Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Gacha Guild Springtime Carnival and the Great Easter Egg Hunt

There's a couple of fun events in Second Life that are almost over. One is the Gacha Guild Springtime Carnival. Located at a carnival area in the Dew Drop sim, there are rides such as the human cannonball and a ferris wheel, and a number of gachas one can play.

Also going on is the Great Easter Egg Hunt. Organized by Caspertech, the shopping hunt event boasts 297 stops and 500 eggs that each have a prize. For details, check the website at .

SL Video: "Raglan Shire April Fools Town 2014"

(Click here if the video fails to play)

From Nitwacket in April, 2014, "Clover and Toady built this great town at Raglan Shire - Keeba Tammas and the Tiny Maniacs performed - Stunt Doubles - The NCI Zonk Team."

Friday, March 30, 2018

"The Long Kiss Goodnight" UWA Announces Results of Last Machinima Challenge

On Sunday March 25, the University of Western Australia sims held the awards ceremony of what will probably be their final major art competition, the SLArtist@UWA Machinima Challenge. Seventeen entries were made by various artists such as Bryn Oh, Secret Rage, Chic Aeon, and others, for a total prize pool of 430,000 Linden dollars. The winner was Glasz DeCuir. who took the grand prize of 75,000 Lindens.

"This is not a continuation of the MachinimUWA series, which ended in Dec 2015," their blog stated earlier, "but is a special event that has a life primarily thanks to LaPiscean Liberty, who wants to nourish the dynamic partnership between artists and filmmakers."

"Jay Jay announced that after 9 long years of helming art and film challenges, that this would be his last, drawing to a close the UWA chapter in leading art and film challenges in Second Life, with hopes, the baton will be taken up by others, in the same way he and UWA stepped in when some or the original luminaries of Second Life were pulling back."

The second place prize went to Tutsy Navarantha for "Serendipity." Third place went to Natascha Randt and Karima Hoisan for "The River of Forgetting." Fourth place went to Isabelle Cheren for "Before the World Was Made." Fifth place went to Bryn Oh for "Cerulean."

The sims themselves will remain up for now, though it seems they are likely to vanish after mid-2019.

JayJay Zifanwe gave a speech at the ceremony. He expressed sadness not just for this being the close for the final event, but for the recent passing of Alizarin Goldflake. She was one of the first artists at the UWA, and her "Maze" can still be seen at the sims. Of the closing, "it brings to an end the grand art and film challenges run by UWA, which started almost a decade ago in 2009, with Alizarin and other pioneers, who included Soror Nishi & Oberon Onmura. In the past there had been tough times and moments when it looked we wouldn't make it this far, but we scrambled and pulled through."

"Its been an absolute pleasure for me to work with all of you over the course of these challenges, and over the years, and especially to those who went above and beyond the call of duty to make all of this a success. ... More than 50 nations with 6 of the 7 continents of the world represented."

"It has been an honour for me, the accidental art and film caretaker over the years to work with so many of you and have the privilege of viewing your art and film. The relationships built here have crossed over to RL as well, as I have met a number of artists and filmmakers from SL in RL, with FreeWee Ling spending a few months at UWA on an Australia-US Fellowship as well. The people of SL have helped my older son win a number of Peoples Choice events, as sometime over the past 2 years he suddenly became quite a successful filmmaker being selected for 4 Academy Award qualifying festivals, and when I travel to Denmark this July with my younger son for the World Triathlon Championships, another SL artist has offered to put us up for a while and show us around. Life has been definitely richer because of my involvement with SL, and I hope the friendships created will last well beyond the middle of 2019, when the digital night is likely to set on the UWA sims themselves. Thank you one and all."

To see the full list of videos, and read the transcript of the ceremony in full, check the UWA blog here.

Bixyl Shuftan

Linden Lab Hiring Digital Marketing Manager

For those skilled in digital marketing, the Lab may have a job for you. Linden Lab announced earlier this week they are looking for a Digital Marketing Manager.

Linden Lab is seeking a Digital Marketing Manager to develop, execute and analyze paid marketing strategies that drive aggressive traffic and revenue growth to Second Life, the Internet's largest user-created virtual world. This position will also work closely with a dynamic team on overall strategic marketing initiatives.  

So what does this mean? It means Linden Lab is making more of an effort to advertise and attract new users. Perhaps they hope to catch a wave of revived interest in virtual worlds in the wake of the "Ready Player One" movie. As just weeks ago it looked like the Lab was giving Second Life scant attention in favor of Sansar. This suggests that's not necessarily the case.

So expect to see more ads for Second Life on the Internet.

Bixyl Shuftan

Reader Submitted: "Someone Order a Bottle of Whiskey?"

Taken by Spooked Dreamscape. What someone was doing with a big bottle of whiskey at Luskwood's "Big Tree," he didn't say. It's unlikely to belong to the pony as most turn up their nose at any liquor other than apple cider. So whoever was the lush at Lusk will likely stay unknown.

