Where Dreams Come True
SECOND LIFE COMMUNITY CONVENTION SPECIAL
It’s been an incredible ride since AVENUE Magazine began in September last year and hence a befitting celebration towards our first anniversary next month to produce our inaugural real life issue as the Official Media Partner for the Second Life Community Convention. We’re also honored to organize the first ever fashion track to bring forth a lively discussion of one of the thriving sector in Second Life®. So if you are at the convention, we look forward to having you there to share your experiences and views with us and our special notable guests from the fashion industry Asri Falcone, Harper Beresford and joining us live from in-world Callie Cline, Raven Pennyfeather and dancer Dallagio. By now, I expect that after you have seen our cover this month of Anshe Chung photographed by our Featured Photographer Sennaspirit Coronet, you will be excited to read what this remarkable entrepreneur and metaverse evangelist has been up to. We are extremely excited to profile this visionary who has helped shaped Second Life® in many ways and catch up with her and her real life husband and CEO of Anshe Chung Studios, Guni Greenstein, to find out more about their recent developments, perspectives and visions for the future. So I hope you will enjoy this special issue that we have put together for you that celebrates and honors the crème de la crème of Second Life® with a special highlight featuring interviews with M, Philip and Torley Linden and even a curation of artworks by SL ™ & RL artist Filthy Fluno. To all who have supported us in producing this issue, may I extend a heartfelt thanks to all our interviewees, advertisers and extremely dedicated staff in making this possible. Here’s to life, real and second, and enjoy the culmination of it in the meeting of minds and souls at this year’s Second Life Community Convention. Cheers,
Rusch Raymaker Rusch Raymaker Publisher & Editor in Chief AVENUE
Second Life® is fast evolving and ever changing, its residents oh so dynamic and bold. As such, there is never a shortage for interesting features and stories. We here at AVENUE Magazine are extremely honored to have been able to feature what is the best, fresh, unique and dynamic out there. We feel humbled before the gargantuan task of helping you make the most out of this virtual world by informing you of what’s hot and unique. We also feel honored at being able to present a visually appealing magazine that further features the artistry, creativity and community spirit that is in Second Life®. For us, this is more than just work but a labor of love and teamwork where everyone pitches in their ideas and get to be involved with the process. Now for this SLCC issue, we are all the more honored and humbled to showcase the finest in Second Life® from fashion to art, to builds to clubs to the best singer there is in-world. It is also a pleasure to feature M and Philip Linden in this issue. Read on as they reflect on what Second Life® has become, what it is to them,and how excited they are with its future. We also feature Torley Linden, as he tells us what his role in Second Life® means to him, and learn a thing or two from him, as it is always the case each time we talk to him...:) We thank our readers and sponsors for your support and feedback, we hope you enjoy this special SLCC installment of AVENUE magazine, in its actual form. We wish you and your ventures in the virtual world the best of luck!
Isadora Fiddlesticks Isadora Fiddlesticks Managing Editor AVENUE
Fashion 26 32 38
44 48 52 58
Fashion Icons Style Meisters of Second Life® Fashion Spread AviD Gothic Clothing Featured Designers La Crème De La Crème Fashion Agenda HairFair 2009 The Shopaholic Chronicles AVENUE Homme AVENUE Models of the Month More than Just a Model
Lifestyle 64 70 76 78 86 88 92
Architectural Review GOL Explore SL™ Interesting Sims Featured Venue The Renaissance Galleria Interiors Furniture Idols Landscaping Perfect Prefabs SportingSL™ A Sporting Second Life® For the Love of RFL
120 124 128
Live Music Space Junky Club of the Month Club Eco DJ of the Month Original Spins with Nuvolino Roffo Sexy SL速 Sexy in Second Life速 On the Tube Treet TV Moving Images Metropolis
Inspirations Featured Artist Filthy Fluno Featured Photographer Sennaspirit Coronet
Linden Lab速 Special At the Helm of Innovation Cover Story Anshe Chung Studios CEO of the Month Ultralite Soleil
144 Second Life commUniTy convenTion SpeciAL
On the Cover Cover featuring Anshe Chung Photographed by Sennaspirit Coronet
Where Dreams Come True
Magazine Publisher & editor-in-Chief Managing editor fashion editor CoPy editors Marketing direCtor
Isadora Fiddlesticks Takeshi Kiama Ansleigh Beverly SavannahAnn McMillan Jesika Contepomi
Amira Footman Jed Tylman
Larson Gufler Paola Tauber
Takeshi Kiama Isadora Fiddlesticks Spruce Canning Tiffany Dragonash Carissa Sockington Villy Enyo Sensuous Soulstar Laya Felisimo Roland Zepp Nazz Lane
Takeshi Kiama Mui Mukerji Rusch Raymaker
Rusch Raymaker Isadora Fiddlesticks Mui Mukerji Tillie Ariantho Natasja Schuman Blaz Halfpint Trinidad Anatine Mischa Cuttita Sennaspirit Coronet Filthy Fluno Bella Dutton
AVENUE Magazine is published and managed by AVENUE Inc which owns and operates AVENUE Models, AVENUE Models Academy and AVENUE Studio in Second Life速. Online issue can be found at http://issuu.com/avenue AVENUE Magazine Blog http://avenuemagazine.blogspot.com AVENUE Inc website http://www.avenuesl.com For updates, contests, gifts, events and latest releases join our group AVENUE Magazine Readers in Second Life速
Send press releases, ads and queries to firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising enquiries and vendor requests please contact one of the following: Jesika Contepomi Cortney Prieto Ocean Miami Laurel Luminos 17
Style Meisters of Second Life® Fashion Icons
Written by Takeshi Kiama Photography by Tillie Ariantho, Natasja Schumann, Mischa Cuttita
Eshi Otawara From Black Swan to Chambre du Chocolat, Eshi Otawara is an artist in the purest sense. From the Second Life® Wiki it is said, “Eshi Otawara is certainly one of the most innovative and creative builders and clothing designers on the Second Life Grid™.” Eshi has continued to delight SL™ citizens from all walks with her stunning designs, couture as well as her sim builds and art. Her recent Winter/Spring Japanese inspired collection was an absolute success in the fashion community. Eshi has turned many heads with her “Flower Tower” build on the Desperado sim to her outstanding “Fishhook” dress which stunned all by selling for L$460,000 at RFL 2008 auction. Of this Eshi says, “Oh man. I was in shock when it reached 100,000L. By the time it got to be 460,000L, I think I cried. It happened so fast, and I did not expect it at all. The ladies who bid on it were raising the bid by 10k, sometimes 20k. It was wild.” In real life, Eshi Otawara is Irena M. Morris, originally born in Croatia and a graduate of McNeese State University in Louisiana with a BA in painting. You can find out more about Eshi Otawara on her website: www.eshiotawara.com
LeeZu! Formerly Leezu Baxter Designs, LeeZu! has created an empire in women’s fashion in Second Life®. Hailing from the city of Hamburg, Germany, she started creating dresses in a sandbox after only three months in SL™ in 2007. Her designs are organic with stunning use of nature in her texture work. What followed has become a staple in every woman’s inventory closet. With her main store and satellite shops all over SL™, Leezu says, “It doesn’t shock me as the growth of my store and my company was quite healthy and slow. I wasn’t famous overnight. That would have been shocking. I and my team did and do a lot to take care of LeeZu!. When I see where we are now I am very, very, very happy about it and I do make a big bow of thanks in front of my customers and team.” When asked about the challenges of designing in Second Life, she states, “The first challenge was, and remains, getting to know the Linden Lab® template to get the best possible results out of it. Transferring an idea into a Linden template and then onto an avatar does not always give the desired effect. Besides that, making clothes in SL™ is not only about Photoshop. It is about having building skills and working with 3D programs for making sculpties. Lots to learn and perfect.” Branching into shoe design held even more of a challenge with the start of Courtisane, a project that is worked on by both Leezu and Enktan Gully, long time sculpty professional and shoe designer in his own right. “I did exchange some ideas with Enktan Gully. I wanted his opinion on the sandals, knowing he is a far better sculptie and shoe maker than me. In this exchange I had the idea about trying to work on a project together, because I have a lot of ideas for shoes and textures and he has the skills to sculpt them perfectly. So I asked him and he said yes. After finding the right frame for our shoes we decided to open a sister label called ‘Courtisane’, independent from Enkythings and LeeZu!.” The future continues to be bright for LeeZu! with many new releases on the horizon. 27
KMADD – Kirk Claymore and Maddox DuPont If you are a male in Second Life® with even one bit of fashion savvy, you have heard of KMADD sim, the best place for all things male including shapes, styling, and even hair. Filled with some of the best male fashion shops Second Life® has to offer, it’s a virtual feast and no one ever leaves looking bad. KMADD has come to symbolize the best of male fashion in Second Life®. Kirk and Maddox spent their early SL™ days shopping. Kirk says, “Our early beginnings were spent shopping all day looking for clothes in all kinds of places imaginable. We both discovered that men didn’t have much stuff around to choose from and you had to go through a tedious task of traveling all over the grid to get some serious shopping done. That gave us an inspiration to create a shopping district dedicated solely to men’s fashion.” Maddox elaborates, “I guess our inspiration has always been to enhance appearance and fashion awareness of Second Life® residents while promoting designers though our shapes, MAD Image blog and MAD Agency. We are firm believers that if you look good, you will feel good in what seems to be a very limited virtual environment. And once that is all sorted out you can get on with things that you love doing in Second Life® and exploring this amazing medium.” With the start of MAD Image blog, they have together had an enormous impact on the styling of men in Second Life®, not by imposing their own, but by helping others find theirs. With the launch of their hair designs, eyes, shapes and image consulting services and now complete avatars, there looks to be no stopping this savvy pair.
LeLutka Formerly known to many as Minnu (MMS) and starting with female and then male skins and eyes, LeLutka has re-branded itself into a fashion force to be reckoned with. With their recent spring launch and now summer release, they continue to push the boundaries of realistic fashion in Second Life® with simple, clean lines and muted colors. “We really try our hardest to make our collections look as real as possible. A lot keeps me motivated, challenging myself and the team to be able to deliver a new level of realism with our items is definitely something that motivates me.” With so many talented content creators and so many choices in Second Life®, they say, “Biggest challenge is putting all those things together and actually making a success story out of it. Designing something just for the sake of saying you made content isn’t a challenge. Being able to create something new, reach new goals, and stay innovative and fresh are the biggest challenges a designer could face.” Realism, quality and fashion are constants for LeLutka when designing. “I always thought of Second Life® as a place where you could make all your dreams come true; one of mine was to be able to bring what I consider high fashion into this virtual world, and I believe me and my team have been able to achieve that.”
Stiletto Moody Mention Stiletto Moody in any heavy female gathering in Second Life®, and be prepared for an avalanche of conversation on...shoes. The launch of any Stiletto Moody release has never failed to pack the sim to its breaking point as literally thousands of shoe-hungry women teleport in. The fervor it garners is well earned. Stiletto Moody shoes remain some of the highest in demand in Second Life®. With the launch of the “Bare”, a full foot and toe sculpted system that rids ladies of their Linden Lab club foot for good, with dizzyingly high heels and color matching, they enhance an otherwise dull avatar foot and take any look to new heights of style and fashion. “I am inspired by a great saying that makes dummies like me feel special and can make anyone feel special if they just put their head down and keep going: ‘genius is the ability to complete’. It means that we don’t all have to have a brain like Einstein to achieve things we are proud of, and with an idea, passion and belief in oneself– if we just keep going– we will get it done and be happy with the result. I knew that shoes, when I saw them, could be better. “Everyone told me, nah, sculpties wouldn’t work for shoes, but I introduced them to Second Life® and now they are becoming the standard. I feel in the same way that feet could and should be better, must be better.” She’s not just pulling your leg (pun intended). With the summer 2009 release of her BAREfoot accessories that allow women to adorn their lovely feet with even more choices of nail polish, toe rings, ankle chains and even tattoos, Stiletto Moody is poised not to just be the Gold, but the Platinum standard of shoe innovation in Second Life®.
La crème de la Crème Fashion Genres Across the SL Grid™
Written and photographed by Takeshi Kiama Featured AVENUE Models: Iustinian Tomsen, Pyper Dollinger, Tatiana Kurri As Second Life® goes, diversity is one of the constants. Some like casual trendy, some are dressed to the nines day and night. Some eclectic, some downright unusual. One thing is for certain, it’s not hard to find the content. As a tribute to the crème de la crème in various genres of Second Life™ style, we’ve focused on a bit of everything. This in no way constitutes everything that is in SL™. Exploring is half the fun.
Alternative SN@TCH, by designer Ivey Deschanel, launched a revolution in alternative style with everything from punk to goth to neko. Her main store houses content for men and women, and her satellite stores abound all over the grid. The prices are right, and the fashions are sizzling.
BLACK SN@TCH OUTFIT HAIR-boon EYES-glanz-freshblue TOP-Snatch Harlot coat PANTS-Sn@tch two lane blacktop suede pants BOOTS-etd calf boots TATOOS-ZENITH-BUTTERFLY 38
Sn@tch - Alternative Model Pyper Dollinger
Steampunk Drack Dieselâ€™s shop Arcavim has refined the classic steampunk into something I find extremely wearable. Rich textures and clean lines combine with highly detailed boots and hats. Combining this in a unique and edgy style sets you apart from the masses.
Arcavim Traveler Outfit Nobles Jacket GREY Noble Vest Striped Grey Striped Noble Trousers Black Sailor Boots Skin: The Abyss - Steve Law Hair: Argrace - Modern Rail
Arcavim - Steampunk Model Iustinian Tomsen 39
GRITTY KITTY Hair: Black Bilirubin Pants: Pink Leggings (from leggings pack all colors) Top: Micecream Betty w/checkered scarf and Bangles Belt: LEO -NT=Cargo Baggy Freestyle(belt only) Shoes: B&G Woman Canvas-Red Ear and Tail: Sweet Leo Punk Ears and Tail Tattoo: from set G&G and GOK=The Black Widow LIP Ring: AVZ-Diamond Star Lip Piercing
The neko movement in Second Life, the donning of cat ears and tail, has been around for so long. Just about everyone has dabbled in it at one time or another, some adopting it as a second lifestyle, and some only doing it for fashion. Either way, the Neko is here to stay. Coming out on top is Noam Sprocketâ€™s shop Gritty Kitty. With a steady release of hairs, scarves, clothing and bags as well as accessories, heâ€™s been keeping Nekos happy for a very long time on the grid. 40
Gritty Kitty - Neko Model Tatiana Kurri
House of Rfyre - Goth Model Tatiana Kurri
While not all of Rfyre’s outfits are goth, they are the best textured and designed on the grid in my opinion. Like everything done by Raven Pennyfeather, the designer of House of Rfyre, she does it until it’s perfect. Her recent release Severage, shown here, reveals the stunning detail that’s become her trademark for all of Rfyre designs.
HOUSE OF RFYRE DRESS:Severage Series Noir Boots:Bax ankel Black Patent Hair:Tukinowaguma Lairry ebony Jewelry:Kraftika No 306 Bracelets 41
Fantasy Fantasy and cosplay enjoy a rich existence in Second Life and the best place to go for that is BareRose [B@R]. Designer June Dion has created a clothing empire that initially began with all genres of fantasy clothing from punk to yukatas. Moving into haute and sculpted attachments, BareRose now holds court on fashion runways all over Second Life. In addition to clothing, BareRose offers a themed meditation spa, Japanese gardens, a formal ballroom, dueling arena and even a sandbox.
BAREROSE TOKYO Messenger of Light blue Hair: noctune no.3 (from the outfit) Tattoo: Sh*tLuck-Kanji BareRose - Fantasy Model Tatiana Kurri 42
HairFair 2009 Written by Laya Felisimo Photography by Tillie Ariantho It’s been on the lips and fingertips of anyone and everyone who follows fashion in Second Life® for the past few weeks. It’s been THE place to be seen (if you’ve been lucky enough to have rezzed) and the place TO see. I am, of course, talking about HairFair 2009. The 4 sim extravaganza opened to the public on June 20th and closed on July 4th, seeing combined traffic of over 128,600 on all 4 sims - yes, it is safe to say that the annual HairFair is a popular event. So, what IS the HairFair? Well, the HairFair is an annual event in which hair designers in Second Life® are invited to produce some new and, often for a time, exclusive hair styles. These are all shown in one place, and this year saw over 4 sims of deliciously sculpted cakes, sweets, and treats packed with hair goodies and awesome freebies from well known hair designers like Truth to new kids on the block like Shag. 44
One thing I did note whilst looking around in my avatar of 123 ARC, was the amount of vendors who were donating 50% and, in some cases, 100% on some hair styles to the ‘Locks of Love’ Charity (http://www.locksoflove.org/)- it really made you feel that little bit extra good about buying the hair, not only about how you looked, but that you knew that some of your money was going to a really good cause and helping others less fortunate. In addition to the vendor donations from certain hair sold, there was also a ‘Bandana Day’. Various designers contributed to this by designing a bandana to be worn instead of hair, in a show of support for the ‘Locks Of Love’ charity and with all monies going to the aforementioned cause. Why the HairFair? Why not just wait until the hair hits the stores? Anyone interested in fashion with a passion will tell you the answer to this one easily. There is no better buzz for any fashionista than being the first, or one of the first, to be wearing a new item, whatever it may be. Trendsetters are so because they set trends, not follow them. This was probably the hugest pull to the HairFair for most. 128,600 SL™ residents all scrambling to get to the same place at the same time led to a traffic nightmare, with many of the sims crashing under the strain of full capacity. This, however, didn’t deter hair lovers from coming from across the grid, converging upon the 4 sim hairtopia.
