Friday, June 30, 2023
Thursday, June 29, 2023
When : Fri, June 30, 7am – 8am
Alternative B: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SLB%20Astonish/189/189/57
Alternative C: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SLB%20Imagination/67/67/57
When: Fri, June 30, 11am – 12pm
Alternative B: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SLB%20Astonish/189/189/57
Alternative C: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SLB%20Imagination/67/67/57
There's plenty of games there, from old ones that were at previous amusement areas to some new ones I haven't seen before, from a disk-tossing target game to the "Madfall" tower that takes you high above the park then sends you plummeting down, to the "Pharoah's Folly" ride. And overlooking it all, in time for the Fourth of July, a Statue of Liberty shooting fireworks.
Wednesday, June 28, 2023
More land means more land impact. Previous themes have 351 or 175 LI per parcel. These have a whopping 703! Plus a new theme means a new content pack, with wildflowers, hay bales, and such.
The ranch theme is your invitation to step into life on the grasslands of central North America. This is farm country, a land of rolling prairie and big sky. It’s a place where you can imagine raising wheat or corn or soybeans and having a few cattle, a horse or two, and a flock of chickens. You might have a barn stocked with hay bales and a tractor and harvest machinery. Or, perhaps, you could have the large garden for vegetables and flowers that you always wanted.
Be among the lucky few to claim one of the limited edition
SecondLifeTime Premium or Premium Plus plans – available in extremely
limited quantities at SL20B. Each SecondLifeTime plan offers the same
benefits as Premium or Premium Plus – but for a one-time fee for the
rest of your life! Only available while supplies last!
Then around 2006, it began to catch on, and it started to grow fast both in population and land area. It was also getting noticed, first by computer and tech circles. And soon it was getting attention in mainstream media. Eventually it would get mentioned on prime-time television, notably on an episode of CSI in which detectives went into the virtual world to catch a killer. And along with the attention came still more people coming in, as well as businesses. Numerous companies such as Circuit City and Honda would get places here, and IBM would sponsor many sims. That people could make money through virtual real-estate also got attention, millionaire Anshe Chung making the cover of one business magazine. Charities such as veterans groups and the Relay for Life would come here. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and other politicians would come here for discussions. By 2008, people were calling Second Life the next stage of the Internet, and it's future. It seemed like in just a few years, everyone online would be in virtual reality.
But, this would not be the case. While millions would come for a peak, Second Life had a learning curve that confused many. For every ten people who logged on, only one or less would stick around after one or two days. People often had to figure out things like Instant Messaging, teleporting, joining groups, etc. on their own. With so many on the Internet having been used to games with clear winning conditions, the open-endedness of the virtual world confused many "How do you play this game, how do you win?" Where you have people, you eventually get troublemakers and people otherwise disagreeing. Some came here just to troll and/or bully, and others would end up causing drama. And of course there was the lag, which could be particularly bad on older computers. When social media such as Twitter and Facebook came around, the masses found them much easier to use, and they would get the millions Linden Lab thought awaited it in the future.
Then came the bad press. There came tales of virtual child abuse. And then came the tales of "cyber noogie." People were taking advantage of Second Life's freedom to not just make places of learning and socializing, but also to engage with others sexually. This creeped out some, and became fodder for more sensational stories that were soon pushing aside tales of veterans being aided by the virtual world. It even got to the point Gingrich's visit here was used to attack his opinions. One friend called it a sad fact of modern media, "It is so easier to sell to the public when there is controversy than when the story is constructive."
Linden Lab itself was also seemingly becoming detached from it's users. In the Second Life Fifth Birthday Celebrations, CEO Mark Kingdom made a speech that sounded like the Lab felt the virtual world's first residents would basically have to move aside for future users. There came incidents like the Openspace controversy in which huge price increases were announced. There was the new "Viewer 2" that older residents found awkward to use. Many established residents began feeling alienated, and some began dropping out.
The 2008 recession didn't help matters either. When people are unsure about their money, they cut back on expenses, and entertainment expenses are usually the first to go. So people were less able to pay for sims and virtual goods to begin with. But the bad press and many residents getting frustrated with Linden Lab encouraged people to cut back further, and the Lab began to feel it where it hurt: their bottom line. By 2009, it was becoming clear the virtual world had past it's peak. And in 2010, the Lab finally reacted with cutbacks, notably laying off a third of it's staff. There were other moves as well that hurt people's confidence such as the Teen Grid merger and ending educational sim discounts. It was a time when the virtual world's future was in doubt, some feeling it was doomed.
