Thursday, November 30, 2017

Great Second Life Destinations: State Celebrating the Season at Kylie Jaxxon's Holiday Trace

The fresh snows and holiday lights of early Winter are a very short season in Second Life -- with Spring coming early to most destinations in mid-January.  Although there is no snow where I live in South Florida, and very little in the way of below 77 degree (25 celsius) temperature at any time, I can celebrate my love of winter snows at classic Second Life destinations, including  Kylie Jaxxon's new Holiday Trace.

Kylie has a deft touch with landscaping and village placement that is entirely natural and not exaggerated -- you get a sense of being at an actual real world location here that is missing from many other Second Life destinations.

You can visit the Holiday Trace here:

You can check out more blog postings and reviews of this destination over at Scoop it! Destinations:

You can see my photography for the Winter Trace in prior years:

Winter Trace 2016:

Winter Ttace 2015:

The Trace has a Flickr Group:

Kylie Jaxxon's Flickr:

See more of my coverage of great destinations to visit in Second Life (scroll down):

Check out Scoop It Second Life Destinations for more great places to photograph:

The Second Life Winter 2017/18 Destination Guide, including sims decorated for the Holiday Season, can be found here. The number should approach 100 destinations by the end of December, 2017:

All photography was done with the regional light setting and a silver reflective light effect with indian summer highlights over at Google's Color Efex Software which is available as a post-process free download and which I wrote about there:

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Sansar Explorations - Mario2 Helstein's Mesmerizing M2D Organic

Mario2 Helstein's Light Thoughts multimedia installations ran in Second Life from 2015 - 2017 and were some of the most imaginative artworks ever created for virtual reality. When I visit Linden Lab's new virtual reality platform, Sansar, now in open beta, I noticed that Mario had two destinations open for inspection. 

M2D Organic, which I photograph here, is billed as  "A World of Shapes and Light".  This is a hypnotic and almost frightening work - static, and glowing with strange otherworldly lights. Part of the installation seems "dead" -- as it it is some poisoned coral reef that has given up its life to an alien interstellar pollution.

There is a video on Youtube showing M2D Organic on Mario's channel. Make sure to hear the sound effects when you watch the video -- they are key to the mood effects.

Mario has another destination open for visiting in Sansar,  M2D The Border, which has a rather foreboding  subtext description "When death imitates life".  There is a video up on Youtube showing the installation. I am not sure how long the destination will be available for visiting since it has a Halloween season (October 31) theme:

You can sign up for and visit Linden Lab's Sansar, which is in Creator Beta stage, and open to all Windows users who can meet the minimum system requirements here.  See my note on my own system below.

You can catch historic reviews of  Mario2 Helstein's Second Life works in Scoop It! Destinations:

Mario has a Facebook Page.  You can keep up on his happenings here:

I showed some images from the Sansar Nasa Museum (without any explanatory text) in September:

Check out Scoop It Second Life Destinations for more great places to photograph:

Note: You do not need a headset or full featured gaming controls to visit this new virtual reality platform.  I do not a VR headset, My desktop system is as follows and works adequately (although slow) for Sansar

  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel i7 6700
  • Graphics: NVIDIA  GTX 970 
  • Memory:  16 GB + 480 GB SSD 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Great Second Life Destinations: The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

All I can say about the highly interactive Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade at Far Island  is Wow, Incredible, and Amazing!  The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which will be held next Thursday in New York City is an annual tradition that dates back to 1924 - and ends up at Macy's Department Store on 34th Street at Herald Square in New York City. Floats, marching bands, huge balloons, singling celebrities, and Santa Claus himself always are part of every parade -- and the Second Life version is no exception.

You can see Ryce taking part in the parade here -- which anyone can do by following directions and clicking on parade floats and balloons.  Ryce rides as Grand Marshall, as a Pilgrim on the Mayflower, and with Kermit the Frog in the first three photographs.  Make sure to turn your media up to hear music connected with each float and marching band as they pass by.

There are many temporary rezzers up which may slow your experience, so be patient. The parade is more than worth it.  Ice Skating is available under the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center around the corner.  Please consider donating to help with the maintenance costs of the New York experience.

To visit this highly recommended and incredibly fun destination,  exit the arrival area and look for the floats and flying balloons.

Your Taxi:

SL Newser-Design has a comprehensive article about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade:

I used Windlight sky setting [TOR] MIDDAY - Nostalgika in these images, which I favor for its warm golden light and clear skies. Nostalgika comes as an option in the Firestorm Viewer.

See more of my coverage of great destinations to visit in Second Life (scroll down):

Check out Scoop It Second Life Destinations for more great places to photograph:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Major Article on Second Life Just Published in Atlantic Monthly Magazine

The article is not entirely positive -- and it strangely does not mention Sansar (at least I did not catch it at first glance).  However, Atlantic Monthly, a major United State print publication has run a large feature on Second Life in the December 2017 Print and Online Issue. You can catch it here:

Friday, October 27, 2017

Great Second Life Destinations: The Haunted Halloween Tour

The Haunted Halloween Tour is an incredibly gruesome ride which is available to all Second Lifer's. It is a gruesome and frightening ride, and a bit nauseating -- unless you find cut up and bloody human limbs getting ready to enter a giant sausage grinder appealing . Hot dogs anyone?  And guess what -- you too are meat filler on this ride! Flying axes will try to cut your throat when you are encased on the coffins that serve as ride carts.

Once you arrive at the portal, at this SLURL, move through the lighted orange entry and board the coffin to begin your nauseating journey:

See more Second Life haunted destinations at the Destination Guide:

See more of my coverage of great destinations to visit in Second Life (scroll down):

Check out Scoop It Second Life Destinations for more great places to photograph:

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Great Second Life Destinations: Late October Beckons at Whimberly

The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I'll put a trinket on.

Autumn, by Emily Dickinson, 19th Century Massachusetts Poet

Whimberly is gorgeous is the late October sunlight.

To visit this highly recommended destination:

See more blog coverage and photography from Whimberly at SL Destinations:

Whimberly has a Flickr Group:

I used Windlight Sky Setting [TOR] MIDDAY - Baskaholic to get a warm golden light and antique burnished glow in these images.  This advanced environmental effect comes standard in Firestorm and some other viewers.

Whimberly designer Staubi (engelsstaub) has a fashion blog:

To see more of my coverage of great destinations to visit in Second Life (scroll down):

Check out Scoop It Second Life Destinations for more great places to photograph: