Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Sunday Full of Relay for Life Events

Sunday March 25th was an active day for the Relay for Life. There was a sixty-hour music marathon that began the night before, a cross sim-snail race, an "Areosmith" tribute that drew a big crowd, a "jail & bail" that nabbed one of the top people among the Relayers, and more.

Read more in Events.

Reader Submitted: Thank You From the Flying Tigers!

On behalf of the Flying Tigers', the Military Expo Exhibitors, Sim and Group owner G. Giano, and myself, we all want to thank all of you for promoting and covering our event so graciously! Please accept (our) thanks and we hope to see you in our sims again in the future!


(jessii2009 Warrhol)

The Steelhead "April Fool" Dance

On the evening of March 30th as the Steelhead Community held it's "April Fool" dance. Those walking in had to be careful of the flash-bang mines and the bags of doo. And once inside, the scene was of general foolery, with people dressed up as clowns, The Joker, harlequins, and more. One had to be careful where one stepped, as the floor was littered with banana peels, a whoopee cushion, and more.

And Sheriff Fuzzball Ortega was there. And in a party like this, he naturally brought "The Hair," the massive hairpiece that has become identified with the Steelhead's Relay for Life fundraising. It continues to get comments, and not just from residents inworld, "Our kiddo in real life just pointed at Fuzz's hair and laughed, 'that's cool!' "

At one point, the party was bombarded with a shower of marbles. Baron Klaus Von Wulfenback, whom was also there, looked around and quipped, "I know this ammo."

It was a night of foolishness and laughter that night at Steelhead.

Bixyl Shuftan

Firefly RP Sim Closes

There was some sad news for sci-fi fans in Second Life last weekend. It was announced that the "Firefly" roleplay community Washtown at Burnet would be closing down. The place had been running for over five years.

Sim owners Anastascia Christiansen and Jadi Goodliffe announced the decision on March 22, saying the reasons for the closing were financial, they could no longer afford to keep it running.

Sunday was the last day the sim was certain to still be around. I dropped by, and ran into a few people, among then Anastascia, " does deserve to be remembered and it will always be remembered in my heart."

"This sim was started by me and Jadi, and a friend named Deiter. We use to play on a firefly mush together and then it closed. I found SL and dragged them in. At that time there was nothing for Firefly in one area, just a bunch of scattered fans. So we bought a little piece of ground and built a little club and called it the Hoban. Soon people started coming. We bought the big Firefly and more people came to see it."

"It grew from there to be a full sim. We got more people coming here and well we tried to add and add to bring the firefly community together. The RP evolved from that. But it was just a way to connect fans of the show in whatever way they wanted to enjoy the place."

Cobb Compton had this to say of the area, speaking somewhat 'in-character,' "I've only rented here several times Bixyl. I can tell ye, I scanned the map as a noob for days, lookin' for 'home' and that big Firefly down yonder at the spaceport - named the 'Raven' got me out of bein a help area hobo to a straighter line focus."

"I know what you're going through," Makiya Nightfire told one girl, "I haven't been here all that long, but I have had to leave behind a fond gaming area with many players I cared about. At least there's still other areas to play and life can go on if you wish."

Asking about eventful moments, some residents mention a spontaneous striptease show, and a hanging tree made into a gallows. Anastasia added, "We also had the producer of Eureka (a cable TV show) visit us once here in Washtown." Washtown was named after the pilot "Wash" whom died near the end of the movie based on the show, Serenity.

In the RP, residents had just a few days to wrap up plotlines. The final event was the nuclear reactor blowing, and the town having to evacuate. One of the residents passed me a screenshot of the radiation leak and the ship "Raven" taking off with the last evacuees.

Anastasia was sad to see the place go, but happy for the time put in, "Lots of memories and lots of friendships that I am sure we all will hold onto for a very long time."

Sources: New World Notes, The Verse Voice

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, March 30, 2012

Easter at the Corner of Revolving Time

April 8 is not that far away and that is Easter Sunday in most cultures. It is time to plan your decorations for that day , for your home, your clubs, your sims. You can find some delightful free decor in the new Corner Estates sim at the Corner of Revolving Time. As usual Vickijo Rivera has it all in place to give you time to make your plans.

