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Linden Lab

 

A massive fire recently swept through the world-famous Notre Dame Cathedral and many community members are showing their support by paying tribute to this magnificent and historically-rich building by visiting a detailed 3D inworld replica in Second Life.

As recently blogged about in New World Notes, Second Life Residents have been spontaneously appearing at the virtual version of Notre Dame to connect with others who share their sorrow over the damage done by the April 15 fire.

As the world looks forward to restoring and repairing this beautiful landmark, this week’s Destinations video celebrates the Notre Dame Cathedral in its full past and future glory. If you would like to donate to helping restore Notre Dame, you can donate directly through the Friends of Notre Dame page.

Visit Notre Dame in Second Life


Thanks to Draxtor Despres for this special video production.

Linden Lab

This week, we shine a spotlight on the many virtual horse communities in Second Life. With the recent introduction of Water Horse’s Animesh rideable horse, there is renewed interest in equestrian experiences across the Grid.

For example, Inara Pey recently blogged with an in-depth look at the new Water Horse animesh release (featured in the latest video above) while other virtual popular horse offerings include Amaretto Breedables and Awesome Breed Creations.

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Pictured: Templeton Cove Riding & Hiking Trails

Horse lovers need places to saddle up and ride...and there’s no shortage of destinations that cater to horse enthusiasts including Templeton Cove Riding & Hiking Trails, AKK Horse Ranch and Champion Horse Racing. Check out the Pets & Animals category in the Destination Guide for even more options.

Do you have a favorite equestrian-themed spot that we’ve missed? Share your recommendations with the community in our Favorite Destinations forum and we’ll review for consideration to add to the Destination Guide.  

Horse alone.png

Xiola Linden

With the announcement of a new “Bill and Ted” movie in the works, you might find yourself wondering what it would be like to travel back in time, and have all of history at your fingertips. Where would you go? What time-frame would you want to see up close? If one of your choices happens to be New York in the 1920s  - the 1940s, then you’re in luck! You don’t have to cram into a phone booth to get there!

Put on your very best era-appropriate outfit (think Guys and Dolls, The Great Gatsby, The Aviator, or Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries) and step through the Time Portal and into New York in the 1920 - 1940s.

This week’s Destination video takes a jazzy glimpse into the steaming streets and humming hustle of New York during one of it’s most interesting times. Sip a daring drink the speakeasy, cut some rug at the Cocoanut Grove, and experience life outside our current timeline, as you travel back to the noir time of an era gone by!

 

Ready to romp? Grab your dame or Joe, and visit history today.

Xiola Linden

Brendan and Morgue countryside.JPG

Pictured: Morgue and Brendan

Was it Madonna who once sang that music makes the people come together? Well, in the case of Morgue and Brendan, it was music and Second Life that crossed their paths! Having met in Second Life in spring 2011, the two quickly made plans to bring their offline lives together by the following summer. (Watch their airport “meet-cute” recreated in Second Life in the video!)

Morgue was involved with the poetry scene, and Brendan was playing live music across the Grid - so it was fate that the two should come together. Their initial spark began when a poem that Morgue had written caught the attention of Brendan’s music manager, who knew these two could make beautiful music together.

Morgue and Brendan.png

“[Second Life] is a way for us to do our art,” says Morgue.

“[It] has never been a pretend thing,” adds Brendan.

To learn more about Morgue and Brendan’s story, watch the latest episode of “Love Made in SL” below.

 

Did you miss an episode of “Love Made in SL”? Catch up on the entire series on our YouTube channel.

Love Made in SL.jpg

Credits:
Video production: Draxtor Despres
Love made in SL logo: Marianne McCann

Linden Lab
What’s that? Residents can auction their parcels? Wow!

Last July we shared the news that Auctions had received a makeover.  Today we are pleased to announce the launch of Resident to Resident Auctions!  If you own parcels on the Mainland (not group land), you are now able to put them up for auction via your parcels’ Place Page.  
You can set the parameters of your auction: start and end times, minimum bid, and the bid increment. If the auction attracts bidders, at the end time the winner gets the land automatically and the winning bid amount less the Auction Commission fee (15%) is automatically transferred to your balance.  
Want to know more? We’ve created an Auctions Walkthrough to help.  It will answer common questions and provide a detailed breakdown of how auctions work and what happens during the different stages of bidding.  

