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Join The Second Life Mix And Match Blog Carnival!

Mix_and_match The SL bloggers network is hosting a fun, identity swapping extravaganza for folks who blog about Second Life.  Go here, post your SL name, blog URL, and e-mail address, and suggest an SL topic to write about.  The Mix n' Match hosts, Vint Falken and ArminasX Saiman, will then scramble up the topics, and distribute them among the participants, challenging each to blog about a subject they don't usually cover.  So, for example, SL fashionistas will write about steampunk, while the steampunks will write about mixed reality business applications, while the SL business bloggers will write about tiny jousting... in short, dog and cats living together mass hysteria.  Entry deadline is end of today Sunday the 2nd of November at 1AM SLT, so click here quick to register your interest.

AjaxLife Seeking Donations To Survive

Want to keep accessing Second Life chat from the iPhone, and other web browsers? Teen SLer Katharine Berry needs funds to cover the server costs required to run her revolutionary web-to-SL application, which she estimates at $130 a month.  Normally, the best way to subsidize an SL-centric project would be through Linden Dollar donations, but because Katharine's still in Teen Second Life, that's not feasible.  More details at her blog.  I'm not an IT network expert, but $130 a month seems like a steep price to pay.  When I interviewed the creator of the insanely popular web game Desktop Tower Defense last year, he told me his server costs were also just $130/month-- even when his site was attracting 4 million players and 20 million page views.  Perhaps someone can suggest cheaper server alternatives for Ms. Berry?

Walk Like A Man: Reflections On Becoming A Male Avatar

Alpha_as_grapho_fullstopWhen it comes to avatar-based gender bending, who's better at roleplaying the opposite sex?  Men pretending to be women, or the other way around?  Ms. Alpha Auer, the brilliant metaverse artist from Instanbul, recently created an alt avatar with the evocative name Grapho Fullstop (pictured at right), and reports on her experiences.  She hits hurdles right from the start: She finds her Grapho too "pretty", she finds herself getting hit on by female avatars far more than she does when she's a female avatar, and so on.  However, the experience isn't a total loss (at least from my point of view), because it leads her to reflect on her real life relationships with men, beginning with her father.  "[T]his is leading me to think about men and my relationship to men," she writes, "Does my inability point to a failure to grasp the workings of the male psyche?"  This is a provocative thing to say, because I think we tend to assume the opposite-- that men don't understand the female psyche.  If you're a woman who's tried to walk in a male avatar's shoes, what's your experience been?  (Image: alphaauer.wordpress.com.)

Sai Explores October Country, Ideal Halloween Haven

Sai_in_october_country October Country is a lovingly eerie region, partly inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, with old time spooky radio on the audio stream, and a campfire that seems tailor made for telling ghost stories.  So the perfect place to visit today.  For a grand travelogue of the place, check out Sai Pennell's illustrated October Country tour.  The elven fashionista walks you through some of the main stops, and there's a SLURL teleport link at the end, so you can follow her footsteps, and beyond.  (Image: saipennell.blogspot.com.)

Open Form: What Are The Best Blog Posts On The Openspaces Pricing Controversy?


Friday is the day I highlight remarkable posts around the Second Life blogosphere, but the trouble is, nearly all of it seems devoted to the Openspace pricing controversy.  The day the turmoil started, Vint Falken counted over forty posts on the subject, and in the several days since, that number has probably tripled, possibly quadrupled. 

Rather than create a massive list of them, I want to feature a handful of the very best today, the ones which convey the issues and the conflict, the stakes involved, and what it all means for Second Life's future.  Please help me out by posting URLs in the Comments, preferably with an excerpt or summary, too.  (Yes, you can nominate your own blog.)

Image: Openspace sim Athan, taken by Liquer Felix, found on the Flickr Openspace stream.  (Direct SLURL teleport to Athan at this link.)

Iris Ophelia's Hottest Male Avatars-- The Final Pleading!

Tomorrow's the last day to help Iris Ophelia formulate her Ten Hottest Male Avatars of 2008 list.  To vote for Arj Friedkin, Cheyn Lane, Claudius Fouroux, Docmh Raymaker, Kirk Claymore, Maddox Dupont, Prad Prathivi, Raul Crimson, Turlututu Chaffe, and Winter Jefferson (select up to three) go here

To vote for Bone Mosten, Ororon Kamachi, Riki Yifu, Note Buaku, Khamudy Mannonen, JJ Drinkwater, Lance Kent, Pappy Enouch, Zinc Karas, and Lawless McBride (select up to three) go here.

To vote for azufr3, Baron Grayson, Ganymedes Costagravas, Monta Horan, James Schwarz, Dpende Control, Frutti Freschi, hiroy boa, Egidius Eel, and Graham Burger (select up to three) go here.