I went over to check out all the items that Sweetsister Silverstar and Saucy Loire have placed just for you. I took a ride on a sweet little carousels. The egg trees are great for outside decor on my roof at home. I picked up a lovely banner inside the building and saw some flowers and Easter baskets I really need to get. I had to take the cute cracked eggs dancing out of their shells immediately.

The Corner of Revolving Time is now in the Ophelia sim, which is the headquarters of the The Corner Estates where you can buy or rent land in numerous sims. You will see a contact board off in the distance. Take a walk over. Also fly over to the new Corner 7Seas Fishing area where hosts have contests daily. I love the new building that the Corner of Revolving time has. There is plenty of room for the decor for each holiday as it comes along. You will want to keep the landmark for future visits. Things are still developing there :

Gemma Cleanslate

The New Ravenloft WW2 Combat sim

Combat fans in Second Life, specifically World War 2 themed combat, have a new place to fight: New Ravenloft.

New Ravenloft is owned by Joe Sparrow, but is run by Malcious Vuckovic. Talking to Malcious, he described the sim as "a WW2 combat 'slightly RP' arena based on Operation Goodwood, a combined British/Canadian assault in which they clashed with elite members of Germany's Tank divisions over open farmland and forest. … currently two main groups use the sim" the 272nd Axis Infantry Division, and the British 21st Army." Groups representing other involved countries are also welcome, "There's an American group being set up" and others expressed interest in forming Russian and Finnish teams.

Malcious acknowledged there were details less than completely accurate with history, "but the purpose of the Arena is for people to shoot each other and have fun. We use the Vice Combat System, which I love simply because you don't need some laggy hud nor do you need to create some account on a website. You can just pick up one of the freebie guns and get started, we've also provided uniforms and various tidbits to help players get immersed … We have guns, tanks, planes, some you have to pay for, some are free."

Malcious stated there was an emphasis on being friendly with newcomers, with no minimum age for accounts. Groups were prohibited from using avatars under four feet tall (or giant ones) and child avatars "I'm not a fan of child soldiers … Cony is a d%#@." But groups were free to have furred and neko avatars on their teams, or not, "at the moment only one of the Axis groups is saying no to them, but only while they are in uniform, this is purely for authenticity's sake, its not a sim rule and I'm not going to force them to change it because I'm not here to micro-manage all the groups. … there is another Axis group which allows furries."

One problem that some Second Life military groups have had is with drama. Malcious had an interesting policy with dealing with two people in a drama match, "There is this room with a log suspended over a pit. I give each person a lightsaber. One starts at one side of the log, the other starts at the opposite end, and … first to die loses." The issue is then declared over, "It's odd but it works."

Over New Ravenloft is a warehouse building which serves as a store, as well as the Teleport point to the sim. on one side are a row of tanks of various kinds and nationalities. On the other are signs of what's up for sale, those in red still available but are in the process of being updated. The vendors are in the back of the warehouse, selling a variety of guns, tanks, planes, and even a few ships, "Tanks range from about 600L to 1,500L … pretty cheap … more we sell, easier it is to keep the sim open, also tank combat is fun."

To the left of the vendor boards are the teleports to the Allied and Axis respawn areas, "I only have the two respawns up at the moment, each flag will take you to that teams base, the allies in the Village and the Axis in their own occupied Mansion HQ. I'm going to install a neutral flag for visitors or civilians later. Each team has three respawns, to try and limit spawncamping. … If you get killed, you're taken to a room away from the battlefield where you can heal and choose a respawn location."

The heads of each faction are KlausKlempt Resident for the Axis and Sephiroth Reiner for the Allies. Sephiroth was busy when contacted, but KlausKempt had a few words. He felt things at the sim were going, "Stupendous. Magnificent. Our traffic is the highest of all WWII-themed combat and RP sims in SL … It is a testament to the quality of our sim, and the dedication of our players." KlausKept stated that there was an effort to keep the style of combat historical by emphasizing rifles, "If I may gloat, one of my best German Grenadiers defeated a team of four British riflemen 28 to 7. He was armed only with our trusty Mauser. We strive to provide historical accuracy, even going so far as to ensure that automatic weapons are used in the historically accurate roles, and that the rifle, which was by far the most common infantry weapon of the Second World War, is not forgotten."

