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Weekend Halloween Machinima: Lainy Voom's "Tale From Midnight City", a Scary Second Life Classic

Happy Halloween weekend, delicious readers. To get you further into the spooky vein, enjoy this chilling Second Life machinima, a classic made by Lainy Voom back in 2007 and still one of the best. Turn off your lights, crank up your speakers, and hit play. Then read more about how she made it here.

Tonight at 6pm Pacific, Join Me in Blue Mars For a Halloween Party and Fashion Contest Judged By Iris Ophelia -- and Get a First Look at the New Blue Mars!

Iris Blue Mars Devil Angel

Today at 6pm PST in Blue Mars, come join me and Iris Ophelia for a big Halloween party and fashion contest being judged by Iris in the Welcome Area. (She and I are consultants for the next gen virtual world.) If you haven't seen how diverse, creative, and crazy Blue Mars avatars can be lately, I think you may surprised. But that's just the start -- today Avatar Reality is also launching a major update to the Blue Mars software. Among the new features:

There's many more features now and even bigger ones coming soon. I'm totally biased, of course, but I'm pretty excited to see them take shape. For tonight, hope you join Iris and I in Blue Mars at 6pm PST. Go here to download the free software here (downloading takes an hour or two.)

Coley's World: Visit Rumor, a Beautiful Shopping Sim (If H.P Lovecraft and Tim Burton Made Malls)

ColeMarie Soleil explores Second Life's arts scene for New World Notes

Tired of fashion malls and shopping districts that are less than adventerous? Well, The Rumor, as imagined by Pennelope Thiessam and built by Faina Cortes, with help from Live Acoustic, Ampersand Artful, Jeanie Valoi, and Drinkinstein Sorbet, opens on Saturday, October 30th... is not just your average shopping area. Think of the sim as a love child of H.P Lovecraft and Tim Burton, eerie but calming -- and perfect for the Halloween weekend! A haunted fairytale by the sea. Filled with unique shops old and new alike, artistic tucked away hidden resting places and wonderfully arranged relaxing spots designed specifically to inspire photography and machinima, it's the perfect spot not only to shop but to also just kick back and hangout with your favorite people. It's whimsical and creative while maintaining a good balance of fun and store gazing. Beautiful waterfalls that lead down into a lake where rests a sculpted oversized statue of a bathing woman, and a tucked away dramatic theatre. It's a place for more than just your shopping needs. Come for the clothes, stay for the strangeness (or vice versa.)

Starting on the 30th, click this direct teleport link SLurl to The Rumor.

Update, 5:45pm: Here's the official site for The Rumors.

ColeMarie Soleil - Mixed Reality Portrait

ColeMarie Soleil covers the Second Life arts scene for New World Notes when inspiration strikes. Before joining SL, she was a studio musician, a wandering gypsy, a graphic designer, and a solo artist who's performed at Whiskey a Go Go in Los Angeles and the Apollo in Manhattan. See more of her machinima here.

Second Life Oldbies Tell Sad and Bittersweet Stories of Second Life as It Once Was and What It May Be

Cubey Terra Second Life 2004

Cubey Terra, who is a Second Life oldbie if there ever was one, writes an eloquent and moving short story which imagines a very different SL than what it is now, and what it was when he joined in 2003. I met him right around there when I was still a Linden, and watched as Cubey created one of the first big businesses in SL, an aerospace company with skydiving tours. (I had to wrest this 2004 photo of him from the defunct Linden blog.) Duly inspired, metaverse consultant John Lester, who was once Pathfinder Linden, and before that, an early Resident who in 2004 once made a 9 hour walking expedition across Second Life with me, tells a story of his own.

French Government Sponsors Mixed Reality Opera Performance Performed in Second Life and OpenSim

Second Life Mixed Reality Opera France

This looks like a fascinating project, especially if you're an opera lover: Operabis, a live opera performed in Rennes, France, and presented in Second Life. First show is November 6, 9am SLT: Go here to reserve a seat.

According to developer Hugobiwan Zolnir, the Operabis project "won a grant from the French Ministry of Culture in order to experiment the new digital environment in the cultural field. Five live events are organized both in Second Life and the Opensim French grid "francogrid" from November to June 2011 in the 3D opera. An internet site, a Flickr group, #operabis hashtag on Twitter and a fanpage on Facebook have also been set up to create exchange spaces around the experience.... A study will be made in June 2011 about the way people are sharing cultural events online. The next step of the project will be a 3D build of the backstage in order to explain the way the IRL opera is prepared."

Images from Operabis' Flickr stream.

