Relay For Life 2014, done and fabulous

So last year I posted that there were some very broken things about the symbol and expression of community in the Relay For Life track events of Second Life.

Sunday morning, finding many emails inviting me to come and look around RFL 2014, I popped into Caledon’s camp. I also walked the track and enjoyed the many builds. You may like to catch them now before they are taken down Wednesday, July 23.

On this early Sunday morning, I found a transformed experience that reminded me of the 2008 RFL. Only later Sunday, I learned that several changes had been made to the track rules that created the very civil and energetic place I remembered from 2008.

  • No laps beyond 30. (or your name disappears from the list)
  • No vehicles, no speed enhancements, this written into the information card handed out with the freebies.
  • Web record of everyone’s times and laps easily accessed from the main page, grouped in ‘three categories’ for easy community access.

Color me grateful and impressed. These changes restore my excitement about the event and the track community. While speed scripts have never been permitted, the abuse was rampant in 2013 and now, it is back down to only the most insensitive ‘ego avatars’.

Go see the builds. Marvel at the dedication. Donate $$$ to kick cancer’s ass.

Categories: caledon, events, meta,, www | Leave a comment

Second Life marketing, Sex and the Mainstream

Miss D Ember:

hey… enjoy those pixels and don’t let yourself be shamed or guilted by those who would censor your creative adventure!

Originally posted on Mona Eberhardt:

In my previous post, I discussed an attitude that tends to portray Second Life as a whole in a negative manner simply because there is a strong sexual side to it – what I have called the “X-rated smear of Second Life“. In that post, I touched upon the general culture that lies behind this attitude and targets mostly women, aiming to control and censor them. Today, I’m going to turn my attention more to the proponents of the “let’s appeal to the mainstream” line of argumentation, through the academia and its attitude towards SL that is largely driven by the same factor.

The Drax Files Radio Hour, Show #15. Image courtesy of Draxtor Despres.

The Drax Files Radio Hour, Show #15. Image courtesy of Draxtor Despres.

In the wake of the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education 2014 Conference, the 15th installment of The Drax Files Radio Hour podcast was dedicated to the usage of virtual…

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Second Life Needs You!!

Your opinion matters more than ever! Think of one thing, whether a feature, fix, improvement or whatever, that you feel will achieve the following goals best and drop it in a comment on this post.

What will add the greatest value to existing users?
What will attract new users to Second Life?
What will improve profit margins for LL by encouraging spending among all its users? This can include anything from Premium signups to land sales to user-generated content sales.
What can do these things without breaking existing content and without requiring changes in LL policies?

Check out the Firestorm page for some interesting comments on the next couple years of SL.

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What makes a strong Second Life Community?

Miss D Ember:

and how do you spell community?

Originally posted on Prim Perfect:

We’ve been talking on this blog recently about the importance of communities in growing Second Life here and here – and it was an issue on the Designing Worlds show about Second Life retention.

We will be exploring the issue further with an interactive installation at the Second Life 11th Birthday Celebration – we are putting it together now!

Prim Perfect build at SL11B CC

Prim Perfect build at SL11B CC

What is important about Second Life? What keeps you logging in?

And we want to ask people … How should Second Life be advertised? What sort of demographic should it be reaching out to? What sort of training should Second Life offer? Should training be outsourced to resident groups?

And above all we want to ask – what is what does community mean to you? What type of a community would you like to live in? What does a community need to keep it…

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so ya wanna get personal? …further info on the 20 questions meme

Someone asked me if I could answer the 20 for myself instead of posting that Inara had great answers!
Meme instructions: Answer the following 20 personal questions about your Second Life. Don’t forget to share a link to your post in the comments!