For the moment, New Ravenloft is the only sim in it's combat RP. It is next to several others, "the adjoining sims are part of the D.O.R. (Dogs On the Run) Project. … no one aviation company is in charge or has a direct say in how the place is run, and there are no product bans. Anyone is allowed to fly whatever the hell they want. I'm joined with them as the terms of my sponsorship, also I'm a great believer in the project and friends with the owner. … I'm hoping as Ravenloft increases in popularity, so will DOR."

Talking with a few of the DOR staff, designer Creative Lisa built the place with her goal as "a good mix between airfield, place to relax and combat." Noting the dirt runways, the leader, Da Admiral, commented, "We didn't want a concrete airport." "I found my home here, and we have the best boss ever." Malcious has no problem with modern aircraft flying over the WW2 sim as long as they don't attack the units.

Not everyone comes to the sim to fight, or shop. Malcious observed that some were going to the French village just to relax, "people seem to like to hang out there, I'm told its peaceful."

For the future, Malcious eventually plans to have more sims for the combat RP, "more tanks and other goodies are due for release in the coming months and I hope to get some more events started too." Among the planned events are scenarios in which both the Axis and Allies team up against a common enemy, such as zombies or alien invaders, "Changes and updates to the sims design are always ongoing. I'm a builder, nothing is ever finished, never. I have the Lego block imprints on my feet to prove it."

New Ravenloft's owner, Joe Sparrow is a builder of a number of planes and vehicles popular among combateers in Second Life.

The TP to New Ravenloft goes to (181, 133, 3908)

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, March 29, 2012

April Fool's Mini-Burn Event

Fans of the Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, which is recreated in Second Life in the fall as Burn2, will get a treat this weekend. The Playa at Burning Man Deep Hole will be open for the Burn2 "Mini Burn" event from March 31st to April 1st.

For more information, one can go to the Burn2 website at, or when the sim's open, head to the information tent at Burning Man Deep Hole (96, 6, 25).

Just be sure to "watch out for misleading information when you land." It is April Fool's after all.

"Under the Willows" Macro-Room Club

Fans of the old "Greenies" sim during the classic days of Second Life would feel quite at home at "Under the Willows" in Tohono Island. This macro-room cabin gives visitors a mouse-sized perspective.

Any1 Gynoid told me about the place, which was designed as a club. People were dancing on the quilt bed when she was there, people clicking on a blue stuffed critter for single dances and a pink for couples.

There were other items in the room to make one feel rodent-sized, from the reading lamp next to the bees, to the fireplace, to the guitar, to the rocking chair. A dog holding a sign asked for donations, but people could also donate to one of the few normal-sized objects in the place: a Relay for Life kiosk.

Looking outside the club, one will see they're on a sky platform. Besides the club, there's a normal-sized garden area next to it, with a pond and trees.

"Under the Willows" is at Tohono Island (52, 156, 3506)

Bixyl Shuftan

Tales from Podex: No Pot of Gold for Burglar

It was a fairly typical March day at the Podex Exchange. Between customers, the tellers would chat of goings on. Some talked about the opening Relay Life season and the various events it's teams held. Another mentioned the Military Expo near the end of the month. And of course, there was St. Patrick's Day. A couple of the tellers had gone to Dublin, but had to leave due to the lag. Two others went to themed parties elsewhere, and one had gone to Castle Blarney to kiss the stone.

In the middle of the talk, someone walked in. He was wearing green shorts, a green vest, and a green hat with a buckle. Definitely St. Patrick's colors. After some moments of silence, one asked, "Um, can I help you?"

"I be after me pot o' gold," the visitor answered in an stereotypical sounding Irish accent.

"Say what?"

"I want me pot o' gold. I be following' the en' o' th' rainbow to here, and now I be after me gold." He then began walking to the stairs.

