Monday, September 23, 2019

Five Fun Places in Second Life

By Cyfir

Second life is full of great places to explore and have fun. Below I have compiled five such places that I have discovered over the years. Whether you’re bored, want to explore, or want to take that special someone on a date, one of these sims could be just the experience that you were looking for.

Kowloon's Gate Reborn

This is a Japanese/Chinese themed sim with tons of crazy things to discover for those who love to explore. There are also plenty of shops with very unique avatars and mods as well as entertainment venues. This sim was created by the Japanese PlayStation game maker Kouki Inoue who created a game on the original PlayStation of the same name. Go here if you want a unique experience.

Pixel Hills

A video game inspired sim featuring a sandbox and a mall. There are also plenty of classic video game related experiences to discover that will tickle your nostalgia bones.

Memento Mori

A very abstract experience created by a Japanese music duo. There’s not much else to say here. It’s pretty. Great place to feel like you’re in a dream.

Winter Moon

Speaking of dreams, this next sim looks like mine. This sim is absolutely beautiful and a perfect place to take someone on a date. Want to chill out and get away from everything in a peaceful setting? This sim is the perfect place for that as well.

Disney Tribute

Want to go to Disneyland but don’t have the money to? Take a walk down Main St. in this loving recreation of the historic park. There are rides, shops, and plenty to explore, which is nearly like the real thing. There’s even a monorail!


Monday, September 16, 2019

New Infohub and Pod Station Launches in the Heart of Historical SL

By Klaus Bereznyak

A new info hub and yavascript pod station launched earlier this month at Da Boom. Announced via the Pod Rider's group on the 4th September 2019, this hub is right in the ancient heart of Second Life, in the first ever region to appear on the grid in November 2002 before the official release in June 2003.

 If the construction of the hub looks 'old school', that's because it is. The tower-form example of characteristic SLArchitecture is constructed using original, pre-2003 prims created by Philip Linden.

Although a work still “under construction” the hub looks open for business. It has a clubby feel, with the second floor being a dance floor, perhaps nodding to the fact that this site was formerly occupied by the popular Alt-Zoom dance club.

The ground (or water) level features a museum of SL history and the docking for pod tours that depart from here. The museum is having fresh material added every day, and currently displays some maps showing the development of the grid and some artifacts of early primmage from bygone SL. At the moment visitors can hop on a yavascript ferry service (F3) which goes through many interesting regions of Micronesia to terminate at Aluluei. The trip takes about 15 minutes.

 A pod can also be rezzed for the longer S1 Historic Second Life route. The regions radiating from this zero point on the grid are the very earliest to come online in Second life. It’s very rare for them to become available for sale and the terrain is noticeably dynamic since they do not have the terraforming limits imposed on later regions. The first 16 regions, known as the San Francisco regions, were all named for real-life streets close to the original Linden offices.

 Jessie David, the creator and manager of the new infohub is almost as old as the prims that make up the building, having rezzed in April 2003, making her one of the first 10,000 residents.

 Da Boom infohub has a group for event announcements and gifts. I anticipate it will be a great starting point for any of our readers who want to discover more about the fascinating history of our world or any oldbies who fancy a little reminiscing.


Editor's Note: Six years ago, DrFran Babcock did an article about Da Boom around the time of Second Life's tenth anniversary.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Frolicking Deer Cay

By Bixyl Shuftan

Second Life is full of many action-packed places, such as combat areas and clubs with the latest rock and pop music. But sometimes one is looking for someplace more peaceful, such as a tropical island. One reader mentioned one such island to me: Frolicking Deer Cay.

Enjoy a peaceful Caribbean beach vacation at Frolicking Deer Cay, a quiet, rural, resort island in the Bahamas. Family roleplay, LGBT & furry friendly, wheelchair accessible. Boats, marina, swimming, sailing, DFS, family beach. By Lupinia Studios

"I wanted to build a relaxing paradise," explained Natasha Petrichor, the builder and owner of the island, "I was doing a lot of in-world building and administrative work at the time, and I wanted a quiet place where my team and I could just chill and not be 'on the clock.'  And I really wanted to be at the beach, so I built a beach (smile)."