Announcement: Relay Kickoff, "Do You Hear That Rumble?"

Are you tired of waiting for the fun to begin?  Do you have some team events lined up?  ONE WEEK FROM TOMORROW is our KICK OFF!

Use the attached texture to notify your team and groups.  Just one more week, April 7th at 10am!!! Mark your calendars!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Reader Submitted: "To Surname, Or Not To Surname?"

To Surname, Or Not To Surname? Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the looks and smirks of questionable lineage, Or to pay the fee to the Master of Heraldry, and by purchase, end then. To lie in sleep No more a ruffian of the street, but to rise up as the scion of House and Manor. And to end all manner of heartache and perplexment. But what a cost be this worth? What Life's Journey then may be cast aside, in vain pride forgoing a harder path, whose darken cobblestones lay to a greater Destiny that only those who Chargeth all their worth in a Single Name, Make it Blaze In Glory though the annals of history? Who can know what path is best for you. What Glories or Calamities might besought from either path. Only that each must go their own way. And be what they must be. To those who travel both paths, whichever they choseth. May the winds guide you fair.

Rocketoo Resident

Announcement: This Week At The Science Circle: “Mitochondrial Eve”

“Mitochondrial Eve”  by Mary Anne Clark
Saturday, March 31 at 10AM - 11AM PDT

Variations in the sequence of mitochondrial DNA can be used to identify human lineages and mark human migration patterns.  In 1987, mtDNA samples from 147 women were compared and used to infer the sequence and origin of the mitochondria of the common ancestor of all humans.  The popular press and science writers were quick to name this common ancestor “Mitochondrial Eve.” What has the continued study of human mitochondrial sequences told us about our origin and history? 

For more information: Click Here.  

The Science Circle (61/127/32)

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Looking Back: Why Did Linden Lab Get Rid of Last Names?

By Bixyl Shuftan

It was one week ago in which Linden Lab announced they would be bringing back last names to new accounts. It was a move that was cheered by the residents. Though some were asking why did they get rid of them in the first place?

As most longtime residents remember, before 2011, when someone made an account in Second Life they were asked to give it a first and last name. The first name they could make most anything they wanted (slurs were not allowed, and profanities were usually not). The second name was from a list. Originally, once 150 people chose a particular surname it was no longer available. But that limit was later dropped. It was possible for a noted person, such as Newt Gingrich, to get the Lab to have his account named after him. But most didn't have that choice.

According to the Second Life Wikia, "Last names often refer to significant people, places, or events, either in history or in popular culture and literature." Examples include Baker, the name of the actor who played "The Fourth Doctor" on "Dr. Who," Maginot, referring to France's Maginot Line built between the World Wars, Trudeau, a Prime Minister of Canada, Trumbo, a novelist and Hollywood screenwriter who was blacklisted for refusing to testify before Congress, Pascal, a 17th Century French mathematician, Protagonist, which refers to both the central character of a story and the name of a character on the cyberpunk novel "Snow Crash," Rand, a Russian-born American novelist, and thousands of others. But just as often, "the names can reveal much about the mindset of the Lindens." A website named "SL Name Watch" gave a list of 10,888 last names that were offered by Linden Lab. The most common one was "Gossipgirl" with over 163,000 residents choosing that. Over 400 were chosen by more than 10,000 residents.  My own, "Shuftan," was chosen by a total of 594. According to this list, there were dozens of names, such as Goodwin and Parkinson, that not a single resident bothered to pick.

Some of the names were a bit odd. While many liked them, others didn't. So why were some occasional odd and offbeat names put on the list at times? Perhaps many were a case of "it seemed like a good idea at the time." Though Hamlet Au, whom was once Linden Lab's embedded reporter, stated that at times the person in charge had to struggle and ended up pulling names from unusual sources, "In my Linden Lab days, I sat next to former community manager Daniel Huebner, and enjoyed watching him wracking his brain to come up with new last names, for a time going through various desserts of the world -- which is why many oldie SLers are named, say, 'Tiramisu.'"

It made sense to many, just as in real life, one had two names. And this system would put residents in a kind of "extended family" whom were roughly the same age and presumably the same level of experience. And it certainly gets the attention of most pre-2011 residents when they see someone with the same surname. But not everyone was happy with this system. When signing up, if you didn't like any of the last names on the list you were given, there were only two options: bite the bullet and accept a name you thought was bad, or turn around and not sign up to Second Life after all.

As James Cook, the former James Linden put it, "Whenever you have a registration flow for any service you lose signups for each additional step." There was also that this naming system was different from most MMOs, in which you simply used one name. And of course some people were confused as why couldn't they use their real name.

