Kitty’s Comment: Event Fatigue

Guys, have you ever sat down and considered exactly how many events there are in Second Life these days? Every day, another event. 

I have a confession to make; I’m suffering a severe case of event fatigue, and I refuse to be alone in thinking that I’m the only one who is completely overwhelmed by them all.

But don’t get me wrong, there are many amazing monthly events, and I would miss them if they ceased to be.

I’m the first in the queue for Fameshed and Collabor88, so I could be accused of being a total hypocrite by moaning about events as a concept. But let’s be honest, it’s quality NOT quantity that I’m moaning about here.

It’s very clear that some events are better than others; so what is it that makes a great event?

In one word: Originality. There are regular events on the calendar that quite frankly I just wouldn’t set foot in.  Why is that?

Because the items on offer are, quite frankly, crap, and as a community we seem to find it very difficult to admit when something is below par. Am I being harsh here? No, I’m being honest. I know that Second Life is a builder’s paradise and it empowers us to create our dreams, but there’s a lot of truth in accepting the knowledge that just because you can craft an item of clothing or texture a template doesn’t mean that you necessarily should. (Let alone charge for it!)

And that brings me onto another point, and one that really drives me mad. There are a number of events on the calendar that regularly feature textures, pictures and logos that can be found in their original locations after a five second Google image search. I don’t want to see famous brands in Second Life unless they have a legitimate reason to be there. I’m in a virtual environment wearing bespoke items created for it, so what could possibly make you think I’d desire to wear something by Chanel or Nike?

Here lies the problem; for some, looking stylish in world means covering themselves head to toe in logos and designs that have been sourced illegally, and that’s just not on.

Unfortunately it’s relatively easy to take a texture or design, load it into Second Life and apply it as a texture. It shouldn’t be, but alas, it is. Within minutes you can create a wearable item that you can flog and make a profit on, and the original designer will be none the wiser.

It’s unfair, unimaginative and crass. It’s cheating.

I’ll be honest here; if I see a really elaborate pattern or design on a template item I immediately try to determine if it is original, if it’s been purchased under license, or if it’s been taken without consent. 

It’s not hard to do this and please don’t be afraid of putting a content creators nose out of joint by posing the question to them before you hand over your hard-earned Lindens.  If you’re curious about the origins of a design then all you need to do is drop a note card to the designer and ask them.  In fact, I implore you to do just that. If they have nothing to hide I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to tell you how it was made and where the textures were sourced from.

Sadly, some people don’t like admitting that they’ve ripped someone’s work off and can get very offended and even threatening when you challenge them, but that reaction stems from fear of being found out.

As a community I feel that we’re way too accepting; there are only a few designers out there who advertise their work as 100% original, and to my mind it’s something that we should see so much more. So let’s make a stand. Don’t patronise events or purchase from creators that blatantly rip-off logos and textures and pass them off as their own. Challenge the assumptions, ask the questions and hopefully we’ll encourage more designers to be open and honest about their creations.

Let’s see if we can bring it to a point where the badge ‘100% original’ is the standard, not the exception. 

THISTLE HOMES & KAERRI AT THE CHRISTMAS EXPO

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Guys, meet Elvis.  Well actually, I’ve renamed him ‘Velvet Elvis’, after the fantastic hit by Alex Winston (one of my faves) but anyway, Elvis is a rocking reindeer, so what else could you call him? He’s available to buy from KAERRI at the 2013 Christmas Expo for Relay For Life.

ImageThere are some great items in the store which have a really kitsch and nostalgic vibe to them, and she’s contributing a lovely wee sofa and dwelling to the Relay For Life cause too.

THISTLE HOMES have released a very simple, yet effective decoration at the event which is this fabulous wall décor in the shape of a tree.

