Second Life Steals, Deals and Freebies: Virtue

In a grid that seems to be overpopulated with stores selling slutty little dresses, it’s truly refreshing to find a store like Virtue. The proprietor, Abiela, is a Christian who believes that modesty does not mean being unfashionable. Her clothing is stylish, but not slutty! She makes and sells such beautiful dresses. I just love shopping there.

You can join the Virtue group for free and pick up no less than 28 dresses and blouses as group gifts in her new outdoors store (note that if you picked up all the freebies from her old store, you might want to come back and take a look again, as I see at least one new first-time group gift):

Virtue Group Gifts 15 May 2018.png

Tell her Vanity sent you! ūüėČ Here’s a SLURL that should take you directly to the entrance of her new store.

(Note: for details on what I am wearing in this picture, please see this blogpost.)


Virtual Universe: A Look at Their Future Development Plans

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am choosing to participate in the Virtual Universe (VU) Initial Coin Offering Partner Program. Why? Two reasons:

  1. After my recent guided tour of VU, I feel very strongly that this is going to be a successful and popular virtual world/MMO hybrid platform, and I want to be a part of it when VU launches their beta this summer. This is the very first blockchain-based virtual world that I actually feel excited about!
  2. As a Canadian citizen, I reside in one of the three countries where I am currently legally forbidden from purchasing VU tokens (the other two are the United States and China). This means that the only way I can legitimately earn VU tokens to use in this social VR space before the beta launch is via the VU ICO Partner Program.

I want you to know this up front: this blogpost is a promotion for VU, in exchange for VU tokens.¬†¬†You can follow on this webpage to see how many VU tokens I have earned by completing tasks in this Partner Program if you wish (right now, I am at number three on the VU Token Leaderboard). There’s nothing stopping you from participating in this Partner Program yourself, and earning some VU tokens!

IMPORTANT: VU Tokens are not a real currency. They are ERC-20 based blockchain tokens intended to permit players of Virtual Universe exclusive access to digital assets within a VR game known as Virtual Universe (VU). They are a form of in-game virtual currency.  Virtual value attributed to the VU Token will be as a result of in-game efforts by players, and no future value is represented or guaranteed.

Virtual Universe 28 Apr 2018

Recently,  Jeroen Van den Bosch, VU’s Chief Creative Officer and co-founder, wrote an open letter to the community on Medium, giving an extensive overview of the hybrid social VR space/virtual world/MMO, which is due to launch in beta sometime this summer.

It’s interesting reading. The plans that Jeroen and his team have for VU are ambitious! They are currently building the first city in VU, to be called Uruk. This city will have four districts:

1. Residential district: It is anticipated that players will be able to purchase plots of land and create buildings on top of it (in a fashion similar to SimCity). Whenever a new residential district is ready for sale, all its available plots will be put on the city’s auction house for VU tokens. Whoever wins the bid on a plot of land becomes the owner of the said plot, which will be recorded on the blockchain.

2. Entertainment district: VU plans to create high-quality VR arcade-style experiences that are free to play for everyone. Some of these entertainment centres will be created, run and owned by users, who will sell tickets to events (which are essentially smart contracts).

3. Commercial district: Virtual stores selling avatar customization, housing and transportation options will be run by VU and by the users themselves.

4. Financial district: Here will be located the auction house, where users¬†can place items up for bid, or bid on items from other players. The city planner’s office will also be here, where plots of land of new development phases get auctioned to the players. Another point of interest in this district is the¬†job board, where players can browse through the available positions in various virtual businesses throughout the city or look for someone to help with their business. Basically, this is where most of VU’s business will be conducted.

Outside the city will be a wild (and sometimes lawless!) frontier where it is anticipated that players will be able to gather resources which they can then sell:

Outside the city is our highly immersive LivingVR world. Created from the ground up to feel as immersive as possible. Teeming with virtual life, beautiful sceneries and waiting to be explored by you. Let’s say you are exploring further than you have before and suddenly you discover a cave behind a waterfall. Inside it, you find rich copper deposits. You know copper is a desired resource in the city since its an ingredient in many crafting recipes for a wide variety of building blocks. You mine the copper and haul it back to the city. Once there you list your copper on the auction house and collect the cryptocurrency once someone wins the bid on it.

