Why I’m Taking a Break from This Blog

In retrospect, I realize that I have been more than a little cranky this week (here, here and here). So I will be taking the rest of this week off from blogging. I need to find some happier things to do which don’t trigger me. I’ll be back sometime next week.

So, I’mma just leave these here, courtesy of the Bitchslap Meme Generator:

UPDATE July 12th: My main avatar, Vanity Fair, has just been banned from Second Life and the SL Community Forums for three days, for (and I quote) “abusive behaviour”. So apparently, Linden Lab just bitchslapped me back.

I had a friend (fuck, all right, one of my alts) post my status update to one of the Tilia forum threads which I had originally posted to, and it was promptly removed (along with any responses to it). Fine. Let Linden Lab censor me. Let them ban me. At this point, I am beyond enraged.

I still stand by everything I wrote in my original blogpost. Linden Lab did absolutely the wrong thing by deleting users’ legitimate questions about Tilia, and I am still really pissed off at them for doing it. Banning me is just throwing gasoline on the fire. At this point, I am incredibly disappointed and disenchanted with Linden Lab.

I am taking an extended break from this blog. I do this because it’s fun, but it’s not fun for me anymore. I’ve had it, and I need a longer break.

SECOND UPDATE July 12th: Well, obviously, somebody spoke to somebody, because I have been rather swiftly (and unexpectedly) unbanned from Second Life and the SL community forums. I am now sitting at the Tilia Town Hall, and I am really liking what the Lindens are telling me. And I finally have an answer to my question about what the Tilia account inactivity fee will likely be (answer: probably less than 3 dollars). And all you have to do to avoid that fee is simply log in to your account on the Second Life website at least once a year. Good. Finally, we are getting some clearer answers.

BUT… I am still rather angry at Linden Lab. And I’m just tired of blogging. I’m feeling burned out. I am still taking a break, maybe a longer one this time. My hardworking producer Andrew William is still working on editing upcoming episodes of the Metaverse Newscast, many of which are set in Sansar, and those I will blog about when we release a new episode to YouTube (we’re still aiming for one per month). But don’t expect much other output from me for the next month or two.

I suffer from a chronic form of clinical depression, and my depression is mostly a learned response to bottled-up anger which accumulates over months and years. After many years working on myself in therapy, I can now accurately identify when I am feeling angry instead of suppressing it, but I still need to learn how to deal with it more effectively, and especially to STAY OFFLINE when I am upset. I owe Ebbe Altberg and his team at Linden Lab an apology for my diva hissy fit. It wasn’t pretty and I am ashamed of myself.

Frankly, I am feeling rather disenchanted with both High Fidelity and Linden Lab at the moment (which is ironic, since all the episodes of the Metaverse Newscast to date have focused on one or the other platform). It’s a clear sign that I need to step back for a bit, and that Andrew and I need to broaden the scope of the Metaverse Newscast to include other popular social VR platforms, such as VRChat. We also want to cover smaller projects such as NeosVR, and niche platforms such as Engage.

I’m still feeling cranky, and I’ve been completely overreacting to things all week, and it’s a clear sign that something is wrong is wrong with me. I just need to take a break, this time a real, long break from blogging. Take some time away from social VR and virtual worlds. I hope you all understand. But even if you don’t, I am still taking that break. I’m sorry, but I need to do this to recharge.

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Second Life Cyberpunk Urban Science Fiction Sim Hangars Liquides to Close

Wagner James Au, of the long-running SL blog New World Notes, reports that the Hangars Liquides sci-fi-themed sims in Second Life will likely be shutting down at the end of this month:

Hangars Liquides, a cyberpunk city created in Second Life by an elusive 3D artist known only to the SL community at large by her avatar name, “Djehan Kidd”, is among the virtual world’s greatest works — shadowy, moody, awesome.

Unveiled into the metaverse in June 2007, it has surely attracted hundreds of thousands if not millions of visits over its 12 year history. As its reputation spread through the virtual world, numerous cyberpunk roleplay groups flocked to it, adopted it as their oven, turning it into their staging ground for ongoing stories they created on the fly.

The blogpost includes an interview with the creator and an overview of the 12-year history of the project, so you might want to hop over to Wagner’s blog to read it in full.

