2010 ended on a positive note for the Second Life economy, with several key measures growing while others remained stable as compared to Q3 numbers.
Total money supply, LindeX volume, and web merchandise sales volume were all up between 6% and 8%, indicating growth in economic activity. Also, the L$ rebounded strongly from Q3, appreciating 3.7% quarter to quarter.
When comparing 2009 to 2010 measures, average monthly repeat log-ins were up 8%, average monthly economic participants were up 4.3%, annual web merchandise sales volume was up 104%, and the world size grew by 5.8%.
For a definition of the metrics in this post, please see this wiki page. Click on each image below to see a larger version.
AVERAGE MONTHLY REPEAT LOGINS
Repeat logins gained 1% this quarter. Average monthly repeat logins in 2010 rose 8% over the 2009 average.
User hours were flat this quarter, appearing to stabilize after a gradual decline in the prior four quarters. Total user hours in 2010 fell 10% from 2009.
AVERAGE MONTHLY ECONOMIC PARTICIPANTS
Economic participants were flat in Q4, remaining in the historical five-quarter range. Year over year, the 2010 average of monthly economic participants was up 4% from 2009’s average.
AVERAGE EXCHANGE RATE
Increasing demand and falling supply on the LindeX caused a 3.7% appreciation in the value of the L$ in Q4.* The average L$ value in 2010 was within 1% of the average value in 2009.
*Note that the exchange rate is expressed in L$/USD, meaning larger numbers represent a lower L$ value and smaller numbers represent a higher L$ value. The average rate is calculated by dividing the total L$ exchanged through the LindeX by the total US$ exchanged through the LindeX in the quarter.
Money supply grew significantly in Q4 to US$28.4m worth of L$, 8% over Q3. The year end money supply in 2010 was 11.9% over 2009.
Mirroring money supply growth, volume on the LindeX grew 8% in Q4, nearing the top end of the historical five-quarter range. Total LindeX volume in 2010 was nearly US$119m, 2.8% over 2009. This means that an additional US$4m traded hands on the LindeX in 2010.
WEB MERCHANDISE SALES VOLUME
Driven by greater merchant adoption and improved shopping features, web merchandise sales volume grew 5.8% in Q4. 2010 web sales volume was up 104% relative to 2009.
World size remained flat in Q4; 2010 year end world size was up 5.8% relative to 2009. Today, Second Life's virtual land mass would be roughly twice the size of Hong Kong.
As long-time Second Life users will note, the discount on maintenance costs is similar to a discount previously offered to these organizations. More recently, after reviewing our pricing, we have been offering this discount directly to individual organizations, but today we are happy to formalize this pricing, extend the discount to also include set-up costs, and open applications for all that are eligible.
For more details on the offer, including how to apply, please see the wiki page here.
Organizations eligible for this discounted pricing are also eligible for invoicing of the private region costs. Invoices must include a minimum of six months of maintenance. Additional details can be found here.
on the Aditi test grid, working with content creators. Today we’re announcing the second wave of Bento skeleton improvements!
This release will be available on Agni, making it available to a much wider audience. However, this is still a limited release, until we’re confident enough that this could be a release candidate and ultimately be part of the release Viewer. Creators, recipients, and anyone wishing to view the new content must be running the latest Bento Project Viewer.
If you encounter Bento avatars and are not using the Bento Project Viewer, you may see some strangely behaving avatar animations and meshes. If you're using a very old (i.e. no longer supported) viewer, encountering Bento content may even cause a crash; updating to the latest Bento Project Viewer will prevent this problem.
We’ve worked very hard these past few months and could not have done it without the help of our community.
Owning land in Second Life has never been more valuable, and now is a great time to get your own space or expand your current land holdings.
We’ve recently rolled out increased Land Impact for all regions, and last week, Full Private Regions went up from 15,000 to 20,000 prims - a 33% increase, at no additional charge!
Starting today, Full Private Region owners now have the option to upgrade to an even more impressive 30,000 prims! That’s an additional 50% more room for creating, decorating, designing your own store - whatever you can dream up!
Upgrading to 30,000 prims costs $30 USD per Region and will incur an additional monthly maintenance fee*. For additional information about Private Region management and this Land Impact upgrade program, please visit our Knowledge Base.
To request an upgrade, pleasesubmit a case through the support portal on the Second Life website under the case type Land & Region > Land Impact Change Request.
* Upgrading a Full Region to 30,000 Land Impact costs $30 USD per region at the time of the upgrade and must be maintained for a minimum of one calendar month.When Land Impact is upgraded, Full Regions will be billed an additional $30 USD on monthly maintenance fees per region. Downgrading a Private Region back to 20,000 Land Impact will carry a fee of $30 USD per region at the time of downgrade. No pro-rating or discounting is permitted.
