In an official release sent out yesterday, Microsoft revealed a slew of new features and improvements heading to the social platform that will allow users to more easily create, share, and host their own live events, whether it be a small get-together with a handful of friends or an arena-scale festival open to users around the globe. This latest update introduces a new user interface offering a variety of pre-built event templates for ad-hoc AMAs [Ask Me Anything events], political discussions, community meetups, and nine other additional formats.
As part of its new focus on user-made events, AltspaceVR will be hosting a Daily Spotlight Event every evening at 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time/10:00 p.m. Eastern Time, showcasing a rotating lineup of community events for users to discover.
As I have said before, AltspaceVR is just absolutely killing it with respect to its programming. It’s probably the one social VR platform that hosts the most live events and meetings, and obviously the company has decided to focus on its strengths in that area. (It certainly doesn’t hurt that AltspaceVR clients are available for the HTC Vive, GearVR, Oculus VR hardware, Windows Mixed Reality headsets, and flatscreen desktop mode on a PC. More options mean more people can participate.)
Another December event which offers lots of gifts for freebie fashionistas is the current round of the biweekly Cosmopolitan shopping event, which runs from the 16th to the 28th of December. It’s only two weeks long, shorter than other events, so be sure not to miss it!
Just inside the entrance to the event is a huge Christmas tree, with stockings you click on to receive the presents. (You do have to join the Cosmopolitan group for free to pick up these gifts.)
Participating vendors are adding stockings to the tree every day between now and Christmas, so I would advise dropping by on Christmas Day and picking up everything at once.
If you insist on visiting every day, the layout of the stockings around the tree can be somewhat confusing compared to traditional Advent calendars, and you might land up collecting the same gifts multiple times. You might want to use this tip provided by SL blogger Chic Aeon: once you have clicked on a stocking and received its gift, right click on it, Select More from the pie menu, select More again, then select Derender, then Blacklist. You will no longer be able to see that stocking on return visits! (These are the instructions for the Firestorm viewer; I do not know what the equivalent is for the standard Second Life viewer.) This is a genius tip! Thanks, Chic!
Cat Pink SL has already posted a YouTube video with a look at a few of the early gifts from the Cosmopolitan Christmas tree, so I am not going to bother posting pictures of the presents here:
Today Vanity Fair is wearing two Advent calendar gifts for Dec. 17th:
The lovely Nola dress which comes with a separate black bolero jacket, from Virtue. The calendar requires you to join the Virtue group, which is free to join.
The Osaka shoes in riverside blue from Essenz. The shoes comes with a HUD to change the colour of the sole (4 colours), the metals (4 textures), and the flowers (26 colour options!). The calendar requires that you join the Essenz group for L$350, but I believe there is an option for non-group members to purchase each day’s gift for L$50.
We will make Name Changes available to Premium account holders in early 2020. It will be possible to change First Name, Last Name, or both. There will be a one-time fee per Name Change. Just like in the olden times, First Name will be free-form, Last Name will be from a list – and here is where this contest comes in: we want your help coming up with the first batch of Last Names!
Three submissions per entry. No reusing of old names. From all of the suggestions, we’ll pick five (5), and those five lucky Residents will be able to change their names completely free of charge (or designate another account for the name change)! You will not need to be Premium to participate or to win. The contest will run December 16th through January 15th, and participation details will be announced shortly.
Oh, and somewhat tucked away in that official contest information and policies document is a clue as to how much Linden Lab is going to charge for name changes:
A.Description of Prizes. One free Last Names change (estimated value at US$39.99 plus $11.99 to represent the value of a month of Premium Membership) on an account of Winner’s choice.
B. Estimated Total Prize package value: US$51.98. Exact value dependent on account status.
So, expect to pay US$40 to change the name of your Second Life avatar. Or, if you are going to upgrade to Premium for just one month in order to take advantage of the upcoming name change feature, expect to pay US$52 in total.
The cost is more than I expected it to be; however, there is such a pent-up demand in the system for avatar name changes, that I still expect that people are going to shell out for the privilege of a brand new name. I suspect this will be a significant enough perk to tempt people to part with their cash, and Linden Lab will certainly make money from it!