And it is not just resource gathering that can be done in VU, there will be plenty of quests available for you and your friends to experience exciting adventures with plenty of loot to be had!

(This is the part of Virtual Universe which seems the most like a traditional MMO/MMORPG, in my opinion.)

Take a look at the entire proposal. It’s fascinating reading! And, if you haven’t yet, I would urge you to watch the video of my guided tour of Virtual Universe. Unlike Decentraland and some other blockchain-based social VR spaces/virtual worlds, VU is a place you can actually visit and interact with (currently only via appointment via Jeroen, but it is indeed a visitable¬†place!).

You can learn more about Virtual Universe and VU tokens by visiting their website and signing up for email updates, visiting their Github, following VU on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram, or being part of their discussion groups on Telegram and Discord.

Second Life Steals, Deals and Freebies: Special Edition Flora Tea Dress by Ghee and Accessories

Don’t you love it when everything comes together to create a great outfit? Everything Vanity Fair is wearing in these pictures is a gift from a current hunt or an event (please click on each image to see it in a larger size):

Dress: Flora Tea dress by Ghee (Peace by Peace Hunt special edition; dollarbie¬†from the Peace by Peace 2 Hunt; you are looking for a blue jigsaw puzzle piece; the hunt hint is¬†“A¬†rose by any other name¬†would smell as sweet”)

Shoes: Polka Dots Audrey heels by N-Core (free gift at the current round of the FaMESHed Event (on until May 27th); the shoes come with a texture-change HUD in three colours: white, black, and red)

Necklace: Tillie necklace by Vanilla Bae (free hunt gift from the current Alice in Wonderland Hunt¬†by Enchantment; you are looking for a small key with a¬†rabbit’s head; the gift comes with a HUD with 7 metal options and 21 ribbon colour options to match literally any outfit; the hunt hint is “Take a seat”)

Vanity Fair is also wearing:

  • the Kimberly Catwa Bento mesh head
  • the Maitreya Lara mesh body
  • Daria skin by The Skinnery
  • Dasha hair by Truth
  • my favourite forest green Darcey eyes by Suicidal Unborn
  • and Tuty’s¬†Southern Belle & Woman in Ballgown AO (an absolute must for a gown with this poofy a skirt!)

Sansar Scene of the Day: Dominox

Dominox is a recently created Sansar experience by Paulo, a Linden Lab employee. It’s kind of like a musical maze, where the multicoloured dominos which¬†make up the walls make sounds when you run into them. Charming and kind of fun, too!

Dominox 15 May 2018

Second Life Steals, Deals and Freebies: The Four Best Freebie Stores in SL

UPDATE: Because of interest in this blogpost, I have done an updated version: get SEVEN HUNDRED AND EIGHT-NINE items for only L$101! (Yes, it’s true!)

Here is a list of what I consider to be the best freebie stores in Second Life. In these four locations, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find high-quality free clothing, jewelry, footwear, skins and eyes, hairstyles, and even AOs for your avatar. Yes, you can be a truly fashionable avatar without breaking open your piggy bank!

The Free Dove

First up is the venerable freebie store The Free Dove, operated by Palomma¬†Casanova for over a decade now. Everything here is free. This is definitely a place you want to visit at least once, and probably on a regular basis, as Palomma¬†does solicit and receive new items from designers regularly, and she does weed and update the vendor panels fairly often. Most of the clothing available here is modern and mesh. Note that there is also a men’s freebie section, but there’s not a lot compared to the row after row after row of women’s fashion. You must join the Free Dove group in order to get the freebies here, but the group is free to join.