We’re happy to share another great episode of Draxtor Despres’ The Drax Files: World Makers. The latest episode features Zander Greene, one of the organizers of Fantasy Faire in Second Life.
You can watch it
if you have trouble viewing the video.
Now in its fifth year, Fantasy Faire is a fundraiser for Relay for Life, that will feature the work of some of Second Life’s top designers and merchants. Explore fantasy-themed builds and buy unique designs from the more than 140 merchants participating to support the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Second Life.
Fantasy Faire runs through April 28th - check out the official listing in the Second Life Destination Guide. Please note that the event does not open officially until 6 a.m. (Pacific) on April 20, so the teleport link may not be active prior to that time.
For more info on The Drax Files: World Makers series, be sure to check out Drax’s website at draxtor.com. If you haven’t yet watched the rest of the series, check out past episodes at the links below:
As I mentioned last week, today the Second Life Forums, Blogs, Knowledge Base and SL Answers are now temporarily in read-only mode. This means that everything housed within the http://blogs.secondlife.com site is available for you to read, but you cannot post comments--or contribute content--until we launch our new community platform (http://community.secondlife.com) on March 2nd.
Get ready for a more robust self-help platform with powerful capabilities, including unified search, reputation systems, new community tools, and social media features. And, please pardon our dust while we transition over to the new system.
To be informed immediately when the new community platform is live, follow us at @Second Life on Twitter where we’ll be officially announcing the launch.
When our developers first saw the Leap Motion controller they couldn’t wait to get their hands on one. Thankfully, we were able to get a pre-production development kit and built demos to explore its capabilities in Second Life. The demos included tests of flight controls, object manipulation, and avatar gestures.
This work was strictly experimental, but it showed the power of Second Life as a platform for exploring gesture-based interactions with controllers like the Leap Motion, and we’re happy to be able to share the code with you as a starting point for your own explorations.
If you have a Leap Motion controller and would like to experiment with the Second Life Viewer, you can find the source code for these experiments at http://bitbucket.org/simon_linden/viewer-rabbit. The indra/newview/llleapmotioncontroller.cpp file contains most new functionality. The Viewer is built to work in several different modes. These modes can be used to control the avatar while flying, send data into Second Life for scripts to intercept, detect hand motions that trigger avatar gestures, or control the camera and avatar movement. To switch between these modes use the "LeapMotionTestMode" value in the Debug Settings, accessible from the Advanced menu.
To give our experiments a shot you will need get the source mentioned above and contact www.leapmotion.com to join their developer program and obtain the SDK. Currently only Windows Viewers are supported, but other platforms could be added by linking in the appropriate Leap Motion SDK.
Earlier this month we made some exciting changes to Mainland Regions and Linden Homes. With some massive increases to Land Impact limits, Residents can now build, design, experiment, and create more than ever before.
As of today, we are extending this benefit to Private Estate Regions. Full Regions, Homesteads, and Openspace Regions on Private Estates will get a 33% increase in Land Impact allowance at no additional charge! Now everyone will have more prims to enjoy! This chart shows the details of the changes:
All Private Region owners in the main channel will notice these changes already, and RC channels will see the update early Wednesday.
This update brings a variety of features for you to check out, including upgrades to Profiles and the Viewer. The new features are part of our ongoing quest to create an excellent experience for you — whether you’re creating, connecting or exploring.
It’s easy to forget about RL for a while, socialize as your unique SL identity, and share what you love about Second Life when you’re part of SL Profiles. Connect with other Residents and explore Profiles using whichever identity you choose. You can add your interests, tweet your favorite locations and form friendships with other Resis, as well as continue the conversation through Facebook, Plurk and other social sites.
As always, we value your right to network under any identity you like — and SL Profiles lets you do just that. Your SL Profile name and identity can be whatever you like — let your imagination run wild! Update your status, share your location and comment on friends’ posts. You’re in charge of how you connect and how much of your RL identity you share.
Spend some time exploring — there’s a ton of ways to customize your settings for a rich, social SL experience. You can edit your Profile at any time — and there’s a spot for your real-world info, too. Customize your settings to optimize your Profile.
The Recommendations tab lets you know which Residents might make good friend match-ups for you, and the more interests you add to your Profile, the more recommendations for potential pals will pop up. You have the option to add your recommended connections to your friends list right in Profiles, and you can contact them right away through instant messaging — or just have fun reading the profiles of like-minded Residents.
