But first, an apology. I have really slowed down on my previously-feverish pace of blogging, and I am sorry. Things have been very busy at my paying job, and when I come home from work, I am often exhausted. Also, I have been active on the federated microblogging platform Mastodon, working my way up the learning curve, so that has taken up a fair bit of my off-hours time, as well. And I’m still percolating!
However, long-time readers of this blog know full well by now that Auntie Ryan is a sucker for novel Second Life avatar accessories, and boy, do I have a great find for you! Even better, it’s free!
The latest round of the Abstrakt shopping event in Second Life is now on, with free gifts at various vendor booths, if you join their free group. Among those gifts is a wonderful unisex yo-yo, with smooth, flowing Bento animations, from Pixel Arts. This yo-yo comes with a HUD to change the colour of the yo-yo itself, the colour of the yo-yo string, the sticker/emoji on the yo-yo’s face, and even the size of the yo-yo (small, medium, or large).
But you really do need to see this yo-yo in action to appreciate it, so I uploaded this 30-second video, showing you how it works. It seems to work very well with my avatar’s animation override (AO), which is nice. Please watch the video all the way to the end for a surprise!
Yes, every so often, you can pull a fancy yo-yo move! I absolutely love this, and I plan to pick up one of these for every single one of my alts before this round of the Abstrakt event ends!
Here’s an exact SLURL to the Pixel Arts booth. The sim has a central spawn point, so you will need to save the SLURL to your inventory, right click on it, and select Show on Map from the drop-down menu. This will give you a red pillar of light and a red arrow to follow to the exact location. The yoyo is in a gift bag on a table in front of the booth; you’ll need to find some land with build rights to unpack it.
While I am away on vacation from work, I am currently working on a special project with my fellow freebie fashionistas of the Freebie Queens Discord server, where we are drawing up a comprehensive listing of Second Life stores with free gifts. (Trust me when I say this: it’s like herding cats, people! Stores open, move location, and close with alarming regularity.)
And in my travels across the SL grid, I came across an unusual freebie which I wanted to share with you, from a store called Twilight (SLURL). Click on the sign shown below to join their store group for free:
There are a couple of gifts available here. One is a mobile phone with a Bento hold pose (just click on the panel indicated by the red arrow in the image below). However, this is not just any old SL cellphone, with a static screen or a HUD with a selection of static screens; it actually has a working web browser built into it!
In the picture below, I have it set to the homepage of the RyanSchultz.com blog:
According to the included documentation:
Double-Click on white screen to start the browser. Search for any website on web with Google search. Or enter the URL you want to access in the search bar to open the website. You can scroll on the prim too and click links and watching videos and so on, like on your own Google or Firefox browser.
This phone also comes in a separate, rezzable version to use as home decor (say, to leave on a desk or an armchair). It also has a working web browser. The documentation notes:
*** Having multiple phones or web browser screen item in the same parcel can cause bugs. Use with care.
This mobile phone itself is Copy/Mod to enable multiple ones to be rezzed and [resized].
The Bento hold pose affects your avatar’s right hand and head, so you are looking down at the phone. It’s a high-priority animation which seems to work quite well with my animation override /AO.
This is a cute freebie, and I really like the fact that you can customize what you see on the screen! It’s actually a gift from the old Stay at Home Club program, launched in the spring of 2020 as the pandemic lockdowns started, and Second Life’s monthly active users (MAU) count jumped from 600,000 to 900,000. The program ended in September 2020, but some stores like Twilight are still making their gifts from that program available (for which we thank them!).
And how’s about this for a final, meta image? Looking at this very blogpost while I’m in Second Life!
At the ripe old age of 19, the virtual world of Second Life has a thriving in-world economy, and part of that ecosystem are the regular shopping events, which SL’s store owners often use to showcase their new releases. One such event, Kustom9, is celebrating its 9th anniversary with a treasure trove of gifts, if you join the Kustom9 group for free.
The rechristened Moesha Heartsong is showing you two of these free gifts in the video below. The animation override (AO) is by Body Language, and has a youthful, cutesy, kawaii air to it, don’t you think? (What I usually like to do is reuse only the animations I like, adding them to an existing AO, and discarding the rest. I mean, how can you go wrong for free?)
