I'd heard something about Luskwood changing it's look a couple weeks ago. But it was only earlier this week that I got a good look at the place since the change. For the majority of it's history, Luskwood's social area was more or less a simple wood base with some railing and a few basic decorations. It has changed some over the years with the addition of more seats, a chess game, etc. But months ago came a bigger change when grass was laid down, and some Japanese style structures were set up. Well, it seems the Luskies decided on a new look.
Dropping by the place, it had taken on an Ancient Egyptian look, with the store area set up to look like the ruins of a structure, with hieroglyphs and carvings, jackal statues, scaffolding, pillars and obelisks, palms trees in spots to resemble oasis, and lots and lots of sand.
The shop is still running as before. A friend came by to request an update to her avatar, and she got it.
And the social platform is still as active as ever. This place in Luskwood remains one of the few spots on the grid you can always find someone, even at odd hours.
Luskwood is one of the oldest social areas in Second Life still active, due to celebrate it's tenth anniversary on September 10. It's also the oldest, and still one of the major, furred avatar companies. Unlike some mainly furred places, Lusk has always maintained and enforced a PG atmosphere.
For Lusk's entry on the Second Life Wiki: Click Here.
However, there's a catch. First, the discount is only available "for a limited time." Also, it's limited to those choosing the quarterly billing plan. And the discount only takes place for the first quarter you signed up for. On your second quarter under premium, you would be charged $22.50 US dollars instead of $11.25.
July changes to August this week, and there's much to do on the Grid. This weekend marks the "Jamm for Genes" Australian charity, so get ready for some "down under" fun. Elsewhere there are other special events from "After Dark," to the "Out of this World" Festival, and more. And there's our reguarly scheduled live and DJ music events, races, book and poetry readings, discussions and talk shows, and church services.
On Sunday evening, July 28, Veterans Isle had their monthly Wounded Warrior Bennefit. The live music event was organized in part by Frets Nirvana, and took place from 5PM to 9PM SL time.
Tonight is our seventh in the series of Wounded Warriots monthly benefits we conduct each month in Second Life. So far we have sent almost $6000 to WWP this year! And tonight will be a great event So come on out and support.
PonDman Haalan started things off at 5PM. Next at 6 was Dexter Moore. At 7PM, Frets Nirvana himself took the stage and played his guitar to the cheers of the crowd. Last but hardly least was Ganjo Mokeev. Much of the time, the stage had a packed crowd with nearly fifty residents in the sim. Over time, the Lindens slowly added up in the two upside down helmet kiosks on either side of the stage. With a few extra in cash added as Ganjo was wrapping up, the total was 90, 430 Lindens.
"Folks every bit of what you donated tonight will go to Wounded Warriors," Frets told everyone, "Thank you very much for your support!" GJackie Winkler, a friend of Frets, told, "Last year these concerts gave Wounded Warriors over $12,000 US dollars. It is hoped over the year of 2013, it will be $13,000 US."
Last week in Second Life, the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference, also known as the VWBPE, took place. Over four days from July 24 to 27, there were various discussions at the sims designated for the event and at various university areas across Second Life. While most of the events were lectures and talks, there were also building classes and times scheduled for DJ music sessions, plus a raffle. Gentle Heron of Virtual Ability gave the opening keynote address (Youtube link). Daniel Voyager estimated the number attending this event alone at over a hundred.
Kristy stated although Second Life's audience was potentially worldwide, two-thirds of her participants were from North America. But the advantage of doing research this way was a shortened process time, since she didn't have to do any travel or spend time finding places to stay, "the virtual world reduced the time that is necessary in real world research. … There was no travel cost, no accommodation fees, and I did not need to leave my job. I think we can say that the virtual world is a good environment for low budget research." As the interviews were done in text, she "did not need to spend time transcribing the interview as well. … Therefore, the time to key in data was reduced as well." One challenge though was judging reactions as "there was no body language and facial or voice expression that could be observed." She took some questions and comments after the discussion, notably one person commenting the biggest problem in getting a college to approve the use of Second Life for education purposes was selling the idea to the committee.
