Monday, October 31, 2011
DrFran Babcock, a Second Life blogger whose batty friend Ariel Loonie is a frequent subject, shows off her own winged avatar, a modified early Lusk bat when we were both at the Skybeam Estates.
It was turning dusk, and getting close to closing time when a dark figure walked in. He was dressed all in black, and resembled a humanoid bat, covered in thin black fur and with huge wings folded on his back. After a couple moments of looking around, he walked up to one of the tellers.
“Um, hello?” the teller greeted nervously.
“Yes,” the visitor spoke, “I’d like to inquire about making an account here.”
“Well Sir, we’re an exchange service. For a small fee, you can exchange one of a number of currencies from around the world to Lindens, and vice-versa.”
“Oh. Well in that case, I’d like to exchange a few Euros for an ammount of Lindens. There is some business I’d like to conduct inworld.”
“Of course, Sir.” Through electronic transfer, the visitor brought forward an ammount of Euros for sale, and the teller exchanged it for the Lindens
“Excellent.” The visitor smiled, “I don’t suppose you know where I could find a bakery or candy store, to pick up a supply of cookies?”
“I know of a few places, Sir,” the teller listed a few, “Planning on having a party?”
“Perhaps later. But tonight I shall be taking part in, I guess you might call it a blood drive. And I understand it’s customary to give sweets to the,” the figure paused and grinned, the tips of his fangs showing, “donors.”
The teller spoke nothing, the dark visitor’s words and toothy smile having brought a chill up his spine. All that was done was to watch the figure walk out of the bank, flap his wings, and jump up and took flight into the darkening sky.
The Podex Exchange is located at Moonbeam (26, 223, 34), with a website at http://www.podex.info/ . Jacek Shuftan is the CEO.
For those whom wanted something a little deeper for several hours of gaming fun, the Lab mentioned “Urban Zombie,” an abandoned city filled with “haunted alleys and dark passageways” where the undead lie in wait. This game is a little more detailed, involving getting and wearing a HUD, which keeps track of your score, as well as experience points, quests, and missions. There’s also a free gun available. After that, you can head out into the streets. For more serious players, there is armor and other items up for sale.
For the truly serious zombie slayers, aka the “zombie maniacs” as the blog called them, there were places “that will immerse you deeper into the combat gameplay.” The Linden article described game in this third category, “Bloodbath and Beyond,” which could be described as a Medieval Fantasy MORPG. In this sim, “you fight zombies, skeletons and elves, complete quests for prizes and rewards, drink potions to rejuvenate, and much more. Play with friends and even level up.“
Before playing, residents are asked to spend about 20 minutes or so reading the rules, background story, and other information. Then join the group, wear an appropriate outfit (the Linden blog showed a picture of a revealing Fantasy outfit for women fighters), then get the starter pack with a HUD and a longbow & sword (no guns allowed in the Medieval area). The HUD also keeps track of your score, and the highest ones are publicly displayed, so along with the guts comes glory.
Although the blog article showed a variety of action games in Second Life, not everyone was overly impressed. Hamlet Au, although he called it “a good resource guide,” he commented it “reminds me how much Second Life’s Development tools need to improve.” Simple games from Facebook could be downloaded in less than a minute, he argued, and more detailed video games could be downloaded via “Steam” in as little as five minutes, “Hopefully this is just the kind of time-consuming pain that Linden Lab CEO and game development veteran Rod Humble is now working hard to improve.”
Despite the lag and the bugs, these are still good games, and an example of the fun one can have on the Grid. But, there is room for improvement.
Sources: Linden Blog, New World Notes
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Happy Anniversary, and many more.
Read about the haunts in Places.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
It’s unclear exactly when the dark visitor first began frequenting the skies of the noted Steampunk region, as strange things happen there seemingly every day. But sometime in October following it’s Oktoberfest celebrations, people began seeing a huge creature flying overhead. Not a true bat, the being is described as a “were-bat” or “man-bat,” humanoid-shaped with arms, legs, and hands, wearing dark clothes. On the ground, it stands over six feet high, and in the air has a wingspan over a dozen feet across.
