inventory, some that have not even been unboxed yet. Around this time as well, I was watching various architectural and home decor videos on Youtube because I had just married my SL partner in RL and we were attempting to design our first official home together. I felt spontaneously inspired to attempt a little virtual home tour video with a skybox that I had set up at the time and that was the very first video I uploaded to Youtube. 

There are so many things I enjoy doing on SL that I personally can’t always capture through a snapshot, like decorating and landscaping. Even when it comes to fashion. I play dress-up with my avatar on a regular basis and I go through tons of outfits that I often don’t get the chance to take pictures of. I take a decent amount of time to edit each image and I have my limits when it comes to tastefully capturing an entire outfit from head to toe in a single photo. I figured videos would be a nice way to showcase many full outfits and pretty much all the rest of the things I like to get into on SL. I wanted to create fun and aesthetically pleasing videos that I could look back on and perhaps others would enjoy watching them as well. So far it has also been a nice way to share in more detail about what I do on SL with my RL friends and family.

I guess you can describe my content as 'vlogs' as I focus on the things I do on SL/how I spend my time on SL. The topics range from fashion to creating shapes to landscaping and interior design to photography and photo editing plus more. I use a free screen recorder from ScreenRec.com to capture my scenes. The first video editing program I tried out was Shotcut, which is free and pretty straightforward to use. But then I learned about Filmora shortly after and tried the demo version of it. I had so much fun using this video editor and learning all the features that I went ahead and got the full version. 

You also co-own the Bamboo destination in Second Life. What inspired it and what can Residents expect when they visit?
Bamboo originally started off as a homestead and my private home with my partner, Jin Zhu. We’re both Asians living in the Western part of the world, so we wanted to design our SL home in a way that would represent our traditional cultures. Jin has roots in China, while mine are in Myanmar (a country in Southeast Asia). We wanted to create a home where we could feel nostalgic and relive familiar experiences from our childhoods. As we worked on materializing our vision, our passion quickly grew for this personal project and soon we expanded our homestead to a full sim and made it open to the public on March 18, 2022. 

Although we are both quite aware of the many unique differences between each Asian country, we can also appreciate the vast similarities that the majority of Asian cultures share. An often humid atmosphere, the rich smell of earth after the rain, the intense singing of insects and wildlife that thrive in lush vegetation, dense forests of ancient bamboo trees, and the sizzling sounds of fragrant foods cooking around street market vendors, are just a few examples of the similarities among Asian countries. Buddhism is also a prevalent religion in most of Asia. In many towns, one can find Buddhist temples and it is common for homes and places of business to have shrines and statues of Buddha. From our own personal recollections, we found that most countries in Asia are also especially similar when it comes to rural landscapes and villages. We pulled inspiration from memories of our travels back to our motherlands in order to create a place on SL that, in our perspective, showcased the essence of a rural far-eastern environment. 


Visitors may also stumble upon a hidden memorial on our sim that Jin kindly helped me to curate. This memorial was set up to pay tribute to the thousands of heroes that have fallen at the hands of the Myanmar military since 2021 - some as young as 1 year old, some even younger. Not very many are aware of what has been happening in Myanmar as these events have been overshadowed by the major war between Ukraine and Russia. Nevertheless, the crimes that have been committed against humanity are equally abhorrent. We wish to promote awareness of the current events that are still unfolding in Myanmar and the resilience of its civilians in their resistance against a well-established dictatorship. A cruel dictatorship that confiscated and withheld oxygen, medical supplies, and services from civilians during the peak of Covid-19 outbreaks. My own paternal uncle and cousin, who were both residing in Myanmar during this time, were not able to get access to the oxygen they needed and eventually lost their battles with the virus along with thousands of others. I am now constantly worried about losing more loved ones. Those who are resisting the military are mostly young high school students, nurses, doctors, teachers, farmers, and activists among many others. Innocent human beings, most of whom have never seen a weapon in their lives before these events. They are fighting for the freedom to hold onto their dignity and dreams, things that we often take for granted in democratic countries. The only thing that is keeping this current revolution alive is the conviction of those fighting for peace and their hope for a brighter future. The story of Myanmar is full of beauty, inspiration, tragedy, and heartbreak. I sincerely implore anyone who may be curious, to dive into its rich history and learn more about it.

Needless to say, our Bamboo sim holds much sentimental value for both me and Jin. It is a space to honor those who stood for peace during their lives and it further serves as a place to nurture and find peace within one’s own current life. This is what Residents can expect if they do decide to visit the Bamboo Destination in Second Life.


How has Second Life impacted your life?
Perhaps this may be considered taboo for most people to say but I have to admit, Second Life has been more than just ‘a game’ for me. It somehow evolved into something bigger and has integrated into my life where it will forever serve as a historic foundation for the person I am today. When I signed up with the most uncreative username that I could come up with in two seconds, I was not expecting that SL would pretty much change my entire life. 

Second Life gave me the creative outlet I didn’t really have growing up. Through this platform, I was able to explore my creativity and get through difficult times by being able to express myself in a variety of ways that would not have been possible in reality. 2020 was an especially tough year and with the travel restrictions, it was nice to be able to do things on SL like building places to escape to or taking pictures at beautiful locations that you can get to with the click of a mouse. 

I usually would never share any of my artwork with anyone I knew in RL but the warmth and encouragement I received from the Second Life community for my work really helped me to start believing in my own creative abilities. I am sincerely grateful to those who have been so kind and supportive to me over the years because it helped me to open up more in RL. My brother was the first person in my life with whom I shared my SL photography and landscaping work and it is now one of my most cherished memories with him. Since his passing, I finally gathered enough courage to share my work with my parents as well. I think many people who have grown up around western culture but under strict traditionalist, Asian parents can relate when I say, opening up to our parents is one of the hardest things to do. I’m pretty sure my parents didn’t understand much of what I was showing them but their acceptance and support for me that day has also become one of my most cherished memories in life. In a way, SL helped me to break many boundaries with my family.


Last but not least, I met my now real-life partner in Second Life. I actually already knew about Jin Zhu before we even spoke for the first time in 2018. Dynasty was one of the very first stores I discovered and loved on SL as the items invoked feelings of nostalgia for me and especially because in my early days on SL I did not come across many items with Asian themes. At the time I would have never expected that one day the creator would personally reach out to me, much less that I would end up marrying this amazing, talented, and kind individual. Jin and I were really able to connect and learn about each other through our creative endeavors on Second Life. We were able to talk a great deal and got to know each other while working on different projects and over time, precisely three years of long distance and a lot of traveling later, we both had the profound realization that there could be none more compatible than we were for each other. Jin proposed to me in Jamaica, where I grew up since I was 2 years old, on November 18, 2021. We have been married as of September 28, 2022, and I am now living in a whole new country and have a totally different life than what I could have ever imagined before I signed up to Second Life with a silly username.


Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.
This question is the most difficult to answer as there are many talented and inspiring residents in SL. A few of my favorite stores that I can list off the top of my head, other than Dynasty, of course, are .Shi, BBQQ and [SAU] Motors. The creators behind these stores are all amazing individuals who are always so humble and supportive. I also admire artwork by Petra Messioptra (PM), who is one of the first artists/bloggers that I started following when I joined Flickr in 2013. William Weaver was also a great inspiration to me in my early days on Flickr, but unfortunately, I can no longer find his work on the platform. Some of his videos can still be found on Youtube. I've also enjoyed videos/blogs by Strawberry Singh, which I find to be quite detailed and informative. There are so many amazing residents in SL and I could fill many pages if I were to list them all here.


Where can people see your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.

Watch this fantastic video submitted by Yu Zhu for this Spotlight feature.


Thank you, Yu Zhu, for sharing your life-changing experiences with us.

Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup

Linden Lab

Today we are shining a spotlight on Soull Starlight, an inclusive Experience Creator in Second Life who has a passion for traveling and creating interactive destinations across mainland.

Photography by Caroline Danger

How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I've been in Second Life since 2007 and first learned about it from a professor in college, who introduced SL as a community history project. I spent my first few months in SL engaged in research, learning about various communities present at that time, and have been around off and on ever since!


You are an Experience Creator in Second Life. Can you tell us more about what that is and how you got into that?
When I began curating land in 2019, I was impassioned to first create spaces that were uniquely me and exuded the warmth and coziness that I like my homes to have, as a respite from my travels across the continents. My first home was in Heterocera - after traveling along the mountain road leading to the Great Wall, I discovered a parcel that faced a resident-created Stonehenge and had a beautiful vantage point, purchased it, and settled in. As I continued my travels, I started to find even more parcels with beautiful views, accessible travel points (like roads, waterways, and mountain paths), and interesting Linden landmarks around and created more homes that I soon realized I couldn't inhabit myself as frequently as I'd like. AscendBnB, my travel-based rental company, was born from this. I had too many homes at that point to live in and wanted to share my travel-friendly, fully furnished homes with others.

After creating a bunch of homes all around mainland that I felt good about, I started to hone in my ability to create public spaces that evoke a feeling, sentiment, or pure joy. I realized that my passion was in creating and finding spaces that shared an experience of some kind - in my travels, these were the spaces that really stuck with me and kept me coming back, and I wanted to extend that love at interesting places around mainland to further encourage travel. I've created the term 'Experience Creator' as my role because it encapsulates the energy that is felt when you visit one of my spaces. I create and curate to evoke a memory, or thought, or to encourage joy, fun, and freedom. 


You seem to have an affinity towards mainland as most of your destinations are there. Why is that?
I'm an avid SL traveler and spend a lot of my time finding and enjoying engaging spaces in my travels that share a sentiment, a memory, an interest, or just a sense of joy. I deeply appreciate the creativity I find as I traverse the continents, and mainland to me is the best place to discover and explore for as long as I'd like, via publicly accessible spaces. Much like real life, taking a ride, sail, or flight along mainland routes is an adventure, and one that I feel expresses the deepest intent of SL- to allow humans from all parts of the world to live, work, and play in a space they've co-created. The ability to hop in a vehicle and explore the wonderfully varied experiences that you could have on mainland is what keeps me both exploring and creating on the continents, and it's my hope that more people discover and contribute to mainland in a way that keeps exploration and creativity accessible and alive. 


Can you tell us about some of your current destinations/experiences and what Residents can expect when visiting them?
I've now curated a number of experiences that are open to enjoy and find on mainland right now and am excited to share more about them! 

In Corsica I've created Wonderpark Theme Park with Autumn Yap (and Janessa Westwood Neil with Lifestyle Inc destinations who created a Wonderpark Resort in 2020), featuring over 20 interactive rides and experiences, a water park, a food court, and more. 

Eatonville Living History Museum, an interactive exhibit featuring culturally-affirming literature that shares the Black experience during the US Reconstruction era, is also located in Corsica, along with a relaxing spa, brewery, fine dining restaurant, and community garden in Corsica South Coast. 

In Heterocera, you can find Ascension Park, off High Mountain Road with picturesque views from the mountain and a public train that takes you sightseeing across regions, and an adjoining glamping resort with finely appointed tents, hot springs, and an outdoor bar. 

In Bay City, my Bay City Activity Center allows residents to work out, learn new skills like cooking or painting, take a yoga class, and more! I encourage folks to travel the mainland, check the destination guide to find more of my spaces, or visit  https://ascendbnb.live/fun-experiences.


Are there any upcoming projects, destinations, or events you are working on that you can tell us about? What can we expect from you in the future?
My latest experience is the Dulla Centre Community, located off the Circuit la Corse in Corsica, a live-work-play space where visitors and residents can find creative, restorative, social, and professional spaces to meet, interact, collaborate, and play. The community features a rooftop mini golf area, coworking space, a flower market, breweries, a yoga studio, an eco-conscious coffee shop, and more! it is a project I'm working on with other community builders, artists, and creative contributors. 

I'm also working with Yukiko Yeshto to plan and build this year's NatureCon 2023, a large-scale nature conference featuring nature creators, organizations, and groups to collectively encourage more exploration and discovery on mainland and in Bellisseria, and am working with Ayame (stable.mum), creator of the Moorcroft Community in Sansara and the Show Society to create a mountain retreat in Heterocera. I'm always open to collaborating with other creatives to add experiences to mainland to inspire, engage, and delight residents! 


Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.
I am deeply inspired by so many creative residents in SL, and the unique experiences, products, and ideas that they bring to the grid. 

