Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Journeys Across the SL14B: Dragon Island and the Stages

By Bixyl Shuftan

From Sunday June 18 to Sunday June 25, the main event to celebrate Second Life's fourteenth anniversary, the Second Life Fourteenth Birthday, also known as the SL14B, is taking place. The event has had it's drawbacks, notably the lag caused by all those avatars dropping in (and whatever they're carrying) which drives some residents to visit only after Midnight, or the few days after the official closing in which the sims are left up. And some communities don't bother with exhibits, either to concentrate on the Relay for Life or for some other reason.

But despite the troubles "The Birthday" has always been popular. When Linden Lab announced in 2012 that they would no longer be organizing another Second Life Birthday event, following the initial shock some residents stepped forward to try and organize one of their own, and have continued to do so since to this fifth resident-run SLB event in a row (SL3B was organized by the residents but the Lab contributed several sims).

There was too much to see everything in the first few days, but I could get some peeks around.

 The official entrance is at SL14B Impressive (96/122/80), which is called Dragon Mountain."Here Be Dragons," says the sign, and there certainly are.

There's one dragon standing atop the mountain, breathing fire.

There are also flyable dragons you can hop on and ride.

The mountain had a welcome center.

 And inside one could find teleports to various places on the SLB grounds.

 Ever get the feeling you're being watched?

The SL12B had a noted train build. The train for this one however was off the rails.

And the mountain had a balloon one could get on.

However, it landed on the road where the air bag vanished and the basket turned into a pod.

Leaving me to go about the exhibits.

 On Press Day, I had some trouble getting in. But it was taken care of by Doc Gascoigne. I waited a while for a tour, as every year before there had been one. But when I finally asked, I was told there would be none, later told that from their point of view the writers and bloggers had been going their own way rather than take one. But Treacle Darlandes

 The biggest structure at the Birthday grounds is the Cake Stage. Once again, it has been designed and made by Mikati Slade. She has been the "Baker" four times in the past six years.

 As a build, "The Cake" is massive, taking up four sims.

The build looked different in ways from Mikati's previous stages, but still retained her style.

 "I think more each year, it looks really fab," Terrace commented.

The reason the Cake Stage is so big is so that larger numbers of people can listen to a single performer in the four corners where the sims meet.

In theory, over thirty can dance in each sim for an audience of over 120.

Treacle next took me to the Live Stage at , SL14 Incredible, "I like this build its quite an urban feel."

There were some people nearby who soon came out on stage.

Treacle told me, "These nice folks are stage staff and greeters."

I also noticed some "soap bubbles" which floated around, and were still around when I checked the place later during events.

Next she took me to the DJ Stage, in SL14B Astonish. It resembled a fancy top hat.

Getting up there meant going up a ribbon, of which where you stepped a hexagon would briefly glow, leaving a trail as you went up.

 Near the stage were a few small amusement part attractions.

I would later drop by here during an event (note, my appearance then was due to a Relay "Bid Me" event).

 Next was "Stage Left" at SL14 Stupendous and Mesmerize.

 This enormous build resembles a Chinese lion sculpture, though with three heads, which move around, and occasionally puff smoke. It was build by Faust Steamer, "This is the 3rd year this builder has been at SLB I think. or maybe four."

It's a little unnerving when one looks down at you, as if contemplating having you for lunch, in a bad way.

There was quite a bit of detail.

Sitting on top of the lion is the stage.

Which was where the parties were held, the performers just in front of the curtain in the back.

That's it for now from the SL14B. Stay tuned for more pictures, of the "Max Mystery Land," the resident exhibits, and more.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, June 19, 2017

Journey Across the SL14B on Day One

By Gemma Cleanslate

Sunday was a good day in the sl14b regions. It was very crowded at the stages, and at the builds. So lag was present. I took a couple of pod rides just to read the description of the build and hopped off at a couple places to look more closely at them.

I stopped by the Cake Stage to see the party going on . There were some interesting avatars enjoying the dj. Mikati Slade , the builder of the stage, was there checking out the party also.

I spent some time in two parcels that were very meaningful to me. The first was a memorial to Ladyslipper Constantine.


 LS as she is known passed away last year in September and is fondly remembered by all who knew her. She was also active in the Virtual Ability Group, Burn2, White Tiger Mentors, and so much more. The Drum, “ DRUM's goal is to bring the world to you via the power of drumming” was her love as she was profoundly deaf. Her unselfish help to so many in sl is well known. She served as a volunteer in many roles at the previous slbs and they are recalled here in the peaceful corner.

The memorial is a build of Darkstone Aeon and BB Woodford. It is lovely and reminds us so of Lady. Pictures of her real life and Second Life and all her SL Birthday badges surround a sweet little pool.  It is a restful pause in the clamor of the event. She was a good friend and I still miss her.

But, over in Astound I found another beautiful tribute area to Lady. This one by Dream Wrexan and Darrk Gothly as co-builders..

Here you can see the memorial service that was held at Virtual Ability and pictures of Lady in her different roles.  

 It is lovely and shows how much Lady is missed. Her favorite flower and the reason for her name rises from a fountain. It is so fitting. Play the drums for her  if you visit.

 There is another memorial in Spellbound. I spent some time there too remembering my first years in Second Life when I was determined to learn how to do something with a prim. This parcel is dedicated to the creator of the Ivory Tower. Lumiere Noir who passed away in 2015 gave the Ivory Tower to Second Life to help all newcomers understand the power of the prim.

 Here Kennylex Luckless has built a history of the Ivory Tower and a history of Lumiere. There is a quote from Lumiere that embodies his work,” I seem to be hardwired to teach and explain. When I learn something or figure out a thing my first and most natural response is to try to pass it on to others.”  

Wander through and learn about someone who is also missed in second life for his generosity of spirit and kindness to all. The Ivory Tower is still in sl and if you have never  been there pick up a landmark at the door and go visit. Here is the landing point for the memorial.

Gemma Cleanslate 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

SL14B Exhibit Plot Holders

By Bixyl Shuftan

The Second Life Fourteenth Birthday celebrations, or the SL14B, are almost here.  And just about everyone interested wants a sneak peek. But there's an understanding between those exhibitors who write about Second Life and those who don't that unless a build is obviously incomplete, no pictures of the whole thing are to be published until just before the event. Exhibits are often tinkered on until a few days before, and of course there's not wanting to spoil the surprise. But we can show a few sneak peeks, and placeholders, which can give some ideas who will be around, and sometimes a little of the builder's imagination.

 Some just simply left their cake slice on the plots.

Others left their own objects as placeholders.

 Or a logo or picture, such as this drawing reminding the volunteers, and neighbors, there would soon be something.

 Bay City's flag, marking it's exhibit.

 Pictures of the "Black Spy," the late Lumiere Noir's avatar, in the plot of someone from the Ivory Tower of Prims.

Loki Eliot's placeholder, at his plot in SL14B Spellbound.

Obviously, this guy's not finished.

 The Museum of Archeology's placeholder was a description of who they are.

Jo Yardley's placeholder for the Berlin 1920s Project at SL14B Wonderous.

 At least they're not pink.

 Virtual Ability's placeholder sign and ground cover.

 For those who "wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole," would a hundred foot one do?

 London City's placeholder.

 RacerX Gullwing of the Giant Snail Races, one of the groups in both the SL14B and the Relay for Life, had his statue as his placeholder.

The National Space Society's placeholder, their flag on a barren landscape.

And finally, this man's wall cover says it all about the state of his exhibit.

Opening day of the SL14B is Sunday June 18, with the gates open at Noon. Be sure to see what these exhibitors, and others, have in store.

Bixyl Shuftan