Updates to the Viewer
We’ve made big changes to the Viewer Login Screen.
When you open the Viewer, you’ll get a peek at what’s happening inworld. Check out the latest Destination Guide Editor’s Picks and stay up-to-date on SL news with a direct link to the blogs. Want to chat? “What’s Hot Now” reveals the most popular locations — click, log in and start socializing! Get started right now. Just click on any one of the images before logging in, and you’ll start your SL experience at that location.
You’ll also notice some changes relating to Region Environment Settings. These give region managers the ability to customize environment settings — like atmosphere, sun, time of day, and cloud coverage. Visiting Residents will automatically see those settings, unless they’ve already chosen to use a personal override. For example: a Gothic castle might have a gloomy, spooky environment — and a tropical island might be bright and sunny. This feature is sometimes referred to by its previous moniker, Windlight Environment Settings. Check out the Knowledge Base for more info.
For greater discoverability and to provide you faster access, you’ll find the Search Button displayed along the bottom bar in the Viewer.
Another new feature gives parcel owners greater control, including the ability to hide avis, avatar activities and conversations from everyone outside a parcel and vice versa. You also gain the ability to restrict sounds emitted by avatars on the parcel.
We expect to release the next version of the Viewer toward the end of August.
Meanwhile, we continue to work on the issue of full compatibility with Apple OS X Lion — we’re currently testing out compatibility issues. Many Residents have chosen to wait on upgrading their versions of Mac OS X so they can continue to go inworld. Check out more details here, and join in the conversation.
More new avatars
We’re proud to introduce the latest members of the SL family — a new troupe of human avatars. Last month, we rolled out our line of robot, animal and vehicle avis, and this month we’re adding to the new selection.
The newest group of human avatars includes a spectrum of ethnicities, and complements current inworld trends — Steampunk, anyone? You can try them out by going to the Library folder in your Inventory and choosing Clothing > Initial Outfits. These guys (and gals) have been designed to optimize loading time. We considered various benchmarks, including Avatar Rendering Cost.We worked with Adam n Eve to craft detailed textures that emphasize aesthetic beauty. This balance provides a good starting point for customizing your look, and serves as an example for creators of how to make inworld items look good — and also load quickly.
Second Life is about creativity, diversity and communication — and this new pack of avis gives you a greater range of personalities to try out. They’re also completely modifiable.
It is our goal to continue to improve our payment process in order to make it easier and worry-free. Starting this month, Residents will begin to see improvements in usability including simpler layouts and flows, and we’ll be working on making the system even easier over the next couple of months. We’re also working on a new-and-improved way to offer local currency options. If you are currently part of the Local Paymentsbeta there are no changes just yet.
We’re still accepting volunteer regions to receive mesh supporthere. If you just want to experiment with mesh creation, the same link will provide you with the steps you’ll need to take to get involved, and locate a mesh sandbox to work in. We’ve started to roll out mesh to regions across the grid via our release channels, and it will soon arrive at a region near you. While it’s being deployed, mesh objects are supported — but not all viewers will display them, and not all regions will fully support them until the rollout is completed. Also, we know there are going to be questions about some concepts being introduced with mesh, and we’re working to help explain them — more to come on that topic in the near future. The mesh forum is a great place to see and read what others are doing, as well as ask questions.
More Personalized Emails
If you’ve unsubscribed to optional news and promotional emails in the past, you can now resubscribe to emails by category. It’s important that you enter the email address that’s connected to your SL account. These subscription options don’t affect the emails you receive for transactions, instant messages from friends and/or customer service responses.
Today we’re thrilled to be rolling out another perk for Premium members: now you can be a member of 60 groups! Groups have been a consistently popular feature among the Residents of Second Life. It may not be obvious, but group membership can have an impact on the performance of a number of systems. That's why in Second Life's early days, Residents could only join a maximum of 10 groups. Over the years, we've made improvements that enabled us to raise the group limit to a maximum of 42, but we know that for some power users, even that isn't quite enough, and today we're happy to raise the bar for Premium subscribers. We must make sure that the recent gains in group performance are not jeopardized, so for now the new limit is a pilot program. If there are no problems, we will look forward to raising the limit further (stay tuned!).
Premium members can immediately take advantage of the new limit. Downgrading from Premium membership will not remove you from any of your groups, but it will mean that you cannot join any new groups until you remove yourself from enough groups to get below the Basic account limit, which remains at 42.
There are many reasons to maintain a Premium membership in Second Life, and we hope this increased group membership limit makes Premium subscriptions even more attractive. We’ll be adding even more benefits and features for Premium members throughout the year.