2010 was a year of change to Second Life when the Lab realized it was no longer attracting media attention, and people signing up, like it did before. So it made a number of big moves, such as laying off a third of their staff and merging the Teen Grid with the main one. Seeing that many people weren't bothering to sign up due to the naming process, Linden Lab decided a change was needed. So the old naming system was dropped in favor of just one name that you could more or less make whatever you wanted too, unless it was obscene or a slur, as long as it was unique. They also added "Display Names" that one could make whatever the resident wanted it to be.

But just like the Teen Grid merger about this time, which led to most of Second Life's younger residents leaving (aside from those who were faking their age), the move had consequences the Lab failed to foresee. Seeing older residents with two names, and with all new accounts given the default surname "Resident," newcomers felt like second-class citizens. Linden Lab had in effect created a dividing line between Second Life users who had signed up during when it had the old naming system, and those who signed up under the new one. Seen as newbies, they were treated differently from older residents, and even made unwelcome as some places were so fearful of griefers they threw them out as they were instantly recognizable as recent accounts. Less important but still a problem was that while there was now one name like most MMOs, the new system brought with it some of the problems associated with them, such as names with numbers and repeated letters, such as John777 and XXXcalabuRRR.

Linden Lab soon realized they had a problem. And in December 2011, then CEO Rodvik Linden announced the Lab was looking into how to bring back last names. But a few months later in March 2012, they announced they couldn't find a way to do so that was best for everyone. While some acknowledged the new system was a better one than the old, the general feeling was that the Lab could have easily made some improvement, "The Lab has just blown off one way that could have given a greater degree of engagement and building community – without costing residents money."

Since then, the issue wasn't really mentioned by Linden Lab. It's easy to assume they were waiting for the residents to forget about it. But they never did, occasionally discussing the issue. So why is Linden Lab addressing this issue at this particular time? Did it really take them several years to figure out how to bring back surnames for new accounts, or did they just not bother to try after their initial attempt until someone suggested they could charge a fee for it? Could recent questions about if Linden Lab was having a "cultural shift" away from Second Life and to it's newer (and far less successful) virtual world Sansar have spurred the company to do something. Talking to various residents, all were happy overall with Linden Lab's announcement. The one complaint I heard was that those who signed up after 2010 would not be able to get a last name for free but would have to pay to get it. They felt those without surnames in their account names should be able to get one for free

And so, as Second Life approaches it's fifteenth anniversary, those stuck with the surname of "Resident" will finally get a chance to have a real last name like older residents. But, it will cost them.

Sources: New World Notes, Second Life Wikia, SL Name Watch 

Bixyl Shuftan

Cartoon of the Day

Taken at the Happy Vixen, with a little help from Chea Eclipse. And no, he's not related to the Energizer Bunny.

By Bixyl Shuftan

SL15B Update: Sim Group Incomplete, Expect Applications "In a Few Weeks"

A couple days ago, the Newser reported that the SL15B sims were fewer in number and in an unusual shape compared to recent SL Birthday celebrations. In group chat in the SLB group, Doctor Gascoigne stated not all of the sims for the event were in the group, "There are some of them being worked on at an undisclosed location."

Doc was also asked when applications for exhibitors, performers, and volunteers would be out. He answered, "Applications will be in a few weeks. ... We will make an announcement here and then applications will be on our web site."

So announcements, and presumably the theme of "The Birthday," will be announced a little later compared to most previous SLB events, though not as late as SLB9 when Linden Lab announced it would no longer be organizing them and volunteers banded together to get it going.

Stay tuned for more details.

Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release: EverFest 2018 Schedule

Thursday, March 29th 2018 7pm, the "Ever Memorial 500"  hosted by Roc Plutonian

Friday, March 30th 2018 - 7pm, A brand new event, shark racing around Ever's island, Hosted by Angela Galway, starting location to be determined

Saturday, March 31st - Random times, and random events, with random fires, and general randomness, post if you're gonna be doing something and let the BCA group know about it, you might end up with more randomness than expected.

Sunday, April 1st - Noon, The "running with scissors Marathon" we start at the park plaza, and those that survive the flames will run to North channel, there will be Molotov cocktails, and chocolate eggtinis at the Everfest Ball!, dress code is zany, caution there may be sharks and tornadoes

Enjoy the party, and as always, stay Eternal!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Events This Week at the Sunweaver, Montecito Bay, and Furry Fashion Clubs

It's a week full of events, St. Patrick's and otherwise, at the Sunweaver and Montecito Bay clubs and the Furry Fashion Lounge.

Club Cutlass: Best in "A", Stripes, Easter

The Happy Vixen: Fluffy Tails, Worst Superheroes, Feathers, Tacky, Hybrids, CAYA, TBA, Girl's Night Out, Metalheads, CAYA

Club Zero Gravity: Best Tail, Genderbend

The Goblin Cave: Sunday Matinee 

Montecito Bay: Rave Night, Anything Goes, Anime, Malt Shoppe Mayhem, 70s-90s, After Dark

Furry Fashion Lounge:  Video Games, Horror, Crazy, Pirates, Memes, April Fool/Silly, Demos, Fangs and Claws

Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'.