When the Fair opened this year, the capacity was set at 50 residents and later reduced to 40, which cleverly eased any issues with lagging and rezzing. With experience of such widespread hype comes knowledge. Last year saw many sitting on boxes to move themselves around - this year that idea was embraced, and awesome red prims were set out, enabling those who sat on them to move around speedily and try on as many demos as they could possibly fit into their inventories HairFair2009 surpassed HairFair2008, and I, for one, cannot wait to see what delicious treats the organizers and designers serve up in 2010!
Written By Takeshi Kiama
These past six months saw many hunts across the grid. From “Peace on Earth” to the highly successful “Make Him Over” hunt, there were fantastic creations to be had by both males and females with many major content creators taking part.
Shapes, hair, poses, style. Could I be referring to MADesigns? The ONE stop shop for men in Second Life® that wish to find their own style, and one more enriched than their initial Linden Lab® laden avatar. KMADD city has it all. In fact, if you can’t find it there, then I don’t hold out much hope for you. Having recently added complete avatar series in association with SIGNATURE Skin Labs, you can now get your act together faster than ever. MADesigns takes part in all types of hunts, offers special deals to their VIP members, and even has a personalized image consulting service for those special occasions. There’s something for everyone of every culture.
The CSR (Creators Stamp Rally) was a bit like a loyalty reward in shops where you receive a stamp with a purchase and when you complete a certain number of purchases you get a prize. This rally has become very popular in Second Life® with some of the top Japanese content creators taking part. The prizes are always well made and very original. It really takes the edge off of the usual hunt. With a new hunt starting August 1, 2009, make sure to get in on the fun. You’ll be glad you did.
Shoes Shoes, shoes, shoes. Stiletto Moody had to be the handsdown winner for shoe releases, driving already rabid females to even higher states of shopping euphoria. We’ve seen one stunning release after another to the recent Belle d’jour Summer ‘09 collection, which now allows you to accessorize your high heels with ankle chains and charms, nail polish, studs, toe rings and even tattoos. The sim is open to group members only, and it’s easy enough to join: just do a search and you can shop with tolerable lag and take advantage of the 40% sale on old stock. Expensive? Well, yes. But as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.
Movement Animations and poses abound in more and more choices than ever before. To keep your avatar from walking like a duck with burnt tail feathers, unless you’re into that, an AO is your best bet. Not only are there a multitude of free ones for new avatars, check out Zhao II…you can invest a few Linden™ in a proper one. Vista Animations leads the pack for me. The store is just huge, with everything from modeling to casual to single poses so you can make your own unique combination. SE Motion delivers as well, offering full AOs for male and female as well as an impressive array of couples poses and furnishings. I’ve been very impressed with how far they’ve come, and I urge you to give them a look.
Skins Where would we be without our outer layer? Skins have come a long way in Second Life®, with more intricate detail and variety that cover photorealistic looks like Laqroki and Redgrave to hand drawn styles from LionSkins. There are more than enough to cover a vast audience of cultures: Chaisuki, LeLutka and Belleza, just to name a few. While many others offer male skins as well, there are some that are just better for men. Damiani, Abyss, Aitui, Kira Ahn and Glox give you many options for an interesting and unique look. If you want something a bit less masculine, check out SUBURU, eXceSs, Zanzo and Den-Dou. Shopping in Second Life® is challenging, there’s no doubt about it, but it’s also loads of fun. With more and more content creators coming inworld, the choices grow each month. Get out there and experiment, play and find what works best for you.
AVENUE Homme Written by Takeshi Kiama
Photographed by Natasja Schumann
Over the course of more than six months, Iâ€™ve come across many designers who caught my eye. Truly there are so many, but I thought Iâ€™d put down my ultimate, all time favorites.
Jeans have to be the top of the list as the easiest to wear with anything, well, except to a board meeting. They should be a staple in any closet. In shades of blue, brown and black, from skinny leg to boot cut, there are quite a few excellent jeans in Second Life® to choose from. s’LADE, by owner Harsh Slade, offers up a diverse line with or without belts. The shading is what really makes these a standout pair of jeans, with realistic creases giving you that comfy look that goes for any outing. With a growing line of plain shirts, shorts and jackets, s’LADE is poised to become a force to be reckoned with in men’s fashion. Desert Moon Clothiers [DMC], the brainchild of Dragontat Zagato, offers us sexy, tight fitting jeans as well as an impressive selection of tanks and tees, belts and shoes. While there haven’t been a lot of new releases, DMC remains a solid basic when shopping for jeans in Second Life®. Weird Monkey Designs, WMD, owned by Maruko Sakigake, is another best bet. His designs are fun and funky, with loads of styles and an excellent selection of ripped jeans as well. A great place to start with affordable prices.
Shiki Designs From the first time I walked into Shiki Designs with a friend, I was enchanted. His fashions abound with color and clever attachments for both men and women. One of my favorites, the ‘Leather Tokyo’ jacket with fur prim collar, was love at first sight. The fitted fur prim collar, that leaves an attachment point for a turtleneck collar, pleased me to no end. I paired the jacket with ARGRACE’s ‘With You’ sweater and a pair of durable and dark wash ‘Boot Cut Fit Denim’ jeans that come with sculpted leg cuffs, but it’s good to know that the jeans themselves look great either with or without them. The sweater comes in seven colors. All can complement the jacket and add a touch of brightness to the look without being overdone. The Tokyo jacket is versatile to no end. If fur just isn’t your thing, you can remove the fur collar and wear the supplied muffler that is included in the sweater set.
AVZ ~ Trimesh Shirt / s’LADE MEN - JEANS 01 / *REDGRAVE* BOOTS Black-Leather / =EkoEko= sharp2 hair (darkbrown)
s’LADE MEN - Plaid Chex Shirt / Desert Moon Clothiers Scud Jeans / *REDGRAVE* BOOTS Brown Leather / =EkoEko= sharp2 hair (darkbrown)
SHIKI-Leather Jacket TOKYO BLACK / *ARGRACE* Boots cut fit denim (MEN`s) / Kalnins Shoes - Gallop / *ARGRACE* Hunting hat Very short Dark brown
Dinzeo Designs Frolic Sweater Blue / Dinzeo Designs - Vintage Low rise / SOREAL Superstars BROWN/Blue / MADesigns Hair CHRIS SUMMER F1 AB I
Dinzeo Designs I love this guy. Not only does he make everything he wears in Second Life®, he also makes prefab homes, furniture, and has branched off into women’s wear. I don’t think there’s anything Devon cannot do. His outfits run the gamut from conservative to all out neko and grunge. Many of Dinzeo Designs’s outfits come with shoes, an extra plus if you’re on a budget. Recently releasing a line of vintage style jeans along with his contribution to the sculpty underwear market, I wait with anticipation for his prefab house to become available. You’ll leave Dinzeo Designs well dressed, with some extra Linden™ in your pocket.
*Zanzo* Manchester Scene Cardigan (Salford) / *Zanzo* Fifth Avenue Denim (Colombo) / Armidi LTD - Checkered S001 Shoe (Blk/Black) / =EkoEko= sweet hair (darkbrown)
Zanzo Theodore DuCasse came to my attention via an entry on Plurk of all things. Plurk is a social networking chat thingie, for all those in the dark. His profile picture intrigued me, so I clicked on his blog link. I found some of the most colorful and perhaps kawaii (‘cute’ in Japanese) outfits I’ve ever come across. His thoughtfully crafted cardigans that look soft to the touch, perfectly sculpted jeans, and skins just knocked my socks off. A lot of Zanzo’s styles are aimed at the younger market; there are conservative looks for the more faint of heart. The ‘Manchester’ cardigan and slim leg jeans are a smart ensemble that comes with sculpted collar and cuffs, and allow for plenty of mix and match. Skins and shapes, all combined to give you the best fit, come in all types from androgynous to Gen X and Gen Y. 55
MADesigns Hair CHRIS SUMMER F1 AB I / Dinzeo Designs Frolic Sweater Blue
MADesigns Yes, I do love MADesigns. And I always will. They are the pinnacle of style for men in Second Life®. They should be your first stop, and your last, just to make sure. Starting out as the place to go for men’s shapes and eyes, MADesigns took the plunge and branched out into men’s hair. Slicked back, fringed, hat hair, they have you covered. The KMADD sim houses the best of SL™ content creators for men, making it the one stop shop, and I really hate to use that term, but it is so true. Now offering complete avatar sets that include skin and shape to get you started quickly, MAD doesn’t dictate style, but they do give you all the tools you need so you can discover your own.
AVENUE Models of the Month
More Than Just A Model Written by Tiffany Dragonash Photographed by Mischa Cuttita Each Month AVENUE Magazine chooses a model of the month from among the ranks of AVENUE models. This month is a little different in that ﬁve models have been selected for this honor. Each model presented here has demonstrated a willingness and ability to contribute her time and abilities to AVENUE Models or AVENUE Inc. and is deserving of special mention. The ﬁve models are: Livia Mastroianni, Laurel Luminos, Jesika Contepomi, Tempest Rosca, and Cortney Prieto. Following are brief interviews with each one to get a small sense of who they are and why they are succeeding in this challenging profession. Jesika Contepomi
AVENUE I splurged and bought a new machine. Q. To what do you owe your success so far? A. The amazing training program AVENUE offers. I was very skeptical from the start and did not feel there was anything new to learn that I didn’t already know. But as I slowly went through the classes I realized how deep the industry is and truly how much there is to know. I’m still learning. Q. What is your current role with AVENUE, other than modeling? A. I’m the VP of Marketing for AVENUE Inc, which covers the responsibilities of marketing, advertising, sales and public relations for each of the AVENUE sectors. Q. How does this role help you in your modeling? A. The best part of my job is I get to see every aspect of modeling from the ground up. Being a part of a large-scale fashion show from conception gives one an entirely different take on modeling, and a much better understanding of the bigger picture - also the same for print modeling and watching the magazines come to fruition each month. I love how AVENUE grows organically, giving its staff and models multiple opportunities and helping each of us grow to be our best self. Q. What is the biggest challenge you face in modeling? A. Staying unique and on top of trends. Things in Second Life® travel at a lightning pace, and keeping on top of the fashion trends, runway hits and misses from all the various grid wide events can be daunting. My saving grace is the fashion blogs.
Q. What inspired you to pursue a Second Life® modeling career? A. The combination between my love of fashion and the actual design of the avatar. Initially I wanted to only be a print model, knowing the lag of my computer wouldn’t allow me to do runway. But then after graduating from 58
Q. How would you assess how your career has gone so far? A. I think I’ve been very fortunate. Coming out of the Academy in December of 2008 to being the VP of Marketing for AVENUE by the end of February was pure luck. Just being in the right place at the right time with the needed skill sets. As a marketing consultant in real life, it just
all ﬂowed together nicely. I would encourage models to be ﬂexible and give their full range of skills in every application. Being a model in Second Life® is so much more than just being a pretty face. Q. What aspirations do you have beyond modeling? A. Right now my main focus is on my marketing responsibilities at AVENUE. Being able to combine my passions with work and make a real career in Second Life® in what I love to do is truly a blessing. And other than that, I just enjoy spending time with my wife and family. Cortney Prieto
She said I was going to make it eventually. Even when I struggled through the academy learning the techniques and during the rehearsals for the graduation show and I almost quit it all together, she was the one who pushed me into working hard and reminded me of my goal. Q. What is your current role with AVENUE, other than modeling? A. PA to the CEO of AVENUE Rusch Raymaker, I schedule her meetings, update our models galleries, I basically help her with anything that she would want to do or need regarding AVENUE. As Marketing Executive of AVENUE Magazine, I search for and look up new hot designers and invite them to advertise with us, answer any questions they might have, I book advertisements and discuss different advertising plans that could be provided to those designers, and follow up with them of course. Q. How does this role help you in your modeling? A. It helps me by always being updated and knowledgeable about the latest in the ﬁeld of fashion, it gets me to ﬁnd out about new gadgets that would help me with my job, always ﬁnding out about the latest AOs, HUDs, poses and so on. And it also boosts my conﬁdence and gets me to be even more professional when dealing with people. Q. What is the biggest challenge you face in modeling?
Q. What inspired you to pursue a Second Life® modeling career?
A. I would say time and money; sometimes you’re short on either or both and the less shows and shoots you are in the less likely you are to be well known out there. My other challenge would be that I come from and live in the Middle East so I am 10 hours ahead of SLT, so when it’s a good time for people say from the US to have a shoot or show or even a rehearsal (since almost the majority of people on Second Life® are in the States) it would be really early in the morning for me or very late so I can’t be in some of them.
A. When I ﬁrst started Second Life®, back in 2006, I tried my best to understand what Second Life® was about, wandering around trying to do mini jobs here and there to buy the 1L items to make myself look a bit better (less noobish). I got a few jobs, tried RP and it was all fun but while looking through classiﬁeds once I saw some ads of modeling agencies seeking models and such and I TPed to one of them and was so amazed by how glamorous models were and I wanted to be one ever since.
Q. How would you assess how your career has gone so far?
Q. To what do you owe your success so far?
Q. What aspirations do you have beyond modeling?
A. I owe my success to two people, a friend of mine who when I couldn’t afford much helped me ﬁnancially to be a model before and through, and to my boss and the CEO of AVENUE Inc., Rusch Raymaker, because when I wanted to apply to AVENUE academy and I couldn’t afford it she offered me a job as her assistant to be able to afford it.
A. I am just about to start my own small photography studio, and I do work as the CEO’s personal assistant. I love shopping and exploring fun new sims.
A. Well, I am actually surprised I was asked to schedule a shoot for the model of the month section in the magazine. I did a few shows and a couple of shoots but never thought of myself to be that skilled, not skilled enough as the rest of our models who have greater experience. But I am really happy and excited. This is going to truly push me ahead and enthuse me to learn more and do more.
contd. overleaf 59
Q. What is your current role with AVENUE, other than modeling? A. I am show producer, stage manager, designer liaison for AVENUE Models and marketing agent for AVENUE Magazine. My responsibilities include planning fashion shows, managing staff, developing show/stage concept, choreographing, sourcing designers and keeping in touch for the coordination of models and outﬁts, selling advertising space to designers. Q. How does this role help you in your modeling? A. This role helped me a lot to understand what happens backstage and made me feel even more responsible as a model. I understand now the effort and hard work that are behind each fashion show, and trying to be perfect when I model is a duty towards both designers and staff. Moreover, I have the chance to network with designers and listen to their needs. I see this affects my choices when I model, as I’m getting used to studying what a designer wants and trying to ﬁt as good as possible. Most importantly, doing this job has developed a great sense of “teamwork” and makes my modeling experience more complete and enjoyable.
Q. What inspired you to pursue a Second Life® modeling career? A. I decided to enter the modeling world one year ago. Fashion is one of my passions in both lives, though at that time I was just enjoying Second Life®, working as host and dancer and exploring music scenery. But I realized I could actively participate in the fashion industry. I did a random search for modeling agencies and AVENUE got my attention; their new modeling academy sounded very professional and covered interesting topics, so I made the decision to invest my time and Linden™ there. I was a model-noob and I had no great expectations except for experiencing a new aspect of Second Life®, but by the end of my 2-month training I was totally fascinated by modeling and I had a ﬁrst insight on how magical, frustrating, fulﬁlling and wonderful it would be. Q. To what do you owe your success so far? A. All my AVENUE trainers shared their knowledge and experience, and I owe them a lot, as they showed me the sparkle and let me uncover a hidden, or new, passion of mine. I owe everything I am now to the people I’ve met so far in my work path, ﬁrst of all Rusch Raymaker who believed in me. People can be great teachers even if they don’t intend to, and a good watcher and listener can absorb precious information. After one year, I can say that my achievements happened because I’ve always been eager to learn and improve. After you get conﬁdent on the runway and receive the ﬁrst recognitions, it’s very easy to settle for your skills and believe you made it... but the truth is, there’s no ﬁnal goal but constantly improving and showing designs in the best way possible. 60
Q. What is the biggest challenge you face in modeling? A. There are hundreds of valid professional models around now, and only few get the chance to be at the very top. The ﬁrst challenge I faced is learning how to handle competition by keeping a positive attitude and being conﬁdent of my own skills. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but modeling down-to-earth is very rewarding for the precious relationships and connections you develop. That said, MY challenge is with myself, trying to improve my technical skills, my style, fashion choices and being constantly updated on new trends, sometimes trying to make them. Q. How would you assess how your career has gone so far? A. My modeling career proceeded gradually, and I’m very happy about it. I have now some good experiences as a runway model; that is what I love most, and I’m so glad to be part of professional agencies where I have the chance to work with lovely people, each with their own personality, style and way of working. I participated in a few modeling contests and always learned something from them, especially when I didn’t win. The latest competition I took part in was Elegance SL™, and I loved it. I keep working often as a runway model, and the best recognition is the appreciation of fellow models and designers I work with. For the future, I can’t ask anything but going on as I’m doing now and living this dream. Q. What aspirations do you have beyond modeling? A. Beyond modeling, what occupies most of my time in Second Life® is being a show producer for AVENUE. I
started as Designer Liaison for a big production eight months ago, and each time since then I found out I could do a bit more, ﬁrst stage director, then choreographer and at last producer. I can say this path has been and still is greatly fun and surprising, as I never expected I would be so enthusiastic about it to make it my ﬁrst activity. This is my true love and aspiration, being backstage and building up dreams that everyone, models, designers and audience, can enjoy. Laurel Luminos Q. What inspired you to pursue a Second Life® modeling career? A. When I started in Second Life®, I came in to enjoy, relax, be with Spectre when he was out of town and have some fun. Photography was a big part of that fun. One day I was thinking that I really needed to know what it was like to be on the other side of the camera. How could I talk to a model, advising them what I needed, if I didn’t know what it was like to be in their shoes. I looked around, compared agencies and decided on AVENUE.