Ayame, Marianne McCann, and Georgina Rowley of the Moorcroft, Bay City, and Seogyeoshire communities have contributed amazingly beautiful builds and experiences for residents of Sansara and Jeogeot, and are always open to sharing what they've learned with others. 

Latte Bixley of Junk Food brings SO many fun, engaging items that evoke a sense of nostalgia and joy, and inspires me to add that element of interactivity and fun to my builds. 

Emmalee Evergarden, creator of The Nature Collective and co-creator of the Mainland Community Alliance creates the most inspired landscapes. 

The content created by Aurora Mercury, TheAriellXO, Ashiko Mi, Jaira Che, and Vrutega is always entertaining and shows how varied SL experiences can be and what sort of things you can find to engage in, visit, chat about, and/or share. 

There are so many more residents, mentors, and friends who have helped in or inspired my builds and the things I share. I wish I could name them all but I share a deep appreciation for all who add to my SL experience.

Watch this video submitted by Soull for her Spotlight feature
Video Production by Lozza Weymann

Where can people see your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.
To learn more about me, my travels, and the things I contribute to the grid, you can follow me:

on my website: https://soulstarlight.life 
on my Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/soullstarlight.sl
on the AscendBnB site: https://ascendbnb.live

Thank you, Soul, for adding your creativity to mainland.

Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup

Linden Lab

Today we are shining a spotlight on KaidenTray, a virtual landscaper in Second Life whose  landscaping skills have become renowned for their realistic detail and stunning visual appeal. 


How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
Officially I have been in Second Life for eight years and seven months. However, I have taken long breaks in between that time. I was brought to Second Life by the recommendation of my real-life friend who told me about all the artistic and unlimited possibilities within the game. 


You are an award-winning landscape artist. How did you get into landscaping in Second Life and where do you get your inspiration?
I have always been interested in art as a type of expression and used to draw when I was younger. When I came to Second Life initially, I explored many sims and was inspired to create different cities and locations from my mind’s eye. I was able to do so with the creative freedom that I was provided. After I completed some of the projects I worked on as practice, word of mouth created my landscaping business. 

I find heavy inspiration from real-life cities that I become fascinated with, especially those that I would enjoy visiting or living in. The majority of my life has been spent in the United Kingdom, but I am heavily inspired by countries outside of my own, including the United States and Spain. My ability to generate these cities with as much realism and detail as possible allows myself and others to be transported to those areas in a virtual world. 


What kind of detail do you look for when designing your landscapes and what are your favorite kinds of landscapes to design?
I look for small details that can immerse the person into the environment to feel like it is real, such as dirt over a road or slanted trees. It is interesting to me because so many of my clients prefer things to be perfectly aligned, clean, and straight. My mentality is very different. It is these types of imperfections of the real world that make the mind feel you aren’t in a virtual setting. However, my main concern is client satisfaction, so I make sure to provide whatever style they would like.

My absolute favorites are forests, woodlands, farms, and rainforests. However, what I adore more than anything are simply landscape challenges. I enjoy expanding my skills as much as possible with complexity. 

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Tell us more about some of the destinations you have designed previously and any current or future projects you are working on.
I have completed many destinations over the years, so there are a lot to list. However, my main pride and joys are those that I have opened for Halloween events, such as The Bates Motel (2020), The Freakshow: A Halloween Experience (2021), and Nightmare in New Orleans (2022). 

Some of the popular destinations that I have completed upon commission are: The Atlantis Pemba Resort, Koyo Kyoto Resort, and the Dare to Bare Nude Beach Community. 

My main current and future personal projects are my own community/destination that I co-own with my partner, which is Wandering, New York. We are expanding into the second sim, and it is our intention to keep the sims very active with events, performances, and activities. 

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Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.
I have respect for all of Second Life’s landscapers because it is a unique niche that can often be stressful. I encourage and appreciate all of the art that can be brought into Second Life. There isn’t anyone I can name specifically and, I wouldn’t want to single anyone out from the hard work of others, per se. I can tell you that my favorite location and landscaped work in Second Life is the Elysion Sim


Where can people see your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.
I have had many clients over the years where my work can be visible, but quite a few of them are on private sims and therefore not available for viewing. However, some of the easily accessible places where my work can be viewed are the following stores and locations:
Rosary (Moderate)  
Canape (Adult)
Mila (Moderate)
Alme (General)  
Dare to Bare Nude (Adult)
Wandering, New York (Moderate)

Facebook Portfolio


Thank you, Kaiden, for adding realistic beauty to virtual destinations.

Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup

Linden Lab

Today we are shining a spotlight on Severus7 XOXO, an open-format DJ who has been wowing Second Life and Twitch audiences with his infectious energy.

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How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I found Second Life randomly through a YouTube ad while on bedrest from a foot injury I got in a basketball game. Since you can't do much with an injured foot, I was just bored and looking for stuff to do so I clicked the ad and here we are. I have been around for 5 years now!


How did you get into DJing in Second Life?
About a month in Second Life, I was casually hanging at a club one day and they had job openings for hosts and DJs. At the moment, I had no clue how the whole DJ thing even worked so I put in an app for a host spot. I started hosting for different DJs and working with them triggered my curiosity to dive deeper into the art of DJing. So I started researching and educating myself about the basic stuff. Like what software to use, how to match beats, how to stream music in SL, etc. Eventually, I got the hang of it and ended up applying for the DJ position to give my first and only DJ audition. The DJ manager loved me and I was accepted as a DJ. Since then I just fell in love with DJing more and more and never stopped. I ended up being invited to different events around the grid and slowly became addicted to it.

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You also stream your sets on Twitch, how did you get into that and what are some of the advantages or challenges of DJing in SL versus Twitch?
I had no clue what Twitch was until a friend shared some DJ's stream with me. I was so amazed that the first thought was "Wow...I wanna do that too!". The idea of streaming simultaneously in SL and on Twitch, where virtual people can watch me DJ at the same time was so fascinating that I started researching how to stream and what hardware software I need. Still remember streaming my first DJ set on the study table with a very bad camera at the time lol.

Personally, starting out as a DJ on SL gave me a huge advantage on Twitch compared to people who just started from Twitch. I have met so many people that took them more than a month to be Twitch affiliates when they started. Whereas, my channel got affiliated within a week because I was getting good viewership due to my SL following. Twitch has its own advantages too. It has helped me connect and meet with many DJs and music artists outside of SL. You can make a lot of connections through Twitch and I'm blessed to have made some myself. Last but not least, Twitch is definitely another good platform to expand your following and make an extra income.


What are your favorite genres of music, and what mood do you usually go for when you DJ?
I'm an open format DJ, which means I love exploring and playing all kinds of music, from EDM genres to Hip Hop, and from Heavy Bass and Dubstep, which are my favs, to even kpop as of lately. But my first love will always be Dubstep. It's what I'm mostly known for, which is why my SL DJ group is called 'Severus Seven's Headbangers' cause we definitely love to turn it up, breaking rails and go hard. As far as it concerns my mood, one day you can find me playing some chill House vibes and the next day you will see me throwing down heavy bass and headbanging on my stream. I love to make it a musical journey for my crowd and even mix everything up in a set sometimes cause why not. 

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Which venues do you regularly play at in Second Life and are there any upcoming shows Residents can see you at?
I DJ 3 times a week (Wednesday-Friday-Saturday) at a place called "The Dumpster". That is definitely the place to be if you want great music and to party hard. On Saturdays, there's a different themed event, at 8 pm SLT, with amazing giveaways sponsored by some of SL's hottest Brands/Creators for those best in theme. There are some more future events I'll be performing at. One of them that I'm really looking forward to is Smokefest 2! I was the closing DJ at Smokefest and that was an amazing experience so I know the next one is gonna be even better, so I am excited for that and I am sure you will be too!


How has Second Life impacted your life? 
Well, where do I even start? lol. SL has impacted my life in ways nothing else has. I can start with my passion for DJing and performing in front of people. Before SL, I had no clue what a DJ was, no knowledge about any DJ equipment or even EDM in general. I was just a nerdy Mechanical Engineer and then through my experiences, I learned about all these things that I'm doing right now. SL helped me find my calling! A year back I was working for an HVAC company in my city and now SL and Twitch DJing is my full-time job. Because of SL, I don't have to worry about missing my alarms in the morning and sleep whenever I want. Making a living through something I'm passionate about was always my goal growing up. There are many goals that I am working on every day but I am truly blessed in that regard.

Besides DJing, I have met so many amazing and talented individuals here. I wouldn't be where I am without my small circle of friends, who have stuck around from day one. These bonds have helped me through thick and thin and I'm forever grateful for it. The best thing I like about SL is you can be whoever you want to be without the influence of any RL social standards. 

Connecting with people from different sides of the world and accepting each other for who we are is amazing in my opinion.


Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.
It's hard to name individuals but I would say a big thank you to the people who I had hosted for when I was basically an SL newbie. All of them plus the people who have collaborated with me over the years inspired me to learn new things and always helped me push past my limits. Most of my inspiration for the way I DJ comes from some RL artists like Excision, Virtual Riot, Subtronics, and Kompany.  Also, I get inspired every day by all of SL's creative individuals no matter if they are DJs, bloggers, or creators. I appreciate and get inspired by their art, hard work, dedication, and passion!


Where can people follow you to know more about your next shows? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.
You can find all my links here: https://linktr.ee/itsSeverus7 
and I do encourage everyone to join my discord community to stay updated about future sets and events and also come hang with us!  

Thank you Severus7, for the addictive energy you add to the live DJ scene in Second Life!

Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup

Linden Lab

Today we are shining a spotlight on Dixmix Source, a visual and musical artist and the curator of the Dixmix Gallery in Second Life, which showcases the work of other digital artists from around the world.

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How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
After reading an article about Second Life, I logged in for the first time on a rainy day on November 10th, 2006. At first, I thought it was some kind of chatroom, but soon I discovered it is much more than that. 

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You are the curator of the Dixmix Art Gallery in Second Life, can you tell us more about the Gallery, when you started it, and why you decided to curate a digital art gallery?
As soon as I rented my first land, a friend of mine gave me the “NYC loft.” At first, I uploaded some of my pictures, and then I invited other artists to have an exhibition in the place. Last December 2022, the DiXmiX Gallery celebrated its 15th anniversary!

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Are you an artist yourself in either the physical or virtual world?
I’m a visual and musical artist in RL maybe that’s why I understood quickly the art scene in SL and some of our possibilities. I was a TV producer and believe me, to organise exhibitions and opening parties is nothing compared to a TV show or a movie documentary. Anyway, I take it seriously and always try my best to be supportive and positive with Artists. I am one of them and I like to treat others like I would be treated. For one year now I have been retired in RL and I like to travel so I reduced the surface of the gallery and the number of exhibitions to make time for exploring the physical world (without teleportation.)

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Can you tell us about any upcoming art exhibitions, shows, or other events in Second Life that you will be involved with?
During March, we have EtaMae showing her last exhibition titled “See me.” Starting on April 8th, Catherine Nikolaidis will be back for her annual exhibition (title to be confirmed) and then later on April 24th with Akiko Kinoshi, we will perform our new Sound & Vision particle show titled “Shamanic Vision” at the Fantasy Faire.


Tell us about some of the artists in SL that inspire you, or whose work you admire.
I do love so much Maloe Vansant, she is a long-time friend and the SL artist I’ve been working with the most, like me she lives in Belgium. Just a few times more than Harbor Galaxy with whom I organised a big retrospective last Summer. Also, I have to tell you about Megan Prumier, an amazing builder and photographer with whom I have developed many projects over the past twelve years.

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Maloe in the Gallery

Where can people see your work and follow your activities? Please share links to your sites, social media accounts, inworld groups, and slurls to locations inworld.
Here we go: 

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Thank you, Dixmix, for all your contributions to the Second Life art scene!

Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup

Linden Lab

Today we are shining a spotlight on Marly Milena, a creativist known as Niela Miller in the physical world. At the age of 88, Marly has been bringing years of her educational experience and expertise to build communities in Second Life!


How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I have been in SL since October 2007. I heard about it at a transgender event (The Fantasia Fair of Provincetown, Massachusetts) where I led workshops for years. One of the transgender community leaders, who is also in SL and was my initial mentor for all things SL, told me about it and it appealed to me immediately so I joined as soon as I got home! I just knew that, for a creative person like me, there would be many things I could do to transfer my skill set and experience from my physical life to Second Life. One of my first projects was facilitating support groups for transgenders in SL. Then I trained some facilitators from that community to take over.