Natasha had been Second Life for some time, "I first heard about it from some forum posts (I forget where exactly), while it was in beta; I had a beta account. But I couldn't find much engaging at the time, so I canceled the account and figured it would never amount to anything.  An incredibly stupid decision, in hindsight. I then created another account in 2004, when a podcaster I listened to at the time started talking about all the cool things furries were doing in SL.  I had recently discovered the furry fandom in real life, and eagerly wanted to find more ways to be part of the community, and in the process, I finally found something in Second Life that was engaging and fun (smile).

"I also quickly learned how to build things, a skill I used for numerous passion projects, and I also built a couple of businesses in-world, mainly making cars, and designing custom buildings for people/ And then I made this account in 2006 as a personal account, since I was all-business on my other account, and the other one gradually became less expressive of who I am, so this one took over as my primary account, and now here I am (grin)."

As it turns out, the island has only come to Second Life this year. "The vague desire for this sort of spot started percolating in March," Natasha informed, "and the specific inspiration - a private island with a Caribbean beach vibe - started to form in April, during some unusually dreary and cold real-life weather during what was supposed to be a pleasant spring.  We broke ground on the project at the end of May, over Memorial Day weekend, and had it mostly finished and officially 'open' in mid-June (smile).

"This was one of my fastest sim-building projects, partly because I spent a considerable amount of time planning it in advance; by the time I was ready to get started, I had already nailed down all of the details. This was also one of the only projects I've ever done entirely using prefab assets.  I usually prefer to build things myself, but I was overloaded with other building projects at the time, and I wanted to just make this exist as fast as possible, without spending months designing custom structures."

Since the place was opened, a few buildings have been worked on, "I've done some customization, yeah, and there are some ideas for custom buildings that I'd love to build here. But it'll take some time before I have the free time and energy for new custom designs. I've also been rather busy with real-life work for the last couple of months, but I'm catching up on that and spending more time here now (smile)."

I brought up the description of the place, "a quiet, rural, resort island in the Bahamas." Natasha admitted, "To be honest, I've never been to the Bahamas, or any other island in the Caribbean, but one of my closest friends regularly visits Barbados with his family, so that was a big influence in the idea. ... The biggest reason why I chose the Bahamas as the setting, instead of any other Caribbean nation or leaving it vague/undefined, is because I wanted to create a venue that felt like a real place, without appropriating the culture and/or identity of a location I have no real connection to.  The Bahamas has the largest number of privately-owned islands, and many of them are owned and managed by outside resorts, so presenting this as one of those seemed like the safest way to walk that line."

The entrance to the island is the "Harbour Office," which informs visitors who the three people who run the island are, Natasha, CandiceBabi Resident whom is an estate manager, and Mike 1945 Resident whom is the Security Director, and gives some basic information. Vehicles drive on the left side of the road, and no one is permitted to drive fire department equipment without the Security Director's okay. Talking to Natasha about other points of interest, she answered, "This welcome center has kinda become the island's main anchor point, but the marina next to it is a fantastic place for boating. Plus we have a mostly-water sim to the north, Fawn Bay, so that boats have somewhere to go.  The other key feature of the island is the public beach along the southwestern edge, which has plenty of space for parties and events, as well as swimming, without everyone being bunched up on top of each other.  And the main road between here and there, Ocean Avenue, is where you can find all of the shops, restaurants, and public services, with a mix of roleplay businesses/services and actual in-world stores."

Looking around later, the areas along the road have a mix of shopping areas, both those for show and actual inworld stores. There are also souvenir Bahamas flags one can get for a a few Lindens as well as a box of free beach supplies. One can also grab a segway (and maybe a bike) to go around. Fawn Bay has a bridge going over much of it. There are also a few small islands, one with a small home. East of the main sim is a residential area, Amethyst Moon. "Amethyst Moon is separately owned and managed by one of my closest friends and business partners, because she wanted an entire Homestead sim for her SL family," Natasha explained, "But Linden Lab doesn't sell Homestead sims to anyone who doesn't already own a full sim. So I bought it for her. ... We worked out a lease agreement for it, but yeah, I'm not interested in being a for-profit landlord, I just want to make cool things and help others do the same (smile).

"And that was an influencing factor on this whole project as well. There are a few rental properties on the island, in case new people show up and want to stay for a while, because rentals make residency easier and more transparent for everyone.  But the public areas of the island are truly public. The auto-return time is 4 hours, and no one is under any obligation or expectation to spend money here.  If they want to, then cool, but if they just want to hang out on a beach for a while, that's cool too (smile).

