On Virtual Worlds

ctcomp

Trodden S. Miles: Ooooh, have you tried this new game thing called Third Life?
Trodden S. Miles turns his screen to face you
Cody Tebaldi: Oooh! Show me!
Trodden S. Miles: Look, you can create your own avatar and stuff
Trodden S. Miles: We can play grownups
Cody Tebaldi: Cooool!
Cody Tebaldi starts signing up.
Cody Tebaldi: It says you can even make your own clothes and cars and stuff!
Trodden S. Miles: People like buy giant houses and make babies and stuff
Cody Tebaldi: Drat! You’ve gotta be over 18!
Trodden S. Miles changes his birth date to 1954
Trodden S. Miles: I’m in!
Cody Tebaldi snickers and changes his own.
Cody Tebaldi: So, I’ve logged into an “infohub”. There’s some weirdo here that looks like a…
Trodden S. Miles: Ooooh look, only five minutes and someone already wants to …
Cody Tebaldi: Gah!!!
Trodden S. Miles: Ewww is this what grownups do all day long?
Cody Tebaldi shakes his head sadly.
Trodden S. Miles giggles as some n00b cries: “I WANT TO DO THE SEX!” in voice chat
Cody Tebaldi: Someone keeps asking me for money.
Trodden S. Miles: Does everyone just stand around all day long and not say anything?
Trodden S. Miles: And that woman over there must have horrible backaches.
Cody Tebaldi: What’s with that chick who keeps yelling “HOOOOOOOO!!!” over and over?
Trodden S. Miles logs out
Trodden S. Miles: Lame.
Cody Tebaldi closes his computer and agrees.

Lagging For Life!

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RFLcancer

Today the Relay For Life in Second Life event wrapped up, bringing an end to a weekend of massive fundraising for the American Cancer Society.  As far as I know, RFL is the only third-party organization permitted by SL’s owners to put on a massive single event like this.

The first RFL in SL was held in 2005; it raised $5000 dollars.  Last year, it raised well over a quarter of a million dollars.  That’s real money we’re talking, and that’s amazing!

As for the event itself – it’s very much like the Second Life Birthday event – there’s a large segment of the event area that’s built by the event organizers, and separate areas assigned to various groups of Second Life residents to build their own creations in support of the year’s particular theme.

RFLBabbage

Also like the SLB event, the Relay For Life is positively lagtastic.  There’s prims, mesh, sculpties, scripts, and avatars – multitudes of them, all vying for your viewer’s attention at once; and unless you’re using Bill Gates’ own computer you’ll probably have to lean your graphics settings at least somewhat to keep Second Life from becoming a slide show.

But I and thousands of other ressies put up with the lag gladly, because the event is SO worth it.  You can donate at kiosks, or buy small trackside luminaries to give a specific person a dedication of your own composition.   And you could walk the track – the eponymous Relay For Life activity – viewing the various works of the event’s sponsors and donors within the metaverse.   It’s worth it to stop now and then at various points on the track and turn your settings back up for a few moments, letting the living art around you rez up so you can fully take it in the way it was meant to be seen.

RFLAvalon

Throughout the event there’s a live entertainment stream where hosts and DJs offer music, information, and interviews; there are quite a few peeps who simply gather with friends, at their own builds or really any random place in the event area along the track and hang out, chat, dance, and cheer on the other walkers and runners.  And the entire shindig was streamed live on MetaverseTV for the duration.

But the event itself is just the visible capstone of the Relay For Life fundraising effort in Second Life.  The organizers and autonomous fundraising groups that contribute to the event start working and gathering donations months before the Big Weekend; there’s meetings and more meetings and committees and plenary gatherings and all of the hard work that goes into putting together huge things like this for us to enjoy, while helping make a difference in the Real World.

RFLboxtown

The event is over now, and the sims are not open when the event is not running; so there’s no point in posting SLURLs here.  What you can do is check out RFL in SL’s website.  They’ve got loads of information, including lists of SL resident teams (including links to team websites and names), so you can find out more about the regular old Second Life users that made this awesomeness possible, and perhaps connect with them in-world.  I also highly recommend the ACS’s real-world Relay For Life webpage – it’s not just a Second Life thing; you can find out where and when your local real-life RFL event is being held, so you can get involved that way if you missed the SL event.

See you around!

Aside

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Clicking on a blog all the time to see if it’s updated or not can be a pain; so to save you the time and energy, I’ve given you some help – there’s now a link for you to click and sign up to get an email notice whenever I post something, and an RSS link if you’ve got a reader.  You can find both on the right, below my Flickr feed.

Other WP’ers, of course, can follow my blog through WordPress as well.  Cheers!

Nice day for a sail…

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So yesterday I had some spare time and headed over to the Blake Sea; a great place – mostly just a huge set of sims that are mostly nothing but water.  So what’s that good for?  Sailing!  And the low prim counts on the sims makes em’ good for flying, too.

I, however, decided to take out an old boat I made way back in the before-sculpty days, the Orca:

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It might look familiar if you’re an old movie fan!  As a build she’s definitely outdated; but, she still sails okay.  So I took her out, starting here in Blake Sea – Flotsam sim, and just took a nice slow leisurely ride.  I passed this really interesting tall ship in the distance…

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…and a couple of other interesting vessels and airplanes and stuff.  It’s really hard to get pics of vehicles besides yourself in the Blake – because you can stop and pose all you want, but everyone else will keep moving.  So you’ve gotta be quick!

The Blake Sea is surrounded by privately owned sims that all have an oceanic/island flavor.

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Threading my way through these islands to the south, I came upon a huge cruise ship:

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That’s the SS Galaxy, a 3-sim-long fully featured cruise ship.  I got lots to say on the Galaxy, but that’ll be for another post all its own.  In the meantime, I had a look at the map and noticed two sims further south than the SS Galaxy, which I hadn’t ever noticed before.  So I turned the Orca to a southerly course and chugged in that direction.  Far to the south, I came upon this really strange and interesting-looking island in the middle of nowhere:

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It was a really great and professional-looking build.  I had to check it out!  So I left the Orca and ventured ashore.  The first place I landed was the entrance, where I learned…well, check out the signs for yourself:

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So Temasek, which a notecard informed me is Malay for “water town”, is apparently a collaborative build, based on various landmarks of RL Singapore.  The quality of the build was excellent in every quarter.  There was a visitor center modeled off a RL historic airport terminal:

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And a carefully crafted and authentic-looking coastal fort:

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And other neat places.  And scattered all around the island are a legion of notecards with specialized information on places and people from Singapore’s present and past.  There are also some apartment units for rent if you’re looking for that kind of thing, but it was getting late and I didn’t have time to investigate more, sadly.

Reembarking, I turned the Orca north, heading past the Galaxy and back to the Blake Sea, where I pulled into Sailors Rest as the sun was getting low, ending a pretty decent voyage of exploration.

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The Blake Sea is easy to find in SL – just open your map and type in “Blake Sea”, and you’ll get a whole list of the sims that make it up.  Most of the sims with small islands on them have little plots where you’ll be able to rez a vessel of some kind, but you might have to fly around a bit and search for these spots.  You’ll find Sailor’s Rest here, just to the south of the Blake Sea – it’s a private sim owned by the Fishers Island Yacht Club group, but it seems to be open to the public so have a look.  You can find the excellent and educational Temasek build here.

More to come soon!

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