open door of communication. Other days it’s production assistant, which usually entails helping Kryptonia with rehearsals, putting out casting calls, behind-the-scenes work and coordination during shows. There are times I work with some of the Academy Trainees, helping them with ﬁttings, runway practice and general questions. There have been days that it is all of these at once. Other days it is just one or two, but I enjoy every minute of it. I am working towards becoming a production manager, but there is still a lot to be learned. Q. How do these roles help you in your modeling? A. It makes it to where I understand the whole process involved with the modeling industry. From the ﬁrst discussion with the designer to the ﬁnished show and everything that occurs in between. I truly enjoy the behind-the-scenes work; the modeling is an added bonus. Q. What is the biggest challenge you face in modeling? A. The biggest challenge I face so far is hoping the sim doesn’t crash halfway through a show. Otherwise, I would say just keeping up to date with everything going on. Q. How would you assess how your career has gone so far? A. When it comes to my career as a model, I am very surprised at how well it has gone so far. I never expected it to take off like it has. I have enjoyed every minute of being a model. Q. What aspirations do you have beyond modeling? A. I like doing a lot of the behind-the-scenes production work. I want to continue in the direction that I am currently in. Each day has been a learning experience. Hopefully I can get back to taking more photos, but that is more for my own personal pleasure. Otherwise, I will continue forward as long as it’s fun and challenging at the same time. Tempest Rosca
Q. To what do you owe your success so far? A. I owe a big part of my success to Spectre, a few close friends, continued hard work, practice, practice, practice and asking questions when I am not sure about something. I also have had great guidance from Kryptonia; she was my instructor at the AVENUE Academy and is now my mentor. Q. What is your current role with AVENUE, other than modeling? A. Currently, my role with AVENUE varies depending on the need. Sometimes it’s Marketing Executive, meaning I am approaching designers about magazine ads, future shows, and staying in contact with them so that there is always an
Q. What inspired you to pursue a Second Life® modeling career? A. I’ve always had an interest in fashion and the industry, and Second Life® has given me the tools to be able to explore that further. During the run up to Christmas last year, I looked into academies and agencies, as modeling was something I had always been interested in but had no idea whatsoever on how to break through. Q. To what do you owe your success so far? A. I personally think there are three elements to this question. Firstly, without a doubt training at a top quality academy like AVENUE does help put you on the right path. I know a lot of models haven’t had training and are still successful, but I think if you’re like me (who knew nothing 61
successful, but I think if you’re like me (who knew nothing of the modeling business) it’s invaluable.Secondly, I think you have to be prepared to work hard - jobs won’t come to you. I spent a lot of time (and still do) attending shows and parties and networking in general as well as attending practices/castings - it’s all fab experience.Finally, I would like to think that the right attitude helps more than anything else!! Modeling is extremely competitive, and you’re not going to be hired for every job that you go for or taken on by every agency you apply to. I think you have to have an element of fun, enjoy the work that you do and the people that you work with.
A. Strangely, it’s partly the same element as the question above. Because the business can be so hard to get into and be successful in - you potentially do come across a lot of negativity and jealousy. You have to rise above it and make up your own judgment - don’t just ‘follow the crowd’, be brave to do your own thing! Q. How would you assess how your career has gone so far? A. I’ve been fortunate (in a way!!), because I had the time during the ﬁrst ﬁve months of this year to concentrate on Second Life® and predominately modeling as I couldn’t work due to a back injury, so I spent most of my days (and nights!!) in Second Life®, working hard and attending as much of the industry events as I could. With that came lots of work and opportunity, which I’ve been able to maintain. I don’t take anything for granted; I think to be successful you constantly have to work at it even when you’ve tasted an element of it! Q. What aspirations do you have beyond modeling? A. I’m extremely thrilled to be part of the AVENUE staff as Designer Liaison - a role that I’m enjoying thoroughly! I’d love to continue to work in the industry and continue to grow my own knowledge and experience.
Q. What is your current role with AVENUE, other than modeling? A. I’m fortunate to work as a Designer Liaison with AVENUE, which incorporates many things. I work alongside the Production Designer or another DL to organize casting notices, rehearsals, distribute notes, outﬁts and basically make sure everyone is where they should be. On the night, I can work with Rusch via Skype by telling her who’s on the stage so she can time her script - I’ve also been a script announcer. As well as making sure that everyone is rezzed and ready to rock and roll. In future, as part of this role, I am looking forward to selling shows to designers. Q. How does this role help you in your modeling? A. It helps unbelievably because you get a wider view and see just how much hard work, commitment and motivation is required to put these shows on for everyone. It is not just a matter of turning up - the coordination and behindthe-scenes workings are very complex and constantly busy. It opens your eyes to all aspects of the workings of a big agency! Q. What is the biggest challenge you face in modeling? 62
These ﬁve ladies, although of varying levels of experience and background, with different aspirations, are all a credit to this industry. Each one has demonstrated through their dedication and hard work that they are always ready to represent the modeling industry well as professional models. Whether it be that they continue on as models or move on to other areas of the fashion industry, their passion is likely to ensure further successes for each of them. Congratulations ladies.
From left to right: Jesika Contepomi, Cortney Prieto, Livia Mastroianni, Laurel Luminos and Tempest Rosca
GOL Project Written by Villy Enyo Photographed by Tillie Ariantho
cross the Second Life Grid™, only some regions manage to hypnotize us with their unique architecture and imagination. The person responsible for seven of these regions is Dakota Neumann, owner and creator of the GOL complex. GOL accommodates different functions, and all of them are combined in a self-dependent dynamic urban whole.
“Element the 7th” In the center, on GOL8, beats the heart of the settlement: “Element the 7th” club is the 7th edition of the Element sequel. It is one of the most popular clubs in Second Life®, has been in operation since 2006 and attracts crowds of people. Here, the party and music never stop. There is not a single moment that the club is not full of its loyal patrons. Element was the first thing built in GOL and demonstrates a history of massive success and popularity. The club is full of people at all hours of the day. What is most surprising is that they feel really passionate about the place and they keep coming again and again. The club is crowded day and night, regardless of a DJ being there or not. Club management is very professional: there are three Head Managers and a staff of about eighty people who work on 24/7 shifts. The DJs are organized on a full time schedule and cover from 8am until midnight or more. Club success is a mixture of several factors: music quality, staff proficiency, and sophisticated ambience. The club is renovated every six months, and the way it is run is quite unique to SL™. There are no events or competitions organized there: it is a pure dance music club.
Urban Function The complex seems to draft life from the club, and the crowds of people that flock there give breath and energy to the sim. The social dynamics of the club are used in order to produce a vibrant social independent urban complex. GOL is comprised of seven regions. Around the central region GOL8, where Element the 7th club is located, a small “second” world unfolds. GOL 4 and GOL 1 host the exhibition of GOL’s prefab Villas and accessories. GOL 2 and GOL 7 are residential areas for rent. A very warm tropical residential estate is located at GOL 6. And on GOL 5 is the shopping mall which features lots of famous brands. 64 42
In a close distance there are three more regions belonging to the GOL Corporation: Teliesin West and Taliesin Oasis regions are Dakota Neumannâ€™s private home, and Generation is a sim with plots for sale. Dakota Neumann describes GOL as a project, and in this sense it comprises an innovation, a pilot scheme. He tried to create for the inhabitants and users of the area the ideal conditions to enjoy a living with all luxuries, in nature, with a vibrant social life, opportunities for recreation and entertainment, and a shopping center which provides for all that everyday virtual life demands, all in a short and handy distance. Dakota Neumann tried
to produce a human place, and not another desert sim on the grid.
Architecture GOL vibrates with the music and rhythm that surge out of the central island in all ways. Buildings and objects behave like a game of forms and volumes that follow the sounds, sometimes harmonic and consistent, sometimes chaotic and unexpected. The simple and laconic materials contribute to a whole that relaxes and surprises you, full of meetings and lonely wanderings, cheer and peace, high tech convenience and the omnipresence of nature. 65
Dakota uses a set of very warm and simple textures, with variations per building project. He moulds the volumes of his buildings with a strong sense of sculpting, near to his architectural priorities. His mixings lead to a balanced and cozy result that engages the habitat and the visitor in a relaxing experience. It was a pleasure for me to talk to Dakota on the generation of this project. Villy Enyo: What made you to decide to build a club in the first place? Dakota Neumann: Well I did it for fun at first, and then 66 44
it became a tradition of GOL to own a club. Actually I couldnâ€™t imagine GOL without its club. VE: You are putting a great effort on the developing of your building projects, and also it must be really hard to keep the club working with such a success for so long a time. How can you engage yourself in all these activities at the same time? DN: Actually the club is run by its management. I only design them and give guidelines, so I can concentrate on all the other GOL activities. Still my SLâ„˘ days are very busy and sometimes it is hard to keep up with things.
VE: Do you feel that Second Life® gave you an opportunity to express your creativity in a way closer to your real interests? DN: Absolutely. SL™ is like a canvas for me, and it gives me the possibility to make my dreams and visions real. VE: Regarding your urban project, to which extent do you think your goals are achieved? DN: There is still a lot that can be improved: GOL has continuously changed in all these years and still will change in the future; it evolves all the time. It is a place in which one could live all his virtual life: in fact so many people came into GOL by chance on the first day of their virtual life and here they remained. Many people call GOL as their home, and they keep coming. I am extremely proud of this company, as it is different from any other SL™ company, and I am very honored to have so many fans of its design style. VE: What are your design guidelines? DK: I do not do drawings but I have a quite clear vision in my mind of what I want to achieve when I start building
something. I think one could recognize a GOL designed building right away; it is a style I tried to develop and it is made of sharp lines, balanced volumes and a quite peculiar choice of texturing and colors. VE: When you make a house, do you have a default user in mind? Or do you think of yourself as the user? DK: I always think of myself as the user; I never try to design things to accomplish people’s taste. I consider myself lucky that many seem to like my design choices! VE: What are your designing references, people that influenced and inspired you and left a mark on your personal style? DK: My first real inspiration is obviously, among many others, Master Frank Lloyd Wright, but I also love architects like Daniel Libeskind who changed all rules about symmetry and proportions. VE: Dakota Neumann, thank you for your time and your kind hospitality here in your beautiful sims. DK: Thank you; it has been a real pleasure for me.
Interesting Sims Written by Carissa Sockington Photography by Tillie Ariantho, Trinidad Anatine and Isadora Fiddlesticks
A wonderland of pixelated fantasy lands based on both real life creations and the limitless possibilities of the mind, Second Life® has an abundance of fantastic sims to be explored. To take the time to walk you through each and every one that has sparked our interest over the months would be an issue in and of itself. So we’ve narrowed it down to four fascinating sims we think you will want to explore the next time you log on.
We begin our journey with a stop at the magnificent Black and White Taj. Standing amidst the calm waters of Arusa Bay, the castles seemingly shadow one another, connected only by a long elevated walkway. The White Taj, designed almost entirely in white marble, stands elegantly, like a beautiful woman with her face turned towards the sun. It brings a certain peace as you stroll through the hallways and grand rooms. High above lies the White Taj Sky Garden. Wooden bridges lie across rippling creeks and pose balls abound with places to be with your love. Heading down the elevated walk towards the Black Taj, a hint of mystery lies in the ebony walls ahead. While the Black Taj is asymmetrically shaped in reverse of the White Taj, the differences do not stop there. The layout is much more intricate and adventurous. Courtyards with wildflowers lie inside the doorway. Hidden getaways wait just beyond a ladderâ€™s climb. View the castles on foot or take the zeppelin that awaits beyond the White Taj and enjoy this rather remarkable place from the air in all its regal glory.
Our next destination lies in the city of Ireem, in a sim known as Kingdom of Sand. It is a role playing sim created by eDream Factory that has a history rich with centuries of conflict and unsettlement. The beautiful Zanlu has become Sultana and it is now her place to bring an end to conflict and peace back to this enchanting land. The city of Ireem is nestled amongst a landscape of sand dunes and dry rock, the sparkling sea its neighbor. Guarded walls encircle the city, but all are welcome. Inside, you find the marketplace with an inn for the weary traveler and shops to entice. Further in is the palace of the Sultana. With its own currency, character roles, and hierarchy, Kingdom of Sand is a complete ecosystem in and of itself. Visitors are welcome, but realize that KOS is a private sim. The residents there think of it as their home and expect and deserve your courtesy. Be sure to wear the Explorer tag as you wander through this exquisite kingdom.
From a desert of sand, to a wasteland of metal, Immersiva is another sim we think you will want to visit. Flowing freely from the mind of master creator Bryn Oh, Immersiva is an abandoned robot theme park. “The robots have been left behind to find meaning to their existence. The idea is that they are advanced enough to have the ability to love. Left alone, they develop hopes and dreams and the need for belonging. Each character on the sim has a story,” says Oh, the genius behind the beauty there. “Left clicking on things or saying particular words in open chat can activate the music and poems which illustrate their story.” Golden orbs can be found all over the sim, each with its own machinima waiting to tell the story behind the creation there. “Virtually all the machinima I have made are illustrating the stories inside my builds. Often they will solidify the meaning visually behind one of my machine poems. The images and creations of Immersiva capture the mind and provoke thought of what the future may in fact hold.”
Our final destination leads us back in time to a sim renowned for its live performances of Shakespeare. The SL™ Globe Theater is known throughout the Internet as the most historically accurate 3D rendition of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. The SL™ Shakespeare Company uses this vivid recreation to perform full-length renditions of Shakespeare’s plays live in Second Life®. Actors use SL™ Voice to deliver lines, and theater seats are equipped with a dynamic camera that upon sitting sets the camera position automatically to a good place for both viewing and hearing the play. As the play progresses, the camera moves around to the different areas of the set where the action is happening, ensuring you the best possible experience. With performances every Sunday at 1 PM SLT and Tuesdays at 6 PM SLT, this is an experience you will not want to miss.
Second Life速 has many worlds from the typical to the enchanting, the magical to the plain, but all are creations of the imagination, limitless and free. Happy exploring.
Weddings and More at
The Renaissance Galleria
ast June 26, a new addition to the BOSL sim
a walking tour and showed off one of the best chapels
was unveiled. It was a new location created by
that I have ever seen in Second Life®. Upstairs housed
renowned architect and builder Patch Thibauld
the quarters for the bride and groom, where they and
designed to house some of the best designs in
their entourage get ready for the big day. The location
the Wedding and Formals category in Second Life . ®
was elegantly decorated, relaxing and peaceful.
The Renaissance Galleria brings weddings and
Mills said something that went like this: “When
more in one glorious location, a dreamy and romantic
a bride is in this room now, there’s no turning back.”
place reminiscent of Tuscany. In this place one can
I laughed and suggested that the bride should never
do more than just shop; one can make memories
be able to teleport out of the room in case of jitters,
by celebrating their dream Mediterranean style
remembering the Real Life movie, “Runaway Bride”.
wedding, go on a quiet walk, enjoying the view, play
It was grand without being intimidating, and we
with water in the fountain, and walk along the tiled
then went out to the courtyard and garden. Mills says
walkways looking for that dream wedding dress and
that the garden is for holding receptions and parties.
its accessories. The bride and groom’s entourage is
It is often the practice for weddings and receptions in
also not forgotten in this one-of-a-kind location; they
Second Life® to be held in separate places of the sim,
too can partake in the atmosphere that the location
but the Galleria is an exception. I have to applaud
evokes, for the place itself is inspired to evoke an old-
him for his practicality, for no longer would avatars
style romance, yet houses the classy but edgy designs
have to teleport from one place to another, giving
of the haute couture houses in SL™.
the hassle of having to rez again in a new location.