Natasha had active the title "Lupinia Artist." Asking about that, she answered me, "Lupinia Studios is the 'brand name' I've been using for my creative work since the early 2000s, both in Second Life and real life.  So, outside of Second Life, Lupinia Studios represents my photography and occasional writing. And in SL, it represents my architectural design work and other building projects.  So it's a handy default title when I don't need to wear a different hat (smile). And I have a website that puts all of my creative and professional work under one roof (when I remember to update it): I actually wanted to be a journalist in high school, and briefly made a name for myself writing columns for publications that wanted to spotlight youth voices, but I couldn't really get a foothold beyond that.  I also wrote a lot of fiction for a while, but I haven't finished much of that in a long time.  So most of my writing nowadays is basically just whatever I feel the need to write an essay about."

By coincidence, the real Bahamas had just been battered by Hurricane Dorian, wrecking the place. "I've been keeping a close eye on the situation," Natasha told me, "and the devastation there is horrifying.  It's the worst storm in the nation's history." She had set up a couple donation jars around the sim, one at the welcome center. I'm still working on signs to go with them.  Those donation jars have always been there, and they usually go toward the island's operating costs.  But for the month of September, all proceeds will go toward Hurricane Dorian relief efforts.  I also put out an announcement to all members of the island's group yesterday, urging everyone to directly contribute if they're able to.  The Bahamas is not a fantasy setting or an exotic vacation spot, it's a real nation with real people, and they need help right now to recover from this tragedy."

While we were talking, a few people did stop by the sim. Natasha greeted them, and after a short chat they headed to the beach. "Indeed, these are some of our wonderful residents," she told me.

Eventually we told each other goodbye and went our separate ways.

Frolicking Cay Deer is at the following location:

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, August 30, 2019

Sunny Beach and The Gathering Oak

By Penny (Deaflegacy)

Sha (Becky Shamen) offered to take me on a tour of the beautiful Sunny Beach sim, and I took her up on her offer. The first stop we made was at the sky diving machine. "Click the floor," said Sha. I did and ended up flying in the air. Sha said that it is sky diving and I really enjoyed it.

The next stop is at the roller coaster. "My favorite ride," Sha told me. We got on the roller coaster and it was really fun, being on the roller coaster. This was so much fun riding the roller coaster and I was sad to get off the ride.

We stopped by a place where Moogles live there. I was impressed. Moogles are a cute small creatures.

Sha showed me the round table at the castle. It reminds me of the round table back in King Arthur's days. There was even a sword stuck in a stone there.

We went to the boardwalk shops after that. Sha suggested I try a ride called, "Wild Whale." When I got on it, I was so impressed. It was like riding a wild bull only this time, I'm riding a wild whale. After I got off, she showed me the rocking ships. It reminds me of a ride at Playland that looks so much like the rocking ships on the Gathering Oak. I'm not sure if it is still around because it has been over a decade since I last went to Playland.

Sha showed me the club jackets that she made as well as a fortune teller. According to Erik Mouse (erikmouse.dawid) who just joined us, the idea came from Erik when he was on a vacation over a month ago where there was a boardwalk by the beach.

I told Sha and Erik that I felt they were doing a good job. "We try hard to provide fun for the community," she said. The Gathering Oak club is really a fun place to be. "The DJ booth plays to the whole sim, we can have events anywhere. We hope to develop surfing events in the future." said Sha when I asked about the events happening on the club. "Surfing events could be co-ordinated with sim to the North, with party on both sims."

Sha showed me a beautiful woods, to take peaceful walks through. For those that need to get rid of tension, they have cannons to fire. She showed me how to use a cannon and when a ball flew out of that cannon, I can feel the tension I have going with it.

The Gathering Oak is run by Erik with Sha's help. Geerkil Ziskey is the most noted DJ at the club. You can see him on Tuesday night.