So far, the only complaint about the bat concerns the slaugtherhouse, in which the disappearance of gallons of cattle and pig’s blood has been linked to the vampire bat, as it has been sighted there, “That would have made good sausage. Why does this beastie want the product raw?”
The vampire bat has not made a serious attempt to assault anyone. It did reportedly break up a nighttime attempted purse-snatching, sending the thief panicking and running into the direction of a neighborhood policeman on patrol, who arrested the petty crook on other charges. The woman was later found, with what seemed like a hickey on her neck and a wistful smile on her face. When asked it the bat tried to harm her in any way, she answered, “Oh no,” then happily sighed.
A couple scientists are reportedly searching for the bat, wanting to study it for Science!. But so far the aireal interloper has evaded them. There has been no comment from the office of Sheriff “Fuzzball” Ortega.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Read the story in Design.
Begining in February 2008, the SL Shakespeare Company held performances in it’s Globe Theater. Things went well to the final performance in December 2011. Then in 2012, things went bad. With the discount for nonprofit sim teirs gone, Ina posted in May that they could raise only enough money to cover the costs for two of their sims. Fortunetly, the sims had been paid for in advance for some months, but due to $3,200 in unpaid fees elsewhere, her account was frozen and locked out of the Grid, bringing the long-term future of the Globe Theater in doubt. Hopes were raised when she negotiated to possibly gain preservation status for the theater, like Svarga. But the Linden she made the deals with was dismissed from the Lab, and Ina found it “impossible” to talk to her replacement. She began to conclude that the end was just a matter of time.
On October 22, she posted in her own blog and the Shakespeare blog that the end was finally coming. She thanked the patrons of the Globe, beginning with those “who could no longer be with us.” She also made one particularly bold claim, saying in the past after doing some fundraising, “the avatar of someone rich and famous in RL contacted me. The patron criticized me for paying too much for SL and attempting to do everything myself, but helped donate enough (through several alt’s) to help save the Shakespeare and Primtings sims.”
“In early 2009, I received a mysterious package by mail in RL — an iPhone 3G. It was rather anonymized, but I thanked the patron by IM — and, he told me that that was what I should be putting my time into. He also said that he created iTunes so that independent creators could share their creations and even turn it into a viable business ...”
“Was it really Steve Jobs?” Ina stated she respected “the privacy of our patrons, so I did not inquire further.” But she did want to meet him in real life, and was saddened when the Apple co-founder died from cancer, “I knew two weeks ago, when he passed away, that this SL dream was over… But, it was beautiful while it lasted.”
And so, another valued piece of land is set to depart from the Grid. But this one was especially a treasure to those in the art community
“We thank you for having witnessed the short duration of this virtual miracle. Adieu.”
Source: InaCantaur.com, SL Shakespeare Company Blog, Daniel Voyager’s Blog
The Globe Theater when being built, and a future of plays and drama, the good kind, ahead of it.
Enchanted Forest, Southern Colorado (195, 239, 1201)
Thursday, October 27, 2011
More on the story in Extra.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Read more in Places.
Breaking News: Will Wright, Creator of “the Simulation Game Genere,” Joins Linden Lab’s Board of Directors
A look at the Linden Lab site revealed his name and a biography. He was listed as “CEO of the Stupid Fun Club,” which suggests a tone of levity on his joining in. Taking a look at the Stupid Fun Club’s website was a manifesto stating a goal of helping human beings better unify with their technology, sometimes using tounge-in-cheek phrases.
Second Life Newser was contacted by Fuzzball Ortega of Steelhead, whom found the information on New World Notes, Hamlet rightly calling it a major coup, the creator of “the Simulation Game Genere” now joining Second Life. The lycan sherrif lightheartedly chided us, joking about the Newser not being the first this time to report breaking news.