Text and Photos by: Isadora Fiddlesticks
Patch Thibauld and the BOSL Boulevard have
What’s more, he further explains that by having traffic
contributed to the way SL™ residents shop in Second
consistently in one location, it makes it easier to
Life by providing scenic places in which not only the
manage and eliminates the sense of avatars scattered
visitors can delight in, but also its tenants.
around. A well-managed traffic in a sim also makes
BOSL’s CEO Frolic Mills conceptualized the place
after listening to feedback and suggestions. An
They have indeed gone through lengths to create
ambitious entrepreneur, he aspired to capture the
a beautiful location that sets you in the mood for
Wedding category market. Also as someone who has
tying the knot. The Renaissance Galleria is ready to
been in Second Life for awhile, he takes note that
give you wonderful moments on your wedding day. A
shoppers not only look for the best items, but an experience. He knows that no one is satisfied with run-of-the-mill malls with overused textures and lag. For essentially, shoppers are not just buyers, they are tourists in a sense that there is also a need to delight them visually. Mr. Mills intends for shoppers to feel a sense of fullness in the experience of shopping in Galleria, where everything they need to celebrate and organize a wedding in Second Life® can be had. As he showed me around, speaking to me through voice, he gave me
Stylissimo Baroque Chaise
Our Top Five Interior Designers of Second Life速 Written by Sensuous Soulstar Photographed by Trinidad Anatine & Blaz Halfpint
tunning color, lush texture, and an amazing build... and this is only the landscaping. The color scheme draws you in to the shops, while the open air and beautifully designed scenery make it a lovely stroll between stores. This innovative furniture store is designed such that each section of home furnishings has its own building. Teasing you with just a glimpse of the tantalizing furnishings inside, you now fight the battle of just where to start, hoping that you can control yourself long enough to make it to the next showroom. Whichever section you pick, the first thing you find is a gorgeous showroom setup that highlights each display and draws the shopperâ€™s focus to each individual set. Although a minor design, the setup allows you to specifically zoom in on each set without getting sidetracked by the tempting design and color of the set next to it, allowing you time to picture it gracing your home, the envy of all others. The furniture pieces themselves are kept to a simple, yet ultra modern design, mimicking real life with perfection. Most of the sets seem to maximize room space while minimizing object count. Simply modern is in, while over cluttering is out. The color schemes are conservative: neutrals, blacks and whites, while the detail is evident, even down to the handpicked accessories that adorn each set. Here you will find something for every room of the house. The sets are designed such that you can keep a general overall color theme for your home and be able to match that from room to room. Your furniture, your accessories, even your lighting will come together so perfectly that others will think you spent hours trying to find just the right match. Colleen Desmoulinsâ€™s designs are a testament to the ideal that while keeping it simple, you donâ€™t have to sacrifice taste. These pieces are a welcomed addition to any home, giving it a modern flare that seems to scream clutter is unnecessary. Less is sometimes more.
ick one or two rooms of the house and master them. That seems to be the idea behind the furniture at Instinct. Here, they specialize in bedroom and bathroom furniture, taking a small portion of the home and turning it into your own little piece of heaven. Utilizing a gorgeous, yet efficient layout, you stroll around the showroom, lusting after each bedroom set that graces your sight. A bit of a search at first, you realize that the bathrooms are attached to the bedrooms, leading you on a scavenger hunt, crossing your fingers that you’ll see that open side door, knowing that behind it is your prize. But don’t be dismayed, once you find it, you will know you have struck gold. And the icing on the cake: every piece is not only gorgeous in taste, but functional. You save space and time by having the combined power of beauty and functionality all in one. Speaking of saving, the prim count on most of these pieces is a dream. You can afford to furnish your home without crossing your fingers that you will have to sacrifice quality for prims. The color scheme of the bedroom sets range from bright and airy, to conservatively dark. Yet every piece teases the eye so delightfully that one will always feel at home in the bedroom, no matter which set you choose. The mixing of Instinct’s own intimate animations into the furniture takes the bedroom from just a place to lay your head to a mix of comfort, intimacy, and eroticism all in one little low prim package. Even the bathrooms grab you, some making you rub your eyes just to make sure they aren’t playing tricks on you. With options from wood to chrome, conservative to sleek, traditional to sexy, deciding will not be easy. Yet, with working showers, baths, toilets and sinks, you will spend more time in the bathroom than you ever imagined, but you won’t be complaining. Coming from the creator of CORN furniture, it is easy to understand why nothing less than superior quality is to be expected upon entering this bedroom and bathroom superstore.
elcome the Jetsons to Second Life®... or something like that. Here, retro meets futuristic and somehow manages to converge in the middle. This is SLeek, and this is the future of home furnishings. Don’t look for your traditional 5 piece living room set here. You won’t find yourself sitting on a square, traditional sofa; you’ll find yourself melting into a twisted piece of comfort and heaven while resting your head back on a cloud. There is a futuristic, eclectic style that makes a room stand out. This furniture is not for the tame of heart, the non-adventurous, or the traditionalists. This is for the new age, experimental home owners who crave the future, those who believe square is out, and sleek, twisted, and irregularly shaped is in. Every room in the home except the bedroom is covered in this store, even your very own home gym. Not to worry, what they lack in bedroom furniture they make up for in more options. The layout of the showroom makes it easy to find everything but does give you an eyeful. You will have to restrain yourself from being tempted by the piece of colorful, alluring furniture next to the piece you originally walked up to. Conservative colors go out the window here. You can find your neutrals, but you can also find your rainbow colors for the more bold at heart. Want to match your favorite flower? SLeek will give you just that option. You can even take the SLeek look to your patio or beach. Sit poolside in your perfectly sculpted, bright lime green lounge chair under the same colored umbrella sipping your matching margarita. Who says neutral is always the way to go. Here SLeek says your patio furniture shouldn’t match the sand it’s sitting on. Unfortunately, you will also find that the lag is in sync with the dance party next door, one of the few downfalls of the store. But once you fight through it and you’re inside the store, you will find that it was well worth it after you see the quality of this furniture. Designer Hummer Corleone has brought the future of furnishing to Second Life® and has done it in amazing Technicolor.
ead into this outdoor shop, stand still for a moment and just take in the sight. Simple. Modern. Classic. Walk closer to each piece of furniture, and you stop and stare. Your eyes travel over each piece of furniture from left to right, top to bottom. It is only then that you realize your mouth is open in awe. Welcome to 2Xtreme. Here you will find that the bare minimum can be the perfect look, conservative is desirable, and consistency is key. Don’t look for the fancy shapes and designs from other stores, or the flashy colors of the rainbow. At 2Xtreme, classic cubic shapes are the frame, and neutral is the painting inside that brings this classic piece of artwork together. It reminds you that art doesn’t have to be done in bright color to truly stand out. Look closer at each piece of furniture and you will find that the textures are nothing short of remarkable. Take the intricate detail in the leather sofas. One look and you can only imagine how the soft, supple material would caress your body tight while creating a soft cushion you could just melt into. Even the detail in the accessories is a testament to the time and attention Tunes Meness put into creating these works of art. Although you will have to look elsewhere for your bathroom needs, every other room in your house will be taken care of with grace and style. Creating an air of open space with as little decoration as possible, every bedroom set was the epitome of minimal. There were no matching dressers, closets or other room clutters; instead, side tables and lamps adorned each bedside. Add in a plant and one or two accessories, and you’ve got a comfortable space perfect for sleeping or loving. The animations in the bed do make you long for more and maybe a little more diversity in the choices. But what is lacking in animation is made up for through the efficient use of low prims. The use of the dock/beach theme for this shop shows that this furniture was made to adorn your next beach home. Although classy enough to furnish any kind of home, this furniture highlights beach living. The lighter, neutral bed shades give the illusion of one lying lazily in the sand drifting on a warm summer’s day. Simple. Modern. Classic. 2Xtreme gives these words new meaning.
inimal is out, elegance is in, and its name is Stylissimo. Whoever said regal was retro hasn’t been here. Stylissimo is bringing regal back and making it sexier. Where other designers focus on minimalist, cubic forms, Stylissimo breaks the mold, goes against the grain and gives us a body with curves. The colors are rich and vibrant, breaking up the monotony of the conservative and the neutral. Sleek and thin are a thing of the past as curvaceous pieces of elegant art grace this store’s presence. You will feel like you’re living royalty with these pieces in your home. The highly detailed textures, soft curves of the body styles, and brilliant color make these pieces fit for a king or queen. Yet there is no sacrifice on comfort. Stylissimo shows that you can be comfortable while still being elegant. Each of these pieces has been expertly crafted, with attention paid to even the minute details -sometimes even so far as the stitching of the seams. The color schemes are made to match any home and take a plain build from drab to fab. The rich hues of red, the dark essence of true blacks, and the ultimate in white takes the color palette to a whole new level. Seeing the vision of owner Rusch Raymaker brought to life through the skilled hands of Medit8 Zapatero, one can truly understand why this furniture stands out after seeing the beauty of Raymaker’s empire, AVENUE. It is no surprise that the intricacy and detail of work on these masterpieces are this amazing. Adding to the beauty of the furniture are the animations that go along with them. The animations in the sitting pieces could not have been chosen any better. From relaxing to more loving poses, these animations bring these stunning pieces of art to life. Regal, elegant, rich in color and texture: these are the just a few of the things that come to mind when speaking of the home furnishings of Stylissimo.
Perfect Prefabs Written by Villy Enyo
Photographed by Natasja Schuman
How will a world created by a writer and a game developer look like?” This is the question which the visitor of Perfect Prefabs receives an immediate answer the moment he or she lands on the sim. Siss Truss and Sam Stork created here a hetero-
ST: I am a writer/copywriter/journalist in the Nether-
clite world of waterfalls, plants, trees, rocks, lakes, small palaces and tree houses, pools, umbrellas, reclining chairs, and flowers. These exterior design artifacts of all types and sizes demonstrate a unique style and essence, and all of them contribute to the romantic and magic aura that surrounds the place. All Perfect Prefabs are peculiar and heterotrophic. Each one has its own character and logic, time and thematic reference. Each one is created with prototypal materials, exclusive sculpts and textures, and the special touch of the creator that makes it a unique piece of art. Perfect Prefabs dare to mix colors, styles and forms. And they could not do otherwise, as they are created in such a multidirectional environment. I met Siss Truss and discussed with her how this beautiful world was born.
Sam Stork my very talented partner; he isn’t in game a lot anymore. He is a RL game-developer and does not have much time. A lot of the ‘basic’ structures were built by him: this here and the huge dome in Cyan. On Coral we have this huge tree, and on Purple just waterfalls, grottos. All those things are built by me. I could easily fill up 10 more sims.
VE: Siss, what is your real life occupation? 86
lands. VE: Tell me some things about Perfect Prefabs. Who created this environment that surrounds us? ST: Well, this here, where we are sitting, was built by
VE: How can you do this? ST: Well, first I like to build large structures - large, complex things, more like a whole level of a game than simply one setting, so that takes up space. I have a complete scene in my mind when I build, a story so it will often become more than ‘just’ a tree house or ‘just a cave’, a tropical playground for example. VE: All buildings here have a fiction story behind them? Like they are part of the scenery for a movie or a book? ST: Yes, it is a little bit like that. Of course my custom-
ers will unfold their own fantasy about it but I want to give them is a start, maybe, a topic. What they do with my stuff is up to them and it helps me while building. I do not do custom orders. I build what I want to build and then, if it turns out nice - I put it up for sale. I only do customs for friends and then do not take money. If you do everything for the money, it kills creativity - at least for me. I have to pay tier, yes, but I didn’t come to SL™ to make money. It just happened. My neighbor wanted to buy the waterfall on my land. It was a waterfall that I had built and he bought it - for 100 L$. I was totally amazed… And then well, he brought his friends - and that is how it started, back then, on the mainland. VE: Is there a particular reason that you decided to start building all things that have to do with nature and exterior design? ST: I am only happy when I can work with organic shapes. I like my garden in RL too. I am not a 100% nature person RL. I am more often sitting behind a screen, but still, I am fine when I can work with stones, water, and foliage RL or SL™. And then people wanted to buy my waterfalls, trees and so on. I did build houses or furniture too of course. Sometimes after finishing some huge structure I
want to do something small. Then I build some clothing or shoes for fun. VE: Siss, I know you are on vacation now, and I don’t want to keep you more. Thank you for your time and experience you shared with us, and the nice images you fill our virtual lives with… ST: Was very nice talking to you too. Perfect Prefabs is extended on four regions: Perfect Prefabs Coral, Perfect Prefabs Cyan, Perfect Prefabs Purple and Perfect Prefabs Lime. The four regions are ideal for walks and meetings, as all exhibits are in real scale and hide in them secret paths and hidden corners, and all kinds of romantic and idyllic sceneries all in a natural environment. Waterfall World - Tiki Beach - G, Perfect Prefabs Cyan (127, 127, 25) A
A Sporting Second LifeÂŽ Written by Spruce Canning Additional photos by Blaz Halfpint excellent sailing sims which are home to thousands
here are many ways to spend oneâ€™s time inworld.
of members. The oldest and largest of these is the
There are sports that one can find in the Real
Starboard Yacht Club with over 1500 members at this
World like sailing, soccer, and surfing, and there are
writing. Starboard attracts members from the United
sports that are unique to the inworld experience,
States, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and
such as Giant Snail Racing. Let us start with sailing.
Australia. The Waypoint Yacht Club, which is headed
There are over 130 sims dedicated to sailing which
by Taku Raymaker, has a large number of Japanese
are named the United Sailing Sims and have several
members. The sport of sailing can be either social
or competitive, just like in Real Life. The yachts are scripted to simulate wind direction and speed and can come in any shape and size from a small lake sailboat to a two-masted Ketch or Schooner. These scripts can apply to several boats simultaneously so that every yacht in a race will experience the same conditions.
organizations, for example, the Second Life Surfing
One member of Starboard Yacht Club said that sailing
Association or SLSA and the Vibrations Surf Alliance
in SL™ was much easier than sailing in Real Life because
headed by VW Sands. During any given month, there
the normal tasks of rigging the vessel and getting to
are two to four contests between Vibrations and the
the water are not needed in the Metaverse.
SLSA, and the “official” contest series run by SLSA
Another sport that one can find in both SL™ and
has about 10 contests each year. After surfing at Mori
Real Life is surfing. I have actually shot the curl on
Pwani, I would say that one could become devoted to
one of the dedicated surfing sims, Mori Pwani, which
the Endless Summer without leaving home.
has wave action comparable to California and Hawaii.
For a sport very unique to SL™, there is Giant
There are sims that closely resemble Real Life beaches,
Snail Racing, which has racers literally become a giant
for example, the Costa Rica estate is modeled after
snail that runs down a narrow track, which would
RL locations such as Redondo Beach and the black
be in comparison to a 100-meter track in Real Life.
sands at Tsunami to name a few. There are of course
I have actually donned the Giant Snail avatar and at
competitions that are sponsored by several surfing
the invitation of RacerX Gullwing, the creator of the
in a unique form of entertainment should try it. IM RacerX Gullwing to see if you have what it takes, and once one makes it down the track, they will have a rush that they can only get from winning at something Giant Snail races. I tried to run down the track, and
unique to SL™.
I must say for a first time racer, I ran down the track
The game of soccer is as fluid and dynamic as
like a first time driver of a tank or a bulldozer. I was
its Real Life counterpart. There are national teams
bumping into things, and I decided that it would take
and a league, which is represented by the Second
much more practice before I am proficient in the
Life Football website at http://www.secondfootball.
ways of the Giant Snail. One can catch the races at
com. The game is played by the same rules that are
one of the racing sims or on Treet TV on Saturdays
used in the Real Life game with adaptations for the
at 11:00 am SLT time for a wider viewing audience.
SL™ environment, such as crashes. Soccer has found
Whether or not I will race again, only time will tell,
a home on the grid and will continue to attract new
but I must say that being a Giant Snail was a very
fans and players alike as SL™ grows more popular with
interesting experience and that anyone interested
the online community and players worldwide.
For the Love of
Relay for Life Written by Isadora Fiddlesticks Photography by Isadora Fiddlesticks and Ishtarangel Micheline If there’s one thing that Second Life® is used for, it’s conducting successful activities for non-proﬁts. The American Cancer Society has been conducting their annual Relay for Life events here in Second Life® since 2005. It started with a few hundred avatars then ballooned to what is now one of the most cherished and anticipated events on the grid. The non-proﬁt’s presence in Second Life® has been consistently and professionally handled by the volunteers. Now in their ﬁfth year, the organization’s goal has reached new heights, capitalizing on the melting pot of cultures and nationalities that make up this unique virtual world. This year, the Relay for Life has gone international; in both Second Life® and Real Life, activities were geared towards involving the whole world in ﬁghting cancer and ﬁnding a cure for the disease. The Relay for Life event is a signature American Cancer Society activity whose original concept dated to May 1985 with Dr. J. Gordy Klatt, a colorectal surgeon. He spent a tiring twenty-four hours circling the track of the University of Puget Sound’s Baker Stadium in Tacoma, Washington. It was a run of 83 miles, initially by himself. The following year, 300 of his friends, family and patients got to watch Dr. Klatt run the entire course while donating $25 in order to walk or run with him for 30 minutes, with his initial effort making $27,000. This led to the ﬁrst relay event called the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer. Currently in real life, teams of people camp out at a local school, park, or 92
RFL Opening grounds and take turns running or walking around a track or path. In Second Life®, the preparation for Relay for Life starts as much as a year in advance in order to coordinate and form teams that are comprised of avatars doing different activities gridwide, such as fashion shows, sales, auctions and parties to raise funds for the charity. There are also kiosks that accept donations in Linden™ dollars throughout the SL Grid™, and the ﬁgure is updated daily. The actual relay in Second Life® took place last July 18 and 19, in the virtual ground of the American Cancer Society sim. The virtual relay is similar to the real life relay which is similar to a walking/running vigil. The American Cancer Society in SL™ is very consistent with the vision and purpose of the relay
and always takes every opportunity to share the vision. While in a committee meeting for SL™ Relayers, Beverly Hastings, a representative of the RFL of SL™ Integration Committee eloquently shares how the true meaning of the 24-hour relay, as Dr. Klatt envisioned it, is to empathize with those suffering from the disease: “Dr. Klatt had a purpose when he began the 24-hour relay in 1985. The signiﬁcance of daytime and nighttime coincides with the journey that all cancer patients go through. The daylight... Life is wonderful… You’re healthy, happy and looking forward to the future. You’re looking forward to your child’s dance recital or taking your child to Disney World for a vacation. You’re looking forward to the new house you just bought. You have a new dream
job that you’re thrilled about. But then...darkness falls. You hear those words “You’ve got cancer” or worse, your child had cancer. Your life has suddenly become very dark. You don’t know what the outcome will be. You feel there is no hope in sight, you start your treatments, you’re nauseous and you have no hair. You’re exhausted from caring for your child and from the agony of knowing there’s nothing you can do to make him/her healthy again. You couldn’t possibly feel any worse... until...the sun starts to rise. The tumor is shrinking. Your treatments are working. You’re getting your appetite back. Your child feels well enough to go out and play for just a few minutes. There is hope. It is now daylight, and you’re in remission. You have your
life back. You’ve made it through the night and the darkness. You celebrate life in the daylight, knowing that the darkness of nighttime is behind you. This is why we relay overnight.”
