Friday, March 23, 2018

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