How did you find the new user experience in Second Life when you first started? Do you have any tips for newcomers?
Having a mentor/guide made all the difference for me. I am pretty sure that, without that help, I would have been hopelessly frustrated. I strongly suggest that when new people come in, they are assigned to, or find, a personal guide to help them learn the ropes. It isn’t enough to provide self-guided orientations unless the person is very tech-savvy. The guide should also have a basic training in pedagogy as it applies to adult learners. Adults usually learn best by doing, not just listening to information.

Tell us more about your educational background and work experience and how that assists with the work you do in Second Life.
I combine many arts-based tools (I am an amateur musician, composer, singer, multi-media artist, actor, and writer) with my training and background as a Gestalt therapist, group facilitator, educator, humanistic psychology practitioner, coach, organization development trainer, and consultant. 

I have designed and implemented programs and offered training in a wide variety of settings ie corporate, non-profit, military, medical, religious, and more. For fifteen years, I was with a group called Associates for Human Resources in Concord, Ma. We went to many locations to do all kinds of programs and then, in 1984, I left to create my own business called PeopleSystems Potential. It still exists as a DBA although I am mostly retired and do the majority of my work now as a volunteer in Second Life. 

I also have a monthly Zoom class focused on Creative Process. It was a natural transition for me to bring in my hefty creative and pedagogical background to SL and not only design and implement a wide variety of presentations and interactive programs in a virtual world, but find collaborators and also create new organizations. 

Visit Butterfly Gallery in Second Life

How do you integrate symbolic modeling into your avatar's personal development? Can you elaborate on the two types of creative expression - theatrical applications vs shared creative expression and how you use them in Second Life? Any examples?
The best way for the viewer to get a sense of how I developed and used SymMod in SL is by watching my YouTube videos, which are linked from my website. The videos provide demonstrations in all three areas: Personal Development, Education, and Creative Expression. 

Music is a big part of your life. Tell us more about your music career and is this something you do in both the physical and virtual world?
I play piano and guitar, was a singer-songwriter for many years, and have an album called Songs of Leaving  (under my name, Niela Miller, produced by numerogroup.com) II. This is the LP album cover. I am a teenager in Washington Square Park in NYC where all the folkies played.


I also started performing when I was very young at the great Catskill Folk Festival (and others).

I also have a one-hour video of a concert of all my piano music and some separate albums as well played by other pianists. As one teacher clarified, “You are a composer who plays piano, not a pianist who composes!" They are available at the Marly Milena Music Library in SL at the Community Virtual Library. We are collecting music and performers at the library and it is currently being administered by Katsii Tennen (known as CATS) who is my program manager and the Acting Director of the music library. My musical activities have been steady my whole life but not as a professional, just as a lifelong hobby and love. 

In SL, I have had my music streamed in/performed by Tip Corbett, also a composer and professional musician who has done improvisations to some of my pieces, and also by Ari who plays piano collections at many venues and events in SL.

We do a program called Improv: Musicians and Artists where we have one of each improvise to each others’ creations.

Featuring piano performances by Molly Lozeau and Justin McCarthy for Marly’s 85th birthday.

You are also an artist. Tell us more about your art, which art mediums you use, and do you sell your artwork in RL or SL?
Again, this has been a lifelong pursuit of mine but not as a professional. Anyone can go to my art page on my website and download copies of my mixed media art. I also have a Padlet page with art I have done for classes or on my own. I take classes on a regular basis in drawing, mixed media, and collage. Once a year, I am in an exhibit at the Concord Center for the Visual Arts in Concord, Ma. I have the soul of an artist and, therefore, would be doing some form of art as long as I live. Money has never been a motivator for art-making. I earned my living with my therapy, teaching, and training skills. I just happened to be able to incorporate arts-based tools into those processes! 

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See more of Marly's art

You have a group called Octagon in Second Life, can you tell us more about this group? 
The full name of the group is Octagon:Creative Exploration and we offer programs just like the title indicates. One is called Visions of Self for those who want to experience SymMod for their own personal insights. One is a training program for those who want to learn how to use SymMod with their constituents. One is a theater program called Shakespeare’s monologues which combines speeches, costumes, Symbolic Models of the characters, and audience interaction (ie what is the archetype represented by x character which shows up in contemporary life?) I also do a lot of presentations for groups like Nonprofit Commons, Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable, and conferences in SL.

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Visit Octagon Cinema Grove in Second Life

Are there any other current or upcoming projects or events you are working on in Second Life?
I have been doing ongoing groups in personal development and intuitive education for almost as long as I have been in SL. The current group is called “Beneath the Waves.” We explore all sorts of Ways of Knowing beyond our primary consciousness.

Different people facilitate based on their interests. VOS (Visions of Self) will be offered again in April. For all inquiries about my workshops and presentations and Octagon programs, please contact my Program Manager, Katsii Tennen (known as CATS in SL.)

I am also very involved in the growth and development of VWEC and am on the board. We keep evolving and doing all sorts of projects. We are working on bringing in as many educators and institutions as we can find who can see the value of teaching and learning in virtual worlds.

I will be doing a few programs for the upcoming VWBPE Conference. The full program can be found on their website. It runs from March 23rd to 25th .

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Visit the Marly Milena Music Library in Second Life

Where can people learn more about you and see your work in SL or RL? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.
I am on Facebook and LinkedIn as Niela Miller.
My comprehensive website has all of my information: peoplesystemspotential.com

I am also always open to collaborations and especially finding people who want experience and training in Symbolic Modeling.

Thank you, Marly, for being an inspiration with all of your community-building work in Second Life.

Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup

Linden Lab

Today we are shining a spotlight on Semiiina, a talented live singer and musician taking the virtual music scene by storm with her soulful performances that blend a range of styles and influences.

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How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I've been in Second Life for 10 years! I first heard about it from my friends. I had just gotten back to Sweden after playing music in the states for a while. My friends thought SL would be a great way to keep in touch and still hang out over the pond. 

They eventually got tired of SL but the vampire world sucked me in together with the art, creativity, and the different communities. There was something about always being one teleport away from the next adventure and getting to know people from all over the world that kept it interesting for me. However, I've been a human for years now! haha!


How did music become such an important part of your life?
Music never "became" an important part of my life, it was just life. My mornings as a kid always started with walking straight to our black piano in the living room. I would sing a note with my tiny morning voice and then press down the key I thought it sounded like on the piano. I didn't always get it right back then but I do now.

Saturday trips were to the record store. Dad and I spent hours listening to music in crappy headphones that were attached to the wall. You skipped tracks until you found something that spoke to you and if it was a good Saturday, you even got to buy a single to bring home.

My bedtime stories were reading sheet music by Debussy, Chopin, or Liszt and the fairy tale stories I was told were the life of David Bowie and The runaways mixed with the artwork of Andy Warhol.

When I was playing with my girlfriends we all wanted to be princesses. My princess was always called Edie Sedgwick. Pretty alarming looking back at it now!


Do you write your own songs and/or compose your own music? Do you play any instruments?
I do! Quite a lot! I haven't done any shows in SL yet with only original music but I'm planning on it. I play the piano, guitar, bass, and harmonica; and I also DJ.


How would you describe your music, and who are some of the musicians who have influenced your style?
How I would describe my music is always the hardest question for me. The way I deal with everything that comes with being a live musician (SL and RL) and me being an introverted extrovert is to stick to my part.

My part is to perform and do every creative thing that pops up in my mind and not question it or what it sounds like, am I good enough? What do people think of me? Is this a good song choice? I just follow the creativity and the flow.

If I step out of my part, I would probably go insane. However, I guess I could describe the music as "Chamelionic." In both worlds, I like to jump between genres and not stick to the same thing.
It goes from Indy to Jazz to showgirl to pop to electronic to acoustic to a beautiful classic piano to singer-songwriter. Most shows I do in SL are acoustic with piano/guitar and vocals.

Musicians that have influenced my style are definitely Björk, Marina, Bon Iver, Fever Ray, Soko, Lykke li, Lana del Rey, Birdy, and the list goes on and on and on.


When did you start performing in Second Life, and what venues or shows can people visit to hear you sing?
This is my third year as a live performer in SL! I play all over the grid so it's hard to mention only a few. It's been a tradition for me to play at the Second Life Birthday Event, Fantasy Faire, and Rezz Room & Versovs’ ugly Christmas sweater party.  

Posters come out every week on my Facebook, in my in-world group, and on discord so the best way to catch me is to join any of my social media groups.


Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.
Bryn Oh is my number one inspiration. She is an amazing artist in both worlds. I've been amazed by her work since my first week in SL. Bryn was also the first one to ever give me a stage to perform when others turned me down because I had no experience in performing in SL. She didn't have to do that for me at all being a stranger at the time. Her heart is kind and she has a way of telling a story through her art that I've never seen before.

Another inspiration is Tye Dinzel-Easton and Gabriel Easton. They literally saved us all from boredom during the pandemic. Together with their High Life destination team, they put together the most amazing resorts in SL with the best RP activities you could ever imagine. I had the privilege to perform at their Vegas sim together with the Dollhouse dancers. They put up a whole vegas show! Just by being in their creative and passionate presence inspires me so much.

Every creator inspires me, every artist inspires me, photographers, models, DJs, designers, bloggers, event creators, and kind people in general. There is so much creativity to be found in Second Life and so many opportunities to go all in on what you're passionate about. Whether that be hunting for blood, running a venue, performing live music, or just simply having a conversation with a stranger on a wooden mesh raft in the middle of the Blake sea.  

Where can people follow you to know more about your music and shows? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.

Thank you Semiina, for adding your voice to the live music scene in Second Life! 

Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup

Linden Lab

Today we are shining a spotlight on Apple Dismantled, a talented 2D artist seamlessly combining art mediums and bringing her digital art into Second Life.

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How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I first heard about Second Life in 2004 from a friend. I signed up, realized how much money it took to get set up properly, and never touched it again…. Until 2009 when I decided that I was interested and wanted to play again. I ended up making a whole new account and I have been here since.

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You are a real-life artist, can you tell us what kind of art you create and what are some of your favorite art mediums?
I tend to lean towards the abstract realm of art for the most part. My favorite mediums for 2D art are Acrylic, Watercolor, and Fountain Pen Ink. I also dabble in digital artwork and make some pretty neat mandalas. Most of my artwork in Second Life is Fountain Pen ink as I have found that’s one of my favorites because, with simple chemical additions or techniques, you can make it react in a variety of ways and get some interesting final pieces. Though I will admit that there are plenty of failures along the way, it is still all a part of constantly learning. I’ve also done all types of other types of art in Real Life too. If you name it, I’ve likely tried it, or want to.

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The piece that started it all, Dissolve, in progress

Tell us about some of the artists or works of art that inspired you to become an artist.
In real life, my art taste is all over. I can clearly remember the first piece of artwork I became very interested in because I had a moment of “You can really do anything” was Edgar Degas “The Little Dancer” where he combines a whole heap of materials for a stunning final piece. (That tutu though was what first caught my eye) However, I’m the kind of person that can look at most any art piece and find something about it that I really like and inspires me. Art is subjective and I like being able to offer my art as abstract with the song that inspired it and letting the person make their own journey. I don’t like to present my art with a clear strict message on how to consume it, I present it in a way that allows the person to take it however they want, or leave it. The journey can be different every time too depending on your mood and where your mind is at. 

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You also bring your art into Second Life, how does your RL art experience translate to your SL art experience?
This is a tricky one to answer as I’ve never really had the opportunity to present the art I offer in Second Life in Real Life in a gallery capacity. I did make a website that was a gallery of my art with links to the music for each piece, but the cost was a bit intense to maintain and I just felt like nobody really understood it so I got uninspired and let it go. I feel like Second Life offers me more freedom in how I present my artwork and I can present it in a gentle way to where like anything in Second Life, people can make their own adventures.


What art communities or groups within SL are you connected to?
I’m not really connected with any outside of Curated Event.

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Do you have any helpful tips for new emerging artists?
Don’t base your idea of success on other people’s opinions of your work. 
Stay Weird. 

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Are there any other projects, activities, and events you are involved with in Second Life?
Outside of the few events that I am in with my artwork, I have been a DJ in Second Life for over a decade and used to do 2-4 sets a week, now I tend to do one-off events here and there at places like Leviathan Bay. I was also involved with the art side as well as DJ’n at an event called Smokefest which was pretty rad and I’d love to see more and get involved in larger music events like that in Second Life. As for other stuff, I’m honestly not doing a ton in Second Life currently, however, I’m always on the lookout for more fun things to help however I can.