"Jess a moment," one called out to him, imitating his accent, "Don't ye think we be able to see threw yer disguises an' shenanigans by now? Th' mask on your face, your ringed tail, ye be 'Clumsy Cooper' the good-fer-naught bandit."

"Who be clumsy?" the visitor asked, "I be from th' Emerald isle, and I be taking a leave from you as soon as I get me pot 'ol gold."

"Th' only place ye be taking a leave to be jail." the teller challenged.

"Now don' get ye britches in a bonnet," Clumsy then began waving a large stick around, "I'll be docking ye with me shileigh."

The teller chuckled, "Don' make me laugh. Ye can't fight worth a darn. Besides, known' you, that stick be from a freebie barn, too cheap an' weak to fight with."

"I'll show you weak!" Clumsy growled, forgetting the fake accent and taking his stick and slamming it against an ATM machine. But instead of leaving a mark or a crack, the wooden length went SNAP and broke in two. Clumsy's expression then changed, looking nervous, "Um, I think I be taking me leave of you right now."

"Sic im!"

Clumsy then bolted and ran out of the bank, his hat falling off as he left the building. Unfortunately for him, he didn't pay much attention to where he was going, and tripped over a rock. The thief then pratfalled, knocking himself out. It wasn't look before the SLPD showed up and took him in, charging him with attempted griefing.

But even if Clumsy had slipped past the tellers, there was no way he could have taken any cash. “All our exchanges are done by way of electronic transfer,” an employee later explained, “He wouldn’t have gotten away with a single, solitary Linden.”

The Podex Exchange has a record of being one of the safest Linden exchange services in Second Life, the data processing done outside the exchange, and has a record of thousands of satisfied customers. Transactions can be done at their website, or their location inworld at Moonberry (26, 223, 34).

Note: The preceding is a fictional story, written for the dual purpose of advertisement and entertainment.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cartoon of the Day

Taken at New Ravenloft
By Bixyl Shuftan

Having a Blast at the Military Expo

It was "Death from above" at the March Military Expo early Tuesday afternoon. at 12PM SL time, formations of A-10 "Warthog" ground attack aircraft from the Flying Tiger's 74th Squadron took off from an airport in the WW2 Tribute sim. Their mission: destroy as many of the nearby ground targets as they could.

From the safety of the airport, onlookers could watch, and pan out safely from a distance. They watched as the aircraft blanketed the ground with bombs and missiles, turning tanks, oil drums, observation towers, etc. into black, smoldering, wrecks. But it wasn't long before the wrecks were repaired back into operation, requiring more blowing up from the pilots happy to do so.

Eventually, the pilots came back to base, where they congratulated one another. Among the Tigers was Vickster Khun, also known for her role at the New Bastogne WW2 Combat RP region. Earlier I had a few words with her and officer Jessi Warrhol. They described a few events, including a firefight and rescue on Thursday March 29th. Set for Noon SL time, the 38th Squadron will work with the SL Coast Guard in a firefighting and rescue mission. A ship on fire, if all goes as planned, will have the flames estinguished and the crew evacuated. At the Expo tomorrow. March 28th, will be two air assaults at Noon and 6 SL time respectively.

Besides watching the air campaigns, one can also go to the many shops set up on the memorial flying platform and buy a plane for oneself, or go to one of the music events. Sunday for instance had an Areosmith tribute band, with donations collected for the Relay for Life.

Moreevents can be found in the expo schedule Here. For more information, check out and .

The LM is at WW2 Tribute (57, 97, 25).

Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release: Bay City to Host First Fashion Week in April

BAY CITY, SL - This April, Bay City is hoping to bring together the best of Second Life's ™ vintage mid-century fashion designers in one place, where they can wow us with the designs that best typify Bay City's theme: the American urban experience, between 1940 and 1965, perhaps best typified by Chicago circa 1950 and marked by a distinct deco influence.

Established designers will be provided with a space in the Bay City Fairgrounds, in the North Channel region, from April 14-22 to present the best in mid-century modern fashions for all Second Life avatars. Runway space and other amenities will be provided to help them highlight their designs. There may also be a few other related events and goodies to announce as time goes on.

