Why I’m not supporting the LLL Fair

I admit I haven’t been on Plurk much lately.  It started to irk me after a time and I had to walk away, only check posts every few days instead of constantly.  When I did come on, I kept seeing something pop up in designer plurks about some kind of fair called the Live Laugh Love (or LLL) Fair.  I didn’t really pay much mind to it until recently, when I decided during some downtime between studying for finals to check it out, which is when I discovered the ugly truth, one which would prevent me from purchasing anything there: It supports Autism Speaks, AKA Cure Autism Now.

When I say this in profound horror and disappointment, most people will question why.  Why not support Autism Speaks?  It helps people with autism and their families, right?  Wrong. Continue reading ›

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Camping

I’ve been on a long break from the kid community, but every once in a while I log in to poke around and see what has changed since I left.  This cute little spot can be found here.  It’s always nice to get out in nature, away from the usual sims and spend a little time alone.  Even in the virtual world I like to get back to nature.

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Meshymeshymeshyness

It took this long, but I’ve finally started embracing mesh, at least on certain occasions.   There are still a lot of flaws to it, particularly in the sizing department.  Without a mesh deformer, it’s difficult to get a piece to fit you really well.  I never considered my avatar big chested, yet most clothing I try on tends to be too small on my boobs and too big on my butt, and as soon as I move up a size to fit my chest, my ass swells to epic proportions.

Mesh hair, however, has been an absolute dream to work with.  It’s beautiful, it moves nicely and the amount of detail creators are able to put into it is stunning.  Wasabi Pills in particular has me wanting to buy out their entire store.  Hair makers already put so much artistry into each piece and the mesh just takes that awesomness one step higher – plus, no issues with hair poking through your body when you try to take a picture!

In the past, Baby Monkey has always been rather hit-or-miss for me.  Sometimes they put out something adorably cute which I wear all the time, sometimes I just can’t get into a piece.  The spring 2012 shoe collection, however, doesn’t have a single piece I don’t like.  Every single shoe is spot on this time around.  It seems like the textures have gotten a major upgrade which makes them that much more appealing, and the skin matching is relatively easy compared to some shoes I’ve worn.

Some of the clothing in the spring collection is cute as well, like this top, but I had trouble getting much of it to fit my body correctly and had to pass on it.  Often, the arm cuffs or bust were too small for me.

I’m going to be buying more mesh items in the future, especially hair, shoes and accessories, though I’m not sure about clothing until a deformer comes out.  At this point most people are probably able to see it and creators are getting better and better every day with using it, which has boosted my confidence quite a bit.  With a few tweaks, it looks like mesh will become a main part of the fashion scene.

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Spring Stars

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Imperial Ar

Right as I started trying to write this post a week ago, Imperial Ar was struck by tragedy: one of the sim owners picked up and left.  In the process, she literally picked up, removing all of her prims or roughly 3/4ths of the city.  For most sims, that kind of damage means the area will be shut down for days, if not weeks, doing repairs, and it might even spell the end of the sim.  In Ar, 12 hours after the damage, the great majority of the prims were rebuilt and the area was opened for roleplay.  Midway through the second day, everything was back up and rough textures applied, and three days after, everything was back in place.  This was all thanks to an amazing group of citizens who came together and assisted the owners in rebuilding everything.

This is a striking example of the spirit of community and the love which is found in this new yet old sim.  The current incarnation of Ar, headed by Dyce Boucher, Ensiferum Dryssen and Adlai Rae, is the third version of the sim to be assembled.  It’s a single sim which is built to feel like a sprawling city with a great many little nooks and crannies, hidden locations, shops and easter eggs, and succeeds at this goal amazingly.  It takes a week or two of living in the city to learn to navigate the streets, and even longer to really get a good feeling of where everything is located.

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LL changes TPV policy: Doom for innovators?

Yesterday afternoon, Linden Lab announced a new set of changes to their policies on Third Party Viewers, or TPVs.

“2.a.iii : You must not provide any feature that circumvents any privacy protection option made available through a Linden Lab viewer or any Second Life service.

2.i : You must not display any information regarding the computer system, software, or network connection of any other Second Life user.

2.j : You must not include any information regarding the computer system, software, or network connection of the user in any messages sent to other viewers, except when explicitly elected by the user of your viewer.

2.k : You must not provide any feature that alters the shared experience of the virtual world in any way not provided by or accessible to users of the latest released Linden Lab viewer.”

Someone unfamiliar with how TPVs affect SL might read all of those as “blah blah blah”, yet to the trained eye these new rules present an ominous picture of LL’s future relationship with outside developers.  These changes might have been somewhat better received if they had been implemented right after the Emerald debacle, but putting them out now seems odd and almost frightening.