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Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.
I am lucky enough to be surrounded by a plethora of artists in a variety of mediums and expressions and every single one of them in their own way inspires me. Whether it be seeing the cool stuff they do and being able to gas them up and in return, it inspires me to do cool stuff too, to when you get those compliments from creators and artists you admire and it surprises you because not only do you realize they know you exist, but they think your stuff is cool too! Second Life is full of artists because it’s a completely blank canvas that residents have built up over the years. It's become not just a virtual world but an entire interactive gallery you can enjoy however you’d like.

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Where can people see your art? Please share links to your inworld galleries, sites, and social media accounts.
Well, if they DM me I’m more than likely to show whatever WIP I have going. But really, just keeping up with my Second Life Flickr for all I do here in Second Life. I am also currently working on an Art Facebook Page as well as a Youtube channel where I post videos occasionally. 

Apple is also generously giving out a piece of her Art for free at her gallery to celebrate this Spotlight Feature. It will be available until March 31st, 2023. Teleport over to pick it up today! 

Thank you, Apple, for adding your talent to the vast art community in Second Life!


Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup

Linden Lab

Today we are shining a spotlight on Teal Aurelia, a fantastic storyteller that creates uniquely edited machinima incorporating exciting visuals that engage and inspire the viewer.


How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I was an Alaskan living in Thailand in 2009, and SL was the platform that my local friends socialized on when it was too hot to go outside. I miss that level of RL/SL overlap, honestly. I'd love to see metaverse platforms become mainstream community space.

I've bounced in and out of SL since then. I joined the Flickr community last year to practice Photoshop edits, and it made me realize that I'd never seen an SL video edited as heavily as photos. I figured I'd try. 


You’ve been creating stunning machinima, do you have a background in video editing and what kind of tools do you use?
I just graduated with an animation degree last summer, but I plan to specialize in post-production. My university is known for its traditional animators, so if I wasn't drawing, I was in a stop-motion studio working with physical rigs and cameras. I use Toon Boom and TVPaint for 2D animation, Nuke and After Effects for compositing, Premiere and Avid for editing, and the cheapest sketchbooks to draw in. I didn't plan on learning CG or visual effects. 

I think that sometimes the universe shoves us unsubtly towards the right circumstances for our evolution. The pandemic shut down my campus for a year, so I veered into CG character-modelling and animation in Maya as a sidequest. I didn't expect to fall in love with environment design, or that my grad film would involve landscapes with 40,000 trees that would take impossibly long render, or that those things would force me to film on green screens and learn proper post-production. 

I create machinima because it allows me to skip straight to the parts of filmmaking I adore. That wouldn't be possible without all the creators whose work I utilize for characters, props, and sets. Brands like Doux, The Forge, and Swallow have supported me from the beginning, and I might have stopped filming after one video if not for the force of their kindness and creativity behind me.


Your machinima is a mix of Second Life and other virtual worlds and gaming platforms, what inspires you to blend all of these elements?
I think if you asked SL photographers why they do what they do, a lot of them would say they enjoy editing. That's also why I film. Compositing SL avatars into other game environments may sound lazy, but it takes skill. It's the same skill that puts monsters and superpowers into live-action movies, and if it's done well, it sells a film. It's what I want to do for a career. If I can convince you that an SL avatar belongs in a non-SL environment, it means my editing is okay. It's a process of stitching two worlds together with color and light. 

My latest video for Signature is shot entirely in SL with sets from Fanatik Architecture, but I still filmed the avatars against green screens. Separating characters from backgrounds allows me to create an army from a single avatar, to make buildings collapse realistically, and to layer effects. When I edit, I learn, and it improves my worth as a freelancer RL.


Fantastic storytelling is a significant part of the draw in your machinimas. Where do you come up with your ideas and how long does it typically take you from concept to execution?
I dreaded this question! A one-minute film currently takes me about a month to complete. I use the same pipeline as I would for creating a RL film or commercial, so I typically spend 40% of that time in pre-production (researching, storyboarding, figuring out the animation, testing lighting, arranging sets), 10% filming, and 50% in post-production. Add an extra week for things to go wrong. 

To apply that to my recent Signature film, I didn't just log in and start filming on day one. Raph Dirval was really supportive in allowing me to run with whatever concept I chose, and I knew I wanted a film that could showcase how naturally-expressive Signature's mesh heads are. I needed a story with anger, with sadness. Those emotions have always been tricky to portray in SL machinima. I'd experimented with animating Lelutka heads in a previous video, and was confident I could push it even further for this Signature film. 

"Though victory's proof of the skill you possess, defeat is the proof of your grit," is the beginning of the Edgar Albert Guest poem that became the concept for this film. I wanted a main character who'd lost everything and faced horrible odds, but stood up and fought back. I think everyone can relate to that feeling of being crushed to dust but choosing to reignite.

See the Signature video on the Second Life YouTube channel submitted by Teal for Spotlight:

Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.
I made a video called "Artists of SL" which features a few of my influences. It was really a thank-you to some of the creative giants I've learned from. Tutorials by Anya Ohmai and Strawberry Singh got me started in Photoshop. Artists such as Emeline Laks and Panda Banana showed me that it's possible to tell a story in a single frozen moment. A movie is just thousands of those moments squished together, so by understanding how photographers like Panda and Eme create remarkable images - the composition, lighting, posing, colour - I become a better filmmaker.

For videography, Vrutega directs really complex cinematic scenes with an insane level of artistic technique. Godiva (Riqan Resident) has knowledge and perfectionism that make me feel less alone in how much time I spend on pre-production. Any Bergan, Lipe Vortex, and Kelie Ladys make incredible commercial videos showcasing products and events. 

ColeMarie Soleil's audio-visual alchemy for events like The Engine Room and Midnight Order reminds me that art should be a shared experience, even in a virtual space. She has such a genuine way of bringing creative people together. 


Where can people see your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.

Thank you, Teal, for your mesmerizing visuals and endless inspiration.

Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup

Linden Lab

Today we are shining a spotlight on Sage Absinthe Oatsmill, a multi-talented creator bringing inclusive avatar components, decor, and destinations to the grid! 


How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I've been a Second Life resident for a little over ten years. I discovered it through researching virtual worlds at the time. It was number one on the "Top virtual worlds of 2012" list on some tech blog. I've always been fascinated by virtual worlds, MMORPGs, and other metaverse continuums. 

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You have a store, Mura, where your creations range from unique food, to hair, and other avatar accessories. How did you get into Second Life content creation and what are some of your favorite items you’ve created?
Although I launched Mura in September 2021, I've dabbled in content creation previously. I launched two clothing stores - Chloe in 2014 and Audace in 2016. Since I needed to gain the skills to mesh and create my own content from scratch, I purchased full perm meshes of clothing and worked to give them some really unique textures. Unfortunately, I decided to close them both when I took a hiatus from Second Life in 2017. I came back in 2020 during the pandemic. After reacquainting myself with Second Life, I decided to learn how to make original 3D content. I took a class by an amazing creator, Mesh Kitti, which lasted about two months. I felt that was all I needed before launching my first original mesh product, which was the Jollof rice set. Some of my favorite items that I've created are:

1. Seafood party platter
2. North African Mezze Platter
3. Interactive Cocktail Set
4. Nigerian Buffet
The common denominator of these products is that they're meant to bring people together through food.


You are also an incredible photographer and machinima artist, along with being the Marketing and Digital Director for Sage & Crystals Magazine in Second Life. Do you have a background in videography, photography, or magazine work?
I have a real-world background in all three. Years ago, I worked at Cosmopolitan and Seventeen Magazine's editorial features department, among others. This experience helped inform my knowledge of the production flow of an issue. Currently, I'm a commercial director and photographer, working with fashion, tech, and entertainment clients.


After all of that, you also run Teranga City in Second Life. Can you tell us more about this destination? What inspired it? What are the different venues Residents can find there, and are there regular events they can attend?
It's a funny origin story, but I started working on Teranga while I was sick and bedridden from COVID in real life (April 2022), but I still wanted something to do to keep me busy. It took about six months to complete. I wanted to create a slice of my family's home countries (Senegal and Morocco). I never really saw a sim or community on Second Life that accurately depicted modern cities of North and West Africa. There's the representation of historical depictions or things like safaris, but that's not the actual reality for millions of people on the continent. I intended to create a space for everyone of all backgrounds to enjoy, explore and connect with the culture. In addition, I wanted to provide a hospitality destination with this same ethos, so I created Al-Mouna Resort, which takes up a little more than 1/4th of the sim. I custom-built the resort's main building and landscaped and decorated the sim with the help of my Second Life family members, Zoeynova Oatsmill and Zai Starchild, who are also phenomenal decorators and developers. 

There are so many things to do in Teranga. As I've stated, there's Al-Mouna resort which has a bathhouse, a spa and wellness center, a self-serve buffet, a beach, pools, and soon a MyStory-compatible restaurant. But, this is only accessible to guests that rent a room or villa. On the rest of the sim, which is open to the public, there's Absinthe Club and Lounge, La Galerie Mall, which hosts the Dancing Robot arcade, a food court, an apothecary, Lucien's Jazz Bar and Lounge, and La Tois de La Teranga, a rooftop club, and pool. There's a Souk (traditional North African market), a beauty salon, a cafe, multiple eateries, a museum specializing in African diaspora art, and Mura, my mainstore. We have regular events at Absinthe lounge, where folks can dance and enjoy salsa and Afrobeats music. Monthly, we've had Layali Troupe, a belly dance entertainment group perform, as well as Semina, a talented live singer.


Tell us about some of the other Creators in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.
Many creators inspire me so much, and the list is terribly long. As you've noted, I dabble in various creative modalities, so I can attempt to categorize those who inspire. As a content creator, I'm most inspired by Lucas Lameth, who is a wonderful and talented creator and a kind and generous person. His work and artistic style are unique and some of the best I've seen on the grid! I'm constantly drooling over his mesh food releases. 

In the realm of videography, I'm most inspired by Sere Vene, who released their short film "Magazine" about two years ago. I was in awe when I saw this piece for the first time. At this point, I've only been creating videos for six months. Nevertheless, it was one of the best-executed shorts I've seen in Second Life at that moment. The way each sequence transitioned into another, the editing, the costume and set design, the animations, and the sound engineering all made it so extravagant and special. As someone who mainly focuses on music video machinima, all of those aspects are so important to capture effectively in a small period of time.


Where can people see your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.
People can find all of my links through my linktree.

Watch this amazing machinima submitted by Sage.

Thank you, Sage, your work is truly inspiring!

Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup

Linden Lab

Today we are shining a spotlight on BadUnicorn, also known as Bhad Craven. This creative innovator brings fun and interactive content to the Second Life grid!

Artwork of BadUnicorn’s Second Life avatar by artist Nylon Pinkney

How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
In 2012, as a young art student, I was captivated by a funny YouTube video that showed a large group of avatars talking and having fun in Second Life. Intrigued, I showed it to some friends, and we gave it a try, roaming around causing mischief and talking with players from different backgrounds and countries.

When I discovered that Second Life was pre-installed on the work computers at college, I took the opportunity to log in alone and was struck by the immersive experience and sense of community within the virtual world. Since then, I have been a dedicated player of Second Life, actively creating and contributing content to the platform.


You’ve been making immersive content in Second Life for many years, how did you get into content creation and what are some of your favorite items that you have created?
Upon my arrival in Second Life, the community was buzzing with excitement over the transition from prims to mesh. I had a background in 3D art and design, knowing the basics of mesh and texture creation. I saw this as an opportunity to improve my skills and used Second Life as a platform for self-teaching and experimentation.

Some of my favorite creations are:
- My product unboxer/unpacker. I love branding and packaging design, and I had a blast turning a boring cardboard box into something fun and practical. I also incorporated it into my new logo.
- Penalty Game, a 2-player football/soccer shootout game. I really enjoy making animated and interactive products.
- Chonky Corn, a thick huggable plushie. I love creating cute and silly characters, especially since Animesh arrived. It has opened up so many creative possibilities!