While designers are not required to do so, they are asked to consider this a prime spot to unveil new, mid-century designs, rather than only pull from existing stock. They are also encouraged, but by no means required, to consider providing a free or low cost item for visitors to the event that they may give out at their stall.

Bay City is a mainland community, developed by Linden Lab ™ and home to the Bay City Alliance. The Bay City Alliance was founded in 2008 to promote the Bay City regions of Second Life™ and provide a venue for Bay City Residents and other interested parties to socialize and network. It is now the largest Bay City group, and home to most Residents of Bay City.

For more information, contact Marianne McCann

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Events this Week in Second Life from March 27th to April 2nd

March comes to a close, but the events continue to march on. This week, the March Military Expo takes place in the WW2 Tribute sim with events every day to Friday. New art exhibitions are up, as well as Relay for Life events. And of course the regularly scheduled DJ & live music events, book & poetry readings, and talk shows.

Read more in Events this Week.

SL Enquirer: Meet the Flying Tigers

"Just when you think nothing on SL can surprise you anymore, you find yourself in the middle of a WWII aviation reenactment as a side gunner on a Japanese bomber with a white wolf wearing angle wings as your pilot. No kidding, but I digress. What started out four years ago as a small group of nomadic aviator friends flying around the grid for fun has evolved into a multi sim operation, the largest aviation group in sl with over 2400 members and a bunch of downright fun folks to hang out with. Meet 'The Flying Tigers.' "

(Read more in the SL Enquirer)

SL Youtube: The Yamato in Second Life

Some sad news for nautical fans. Checking up on the LM to the battleship Yamato, I found it was broken, the sim gone.

I wrote about the build a few years ago for Second Life Newspaper. The ship took the entire length of the sim, and was well detailed. Visitors could walk about, and inside a few places. There was also a seaplane available to fly (and a smaller version for tinies). Oddly enough, there were pictures of the real-life ship inside a sealed room with no door, which suggested there were further building plans.

However, I did see a second Yamato build in another location. So perhaps the ship still exists somewhere, unnoticed, on the Grid.

The real Yamato was one of two of Imperial Japan's largest battleships. In March 1945, it was sent on it's final mission in a last-ditch attempt to slow down the Allied advance. It was sunk on April 7. The Japanese Empire would never again launch a major naval operation, "the word Yamato was often used as a poetic name for Japan. Thus, the end of battleship Yamato could serve as a metaphor for the end of the Japanese empire."

Monday, March 26, 2012

Raglan Shire "Kickstarter" Fundraiser Meets Its Goal

Remember the project Zayn Till and Wynx Whiplash started on the fundraising website "Kickstarter" to help bring stories based on the Tinies of Raglan Shire to an audience outside Second Life? Last week, the thirty day project made it's $8500 goal in about half the time.

As of today, the total raised is now $8,975 with 11 days left. This includes 2 people who donated $1000, with the promise of being on their web site's "Great Hedge Wall of Appreciation."

An Interview with Hatton Hunghi (Hatton Humphrey), Talk Show/Podcast Host

With the US Presidential season in the news, some are turning to talk shows as a source of information, or a soapbox to speak their minds for a few minutes. While on the radio, they can be found in Second Life. One such show is East Coast Conservative, co-hosted by Hatton Humphrey, known on the Grid by his avatar Hatton Hunghi. Recently, he and I sat down for an interview, in which he talked about his show, and its current new location.

Read more in People.

Press Release: RFL Mardi Gras Weekend 2012 Mar 30-April 1

A little bit of New Orleans comes to Second Life. Relay For Life of Second Life will present their first Multi Team event, Mardi Gras Weekend.

Two sims will feature four entertainment venues, the French Quarter, a mysterious swamp, Jazz and Blues courtyard, and a riverboat with live singers.

Stroll along the streets and soak in the atmosphere where you'll find street performers, shops and dancing featuring some of SL's great musicians and DJs playing Blues, Jazz and Rock and Country.