Updated 11:00PM

Press Release: Fantasy Faire 2018, April 19 – 29

* * Fantasy Faire 2018, April 19 – 29* *
A Benefit for the American Cancer Society

Celebrating its tenth year, Fantasy Faire 2018 is the largest gathering of fantasy designers, enthusiasts, roleplayers and performers in the virtual world. From Thursday, April 19 to Sunday April 29, treat yourself to eleven days of shopping, dance and theater performances, DJ parties, auctions, questing, Literary Festival, fantasy art, events and roleplaying as thousands of Second Life residents and creators bring their own visions together to support the American Cancer Society’s vision of a world without cancer.

Avatars, clothing, furnishings, gadgets and exclusive items are available from more than 200 of Second Life’s top Fantasy Creators across ten stunning shopping sims designed by some of the visionary artists behind many of the hottest spots on the Second Life destination guide.

In addition to the ten shopping regions, there’s also five whole Fairelands dedicated to various Faire events from Memorial Garden to the Fairelands Quest, from Literary Festival to Performance Stages, from Art Galleries to the Worldling Collection. This brings the Fairelands count of 2018 into fifteen sims, just waiting for you to come and explore them.

The Fantasy Faire 2018 is made possible by the generous support of our Sim and Event Sponsors, which will be detailed on our website with more information about them.

Fantasy Faire 2018 will be open to the public April 19 – 29. The SLurl to the event can be found on the website on the opening day. We welcome you to come and join the story.

For more information please contact one of the Faire coordinators:

Are you or a loved one battling cancer? Find out how many ways the American Cancer Society is there to help. Visit or call (US) 800-ACS-2345.
RFL in SL:
American Cancer Society SLurl:

Monday, March 26, 2018

More on the Return of Last Names, Expect in Late 2018

Last Wednesday, Linden Lab announced a number of upcoming changes to Second Life, including the return of last names to accounts. Since then, more details have come in about Linden Lab's plans on the issue. Oz Linden was asked about the topic at the Content Creator User Group meeting on Thursday March 22, and he answered some questions about it.

Of when surnames reappear on new accounts, it seems the goal set by the Lab is by the end of the year.

That is not something that we’re going to be able to deliver real quickly. Don’t look for it in the next few weeks. But it is on the road map for this year, and we’ll try to make it better than the very end of the year, but there are a couple of things that have to get fixed on the back-end before that can work. So it's on the list, and we'll get someone on it as quickly as we can, but it's not something that's coming real soon now.

The plan is not just for new accounts that are created once the change is in effect, but to allow everyone to change their account names more or less when they desire. Like the old system, people can choose whatever first name they want, and chose one of a list of surnames. Once a name is created by someone, it cannot be used by anyone else, even if the account is deactivated. Even if a name is changed, you can still look up the person on Search as the old name is kept in the records.

As with the old system, the list of surnames will be routinely changed. Oz did say they will likely take suggestions from the residents, "It used to be something of a headache to put new names on the list." "Linden" (and possibly similar spellings such as "Lynden") will not be options .

Display names are not going away. Patch Linden did comment on the official blog that he wondered if the return of surnames might lead to their being less used, "it somewhat sunsets the need for them." Patch would also say on the forum thread, "Only standard English characters will be permitted." So the fancy letters in some display names cannot be used.

While people can theoretically change names as often as they want, there will be a fee involved to keep people from changing it too often. Oz stated, "we're just going to make it expensive enough that people won't think it's amusing enough to get lots of names." How high the fee will be has not yet been decided, "I don't know ... what expensive enough is."

It's probable that more details will be revealed at "Meet the Lindens" events at the upcoming Second Life Birthday. Stay tuned for more details.

Source: Modem World, Daniel Voyager

Image Credit: Toady Nakamura 

Bixyl Shuftan

SL15B Map Update

A few weeks ago, the Newser reported on what we thought were the SLB sims. But these were labeled "SLB 1, SLB 2 , etc." rather than given the age of the grid or the names they usually do. Last night, a search on the map revealed a number of sims labeled "SL15B," along with the familiar names. What's unusual is the smaller number than recent SL Birthday celebrations and the hook shape they're in. As the sims don't appear on Tyche Shepard's weekly sim report on the SL Universe forums that went on on Sunday, it's a good bet they just went up. So the six sim sized empty space in the middle will most likely be filled.

Stay tuned for more details.

Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Cartoon of the Day

Taken at Club Cutlass. Zorro Wuramunga is in a rather atypical outfit.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Announcement: Sunday Movie at the Goblin Cave

"The Wild Geese"

A British banker hires a group of British mercenaries to rescue a deposed African President from the hands of a corrupt African dictator.

