Page 1

November 2009



STAFF Publisher Rohal Schnyder Executive Publisher Leeza Catteneo Editor in Chief Ofelia Laval Advertising & Marketing Leeza Catteneo Art Director Leeza Catteneo Stylists Ana Lutetia Cayce Newell Tomoyo Breitman Contributors Express Zenovka Jura Shepherd Paypabak Writer Salvatore Otoro Samara Barzane Sesi Ackland Se7en Wirsing


Editorial Office Concetta (194/172/22) Contacts All the published material has been provided by the mentioned brands. Therefore, ROLE Magazine cannot be responsible for copyright issues and assumes no responsibility for inaccurate content or changes in the products or prices displayed. Copyright by ROLE Magazine. Reproduction or use of the content in whole or in part without the written permission of the editor is strictly prohibited.

EDITOR’S NOTE Okay, this is it. Our 12th and final issue. Time for us to look back at what we have created and to say “Thank you!” to so many great people -- people who worked with us, became our friends, taught us many things and made our SL a richer and more interesting experience. Wow, there was a lot to learn about SL as platform on which to work and collaborate with people from different countries (and on many continents) and where to locate the many very talented folks scattered across the grid. When we announced our decision to suspend our magazine, we received immediate, heartfelt and positive feedback which, while making the choice to follow through with our decision harder, we say thank you for all of the kind words and support. As you might imagine, ROLE Magazine has been a labor of love for us and for all of our talented staff and, to try to continue this publication pace with the numerous pulls from our various RL, it would likely compromise our personal standards for quality. We could not bare to see this publication become just another cookie-cutter SL magazine. During our run, our readership statistics combined with consistent, overwhelming feedback made it clear to us that we have a lot of solid friends who have enjoyed reading our contribution to the SL community. A huge “Thank you!” to each and every single reader and to all of our advertisers who believed in us and supported us. Last, but certainly not least, we want to thank our talented contributors, writers and stylists. You made ROLE Magazine a fine publication we can all be proud of. We love you guys!









8 16 24 34



40 44 48 52











56 62






Traveling around the grid looking for new places to add to my never ending list of role play sims for my blog I come upon interesting places to play in. A recent comment on one of my blog entries led me to take a look at a link to a role play sim and see what it was all about. I was pleasantly surprised with the look of this new-to-me sim. Setting foot there, for the first time really makes you go, “Wow!” It’s unlike anyplace I’d ever been before. In fact, even though the landing point introduces you to the basics of the role play, it is a surreal sensation once you are fully immersed. This is the Obscure Reality role play sim. By Salvatore Otoro to a world in black and white. Their website states that you should act confused when first arriving, though that’s not too hard to do when you feel as if your computer monitor is failing or you’re experiencing some kind of viewer bug. The advantage of having the place in black and white is that it is basically lag free. That is something to boast about since lag affects most places if they are popular enough. I find the sim reminiscent of the movie Pleasantville or an old Twilight Zone television episode.

The Obscure Reality sim, which is based on the fictitious city of Emmons, Maryland in the U.S., is a real eye-opener. It boasts just about everything you would have in a small town. You have parks, apartment buildings, homes, schools, diners, stores, civic buildings, etc. It is quintessential small town America with one very, very confusing difference. Don’t adjust your monitors and don’t check for the color control. This sim is in black and white. Everything looks like an old television show episode. In fact, the only things in color are the players.

I arrived at the sim to take some pictures and get a good feel for the place. The arrival point has a map with street names and another with indications of the different buildings in the sim. There is plenty to

The website which explains the back story and its basis, explains that it’s based on an episode of Charmed, where the characters were transported 8

Speaking of the website, a visit to will show you a well-designed and easy to navigate site. I found it full of all sorts of information to help you along whether it’s your first time here or your hundredth. Among the interesting tidbits is the latest news from the Herald, the city’s newspaper, which gives an overview of the current role play taking place at the sim as well as the latest happenings around town. It also includes city maps, links to their streaming music, local jobs available, and the community forums. In the forums you can find lots of information, about the role play, the characters’ backgrounds, address issues with the administrators and much more.

work with. The best part is that it has an automated tour guide that will show you all the important areas in the sim and the various faction bases. I have not seen any other role play sims with a tour as of yet. This makes the visit a learning experience as you get an overview of the place before you decide to join. Most sims don’t have maps to guide you around so this feature, along with the tour, is a nice touch. The back-story to Obscure Reality is quite curious because it is a place that is frozen in time. As the website explains, “the wind doesn’t blow and the water doesn’t move… the only signs of life in the city are the people within it.” The role play races allowed here are nekos, humans, demons, angels, vampires, werewolves, and mystics. Each race has a factional base, though the premise of the storyline is that most players feel the need to hide their race because they fear prejudice or attacks. Angels and demons were sent to the city, but all the other races somehow arrived in the city from the present. This makes for a great beginning for your character as you can build your background to be from anywhere and with any background you choose.

Every one of the players I’ve spoken to at the sim told me that they truly believe it is the best role play sim in Second Life. Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Obscure Reality’s owner and GM, Bellemy Ellisson and a mentor, Jericho Macalroy. They explained a bit of the back story on the mechanics of the sim and the thought process behind its construction. The sim and the website were originally owned and created by Viorel Daviau. It was carefully built using


the television show as a basis and keeping textures and scripts to a minimum, making for a lag-free area. Obscure Reality saw its numbers dwindle due to differences of opinions and administrative issues that caused a decrease in its player base and a rift in its management. That, combined with the quiet, inworld summer months, did not help the situation.

in a ‘new drop’ as we call them. I have wandered to other sims in recent weeks and not had so much as a “Hello.” Not here, we want you to want to come back here as much for the way you are treated as for the role play. And that role play is top notch. It’s funny, dramatic, sexy, intense ... everything you could want,” adding, “We are all here for the role play and that’s what keeps this sim going. The stories and the characters are all interwoven creating a dynamic and creative place to RP.”

However, the quieter times are all in the past. Bellemy and her group of mentors are working hard creating story lines and helping rebuild the player base at the sim. Jericho explained that they are still in the planning stages; something Bellemy calls ‘Reality Shifting.’ He continued, “It, honestly, is the best RP I have ever had on SL. I came to the game for role play and wandered around disappointed until my wife found out about it on some Gor forums. The people here are amazing and limitless in their creativity. We have really been priding ourselves on quality over quantity. The numbers are looking up actually. I probably see four to five new names every night and many of them are coming back again.”

Concluding this interview, I can see that Obscure Reality has plenty of promise for its future. As they said, it is a work in progress, but I am still fascinated by the vast differences projected by the sim, not only in its construction but in its structure. It is a frozen work of art. Take time to visit, take the automated tour, and speak with the mentors. I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

There has been discussion amongst the players about the use of meters on the sim. Some are for it while others are against it. The sim uses Osiris, formerly known as RPCS, for their role play combat meter. Jericho explained that most of their players prefer to role play everything - even combat. This opinion is not shared by all of the players so the debate continues although the mentors and the GM will let the players decide.