You have your life back. You’ve made it through the night and the darkness.
The passion and enthusiasm is infectious every time one attends a RFL event. Even in the virtual world where most people log in to just play a persona or to indulge in fantasy, there is a glimmer of compassion and the need to help a fellow resident
who knows someone with cancer or is a cancer patient. This compassion and shared mission to end cancer and ﬁnd a cure is evident in the staggering amount of more than $270,000 US dollars that Second Life® residents have donated by participating in the various fund raisers or by just paying the kiosk. As per their press release, donations are still coming in, and it looks as if the ﬁnal total will easily surpass that amount by the end of July. This year’s theme was “One World, One Hope” and was the largest to date, with 37 sims of amazing builds. More than 1,900 avatars completed one or more themed laps, a combined total of 2,155 laps, while others chose to visit the campsites with a variety of activities, including the ability to
RFL Closing Ceremonies (Trader1 Whilplash) 93
RFL Jenzza MisďŹ t
visit the Mars base, cycle around the Tour de France, zap cancer cells in the Anatomica build, take a ride through the breast cancer rollercoaster, explore The Shire (home of the hobbits), rest on the lovely Tranquility beach, or attend one of the music events on the entertainment sims. There was also a lovingly built replica of the Charleston, SC Hope Lodge. Avatars gathered outside Hope Lodge wearing purple capes and pledged to “ﬁght back” in a moving ceremony. And 5,370 luminaria were lit in a special Luminaria ceremony (where the sim goes dark and relayers walk laps in silence) in support of loved ones going through treatment and in memory of those heroes who have passed on. Fayandria Foley, Relay for Life of Second Life® Event Chair, said, “Gwinnett County Relay for Life (one of the largest perennial events in the USA, with more than 6,000 participants raising more than one million US dollars) may be the biggest Relay for Life and the largest money maker in real life, but...they don’t have participants from over 26
different countries, a survivor camp on the moon, a roller coaster, or sailing activities, they don’t have tinies and furries...and above all they don’t have you! WE are truly One World!” This past weekend’s Relay for Life of Second Life® also set a new listener record for T1Radio, the Relay’s Ofﬁcial Broadcaster, which reported that this was its biggest weekend ever! According to Trader1 Whiplash, the station recorded more than 6,000 unique IP addresses logged to T1Radio on July 18-19 combined. And according to Cinders Vale, the avatar of a breast cancer survivor in Washington State, USA, and the CoChair of the Survivors/Caregivers Committee, 135 survivors and caregivers were registered in advance for the opening lap, and an estimated 150 avatars took part, setting another record. The last word has to go to a ﬁrsttime relayer and cancer survivor from Australia, RebelMum Slade, who is a member of the Friends Fighting Cancer team. The event took place in the same weekend as her real life
birthday and days before her four-year check-up, which was clear. “Words cannot describe the impact of working with people from all over the world toward a common goal. The utterly amazing international melting pot of people gathered in Second Life® to share laughter, memories and most of all to stand up to a common enemy is empowering. The love and caring makes you wish the whole world could experience this. Days after the event as I go for my walk, my head is a little higher, my stride faster and my smile wider as I see myself doing back ﬂips and running down the virtual track surrounded by survivors, caregivers and supporters from every nation. 2009 was my ﬁrst RFL in any life, but you can bet this Aussie cancer survivor will be joining a local group in real life too.” The organization is already making plans for next year’s campaign, which runs from March through July 2010. If you would like to play an active role, please join the RFL Volunteers group and look out for the announcements. A
Linden Lab at the Helm of Innovation ®
Written By Spruce Canning Images courtesy of Linden Lab ®
or this special issue, AVENUE Magazine sought to interview three extraordinary people from Linden Lab® influencing Second Life® today, Founder Philip Rosedale (Philip Linden), CEO Mark Kingdon (M Linden) and Resident Enlightenment Manager Torley Wong (Torley Linden). Read on as they muse on their experiences in leading Linden Lab® and what the future holds for Second Life®.
Interview with Mark Kingdon | M Linden Spruce Canning: What sort of transition did you have to make when you took the reins of a company like Linden Lab®? Mark Kingdon: Philip Rosedale (the Founder and now Chairman) and I had such a remarkably smooth transition that we want to write a book about it. Philip has been a terrific mentor, partner and friend this first year. The transition went very well because Linden Lab® has an extraordinary brand with Second Life®, an amazing market position in virtual worlds and a very strong culture. I felt very welcome from day one. My first step after meeting as many people as
possible was to evaluate where the company was and what it needed to do to move through the next stage of growth. Much of the activity you’ve seen from the company over the last year – executive hires, product development, acquisitions, etc. – was developed during the strategy exercise we undertook shortly after I joined. From a personal standpoint, I came from a very creative environment at my previous company where we helped fuse business strategy, creativity and technology together to help large companies leverage the web as a way to engage their customers. Because of my previous experience, the environment and culture of Linden Lab® felt very natural to me, but amplified in almost every respect. I can honestly say I’ve never worked with such a talented group of people. SC: How do you see SL™ and its potential as a business tool? Will it be as useful as “GoToMeeting.com” in holding meetings online, and what advantages does SL™ hold over such sites as well as other virtual worlds such as Kaneva? MK: Business is increasingly challenging today. Workforces are spread out all over the world. Travel is costly to the bottom line and to
the environment. Companies are looking for new productivity tools. With this as a backdrop, there is almost limitless potential for Second Life® as a business tool. Virtual meetings in Second Life® not only simulate the real-world meeting experience, but in many ways surpass it. Companies report terrific ROI when they substitute virtual meetings or learning sessions for the real world equivalent. Plus participants find they are much more productive in the virtual world because they can collaborate in ways they cannot in the real world. All the tools you mentioned are very effective for baseline communication, but more traditional online meeting tools can’t offer the immersive nature or the rich engagement opportunities of Second Life®. We believe that 2009 is the breakout year for Second Life® as a business tool – for virtual meetings and virtual learning. Embracing that opportunity and offer-
ing tools and services that enhance our enterprise proposition is a key element of our overall strategy moving forward. For more about our enterprise initiatives and how Second Life® is being used as a business tool, I’d recommend following the Working Inworld section of our blog (https://blogs.secondlife.com/ community/workinginworld). SC: How does SL™ protect Intellectual Property rights under the DMCA, and what do you see happening as more people create new products in world? MK: Protecting our users’ IP rights is very important to Linden Lab®. The DMCA is a very important piece of legislation in that regard and something we help facilitate in Second Life® whenever we can. We have a complete policy on DMCA that your readers can review
here: http://secondlife.com/corporate/dmca.php SC: How does the partnership with IBM’s Open Sim benefit Linden Lab®, and what would you like to see happen in that collaborative effort? MK: I’m sure you know this already, but Open Sim is accessible through our open-source viewer and we are quite familiar with the product. Our work with IBM isn’t specifically related to Open Sim, which is just one of the virtual world technologies they’re using. But to answer your larger question, IBM has tremendous experience helping companies embrace new technologies of all kinds. In that vein, IBM is currently testing our behind-the-firewall product (as are other companies such as Intel and Northrop Grumman) and their feedback and industry perspective has been invaluable. We look forward to a successful partnership bringing innovative companies to Second Life®. SC: As I have asked Philip, where do you see Second Life® in the not too distant future? Will every Mac and PC user have an avatar just as they have an email address or AIM Screen Name? MK: While “every” Mac and PC user might be a
little lofty (although analysts predict that 80% of Internet users will have a virtual world presence in the next few years), we believe that Second Life® will continue to be the dominant virtual world platform and will gain millions of new users. Whether Second Life® will be five times its current size in five years or twenty times, or more, I can’t say right now. We’ve made incredible strides in the last year improving the stability of the platform and making the experience more accessible and enjoyable for a broader range of users doing a wider variety of things in Second Life®. One aspect that is very likely to propel Second Life® to new heights is the Second Life® marketplace in which users buy and sell virtual goods using the Linden™ Dollar (our proprietary payment approach). In fact, we expect user-to-user transactions to reach nearly $.5 Billion US dollars this year, up from $.350 Billion last year. SC: What improvements can residents see in the not too distant future? Will SL™ grow more stable, and would new features such as Avaline bring more residents into SL™ and bring more productivity into the SL Grid™? MK: Yes, improving stability and scalability is a major engineering focus for us. As I mentioned, we’ve made tremendous strides over the past year, improving the overall stability of the platform by 80%. And we won’t stop there. We are also working on scalability improvements to support the growth we’re currently experiencing and the growth we expect over the next 24 months. At the same time, we are hard at work improving the user experi-
ence. We’ve begun revamping our web experience and residents can expect a wholly new web experience, with richer social tools later this year. We are also redesigning the viewer to make it simpler and more intuitive. Plus we’re reworking the inworld orientation experience so that new users find it easier to navigate through their first days inworld. We are also adding key tools – such as Avaline and other voice tools -- that benefit both the consumer and business users. We’re improving the merchandising tools through the ecommerce acquisitions we made earlier this year. And, we are also improving the content creation tools which enable the incredible creativity so visible in Second Life®. Finally, we are making Second Life® more relevant to our key vertical and geographic markets. We’re working hard to make sure that Second Life® meets – and exceeds – the needs of the consumer, enterprise and education markets. And, with more than half our users outside the US, we’re also working hard to make sure Second Life® is relevant in key international markets. We’re localizing the Second Life® experience (web, viewer, support tools) for each of our major markets. SC: As SL™ reached its sixth anniversary, what would you and Philip like to have done differently as you look back on achievements and mistakes? MK: I prefer to look forward and not back, leveraging what I learned. In my first year, I learned a huge amount: * Second Life® residents are
hugely passionate, committed and full of creative ideas. They are fiercely vocal and are an incredible source of inspiration. * The inworld economy is a model of free market efficiency and is growing at a substantial rate because Linden Lab® doesn’t burden user-to-user transactions with excessive fees. * Linden Lab® has a culture that is built on “positivity” and from it comes remarkable things. The Love Machine is one of our most brilliant creations. It allows people to send short messages (like tweets) of appreciation to colleagues who have helped them out or done something noteworthy on their own. About 1,000 such messages are sent each week.
Interview with Philip Rosedale | Philip Linden Spruce Canning: Since stepping down as CEO, what is your opinion of SL™ and its residents, and how has it changed since you have more time to spend inworld? Philip Rosedale: In a sense, I wanted to build SL™ for myself – to have time to create things inside it. So it has been great to have a bit more time to hang around and see what is going on in there, although I still have been working quite a bit. Looking at SL™ today, what seems to be changing is a greater and greater diversity of people and content and experiences. As people are beginning to understand the power and potential of the virtual world, they are using it for more things. So things like education, work meetings, and training – these are things you see today that you really didn’t
a couple years ago, beyond some great pioneering experiments. Looking at this year’s Linden™ Prize winners is a good example – using SL™ to work on real-world community architecture (Studio Wikitecture) and also more formally using SL™ to positively impact the lives of people with disabilities (Virtual Ability). These are things that are great to see and quite new. There was a quote, “It’s an amazing experience helping someone who will never walk again in real life to jump on a virtual trampoline.” That is pretty powerful in terms of thinking about where things are going. SC: Looking back, has SL™ exceeded its expectations in the resident experience, and what can the residents look forward to in 20092010? PR: I never really knew how quickly Second Life® would grow, and I still don’t. But the rapid increase in diversity of content and the ability for Second Life® to change people’s lives in lots of ways – job opportunities, education, new friends, meeting people around the world, are things that have been surprising and delightful. In 2009-2010, along with continued infrastructure enhancements behind the scenes, you’ll see many new features and design changes aimed at improving the experience for the general user. For example, I’ve been helping with the Snowglobe project,
which is an attempt to quickly test new ideas and also work together with a larger community than just the development team at Linden Lab®. It’s an open-source alternative Second Life® viewer – a sort of sandbox where we’ll be testing enhancements that can quickly find their way back into the main Second Life® viewer. I hope that you will see some great new ideas coming from there in the next year or two. SC: What new features can we see in future releases of SL™? Will features such as Avaline be standard fare for the resident experience such as XStreet SL™ is for SL™ commerce?
PR: Generally speaking, I think that as virtual worlds become better
understood and more reliable, we’ll be able to extend access to them to mobile devices, and we’ll increasingly see them being connected to both the web and the real world in important ways. Certainly Avaline and Xstreet are great examples of that starting to happen. More specifically, I think that automatic language translation and using simple webcams to detect gestures and head motion are two examples of areas where we can add features that are big positive changes for SL™. SC: Where do you see SL™ in the not too distant future, will all computer users have an avatar just as they have an email address or an AIM® Screen name? PR: We’re certainly headed in that direction. I don’t know exactly how much larger Second Life® will be over the near term. But I can say this: the biggest indicator I look at to anticipate the growth of Second Life® is the diversity of uses people have for it. It used to be that you could gather the most avid users of Second Life® together in a room and find they were doing fairly similar things. Now we see so much more variety. People are using Second Life® for everything from holding business meetings and creating machinima to performing live music and broadcasting inworld news. Each of these uses is going to grow independently. That’s what happened
with the Web, and that’s what I fully expect to happen with Second Life®. SC: Much has been done in blending the virtual world with the Real World, Would you like to see more of that in the not-too-distant future? PR: I think that’s inevitable! Gesture and facial recognition technologies are going to tighten the connection between your realworld self and your avatar. We’re already seeing spaces in Second Life® that overlap with their realworld equivalents. Linden Lab® has a couple of conference rooms in Second Life® that exactly mirror ones we have in our offices in San Francisco. We often hold mixedreality meetings there, where the real world participants see a projection of the virtual conference room, and the virtual participants see the real one. The distinction between the real and virtual worlds, let alone virtual worlds and the Web, will dissolve faster than many people expect. The simple fact that virtual world meetings are cheaper and more memorable and more fun than speakerphones or web/video-conferencing is going to create a lot of change! SC: What would you say to the new residents who have just come inworld? Any advice on how to make the most of their experiences as they leave the gateways? PR: The single most important piece of advice I give anyone starting out in Second Life® is to first find a friend to help you get started. Meeting someone inworld is fun for both you and them, and they can save you hours and hours of learning time. So just jump in
and wander around until you meet someone nice, and then have them teach you the harder stuff. It’s a great recipe for success! SC: As SL™ reached its sixth anniversary, what would you and Mark like to have done differently as you look back on achievements and mistakes? PR: I’m not sure I’m smart enough, even with hindsight, to say what we could have done differently. Second Life® has turned out to be such a wonderfully unpredictable thing. I might have focused even more on being able to quickly measure the results of experiments – this has been something that has been hugely helpful for us, and could have helped more in the early days. But there isn’t any specific thing I would point to that I would have done differently.
broadly, more companies should follow our lead and have Resident Enlightenment Manager positions; I’m thankful Linden Lab® continues to recognize this as important. Some companies do have a similar role under “Evangelist” and it’s really not just the title but the ACTS PERFORMED, someone championing great work done across the company, which needs to be brought to the attention of customers, and not just in a “Hey you look at this!” way but, “Here’s how it’ll make your experience better, and I’ll show you how.” Like through videos. Several thousand customer testimonials later and oodles of creations sent to me, some using
for almost 1/4 of a century and he does it with mad scientist style and panache. That convinces me you need to be fun. Too many companies make boring tutorials, and it’s a systematic sickness because customers don’t watch them and associate that boringness with the people who work there. Thus, it becomes a waste. Lindens are fun; it’s a healthier culture which in turn drives creativity by way of practical, attractive examples. As for opportunities, knowledge-sharing NEVER ends. Check out http://tr.im/kb2wiki, that’s a major project Doc Team (Jon, Jeremy, Kate Linden, and me) has to get more involved with residents to improve help articles. We’re con-
resources I’ve provided like Torley Textures, it’s clear there’s an insatiable hunger for what I call “Amplifying the Awesome!” So I keep doing it and substantiating its value (both in anecdotal and data-ways). As I also like to say, “If I’m good, it’s only because I’ve made you better.” There’s this little product you may’ve heard of...Adobe Photoshop? They have a guy named Russell Brown who’s one of my foremost heroes in this regard, a bona fide video tutorial pioneer. He’s been promoting Photoshop
tinuing to blog @ http://tr.im/sltnt, we need a lot more eyeballs there! Oh! And did I mention Doc Team has got a line of comic books planned? One to begin with you may’ve seen at the Land Expo, about Discovering Virtual Land. Comics are a great medium to grasp alien concepts. As of this writing, I’m working on a set of vidtuts for Viewer 1.23 and there’s major revamps beyond that I can’t speak about in detail. In the longer-term, I might want to lecture, give motivational speeches in-person. But for now, making the best of what Second Life® has
Interview with Torley Wong | Torley Linden With the steep learning curve of Second Life®, Torley Linden has been helpful by providing us video tutorials, and is now a prolific figure in the evolvement and growth of Second Life®. In this interview, Torley shares marvelous insights on how his job as Resident Enlightenment Manager has contributed to the information and tutorial renaissance of Second Life®. Spruce Canning: How has your position developed or improved the overall culture of creativity and community in Second Life®? What other opportunities are there for you to embark on? Torley Wong: This allows me to brag! But I won’t. Speaking more
to offer, with the prime goal of making SL™ more awesome for our residents! SC: What are the top five leastknown features that residents should know about? TW: There’s never a hardcoded list of five. Depending on what else is going on, there are certainly things I feel more strongly about than others. For instance, not necessarily a feature but a SUPER-important skill to have which you can get comfortable with if you practice a bit each day is: how to report bugs effectively. It sounds boring, but that’s deceptive. The process is engaging and involves understanding Second Life® at a deeper-than-surface level, and really, it’s about KNOWING HOW THINGS WORK. Step by step.