ImageIt’s called ‘Flourish’, and is available in a couple of different colour schemes; a more traditional red and green and a beautiful modern purple and blue.  It looks incredibly effective on the wall, as I hope my picture proves. It’s a great modern alternative to an actual tree (although everywhere you look at the Expo you’ll find trees, so you can rest assured you’ll find the perfect one for your abode!)

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CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE EXPO! 

Kitty Plays ‘Catch-Up’

As I’m sure regular readers know I work in real life (Shh! I know we don’t like to talk about that!) so my time in-world is often limited.  This means I have to play ‘catch-up’ when I finally come back in, and I have to say that at the moment Second Life is really overwhelming me due to the amount of events that are currently running on the grid. I shouldn’t complain too much though, it’s a good time to be an avatar, especially if you want to be a super-stylish one too!

Problem for me as a blogger is that there are so many events in-world that I know I can’t possibly do justice to them all on these pages. You have to appreciate that these kinds of occasions take weeks of planning and organising so it’s only fair that when they begin they receive the quality coverage they deserve.

Perhaps one of my issues is that when I attend an event I like to take my time and wander around them, and then I  get distracted, go back to stores repeatedly and have another look, and then forget where I saw things that really caught my eye in the first place. I do actually have a notebook that I use to remind me of locations and places where I’ve seen fabulous items, but of course, that only works if you remember to write in it….DOH!

In a situation like this when I feel that there’s just so much going on that i don’t know where to start, I find a good visual aide to be invaluable.  It saves me time if I can see what an event is offering by checking out a dedicated web-site,or checking out the feeds to see what other bloggers are covering.

Fortunately we are blessed with resources like Serpahim which seems to cover the majority of sales and events on the grid. To be honest, I’d be lost without that blog; it’s become my go-to on a daily basis to find out what’s happening and where, and a quick nosy at their snapshots always help me plan my spends ahead.  I’m also  finding myself glued (or should that be pinned?) to Elysium Hyne’s Pinterest selections for event reportage too. Here’s a huge thank you to Elysium and all the team at Seraphim for their hard work!

Anyway, let’s get on to the good stuff. I have managed to treat myself to a few lovely things this week, so I’ll do a quick post about a few things I’ve spotted at a couple of events before I scurry off to check out some more!

First up, The Liaison Collaborative has gifted us with ‘The Boutique’, which features a superb selection of fashion, accessories and poses. The theme is ‘Fresh’, and they aren’t joking, featuring zesty contributions from Baiastice, !Bang, Belleza, Bilo, Cae, CNS Emotion, E! Apparel, Earthstones, Elikatira, Essences, Flowey, Glam Affair, Gos Boutique, Half-Deer, Haste, Hopscotch, Ikon, Inside Lab, Ispachi, Izzie’s, Just Designs, La Petite Morte, Lassitude & Ennui, Lavallie, Leezu, Noodles, NYU, Olive, Rebel Hope, Valentina E. and Vanity Poses. Phew!   I always enjoy these events; they’re not so large as to leave you feeling bewildered, and the selection of designers that contribute are all well-established, quality brands. There’s a real feeling of finesse to this event and I always get the impression that there’s been a lot of care taken by the planners behind the scenes to ensure that they have curated the very best goodies for the event. That’s why you find brands like Belleza showcasing skins, and how I wish they wouldn’t.

</me Kitty shakes fist angrily!>

Because yet again Belleza have adorned their sublime Mya skin with some utterly glorious make-ups and naturally I couldn’t avoid them. As I’ve said before, I love make-ups and it would take some serious coaxing to get me out of my Izzie’s skin and into another, but Ava proved way too hard to resist, with her winged eyeshadow perfection in a variety of colours. It would be just plain rude to not indulge. So I did.

And I look fabulous, see? 

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Don’t even get me started on the totally delicious array of IKON eyes at the event either; I had to walk away lest I spent my rent. Suffice to say that IKON are my favourite brand of eyes in world (I am wearing them in the picture above of course, but these are an existing pair from my collection) and seeing new ones made me all teary and misty-eyed. So to avoid further distress I swiftly departed on to my next destination, The 100 Block.  

