Reader Survey: What Sort of Content Do You Want to See on the RyanSchultz.com Blog?

Photo by Manasvita S on Unsplash

I seen to have hit a dry spell for the RyanSchultz.com blog. (Hey, after 1,128 blogposts, it was bound to happen eventually!)

So, I have decided to post a brand-new reader survey, which will run for one week—until midnight Central Time, March 30th, 2019. As before, repeat voters will be blocked by website cookie and IP address. So please take a minute and fill out the poll, letting me know what you would like to see more (and less) of on this blog. There’s a space at the end to add your own comments.

I will make the results available on March 31st, 2019, along with some commentary. Thanks for your input!

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PokerStars VR: A Social VR Platform Based on Poker

PokerStars VR is a social VR poker game which was released late last year in Early Access on both Steam and the Oculus Store:

Based on the trailer alone, it sounds as if the closet thing to PokerStars VR which I’ve already reviewed on this blog is VR Trivia Battle (formerly known as Kiss or Kill). PokerStars VR would appear to have the same kind of simplified, head-and-shoulders avatars with disembodied hands.

PokerStars VR is a free-to-play game, so I decided to download it and give it a spin, just to check out the social aspects of the game. (I should add that I am not a card player at all, so don’t expect any sort of reviews as to the level or authenticity of poker gameplay.) You start off in an opulent casino lounge, where you can spin a large prize wheel to win in-game currency to gamble with, once every eight hours:

After that, you have the choice of joining an existing poker game, or hosting your own (in one of several different settings such as Macau 2050 or The Monte Carlo Yacht). Each game can have up to 8 players. I did notice that some games required you to know a passcode in order to join.

Like I said, I know zero about card games in general, and I’m particularly clueless about poker in particular. So I can’t really comment on the gameplay in PokerStars VR. I’ve had people tell me on the RyanSchultz.com Discord server that they’ve found the game very social and that they’ve made new friends. I have added PokerStars VR to my ever-growing list of social VR/virtual worlds. Note that you do need to have a VR headset (Oculus Rift or HTC Vive) in order to play. 

PokerStars VR is a good example of a niche social VR platform, which is limited to one thing only (poker), and which it seems to do well (at least, according to all the positive reviews on Steam and the Oculus Store). Since I don’t plan on learning how to play poker, I am going to leave it at that.

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Twisted Spring Hunt

The Twisted series of hunts in Second Life are renowned for being the hardest hunts on the grid, and giving you absolutely no clues to work from, unlike other SL hunts. You’d think a spinning golden cube would be easy to find, right? Wrong. And every time around, I always land up tearing my hair out, searching for those goddamn little cubes anyways! This round has a gold-and-white divine god/goddess theme, so I diligently went hunting in a few stores, and I got lucky this time! Here are Twisted main hunt and side hunt items from three stores:

  • Appliqué Chic (a main hunt and 6 items in a side hunt)
  • Dreaming Thicket (a main hunt and 7 items in a side hunt)
  • Roped Passions (a main hunt and 5 items in a side hunt)

Our first look is the Divine gown (the Twisted Hunt gift for women by Appliqué Chic), paired with the Celestial Necklace and gold Laurel Crown by Dreaming Thicket (two side hunt gifts):

This stunning gown can be worn both for fantasy and formal outings. This avatar is wearing:

  • Mesh Head: Giselle Bento head by Altamura (no longer available for free; this was an Altamura gift from Christmas 2017 at the eBENTO event, and you had to join the Altamura group for L$50 to get it).
  • Mesh Body: Jenny Bento body by Altamura (this was a free gift from the 2017 Women Only Hunt, and on this version, you can remove the head and replace it with any other mesh head, as I did here. Note that this free mesh body is now available at the Freebie Megastore at London City (more information here), but you cannot remove the head on the newer free version.
  • Hair: Jessi hair from Sn@tch (free gift at a past event; no longer available)
  • Wings: white Icon angel wings by Blueberry (Bento enabled; I bought these at the Christmas 2017 Shop and Hop event using the free L$500 giftcard, which is no longer available; however, you can pick these up at the Blueberry mainstore)
  • Gown: Divine gown (main Twisted Hunt prize by Appliqué Chic)
  • Necklace: gold Celestial Necklace (side hunt prize at Dreaming Thicket)
  • Laurel: gold Laurel Crown (side hunt prize at Dreaming Thicket)
  • Shoes (not shown): white flats by Garbaggio (part of the free sample pack for Slink feet; available on the SL Marketplace). Altamura mesh avatar bodies have Slink-compatible feet.
  • Halo and hand and body particle effects: Valkyrie silver halo, aura, and hand effects by Cole’s Corner
  • Sword: from the Marcus avatar (one of the Second Life fantasy starter avatars)

Here’s a second look, featuring several more hunt gifts:

This avatar is wearing:

  • Mesh Head and Body: Giselle Bento head and Jenny body by Altamura (same as above)
  • Hair: Jessi hair from Sn@tch (same as above)
  • Headdress: Divine Warrior headdress (side hunt gift from Roped Passions)
  • Wings: white Icon angel wings by Blueberry (same as above)
  • Dress: Asphodel Chiton dress (main Twisted Hunt women’s gift at Dreaming Thicket)
  • Necklace: gold Celestial Necklace (side hunt prize at Dreaming Thicket)
  • Boots: Thorn boots (side hunt prize at Dreaming Thicket)
  • Shield: Hoplite shield (comes with a defensive pose; side hunt prize at Dreaming Thicket)
  • Spear: Hoplite spear (comes with several poses; side hunt prize at Dreaming Thicket)

Pictures from the Multi-Con VR Festival in High Fidelity

The producer of my show Metaverse Newscast, Andrew William, was an official photographer at Saturday’s Multi-Con VR Festival in High Fidelity. He kindly let me share some of his photographs with you (please click on each picture to see it in a larger size):

(The final image is me, wearing one of Cedar Librarian’s avatar creations. I popped in and out all day Saturday.)