This was from the "Flaying Saucer" exhibit at the SL10B, with a robot smashing through the laundromat. For whatever reason, I kept thinking of those fruit drink commercials with the giant pitcher smashing through the wall.
Longtime readers may remember Mindy, one of the Steelhead Estates younger residents. The adopted daughter of Fuzzball and Eugine Ortega, she went to Camp Hardknock while the adults were busy getting ready for the Relay For Life. While there, Mindy took a pictures, and send a few to the Newser.
What's summer camp without getting some fireflies.
Mindy with a shy friend at the camp theater.
The archery range. Mindy says she was able to get one bulls-eye.
And where there are kids at camp, there are pranks. The one Mindy was most proud of, when she and the girls painted a pink panther paw on the side of the boy's cabin. She says it was a week before they discovered it.
That's it with Mindy's pictures. What's next for the little rascal? We'll soon see.
While Second Life's more active residents were united in support of the Relay For Life in mid-July, the nation itself appeared to be divided over a controversial trial. A man had been acquitted of murder in the death of a 17 year old youth, and there were numerous protests against the verdict. Because of the ethnic differences, the youth being black and the defendant Hispanic or white (the latter depending on who in the media was speaking), opinions about the trial were portrayed in the national media as being sharply divided among racial lines, and once again the subject of race relations was in the national spotlight. Just how well do we humans treat one another?
Hamlet Au wrote about resident exploring the issue in Second Life several years ago. when she put aside her white human avatar for a black one. While she got some complements, a few of her friends shyed away, and there was one moment in which a couple strangers hurled racial epitaphs. It was a couple years ago in which I had my own chance to experience the issue for myself for about a month after a "Bid Me Human" for the Relay For Life. I wasn't treated differently by friends, and indeed some people (all users of human avatars) asked me if I would be keeping this new look. It was notable Europeans I knew made good-natured barbs about the avatar while Americans didn't. Only about two friends of mine complained about the avatar, and one was from real life and never came on Second Life, finding out after he read the paper, "Stay foxy."
How much was the trial discussed inworld? The news got around while I was with some mostly furred friends at a club. Those making an opinion were supportive of the verdict. Another I ran into later disagreed, and commented when he tried bringing up the issue elsewhere, they didn't want to talk about it, saying they came to Second Life to get away from real-world issues.
It was last weekend that noted journalist Helen Thomas passed away. She was most well known for her time as one of the White House press corps and her no-nonsense, blunt manner. A few years ago, in March 2009, she appeared with Bob Schieffer as part of a "mixed reality" event with the two on stage at the University of Washington's Edward R. Murrow School while their avatars were at the University's sim in Second Life, footage from the real stage was televised in SL while a screen behind the reporters showed the scene and chat lines in the virtual world. Questions from both the real and virtual audience were given to the reporters.
From Estelle Pienaar, "As there is no better way to show you the graphics of a game than a
walk-through, I have today recorded my progress in the Devil's Cave. The
video doesn't go too far into the game, so the Madpea crew doesn't have
to get nervous about me giving away too many secrets. It will give you a
good impression on the surroundings and the atmosphere of the game,
which for me is a great mix of these ingredients: SL hunts, adventure
games and jump-and-run elements."
Well, yours truly is down to one working viewer. With Linden Lab's "Project Sunshine" and it's "server side" baking, the result was my Singularity viewer, which hadn't offered an upgrade since May, starting to get buggy. It was freezing up frequently, rezzing slower, and crashing more often. And finally, it's starting to become unusable, freezing up when starting then crashing. So that leaves a year old version of Cool VL. More recent upgrades of this viewer for some reason won't work. And neither will Firestorm or the official viewers.
The result is well, some avatars looking like the one above. Exploring my options on what to do.
