UPDATED! Burning Man Events in Sansar

Although it is not one of the ten official platforms and services hosting events in the Burning Man Multiverse, the social VR platform Sansar is also throwing a party to celebrate Burning Man.

Bagnaria and Medhue (who collectively are known as FullSpectrum) have been building a Burning Man world, and they invite you to come party with them. A virtual man burn ceremony will take place tonight (Saturday, Sept. 5th) between 10:30 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. Central Daylight-Savings Time (CDT), and again tomorrow (Sunday, Sept. 6th), between 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. CDT, at a time more convenient for Europeans. Just click on the links above to see the Sansar Events listings, which should automatically give you the correct times in your local time zone.

Unfortunately, I will be missing the festivities, as I need to catch up on my sleep. Have fun!

UPDATE Sept. 6th, 2020: Medhue posted the following video of last night’s event (the man starts burning at the 8 minute 30 second mark):

UPDATED! Second Life: A Few Blasts from the Past (and Vanity Fair Takes a Trip Down Memory Lane)

This week, I have been working on cleaning up and boxing up Vanity Fair’s overstuffed inventory. I am happy to report that by this evening, I have already taken it from 268,957 elements down to 244,034 elements (roughly the size it was a year ago), by doing the following:

  • Ruthlessly pruning my landmarks down from hundreds and hundreds to less than ten;
  • Searching for certain keywords (see list below) and deleting such things as demo versions of outfits, notecards, and unpacking scripts;
  • Deleting tons of old system-layer-and-flexiprim outfits; and
  • Boxing up items that I am unlikely to wear again, but cannot bear to part with.

For a couple of years, Vanity was a mannequin/model for Lemania Indigo Designs, work for which she got paid in free outfits. I have fond memories of certain outfits I wore, so I boxed everything up in a Bright inventory box (L$600 on the SL Marketplace) instead of deleting it, replacing well over 600 items with one item.

A friend gave me the following list of keywords to search in your inventory, in an effort to pinpoint those items which could easily be deleted, which I will share with you now:

Words to delete unwanted items from your inventory
HOLD (but be careful that this isn’t for a purse or a pet!)

Hopefully, you will find this list as useful as I did. Remember to never do a mass delete until you have made sure of what you are getting rid of, though! Every so often, stop and check through the Trash folder in your inventory that you really want to get rid of the items in it, then right click on the Trash folder and select Empty Trash to purge it forever. I was surprised at how satisfying it was to get rid of old outfits!

(Please note that these items Vanity is modeling below are no longer available for sale, even if the store is still around after all these years. Most SL content creators have moved on from designing for classic, system avatars, choosing to create for the more modern, mesh avatar bodies.)

My inventory cleaning also turned into a rather unexpected trip down memory lane, as I tried on a few outfits I haven’t worn in over a decade! For example, except for the mesh hands (Slink), mesh head (Catwa Kimberly), and mesh hair (Dasha by Truth Hair), everything else you see in this outfit is at least 12 or 13 years old!

This beautiful dress with the flexiprim skirt is by AlaFolie, a store that is still up and running on the grid! It’s so well textured that it still quite wearable. The gold bangles were a gift from BLANG!!, a jewelry store which is long gone, and while they are prim-based, they don’t add too much to my overall avatar rendering complexity, so I kept them.

And the shoes are the Chloe sculpted flats for system feet by Lassitude & Ennui, a store which still exists today. By the way, if you are still rocking classic, system avatar feet, the very best place to get shoes in Second Life is Lindy’s Modern and Retro Shoes; they still have a marvelous selection of shoes for classic feet at a time when most shoe stores have moved completely to footwear designed to fit the various brands of mesh feet (in the case of women, Maitreya, Belleza, Slink and Legacy).

Now here’s a business outfit by Blaze (anybody remember them?), in which everything you see, except the hands, head, hair, and briefcase, is well over a decade old:

Note the expert texturing on the jacket, which makes outfit this a keeper, despite its age!

The outfit is the Women’s Power Suit by Blaze (which shut down years and years ago), and the Aree black pumps are an early purchase from Baby Monkey (a store which is still around). The shoes needed a shoe alpha to replace the outdated invisiprim (you can pick up a set for free here), but they are still quite servicable for classic, system feet!