The addition of Wright to Linden Labs shouldn’t be too big a surprise, considering Linden Lab’s CEO Rod Humble’s own background in gaming. Still, bringing in such a prestigious figure to Second Life, it can only be considered very good news for the future for the Grid.
Image from Stupid Fun Club.
Saturday, October 29, 12 - 3 pm PDT
Attention! this event is in InWorldz, not Second Life!!
You are cordially invited to the GRAND OPENING for my first-ever full-sim art installation!
Come give me a hug or introduce yourself if we haven't met. Enjoy music by Chandra Deed noon to 1:30 pm PDT and Declan G 1:30 - 3 pm PDT! Feast on sushi! Ride a pink seahorse!
Best of all, come see a story as told by a sim: the Age of Man has ended in a blaze of fire, famine, and warfare, and the Age of Acquarella dawns. The mighty goddess repopulates the oceans with aquarium outposts filled with creatures that survived in the coolest depths. Hoping to avoid the violent excesses of her forebears, she plans for these little oceans to be peaceful and pure. Alas, as they say, if you want to make the Devil laugh, make plans.
Check out the unusual terraforming and land textures, the beautiful hand-drawn plants and exotic fish, the sea serpent, the rideable seahorses. Feast in the Sushi Pavilion. Look out for the 8-eyed monster - a true fear experience. Freebies and lots of cool stuff for sale in the Sim Store, too.
Inworldz Grid, Nexus Central (211, 49, 25)
Hope to see you then,
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Halloween in Second Life, it's a scream.
Read more in Events.
Read more in Design.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Read more in People.
Second Life Newser welcomes it's newest writer: Alynia Vixen. Today, she starts things off with what she hopes will be a regular column, "The Way I See It."
Sometimes when I am less than occupied on Second Life, I go club hopping. Now mind you I have my own club where I tend to hang out, and there are a number of other clubs that I prefer. But some of the clubs I go to I have seen a sploder or two in play. Now for those who have not seen a sploder, it is basically a device that residents dump Linden dollars into, and some of the entrants get money back.
Sploders can be set up different ways. Sometimes everyone gets money, sometimes only a few do and they get the majority of the money. There are different types of sploders with different rules. But exactly how these sploders work isn't really the issue this column is about. The problem is that the Second Life terms of services says that "Games of Chance" are against the rules.
Now I would like to clarify, I personally do not have anything against sploders or games of chance at all, in fact, I think they are fun to play. And this article is not to condemn any club that might be using one. Instead I would like to talk a bit about the history of this particular part of the TOS and discuss its risks and implications, but also talk practically about the existence and use of games of chance in Second Life.
In November of 2007, Linden Lab invited the FBI to examine the operations of Second Life, including in world and business activities. It is commonly believed that the FBI initiated this investigation, but this is not the case. The FBI reported afterwords there were no 'areas of concern' found and found Linden Lab to be operating within the law, despite all the casino's strewn about the grid.
They proceeded to ban 'all games of chance' anyway. Why? This is a good question to which the answer has never been clearly given, but then we should expect nothing less of the Lab. There has been some theories however. Many believe they simply did not want to take chances with the law. But I believe that's nonsensical, because the presence of casinos, the land they occupied and the L$ they brought in great profit for them.
There are however other things that were factors. One of the ways that casinos drew in players was with 'money chairs' which paid you to sit in them. Often people would just plant themselves into a chair and used an auto-deidling client to stay in it. From a social perspective and a sim load perspective, the Lindens did not like this.
But an even bigger nuisance is that casino's were popping up everywhere. I bought a chunk of land in a mainland sim that was pretty quiet and about a month later a casino moved in. Its noises reached my parcel, easily. In short, casinos were devaluing the land on Second Life in general, and that hit the pocket of the Lindens. since most of the profit of Linden Lab comes from land transactions, money bought and sold in SL stays in the economy and the Lab gets a small percentage of the Lindex exchange.