Starts tomorrow at 6PM SLT, if you come in later you will see the beginning but the rest will be advanced in the movie.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Press Release: Burnal Equinox

Burnal Equinox
March 24-25, 2018
Opening 10:00am SLT, Saturday 24 March 2018
BURN2, Deep Hole

"H2O = Water but H2+O = Fire"

What does this two-part statement mean? The first we all know, H2O represents WATER. But...the second part is not a chemical formula; rather it is an attempt to describe the process of combustion that results in FIRE. Both utilise hydrogen and oxygen, but manifest in different ways. Thus we express the concept of Equinox and the dichotomy of fire and water.

The event opens with a walk-on by the Lamplighters at 10:00am SLT on Saturday, with Burners and observers welcome to join us on our little walkabout to the stage and kick off the event .

Here are just a few of the performers you will see at BURN2::
BURN2 Fashion Show
The Vinnie Show
Yman Juran
Stratus McTavish
A Limb
Samm Qendra

SHARE the News and Plan to Come!

We look forward to welcoming Home Burners and community, to explore the builds and dance to the music that will fill the air over the playa. See the full BURN2 Calendar at for the weekend’s event schedule.

The Nebula, the Burnal Equinox effigy, stands near the center of the playa. It is different to anything we’ve Burned before, and the planned spectacle is one you definitely want to witness! Come this weekend, for fun, art and music galore.

SL Video: "Rezzable's 'Black Swan' 2009"

(Click here if the video fails to play)

By Nitwacket in Dec 2009, "a) a theory of 'high-impact, hard-to-predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm of normal expectations' .  b) A sim - where the creative best of Second Life was showcased. Created by Light Waves, and here featuring "Noobility" by Seifert Surface and Art Laxness, 'Black Swan' was moved to Rezzable's private Open Sim in September of 2009."

Friday, March 23, 2018

Celebrating Ten Women Who Made a Difference in Second Life

On Sunday March 18, there was an event honoring ten women in Second Life whom had impacted Second Life over the years. Held at the Art Cafe in the Confederation of Democratic Simulators, the event was organized by Kyoko (Samara Barzane) and Brooke Brandenburg for Women's History Month.  The event was well attended, including some noted residents.

Read more in People.

Curei's Floating Gallery

Second Life has many art exhibitions. But how many are on a floating island? Deaflegacy found out about one named Curei's Floating Gallery. She dropped by, had a few words with it's artist, Curei Resident, and took a look around.

Read Deaflegacy's article in Design.

Easter Town

Easter is almost here. And that means Easter Town is back. Built by Laura Liberty, the location appears in Second Life every year. One can shop at the various stores, but you don't need money to enjoy th place with it's brightly colored themed scenery, freebies, a peep race, and of course Easter eggs and bunnies. Gemma Cleanslate was there, and here's her story.

Read Gemma's article in Places.

Announcement: This Week At The Science Circle: "Astrobiology and the Search for Microbial Life"

"Astrobiology and the Search for Microbial Life"
Saturday, March 24 at 10AM - 11AM PDT
by James Woods

Introduction to astrobiology and the scientific search for evidence of microbial life beyond Earth, especially on moons in the solar system. Review, with questions welcome, the very real and exciting possibility of finding such life in the fairly near future, and its far-reaching implications. For a general audience, brief discussion of key basic principles in areas of microbiology, physics and chemistry that drive, inform and focus the search.

Read more information here.

The Science Circle (61/127/32)

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Linden Lab Announces Upcoming Changes, Including Return of Last Names

In an announcement that they linked to Second Life's upcoming 15th Anniversary, Linden Lab announced there would be a number of changes this year. Counting a few earlier changes such as lower mainland tier, they listed a total of fifteen, one for each year the Grid has been around.

Among the changes are "more value for Premium members," which could mean more perks. The Lab also promises "more exclusive games and experiences," which could mean at least one more game like "Tyrah and the Magical Glitches" last year. Some interesting changes mentioned included "themed learning islands," "Linden Homes improvements," and "land auctions." They also plan to move Second Life's infrastructure to The Cloud, and officially release animesh in full.

But the change that's gotten the most attention, "The return of last names." Until about 2010-11, those signing up for a Second Life account gave it two names, the first whatever they desired and the second one from a list that varied depending on when the account was created. Then Linden Lab gave new accounts a different naming system. One was a display name that was whatever the person wanted. But for account names, they did away with surnames and on browsers all new avatars showed up as having a default last name of "Resident."

While display names have been popular overall, the move to ditch last name choices for account names was highly unpopular. With every newcomer listed as having the surname of "Resident," many felt like second-class citizens. There were also complaints in the first few months that some clubs were banning everyone with the default name as it instantly identified them as newcomers and possible griefer accounts. People also looked for ways to make an account with a last name.