But Second Life didn't die. Many residents despite the difficulties such as Linden Lab's blunders continued to enjoy living here and interacting with one another virtually. The world despite it's flaws was still the creative and social space it had been. While some places online eventually closed, such as There, The Sims Online, Haboo Hotel, and others, Second Life endured. Indeed when the Pandemic hit in 2020, Second Life had a second wind as both former and new users flocked over here to enjoy virtually what they couldn't in real life. Facebook would try to get in on the action with it's own virtual world, but it only ended up mocked and loosing money while tech media once again began noticing our virtual world.
Second Life has also changed much over time. When it started, people couldn't teleport except at "hubs," and people were charged money for rezzing prims (which they got back when deleted). Both were soon corrected. The way people communicate has changed some with the introduction of Voice. The introduction of mesh and it's improvements has also changed the way things are made here. Some makers have adapted to the new methods. Others have dropped out. The way avatar appearances has also changed. While people can, and do, still get complete packages, more often people are getting heads, bodies, hands, and other body parts for avatars separately to make their own custom look. Shopping has also changed from only buying from people inworld to being able to get from Marketplace and have your items delivered within seconds (usually). In a sense, this reflects the ability of people in real-life to buy from Amazon and other places online in the past generation. But not unlike real-life, the result has been some stores and malls inworld closing down. The number of groups residents could belong to has grown over time, from ten in the early days to 42 for basic accounts, and more for Premium.
The way people are named has also changed over time. When Second Life first started, one could pick more or less whatever first name they wanted (that wasn't a profanity or slur) and pick from a list of last names that was slowly changed over time. The idea was that people with the same last name would have something in common, having came inworld around the same time and having the name would make them something of a "family." But when people didn't like any of the names when making a new account, their options were to either be stuck with a name they hated of not sign up, or were confused by not being able to use their real names. So eventually the Lab changed the system, new users choosing just one account name while having a "display name" that looked larger over their avatars. But with all new people having the default surname "Resident," they stood out and some felt like second-class citizens, and wondered why they couldn't have a last account name. After several years, Linden Lab would bring back last names for new residents, but only as an option that one had to pay a fee for.
Who could go to Second Life and where on it has also changed. It used to be a strict 18 and over only could come here while teenagers could only go to a separate Teen Grid. This would be changed in 2010-11 when the Teen Grid was closed and teenagers could go to General Audience, or be limited to certain General Audience sims where they had permission depending on their age. For a time, Adult sims were limited to only those who provided some real-life ID to the Lab such as a drivers license. But this would be dropped after a short time. But to buy Linden Dollars, one still needs their credit card, and some places such as Linden Realms require a transaction history to fully work well.
The way Linden Lab has interacted with the residents has changed over time. At first, there weren't many restrictions. As long as people didn't grief, cheat, or otherwise misbehave, no worries. But over time came more rules, such as the gambling ban, then the banking ban and other rules such as no buying Linden dollars from anyone but the Lab, no selling gachas, and others. In the early days of the virtual world, the Lindens interacted with the residents a lot, but this would slow down as the grid became larger. In the days of CEO Rod Humble in the early 2010s, events in which the Lindens interacted with the Lindens were closed and there seemed to be a policy of "no fraternization." But it didn't last very long, and after Ebbe Altberg assumed command of the Lab, Lindens slowly began to meet and talk to residents once more. Over time, the Lab would also become more involved with the homes of some of it's residents. In 2008, Linden Moles were involved in the construction of Bay CIty. Then came Linden Homes, a bonus for Premium account holders, which grew in popularity when the Lab began offering then on a new continent in the middle of the Second Life mainland in 2019: Bellisseria. Bellisseria would grow in size, and population, on land, and homes, made all by the Linden Moles, and in the Bellisseria group chat one can frequently talk to the Lindens and Moles. This doesn't mean the Lindens are so involved with all residents, most still live in either private sims and estates outside the mainland or mainland areas outside Bellisseria where the only thing made by the Lindens and Moles around is the occasional Linden bear souvenir, and hear from them only when there's a problem or glitch to fix. But Bellisseria demonstrates just how big a change there's been between the Lindens and residents over the past several years.
