This Infographic Nails It!(Avatar Blogger Crossfit Challenge(Entry 22 of 30))

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To all those who think Second Life is a waste of time, I hope the above infographic serves as a hefty kick in the balls with a pair of heavy mesh boots and NO ALPHA LAYER..har har evil chuckles!

There’s so much to be impressed about on this image, but what staggers me is the amount of money that has been generated in a ten year period through virtual transactions.

It’s an astonishing amount, but what makes it all the more amazing is that money has been spent on user created content, which I find incredibly satisfying to learn. There is some astonishing talent to be found in world, it’s nice to think that it is being rewarded..and how! 

Here’s to the next ten years Second Life! 

SL10B; Kitty turns back the clock..(Avatar Blogger Crossfit Challenge(Entry 21 of 30))

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To think that Second Life is turning ten this weekend is pretty mind-boggling. It’s quite astonishing when you look back at your avatar to see how much your virtual identity has changed.  It’s a continual process, and something you really don’t consider until you’re flicking through photographs and have a ‘Holy Shitballs is that really me?!’ moment.

In a virtual world you can be different every single day, but I choose to remain pretty much the same.  I have a core look, an image that I like to work with, but this year I think I’ve really looked my best. Why is this?

I think it’s the fact that we’re seeing mesh implemented heavily on the grid now. There’s no denying that clothes are (on the whole) better when made in mesh. The materials viewer will add depth to the textures we wear and that’s going to be a HUGE improvement, although a lot of clothing makers already deploy the very best textures in their work so it will be like adding a final polish to something that’s already beautiful. A satisfying thought if you ask me.

Skins have never been better, hair is just divine and details like eyes, make-up and accessories in general are just adding to the allure that our avatars inherently possess.  I really do think Kitty, and Jez for that matter, have never looked better.  And I have proof.

The picture at the top of this article was taken a few days ago. Both Jez and I were testing the Bazar Cutout chairs for a previous post. We’re dressed casually, but despite that there’s a certain polish to us. Compare that with the picture below.

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For the time I think we looked great, and I still see avatars with similar appearance on the grid today, so we must have been doing something right.  But we’ve certainly come a long way since then, which make me wonder how we’ll look in a few more years.

Tantalising prospect isn’t it?

This is a worthwhile exercise: Root around on your PC and see if you can find some old SL pictures of yourself, and compare them to how you look now.  What has changed? What has stayed the same? How does it make you feel looking at them? What memories do they bring back? Like real life photographs these images bring back a flood of memories, some happy, some sad, but all just as valid as real life.  And if you ask me, these memories further enhance the validity of Second Life.

 Happy Birthday indeed to our beautiful, strange, crazy virtual world!

SL10B Competition to win a GAMING LAPTOP! (Avatar Blogger Crossfit Challenge(Entry 20 of 30))

So Second Life’s Tenth Birthday celebrations are in full swing, and Alienware , the company that makes gaming rigs of which dreams are made of, has decided to launch a rather spiffing prize draw in honour of the birthday bash which you can enter to win a bloody dazzling Alienware 14 laptop! Imagine logging in-world on this baby….OOF!

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UNFORTUNATELY there’s a problem. The competition is ONLY open to US residents, which is a bit of a pisser. Alienware seem to have forgotten that there are other continents on the globe besides the Americas, and some of their residents  would like the opportunity to win a dandy piece of hardware too! 

Anyway, I could be a mardy about it but there’s no point because I’d probably not win it anyway, BUT isn’t it exciting that somebody could? I hope we get to find out who the lucky winner is! Squeee!!!

If you’re a US SL resident then HERE is the link to follow, and I wish you the very best of luck! 

A few quick thoughts on SL10B (Avatar Blogger Crossfit Challenge(Entry 17 of 30))

ImageBeing entertained at SL10b by Jahman Ochs.

There’s only ever going to be one tenth birthday for Second Life., and whatever happens to our virtual universein the future, we’ve reached an impressive milestone and it deserves to be celebrated.  Rest assured there are lots to see and do at the official celebration location, but most of all I suggest you use it as an opportunity to make new friends and MINGLE! Because that’s what SL is all about after all, being social.

But even in Second Life it’s not always easy to speak up, as ironic as that may seem. I spend most of my time alone, mooching around sims and just enjoying the metaverse. Yet social gatherings in the virtual world can be just as valid as the real one, if not more so. Let me tell you a story..

I was introduced to Second Life in late 2006 by a real life friend, and the first place I ever visited became my regular haunt, the ‘Three Lions’ pub, which I’ve spoken about lots on these pages.  I could have just lived out my virtual existence right there, hanging around with the chums I’d made, but as my confidence in my virtual environment grew I started to relish exploring the grid and seeking out new places and experiences.

In 2007 I went to an event in Second Life called ‘Secondfest’. It was a huge occasion, dressed up as a Glastonbury-style festival, but boasted backing from real life daily news publication ‘The Guardian’. They went the whole hog; covered it extensively in print and had a full itinery of live and recorded performances for people to enjoy, held in various arenas and on stages dotted around the Secondfest Island.

Looking back it was great fun. I spent the entire virtual weekend there, hanging out in the tent area, playing around in the portaloos, and dancing like a buffoon at the live music gigs. It was a fantastic opportunity to hear DJ’s dropping their beats in real life without the expense of travel or the risk of being caked in mud for an entire weekend ( I was wearing virtual wellies though!)

At one of the gigs I encountered a DJ, DJ Jenns. He was a brash, rowdy, opinionated Scot who really knew how to mix and basically played the greatest set I had ever heard in my life (up until that point of course, it was 5 years ago!) Not only that, whilst I was moshing around like a buffoon (Funny how I can’t dance elegantly in either the virtual or the real world!) I bumped into Amanda Shinji. And I bumped into her more than once over the weekend..and you know what? She’s been my bestie ever since. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been friends with her for 5 years now and we’ve never spoken a word in real life to each other, but it doesn’t matter. Our friendship is as valid in both worlds, and I love her to bits. 

We live as our avatars in a unique, dynamic environment  that is too often seen as a curse, rather than a blessing. Media vilification has made Second Life seem like a seedy dwelling place when that isn’t the case at all (unless that’s what you want it to be, of course!) Leave all that virtual baggage behind you and have FUN.

I want you to have the time of your Second Life at SL10b and revel in the nostalgia and the bonkers madness that’s on display, but most of all cultivate new friendships that will carry the spirit of Second Life with you well beyond this week of celebration.

In fact, I  challenge you to do it!  Check the schedule, for there are countless activities happening every single day, and go out there and go and enjoy yourself. Dance around like a loon, take in a lecture or just strike up a conversation as you wander around.   We’re a community, and we have strength in numbers, but on a personal level  you can find so much love, help and support from just a few pixels on a computer screen, connected by networks and wires to someone on the other side of the world.  It’s almost bonkers really.

I’m still friends with Amanda of course, but also DJ Jenns and some of the wonderful people that I met at the Three Lions pub. Not only that, many of them I now know in real life too (where would we be without Facebook, huh?)

What will your memories of SL10 be? I hope they’re happy ones that you will discuss for years to come with the friends that you make there…

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Here’s a list of destinations to get you started. ENJOY!