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Linden Lab

This week we are shining a spotlight on Gabriel Easton (Wassup.Bruh), who runs Highlife Destinations with his family and takes our breath away with his virtual landscaping. You know someone’s really good at something when they make it look easy! Gabriel’s attention to detail has produced numerous regions that look and feel like absolute paradise.

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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 almost 15 years. I first heard about SL through a friend I was hanging out with, and they heard about it from an episode of CSI. They got curious and made an account and I watched them walk around for an hour. They were walking into people and we wondered why no one was talking… or doing anything for that matter. It was a strange world to us. They eventually grew bored but I wanted to see for myself what it was about and make the most of it. I signed up the next day and did the same thing. Just walked around. I learned to teleport and found some people who actually spoke. They taught me a few things, not much. I learned to shape my avi and got some freebies. I thought I was cute but man, looking back, I was still a hot mess! I rented my first apartment within that first week and met some cool people. That's what really made me stick around longer: the connections I made. Now, here I am 15 years later. I've gone with the flow of things and I'm happy I stayed to see all of the improvements.

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What drew you to virtual landscaping, and what styles have influenced your approach?
My love for landscaping started with another platform where you could design your homes. I would spend more time building the home and decorating than I did actually playing it. The same passion applied here in SL but with more of a learning curve. I always did my own landscaping and I didnt start out good, no one does. But with practice, I kept at it and got a little better. I didn't have it in my mind to make a business of it at first. That came later through encouragement from my Second Life family. I started out doing landscape work for my family and friends only. After I posted my photos, I gained more clients and kept at it. I haven't really defined my own style per se but one thing I will say about myself is that I tend to be a perfectionist. I have my landscaping pet peeves: floating trees, bare undecorated areas with so much potential, and bald grass! I just like for things to be perfect and beautiful and I go the extra mile to make that happen. I take a lot of pride in my work and those who experience it can see and feel that.

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Cuban Tropical Island

Since you work with your family as a creative team, please explain what role each person has, and what exactly your duties entail?
Highlife Destinations is a family company. For our destinations, I create the landscaping, decor and activities. My wife Tye handles the administration part as far as bookings, events, and so much more. Our son Roman does a lot of beautiful decor work on the hotel rooms and administrative work. Our daughter Sage does a lot with spa services, helping with check-ins and much more. Our daughter-in-law Savoeigh is our main check-in specialist. We have a full staff of team members like Jordan, A'storia, Lori, Bunny, Leta, and Angel that do various jobs in our restaurants, spa, cooking classes, and sip and paint classes. As for myself, I bounce around where I'm needed. I help with check-in, I may fill in for a spa here and there but mostly I serve dinners. Everyone works hard to provide excellent and fun roleplay experiences for our guests and I appreciate them all wholeheartedly.

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When building resorts or seasonal regions, what types of activities and amenities do you include to make a visit to these places different from regular exploration, i.e. an actual virtual vacation?
The difference is in the roleplay and immersion. With regular exploration, you go to a place, look around, take photos. Some places are interactive, but most are not. With our destinations, you are really on a vacation. People book for a day or two, sometimes more. They come with their luggage and start out in our airport, where they are greeted and checked in at our concierge just like a real hotel stay. Guests stay with us for their honeymoons, group vacations, or a quick getaway. They get to stay and make lasting memories together. 

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Timor Isles at Bali

Each resort will have activities that pretty much match the destination. In Timor Isles @ Bali, we had lots of fun water activities as well as underwater, zip lining and hang gliding. We didn't have a restaurant but we did serve dinner at their bungalows or a private romantic one on a mountainside.

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Winter in NY

Winter in New York had ice skating in Rockefeller Plaza, a Fun Zone arcade, Empire Steak restaurant, and more.

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Ibiza

Ibiza had water activities but it was more of a Nightlife resort with LOTS of parties on the water, in the club, and main pool area. We also had a nice mini golf and amusement park.

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Poconos

The Poconos had lots of winter activities such as skiing down a huge mountain and hang gliding. We also included a hot air balloon ride.

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Las Vegas

With Las Vegas we have packed it all in! Vegas has zip lining, a hot air balloon, paintball, pools, bowling, sand dunes, a drive-in movie theater, live shows, and more. We put together live shows every other week that feature showgirls, dancers, and singers. We also have a Viva Las Divas Drag show! Our shows have really been amazing and bring so much more to the Las Vegas  experience that you can't get anywhere else. I am honestly so proud and thankful for everyone that has had a part in them. They have worked so hard and our guests see that and have a really great time.

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Ibiza

How many regions is your team currently operating, and what can we expect from you next?
We usually keep our destinations for six months or more and then change it to something else. We are currently running Las Vegas, and it has four regions to explore. For our next destination, we will be bringing Timor Isles back for Bali 2.0! It will be bigger and better than ever before!

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Where can people see your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.
My Flickr  
My Facebook  
Las Vegas FB  
Las Vegas Instagram  
Las Vegas Flickr  

We hope you enjoyed learning about Gabriel and the creative potential of virtual landscaping. Make sure you check out his website and treat yourself to a magical escape!

 

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

Second Life Destinations: One More Light


Second Life Destinations

Inspired by works like The Great Gatsby, One More Light is a portal to the New York glitz and glamor of the 1920s.

Owner Abigail Lemongrass has been a Resident for years, finding that the virtual world provided accessible relaxation and fulfillment: “I worked long hours as a nurse and getting out of the house wasn't always a feasible option for me. Through pictures and building, SL offered that bit of solace that a weary soul needs. What I have found is a world of people who very much like myself just needed a spot to land and escape the real world for a while.”

Upon landing, visitors are given instructions to rez a stylish classic car, enter the estate, and immerse themselves in the posh atmosphere. There’s nothing like a grand staircase to make you feel like you’re on a luxurious getaway!

Mark your calendars, as there will be an event series at the big Gatsby Mansion from May 5th through May 15th. The One More Light team is hosting this “to raise money and awareness for Relay for Life in Second Life. There will be musicians, theater performances, a gallery exhibit, a kind of Kentucky Derby, {a screening of} The Great Gatsby, and a big fireworks finale.”

Abigail tells us, “We really loved the DRD Hotel when we saw it and knew right away that we'd use it for an event. The whole idea of going back to the 1920's was one we all jumped on because it's so much fun to dress up in Second Life.”

You don’t want to miss this, as Abigail has mentioned “The hotel will be here until May 15th and then we'll be off to a new build. We already have plans on making it an annual event though.” So grab your formal wear and head over for a cocktail at the swanky bar and restaurant before it’s too late!

Abigail wants us to know that this labor of love took a village of brilliant creatives, sharing, “SL offered an opportunity that would not have been afforded to me otherwise… Building {One More Light} was a collaboration of ideas among us all. I had the vision and our designer was able to create it like she could see into my mind.”

Team Members:
https://my.secondlife.com/Lily.Cloud
https://my.secondlife.com/Baylinerbob73
https://my.secondlife.com/haggis.firehawk
https://my.secondlife.com/Moira.Macarthur
https://my.secondlife.com/kasslinamoonglow
https://my.secondlife.com/moira.tristan
https://my.secondlife.com/montanaskies
https://my.secondlife.com/zarah.coronet
https://my.secondlife.com/braxtonryker
https://my.secondlife.com/photodoll77
https://my.secondlife.com/lene.float
https://my.secondlife.com/moniquenl
https://my.secondlife.com/sly.dawg
https://my.secondlife.com/saradawn2018
https://my.secondlife.com/river041

Music Credit: Freesound Music

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

Linden Lab

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Lab Gab is a talk show about the virtual world of Second Life. Join our host, Strawberry Linden on Friday, April 22nd at 9am PT as she speaks with Boston Blaisdale.