On March 31st @10 am, line the sidewalks for a parade of floats created by Relay For Life Team members. Mama P Beerbaum, Stingray9798 Raymaker, Dwen Dooley and Nikki Mathieson will be on hand to host and talk on air and share their observations with us as the floats go by! You may vote for your favorite float by paying a team vendor 1L per vote! The team who wins BEST in FLOAT wins 5000L paid to their team kiosk, too! The weekend will end with a formal Masquerade Ball in the French Quarter hosted and Broadcast Live by T1 Radio and Trader Whiplash who will Crown our BEST in FLOAT winner.

Come on over y'all and get your free beads, grab a mint julep, and enjoy this tribute to the city that holds the warmth and welcome of Cajun hospitality. There will be games, carnival rides and raffles - something for everyone, while supporting a great cause, Relay For Life!

See you there!

For more information, please contact:

Shayla Juran

RFL Teams R Us Lead

Eye on the Blog: "Advanced Experience Tools Preview"

Earlier this month, Linden Labs posted about an "Advanced Experience Tools Prevew"

Teleport Agent
The first tool we added was Teleport Agent, a new LSL call that allows scripts to teleport agents to a particular SLURL or local position. A clear application of this call is to replace the “teleport” workarounds that many of you have had to implement over the years for your directories and “teleport pads.” In Linden Realms, we also used this call to handle “death” for our rock monsters, poison lakes, rock falls, and other hazards.

Temporary Attachment
One of the difficulties we faced when making our HUD was that llAttach creates a copy of an object in your inventory once it’s attached. This led to the creation of a number of copies of a HUD that cluttered your inventory, and thus the need for Temporary Attachment. This call works just like llAttach, but does not create the inventory for the user. This will allow you to create temporary objects like demo attachments or “region specific” gear, without creating unnecessary inventory. It’s important to note that Temporary Attachment is NOT forced attachment. We accomplish forced attachment through our Experience Permissions system.

Experience Permissions
The Experience Permissions system is an expanded and simplified version of our current permissions system. Once a user grants permission to an experience, any object associated with that experience has the permission to control that user. More importantly, these permissions span multiple regions, scripts, and objects. This will allow you to create cross-Second Life experiences with one simple request. We have produced a number of other tools and prototypes to support more rich content creation that we look forward to releasing. In parallel to the rollout of these tools, we will be launching a Professional Creators Program. This program will provide members with helpful resources, such as tutorials and exclusive closed betas. More information will become available in the next few months.

Source: Linden Blog

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cartoon of the Day

By Bixyl Shuftan

March Military Expo Week Begins Today

Today, the March Military Expo in the WW2 Tribute sim officially opens.

-10am slt Kick Off Party
-10AM SLT- Golden Tigers Flyover (Air Event)
-12pm slt Aerosmith Tribute Band Concert
-2PM SLT - 23rd Fighter Wing Event (Air Event)
-4pm slt Club Capital event

Further events can be found in the expo schedule Here. For more information, check out the blog: .

The LM is at WW2 Tribute (57, 97, 25)

Suddenly, Pirates at Luskwood

Earlier this month, I decided to drop in where I got my real start in Second Life, Luskwood. The occasion: the folks at the Big Tree were throwing an impromptu pirate party. So it was time to get one's eyepatch n' cutlass and sail on over.

Read more in Events.

Classic SLN: Mystery Science Theater 3000 (2008)

With Gemma Cleanslate having written recently on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Theater in Second Life, there have been a few people asking about the article of when it was first seen. Originally written for Second Life Newspaper, the archives it was in was blocked from view. So it's been printed in the Newser four years later.

Read more in Extra.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

SL Youtube: The RFL 2012 Kickoff

A video was recently released of the Relay for Life 2012 Kickoff on March 2010. Yours truly can be seen at 1:18 into the footage. It's a total of 52 minutes long.

Fishiversary 2012

It is that time again; 7seas Fishiversary 2012 is open! This is the 4th anniversary of 7seas fishing and the owners & designers, Jen Shikami, Seven Shikami and Meissa Thorne have set new customs of their own on their Party Island in Osmium. They, as well as 7Seas sass, will be hosting many fishing contests during the weekend and holding live DJ parties there on Sunday.