The Sunny Beach sim is an amazing place to visit and to hang out with your friends. Here is the landmark for the awesome place:


Friday, August 2, 2019

The Deathlands

By Bixyl Shuftan

Recently, a friend and I dropped by a rather desolate place in Second Life: The Deathlands. The place describes itself as "an isolated post-apocalyptic island community where a handful of hardy survivors desperately cling to what passes for life after the nuclear winter." Upon entering, a crow greeted us, "Greetings ... welcome to Deathlands! It is many years since the Nukes cleansed the Earth. Among the frail and diseased survivors there are few rules, so feel free to wander Deathlands and sample its many pleasures and perils." Almost as if on cue, the radio stream played the tune "Darkest Dream." Later songs included, "Love is Dead," and "Poison Remains."

The place is owned by Rebel Wolf (HermitBlue), considered the "mutant warlord" here, and Luddita Wolf (luddita) his consort. Seeing us, "We are the survivors," they showed us around. "You are under the care of Baron Wolf," he told us, "It's safe in Deathlands. Well, sorta safe. Probably should not drink the water." Showing us some NPC figures, one was a rather bloody doctor with a paitent who didn't look too good. "Hes the only medical we have," Rebel told us, "so he gets away with a lot."

There were a few places mentioned in the notecard that I'd gotten on entry, such as the Dead Tree where a number of corpses hung, "The Motel From Hell" in which the beds were bloody mattresses and the "bathroom" was a bucket with flies buzzing over it, the hull of an old Russian submarine that had somehow washed ashore and repurposed, and others. There was one not mentioned that Rebel wanted to show us: The Bunker.From the outside, the place was concrete and steel. Inside, there were bunks, machinery, and what looked like some kind of control center with access to satelites, "Some of us survived the nuclear winter in here!" For some reason, there were warheads of small missiles in there.

But not everything here was a grim survival story. There are two social spots. One is "The Music Festival Grounds." Rebel spoke of it, "The survivors built a dancefloor." The dancefloor itself was made of of sections of wood planking piled together with a rustic-looking stage in the back. The place was surrounded on three sides by chair-link fencing, presumably to keep the more drunken partiers from stumbling into the lagoon. But not everything about it looked safe as there was a yellowish-green looking cloud of mist in the middle. When I asked Rebel, he responded, "Oh, I think it's radioactive gas (cough)." As we were talking, a few more people came by, including one with a guitar. Before long, he was playing some music, and an impromtu party started.

After a while, the party moved to what passed for a high class club around here, "The Loser's Club." Advertised as a "notorious dive bar where survivors barter their favours in return for liquor and cigarettes," the peace was kept by a burly-looking NPC acting as a bouncer standing watch just outside the front door. "Dont mind Ivan outside," Rebel told us, "he just looks mean!" Another NPC, a waitress, handed out drinks on request. Those not dancing could sit on an old couch or one of the barstools. One seemed a little woozy from the gas earlier, "I may pass out soon."

There were other places in the distance that I never set foot on, such as a stretch of highway that came to a dead end over the water, a waterfall, and numerous other buildings in various states of repair and disrepair.

The Deadlands is in

Addition: on August 18, the Deathlands was moved to a new sim, at

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, July 29, 2019

Update on Bellisserria

By Gemma Cleanslate

Now that the SL16B is a pleasant memory and things have quieted down for the summer doldrums there is still a hot place in sl and that is the new continent of Bellisserria. The moles are back at work feverishly trying to fulfill the dreams of those who want to move there .

I got a chance to watch Abnor Mole as he rolled out some new homes on streets in a sim to be released soon.

I roamed the Raccoon Run just after it opened and met and greeted some new residents as they claimed their homes and started decorating immediately. It is fun to watch them  choose their home then change it to a different model. Some start with the yard and some start inside .

Some residents have decided to use their property differently by creating an office , art gallery, or other use. The waters of some of the houseboats have been transformed completely . I visited the Buddhist Center in back of one. It is very lovely.

I stopped at a tea house with a gazebo overlooking the water .

Here I am in Giulio Marchetti coffee shop waiting in line for my expresso .

There are several houseboats that contain mer hang out places in their water area and also inside the houseboat!

There are several active groups already , so active I hardly ever arrive in sl without an immediate ding from one or more of them. There is alway conversation going on about the camaraderie that is so evident among all the new residents and even many who are still waiting to get their homes or houseboat.

In one conversation I learned that Razarstone  has been camped out in Guppy waiting for a houseboat. I went over to check out the sim and the camp and there he was resting in his tent on top one of the empty houseboats. Razor shared a video he had made of his wait that you can see here : .

