Bryn Oh Opens a New Artistic World in Sansar: “I See Our Movement As the Immersivists”

Canadian artist Bryn Oh (whose work in Second Life I have written about before) is opening a new art installation in Sansar on Friday, December 6th, 2019, on which she has been working over the past year, thanks to some financial assistance from the Ontario Arts Council.

Titled simply Hand, Bryn Oh describes the artwork as follows in a recent post to her blog:

Hand is the story of a girl named Flutter who carries something precious in a suitcase.  You follow her story in the same world that my others characters inhabit, and some of these you will recognize furthering their story and place within the world I have been working on for over a decade. 

Bryn created Hand to be best experienced in a VR headset, and she has some insightful observations on the use of virtual reality as an art form:

I believe that the virtual reality medium is a new art form which, in my case, focuses on immersion.  Throughout art history many artists have striven to immerse the viewer in their sculpture, painting or even cinema. They want you become lost in their artwork whether it be compositional methods such as the eyepath leading the viewer around a painting, to cinema where they turn off the lights, turn the sound up high with a screen large enough to reduce the peripheral vision distractions to a degree where the immersion is strongest. They overwhelm or control your senses, then tell you a story which, if well written, will take the viewer away from the world for a while.  We had the Cubists, Impressionists, Surrealists, Modernists and I see our movement as the Immersivists. 

Having been very impressed by Bryn’s art to date in both Second Life and Sansar, I look forward to experiencing her latest creation!

If you want to visit Hand, here is the Sansar Atlas entry for the world.

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UPDATED! Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales in Second Life, Sansar, and Sinespace

Here is my first-ever attempt to summarize all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales taking place in Sinespace, Second Life, and Sansar. (Unfortunately, I was unable to get any news about sales from High Fidelity.)

Second Life

There are quite a few handy Black Friday sales listings which you can consult, each of which lists dozens of stores having sales:

There’s also an extensive Flickr gallery of Black Friday 2019 sales, compiled by NadySapa, which is well worth a browse:

Also, I have been told that Stone’s Works Black Friday Sale is going on now. Select Vendors in the store are 25% off, and look for the Giant Red Display outdoors for deeper discounts starting at L$35. (Thank you!)

Sansar

You will notice that there’s not a lot of Black Friday sale news in Sansar, and there’s a good reason for that. One content creator told me:

If we had an option to adjust all prices in our stores with a percentage I would have set everything on sale. But since it is a click nightmare to adjust them one by one, I am not going to bother personally.

And I suspect that many Sansar sellers feel the same way.

However, a couple of content creators are having Black Friday sales. One of them is Mishya, who has dropped the prices of all the clothing in her store to S$49 each.

Another one is FULLSpectrum (Medhue and Bagnaria’s store in Sansar), which is having a buy-one-get-one-free sale on their custom human avatars. Bagnaria tells me:

FULLSpectrum Black Friday Special (November 26 -November 29): TWO FOR ONE | Buy any FS avatar and get a second of the same value or less for free. You will automatically get your money back for the second avatar you buy. For obvious technical reasons you need to be friends with FULLSpectrum to get your money back. Contact Bagnaria for support.

Since most of FULLSpectrum’s custom avatars cost around 800 or 900 Sansar dollars each, this is a real bargain!

Sinespace

Trilo Byte sent me the following ad for the special Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales offered byTrilo Byte Design and BlakOpal Designs, saying:

I’m not sure how much you know about us, so I’ll give you a quick backgrounder.  BlakOpal and I have been making art together in the real world since 2006, and in the virtual world since 2008 under the BlakOpal Designs brand.  We’ve been making content in Sinespace since 2016, and as with Second Life the focus of our collaborations is clothing.  Beyond BlakOpal Designs, I also make content on my own and release that under the Trilo Byte Design brand.

BlakOpal Designs Holiday Bundle

  • Includes Swank Holiday Tophat, Wooly Mittens & Knit Scarf
  • Only 500 Silver (SineSpace promotional currency, all users start with 30K Silver and can earn more in quests)
  • Available now through 25th December, 2019

BlakOpal Designs: Moto Jacket, Black with Rose available for Male or Female avatars

“Kick some serious bootie in this tough leather jacket! Heavily studded, embellished with embroidery and has a large graphic print on the back. Waist-length, and designed to look awesome with anything you wear, from basic jeans to thigh-high boots and short shorts. Features high quality model, advanced materials, and cloth physics (where available).”

‘High quality model’ is our plain language way of saying it uses SineSpace’s clothing LOD system.  The way that works is we create 3 different versions of the jacket; a regular version, a lightweight version for low end systems, and a high quality version for more powerful machines or when there aren’t many users in the region.  SineSpace automatically serves up the best version for that user and the region they’re visiting… maximum quality and minimum lag.