Obscure Reality Silence (32/3/711) Obscure Reality Osiris Role Play Combat Meter Second Life Roleplay

Jericho stated, “We are always ready to welcome



We all got to know Argrace while visiting the Hair Fair: those beautiful hairstyles and hats didn’t pass unnoticed in that lag! But Argrace is much more than that: the two creators behind it - Air Winx and Rika Oyen - have developed a brand with a professional project behind it. Everything is created following a concept and building a lifestyle that both men and women can enjoy, since most of the items on sale are coordinated or unisex. Along with some fine furniture pieces, Argrace might be defined like an environment: made of beauty, quality and uniqueness. Styled and Written by Cayce Newell and Tomoyo Breitman shin zushi (150/161/26) Takaraduka (157/31/32) Kmadd Enterprise (128/128/2)

Skin: LAQ ~ Alice 04 [Peach] Glow skin Eyes: MADesigns SOUL eyes Green 8 Lashes: Bedroom lashes by Cake Hair and beret: *Argrace* Knit beret -Loose up- hair in black Coat: *Argrace* Traveler coat in brown Shirt: *Argrace* Sunny day shirt in lavender Pants: *Argrace* Lady’s 3way denim pack in brown Gloves: Nautical Riding Gloves by Savvy? Bag: MIEL messenger bag Boots: (Milk Motion) my worn ankle boots Pose: in the bag + *TorridWear* Basics 03 16

Skin: LAQ ~ Alice 04 [Peach] Glow skin Eyes: MADesigns SOUL eyes Green 8 Lashes: Bedroom lashes by Cake Hair and cap: *Argrace* Knit Cap -smoothy shiny- hair in black Coat: *Argrace* Joy coat in pink Sweater: *Argrace* With you sweater/muffler in light grey Pants: *Argrace* Lady’s 3way denim pack in Indigo Belts: AOHARU_BT_TwinSkinnyBelt_Pink Shoes: (Milk Motion) my leather boots Pose: *Luth* Melancholy 12

Skin: LAQ ~ Alice 05 [Peach] Glow skin Eyes: MADesigns SOUL eyes Green 8 Lashes: Bedroom lashes by Cake Hair and hat: *Argrace* Casket -straight hair- in brown Vest: *Argrace* Leather vest in black Shirt: *Argrace* Feel in fresh white Skirt: *Argrace* Dot skirt in black Gloves: M * A * ii * K * I PoofGlove Black Tights: .:MALT:. Capri LACE Tights - Black Boots: J’s Ankle Boots Round in lightgrey Pose: MaitreyaFModel05

Skin: LAQ ~ Alice 07 [Peach] Glow skin Eyes: MADesigns SOUL eyes Green 8 Lashes: Bedroom lashes by Cake Hair: *Argrace* Passion hair in black Dress: *Argrace* Night safari dress - Type-B Leggings: GHOST! - *Valle Dark Leggings* Bracelets: LalALa Bracelet /leo by LeeZu! Sandals: Maitreya Gold - Salience Midnight Pose: *TorridWear* - High Fashion 7

17 Model/Stylist: Cayce Newell

Hair: *ARGRACE* ~ Knit Beret “Flare curl” ~ (Black) Skin: :: DUTCH TOUCH ::GroupSKin:: Special No1 Caramel Coat: *ARGRACE* COAT “ Traveler” (Rose) Lady Shirt: *ARGRACE* Natural (Browny) Lady`s Undershirt: !Ohmai: Basics Puff Blouse [PIG] Skirt: ::: B@R ::: Jazmin Pink Skirt Leggings: *MIU*leggings007(border purple*brown) Necklace: LaGyo CIRCUS_Siamese twins necklace black Boots: ANEXX LeatherRidersBoots Black Pose by Esme Milena

Hair: *ARGRACE* Baseball Cap -Relaxed ponytail -Black Skin: :GP: Sundust [Dark] April-Iris 2 Top: *ARGRACE* GRACE ( Pure White) Skirt: *ARGRACE* dot skirt *Olive* Legging: **THE CLOSET**MeshLeggingsBLK (Past Hunt Gift) Socks: .::Tyranny Designs::. South for the winter - socks - finch Earrings: *ARGRACE* Heartstrings ( Earrings ) Belt: AOHARU - Twin Skinny Belt White Glasses: [twee] Glasses 14 Bag: ::: B@R ::: Bellissima 09 Black ClutchBag Corsage: Gbberish** Chelsea Girl - Lily Corsage Shoes: Maitreya Neyya * Patent Leather Black


Hair: *ARGRACE* Beanie - Long layered wavy - Black Skin: *MY UGLYDOROTHY -Yuna_Little Raccoon Jacket: *ARGRACE* Vintage Leather Jacket Inner Shirt: *ARGRACE* Feel (Fresh white) Lady`s Pants: *ARGRACE* Lady`s 3way denim pack (Stone Gray) Legging: DUBOO*grandma’s gifts [brown] Gloves: ::: B@R ::: Inferno Gloves Armwarmer: Maitreya ArmWarmer Black Shoes: *Kookie* Powder Puff ‘ Spikeys ‘ Cigar: FNKY! Cigarette II Pose: {Flowey} I’m in the middle of your picture

Hair: Exile - Aphrodite mink Skin: *MY UGLYDOROTHY -Yuna_Be Woman Shirt: *ARGRACE* Camisole White Skirt: *ARGRACE* Long skirt *Bossa nova* A Scarf: *ARGRACE* Long Stole(F) / Paisley – Red Armwarmers: “anuenue.Arm warmer(white) (gatcha festival prize) Bag: ::: B@R ::: Nadeshiko Kinchaku Red Pose by Nil Giha (no longer on sale)

19 Model/Stylist: Tomoyo Breitman




Hair: Tiny Bird - Autumn Leaves - Dragees Skin: MMS-MoscowLight-Halloween skin1 (old gift) Cheek: [ Love Soul ] Cheek color*Brown* Shawl: -MHFA- Lace Shawl Stick: ::: B@R ::: Showgirl Stick Shoes: ANEXX_RibbonBeltPumps_Black/Red Pose: *Vago* - It’s summer! 5



2 A + E + F



F + G

Hair: Exile Kalea - charcoal Skin: :: DUTCH TOUCH ::GroupSKin:: Special No1 Caramel Vest: [W&B] Tea Hawks Vest (past 50L Friday Item) Bangle: [glow] Studio Lowicz Peacock Wood Branclet Shoes: Maitreya Neyya * Patent Leather Black Pose: Ks2cool Pose31_40


“NINIKO” BIG SHIRTS (stripe-black)


*Fishy Strawberry* Cuddle Maxipull Brown

C *Kookie* Ono Blacks

D [LeeZu!] Woolstock Pullover wood 26

E Ibizarre Black Knit Jacket SET

Skin: *MY UGLYDOROTHY -Yuna_Geisha Bag: -tb- Chic Satchel (black) Necklace: BB**Autumn fair Rosaline Necklace in redPearls(pearl only) Shoes: *Decoy Shoes: Francisco II Wedge – Sand Pose: []::Tuli::[] attitude ~ 5


3 OK












Hair: ::69:: Sweet Devilkin - Chestnut – (modified) Skin: *MY UGLYDOROTHY -Yuna_Pictorial Red(Black) Bag: Vintage Traveler’s Suitcase by *Argyle Glasses: HOC - Rectangle Framed Glasses #001 Belt: (Part of ) K*S ONE-PIECE192be peaceful Shoes: Kalnins Shoes - Coquette Model/Stylist: Tomoyo Breitman

F This is a Fawn String Dress [black]

