Second Life Celebrates Its 17th Birthday!

Second Life, the most popular and successful virtual world to date, is marking its 17th birthday with a celebration that opened today, and runs until July 12th, 2020 (here’s the blogpost from the official blog).

Patch Linden, in his opening remarks at the SL17B Live Stage to a large and appreciative crowd of avatars, said that Second Life is enjoying a renaissance, adding that “the pandemic has brought a return of many old and new generations of residents to Second Life”. He confirmed that the number of monthly active SL users (that is, avatar accounts which have signed in at least once in a month) has risen to almost 900,000 people (as I have reported before, an increase of 50%), and that Second Life has seen an increase of 20% in its daily user concurrency figures.

Look at all the green dots on the map (left)! It was a capacity crowd indeed!
Patch Linden (centre) and Strawberry Linden (right) on the SL17B Live Stage

Many of the top performers in Second Life have come together to perform live at the SL17B Music Fest, a special two-day music event held June 19th and 20th at the SL17B Live Stage. Here’s your chance to celebrate Second Life’s 17th Birthday while experiencing some fantastic live musical talent that you won’t want to miss. The full line up is available here. (Skye Galaxy is the closing act of Music Fest on the 20th at 7:000 p.m. SLT; don’t miss his performance!)

And the Shop and Hop event has been expanded to ten (yes, TEN) full sims, with 200 stores participating, each offering discounts and giving freebies! I have already thoroughly ransacked the Shop and Hop mall, so expect a blogpost soon about the many fabulous free gifts that you can pick up, both at the mall and at the separate gifts section located on the SL17B Celebration sims.

Between The Stay at Home Club and SL17B, freebie season is truly upon us! I suggest you take full advantage of this opportunity to stock your inventories with fabulous freebies!

To keep on top of what is happening each day, please visit the full SL17B event calendar or visit the special SL17B Landing Page.

Happy 17th birthday, Second Life!

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Gifts from the Très Chic Fifth Anniversary Event

It is the fifth anniversary of the Très Chic (“very stylish” in French) shopping event in Second Life, and like most anniversary events, many of the vendor booths have a free gift for you to pick up (you just have to join the Très Chic group for free).

The first item I want to show you today is NOT a free gift, but I just loved it and had to have it! It’s rare indeed for this freebie fashionista to make an impulse purchase when perusing the merchandise for sale at a shopping event. This medium-length Mona Muse bodycon dress by SEUL comes in a pleasing variety of solids and prints, and this print called Ascending was an instant buy for me! (Notice I am still rocking my favourite accessories, the champagne glass from Hive and the wonderful, over-the-top diva cigarette holder by Kunst! I just get such a chuckle when I load up Vanity Fair and she’s still smoking away.)

I’m quite sure that the artist who painted this never in his wildest dreams imagined that they would appear on a dress in Second Life! (I’m assuming this painting was in the public domain, or some art gallery somewhere is gonna be pressed like a panini.)

On to the gifts! Here’s what the gift boxes look like:

First up is this outfit consisting of a top and separate, colour-coordinated skirt from Neve, which both come with a HUD with four colour choices each, plus options to wear the top tucked into the skirt as shown, or untucked.

I have added the beautiful golden Nefert choker from Poison Rouge (which gives me a definite Wonder Woman vibe), as well as the ultra-teased, ultra-high Athina hairstyle by Vanity Hair, which includes a HUD with all the essential hair colours, ombre tones, and even streaks!

This Chic top and skirt (the gift from Scandalize) come in plain and polka-dotted versions. This hair-and-tweed-cap combination from no.match is called No Joke, which comes with a HUD of brown colours and would work equally well for both men and women:

The Lake pulled-back hairstyle by Sintiklia comes with a style HUD, four different kinds of separate left and right bangs, and a HUD of ombre tones. The delightful Seinab top and tartan miniskirt from MOWIE come in a fatpack of colours:

Here we again have the Sintiklia Lake hair again, and the shockingly low-cut red Lola dress By AVALE, which thankfully comes with a separate bra, which comes with a HUD with nine colours and lace textures, paired with the the Queen choker by ANDORE, which includes a HUD with six metal choices, and ten choices for the gemstone:

Here Vanity Fair is wearing an eye-catching, asymmetrical pin-striped dress called Anyka, which is the gift from -zk-:

Now that I am finally done and finished with all the bullshit from Google AdSense, I can actually show you this provocative see-through Marika dress from from Mangue, which at least comes with matching panties to protect your vajajay from public display! The dress and panties come in four colours each: black as you see here, plus white, pink, and red. The black Aimy necklace pictured here is the gift from Nanika.

Our final look is a combination of three gifts: the Nadin grey denim skirt by SAVIN, which goes very well with the lovely floral Camomile top by Eternus. This outfit is topped off with the Très Chic hat by Miu:

Vanity is also wearing:

  • the Kimberly Catwa Bento mesh head
  • the Maitreya Lara mesh body
  • Daria skin by The Skinnery
  • Dasha hair or Lady hair by Truth (when not wearing a gift hairstyle from the Très Chic event)
  • and, of course, my favourite forest green Darcey eyes by Suicidal Unborn!