Blue World Style in Japanese : Blue Mars に現れた、日本人デベロッパー Yukimaru Koba のゴージャスな分身

私は、Second Life にある Yukimaru Koba のメンズウェアショップ Z#Road に、何度か訪れたことがあります。

Continue reading "Blue World Style in Japanese : Blue Mars に現れた、日本人デベロッパー Yukimaru Koba のゴージャスな分身" »

Linden Lab Testing Version of Second Life That Runs on a Web Browser Next Month, Codenamed "Skylight" (UPDATED With FAQ on Test Deployment Strategy, Requirements)

Very interesting development: Second Life developer Claus Uriza recently Tweeted, "Pop Art Lab sim will participate in testing SL Skylight (browser based access!) Interesting how this will be received!" SL blogger Tateru Nino gets this confirmation from Linden Lab:

We plan to test a number of ways... to experience Second Life without having to download the full Second Life Viewer, and we’re testing that with SL Web Viewer in the next few weeks... These tests will run from time to time and for various lengths, and we may choose to further pursue some or none of these approaches, depending on what we learn from our testing.

Feel free to discuss!

Update, 1:3pm:

The website of a Second Life dance spot has posted the Linden FAQ for Skylight's test deployment strategy -- here's some excerpts:

  • This test is currently planned to begin on or around Nov. 8 and will run approximately two weeks.
  • In order to introduce the best Second Life experience to potential new Residents, Linden Lab has selected a small sample of locations that demonstrate some of the most interesting, entertaining, and popular types of Resident-created content...Locations were selected from the wider Destination Guide, which also factors in a venue’s popularity, appeal and overall quality.
  • The web experience can be accessed from PCs running Windows XP or Windows 7 using Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome and Mac O/S X using Safari, Firefox, or Chrome.


Continue reading "Linden Lab Testing Version of Second Life That Runs on a Web Browser Next Month, Codenamed "Skylight" (UPDATED With FAQ on Test Deployment Strategy, Requirements)" »

Minecraft Community Support Site Creates Tooltip Web Plugin For Minecraft Builders

The Minecraft Workbench, as the name suggests, is a site with tools and resources for Minecraft players, and it's yet another reason why the hit indie game which now surpasses World of Warcraft on Google Trends fascinates me so much. All but unknown only a few months ago, a large fan community has sprung up to support each other with tools like this: A php tooltip plugin that enables you to link Minecraft items on a website with popup tooltips, taking that information from the Workbench's database (so far over 160 unique Minecraft items):

As "WelshPixie", the publicist for Minecraft Workbench tells me, this energy is inspired in great part by the Minecraft community: "[It's] one of the friendliest gaming communities I've had the pleasure of playing with. I think anything we can do to keep the phenomenon fun and interactive even when you're not actually in the game is a good thing." The tooltip plug-in is meant to do just that.

Another motivation, interestingly enough, is a desire to support Minecraft's main creator, Markus "Notch" Persson, who's become a multi-millionaire nearly overnight because of the game's success.

"Notch is the soul embodiment of everything we are working for," as Minecraft Workbench developer "Syllus and Luclin" puts it to me. He, along with other members of the site's development team, are indie game developers themselves, and want to support Persson in any way they can:

Continue reading "Minecraft Community Support Site Creates Tooltip Web Plugin For Minecraft Builders" »

Chestnut's Choices 10/28 - 11/3: Halloween at HP Lovecraft Inspired Sim, Smithsonian Latino Dia de Los Muertos Festival, Final Hummingbird Cafe Open Mic and Much More

Innsmouth for NWN_002
Chestnut Rau's Weekly Roundup of Upcoming Events...

Celebrate Halloween in Innsmouth with special events all weekend. There will be a series of parties in the Opera House featuring DJs from around the world in addition to live music from Engrama, JordanReyne Deezul, and POL Arida. The music will begin at 10am on Friday and run through to about 6pm. Then on Saturday the party starts at 9am and runs through evening.  To round out the weekend you can enjoy an art show by Toren Atkinson. Explore the sim, enjoy the music, have fun!

Innsmouth is a well loved and much photographed sim for good reason. It is fabulous!  The sim is loosely based on the mythos created by American writer H.P. Lovecraft. Take time to explore and you will find a coastal town in Massachusetts, circa 1930. The sim is beautiful and mysterious and a bit lonely. Explore and take pictures throughout the Halloween weekend but please be mindful not to interrupt the roleplay. In Innsmouth [Slurl teleport at this link]


Thursday 10/28

Today through 10/31 - The Art Door Presents: The Tower of Fears

The Tower of Fears is a complex multi -floored Halloween maze with more than 20 prizes carefully hidden for your hunting pleasure.  But be careful - each floor of the maze will play with your deepest fears. "Grab the goodies while facing your fears as you travel the journey through forests, manic illusions, morgue gore, and creepy crawly critters." Today through Sunday October 31 only so don't miss it! Live actors in the tower with you from 5-8pm each evening. In Rendervision Isle.  [SLurl teleport at this link]