Your content is very fun, creative, and interactive - how do you come up with your ideas, and do you do all of the animations, scripting, and creating yourself?
Thanks! I'm not really sure where my ideas come from. I visit a lot of art exhibitions and galleries, so I think that could play a big role in my inspiration.

I run the store by myself, and I also create all the meshes and textures. The animations and scripts I use are usually custom orders, but I'm lucky because Second Life has a lot of talented animators and scripters who help bring my creations to life.


Cravone City recently celebrated its 2nd anniversary in Second Life, can you tell us more about your involvement with this region and what can Residents expect when visiting there?
I have co-owned Cravone for many years with my friend Capone Macamorgh, way before it became Cravone City. Initially, it was just a place to house our Mainstore buildings. However, In 2021 we wanted to do something a little different for the community. That's when we found Paradox Ivory, the talented sim designer behind 'The Apartments & Tokyo Street'. We shared our ideas with her and she brought them to life, creating a stunning and functional space that exceeded our expectations.

Cravone is made up of popular brands such as Animosity, Bad Unicorn, Baka, Hevo, and Scotch. Overall the sim offers an immersive experience with various beautifully crafted urban locations. The sim is made up of custom-made meshes and prefabs, creating a unique space we are all proud to call home. Words cannot do justice to the level of detail and craftsmanship that has gone into creating Cravone. To truly appreciate its beauty, you must see it inworld. We are constantly updating the space.

You’ve also expanded your content creation to OpenSea, can you tell us how and why you decided to venture out to the NFT world?
As a 3D artist in Second Life, I ventured into the NFT world to showcase my work and reach a wider audience. I am deeply intrigued by the concept of NFTs and believe that verifying ownership of digital creations is crucial to the future of art. In my opinion, Second Life was the origin of NFTs, as it allows the creation no-copy permission items that can be kept, displayed, or resold.

I started my journey by creating collectibles called "Boops" and listing them on OpenSea, an NFT marketplace. This was a great experiment to gain an understanding of the NFT process. I have plans to create new collections of one-of-a-kind pieces and take my art to the next level. Exciting things are in store, so stay tuned!


Tell us about some of the other Residents and Creators in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.
Over the years, I've met some pretty amazing people, but two that stand out to me are Mikel Monk and Capone Macmoragh.

Mikel is a jack-of-all-trades, owning The Men's Department, Anthem Event, and the store Bueno. He inspires me with his hustle and determination, not to mention his thriving art career on the side. He's a true inspiration.

Capone, who owns Scotch and co-owns Cravone, was a mentor to me when I was starting out. He gave me tips and tricks when creating meshes for the platform. He even teaches classes on mesh and texture creation, that's something I'd love to do someday too. 


Where can people see your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.
All my links can be found on my linktree: linktree.com/badunicorn

Watch this creative video submitted by BadUnicorn
Video production by Kelie Ladys 

Thank you Bhad for all the innovative content you bring to the grid!

Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup

Linden Lab

Today we are shining a spotlight on Gianni Broda, the talent behind David Heather, a high-fashion luxury brand in Second Life.

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How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I have been in Second Life since 2006. I first heard about it while playing There and I became curious enough to check it out for myself.

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How did you get into Second Life content creation?
I got into content creation because of my love for fashion. I had done research on Second Life before I joined, so I had already decided I wanted to be a designer inworld.

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You make incredibly gorgeous high fashion designs, do you have a background in fashion or 3D creation in the physical world?
I don't have a background in fashion. Being a designer has just always been a dream. I am actually a Graphic Designer who specializes in publication designs for the fashion industry. That's as far as my connection goes, unfortunately.

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How has Second Life impacted your creativity within the fashion industry and are there any RL fashion influences that affect your work in Second Life?
Fashion is a big part of how I became good at magazine design in RL. I have studied magazines so much that it comes naturally to me when I'm doing publication designs. I have always been inspired by creations from Mugler and Korean and Japanese couture in general.

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Tell us about some of the other Residents and Creators in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.
I am a really big fan of Deadwool. His quality is amazing and his eye for detail is really impressive. I admire his work and hope to get to that level one day.

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Where can people see your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.
David Heather Mainstore

Thank you Gianni for all your years of stylish contribution to the Second Life fashion community.

Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup

Linden Lab

Today we are shining a spotlight on Aurora Mercury, a community-building YouTuber that creates high-quality diverse content in Second Life!

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How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I have been in Second Life since 2008 on an old account. I heard about Second Life through an episode of CSI where they were trying to find a killer who was playing Second Life. I was so intrigued as I had always played slightly similar games like Sims and wanted to know what it was. I googled it and saw it was a real virtual platform. I created an account and was instantly addicted. In my previous account I was mainly doing fashion modeling, I joined modeling schools and even became a tutor for a short while. Real life took over and I didn’t login for 10 years. The short story of it, I couldn't remember my login details and had no choice but to create a new avatar and that's where Aurora was born, who is now nearly 6 years old. 

Second Life allows you to have that escapism from your day-to-day in real life. It is also a platform that you can use to manifest your dreams. I have seen so many people who have used their talents from real life to create businesses in Second Life and vice versa. It is not just any old game; it is the original metaverse platform that has the potential to achieve a lot in the future.

How and when did you get started with your blog and youtube channel, and what sorts of topics do you like to cover?
I used to film for events and performances back in 2018 and upload them to my YouTube channel (I have removed them now due to copyright). I then started to take a different angle and began filming my experiences and journey in Second Life in 2021. I was inspired by SL youtubers like Quincy Robin and Meela Vanderbuilt who are women of color like me and share their experiences, skills, and vlogs in Second Life. Being that I own a women's community called Sisters in SL, I saw that I had a skill of communicating with people of all cultures by just being me. I create a mixture of videos exploring Second Life, interviews with residents, tutorials, and lifestyle topics. 

I really enjoy filming and sharing my journey in SL.

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You have a wonderful avatar! Who are some of your favorite content creators that really blow you away in terms of offering diverse choices, and what would you like to see more of?
Thank you so much. There are so many amazing creators here and what I love is that new creators are continuing to grow, especially within the black community. I can now buy a lot more items that are relatable to me and my culture and I am truly thankful to the creators for bringing diversity into Second Life. I love creators such as Lelutka, Rowne, ISON, Studio Exposure, Rosary, Movement and that's just to name a few. I can't wait to see how our avatars will evolve. I am excited to see how our avatars will look in the next year or so. I have a feeling we will look even more realistic.

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Can you tell us more about Sisters in SL and some of their activities and projects?
Sisters in SL is a women's networking community created in 2019 where we hold events, explore, do photoshoots and also have a lifestyle magazine. Sisters in SL is a diverse community that has members from all over the world. I did take a break last year as real life did get busy again after the pandemic but I have tons of plans for this year. I will be focusing more on filming and touching on interesting topics, so make sure you stay tuned!


Are there any current or future projects that you are working on that you can tell us about?
Currently, I am working on a film project for Valentine's day where I am having discussions with residents both who are single or married in SL and they will be sharing their experiences which will be very interesting! I will also be hosting the SL Video Awards Show, so look out for me there!

I have lots of plans to work on more projects and I can’t wait to share.

Where can people see your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.
The main platform for me is Youtube: Aurora Mercury - YouTube
Instagram: @aurora.mercury
Tiktok: @aurora_mercury
Linktree: @aurora.mercury


Thank you Aurora for all the engaging and diverse content you’ve been sharing about Second Life, we look forward to your future projects!

Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup

Linden Lab

Today we are shining a spotlight on Ethan Evergarden, co-owner of the Highlands of Scotland in Second Life. He’s a virtual builder with fifteen years of historical builds under his belt.

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How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I was an avid fan of the television show “The Office” when it was still in first-run production and on October 25, 2007, an episode called “Local Ad” came on which featured a segment in which Dwight Schrute was exploring Second Life. He had created an avatar, Dwight Shelford, and was flying around in-world and talking about what his character was doing. As soon as the episode was over, I went online and found out that Second Life was real, and I immediately created an account. Once I had passed Orientation Island, I was sent to the region of Violet, a telehub, where I began meeting people. 

There were teleport boards to different places in SL and I found one that took me to the Cetus Galleries Art District where I discovered a single-region city filled with beautiful architecture, art galleries, and a thriving community of gallery owners, residents, and event facilitators. I quickly felt a bond with the community in Cetus and it soon became my new home. I have been in Second Life for fifteen years now and during that time, three communities have been my home, including Cetus for two years, Avalon Town Art District for five years, and the Highlands of Scotland in SL for the past eight. The common thread in all these places has been community, which is very important to me because even in Second Life, we all feel like we need to belong, to find our place among others. Second Life has given me that in abundance.

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You are the Co-owner of Highlands of Scotland in Second Life, can you tell us more about that?
I found the Highlands of Scotland in Second Life in 2014 after hearing about it on a musical stream hosted by one of the owners, Magnus Brody, that was broadcasting on a land parcel I was on. As an American descended from deep Scottish roots, I was fascinated with the Highlands, which consisted then of two regions, Inverness City and Urquhart. Avalon Town was changing, and I was looking for a change, so I began hanging out there and going to events. Eventually, they adopted me into their community. The Scottish Highlands, within reason, attempts to recreate the real-life Scottish experience, including geography, landmark buildings, and places of interest. We have events each night at Nessie’s, the main pub, which brings together both the “locals” who are regular daily participants, as well as many visitors who come to get a taste of Highland life. 

After two years of living there, I approached the owners of the Highlands, Elizbeth Beaumont and Magnus Brody, both natives of real-life Scotland, about my desire to add a third region to the Highlands, and I became a co-owner that year with the addition of Beauly. Since then, our team has expanded to include Axaria Evergarden, also from Scotland, and that team has added four more regions to the Highlands. This allowed us to expand our waterways into Loch Ness and Greater Loch Ness, as well as having one region devoted to nature in Glen Coe, a residential shopping village in Dornoch, and much more. Inverness City, the oldest of the regions and the central city of the Highlands is our hub, which has been the heart of the Highlands of Scotland in Second Life since 2008, when it first came into existence. Elizbeth (Liz) Beaumont keeps us all on our toes and we have a lot of fun there. We care about each other, and many of the locals have annual meetups in RL Scotland, coming from all over the UK, as well as Germany, Denmark, and other places. They gather at the Loch Ness Inn, which is recreated in our virtual Scotland, to spend a weekend in the real Scottish Highlands. This community has endured a long time and this year we look forward to celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Second Life Highlands. I hope someday I can join them for a meetup.

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Tell us how you created your two most complex builds, the Cathedral and Castle at the Scotland destination.
One of the reasons I stayed in Second Life was building. I have a passion for architecture and had designed and built a number of small churches in Second Life over the years. What eventually became the Cathedral of Dornoch was originally intended to be a small chapel, and as I like to tell people, it quickly got way out of hand. The footprint or shape of the building is known as a cruciform, as in the shape of a cross, and the architectural style is gothic revival. I originally built it in 2014, but over the years, as my skills improved or as I found new elements I wanted to try, it has literally been rebuilt a few times over. I’ve enlarged the bell tower, added spires, flying buttresses, newer and better textures, had custom stained glass windows created, and much more. It has “resided” in three different regions during its long life and like a person, it has evolved and changed over time. For me, the Cathedral has been a labour of love, because I have been so intimately involved with every prim that went into it. It's proportional and symmetrical, which I usually prefer in buildings, yet many people who might find that form uninteresting have told me how inspiring they find it. Axaria and I spend a lot of time in there listening to music and our community holds church services there occasionally, as well as musical concerts and of course, weddings (which is why we opened a wedding shop across the street!) One of my proudest moments was when it was featured a couple of years ago in a Linden Lab produced video about spiritual places. I find it a peaceful and contemplative place to just sit and look at the details, wondering sometimes how I built it and knowing I could probably never do it again. 

If the Cathedral has been a labour of love, Beaufort Castle, my Second Life home, has been an exercise in both frustration and rewards. Modeled after the real-life castle in Beauly, Scotland, I have had to conform to it, and architecturally it goes against my natural instincts for orderly design. It rambles and makes no sense in its layout, yet it manages to be both grand and fun. It has hidden passages in several places and it’s interesting sometimes to watch visitors find them and get lost in the walls. Over the years, I’ve become quite proud of it, even though it has grown to enormous proportions and is far bigger than any one avatar would ever need. I didn’t set out to build it but when I decided on Beauly for the region, Magnus Brody told me that I had to build Beaufort Castle if I was going to live on Beauly. I took one look at the real one and decided I would be crazy to attempt it. A few months later I gave in to crazy and started on it and six years later, I’m still tweaking it, changing it, adding things, and taking things away. Like the cathedral, it evolves as I do and I’m just its caretaker. We get a lot of drop-ins from time to time and the nice thing about a large house is you can just go to another side of it and let them enjoy it. I’m always happy to answer questions about it and feel like if I ever get to see the real one in person, I’ll feel right at home in it. While I don’t sell my builds in SL, I do enjoy creating miniatures of them and selling them in my Second Life store, Kringle & Co.

