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This year’s theme for our SL17B celebrations is “vacations and road trips” - and, in this spirit, we are pleased to debut today a five-part mini-series dedicated to the unique history, culture and communities surrounding one of the most popular modes of travel in our virtual world - railroads in Second Life. Our virtual journalist Draxtor Despres recently took a ride on the rails of SL to travel across miles of virtual railroad tracks spanning across the grid. Along the way, he makes multiple stops to meet a wide variety of colorful characters and creative communities. In episode one, Hrdtop75 Deluxe of the Virtual Railroad Consortium joins Drax for a look back at the origins and history of the Second Life Railroad (SLRR) system which originated in 2003 within the northwest part of the Sansara continent before eventually expanding to more than 80 regions including the Heterocera (or Atoll continent). Episode two focuses on the Bay City Short Line and trolley developed under the guidance of SLRR co-founder Athos Murphy (formerly known as Michael Linden). In episode three, both Drax and Hrdtop75 explore the ONSR (Okemo Nakiska & Southern Railway), located in the snowland regions of the Sansara continent. The ONSR spans across 13 regions and serves 10 stations for a roundtrip averaging about 22 minutes. Episode four highlights the communities surrounding the ZZR (Zany Zen Railway), which was built by Zen Swords-Galway. As you travel the ZZR, you’ll discover a variety of quirky communities and unique attractions including the small Welsh seaside town Little Coverston. The series concludes in episode five featuring an interview with VP of Product Operations Patch Linden, who discusses the important role of railways within the expansive infrastructure of the massive Bellisseria continents (where thousands of Residents reside within Linden Homes). Drax will be joined by many of the interview subjects featured in the series during a special SL17B Q&A and screening event held inworld June 23 at noon SLT. You can also watch the event live or archived on YouTube. CREDITS: Video Production: Draxtor Despres Narration & Research: Hardtop75 Deluxe Sets & logo: Marianne McCann Special thanks to Patch Linden, Squeaky Mole and Joshu Philgarlic Trains used made by Hardtop75 Deluxe, Zen Swords-Galway, Atomic Infinity and Brit Balogh
Can real people find true love in a virtual world? It is happening each and every day in Second Life and our limited-run “Love Made in Second Life” series explores how romance and long-distance relationships can thrive in the metaverse. Meet Suite and Danny Bourne, a Netherlands-based married couple that first met in Second Life over twelve years ago. It all started around 2007, when they first met on a virtual beach in Second Life. Danny, who sells prefab houses under his brand name reBourne in Second Life, was moving rocks along the shoreline. Suite was nearby relaxing on the beach before she noticed that her sunbed she was laying on was playfully lifted up high above the sand. “She was in the way, so I moved her,” jokes Danny. That flirtatious encounter led to conversation and a day of exploration as the two got to know each other better and they toured various parts of the virtual world together. They kept meeting each other on the same beach over subsequent days and weeks. While Danny initially expressed some concerns over the age difference between the two, they both continued to grow closer. “You can’t turn off attraction,” says Suite. Both eventually moved their virtual relationship to the physical world where they were married and now have a child. “There’s no way we would ever meet each other in real life,” says Suite. “It’s magic. That’s what I really love about Second Life. There’s no prejudice, no judgments.” It “feels like home,” adds Danny. VIDEO CREDITS: Production: Draxtor Despres Logo: Marianne McCann
Our “Made in Second Life” series continues with “Movies Made in Second Life” featuring a look at the sci-fi machinima series “Future Shock” by Pryda Parx. Shot entirely in Second Life, “Future Shock” tells a story of a dark and terrifying dystopian future dominated by technology and where real life and virtual worlds intertwine. “I’ve worked on ‘Future Shock’ for four-and-a-half years,” says Parx. “The story of the series is about state intervention, watching your every move. You are born with credits and if they are depleted you are in big trouble. My hero Tracy is trying to defeat the forces that keep people oppressed” The full production spans a total of 24 episodes and Second Life enabled Parx to have full creative control over her production. “In Second Life I have free rein,” she says. “Since I do everything myself - from character design, props, animation scripts, etc - I don’t have to wait for anyone else. I just get on with it! I start with putting whatever is in my head down on paper and go from there. Since my home in SL is also my studio, I can change and modify the sets easily." The first series introduced the "Future Shock" world and Tracy as the central character. It left a lot of the ideas in the story, as well as how the world works, only hinted at. The events in the first series shape Tracy's destiny. “Her credit that she was born with gets depleted, and it’s about her wanting to survive,” says Parx. Season 2 covers the same timeline as series one but is seen from the point of view of a group of rebels led by an unnamed character, known as Big Boss to everyone. Season 3 picks up the story immediately after the ending of series one and series two and takes it through to a dramatic conclusion. You can watch all episodes of the “Future Shock” series on the Pryda Parx Studio YouTube channel. CREDITS: Video production: Draxtor Despres Logo courtesy of Marianne McCann