Learn more about Premium membership and upgrade your account today. You can pay for your subscription monthly, quarterly, or annually - and the annual plan in particular is a great value. In addition to a total savings of more than $47 compared to a monthly subscription, the value of the weekly L$ stipend means the membership nearly pays for itself!
You’re invited! Second Life’s 8th birthday (SL8B) celebration begins on Monday, June 20th and runs through Saturday, July 2nd. This year, there are 21 SL8B regions that open at 10:00 am. on Monday, June 20. There will be more than 300 exhibitors 300 live performances, and all the cake you can eat. And, did someone mention the freebies on the Marketplace? Yep, there are already free SL8B bears for everyone. We’ve got a great line up planned and you won’t want to miss a thing!
Get a sneak peek of all the planning, preparation, interviews, and events on the official SL8B blog. Can’t wait for the fun? Chantal Harvey, renowned machinima artist and SL8B volunteer, gives you a taste of what’s to come.
Phaylen Fairchild has created a wonderful video about the evolution, magic and imagination of SL from inception to its eight year anniversary. Both videos are well worth watching!
Also, mark your calendars for Monday, June 20th when Kim Linden will give a short opening address at 11am SLT. Then on June 23rd at 3pm SLT Rodvik Linden, the CEO of Linden Lab, will be mingling with the crowd at the SL8B Main Stage.
Follow @Secondlife and the #sl8b hashtag on Twitter for more real-time info! Plus, share memories and fondest moments in Second Life history with #slmoment.
We’ve been having a lot of fun with no end in sight to the good times - but you can’t turn 12 without a little pride and reflection. Second Life has been going strong for a dozen wonderful years and there’s a ton of things happening to celebrate. You’ll see more to come here in the Featured News Blog - but we wanted to stop and ask - “What is the meaning of Second Life?” To you - that is! This question may sound daunting - but the truth is, tapping into what makes “SL” so special to us as individuals and communities is a really amazing exercise in retrospection and self-discovery. This is your world - so what does it mean to you?
Whether you just got started, have been onboard for the full dozen years, or fall somewhere in between - we’d love to see a glimpse of your story in the “What Second Life Means to Me” video project. You don’t have to be a master of machinima to participate. You can use something like Camtasia or Fraps to make some great stuff relatively quickly, and both have free or trial versions. Or, you can film yourself talking directly to your web or digital camera and telling your story. This doesn’t have to be a strictly inworld project - because we understand that Second Life impacts our offline lives as well.
From a few seconds to a few minutes - just kick it off with this - “In Second Life, my name is …” and share your story from there! Once you have something set - share it! Upload it to YouTube and embed it on this forum thread. Together, we’ll watch the thread for new stories over the coming weeks - it should be awesome. If you prefer to express yourself in writing - share what Second Life means to you with a reply to the thread.
Here are some videos - from both Lindens and Residents alike - that might help springboard your inspiration.
There’s so many things that Second Life means to each of us - and we can’t wait to hear what you have to share about your journey here so far.
When we updated our Terms of Service in August 2013, the revised language of Section 2.3, the “Service Content License,” caused concern among certain Second Life creators. The revision to this section was worded in such a way that these creators expressed concern that we intended to appropriate their original creations and sell or license such creations without their permission. As our historical practice demonstrates and as we have since tried to clarify, this was absolutely not our intent. Creators are the lifeblood of Second Life. It is you who have populated Second Life with a petabyte worth of unique content and experiences, and it is important for our collective and continued success that you remain confident in continuing to create in our world. To be clear: Linden Lab respects the proprietary rights of Second Life’s content creators and prides itself in its success in providing platforms on which users can create original content and profit from their creations.
As part of an update to our Terms of Service today, we have made a modification to further clarify Section 2.3. The updated section still provides Linden Lab with the rights that we need in order to operate and promote Second Life, so you will see that we have retained much of the language as the previous version. However, the updated section now also includes limits that better match our intended meaning, and we hope will assuage some of the concerns we heard about the previous version.
First, the modified version limits our rights with respect to user-created content in Second Life by restricting our use “inworld or otherwise on the Service.” Additionally, it limits our right to “sell, re-sell or sublicense (through multiple levels)” your Second Life creations by requiring some affirmative action on your part in order for us to do so. This language mirrors the corresponding User Content License currently in Section 2.4, which has been part of the Terms of Service for years.