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You also created the Frank Lloyd Wright virtual museum in SL, which is no longer open. Tell us more about that build, how long it was open for, and do you have plans to bring it back?
I was one of the co-founders of the museum, but I must share credit with a lot of talented people who made that happen. I had created an SL group for architects and fans of the American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, called the Taliesin Society. The group grew quite quickly and on June 5, 2009, I hosted a Society event, with Debe Wise, an in-world expert on Wright, giving a lecture on Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture. The event, which was held in voice, drew a surprising 62 people, including many of SL's best architects. Following the gathering, some of us held a discussion about creating a virtual museum of architecture. This meeting was the genesis of the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum of Architecture. The late Frey Bravin mapped out how it would be accomplished, and we created a group for the museum. I was the 2nd one to join and later was elected as Chairman of the museum board. We obtained a licensing agreement with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and we also set up a RL corporation to function as a 501C3 charitable foundation so that we could accept donations. Along with Frey and I were Troy Vogel, Miltone Marquette, the late Rosalie Oldrich, Supremius and Sensuous Maximus of Builder’s Brewery, Terra Tepper, Ethos Erlanger, and others. We opened in July 2009 and ran through December 2010. Our most talented builders meticulously recreated several of Wright’s most notable builds and put them out for display on the region, and we also held many events, fundraisers, and a series of lectures on Wright architecture. The most fun though was holding build-offs, where both amateur and master builders would compete by building a complete, Wright-inspired building based on a given theme. Unfortunately, when the Foundation realized that the museum could not be monetized in a beneficial way to their needs, they elected not to renew the licensing agreement, and we had to close the museum. It was a sad day for all of us, but I think that it really showed the full potential of Second Life as an educational medium beyond just lectures and presentations, by drawing people from all over the world to learn, appreciate and discover Wright’s works in a virtual environment that they otherwise might not ever get to see.

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Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.
Saffia Widdershins comes to mind.  A true media mogul in Second Life who I have had the fortune to be friends with for probably a dozen years. I used to write for her publication, Prim Perfect Magazine, and I have never seen a harder worker in SL. I honestly don’t know how she has time for a First Life, given her many irons in the fire. 

Miltone Marquette and Terra Tepper are two very talented builders. Miltone works to this day on refining his individual Wright builds, creating stunning replicas of his incredible buildings. Terra is one of my best friends in SL and was my building mentor for many years. She pushed me to make continuous improvement in everything I built and when I think something is good enough, I’ll ask myself “would Terra leave it like this?” and keep plugging away. Scottius Polke, a loveable Otter with a razor-sharp wit and a successful Real Life art practice which he has shared through his in-world galleries for more than a dozen years. 

Chigadee London, the noted hatter of SL, and her partner Balthazar Fouroux, two longtime friends. Chigadee owns one of Second Life’s most successful hat businesses, “Couture Chapeau” and Bal owns “The Prop Shop”, making lovely items of all kinds, whatever strikes his fancy. Chigadee and Bal are probably the longest-running SL couple I know of, and I admire how they support and love each other in everything they do. 

Magnus Brody is one of the best DJs and musicologists in Second Life. His delivery is as smooth as Scotch whisky and his knowledge of music is formidable. That voice brought me to Scotland in SL. Elizbeth Beaumont, who works tirelessly to keep the Highlands interesting and relevant and whose witticisms keep me in stitches. Taro Firanelli, a prolific master of Second Life and a longtime regular of the Highlands. He knows more about SL than most people I know and what is amazing is that he is over 80 years old in Real Life. 

Last, but not least, Axaria Evergarden, my best friend, confidant, partner in crime, window and texture maker, enabler, and guide to all things Scottish. Every building I make has something of her talent in it, from stained glass windows, doors, textures, and more. She won’t hesitate to tell me something isn’t right in a building, and we share a common love of many different genres of music. She is a notable clothing and wedding dress designer in her own right, yet she manages to find time to make anything I need and last year, we opened our own store, Kringle & Company, selling all kinds of stuff for Christmas, and now we have expanded to other things relevant to the different times of the year. We might not sell a lot yet, but we’ve had loads of fun doing it. We even have store alts, Kriss Kringle and Jessica Claus!

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Where can people see your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.

The Cathedral of Dornoch (slurl)

Beaufort Castle (slurl)

Kringle & Co (slurl)

Dornoch (slurl - region I built)

Glen Coe (slurl - region I built)

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Facebook Kringle & Co


Thank you, Ethan, for fifteen years of historic contributions to Second Life!

Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup  

Linden Lab

Today we are shining a spotlight on Andee Tophat, a lifelong songwriter and musician that has written over 150 songs - including his latest single which is all about falling in love through Second Life!

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How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?

First Avatar 5th January 2007.jpgI first discovered Second Life when I was shopping and saw a computer magazine with a CDROM on the front advertising a 3D World. I have always been interested in computers since my school days when my first computer was a Sinclair ZX81 with 1K memory. So seeing a magazine with a program on it that offered a 3D world to build and explore caught my attention. So on 5th January 2007, I installed the software, signed up and logged in, and was instantly hooked!  

My first avatar was nothing like today, as you can imagine. Clothing was just a texture you applied to your body, there were no voice features at that time that I remember, so there I stood in a world that was immeasurable in size wanting to find out how to build my first house! 
16 years later and I look a lot different, and enjoy live music, building, and making friends.


How did music come into your life?

Me as a little boy around 6 years old.jpgI come from a family of music lovers! From a very young age, I would play on the family upright piano that sat in our dining room. It was never properly tuned but that doesn’t matter when you’re little. My mum told me later in life that she remembered me running into the kitchen to tell her that I had written a tune.  She didn’t believe me but followed dutifully to listen and actually smiled when she heard that I had actually composed a little melody with a chorus. I must have been around 7 or 8 at the time. My father used to play his records of Big Band or Classical, and would often call me into the living room to “listen to this one” or “isn’t this good?” and I used to enjoy his love and excitement for his favourite songs. Out of my four older sisters, two of them would listen to artists like ABBA, Carpenters, Neil Diamond, and Neil Sedaka and the other two would listen to Lionel Richie, Alexander O'Neal, Luther Vandross, and Motown-type tracks. I would then be listening and picking up on the latest 80’s music, so you can imagine I have an Eclectic music taste!

My first “written” song was in 1986 when I wrote a song for one of my sister's weddings. Looking back it’s awful and very tacky but, like any musician, that becomes the start of your musical future! Since then I’ve written over 150 songs with lyrics and about a dozen other instrumental songs. I can’t read music and play by ear, so I can often pick up a song quickly if I wanted to create my own cover version of a track. 

Me Rehearsing for our Second Show.jpgI would say that over 85% of my music is based on some emotion or experience I was going through at the time. I remember years ago having dinner with a friend and letting him go through my ring binder containing all my lyrics. They were alphabetically in order of title and I left him to wash the dishes, only to return to see he had taken them all out of the folder and was organizing them by date! Reading them like that was almost like reading a personal diary! 

I have also written some songs based on an idea or story that I felt would make for a good song. My sister once challenged me to stop writing songs about love and to write a song about boats. So armed with that snippet of an idea, I wrote “Sea Breeze”. Another time I allowed an encyclopedia to fall open and closed my eyes and pointed to a page and said I would write a song about whatever topic my finger landed on.  It landed on “Klondike” so I wrote a song called “Gold Rush”.

A few years ago, I formed a band called “Balladeer” with my brother who played guitar, my brother-in-law who played drums, and some other friends that could sing. We enjoyed getting together regularly and performing my music. I’ve performed a few times in front of Wedding Guests and we also held two small shows. The first one was in 2001 and was a tester mainly with friends and family and we filled a small community hall with about 120 people.

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Then in 2003 we hired a small theatre, and managed to fill it with 350 people. It was a risky move as we were not performing any cover songs, only original music. But after a 2-hour session of almost 20 songs we had so many people come up to us after to congratulate us, that it was a heart-warming result. My mum even told me that she heard somebody whistling one of my songs as he walked back to his car after only ever hearing that song the first time at the show!

Sadly, because my family moved away to different parts of the UK, the band closed and I decided to go solo, creating a new name for myself “Never Ending Fire.” The thought behind the name was that each of us has inner emotions that resonate with the music we hear throughout life. And they can either quietly burn like a candle flame or are ignited when we hear a song that means something to us. It never goes out, it is just waiting for that moment. Our Never Ending Fire.


When did you start performing live in Second Life, and what venues can people visit to hear you play?

A Fairwell Kiss on Youtube 2020.jpgI think the Covid pandemic changed a lot of things for a lot of people around the world. Being restricted from traveling meant that a lot of people stayed at home and discovered new hobbies. For me, it gave me the opportunity to explore my music again and create some YouTube videos. I started getting some positive comments, which was encouraging, and then a discussion with a friend of mine in Second Life pushed me into performing live at the beginning of 2022.  

After visiting a lot of live singers, I found that quite a few were using the same commercially available backing tracks which then made me start comparing one singer's voice to the next. In some instances, the backing tracks were so close to the original artist, that it made me compare that live singer to the original artists and that’s something I’ve never wanted to do personally. I’ve always been keen to perform my own music. It’s nice to hear original songs, so I’ve ensured that about 70% of the show I perform is original and the other 30% are covers. I like to compose my own backing tracks when I perform and play piano live too as it allows me to keep control of the quality of the music and sound for the listeners. 

I currently perform regularly at Café Musique on Wednesdays, bi-weekly at Cornerstone and The Night Owl on Mondays, at Pantheon Temple on Tuesdays, and at Riptide7 on Wednesdays. I’m also going to perform weekly at my own place, NEF Live Music Venue on Thursdays, along with other singers.


Tell us more about the NEF Live Music Venue in Second Life. 

NEF Live Logo.jpgWhen I first started performing, it was really hard to find places that would accept an “unknown” artist.  A lot of venues had a reputation to maintain, or regulars they didn’t want to upset. I can understand this, but it made me realize how hard it would be to get that opportunity to start singing and build a fan base. Thankfully it was the likes of Café Musique and The Night Owl that gave me the chance to start getting heard.

Looking at the Destination Guide, it lists over 650 venues for music, but less than 60 for live musicians. I’ve always enjoyed building in Second Life and so having an opportunity to own some land and build a small place to perform and invite others to perform appealed to me. Apple and I partnered up and the idea of NEF Live was born. We wanted a place with additional features to encourage people to visit even if there were no artists, so we provided a games area, beach sitting areas with cozy places to chill, and a few shops too.

NEF Live Overview Pic_001.jpgIt wasn’t long until we were approached by another Manager, JR, who looks after the amazing singer Tay and he asked if we would be interested in expanding a little and allowing Tay to have her own purpose built venue in which she could also host performances, etc. This gave us the excuse we wanted to expand into a quarter region and create additional performing areas on the ground, while JR built a beautiful venue up in the sky for Tay and her followers to enjoy her performances.

Since then, we’ve been busy looking out for artists that have recently started singing in Second Life and need a place they can regularly perform and supporting them with additional artists that can bookend their performances so that listeners can hear their favourite singer and also get introduced to a new act at the same time. After all, if it wasn’t for my dad and sisters all playing different types of songs to me, I wouldn’t have grown up with such a rich interest in a variety of music!


You recently wrote and released a single, “Digital Love” which is about falling in love through Second Life. Can you tell us more about the story behind this song and where Residents can listen to it?

Digital Love.jpgBack in 1993, I wrote a song called “Digital Love” but the words were very geeky and specific to the technology available at the time. I loved the idea of the song, but it started becoming a mental block on how to update it. So I decided to start from scratch, clearing the music and the lyrics and only keeping the title. 