Twenty four of the designers of custom fishing items: rods, fish, wearable items such as shirts, hats and more, have set out their little islands in the sims of Ruthenium and Iridium. The items are all free to catch ( with baited rods) and many fishers will spend the whole weekend in these three sims looking for these special items. It is a great fun weekend.

I went to a very busy contest on Friday morning. Almost 40 fishers participated in 15 minute contests with bait going to the the top 10 leaders and a special prize for 1st and 5th place. If you have time and are not a fisher you can come take a look at the builds. If you start from the following LM you can rezz a boat and take a ride through the three sims. The cute builds are worth seeing and so are some of the fishers!

This is the party island:

Gemma Cleanslate

Meanwhile Back in Azeroth: Pandaren Snapshot

Blizzard recently released more screenshots of their upcoming expansion "Mists of Pandara," including one of this lady Pandaren, whom looks more like a farmer or brewer than a monk. The response from World of Warcraft fans seems healthy enough, the forum post this picture was found in had almost 4,000 responses as of March 22.

Blizzard is hoping the game can boost WoWs still gargantuan but shrinking membership. In February, numbers had dropped about 100,000 from 10.3 million in November to 10.2. And the November numbers are almost a million smaller from 11.1 million three months earlier in August. The company can still boast a few successes, such as about one million signing up for their "annual pass."

WoW's smaller numbers haven't gone unnoticed by Blizzard. Also in February, the company laid off 600 employees. While World of Warcraft is still the undisputed giant among Massive Multiplayer Online games, there have been some cracks in the armor. Still, with a peak of twelve million players, no one is doubting it's place in gaming history , "WoW isn't going to die so much as it may eventually peter out, and by that time, you and I are likely going to be well past middle-age."

Sources:, BBC

Friday, March 23, 2012

Castle Blarney

Are you "full of Blarney," haven't had enough of St Patrick's Day, or just want to see something Irish in Second Life? Besides the noted Dublin sim, there is Castle Blarney. Going there, one can go to the top and do the ritual of kissing the Blarney Stone.

Read more in Places.

Cross-Sim Snail Race for RFL this Sunday

Yesterday, RacerX Gullwing announced there would be a cross-country, or rather a cross-sim giant snail race for the Relay for Life fundraiser. The race will be at the Skybeam Estates.

Details are on the GSRRFL blog. Registration is at the Devon Dream sim at (167, 120, 777).

"Feed Your Ego" Fundraiser March 24th

"Visit famed fashion and skin store Egoisme for a day of partying and giveaways — where two people per hour will be treated to a total makeover including clothes, skin and jewellery. Music is provided by the award-winning BOSL Radio team and you can feed more than just your ego by helping to raise funds for the Feed a Smile Charity. The event runs March 24 from 9 AM to 3 PM"

Dominus (101, 142, 22)

New Wilderness area in Second Life for Premium Members

Earlier this week, Linden Labs revealed a new region in Second Life, the Wilderness.

Meet other Premium members and travel together through a dense rainforest filled with abandoned ruins, mysterious tombs, and hidden surprises in Wilderness, Second Life's newest exclusive destination for Premium-only fun. Hop aboard a boat cruise for an Amazonian adventure sure to thrill and chill, or check out one of the bars or hangout spots. Rumor even has it there are fish within the waters of the Wilderness, so grab your fishing rod and attempt to catch a rare species - or try to wrangle an ornery alligator!

The wilderness is made up of six sims far (southeast) from the mainland: Gecko, Caiman, Piranha, Tapir, Capybara, and Leech. different from the rest of the Grid in a few ways. Like the Linden Realms gaming area, it's a creation of Linden Labs. Unlike Linden Realms however, it's finely detailed, making much use of mesh objects. Plus it's limited to Premium Account members, the post asking people to take advantage of a 50% discount on memberships (lasting one quarter). Free players trying to get in will be blocked. According to the blog post, it also makes much use of the new Pathfinding tools to animate the critters. It also stated they would be generally available "at the end of March."