H Shampooo Span border T-shirt wampi and torenga in mossgreen

G Zaara Larin Skirt *ebony* 27

I Bijou Sassy







Skin: *MY UGLYDOROTHY -Lillbe(U)04 (Freckles) Undershirt: MichaMi: Fearne in Beige Belt: fri. - Wide Waist.Belt (Tan) Bag: =E.M.A= BAG (old hunt gift) Leggings: (Part of ) K*S ONE-PIECE214fringeX2(DBr) Shoes: **DP**yumyum:Candy Sandals/pink Pose: [Flowey] you make it shine

Hair: >TRUTH< Amber - treacle Skin: :: DUTCH TOUCH ::GroupSKin:: Special No1 Caramel Jacket: “NINIKO”BIG SHIRTS(stripe-black) Dress: :bijou: Sassy ~*LE.LOOK!* Legging: Ibizarre Black Knit Jacket SET Bag: ::: B@R ::: Bellissima 09 Black Shies: 50 Flats- A walk in the woods Model/Stylist: Tomoyo Breitman


“NINIKO” BIG SHIRTS (stripe-black)


*Fishy Strawberry* Cuddle Maxipull Brown

C *Kookie* Ono Blacks

D [LeeZu!] Woolstock Pullover wood 28

E Ibizarre Black Knit Jacket SET

Skin: LAQ ~ Imani 05 [Ebony] Glow skin Hair: Maitreya Milla (incl. bangs) - Crayon Eyes: MADesigns SOUL eyes Green 8 Eyelashes: Bedroom lashes by Cake Armwarmers: Maitreya ArmWarmer Black Socks: :bijou: StockingD[Black] Boots: J’s Ankle Boots Round Pose: [LAP] - BB-Camera Shy

LOOK 2 E + F



+ H

Skin: LAQ ~ Alice 03 [Peach] Glow skin Eyes: MADesigns SOUL eyes Green 8 Eyelashes: Bedroom lashes by Cake Hair: CBC: Good Evening - Delicious wine Hat: Black Mobstress Hat Black Glasses: {SMS} Bugeye Glasses Blue Scarf: [VG] Layered Scarf in Wine Bag: ::: B@R ::: Lucky Horseshoe Purple Tights: [VG] ‘Spandex Tight’ in Wine Boots: (Milk Motion) my leather boots Pose: [LAP] - DW-You Beast Model/Stylist: Cayce Newell

F This is a Fawn String Dress [black]

H Shampooo Span border T-shirt wampi and torenga in mossgreen

G Zaara Larin Skirt *ebony* 29

I Bijou Sassy


G + I



K3 C + F + H Skin: LAQ ~ Imani 04 [Ebony] Glow skin Eyes: MADesigns SOUL eyes Green 8 Eyelashes: Bedroom lashes by Cake Nails: : bijou : nailE[Purple] Belt: AOHARU_BT_TwinSkinnyBelt_Purple Socks: Emery - Socks E Boots: J’s Ankle Boots Round Pose: [LAP] - BG2-Barbie14 PR4


“NINIKO” BIG SHIRTS (stripe-black)


*Fishy Strawberry* Cuddle Maxipull Brown

Skin: LAQ ~ Imani 04 [Ebony] Glow skin Hair: Maitreya Milla (incl. bangs) - Crayon Eyes: MADesigns SOUL eyes Green 8 Eyelashes: Bedroom lashes by Cake Scarf: [LeeZu!] Miss Mara Scarf /ethno fire Gloves: Blood riding gloves by Savvy? Boots: J’s Ankle Boots Round Pose: Pretzel*Poses - Le Simpliste Dollarbie 1

C *Kookie* Ono Blacks

D [LeeZu!] Woolstock Pullover wood 30

E Ibizarre Black Knit Jacket SET

Skin: LAQ ~ Imani 07 [Ebony] Glow skin Hair: !lamb. Lovetones - Kit Kat with bangs Eyes: MADesigns SOUL eyes Green 8 Eyelashes: Bedroom lashes by Cake Scarf: !tb knitted neck scarf (porridge) Tights: {SMS} Damask Tights Brown Legwarmers: Crochet leg warmer in brown by **DP**YumYum Boots: Jâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Vintage Short Boots Pose: *Luth* Fashion S4 07

LOOK 6 D + E



K5 A + B + E

E + H

Skin: LAQ ~ Imani 02 [Ebony] Glow skin Hair: ::69:: OMNIA 50 - Black Eyes: MADesigns SOUL eyes Green 8 Eyelashes: Bedroom lashes by Cake Glasses: MIEL BELLA PEEPERS Headband: MILE AM TULIP headband - champagne Socks: nep_socks_cacole_s Boots: (Milk Motion) my leather boots Pose: MaitreyaFModel04


Skin: LAQ ~ Imani 03 [Ebony] Glow skin Hair: Aphro by AMD Eyes: MADesigns SOUL eyes Green 8 Earrings: -EARTHTONES- Chakra Hoop Earring, Crimson Bangles: [Armidi Gisaci] Towanda Quintet Bangles - Red Leggings: M * A * ii * K * I Long Legging Black Shoes: Slinky stilettos in patent black by Maitreya Pose: *Luth* Sex Sells V2 04 Model/Stylist: Cayce Newell

F This is a Fawn String Dress [black]

H Shampooo Span border T-shirt wampi and torenga in mossgreen

G Zaara Larin Skirt *ebony* 31

I Bijou Sassy




Rance Alva skin: [ DoS ] Dakarai-Hair-Shaved shirt: East Hill - Canadja pants: Inone Style - Kokoro Jeans Black // Classic (w/ Cuff 022 attachment) shoes: AKEYO - Sneakers AKIDAZ III hat: AKEYO - New Era Cap, Buzz glasses: Sera Korea - SeraFreebie Accessory Black Glasses L tattoo: Aitui - Vintage Hawaii *Full Upper Body* =worn= pose: [LAP] M Blogger 7 Ranceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s style leans toward clean and simple, with a little urban flair. While simple, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s got a reason for everything on he wears -from the color-change shoes on his feet that let him match any outfit up to the straight-billed baseball cap on his head, tilted in homage to Yankees (and former Brewers) pitcher C.C. Sebathia. Rance also recently started his own clothing line, East Hill, so its no surprise to catch him wearing some of his own work. Rance blogs and posts mixtapes at


Niko Lyle Hair: Uncle Web - Hibiki type-A Skin: Damiani Fashion Design - Liam - Clean Eyeliner Tan Jacket: King - Suit Jacket Open Front (White) T-Shirt: This Is A Fawn - Twat Punch Tee Salmon (personal item) Jeans: Kal Rau - Dark Blue Jeans Shoes: Akeyo - Chucks - Low Top - Close Tattoo: Addict - Showing Heart - Lyle Edit Glasses: The Naked Tree - Nerdy Glasses pose: [LAP] M No Please Nikoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s style is varied and diverse, as he seeks inspiration from a wide variety of sources. His day to day wear, however, is simply casual and relaxed. While he tends to stick to items of sentimental value, he often finds that there are one two items he comes across that he canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seem to stop wearing over and over. Niko blogs and posts mixtapes at



I always think that men like to keep it simple and want to have a nice look without spending too much time thinking about it or losing time finding the right accessory. But men are not all alike. Some do like to search for accessories and create distinctive looks. For the older SL’ers, Shiryu Musashi from Musashi-Do is a reference in the fashion world. His store was “the place” to get a good suit. Text and styles by Ana Lutetia

November’s look is based on one set from Musashi-Do. This set is so versatile because of all the options in it. And, it still has more ways to be worn than the ones I’ve shown. It’s a truly versatile set and, in my opinion, is what most men want while buying clothing. I think it’s great to have a set that can be worn for a casual occasion, every day use and for more formal situations. Mixing brown with black is a new trend. Brown is the ultimate autumn shade along with orange, copper and yellow. Earthly tones are always perfect for the season. And these tones are a safe bet in clothing for every season. These tones blend very well with most colors. Blue is one of the colors that seems to look great with everything. The looks I bring you this month are “safe bets.” You can’t go wrong wearing these pieces and the outfit itself is a great addiction to any male’s SL wardrobe. In my opinion, each of these looks makes a guy distinctive. The casual look isn’t too casual and the classy look isn’t too formal. You won’t ever seem underdressed or overdressed but instead perfect for the occasion.