Going once… going twice… SOLD!
Linden Lab
Role-playing is one of the many ways in which Residents choose to spend their time in Second Life. From supernatural fairy tales to gothic vampires and medieval battles, there are long-standing communities and Regions built around elaborate and rich lores. It is possible to visit any of our over 200 Role-playing communities and find your niche.
“You’re not just there as a bystander … you’re creating worlds.” says Stark Osterham in the video below. 
This week’s Destinations video takes a glimpse into InSilico, which is one of the longest running role-playing communities in Second Life.
InSilico is an immersive,  futuristic, cyberpunk world full of interesting characters who operate beneath a dark, foreboding skyline and airships. InSilico is a painstakingly detailed space that you will want to explore, photograph, and you may just find yourself swept into the story as a participating citizen.


Ready to face the future? Put on your best futuristic ensemble and enter InSilico.
InSilico
The future is leaking backward in the form of InSilico, a high-end cyberpunk role playing sim in Second Life.
Visit in Second Life CREDITS: Video Production: Draxtor Despres
Linden Lab
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your friends at one of the many Irish-themed pubs and events inworld this weekend.

Start your journey by grabbing a pint at the legendary Irish pub The Blarney Stone - a Second Life institution that has been around in the Dublin Region for well over a decade. Check out this week’s Second Life Destinations video for a quick peek at one of Second Life’s oldest hangout spots below.

Video production: Draxtor Despres
You can also explore London City’s Irish Festival, a month-long event filled with Irish-themed events, music and attractions.  Sláinte!
London City Irish Festival
London City celebrates all things Irish. The biggest party event of the year so far, with a season of special concerts around the theme of St. Patrick's Day. Live DJ's and bands, collectible memorabilia and of course, the Green Beer Garden! This event runs through March. For details of acts and bands, see mainlandlondon.blogspot.co.uk
Visit in Second Life The festivities continue with parties aplenty at St. Patrick’s Day Town, a limited-time location that is filled with everything Irish. Will you find the bars of gold hidden in the cave mines?
 
2019 St. Patrick's Day Town
The all out festive atmosphere of St. Patrick's Day Town will blow through your senses like a virtual Irish breeze. Ride on flying gold coins, drive through cave mines to find bars of gold with prizes, and fill your basket with any and everything Irish. The most colorful party is waiting for you so follow the rainbow to St. Patrick's Day Town.
Visit in Second Life
Linden Lab
Second Life Destinations is a new weekly video travelogue series that highlights some of the incredible experiences and events created by Residents within the virtual world of Second Life.

In this series, we’ll highlight different places focusing in on the beauty and imaginative possibilities in no more than 60-90 seconds so that you can get a quick peek at the creations and communities inside each virtual space. At times we may even speak to creators of theses spaces so they can shed some light on what inspired them. Look for each new episode on our blog and social media channels, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
This week, we explore Bay City’s popular self-proclaimed “beatnik hang-out space” The Pen. Here you can grab an espresso and join the community for conversation, book readings and good times! The venue also hosts “Espresso Yourself,” an open mic night held on the first Tuesday of the month from 6-8 p.m. (Pacific).
Footage for this week’s Destinations video was taken at a recent 13th “rez day” celebration event for SL long-time Resident Marianne McCann. The live performance showcased in the video is none other than Grace McDunnough, who has performed in Second Life since 2006. You can catch a schedule of her upcoming performances on her official website.
Check out Grace in action and discover The Pen in this week’s video!
 


For more information about The Pen, visit its official website.
Special thanks to Draxtor Despres for production on this video.
 
Linden Lab
Earlier this month, we debuted the first episode of “Love Made in SL” - a new limited-run mini-series that showcases some of the many real stories of romance found within the virtual communities of Second Life.
We’re heartened by the positive responses to the series debut, which was shared widely across the Internet after premiering on our YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds. Several couples even shared how they met in SL and, in many cases, they’ve posted wedding and baby photos from both in and outside Second Life to share with the world.
This week, the love stories continue! Meet Lily and Charles, a couple that first met in Second Life back in 2007.
“[Second Life] is an extension of my real life,“ says Charles. “It’s not something I play.”
Upon meeting Charles in the welcome area of Second Life, Lily says that “we stumbled through things together...The honesty of both of us made the foundation for the relationship.”
Charles adds, “If you get to know someone over several months just typing for hours then, in the end, the personality is becoming really clear.”

