Friday, May 24, 2019

Palmwood City

by Cyfir (Cyfiremmerich Resident)

There’s no denying that I love the architecture, colors, and neon-vibe aesthetic of the 80s. I especially love the way malls of the era looked. There’s something about the wood grains, neon, off whites, etc. that bring me back to a much better time. It’s one of the reasons why I love Dan Bell’s Dead Mall series on YouTube and why I think that it’s awful that the mall I used to go to in my childhood got modernized with a bland remodel. There’s something very nostalgic about the feel and vibe of that era. When I first visited Palmwood, those nostalgic vibes came rushing back.

Palmwood is a thriving furry Second Life community themed around a “retrowave” city aesthetic. There are many private and commercial rental options available as well as clubs, a mall, roller rink, and a retro themed arcade named Joysticks. The founder, Jimmy Talon, was inspired by his nostalgia for the old arcades that he experienced growing up. He remembers “the chirping sounds and the neon carpets and the flashing colorful lights and classic rock and dance pop playing over the speakers. It was very nostalgic for me growing up in the early 90s. The 80s really clung around until about 94; even longer in the pre-internet midwest.”

When asked about how it all started; “So one day I got into a sandbox and wanted to see if I could recreate my old local arcade from memory. I made a little replica while listening to some old jams and then showed it off to a few friends for fun and they really enjoyed it.” He spent about a year tweaking it for functional use. Once finished, he rented a small plot of land. The first incarnation had a parking lot out front with old cars. It took about a week for things to gain traction but vaporwave was really starting to take off at the time so people started to find the place via keyword searches. “And then, before I knew it, we had 15-20 people packed into the arcade during peak hours, playing table games, listening to vaporwave and just goofing off and feeling nostalgic for the place. Pretty soon requests for new games and activities started rolling in. We added more machines, more table games, a bowling alley. . .so we needed more space!”

He bought a neighboring plot of land and joined them to solve the issue of space but the cost was more than he anticipated. “So I asked some friends if they wanted to take over some of the rent in exchange for some little houses and we got the idea to make the land look like a little town with an arcade in the center and. . .it just kind of escalated from there.” Pretty soon requests started coming in from people who wanted to rent a place and within a year they had built an entire RPG style town modeled after an old American community which featured a town hall, a park plaza, and a mall. Not long after that, a decision was made to remodel in order to appeal more to those who were fans of the vaporwave aesthetic. This lead to the creation of what is now Palmwood City today.

When asked what their current mission in Second Life is; “It’s really just about community I think. We never really set out to make a bunch of money or sell anything like merch or club life or anything too crazy. We’ve incorporated things into our goals mostly by request from the community because people feel kind of. . .attached to Palmwood.” He mentioned that their rentals are not even the most efficient or cost effective. However, the people who tend to rent there aren’t concerned with getting a good deal or having privacy. They tend to be more concerned with being a Palmwood citizen and love the idea of being part of a retrowave paradise city designed by furries. The sim functions more like a real functioning city with a sense of community rather than just another real estate sim.

As for the future of Palmwood, the founder is just seeing where it takes them. They pride themselves on listening to their community and fulfilling their wants and needs and making changes every once in awhile to keep things fresh. There is currently plenty of things to explore and do and plenty of people to meet there. “Everyone in our community is generally very welcoming and willing to show you around!” he says. So go to and check them out!


Monday, May 20, 2019

Reader Submitted: Blast From the Past - Fox Haven

by Cyfir (cyfiremmerich Resident)

There are many places in Second Life which inspire a sense of community, but Fox Haven was very special in this regard. Many of the former members are still friends to this day, even if they no longer use Second Life. Now no community is without controversy, and the main community ultimately ended up folding long after it left the Second Life platform, but I will not be focusing on that controversy out of respect for the parties involved. I will instead be focusing on the good times and what made this community special. It was my first true home in Second Life and I was once good friends with the founder. So let’s take a ride to the past and visit what was Fox Haven!

It all started with Slavasesh. He had felt that there wasn’t a safe place for him, his friends, and others to hang out at within Second Life. He ended up renting a parcel. The early members helped to name the community and it became Fox Haven. As the community grew, he eventually used his resources to rent a sim. The sim eventually included a city in the sky level and a forest on the ground level. It’s popularity grew and his one sim quickly grew to two interconnected sims and he began renting out homes on both sims. I first found the sim through a friend named Anthony. I soon ended up renting a home there and quickly became friends with the owner. I started out my Second Life career there, picking up stray prims, doing “sim checks” every day. I slowly worked my way up to other roles such as DJ, club manager, sim manager, and eventually sim co-owner along with Slavsesh and Digimbyte.

I actually never originally wanted to be in any role of power, but I was fond of everyone there and I really believed in the spirit of the community and wanted to contribute in any way that I could. Thus, I took on any role and helped out with anything I could. All the core members of Fox Haven were close and supported each other and helped each other grow. At one point, a user named Acey had a previous partner and friend pass away. The community came together to support him and keep his head in the right place. In his own words: “Fox Haven as a whole provided me with a place in Second Life that felt safe where I didn’t feel afraid to approach people because everyone was friendly and I could almost always count on someone there to cheer me up by making me laugh with jokes or funny gestures; sharing the latest creations or gathering in their houses and watching media together. I didn’t have many real life friends at the time so it definitely contributed to a positive state of mind, knowing that these random avatars in SL weren’t just pretending, they genuinely wanted to hang out and have a good time. I felt welcome.” This was a sentiment that most members, including myself, agreed with and it’s what kept us logging in every day to hang out or do our part to keep the community thriving.