Autumn: n. The season of the year between summer and winter, lasting from the autumnal equinox to the winter solstice and from September to December in the Northern Hemisphere; fall. A period of maturity verging on decline. adj. Of, having to do with, occurring in, or appropriate to the season of autumn: autumn foliage; autumn harvests. Grown during the season of autumn: autumn crops. [Middle English autumpne, from Old French autompne, from Latin autumnus.] 40


“Autumn wins you best by this its mute appeal to sympathy for its decay.” - Robert Browning

Shape: [M] m.Mauro - Shape 2 | Mauro by Manifest Shapes (modified) Skin: (IS) Ander - Este - Imperial (Scalp/Smooth) Hair: >TRUTH< Ethan - sangria Eyes: *FuseMelon* *FM* Silver (M) Set: Musashi-Do - The Glorious F. Shoes: Adam n Eve Male Shoes - M110 Ruddy hi shine Poses: IZUMIYA Model Pose


“There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!” - Percy Bysshe Shelley

Shape: [M] m.Mauro - Shape 2 | Mauro by Manifest Shapes (modified) Skin: (IS) Ander - Este - Stubble (Bald/Smooth) Hair: >TRUTH< Jaden - sangria Eyes: *FuseMelon* *FM* Silver (M) Pashmina Scarf: ZC : pashmina scarf *blue* Set: Musashi-Do - The Glorious F. Shoes: (Shiny Things) Flare Oxfords men - black Poses: IZUMIYA Model Pose



Entering Second Life® with my real life partner left one potential of the complex SL society out of the picture for me, the dating scene. Dating, love and marriages within SL are things I never understood. Not because I feel it’s silly or impossible, it just isn’t on my radar. My relationship needs are met in all worlds. My RL and SL husband, Winston, and I partnered within twenty minutes of creating our avatars. As with many who are partnered it was our way of letting others know - don’t bother. Knowing several people in SL relationships, I was genuinely curious about the possibility of finding love in SL. I took some time to talk to a few of my friends about their past and present relationships and then launched a few questions regarding dating to the many SL residents on Plurk®. By Sesi Ackland

Our first neighbors on Streibs were a cute couple, very sweet women who loved to build and decorate their SL homes. Winston befriended the one we saw most, “B.” She was usually winding down after a long RL day as Winston awoke and occasionally they shared conversations over the pixel fence. “B” would often mention her partner and bits about their SL relationship. The two women lived on the opposite side of the world from one another and they decided they would never meet RL. It was amazing to us that even under the tightest constraints “B” and her partner made it work and we admired them for that.

time zones, they met in SL during the evenings when his wife was home. It was not uncommon for his avatar to be logged in sitting with “M” while he was busy keeping up appearances in RL. To all around them, it was obvious this wasn’t a relationship. However, it certainly didn’t hurt “M” any less when it ended. To be honest, this is more of what I expected for a relationship within SL. I often sat on the sidelines watching other couples, immediately suspicious and secretly questioning the level of commitment they had. Were they completely truthful, respectful and careful with one another? Were both of them fully aware that it is a real person with real feelings on the other end of that avatar?

My second encounter with a SL couple wasn’t the same positive experience as our neighbors. A really fun, regular fan of Winston’s, “M” reached out and invited us to her birthday party her friends were throwing for her. Among the guests was “M’s” boyfriend. They remained on a dance all evening and I noticed he hadn’t said a word. Perhaps they were in an IM but found it strange he hadn’t greeted guests. I turned to Winston and questioned the boyfriend’s unusual behavior. Winston suggested the possibility that the boyfriend may not even be at the keyboard. The idea of an unmanned avatar hadn’t even occurred to me, it was beyond my comprehension. Within weeks I heard through the grapevine that the relationship had ended, “M” was devastated. Over time, I learned a little about her relationship. The ex was, as he put it, unhappily married. Six hours difference between their

The potential for one or both people to be slightly detached and apathetic is much easier in Second Life. In a world where you can log out when you’re tired of it, the pixel people living there are easily dehumanized and often disposable. When real emotions, feelings and conflict arise in SL, many people are unsure of how to handle it. The idea that anything on your computer monitor could be so complex and intense can be overwhelming. It is very easy to log off and avoid the whole situation. Enter the ever present, most common go to phrase used to attempt justification of questionable actions within SL - “it’s just a game.” A few who have experienced unfortunate and negative aspects of SL dating elaborated on their situa44

tions. There were repeat mentions of a few types of deception inworld that aren’t possible in RL, “What stands out to me most from that relationship is how terribly easy it is to deceive in Second Life. Apart from the obvious ways (that hot guy you’re dancing with could easily be a grandmother named Myrtle), there are the subtle tactics that lend themselves well to paranoia, insecurity and doubt”, says “C”, a female avatar who was once in a happy, committed SL relationship with “L”. “The most loyal of partners”, she said.

and your partner is flirting up another woman. In SL, we have private chat windows.” That is until one types in the wrong window, an inescapable mistake often made in SL. In “C’s” case, the IM meant for another led to feelings she wasn’t familiar with, “The conveniences of SL had brought me to a place of being wary and suspicious, things not in my nature.” Although the friendship with “L” and the oddly behaving friend were strained, “C’s” suspicions were not confirmed until she made what she describes as “the most interesting TP landing ever made.”

She continued to explain that over time “C” and “L’s” different time zones were a challenge and she began feeling guilty about the time and energy she spent on their relationship. “C” mentioned this to “L” and suggested seeing other people. “L’s” reaction was one of anger and shock, the idea seemed absurd to him. Although it was not mentioned again, the suggestion of seeing others was enough to damage the relationship. “C” noticed her boyfriend’s and ironically, another SL friend’s behaviors changing. When asked, “L” said it was because he had met a girl in RL. He felt having a girlfriend in SL may not be the most honest way to begin a new relationship in RL. “C” agreed and they decided to be friends.