Linden Lab realized they had a problem, and in December 2011 announced they would study how to bring back surnames. But in March 2012, the Lab announced they just couldn't find a way to do so. While several years have gone by, the issue was never forgotten.

Exactly how the Lab plans to return surnames is unknown. It's also unknown if existing "Resident" accounts will be given a chance to get a real surname. Time will tell on both.

To read the Linden announcement, Click Here

Bixyl Shuftan

New Sponsor: The Confederation of Democratic Simulators

The Second Life Newser has a new sponsor: the Confederation of Democratic Simulators.

The Confederation of Democratic Simulators, or CDS, is a community in Second Life in which ownership of land entitles a resident a say in how things are run. Established in 2004, the CDS brands itself Second Life's oldest democracy, and holds elections twice a year to determine the makeup of it's government. It's current leader is Chancellor Rosie Gray.

For more information, go to their website at , or head over to the location and talk to the people.

Press Release: United We Relay, Relay For Life Registration and Kick Off Announced

14th Annual Virtual Fund Raising Event Begins April 7th

(American Cancer Society Region, Second Life) Plans for the 14th annual virtual Relay For Life of Second Life were announced today. The annual grid-wide event, which brings teams from all corners of both the physical and virtual worlds together to Celebrate, Remember and Fight Back against cancer, has been held every spring since 2005.   These dedicated Relayers have supported the American Cancer Society by raising more that L$750,000,000 ($3,250,000 usd) to continue its mission to Save Lives, Celebrate Lives and Lead the Fight for a world without cancer.

The theme for the 2018 event, United We Relay, recognizes the borderless composition of Second Life’s Relay community, with teams made up of members residing in nearly 100 countries. These teams hold events and fundraise both in Second Life and in the physical world.  The Relay For Life of Second Life is a life-changing event. No event in Second Life matches the Relay experience, which includes the beauty and interactivity of the regions, combined with the emotional support of the community.

Team Registration opens on March 19, 2018

Teams may begin registering on the event website, as early as March 19. While anyone in Second Life can use the official fundraising tools, only registered teams will be able to assign the tools to their team in order to qualify for the Fundraising Club and other challenges or opportunities throughout the season. The official 2018 fundraising season will begin at 10am Saturday, April 7, 2018 with a Kick Off Celebration to be held on a dedicated region adjacent to American Cancer Society.  Plans are underway for Kick Off Weekend to include Live Entertainment and a ceremony to unveil the plans for the 2018 season. Official fundraising tools (kiosks and vendors) are available now, and will ‘reset’ to $0 on April 7, to signify the official start of the 2018 fundraising season.

2018 Relay For Life of Second Life Premier Sponsors include Rockliffe University, RGF Estates and Sol Existence.  This year’s Kick Off Sponsor is Relay Refresh.

The Relay For Life of Second Life is overseen by the Event Leadership Team (ELT) of Nuala Maracas, Nikki Mathieson, MamaP Beerbaum Alter and Random Padar Darrow, American Cancer Society staff partner Stingray9798 Raymaker and is supported by task volunteers made up of more than 50 avatars from all walks of Second Life.

The 2018 Season will culminate with the annual Relay Weekend, July 14th and 15th. Anyone interested may join the Relay For Life Volunteers group in Second Life or contact any of the ELT members.

The American Cancer Society is the world’s leader in the fight against cancer.  The Society provides support for researchers, cancer survivors and caregivers and with its Global partners, is active in all corners of the globe providing support for health care and cancer initiatives. More information about cancer, survivor and caregiver support or the mission of the Society can be found at American Cancer Society region in Second Life, visiting or by calling 800-227-2345

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Scenes From the VWBPE

From March 15 to 17, the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education event took place in Second Life. Over the three days, residents gathered to discuss how virtual worlds such as this one can and are being used for the purposes of educating people. The Newser was there, and took a number of pictures.

See more in Events.

Cartoon of the Day

Taken at the VWBPE. Not sure why he really chose that name, but it certainly gets people wondering.

By Bixyl Shuftan

The Art of Sisi Biedermann

Gemma Cleanslate recently went to the Whinlatter sim to see an art exhibition. The artist whose work is displayed there is Sisi Biedermann. She has been in Second Life since 2007, and has done several hundred paintings of a number of subjects. Gemma wrote not only about the art, but also the complex, The Visions of  Beauty Art Gallery built by Dj12 Magic.

Read Gemma's story in Design.

Philip Rosedale Wants Help Getting His Avatar Back

Practically every resident who's been in Second Life for more than several years knows about Philip Rosedale, or rather Philip Linden as he used to be known inworld. Besides as the founder of Second Life, he was known for his unique look. His old prim hair was stiff and spikey, and he always had on a "Rocky Horror" t-shirt and a multicolored codpiece over his pants.