Noon - Yilix Nyn Reads from Shirlock Holmes

Alurel invites you to listen as Dr. Watson recounts The Boscombe Valley Mystery. Sherlock Holmes, the famous detective, takes on a rather obvious case, a wealthy landowner is seen arguing with his son in the forest, then shortly after the son appears bloodstained claiming to have found his father dead. Yilix Nyn will be reading this full case for us as we can attempt to puzzle out the facts of the case with Watson and Holmes. The Boscombe Valley Mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In Alurel.  [SLurl teleport at this link]

2pm - Creativity in SL - Discussion of the Real Vs the Surreal

Lewis Luminos will be hosting another discussion in LnL's Lounge. This week - Creativity in SL - the real vs the surreal. Why is so much of SL a copy of RL? Why do our houses have kitchens, stairs or even roofs? What's your experience of surreal builds? Does surreal also get labelled ugly? Where are the boundaries? We'll be discussing these and other related questions! Drop by for an interesting and fun discussion among a group of friendly people! In Memussi.  [SLurl teleport at this link]

3pm - Breast Cancer Awareness Center Grand Opening

Southern Tiere HealthLink NY has a strong presence in SL and across the virtual world with the goal of providing valuable health information to the public. Joint them today for the Grand Opening of the Breast Cancer Awareness Center which will help people learn about ways to reduce the risks of breast cancer. There will be a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, live musice by David Csiszer and a very special guest you do not want to miss. In TriBorough New York.  [SLurl teleport at this link]

4pm - The Final Open Mic at the Hummingbird Cafe

Thursday evening open mic night at The Hummingbird Cafe has been a long standing tradition, and it is the place where many of SL's music stars first streamed before a live virtual audience. With the sad closing of Menorca tonight will be the very last Hummingbird Open Mic, which is a bittersweet occasion for many of us. Join me to listen to DimiVan Ludwig, Ictus Belford, Max Kleen ad SonyaJevette Charisma kiss this well loved venue good bye. It is going to be a fantastic two hours of music you just don't want to miss. In Menorca.  [SLurl teleport at this link]

Also after the break: Interview and Concert by Indie Band Soleil, Halloween parties, readings and concerts, Breast Cancer Prevention Center Opens and much much more...

Continue reading "Chestnut's Choices 10/28 - 11/3: Halloween at HP Lovecraft Inspired Sim, Smithsonian Latino Dia de Los Muertos Festival, Final Hummingbird Cafe Open Mic and Much More" »

Ophelia's Gaze on the Second Life of "Mad Men": The Ill-Fated Faye Miller


Exclusive to NWN, Iris Ophelia's ongoing showcase of all things stylish in SL

Dr. Faye Miller has become a point of some contention among Mad Men fans. She represents the kind of savvy working woman archetype that was emerging in the 60s in a way that Joan and Peggy couldn't, and while this is beneficial she often comes off at rather frigid as a result. That's why, for my Faye Miller avatar, I'm starting off with a more warm and approachable evening look.

  • I've made Faye's base avatar using Laqroki's new Nellie skin by Mallory Cowen [SLurl], which is a little more mature looking than Mallory's other skins. The lips in particular are less glossy and have more texture, which is very appropriate for Dr. Miller.
  • Her formal hairstyle, Zoe by Truth Hawks of TRUTH [SLurl], is a slightly older style, but nearly identical to a formal updo Faye wears.
  • Like most of my Mad Men avatars, she is also wearing the Charm eyes by Launa Fauna of L.Fauna [SLurl], which have a lot of depth to them. I've also once again included the oval Posing Nails from Love Soul [SLurl] by BlueStarRUI Villota to add a litle extra accuracy to the avatar.
  • For Faye's formal dress, I chose the Estelle dress from Prelude [SLurl] by Polaire Aeghin. While it's not an exact match to anything she's worn in the series, it's a very sweet and modest look in a warm muted rose colour that I think suits her quite nicely.
  • Her necklace and earrings are from Caroline's Jewelry's Kennedy Black Pearl set [SLurl], and her shoes are another new release from Shiny Things [SLurl], the Kelseys t-strap pumps. I've included a close up of these shoes to show off the exceptional stitching and leather detail –- there's a reason that Shiny Things shoes have been a Second Life wardrobe staple for years, their quality is completely through the roof.

Now that you've hopefully warmed up to the spurned Faye Miller, keep reading to see how I've dressed her for a buttoned-down day at the office!

Continue reading "Ophelia's Gaze on the Second Life of "Mad Men": The Ill-Fated Faye Miller" »

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