I was thinking about how Second Life allows so many people to connect and live a life they can’t always live in the physical world. It allows us to embrace people, dance with people, and fall in love with people. That inspired me to write a new song reflecting how we can fall in love and even meet our future partners from Second Life. Some people in Second Life suffer from an illness that impairs their ability to get out of their homes or live as others do. One person told me recently that Second Life “gives her a working body, a home to enjoy and a job she can do, which she cannot do in Real Life” which meant so much to me.

So in April 2022, I wrote the new version of “Digital Love”. I hope the lyrics resonate with most of the Residents of Second Life. I used a “Vocoder” sound in the chorus to give it that digital feel and have been receiving so many messages saying how they love the tune and how it sounds like an “anthem” of Second Life.

After performing it in Second Life a few times and getting such positive feedback, I decided to take a big step in signing up with a Music Distribution site to release “Digital Love” as my first publicly available song. You can download or stream it from most Music Sites, including iTunes, Spotify, Amazon music, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, etc. I’ve also created merchandise that features the two robots from the artwork of the song, which is also available through my website – neverendingfire.com.

Where can people follow you to know more about your next live shows and releases? Please share links to your sites, calendars, and social media accounts.

Second Life Spotlight - Andee Tophat.jpgIn Second Life you can visit NEF Live on the Blue Island region. When you arrive at NEF Live you’ll see a large calendar that shows events occurring at the venue as well as a smaller calendar showing a list of venues where I am performing at. You can also visit my little shop which has a subscriber and free gifts, as well as a bookcase containing notecards that have all the lyrics to my songs.

You can join the Never Ending Fire inworld group to follow my performances in Second Life.

You can also join the NEF Live venue inworld group, to get an update on what artists are performing and when. 

Outside of Second Life you can still follow my music and find out where I’m performing. All this information is available on my website: neverendingfire.com

On the website are links to my music on my Soundcloud account, as well as a live calendar showing where I’m performing. There is also a tab for merchandise where you can get t-shirts or mugs with various Never Ending Fire designs.

I have a Linktree Account which has all of my links in it.

In conclusion, I would like to thank Linden Lab for providing such an amazing social platform.  It’s allowed me and others the ability to connect with people all around the world from the comfort of their homes and share common interests.  It’s a unique platform that continues to grow by the power of its users and allows people to showcase their creative abilities in all avenues. 

I’d also like to thank those that have followed and enjoyed my music so far. It’s inspired me to continue sharing my songs for others to enjoy and even if just one song touches your heart and stirs your soul then I feel warmed to have been honoured to do that.

And lastly, to my fellow performers, whether new or established artists, I encourage you to continue following your dream and bringing your gift to the world. People that are at your venue have chosen to be there over everything else they could be doing with their time. Spending an hour or two listening to your music might connect with somebody that cannot physically get out of their home to a real live show. So make sure you enjoy your time with them and make it count. I look forward to seeing and meeting you inworld some time!


Thank you, Andee, for sharing so much of your talent and passion for music with the Second Life community!

Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup 

Linden Lab

Today we are shining a spotlight on Caligula Aquila, a talented Resident that has been creating content in Second Life for 15 years, and just in time for the holidays, he’s released a new machinima series!


How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I have been in Second Life since 2008. It all started when I was on a business trip, and while watching the news in my hotel room, they mentioned in their highlights, a real estate lady who made the highest revenue in Second Life. When I traveled back to my office, out of curiosity I typed “secondlife.com”. That day, I didn’t realize that it was a beginning of a new era in my life.

You have been creating content in Second Life for many years, do you have a background in fashion or 3D creation?
Not at all, I worked for many international companies, and I used to travel all around the globe to open new properties. A year before entering Second Life, I participated in a graphic design competition, organized by a well-known international tv station. I won the first prize, and it was a hint that my passion is somewhere else.

Can you tell us more about the various brands you have in Second Life?
I have five brands in Second Life: 

  1. CA WEAR carries men's casuals, smart chic, and street fashion styles.
  2. CHIC carries women’s fashions.
  3. HATSWORLD carries a wide range of hats, caps, headdresses, helmets, and more.
  4. AZALEA is a premium furniture store.
  5. CALIGULA is our oldest brand, specializing in uniforms.

You also have an interest in machinima, when did you start creating videos in Second Life? 
I made machinima in my early days in Second Life. Back then we used to use Fraps to capture our scenes. Unfortunately, it was only a tiny experience before I started focusing on retail for the next 15 years. Until this last October, when we filmed Scrooge – A Second Life Christmas Carol, as a tribute to Second Life in its 20th Anniversary year, and it was a great comeback!

You have now started AVTV, can you tell us more about that and your future plans?
AVTV is our newest project with a unique new concept of delivering a quality, realistic, and decent image to all our viewers in Second Life or even outside the grid. Besides AVTV’s newscast and the special reports, we will be presenting many programs and interesting shows, like “Garry inSL Show”, “Live the Adventure”, “Fashionista” and many more. Our aim is to reach a wide audience in SL, highlight Residents' success stories, talk about new SL trends, recommend quality products and great offers in the market, visit popular events, and many more SL activities.

How has Second Life impacted your life?
I strongly believe that SL changes RL. And this is my case on a personal level.

I don't know if the fathers of Second Life predicted back in 2003 the positive impact of their motivational project on thousands of people. How many times have we seen RL disabled people running and flying in SL? How many times have we seen RL veterans proudly wearing again their uniform in SL? How many times have we seen couples who met in SL and got married in RL? And there are plenty of similar great stories.

Where can people follow you to know more about your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.
Our inworld Stores are located on the “Shores of Joy” region and on the Marketplace.
Regarding AVTV, I encourage every SL resident to subscribe to our channel!
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@AVTVinSL 
Facebook: Avtv Insl

We hope you enjoyed learning more about Caligula and his exciting new project! 
Watch his new six-part machinima series on the AVTV channel this holiday season.


The rest of the three episodes will be released over the next few days before Christmas!

Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup

Linden Lab

Second Life Spotlight - Prophet


This week we are shining a spotlight on Prophet (Nightmare Rain) a creative blogger that adds a slice of life narrative to his virtual photography.

Prophet - 5 - insta.jpg

How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?

I discovered Second Life through Twitch about 10 years ago, which got me interested in roleplay at first. 

Prophet - 1 - socials.jpg

How did you get into Second Life blogging, and what kind of content do you like to showcase?

I got into blogging once I delved further into the Secondlife community and discovered Flickr. I learned how to do in-world photography and later on, was taught how to photo edit. I developed my own style and learned how to express my creativity through blogging. I tend to lean on the slice-of-life type of pictures, however, I still do throw in some fantasy in the mix now and then.

Prophet - 6.jpg

When taking photos in Second Life, what is your process for creating a narrative/story in the picture?

Life itself is inspiring- one can choose to see beauty in everything and I think we tend to be blind to it because I feel that it is easy to take for granted when we’re comfortable. I like recreating scenarios that most people find themselves in on the daily and showcasing it on my blog using the items made by talented creators in order to depict and illustrate the common, but in such a way that people actually take notice and pause to appreciate them. I also utilize Windlight a lot- Light, shadow, contrast and color create mood and visual weight.

Prophet -2.jpg

Visual art is such an effective way of expanding ideas about diverse representation and you do that so well with the use of avatar components and tools in Second Life. What inspires your avatar’s styles?

My styles are usually inspired by everyday looks varying from casual to formal- Simple but refined pieces- I let the clothing and accessories speak for themselves as it’s usually what I’m blogging although when I have free time I do take pictures for fun and so with those I tend to focus on what I want to wear rather than what I’ve been sponsored to wear.

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Tell us about some of the other Second Life Residents that have inspired you, or whose work you admire.

I admire my mentor, business partner, and good friend Mia (Counterfeitmint Resident) as well as:
Anika Cluny
Quincy Robin  
Alexa Maravilla  
Digi Pera

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Where can people see your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.


Prophet - 9.jpg

We hope you enjoyed learning more about Prophet and find his vibrant and diverse images as inspiring as we do. 

Each of our Spotlight posts will feature a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup.

Linden Lab

This week we are shining a spotlight on Second Pride, a destination that is celebrating 15 years of service to the LGBTQ+ community in Second Life. Learn more from their chairman, Lee McKay.

Second Life Spotlight - Second Pride.jpg
Lee McKay - speech at the 2022 Second Pride opening ceremony - Photo by Jason Roach

How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
As of July 11, it will be 16 years for me. I barely remember, but I think it was around the time that Second Life was "hot" in the media and even popped up on a couple of tv shows. I was hooked right away. I took some months-long breaks over the years, but for the last 5-6 years have been here steadily.

Second Pride 2022.png

You are the Chairman of Second Pride, can you tell us more about the history of Second Pride, how it came to fruition, and what can people expect when visiting the destination?
I wish I had more information about the history than I do. I know we are in our 15th year, but the Board of Second Pride has changed many times over the years. I'm not sure who the original members were, but we certainly appreciate the foundation they laid. The leadership is now more continuous, and this has allowed for more growth and stability over the last few years, including official sponsorship from Second Life, which we are so grateful for!

Patch Linden.jpg
Photo by Patch Linden

Second Pride is also a Community Gateway, what kind of support does it offer Second Life Residents?
You can, of course, create your Second Life account right from our website and arrive in our Gateway on day one. We have one of the more detailed and in-depth tutorials that I have seen, created by a school teacher, with interactive stations for learning various skills. We will also soon be implementing a method for a new user to be able to call a Second Pride Ambassador with questions. This should be available in the next couple of months.

Tomais Ashdene.jpg
Photo by Tomais Ashdene

June is Pride month and in Second Life many members of the LGBTQ+ community find this to be a safe space to express themselves and feel empowered. What kind of celebratory activities does Second Pride have planned for this month?
Second Pride holds an annual event in June to celebrate Pride, with 10 days of activities, including DJs, live singers, stage performances, etc. across multiple venues. We also have a wide selection of vendors set up with stores, gifts, and more. The two regions, Second Pride East and Second Pride West are set up as a large city, including a beach boardwalk with amusement rides, games, and more. We usually select two "first life" organizations to raise funds for. This year they are ILGA-Europe and Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS. Then after June, we switch focus to another organization or two until the next June. We want everyone to know that Second Pride doesn't go away after June. We have three other major events, Glitter & Gore for Halloween, Holidaze in December, and Mardi Gras. These are all multi-day events. We also have some smaller events over the year. Our regions are here every day, all year long for people to come and enjoy.

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Photo by Evie I. Ravens

Aside from Second Pride, what other projects are you working on in Second Life?
I manage a men's resort and club called Steamworkz, part of the Boystown community. I also help with the management of the rental land and homes there. I've been involved at Boystown for many years before working there. It's where I call home.

Scarlett Amethyst.jpg
Photo by Scarlett Amethyst

Tell us about some of the other Residents in Second Life that inspire you and whose work you admire.
Adham DeCuir, who created Boystown in 2007, is a good friend and an amazing graphic creator, community designer, and landscaper. None of those terms really cover what he's capable of. If I need something for Second Pride, he's always able to whip up a stunning venue or whatever we need in nearly no time. He created our replica of the historic Stonewall Inn, and our current main stage area.
Tomais Ashdene, a fantastic photographer and landscaper, and another good friend. He did the majority of the work on the park at Second Pride.
Grant Valeska, an amazing designer and performer that created the Lady Gaga concert for Second Pride last year, and the Britney Spears "Stronger - A Live Experience" for this year. Watching Grant create is truly watching a master at work!
There are many others, and I feel guilty for not listing them all here!

Where can Residents learn more about Second Pride? Please share links to any sites and social media accounts.


Watch this Second Pride video from 2019 on the Second Life YouTube Channel 

We hope you enjoyed learning more about Second Pride and their mission is to serve, support, and empower the diverse LGBTQ+ communities of Second Life!

Each of these weekly Spotlight posts will feature a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup.

Linden Lab

This week we are shining a spotlight on Sam King-Slain (Dropyour.Knickers), a skilled singer, songwriter, and musician who credits Second Life for assisting his journey in self-discovery. Watch him play live at SL19B later this month!

Front Cover For SL Spotlight.png

How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?

I'm 11 years old in Second Life which makes me about 250 in SLife experience. I heard about it after me and one of my childhood friends were playing the Sims. I think we googled 'virtual world' and it was the first one that popped up.

Sam King - SL Spolight 3.png

You are an award-winning musician with quite the talent for songwriting. Second Life and the humorous and perhaps frustrating situations you encounter in this virtual world are the main topic of your songs. Tell us more about your music career and how it all began.