And then there are the alternatives to Second Life. This virtual world was soon leaving others in the dust, and in it's early days it seemed like the only real competition was the popular MMO "World of Warcraft," which not unlike Second Life was a ground-breaker in it's field. Eventually would come the OpenSim worlds, but most of these grids would remain very very small compared to Second Life, only a few such as InWorldz gaining somewhat large numbers. With new technology being developed over time, Linden Lab itself would eventually develop an alternative of it's own, Sansar. But it would gain only a small following. So would the virtual space created by Second Life's founder "High Fidelity." Eventually Sansar would be sold off and High Fidelity closing down. Eventually came a next-generation virtual world that did attract larger numbers, VRChat. But while more successful than Sansar it still attracts smaller numbers than Second Life, and has mostly younger users.
Finally, there's that twenty years later, there's that there's a literal new generation of Second Life users. There are people signing up who weren't even born when the Grid first came online. And with this new generation comes new attitudes and ideas. Early on, residents were mostly Boomers and Gen-X, and had certain attitudes about the Internet such as highly valuing privacy. But over time, they would slowly drop in number and there would be growing numbers of Millennials, and lately Gen-Z/Zoomers, who were more used to displaying their real-life identities online.
I could go on and on with how much has changed from how real-life politics is handled, to some more of Linden Lab's questionable and downright boneheaded moves, to the move to the Cloud Servers a few years ago. But this would require more time, and pencil space. But Second Life and Linden Lab is enjoying an accomplishment that wasn't available to forms of entertainment such as Atari in my younger days, being very much alive and well and kicking twenty years later. As much as we oldbies sometimes call Linden Lab out for mistakes, we have to hand it to them for being able to last, and deliver, for so long.
So what does the future hold for Second Life? Right now, Second Life and Linden Lab are doing quite well. And while there have been a few moves by the Lab that raised some eyebrows lately, the residents are fairly content and happy. It's a safe bet that our virtual world will be around for at least the next several years. There is no reason to believe there won't be a SL25B, and little to believe there won't be a SL30B. Yes, eventually somebody will make a virtual world that appeals to the masses better. And no company lasts forever. But unless there's a worldwide calamity far greater than the recent Pandemic, we'll still be going about the Mainland, Bellisseria, and the private estates for many years to come.
Twenty years later, it's still our Second Life, so let's make the most of it.
Tuesday, June 27, 2023
Club Cutlass: Boogie Down, Mythological, Disco Mania
Happy Vixen: Feathers and Fur, Captain Night, Food Fight, Hellhounds, Kawaii, Madkatt Mashup, Best in Red, Leather, Hairstyles
Club Zero Gravity: TBA
Bouncing Bunny Beach Club: CAYA
Xanadu: DJ Jesse
Furry Fashion Lounge: Rainbows, Cats vs Rabbits, Murder Monsters and Mayhem, Sci-fi, Late Night, Fursonas
Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'
Tuesday, June 27th at 1:30pm PT - Watch a pre-recorded Lab Gab Special at SL20B with VP of Product Grumpity Linden, and VP of Engineering Mojo Linden. Grumpity heads up Second Life Product, where she has overseen a shift to growth, a stronger, more balanced economy, a movement towards better community cohesion, and an overall forward-looking approach. With over twenty years of experience in the games industry, Mojo is an expert at building teams and launching groundbreaking games across genres that push the limits of their respective platforms.
Monday, June 26, 2023
Sunday, June 25, 2023
Main Teleport: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SLB%20Mesmerize/140/98/21
Alternative B: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SLB%20Spellbound/233/219/36
Alternative C: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SLB%20Pizzazz/17/47/37
Saturday, June 24, 2023
Friday, June 23, 2023
And there's a LOT of places to shop from. There's a total of 24 sims with nearly five hundred stores to look around and buy from. And this year, some of the stores have adult-rated items. The main area has 400 stores in twenty sims, and the adult-rated area is four sims in size with eighty stores. Items in the stores are discounted at least 20% from their normal costs, though some places are offering up to 50% off at least one item. They also have one free gift available.
Thursday, June 22, 2023
Watch it live with fellow Residents at the SL20B Arboretum:
Wednesday, June 21, 2023
The legendary music label Motown has officially opened its doors with an all-new presence in Second Life – and we are ready to celebrate!
Please join us inworld at Motown today between noon-3 pm PT to meet and interact with Lindens, Moles, and other members of the Second Life community in this soulful music experience, launched in partnership with Capitol Music Group and STYNGR.second.life/motown. Besides the preceding on the official SL blog, the Lindens would also do a press release, post it on their website (image at top), and have the news in four other places online: Billboard, Blockbuster, Music Business World, and Yahoo Finance.