Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Dotty’s Secret Lost Makeup Hunt

Dotty’s Secret, SL’s premiere drag queen makeup store, recently sent out an announcement to their group and on their blog:

Hello everyone!

We hope you are all safe and healthy! In these difficult times, many of us are quarantined at home, bored and worried about what the future holds… It’s the perfect time for us to spread some love, and, hopefully, entertain you a little <3 This is why we are starting a mini-hunt in our Mainstore, with 6 fabulous gifts up for grab. 

And since the good things don’t have to stop there, our group is now free to join, and with the group tag, you can enjoy a 25% discount store-wide on top of joining the family!

You are looking for six different pieces of makeup hidden all around the store. If you need help, there is a handy hunt hints panel located at the top of the stairs:

Miss Drag (my drag queen avatar, complete styling credits here) will now model three of the hunt prizes. This is the Sass makeup set, which includes the eyelashes you see here:

Next up we have two hunt prizes: the Drag 101 eyeshadow and eyebrows set, combined with the Decadence lipstick, which comes in four different shades. Both would work well for non-drag use, too!

And, best of all, you can join the Dotty’s Secret group for free, and pick up eight fabulous gifts from their group gift wall!

This is just one of the free group gifts, the Miss Pride makeup set:

This is a fun hunt! I was howling with laughter at some of the chat messages I got when I clicked on some items scattered all over that were not the hunt prizes!

Here’s the SLURL to the Dotty’s Secret store. Happy hunting! The hunt runs until May 6th, 2020.

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Facebook Horizon Launches its Closed Alpha

Facebook is really moving forward on the Facebook Horizon social VR platform project, despite (or perhaps because of) the coronavirus pandemic. Yesterday, they launched their platform, still in closed, invitation-only alpha. More details are here.

Somebody posted the following image to the r/OculusQuest community on Reddit, and it has sparked quite the discussion:

(If you can’t figure out what this is, it is the program information page for the Facebook Horizon app, as seen within the Oculus Quest VR headset.)

Apparently, Facebook has been very choosy about who got a highly-prized invitation to the closed alpha. Even if you did receive the two emails that Facebook sent out, and signed the NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement), that was no guarantee that you would be accepted:

It’s still a lottery even after you sign a NDA. I noticed in one of the Facebook Horizon groups on Facebook. A guy mentioned after he returned his NDA Facebook rejected him. So it’s the luck of the draw.

One person wrote:

Ha, there were so many people the other day saying the development stopped or failed since it was removed from the Coming Soon section. Crazy folks. Facebook is not going to stop development and it’s going to kill when it does release, I can guarantee it.

To which I replied:

Well, there’s absolutely no guarantee that people will actually *use* it. Other social VR platforms have struggled mightily to attract users (e.g. High Fidelity, Sansar).

One problem is that, on Facebook Horizon, you won’t be able to be anybody but yourself, as I wrote about here.

Lots of people use social VR platforms and the older virtual worlds to be SOMEBODY ELSE, not have it tied to their real-life identities.

Interesting times…stay tuned for further news and developments!

Pandemic Diary: April 8th, 2020

Well, today is starting off slightly better than yesterday. There’s that. And I still have four big cans of coffee in my pandemic stockpile. There’s that. And I got out of bed this morning. There’s that. And I am sitting in front of this computer and blogging. There’s that. (As you can see, I am expressing gratitude for the little things. This is one of the many tips experts give to help improve your overall mental health during this pandemic.)

I read a news article yesterday that the citizens of Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus outbreak first started, have finally been freed from their lockdown after ten weeks, and can pretty much carry on with their lives. Has it been only ten weeks? It feels like TEN YEARS have passed since our world has been turned upside down.

As I have written before (and even quoted in New Yorker magazine, no less!) : “To be honest, I kinda suck at this whole reality business.” I have always sought comfort and refuge in virtual worlds when reality bites, which is, of course, one of the reasons I started this blog. But it seems to me that, to add insult to injury, reality is punching back, hard, lately. Reality is not playing “fair” (as if there were any fair-play rules to this).

In case you haven’t noticed, in addition to “news and views on social VR, virtual worlds, and the metaverse” (as the tagline of my blog states), I have started to use this blog as a diary of my daily experiences during this pandemic. I will admit it: I am feeling completely overwhelmed and powerless. Many of you no doubt feel the same.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Another thing that I have noticed is that I can get a jumpstart on my day if I start with a blogpost first thing in the morning. It gets my creative juices flowing, I feel a small sense of accomplishment (hey, at least I completed something!), and I find that small boost helps me face the day, as I work from home for my university library system.

I am signed in to my work email all day, and I am also signed in to the virtual reference chat software my library uses to answer any reference questions that pop up from our faculty, staff, and students (who are also working from home). Lately, I feel like one of those bored teenagers hanging out in front of the 7-11 in those pre-pandemic days, hanging out in chat, waiting for reference questions to come in. There was an initial flurry of questions and problems from patron as the physical libraries shut down, but now it is relatively quiet. Perhaps it will pick up in May, when the summer session starts. I hope so.

I have decided to completely avoid the news today (which will be a tall order). I am going to finish my blogpost, refill my coffee mug, and try my damnedest to focus on my work day.

I hope that all of you out there, reading this, are doing well, or at least, are doing okay. This is going to be a mental health marathon, not a sprint.