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

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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

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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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Virtual World Eye Candy: Nomak Nyoki's Mind-Blowing Male Second Life Avatar Artwork

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

It's Monday -- a beautiful day for some beautiful virtual world art... And if you're looking for some men's fashion inspiration, this will be just the thing for you, too.

Nomak Nyoki's Flickr stream is one of the best places to go if you're looking for absolutely breathtaking images of male avatars... And that's especially true if you're looking for the kind of avatar-based artwork that's incredibly common when it comes to the ladies, but far less so for the boys. I've been a fan of Nomak's for some time (and I've even written about his work before) but his latest pics are the kind of exceptionally polished and well-processed work that really demonstrate why Nomak is in the top tier of Second Life artists. I highly recommend settling in with a cold drink before you check out all his super hot work here.

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Draxtor Despres Takes on SL's MadPea Games in the Latest Episode of The Drax Files: World Makers

World Makers MadPea Games
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Draxtor Despres' mixed-reality interview series just keeps getting better and better. The latest episode of The Drax Files: World Makers highlights MadPea Games, a group who create immersive storytelling environments and game experiences within SL. Kiana Writer spoke for the group and had quite a few interesting things to say about what they do and why... But more on that in a bit. Check out the full episode for yourself, first:

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