Yes, I admit it: I am deliberately escaping the anxiety and depression caused by my reaction to the pain, heartache, chaos, cruelty, despair, and conflict of the real world, by escaping to my favourite metaverse: Second Life! (Hey, don’t judge; we all have our quirky little hobbies to help keep us sane in these trying times.) Also, as one of the first 30,000 people (as of June 23rd, 2022) to join the closed beta test of the AI-generated art tool DALL-E 2 by OpenAI, I have been avidly trying out various prompts, such as the following:
I do plan to write more about AI-generated art in general (and DALL-E 2 in particular), as well as share some more art I have created since I joined the beta, in a later editorial blogpost, but first, Second Life! Priorities, people!!! 😉
After discovering, much to my surprise, that it was less expensive to change the legacy name of one of my alts by upgrading from Basic to Premium Plus rather than Premium, I decided to put this new concierge service to the test! I am quite happy to report that the Change my Name concierge service request was responded to promptly, efficiently, and politely, via a text-chat support ticket, and one US$15.00 charge on my credit card later, hey presto!, meet Ryan Blakewell (whose original legacy name was along the lines of the rather uninspiring Ryan-something-random Resident):
And then it struck me: I actually have an alt who has can upload an unlimited number of images for free! And, of course, once uploaded, images can be shared between avatars for free. So I have embarked on a project which is long, long overdue—taking pictures of the hundreds of outfits in the extensive wardrobe of my main SL avatar, Vanity Fair! I had wanted to do it before, but the L$10-per-texture charge would have added up to thousands of Linden dollars to document Vanity’s many and varied outfits which I have assembled over the years.
In Firestorm, all you have to do is click on the Appearance button (a T-shirt icon), then select the Outfit Gallery tab. Images must be 256 by 256 pixels in size, but you can use any image manipulation program to resize your in-world screen captures (I used to use Paint.net, but now I prefer to use the free online Photopea app; both feature the Adobe PhotoShop-like interface with which I am already familiar).
Now, I’m not planning on staying a Premium Plus member forever (at least, not on Ryan Blakewell’s account). I really only did it for the cheaper legacy name change on that avatar, and for no other reason. But, at the 45-day mark, I will collect my L$3,000 signup bonus, and I will either upgrade Ryan Blakewell to a Belleza Jake mesh body (last I checked, Belleza is still holding an extended 50% Off Sale on both male and female bodies), or transfer the bonus to another alt to use there. The L$650-a-week stipend is also nice, too! So I just might hold onto the Premium Plus account for 2 or 3 months.
However, I can think of no better use of the perks of Premium Plus at the moment than to create an free outfit gallery for my main avatar, Vanity Fair:
Tomorrow is Canada Day (Canada’s version of July 4th), and I plan to spend the long weekend, and my vacation next week, working on my new project! The perfect plan to avoid social media and the news media in a world gone mad—at least for a little while.
I’d be very interested in hearing from other Second Life users who have opted to upgrade to Premium Plus. How has the process been for you? What do you like about it? Have you encountered any problems? Please feel free to leave a comment on this blogpost, thanks! I think I’m going to quite like Premium Plus!