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..

Oculus Rift? Oculus MIFFED more like!


So shiny! So beautiful! But this picture shows a development model, NOT the commercial version, which is different. 

Something I really enjoy is new technology.  I get completely swept up in the hype and count down the days until the release of the latest must-have gadget, and in recent years the one item that particularly appealed to me above all other was the OCULUS RIFT, especially when I heard it would be able to use it in SECOND LIFE. I could hardly dare imagine the possibilities, and  when it started to get coverage through esteemed SLebrities like Draxtor Despres and Jo Yardley, to name but a few, well, I practically expired from the excitement.  They shared how this amazing piece of virtual hardware could bring our metaverse to life and I was sold.
In fact, reading the articles published all over the internet  about this amazing piece of tech would have led you to believe it was the next logical step for Second Life to take, and this was further suggested when an official viewer with Oculus Rift support was released. Torley Linden even made a video showing you how you could use it in-world, and that was it.  I got my PC upgraded ( an Oculus  needs a serious amount of power) and even read ‘Ready Player One‘ in eager ‘preparation’ for what was to come.  (Excellent book by the way, it’s going to be a Spielberg movie and you simply must read it!)

As soon as the development stage was through and the commercial release date  was released Jez and I ordered it*. This was way back in 2015, with an expected shipment date of March 2016. Then, unfortunately, we got an email to say it was delayed until June, but hey it didn’t matter! I was so excited that I knew I could cope with the wait, and I had plenty to do in Second Life to keep me occupied!  Also, that would give me a chance to save up the serious moolah that it would cost, but I knew it would be worth it. In fact, I put it to the back of my mind until  this week when the email arrived to say the Oculus Rift was on its way. HUZZAH! ( *Full disclosure here: After talking it through I decided to go halfsies with Jez so we could share the goodness because he’s far more of a gamer than I am and would be able to use it for more things than me. My interest was purely Second Life related.)


THIS is what I received this week. So shiny! So beautiful! So doesn’t work with Second Life! GAHHHHH

Unboxing the thing was like opening the ark of the covenant. It’s beautifully packaged and you definitely get your money’s  worth, and it was with some serious excitement and trepidation that got ready for the next step in my virtual life.  I downloaded the official viewer. I re-watched Torley’s video in preparation and took a deep breath…and it failed.

Numerous other attempts were made with no joy. Panicked I looked online for an alternative, and this is where the whole sorry saga started to unravel. First of all, the official viewer with Oculus Rift capabilities hasn’t been updated since 2014. There is an alternative third-party viewer which I downloaded to try, the CtrlAltStudio viewer, but this one hasn’t been updated since 2015, so of course it didn’t work.

Was I going mad?! (Well, you guys know me, so let’s say madder than usual) There’s an Oculus Rift on the pigging Second Life homepage for all to see, so what gives?
And here lies the issue: those pesky Lindens have done it again. (They can be pretty lax when it comes to updating the basics, have you ever noticed that?)  What I didn’t realise was that yes, Second Life will work with an Oculus Rift using that viewer, BUT only if it is the DEVELOPMENT MODEL. My commercially released treasure is more powerful, and NONE of the viewers have been updated to support it. To say that this sucks balls is an understatement.

Granted, it’s an absolute #firstworldproblem and I am sure I will enjoy using the Oculus on occasion for other things BUT my main reason for purchase was so I could use it in-world. I don’t ‘play’ any other games or subscribe to any other virtual experiences EXCEPT SL, and I truly believed that seeing as it was advertised on the bloody homepage they would have kept up with the development of the viewer. As it stands it’s about seven versions behind.

I expect that Linden Lab will make Project Sansar VR ready, which is fine, but that’s at least 6 months away and as I understand it many of the objects I own in Second Life won’t translate across into the new viewer, which means I’ll be effectively starting from scratch. Anyway, I want to be able to explore my current virtual life in full virtual reality glory, not my next one!

To say I’m fed up is an understatement. I have tried out the Rift with some of the games and experiences that are available and it is absolutely outstanding (which makes this crap situation even worse!)  Had I been able to use it in-world, well, I don’t think I would have wanted to take it off and come back to reality at all. (Perhaps that’s a good thing? No, no it isn’t-this whole thing stinks!) My beloved has had some serious late nights since we took delivery of the Rift and I’m £250 richer. But I feel really sad that I haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy my Second Life in glorious virtual reality.  Unfortunately, it would appear that ship has sailed and it seems that Linden Lab had no intention of Second Life being on it and more fool them. Think of the possibilities people!  (Actually don’t, it makes it worse.)

Lindens, get your bloody act together!! Having an Oculus Rift on your front page suggests you can use the current version  in-world and you absolutely cannot.  It’s not fair to lead people to believe that Oculus will work, you need to put a disclaimer on there too. Had I known any of this I wouldn’t have put any money aside for a new unit at all.  I would possibly have looked into getting a second-hand development model but even if I had I would have known that no matter how good the experience with the commercial release it could have been even better, and therein lies the rub. You need to keep up with the times guys, you make a hefty profit courtesy of us avatars, and an updated viewer was surely not too much to ask? I’m so disappointed.