If you can report a bug, you can give directions clearly, and that increases your ability to communicate. It also helps you comprehend
the not-so-happy issues we face inworld everyday, and paired with that, can something be done? What can be done? And so on. Bug reporting is also a psychological test. It says a lot about you and the challenges you’re willing to take on in order to accomplish goals. If you dismiss it as, “It’s too hard!” or “It’s someone else’s job!” that points to limits in your perception. Just like Second Life® is resident-created, many of the best bug reports come from residents, too. It’s a different paradigm and one that brings out a surprising amount of creativity in the resourceful. Anyway, as to not cheat you out of your question, “residents” is too vague. Which residents? If it’s content creators, CLICK ACTIONS ARE A MUST. Learn more about that and 4 others here:https://blogs.secondlife.com/community/community/ tnt/blog/2009/04/09/business-5things-every-second-life-shopkeeper-should-know Hey, that’s 5! But seriously: it’s key to know someone’s intentions. Their dreams in Second Life®. What do they want to do? Then, I’ll have a clearer picture of what they should know, if only because it benefits them. But without a doubt, be intimately acquainted with our Knowledge Base @http://secondlife.com/ kb and let us know how we can serve you awesomer. SC: Is there a LL sponsored campaign to consolidate tutorials? There are so many out there in various websites and wikis, is an all-inone OFFICIAL, constantly updated site in the works? TW: There’s an official mandate to provide better support for translated tutorials - ah, internalization
- which some very savvy residents are graciously helping us out with. I may be able to better showcase more resident-created tutorials in the future. Too sketchy to be firm on that, but before that happens, we need to have more prolific moviemakers who excel at teaching (beyond narrative-driven stories). I remember when SL™ photography was such a fringe art and retouching was sort of a novelty and rare. That field has burst out, and just like things advance from text to photos, I’m hoping photos will lead into a new “video wave”. So count on me watching for fresh talent. All official tutorials are always at http://secondlife.com/video ^ Nice ‘n’ easy, huh? That’s how I like it. SC: What advice can you give to those who try to emulate you and help new residents they encounter? TW: This could fill a book. But one of the simplest, surest things I’d say would be to cultivate your own unique avatar personality. Like, I’ve found green and pink neon watermelon to be “my thing”. So find something you’re really passionate about and that’s easy to identify with, and wear this everywhere. Visually. Just like in “RL business”, branding is exceptionally important to making sure other people remember your message and delivering it in an approachable way which sparks further creativity, and ultimately, makes it more fun and fast to learn about Second Life®... or anything! 6+ years later, this will always be true. Special Thanks to Catherine Linden and Linden Lab® for photos and coordination A
The Reality of Virtual Business
Featuring Anshe Chung & Guni Greenstein of Anshe Chung Studios Written by Tiffany Dragonash SL™ Photography by Rusch Raymaker & Mui Mukerji Additional photographs kind courtesy of Anshe Chung
Sentertainment everal years ago, an idea for a new type of was born. A company called Linden
Lab® would create a three dimensional virtual meeting place in which the participants would define much of how this place developed. This visual social networking place is of course Second Life®. It was decided from the start that the world in which people interacted would not be defined by Linden Lab® themselves but the residents who chose to contribute. As people created avatars and entered this new realm, they were provided with tools and the means to create items of any type imaginable. The residents had the ability to make this world what they wanted in many ways.
The nascent world of Second Life® was full of opportunity for imaginative and creative people with an entrepreneurial talent. The world was a blank canvas, in a sense, open to anyone with the drive and ability to contribute to. As new residents joined, the desire and need for content and activities grew. Into this world stepped one visionary in particular. Anshe Chung, came to Second Life® in 2004 after having been involved in online gaming worlds known as MMORPG’s (otherwise known as Massively multiplayer online role-playing games) where she used her talents to build communities and shape the storylines as much as the games allowed. The ability to influence the world in which she played in was very attractive to her. “I was fascinated by the degree of freedom Second Life® offered. The ability to change the world yourself and little restrictions on what you are allowed to do. Before I led a guild in Shadowbane, an online world that allowed players to create communities, build cities and drive the story of the game world. I always felt a desire to shape the story and the world that I played in. When joining Second Life® I entirely considered it a game. I did not have even the remotest idea that I might end up earning money or doing business there.” This nascent world was fertile ground for the imaginative people with the drive to alter their surroundings. Although for Anshe, she didn’t immediately look at it that way. “When I first logged on I considered it a completely dead and failed project. It was some mostly empty world, less than 100 people logged on, and presenting itself with horrible navigation, badly animated avatars and so on. What got me hooked was the community of those people who were there and the degrees of freedom to influence the world. When I joined I was just interested in roleplaying. The first 3 months in Second Life® were almost entirely in-character. It only later changed with the business that I dropped roleplaying.” 104 30
This desire to shape the world around her is what eventually led to her other involvements. Second Life® was a small place compared to today, dominated by a small number of content creators and little in the way of global diversity. Her first major contribution to this newly emerging world was to offer smaller and newer content creators equal access to retail space. “When I joined Second Life®, the business community was very small. Knowing people and establishing a social relationship were very important to get access to the few top tier mall outlets available. My business philosophy, in contrast, was to offer the same service at the same price to everyone, which helped to open things up for newcomers and people who are less networked. I believe this created a much more open and transparent market for top tier mall outlets when I built malls and later for land parcels when I entered that field. It gave newcomers to Second Life® access to the same resources as long term residents who might have known each other from as far back as the beta phase. This openness and the fact that I consistently refused to give special deals to “powerful” members of the community also triggered quite a negative reaction from some members of those “established” circles who tried to protect their status quo.” This philosophy drastically changed the retail sector of Second Life® and helped lead to the more open market that current residents now take for granted. It has allowed many more designers to get their start and aided in their success, thereby leading to a richer world with more options and competition. As her success with content creation and retail outlets was building, she began to get involved in the virtual realty business, first land trading and eventually the creation and management of communities. Here too, she introduced a business model that residents today take for granted. “Then in 2005 my team created the first resident made continent in SL™ with resident land sales there. Before the only business model known on private islands was “rental” but I established land sales where people would “own” but based on a right deeded by me, not Linden Lab® directly. This was Dreamland. Meanwhile you can see that most of the land in Second Life® is somewhat based on that model and Linden Lab® even hard coded features that we had introduced in Dreamland such as covenants.” The lack of diversity was in part the inspiration for the latter. “Before I started, SL™ was very homogeneous and was 99% Anglo Saxon unzoned. One of the first groups I joined was “Brits in SL™” because there was nothing else for people in European time zones. I saw people from various non-English countries coming and quitting SL™ because they would not find some home or peers. So I founded many language and culture specific groups and also some neighborhoods. Later other people also joined in and took this further. Dreamland in fact began with two sims for French and German neighborhoods before we added “normal” sims.”
Anshe Chung Studios Tower
Ailin Graef better known as Anshe Chung
Within her first two years in Second Life®, Anshe had made a dramatic impact on how residents interacted with the world and conducted business. Her business models led to tremendous success for her, and gave her the ability to continue to make a mark on this and other virtual worlds. She is generally credited with being the first virtual world-made millionaire. “Sometime in 2006 all those Linden dollars and sims and so on passed the one million dollar value in trading prices of that time.” Her success in Second Life® led her to investigate prospects in other virtual worlds. “In 2006 we branched out to IMVU, where we first became the largest currency exchange and then until today the largest content creator. We sell 5,00010,000 items per day there, just to give you some idea of the scale. IMVU also became the biggest job engine in our company, driving most of our hires in China because content creation is work intensive. This was also when our business back in Second Life® became more of a content creation business: terraforming sims, establishing themes, creating infrastructure builds, etc.” Another significant development occurred around this time that had a major impact on the direction things would take. Anshe was joined in her efforts by her real life husband, Guni Greenstein as CEO of a newly formed company, Anshe Chung Studios or ACS. “In 2006, after Guni quit his job we went to China and established a real company to support this. Before everything was entirely virtual.” Guni’s talents lie in the business and technology side of things and was instrumental in creating the real world structure under which the virtual businesses would operate. The complementary talents of the two made them a formidable duo. As Guni indicated, “I have a background in technology and business organization. Anshe is very strong at building social networks, marketing, business development and getting herself heads up into new things that one would never have seen her doing before.”
Guni Greenstein at Dresden Gallery 106 32
Eventually, businesses have to deal with change and with the pace of development in the early days of virtual worlds, that time came quickly for Anshe and her young business. “Early 2007 we reached a certain peak in SL™, then some developments made things more difficult. We had more than 400 sims which was hard to scale and Linden Lab® then made drastic and sudden changes to some features, which broke much of our land management system and made it easier for competitors. It was obvious that Linden Lab® was not too happy with the very huge market share of one “land baron” and there were various steps taken to “balance things” out a bit. Then there were real life businesses coming into Second Life® during the hype with huge budgets setting up land areas that were probably not extremely profitable, to say the least. So the significance and market share of our business in SL™ naturally declined, while still growing the SL™ as whole would grow more for a while. During that phase however we grew our business more outside SL™. We realized that we cannot become that big in one virtual world without triggering resistance.” It is a testament to her business acumen that she took these new challenges and turned them into more opportunities. It was around this time that ACS began to investigate and do business in other virtual worlds. “In 2007 and 2008 we also began creating for other virtual worlds like SMeet, Twinity and Entropia Universe.” Having been there for her to aid Anshe with technological support in the early days, Guni is now an integral part of things. Where Anshe would continue in her role as visionary, he would tackle the significant challenges of transforming the virtual business to a real world one. “We are currently employing about 80 people full time, mostly in Wuhan, China. We have a lot of 3D developers creating content for virtual worlds. Another big group are our teams that provide support and trading services. In Second Life® that is for example land sales, land management, currency exchange, etc. We provide support 24/7, which means you can file a ticket on our website or message our Support ACS avatar in Second Life® and always get a direct personal response.
Then we of course have other functions such as marketing, administration, programmers and so on. But the main product we provide is content and services for virtual worlds which is reflected by our employee structure. Some specialize but there is also considerable crossover. For example our marketing designers are creating marketing materials for products in different virtual worlds, then we have had 3D designers crossing over and our website programmers work on modules that interface with all the worlds we work with and so on. At the moment the most difficult world to enter for somebody with a background in standard 3D software is Second Life® because of the proprietary content creation tools. Which means we have a lot more crossing over between the other worlds we work for, including Guni Greenstein at Anshe Chung Studios Tower some asset reuse, while SL™ still sticks out to a degree.” With his background in business operations, Guni is well suited to evaluate the landscape. Virtual worlds offer challenges to businesses beyond those in the real world. Taking a virtual business and building a real world business from it is more challenging still. Guni identifies some of these, “A challenge here is on one side having to compete with larger established real world businesses and on the other hand you tend to compete with individuals who may not follow the same standards as you do when it comes to following some laws and regulations. There is a lot of moonlighting, copyright violations, avoiding labor standards and so on going on in virtual worlds. The trend towards sites that live from “user submitted content”, which also includes file sharing sites or video hosting sites etc, can appear to be “outsourcing” tax and law compliance. And obviously when that gets “outsourced” to an anonymous user in a basement somewhere in a largely unknown location on the other side of the globe the result should not surprise. Most of those sites then put the burden of enforcing violations on the damaged party, which then means that in many or most cases with the number of sites available and the ease of creating alts and new accounts to re-upload content makes it too time consuming or even impossible to enforce things. And nobody will ever bother a creator named xStarsGirrrlll with questions about whether or not she bought insurance for the people she pays or follows minimum wages etc.” In his view, some form of oversight might eventually be needed to protect the legitimate businesses and create an atmosphere that fosters the development of more. “More transparency and a registry for business in virtual worlds could be a starting point. I am not a fan of bureaucracy, but there could be very simple mechanisms to make businesses in virtual worlds more accountable. It would benefit everyone who does business and follows the rules.”
Left: Guntram Graef aka Guni Greenstein in SL™ Right: Guni & Anshe at HPI Potsdam
Dealing with all the issues associated with rapidly changing virtual worlds, lack of real world business standards, and all other challenges of operating virtual as well as real world businesses certainly hasn’t prevented 107
NonProfit Commons Opening
Anshe showing ACS’ new cross virtual world Web portal ACS from generating an impressive resume of results. Besides their tremendously successful content creation and realty businesses in Second Life® and IMVU, they have developed some very notable places in Second Life®. Among them, the Dresden Gallery, an amazing art gallery; the Plush Nonprofit Commons, an incubator for dozens of non-profits in SL™; the Life Church an active online church that is an extension of a real world church and The Bethanien Tower an innovative architecture project incorporating the ruins of a real church in Berlin that was bombed in WW2. Content is sold through AnsheX.com, XstreetSL and the official content catalog of IMVU. These are in addition to previous achievements like the sale of XstreetSL/Virtuatrade to Linden Lab®, which was the first sale of a virtual born company to a significant real world business. It’s not surprising that ACS began attracting real world venture capital investment in 2007, demonstrating the possibilities to other virtual world business owners. With their past experiences and the flexibility and diversity exhibited to date, it’s likely that Anshe and Guni will continue to successfully navigate the ever changing waters of virtual worlds well into the future. Anshe, always the visionary, looks forward to the days when she sees virtual worlds accepted as just more than places to play, interact and do business. “In the very long run, virtual worlds and the real world will merge. One day in the future people will no longer be able to distinguish. People today don’t feel like they enter some 108 34
virtual world when using a banking ATM, credit card or phone. Of course the virtual world does not directly effect your physical existence (yet), well, until you change your Lindens to real money and buy lunch. Or until you somehow fall in love with somebody else via this medium. In this sense a chess game can be very much part of real life, of course. It is fun and a game for most, but when you become world champion it definitely redefines your real life. I think virtual worlds will just become increasingly accepted as new “places” that people interact with consciously or unconsciously from places in the real world. Some will just be extensions of real places. Such as the LifeChurch in Second Life® is an extension of the 12 real churches that exist in the United States.” And she sees this future as a positive for people around the world. “No new technology can solve all problems and this includes things like prejudices. But certainly the world becomes smaller when people can access and interact in “places”, no matter where they reside in real life. And a virtual world certainly provides many more options to interact and collaborate than the phone or a text chat.” Throughout her virtual life, Anshe has demonstrated an unwillingness to accept the status quo and ability to envision new ways of doing things that often changed the existing standard. With Guni by her side and offering his considerable talents to support her vision, it’s likely that they will continue to impact virtual worlds in many ways. One of their latest ventures is investing in and offering support to a new virtual space called Frenzoo. In this way they can have a direct influence on the platform development itself, to help guide it in ways they see beneficial for it’s residents. In order to achieve the integration of the virtual with the real they envision, the platforms will need to offer protection that real businesses expect and an atmosphere that fosters competition. They have the size and knowledge of virtual space to influence things in many ways now. It will be interesting to watch them shaping the future of virtual worlds.
CEO of the Month Ultralite Soleil
The Mind Behind Tiny Empires
Written by Spruce Canning Photography by Trinidad Anatine
There are many games in SL™ and many forms of entertainment. One could role-play as a vampire or werewolf or soldier with the appropriate Heads Up Display or HUD (Bloodlines for vampires and NavCom for military type applications), but one game within SL™ stands out above all the others, and that is Ultralite Soleil’s Tiny Empires. I caught up with Ultralite, and we talked about the game and its sequel Tiny Empires 3000 and where the platforms are going in the not-too-distant future. Spruce Canning: What gave you the idea for a game like Tiny Empires, and how has it been received in the SL™ community? Ultralite Soleil: I joined SL™ because I was interested in user-created content. I used to be a RL game developer, and it seemed like a natural environment for a casual game that you could play while doing other things in SL™. Basically I wanted to create a simple game that could be played mostly in the background, that took advantage of the great social networking that already exists in SL™, and that would be long-lasting. I combined a bunch of new ideas with ideas borrowed from my favorite games over the years, and ended up with Tiny Empires. The medieval/feudalism setting of the game seemed like a good base for the game’s social structure, which really resembles a great big pyramid. Actually, it resembles a couple of hundred pyramids, with each one topped by a King or Queen. SC: How many people play Tiny Empires and Tiny Empires 3000 in SL™ at a glance? US: Tiny Empires has tens of thousands of players who play regularly. Tiny Empires 3000, the futuristic, space-based sequel to Tiny Empires, has only been out for four months (as opposed to the original TE’s two years), but it is already starting to catch up in terms of size. SC: Where do you see Tiny Empires in the SL™ gaming market, and will there be a release for online play outside of SL™? US: Tiny Empires is not the first large game in Second Life®, and it won’t be the last. One thing I’ve noticed is that the various popular games in Second Life® tend to act as automatic marketing campaigns for each other. For example, Tiny Empires benefited greatly in the early days from the Neo-Realms fishing game. Many people who played that game together started to play Tiny Empires while fishing and that brought in hundreds or thousands of new TE players over the years since. I have no concrete plans for a version of Tiny Empires that is playable outside Second Life®, but it’s something I have been looking into. SC: How does Tiny Empires fit into the average SL™ resident’s 110
experience in-world, and how does it enrich the player? US: I imagine that the majority of Tiny Empires players are what I’d call casual players. The game just runs in the background, and once in a while they will attend to it, slowly building up their in-game riches. However the game also allows for more focused players. These are the ones who actively recruit for their kingdoms, communicate with their lieges and subjects to make sure everyone is content, and build a powerbase in the game. Then there are the very few elite players who choose to ascend to the throne of their own kingdoms. Monarchy in Tiny Empires takes a considerable commitment of time and effort, but it can pay off very well in terms of friendship and adoration. SC: In conclusion, what would you say to the resident who is a first time player in either Tiny Empires and/or Tiny Empires 3000, and what would you want for them to get from the game and its experience? US: As I like to say, Tiny Empires itself is a very simple game. What makes it interesting and complicated is the fact that you are playing along with so many other people. For a new player joining the game, I always suggest taking the first part
of the game slowly to learn how it works. Unless a friend of yours brought you into the game, let the game automatically assign you to a kingdom. Once you learn more about how the game works and how you like to play, you may join the kingdom and liege of your choosing. As a mid-level player, you’ll soon learn that your advancement depends on the success of your subjects and their advancement. So you must learn to be a good liege. After that, each player must decide how he or she will play in the higher levels of the game. It’s quite open ended. I’m proud to say that Tiny Empires has brought together many people who have formed true friendships. There have even been some real life marriages that started with two
people who met by playing. After talking with Ultralite and looking over the game itself, I see how many people like this game and compare it to Facebook and other social networking sites on the Internet. There are many friendships that are formed by playing, and Tiny Empires is growing by leaps and bounds, although many players just have the game running in the background of their SL™ viewer. As many veteran players have attested, Tiny Empires has the potential to bind people together in the bonds of friendship, and that is the goal of many, if not all, role-playing games.