We know that the legal language of documents such as the Terms of Service can seem daunting, and we expect that some creators may continue to have concerns about particular elements of the updated agreement. Today’s revision to this section of the Terms of Service more closely expresses our intent - that we do not intend to appropriate or sell your content outside of our Service - and our hope is that the limitations clarified in the updated language of this section will support creators’ confidence in our platform.
As with any document like this, it’s important to read the whole Terms of Service before agreeing to it. Section 2.3 isn’t the only thing that’s changed - we’ve also added the updated policy for skill gaming, which we blogged about here - but we wanted to blog about this update to be clear about what’s different in this section, what it means, and why we made the change.
Valentine’s Day is big in Second Life - whether you’re planning on buying something special for your sweetheart on the Marketplace, finding a romantic place to explore together, or just celebrating with friends inworld, Second Life is a great place to enjoy the holiday.
To help you have even more fun in Second Life this Valentine’s Day, we have a surprise gift for you!
You must log in by 7:30pm PT today to be eligible, so don’t wait!
What is it? Well, it wouldn’t be any fun if we spoiled the surprise here - you’ll just have to log in before 7:30pm PT today to find out.
We hope you enjoy this special gift and wish you all a very happy Valentine’s Day!
UPDATE: We've received a number of inquiries regarding an email that was sent to Second Life users to announce this promotion. Due to some technical issues, the formatting and foreign language content of the email may have caused some confusion and concern, for which we apologize. As you can see from this blog, this promotion is indeed a Linden Lab sponsored effort.
Remember, this is a time-sensitive promotion. The gift described in the email and blog post will be delivered by 11:59pm Pacific time on Valentine's Day (February 14th) 2013, and to be eligible to receive it, you need to login to Second Life by 7:30pm PT on February 13.
We’ve been working for some time on a set of improvements – code-named Project Shining - to give Second Life users a better inworld experience. The latest improvements from this work include an improved object-caching and streaming system called Project Interesting.
As we’ve previously blogged, this project will greatly reduce the load and time it takes to draw objects in regions. Put simply, this means scenes will appear more quickly and smoothly as you move throughout Second Life.
Project Interesting is a set of improvements to how the Viewer and server work together to know what scene objects to draw. We’ve already made the server smarter about sending the important, "interesting" stuff first, and today we’re launching a release candidate for a new Viewer that does a much better job of storing and managing the scene data on your computer. This will not only improve the speed at which a location loads, it will also help with overall Viewer performance.
This all translates to a smoother, faster Second Life experience that gets you to the Interesting stuff that much faster. So check out the
Starting today, you’re invited to take part in the Second Life: Celebrating Your Second Life Snapshot Contest, in honor of 11th Birthday of Second Life.
Participation is easy - submit your celebratory snapshots from inworld to the contest page on our Official Second Life Facebook Page. Click the contest tab, review the contest information and rules and start sharing. This year you will be able to submit up to one snapshot a day for the duration of the contest. Full rules, submission and voting dates, and details are all on the Facebook page.
Looking for some inspiration for pics? Then drop by Hairy Hippo Fun Land to grab your Limited Edition SL11B Robot Avatar. You can also get your free avatar off the Marketplace.
Browse the SL11B category on the destination guide to see what the community has planned to mark the event inworld.
Don’t forget that the Resident-driven Second Life 11th Birthday Community Celebration starts this coming Sunday the 22nd. Visit their website for the latest information.
You only turn 11 once, and we can’t wait to see what kind of celebrations and fun you create and share!
We recently began beta testing a new system that enables our international customers to use local currencies and other local payment methods when purchasing Linden dollars and conducting other financial transactions with Linden Lab. We want to make it easier, and less expensive, for our international customers to shop and do business in Second Life. After all, wouldn’t it be nice to use your own currency, or PayPal, to purchase Linden dollars and also save money on fees? We think so too.
Based on our beta testing to date, we’ve learned a lot and discovered a few issues that we want to change and improve. So, I wanted to share our progress and what to expect as we roll this capability out to all international users later this year.
Recent Billing Issues Will Not Affect Your Account Status: For those that have run into billing glitches, let me put your mind at ease. Some international customers have tried to pay us (to keep their account current) and they were unable to complete the transaction. If you’ve encountered this problem, then please accept our apologies. Rest assured that everyone who was not able to provide payments, due to this system issue, have already had their accounts manually restored as we work to implement a fix. The affected accounts are still in good standing and these customers will not lose their status or land as a consequence.
Local Payments Will be Available in all Supported Viewers: Another concern that has been raised by the community is whether users can purchase Linden dollars using local currencies in Viewer 1.23. The answer is yes, although some people using Viewer 1.23 may have run into issues purchasing Linden dollars a few weeks ago. The issue has since been fixed. Now, customers who are in this beta can purchase Linden dollars using all supported Viewers.