This wonderfully detailed briefcase comes in three colours, and with a Bento hold pose as shown; it is a free group gift from SpotCat (it costs L$100 to join their group). And the perfect finishing touch are these pearl earrings and necklace by Dark Mouse, a store which has long since left the grid. In fact, you’d be surprised how much older jewelry is still wearable and usable with newer, mesh outfits (provided it’s not going to increase your avatar rendering complexity to over 100,000, that is).

So thanks for bearing with me on my trip down memory lane! I will continue to dig through my oldest inventory items, deleting, cleaning up, and boxing up items over the next few months as I find time.

In these pictures, Vanity Fair is wearing:

  • the Kimberly Catwa Bento mesh head
  • Slink female Bento mesh hands
  • a classic, system body (no mesh body today!)
  • Daria skin and skin appliers by The Skinnery
  • Dasha hair by Truth Hair
  • and my favourite forest green Darcey eyes by Suicidal Unborn

UPDATE Nov. 1st, 2020: Here’s another wonderful blast from the past that’s a keeper: this gothic Carmen-Miranada-esque Hallowe’en outfit from Comme Il Faut, complete with skull maracas! It still holds up perfectly after more than a decade!

Review: BRCvr in AltspaceVR Is an Impressive Feat

Yesterday evening, my friend Andrew (the former producer of my show, the Metaverse Newscast, which is currently on indefinite hiatus) invited me to join him as we explored the many different virtual worlds forming a part of the BRCvr experience, a virtual recreation of the Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. BRCvr is one of ten official Burning Man virtual spaces in their Multiverse, replacing the real-world event which was candelled due to the pandemic.

Unlike some of the Burning Man Multiverse platforms which have struggled to launch on time and cost money to attend (up to US$150!), BRCvr opened on schedule and is free! Andrew and I were very impressed by what we saw last night, so this morning I decided to pay a return visit.

On my first visit last night to the sprawling virtual Black Rock City, it was daytime. You really do get a sense of the size of BRC! I was informed that this is a 1:1 recreation of Black Rock City (which I assume means that everything is sized accurately according to your avatar size).

But when I returned today, it was near sunset, with the artwork casting long shadows across the flat desert:

The landscape is dotted with teleporters, both to take you from one place to another within Black Rock City, and also to take you to other virtual worlds (there are apparently up to 120 of them linked to their main hub world).

Much of the art on display has a separate portal to allow you to see the artwork in higher detail than it appears in the main world, such as this statue (you can easily get back to Black Rock City from the menu of places in AltspaceVR)

Take the portal into the Burning Man itself, in the centre of Black Rock City, and you can then take teleporters to visit the Burning Man statues of previous years! (Try doing that in real life!)

The tireless Kent Bye just published a Voices of VR podcast interview with Greg Edwards, the lead developer of BRCvr, which you can listen to here.

Kent Bye’s map of BRCvr (source)

Daniel Terdiman, in an article he wrote for Fast Company, reported on his experience in BRCvr:

BRCvr’s main entry point is a spot out in the open, just a few dozen virtual meters away from what any Burning Man veteran instantly recognizes as the Center Camp Café, the beating-heart hub of Black Rock City. A good start: Things looked right. They sounded right, too. I heard the sound of a blast from a fire cannon. I heard laughter. And I heard people nearby having random conversations.

I turned to my left, and there, just a few meters away, was the Duck, a converted golf cart some friends of mine converted to look like a big rubber duck. I have spent an uncountable number of hours riding around on it over the years. It was pure serendipity that it was just about the first thing I saw—but as any Burner knows, that’s the type of serendipity that happens all the time in BRC. This was a very good sign. And it was just the beginning.

He was impressed by the experience, and I was too. Andrew tells me that they are planning to keep BRCvr up for the rest of this year, but I would encourage you to visit before the official closing! Set aside an hour or two; you’ll need it to explore all the linked worlds!

This Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m. Pacific time, there will be a live performance by Diplo in the PlayAlchemist Pyramid. You can RSVP here.

P.S. I forgot to mention that AltspaceVR has relaunched a MacOS client this week, just in time for Mac desktop users who want to attend the festival. More information is available in this tweet by the BRCvr organizers.

With a shout out and a thank you to Andrew William.