 

Shortly after finding love in Second Life, Charles moved from Germany to be with Lily in the U.K. To further seal the deal, he even got a heart tattoo that features both of their early Second Life avatars!
To learn more about their story, watch episode 2 of “Love Made in SL” below.

Thanks to Draxtor Despres for production on “Love Made in SL” and Marianne McCann for the logo.
Linden Lab
THE ISLE OF VIEW RETURNS


What the world needs now is love, sweet love! In these complex times, a little more love in our hearts and minds is as precious as ever. Love is kind, and love is complicated—but when it’s true, you want to pay it homage through poems, prose, songs, and all forms of art. Celebrate it with flowers, fireworks, and fantastic moments spent basking in the warm glow of all those good time vibes. Love always trumps hate, so let’s enjoy a big dose of that sweet amore that powers the world.
Isle of View has returned with its forested walks, love nooks, and romantic swan boat rides. Love is in the air, and pink sunbeams are the perfect spot to profess your true feels to your belle or beau. Enjoy a scenic glide across the pink and purple waters, the twinkling rain of fireworks (and not just the kind you expect when you sneak that first kiss!), or stroll through the twining paths to hugging booths for picture-perfect moments. Be sure to share you valentine pics to our Official Flickr pool.
You’ll also notice the return of some gifting kiosks. This is a way to let your friends and loved ones know that you’re thinking of them by sending them a special Valentine’s Day gift. Candy hearts, bears, and roses are all available for you to have delivered directly to your good friends. Just visit a gift kiosk, click, and follow the directions. It’s the thought that counts, and thoughts are free—so the kiosks are free to use as well!
Everyone appreciates a little acknowledgment that you’re thinking of them, so send someone special a valentine!
With music, festivities, and love in the air—solo or soulmates—The Isle of View is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.
HUG AND DUNK A LINDEN
Roses are red,
Violets are blue
It’s time to hug and dunk some Lindens
At the Isle of View
On Thursday, February 14th from 10am-12pm, drop by the Isle of View for a chance to hug and/or dunk some Lindens. Bring your friends, family, your main squeeze, even bring the kids! It’s bound to be a ton of fun—and really how often do you get a chance to cozy up to a Linden, or dunk them into a tank of freezing cold water? Do NOT miss this opportunity: it only comes about once a year!
Dunk-A-Linden & Hug-A-Linden Event
Party with us at the Isle of View on February 14th from 10 a.m. to Noon (Pacific). Meet your Valentine, enjoy music, and don’t miss the Dunk-a-Linden and Hug-a-Linden booths!
Visit in Second Life
Linden Lab
Some Residents have noticed that we’ve added a new group of classic, system  “starter avatars” to the mix this week - a more mature couple in formal apparel, a groovy guy and gal, a pair of grunged-out music lovers, and some well accessorized, fashion-forward folks (because there is no better addition to any outfit than a pet!). While the last few batches of new starters have focused on Fantasy themes, this round we wanted to add some updated humanoid styles for new Residents to select from. Each avatar has been created utilizing some of the latest features in Second Life such as Bento - and have also been created with a focus on optimization to keep the avatar complexity below 30,000 (with most coming in around 10,000- 20,000).

 

While these avatars are intended to be just the starting point for new Residents of Second Life to get to exploring quickly, everyone is welcome to take them for a spin around the Grid via the Avatar Picker inside the viewer.
Resident Windywinters started a thread on the forums already - feel free to share your thoughts there - and let us know what else you’d like to see in the starter avatar selections.
There will be more avatars in the future - some new themes and styles - so stay tuned!

