Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rising Tide: Alizarin Goldflake

Digital artist Martha Jane Bradford thinks big. As Alizarin Goldflake in Second Life, she's collaborated with big noises like the Caerleon Art group, and big events like Burning Life. In the LL booth at the Shanghai World Expo last year, seventy squillion people from forty-two different planets got a chance to admire her work via the machinima Acquarella: the fable, by Chantal Harvey and friends.
Acquarella is an original story by Alizarin. Inspired by her love of all things aquatic, it's a tale of apocalyptic upheaval and change inspired by (among other things) the Fukushima disaster. Acquarella got its first outing in Second Life, which is still the default grid when it comes to virtual art meeting the virtual art-loving public. But, while Alizarin keeps a consitent foothold there, she's expanded the concept on Nexus Central, part of Jeri Rahja's  arty archipelago on the InWorldz grid.
Alizarin Goldflake: The sim tells a fable in 4 quadrants. All of it happened because White Lebed couldn't understand why

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Linda Kellie's FreeLife

This is Linda Kellie, previously known as Ayla Holt in SL and Inworldz, where she spent over 5 years making stuff - clothes, furniture, skins, buildings, sculpties, and more. She's gradually putting all her goodies on her website, to be exported, modified, re-used any way you want, as she explains in her personal note
It's an extraordinary move, and so far there's over 250MB of material available, all set out in nicely categorized sections. 
Yes, that's right - FREE, FULL PERM/MOD/TRANS.
 On your computer. Good for any grid.
Linda Kellie: Not all of my stuff is on my webpage yet, a lot's here on OSGrid, and I am still adding to it, I haven't been here long! Making things has made virtual worlds more fun for me. I loved both SL and InWorldz, I just worked really hard in SL, and then played hard in IW. I quit for awhile, and decided I needed to do something with all my inventory, backed up on my hard drive. A friend told me about the OpenSimCreations.com site - it was amazing to me that someone would give away files for export to any grid. I didn't know I could even back up to xml. I think you just have to get to a point where you don't care about people stealing your ideas and stuff. I love having my stuff with no rules and giving people the freedom they need. I hope Vanish doesn't think I stole his idea. I kinda did, I guess! But it just made sense to put it on a website that I wasn't using anyway, and he has made a few positive comments.
What could be better? If you like to make stuff, but

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tech Savvy

Welcome to Biolandia, a scientific sim for schoolkids, where in a few days it's going to be Party Time! *digs out crazy co-ed costume* ...but more on that later.

Biolandia is on Craft Grid, and it was built by middle-school teacher, Michelle Tech, who uses her skills to inspire young students to learn the basics of science - chemistry, math, and biology. Michelle won a

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Brave New Grid

O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
The Tempest Shakespeare
If you're tired of SL prices and poseurs, and looking for somewhere new to hang your hat, here's a thought, what about New World Grid? Never heard of it?
Well, they are trying to put that right by having a fab  Open Day on Saturday 1 October.
Of course, the grid's already open, so be smart, go get an avie now, this is the URI: opensim://grid.newworldgrid.com:8002/ ...OK read to the end of this post, and then go. I'm nothing if not bossy.

I gots my avie, and on rezzing at sim Welcome - look who was there already! Vadrouille Zepp, famous creator of the multi-grid communicator, the Radionne. He has a new version, the 0.5.5.9G - upgrade, people!
NWG is non profit and offers cheapish land, good services, lots of nice educational builds; plus it's on European time, all factors that appealed to Graham Mills, aka Peter Miller, a professor at the University of Liverpool.


 Graham and I were both there when the HGAC visited Aime Socrates' fun sim Physics one wet weekend, just as the Education discount in SL was coming to an end. The giant lab is a fun place to play, and

Saturday, July 16, 2011

An Appearance of Vanish

Your five bars showing how much signal there is, they're called tacche in Italian and I don't got them, even now, when I have put the whole desk, not just the laptop, out on the balcony, much to the bemusement of the two men weeding the old lady's dahlia's next door. 
But just because I'm struggling on 3 bars, and can't be there, doesn't mean you shouldn't be in OpenSim today, at 3pm CET (that's 6am SLT) where Vanish Seriath will be gviving a RL presentation of Virtual Worlds to the AUGE - that's German for eye but also the Apple Users Group Europe.
Vanish will be talking about the uses of virtual worlds for business and pleasure, the virtues of open worlds in particular, and explaining a little about hypergridding too, so anyone who wants to pop in and say Hi (or Hy-per) will be welcome!
If presenting in Frankfurt at the Annual AUGE weren't enough excitement for this week, Vanish has created a new place to put your views and questions about OpenSim, it's called The Architects of Sleep. It shares passwords and usernames with his OpenSim Creations site (sign up today!!), where of course you can up- and download free items: clothes, houses, OARs, all sorts - for use on any grid you like.
Don't miss Vanish at 3pm CET this afternoon! Dang, those are big dahlias.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Jokay Unconferential

