Monday, 14 November 2016

10. Fighting the prejudice of bad press

Ok...let's just get this out there. Second Life has a terrible reputation. Whenever I mention it to gamer friends I am met with snickers and innuendo. Comments like, "Second Life? Sexy life!", "Are you going to get all furry now or turn into a Bronie?" Seriously...sometimes I think people get stuck in adolescence and ignorance. Most of these people have never set foot inside Second Life. All they have to base their opinions on is gossip and rumour and press from YEARS ago. 

So I would like to dispel these rumours for my readers. SECOND LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT. When you close your mind with ignorance and prejudice you miss out on the truly beautiful and wonderful and amazing and GENEROUS gifts that other people have brought to the world. 

You miss out on the fairytale
You miss out on learning
You miss out on the quiet moments in beautiful places
You miss out on the laugh out loud ridiculous

You miss out on the creative thoughts of other people
You miss out on classic references 
And you miss out on the opportunity to look at the world in a different way

I don't care about other peoples sexual practices. Each to their own and what happens between consenting adults is absolutely none of my business. For me, Secondlife is so much more than the sensationalised bad press that people seem to want to hold on to. I hope that by showing you the world through my eyes, that you will also look at it in a different way and maybe, you too will see the people behind the avatars and the wonder in all that was dreamed and delivered by these incredible people, past, present and wherever the future may take us.

Monday, 7 November 2016

9. Byrd Island

This Sim is done by LICK Sim designs and it is exquisite. Excuse me if I gush a little but this is the first Sim I have been to (that wasn't an art installation) that I have loved every moment, from the time I landed to the time I regretfully teleported away. The music was laid back and moody which perfectly fit the ambience of this Place. The lighting, the effects….the BIRDS. You just can't help but wonder what happened to the inhabitants of this house.

You teleport in on a jetty overlooking a beautiful bay. As you walk off the jetty you come across an old rickety wooden elevator and a ladder. I chose the ladder and climbed to the top of the sim, turned around and physically gasped in real life. The scene was so….Jane Austen. I wish I'd worn more Austenesque clothes but there was no way I was going to get changed now (That and I don't have any!). Tearing myself away from the view, I walked a short distance and spent some time just sitting on a lovely bench and admiring the view. The sun going down, the muted colours, the gentle music playing in the background…it was just so peaceful.

I walked through fields of long grasses and wildflowers. Sat quietly and watched the birds circling overhead. Explored houses that were beautifully and tastefully decorated in old farmhouse styles and left as if their occupants had just disappeared suddenly.

In one house I had an Edgar Allen Poe moment and had to read "The Raven" all over again...

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, 
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. 
"Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-
Only this and nothing more." ~Edgar Allen Poe  

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. Nothing further then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered— Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before— Then the bird said “Nevermore.” ~Edgar Allen Poe

This Sim has been taken down now. Such is the transient nature of some of the most beautiful places in Second life. However, LICK is currently in the process of making a new Sim and I for one can't wait to see it.


Poetry Foundation. The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

8. My First Apartment

PLEASE NOTE: If you are new to my blog from my Facebook Art Page, please read THIS post first before you get confused as to why I am blogging Second Life :) 

Ok, so up until now I have been living homeless, plonking down each time I log off in a beautiful sim called Botanic gardens. Sometimes I log out in the glowing plants part, other times I lay down, read a book and watch waves.  It is a truly lovely sim and I've walked all over it and tried everything there…The piano (I have real talent ya know!), meditation (I think I need some classes).

I spend a lot of time in the Noonkin Café in Alba Estates because the deck is so lovely at all times of day and the music feed is exactly to my taste.  I won't include pictures here of Alba, but only because I am going to gush about it in a later post I have planned. But just allow me this little fount of delighted digression...
The owner of the Sim, Douglas is just a delight. I IM'd him once to tell him how much I loved his sim and asked him a few questions about whether he made it all (The answer is yes) ….then another time he IM'd me to thank me for my (poor and pitiful) donation to his tier payment and we had a conversation that just made me smile. He has a great sense of humour and I would like to chat to him again, but I am just a bit wary of intruding in people's busy SL lives and annoying them.  Soooo… I often just park myself down there while I am drawing or working on an art project in real life. I would love love LOVE to rent a house there. There is a beautiful little cottage by the water that has a little beach and a gorgeous estuary flowing past it and the most wonderful little sitting spot out the back. Sadly, I just can't afford it. Having said that, the prices of the gorgeous little houses and land are more than fair and reasonable...I am just watching my...errmm...lack of pennies at the moment. I spent a day wandering around that little house imagining what furniture I would put in it and sitting on the bench on the beach reading and wishing I could actually live there….maybe one day.

Standing at the front door and looking into the apartment
For now though, I rented a little skybox from Manor Suites Apartment. I just wanted to feel a bit…grounded you know? Less like an itinerant and more like I had a home in the world. It was very cheap. It is fully furnished because I didn't want to have to actually think about decorating and buying furniture and getting into that just yet. I am still too busy exploring and working out the simplest things….like where IS everyone? How do you get to engaging people in conversations that last more than a few sentences and don't just involve the best places to shop?

Looking down at the living room from the loft bedroom.
TV is on the wall. Woodland scene out window.
So, a skybox is like a little apartment…umm…in the sky. If you want to see how one is made, you should check out the video by Beau Hindman here.  It is one step smaller than a sky dome. Same principal, but a skydome is usually bigger and has an outside area, sort of like a private parcel of land placed in the sky. I have picture windows. The scene changes depending on the time of day. Sometimes it is a city skyline at night, at other times it is a woodland in the day. But I can't go outside and sit in a yard. 

It has a loft type bedroom, a bathroom complete with toilet
Splish Splash I was taking a bath...
(what would I need THAT for….honestly my avatar neither pees nor poops!!!!!), a kitchen and a lounge. I can change the music that streams in my apartment and it even has a TV, which to me is a mind bending concept. You can watch YouTube on it or stream TV I guess through whatever website you choose.  It's not something I plan on using at the moment as I much prefer the ease and size of my actual computer browser or my RL tv for that.

Drinking an ENORMOUS glass of wine in my kitchen

But the biggest advantage to having the apartment is that it is somewhere I can get changed without embarrassment or having to rely on the goodwill of the Builder's Brewery change rooms.  And it actually makes me FEEL like I am more a part of the world. Like I am here to stay rather than just here visiting.  And I guess that is an important distinction between being part of a world rather than just looking into a world.