Podex Exchange is one of our SL Newser sponsors who provides
residents a banking opportunity within Second Life. Now there is a new aspect to
their Second Life presence. Since Jacek Shuftan the owner of Podex is an afficianado or
art in real life and Second Life, there is an art gallery which opened in April within their
Their statement: “Podex Art Gallery is a
non-profit project aimed at promoting creativity of Second Life Residents.
Our goal is to bring together various art tendencies to showcase the diversity
of Second Life art. The three-floor gallery building features both permanent and
temporary exhibitions and allows you to sample the diverse talents not only of
creators already recognized for their work but also of those who have just
entered the scene of Second Life art.“
I went to visit the permanent and the
temporary collections in the Coda Region. There are so many wonderful pieces in
both exhibits, some by artists I know well and also some I have not encountered
before. The lower level of the gallery has exquisite art that for the most part
is the permanent collection . Here are wonderful pieces there that will
remain. On the upper floor of the main building, at this time is a
retrospective of the art of Asmita Duranhaya that is enchanting. She
has numerous pieces that delight the viewer, many of which have movement
within them. Sit down and enjoy each one.
Across way there is a separate area
of building called “Polish Art” that can be reached from either floor.
Presently on the lower level is an exhibit of the vibrant art of Leev
Turbo. Wonderful dragons and magical monoliths are scattered about the room.
Above on the next level Deso Ersetu has many of his gothic sculptures on display
on the upper level. They remind one of stories of ancient times. Take a
close look. I talked with Kika Eel who is the curator of the gallery and she
told me that they are going to be adding to the permanent collection in time and
the temporary exhibits will remain for a while. She will be arranging for
temporary artists both new and old in sl. “We are constantly searching for new
pieces and new artists. We would like to encourage all those amazing and
talented people out there to showcase their work. To make themselves visible.“
with performers such as: Anek Fuchs, JimmT49 Dukes, Frets Nirvana
Scheduling for an event at your venue is done one month or more prior
to the event. This allows time to get Tags to the performers, and the
Wounded Warrior kiosk placed on your sim.
Live Performers are subject to change. This will be arranged one week
prior to the event on your sim. We will scheduled to have a Wounded
Warrior Kiosk Set out as well.
All Performers are Paid by Club Vet and Doom Crew.
For more information please contact Checkers Firelight, Dg Jaxxon, Donguapo, or Jardasius Ecksol
Yesterday on July 24, Linden Lab announced on it's blog "an update to Second Life pricing for educational and nonprofit institutions." To educational institutions and nonprofit charities that qualify, the Lab is offering a 50% discount to setting up private sims and maintaining them.
Effective immediately, any accredited educational institution or
any organization with a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit tax status (or
equivalent) is eligible for a 50% discount on private region set-up
costs and a 50% discount on private region maintenance costs.
Longtime users will remember the half-off price and tier was standard operating procedure with education and nonprofit groups in Second Life until October 2010, in which it was announced they would be paying full price in January 1, 2011. After that, a number of sims owned by such groups shut down, such as ISTE Island. Hamlet Au put the number of closings at "hundreds if not thousands." In Spring of this year, Linden Lab began quietly offering "a select number of nonprofit and educational" groups that let sims go the return of the discount if they returned. Now, the discount is back for all.
Since 2007 Jamm for Genes in Second Life has raised more
than $7,500 for the Children's Medical Research Institute - an Australian
Charity with global benefits.
In 2013 Jamm for
Genes in SL we will be holding fund-raising concerts throughout the first
weekend in August, supported by the generosity of over 50 Second Life musicians who will perform and
donate all tips to the fund-raiser.
B&Bs will host the finale concert from Midnight on the
Artists appearing at the event will include The Lohners,
Jaggpro McCann, Russell Eponym, OhMy Kidd, The Matthew Show, Senjata Witt,
Franklea Anatra, Noma Falta, Phoenix J, DaveCorbett Darwin, BlindBoy Gumbo,
Bronze8020, Laidback Celt, Stinna Celt, Mamaa Saiz, MrJonze Independant,
Bamboof Stillmorning, Rosedrop Rust, Dead Cat Hat, Freestar & Quai, Anj
Gustafson, Rocky Toocool, Spike Luckstone, Whirli Placebo, Beth Odets, Kevin
M Thomas Carpool, Vincent Carpathea, Bara Jonson, Katrose Serendipity, Rock
Doghouse, Billy Thunders, JoeSatriani Feden and more.