What this means to games of chance today? Well, take a mass marketed game like Zyngo. I like Zyngo, it is debatable whether or not it is a game of chance. It has elements of chance in it. But the creator of the game must state in almost every three sentences describing it how it is not a game of chance, as if they felt the need to defend its existence against the Lab. But did the Lab do this because they feared the law, or did they just hate the deluge of casinos? I would contend it is the latter.
Sploders are definitely a game of chance, no skill involved. However, will you get in trouble for having one? Potentially, if someone wants to abuse report you for having one. But to be right honest, unless you're an oldbie, you probably don't even know that games of chance are against the TOS. And will the Lab come looking for them? Probably not. These days the Lindens aren't part of the world they enabled, instead they sit on high, and pretty much EVERYTHING they know about what is happening on the grid comes from abuse reports. Perhaps, this is why they seem to have such an apathetic view on us residents anymore.
In closing I just wanted to give people who use games of chance the perspective they need to judge whether or not they should use such a thing to attract people to their club. Does Linden Lab care about sploders? Probably not. They do not represent a threat to their profits, to the grid, or to the happiness of other residents. Can others use the existence of a sploder to hurt your club? Potentially, but unlikely. But just because I say 'unlikely' doesn't mean 'impossible' if someone really decides to push the issue. In my personal opinion I think sploders should be OK and that the 'games of chance' clause in the TOS is silly, but nonetheless, it is there.
What do you, the readers, think? Feel free to leave comments.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Submitted by Rua Whitepaw (center forward), she and a few friends dancing away on a music-emitting "Carmeldansen Cube" at a secret location somewhere at the Angel Estates.
We’re offering a limited-time deal on some of our most popular items — Private Islands and Homesteads. For the first time, new land or additional land is available without the usual set-up fee. From October 21 to 23, you can take advantage of this special and become a Landowner if you’re not already — or maybe bump up the size of your land.
Tateru Nino commented her readers asked if Linden Labs was starting to notice the increasing number of private sims slipping away and was getting "desperate." Her opinion, "my take is that the Lab has all of those expensive servers kicking around and that’s just a waste ... I’d be very keen to get all of those servers back into service rather than just sitting around."
Details are on http://secondlife.com/land/sale/ , and the deadline is Midnight SL time on Octomber 23rd.
Not too complicated, just a house filled with thrills and chills, although there are a couple places you may want to jump or rush forward.
The haunt is at Le Magique (46, 40, 41).
Friday, October 21, 2011
Read more in Design.
Just a few moments ago most megaprims contained in the SALT collection were blacklisted. These megaprims are part of a collection used by most creators across the grid. Any items created with these prims are no longer rezzable. This includes components of a product I work on as well as possibly thousands others. It is not even possible to remove these prims from builds as the items containing them are not rezzable.
This was a potentially big mess, as a numble of builds I knew made use of megaprims such as Tuna Oddfellow’s Odd Ball and Club Zero Gravity. but stopping by the club, it was intact, and Tuna Oddfellow held an impromptu event that night without trouble. I never heard from any of my friends having a build taken down that night.
A couple posters on the SLU Forum thread checked and found of about a dozen makers of megaprims, it was one whose creations were blocked. Looking further, a couple posters mentioned having items taken down, and another those of his customers.
Later on, there was a Grid Status Report about the issue. Apparently, Linden Lab had fixed the problem, and while the affected megaprims weren’t back up, theye were no longer blocked, so those whom had them returned to inventory could rebuild. Those whose builds had disappeared were asked to contact Linden Lab, with a shortcut for Premium members.
[POSTED 10:35AM PDT, 20 October 2011] Due to a change we recently made to address a griefing problem, some megaprims were removed from the grid, which has affected users’ creations containing these megaprims. The issue has been resolved, and the megaprim objects can be re-rezzed from your inventories at this time. If you do not have a copy of the affected build, please go to your support portal immediately and file a case. If you are Premium member or above, you can use these case types: “Technical Questions” > “Objects (Rezzed) Issues. If you have a free membership and your group owned land was affected, please use “Land & Region” > Report an Offline Region”. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and are reviewing our processes to try to avoid repeating this situation in the future.