The road “L” had taken certainly caused a lot of unnecessary hurt and confusion. “When honesty is the easiest road offered, why go with the deception?” “C” felt the lack of compassion and respect even more when the “it’s just a game” mindset became even more clear, “Being in SL, of course, meant that neither one needed to even look up, grab a sheet, murmur apologies, anything. The two of them simply never spoke to me ever, ever again. Easy to do in SL.” Sadly, it’s so very true. While Second Life relationships often end in painful, dramatic ways, there seem to be just as many that are growing and thriving. Some SL couples have found a formula that works for them. That formula is based on honesty and respect. “H” and “P” are one very happy, content SL only couple that have no desire to take their relationship to another level. “H” explained what

Doubt had set in, “C” felt the whole story seemed a bit fishy. “... Do I need to mention again, this is SL, not RL? It’s far too easy to say one thing and do another. In RL, it would be very obvious if you were at a party 45

works for her and “P,” “We realized very early on that we really enjoy each others company but have many differences. Differences that would complicate things if we ever chose to attempt a RL relationship. Our belief systems are too diverse, we don’t dare bring up politics or religion.” “H” explained that at first it appeared there would be no relationship between them. However, they kept coming back to one another with the desire to be together. “H” explained that they soon realized that Second Life was the only place their relationship could exist, “because it’s a world where there is little religious or political influence, our differences aren’t obvious here.” For them, their solution in a word? Perfect.

Every couple that has a healthy, happy partnership is in agreement that communication is as important as honesty. Another SL to RL, long distance couple “K” and “B,” struggle with the challenge of perception of typed conversation. “K” and her significant other, “B,” always try to remain clear in what the other is saying. “Any communication other than face to face can be very easily misconstrued. I think we’ve all been victim of misunderstanding context of something we’ve read online.” “K” and “B” have learned how damaging this can be to a relationship. “We’re careful. If one of us is confused, we clarify what the other is saying before we move on. It avoids a lot of conflict.” Communication, honesty, respect and understanding are the main things those who shared their stories with me were repeating. Certainly simple concepts and key in making all relationships work but sadly not yet regularly practiced in any world. SL relationships take as much if not more work than one in RL. How much effort one is willing to put forth is everyone’s own choice but what is imperative is that those in the dating scene be upfront with anyone they may be seeing. Set boundaries and decide how much effort each one of you is willing to put forth. Something very simple could potentially prevent a lot of disappointment, hurt and drama.

I met other couples that were in love inworld who have also had another version of a happy ending. They were able to successfully transition their connection from SL to real life. “A” and “M” were in a fulfilling relationship in SL and they were ready to tempt fate and see if they could be together in the real world. “A” remembers the day she and “M” met in a park near her home, “ I hesitated thinking to myself, “Are we really making this real?”... “Yes”. It was and still stands as the best day of my life.” “A” and “M” continued as a real life, long distance couple until they tired of the long drive to be together, “I moved from the little town I had lived my whole life to be with him. Away from my family. Away from my friends. Away from my whole life.” Three years later, they are still very happy together. “I am still here. Still with him. Still in love. Do I miss home? All the time but I’d miss him even more.” As one half of a former long distance couple, I completely understand.

I received a lot of replies to my many questions of the SL community. As always, it was a lot of fun reading all the stories. Some were funny, some sad and a couple downright creepy. I was thrilled so many left me smiling. I read about many kinds of people. Some barely had the desire or motivation to make a partnership work in real life let alone consider one for their second life. As I wrote about here, many who have sought out and found love on the grid. And I also met a few that were well, I’ll say highly motivated and have separate relationships in both lives but if it works, it works.

Several of the couples that went from SL to RL gave some insight on how they made it work. “K” shared what she believes was key in their successful RL transition, honesty and reality. “Neither one of us had any fantasies that our SL personas were the same as the ones in RL. The heart and mind is the same but so many people interacting online distance themselves so much from who they really are that the idea of connecting the two dimensions becomes overwhelming. Thus you start to live a life of lies”, explained “K.” Unfortunately, dishonesty is a very common thing in online communication. “K” and her partner are very fortunate they had a very strong foundation.

If you have anything you would like to comment on or discuss this about this months piece please email me at For smaller, everyday comments and conversation, follow me at http:// or Sesi_inSL.



For now, only the most delusional of live musicians in Second Life® would consider the idea that our cozy little pixel world is going to directly launch them into great success by any real world standard. Even so, some have had great opportunities arise in their lives off the grid and the idea that one of our own might brush with fame generally sparks an irresistible collective grin from residents. Veteran SL performer, Evamoon Ember is the latest example of this. By Jura Shepherd

Eva finalized a deal in October to have two of her recorded performances included in the soundtrack of the up coming movie, “You May Not Kiss the Bride”. The comedy film, starring Vinnie Jones, Mena Suvari, Rob Schneider and more, is centered on a Croatian mobster’s attempt to obtain U. S. citizenship for his daughter through an arranged marriage to and American photographer. Evamoon’s performances with Balkanarama are to be featured during the movie’s wedding scene.

everyday life as a busy musician, web designer, arts commissioner, and self-described troublemaker. Eva’s SL performances are essentially the musical equivalent of a stiff cocktail after the kids have gone to bed. “You May Not Kiss the Bride”, slated to release in 2010 has contracted two songs from one of Eva’s bands, Balkanarama. The band is a rousing tribute to Balkan Gypsy party music and the two songs, Kerta Mange Daje and Ibrahim, are Balkanarama’s unique take on songs composed by, Esma Redzepova. Eva believes that it’s likely that the songs are based on traditional Gypsy music with Redzepova’s lyrics added. “Esma is a gypsy ‘queen’ - probably the most famous gypsy singer of all time. I actually met and studied with her a couple of years ago” Eva explains and goes on to say that the band will split the fee from the movie with Esma’s publisher.

Evamoon joined us in SL in 2007 and has been a regular performer since. The “About” section of her profile gives the uninitiated a hint of her humorous approach to music: “My show is a sexy comic jazz journey in the company of terrorist cats, Nigerian bank managers, sexy UPS guys, psychotic baristas and more. If you’ve ever lost your heart to a chocolate bar, frightened an innocent child, or traded a man for a vibrator, I have a song for you”. Eva’s edgy, loungestyled SL act is definitely delivered with her tongue firmly in cheek. Much of her appeal comes from a voyeuristic, frank, and unpretentious look into her

It’s exciting news in the relatively small community of live SL musicians. Eva only cautiously made the announcement on SL music insider forums after she had the contracts in hand. Of course fans and fel48

low musicians where excited for her but the inevitable question soon came up: How did it happen?“. . . it was a phone call out of the blue and I have no idea. We haven’t made any efforts at all to promote our music beyond our own site and cdbaby” she says, referring to the bands Balkanarama. com website. In a later phone conversation with the film’s producer, Eva says:” I asked the producer when he called the other day and he said that actually the director, Rob Hedden, found our music online, ordered the CD, brought it to a production meeting and everyone loved it. I don’t know if he found it on CD Baby, but it seems likely since it’s not really for sale anywhere else unless they buy directly from us, which they didn’t.” The good fortune for Eva and her band is clearly an argument for doing good work, putting it out there, and being patient.

bers of our creative community get recognized outside of our world. It’s also a needed reminder of how truly lucky we are to have access to such diverse talent in a uniquely personal way. Evamoon Ember joins a small but growing group of SL musicians being professionally recognized in potentially big ways. They may very well have been recognized without ever having joined us in SL but perhaps in some small way our collective good vibes helped push things along for them, or gave them the confidence to try. If that’s the case, it’s something we can all be very proud of.

