Halloween Events in Second Life

Happy Halloween! Photo by Call Me Fred on Unsplash

In a virtual world where you can be anybody (or anything) you want, Halloween is a bigger holiday than Christmas in Second Life! Today I will be giving a quick rundown of many of the events taking place across the grid.

First, if you haven’t done so yet, be sure to visit the Halloween Shop and Hop event before Nov. 1st, 2021 to pick up some fabulous free gifts, including free store credit for a variety of stores! Here’s my blogpost showing just a few of the gifts available.

There’s also numerous Halloween-and-fall-themed hunts! You can get further information on seasonal hunts posted on the HuntSL and SL Hunts websites (two places with all the latest up-to-date information on hunts in Second Life).

SL’s Top Haunted Places Tour and Hunt is something I try to go and do every year! Starting at Shady Manor, click on the large sign to receive a folder containing five notecards with SLURLs to no less than 83 different scary and spooky places to explore! Many have at least one free gift for you to find, several spots have several, and some of them are quite nice!

For example, among the free gifts from the Crazy Cajun Hallowe’en Hangout is a mini-cauldron Mystery Brew drink, complete with a Bento drinking animation!

Second Life has posted a blogpost listing a number of official Halloween events you might be interested in. Among them are:

Many SL clubs will also be holding events on October 31st! Do a keyword search for “halloween” under the Events tab in Search in your Second Life viewer to find out what’s going on, where and when.

This avatar is wearing:

  • Mesh Head: Cleo by Akeruka (a previous group gift; the Akeruka group costs L$150 to join)
  • Mesh Body: Juliet by Altamura (a previous group gift; the Altamura group costs L$100 to join)
  • Hair: Que Bella in abyss black from Hairoin (a store which is unfortunately no longer in Second Life; I bought this many years ago and I forget what I paid for this)
  • Dress: black Karla harness dress (one of many free group gifts from DM Design; the DM Design group is free to join)

Happy Hallowe’en!

Rec Room Goes on a Hiring Spree

I find it interesting that, at a time when some social VR platforms are struggling mightily to survive (e.g. Sansar, ChilloutVR), others are going from strength to strength. One of the latter is Rec Room, which in March 2021 raised US$100 million dollars more venture capital at a US$1.25 billion dollar company valuation.

Well, Rec Room is spending some of that money on attracting new talent! Yesterday, Shawn Whiting of Rec Room tweeted:

Good day to mention – if you’re interested in the metaverse, online communities, and the future of how people play and build together: Rec Room has ~60 open positions in art, design, engineering, data, marketing, HR, ops, support, etc.

Among the job vacancies posted on the Rec Room website are the following:

  • lighting and technical artists
  • senior software engineers
  • game designers
  • marketing people, including a Creative Marketing Strategist

If you’re qualified and interested, I would suggest you take a peek! Meta’s push towards the metaverse is going to open up a world of opportunities for people with the right skillsets. Remember, a rising tide lifts all boats!

For more information about Rec Room, visit their websitejoin their Discord, or follow them on TikTokTwitterInstagramReddit, and YouTube.

Connect 2021: Some Thoughts After Viewing the John Carmack Keynote

See also my thoughts on the Mark Zuckerberg keynote.

Now obviously the metaverse is the dominant topic of the day, and I was quoted all the way back in the 90s as saying that building the metaverse is a moral imperative, and even back then most people missed that I was actually making a movie reference, but I was at least partially serious about that. I really do care about it and I buy into the vision, but that leaves many people surprised to find out that I have been pretty actively arguing against every single metaverse effort that we have tried to spin up internally in the company from even pre-acquisition times.

You know, I want it to exist, but I have pretty good reasons to believe that..setting out to build the metaverse is not actually the best way to wind up with the metaverse…

The metaverse is a honeypot trap for architecture astronauts.

—John Carmack, Connect 2021 keynote

John Carmack is the former Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Oculus VR, and I had a friend recommend I watch his keynote address from yesterday’s Connect virtual event, so I sat down with a big cup of black coffee to hear what he had to say.

John Carmack is a heavy hitter at Facebook (sorry, Meta) and he usually gives a keynote at Connect. John stepped down as CTO in 2019, taking on the role of Consulting CTO in order to focus more on his artificial intelligence projects.

John was very happy with the launch of the Oculus Quest 2, calling it “better, faster, cheaper—one of those just rare combinations that you you almost never get to have in a product.”

He said he was gently pushing back on the push towards cloud VR rendering, stating that there are still a lot of challenges associated with it. He also said that there were a lot of internal battles over the App Lab, too. He speaks about the internal dissent within Meta over releasing the 120Hz framerate option for the Oculus Quest 2 as well.

John is not afraid to call a spade a spade, and disclose where there has been behind-the-scenes tension and disagreement within the company, which is why so many people look forward to his candid keynotes! In particular (as the quote I highlighted up top indicates), it’s clear John has some reservations about Mark Zuckerberg’s push to repivot Meta as a metaverse company.

All in all, this video is a valuable and refreshing counterpoint to Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote and I would encourage you to watch it in full!

Thanks to Freelight for the heads up!