SPACEJUNKY A Musical Trip SpaceJunky is a RL band that has been performing in the virtual world of Second Life® for about two years. SpaceJunky was founded by Tania Smith, and the band is made up of three professional Australian musicians all based in 3 different continents: Tania Smith, lead singer, USA (Shakti Cianci in SL™), Dan Harris, guitarist, Australia (Zaphod Rahja in SL™) & Luke Mason, drummer, Malaysia (Zavier Corleone in SL™).
All have major touring and recording credits to their names. Tania played keyboards and toured with Kylie Minogue and co-wrote the title track for the Grammywinning CD “Lesson of Love”, and the other band members have toured and recorded with major artists as well. Their first CD “Resident Alien” was recorded while they were all together in the USA and Australia with Grammy-nominated songwriter/producer Rafe Van Hoy. With the band living on different continents and different time zones, SL provided a way to perform simulated concerts and promote their album “Resident Alien”, which is available on CD Baby and iTunes. Shakti discovered Second Life® in 2006 when she came back from Tibet, where an oracle there told her SpaceJunky would be heard by many people and the album would be successful.
When she came back she was researching an ancient Tibetan symbol and came across a blog for an organization called the Flying Monks here in SL™ who were rebuilding monasteries destroyed in Tibet during the cultural revolution. SpaceJunky’s music is about cosmic unforeseen forces that connect people through energy and intention. They are a rock/pop band with a positive message of searching for cosmic truth and seeking to lengthen the space between thoughts. The band provides social entertainment while interacting and emulating what a concert by SpaceJunky might be like in RL. SL™ is about creating your dream, and the ability to creatively visualize a music concert is wonderful, as you can do things here you can’t do in RL. As Shakti says, “SL™ is a physical manifestation of a non physical realm”; very Buddhist as the Dali Lama would say. SpaceJunky has a production crew that helps bring the concerts alive, comprised of Tommy Parrott (lighting, stage and pyrotechnics), Izzy Cole (tour photographer), and Bella Dutton (virtual music publicist). The concert performances in Second Life® use real time lighting effects for their shows, which include pyrotechnics, particle effects and a custom stage which looks like a spaceship. June Dion from Bare Rose also creates custom designs for Shakti to wear on stage, the most recent for their SLB6 performance where they were invited to close the show. Through the band’s growing popularity, SpaceJunky has been featured on CNN International for new technology and was approached by Sony Creative Software to do an Acid Planet remix contest for their song Gravitational Pull. This track was brought into SL™, and Sony gave away a lot of RL prizes at the concert at SpaceJunky Island. They were also the first band to ever be featured on the SL™ homepage website with audio, and have had Real Life radio play from the largest radio stations in Italy as well as magazine covers, YouTtube fans, and product endorsements. SpaceJunky Island is featured in Showcase under Music and was designed by Shakti along with Dannon Robbiani, one of SL™’s top builders. It is also home to their state-of-the-art amphitheater built by Tommy Parrot. They are partners in a new TV show called Life On Line, which is filmed on the island and features regular music from SpaceJunky. The show has a viewing audience of around 80-90,000 a month.
Written By Tanya Robertson aka Bella Dutton (Virtual Music Publicist in Second Life®) Photos Provided By SpaceJunky SpaceJunky’s popularity continues to grow, and the strength of the band continues to change with new technology and new ventures they are currently working on, including possible upcoming RL concerts. Stay tuned! www.spacejunky.com www.alphacrew.ning.com SpaceJunky Island http://slurl.com/secondlife/SpaceJunky%20 Island/136/130/23
SPACEJUNKY GIVE AWAY FREE SONG IN TREASURE HUNT! Australian band SpaceJunky is sponsoring a Grid Wide Treasure Hunt. It will start on SpaceJunky Island, home to the RL band SpaceJunky! This hunt is about science fiction and fantasy, so think Star Wars, Dark Crystal, labyrinths, spaceships, fairies, and anything else you can imagine!
There will be boxes hidden all over the island, including a special SpaceJunky crystal which will have a special SpaceJunky song in it. Yes FREE! The song will play when the crystal is touched. The hunt starts on August 1st and will run through August 17th. To find out more join the ‘Alpha Crew of SpaceJunky’ group inworld.
Club of the Month
Get a Little E-Co friendly By Roland Zepp Photo by Blaz Halfpint
osh. Itâ€™s the first word youâ€™ll think of on arrival. Posh. The cleverly arranged landing point at the business end of the red carpet with your limo behind you sets the tone right off the bat. A rich facade with the strong, horizontal lines of a Van der Rohe design is 116
softened by tasteful plantings of palms and a smoothly arched entry emblazoned with the nouveau-styled Club E-co logo. The designer was masterful in the use of space, leading the visitor from the front door and over a dark and narrow, liana-draped causeway before
opening up onto the main dance floor in brilliant white tile. Large, stonetextured blocks continue the strong sculptural feel for the build and provide the visual support for a dark ceiling festooned with an elaborate collection of lighting. A prominent DJ stand occupies pride of place opposite
the entry, while a live music stage takes up most of the south wall. When you visit, don’t stop your exploration on the dance floor. There are private areas tucked away everywhere. A small, themed grotto in each corner gives patrons a chance to get out of the mob on the floor and still feel like part of the action with plenty of space for small parties of dancers. The themes are delightfully executed representations of a sea floor, ice floes, a lava room, and a small rain forest complete with rain. Each of the corner rooms is equipped with its own DJ stand, and at least one of them has a dance ball for those who arrive without chim or dance HUD. Club E-co is located in the Costa
Rica sims and, with the importance of the Costa Rican rain forest in real life ecological studies, it’s no accident that Club E-co has adopted ecological niches as part of the club’s decor. Colleen Bracken, one of the co-managers of Club E-co, explained, “That was a main goal: to fit in with the established theme and vision of the Costa Rica sims.” When you’re ready for a break in the action on the floor, Club E-co even has a piano bar tucked behind the main DJ stand. Clean horizontal lines, rich upholstery fabric and a well stocked bar are backed up by a fullwidth aquarium. The conversational groups there are set far enough apart that cross talk between them will be reduced, if not eliminated, and, best of all, the drinks are free. According to co-managers, Colleen Bracken and moonde Magic, the club isn’t finished yet. An upgraded building will be installed in September, and the region will be parceled to allow multiple streams, one for each of the rooms. There are plans for fashion shows with a retractable runway and
even more DJs and live events. The outside of the club will also get some attention to bring the look of the region more into alignment with the rest of the Costa Rica sims. Currently (mid July), the club operates Wednesday through Sunday with an eclectic mix of DJs streaming dance music on the main dance floor or in one of the themed rooms. Every Friday they feature a live music performer with a nice line-up scheduled a couple of weeks in advance. Past performers have included Mankind Tracer’s Peace Love and Belief III tour, as well as Gina Stella and Edward Kyomoon. But the club is not without its controversy. The original builder bowed out before the club was complete, leaving the owners with an extensive punch-list of issues they wished resolved, but taking the full payment anyway. In spite of the setback, Club E-co has been open since mid April of this year, entertaining the patrons on a regular basis. Club E-co will be one of the spots to watch as the management team polishes up the build and starts implementing some of their plans for private events and features for their VIP guests. If you’re looking for an interesting take on the club scene this weekend, be sure to pay a visit to Club E-co at http://slurl.com/secondlife/ San%20Jose%20City/142/131/32 and get a little E-co friendly.
DJ of the Month
Original Spins Written and Photographed by Isadora Fiddlesticks Nuvolino Roffo is not your ordinary DJ in Second Life®. He is actually a musician who loves to play his compositions in Second Life®. In this interview for AVENUE Magazine, he tells of how he got started in Second Life® and his real life career as an electronic musician.
stayed, so all my fans have her to thank for getting me to stay and experience it. Technically I’m not a DJ as I don’t play other people’s tracks as DJs do; I am an electronic musician who uses Second Life® to stream my tracks to my listeners directly from my studio, all in real time.
IF: How did you find out about Second Life®?
IF: What genres do you class your music in?
NR: Initially I had heard about it from some work mates and one day when I was bored at home I decided to give it a go.
NR: I’m an electronic musician in RL, I have done a few live sets at raves one particular rave which I played at in 1999 was released as an album through Mobius Records. The album (and rave name) was SKY THEATRE COMPILATION and my genre would be classed as Trance/Electronica/ Ambient.
IF: How did you get started, what made you stay? NR: Well in actual fact when I first checked out Second Life® I thought it was a bit stupid and boring so I basically logged out and wasn’t going to log back in again, but there was a time about a week or so later that I was stuck for something to do so I thought I’d check it out again. This time an avatar by the name of Lil Tomcat came over to me and we started chatting and she told me all about the ‘music scene’ that the Second Life® community has and she then introduced me to her friend that was in the know and basically the rest is history!
IF: Do you create your own tracks? NR: Yes. All my tracks are completely my own 100% originals, mind you I often have had my friends do some singing for me and I’m always looking for new singers. I also have done collaborations and remixes too and yes, I do sing in my tracks. IF: Where can we buy your album/tracks? NR: My music will be available worldwide soon on iTunes and various other online services (Rhapsody, Napster, eMusic, imvu, Amazon Mp3, Lala, Shockhound, Amie Street, Amazon On Demand, etc). I am currently organizing CD distribution too, so soon my albums will be available on CD also. Mp3s can also be purchased inworld at my store. http://slurl. com/secondlife/Zhang%20Guo%20Lao/221/199/25 IF: Where in Second Life® do you play? What time and how often?
IF: How did you discover DJing in Second Life®? NR: If it wasn’t for Lil Tomcat I wouldn’t have found out about DJing in Second Life®, in fact I may have never 118
NR: As I’m located in Australia I usually play anywhere between 4Pm SLT - 9pm SLT but the days vary. Typically I play during the week in Second Life®, but my days and times can vary according to where I have been asked to play in Second Life®. I do have a home club called “nuvonic” which is located at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Zhang%20 Guo%20Lao/221/199/25, this is where I play when I’m not touring around at the various Second Life® clubs. IF: Do you have a group so we can join and keep tabs with
your gigs? NR: Yes, the first being Nuvos Groupie Group (set up by none other than Lil Tomcat for me) and if you don’t have any space for groups, you can join by clicking at the subscriber located at my home club or in my store. IF: What else do you do in Second Life®? NR: What else? Well one thing I found about Second Life® is that quality clothing tends to be hard to find for a good price, especially for guys! So I decided that I’d start making my own and once I got started my friends tended to ask where I got my clothes from, when I kept saying “I made it” they said that I should sell it. Well low and behold, I do that now and I have a store near my home club to showcase them along with my bestest friend Surreal Babii’s brilliant designs too! We also feel that Second Life® is too expensive for clothes, so we have set them for sale at super low prices that even newbies can afford and we are always adding new designs, so come have a browse sometime. I also do lots of other things like build, dabble in scripting, furniture, gestures…well pretty much everything.
have disabilities to be on a level playing field again and have fun and be happy without having to worry about what people think of them, those that are shy can be outgoing, while those who are unable to socialize for whatever reason have a way to do so. Second Life® brings down barriers and walls and allows everyone to be free! The age old problem about Second Life® not running properly on Macs BUGS me. Mind you they have definitely improved it in recent versions but it’s still not as good as its Windows counterpart which I find, in this day and age, unbelievable seeing that most of the creative people here in Second Life® are users of Apple computers. It’s the creativity of Second Life® that keeps Linden Lab® running (i.e. shops, music, etc) they need to get on top of that! Oh, and one other thing is we need more group spaces!!!
Be sure to catch Nuvolino on one of his gigs, who knows, you might be hearing something for the first time!
IF: What do you like about Second Life®? Hate? Any advice for aspiring DJs? NR: What I love about Second Life® is that it is a medium for people from all corners of the globe to be able to come together, interact, have fun, and make friends in a way that is as personal or as impersonal as the user wants. Some people come in here as themselves whereas others come in here to be incognito. It’s a way for people who 119
in Second Life® Written by Takeshi Kiama Photographed by Natasja Schumann
When one thinks of sex in Second Life®, a myriad of images come to mind, most involving clunky animations that move your avatar at a speed even Bugs Bunny couldn’t keep up with. Innovation abounds and as such, this area has improved greatly for many SL™ residents. We have put together a list to get you started on a more intimate and satisfying love life in SL™.
Lovers Playground Beginning in 2006 and boasting over 676 animations with all kinds of variations from monogamous couples to group cuddles and BDSM, facial animations, as well as long lovers’ scenes, Lionna Dumouriez with her real life husband Qeux Serge have developed the ultimate bed. These beds have a clean running script that works particularly well on homestead and Open Space sims, a real plus. Having visited the sim of Lovers Playground, I was impressed with the service. A full staff was on hand to answer any questions and was extremely helpful. Not only offering beds, there are cuddle rugs, living rooms, bathrooms, and hot tubs. The love scenes are particularly well done, lending an air of intimacy that truly enhances the encounter. The BDSM options of the bed are impressive, allowing for multiple partners to be chained in group sessions, and the animations are highly realistic. To enhance it, make sure to pick up the “Talk Dirty to Me” HUD to really bring your night alive. It includes sound combinations that are sure to satisfy all. The sim is massive with many sections to be explored. In addition to a bed, I’d suggest you pick up the Lovers Playground “Spin Cycle Love”. As far as I’m concerned, the only way to get your clothes washed and dried. For more information: http://www.mystiquedesignz.com/
TenderLove Animator Another love HUD that will raise the goose bumps on your skin is the TenderLove. Thoughtfully designed by Kizmet Kidd, this animator, with its smooth transitional animations, takes lovemaking in Second Life® to a whole different level. I really recommend this one for monogamous couples who crave a true intimate and genuine experience. Starting off with standing and kissing and progressing through to foreplay before going into more intimate entanglements, with over sixty actions that can be controlled by either partner via a control HUD, the lovemaking glides smoothly from one set to the other to the pinnacle. The system is quite simple and lag free, with an excellent adjustment menu that doesn’t show the pose balls as you move the avatars about. TenderLove is a personal favorite. Maybe not up there with the more adventurous HUDs of Second Life®, but what it lacks in variety it more than makes up for in sensuality. You can find more information: Fusion Crossing Shopping Plaza 120
Akaesha Designs Akaesha Designs came to my attention when I accepted a dare to find something more avant garde. A first in Second Life®: a HUD dedicated to the art of Kama Sutra. Now upgraded, I.D.X. 5.7 (Intense Desires Extreme) packs 1250 animations that will keep any couple or group happy. It is definitely worth the price tag of L$12,999. You can also get a bed or bedroom set; these range from L$5199 for the bed alone to L$5999 for the set. In addition to the many Kama Sutra animations are “Moments”: series of long, multi-scene lovemaking animations. These proved so popular with the first release that they’ve been redone in the new release to be even longer. Another cute feature is the “Cozy” menu that rezzes a sculpted blanket around you and your loved one, complete with snuggling and cuddling animations. Perfect for a night in front of the fireplace. Add to that the I.D.X.’s ability to record your positions to keep them permanently at hand when needed, an easy-to-use SmartAdjust menu, and the Multiswap to switch partners into endless combinations for groups, and you have a complete package. Definitely avant garde.
that they’ve been redone in the new release to be even longer. Another cute feature is the “Cozy” menu that rezzes a sculpted blanket around you and your loved one, complete with snuggling and cuddling animations. Perfect for a night in front of the fireplace. Add to that the I.D.X.’s ability to record your positions to keep them permanently at hand when needed, an easy-tuse SmartAdjust menu, and the Multiswap to switch partners into endless combinations for groups, and you have a complete package. Definitely avant garde.
