Second Life WWII Roleplay Game Set in Nazi-Occupied French Town is Also Great Idea for a Sandbox MMO

Second Life WWII Roleplay

Zoe Connolly pays a multi-part visit to the Secodn Life sim of New Bastogne, which has been created to look like Caen, France in 1944, and is the location for a brilliant roleplay game:

You can play Axis, Allies, or even French citizens (as either collaborators or part of the Resistance). [Above] night falls and battle lines are drawn. The Allies maneuver and hide... waiting for their best opportunity to attack the Nazi occupiers.

The sim runs on the VICE combat system, so this is straight up combat gaming, and I gotta say: This is a great goddamn idea for a sandbox MMO. Second Life is pretty excellent for prototyping game concepts, but I'd love to see a single-shard, massively multiplayer version of New Bastogne running on the latest game engine. Anyway, if you want to visit the city under siege, here's the SLurl to copy/paste into the Second Life viewer of your choice:

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In San Francisco This Wednesday: Free Mixed Reality Show Merging Real Dance With Second Life's Famed SkyDancers

Second Life Mixed Reality performance

Click here to RSVP for an arts event happening this Wednesday early evening in San Francisco, merging a Second Life performance broadcast on a screen in the Little Boxes Theater (Dogpatch district of SF), with seasoned dancer Kathleen Moore on stage before it. The SL performers are Dancoyote Antonelli's acclaimed SkyDancers, who've been performing in SL for over 8 years. The free event starts at 5:30pm with free drinks and a curator/artist talk from DC Spensley (Dancoyote IRL) with the show itself kicking off at 6:30pm. Go here for all the details.

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Listen This Weekend: The Drax Files Radio Hour Interviews Celebrity Griefer Esteban Winsmore

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Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

If you're a virtual world enthusiast who's not keeping up with virtual world documentarian Draxtor Despres' new podcast, The Drax Files Radio Hour, then you're absolutely missing out.

The latest episode is packed with some pretty controversial content headlined by the notorious Esteban Winsmore, who has developed a reputation with some as a griefer, while others find his voice chatting antics downright entertaining. Draxtor and co-host Jo Yardley (known for her work in SL's 1920s Berlin sim) also discuss net neutrality, Oculus Rift augmented reality, Second Life's HTTP Project, and more.

If you go for the Esteban interview, just be sure to stay for the new virtual world documentary by Loki Eliot. "The Lost Virtual World" examines the ups and downs of virtual worlds, painting a picture 2 decades in the making. Check it all out for yourself here.

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Don't Miss This Must-Watch Virtual World Performance of The Nutcracker's "Waltz Of The Flowers"

Pemberley Nutcracker
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Lovers of art, avatars, dance, music, and machinima, gather 'round and drop everything because boy do I have a treat for you. Loony Columbia's latest machinima, "A Pemberley Nutcracker - Waltz of The Flowers", might be everything you've ever wanted in a virtual world dance performance. While The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition in the world of ballet and beyond, it can be incredibly difficult to pull it off in games and virtual environments. The more dancers there are, the more points of failure you have to contend with. It can be even more troublesome when you have to worry about recording it. But this? This is flawless.

Watch the full performance for yourself after the jump!

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Acclaimed SL Artist Bryn Oh Quits Linden Endowment for the Arts in Protest Over Company's Draconian Terms of Service

Bryn Oh Second Life Art

Bryn Oh, one of Second Life's most acclaimed artists, has resigned from the Linden Lab-supported Linden Endowment for the Arts in protest over the company's contentious new Terms of Service, which claims rights over "all or any portion of your User Content (and derivative works thereof), for any purpose whatsoever in all formats". For understandable reasons, this didn't sit well with Ms. Oh, who in real life is an artist from Canada whose SL work has even received a grant from her government.

The company founded the LEA a few years ago to support artists like Bryn, and she is so well known and admired, the community has donated thousands of dollars to keep her work in Second Life, including acclaimed UK filmmaker Peter Greenaway. Her SL machinima was even featured at the World Expo in Shanghai. Despite all that, the new ToS was too much for her. As she explains on her blog:

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Perfect For Halloween: Second Life Shopping Event Inspired By Harry Potter Has Avatars, Accessories, And More

Wolfy Breno in Beetlebones Frog Avatar
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

If you're already on the lookout for that perfect something to set off your virtual Halloween costume, the you'd be wise to check out the Wizarding Faire, which opened last weekend and will be running until October 20th. The event is hosted at Mischief Managed, a jaw-dropping roleplay sim that's been inspired by the world of Harry Potter, and consequently so are many of the most eyecatching items available.

For example, consider Beetlebones' fabulous frog avatar, pictured above in a rather clever shot by Wolfy Breno...

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This Intense Second Life Sim Photography Might Give You An Inferiority Complex About Your Own

CishCash Da Vinci isle
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Lately I've been drooling over the Second Life photography of CishCash, who specializes in evocative shots of some of SL's most gorgeous sims. Dramatic lighting and depth of field are both in full effect, as well as outstanding scene composition that could make even a talented RL photographer stop and take note. But this is more than just eye candy...

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The Drax Files: Robin Sojourner And The End Of Second Life As We Know It

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Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Every couple weeks there's a new episode of The Drax Files: World Makers, and every couple weeks Draxtor Despres raises the bar a little higher. Last friday he released the latest episode, with Robin Sojourner in the spotlight. It's inspirational, motivational, and definitely one of the best episodes to date.

... Do I say that every time? Well, judge for yourself:

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A Second Life Blog With Character: Wilmur's Day at the Beach is a Must Read

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Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

If it seems like I'm paying extra attention to bloggers and photographers in the SL community lately, it's because... Well, I am. I'm not sure what it is, but it feels like residents have been producing some truly exceptional work this summer, and I can't help but show off as much of it as possible.

Today's blogger fix is from The Dame Steps Out-- a character-heavy fashion blog run by Dame Edith Ogleby that blends entertaining storytelling with the world of Second Life fashion well removed from Barbie-perfect avatars and Charlotte Free wannabes.

Dame Edith is like your most gregarious aunt... Actually, she's Wilmur's most gregarious aunt, which is why the latest post is all about him.

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Don't Miss Whiskey Monday's Stunningly Expressive SL Robot Portraits

Whiskey Monday Tin
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Whiskey Monday has a reputation for taking some of the most evocative Second Life snapshots out there. Her screenshots tell stories, and their visual quality never suffers for the message she's trying to convey with each one, and I know I'm not alone when I say I admire her talents tremendously.

She recently posted a series of pictures featuring a beautifully corroded automaton avatar, and they may just be my favorites pieces out of her entire body of work.

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