Jamm for Genes is a recognised charity and part of
the annual Jeans for Genes fund-raiser by the Children's Medical Research
Institute - see these web links for more information.
OhMy Kidd is authorised to collect funds for Jamm for Genes
under his RL name Matthew Davies. All in world donations will be transferred to
the charity in full. Alternatively you can donate through OhMy's Everyday Hero fund-raiser page at
Grease Coakes stopped by the Panorama Art Gallery when there was a show by Mellowdee (Melody1778 Resident). Grease took a look at the art and listened to the music, in addition to talking with the show's two sponsors.
It was 44 years ago last Saturday in which Niel Armstrong set foot on the moon, the first time mankind had stepped on the surface on another place in space. To celebrate, the National Space Society held a party for the occasion near their library. Some noteworthy people showed up, some space ballads were played, and one of the NSS crew had a pretty active day earlier at the Neil Armstrong Museum in Ohio.
The Relay For Life season is all but behind us. But new events are coming on the scene. This week marks the VWBPE conference, the biggest gathering of educators in Second Life. But you don't need to be a teacher to show up, there's enough variety in the discussion topics, let along the music and dance parties, for everyone. Other events include "After Dark," a tribute to film noir. There's the MysterySland Festival. And of course there's our reguarly scheduled DJ and live music parties, races, discussions and talk shows, book and poetry readings, and church services.
Today, Theonlyjohnny Resident has scripting on his mind. But not just any scripting, but the kind done for ill. Theonlyjohnny talks about how scriptors with bad intentions can do things such as teasing people with games with no prize, and worse such as sim bans for trivial reasons.
"Be careful where you go "Away From Keyboard" we residents remind ourselves, as you never know what some wag might do. Well, one night while at Club Cutlass, I had a minor emergency that couldn't wait. And when coming back, Zorro Wuramunga had sent me this picture, which he also put on his page.
And then there was this one by Cynthia Farshore.
Zorro's known at Cutlass as "The Fisher Fox," noted for his devotion to fishing and crabbing games, even while on the dancepole. His antics have also gotten him in the Newser's cartoons time to time, such as here and here. Cynthia's a DJ who plays at Cutlass and other clubs, who's appeared in the cartoons as well, such as here and here. So perhaps a little payback was deserved.
And I'll be on the lookout for more cartoon material from Zorro's antics.
Someone once stated that about two thirds of Second Life residents seldom venture beyond their own home sim. Considering how popular clubs and shopping are, this is probably an exaggeration. But thinking about it, how much do we explore? Beyond a few favorite clubs, stores, and friends' places, do we explore much. Second Life has a *lot* of virtual land out there for residents to travel on, especially on the Mainland, also known as the continents. Becky "Sha" Shamen wrote an article about these landscapes, and why, and how, one could make a cross-country journey.
One of the newest and hottest clubs to hit SL is Club Deviant Indulgence, located at Madagascar (203, 217, 21). The club is sleek, modern, and boasts a huge dance floor. Their motto is “Feast on your wild side “, and their goal is to be the club to come to for a sexy, fun time. They are off to a great start. At their grand opening, which was held less than two weeks ago, an amazing eighty-seven (87!) SL residents came to dance, play, and party.
The club is owned by Carla Darkwyr and Ŕєρ́σ ̴I̴v̶er̴s͡son (repojock), who are partners in both business and SL. Carla, who has been in SL since 2010, told me she met Repo on his third day in SL. She said she “befriended this noob and helped him turn one of his dreams into reality.” Repo’s dream was to have a club, and Carla helped him build the Ice Bar and the Bald Beaver. Over the past two years their friendship has grown and deepened, and they became partners on June 28 this year.