Boston is a popular YouTuber that has been creating informative Second Life Tutorials and fun shopping and fashion related videos for over a year. Subscribe to his YouTube Channel to see his work and tune in on Friday to learn more about him.

Lab Gab will be streamed to the Second Life YouTube Channel, Facebook Page, LinkedIn Page, and Twitter.

For full episodes of Lab Gab, click over to the Lab Gab YouTube Playlist.

 

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Braided Lives


Second Life Destinations

Creator Jenaia Morane describes Braided Lives as “a multimedia, multiplatform initiative designed to bring people from around the planet together to create, collaborate, and build community.” It currently features a music installation called Songs for Ukraine.

Jenaia has been a Resident for over 14 years, telling us, “the most important lesson I’ve learned is that people are people wherever and however they choose to appear, and virtual reality has a lot to teach us about what it means to be human.”

As a response to the overwhelming emotions that many of us feel these days as a result of chaotic global events and uncertainty about the future, Jenaia applied those values to Braided Lives. As one of countless people who saw the devastation of the Ukrainian invasion and felt a frustrating sense of powerlessness, Jenaia realized “What I am, however, is a storyteller who has learned that sharing our stories through song is one of the best ways to open hearts and keep hope and courage alive in the world.”

Jenaia goes into great detail on the various goals of the Songs for Ukraine project:

  • Entertain, Educate, and Inspire: “Bring people from around the world together to enjoy live music that supports and celebrates Ukraine. The concerts are held in recreations of places in Ukraine - e.g., the subways where people are living to escape the Russian bombs. These spaces are meant to give attendees a sense of what the Ukrainians are experiencing, including the hope and courage they’re displaying through their music. (Each live concert is broadcast in both SL and on the web so that anyone, anywhere with an internet connection can enjoy them. They are also recorded and archived so those unable to attend the live shows can listen later.)”
  • Support and Educate: “Though we do not collect money, the “Songs for Ukraine” concerts provide information on more than 14 organizations that are offering aid to Ukraine. We also share poetry by Ukrainian poets and are starting to interview and post the work of Ukrainian artists and musicians.”
  • Build Bridges: “To be effective, the work being done in virtual spaces needs to become readily available, easily accessible, and seen as relevant to the rest of the world. This is where music has a vital role to play: it crosses any and all boundaries, opens hearts, and reminds us that what we have in common far outweighs our differences.”

Walking through the region feels like an episodic journey through space and time, as each section has a unique aesthetic and feels insulated in a comforting manner. The air of serenity makes it easy to relax, and art pieces are perfectly balanced with the natural beauty of the outdoors. Eventually Residents happen upon a seating area on an enclosed square of sand, reminiscent of a zen garden. Just past that, a literal approach to the concept of a word tree that provokes visitors to think about familiar concepts in a new light.

Jenaia’s endeavor to foster resilience, hope, and connection features banners with inspiring quotes at the entrance and multiple stages for speaking and/or performing. There is also ample room for quiet contemplation, as one can see at a memorial for Ebbe Altberg, who many Residents remember as the CEO of Linden Lab until his passing last year. The poem “Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep” encourages the reader to live in the present moment and not be focused on the past or weighed down by grief for those lost.

All are welcome to visit Braided Lives. In a world that teaches us to be constantly moving, allow yourself to rest. You deserve it, maybe more than you know.

Video Production Credits: Draxtor Despres
Musicians in order of appearance: Cylindrian Rutabaga, Frogg Marlowe, and Raspbury Rearwin.

 

Strawberry Linden

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Pictured: Adagio Cove

Dive deep into the oceans of Second Life, live amongst the merfolk, and discover an exciting underwater virtual world filled with wonder and surprises! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We added over 50 destinations to the Destination Guide this week, so make sure to also check our Recently Added category to see all the latest additions to the Second Life Destination Guide!

Got a spot that you’d like listed in the Destination Guide? Make sure to drop us a note at editor@lindenlab.com or submit your spot via web form. Learn more about the Destination Guide criteria for Editors’ Picks or the Destinations Floater in the viewer, and increase your chances of being featured in those coveted spots!

Connect with Second Life on Social Media:
Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Flickr | Pinterest | TikTok | LinkedIn

Linden Lab

Second Life Spotlight - Inara Pey


Spotlight

This week we are shining a spotlight on Inara Pey. As the writer behind the comprehensive blog Living in a Modemworld, Inara reports on the evolution, current events, and vast potential of Second Life and virtual worlds. Living in a Modemworld is almost as old as SL itself, adding gravitas to the observations found in its lengthy catalog.

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

Altogether? 16 years - but I tend to not count the first time around, as I quit after several months for various reasons (such as jumping in without knowing much about what I was hoping to achieve or why I was giving it a go). However, by the end of 2006, the media hype cycle about SL was in full swing, and that gave me enough of an understanding about what I might find that I decided to give things another go - and 15 years and 4 months later, I'm still here!

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When and how did you get started writing about Second Life?

My SL-related blogging initially started in 2007, with a focus on what was then my primary interest. By 2008, I was writing more broadly about Second Life. {Around this time} some of the Lab's management and board (all of whom have long since departed LL) saw the future of the platform as being more of a "business application" - and that as a result, some users might not find the platform as welcoming as it had been going forward. This, coupled with other events (such as the whole OpenSpace / Homestead situation), led to a lot of criticism being directed towards the Lab; honestly, a more than good portion of it was justified, although equally, some of it perhaps wasn't.

For my part, I became aware that I actually didn't understand all of the complexities involved in running and maintaining a platform like SL as well as I perhaps should, making some of my own critiques either questionable or hypocritical. So I set out to learn as much as I could about the platform (and am still learning!) whilst also trying to report on it from a more objective standpoint, keeping subjective opinion to pieces clearly noted as such as much as possible. At the same time my interest in exploring SL more broadly came to the fore, as did my interest in SL art and in taking photos in-world - as a result, Modemworld was born.

You highlight the latest news, updates, and destinations in SL in such a concise and informative way. How do you stay on top of all of the information you wish to feature?

It's a combination of factors.

Most simply, I try to run on a schedule. I'm helped in this by the fact that some of the things I report on are themselves scheduled (such as the in-world user groups) or often announced ahead of time by the Lab or by event organisers. 

I also try to keep an eye on various sources of information - the official blogs, social media, various in-world groups, etc - that allow me to identify opportunities for blogging. In addition, I'm really fortunate enough to receive a lot of suggestions and requests, and to have friends who regularly nudge me about places I might like to write about (special thanks to Shawn and Cube and everyone who does so), and to have artists and gallery owners take the time to keep me informed as to what they are doing, as well as a readership who takes the time to let me know about things they feel might be of interest. 

I've also been very fortunate enough to attract some guest writers - Caledonia, R., Beq, and Marianne - who have all given depth to the blog.

Do you have a submission process for Residents who would like to have their destination promoted on your blog?

The best way is via notecard, although IMs will also generally work, and there is a Contact Me form on the blog. I cannot possibly cover everything I'm messaged about, and I do sometimes receive requests for articles that fall outside my focus, and so are not covered; my apologies to those sending them for this being the case. But generally, I try to take requests / suggestions on a case-by-case basis and blog with credit whenever there is a good fit.

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

Honestly, there are so many, it would be hard to point to a handful without me feeling guilty about not mentioning others. I'm constantly and repeatedly awed by the regions I visit, the art I encounter, and all the work of all the creators and scripters who bring depth to our in-world lives.