The dress Moesha is wearing is the Kustom9 present from the Luas booth. It’s a special Hallowe’en edition of the Sena dress, which comes in the following sizes: Maitreya Lara and Petite; Meshbody Legacy and Perky; INITHIUM Kupra; and eBody Reborn.
The gift from Apple Blossom is the Shay minidress in a champagne colour (sizes: Maitreya Lara and Petite; Meshbody Legacy and Perky; and INITHIUM Kupra).
One fun unisex gift is from Spoiled, and it’s this highly configurable heart-shaped Cheeky balloon, with comes with a variety of full-body and arm-only Bento poses (the arm-only poses mean that you can use it with your existing AO).
There are 3 separate Bento hold poses for each of the right arm and left arm, and you get a HUD with endless colour options for the balloon itself, and even the string! There are also many options for the quote on the balloon (most are birthday related), or you can turn the text off completely, as you can see in the black urban angel picture above.
Now, this is my opportunity to tell you about one of my pet peeves in Second Life—HUDs with text so small that you cannot read them! You cannot tell me that, on this huge HUD, you couldn’t have made the quotes section larger, and actually readable?!?? Despite this admittedly minor quibble, this is a very generous gift, and I expect I will trot out all my SL alts to pick one up!
The ninth anniversary round of the Kustom9 shopping event runs from October 18th to November 8th, 2022, so you have plenty of time to swoop down and sweep up some fabulous freebies!
The Phoenix Firestorm Project Inc. is a non-profit, incorporated organization whose mandate is to improve the user experience in Second Life and other virtual worlds by providing an advanced open source viewer with greater features, options and interface flexibility than the standard offering by Linden Lab. The project has approximately 80 volunteers working for it and are managed through departments divided up as Development, Support, Quality Assurance and Gateway. We provide live support 24/7 in nine different languages inside of Second Life through our support groups and on the web via our issue tracker.
And to celebrate its 12 anniversary, Firestorm threw a big party yesterday, Saturday, September 3rd. And in a circle around the four-sim event stage are free gifts from Firestorm and other Second Life vendors for you! All gifts are free and you do not need to join a group to pick them up.
The present from Firelight Hair is a new unisex fatpack of hair called Glen/Gwyn, which comes in both male and female versions, rigged and unrigged, plus a HUD with 32 different textures:
Firelight is also generously giving out the same gift to SL users that it put out a year ago, for Firestorm’s 11th anniversary! This shorter unisex hairstyle is called David/Davina, and also comes in male and female versions, both rigged and unrigged, with a texture HUD as shown below:
Next up we have a casual outfit featuring three more free gifts:
The T-shirt is the present from Addams, and it comes in a wide variety of sizes to fit most female mesh bodies, and in two colours: white as shown above, and black. (Note that there is also a men’s T-shirt gift, which also comes in black and white!)
The gift from Firestorm is a fatpack of this unisex baseball cap featuring the distinctive Firestorm phoenix logo, with comes the the HUD shown below, where you can mix and match the colours of the cap and the logo as you please. There are two versions of the baseball cap, one for smaller heads and one for larger heads, and both can be resized simply by clicking on them, which pulls up a menu. It’s the perfect accessory for any fan of the Firestorm viewer as your avatar strolls the grid!
Finally, there’s a very nice gift from virtual shoemaker Versov, these wonderfully detailed sneakers, which comes in sizes to fit men and women! These special-edition Firestov sneakers come in sizes to fit feet for the following mesh bodies: Maitreya Lara, Signature Gianni and Geralt, Legacy (male and female), Belleza (male and female), and Slink (male and female). There’s also an unrigged pair in the folder, which you can adjust and resize to fit other brands of feet. They are a keeper!
Since the big party was yesterday, you could choose any of these SLURLs and you shouldn’t have any problem getting in! I wouldn’t wait too long to pick these wonderful presents up, though.
PRO TIP: Did you know that you can pick up many other free gifts at the VERSOV main store, including three fatpacks of high-quality unisex sneakers of various designs and colours? Join the VERSOV group for free to pick up the fabulous freebies, which are located on panels at the front counter of the store…here’s your taxi!