UPDATED: Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: FaMESHed 7th Anniversary Gifts!

One tip I always share with avid Second Life freebie hunters is to check when the various monthly shopping events celebrate a yearly anniversary. This is often a time when you can pick up dozens of free gifts from the many content creators participating. One of the best-known and longest-running shopping events is FaMESHed, and it just so happens that they are celebrating their 7th anniversary this month!

You can join the FaMESHed Update Group for free, and with that group active, you can visit the FaMESHed sim and pick up over 60 different gifts from many talented, well-known designers, all for free!

However, I would caution you that the current round of FaMESHed runs from May 1st until May 27th, so you have plenty of time to vacuum up all the freebies. Today the sim is almost impossible to get into (unless you are a Premium member), and the lag is absolutely horrific. You’ll be clicking and reclicking several times in vain on each giftbox to get your presents, and only after a delay of 5 to 10 minutes each! If I were you, I would wait until later in the month when it’s less busy. Just mark it in your calendar so you don’t forget!

What I can do is show you just a sampling of the sixty free gifts available, so you can decide for yourself whether or not it’s worth the hassle to get into the sim and brave the lag. In all these pictures Vanity Fair is wearing:

First up is with a mint green minidress by Neve (which comes with a HUD with four colour and pattern choices), paired with the Camila hair by Limerance (which you can tint as you desire using the included HUD), along with sunglasses by Minimal and the So Feng heels by BREATHE:

Next up is the Soho dress in olive by Junbug, paired with the Misha hairstyle by Elikatria (which comes in four sizes, with a HUD with 20 different colours):

For a completely different look, here’s a blue top by Giz Soern, worn with high-waisted cargo pants in camel by COCO Designs, the Jessie Anime hair set by Ayashi (which you can tint any colour you like), and as the finishing touch the Savannah fringed bag by Aleutia:

Vanity Fair’s second-last look is the daring, skin-baring Vivien dress in nude by Kaithleen’s, paired with a pastel beads necklace by Meva and resizable Nina silver hoop earrings by Miu (they also come in bronze, gold, and pink). The finishing touch is a pair of vintage peep-toe heels from Eudora3D, and a round wicker Africa purse by Belle Epoque. (The hairstyle in these pictures is Lady by Truth Hair and it is not a free gift.)

The final look features the Hush bra and panties in eggshell by Dead Dollz, paired with the Bahia blue fishnet heels by Essenz, to which I added the Annoushka silver earrings by Ilaya and the Nicky crystal bracelet by Kunglers:

So, if you like what you see, head on down to the FaMESHed event before May 27th! These and many other freebies await you.

UPDATE May 3rd: Naria Panthar has done an hour-long YouTube video where she shows off all the FaMESHed 7th anniversary gifts. (For some reason I could not embed that video here on my blog.) Note that in addition to many items of clothing, jewelry and hair, there are many gifts of household items like books and pillows for your home.

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The Mesh Project Releases New Male and Female Mesh Bodies for Second Life Avatars: Why I Won’t Be Buying One

The Mesh Project (TMP for short) was among the first companies to offer mesh male and female bodies in Second Life, releasing their first products back in 2013. However, they were expensive, in part because they essentially had the mesh body market to themselves and could get away with charging high prices.

Also, their shopping experience was truly horrible, requiring the extensive use of HUDs both to purchase and style items (read this blogpost for an example). You also had to buy credits in blocks to make any purchases, instead of paying for things directly. And that meant you often had unspent credits left over, which was irritating. Although they were among the first to offer mesh avatar bodies, over time most people moved to other vendors, such as Maitreya, Belleza, Slink, and Signature.

Many people were expecting The Mesh Project to eventually fold. Hence my surprise when they announced new mesh bodies for male and female avatars recently. I decided to visit their sim and take a look.