RazarStone Resident had a motto “Never give up...never surrender (laugh)” 

 He is one of many people waiting for either homes or houseboats , or holding off for a camp trailer displayed at the SL16B. Many commiserate in the groups and are consoled and urged to be patient by those who have successfully settled on the new continent after their wait.

They should see the moles working so hard to get them in soon.

Gemma Cleanslate

Saturday, July 27, 2019

The International Spaceflight Museum

By Bisyl Shuftan

 In Spaceport Alpha is one of the better-known science-themed places in Second Life: the International Spaceflight Museum. According to the notecard provided, the place was founded sometime in late 2005 and has been ad Spaceport Alpha since "early 2006," with the Spaceport Bravo sim added in 2007. Kat Lemieux is the co-founder and chairman of the group that maintains the location.

Near the entrance are a number of flags, Each is from a nation that launched something into space. The music stream has a number of space-related songs, such as "The Eagle has landed."

The Spaceflight Museum is full of rockets. But not far from the entrance, there are two you can take up: a Gemini rocket and a Space Shuttle.

Gemini is the smaller of the two, and can seat up to two people.

Just click, select "board," and type "+blastoff."

And it's a rocket ride into space!

It isn't long before the sky goes black and you seeing stars. Your destination, the space station. But there's another way to get there.

 You can board the Shuttle Atlantis for a ride to the Space Station as well.

And we have liftoff!

The Shuttle docks directly with the Space Station.

 But you can also board the Shuttle, undock, and return to the surface.

 But reentry can be a little hot. Good thing the shuttle is covered with heat-insulating tiles.

And the Shuttle comes in for a landing, though far away from where you boarded it.

There is a ride back to the launch site.

And you can resume your looking around from where you were.

The Spaceflight Museum is best known for it's ring of rockets.

The V-2 rocket was technically the first rocket to make it into space in 1944. When the Americans used it as a "bumper" or first stage of a combination with their WAC, the US finally got into space as well.

The Soviet space program achieved a number of firsts with it's rockets. Their R-7 Semyorka was the one that got Sputnik, the first satellite into space, in 1957. The Vostok-K would launch Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, in 1961.

China got a later start in it's space program than the US and Soviets/Russians. But their rockets have been getting bigger and better, as well as their goals.

There are others, such as SpaceX and India.

In the middle of the circle of rockets is the theater area, which is often used for live events. When the shuttle was flying, people would gather here for launches and landings.

Underneath the ring are a number of exhibits such as the Apollo Moon lander, Mars landers, and more.

Spaceport Bravo has fewer exhibits than Spaceport Alpha. But some are bigger.

 The Vehicle Assembly Building in the Kennedy Space Center is one of the largest buildings in the world. It takes a building like that to make a rocket like the Saturn V used in the Apollo launches.

There isn't much about the Saturn V that isn't small. From the launch tower ...

To the mobile launcher platform, this thing is simply massive.

Nearby, the capsule that held the three astronauts on Apollo launches.

Spaceport Bravo has one of the two gift shops.

There are globes of the Sun, the Moon, and each of the planets except Uranus, due to it's weird axis of rotation.

As we mentioned earlier, way above the ground and accessible by rocket (and teleporter) is the space station.

But there's more up there to see.

You can also see exhibits of the various planets, such as Saturn and it's massive rings.

 Uranus never seems to get much respect due to the juvenile jokes about it's name, but it's unique due to it's extreme axial tilt that places it sideways.

When the Spaceflight Museum was first built, Pluto was considered the ninth planet. But when Eris, a Kepler Belt object far beyond it's orbit, was discovered to be slightly larger, astronomers decided there had to be a change. So Pluto ended up being "demoted" to the newly created status of dwarf planet, which includes Ceres which had once been considered the largest asteroid.

The Mars exhibits included a look on the surface.

South of Spaceport Alpha is Explorer Island. It is not part of the Spaceflight Museum, but is it's own science education area. It has a number of exhibits. But this is for another story.

On a final note, the Spaceflight Museum is supported by donations, "operated by a US 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit charity, incorporated in Texas as ISMuseum." Besides buying things at the gift shops, you can also donate to help keep it afloat.

After all these years, the place continues to educate, and fascinate, and used as an example to newcomers as what great places are in Second Life.

Bixyl Shuftan