I'm also genuinely appreciative of the Lab (together with all the open-source developers) for all the work put into keeping this complex, aging, behemoth we call Second Life running as well as it does, nevermind constantly trying to improve and update it.

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What do you do to relax in-world?

A variety of things. As readers of my blog know, I have a particular love of in-world building / kitbashing, which I tend to combine with landscaping. I also love spending time boating, sailing, and flying in SL (and skydiving, something I had fun introducing to Strawberry!), and am in awe of all those who create and script the boats and aircraft that make this possible. Exploring is also a means to relax (even when related to blogging!), and of course there are those who keep me coming back to SL for their company.

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

 

We hope you enjoyed learning about Inara’s extensive background in SL. Sometimes it takes a village to provide coverage of everything that goes on in here, so don’t be shy about submitting content to Modemworld! And of course, we encourage any aspiring bloggers to check out the Second Life Blogger Network.

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

Second Life Destinations: Isla del Mer


Second Life Destinations

Swim among Jurassic era dinosaurs and plant life dappled with hints of fantasy at Isla del Mar.

It’s time for your avatar to see what’s happening below the surface: the water is a surreal cyan body that feels very much alive, filled with glowing seaweed and moving with gusto.

Creator Saer Genosse is a 3D modeling aficionado, saying it all started when “I became obsessed with building and doing terrain work back in ActiveWorlds in 1995…” Saer tells us that eight years later, “a coworker showed me Second Life and it was like starting all over again! The SL terrain program is sooo much faster than it was in AW, and it is my favorite thing to do in 3D!”

Fly over an active volcano to see a thick river of magma, one of many terrifying yet beautiful natural phenomena that Residents get to experience in SL. For Saer, “a world build is like a painting. I pick the color scheme, decide on the theme, and it becomes a process of creation. The fun part about SL is you can tinker with it endlessly, and that is where I am today.” Isla del Mar blends the past and present to make a magical paradise featuring orcas, sharks, and many other majestic creatures that we know only from what they left behind. 

Building in Second Life is engaging, fulfilling, and sometimes delightfully unpredictable. Saer shares, “Creating an environment that avatars enjoy has just been icing on the cake. Sometimes the theme of a world doesn't hit me until I start throwing terrain around. Some builds have even come to me in dreams! In the case of our newest {region} Isla del Mer, my RL husband and SL partner asked me a few years ago to build a volcano, so I finally have!”

The majority of the region is aquatic, and underwater exploration has a special way of providing the illusion of infinity. While all avatars are welcome to explore Isla del Mar, there is something spectacular about being able to glide through water with a fin. According to Saer, “We discovered Mer bodies a few years ago, and can't seem to go back to being 'leggers.' The fluidity and relaxing nature of swimming underwater is the most satisfying way I have found to spend my time online. Everyone should at least try it!”

Sears admits “I'm officially retired in RL and SL, but world building is in my blood and I can't imagine not doing it. I guess when I finally fall off the computer chair I'll quit.” Well, they say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Sounds like Saer has really gotten that figured out.

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

 

Strawberry Linden

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Pictured: NovaOwl

This week we added close to 50 new destinations to the Recently Added category on the Second Life Destination Guide, so if you're looking for places to hang out or some interesting events to attend, here's a list that'll keep you busy the whole weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got a spot that you’d like listed in the Destination Guide? Make sure to drop us a note at editor@lindenlab.com or submit your spot via web form. Learn more about the Destination Guide criteria for Editors’ Picks or the Destinations Floater in the viewer, and increase your chances of being featured in those coveted spots!

Connect with Second Life on Social Media:
Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Flickr | Pinterest | TikTok | LinkedIn

Linden Lab

Announcing Second Life University


Second Life University

Second Life University - Viewer Basics.png

Would you like to learn more about creating and modifying your Second Life avatar? Explore more of the Destination Guide? Perhaps you’re looking to acquire advanced knowledge of scripting and building in Second Life, or learn all about amazing inworld photography.

Welcome to Second Life University, a new project that aims to teach people all about the vast virtual world of Second Life! 

There are many videos and tutorials out there for Second Life already, including Second Life Tutorials on our YouTube channel as well as those created by our Residents, — and we’d like to consolidate information in one place as well as ensure that all content is up-to-date. We will begin with topics that are particularly relevant for newer users. This is a huge project that will take time, and we’re excited to work on and collaborate with the community to make it easily understandable and fun.

Also, we are keeping in mind that everyone learns in different ways, whether that’s watching and listening to a video, reading a text tutorial, or participating in an interactive Q&A livestream — so what does that mean? 

Thursday, April 7th, at 2pm PT, we’ll be kicking off Second Life University by doing our very first interactive livestream all about Second Life Viewer Basics.

After the livestream, we’ll be posting general notes on topics covered in the video here in text format, too. You can also get written information and assistance from our Knowledge Base and the Community Forums

Stay tuned for future updates. Happy learning!

UPDATE: Look in the description of the video on YouTube for a list of all topics covered, along with a timestamp to the exact moment it was covered in the video. 
 

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: The Lost Wonderland


Second Life Destinations

Feel the thrill of exploring an abandoned theme park on a rainy night at The Lost Wonderland.

This region is an ode to a nostalgia that many Residents may relate to. Creator Litani Istmal was having a conversation with some friends, reminiscing about “our years of meeting up at the small arcade in our mall before it shut down. It was our favorite meet up spot, the spot to meet someone new, and to just relax after a long week stuck in classes. For me, the whole experience is like going back in time to a place where happy memories were created.” The theme of the arcade is both literal and meta here; while you explore the grounds, given the the element of roleplay, it can also feel like you are inside of a game.

The landing point gives you the option of going in two directions, towards the outdoors portion with rides, or a covered area that bears similarities to the urban underground of an Asian neighborhood. Empty shops, a laundromat, and bright lights add an air of playful mystery.

The outdoor area is a dilapidated theme park with a ferris wheel, game booths, and other rides in a rusty state of decay. The once bright colors have now faded into garish shades under the dim light. Remnants of a wooden roller coaster sit at the edge, where riders once enjoyed a panoramic view of the surroundings. Walk into a dark cave and you’ll be teleported to another location, so visitors should be up for anything.

Since SL has been around for so long, Litani’s relationship to SL had time to grow and evolve. This might be encouraging for newer Residents or for those who are ready to try something new but don’t know where to start. Litani actually went through a creative block for a period, but tells us, “When the pandemic hit and the lockdowns followed, I found myself signing into SL again. I started exploring a bustling neighborhood style community and there I rediscovered my love for roleplay while COVID continued to turn every place in the real world into a ghost town.” 

Following this renewed interest in virtual creation and connection, Litani adds, “The pandemic definitely changed Second Life for me. I became more social and also made new friends that introduced me to activities like the weekly grid drives. That’s when I started to really explore and discover what all the Mainland had to offer.”

For those unfamiliar with the Mainland, Litani says “Mainland is a vital artery of SL. It offers plenty of amazing places created by Residents to explore and discover. Some of these amazing experiences include working railroads, subway stations, airports, and my favorite, sailing the open seas.  To the new explorer who may feel overwhelmed, there are pod stations that take you on tours. There are also great groups like Passengers of SL, where you can catch multiple plane rides and Drivers of SL, with their weekly guided grid drives.”

Visit The Lost Wonderland today to get your fix of good-natured mischief. Who knows where it will lead?

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

Linden Lab

shenanigans.png

Happy April Fool’s Day! The following Limited Edition last names are available until April 15th:

Joker
OwO
UwU
Hoax
Quirky
Shenanigans

Here is the full list of current last names available:
lastnames.png

We will continue to make additional updates to the available last name pool, so if these options aren’t for you, stay tuned for future updates. You can also suggest your favorite name on our suggestion form, the new names were chosen from there!