One thing that I did like about the TMP male body was that it was not overly-muscled, as you see on so many other male mesh bodies. Here is the old, freebie version of the male TMP body, paired with an Akeruka mesh head (this picture is tastefully blurred to keep my blog PG 😉 ):

I took this avatar to the new version of The Shops, just to see what the new Legacy body looks like. Here’s what the demo version looks like, with the included shape, from the front and the back:

Again, this is a very attractive, not overly-muscular male mesh body. The detail on the hands and feet is particularly well-done. The body comes with Bento hands, and you get a HUD with many different skin tones and a large number of alpha selections to make just about anything fit. Which is good, because none of the older TMP clothes are compatible with these new bodies at all.

HOWEVER.

I will not be buying either the new Legacy TMP mesh bodies or the refreshed original (so-called “Classic”) version. Why? Because they are L$5,000 (about US$20.00) each. Yes, that’s right. They are almost twice as expensive as most of the other, much more popular male and female mesh bodies on the market (Maitreya, Belleza, Slink, and Signature). If they are trying to break into the market again, they aren’t going to succeed a this price point.

While The Mesh Project may finally have gotten rid of their horrible shopping system (hallelujah!), their high prices make absolutely no sense when there are cheaper alternatives out there which have much, much more designer support. While charging high prices may have worked back when TMP were the only game in town, that strategy is not going to work in today’s competitive mesh body marketplace. Sorry, TMP. No sale.

New Podcast Interview with Philip Rosedale

Philip Rosedale

The Stayin’ Alive in Technology podcast’s most recent episode is a detailed, wide-ranging, hour-long interview with the virtual world visionary and Second Life and High Fidelity founder Philip Rosedale. The topics which Philip and his interviewer, former Linden Lab staffer Melinda Byerley, cover range from the very earliest days of Linden Lab to his thoughts about the so-called “3D web”. Have a listen:

How to Do Cam Shopping in Second Life: Yes, You Can Cam Shop from the Next Sim at Crowded SL Sales Events!

You might not be aware that the Blueberry store is celebrating its 7th anniversary in Second Life. The Blueberry Store VIP group is free to join for a limited time, and you can pick some lovely group gifts for free in the lobby of the store. But wait, there’s more!

In the current group notices of the Blueberry Store VIP group, there is a HUD which you can wear and click to get L$250 free credit for the Blueberry store applied to your avatar’s account. The credit is good for 28 days only, but you might want to use it before the 50% Off Sale ends at midnight SL time on April 24th, as your store credits will go twice as far!

However, there’s a big problem. Unless you are a Premium member, you are simply not going to get into that absolutely jam-packed sim that houses the Blueberry store. It’s on a sim which can only accommodate 30 avatars at a time, and everybody and their dog is trying to get in right now and scoop up the bargains. Even the Teleport Hammer ain’t gonna help you here. But if you want to hit that 50% off sale before it ends, what can you do? (Short of upgrading to a Premium SL membership, which gives you priority access to packed sims. And believe me, if you are an avid shopper, it’s worth the upgrade just for that perk alone.)

And this is where cam shopping comes in. What is cam shopping? It’s long-distance shopping, using your SL camera to find and buy an item you want from across the boundary between two sims (here is a summary of the camera controls in Firestorm and the camera keyboard shortcuts). Here’s a diagram which explains how cam shopping works:

Yes, that’s right, you don’t even need to be in the same sim in order to do your shopping at crowded events! Now, before you can cam shop, there’s a couple of settings you do need to check and adjust on your Firestorm viewer (again, I’m sorry, but I don’t know what the equivalent settings are for the default SL viewer). In Firestorm, press Ctrl-Alt-D to turn on the Advanced menu along the top of your viewer. Then, in the drop-down menu under Advanced, make sure that Limit Select Distance has no check mark next to it, and Disable Camera Constraints does have a check mark next to it:

If you don’t don’t have those two settings correct, you will not be able to cam shop!

So, in the case of the Blueberry sale on the Lenox and Blueberry sim, you can probably get more easily into the Palau sim next door, and do your cam shopping from there!

Don’t thank me, it’s all a public service, etc. etc.