For years now, Linden Lab has struggled with the fact that it’s difficult to provide a consistent user experience in SL due to hardware differences – unlike and Xbox or other types of computer games, hardware has a much more drastic effect on user experience inside of SL, altering a lot about the world.  With many people using outside developers’ viewers with different features in them, this difference has been further exacerbated.

Let’s go through these changes piece by piece: Continue reading ›

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Happy Valentines!

Happy Valentines Day, and an even happier Valentines night. ;)

 

Style Info:

Skin: Heartsick – Devotion : Aeon (Depraved Xmas Hunt Gift) [Part of 10L Valentines Skin Box]
Eyes: Ibanez Eyes – Liquid Eyes (in Almond)
Hair: Tameless – Lexi (in Midnight)
Lingerie: Reasonable Desires – Valentina Retro Lingerie

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The Teen Grid merge: One year later

As of today, January 21st, 2012, the Teen Grid and the Main Grid have been merged for one year.  Daniel Voyager actually had to remind me of this date – it’s a very important one for me, but since the teens have been so quiet since the merger happened, it’s hard to remember!

An image of the Teen Grid from a Save TSL meeting

After all of the people yelling that the merge was the end of SL, that it would be shut down in a few months and everything would go to hell, it’s comforting to see that nothing has really changed at all.  A few islands became Adult rated out of fear in the first month, but no one was prosecuted for crimes involving children, no teens ran around griefing the entire grid.  After the initial month or two of the merge, everything went back to normal.  Even the Chimp Labs project many of us worked so hard on to make into a meeting place for newly relocated teens ended up dying – it just wasn’t needed.

There still is a lack of understanding on what exactly our 16 and 17 year old population is and isn’t allowed to do.  Only  a month or two ago I was hanging around an adoption area and met a 16 year old who had just joined SL.  She sparked a lively debate over if the teens were allowed to be child avatar or not, and if they were, if it was bad for the kid community to do so.

Ages of visitors to SecondLife.com - Taken from New World Notes

It’s yet to be seen what the future will hold for LL policy about teenagers.  Hamlet Au reported just recently that teens are the top visitors to the main Second Life website.  It’s entirely possible they may look into a way to integrate younger teens in the future without resorting to the ghetto which was the Teen Grid to do so, especially after this first merge went so well.

I’d welcome a younger teens back to SL.  There’s a lot which this world has to offer, and if this first run is anything to go by, the age groups can peacefully coexist (or peacefully ignore each other, at least).

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Naturally

I’m so glad to be back!  I had a great winter break, but blogging from my laptop is rather difficult due to my lack of a good image editing program and my screenshots not being quite as nice as the ones from my main computer.

You just can’t make me happy with weather.  I was complaining because it’s been too warm out for January in the real world, and now that it’s cold and there’s snow on the ground, I’m whining about how I wish it were spring again.  I thought this kind of struck that complainy balance I’ve been feeling – a wintery outfit in a spring setting.  Plus, it’s super cute and includes a few items I missed blogging from the end of FLF last month.

On that note, I’m incredibly sad to see the end of FLF.  It was one of the only regular bargain events I went to, one of the few I saw as worth visiting.  I’ll occasionally visit Collabor88, but FLF was my absolute favorite.  I started going to it as soon as I landed on the Main Grid and it has been a constant in my Second Life when everything else around me is changing.  It will be greatly missed.

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INSILICO


So come up to the lab. And see what’s on the slab.

I see you shiver with antici… pation!
But maybe the rain isn’t really to blame
So I’ll remove the cause, but not the symptom.

If you’ve never been to Insilico, I highly recommend a visit.  It’s a roleplay sim, but not a heavy one – players come with a variety of skill levels and interests.  It’s engineered so newbies don’t feel overwhelmed by paragraph posts and rules, but oldbies don’t feel bored with one liners and a lack of structure.  Somehow, this sim brings together multiple skill levels and personality types seamlessly.

It’s a desolate future world, a city hovering over the remains of the destroyed earth.  The last few thousand people hang on to their lives in this city and a few others like it.  Most players sort into one of two categories – Underground or Corporate.  Corporate players run the city.  They are, as Judge Dredd would say, the law.  Usually corrupt or misguided, they exert power over the city.  The Underground are the malcontents, the criminals and bottomfeeders of the world.  They’re involved in pretty much every criminal enterprise you can imagine, and a few you probably can’t.

This is all a very simplistic explanation for a very well thought out and carefully planned roleplay.  While the main sim is rated Adult, I have yet to see any real adult content here.  It’s permitted, but most players seem more interested in running plots than pixelsex.  There’s also a large marketplace on the main sim with a variety of cyberpunk clothing, vehicles, furniture and accessories.  If you’re interested in dark future roleplay with heavy cyberpunk overtones, take a visit.  You won’t be disappointed.

Visit INSILICO in SL

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