I’m back-did you miss me?

Witchy Wednesday - 'Minimal' ChokerI’ve missed you guys too, but sometimes you need to take a break, and I’ve had a jolly good one.  I’ve been away from the blog for almost a month, and I confess I haven’t missed Second Life at all.

We’ve had a relatively decent summer here in deepest, darkest Derbyshire so instead of enjoying the fact that it never rains (unless you want it to) in Second Life, I’ve stepped out from behind my keyboard and  relished that fact that, just for a change, it actually hasn’t been raining too much in real life either!

In fact I’ve been out and about, catching Pokemon aplenty in the local park (Level 22 y’all) and not even thinking about SL.  That’s not to say I haven’t missed it because I have, but I haven’t felt the intense pressure to log-in at all this summer, other than to pay my rent.

I’ve often said it, but when Second Life becomes a chore it’s time to leave. You’d be surprised how many times I’ve seen Plurk friends who also happen to be bloggers say that they don’t want to log-in. Usually, this is because they’re over-stretched by blogging commitments and who can blame them with the amount of events and designers that we have in-world now?

This year, in particular,  I’ve seen many people leave; from store owners to sim owners who have just realised that Second Life, for them at least, has served the purpose it was meant to and it’s time for them to move on.  Let’s be realistic; Second Life has been around for a long time now and it’s only reasonable to expect that some people will feel that they’ve gone as far with it as they can and it’s time to switch to pastures new. Perhaps these people will be tempted to return in some way when Project Sansar hits the grid? Who knows, but I can understand their feelings and appreciate that sometimes as the virtual fixation starts to fade, the compulsion to log in starts to leave and real life takes over completely.

Leaving Second Life has never been an option for me. I genuinely do adore it way too much and have invested too much time and money into my virtual space to consider leaving permanently.  But a sanity break is often required, and in fact it’s something I recommend.  I have been through my total addiction phase, where you eat, sleep and breathe Second life and forget that you have an identity outside of the virtual world, but for some people the lines are so blurred that it’s hard to appreciate where the real life and virtual personalities separate, and that’s precisely why a break is so important, plus you come back with fresh eyes ready for a change; whether that’s a completely new avatar or even a sparkling new skybox; being refreshed and reinvigorated helps the Second Life adventure start over,  all shiny and new again.

I’m buzzing with new ideas about features and articles for my blog. I was writing down in my notebook last night ideas for themed postings in the lead up to Christmas, but before then we have my favourite time of year to be in SL, Halloween. I’m even considering a complete remodel of the blog (and if anyone reading can help me with that I’d really appreciate it!)

I confess that before my break I was starting to feel really fatigued by all the events that are overwhelming the grid and an element of ‘sameness’ was starting to creep in.  I was starting to see the same kinds of  clothes,  hairstyles and furnishings everywhere I looked and it wasn’t making me feel inspired enough to even consider putting pen to paper, let alone log-in.  Then, of course, there  was the whole sorry saga regarding the Oculus Rift viewer, or lack of it.  If you recall I was aghast that there was no viewer, and after my post went viral Linden Lab finally released one that was absolutely appalling and unusable, and unsurprisingly no sooner had it been released then it was withdrawn. This all left me feeling very disillusioned and I needed my time out.Now after my break  I’m back to my favourite feeling of all; that eager anticipation that builds up during the afternoon before I leave work.  I arrive home, get changed and pour a glass of wine before I settle down at my PC and log-in..

It’s been a great summer, but it’s so good to be back, and I’m straight back into it with some items from *gulp* the FETISH FAIR 2016, from WE DO SL. It’s a professionally styled and easy to navigate occasion and is rather more focused towards elegant kink than sleaze, and you’ll find a wonderful array of wearables of all kinds that fit the fetish theme.  Of course, skins are going to be a huge deal at an event like this and AMARA BEAUTY have provided a duo of absolutely top notch skins at this event.  In the snap above I’m sporting the AMARA BEAUTY ‘Kandi’ skin in Ivory. I’ve added a layer of glorious light fuschia lipstick from the accompanying lip palette along with adding lashes and eyeliner (that is practically a spot-on match to the lips) from EUPHORIC @ the latest round of COSMOPOLITAN. To finish, I’m wearing my favourite pierced ears and hairbase from L’ETRE, along with a septum piercing by  MONS and of course I rarely wear any eyes unless they’re from IKON.  My hair is by BESOM, and my jewellery is a fantastic choker by MINIMAL.  I’ll be sharing some more images from FETISH FAIR 2016 over the next few days..

FLAT EBBE LINDEN MEME

 

Ebbe Linden

When Strawberry Singh released her new meme this week I knew that I would have to partake. But I’ve been so busy with real life that I figured I wouldn’t have time, so imagine my surprise when I logged in-world to find Ebbe Linden waiting for me! He was all snuggled up under my duvet with my hot water bottle wanting some Kitty cuddles. Apparently he’d heard that I’m incredibly good at the cuddling malarkey, I wonder who told him? Anyway I said Ok, just this once, as long as he didn’t make it a habit. I shuffled in beside him and propped myself up on some pillows…

Ebbe snuggled up beside me and asked me to tell him a story, so I decided to tell him what changes I’d like to see him bring to Second Life. This is what I suggested, in between offering sips of lovely warming hot chocolate and stroking his hair softly while he happily sucked his thumb.