Linden Lab
It’s been over a year since we last gave an update to the community about Second Life’s sister social VR platform Sansar, so we’re excited to share a bit of new information including some fun news about an exclusive event happening this weekend. 
In the past year, Sansar has evolved from its early Creator Beta roots to a more robust virtual world platform that now includes custom avatars, tons of new interactivity, and thousands of user-created virtual experiences including some exclusive spaces dedicated to fans of eSports, Star Wars and Star Trek. There’s even an official Smithsonian exhibit showcasing the art of Burning Man.
If you haven’t given Sansar a try yet (or want to give it a second look), now is a great time to check it out on VR and PC at Sansar.com or on Steam! 
If you like stand-up comedy, then join us THIS SATURDAY, 1/26 @ 1 PM PST, for a virtual comedy show in Sansar headlined by Michael Ian Black (The State, Stella, Wet Hot American Summer) and Andy Kindler (Late Show with David Letterman, Everybody Loves Raymond, Bob's Burgers), with support from comedian and filmmaker Emily Catalano. Please note: Sansar is free to play but this specific event uses Sansar’s new ticketing system that helps creators monetize their experiences. So, admission for this exclusive live event is $4.99. Learn more at https://www.sansar.com/sketchfest.

Linden Lab
Come one - come all to the Snowball Arena for a friendly ice battle of epic proportions! This Snowball Showdown means you're free to pelt your fellow Second Life Residents and Lindens with a bevy of sparkling snowballs! But the Lindens and your fellow Residents get to return fire with their own avalanche of snow-arsenal.
The battle commences tomorrow - Friday December 21st from 11 am to 1 pm SLT. Spots are limited, so be sure to get there early to grab your snow launching weaponry from the vendors around the arena. 

Mark your calendars, assemble your dream squad, and be there!
Snowball Fight
Get in the winter spirit for the most epic snowball fight in Second Life. Come with a group of friends and meet new people - either way, you're sure to have a blast as you toss snowballs at other Residents and even Lindens! Event held Dec. 21 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Pacific).
Visit in Second Life  
Linden Lab
HINT: It begins with a Z and ends with a T, a cute little cabin and a wintery tree. Located at the center of a frozen lake, the prize can be yours if you find it to take! http://bit.ly/2QCTWkg
Grab the gift before it's gone! This is the final gift of this hunt - so don't miss out!
How to get started - if you have not already:
Grab your HUD from Winter Wonderland.
Equip your HUD from your inventory, by finding it, right-clicking it and selecting “ADD”
Find and collect your gift!
Happy Hunting!

Linden Lab
When it’s cold outside, nothing sounds better than a warm spot on the couch next to a roaring fire, a cup of hot cocoa, and a little getaway time in a cozy alpine cabin.

This winter season, Premium Second Life members can relax in their very own winter vacation home by stopping by the Premium Gift Kiosks and grabbing their free Premium gift.
This charming home-away-from-home features a scripted door for added security, extra textures for the exterior, and other features. If you’ve been collecting the weekly Swaginator gifts, you’ll find this cabin in the perfect place to decorate with those gifts or give it your own personal flair with your unique decorative eye.
If you’re a Premium Resident already, don’t hesitate, and log on now to grab your gift!
Not yet a Premium member? Upgrade to Premium* and grab your cabin today!



Xiola Linden
Just two weeks ago, rain clung like jewels to the barren tree branches in my yard, but today those branches are decorated with delicate peach blossoms and the mourning doves have begun to search for the best places to build their nests. It’s impossible to deny the steady march of Spring, as the days warm ever-so-slightly, and the bees begin to busy themselves with their bee work. 
After you go all Marie Kondo and Spring clean, you may be in search of a few new things that “spark joy” to add to your inventory. 
Bloom is an event that celebrates the magic of Spring - from butterflies to sprites, to the pastels that match the colors of Easter eggs, this grove is full of nature-inspired things that capture the blue sky vibes of the season. With over 100 Merchants sharing their seasonal goods, and grove for those who appreciate the whimsy of a gacha event - there is bound to be something that will infuse your Second Life with a little bee-auty!
For a slice of the Bloom life - you can watch the short Destination video below, then head over to the event before it ends on April 7th!
 

Bloom: Springtime Market & Gacha Grove
Rich in flora, fauna and foliage, Bloom warmly welcomes spring with over 100 vendors and two ways to shop! Stroll through Bloom's Springtime Market and connect with artisans across the grid, selling seasonal goods. Or try your luck in the Gacha Grove! Bloom promises to be a wonderful shopping experience, sure to put a spring in your step! Ends April 7.
Visit in Second Life CREDITS: Video Production: Draxtor Despres
If you want an indepth look at the items available at Bloom, you can check put Cassie Middles Bloom 2019 Shopping Tour video below.
 