For more information about the costs and how-tos involved in name changes, read the Changing your username FAQ. Click to change your name now!

Linden Lab

SL19B.png

Save the date! On June 23rd, Second Life will be turning 19! The 19th annual Second Life birthday celebration (SL19B) will be held from June 16th to July 5th. Get ready for three fun-filled weeks of live music, performances, shopping, and amazing community exhibits!

The theme for SL19B is Steampunk, but don’t let that make you feel limited! Just like last year, your exhibit does not need to stay in theme. Share your Second Life passions with us. Your interests. Your communities. Your world! Every year we celebrate because of you, the amazing and creative Residents who have chosen to call Second Life home. What has drawn you into this world, and what keeps you here? These annual festivities are an opportunity to show us what fuels your Second Life. Let's celebrate that together!

If you would like to participate as an exhibitor with a presence at SL19B, then please fill out this exhibitor form no later than May 8th.

We’re also looking for volunteers to assist during the celebrations. We are seeking Residents with great people skills and a passion to share the best of Second Life to help us make SL19B a huge success! 

If you have the Second Life spirit and stamina to promote SL19B events and serve as a guide for huge crowds, we’d love for you to fill out the volunteer application by May 8th, 2022!

Over the next month, keep an eye on our blog for more opportunities to participate in the SL19B celebrations!

CURRENT APPLICATIONS FOR SL19B:
Volunteer Application - Applications close on May 8th, 2022 
Exhibitors Application - Applications close on May 8th, 2022 
Performer Application - Applications close on May 8th, 2022 (Blog Post)
Music Fest Application - Applications close on April 10th, 2022 (Blog Post)
 

Linden Lab

VCPoster.jpg

Virtual Cultures in Pandemic Times is a new feature-length documentary by Draxtor. Since March 2020, Draxtor has been following UC Irvine Department of Anthropology researchers Tom Boellstorff, Evan Conaway, Chandra Middleton, and Sandy Wenger around Animal Crossing and Second Life to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping online interaction.

Watch the world premiere in a virtual theater, along with other Residents, at the Film Threat venue in Second Life on Saturday, April 2nd at 1pm PT. 

After the premiere, there will be a Q&A session, so stick around and interact with Draxtor and more of the cast and research team!

 

You can also catch the premiere on Draxtor’s YouTube channel. Watch the three minute trailer before the premiere!

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations - The Endless Graveyard


Second Life Destinations

Something is amiss at The Endless Graveyard. Explore the tranquil, yet eerie forest and you may stumble upon a doorway to the supernatural.

Creator Lady Death Valknut started with a story, and as this narrative became more elaborate, this vast and mysterious place came together. 

According to Lady Death, 

"The story begins in Sweden, in the Victorian era, in a small town near the Norwegian border.  This town was a booming mining town, with rich deposits of Iron, copper, silver, and gold.  The town was swollen with wealth and elite society as a result of the profits from the mining ventures.  Miners would traverse the forest each day to dig deeper and deeper in the mines to extract these precious metals.  

However, unbeknownst to the miners, the town and forest existed near the only mortal doorway into the Underworld, the realm of Death herself.  Unexplained occurrences began to happen in the mine shafts.  Finally, one day after a blast of dynamite was used to open the next chamber of the mine, the gate to the Underworld fell open and the dead came screaming out like a tidal wave.”

As you walk around, subtle hints make it increasingly apparent that a macabre otherworldliness has enveloped this place. The dappled light that squeezes in from above is tinged with unnatural hues. Lanterns are shrouded in huge horns from animals that must look terrifying. Or are they carved bones?

Lady Death tells us, “For me, Second Life has always been a creativity outlet. It's the perfect place to combine my love of writing with my love of design. I have hundreds of stories in my head, and worlds to go with each of them. The theme of The Endless Graveyard is just one of those stories, and I chose it because it was one of the environments that best suited my character as Death.” As intricate as this region is, it is actually still being worked on and a full website will be available soon.

With SL, jumping right in and teleporting from place to place is a great way to get your bearings. This approach certainly worked for Lady Death: “I began Second Life by exploring places, getting lost in them, and finding hidden places. That is what made me fall in love with Second Life in the first place, and now I seek to create an environment destined to be explored, with hidden places that can only be found if one looks hard enough. I wish to pass on the joys I experienced in my newer days to the future Residents, something that sparks their imaginations and makes them think deeper about what they see on the surface.”

Do you dare face the dark presence that lurks in The Endless Graveyard? Discover hidden spots off the beaten path today.

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

Strawberry Linden

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Pictured: Art Korner

Get inspired at one of the Art installations this weekend! Here are just some of the newcomer-friendly galleries that have new exhibits. Find hundreds more in the Art category on the Second Life Destinations Guide.

Art Korner is a Blog & Gallery that has two new exhibits this month, The Inner Path by Selen and Coffee by Mara Telling. They also have a weekly Art Exhibits HUD released every Monday which teleports you to some of the latest installations across the grid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don't forget to check our Recently Added category to see all the latest additions to the Second Life Destination Guide!

Got a spot that you’d like listed in the Destination Guide? Make sure to drop us a note at editor@lindenlab.com or submit your spot via web form. Learn more about the Destination Guide criteria for Editors’ Picks or the Destinations Floater in the viewer, and increase your chances of being featured in those coveted spots!

Connect with Second Life on Social Media:
Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Flickr | Pinterest | TikTok | LinkedIn

Linden Lab

This week we are shining a spotlight on Zaara Kohime, who brings the luxurious colors of Indian culture and clothing to SL through her digital creations. In addition to gorgeous lehengas and saris, a visit to her main store is an experience in itself. She has artfully incorporated many architectural styles and iconic symbols of Indian culture, such as colorful tilework and a serene temple.

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

I have been in SL since 2007! A friend of mine pointed me to a news article about it and I signed up. I didn't quite know what to do once I logged in (don't we all?). I used to camp in those days to earn some lindens and eventually made some friends. Soon enough, I was told that if I have any sort of graphic capabilities, I should try creating something in SL.

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{Zaara} mainstore

Do you have a background in fashion or 3D creation? What got you interested in creating content for Second Life?

I went to art school and am trained in illustration and print media. I was also an art director at an ad agency that handled fashion and lifestyle brands. Advertising was on the cusp of digitization and print mediums were increasingly on the decline… we didn’t have the budgets at our disposal, or the timelines, that we were used to. It was just a high pressure environment and I was getting  pretty frustrated with that way of life. What attracted me to SL was the freedom, that I could do *anything* and if it was good enough, people were willing to pay for it and appreciate it. I liked the idea of being able to reach a global audience and to be on a level playing field; there was a sense of equality about it and mutual respect. The positive feedback from customers was also encouraging, it felt like what I was doing was worthwhile and bringing joy to someone in a very direct way.

I decided to make a few outfits in my spare time to see how it went... and thus {Zaara} was born. I was proficient in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, however, I had no training in any 3D software. Luckily, SL content at the time was not driven by mesh but rather by textures, which were my strength. Luckily, I could pick up newer techniques and softwares along the way as SL evolved. My partner, Sawyer Campese, was comfortable with 3D and I learned softwares quickly. Needless to say 14 years later, I am still here and loving it!

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{Zaara} Lehenga

As most of your clothing is highly influenced by South Asian culture, please share some common garment terms that people might not be familiar with. Are there any specific people, places, or movies that have inspired your designs?