This is a ‘Depraved Nation‘ event and it features over 100 participating designers and artists. That’s way too many to list in this post, so if you click HERE you can go visit the official blog and review the selection yourself, but suffice to say I found it very satisfying indeed.  I’ve been zooming all round the, erm, block, most of the morning  with gay abandon and totally relishing the fabulous fashion on display.

There are some really special mesh items on sale and it’s nice to see that there are some goodies for the chaps as well as the ladies, and there’s also hair, piercings and tattoos.

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I discovered a new brand of hair whilst I was at the event.  In the shot above I’m wearing ‘Toffsy’ (Maroon) by Adoness and I really love it. It’s an unusual combination of bob shape with added oomph and curl, and I think that it makes for a winning combination.

But what’s also rather special is this fantastic frock that I discovered at the event.  I’m all about Leopard print in Second Life, well, I am called Kitty after all, and I was really blown away by this stylish gown that I found hanging on the rack at Ellemeno.

I’ve blogged CarrieAnn Lemon’s label before and it’s a relatively new yet well-produced brand that is especially focused upon the mesh boobs market, but don’t let that dissuade you from investigating their goodies because you don’t have to sport mesh boobs to look sensational in them. I was going to wear my Lola’s for this shot, but in the end I thought I looked fabulous enough without.

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Taking a traditional gown shape and bringing it bang up to date with Leopard print is a brave move, yet it works beautifully. Now I wear a LOT of leopard print and there’s one thing I’ve noticed, especially with mesh items. If the textures aren’t carefully applied, and to be frank if a decent Leopard print texture isn’t used in the first place, the result can be a bit..well, rubbish.  But there’s no such worries here with this gown; the print really looks the part and the shape of this dress is nothing short of perfect.

I wish I could wear this in real life, but alas, I’d look like Bella Emberg channelling Bet Lynch.  

But at least in Second Life I can look divine, eh?

So anyway, because I’m still playing catch-up I thought I’d share a small list of events that I really do think you will enjoy checking out, and to make things even more fun for you, I’ve included links (to either Seraphim or Elysium’s posts) so that you can have a peek at the good stuff before checking them out in-world.

Who knows, I may even bump into you at one of these!(You’ll recognise me, a bewildered looking idiot) Be sure to say ‘Hello’ if you do see me!

Happy Shopping! Oh and a thought, if you find something nice why not tell us about it in the comments below? Toodles!

Kitty goes ga-ga for Gacha!

When I was a little girl, Gacha machines as we now know them didn’t really exist. (By that I mean the large gift-giving behemoths filled with toys and candy that they’ve become today)

Gachas in my day were much smaller in stature and the prizes were usually a plastic ring and a Bazooka Joe, if you were lucky.  My local Gacha was outside the ‘Blue Star Café’ in the village where I grew up.   In fact, we didn’t even call it a Gacha.   I’d never heard of that word until a few years ago.  In fact I don’t know what we called that particular machine.  But I can remember that it had a motorcycle chain holding it down, although no-one would ever have wanted to steal it, and it was 2p a punt.( Let me put it into context for you; the local newsagent had one of those plastic mannequins outside of a little boy wearing callipers collecting pennies for The Spastic Society!  How times have changed, and yup, I’m *that* old! )

I think Gachas are now much more common and cost a few quid, if not more, but you can get some pretty awesome prizes from them . Looking back though I was quite happy with my Bazooka Joe gum. They were brilliant actually; with their little comics inside the wrapper. I never did save them up and send off for a prize though; I kinda wish that I had now.

Now, I was going to say that you can enjoy Gacha in Second Life without the expense, but that’s a big fib, because the Gacha festival is upon us from March 1st (TOMORROW!!) and it’s going to cost you some serious lindens, purely because of the amount of amazing items that you can win. 