Koinup's Top Ten Second Life Sites This Week

<p>&lt;p&gt;Koinup: Your &amp;lt;a href=&amp;quot;http://www.koinup.com/&amp;quot;&amp;gt;Virtual Life&amp;lt;/a&amp;gt;&lt;/p&gt;</p>

As selected by users of the virtual world social network (an NWN partner), they are

1   - Princeton Groups
2   - Nautilus - Shalim
3   - Triphosa
4   - Creamshop
5   - Halcyon (featured above)
6   - Shengri La Joy
7   - Nautilus - Hannibal
8   - Human Resource Island
9   - Cetus
10 - Princeton East

Last week's Top Ten is here; curiously, this week's sites are all new.

New World Newsfeed: M. Linden Speaks On The Openspace Controversy For GigaOM

M_linden_on_gigaom_2 Recent dispatches from the outside world...

Virtual Protest Threatens Linden Lab’s Profitability - GigaOM

What's Linden CEO M. Linden's take on the controversy over the Openspaces price hike?  He speaks on this for an article now featured on the Internet business blog GigaOM, where I cover online worlds/games.  Go here to read it.

Lanna's List for October 30 - November 5: Halloween, US Elections, Guy Fawkes Day and more...


Charlanna Beresford’s weekly round-up of upcoming SL events…

It's Halloween! In addition to all of the treasure hunts that have filled residents' inventories with an array of Halloween booty, the grid is abuzz with scores of Halloween-themed parties this weekend. There are still a few days left show off that hot little Halloween outfit, eat brains and treat yourself to more Halloween fun and frivolity. 

There are oodles of parties on October 31 that stretch in to the weekend and here are a couple of fun and interesting ones:

  • 9 AM - Halloween Music Festival
    The Bushy Beard Pub will be celebrating all weekend with live music, over 20 DJs, and lots of partying!  The Halloween Music Festival kicks off on Friday, October 31 at 9 AM and runs through Sunday, November 2 and promises to deliver more Halloween style fun. Please visit the Bushy Beard's website for the full schedule of music.  In addition to music there's contests, freebies and some great prizes so put on your creepiest Halloween monster outfit and head to the Festival.  In Brugge (click here to teleport).
  • 10 AM - Halloween Horror Village Party
    Come down and party in the Abandoned Meat Factory at the Halloween Horror Village on October 31.  There will be dancing and DJs spinning tunes, but be sure to leave some extra time to explore this interactive sim dedicated to classic horror movies. In Antigua Paradise (click here to teleport).
  • 1 PM - Halloween Party in Vlad the Impaler's Romanian Village
    Brave the giant avatar eating bats and join in the festivities on Halloween. The real fun, however, is happening 24/7 up until November 1. Purchase a box of weapons from the graveyard and help clear the neighborhood of zombies. Strap on your weapon and get shooting... the zombies are everywhere and if you are too slow you'll find yourself surrounded. Good silly Halloween fun for those who like to indulge in a little shoot 'em up. Because the zombies continually rez, you can go there on your own and still have lots of fun. In Sunrise Jazz (click here to teleport).
  • 6 PM - Halloween Bash in Lo Lo
    Bring your costume and dancing shoes while DJ Madame Maracas spins fun tunes.  Prizes for best, scariest, and funniest costumes.  Special screening of the Diva's Halloween Special.  In Lo Lo (click here to teleport).
  • 6 PM - Halloween in Extropia
    Dance to the special spooky set of seductively shivery songs by DJ Seven Shikami at 6 PM and DJ GoSpeed Racer pumps it up with a hard rockin' finale from 8 PM on!  There will be $L 2000 in prizes for spookiest costume/avatar!  In Dirac Sea (click here to teleport).

(All times in SLT, "Second Life Time"; i.e., Pacific Standard)

Also this week: ACS Island Grand Re-Opening, the World Bank, The Melbourne Cup and more...

Continue reading "Lanna's List for October 30 - November 5: Halloween, US Elections, Guy Fawkes Day and more..." »

Second Life's Visual Capacity Is Superior To Warhammer Online (At Least In Verkin's Hands)


Here's two images of online world fantasy, one borrowed from the screenshot archive of Electronic Arts' Warhammer Online, the latest craze in MMORPG gaming.  The other is taken from a Second Life region called Aggro, created by Verkin Raven.  Can you tell which is which?  More germane:  which is more beautiful, atmospheric, and vivid? 

Click Continue for more views of SL's Aggro after the break.  Or better yet, click this SLURL teleport link to visit and see for yourself.  (And thanks to Iris Ophelia, for sending me a tip to this mini kingdom of dragons.)

Continue reading "Second Life's Visual Capacity Is Superior To Warhammer Online (At Least In Verkin's Hands)" »

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