Yeah. It's a stretch. Today's HGAC meeting on Pathlandia was less about exploring and more about setting up for Jokaydia's Unconference, on from May 29 to June 26.
So what's this festival of unconferenciness all about?
Jokay Wollongong: The events can all be seen on our conference calendar.  We hope by letting the community generate the topics and activities, it will be more interesting than a scheduled conference, even if it makes for some chaos sometimes. It also always leads to interesting discussions. One of the challenges for this group is to get the different groups together a little more.We seem to have two almost separate communities sometimes; the daytime Aus people kinda miss you guys...
Pathfinder Lester: I love it when other folks put things on Google Calendars, because I can then easily add them to my own calendar. It makes it easy for me to figure out timezone stuff, since GCal just converts everything to my own local time zone.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Diversity in Craft today!

Today, at the Museo del Metaverso in Craft, you can see the very best of Virtual Diversity,  the recent photo competition at Koinup. Photos include images of Botgirl, soror and other famous SL names, but also some that may be new to you; beautiful images reflecting the vast variety of mood and makeup in virtual worlds. Luce Laval, Oberon Onmura and Nicola Reinerman have collaborated to create a lively, airy gallery in which to enjoy the photos. The pictures come in the main from Second Life, but other more exotic grids are also represented, including people and places in MMORPGFrenzoo, and IMVU. Roxelo Babenco of the Museo del Metaverso was one of the judges in the competition. I asked her what the word 'diversity' means to her personally.
Roxelo Babenco:  Pierluigi Casolari of Koinup came up with the name. The competition has been about the diversity of avatars in different worlds, and the way different environments spawn diverse concepts of self. I know it's a charged word, particularly in the USA, but for me personally, diversity enriches us. Language, culture, background, the cross pollination all adds up to a richer experience. I've always loved to explore new things, even before I found Second Life and other virtual worlds, but here, I've discovered so much more.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Building an after Life


building is building, no matter the grid... talent is what show.
Hairy Thor
When bloggers are out of interesting topics, they give you the 'SL is Doomed!' routine. Supposing you're drinking that particular Cool-Aid, you may have wondered, what would happen if I went to build in other worlds? 
weirdness in veesome
On the downside, You're going to look like a noob for a while, and WEIRD STUFF WILL HAPPEN. If you go to a commercial world like InWorldz, and are prepared to pony up, you'll soon have good hair and skins. Otherwise, it's DIY or freebies. DIY can be an education, freebies are getting better all the time, but whichever way you go, be prepared to lose time reinventing yourself on your new grid. 
soror Nishi: I looked like a bagwoman for the first year, before we got shops in InWorldz!
   Personal appearance is only part of the learning curve. Don't be fooled by the laid back attitude outside SL - grid owners aren't lying down on the job, when it comes to protecting residents and their rights.
Elenia Llewellyn: My advice for builders leaving SL - not all licenses are the same! Keep your work legal!
Leannan Shi: Remember to check and make sure that everything in your SL builds is fullperm and YOURS before you bring it over. Sculpted parts do not export well.
Raphaella Nightfire: Scripting and animations require patience. And be prepared to be noob for a few hours.
Alizarin Goldflake: Builders need to be aware that not all SL scripts work here. Some have errors that can cause horrendous lag. And you can't edit linked parts.
Leannan Shi: Boobs don't jiggle in InWorldz. But next week though, right? LOL