We Need to Make the Local Payments System Easier to Use: On the usability side, we have beta tested local payments with new and current international customers and we’ve found we need some additional usability work to ensure that purchasing Linden dollars (and other transactions) is an easier, intuitive experience. While we are doing that, we will not add any new or current Residents to the beta system instead they will stay on the standard payments system. But if you have already been using the local payments beta version, then you will continue to do so while we continue getting ready for a wider roll out.
In late July, we’ll be ready to provide all of our international customers with comprehensive local payment options in a system that works seamlessly and is easy to use. I’ll be updating you again as we get closer to releasing the system. Thanks for you patience as we work out the kinks.
And, if you have additional questions about the system, then there’s a comprehensive Local Payments article with a Help and Frequently Asked Questions (including how to contact Support) in English, Français, Deutsch, Español, Italiano, Português, and 日本語.
Somewhere across the oceans the computers begin to whirr, robots activate, and a sinister land is brought to life. And now, a vast new landscape has opened its doors to those who would dare to take on its creator: the ever menacing Dr. Talpa.
With another scheme in the works, Magellan asked Tyrah to infiltrate the mad scientist mole’s lair and discover just what evil technological abominations he was constructing. However - this being a LDPW experience backstory - it was not long before she was captured. She is now being held prisoner in Dr. Talpa’s command center.
The Mainland Gameplay Regions
The Horizons experience takes you through six regions starting out in the great advanced city itself. Here, Residents are introduced to the challenges that await, so be sure to check out the videos outlining the great adventure. Your journey will take you from towering canyons to dark and deadly mines, all the way through forests and swamps,and finally, to the command center where Tyrah awaits her rescue.
This 5 quest storyline takes you through various challenges laid out by the evil Dr. Talpa. Everything from vicious splorches, killer robots, laser defense systems, the terrifying pet Fluffy, all the way to hidden traps, mazes, puzzles and more! Residents will have to use the provided weapons to defeat menacing foes, while taking on other elements with their own wit.
But beware, saving Tyrah won’t be as simple as conquering these challenges. The greatest adversary you face is the clock winding down to 0. Can you save Tyrah in time? Will Dr Talpa finally succeed in ruling the grid? Will Magellan pay his bar tab? It’s all up to you!!!
New Horizon’s Residential Regions
The Horizons experience itself is not the only exciting new release. Thirty-six, yes you read that right, 36 new regionssurrounding the experience will be released for Residents! These beautiful new regions, which abound with exciting features, are adorned with several styles of home brought to you by Linden Lab and the Moles.
Owning a parcel on these lands comes with the ability to rez one of these houses via a special mailbox controller, an indoor control panel to customize the house, and a special resource pack containing handy items to decorate with. The regions feature waterways that flow through areas for easy travel with vehicles, which can be spawned at any of the rez zones found around the info hubs and community regions.
Being a part of this grand new community is something we are very excited to offer Residents, and it’s an added bonus that you’ll be close to the experience itself! Mark your calendars, Residential parcels will commence going to auction on Friday, November 18th!
New Info and Community Hubs
Alongside the residential areas and the experience, lay several community and info hubs. The first of the two, the community hubs, are designed for Residents to use for their community groups, meetings, and events. These beautiful hubs feature a nice, serene environment to be social and enjoy alongside all your favorite fellow Residents.
The second of these two areas are the info hubs. These hubs feature land information, as well as an easy access portal that takes you directly to the mainland experience itself. There are also links to the wiki available which provide access to helpful knowledge regarding the housing system. A mailbox demo and building demos are set up to show you the controls featured in the new housing system. Residents will also find any update information here regarding the housing and mailbox system!
So there you have it folks, the brand new Horizons experience in a nutshell. But don’t expect us to tell you everything; every secret and bit of fun lays in wait for you to experience! So grab your favorite pair of boots and begin the great journey!
Rescue the kidnapped Tyrah and earn rewards in Horizons, an all-new five-stage adventure game in Second Life. Journey across desert canyons and dangerous minefields before battling killer robots in a forest of exploding trees. Destroy the robotic swamp monster and arrive at the command center to complete your quest.
It feels like just the other day that we all commemorated a dozen years of Second Life, but here we are - ready to celebrate number 13 in style! Second Life opened to the public on June 23, 2003, and whether you’ve been a part of it for more than a decade or just a few days, we had to roll out the good times and hope you will join us at these fun inworld events! Please tag all your pictures of the SL13B fun "#SL13B" and share them on our Official Flickr Page.