I’ve had a sneaky-peaky at the preview page and it’s left me giddy with excitement to the point of feeling like a kid waiting for Christmas day.  Seriously! I’ve been looking forward to this event all week, and now that it’s almost here I don’t know how I will sleep tonight knowing the amazing stuff that awaits.

And trust me when I say there are some truly amazing items to play for as well. From collectibles to clothing, to furniture, glasses, musical instruments, skins, poses, headgear, jewellery,avatars and even gypsy caravans!  There’s something for everyone at this event.  It is going to be IMMENSE.

I’m both pleased and pissed that there’s a tumblr where you can view the items. Pleased because it gives me a chance to work out what machines I’ll be hitting up tomorrow, and pissed because it just reaffirms the fact that I have about 24 hours to wait until the event starts.  I can’t wait that long; the tension is killing me!

So while I wait I’ll share with you some of the vendors that I’ll be visiting. Alas, I can’t visit every single one without taking out a pigging virtual loan or selling a body-part.  These are Gacha after all and there’s no guarantee what you’ll get, but some of the prizes are outstanding.

Let’s have a shufty at a few…

I’m all about collectibles, as my post earlier this week may have proved, so with that in mind I’ll definitely be visiting the NARDCOTIX ‘Puss Pillow’s vendor. I mean, this ticks ALL my boxes. Cats + Pillows= one happy kitty, and JUST LOOK AT THEM! They’re so bloody GORGEOUS! I’ll be having ALL of those thank you very much. L$50 a play, with  a choice of 12 pillows to win. It’s hard to pick a favourite from the picture but I will really be hoping to get either of the two rarest in that machine.

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HALF-DEER  have provided a range of cup-cakes that I’ll be hitting up with gusto.  I blooming LOVE cupcakes, and these look scrumptious, and are just too cute to not have in your virtual abode; there are ten to win at L$25 a shot. Again, I don’t mind which one I win from the selection either, so long as I end up with a full set! They will look darn tasty in my kitchen won’t they?

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Time for a rousing chorus of  “It’s so FLUFFYYY!” because INTRIGUE CO.  have designed a new selection of Plushie Pals for the event. They’re circus themed and look flipping brilliant! The rares in this machine are actually props, a tent and a marquee so that you can play Circus in Second Life. Again, they’re all stunning so no,  I can’t pick just one because I’ll be happy with any of them.  But then again, the Zebra is calling my name..!

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Every girl needs a teddy bear, and the Candy Bears from SWAY’S are just perfect companions for cuddling.  There are 24 to play for,  with the ‘Rainbow’ and Confetti’ bears being the rares in this selection.  At L$25 a play they’re not going to break the Linden bank too much either!

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If you can recall my previous post about the COMMONER Kitchen Storage Jars then you’ll know I’ll be throwing some more Linden their way and trying to win myself some of these Brash Cans. There are three sets to collect featuring vices, prescribed meds and glam attire. I’m not sure which ones I’ll aim for, although at this moment in time some Xanax wouldn’t go amiss! (I’m British, I had to ask what that stuff was for on Plurk..)

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My final collectible choice are the ‘Bento Friends’ Bento boxes from STANDBY. These are super cute with 11 animal themed mesh bento boxes to be won, and a rare item comprising of a table and cushions for you to use while enjoying your bento feast. NOM!

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That’s my pick of the collectibles, so what about wearables?

Well, I’ll definitely be having a shot at winning some of the rare Wool Felt Cat Hats from MILK MOTION. There are *gulp* 60 to win, but I have my eye on the starry cap; it looks rather swish, don’t you think?  I’m pretty sure this is going to be a hugely popular gacha item, and is just L$50 a go.

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TABLEAU VIVANT  have two fantastic Gachas this round.  First up are some back-packs. I don’t often wear bags in Second Life, but these would change my mind. They look great, are non-rigged mesh and feature resize scripts too for a perfect fit. Not only that but I’m intrigued by the three rare items in this Gacha, because two of them are surprises. We can see that one of them is a bunny back-pack which looks unbelievably squeesome, but the other two are shaded out so you can’t see what they are.  It’ll cost you  L$75 each time you try to find out.  Worth a shot? It’s one of the more pricey Gacha items, but in my opinion more than worth it.