Linden Lab
Age ain’t nothing but a number for Calisto and Talon Whitewolf, a U.S.-based couple that met about eight years ago in Second Life. While Calisto may be about a decade older than her long-time partner, but the virtual world proved to be the perfect platform to bridge the age gap and connect the two together in the physical world.
The courtship began with an initial period of flirting and fun across multiple romantic 3D spaces in Second Life, including a memorable date on a replica of the Titanic!

Pictured: Calisto and Talon Whitewolf
“We did the whole couples thing,” says Calisto who adds that over time the signs became more clear that the two were truly meant to be together. As a result, Talon ultimately moved from his home in Virginia to be with Calisto in Kentucky. This move is described by Calista as a “natural progression…We were best friends and then the next thing I know - he’s here!”
To learn more about Calisto and Talon’s story, watch the latest episode of “Love Made in SL” below. You can also learn more about dating in Second Life in this recent article on DatingNews.com, too.


Did you miss an episode of “Love Made in SL”? Catch up on the entire series on our YouTube channel.
Credits:
Video production: Draxtor Despres
Love Made in SL logo: Marianne McCann
Linden Lab
Looking to update your avatar? The annual Skin Fair event, held by Pale Girl Productions and LAQ, offers the perfect opportunity to shop for the latest skins, mesh body parts and accessories from about 200 content creators.
This week’s Destinations video gives a quick peek at the event, which ends March 24. Take a look below:

 

This Skin Fair, which includes many exclusives you won’t find elsewhere, is already capturing the interest of many bloggers in the Second Life community including Strawberry Singh and Seraphim. For a more in-depth look at Skin Fair, Strawberry recently live-streamed a full walk-through that you can view on YouTube:

Ready to visit? Check out the Skin Fair inworld at both Regions below.
 
2019 Skin Fair - North
Looking to update your avatar? The annual Skin Fair event, held by Pale Girl Productions and LAQ, offers the perfect opportunity to shop for the latest skins, mesh body parts and accessories from about 200 content creators. Runs through March 24th.
Visit in Second Life 2019 Skin Fair - South
Looking to update your avatar? The annual Skin Fair event, held by Pale Girl Productions and LAQ, offers the perfect opportunity to shop for the latest skins, mesh body parts and accessories from about 200 content creators. Runs through March 24th.
Visit in Second Life
Linden Lab
Over the past 15 years, thousands of students have logged into Second Life to extend their education beyond the classroom and into the virtual world. While Second Life continues to expand with new features and enhancements, many virtual world education offerings are also evolving to include more engaging and exciting lessons bringing students from different locations together in fun, shared learning environments.
This evolution of virtual world education is the subject of the latest edition of “The Drax Files,” which returns after a brief hiatus with a new super-sized episode that spotlights the latest edtech work of Chant Newall Development Group, LLC (CNDG).

Pictured: CNDG CEO William Prensky meets with Pearson’s Dolly Womack and another attendee at a recent STEM Conference. 
For over a decade, CNDG has worked closely with Florida State University and the University of Central Florida on exciting Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) that cover multiple disciplines including biology, chemistry, economics and environmental science. These efforts have been developed in partnership with education giant Pearson to create the “textbook of the future” using unique virtual world learning modules that include compelling social 3D virtual experiences and games.
“What differentiates what we do from many other iterations of distance learning is that we are virtual worlds learning,” says CNDG CEO William (Bill) Prensky. “Students begin to sense that they are present to each other.”
He adds, “The sense of presence in the environment is real. The live networked interaction between teaching assistants and students is vital to maintaining that sense of presence. So, it creates a community of teachers as well as a community of learners. It empowers them and it energizes them.”

Pictured: CNDG promotes a learning module developed in Second Life at a recent conference.
You can see some of CNDG’s work and hear from its executives and university faculty in the latest episode of “The Drax Files” below.

Want to check out an example of CNDG’s work for yourself?  For a limited time, CNDG has opened up a free preview of its “Ice Core” module in Second Life (as featured in “The Drax Files” video). In this exclusive experience, which was developed for an environmental science course taught by Professor William Landing at Florida State University, participants take a helicopter to a drill site to begin an exciting scientific expedition in Antarctica. Adventurers will learn how scientists live and work in this frigid environment as they collect and analyze ice cores that provide clues into Earth's climate history. 
Second Life community members can check it out now at the Destination below.  
 
