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Why Do I Blog? SL Blogging Community Meme Asks The Big Questions

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Iris Ophelia's ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

There's a new meme working its way around the blogging community right now that has writers answering the big questions about why they do what they do. Strawberry Singh brought it to the SL community last week after spotting it on a RL blog, and since then there has been an explosion of responses. Several so far stand out, including Anya Ohmai (easily one of my top 3 favorite SL bloggers), and Opal Lei (writer and photographer behind adorable snapshot blog "Where's Dim Sum?").

It's tempting to make this a post listing my favorite responses to this meme, but that would ignore the question altogether...

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Oculus Rift + Kinect = Awesome Real Time 3D Environment

So a dude called "PlayerDuce" on YouTube recently uploaded this video which shows him using the Oculus Rift in conjunction with the Kinect. He uses the Rift's sensor for head rotation, while his Kinect generates a 3D point cloud environment around him. Watch:

I haven't quite wrapped my head around how he does this, but it seems to create a 3D world (abstract though it may be) in real time, displayed around the user. Mr. PlayerDuce sees some interesting applications to this tech:

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Mr. Bones' Titanic Machinima Will Make You Laugh Your Bony Ass Off

When we last saw Ole "Mr. Bones" Etzel, everyone's favorite skeleton was singing bluegrass. This time, he's stranded on the arctic sea, and Leonardo DiCaprio is nowhere near to saving him. But hang on, help is on the way, or something:

See many more Mr. Bones episodes here. "The fifth episode of Mr. Bones," Mr. Etzel tells me, tongue-in-skull, "was strongly inspired by a classic of messed up navigation:

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Build Up Your Real Vocabulary to Match Your Virtual Wardrobe With This Awesome New Fashionista Blog

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Iris Ophelia's ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

If you've ever wanted to know the difference between a pleat and a pintuck, there's a new project by a group of experienced SL fashion bloggers that might be worth your time. The A to Z of Fashion Writing, a blog spearheaded by Cajsa Lilliehook among others, aims to inform fellow fashionistas and bloggers alike with illustrated lessons on crucial fashion vocabulary. Why is a solid fashion vocab so vital even when all the items in question are virtual? Well...

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I Largely Left Second Life to Avoid the People of Second Life (Comment of the Week)

Savoree LeDesir Second Life user

Discussing her reasons for minimizing her use of Second Life, reader Savoree LeDesir offered one I often hear from others: Exhaustion with the negative social experience in Second Life. Here's how she describes it:

"Part of the appeal of Second Life was that it promised to fulfill that lifelong dream of many - the ability to 'reinvent oneself,' and, at least for a moment, to escape reality and experience the fulfillment of one's ideal self. After several years of dealing with trying to deal with constant technical difficulties, in-world politics, relentless cyber-bullies (as it turns out, a lot of people reinvented themselves into the kids they hated in high school), and a 'community' of people who are all trying to be something other than who they really are, many have become disillusioned with the whole premise of this type of virtual experience...or perhaps they've simply outgrown it.

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I Like That Reddit's Oculus Rift Group Likes the Idea of Second Life Running the Oculus Rift

Oculus rift reddit sl

Nice to see the folks in Reddit's Oculus Rift group enjoying our post on the Rift coming to Second Life. (It was even a top post in the subreddit last week.) Reading through the comments, it occurs to me that this might be a way for hardcore gamers to give Second Life another try (if they've given it any try at all). SL has never performed well enough to attract a large group of FPS or MMO gamers, but the gamers interested in the Oculus Rift, like this guy, might be willing to see it as a virtual reality platform: "I've never tried SL, but this might cause me to give it some thought. I want this to be OASIS, but I suspect I'll be pretty let down." Another Redditor, more bullish:

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Top Five New World Notes Posts from Last Week

Oculus Rift Second Life

Downton Abbey Meets The Sims 3, Part 9: The Pre-Christmas Special Recap Extravaganza

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Iris Ophelia's ongoing effort to simulate Downton Abbey in The Sims 3

Fall has drawn to a close and winter is creeping into Sim Downton Abbey. With this series approaching episode 10, it seems like a good time to do something special... A special episode, if you will. Something like a Sim Downton Abbey Christmas -- wait, sorry, a "Snowflake Day" -- Special. Given that the Christmas specials have become a tradition with the show itself, it seems fitting to celebrate part 10 of Sim Downton with one.

But before we can do that, we need to get caught up. Plenty has happened since the last series recap, so let's see what exactly everyone's been up to...

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No, Second Life Isn't Losing Virtual Landowners Because of the Real World Financial Crisis

Second Life losing land

Commenting on the latest report of dwindling virtual land ownership in Second Life, Daniel Voyager offers his opinion for why this is happening, and it's a common theory we read often:

The main reasons I think is due to the global financial crisis which i’m sure is having a huge effect on spending money etc and the other reason is that tier level in Second Life is still high from what I’ve been hearing from friends during the first part of 2013.

I've talked about tier prices before, but with respect to my colleague Mr. Voyager, the theory that the global financial crisis is a direct reason for Second Life's woes is simply not true. How do we know this? Because if you look at the broader economy for online interactive entertainment, virtual goods sales are at an all-time high.

Let's just take one example:

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Insanely Cute Flat Mesh Kitteh Avatar is Insanely Cute

SL Flat Mesh Kitteh

This cartoon kitteh in Second Life is a mesh-based avatar that would be cute and cool as it is, but it gets even cooler when you look at it from the back. Trust me on this, and let Emily Orr explain.

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