On the business side of SL, the two have owned and operated separate clubs prior to combining their expertise in Club Deviant Indulgence. Carla owns The Classy Tease with live singer Ichie Kamachi and Club Virtual Insanity with resident Lily Rootcreeper. She also owns Darkwyr Muses Talent Agency. Repo has owned other clubs in the past, including The Icebar and Bald Beaver as well as Sisters of Anarchy, Tammy’s Roadhouse and the first Tigeropolis Club. In addition to his SL experience Repo bring RL expertise into SL. Repo DJ’s and produces a weekly radio show that airs on goddessradio.net on Sunday evenings, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. CST.
They are combining their experience and expertise to make Club Deviant Indulgence a lively and fun site. The Club will run seven days a week, from 2 pm. to midnight SL time. On Tuesdays there will be live music, and on Thursdays there will be karaoke from 8 to 10 SL time. Ichie Kamachi is one of the musicians who will perform live. In addition to Repo, 8pin and Midnight DJ’d during the grand opening. They are expected to continue wow’ing the crowds with their music, although the schedule for both DJ’s and live performers is still a work in progress.
Repo told me they plan to play “a mix from live music to karaoke to rock and pop.” He said they may even play country “on occasion”. Their goal is to create a friendly and inviting club. Repo said their plan is to offer “top notch entertainment”, as well as contests, hunts, and high value prizes.
They want residents to have the best possible club experience. They have invested in the best and most reliable sound system available. In addition, they have installed a chat floor so that residents can chat comfortably throughout the whole club without having to shout. The chat floor covers a large area, from the landing point outside the club to the back of the stage, as well as extending to both sides.
Both Repo and Carla stressed that all residents are welcome here, including furries, tinies, vampires, and everyone in between. “We don’t discriminate at all here,” Repo said. “We invite everyone to come have fun.” “Fun is the key,” he said. Carla agreed, although she noted their club isn’t a good place for kids. All adults, however, are definitely welcome.
Both Repo and Carla are friendly and outgoing. They both said that one of the things they like about running a club is that they get to meet different people from around the world and those from different lifestyles. During our interview, numerous people wandered into the club, even though we met before regular club hours. Both Repo and Carla greeted them and made sure they felt welcomed. Carla said they have hired a personable, friendly staff, too. They are currently looking for additional friendly, talented residents to work at the Club. They have openings for a variety of positions, including DJ’s, hosts, and dancers. Anyone interested should contact Kati Lorgsval or Malice Marsault for details.
Outside the club is a mall area with a variety of small shops. Sweet Temptations and Caffeine were two of the shops that offered some wilder clothes choices. There was also a kiosk that sold motor scooters and a photo sphere.
In addition to its SL location, Madagascar (203, 217, 21), Club Deviant Indulgence can be found on Facebook and Twitter.
This week in Second Life, the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education takes place. This four day conference focuses on education and the use of virtual worlds as a means for it. But there are events for everyone here, including music, art, treasure hunts, films/machinima, building classes, and more.
The event was mentioned in the Linden blog:
As mentioned in our previous blog post,
summer is the season for exciting and uplifting events of all types in
Second Life. With that in mind, we’d like to bring your attention to
2013’s Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education.
The VWBPE conference runs from July 24th through the 27th and finishes
with extended, four-week massive open online course to examine education
in the virtual world.
is a worldwide community event that focuses on education in immersive
virtual environments. This open conference is organized by educators,
for educators, and showcases the learning that takes place in virtual
communities. Come see innovative educators share their achievements and
challenges in enhanced learning technology and their visions of how
future collaborative learning will grow through virtual worlds and
games. For additional information, be sure to visit http://www.vwbpe.org/ and check the conference schedule here.
The schedule page (click here) is interactive, with details of the event revealed upon clicking on it's icon. There will be all-day exhibits, plus events 6AM - 7PM Wed, July 24 and Thurs July 25, 6AM to 8PM Friday July 26, and 6AM to last resident standing on Saturday July 27.