Pictured: A scene from “Ice Core” developed by CNDG.
Ice Core - Interactive Education Experience
In the interactive education experience Ice Core, students enter the virtual world Second Life to begin an exciting scientific expedition in Antarctica. Participants will learn how scientists live and work in this frigid environment as they collect and analyze ice cores that provide clues into Earth's climate history. This virtual learning adventure was developed exclusively in Second Life by CNDG as part of a larger edtech initiative that combines virtual worlds and learning in higher education.
Visit in Second Life
Linden Lab
Just in time for Valentines’ Day! Second Life is proud to announce the debut of “Love Made in SL,” a new limited-run mini-series showcasing the many real stories of romance in the virtual lives of the Second Life community.

Love Made in SL logo created by Marianne McCann with permission from Linden Lab
Over the next few months, we’ll unveil a series of short video profiles that tell the many stories of couples discovering love in Second Life. As you’ll see in our first episode, these virtual connections can also extend successfully into long-term relationships in the physical world.
Meet Teal and Wolf, a charming couple that met 10 years ago in Second Life within the “Tiny” community of RaglanShire. After several years of a long-distance relationship, Teal recently decided to move from the US to the UK to be with Wolf and they are getting married this week!

Pictured: Wolf and Teal, a soon-to-be-married couple that met in Second Life.
“I think virtual worlds have that ability to allow people to just see whether their souls match up,” says Wolf.
Watch the full video below, or on our Official YouTube Channel here.

Catch future episodes of “Love Made in SL” on Second Life’s official Facebook page or YouTube channel. “Love Made in SL” is produced for Second Life by virtual journalist Draxtor Despres. If you’d like to be considered for a future edition, please contact Draxtor inworld.
 

 
 
 
Linden Lab
Acclaimed artist Cica Ghost is known for her frequent pop-up art experiences in Second Life. Each creation is only active for a very limited time, which means that you’ll have to act fast to catch her latest work “Drawn Town” that debuted on Feb. 1.

“Drawn Town” is an immersive space filled with scribbled black-and-white chalk drawings and stick characters that are delightful to explore as you either walk around or drive in the provided cars. Cica ambiguously describes the piece with the quote from Maureen O’Hara “In the beginning it was all black and white.”
Cica’s latest work is already catching the eye of several bloggers. Inara Pey has a great walk-through on her Living in a Modem World blog, while German blog Echt Virtuell also has an in-depth preview.
You can visit Drawn Town now in Second Life or check out this video preview created by Draxtor Despres.
 

Linden Lab
Linden Lab, the maker of Second Life, is one of the hundreds of organizations collaborating today to generate awareness about the importance of protecting user privacy. We know that our community cares about its privacy...and that’s why we’re happy to support Data Privacy Day -- an international effort to empower individuals and business to respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust.
To learn more about our commitment to protecting your privacy, check out this Q&A with our Information Security Director Kavya Pearlman (a.k.a. Maya Linden).
“I believe strongly that privacy isn’t just one team’s job - it’s a collaborative, communal effort,” says Pearlman. “Many large organizations have had dedicated privacy teams, yet have ultimately failed in safeguarding consumer data and protecting user privacy, which is why it’s so important to us here at the Lab that privacy comes first at every turn - that it be woven directly into the fabric of our products, from the engineering level to the product level to the marketing level.”
Read Kavya’s full Q&A here.
To learn more about how to stay safe online and Data Privacy Day, visit the StaySafeOnline website.

Linden Lab
As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to look back at some of the key accomplishments and new feature highlights that helped to make it one of the best years ever for the Second Life community.

Celebrating 15 Years. Here’s to 15 More!
Second Life recently turned 15 and, to mark the occasion, the community held a jam-packed SL15B celebration across several crystal-themed sims. In addition, Linden Lab organized several birthday events including MusicFest and an ambitious Shopping Event. Relive the highlights in the SL15B Flickr feed.  So…  is anyone ready for SL16B yet?
 