{Zaara} is a quintessential Indian brand, pretty rooted in tradition and authentic in its representation. A lot of my customers who are not from India are often pleased to discover fashion goes beyond a sari. I do try to name my outfits correctly, with the name in Hindi and English so people understand how these pieces are called.

I try to focus on specific outfit styles, the most popular of which is a Lehenga - flared intricately worked on skirts with blouses with draped scarves. Most South Asian traditional garments tend to have draped scarves called 'dupattas' or 'chunnis' for the sake of modesty. Then of course there is the Sari - the ultimate fashion paradox... it is as complex as it is simple, with its richly decorated seven yards of untailored fabric.  There are apparently over 100 different ways in which a sari can be draped. I have managed to make... ONE style (lol). Then you also have tops or long dresses such as 'kurtas' which are worn with pants. These have several different names such as anarkali, a patiala, churidar kurta, sharara, gararas... depending on the cut of the top and the fit of the pants.

A big part of my inspiration is drawn from different fabrics, embroideries, and regional differences that stretch across the vast landscape of India. I also love color and South Asian fashion is one where strong colors and patterns are unapologetically front and center, so I like to celebrate that. A lot of my customers contribute references or draw attention to an outfit from a popular Bollywood movie and I happily comply if possible!

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{Zaara} Patiala Kurta (left) and {Zaara} Sari (right)

You recently updated the Zaara mainstore to an all mesh build. This photogenic Indian themed location is an attraction in itself, filled with meaningful cultural markers such as a temple, colorful tilework and stained glass, and the revered cow and elephant. What was the process of building such an elaborate store like, and what experience do you hope people take from visiting?

My inspiration for the {Zaara} sim was a mix of old Havelis (mansions) and the steps/ghats you see in Puskhar and Varanasi. I like this region because its architecture is influenced by Hindu as well as Islamic elements which captures the multicultural fabric of India.

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Zaara region ghats/steps

I also understand that a lot of non-resident Indians come to SL looking for nostalgia and a feeling of home.... I didn't want to build a palace, but rather something relatable that had seen better days and was looking for a sense of purpose. The {Zaara} mainstore is housed in such a 'Haveli' with a rambling layout which spills over outdoors into the lanes leading to the 'ghats' or steps into the water. 

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Zaara region lane

I initially referenced pictures off of Google, but unfortunately, I didn't even know where to start. Rural Indian builds are so chaotic and I couldn't figure out what these builds looked like on the inside, and how one building led into another. So I traveled to Rajasthan, along with my partner Sawyer, to collect references and observe the structures firsthand. The Mainstore structure itself is based on an old Haveli in Shekhawati. The yellow building that houses the Menswear is a quaint house I saw in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The pools are a nod to the gorgeous lake palace in Udaipur. Then there was this particular lane in Pushkar that I fell in love with and attempted to recreate a simplified version here in the sim. I could do sooo much more, the {Zaara} sim still feels like a work in progress... but I had to stop somewhere and get back to making Saris and Lehengas!

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Lane comparisons - RL (left) vs SL (right)

How has Second Life impacted your life?

Well, I met my now RL husband in SL, so it has certainly impacted my life (haha). In general, I think the most priceless thing Second Life offers is freedom. We have been able to move across countries because of how flexible we are... and because it is not a 9-5 job we could develop other interests and hobbies. I was bogged down by a mortgage on my apartment in Mumbai and my SL business helped me pay that back. We are now building a life together without the traditional constraints of a job or location, and I'll always be grateful to Second life for that. I have made so many friends from so many countries and even met a few IRL! Nothing can be quite as enriching as a culturally diverse human encounter. What keeps me going is the appreciation of customers, some of whom have been purchasing from my store for 13-14 years.

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Zaara region temple

Where can people follow you to learn more about your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.

Flickr
Facebook
Instagram
SLURL to Zaara mainstore
Zaara on Marketplace

We hope you enjoyed learning more about Zaara’s talent and flair for virtual fusion fashion. 

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

Second Life Destinations: Rainbow Reef


Second Life Destinations

Endless summer awaits at Rainbow Reef, a surfing destination with everything you need to relax.

Creators Love Repine and Ghost Mannequin know Second Life pretty well, having been Residents for about 15 years. Love tells us, “My motivation to create in SL has always been around beach {regions}. Building an environment based on movement, ambience and sound, a place where people can really immerse themselves in a true beach experience. A place to call home and a bolthole to escape.” 

Trade in skyscrapers for palm trees and hop into a wetsuit. Regarding the beach theme, Love adds, “I’ve been lucky to have had some amazing sims like Laguna Beach Club, Mojo Beach and now Rainbow Reef, that have attracted amazing people, which at the end of the day completes the circle.” A solar panel on one end of the beach gives it a modern touch.

A casual bar appears to be made of locally repurposed wood, providing a dance floor right on the water. Music was another factor that had to be just right, as Love mentions, “At Rainbow Reef we have hooked up with Dublab, an L.A.-based radio station that plays an eclectic mix of music which streams across the {region} 24/7 and brings in an extra dimension.” A cabana nearby would be a great spot to catch your breath after catching some waves, and the string lights make it great for day or night.

Regions that honor the beauty of nature and offer a virtual way to interact with it are great for virtual vacations when life doesn’t make it easy to take a day off. Love adds, “Recently at the height of the pandemic when people were restricted with travel, working from home, and often isolated in {the physical world}, Second Life gave people that channel to reach out and still feel connected.” 

However, Love feels that this magical draw to connection is not unique to the last two years, citing it as “just one example of why people have consistently used Second Life and will continue to do so, creating wonderful experiences for others, and for themselves, to spend time in.” Plus, don’t miss your chance to grab a pic with an adorable stray beach cat.

As you can see in the video, Rainbow Reef is a melting pot of Residents ready to kick off their shoes and live in the moment. As a reminder that at any given moment in SL you can meet someone from another part of the world, one of the Residents in the video is Jetcat Despres, hailing from Japan. Drax tells us that “we had to use translators to communicate but we all felt very connected and had a sense of presence, as Love mentions above. However the ingenious decision of LL early on to create a sense of family via last names was awesome. I had forgotten about this amazing aspect of the SL Metaverse!”

Who knows, maybe you’ll run into a long lost virtual relative as well! Find out by visiting Rainbow Reef today.

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

 

Strawberry Linden

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Pictured: Le Paradis at Ambiance Hideaway

Click that snapshot button as you explore these photogenic spots this weekend. Don't forget to check our Recently Added category to see all the latest additions to the Second Life Destination Guide!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got a spot that you’d like listed in the Destination Guide? Make sure to drop us a note at editor@lindenlab.com or submit your spot via web form. Learn more about the Destination Guide criteria for Editors’ Picks or the Destinations Floater in the viewer, and increase your chances of being featured in those coveted spots!

Connect with Second Life on Social Media:
Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Flickr | Pinterest | TikTok | LinkedIn

Linden Lab

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Save the date! On June 23rd, Second Life will be turning 19! The 19th annual Second Life birthday celebration (SL19B) will be held from June 16th to July 5th. The theme for SL19B festivities is Steampunk! Get ready for three fun-filled weeks of live music, performances, shopping, and amazing community exhibits!

To get things started we are opening applications for Music Fest, to be held June 16th-18th. Music Fest will kick off the overall SL19B celebration with three days of live music performances featuring some of the most talented live musicians in SL!

To sign up for a Music Fest audition, please complete this application form by April 10th, 2022.

