Metaverse Newscast Episode 4: My Interview with Second Life and Sansar Avatar Clothing Designer Solas NaGealai

I’m happy to announce that episode 4 of the Metaverse Newscast is now up on YouTube! It’s an interview with the talented Second Life and Sansar avatar costume designer, Solas NaGealai:

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Get the Altamura Clodet Three-Ages Female Avatar Package for Only L$360!

I have an old woman avatar that I like to pull out every so often and use while visiting popular places in Second Life such as Frank’s Jazz Club, the Lesbian Teahouse, Fog Bound Blues, Muddy’s Music Café, and other spots where people like to congregate. I do this deliberately in order to demonstrate that, in a place like Second Life, where everybody seems to be young and beautiful, old age can (and should) be represented as well.

I was anticipating that Altamura was, once again, going to have a special deal for group members at the 2019 Skin Fair (here’s the exact SLURL), and I was not disappointed. You can pick up the Altamura Clodet full-body female mesh avatar package for only L$360! (You do have to join the Altamura Design/Mesh Avatars group for L$50 to get this deal.)

Here’s what the vendor panel looks like in the Altamura store at the Skin Fair:

And the best part is, you don’t just get one avatar. You get three! There’s a young woman avatar, a middle-aged woman avatar, and an older woman avatar. Three different ages in one package! That works out to only L$120 per full-body mesh avatar!

You use the same HUD for all the avatars. There is one mesh avatar for young Clodet, and a second one for middle-aged/old Clodet. Note that while the young Clodet comes in 8 skintones, the middle-aged and old woman versions only have 4 skintones each, which you select as shown on this diagram:

The young woman avatar looks like this, straight out of the box (I just turned off the head and ear tattoos):

This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head and Body: Altamura Clodet (from the Altamura booth at the Skin Fair 2019)

System Eyes: Dream eyes by YS&YS (old gift; no longer available)

Hair with Scarf: Chella hair by Analog Dog

Blouse: Cream embroidered peasant blouse by Petite Mort (from the freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil)

Jeans: Skinny jeans by Mara’s Mysteries (old hunt gift; no longer available)

Shoes: Jumpov sneakers by Versov (free group gift; group is free to join)

This is what the middle-aged woman avatar looks like:

This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head and Body: Altamura Clodet (from the Altamura booth at the Skin Fair 2019)

System Eyes: Dream eyes by YS&YS (old gift; no longer available)

Hair: Aria hair by D!va (free group gift; group is free to join)

Dress: FDH 3 dress by Virtue (free group gift; group is free to join)

Shoes: Amy ballerina flats by KC Couture

Here is what the old woman version of Clodet looks like, right out of the box (all I had to do was select a skintone, tint the eyebrows to match the hair, and adjust the mouth a bit to make her smile):

This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head and Body: Altamura Clodet (from the Altamura booth at the Skin Fair 2019)

Mesh Eyes: Realistic eyes by Dossier (from the freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil)

Hair and Outfit (Except Shoes): from the *LBD* Older Lady Complete 60 Year Old Avatar on the SL Marketplace

Jewelry: Daphne choker, earrings and bracelet from Beloved Jewelry (old hunt gifts; no longer available)

Shoes: Deborah flats by Baby Monkey (located in the Sales section)

The Skin Fair runs from March 8th through to March 24th, so you have plenty of time to get down there and take advantage of this special offer (right now, the sims are jam-packed with shoppers, so you might want to wait a week or two before you try to get in).

UPDATED! Tech Tock with Jesse Damiani: A New Weekly Talk Show in AltspaceVR

This week saw the launch of a new weekly talk show, set on the social VR platform of AltspaceVR, which I must confess I haven’t written much about lately on this blog.

Jesse Damiani is an emerging technology journalist for such publications as Forbes, and an editor-at-large for the VRScout website. Last Monday was the first episode of his brand new talk show, called Tech Tock. Jesse describes the show thusly:

Tech Tock is a weekly talk show about the future. Through intimate conversations with entrepreneurs, developers, and artists, we’ll peer into the world technology is creating—and have some fun with the people creating it.

As his first guest, Jesse invited the author Blake J. Harris to discuss his latest book, titled The History of The Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality (which I am currently reading, and I can recommend highly).

I arrived in AltspaceVR with about half an hour to kill before the show, so I attended an AltspaceVR 101 session hosted by the company to orient newcomers. At the end of the training session, the hosts opened up the floor to questions, and I asked my one burning question: was AltspaceVR ever planning to upgrade their extremely low-poly, cartoon-like avatars?

Unfortunately, the answer was “no”, but the person who answered the question old me that AltspaceVR was looking at the possibility of allowing custom-made avatars sometime in the future, as many other platforms have done (VRChat, High Fidelity, and Sansar).

Although I am not a fan of their cartoony avatars, one area where AltspaceVR really shines is in their event programming. AltspaceVR is probably the social VR platform with the most events scheduled every week, as even a brief glance at their upcoming events listings can attest:

There’s something for everyone in their events listing, which of course is one of the reasons for their success as a platform. Another strong point is the fact that they pretty much support any VR hardware you have, from cellphone-based VR to high-end systems like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive—even the Leap Motion headset!

Next Monday, Jesse will have as a guest Nancy Baker Cahill, a multi-disciplinary artist and founder of 4th Wall, a free Augmented Reality (AR) app which invites viewers to place art in 360 degrees anywhere in the world. Her recent work in Desert X has been profiled in the LA Times and The Wall Street Journal.

UPDATE March 9th: Lorelle says in a comment to this post:

The AltspaceVR 101 is not produced by staff but by volunteers, as should have been explained during the event. So it is likely the person answering your question didn’t know the answer. The answer is complex. AltspaceVR works hard to stay an agnostic platform, enabling both mobile and tethered access, which few social VR platforms offer, thus less cartoony avatars are coming as devices improve. As are improvements in world building and environments. Stay tuned, and consider volunteering yourself to help with the 101 events.

I stand corrected; thank you, Lorelle!