Regular Price 149 gold, on sale for only 49 gold through 2nd December, 2019

Trilo Byte Design: FairField 3 Bedroom Deluxe Home & Region

  • User adjustable time of day and day/night cycles
  • User adjustable lighting in each room
  • Swappable Materials Support – you can change the walls, moldings, exteriors and more!
  • Click to open/close doors and automatic garage door
  • Birds in the sky, deer and rabbits in the woods
  • Efficient filesize allows plenty of room for furniture & decor, even on SineSpace free plan

Regularly 999 gold, on sale for 499 gold through Monday, 2nd December, 2019

Here’s a blog post Trilo Bye did on the Fairfield home, it’s got much more detail about the house and links on demos and tutorials on how some of the features work.

Happy Black Friday/Cyber Monday Shopping!

I Will Be Writing a Blogpost on Black Friday Sales in Social VR and Virtual Worlds, and I Need Your Help: Where Are the Sales?

I can remember a time here in Canada when there were no Black Friday sales. Canada follows the British tradition of Boxing Day (Dec. 26th) sales. But over the past decade, Black Friday crept north of the border, and now we have both Black Friday and Boxing Day sales.

This year I have decided to write a blogpost outlining the Black Friday sales happening in those social VR platforms and virtual worlds which have an in-world economy:

  • Second Life (of course!)
  • Sansar
  • High Fidelity
  • Sinespace

For example, FULLSpectrum (Medhue and Bagnaria’s store in Sansar) is having a buy-one-get-one-free sale on their custom human avatars. Bagnaria tells me:

FULLSpectrum Black Friday Special (November 26 -November 29): TWO FOR ONE | Buy any FS avatar and get a second of the same value or less for free. You will automatically get your money back for the second avatar you buy. For obvious technical reasons you need to be friends with FULLSpectrum to get your money back. Contact Bagnaria for support.

If you have news about a Black Friday (or Cyber Monday) sale taking place on those four platforms, please leave me a comment here, or use my Contact form, or message me on one of the many Discord servers where I am a member (my handle is RyanSchultz). Thank you!

Exploring Different Cultures in Social VR and Virtual Worlds

Have you joined the RyanSchultz.com Discord yet? You’re invited to be a part of the first ever cross-worlds discussion group, with over 300 people participating from every social VR platform and virtual world! More details here.


Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Long-running virtual worlds such as Second Life attract users from all around the world. (The Second Life website itself is available in English, Japanese, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Turkish and Russian.)

Every so often, I like to load up Second Life, do a keyword search for a country or language name (e.g. Turkey, Turkiye, Turkish), and head off on an adventure! Often I find a nightclub where people are chatting away in a language I do not speak, where I can spend an enjoyable hour listening to the popular music of a completely different culture.

The fact that most communication in Second Life uses text chat is actually an advantage here. Automatic translator software (such as this popular item on the SL Marketplace, which works with Google Translate) can be used to bridge the language gap between users chatting in Second Life who don’t speak the same language.

But what about other social VR/virtual worlds? I decided to do some metaverse exploring this evening, just to see what’s out there.

VRChat

VRChat, with its thousands of users from all around the world, is a natural place to begin my explorations. There are many Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Russian, German, and Thai worlds to visit. (These links are from a Japanese directory called The World of VRChat, a website directory for VRChat worlds. The website is in Japanese, but if you turn on Google auto-translate, it works well, and can be used as a handy guide.)

Of course, you can also perform a keyword search on the Worlds menu (e.g. Japan, Japanese) to pull up VRChat worlds. For example, there are dozens and dozens of Japanese-themed worlds to visit and explore!

Sansar

The best way to explore is to use the Sansar Atlas website, where you can do a keyword search for a language or country name (e.g. Germany, Deutschland, German, Deutsch). Unfortunately, the chances of you running into other people this way in Sansar are pretty slim.

High Fidelity

Of course, High Fidelity was home to the well-known Mexico domain, which was one of HiFi’s domains that were shut down when the company pivoted to business use. And the search function in the tablet UI only pulls up matches on domain name, which somewhat hinders the ability to explore (you pretty much need to know the domain name to find anything). It would be very useful if High Fidelity were to add searchable domain descriptions to the social VR platform, but I’m sure the company is occupied with other, much more pressing, matters at the moment.

Mexico (a former High Fidelity domain, which no longer exists)

Other Worlds

As far as I can tell, there is not yet a lot of multicultural content in places like AltspaceVR, Rec Room, or in Sinespace. But it’s still early days. Eventually, as most virtual worlds mature, they will attract more users from foreign countries, who will naturally import their own cultures.

Do you have any tips on cultural experiences in virtual worlds, a spot you would like to share with us? Please feel free to leave a comment below, or even better, join us on the RyanSchultz.com Discord server and share your tips there! We’d love to have you.