We are also opening up applications for the general performance schedule. Why celebrate for one day when we can party for a week! We are looking for all types of performers to join the week-long festivities from June 19th-26th. Are you a DJ who can spin up a great party set or a live performer who can jam all night? You might be one of the grid’s amazing Dance companies, or perhaps you’re a Particle Performer? One of the things that makes Second Life so vibrant and exciting is the wide range of performers who share their talent with our Residents. Whatever your medium, we would love to hear from you!

Fill out the official performer application form by May 8th, 2022 and tell us a little about how you roll.

While we encourage all interested performers to sign up, please note that it does not guarantee a spot. We will review all submissions and extend audition invitations via a follow up note in-world to the SL username that you provide.

Over the next few months, keep an eye on our blog for more opportunities to participate in the SL19B celebrations as an Exhibitor, Volunteer, and Merchant!

CURRENT APPLICATIONS FOR SL19B:
Performer Application - Applications close on May 8th, 2022 
Music Fest Application - Applications close on April 10th, 2022

Linden Lab

This week we are shining a spotlight on Saffia Widdershins, a powerhouse woman that has years of promotional work under her belt, including an incredible job of hosting many award shows, pageants, talk shows, and more!

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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 early 2007, when my team in the Medical Sciences Division of the University of Oxford asked me to go into Second Life and see if it might be useful to us. I went in and did a little exploration... and was fascinated by the whole environment and decided I wanted to explore more thoroughly. I created a second avatar to do this - so Saffia is actually an alt!

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Prim Perfect Magazine - Covers of the first (2007) and last issue (2015)

In addition to being renowned in Second Life for hosting a variety of events, you are known especially for your in-depth interviews. When and how did you get into broadcasting in Second Life? 

My first venture into media in Second Life was with Prim Perfect, Second Life's first home and garden magazine. As my (real life) husband said... "You're planning on a virtual magazine in a virtual world, telling virtual people what virtual furniture to put in their virtual homes … and you're planning to make real money doing this?" After we'd been up and running with the magazine for six months, I thought we could also have a presence on Second Life TV, so I contacted the popular network SLCN (later Treet TV) and asked if they'd like a home and garden show. That was the start of MetaMakeover, which was planned to be a home makeover show, but it very rapidly expanded far more into looking at places and events, and so it soon became Designing Worlds. And so it is to this day! There's a longstanding team behind it - in addition to myself there's Elrik Merlin, Aisling Sinclair, Wildstar Beaumont and - recently, Bain Finch who is a second videographer.

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A double page spread from The Primgraph by Terry Lightfoot

Designing Worlds is such an amazing resource for creators. What are some of the other shows and events, past and current, that you have produced? 

I've also been involved with Happy Hunting, which was produced for a number of years by Cinders Vale and Petlove Petshop. And, of course, there was the thriller/fantasy story of The Blackened Mirror, which was a group production by a very talented team which included Zander Greene, Da5id Abbott, Aisling Sinclair, Petlove Petshop, Lorin Tone, Terra Volitant, Mavromichali Szondi, Angie Mornington, AvaJean Westland, and others. And then there was The Primgraph, a magazine for the Steamlands, which ran for several years.

One event that is so close to my heart is One Billion Rising. We recently held the 10th annual event, as it's been running since 2013. That's a long time in Second Life! It's part of international events held around the world on February 14th,  drawing attention to the statistic that one in three women worldwide will be beaten or raped during her lifetime - which adds up to more then one billion women and girls. It's an event with music, dance, art, and poetry. For many people, men and women, it's very powerful - it certainly is for me. I've been involved with the team leading it throughout - it actually started by the editorial team of Prim Perfect; when we read about the event, we wanted to be part of it! Over the years, many people have been involved - the team this year included Dawny Daviau, Briony Writer, Adele Ward, Cherryblonde Scribe, Meegan Danitz, AvaJean Westland, Jenny Anatine and some amazing volunteers who came in all shapes and forms! 


Designing Worlds visits One Billion Rising in Second Life 2022 

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

Well, quite a lot of them are people I'm lucky enough to work with - or have had the opportunity to work with in the past!

Deep breath...

I would have to look at people who have created some amazing events, such as the teams behind events such as Fantasy Faire. The organisational skills there (led by Elizabeth Tinsley and Zander Greene) are amazing - and every year the creations of the designers just blow me away. One of my favourite things that I do each year is to lead the Company of Faire Folk on the tours we have each year, where a group of us go and explore each region of the Faire in turn, so we get to admire the work of creators like Alia Baroque, Saiyge Lotus, Sharni Azalee, Kayle Matzerath, Kilik Lekvoda, Walton Wainwright and Loki Eliot. The Tours run very smoothly, thanks to Aoife Lorefield and the rest of the LitFest team - the Literary Festival and now the Film Festival, led by Chantel Harvey, are components of Fantasy Faire.

And then there's the Home and Garden Expo, led by Kaerri Rae, which is the most wonderful way of seeing the best of home and garden design in Second Life. As well as the lovely furniture design, I always look out for Cassie Eldamar's doll houses - really beautiful, intricate models of Victorian houses - and a library, a pub, a lighthouse - all tiny with amazingly low land impact.

So many people contribute to Second Life in so many ways ... Marianne McCann, OldeSoul Eldemar, Desmond Shang, Mosseveno Tenk, Maxwell Graf, Froukje Hoorenbeek, Tymus Tenk and Truck Meredith, Kaya Angel and the wonderful team behind Grendel's - Flea Bussy and Toady Nakamura. Toady also runs wonderful classes teaching people to build in Second Life every week.


Final Scene of Much Ado About Nothing for Fantasy Faire 2017

Are you currently working on anything new?

Actually, yes. I'm working with Zander Greene (and many others) on a new series set in the same universe as The Blackened Mirror series. It's called "Harland Quinn and the Omega Hex", and I can say this about it ... When a lethal, magical anomaly out of the pages of legend begins wreaking havoc all across the Fairelands, it falls to a mismatched band of heroes to stop it before it’s too late. A Dark-Elven femme fatale, an erudite librarian, a rough-and-tumble sanitation worker, and a hard-boiled Private Detective will have to overcome their differences if they’re going to solve the enigma of the Omega-Hex and a mysterious scientist who may not be what she seems. We're planning to release the first three episodes at Fantasy Faire this year, and the next three next year. There's a very large team behind this - as you can imagine!


The first episode of The Blackened Mirror - 2012

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

Prim Perfect Website  
Prim Perfect Facebook  
Designing Worlds Website
Saffia on Flickr  
Saffia on Twitter  
Saffia on Facebook  
Saffia on YouTube  
Saffia on Vimeo  
You can watch many of Saffia’s interviews with the Lindens & Moles on YouTube


A Media Project from 2014 by Saffia Widdershins

We hope you enjoyed learning more about Saffia’s successful years in 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

Second Life Destinations: The Desire Realm


Second Life Destinations

The Desire Realm pays homage to Roro Jonggrang, a Javanese fairy tale of love and betrayal, set in a gorgeous Hindu temple with a tropical monsoon climate.

Creator Aryluke tells us that this region was originally something else, and over time evolved into Candi Roro Jonggrang - Prambanan. Prambanan is an 8th-century Hindu temple compound in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, that is dedicated to the Trimūrti, the expression of God as the Creator (Brahma), the Preserver (Vishnu), and the Destroyer (Shiva).

Aryluke explains, “I love building in Second Life, so my {region} and its concept will most likely always change a lot. However, it will still be about my home here in Central Java, Indonesia and all the monuments and temples we have here in {the physical world}. I will keep them rezzed to share with everyone all over the world.”

The sky and water bear an interesting palette of sepia and taupe; this shields visitors from the harsh tropical sun while giving the region a peaceful golden hour tone. It also makes the green of the palm trees and plant life pop. This is a tranquil region untouched by industrialization, made in honor of natural beauty and its sacred soundscape.