Philip stepped down as CEO of Linden Lab in 2008, though was interim CEO from June to October 2010, and stepped down from it's board of directors in 2013, leaving to concentrate more on his new virtual world High Fidelity. But apparently, one of his recent tweets suggests he's been having more interest in Second Life lately, appearing inworld in a regular account. And he would like some help getting his old look back.

Would someone be willing to re-make me my original SL avatar? I've been spending more time in SL lately (it's just so amazing and great) and I'd like my old look back. This vintage...

Philip got a large number of responses, some offering to help, others humoring such as one person who joked "I found your undies." It's also worth noting that Linden Lab had a contest for a new look for Philip while he was interim, the winning appearance announced in October 19, 2010. But he didn't have long to enjoy it as he stepped down the very next day.

Should Philip be sticking around for a while, it should be quite interesting, even if he's no longer a Linden.

Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Events This Week at the Sunweaver, Montecito Bay, and Furry Fashion Clubs

St. Patrick's Day is over. But there's plenty of fun events at the Sunweaver and Montecito Bay clubs and the Furry Fashion Lounge.

Club Cutlass: Best in 'X, Y, and Z,' Pretty in Pink, The Mod 60s

The Happy Vixen:  Star Trek, Martial Artists, Pirates, Cops and Robbers, Best in White, Western, TBA, Birthday Suits, Metalheads, CAYA

Club Zero Gravity: TBA

Goblin Cave: Sunday Matinee "The Wild Geese"

Montecito Bay: Pokemon, Old School, Anime, At the Diner, CAYA, After Dark

Furry Fashion Lounge: Anime, Food, No Pants, Cats vs Dog, Pool Party, Barely There, Fursonas, Silly Hats

Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'.

Updated 7PM SL time

Five Years in Second Life

It was five years ago that Newser writer, Kimiko Kanagowa (FoxytheJamie Resident) first logged into Second Life. In the past few days, he's been looking back at what he's experienced. From clubs, to residential areas, to medieval lands, to sci-fi space areas, he's seen and taken part in quite a bit.

Read FoxytheJamie's story in People.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Ebbe Linden Speaks at the VWBPE

On Thursday March 15, Ebbe Linden (Ebbe Altberg) spoke at an event for the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference. This was the fourth year he had done so. Unlike the first two times, he did not speak live in front of an audience at the conference, but did so in a livestreamed interview in front of a small number of people. Also there answering some questions was Bret Linden (Bret Atwood).

Ebbe described the topic of education as "core to the idea of what Second Life is." Sansar was mainly focused on "revenue and user growth. And so education would be a tough area for us to spend money on ..." but still wanted educational areas to be part of their new virtual world. Ebbe brought up places such as the Apollo Museum and virtual replicas of an ancient Egyptian tomb. Of ease of use for the disabled, Ebbe conceeded that, "Sansar actually has a ways to go, and might actually be way more restricted with accessibility for some time to come, compared to Second Life."

Ebbe stated that Linden Lab was still putting money in Second Life, "we’re still really serious about our investment in Second Life, and the team is very motivated and dedicated to get growth .... So it’s not something that we’re just letting run its course or milking for revenues, or anything like that." He admitted that the price of virtual land was high, and would shift revenue from Second Life away from that and toward other fees, comparing them to "consumption taxes." He went on to say that this shift would benefit nonprofits as they would be paying less for land, of which they already get a 50% discount.

Of the topic of building in Sansar, Ebbe stated that unlike Second Life, Sansar builders would have to continue to rely on third-party platforms, "because we have to do so many things, we chose specifically chose not to focus on the creation of original content, if you will. There’s so many great third-party tools ..." Sansar also differs from Second Life in that if no one is visiting a region, after a few minutes it shuts down. If someone wants to visit it, it only takes a few seconds to turn it back on. He wondered if it might be possible to do something similar with Second Life someday.

Improvements in Second Life itself would include animesh and weather control. Ebbe also hinted there would also be better ways to combat griefers. Some questions were asked after the stream was done. Of the Teen Grid, Ebbe stated there were no plans to bring it back, though the issue could be up for discussion "later next year."

To watch the discussion, one can still see the recording on Youtube Gaming. There is also a transcript provided by Inara Pey.

Bixyl Shuftan

Linden Lab Updates Linden Realms Game: The Wrath of Ruth

The first of Second Life's big games created by Linden Lab is getting an update.

Linden Realms now looks ablaze. Buildings and trees are now on fire. The once blue skies have an orange hue. Just what happened here? It seems that the antagonist in the "Tyrah and the Magical Glytches" game, Ruth, has used Magellan's coffin to knock a comet off course and sent it into the Linden Realms area.

(Click here if the video fails to play)

The gameplay itself remains the same, go to Tyrah's base to accept missions, collect crystals, and avoid dangers such as fireballs, poisoned water, and all of those rock monsters. And you'll be getting a few Linden dollars for doing so.