Lower Costs & More Land? That’s Crazy Talk!
What a way to start the year! Early in 2018, we announced a 10 percent reduction in Mainland costs and doubled the Mainland allotment for Premium members. Then, in July we continued to reduce costs by lowering monthly maintenance fees on Private Estates by up to 15% with one-time land setup fees reduced by as much as 41%.  As a result, land is now more affordable than ever!
 
Performance & New Features
As part of our commitment to improving Second Life, we announced plans for 15 enhancements and features on our product road-map. Many of these improvements are already in place or are close to completion, while work continues to perfect additional enhancements and features for 2019.
We’ve started making significant improvements to Marketplace including the introduction of many long-requested features, such as wishlists and tracking your favorite sellers (with a feed of their most recent items).  We also added more categories to the Marketplace: Animated Objects, Gachas, Anthropomorphic, and a dedicated anime community, too.
Estate Owners also saw improvements to the Land Manager page including web-based region restarts. There is also an Estate Access Management Release Candidate Viewer, which simplifies many Estate Management tasks, including ban list improvements.  It will be making its way to the default release soon.
Speaking of land … there is the overhaul for Auctions with several key improvements and a serious facelift - and we’ll soon add the ability for Residents to create Auctions to sell the land that they own.
In November, we unveiled the long-anticipated debut of Animesh, which allows independent objects to use rigged mesh and animations. We’re already starting to see some creative ways to take advantage of Animesh.  This new “dancing Santa” from Blow Up is an Animesh companion, which can follow you around and even dance with you as you celebrate the holidays in Second Life. Or for you. Santa is cool with whatever.


A few Creators have already put out quite a number of cool early creations. Check out the Animated Objects category on the Second Life Marketplace to see what’s available.
We are always striving to help our Residents achieve an immersive experience.  The Environment Enhancement Project (EEP), is a series of new customizations in the environment rendering system (also known as Windlight). Soon, you will be able to create and share even more advanced environment settings including up to four different sky layers which can be set independently. Check out this preview video that shows early testing on the Second Life Beta grid from Resident Silas Merlin:  
Testing also continues for Bakes on Mesh, a new feature that allows system avatar baked textures to be shown on mesh attachments.  We’re hoping this will help us all ditch some of those avatar onion layers in the new year.

New Experiences & Activities
Fans of Linden Realms new and old saw not one, but two updates in 2018.  A limited-time and dramatic update Linden Realms: The Wrath of Ruth soon gave way to its full-featured successor Linden Realms: The Search for Magellan.

We also introduced the new Swaginator with two ambitious seek-and-find events. As part of our SL15B event, we created 15 limited-edition gifts for a Birthday Gift Grab grid-wide hunt that extended over a whopping 15 weeks! More recently, we held the Winter Swaginator Hunt which included five hidden gifts created exclusively for holiday hunters. There were also numerous exclusive shopping and community events, which are always a blast!  Look out for the traditional Snowball Fight.

2018 In Numbers
As the year comes to a close, we’ve rounded up some interesting statistics to share insight into how the Second Life community is spending its time and money.
One thing is clear: Second Lifers were a busy bunch in 2018.   You spent an estimated 336 million hours inworld in the past year alone!  And there are 50 million+ chat messages daily.
Our daily concurrency rates remain stable, too. Take a look at this chart, which shows the overall traffic trends on logged in Second Life users over the past two years.
 

Pictured: Second Life concurrency rates from early 2017 to late 2018.
 
This active population helped keep the Second Life economy healthy in 2018. Approximately $65 million was paid out to Residents in the past year for a variety of items and services. On the Marketplace, there are currently over 5 million virtual goods for sale. Since we lowered prices on the Mainland and maintenance fees on Private Estates, we’ve seen some growth in the overall land market as well. For example, we saw increases across the board in land ownership - more Region owners, more parcel owners, more group-owned land, more Regions on the Grid. As many owners traded up from Openspaces and Homesteads to full Regions to take full advantage of the lower pricing, we saw growth in overall SQM owned by Residents.
So, what was popular with the Second Life community in 2018? Here are some interesting insights into General and Mature-rated places and items:
TOP MARKETPLACE CATEGORIES 2018 (by Web Traffic)
1. Apparel (General)
2. Women's Apparel
3. Avatar Accessories
4. Home & Garden
5. Complete Avatars
6. Avatar Components
7. Avatar Appearance
8. Animations
9. Buildings & Other Structures
10. Men's Apparel
TOP DESTINATION GUIDE CATEGORIES (by Web Traffic)
1. Games
2. Editor's Picks
3. Recently Added
4. Premium Gifts
5. Photogenic Spots
6. Shopping Events
7. Adventure & Fantasy
8. Featured Events
9. Freebie Spots
10. Role-playing Communities

