UPDATED! Fashion Models in Second Life: A Fad That Has Come and Gone?

Images taken from the Beauty of Rehana blog…quick, somebody get this model a sandwich, she must be starving! She looks hangry 😉

At one time, there were literally hundreds of avatar fashion models in Second Life, who would be hired to perform in virtual fashion shows for designers, and even work as mannequins in stores. In fact, Vanity Fair worked for a couple of years as a mannequin/model for the avatar fashion designers Lemania Indigo and Lestat Reuven, back in ye olde pre-mesh clothing days. She got free outfits in exchange for standing in the store for a shift, showing off the latest fashions and occasionally answering a question from a shopper.

Nowadays, it would appear that there are more modeling schools and agencies in Second Life than actual modeling jobs! There’s even a blog to keep track of them all. Most modeling schools will charge you a pretty penny to teach you everything there is to know about modeling in SL, but I have found that if you just spend enough time in Second Life, you can learn most of what you need to know for free. Who needs a school, especially when there are so few jobs for the people who graduate? There are pageants you can enter, but these all seem to be run by the modeling schools, which seems to me to be a sort of vicious circle.

Is the era of SL modeling over? I would argue that it is. Most vendors are creating alts to use as mannequins and to illustrate their products in stores, rather than going through the fuss and bother to find and hire (and pay) fashion models. Bloggers tend to use their main or alt avatars to illustrate their blogs (like Rehana, above). And I can’t remember the last time I heard about a fashion show in Second Life, or a store that was actually hiring models. Most of the buzz now is about monthly events like Uber and FaMESHed. (By the way, the current anniversary round of Uber runs until August 22nd, so be sure to get down there and grab all the free gifts!)

What do you think? Is Second Life modeling dead? Feel free to sound off in the comments, or better yet, join the RyanSchultz.com Discord and take part in the discussions and debates taking place there!

UPDATE Aug. 7, 2019: Amanda Magick of the Second Life blog Magick Thoughts SL has also written about this topic. So has Monica Querrien, a Second Life model and blogger, on her blog Moni’s World. They both add a lot to the discussion, so I would encourage you to go over and read their blogposts.

Thanks for the tip, Amanda Magick!

Meet the Man Who Has Lost 200 Pounds Playing Beat Saber in VR

The popular VR game Beat Saber (available on the Oculus Store for the Rift and Quest and through Steam for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets) has been credited by one man, Robert Long, with helping him lose 200 pounds.

One year ago, VR Focus reported on Rob’s story. At that point, he had lost 138 pounds:

After an unfortunate series of car accidents that resulted in permanent injury to both his back and neck, Robert Long wasn’t sure how he’d recover. Stress hormones at the hands of depression caused Robert to gain weight, preventing doctors from making key procedures to his damaged back.

As a result, Robert began researching realistic exercise options for someone in his unique position, eventually leading him to purchase an HTC Vive, as well as a copy of the massively popular VR rhythm game, Beat Saber.

“It worked for me because it drew in my inner child so I was able to give my all and have fun doing it,” spoke Robert in a Reddit post directed at the Beat Saber community. “If you give this workout and game your all, you will see some amazing results. Who knows you all may even fine-tune this workout better than I even have now.”

And the VR Fitness Insider website interviewed Rob at that time:

VRFI: What would you say to someone who is searching for a workout and wants to use VR for weight loss?

Rob: That the most important part of this is if you want to use Beat Saber as a workout, you have got to love what you are doing. If you label it in your mind as a routine chore you have to do. Then you will be less likely to use it. That’s why you have got to remind yourself that this is not a workout. It’s having fun! And the fun you have will reward you with better health. Because if you are not into working out and lack the motivation, then you will not see the numbers lost that you want. So I recommend in letting out your inner child to play. Clear your mind of all the adult things like stress and try to not bring them into the game. That way when you play, it’s so much fun that you can hardly stop playing. The max I have gone at once is a little over an hour at once. So if you can manage it, enjoy it. The weight will come off. But if you really want to see good numbers you got to give it 100%. None of that slow-moving and standing still. You need to keep that body active.

In his most recent update, in a response to a Reddit post of the cartoon at the top of this blogpost, made one month ago, he says:

I can confirm this is true. I lost 200 pounds so far playing. I got 70 more to go. Had to take a break due to a blown out right shoulder. Then I got better and my grandmother is now about to pass. So it’s always something I swear… So I hope to get rid of that last 70 pounds soon!.

As someone who also needs to lose a significant amount of weight, I find Rob Long’s story inspiring. Hopefully, you will too!

UPDATED: Find Three Keys and You Could Win an Oculus Quest in The Expanse/SideQuest’s Contest!

Image from the movie Ready Player One

The company behind the social VR platform The Expanse and the phenomenally popular SideQuest have announced a contest on their Discord:

Are you interested in the Oculus Quest Giveaway? The rules are simple – there are three keys. The only clue you get is that the first key is on this Discord server somewhere. The other two keys (easier to find) are in The Expanse. Luckily for you there are only two spaces in the expanse right now so it should be easy enough. When you get all the keys combine them into a message on here to find out if you have won. Remember only the first person to get it wins even if this message is repeated. Thanks and happy hunting!

Here’s a link to The Expanse/SideQuest Discord server. Have fun!

UPDATE 5:11 p.m.: The hunt for the keys has now ended. I’ve been informed that a user named ThrillClinton was the winner of the Oculus Quest.

Anarchy Arcade: A Brief Introduction

Anarchy Arcade is something a little different. It’s not really a social VR platform or virtual world. It’s a way for you to organize all your games, links, and media in a three-dimensional space for you and your friends to visit, explore, and use. Anarchy Arcade describes itself as:

Anarchy Arcade is a 3D replacement for your boring desktop wallpaper image. It is a game/utility that mixes your real-life media with the virtual world to create a personalized 3D representation of your media collection and gaming career.
It is a 3D virtual world that grows with your media collection and can be used to actually launch and play the games and movies you love. It’s so customizable [so] that you could even use it as your personal 3D desktop. You could then invite your friends over to check out your media collection and Anarchy Arcade makes it easy for them to get your favorite media items from the sites that they like to use.

If you’re interested and you want to try Anarchy Arcade out for yourself, you can download it from Steam for free. You can also follow them on Twitter or Twitch, or join their Discord server.