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Inside Story

Il rimpianto è il vano pascolo di uno spirito disoccupato. 
Bisogna soprattutto evitare il rimpianto 
occupando sempre lo spirito con 
nuove sensazioni e nuove immaginazioni. 
Gabriele d'Annunzio
A Roman Count in love with Art itself, a Sicilian family at odds with destiny, a smoker struggling wittily with his conscience, and a madman who returns to sanity, only to find himself trapped in an elaborate hoax. Four turn-of-the-20th century tales from Italian Literature with one thing in common - they have all been brought to life in Craft.
Marina Ninza teaches literature at the Ernesto Balducci Institute in Pontassieve, near Florence. In Italy, kids have options, when it comes to what kind of liceo or High School they attend; glamorous sounding options like classico, linguistico, artistico. The Ernesto Balducci is a liceo scientifico. Kids who choose this option are more into chemistry than classics, as you can imagine, so Marina's challenge is to find a way to get her students interested in texts that matter.
marina ninza:  We've used a lot of approaches to present the material, including ebooks and video games. I had the idea to recreate the settings in 3D. We're just getting started, it's a joint venture with the Computer department. This year, there were only a couple of computers and four avatars for the students to use in the classroom, so it's not as hand-on as we would like, and we live in the country, so a lot of the students don't have broadband at home.
The four builds are on sim Pindaro, donated by Craft owners Tao Quan and Licu Rau. Tao took charge of building  the house with the Nespolo tree, from verga's  I Malavoglia. The famous courtyard is full of charming little details, like the hen house, the bread oven, and round fishing nets.
Tao Quan: I'd never heard of the book before I started this build, but there is a lot of information on the internet and the teacher helped me too. The children aren't online very much, and are still learning cam skills, so if you look at the garden, you may see some of the   vegetables floating above the ground! 
Tao Quan: It is good for the various disciplines in the schools to work together, and in a medium which the children can enjoy. I think this is a safe environment for them, we keep an eye on them when they are here. Opensim has a different feeling than SL, there are different values. There is a lot of our hearts here in this grid, so we want to see people develop, especially the young.
Tao and Licu originally imagined that the students would build vertically on sky platforms, rather than horizontally at sea level, but it's very nice to be able to wanter from one part to another. This is the castle for Enrico IV, complete with vineyard and, at the student's insistence, a car park. Nicola reinerman

Thursday, May 5, 2011

All's Fair


Seventy-two years ago last Saturday, the World’s Fair opened at New York, and we went to see it! No, not thanks to time travel, it was another gridhopping trip with the Hypergrid Adventurers Club. The Club meets on Sundays at Pathlandia on Jokaydia grid. Before you start saying shaking your head and saying you could never go to another grid, oh purleeeeze, it will take you all of 10 minutes to get a Jokaydia account, make an avatar, and kit it out at the freebie shop. Once you’re done, you’re golden for many fun trips around the metaverse.  And if you have a ReactionGrid avie, you can get to Jokyadia quite easily. Here’smore about how to do that.  

 The real World’s Fair was spread out over more than a thousand acres of what had been an ash pile (yay coal fires!). Reaction Grid’s version is build over three sims and includes all the best-loved sights from the original fair including the Star Pylon, the New York building, and of course the Perisphere,which is where the HGAC regrouped once we’d al made the jump from Jokaydia. This is Democracity in the Perisphere. What fun to be able to fly down among the tiny buildings and do the 30-foot woman thing on Yesterday’s idea of the Future Today. It made Pathfinder go quite pale.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Home of the Brave

Everybody has their own Freebie horror story, from the 'cute little dress' with the fatal flaw that you only notice when it's way too late, all the way up to finding one of your generously donated creations being sold on some scuzzy sim. Put the words Freebie and Open Sim together and, for most people (especially anyone with a L$ axe to grind) they conjure up an image of utter tackiness, plus a boring re-hash of the whole creative rights issue.
The free culture of Open Sim has so little to do with the make-a-buck mentality of SL that it may be hard for closed-worlders to grasp what's really going on in places like the boutiques of Wright Plaza on OSgrid, or Greg Prince's Freeland megastore on Craft Grid.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Twinity

It was homesickness, probably; I really only wanted to go and see Tower Bridge. The virtual world Twinity is famous for its precise reconstructions of  London, Berlin and so forth, and for the longest time I've been thinking it would be nice to walk the bridge. So in I went. And yes, yes, I know it's still in Beta.

Obviously. It's pretty,  their version of St Paul's. Pretty, but not immersive. It's very clean, too clean.