Rock Out at the SL13B Official Music Fest
Last summer’s Music Fest was amazing! Once again, we invite you to join us as some of Second Life’s best musicians hit the virtual stage! We held auditions earlier this month, and had a hard time narrowing it down to the performers we have - Second Life is full of amazing musicians, and you may just discover your next favorite music act inworld at any of the live music venues. Thank you to everyone who came to audition, and to those who came to support them!
This year, we’ve extended the festival to span across three days, featuring an amazing line-up across many genres of music. Each day’s event will start at different times so that everyone can enjoy some live music - no matter what timezone you’re in.
Grab some refreshments, prepare to boogie your pixels off, check out the schedule below, and join us at Stage Left for a rockin' good time!
Friday June 24 11 am - 3pm
Saturday June 25 8 pm - midnight
Sunday June 26 4 pm - 8 pm
SL13B Gift Shop Hop!
We know that one of the most incredible things about the creator community is their creativity and talent - but they’ve also shown their tremendous generosity by providing some incredible, FREE gifts for you to come get at their shopping events! Just drop by the following events and look for the gorgeous flamingo cake designed by Second Life Resident Doctor Aho. Inside each cake is a gift from one of the event designers. While you’re there, please do a little shopping to help support these incredible creators and their brands!
Stop by each of these events to get your free gifts from these designers!
On Monday, June 20, from 10am - 12pm SLT, join us at the SL13B Cake Stage for a Roleplay Mashup Party! Everyone loves to dress up and Second Life is full of amazing roleplay communities. From historical re-enactment attire to Sci-Fi couture - past, present, and future - come in your absolute favorite roleplay costume (please note that the region is rated General) and spend a little time dancing and mingling with other costume enthusiasts! Costume contest with L$5,000 prize!Rules are posted on the wiki.
We All Start Somewhere …
Do you remember the first outfit you put together for your avatar? If you still have some of those oldies but goodies in your inventory, why not dust them off for posterity and show up to the Flashback Party at the SL13B Cake Stage on Wednesday, June 22, from 7 - 9 pm SLT? Wear something old and bring your oldest Second Life friend - the plan is to celebrate the past in all its glory and share some amazing stories from the Second Life days of yore. Dancing, music, and some good old-fashioned nostalgia - it’s sure to be a blast… from the past! Costume contest with L$5,000 prize!Rules are posted on the wiki.
Meet the Lindens (Astound Auditorium and Enchant Stage)
The Meet the Lindens series from Prim Perfect is a fun and casual chat with some of your favorite Lindens! Drop by the Astound Auditorium from 3 - 4 pm SLT from June 20th through June 24th to get to know a little more about these Lindens and what they do at the Lab!
Mon. June 20 - Brett & Torley
Tues. June 21 - Ebbe
Wed. June 22 - Landon & Oz
Thurs. June 23 - Pete & Xiola
Fri. June 24 - Patch & Dee
Because no party is complete without a token to take home - and because of the long history of bears in Second Life - you’ll want to drop by the SL13B Community Celebration Regions and pick up this cute keepsake to remember the whole shebang by!
Second Life is transitioning to a new payments processor for credit cards. If you use a credit card for Second Life payments and have not added or updated your billing information since July 7, 2015, we strongly encourage you to re-enter your information to avoid any potential disruption of services. If you use PayPal or Skrill for Second Life payments, no action is needed.
Adding billing information to your Second Life account is as easy as 1-2-3:
Under “How You’re Paying” just click to Add the payment method of your choice*
To learn more about the benefits of adding billing information on file, the many supported payment options, and how to add or update your billing information, please visit this page in the Second Life Knowledge Base.
We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your attention and help in spreading the word throughout the Second Life community.
*Note: You may notice small authorization charges made to the credit card associated with your account. As is common when new payment processors are initialized, these charges are made to confirm the validity of the billing information on file and will be automatically voided by your bank or credit card issuer.
As you may have already heard, HBO will be showing a documentary called,When Strangers Click: Five Stories from the Internet on February 14 (Valentine’s Day). The film is the work ofRobert Kenner(the Oscar®-nominated director of the documentary Food, Inc.), and it presents several stories of people finding love online. One of the segments of the film is a great Second Life love story: a talented musician happened to meet a woman at an inworld performance, and as a result, both of their lives have changed significantly.
Watching the film, it’s clear Robert Kenner ‘gets’ Second Life, and in addition to telling his subjects’ stories with compassion, he realistically presents the virtual world and its possibilities. If you’re an HBO subscriber, I highly recommend checking this one out. For details and the trailer, see this page on the HBO Documentary Films website. If you’re not a subscriber, keep an eye on the film’sFacebook page for the DVD release date.