I've always been into writing songs, raps and poetry so it wasn't totally out of character for me. But roughly 5 years ago, myself and a few close friends were hanging inworld at a recording studio and it just struck me how funny it would be to write something about Second Life. I remember saying brb and 20 minutes later I jumped on mic like 'I gotta show you guys what I've done!' 

That was the day I wrote my first song 'TP Me' and the chorus was literally 'tp me, tp me, I've got a platform in the sky' and everyone had it stuck in their heads for weeks! I think we all knew we were onto something and I just knew I could write more so I went away and wrote 'Relog', 'Crosshairs' and 'Prim Love' and with each song just came more laughter and enjoyment. It was those guys that said 'Sam we have to do a concert' and that was when we set up a little warehouse skybox and threw our first show - I felt like a true Second Life Popstar, with my name in lights and it was a hit! 

My friends had made merch and set the stage up and we felt like we had really injected the fun back into Second Life. It ended up with us having a full sim with a Record Label Office and a venue and we started going around inworld to all our favourite spots asking if I could do a show. It was hard to get people to buy into the vision but I knew all I had to do was convince them to listen to one song and they got it.

Sam King - SL Spotlight 2.jpg

Do you play any musical instruments and how do you compose the music for your songs?

I have played the guitar and saxophone from a young age in real life. My song writing process is usually quite simple. I'll feel inspired, go away, and find a beat or play a tune on the guitar and then record and write simultaneously until it's done. It's very rare that I'll step away and come back to a song. If I feel it then, I just have to write something in that exact moment and I have to finish it then and there.

SL Pride - Sam Performing - SL Spotlight.jpg

What genre would you say your music falls in, and who are some of the musicians that have influenced your style?

I would say my genre is varied, like my music taste. Sometimes I rap, sometimes I'll do an acoustic song or something on the piano, and sometimes I'll do something people can dance to. Overall for Second Life, I like to keep my music light hearted, fun and relatable. Some musicians I look up to are J Cole - a lyrical genius, Drake, Bon Iver, Beyonce, Juice WRLD & Lil Peep. I'd say my acoustic music is heavily influenced by Ed Sheeran - gotta keep it in the UK!


One of your songs reveals how Second Life assisted in your journey of self-discovery. Can you share in what ways SL has impacted your life?

Second Life has saved my life in a lot of ways. I'm from a conservative quiet town on the South Coast of England and being myself was pretty much out of the question as a kid. I struggled with my gender identity and Second Life gave me a means to explore that. I met the love of my life (we're back together now 10 years on!) and that taught me things about my sexuality. It's funny because in a game where you can be literally anyone - it has given me confidence to be my true self. I have met so many wonderful people from all different walks of life and it has inspired an abundance of self reflection and growth. I'm proud of my gratitude towards Second Life and I never shy away to say how much I appreciate the game - it really is whatever you want it to be. To some it's just a game but to me it's the place I've expressed my most authentic creativity and made genuine, life long connections and friendships.

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June is Pride month and in Second Life many members of the LGBTQ+ community find this to be a safe space to express themselves and feel empowered. You have been very active in Second Life raising awareness in the past, can you share more about that and if there are any activities or events that you’ll be taking part in during this coming month?

Last year I wrote a song "SL Pride" which sort of depicts why pride is so important to me and how Second Life has helped me along the way. I won't go into much more detail than I did above because I'm much better at singing out my words than speaking them. 

Last year I did two big Pride performances - Burrow & Co for SL Pride and Pride at Home run by Tink Hax. Both events were hugely successful and we raised a load of lindens for various LGBT charities with a variety of really talented people. This year I'm booked for two Pride shows so far - Pride at Home and one at a fairly new venue called Eleventh House.


Tell us about some of the other Residents in Second Life that inspire you and whose work you admire.

Someone who believed in me at the start of my SL music journey when no one did is DJ Gracie (Gracie Barbosa). Not only is she one of the most talented DJ's on the grid, has come to every show of mine and performed along side me, she has also created The Little Tokyo Rooftop which is home to the Dream Team - a collaborative of creative artists who bring love and good vibes to the grid. Gracie is very humble about what she has created on SL, but the sim is free for all and she is always making rl donations and sending out school supplies to kids in Africa. Lil Tokyo Rooftop does a Bumpin' Brunch event every Sunday and I'd really recommend dropping down! Check out Lil Tokyo Rooftop's Facebook page

Another collaborative that really deserve recognition is WWBH: We Will Be Heard - Founded by Daisatella Slain, Bars Simpson, November Justice, Pinky Banks, Roshambo Dench. It's hard to put into words what these ladies have achieved in the last couple of years. It started in 2020 with their Black Lives Awareness Event, it was so successful and raised somewhere to a million plus lindens for charity. These guys do a whole month of events, rl speakers, parties, art exhibitions, open mics, museums and raise as much as possible for the chosen cause. Last year was WWBH: Girl Power - Bars Simpson put together one of the most jaw dropping interactive inworld museum experiences I have ever seen - our whole community was involved and it showcased beautifully the issues surrounding women's rights. I was honoured to perform in the closing show. Their next project will be for Mental Health and I am so excited because this bunch pull it out the bag every single time, truly it blows me away and I'd love them to get some coverage for their next one -  I think it's something Second Life would be extremely proud of. You can still check out their first Black Lives Awareness website and the LinkTree to last year's Girl Power where you can find their IG/FB and more.

I know I've talked for ages but I just have to give Tinkers a shout out! Tink Hax has done absolute wonders this year. He's always raising loads of awareness to various LGBT charities, creates a beautifully colourful Pride sim for people to explore at Pride at Home and runs the Pride shop&hop. Tink created Love to Ukraine and I've never seen someone raise so much money in such a short timescale. They raised L$6209987 which ended up being £17,500 - an incredible amount of money which I'm sure helped so many people in such a crisis. What a guy! Check out the Pride at Home Facebook page.

lonely (afk)

Where can people see you perform or hear more of your music? Please share links to your sites, social media accounts, and destinations you regularly perform at.

Inworld: Dropyour Knickers
Facebook: Sam Elliot King  
Soundcloud: Sam Super-Villin 
Flickr: SAM KING (slim) 

I'll be performing at Pride at Home at the end of this month, Saturday 25th June 6pm SLT. I have a good feeling about this one, hopefully see you all there!

Also just want to say although I've mainly stopped doing small occasions/parties, I'm always down for a good cause so I will happily come perform at your event if it's going to charity! 

And Linden Lab, if you ever want me to jump up on stage at one of your big Second Life events, just say the word and I promise I'll keep it PG!

Well Sam, we heard you! Watch Sam perform live at SL19B later this month!

Sam has graciously recorded a PG version of his song, Relog, for us. Watch the music video on our YouTube channel.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about Sam’s many talents and enjoy his music as much as we do. We'll see you at SL19B listening to his live performance!

Each of these weekly Spotlight posts will feature a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup.

Linden Lab

This week we are shining a spotlight on Damian Zhaoying, a Second Life veteran that brings a wealth of community building experience and translation services to our virtual world. He also runs the popular Spanish Community Gateway, Ayuda Virtual.

Damian also supplied the questions and answers in Spanish for our Spanish community members. Please keep scrolling for Spanish!


How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?

Since December 2006, a little more than 15 years ago. In the middle of 2006 a relative asked me to help her improve her PC with a graphics card and, after doing so, she showed me what the improvement was for. It was SL, she showed me the world, what could be done, and the possibilities to create and socialize. I made an account, but I didn't understand how to
handle it and then I lost it. In December I wanted to try again and, already with this account, I ended up fascinated by everything that can be done and achieved here.


Can you share more information about your Second Life Community Gateway region, Ayuda Virtual, and what kind of support the destination offers Second Life Residents.

Ayuda Virtual is a Spanish-speaking community that is part of the Community Gateway project and we want to help new users take their first steps in Second Life and show them everything they can do in this world. We also want them to feel comfortable in our community, feel they belong to it, have a place to be, talk, meet, socialize, share, learn and teach. In addition, we believe that Second Life is an important platform to spread the different cultural expressions of our users - musicians, painters, poets, and more. We have exhibitions and talks on topics that are of interest to the community. Our teachers teach users different disciplines, such as construction, blender, scripts, English, role play, avatar appearance, and anything that is useful for them.


Have you dabbled in content creation in Second Life?

I have created small, simple, and not so simple things, usually for personal pleasure or to be used in our Ayuda Virtual community, mainly working with scripts.


You do Spanish translations for the Singularity and Firestorm viewers, are translation services something you offer to everyone?

I offer my translation services from English to Spanish to anyone who needs it. In addition, I also offer it to Creators (often free of charge), mainly so that users in the Spanish-speaking community can have products in their own language.


Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.

I admire several, especially when it comes to communicating news to the Second Life community. Since I have my own news blog in Spanish, my references in this area are Inara Pey and Nalates Urriah. On the other hand, I admire my co-owner of Ayuda Virtual, Córdoba Cluny, for her ability to work and organize, which allows our community to grow and develop.


Where can people see more of your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.

Personal Blog  
Personal Twitter  
Ayuda Virtual Blog  
Ayuda Virtual Twitter  
Ayuda Virtual Youtube  

Watch this promotional video about the Ayuda Virtual community:

We hope you enjoyed learning more about Damian and his quest to educate and provide a safe space for the Spanish speaking community.

Each of these weekly Spotlight posts will feature a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup. 


Spanish translation provided by Damian Zhaoying:

¿Cuánto tiempo llevas en Second Life y cómo te enteraste por primera vez?
Poco mas de 15 años, desde diciembre de 2006. A mediados de 2006 un
familiar me pide le ayude a mejorar su PC con una tarjeta gráfica y,
luego de hacerlo, me muestra para que era la mejora. Era SL, me muestra
el mundo, que se podía hacer y las posibilidades para crear y
socializar. Hice una cuenta, pero no entendí como manejarme y luego la
perdí, en diciembre quise volver a intentarlo y, ya con esta cuenta,
terminé fascinado por todo lo que aquí se puede hacer y lograr.

¿Puede compartir más información sobre su región de Community
Gateway, Ayuda Virtual y qué tipo de apoyo ofrece el destino a los
residentes de Second Life?

Ayuda Virtual es una comunidad de habla hispana integrante del proyecto
Comunnity Gateway y buscamos ayudar a los usuarios nuevos a dar sus
primeros pasos en Second Life, mostrarles todo lo que pueden hacer en
este mundo. También queremos que se sientan cómodos en nuestra
comunidad, la sientan propia, tengan un lugar donde estar, conversar,
conocer, socializar y compartir, aprender y enseñar.
Además, creemos que Second Life es una plataforma importante para
difundir las distintas expresiones culturas de nuestros usuarios.
Músicos, pintores, poetas. Tenemos exposiciones y charlas sobre temas
que son de interés para la comunidad. Nuestros profesores enseñan a los
usuarios distintas disciplinas, como ser construcción, blender, scripts,
inglés, role play, apariencia del avatar y todo aquello que sea de
utilidad para los usuarios de nuestra comunidad.

También tienes un negocio en Second Life, cuéntanos más sobre él y
cómo llegaste a la creación de contenido.

No realmente, no tengo negocio aunque muchas veces he pensado en
tenerlo. He creado cosas pequeñas, simples y no tan simples, normalmente
lo hago por gusto personal o para ser utilizado en nuestra comunidad
Ayuda Virtual, principalmente trabajando con scritps.

Haces traducciones al español para los espectadores de Singularity y
Firestorm, ¿los servicios de traducción son algo que ofreces a todo el

Ofrezco mis servicios de traducción del inglés al español a todo aquel
que lo necesite. Además, suelo ofrecerlo a creadores (muchas veces, sin
cargo), principalmente para que los usuarios de la comunidad de habla
hispana puedan tener productos en su propio idioma.

Cuéntanos sobre algunos de los otros Residentes en SL que te inspiran
y cuyo trabajo admiras.

Realmente no tengo algún usuario relevante que me inspire, aunque admiro
a varios, especialmente en lo que es comunicar novedades a la comunicad
de Second Life. Como tengo mi propio blog de noticias en español, mis
referentes en ese ámbito son Inara Pey and Nalates Urriah. Por otro
lado, admiro a mi copropietaria de Ayuda Virtual, cordoba Cluny, por su
capacidad de trabajo y organización que permite que nuestra comunidad
crezca y se desarrolle.

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