Lost Angel [LA] The “Dormeuse Romance” for couples, while not animated, is indeed worthy of mention just because Lost Angel has it down pat when it comes to sensuality in pose. With the re-launch of their newly designed sim, Lost Angel has stormed back into our hearts as the premiere stop for couples looking to immortalize their moments with top quality poses. Founded in 2007 by Evangeline Cortes and Pier Tempel, Lost Angel has continued to grow and enthrall SL™ residents with their stunningly seductive and sexy offerings. The new sim is an experience not to be missed, with its numerous themed rooms that house the poses from their beginnings evolving into the jaw dropping creations we see today. With more on the way, I’m certain Lost Angel will keep pushing the diversity of their work, delighting loving couples with poses to keep their special times alive forever.A
On the Tube
Written by Spruce Canning Picture of Wiz Nordhberg by Blaz Halfpint Photographs kind courtesy of Treet TV
Treet TV (Formerly SLCN.TV) has been broadcasting quality television in the Metaverse since March 2007. With such shows as “Tonight Live” with Paisley Beebe and “Metanomics” with Dr. Robert Bloomfield (known in SL™ as Beyers Sellers), Treet TV has a following in SL™ and will also branch out to other virtual worlds such as Open Sim. Wiz Nordberg, CEO of Treet TV, explained how shows like “Metanomics” and “Tonight Live” are produced as partnerships with the creators and not wholly owned by Treet. All of Treet’s programs are broadcast live inworld and on the World Wide Web, which would remind 124
the viewing public about the early days of television where most, if not all, programming was broadcast live. Mr. Nordberg also said that for some programs, like “Metanomics”, the production staff would also embed the live video feed of the inworld broadcast on their own web sites to attract visitors. The process for creating new programming for the network is similar to that of real life television networks such as HBO®, A&E®, and Fox®, with residents pitching ideas to Treet. The gestation process for new programming is a long period of pre-production, trial footage and much planning before a
Metanomics hosted by Robert Bloomfield new program goes live on the Treet TV network. Treet’s inworld viewership in a given month is approximately 80,000 to 100,000 viewers on their in-world screens, which does not count viewers on the web and YouTube viewers. Treet has a good deal of what Mr. Nordberg calls “long tail” traffic, as they have over 3000 programs archived since SLCN began in 2007. Most, if not all, of the producers of Treet TV’s programming are looking to new grids such as OSgrid and
Reaction Grid as well as Open Sim to bring in more viewers for their respective programs. Treet also covers sporting events such as the Giant Snail Races, which are broadcast live and on the Treet TV website, and major events such as the Merovingi Fashion Awards and such charitable causes such as the American Cancer Society Relay for Life®, for which SLCN hosted a twelve hour telethon last year to raise money for the Society’s fight against all forms of
The 1st Question hosted by Pooky Amsterdam and Hydra Shaftoe 125
Fabulous Fashion hosted by Angie Mornington cancer. Treet TV is shown on most televisions inworld and has a very large following along with other inworld broadcasters such as Metaverse Television, with such shows as “I Wanna Be a Celebrity”, which aired in SL™ this spring and finished this past June. With more virtual worlds coming online, Treet TV is well positioned to provide quality programming to the residents
of SL™ and the growing number of sims that are created with each new grid that comes online. What started out as a real life concert that Wiz Nordberg and Texas Timtam broadcast into SL™, called the Texas Aussie Music Party, and the subsequent positive reaction of SL™ residents to seeing themselves on TV led to the birth of what would become Treet TV and virtual television, as we know it today.
Tonight Live with Paisley Beebe
Written by Carissa Sockington
n many circles, the word “metropo “metropolis” brings to mind the indestructible superhero in red tights and a cape. However, in Second Life®, it’s some something much different. “Metropolis” is an exceptional 4D cinema production that will truly amaze and can now be viewed in machinima form. “Metropolis” is the story of Freder, the son of the Metropolis ruler who falls in love with a worker’s girl named Maria, and how the strength of their love brings about a phenomenal change. I had the honor of sitting down with CARP (Cybernetic Art Research Project) founders Velazquez Bonetto and Josina Burgess, and CARP video specialist Debbie Trilling, to talk about this production. Carissa Sockington: You ladies have been here in SL™ for three years. How do you find SL now than when you started? Was machinima a big deal when you first started? Josina Burgess: SL is matured, but still has its typical SL failures, like crashing, lagging and all that. It also has a charm, and we are in fact still pioneering. Debbie Trilling: For me, machinima is a relatively new hobby, less than a year, and still tons to learn. Velazquez Bonetto: Debbie is the
Photography by Natasja Schumann
CARP video specialist and makes it fantastic. JB: She now makes machinima of very high quality. We are very happy she is in CARP. CARP was founded two years ago by Velazquez and me. CS: How did each of you become involved with machinima? JB: SL for us all is a “playground” to find new borders and create challenges for ourselves to create and develop new ART, new technology, and by working in a team, we can collaborate and produce new projects that normally were difficult to create. In RL it would be impossible to gather professionals like we have here all together and working on projects. CS: So, let’s talk about “Metropolis”. Whose idea was it? From where did the inspiration come? VB: The initial idea came from Debbie. DB: Inspiration for “Metropolis”? I was having a Dark Mood Day, and also wondering what to do after “The Wall V-2”. I thought Bladerunner-type, dark sci-fi. Then, out of the blue thought “Metropolis”. I knew immediately it was a winning idea. CS: What do you feel were you trying to say to the audience through this film?
JB: The message of the old classic “Metropolis” is still strong in the now. The everlasting difference between the wealthy and greedy upper class using workers for their own well being. Nothing has changed much and even went worse. CS: Was the machinima made by filming a live performance, or was it a separate creation? DT: Both, the raw footage is from a live performance, but it has been edited, doctored, effects applied, etc. The machinima supports the live performance; not the other way around. Both are independent of 130
each other, but the machinima is the little sister. The machinima uses the 4D cinema as its basis, but it’s not simply a record and point. It’s an entity of its own right. VB: The basic is the live performance, but we made many details and spectacles in addition to live performance. CS: You guys have done an amazing job with this. DT: It is a fun project. VB: Thank you.
JB: It is a lot of fun but hard work. Many hours of work. A story of control, love, sacrifice, unity and ultimately freedom, “Metropolis” speaks to the mind on many levels. It is an age old story that we all need to be reminded of throughout life. To really experience this remake of Fritz Lang’s 1927 science fiction movie, “Metropolis”, plan to attend a show when it returns sometime in August of 2009. I was able to see a brief scene and was completely blown away by the magnitude of it. This is truly cutting edge cinema. A
Me and You
Transcends Worlds with His Art Interviewed by Isadora Fiddlesticks Photos by Blaz Halfpint RL Photos courtesy of Jeff Lipsky/Filthy Fluno
finally got to meet Filthy Fluno by avatar when he invited me to visit his exhibit of new paintings in Second Life®. He was setting up the exhibit and also interacting with the visitors, so I walked around looking at his work, and I was tempted to buy one. The painting was of bar and beverage items set in red background. I took note of it and thought to myself, “This guy’s not your ordinary artist.” When we had our “formal” interview in Artropolis, I was further intrigued by the many paintings he displayed. I decided to talk to him about his new paintings and ask my questions as we went along. When he first discovered Second Life® from an issue of Business Week back in 2006, he never thought that his art would take him to places beyond the Real World. He was a typical resident who played around, socialized, explored, and learned some stuff here and there. When I asked him what he thought of Second Life®, he replied, “I thought it was fun, a little confus-
ing, visually compelling, and chockfull of interesting people.” He gained friends, some of them artists, and told them some of his Real Life, that of being a painter. One friend suggested he bring his art inworld, since there are people already doing that. “Once I had it up here and people were interacting with it, I knew I had to pursue it further,” he said. Now, three years since his rez day, his career as an artist has further flourished with the help of Second Life®. Having already been established in Real Life, it
Voice For The Voiceless
was when he was in Second Life® that a writer from the New York Times came into Second Life®, noticed his work, noted his success in Second Life®, and wrote about art and the virtual world of Second Life®. Now, that subject is common for all of us residents of Second Life®, however, in Real Life, where people largely see Second Life® as a game or a 3D chat room, this was something new, a fun and entertaining option to market one’s art in the virtual world. With a publication like The New York Times writing about him and the arts in Second Life®, it was the best positive article that one has ever seen about Second Life®. Filthy Fluno, or Jeff Lipsky in Real Life, has a defined style with his art. He merges the styles of various classical artists such as Matisse with his visual style. He creates compelling art that jumps from the canvas and speaks, no, commands you to look. In his gallery, Artropolis, in Second Life®, no creation goes unnoticed. His collection of newly released work is no exemption. The colorful and expressive collection bears his flair, and a bottle never looked so divine on canvas. With his art, he invokes different feelings and interpretations. In one painting, the ‘Martini II’, one bar ingredient became an avocado to
someone, while I saw it as an olive; it was Mr. Fluno who embraced both opinions and baptized the confused bar ingredient the “olivado”. An artist who uses a number of ways to express himself, he expertly creates his art through oils and acrylic. Of late, he has been painting with oils, a medium some artists find difficult, and according to Mr. Lipsky, “takes years and years to master...and then you’re still not done. “I just try to make them do what I envision, sometimes the medium takes its own and I always try to celebrate the tactile qualities of each medium.” He muses, showing me his works done with oil as medium. One work, ‘Avatar’, currently hangs in the Linden Lab® San Francisco office, having been bought by M Linden. He usually takes 25-100 hours to make a painting, and gives each work room to grow with his vision. His art gallery, Artropolis, features most, if not all of his current and early work through the years. It also features his collaboration with Second Life® artist MenuBar Memorial that recreated a sculpture version of his work. Since setting up shop in 2006, Fluno has garnered probably (Fluno found it hard to measure) millions of visitors in his gallery in Second Life®. He’s thrilled about the way residents gravitate towards his work; with art background or not, he embraces them and just as energetically explains his art. “In my dreams, my art speaks for itself; however in reality, some people just like to say... ‘Oooh! An apple!’ Then there are some people like to take more of a visual journey,” he said. My gaze went back to the painting I wanted to acquire, the one with the Martini glass and an olive, and I said that I loved that painting. He laughed, finding a Martini lover in me. I told him yes and related that it was the first cocktail I learned how to make when I was in college studying a subject on Bar and Beverage Management for my Hotel and Restaurant Management course. “This morning I went to the restaurant where it is hanging and showed the owner that it was inspired
by her bar, she was really surprised,” he relates. “Indeed,” I said, “inspiration comes from everywhere.” Filthy agreed. Indeed, inspiration comes from everywhere, even in politics. He painted Barack Obama and was inspired by him, and the real life counterpart of the painting is now sold, with its SL™ version in display. He made another Obama-inspired art, with his avatar meeting the president in person. Filthy Fluno not only paints, he promotes, teaches and writes as well. A jack of all trades, but definitely not a master of none, his gift of engaging and relating to people seeps out from RL to SL™. He spends his free time with his beautiful wife, Anya, and their little dog, Mickey. From my observations, his art is a combination of classical and modern painters, in which he agrees, adding that his art is not an influence of one painter, but of many, among them Picasso, Rembrandt and Kahlo. He also notes that he is also influenced by SL™ artFluno’s ists and finds himself admiring Zeppie Innis’s work. ‘Me and You in Prims’ was a collaboration of him and MenuBar Memorial, depicting the challenges of communication. MenuBar created a prim version of his painting, and Filthy considers himself really lucky to work with him on projects. We continued with our visual odyssey, with me looking at ‘Voice for the Voiceless’ and asking him what it is about. “That’s a very special piece,” he said, and even in text chat, I can tell that he is really proud of this particular piece. “The message is that ‘hope’ always tries to emerge out of the darkness,” he continues, then rezzed a slideshow showing how he worked on it. Slide by slide, it revealed the painting’s origins in the following words: ignorance, power, and ego. Then it was overcome by colors and lines until eventually, the painting we see now appears right before our eyes. It was so striking and thought provoking, and is one of his deepest works to date. Of the painting, Fluno describes of having had only a few minutes to conceptualize what he wanted to convey in the painting. “Many times I like to let the ‘thinking’ part happen throughout the process, but too much thinking isn’t so good to make art like this most of the time, so I just say, ‘Let’s capture a
few layers, and show the process,’” he muses, and my thoughts went to how much people sometimes overanalyze a painting or any other piece of art. With ‘Voice for the Voiceless’, one must look at the presentation as well to enhance the experience and to grasp the painter’s thought process.
Virtual Gallery: Artropolis
Oftentimes, as with many paintings, we are all intrigued and baffled by them. There are times in which such bafflement leaves us with a question which nobody can answer. I share my personal opinion with Fluno with ‘Voice for the Voiceless’, that there were some aspects of that painting that has left me pondering and still asking questions. Fluno reckons that “questions are good to leave sometimes”, noting that as with life, there are times in which art is also a mystery, a question that cannot be answered, a quest. Filthy Fluno has been in Second Life® for quite some time, and he finds the art community a “work in progress”. “The art world is forever full of characters and dramas in SL™ and RL. Sometimes drama is good, I mean, I want my paintings to have dramatic elements and energy in them. However, the drama that goes behind the scenes between gallery owners, artists, curators, and designers can get exhausting and boring.” Ditto. Filthy Fluno’s counterpART series of paintings can be found in Second Life®, in which you can purchase both the prim and canvas version of his art, made to deliver via United States Postal Service or UPS. His gallery, Artropolis is located here: Artropolis (165, 168, 22)
Sennaspirit Coronet Interview by Nazz Lane Photography by Sennaspirit Coronet
I met with photographer Sennaspirit Coronet recently. Mr. Coronet works both commercially and artistically in Second Life® as a photographer; his profile simply states that he’s “Just here for the Art”. We met at a studio of his to talk about his work and Second Life. His schedule full, he was gracious in setting aside some time before and during a scheduled photo shoot. With arrangements made for a date and time through his assistant, Josie, I arrived at the studio. We were about to get started when a Linden Lab® blue box announcement popped up telling us the sim would be restarting in five minutes, so we adjourned to another location of his. We were about to begin once again when he was called away briefly. Ms Anderton gave me a brief tour of the build and, when done, Sennaspirit had returned.
“Hey Nazz, my model will be here shortly … sorry about the delays,” he said. “Josie was just showing me around, this is a nice build,” I said, and was about to ask a first question when the model did arrive. Senna, Josie and she exchanged greetings, then he introduced me to Veronika Garzo, who was there to be photographed in the shapes she creates. We then moved into the studio portion of the build where both the shoot and interview began. “When did you get started as a photographer in Second Life?” “My first pictures were taken in December of 2007. I went out looking for Christmas cards of all things. I had my picture taken for the card; I then asked if I could use her studio while she was off working on the pictures. She said yes, and so I did…and took some…it was when I got hers back, I saw that I could shoot better than she could,” he replied, and then he gave some directions to Veronika. “Take a look, Nazz, isn’t she gorgeous,” he said, and I swung my camera view in the direction of Ms Garzo where she was posed on the studio apparatus, nude. I couldn’t help but agree with his assessment. He then added, “Nika is working in collaboration with a skin designer; we’re shooting pictures for the in-store vendors.”
“Are you a photographer in real life?” I asked as Senna, Nika and Josie all chatted in voice about the shapes and skins along with their experience in working on previous shoots. “Not professionally, but I used to work in the advertising business…in the creative department. I run my studio here in SL™ like a real studio. As you can hear, we know each other very well, and so it’s a good working atmosphere…one that I strive to create, and if we get too far off track, though, Josie will remind us of what we need to get done.” “I can see that,” I commented and then asked, “What was your most memorable moment in SL?” “Second Life has had two parts, before photography and after. I think though it was the time someone asked me to show my work…it was Twilight Gallery.... It changed everything for me ...it validated what I do. It’s the quality of the people I meet here that changed everything,” he replied. “Do you draw inspiration from Second Life for your photography?” I asked. “I do draw inspiration from SL... it’s people like Nika and Josie… the creativity here amazes me. The builders and the texture makers... they all inspire me.” “Is there a moment in SL you’d like to forget?” “I wasn’t making any money in SL, and I’d lost my job in RL. I had a sim and had to give it up. It was my worst moment, but it changed my perspective on things. I began wandering around seeing some amazing things, and I was pleasantly surprised and warmed by the generosity of friends who offered to let me build my studio on their land,” he said.
“Do you have any of your work on exhibit now?” I asked. “I have in three places…the first has one of my pictures, the second three. The third is a private showing of one hundred and fifty of my photographs… and I have one coming up in eight days. Shows are great, letting people see your work,” he replied. “Are you planning to attend the SLCC?” “No, I’m not planning to attend. I would like to go at some point, I know so many people now. My SL used to be just that...second. Now I’m fairly transparent. I have clients in RL who are interested in virtual worlds. SL being the biggest one...businesses are interested in establishing their presence here,” he responded. “I’ve spoken to several photographers and artists about their use of Second Life as a medium for their art. What do you see as the pluses and minuses?” “Well, yeah there are technical limitations.... But you have to adapt to what you do have. I would like one thing…more flexibility with shapes, like bending fingers, toes and feet. The introduction of Windlight was brilliant...I use it constantly. But then there’s
things like last night...I did a shoot…the models had three outfits and we shot in three different locations... it took four hours…with the rezzing and crashes and then the sim going down,” he replied. “Any closing comments or thoughts you’d like to share?” I asked. “Generally, I think that I love that people give so much here…. Sometimes I will shoot pictures for free...and the sharing of information…It’s not a competition. I tell people to go out and try something…anything. One other thing…I wish the folks at Linden Lab® would pay more attention to Mac users…they seem to release that last.” While saving my notes, the bantering continued between the three, and Senna suggested that if I was free I could hang around to watch. Being both an admirer of the female shape and curious about the photography process, I readily agreed and had a delightful evening. Sennaspirit’s works can be viewed online at http:// www.flickr.com/photos/sennacoronet/