There was also a post in the official forums, though with no new information.
So hopefully the mess is resolved. But this on top of the mass of sim restarts earlier this week, one wonders what next?
Sources: SL Universe Forums, Grid Status Report
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Read the story in Extra.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Read the story in People.
On “The Kirsten’s Viewer Project” page in Crowdfunder, KirstenLee explained in a youtube, “A couple people suggested ‘ why don’t you do a fundraiser? ‘ ... As it happens, we deiced to go for it.” KirstenLee explained the attraction, “it’s an all or nothing situation, people can fund it ... if we don’t hit the target, people get their money back.” He felt a “fair” goal was 25,000 Pounds (about $40,000 US dollars) “for one year’s continuous development. ... If we hit the target that we’re asking, the day it happens Kristen’s Viewer will be re-relased” with an upgraded client.
He explained the people who fund it would get various rewards, depending on the level of their donation, such as special versions of the viewer before general release to the public, suggesting “radical changes to user interface” and special controls. He went on to say, “If we hit the target ... exceed the target ... it affords us the luxury of paying others to contribute to the viewer as well.” He hoped he might be able to hire the former Qual Linden. He also talked about the Kristen’s project being able to license things after the Crowdfunder goal was met.
The Kristen Crowdfunder page gave a list of donor rewards from small to large. Those contributing 1000 Pounds, “You get to choose the features that get into the client for feature voting!” Also, “The TOP 10 funders will have all of the rewards Plus exclusive use of 1 of 10 Login splash screens used by the viewer! Your screen will be seen by thousands of users daily!”
The page was started on Monday October 17th, with 60 days to raise the 25,000 pounds. By Tuesday night, 2,092 Pounds, or eight percent of the total had been raised, contributed by 59 donors. The post on KristenLee’s blog announcing the news was also filled with the comments of well-wishers.
Hamlet Au had a few comments on New World Notes about KristenLee’s move. He called it, “a bid to give Second Life users more say in the future of Second Life. ... If this Crowdfunder is successful, it will help launch a new era of Second Life development that is more directly by the users, for the users.”
“ ... consider contributing a few pounds ... it’s your viewer ... we’d be happy to have you aboard.” - KirstenLee Cinquetti / Lee Quick
Sources: Kristens Viewer, Crowdfunder, New World Notes
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Read more in Events.
But the big thing was all of those sim restarts. Just minutes after logging in, the sim I was in announced it was restarting, warning if I was still around I'd be logged off. Once in a blue moon, I would have a second that day. But the restarts kept coming and coming, some weary residents describing themselves as refugees. I must have encountered almost a dozen that evening.
The next day at work, I ran into someone whom had been using Second Life that night as well. He asked me if I had crashed a lot, and when I explained the restarts, he commented, "So it wasn't just me."
Checking the Linden Lab Grid Status reports, there were a few, the latest being one on the sim restarts:
[RESOLVED 9:04AM PDT, 18 October 2011] Today’s main server rolling restarts have been completed.
[UPDATED 5:30AM PDT, 18 October 2011] Rolling restarts on the main Second Life server channel will begin momentarily. Please refrain from rezzing no copy objects, making inworld L$ transactions and please save all builds. We will update this post when the restarts have completed.
[POSTED 6:43PM PDT, 17 October 2011] Rolling restarts for regions on the main Second Life server channel will be performed on Tuesday, October 18th at approximately 5:00am PDT. Please make sure to save all builds and refrain from making purchases during this time.They also mentioned a "Critical OS Software Upgrade," which would cause a lot of restarts.
[RESOLVED 11:57PM PDT, 17 October 2011] All maintenance this evening has been completed.
[POSTED 6:57PM PDT, 17 October 2011] The evening round of upgrades is now underway. Some regions may experience up to an hour of downtime during this maintenance. We will update this blog when additional information becomes available.