They pay you to go through the Twinizen  Tutorial (shouldn't that be Twitizen? Oh, right, no. No.) You learn how to walk, run, see, speak to others, and shop, and you end up with a whopping 450 globals, enough to buy some more black hair (there's a hair color option in Appearance but I couldn't make it work), a dress and a couple of pairs of shoes. None of it would pass muster in the freebie store of an Open Sim grid, let alone in Second Life. You can't fault them for choosing different keyboard shortcuts, but it's all very

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lost

Sad news in Craft
Owing to a serious error during maintenance, the Craft Database has been damaged. The Grid will be restored to its status as of 23 December 2010. This means anyone who joined Craft after that date needs to sign up again. All inventories will revert to 23 December. Payments for whose who are renting land in Craft are suspended. Sims are being reviewed on a case by case basis, and wherever possible, the most recent version will be restored.
sigh my beloved chess clock; I didn't even remember to take a photo of it before it went. Everyone's shouting about backup in that stable-door-shutting way.
I lost a lot. But not the friends of Craft.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Immaterial Girl

Blogging doesn't pay, apart from the dubious honour of being plagiarized and having my photos stolen, of course; but shopping for pixels was never  high on my To Do list. Isn't it better to be inquisitive than acquisitive? If you consult the blogosphere  about the state of shopping in open and closed worlds, there are dozens of capitalist rants about quality, rights, and self-affirmation through the almighty dollar; and just as many equally boring blogs about freedom, la rivolucion, and fetid fools. Good grief.





Shopping! But not on Craft; it does have a rocking freebie shop, but the hypergate beckons.





OK, it's true. When it comes to manufactured goods, nobody beats Second Life; InWorldz is getting a lot of brand-name stores, but why pay real money to re-purchase all my favourite stuff, which then only looks like grey blobs and unrezzed flexiprims, just so I can re-meet all the people who used to be in SL?





Among the closed, money-oriented worlds, Spoton is surely the worst for shopping. Part of the magic of retail therapy is the chance to soak up the atmosphere of the store,  otherwise you're just an Amazombie. In Spoton they kill the immersive element by forcing you to buy through a website similar to SL's Marketplace; same principal, you have to buy their currency (at a price) and then they also take 5% of the purchase price of every item, this on top of the $4 monthly fee for the right to build and the $30-40 you pay for a sim and 15k prims. It's a place to go when you want to build, try out new things, and be quiet. Very quiet.





The website SpotOn Synergy, which features a Double Dutch Delivery system, allowing content providers to make their goods available on different grids, at different prices, is not very user friendly and has very little on offer, and frankly none of it, including my stuff,  is going to win awards for style or quality.  Tessa Harrington the grid owner promises, "they're going to get more very soon" - better goods, more people, regular interesting events, it's always all going to happen 'soon'. Since there's virtually no-one in SpotOn and its fragmented, childproofed miniworlds, not having much to buy doesn't seem a big deal. Pioneers are rarely consumers.





What about Open Sim? This is Freebie Heaven, Klarabella Karamell's hipster marketplace. Simple furniture, fireplaces, textures, buildings and plants are available here, along with a number of sculpty farm animals. No, I don't want to know why you need a sculpty goat. In German and English she invites OS creators to donate their original work, and while this is far from being steampunk quality, it's a resource for people who just want a chair to sit on. For fun (and to see if I can really bring things through the hypergate) I bought this sculpty cat.





Then it was off to Wild Shopping on the German Grid - wild as in Wild West, not erotica, the sauciest shop was Lady Fashion, featuring the latest accessories for the mid Victorian floozy.





Ouch.  By the way, if you're going to gridhop, it's wise to wear trousers or a skirt, prim skirts don't always make the trip. On sim Wild Shopping you're going to need OS$ to purchase your ankle boots and corset, although there was  a free buffalo skull. Who could say no to that. Show of hands.





Back in Craft, and YAY the cat came too, there he is, on the couch. I kind of like my wind chime cat better, but then he's never been through a hypergate. When he's done, with his nifty scripts and all, he'll be available in the freebie art shop on Arts Park, in Craft.  No charge.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hyper and Hamster

This is Jeff Kelley of Newworld Grid.
He is the rocking inventor of the first Multiple Avatar Hypergate, and that's a big deal for reasons that should be obvious (*whistles and pretends she knows*).





OK, I kind of know - we all get to travel together! I call shotgun! The HGAC (yeah, try not to confuse it with HVAC, all these acronyms, I was in America for 5 years before I found out that a CPA is not some sort of first-aider)... anyway the Hypergrid Adventurer's Club met today. There was the usual 30 minutes of mad chat in which all the educators and devs tell their latest news - a sort of technical/verbal version of PiRat's Art Kahos, too much happening at once, I never know what the heck is going on. Pathfinder Lester puts a chatlog on his blog, so look for enlightenment there.