No matter how indirectly these things relate to SL, or even if they do at all, it’s a good feeling when mem-

Esma Redzepova

Evamoon’s Website “You May Not Kiss the Bride” on IMDB



A TALE OF TWO VIRTUAL ART DISTRICTS One of the delights in Second LifeÂŽ is the large and varied art gallery scene. You can visit galleries, attend exhibition openings, nibble on virtual treats, enjoy the art and conversation, and even purchase virtual objects for your very own pixilated space. By Samara Barzane When I arrived in Second Life in April 2007 Cetus, founded by Xander Ruttan (along with Tricia Aferdita, President of the Cetus Gallery District Association), was already established as one of the premier art districts in Second Life. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not sure how I first knew of Cetus, but, through attending various events, and even having my own small gallery there for a bit, I made a lot of new friends, including then gallery owner and Cetus manager, Tricia Aferdita. I soon began to collect SL art myself. After various twists and turns Cetus began to fade from

the scene until, in late spring 2009 it was no more. While a current snapshot of Avalon Township Art District shows a number of former Cetus stalwarts, fulfilling similar roles as they did at Cetus, both as Avalon staff, gallery owners and/or artists, the story of Avalon and the growth of the Art District begins in early 2007 when estate owner, Colleen Kesey purchased the first sim of what would eventually become 25. Together with architect Matthiaos Aquacade, who became her friend and business partner, they built a 52

Mediterranean art colony. The mysterious and meditative The Labyrinth sim appeared in spring 2007, including performing spaces and art galleries, as well the labyrinth itself and surrounding forest land.

Trica gradually acquired her current duties at Avalon, ending up in her current role as Events Director. On a weekly basis she organizes contests, concerts, parties, poetry readings and charity fundraisers, as well as events at her own gallery. She also maintains the District Ning page, which is the estate-wide community calendar. [Please see the end of this article for the Ning address and other links to Avalon Town Art District sites.]

In May 2008 Avalon Town was born. It included residential areas and what eventually became the Avalon Township Gallery District. The original buildings were in the 10 brick warehouse galleries around the lock in Tabula Rasa. They filled quickly and then other gallery owners built in the adjoining area. Tricia Aferdita left Cetus in August 2008 and moved to Avalon at the encouragement of former Cetus resident, Em Larsson, who had already opened her gallery in Avalon. Since then PJ Trenton and Winter Nightfire, among others from Cetus, have brought their galleries to Avalon.

Ethan Westland came over after Cetus closed and has now become the Community Director, responsible for the monthly newsletter as well as marketing and outreach. Of Tricia and Ethan the Land Manager and Art District Curator, Elora Dawes, says: “[Their] commitment and continued efforts have definitely assisted in taking ‘galleries in Avalon Town’ to the next level as ‘Avalon Arts District.’”

In early 2009 the Ars Lunga sim was added next to Tabula Rasa and the Avalon Art District was founded. Additional sims and residential areas were added at this time. The former Cetus institution, The Harmony Café, landed in its new home in Vade Mecum during this expansion.

I asked Elora Dawes which sims constituted the Art District and she responded that this is hard to say, because there is art everywhere in the Avalon estates! “The majority of our art-loving community end up turning their homes into showrooms for their favorite pieces purchased at show openings across 53

the grid. In that respect, it’s not uncommon to find art around every corner of the twenty-five sims of Avalon Town.” The Art District itself began in Tabula Rasa and Ars Lunga, but has now been extended into Vade Mecum and most recently to Amicus Curiae. When asked though, Ethan Westland said that the “dead center straddles Tabula Rasa and Ars Lunga.

unique thing about The Avalon Town Art District and without exception, they all said: “The community!” The common thread was the fun-loving and spirited atmosphere of the community. Artists aren’t always good at playing well with others, but Avalon seems to have found the magic touch. According to Tricia Avalon has “an amazing array of talent and creativity between the businesses, designers, builders and artists. She also notes that it’s also a very open and accepting community, with an eclectic mix of lifestyle choices and beliefs being represented there.

On my first visit to the center of the Art District I had a strong feeling that the build was based on modern European architecture. The canals made me think of the Netherlands and it turns out I was not far off. When I asked Matthiaos Aquacade what the image was she had in her mind, she said: “It was designed to have a distinctly north western European feel yes, but also draws inspiration from areas of the Victorian London Docks and Liverpool Docks. So it represents the maritime urban tradition of the North Sea and British Isles. Parts of it are very much Netherlands/Flemish/Danish, other elements very definitely British.”

The playful spirit was echoed by Elora Dawes in her response to my question. “By FAR, what I enjoy most about Avalon Town, our community, and the Avalon Art District is our lighthearted and playful spirit.” As someone who knows many of the Avalon artists and attends events there from time to time, this is not PR puffery. It’s the truth. And it’s a nice change from some gallery openings in SL and RL where there can be a sense of eliteness and snobbery that is chilling to the neophyte.

Wandering through the streets and the galleries you get a sense of a strong community housed in a varied, but coherent environment. One of the questions I asked of the avatars with whom I talked was what is the most interesting and/or

That is not likely to happen in Avalon. Elora ex-


panded on what she meant: “In Avalon, we love to laugh, and we feel that art is more often about celebration and jubilance … The staff and artists of Avalon like to have fun, and we champion that ‘fun’ and ‘achievement’ are not mutually exclusive.”

Avalon Ning

Leave to Community Director, Ethan Westland to put it succinctly: “Probably the most interesting aspect of Avalon as a place to be in Second Life is that it has a strong sense of commUNITY (strong emphasis on UNITY).” The experiences shared by Avalonians previously in Cetus and other art communities has helped shape what Avalon has become. As Ethan noted, “Many of the gallery owners and residents have been together in this place or others prior to Avalon Town for a considerable time now and they understand and support each other as a true community should.”

Avalon Town Public Gallery Tabula rasa (162/141/27)

Center of Avalon Town Art District Ars Lunga (6/98/28)

The Labyrinth The Labyrinth (129/125/34) Tricia Aferdita/PJ Trenton Galleries Tabula rasa (119/32/27) A short list of places to visit for your holiday gifts: Artropolis Artropolis (85/125/25)

While a number of people from Cetus have settled in Avalon, some major figures have settled elsewhere, among them Jonah Zenkova and Alexxa Laval of Twilight’s Peace (see Art for the Holiday’s at the end of the article). But the fact remains that the experiences and skills brought from Cetus to Avalon Town Art District have spurred both the health of its community and an aid to its growth. The last word should go to Elora, who values the experience from Cetus that Tricia and Ethan have brought to the Avalon Town Arts District. “I’m personally blessed with the assistance she and Ethan Westland provide in contributing to an active, vibrant arts community here in Avalon.”

Avalon Town Art District [see above] Park Galleries (Formerly owned by the late Artistic Fimicoloud and now by the author of this article) Park (234/43/79) PiRats - Galerie d’Art Second France - Art Gallery Second France (32/153/21) The S&S Gallery of Fine Arts carpe diem quinque (247/235/23)

A walk through the Avalon Art District and a visit to The Labyrinth will provide many hours of aesthetic enjoyment and plenty of fun.