Free Dove Casual Outfits 15 May 2018_001.png

The Free Dove has what I consider to be the single best collection of free avatar hairstyles on the entire grid, located on a wall at the rear of the cavernous store:

Free Dove Hair Wall 15 May 2018_001.png

Ajuda SL Brasil

The other freebie store that you should visit at least once is the excellent freebie store at the Ajuda SL Brasil. Don’t let the fact that everything is in Portuguese throw you off; freebies are freebies in any language!¬†ūüėČ The freebie store is located just a short walk to your left as you arrive at the entry point for this sim. Like the Free Dove, the collection of freebies is updated frequently, so you might want to become a regular visitor to see what’s new. (Note that while everything here is free, not all of it is mesh; some of the clothing available here is the older system layers and flexiprim clothing for classic SL avatars.)

This is where you can pick up a FREE Valentina Altamura female mesh head and body avatar package, just click the large red sign and select “Deliver” from the pop-up menu which appears on-screen:

Ajuda 3 15 May 2018.png

This freebie store also has vendors for the dollarbie versions of the eBody Classic and the new eBody Curvy mesh avatar bodies for female avatars (the only non-free items in the entire Ajuda SL Brasil store):

Ajuda 4 15 May 2018.png

The men’s freebie section was recently moved from the first floor to the third floor:

Ajuda 2 15 May 2018.png

You can take the elevator in the far corner of the store to get there, or just click the large blue Altamura sign at the spawn point to teleport to the men’s freebie section directly:

Ajuda sign 15 May 2018.png

Free*Style Store

The Free*Style store by Cherelle Capra has quite a few nice freebies available, almost all for female avatars, but BE CAREFUL! She has mixed for-sale items (that you must pay for) among the freebie vendor panels. If you’re not paying attention, you could land up buying something that you had not intended to buy! It’s almost not worth the trouble clicking on all the vendor panels to find the freebies.

Among the freebies available at Free*Style are a basic capsule wardrobe of clothing and three sets of footwear by Baby Monkey, which you won’t find anywhere else. All four sets have a texture-change HUD that allows you to choose grey, blue, or green, and colour coordinate your outfit to your shoes or boots:

Free Style 15 May 2018.png

Sexy Shoppers Freebie Market

Finally we have a freebie store that I had never heard of before yesterday, when someone in the Second Life Friends group on Facebook gave me a tip. The Sexy Shoppers Freebie Market on the Grouse sim has a small but serviceable selection of freebies, mostly for female avatars. You have to join the Sexy Shoppers group for L$1 in order to get the freebies here.

Sexy Shoppers 15 May 2018.png

And there you have it! Four stops, tons of quality freebies! What more could you ask for?

Universal Translators in Virtual Worlds and Social VR Spaces

Image by Tumisu on Pixabay

šĹ†Ś•Ĺ! What language has the most irregular verbs?

I’ll answer that at the end of this blogpost, but first I wanted to talk a bit about languages and virtual worlds.

Virtual worlds such as Second Life attract people from all around the world, who might not speak the same language as each other. (The Second Life website itself is available in English, Japanese, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Turkish and Russian.) Automatic translator software (such as this popular item on the SL Marketplace, which works with Google Translate) is often used to bridge the language gap between users chatting in Second Life.

But text chat is not used as often as voice¬†chat in the newer social VR spaces such as Sansar and High Fidelity. Waverly Labs has already created an earpiece called the Pilot, which fits inside your ear to¬†translate¬†foreign languages in real-time, much like the babel fish in Douglas Adams’ science fiction novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In my opinion, it’s really only a matter of time until this sort of technology makes it into social VR platforms.

(A related challenge is to provide voice-to-text conversion so that, for instance, a deaf person can participate in social VR discussions. Thankfully, this is already commonly available using software such as the Dragon line of products. It just needs to be integrated with the various client software used to navigate the newer metaverse products.)

Seamless communication between people of all languages may be coming sooner than you think!¬†ŚÜćŤßĀ!

And¬†now the answer to the question I posted at the start of this blogpost: according to this discussion thread on the WordReference forums, the language with the highest number of irregular verbs is Latin‚ÄĒor perhaps Portuguese.