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And so is the Spirit Hood available from TABLEAU VIVANT’s second gacha in the event; this features a virtual version of those animal hoods with mittens built in that everyone was wearing around Christmas (yes, I’ve got one in real life, shush) Judging by the picture this looks to be quite a promising item, BUT it’s one-size rigged mesh so I recommend that you try a demo before parting with your L$75. If the demo fits, then there are 27 to win. Fingers crossed the demo fits me then!

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NYLON OUTFITTERS  have an ‘Art Nails’ mesh nails Gacha at the event and you can win one of ten sets of nails. It doesn’t say on the poster if any of them are rarer than others, but I certainly have my eyes fixed on the ‘9 Lives’ and ‘Party animal’ set. At L$50 a try I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for some luck on this one; they’re rather fancy aren’t they? I love the quirky presentation and styling of these so much!Image

I’ll also be hoping for good things at THE SECRET STORE  where you can win a pair of vintage roller-skates.  There are twenty different styles, with three rares. I’ve not been roller-skating in Second Life for a LONG time, but if I win the Panther skates I may be inclined to have another go!

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There are a number of skin Gachas to play at the event, and all of them look totally fabulous so I guess I’ll be having a punt in all of them, but the one I will definitely be hitting a smidgen harder than the others is from PINK FUEL.  Why? Well because they have a skin called ‘Von D’ which looks right up my street. There are 7 skins available in the Gacha and all of them look very enticing and original. The Elphaba, Cyber Grey and Ch-Ch-Oco skins have really caught my eye too; in fact I’d be happy winning any of them. L$100 for a quality skin? Yes please!

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I haven’t told you about every single Gacha machine at this event because at the time of writing MORE images keep being added to the site, and to be honest I’m squealing so much in real life I’m about to give myself heart-failure.  I’ve not told you about the gorgeous dress from BAIASTICE,  nor the amazing mesh lamps from TROMPE LOEIL or the bedroom furniture from SCARLET APPLE, or the hair from TRUTH.  OMG, some of the brightest and best that the grid has to offer are all here, and then some! There’s an official vendor list here.

If I was to try to write about everything that would mean I’d be here all night working myself up into a frenzy and I’m excited enough as it is. I have a sneaky feeling that it’s also going to be an utter swine to get into as well, so it may be one of those rare occasions in-world where it may be kind to the sim and to the rest of us if you consider de-primming and using a low-arc avatar for your visit.

Of course, with these being Gacha items you can transfer them, so that means if you get duplicate items you can swap them. The fun is in seeing what you get after all, but if you’re not lucky you’re your winnings why not  ask around on Plurk or in ‘The Arcade’ group to see if anyone has any swapsies? But don’t forget you can also gift your winnings to friends, and that for me is key.

In-world events like this are all about having fun and sharing the love with those nearest and dearest, and I can think of one chum in particular who may find herself receiving the odd item from me, especially if it’s too pink for my liking!

Enjoy the event guys, hope you get all the goodies you wish for!

You can keep up to date with the latest by following The Arcade on Plurk

OMFG, just as I finished writing this post this appeared on the list:

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<Kitty expires from excitement>

P.S. I haven’t posted a LM because I don’t know where it is yet!! Will update when I know:)

Oh, and a quick note- be sure to check out the official Arcade blog.  There’s an amazing photo competition with an astonishing array of prizes up for grabs that you must enter!

(All items at the event can be seen here. Imagery featured in this blog-post is from The Arcade Shopping Guide site. Huge thanks to Octagons Yazimoto, Katharine McGinnis, Emery Milneaux and Umberto Giano and all the vendors involved for bringing this event to the grid!)