For more details, check the official Second Life blog.

Bixyl Shuftan

Announcement: Relay Registration Opening Today

Registration will open this morning, March 19th at 8 am SLT.

If you need help, one of these amazing volunteers will be glad to help you:

Prettykitty Gumbo
TS Darrow
Spook Maroon
Gem Sunkiller
Oldesoul Eldemar
Lyrica Dawnfire
MamaP Beerbaum

Go Relay!

Press Release: VWBPE Announces 2018 Thinkerer Award Recipient: Vallibrarian!

In 2014, the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Organizational Committee instituted a new personal achievement award to recognize an individual who has provided outstanding service to both the field of education and the virtual world community at large.

The Thinkerer Award is presented to an individual whose deeds and actions have shown a consistent selfless service towards the promotion of learning, community, educational practices, and who exemplifies the spirit of cooperative development within immersive environments.

Recipients of this award are not simply outstanding professionals in their field. Award recipients must characterize transformational leadership qualities to:

- envision and guide change;
- enhance the motivation, morale, and performance of both peers and pupils;
- promote best practices and continuous improvement; and
- inspire others through their words and actions.

Dr. Valerie Hill – Valibrarian in virtual worlds – is the director of the Community Virtual Library in Second Life and Kitely. Dr. Hill served as a school librarian for twenty years and has taught literature and information science at all grade levels from kindergarten through college. As a National Writing Trainer, Dr. Hill specializes in connecting literature to writing. Her research focus centers on the intersection of information literacy and libraries with virtual worlds and digital culture.

Valibrarian believes digital citizenship is essential to learning in today’s metamodern post-Gutenberg era. Virtual worlds provide persistent spaces to help learners navigate learning landscapes in all forms: physical, virtual or augmented. A passion for literacy and learning has led Val to champion virtual worlds through connecting educators, learners and learning communities in virtual worlds.

Val was presented with the Librarian of the Year for Lewisville ISD in 2010 and Texas Computer Education Association Librarian of the Year Finalist in 2007.

After serving as a school librarian and professor of library and information science, Valibrarian, along with her Community Virtual Library colleagues in Second Life, Kitely and web-based Cybalounge, strive to share best practices of education in virtual worlds. Through sharing both the highest quality immersive simulations and educational virtual communities of interest, learning opportunities not found in physical classrooms or online platforms can be accessed for critical thinking and collaborative learning.

It is for all these reasons, and more, that the VWBPE Organizational Committee proudly confirms Valerie Hill, our Valibrarian, as the VWBPE 2018 Thinkerer Award recipient.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Saturday, March 17, 2018

St. Patrick's Dance at Andrea's Place in Caledon

Many places are having St. Patrick's Day events, including Club Cutlass today. But on Tuesday March 13, a few nights before the holiday, Andrea's Place at Caledon would have it's themed event that evening.

A number of Caledonians, and friends of, were part of the event. This included Cynthia Farshore, who was playing the music, and Shockwave Yareach.

It 'twas a merry event with plenty o' music n' dancin'.

Bixyl Shuftan

SL Video: "Kokomo"

(Click here if the video fails to play)

By Chini Roo in Nov 2011

Friday, March 16, 2018

Nydia Tungsten's Daughter Gives Birth to Baby Boy

Nydia Tungsten has been called many things, DJ, club owner, sim estate manager, community leader, writer, published author, and more. But now you can add another to the list: grandmother.

Her daughter, nicknamed "Bug," was at the local hospital in delivery yesterday. Nydia would give occasional updates in both Discord and in group chat. Finally, she gave the following announcement:

Welcome Gideon Xavier
12:53 am 16 March 2018
8 lb's 12.9 oz 20.5 in

Welcome to the newest member of Nydia's family. 

Announcement: The Goblin Cave Brings Movies Back to The Sunweavers

    The Goblin Cave is happy to announce that movies will resume being shown. The screen provided by Cynthia Farshore will run movies from youtube while in the meantime her partner Shockwave Yareach repairs a sever for increase selections and performance. The movies will be shown on Sundays starting at 6PM SLT. This time the movies will be functioning differently than pervious times. The movie starts at 6PM SLT however if you arrive after that time you will still see the beginning of the movie. This is the nature of running from youtube. This will mean that the ones who come in earlier will be seeing the movie more advanced. Please realize that commenting during the movie will be confusing if you are not aware of this. We hope this corrects in the future when the system can run on it's own server but till then at least you have a movie to watch! Since those who come in later will still be seeing the movie the player will be allowed to remain on till all have left the cave. may the ones of the earlier not tell what happens. Also of note, there is a remote monitor on the lower level next to the hot tub so you can relax and watch. The first movie running this Sunday March 18th will be Operation Petticoat.

Cynthia Farshore