The setting has great spiritual value, as Aryluke tells us, “The Desire Realm or Karma Vhibangga Level as it stands now on my {region} is the lowest level of The Borobudur, which features 160 relief panels all telling stories about moral and ethical questions and interactions between people in a variety of social settings, so they - as Buddhists - can become better humans, while in the physical realm.” Perfectly preserved ancient structures provide a sense of timelessness, and sculptures of Hindu deities are immensely humbling. If you are lucky enough to find a horse, riding it over the water is pure magic, imbuing visitors with a profound sense of gratitude. 

Aryluke’s creative process involved the following: “I used some pictures from the museum in Borobudur and textured them on those giant prims surrounding the top level of the Borobudur. This way people who visit can actually view them, which they could not do in RL because they are too high up.”

Aryluke’s approach to SL is multifaceted, illustrating the numerous ways that Residents can find fulfillment here: “I joined SL to have more creativity, friends, and fun. It has been a wonderful world for me, {I’m} so glad to see what people build here from all over the world. A lot is about nature, education, art, culture, etc. I spend my time in SL exploring places. There is a lot to learn here, if you want to.”

Regarding what sets Second Life apart from other virtual worlds, Aryluke tells us, “Considering everything we have in SL: the variety of {regions}, quality of avatars, business/marketplace, virtual currency, land/property, and social life… SL is still the best metaverse for me.”

We each have a unique perspective on the culture we grew up in, and experiencing different cultures with the guidance of someone within the community provides invaluable authenticity, with little details you can’t always find through your own research. Like many others, Aryluke explains, “I have been a heritage enthusiast since I was very young, and so when I discovered SL and had a chance to build things we have here in Indonesia, it became very interesting for me.”

Immerse yourself in ancient history and international culture the Second Life way, and visit The Desire Realm today.

Aryluke's Flickr

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

Linden Lab

In honor of Women’s History Month, we are shining a spotlight on a successful woman entrepreneur. Jasmine Kiyori is a prolific virtual builder whose work aims to authentically honor various cultures and locations from around the world.

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Jasmine’s work includes Little Santorini, Cheri Noel, and Kiyori City. (Note: Kiyori has two components, Kiyori City, rated Moderate, and Kiyori, rated Adult. If you do not wish to visit Adult regions, make sure to adjust the settings in your viewer preferences, as this will determine what types of regions you are allowed to enter.)

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

I’ve been a Second Life Resident for 13+ years now! I’ve always been interested in virtual world platforms and games; I’m 90% sure I found Second Life through one of those ads on the side of Adobe Flash Player games back in the day. I made an account but didn’t really get into Second Life until an old friend brought me back in a few months later and I’ve been here ever since.

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Do you have a background in design or architecture? How did you get into 3D building?

Actually, I don’t have a background in either! I’ve been building since I joined Second Life and that started as a hobby: before I had land I would go to public sandboxes and build there. Once I started purchasing land, I would make themed skyboxes for my friends and myself to enjoy,  but I wasn’t very confident with the work and would do it on the side of other interests in Second Life.

Although many know me for builds now, I have pursued different paths in Second Life such as meshing, photography, managing and hosting at clubs, buying, selling, and developing land, and helping others create their own unique look.

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Your work in Second Life has a very international feel, with themes encompassing various cultures. How did you learn so much about all these different places?

In RL I love to travel! I've learned through my experiences during travels, people that I've met, and plenty of time dedicated to research. I've always been interested in other cultures besides my own and am very eager to learn about other countries' customs and way of life. When I design new spots or rentals, I always do a lot of research and make sure what I'm introducing is true to the design of the place I'm referencing. This comes down to architecture design, landscape, and knowledge of customs and culture. I'm very careful to not include something that doesn't make sense, wouldn't be there, is mocking, or generalizes and blends it into a similar culture. I think that bringing these cultures into Second Life is a beautiful thing and a great way to learn and understand them for those who aren't familiar but are curious. I have found that with places I've designed it not only attracts people who are interested in learning and experiencing these places, it also appeals to people from those cultures as well. I plan on designing something for every continent, and aim to represent various countries and their beauty whether on a smaller scale such as a single mainland rental home, a hangout spot, or on a greater scale full region.

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How did you discover virtual rentals, and when did you get started?

With my builds, I started to develop a small but dedicated community in Kiyori back in 2018-2019. The regulars were really impressed with my work, and would ask if they could live in Kiyori. I set up a few apartments in the city, and quickly they were all rented out! This interest from my community urged me to expand Kiyori to two full regions. I shifted the focus of Kiyori more into a community rental place along with the city being a public place for all to enjoy.

At the start of the pandemic in 2020, I began to participate in land auctions, where I would find mainland plots with cultural region names and design a home based on that culture which tends to be for rent or permanent sale. I love this because, whatever becomes available on a land auction is totally random, and so when I find one that does have a cultural region name, it's usually something I haven't done and challenges me with a new style. I have plenty of themed homes on the mainland in styles such as {those found in} Mexico, Japan, Sweden, Finland, Korea, Russia, Italy, and more to come! My first mainland plot, Hygge Retreat, is a Scandinavian cabin that is still available for rent or permanent purchase today!

Another outcome of the pandemic was Little Santorini! It is a full region vacation island based on the physical world location of Santorini, Greece. This was my first full region and at the time of launch was, and still mildly is, controversial due to it being a vacation island with day rates. Nowadays, many Second Life Residents are familiar with vacations within Second Life, and plenty of information can be found by reading blog posts written by Dirk Vanlager, who has been highly supportive of my works.

There is also Kiyori City (moderate region), the expansion region of Kiyori. This is the clean, luxurious side of the city featuring places such as The Takai Hotel, Cat Cafe Kariko, Seiryu Blues Lounge & Bar, and much more! Kiyori (adult region) is a full region based off of various Asian cultures, and this is the seedier side of the city.

Finally, I also run an annual winter vacation destination, Chéri Noël, which is based off of Strasbourg, France. I love this place because it combines French and German aesthetics. It runs yearly from December 1st-January 1st, where we go out in style and hold our annual star-studded New Year's Eve Formal!

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Are you working on any new projects, or just maintaining your current regions? Tell us about what it takes to maintain a vacation region year round.

We just launched the Kiyori website where you will be able to find information on all my projects, rentals, and so on.

I design mesh as well and run Kiyori Shop! You will be able to find all my latest items here! (There is also a new clothing store coming out soon, so stay tuned!)

I am always thinking of new micro-areas for the Kiyori & Kiyori City regions, this makes the city more realistic and keeps things fresh.

I am also planning on reworking Little Santorini, I have new ideas for it but there’s no set date for this.

While there is no set date or specific details set in stone, Vrutega and I plan on collaborating for video content for Kiyori & Kiyori City.

As far as new destinations, mainland homes pop up when I find a region with a good name to work with! I have also teased a new type of experience I'd like to offer on social media, it's kind of a cross between Santorini and the mainland rental homes. Most vacation destinations operate on closed access, meaning you have to book first to access the place. With my new experience, I will be designing smaller scale, private region destinations that are cultural, authentic, and immersive. These new destinations will be self check-in, there is no booking required meaning it will be easily accessible to all timezones and will be first come first serve.

It's important for me to note that Kiyori as well as Chéri Noël would not have been possible without Megan Prumier. Megan has dedicated so much time and effort to the development of these places and I don't want that to go unnoticed. Megan understands my vision very well and we work extremely well together. When I don't know what to do, Megan knows! I haven't found anyone that matches her creative ability and we have future plans to work on new places together. I can't thank Megan enough for everything she's done, and Megan also has her own venues as well, please do check out her works on her Flickr.