1. Work on the Second Life pricing model from the ground up. It needs reconsideration, land prices are extortionate and so are tier fees. These need to be examined and reconsidered. It’s my firm belief that there could be so much more achieved in our virtual world if land were more reasonably priced.

2. Work on the Second Life image problem. Too many people think that Second Life ended years ago.  It’s utterly ridiculous! If I could count how many times I’ve heard the phrase “Second Life? Is that still going?” I’d be counting for a very long time. For me it’s always felt as though Linden Lab isn’t very supportive of the environment that it’s created, does anyone else get that vibe? It’s almost as though we’re begrudgingly tolerated sometimes, and that’s not a good feeling. People in charge should be PROUD of our virtual community. What we need is Linden Lab to be more vocal about Second Life and what it has achieved.  They need to be extolling the virtues of our community and work hard to really publicise the strengths of it in the media, rather than let them paint us all as sex-mad depraved perverts. (Well, some of us are of course, but not everyone!) We have such a rich, vibrant user-created world here to celebrate, not condemn.  Let’s see if Ebbe really will support the residents and gain back some of the reputation that Second Life has sadly lost.

3. Make premium membership more inviting! To encourage sign-ups the Lab really do need to be more generous. A good start would be to increase weekly stipend payments from L$300 to  L$500, and increase the prim limit in Linden Homes to 500 prims. Admittedly the introduction of mesh has made them easier to furnish but 250 prims doesn’t really allow for the frills and frippery that we all like to adorn our virtual homes with. In fact, perhaps it’s time to remodel the homes? Why not install mesh housing for a start, and get some of the best content creators in-world on side to help re-invigorate the living areas and give them all a fresh, new look. Linden Homes has always felt like a missed opportunity.  It’s almost there, but not quite.  It could be so much more, so could Ebbe be the CEO to sort it out?  I hope so, I really do!

And with that, I covered Ebbe up and let him drift off to sleep as I sang the haunting lullaby, ‘Soft Kitty’, gently into his ears….ahem.

(PS I refuse to think I was the only person on the grid to think of THIS when I saw the words ‘Flat Ebbe’ on Berrycake’s blog!?!)

(PPSS Am I the only one who think Ebbe’s avatar looks like Todd from ‘Breaking Bad’?)

Has Project Interesting Impacted Your Second Life?

In a less than positive way? The reason I ask is since Friday I’ve had unbelievable problems getting into Second Life, and when I finally manage to get in, I am surrounded by grey goo, the kind of which I haven’t experienced since 2007.

It was also around the time that Project Interesting started to get a lot of publicity and cause a buzz on the grid. If you aren’t familiar with this term, here’s a video narrated by the ever-amazing Torley Linden about it:

Now I do not know for certain that this is what is causing my problems, but it’s very coincidental. I know a few other Plurk friends and at least one other blogger who are experiencing issues as well.  Linden Lab, what the chuff have you done?!

It’s all kinds of frustrating, and if I’m being honest, upsetting too. I adore my Second Life, and I adore writing about it, but this issue has had such an impact upon me at the moment that I’m finding it hard to take photographs successfully let alone blog! (Hence my lack of updates this week.)

So what happens?  Well, when logging in I get stuck at the ‘Requesting Region Capabilities’ bar; it attempts three times before it tells me that ‘we’re having trouble connecting, there may be a problem with your internet connection or the Second Life Grid’.  Well, my internet connection is absolutely fine; I work from home so it’s imperative that my connection is viable. Nothing has changed for me; if anything I’ve been enjoying rude health in SL since I got my new graphics card. I’d fallen head over heels in love with my virtual world again, and now this issue has reared its incredibly ugly head.

If I do manage to get in-world successfully then I see grey goo.  Items in my immediate environment take an age to load, and then when they do often they blur (usually when I am trying to take pictures, grr!) I’m also experiencing issues rezzing items.

In the grand scheme of things this isn’t the end of the world, of course it’s not, but when the virtual world is such an important part of your life, as it is mine, then it’s paramount you can access it successfully. If I could turn back time I’d turn back to a week ago, when my Second Life was running smoothly and happily..now alas, it’s breaking me. Project Interesting? Project pain-in-the-arse more like.

Are you having issues in Second Life? What kind of issues are you experiencing, or have you found a solution? If you have any ideas, please help and post a comment below! 

Pillow talk in the Kitty & Jez household

So I retire to bed alongside my beloved last night-his book of choice being ‘The Making of Star Wars’, mine being the ‘Second Life Virtual Tourist Guide’.  As I snuggle under the duvet the git leans over and whispers lovingly, “Blue Mars is gonna whoop Second Life’s arse”. (What you thought he was going to say something romantic? LOL) Of course this made me a teensy weensy bit cross, so much so that it was tempting to let out a cheek wobbler whilst in a loving embrace, but I held fast.   I’ve just had a look, and Blue Mars does indeed look very good, and I wonder how the Lindens feel about this potential threat? What do you think?