Twilight’s Peace Shiki (149/99/22)



Having never been a fan of social networking websites or instant messaging, I was unprepared for the sheer joy I found in chatting with the diverse populace of Second Life®. By diverse, I mean the all encompassing definition of various, dissimilar and mixed, not only taking into account a person’s ethnic and racial background. Even in the microcosm of Help People Island (“HPI”)I found amazing diversity of talents and abilities as I looked just below the avatar “skin” of HPI Helpers. While interviewing Helpers, I was perpetually surprised by their real life interests and careers, as well as their SL abilities. By Se7en Wirsing Consistent with the general expectation the Helpers are helpful people, it seems they are drawn to HPI by the positive attitude displayed within its realm and reflected by other dedicated volunteers. Speaking to them privately, I found that under their helpful exterior they are typically multi-talented individuals who are happy to share their knowledge.

and took me to tour two larger spaceships he created. They were extraordinarily realistic, with an engineering section, flight deck and sickbay. Eventually, we got back to talking about his building skills. When I asked how he got started, he explained, “I started out making small houses, not very good at first. Playing around with different things I found that as time went on I learned more and more.” Yes, he is self-taught and, as he expressed, “still learning!” His favorite project is building at HPI. I guess his hidden talents will remain hidden; he successfully avoided my attempts to veer off the topic of building.

The first thing I noticed while interviewing Helpers, Greeters, Apprentices, Plaza Supervisors and Managers is they are typically self-effacing. Some declined to be interviewed, one saying politely, “I would rather not be the subject of an article if that’s okay with you.” They seem to think they are just average people who happen to enjoy helping others. I choose to interview Helpers who happened to be available at the times I was on HPI and a few others who were suggested to me. Most of the people I asked to interview didn’t quite know what to say about “hidden talents.” They asked for a specific question, but in this case, I hoped to make it as generic as possible with the expectation I would get more interesting responses. And I did.

I’m sure Apprentice Sripapah Feller didn’t realize I had noticed him helping to decorate for a ball in the skygarden at HPI. He created some giant books singly and in stacks, as if it were no trouble at all. But, when I asked him about his hidden talents, he laughed, “dunno if I can help you there. I can suck sugar cubes while gargling. Does that count?” He was a challenge to interview, insisting he didn’t know his talents. When I asked about the books, he replied, “We use our skills for each other, right?” After saying he wasn’t a photographer, he brought out some beautiful pictures he had taken of his RL neighborhood and-my favorites-a series of a muffin being eaten. “I guess I’m not your average type. I like the odd stuff,” he stated. He showed me his house, built with large windows; including triangular and circular ones I dubbed “experimental windows.” His lighting wasn’t expected either, being built into the walls and floors, instead of being recognizable fixtures like lamps. About that he explained, “I guess we look at RL and imitate it [but] in SL you have

“So I understand you’re a builder,” I said to Helper Hippie Bowman at the same moment he asked, “So you write?” We chuckled and, as the interviewer, I continued with the questions. Fortunately, he was eager to share his perspectives on Help People Island and building. “[There’s] nothing like the feeling you get when you can help and the person really gets it!” he said. He teaches a building class at HPI every Saturday. Hippie gave me a tour of his home and the nearby space station. He rezzed a space shuttle he had built 56

articles. About her HPI titles she says, “titles are overrated. I love what I do, 100%, no title needed.”

to let imagination take over.” He shared his “sofa car” and a fully drivable pink buggy car. Finally, he did get to his hidden talents, “I’m a great listener, try to be an advisor, a shoulder.”

On the topic of distraction, Plaza Supervisor Velma Paine was the worst offender. She immediately suggested someone else for me to interview. She claimed, “I am no builder,” and mentioned only that helping is what she does best.

Building and photography weren’t the only talents I found. I am, of course, more simpatico with artists and writers and more knowledgeable of the topics they would like to discuss. Helper Apprentice Elithera Blackheart is an editor in RL, so our conversation went like this:

Kira Paderborn explained she liked to help people look beautiful, because it helps them feel like they are more a part of SL. “People grow to love their avatars. If you can help them feel really good about their avatar, they tend to stay and to take a bigger interest in everything they do.” She said her interest in shapes and skins began when she started in SL and she felt crappy about herself, as she noticed the other avatars looked better than she did. At that time, someone helped her with her appearance, giving her clothes and showing her how to change everything. “Instantly, my experience in SL changed,” she stated. Now, she has learned how to make shapes and skins and has her own business, Shapes by Kira. She makes many different shapes and puts a variety of faces on them. She is proud of the quality of her items and does not sell anything in her store she wouldn’t wear. Her hidden talent is she is an SL photographer. Another secret she revealed is she was a biology teacher for seven years.

EB: let’s see--I really excel at looking at manuscripts or text (of any kind) and organizing the material in a better manner. I know that sounds bizarre, but it’s useful when doing textbooks :) SW: like an editor? EB: yes! I am an editor, actually. SW: it doesn’t sound bizarre - but then I’m a writer. I also found out that Elithera likes to play the piano and organize, except in her house. “I’m also good at looking at problems from far off and offering solutions, not my own, of course!” she told me. She shared a shopping secret with me. “Actually, I like to shop on, and if I find something I like, I check out all the merchandise by that vendor, and even visit the shop in world. Chances are, if the vendor makes something you like, there’s other stuff to like as well.”

I managed a quick conversation with Greeter Kahuna Chrome, who boggled me with all his activities until I asked him if he sleeps. He said, “a quick couple: I’m a reiki master, football coach, poet, I paint and I can hold my breath a very long time. I play guitar. I grow organic herbs and I am a dad.” I thought it was very sweet he had mentioned being a dad; he focused on his RL. And I think he neglected to mention sense of humor, but that’s apparently not hidden.

When I asked Aullere Ocello for leads on talented people on HPI and asked her about her hidden talents. “I’ve written historical fiction for about 15 years now. I created a writing group outside of SL, we have been published, it was years ago, but some of my writers are actually in SL now. I no longer have the time to write like I used to, but it’s a serious passion of mine. Generally 1500-1620. The age of Piracy. I write a lot of poetry, etc.” She assured me, “I’m rather boring. I was a widow at 26, dropped out of law school to raise my kids (one was under a year old), fell into writing, helped found the homicide survivors group [locally], went back to law school, burned out on that, became a corporate trainer and am just rather boring.” Boring? I doubt it. She’s another one who distracted me, in her case by presenting a plethora of ideas for future

I realized more than merely that if I want to build something to ask Hippie to teach me. These are very real people who have the same experiences and challenges I do in SL and RL. I found multi-faceted people, bent on helping in any way that may be needed, from building houses to making someone look beautiful. Help People Island is a place where we use our talents to help each other and make our SL and RL lives better. 57


From time to time it’s nice to appreciate what Second Life builders can do to replicate places in the r Basilica builders had attempted to show more of the hillside city of Assisi, Italy, which is a wonderful China is not to scale in terms of length but delivers a great feeling for the real place. Oddly enough, ever juxtaposed with a different culture’s Wonder of the World! By Paypabak Writer Let’s visit the basilica first! According to Aleister Kronos,, Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi is part of a larger effort called Italia Vera 3D (which no longer maintains a website that is mentioned in the introductory notecards for the basilica) to represent Italy in SL! Yes, the whole country! Since I’ve been to Assisi and can provide a photo to compare with the SL version, I focus on the Basilica in this article. Some history from Assisi Online:

