Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Finding Free Jewelry in Second Life

Free, good-quality jewelry is surprisingly hard to come by in Second Life, at least compared to the relative ease of finding free outfits, shoes, and hair. People seem to expect to have to pay a lot of Linden dollars for jewelry, and that’s simply not true! Let me show you some examples of beautiful earrings, necklaces, and bracelets that you can pick up for nothing!

First, two of Second Life’s best freebie stores do carry jewelry. Here are some examples of necklaces and earrings I picked in the jewelry section at The Free Dove (please click each picture to see it in a larger size, and to get a brief description of each item Vanity Fair is wearing):

There is also some nice jewelry to be found at the excellent freebie store on the Ajuda SL Brasil sim. Note in particular the Nina choker by RxK (larger image below), which is simply perfect if you need to cover a skin tone mismatch between your mesh head and mesh body (for example, a Genesis Lab mesh head with a dollarbie version of the eBody Classic mesh body). The Nina choker comes in four different colours, each in either silver or gold.

Finally, there are a few other spots to pick up some free jewelry, if you know where to look. One such place is the OXIDE store, where at the entrance you can pick up no less than 12 free sets of earrings and bracelets! Seven are free gifts if you join their group subscription board (for free), and another 5 are vendor panels where you pay only L$1 and immediately get it refunded to you! Here are three of the sets of lovely colour-changeable earrings from OXIDE (please click on each picture to see it in a larger size):

And, if you teleport to the Regency Ballroom, they offer a beautiful silver and ruby jewelry set by J&W Jewelers for free! (I don’t know what happened to J&W Jewelers, they had a huge store and they just suddenly disappeared off the grid!) There’s also a lovely free red and silver ballgown to match, and even a free tuxedo for the male avatars! (I have noticed that many ballrooms in SL often have free formal outfits for men and women at their entrances. These ones are particularly nice freebies which you should pick up.)

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And there you have it—some of the best free jewelry in Second Life!

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An Hour with Jaron Lanier in Sinespace

I got to the Delphi Talks event early, so I could grab a good seat near the front. I opted to stay in desktop mode rather use my VR headset, and use Sinespace’s built-in snapshot tool to take pictures, like the one below:

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Check out Sinespace employee Sun Tzu’s centaur warrior avatar (above image, right). The detail on his outfit is AMAZING. Sinespace has really improved their avatar appearance in the last few updates to the client software!

Jaron showed up a little late, due to real life traffic. His avatar is the octopus with the dreadlocks in the pictures below:

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Jaron Lanier in Sinespace 25 May 2018

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Among many other topics, Jaron talked about the artwork from the medieval era as a sort of precursor to today’s virtual reality. He was also rather disturbed by Facebook’s purchase of Oculus. He still hasn’t seen the movie Ready Player One, and he talked about bringing VR to Hollywood and giving demos back in the 1980s, when it was super expensive to recreate what we now have as relatively commonplace, consumer-level VR.

Here is a link to the livestream of the event.

Jaron Lanier Speaks at the Delphi Talks in Sinespace Today

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This is just a reminder that virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier will be speaking at the Delphi Talks in Sinespace this afternoon, Friday, May 25th, at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time. You do need to RSVP to attend this session, at the link provided above. This is a rescheduling of the original event, which had to be cancelled due to technical problems. They had a really good turnout on that first attempt to hold the event, so I would urge people to get there early to get a good seat!

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Jaron Lanier will be interviewed by Wagner James Au of the long-running blog New World Notes. Jaron will discuss his book, which charts three decades of VR, and tells the story of the enormity of what we are witnessing as the medium impacts our lives. The talk will also touch on Jaron’s work as an interdisciplinary scientist at Microsoft, and his thoughts on the latest generation of VR technology and social platforms.

UPDATED: CamasutraVR—A Perfect Example of the Uncanny Valley

Someone in one of the many virtual reality groups I follow on Facebook sent me this link and, being the intrepid investigative virtual worlds reporter that I am, I decided to check out their website.

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So, we have 3D avatars of porn stars for you to ogle. How bad could it be?

Pretty terrible, actually. Ever heard of the Uncanny Valley?

In aesthetics, the uncanny valley is a hypothesized relationship between the degree of an object’s resemblance to a human being and the emotional response to such an object. The concept of the uncanny valley suggests humanoid objects which appear almost, but not exactly, like real human beings elicit uncanny, or strangely familiar, feelings of eeriness and revulsion in observers.

Well, let me tell you, the example they offer is classic Uncanny Valley material. I was totally creeped out, and it’s not just because I’m gay and I was looking at a naked female avatar pleasuring herself. The face just looked…wrong, off. Eerie. Creepy as hell.

So, no thanks. I know that there’s a market out there for VR porn (at least, that’s what the news articles I read keep telling me). But this is most definitely an application not ready for prime time, in my opinion.

But if you want to check it out yourself, here’s their website (WARNING: ADULT CONTENT, AND NOT SAFE FOR WORK)

UPDATE June 3rd: Susannah Breslin has written an article for The Atlantic about the current state of the porn industry in the San Fernando Valley, which also mentions CamasturaVR and the Uncanny Valley:

Whether or not people get turned on by VR pornography, the technology is changing the places where adult content has traditionally been created. Porn Valley is being displaced by porn’s uncanny valley—an X-rated version of the theory holding that a robotic or simulated entity that appears to be human, but not quite fully human, revolts us. Losing a connection to the material world—the skin and sweat of reality—may also lose what makes porn alluring.

She concludes the article by stating:

Everyone wants to feel something,” Adam Sutra told me of his experiments in virtual pornography. He’s right about that. Porn isn’t about sex at all, I’ve learned. It’s about wanting to feel something. And until technology figures out how to make me feel the way that I do when I’m on a porn set, I’ll leave virtual-reality sex to the start-up boys.