Happy freebie shopping! The current round of Très Chic runs until June 10th, 2020 so you do have plenty of time to snap up some fabulous freebies for your female avatar (and I would strongly urge you to wait a week or two before you try to teleport in, as the sim is currently jam-packed with shoppers!).

Linden Lab Launches New Viewer to Broadcast Live Video Events to Virtual Audiences with Screening of Adult Swim’s The Shivering Truth on Friday, May 8th, 2020

The ongoing global public health crisis that is the coronavirus pandemic has forced many media companies to rethink how they promote their content and attract eyeballs. Flashy, crowded launch parties (with the requisite celebrities and attendant social media influencers) are simply out of the question, and savvier metaverse platforms are neatly stepping into the newly-created marketplace for virtual events.

One such event is taking place in Second Life on Friday, May, 8th: Adult Swim is the first media partnership to use the new limited-release Second Life Viewer. In a press release, Linden Lab reports:

Be among the first to experience live video streaming inside Second Life at an exclusive Adult Swim screening event, held this Friday, May 8 at 4:00 p.m. (SLT/Pacific)/7:00 p.m. (ET). 

Watch two classic episodes and two all-new unreleased episodes from the forthcoming second season of “The Shivering Truth” at this special event, to be held in-world at a new venue created exclusively for this screening.

During the event, you can chat with fellow fans of the show and other special guests as you experience the show together for the first time in the virtual world. Free limited-edition virtual gifts and mementos will also be distributed during and after the show — just look for the “Free Gifts” kiosk near the front entrance. 

The event also marks the first media partnership utilizing the new limited-release Second Life Viewer, which enables content creators and entertainment companies to broadcast live video events to virtual world audiences. In the future, you may see several new forms of entertainment including movie and TV premieres, live concerts, and artist/fan meet-and-greets. We’re very excited to partner with Adult Swim for the debut of this new feature, which we plan to integrate into the main Second Life Viewer release in the coming weeks.

Those of us who have given up the default Second Life viewer, in favour of more fully-featured alternatives such as Firestorm, will need to download and install the special view from SL before visiting the suitably spooky venue (at this SLURL). I expect that this will be the first of many such media events in future, and no doubt Linden Lab hopes to attract more users to Second Life via these initiatives.

Linden Lab and Draxtor Despres Launch the Second Life Book Club

Yesterday was the first episode of a new, livestreamed weekly book club series called the Second Life Book Club, hosted by Draxtor Despres. If you missed it, you can watch it here:

Drax, the truly indefatigable video chronicler of both Second Life and Sansar, is also an avid reader and book lover. He has been hosting The Drax Files Book Club Show in Sansar for well over sixty episodes, interviewing various authors in his broadcast studio tucked away in the basement at 114 Harvest, every Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. So it was perhaps inevitable that he would become involved in this new initiative: a book club in Second Life!

A press release from Linden Lab about the project states:

As book publishers adjust to coronavirus-era restrictions, the virtual world Second Life is launching the Second Life Book Club, a new “virtual world book tour” initiative that enables authors to have real-time book readings, engage in meet-and-greets with their fans and promote their publications in front of a live audience within the Internet’s largest user-created virtual world.

The Second Life Book Club, which debuts April 8th at 10 a.m. (Pacific), will kick off with a multi-author panel that will discuss the new reality of writing and selling books in the age of COVID-19. The event will feature a live Q&A with best-selling authors Matt Ruff (“Lovecraft Country”), Ken Liu (“The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories”), SL Huang (the Cas Russell series) and CB Lee (the Sidekick Squad series).

Upcoming shows will feature guests such as Tad WilliamsChristopher BrownQiufan ChenKelly RobsonChana Porter and Premee Mohamed.

The Second Life Book Club is hosted by virtual world personality Draxtor Despres, who is also producing the series in partnership with Linden Lab (creator of Second Life).

“When I first reached out to authors, some of them very high profile, I was surprised to get super enthusiastic feedback like: ‘Of course I will come on the show. Can I be a tentacle monster? Can I be a parrot? Can I fly?’,” says Despres. “It’s a dream come true for a book nerd like me!”

Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg adds, “Second Life offers a safe, fun retreat during a time of great anxiety, stress, and social isolation. Through the virtual world, people can stay connected and engage in friendly conversations and fun social activities such as visiting live music performances, virtual nightclubs and deejay events and now even book readings. Virtual world interactions offer a much deeper connection with other human beings than for example video conferencing: through the avatar and the shared space we feel as if we are fully present together.”

This is a win-win-win situation: a win for Linden Lab, a win for the authors, and also a win for Draxtor Despres, whom I believe to be the hardest-working man in virtual worlds, a non-stop whirlwind of activity! Drax is busy making promotional videos for Second Life, hosting regular shows and events in Sansar, running The Drax Files Radio Hour podcast—and on top of all that, he found time to complete and release a well-received, full-length feature documentary on virtual world use by the differently abled, titled Our Digital Selves: My Avatar Is Me. He’s truly an inspiration.

The Second Life Book Club will be every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. Second Life Time/Pacific Time. And you can join the live studio audience on the new Book Club Island! (Be sure to pick up a stylish free Book Club T-shirt for your avatar at the entrance!)

See you there!