One of the biggest contributors to the sim was a pink deer named Dawny. Even when he left Second Life to focus on his real life business, he would return to donate L to keep the sim going. One of the first clubs on the sim was named after him and called Up ‘til Dawny’s. Even with Dawny not around, the name stayed for much of the sim’s life. At one point I had messaged Dawny on FurAffinity and he was surprised that the name was still in use years later. The club featured many talented DJs, a couple of which were DJs and producers in real life. I learned how to DJ and make flawless transitions between songs from one of them. The club was mainly a great place to chill and have a good time with friends. It eventually got a new name (Future Haze) and a beautiful new sci-fi minimalist building with a fish tank glass floor created out of smart objects by Digimbyte.

As time went on, it got harder to keep two sims going and Slavasesh eventually moved to just one sim. I was there at his real life house when he purchased and originally set up the new sim. However, Second Life was changing, and smaller tight-knit communities were suffering. On top of this, real life was pulling Slavasesh away and it got to a point where it wasn’t worth keeping a full sim going for a hangout spot. Despite this, Slavasesh kept the sim going as long as he could, because he didn’t want his friends to no longer have a home on Second Life. Despite his commendable efforts, it got to a point where he just couldn’t keep things going, and many logged in one day to find the sim gone. However, the community lived on in Discord, and many of the core members are still friends to this day and keep the core values alive.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Bellisseria: The New Linden Homes Continent

By Gemma Cleanslate

I have been visiting the new continent to roam around the roads, view the parks and swimming pools and beaches. The area I visited is all settled . It only took 48 hours to fill up!

The houses are new designs and reminiscent of the east coast towns in the USA to me. I checked them out .

Actually,though charming,  they are not appealing to me. My house in Thorstar is a condo and open ,  not too big or too small  and sits on a mainland island facing the waterway. I have lived here for 10 years. as a renter.

I find these houses have too many walls, stairs and the rooms to me are confining. I checked out all the types . They are lovely and I know many could not wait to move in. I think hundreds are still waiting!

However . though some say they are small, I love the houseboats!  So I am waiting for one now.
I packed up all my furniture and abandoned my linden home in Padgett. According to the Second Life Community Linden Homes forum  discussion and the blog  we are all watching for the opening of the new area which has so many houseboats with slips for boats. Every day we watch and wait. Patch Linden says the moles and LDPW are hard at work for the next opening

My friend Evola Courtois already has a houseboat and Cali Courtois (Caliba Sassower) , his partner is getting one also. He sent me over to a small island where I could see all the houseboats being prepared in the new site to open .

I met a new friend ,Kἷќἷ Ðĩνĩπĩէу (KiKiDivinity Resident) sitting on a rock gazing out over the water. She already has a home there and is active in the police department. My friends Evola and Caliba came along in a boat. I decided to rezz a boat and take kiki for a ride . It started well but I passed the bouy and that was a nono. We ended up in the water where kiki told me that the bouy was the stopping point and she was trying to warn me. Ah well. Next time I will know better!

 I will let you know what happens with the new home. By the time this is published may already have it! Patch Linden  just posted that they expect the houseboats to be available in 24 hours!  If you want to take a look this will take you to the island  where you can put your draw line out to see the new docks .

insert new cont 002

Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Borobudur Temple

by Marcel Mosswood

Borobudur as one of the seven wonders of the world, is in Second Life! Now you can see the temple also with the Prambanan temple. Marcel have the opportunity to interviewed Aryluke, the owner of the Borobudur Temple sim, in the middle of the fresh tropical view of the sim.

Marcel: Hi Ary, what inspired you to build the Borobudur sim?

Aryluke: I am very glad to share our local content of heritage to more people all around the Second Life virtual world. So in 2013, I and my friend spent two months to build the Borobudur and also Prambanan Temples.

The Prambanan Temple

Marcel: Can you tell us a brief about the Borobudur in real-life?

Aryluke: Borobudur is the largest Mahayana Buddhist monument in the world, built around 750 AD. Located on in the island of Java, Indonesia, 40 km (25 mi) northwest of Yogyakarta. Discovered by the British in 1814 under Sir Thomas Stanford Raffles, the magnificent temple is a three-dimensional mandala (diagram of the universe). This structure is square shaped with four entry point and a circular center point. It is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues, a visual representation of Buddhist teachings.

Marcel: What about the Borobudur sim in Second Life, including the Prambanan Temple and the environment surrounding the temples?

Aryluke: We built the sim with real-life concept, everyone can visit and see those stunning stoneworks in real-life around the tropical environment I've tried my best to perform.

Marcel: Please introduce your team members in building the sim.

Aryluke: I build this sim myself, started with the terrain level and rezzing all the pieces of stuff. It took 2 days but before that my close friend Passie (Pascale Boucher) the creator of Brussels Sim which was very famous before, helped me a lot to build the temples and monument. My faithful friends Kiara and Benq, and some local Indonesian friends also supported me in promoting and fund raising as well. We really enjoyed working hand in hand until finally our sim was elected to be shown in SL Editor's Picks in 2013.

Marcel: OK, is there a regular event for the public that is held on Borobudur sim?

Aryluke: Not yet with the new Sim, we had some with the old such as exhibition, 'open mic' cafe for language practice, photography, etc.

Interesting to visit and enjoy the beautiful sim of Borobudur Temple? Here is the LM:

Marcel Mosswood