  1. When and how did you discover Second Life? A friend was doing journalism from SL in 2007 but I didn’t try it until Jan 08 when talk of a RPG group was forming.
  2. Did you know about virtual worlds before or was this your first experience with them? No, this was all new to me.
  3. Has Second Life met your expectations? Not my RPG expectations. But then I have a high bar for my personal RPG play. Otherwise I had no expectations, and at various times SL impresses me all to hell and disappoints me in what the Linden Labs actually put into practice.
  4. If you could teleport back to the first ten minutes of your avatar’s slife, what would you tell yourself? Hmmmm, time travel. It’s just a step to the left. I would tell myself not to be so frightened of griefers! Pixels are pretty resilient.
  5. How long did it take you to master avatar flying and driving vehicles inworld? Avatar flight was easy. I was PeterPanning around in no time. Vehicles were much harder, until I found vehicles that were more beginner savvy builds. I love vehicles for the scripty craft and attention to detail.
  6. Do you have a mystery alt? I have helped many friends and family try SL by walking them through building an avatar. Most of those ‘noobs’ did not stay in SL past the one day I was showing them around. So if I knew the passwords still for those ‘test flights’ I’d have 12 alts. But I don’t.
  7. Is your SL avatar a reflection of you, or someone you wished you could be? I emigrated to SL to be a protagonist in adventures within the virtual world. So I’m a complete fictional character with background story and limitless future paths. I wish to be me, but I’m sure that I am a reflection of my Typist’s imagination.
  8. Is there an individual you met in SL that inspired you in your RL? How? I meet people in SL all the time that inspire me. I find my own sense of empathy can flourish with no barriers within SL.
  9. Do you feel it is easier to create stronger bonds/relationships with people you meet inworld as opposed to the real world? Yes and no. Yes, because I am less vulnerable to the slings and arrows of outrageous reality. I can drop my fears as much as I can gather my focus to be something better. So I can reach out to others without losing my balance. Gravity only affects me when I want it to. If I am snubbed or treated badly in SL, it hurts, but tomorrow my pixels are created anew.  Therefore I am generous with my time and love.
  10. Did you ever imagine or believe people could fall in love with someone they never met before Second Life? Yes. History is full of this aspect of long distance affections.
  11. How has your perspective of dating changed (or not) since you started playing second life? I have realized that SL allows me to love multiple special people at the same time. Barriers are only what my mind creates. I can even love people who frustrate me, like my family.  (grins)
  12. How has your perspective of employment changed (or not) since you started playing second life? It has not changed much at all.  Virtual employment is potentially much more exploitative to the capitalist agenda. And credit and/or pay for ideas is much more vulnerable as executed in SL.
  13. Name three things in both your lives that overlap each other significantly. Umm. Wow…. art, passion, and kindness.
  14. If you could live your life more immersively in a virtual world, would you? (Kind of like the Matrix) Yes, of course. To live immortal with no barriers to imagination? Certainly.
  15. How do you think behavior changes for people if they’re in-world vs in real world? Why do you think that is? I do think folks change for good or ill. People can be more of what they are at their core in-world. Griefers want power with no accountability. Lovers want affection without physical limits. Builders want craft without stifling manufactury. Socialites want parties without morning afters. Role players want immersive genre without crazy cease-and-desist orders….oh wait, that one doesn’t really work.  Why do we change? Well, not everyone does. Many bring the real limits with them into SL. Some few people find out things about themselves that are better than they ever knew.
  16. How has second life consumerism changed your perception of spending habits, the value of money, the need to be “bleeding edge” with fashion? Ha! There is no ‘bleeding edge’ in SL and there is no fashion trend in SL. There is a niche everywhere you turn. For every Gor lady of leisure, there is a leather slut; for every kawaii princess, there is an emo vampire; for every dainty steampunk librarian, there is a grungy shop grunt banging on greasy pipes. Just look at the outcry and shock over mesh body parts!!! Some folks would rather be dead than stand next to a gal with mesh boobs, while the next body fashionista wants hands, legs, boobs, ears, and eyes in the latest scripty meshy goodness. Fashion economy in RL functions on passion versus scarcity versus body types. Thank the Lady that in SL, you can damn well make of yourself whatever you wish. Just be ready for the folks who say your taste is all in your mouth.
  17. Do you think virtual worlds like SL drive and redefine human interaction or do they narrow and limit it? I think it could drive it, however, it shall always be a tiny niche until the access to virtual is a much smaller threshold. Ask again in thirty years at the rate we are going now.
  18. If technology progressed tomorrow to allow you to send emotions to people the way you’d send text or voice messages, would it enrich your SL experience or infringe on it? See the last question. Before we get to emoti-send, we ought to solve enriching sound quality, touch feedback, smell feedback, and the rest. Enrich the human baseline experience before we dream of tele-empathic exchanges.
  19. Name three skills you attribute to having learned or honed in second life alone. Social. Friendships. Relaxation.
  20. If your grand kids googled your Second Life Avatar’s name, would they be intrigued, disgusted, proud or something else? They would be shocked to discover too much fun going on behind their backs.

See ya next time.

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