Open Forum: What are the Best New/Updated Second Life Sims We Should be Sure to See?

Air Pirate town of Hakone Second Life

New World Notes began as in-world coverage of Second Life creativity, and since it still remains among the very best examples of user-generated content anywhere on the Internet, that coverage will continue to be an anchor for this blog. To that end, Iris and I are planning to expand our coverage of Second Life sims over the next few months, which is something I've been longing to do for quite awhile. We're especially looking for new or greatly updated sims which make use of the latest tools and features, or like Hakone, which I visited some months ago, are just supremely cool. Just as key are great communities or ongoing group projects/content creation/mini-MMOs, like Godswar, especially if we haven't been able to cover them on NWN before.

Any come to mind? Please post SLurls and descriptions in Comments below, and expect a visit from Iris or me soon.

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Chestnut Reviews a Beautiful SL Sim Called The Trace

Trace Second Life sim

NWN alumna Chestnut Rau has a pictorial visit to an SL sim called The Trace, which is a place by Kylie Jaxxon with many fine details, including elements which change according to the season (at least so we're told). See more here and when you are ready, click here to teleport.

Visit a Second Life Sim Called Intro This Labor Day Weekend

Second Life Intro Photography

Click here to visit Intro, which is a Second Life sim that's a monochromatic wonderland and an SL photographer's dream. Don't believe me? See these photos by Kara Trapdoor. Visit Ziki Questi's blog to see more.

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Brilliant Petrovsky Flux Steampunk Installation Needs Donations to Survive in Second Life

Petrovsky Flux Second Life

Click here to visit and help preserve the Petrovsky Flux, which is easily among the most works of strange brilliance ever created in Second Life. Formerly known in 2008 as the Bogon Flux and invented by Cutea Benelli and Blotto Epsilon, it's a self-creating, self-destroying steampunk city in the Second Life sky. But here's the problem: It's on a sim hosted by the University of Kansas Spencer Museum of Art, and the owners need donations to stay in-world. (Ziki Questi has more explanation here, which was where I learned Petrovsky was in peril.)

Donating Linden Dollars to support land costs is easy: Click here, look to your right, and you'll see the donation box right there (by the rusty sign). You should see the Flux in person, you really should. For that matter, you should see it in some of great machnima that's been made around it. Like this one below:

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There's a Floating Sky Pirate Town High Above Hakone in SL

Air Pirate town of Hakone Second Life

Click here to visit Hakone, because it's a Second Life sim with a massive sky pirate town that's floating in the air way above the sea. And I do mean large: While you can't quite make it out, that's a fullscale  galleon at the far right. (And that dot on the far upper left is me.) Not pictured: a working train that cuts in and out of the town interior, and a working water wheel. Pictured, but not in motion as it should be: That smaller airship you see has automated guides. This is really one of the most amazing builds I've seen in Second Life, if you have the graphics capacity to see it in its full glory (and fortunately, I have). If you don't, watch this video tour by Kawanishi Yana.

Visit This Valentines' Weekend in Second Life: Bryn Oh's Latest Immersive Art Installation

Bryn Oh Second Life art

Click here to visit and experience the latest SL installation by acclaimed virtual world artist Bryn Oh, "The Singularity of Kumiko", which opens today. But first, you should probably read her introductory notes, both technical and artistic, on her blog. For instance: "[T]he best viewer to use is Firestorm as it has the most effective WindLight and shadow settings available... Some things that can help with the immersion is if you are able to turn the lights down low in the room as you explore, as well as turn up the ambient volume. Essentially you will need a special WindLight, shadows enabled and a headlamp."

Image of Byrn and hat tip to Kara Trapdoor, who has some thoughts on the show on her blog. And watch a machinima preview by Bryn below the break:

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Opening Today: "The Visitors", Where You Can Interact with Whimsically Animated 2D Figures in a Beautiful 3D Town

Cica Ghost Second Life

Click here to visit "The Visitors" by Cica Ghost. a whimsical new art installation in which stick figures come to fragmentary life in an old Italian city. Opening today, Ms. Ghost is the creator of the Ghostville experience and other beloved sites. Ziki Questi has a good post on what you can expect from your visit to the land of Ms. Ghost:

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Ancient Alexandria is an Amazing Place in Second Life - What Others Must I Absolutely See Soon?

Ancient Alexandria Second Life

Last night I floated high above a beautiful Second Life sim called Ancient Alexandria -- (map location and SLurl right here, please go visit yourself ) -- and yes, it looks like this, with the graphics turned up full: less like an ancient Greek city, but something out of Skyrim, but with a city square with air ships and such which overall seems more steampunk. (Skyrim mod idea: Steampunk Skyrim.) And now that I find myself with more time and opportunity to explore more in Second Life, I find many old beloved sims are long gone, but others remain, and still others have risen as well. Many of them are fully mesh-made, and so seem to remake Second Life anew, so that it can (as you can see here), visually compete with the best that 3D gaming has to offer.

Along those lines, what others should I see in my next few visits?

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SL Bloggers Share Their Favorite Places in Second Life

Favorite places in Second Life

Strawberry Singh's latest blog meme makes for great browsing this weekend: She invited fellow SL bloggers and Flickr photographers to share their favorite places in Second Life, and some fifty folks have done so in her comment thread, which you can peruse here. There's many classics, like The Far Away by AM Radio* (SLurl teleport here), and even a quick skim of Strawberry's thread turns up some cool spots I haven't seen before: Like some of those featured here in a blog called Pics by Peep, and in this one aptly named WindLight Photography.

Go to Ms. Singh's site and see some more.

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Lovely Machinima Tribute to Ghostville, a Magical SL Place

It's been awhile since I saw a good Second Life machinima, so I was pretty pleased to come across this one by Erythro Asimov -- a montage tribute to Ghostville, the lovely and innovative sim created by Cica Ghost. Watch, watch:

Song is "Elphant Gun" by Beirut, which is perfectly chosen, given the setting, where stick figure drawings in a rustic town seem to come to life:

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