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

Kiyori Website
Flickr
Facebook
Kiyori Facebook Page
Instagram
Kiyori Instagram
Marketplace
YouTube

Watch this video: Aquatic Adventures in Little Santorini

 

We hope you enjoyed learning more about Jasmine’s work and inspirations, as well as the thriving vacation rental industry of the metaverse. 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

Second Life Destinations: The Forgotten Gardens


Second Life Destinations

A peaceful fog rolls over the hills of The Forgotten Gardens, where fantasy roleplayers and curious explorers can spend hours writing their own story.

This expansive region feels like a slice of English countryside cloaked in elements of high fantasy. Creator Eloise Lionheart explains, “I've always been drawn to the fantasy side of avatars. Fairies, elves, and other mythical creatures. That combined with my love of nature, I felt a need, a pull towards something more fantasy in theme, more an escape into the imagination, an escape from reality.” It certainly is, with glowing specks floating in the air giving the entire region a very magical touch.

Upon arrival, visitors walk out into tall grass where a creek flows nearby. On the other side is a gazebo overgrown with vines, flowers, and thick roots wrapped around the fountain in the center. The lush plant life makes it feel as if the whole place is alive. In addition to the fantasy genre, Eloise tells us of a particularly influential book: “The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson is a childhood memory and building a secret garden filled with fantasy and wonder became a must.” Quirky frog sculptures and plants with bulbous flowers the size of your head add a whimsical flair. The English undertones are visible yet again with none other than a sweet Corgi sitting in a wagon. 

Eloise proclaims, “For me, one of the many joys of the Second Life Metaverse is that region creators can bring to life fantasy, roleplay or real life destinations.” However, building was not on their radar at first. “I never once thought I would have the ability to create regions people enjoy so much. I knew nothing about landscaping or creating a scene. I spent a long time browsing Flickr in wonder at the way bloggers, creators, and landscapers would display content and make it look so realistic and thought provoking.”

So, to newer Residents or those interested in building but are scared to try, Eloise says, “When you are looking at that flat square of terrain, it can be close to impossible to imagine it can be developed into your thoughts. That first step is to believe in yourself and if I can do this, anyone can!”

Each section of this region feels like a chapter of a story. In one corner, a small cemetery is adorned with wildflowers, under the careful watch of some stoic deer. If you dare to cross into the more dense fog, sculptures of two rearing unicorns form an arch at the entrance of a bridge. Of the twists and turns of the creative process, Eloise says, “That is the magical part of learning on this journey. Each failure has been a lesson and each lesson another idea, and from that idea has grown a new thought to share. Best of all, a small piece of land can be the start of great things and this ability to grow is open to everyone, it just takes some belief in yourself…”

A mansion or castle lies just beyond, with halls bearing trails of white rose petals. This place could even be a wedding venue, with a regal ceremony room and playful modern touches like a rec room offering billiard and ping pong tables. It gives The Forgotten Gardens an air of unpredictability, proving again that in Second Life, anything is possible.

“I truly believe that Second Life and the 3D world is an extension to books or films. You can lose yourself in a book, the hours pass and you crave the ending, to know the full story, to see if your theory was right. That creativity of writing carries over into this world we all share: as books fill our minds with words, those words become pictures, and from those pictures we form ideas. It pushes your need to create it in another form, and that is the beauty of Second Life. People bring stories to life virtually as their imagination is stirred. It's a never-ending flow that brings inspiration to the wanderer…”

Wander through The Forgotten Gardens today to see what kind of story you’ll leave with. Post on the region’s Flickr to share with others, and maybe your story will evolve into an epic tale!

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

Linden Lab

Linden Lab strives to make positive change in the world by helping people connect, discover themselves, and grow both personally and financially. Ultimately, we build and support communities. Therefore, it is especially shocking to see the actions in Ukraine, to see the unwarranted attacks on people – on communities. We are heartbroken and horrified by the situation in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis it has perpetuated. We are a proudly diverse team, and many of us have ties to these events - historically, emotionally, professionally, and socially. Our products reach worldwide, and many of our partners and customers are directly affected by this crisis. 

As a leadership team, this crisis has challenged us to better define and embrace what we believe to be the core principles at Linden Lab – our TAO so to speak.

Specifically, our TAO says:

MAKE CHANGE ON A GLOBAL SCALE

Our work brings people together, builds communities. Our work helps people understand who they are, helps them be better. Our work brings empathy, helps people see the world through others’ eyes. Settle for nothing less than changing the world for the better.

We intend to live up to this principle, and while there is much work to be done, we are starting with: 

Effective Monday, we will be further supporting our eligible Ukrainian-based community members by granting them a temporary 30-day moratorium on recurring account fees such as Premium Membership and Land Maintenance fees.  We will review this again after 30 days and assess what we can do as next steps where necessary. We invite any of our Ukraine-based community members to contact support with any specific questions they may have.

Finally, we encourage our community to look at ways that they can help show their support. It is heartening to see the Second Life community come together to support each other with numerous inworld events and helpful initiatives that bring us together as a force for good in both the physical and virtual worlds.

Linden Lab

Second Life Destinations: Black Kite


Second Life Destinations

Step into the surreal otherworldliness of Black Kite, where the serenity of a lily pond meets the comfort of your coolest friend’s living room.

Black Kite is sort of a patchwork of inventive resting places connected by long piers that extend deep out into the water. This adds a fun hint of surprise as you approach each station, as you have no idea what is about to rez. Creator Cloudy tells us, “Second Life is this magical world of creativity and expression; you can do just about anything and be just about anyone. I love how it connects so many people from all over the world and different backgrounds, enriching your life in ways one might never have expected.” 

This region is ripe for exploration, with sights like floating fish and cozy pieces of furniture strewn about the corners. What at first looks like a small shack turns out to be an industrial chic lounging area with water lilies sprouting through the cracks in the floor. Cloudy explains that this imaginative creation is a way of giving back to SL, saying, “I would spend countless hours at places, just enjoying what other creators made… I decided I wanted to give back, like so many others did before me, and create a little spot where people could think, dream, and just have a special little place to call their home if they didn't have one. I wanted to add my own little bit of magic to this magical place.” 

This photogenic region shows the vibrant intersections of fantasy, art, and self-expression that take place in our virtual world everyday. The glistening water gives a sense of timelessness while other elements, like a whirlwind of butterflies around a tree, are perfectly frozen. Black Kite has an aura of self-acceptance that Cloudy also appears to possess, stating, “I take Second Life just like real life, one day at a time… so who knows what the future may bring. Perhaps working with others on projects, maybe creating a new project myself or just continuing to enjoy seeing people come to Black Kite after all these long years.” A dilapidated phone booth, a symbol of travel or transformation in many works of fiction, is adorned with tree branches and golden buttercups. Nature gracefully reclaiming human creations is a predominant theme of this whimsical dreamscape. 

On what may come of other “metaverse” platforms, Cloudy tells us, “I've tried just about every single virtual world that has come out and yet I'm still here in Second Life. All these other worlds come and go.”

There is also a corner where you can buy home and garden items made in the same fantastical style, for those inspired to create their own dreamy getaway. Flowers as tall as an avatar play with size distortion, adding childlike wonder and playfulness. “Second Life means a lot to me, it's more than just a game or hobby, as it allowed me to meet so many people I would never have; I've made wonderful friendships and bonds that make me feel very blessed.”

Join the Flickr group today to share your adventures!

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

 

 

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