Bento Not Yet Building Much Interest in Official Second Life Viewer (Far as I Can See)

Bento Official Viewer

When news broke that the official Second Life viewer now boasted the new Bento technology for enhanced avatar skeletons, I speculated that SLers would finally show some interest in downloading Linden Lab's viewer. (Instead of Firestorm or another third party viewer, which are much more popular with them, almost all of which still haven't integrated Bento.) In fact, I added a giant link to the official viewer download, because I was curious how many readers would rush to get it.

So far, not so many:

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"Second Life taught me that I'm constantly putting up an act" - Virtual World as Tool for Studying Social Roles

It's always interesting to hear what people with no prior background in virtual worlds make of their first experiences in one, and this student does just that. It's for a University of Calgary sociology class on "Cyber Deviations", but as you'll hear around 9:30, the student ends up learning about herself offline, too:

"Second Life taught me that I'm constantly putting up an act and playing this role of the person I want people to see me as... maybe I just need to be more of myself."

Which is a pretty profound thing to learn while fiddling about with a 3D avatar. (Though longtime MMOers won't be surprised by this realization in the least.)

Here's part two of the student's recounting of her virtual world experience, where she roleplays with a male avatar:

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Bring Me the Best Bento Enhancements for SL Avatars

Now that it's officially part of the official viewer, we seem to be bursting with Bento. I'll be blogging the best avatar enhancements using the new super-articulated skeleton tech over the next few weeks, so please post links in Comments. To get things started, here's Damien Fate's pretty cool Bento-based cape. And below, Harmony Sandalphon demonstrating a hand HUD:

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Now That Enhanced Bento Avatars Are Part of the Official Second Life Viewer, Will More People Use It?

Bento Mesh Hands

The official word: is here:

Linden Lab is proud to announce that Project Bento is now part of the default viewer. Bento is probably the single most extensive update to the avatar skeleton ever, and as a result of countless hours of testing, updating, reconfiguring, testing... you get the picture, we are now live!

Get the Bento-enhanced viewer here.

... Which brings up a very interesting question: Will Second Life's hardcore users, who overwhelmingly prefer third party viewers, switch to the official viewer so they can get all that great Bento goodness ASAP, such as amazing avatars like these, and incredibly articulated human avatars as this and also this?

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Whoa-Worthy Demo of Bento-Based Elephant Avatar

We've seen what the new Bento extended skeletons can do to a human avatar head, now witness them in action inside an elephant avatar. Actually two skeletons in this case, since one of them is used to articulate the fricking trunk!

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SL Cosplay of the Day: Dr. Strange vs. Kaecilius

Doctor Strange & Kaecilius

There's a Benedict Cumberbatch-as-Sherlock avatar in SL, and there's a Mads Mikkelsen-as-Hannibal avatar in SL too. Which takes us to the next level, presented by Strawberry Singh: Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange versus Mikkelsen as Kaecilius. More mind-bending facepunching from Ms. Singh here.

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Firestorm Seeking Bug Testers for New Bento-Ready Viewer

Info here via Strawberry Singh, who's having a dandy time playing with SL avatar shapes with the new skeleton system (as above):

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SL Cosplay: Mads' Hannibal in Benedict Sherlock's Home

Happy Halloween!

Some belated and eerily on-point Halloween-in-Second Life cosplay to start Tuesday, brought to you by Strawberry Singh: Hannibal Lecter (the Mads Mikkelsen version) stalking Sherlock Holmes (the Benedict Cumberbatch edition). And yes, there's a Cumberbatch/Holmes avatar in Second Life to go with the recreation of Holmes' home, owned by Darius Godric -- look:

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Bento Breakthrough: Fully Articulated Avatar Fingers

Mesmerizing new demo video from Ms. Strawberry Singh demonstrates how Linden Lab's new Bento skeleton technology makes avatar fingers fully articulated. Maybe I'm missing a counter-example, but I can't think of another MMO which enables this level of avatar expression. Read more about it on Strawberry's blog

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Hillary Clinton Has a Hyperrealistic Head in Second Life

Hillary Clinton avatar Second Life

And just in time for the third Presidential debate which is likely to be more surreal than anything Second Life could conjure up, you can be Hillary with this mesh head. Perfect companion piece to the equally hyperrealistic Trump avatar. Not that I'm suggesting SLers should use these to create, I don't know, hilarious Hillary vs. Trump cage match wrestling machinimas, except that I totally am.

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