2019...Here We Come!
In true Linden tradition, we didn’t get through everything we wanted to do in 2018 … but we certainly feel proud of the developments already out and we’re excited for the things to come. Stay tuned for even more improvements, including progress on our migration to the cloud, Linden Home updates, Gridwide experiences, and the much-anticipated ability to change your name!
Thank you from the entire Linden Lab staff for your continued creativity and contributions to the Second Life community. We cherish the opportunity to help this unique and amazing world flourish year to year, and we can’t wait to see what adventures await in 2019!
We wish everyone happy holidays and a wonderful New Year!

Linden Lab
The holidays are upon us, and for many that means baking, wrapping, peppermint lattes, and shopping! We've gathered 100 Merchants for a very exciting shopping event! Bigger than our inworld shopping event from SL15B, this shop-stravaganza spans 5 full Regions, with some layover areas where you can cam shop! All 100 Merchants have provided a free gift (and in some cases more than one per stop) and some generous discounts on some of their most popular products. 
Stop by Aurelian, Gilded, Golden, Halycon, and Tinseled between now and January 4th to catch all the deals and grab all the gifts. 
Get to shoppin' and hoppin'! 
 
// ACORN // Addams // alaskametro<3 // [ ALEUTIA ] // alme. // ALTAIR* // Analog Dog Hair // !APHORISM! // Apple Fall // Apple May Designs (AMD) // Atreum // AUREALIS // Azoury // Bakaboo
// Bauhaus Movement  // Bella Moda // .BF. Store // Blueberry // Blushed Creations // {Bombae} // bonbon // Caboodle // Cae // Candy Kitten // CATWA // ChiC buildings // -Complex- // Crash
// [Cubic Cherry] // [Cynful] Clothing & Co.  // darkendStare // Dastardlly // DossiEr // DUFAUX // eliavah // ELIKATIRA // ella // Elle Boutique // Envious // *Epic* // evani. // eXxEsS // Fancy Decor // Foxy // GA.EG & Gaeline Creations // Hello Dave // Hucci // ICONIC Hair, By Neveah Niu // Ingenue // *Just BECAUSE* // {le fil cassé} // {Limerence} // LOVE // MADRAS
// Mangula // [[ Masoom ]] // MICHAN // Milk Motion // MIWAS // MODA // Momento // Moon amore // {moss&mink} // mossu // NamiiChu ~ // {NANTRA} Poses // Neve // OSMIA // OXIDE
// Park Place Home // Phedora. // PULSE // QUEENZ // .Quirky. // REPRESENT // Revoul // RIOT // RKKN // Rowne // Salt & Pepper // Scandalize // SEmotion // Seniha Originals // Silence.
// Silvan Moon Designs // spectacledchic // Sweet Thing // The Cube Republic // The Forge // Thunk! Musical Instruments // **UTOPIA@Design** // Valentina E. // Vanity Hair // VARONIS // Vibing // Vinyl Apparel // {ViSion} // Vista Animations // What Next // [ west end ] // ::ZED:: Designz for Men // 
 
Linden Lab
HINT: It’s winter-y, fun, games and a series of quests. Can you find the gift hidden in the magical chest?  http://bit.ly/2SIOpp1
Grab the gift before it's gone!
OR
HINT UPDATE: Winter Swaginator Hunt Week Four Clue: Winter is here, isn't it grand? Find the gift near the door to our snowy land!
If you missed out last week and/or didn't get your HUD to get started - you can drop by Winter Wonderland to get one now - just in time to get this week's gift.
How to get started - if you have not already:
Grab your HUD from Winter Wonderland.
Equip your HUD from your inventory, by finding it, right-clicking it and selecting “ADD”
Find and collect your gift!
Stay tuned to our blog, MoTD, and Social Media channels for new clues each week.
Happy Hunting!

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