Why I Am Excited About Virtual Universe

Yeah, can you tell I am excited about the upcoming beta launch of Virtual Universe?

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(Image courtesy of the Distracted Boyfriend Meme Generator)

And yes, I am part of the Virtual Universe (VU) Initial Coin Offering Partner Program (I’m currently number two on their VU Token Leaderboard). The main reason I am participating in that program is because it’s the only legal way I can earn VU tokens before the social VR space launches later this summer. Here’s a 10-minute video which explains the partner program in a lot more detail:


I think that Linden Lab should consider such a program to pay people in Sansar dollars for promoting Sansar on their various social media.

But people have been asking me, why am I excited about VU as opposed to other blockchain-based virtual world platforms?

Well, if you haven’t seen my recent half-hour guided tour of VU, I suggest you set aside some time to watch the whole video. I have been blistering in my criticism of other blockchain-based virtual world projects which are more hype than substance (Decentraland is a classic example) because they don’t have anything that you can actually visit yet. But in Virtual Universe, they not only have a place you can visit (currently, only by appointment), but they also have a very easy in-world content creation tool that is actually fun to use! And I was impressed by the many little added touches such as AI-controlled animals like lizards, rabbits, and bluebirds, even individual insects!

Now, Virtual Universe still has a lot of work left to do. Any virtual world project is a mammoth undertaking, and they still have to polish the user avatars (the current ones are merely placeholders, from what I understand) and other features. But it’s a very promising, and very impressive, start.

So yes, I am eagerly awaiting the launch of the beta version of Virtual Universe, even though Sansar is still my first love (and the reason I created this blog in the first place).

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Worldopoly: Yet Another Blockchain-Based Virtual World

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(Image taken from the cover of the Worldopoly White Paper)
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(Screen capture of an artist’s representation of Worldopoly)

Worldopoly was mentioned today on the official Virtual Universe Discord server (here’s the original tweet), so I thought I’d check it out.

All the major buzzwords are present and accounted for…

  • Augmented reality? Check.
  • Artificial intelligence? Check.
  • Blockchain? Check.
  • DAG? DAG?!?? Why, Directed Acyclic Graph, of course! Check!

This hits all the buzzword buttons! I swear, the venture capitalists must have been lining up to fund this project!

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Here’s their promo video:

Worldopoly appears to be a geolocation-based game similar to Ingress or Pokémon Go. It’s based on real maps in real cities where you buy property, kind of like what Twinity used to have in the early days. In this “Meet the Team” video, the ideas behind Worldopoly are explained in more detail:

In this next video, Worldopoly is described by YouTuber and cryptocurrency promoter ActionChris as Pokémon Go, Clash of Clans, Fishbank, Cryptokitties, and SimCity all rolled into one:

Of course, there is an appeal to potential players’ greed, shilling virtual land as an investment and a money-making opportunity (just like Decentraland). One twist is that your enemies can fire-bomb the properties you own with a virtual Molotov cocktail! Of course, you can pay extra for “protection”. (rolls eyes)

I swear, the collision of so many buzzwords and so much hyperbole has the potential to create a black hole! According to this article, their initial coin offering (ICO) will end in July 2018, and Worldopoly will be available to download from the iTunes App Store and the Google Play store in November 2018.

Finally, here’s a demo of how you play the game on your mobile device (cellphone or tablet):

Frankly, the appeal of this game mystifies me. According to this last video, the developers are assuming that players are going to want to build virtual properties (and pay protection money!) in order to generate revenue from visitors…but why? Why bother? What’s the appeal? I just don’t get the concept. Maybe I’m missing something here, but to me, it just looks boring. Sorry, but I remain rather skeptical about this.

There’s already a Worldopoly app called the AirMiner that you can download for iPhone or Android, where you can collect Worldopoly tokens for later use in the game when it launches.

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When I loaded it onto my iPhone, it told me that two tokens were right nearby—in the local river! Sorry, but I’m not going swimming to retrieve them!

UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: The Afrodite Female Mesh Body by LUCYBODY

UPDATE Nov. 4th: It has been reported to me that the Afrodite mesh body is no longer available as a Midnight Madness gift at the LUCYSHOES/LUCYBODY mainstore, and I can confirm this. It costs L$1,000 now. Thank you, LittleMe Jewell!

For a current, up-to-date list of free or inexpensive options for mesh avatar heads and bodies for female Second Life avatars, please see this blogpost. For a current, up-to-date list of free and inexpensive options for male mesh avatar heads and bodies, please see this blogpost

Here’s another freebie tip that I picked up from Cat Pink, whose YouTube videos about freebies and hunts in Second Life are often quite informative. Did you know that you can pick up a beautiful, full Bento mesh body for female avatars, with 256 possible skin tones, a complete set of nail lengths and colours, and a complete set of detailed alpha cuts, for FREE? All you need is a group space and a little patience.

Teleport to the LUCYSHOES/LUCYBODY store, enter the store, and take the fourth aisle to the left, after the wall marked GIFTS:

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There’s a Midnight Madness board. Join the LUCYSHOES/LUCYBODY group for free (there’s a group join board right next to it), and then touch the Midnight Madness board to register yourself.

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Once the board gets 100 hits, everyone gets a free, fully-featured Afrodite body by LUCYBODY.  After 100 hits, the board resets to zero. I was very lucky and I hit the board when it was at 99, and I got my Afrodite body within a couple of hours!

I was expecting this to be a disaster, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was easy to use and looked good on my avatar! The Afrodite body has a few nice features that you won’t find on other freebie/dollarbie female mesh avatar bodies, like the free Altamura Valentina or the dollarbie eBody Classic/Curvy models available at Ajuda SL Brasil. With the addition of the LUCYBODY Afrodite, there are now three options for female mesh avatar bodies for those without the Linden dollars to spend on more expensive mesh bodies! More choice is always good.

Like the eBody models, it comes in a variety of skintones, but with a bonus feature: the HUD has 8 basic skintones, each of which you can adjust using 32 tint panels to give you a total of 256 available skin colours! The nails HUD has 7 options for nail length and 24 colours and patterns built right into the HUD. The Afrodite body has Bento fingers (like the Altamura Valentina, but unlike the eBody dollarbie versions) and the detail on the hands is actually quite lovely.

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One thing I like about the Afrodite LUCYBODY is that it has the most detailed alpha selections of any mesh avatar body I have ever seen! You can basically wear just about anything with this body and make it work with all these alpha cuts! In the picture below my avatar is wearing a dress designed for Maitreya Lara by Maci (a group gift; the group is free to join), and it fit with a minimum of fuss. I like that!

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Here’s another picture of the avatar in a sharper light. I am also wearing the Lulu Bento mesh head by Akeruka, and to hide the slight seam between head and body, I am wearing the Nina choker by RxK, a free gift from Ajuda SL Brasil. The feet are Slink-compatible, so any shoe created for Slink feet will work with this mesh body (you might just have to adjust the foot size for the best fit; they recommend 32.)

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Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Ricielli Hunt Prizes

Two or three times a year, Ricielli offers its shoppers a hunt for very easy-to-find objects in its store. Each hunt prize is either women’s clothing or footwear from the Ricielli collection. These are all uniformly well-designed, beautiful mesh items. You pay only L$15 for each hunt prize you find.

If you go to the Ricielli main store, you can still take part in their Easter hunt. But thanks to Cat Pink and her YouTube channel, I discovered a tucked-away place on the Ricielli sim where you can pick up all the previous hunt prizes, still for L$15 each!

Here’s the SLURL to the location for all the past hunt gifts. Each hunt prize collection has a sign which tells you what is in each package before you buy it:

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L$15 each is an absolute steal for such well-designed clothing and shoes! Here Vanity Fair is wearing the green Gigi blazer and undershirt combo with black leather leggings, which are both Halloween 2017 hunt prizes:

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Total cost for this outfit (not including shoes) is only L$30!