I decided to transform into a cyborg and do a little exploring of Hangars Liquides before it goes away forever:

Vanity Fair is wearing:

  • Animated Headpiece: Queen Sarra headpiece by Shu Mesh
  • Cyborg Outfit with Skin Applier (Maitreya): Cyber Braver Lady by Bare Rose
  • Cyborg Arm, Cyborg Mask with Scrolling Japanese Characters, and Animated Upper Arm Attachment: Cyborg Geisha outfit (I picked all these up years ago in a different sci-fi themed sim hunt)
  • Cyber Prim Eye: by Omega Point (store no longer exists)
  • Animated Belt: VK Belt by Shu Mesh
  • Animation Override: Chubby Girl AO by [ImpEle] (free from the SL Marketplace). This is a nice, simple, calm, free AO with no crazy movements.

Vanity is also wearing:

All pictures taken at Hangars Liquides.

An Update: Leaving My Second Life Avatars to Other People Via My Will (and Why Cancer Is Still Part of My Life)

By the way, even though my recent cancer scare is over, I am still actively drawing up my list of acquaintances, friends and family to whom I will leave all my Second Life avatars in my will.

(If you have already responded, thank you! And I will be in touch with you before the end of October. So far I have had about a dozen people send me messages, by email or in-world.)

Here’s the alphabetical list for you to peruse. The following four avatars are already spoken for:

  • Nada Nix (my goth girl avatar) I have decided to leave to Jenn (a.k.a. Xiola Linden), the Community Manager for Second Life at Linden Lab.
  • Rose Queen (my Caledon/steampunk/Victorian older woman avatar) is going to Blush Bravin of the Second Life brand Blushed (a.k.a Debi Baskerville in SL and Sansar).
  • Scarborough Fair (my medieval roleplay avatar) I am leaving to Solas NaGealai, co-owner of Silvan Moon Designs in Second Life.
  • Vanity Fair (my fashionista avatar) I have decided to leave to Strawberry Singh. I know that she will take good care of her!

 

And, if you are hesitating because you don’t really know me, except through this blog, please don’t. I still need to find homes for most of these avatars before I shuffle off this mortal coil! Don’t get me wrong—I plan on living a long and healthy life, and reaching a ripe old age, but you never know what can happen! And I would hate to think that all my creative work will go into the pixel bin….

All I ask is that we have at least one good, long, in-depth conversation (via phone, chat, or IM). I simply want to know who you are (and what you plan to do with my avatar) before I leave you one of these avatars, on which I have spent a great deal of time, energy, and (in some cases) money.

And, if you don’t want me to publicize your name, I can certainly honour that request too; just let me know in advance. I’d much rather leave these lovingly-created and outfitted avatars to people who actually enjoy and appreciate Second Life, as opposed to people who never use SL. And I know from my blog statistics that I do get a lot of visitors from SL. Thank you for your consideration. Here’s my contact page.


By the way, cancer is still very much a part of my life. My best friend in real life recently underwent surgery for serious prostate cancer, and he has learned that this cancer has spread and that he will soon have to undergo testosterone suppression therapy and radiation treatment. I feel afraid, angry and sad, and I also feel guilty that I’m OK and he’s not. He was back in the hospital for a  couple of days due to blood clots in both his lungs after his surgery, but he is at home resting and recovering now. Please keep my friend John in your thoughts and prayers.

Relay in Life for Second Life now has a very special meaning for me. Please consider supporting this annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. You can also consider making a donation to the Canadian Cancer Society. Thank you!

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Pick of the Day and Outfit Outlay: 2077

C3rb3rus, the grand prize winner of the Sansar Scariest experience contest last year, has completely outdone his previous work with the stunning achievement called simply 2077. Never have I been in any VR experience that feels so much like the world of the classic sci-fi movie Blade Runner!

I was actually able to get an early preview of this wonderful new Sansar experience, when I took most of these pictures. I added several more photos taken when Drax and C3rb3rus conducted an exclusive first tour of 2077.

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You actually spawn in the subway station, where a subway train that C3rb3rus showed us how he made takes you on a ride in a circle. Gindipple was the first one who stepped into the train, complaining (as usual) about not being able to sit down, and then, suddenly, whoosh! It took off like a bullet! And he was gone! It was never so peaceful 😉 and even better, Torley Linden got video:

One of the funniest moments of the whole tour!

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C3rb3rus led us up to street level, and then down again into a funky underground club. Here you can see Drax interviewing Strawberry Singh:

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The attention to detail of the entire experience is absolutely astounding.

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To match the experience, I decided to style Vanity Fair in a suitable sci-fi outfit:

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Vanity Fair is wearing:

  • the dragon blue animated skin by AnuAmun (S$10)
  • the flowers and copper armour top by AnuAmun (S$150)
  • the short bob hair by Snow (tinted blue to match; FREE)
  • and I don’t remember where I got the goggles from! I checked my purchase history and I have no record of buying them. I believe they were already in my inventory as one of the basic avatar attachment objects, which everybody got by default.