There was also a Frequently Asked Questions page for the Wilderness in the Knowledge Base. Besides exploring the place by foot, one could swim or scuba dive and "additional fun activities include competing in a goat race, charming rats with a magic flute, capybara herding, playing fetch, riding around on guided mounts, and various mini-games." There were also details on getting the best visual appearance, depending on how powerful one's computer is.

The response has been, on the whole, positive. In the "Eternal Sunshine" blog, Mera thought the place looked much better in-avatar than what the pictures suggested, "I got a different feeling when I walked around the paths of those sims than I usually get in Second Life. They had more LIFE!" She very much recomended walking about instead of flying or teleporting. She did wonder if a few more features, such as poisonous snakes or infectious diseases, might be needed to keep the place something of a challenge, but she liked it.

Yordie Sands had a more mixed review. At first she had a great impression of the place. Then she had some second thoughts, being less than thrilled with what she saw as "silly" animals, "strange choices" by Linden Lab, and "2007 level animations." She felt while it would still appeal to Premium members, she thought it would mostly be to newer Premium members.

Hamlet Au called the place an attempt by the Lab to boost Premium memberships to make up for shrinking revenue from land tiers. His short article was more noteworthy from it's varied comments. Some free players thought it looked good, but it would take more than this to make them subscribe. Some seemed to have the opinion the one big thing wrong with the sim was Linden Lab itself, "From some of the comments here, I get the sense that there really IS something new and different here (a vast place to explore) but the video just looks like More Of The Same."

Source: Linden Blog, Eternal Sunshine, Yordie Sands

The Linden Destination Guide gave a landmark to the Wilderness at Caiman (215, 13, 22).

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The "Buddy Walk" Downs Syndrome Bennefit

On Wednesday, the 4rth Annual Second Life "Buddy Walk" took place. Set up on a two sim stage, nine musicians took part in the fundraiser, raising thousands of Lindens for charity.

Read more in People.

Still Odd After All These Years: Tuna Oddfellow's Odd Ball

One of the more unique regular performances in Second Life is the Odd Ball, taking place twice a week. Run by Tuna Oddfellow and Shava Suntzu, it's been running on the Grid for a few years.

For those who don't know, Tuna Oddfellow is a magician in real life, Mathew "Fish the Magish" Fishman. He got attention during Second Life's heyday in 2007 when NBC did a "Most Talented Avatar" competition. "I've got a mission to bring a little magic to everyone's day," he told the reporter then. And magic he has delivered, eventually coming up with the Odd Ball.

Tuna's partner in bringing the Odd Ball to life is Shave Suntzu. They met in real life before meeting in Second Life, and worked to make the show a spectacular performance. The dazzling special effects are more than just a visual treat. In some people, they can produce a "mild euphoric state," others comparing it to "getting stoned." Not everyone reacts in this way, one person I took over saying it just gave her a headache. But they were interested enough to have medical research done on the matter (details in a 201o story).

By 2010 though, the two were more concerned with Tuna's health problems that were taking a financial toll as well. With the help of friends and family, they got through them. Tuna's heath problems haven't gone away, but he and Shava continue their performances on the Grid. Occasionally they have a guest musician, such as Cypress Rosewood.

The Odd Ball normally takes place twice a week on Wednesdays at 7PM and Sundays at 11AM at the Dragonhenge sim at (126, 122, 651).

"It's time to get Odd, Odd, Odd!"

Bixyl Shuftan

New "Direct Delivery" Linden Bear

When logging in, the link that appeared on my screen was about getting a Linden bear on Marketplace. Curious, the Linden bears popular as they are (even if the Lindens aren't), I look a look, and came across this page on the official offworld Second Life store.

Get this free limited-edition Linden Bear in celebration of the new, more efficient way to receive purchases from the Marketplace — not BOXED! The bear will be delivered to a new Received Items folder. Grab your free bear, find it in your Received Items folder, and get a notecard telling you more about the changes to the Marketplace.

For more information, see the updated Knowledge Base article on shopping in the Marketplace:

And getting the bear and rezzing it, he appeared as in the picture, roasting marshmallows over older X-Street delivery boxes (the more recent ones were pictures of the product).

So if you want to add to your collection of Linden bears, Click Here (be inworld to get it).

Bixyl Shuftan