The opening keynote address will be given Wednesday at 7AM by Gentle Heron at the Central Auditorium ( location at VWBPE Central 3 /155/180/57 ). Other presenters throughout the conference include Saffia Widdershins and Pooky Amsterdam.
With people in Second Life complaining about how Linden Lab does things, it isn't just on the Grid that people are wondering what's up with the people behind the scenes. This month, it's been revealed that the makers of World of Warcraft have been testing an option once thought of as something only smaller games would use - paying more for player buffs. This comes on the heels of other news: the number of subscribers has been getting smaller.
Friday July 19th was the last chance to see the exhibits at the Relay For Life Track. At 9PM SL time, builds still up would be taken down. And so people were going around to see places while they were still up. Already a few spots were bare from builders clearing out early.
Don't forget that you only have until 9pm slt tonight to clear your parcel in order to avoid having your build returned to your Lost and Found! It's bittersweet to see it all go away and we are just in awe over the thought and talent that went into this event weekend this year. Thank you so much for being so cooperative and creative!
While some builders just quietly removed their camps, others decided to go out with a bang. Teams held final dance parties at their plots, or held a "demolition party," making the end of the build an event of itself. This included the Relay Wizards for Spunky's exhibit in RFL Imagine.
I met up with DrFran Babcock and Catboy Qunhua at the plot, and we talked and joked for a while, launching a few fireworks and showing off a few items.
A few more showed up, and it was soon time to "crash" our own party. The exhibit was raised up into the air, the prims were unlinked ...
And then the build was dropped. The result was a shower of parts as the pieces went flying.
After some moments, the prims de-rezzed, and the plot was green once again.
Shortly afterwards, we went over to the New Babbage Exhibit where they were having a farewell party deep in the mine of their camp.
One could get there by navigating the twisty passages, lined with rails for mining carts. Or one could just port in.
We danced to a combination of pop music hits and sci-fi themes such as "Dr Who."
By this time, just about everything was taken up. There were a few places left such as the sand islands in the RFL Reflections water sim. And by 9PM, just about everything was gone. Ub Yiffu's exhibit at RFL Imagine and Journey was still up, but that was all. I met up with one of the clean-up crew, and he gave me a 2013 shirt as a momento.
And so, the Relay For Life Track had come to an end, the sims due to soon vanish back to the virtual nether for another year. A few teams will have wrap-up parties, with the main Wrap-Up party in August with some awards give out. But for most Relayers, this was the de-facto end of the season, looking ahead to 2014.
Vickster Khun announced recently in the WW2 Combat RP group, "You may recall last month WWII Players were asked to participate in an SL movie production about Vietnam. The first segment has just been released on youtube! Check it out!" Vickster herself played the roles of a soldier and an F105 "Thunderchief" pilot. Produced and directed by Luke Flywalker.
Next week in Second Life the VWBPE, Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education, takes place. The organizers call it, "a global grassroots community event focusing on education in immersive virtual environments … organized by educators, for educators, to provide an opportunity to showcase the learning that takes place" in Second Life and other grids. SL Enquirer's Nomad Aries writes about "one of the most extraordinary conferences … held in Second Life."
One of the most popular video games in the late 90's was Final Fantasy 7. FF7 was popular to the point that fans wrote numerous fanfics of it's characters, and even though there were further games in the Final Fantasy series, none were as popular as the seventh. Recently, the game was made available on Steam. Grease Coakes took a look to see what's changed and what hasn't with this classic game.
Bixyl Shuftan continues his coverage of the Relay For Life sims. Even with The Walk over, there are still things to see and do. The camps and builds offered plenty to see. And then there were the Relayers themselves, who were determined to have fun while the sims were still up.
Earlier, Theonlyjohnny Resident wrote on Club Tiki Paradise. Here he is during host duty, playing a piano which has the dual function as a tip jar. While hosts work for tips, this was the first time he knew of someone playing a tip har.