I did learn that, apparently, there's a sort of 'suitcase' now. Content-paranoiacs everywhere fear that if they go into someone else's sim-on-a-stick, that sim owner is going to steal all their goodies - it is technically possible, and the suitcase (it's a crocodile-skin folder, I hope) is supposed to protect your stuff. Except it doesn't work - well, not yet. Another work in progress. It's a lot of fuss about nothing - feel free to steal my hair. Know my pain.





And then, as quick as you can say server-side integration, off we went to Jeff's house on New World Grid, aka 'regions.newworldgrid.com:12000'. That's the address, or URI. Nice house, and very informative landing point, and then there's this beast on beast action...





Apart from his taste in evil penguins, he is a brilliant guy, Jeff. Look at this - he has set up a 12 frame powerpoint spelling out the whole hypergrid jumping thing. Here are the highlights.


Apparently there are hippos at large in OSGrid also.


I hope those hippos don't do unnatural things to the poor hamster.


There are several different ways to use a hypergate (or blamgate, as they're sometimes called).  Some gates are set to a particular destination, and you just walk through to get there. Some offer a menu when you touch them, or a link to thehypergates.com. But you can also just stand near the gate and open your Map, and copy your destination into the Search feature of your Map, and when it finds it, hit TP... I like the club because Path holds all our hands, so we don't get lost. Or not very lost, anyway. We did take a detour to TGIB, but it was nice in the woods.





The best bit is the lovely map showing the HGAC's explorations so far.





They can't get to Craft yet, it's on a different system or something, but when they do, I plan to have the coffee and sherry ready on Arts Park. What do hamsters drink, anyway?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Talking Towers

When it comes to my stupidity, let's face it, the cat has been out the bag for so long that it can't even remember if it was paper or plastic. Thank goodness you don't have to be smart to know smart when you see it. More than that. Imagine having a problem with a building project and being able to ask, not just a clever builder friend, but Lumiere Noir, founder of Second Life's Ivory Tower of Primitives, and have him come right over and take a look!

You'd like to know what he fixed for me. No.
Let's just say that our conversation ended with the words:
Lumiere Noir: You've got to know all you can about the tools available to you :-)
Well, I think we all know that's never going to happen.

Craft Grid now has its own updated, wooden version of the Ivory Tower of Primitives, on sim Sophia, which will soon be filled with streamlined information on primpinching of every kind. And there's more - Lumiere has started a Prim Wiki at http://ivorytoweronline.com/primwiki/index.php?title=Main_Page .
Lumiere Noir: The wiki is a lot of fun to work with. I hope that by putting it on the web, people will be able to get instant translations. For now the wiki is closed because the last time I tried this it got spambotted out of existance, but the blog and forums part is open to all (I think!) - I just set it up a couple of days ago.
Paidos Woodall, the first speaker in Craft, with Tao Quan and Thirza Ember
Yet another source of buildery goodness. Also in the news, Craft has Voice! Today was the first test of the system. Not everyone's a fan of voice, both in SL and other worlds, in fact moderately grumpy sources inform that it's properly termed as 'Voip' and not that sophisticated, technically speaking. But I don't care. I was the first person ever to giggle audibly in Craft, and they can't take that away from me.

Stepping Out

Tao Quan described Craft Grid as a baby the other day, and it's apt - there are lots of exciting firsts are going on, sweet small steps forward that probably seem no big deal in a place like SL or InWorldz, but for the Crafty Ones are a delight. As you can read in an earlier post, we got the Craft version of the Radionne, Vaudrouille Zepp's  trans-grid talking device (woot before even InWorldz got it, soror says!) and we also got grid-wide Voice - how neat, to be standing on Oberon Onmura's sim Elena talking to Tao who was ten sims away on Hydra. Very exciting newness  also for the ArtsParks sims, the arrival of artist-in-residence Maya Paris who has taken over the installation sim Locus Amoenus. Can't wait to see what she makes of it!



Then yesterday evening we had the first public performance of Alien Bolero, by Velazquez Bonetto, Josina Burgess, and Junivers Stockholm of CARP, in front of a dozen residents. Once the prims had finished dancing to Junivers' music, it was our turn to step out in the shadowy, lag-free theater, accompanied by Josina's colourful particles and dancing circles.