Hopefully the mess of restarts is over, before my friends start getting Gypsy costumes for Halloween.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Read more in Places.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Gemma found out about this Youtube done by Loki Eliot,"The SL Goonies once again set out to explore the annual Virtual World version of Burning life 'Burn2' . We explore some of the many builds before finishing at the Kids Camp where we watch the Mini Man burn."
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Found on "Lanes' List"
Friday, October 14, 2011
On the Destinations Guide, there was a page for an "Occupy Wall Street." Porting over to the Flagg sim, the location was wall to wall political slogans from the leaning left to socialist and a few "V for Vendetta" masks. But there was also a link to a website, to Second Life Left Unity. The group calls itself "part of a world wide left unity movement in SL. ... united around social justice and anti-capitalism."
Hamlet Au made a few comments about the protest movement in SL. He felt virtual worlds had a viable role in protests, pointing out most people didn't live near the areas where the main events were taking place, "Should you drive to a protest against corporate power if that means buying a lot of gas from a major oil corporation to get there?" He added what protesters spoke at these inworld events would be more likely to spread than comments to one's small circle of friends in Twitter or Facebook.
Among those taking part in the SL protests, Any1 Gynoid. The self-described journalist & promoter has taken up her pen again, writing about the "Occupy" protests for CNN. One of her articles refers to goings on in Second Life.
The "Occupy Wall Street" build featured in the Destination Guide is at Flagg (213, 70, 95). Any1 wrote she found two more at Born East (113, 219, 27) and Four Bridges North (62, 19, 25).
Sources: New World Notes, CNN, Destination Guide
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Read more in Events.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
To read more, go to Design.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Read more in Events.
- Tuesday October 11th 7:30pm SLT: Lederhosen night at the town hall meeting. Lace up those tights and come to the meeting… drunk...except scamps. You can be on a sugar high.
- Friday October 14th at 6pm SLT: First Annual Sauerkraut Marathon
All donations benefit scamps in getting… scarves for winter. Actually all donations are to benefit the Broken Bust Art Museum to "feed the hungry rental pole." Race starts in Nevermoor and ends in Boomtown. All participants must wear lederhosen and carry a sausage. All fly is going to be turned off so you have to run.
- Friday October 14th at 7pm SLT: OKTOBERFEST hosted by The Geoduck Inn, owned by Zaida Gearbox, DJ'd by Fuzzball
Read more in Places.
Monday, October 10, 2011
See the pictures in People.
The car show is set in a modern, two-story showroom. There are a wide variety of sports cars, police cars, a fire truck, semi’s, and fantasy cars. There are even some motorcycles and cars for tinies.
Many of the vehicles are sleek sports cars with realistic handling qualities. You can view models made by Prefabrica, Lusch, EMH, and GEMC. Some of my favorites are the ones produced by Haru Motors. Their cars on display include a La Re Blue, a Fi 50 Pink, and a Po 18 Sp Red
Jinxing owns many of the vehicles, but others have been loaned to the exhibit by his friends Samantha Glume, Erin Fensen, Motoko Henusaki, and Pipsqueak Fiddlesticks. Ms. Fiddlesticks, who owns Cake!, loaned her fantasy cupcake motorcycle and pink cupcake jeep. Residents with a sweet tooth will love these vehicles. Nearby is a 60's flower-power van with fun pose balls.
The work horses of SL are displayed here, too. There is an Astaro DC 6000 semi and an Astaro Westline logging truck. Police cars, a fire truck, and even a 7 passenger city bus, the STML-107 by GEMC, are shown. The lights blink and the wipers wipe on this big guy.
After you’ve checked out the show, go outside for some delicious Japanese food at the Yatai food vendor, which Motoko Henusaki loaned to the show. The Sake and noodles are great!
The International Car Show is the latest in the series of temporary community builds that the residents of Syzygy have been creating this year. It will remain open for a few more weeks.
Syzygy Eos (128, 158, 1501)