Watch Paisley Beebe Interview the Director
On February 6, Tonight Live with Paisley Beebewill have both Robert Kenner and Bara Jonson, the musician featured in the film, on the program. Paisley will interview Robert, and Bara will perform live. For details, check out Paisley’s announcement here.
Share Your Own Story and Support the Film
Over the years, many of you have shared your own stories about making meaningful connections with others in Second Life – and now, the filmmakers would love to hear them as well. If you have a story about meeting someone in Second Life that deeply affected you (it doesn’t need to be a romantic connection), add it to the film’sFacebook page – and while you’re there, click ‘Like’ to show your support!
It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays have taken over a good portion of the grid. Everywhere you look, there’s snow, lights, and so many wintery delights that all you can do is sip a peppermint latte and smile. And then join us for some thrillingly chilly fun festivities inworld on Monday the 19th, starting at 10 am SLT and ending in a snow-flinging frenzy where Lindens and Residents can frolic in an ice castle, pelting the hail out of each other at the Snowball Showdown!
Jolly Holiday Cheer to Celebrate the Year!
We'll be sharing a gift from Blueberry - but you can't open it just yet! Better make sure you're on the right list with the holiday higher-ups and stay tuned to this blog for when the gifts drop!
Put on your warmest wintery things and join us as we enjoy a little jolly running amok in a few of the prettiest regions to grace the fair realms of Second Life. From 10 am (SLT) to noon we will drop into the following destinations:
10:00 - 10:30 am (SLT)
The Arctic Express
Hop on the train and relax with friends en route to the North Pole! You can also put on some skates, get some hot cocoa and enjoy the snow.
Wander the maze and unscramble the winter word. Walk the meditation labyrinth and enjoy the holiday tree forest. Meet your friends here for some fun ice skating or just chat and explore this winter wonderland.
Rebel Yell Concerts presents Winter Ice Christmas Festival 2016. Have fun with the many winter activities, including a sky-rail, skiing, sledding, skating and a Santa sleigh ride! Enjoy awesome tribute concerts, plan a romantic dinner in a Christmas restaurant and spend some quality time in this immersive winter experience.
The old Frisland is gone for good but now there’s a new one -- a special winter location built by Frislanda Ferraris and Charlie Namiboo. Find a lot of Frisland items here, then take a seat and have a hot chocolate in a surrounding that’s completely new -- yet so familiar! Come over and enjoy a nice walk in the snow in this winter wonderland!
Once we’re well into the eggnog and merriment - feeling peaceful and lovely - it’s time to throw down and get a little f-ice-ty!
Ice, Ice, Baby!
The Snowball Showdown returns - and you’re not going to want to miss your chance to partake in a frosty free-for-all at Winter Wonderland - location coming soon! Join us on Monday, December 19th between noon and 2:00 pm (SLT)
If you’re looking for the latest in snow-slinging arsenal, be sure to grab your free snow launching weaponry from the vendors around the arena. Premium members can unlock even more powerful artillery - more on that later this week!
Mark your calendars, assemble your dream team of friends, and meet us in the snow!
The long wait is over: Project Animesh has been released Grid Wide! As of today the default viewer download and all regions on the grid support Animesh.
Animesh, first announced a year ago (!), allows independent objects to use rigged mesh and animations, just as you see today with mesh avatars. This means that you can now have wild animals, pets, vehicles, hair, zombies …. The possibilities are in your hands! We’ve created a Wiki which outlines how you can begin playing with Animesh. If you are a Premium Account, you will be able to attach two Animesh attachments instead of one. Note: You will need to be on an Animesh Enabled Viewer to see Animesh objects work correctly; if you are using a third party viewer they can let you know when support will be available.
A huge “Thank you!” goes out to those Second Life Residents who participated in our year-long Beta, both in the forums and at our inworld User Group Meetings .
We’re can’t wait to see what you will create and share with the rest of the community using these new capabilities. To help everyone find new animesh content, we’ve added a category on the Marketplace for it: Animated Objects
We look forward to your comments and bug reports in Jira.
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.
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.
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 millionhours 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:
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!
As we continue to improve Second Life, we’re looking into the issue of inventory loss. If you have experienced some form of inventory loss in the past 12 months - whether partial (such as a single object or subfolder), or full - please take a moment to share your answers via this quick survey.
Your answers will help provide our engineering team with information that will assist them as they make improvements to Second Life.
We greatly appreciate your time and want to thank you for responding to the survey.