Basilica the day after the canonization of St. Francis, on July 17, 1228. Two years later the saint’s body, that had been resting in the church of San Giorgio (the future church of St Claire’s), was brought here in secret for fear of looting by tomb raiders and buried in the unfinished church. No date has been recorded concerning the start of works on the Upper Basilica, but it must have been after the abdication from the order of Brother Elia in 1239, who had hitherto directed the works on the Romanesque Lower Basilica.” (Source:

“Pope Gregory IX laid the first stone of the Lower

What strikes me is that with such a simulation of the 62


real (atomic) world and so this month I’ve found two places worth exploring. While I wish that the place to visit, the basilica is a remarkable accomplishment in and of itself. And the Great Wall of it is surrounded by very well-done Japanese villages that convey a strong sense of the atomic, how“real place” you get two things: a chance to explore without a lot of people around and the ability to examine it from angles that are impossible in real life. The major drawback is the same lack of people: this is a holy place and seldom empty of people, the majority of whom are searching for serious answers about their lives. They imbue the place with a palpable presence that makes the experience very spiritual and rich. The builders have also come short of details in terms of the furnishings with many rooms, but nothing in them to inform you what they are for. Of course, there is the Tomb of St. Francis in the lower Basilica, which I’m sure the builders did not want to desecrate

by representing in any kind of detail. Of course, there is the obvious need to limit prim count, hence, they show the details of architecture and leave the interior details to the HUD. Being able to examine the building from various angles is marvelous. The HUD that is sold at various points in the sim provides a wonderful trove of multimedia framed information about the “missing details” mentioned in the previous paragraph and the L$250 price for the HUD is a meager donation to keep the sim alive. (See the Secundavita blog page below for examples of how the HUD works.) This matter of 63

sustainability is a question raised in the Kronos blog: “Given the huge amount of care being put into this, not to mention the huge amount of money, I have to wonder about the approach being taken. It strikes me that the recreation of RL buildings in SL, while it can initially seem like a good idea, can become an obsession. While it is great to build somewhere around which SL Italians may wish to form communities, I am struggling to see where the return on investment is coming from.”

tion that the builders are GOOD! They give a wonderful simulation of the Great Wall of China and with their other sims, an authentic taste of oriental architecture. In fact, they invite you to join their Hosoi Ichiba community and live the lifestyle of bygone days of Japanese (yes, not Chinese) culture. The wall is marvelous! A walk of the wall, which follows the circumference of the island on which it’s built, takes about 12 minutes depending on your FPS. I’m sure a walk of the real thing would take much longer if it’s even possible! Play around with various environmental settings and you’re treated to a wonderful immersive experience of what it might be like to explore on the wall itself. The wall meanders as I assume the real one does, taking turns and going up and down. In some places, the reality is hampered by the horizon where your usual “SL ocean” surrounding the island is visible, a problem all such sims have. But at certain perspectives, the fact that there are Asian-themed sims next door, add a very nice touch of authenticity to the experience, if not true to the actual Great Wall.

What details they do provide are very well done, showing actual textures from the walls which show some of the deterioration that has occurred over the centuries. In real life, the artistry of the tiled ceilings and the huge murals depicting the major points of the life of St. Francis are beautiful and inspiring. These representations make you want to visit, and isn’t that the point? The Great Wall of China in SL is something a little different from what the makers of the Basilica of St. Francis were aiming for. In the first place, the project is part of four sims showing off the considerable talents of the Hosoi Design builders and I’ll put it right up front, just about every building, structure, piece of furniture and anything in between is for sale! There’s no question about the sustainability of this project in terms of paying monthly tier! But there’s also no ques-

You can own your own copy of this Historic SL Achievement for just under L$30,000. Or buy separate sections of it for around L$2,000 each.

All pictures by Papabak Writer

The Wall may just whet your appetite for more Asian-


themed tours, so go ahead next door and follow the Lotus Trail, which also includes sites not built by the Hosoi group, and away from the four sims that are home to the Wall. On the other three sims are the Hosoi Ichiba, a wonderful marketplace for oriental furniture, structures, and fans, all kinds of decorations, along with rickshaws, palanquins, and even full-size junks! While it’s commercial in intent, I got a Forbidden City kind of vibe from the way the market was laid out and from secret underground areas that you will encounter. I love the central garden where you can meditate or perform tai chi exercises, which, yes, are a form of meditation.

a marvelous pagoda-inspired gate and walk through tree-lined streets toward the majestic castle. Much like the basilica, you wish there were the prim allowances for fully furnishing these structures to bring the full impact home but I am sure no island in SL allows for that extravagance without a lag toll. And you can find many examples of period furniture and decorations in the marketplace. So there you are … a taste of what is going on in SL in terms of bringing the Atomic to the Virtual. I will try to mix future Travel Guides with more glimpses into these interesting simulations as well as imagined places as I continue to explore Second Life.

Crossing borders among these four sims, like most places in SL, is a royal pain but worth the effort to see the various themes represented. There is an Edo Period on Hosei Mura for role playing, including a school for Geishas. You will find fish markets and harbors with various kinds of Asian boats docked there. Hosoi employee, Nani Yifu was on hand when I was exploring and offered to give me a guided tour and explain all of these places we visited. This is a very nice, personal touch for visitors to these sims.

Secundavita blog Basilica de Francesco San Francesco Assisi (249/107/65) Great Wall Mao (131/15/24) Hosoi Blog

The Matsumoto Castle is a breathtaking reproduction of one of Japan’s finest historic castles found on the Japan Chuba sim, part of the four sims that make up the Hosoi showcase area. You enter the island through




OBSCURE REALITY Silence (32/3/711)

The Labyrinth The Labyrinth (129/125/34)


Tricia Aferdita/PJ Trenton Galleries Tabula rasa (119/32/27)


A short list of places to visit for your holiday gifts:


Artropolis Artropolis (85/125/25)

WWW.ARGRACE.COM shin zushi (150/161/26) Takaraduka (157/31/32) Kmadd Enterprise (128/128/2)

Avalon Town Art District [see above]


Park Galleries (Formerly owned by the late Artistic Fimicoloud and now by the author of this article) Park (234/43/79)


PiRats - Galerie d’Art Second France - Art Gallery Second France (32/153/21)


The S&S Gallery of Fine Arts carpe diem quinque (247/235/23)


Twilight’s Peace Shiki (149/99/22)




BASILICA DE FRANCESCO San Francesco Assisi (249/107/65)

Center of Avalon Town Art District Ars Lunga (6/98/28)

GREAT WALL Mao (131/15/24)

Avalon Town Public Gallery Tabula rasa (162/141/27)


ADVERTISERS :: 2XTREME :: Pride Isles (163/227/22) ANSE CHUNG FLEUR DE LYS Dithmarschen (104/145/603) HIGHLAND MEADOW HOMES Highland Meadow 2 (60/199/24) REACH ISLES ENKYTHINGS Orbiuna (172/135/25) BAIASTICE BAIASTICE (153/126/25) ADDIXION addiXion (135/154/29) SELDOM BLUE FASHION Riddings (27/15/119) SOMETHING ESTATES Shoes (128/128/38) KAFKA DINZEO FUSION SIMS Fusion Crossing (128/128/22)

ROLE OPTIC Concetta (122/92/301)



ROLE Magazine November 2009  

ROLE Magazine is a monthly publication dedicated to highlighting the many facets of Second Life™ and to showcase the most interesting people...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you