The Best of Second Life™

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La Resistance Modern Furnishings

Furniture in Second Life™ is one of those markets (like so many) that is entirely over saturated. When a market gets like this it becomes increasingly common to find, unfortunately, bad quality stuff and it becomes even harder to find the really good quality stuff. In the current SL™ ‘bot culture,’ traffic stats can be misleading and can also mean that the smaller or newer stores without the bot armies face an uphill struggle to become known.

So it was a particularly pleasant surprise to come across a lesser known and yet very high quality modern furnishings store while out with the wonderful Demoiselle! La Resistance modern furnishings lies on a sim sized parcel on an open space sim called (funnily enough) La Resistance. The furnishings are the creations of Xeit Lane, who has set up here an absolutely incredible store.

The first thing you notice upon entering this store is the ultra-modern feel it has. It’s spacious and laid out well. Every item is set out with other items that co-ordinate with it, meaning that you can essentially get the entire furnishings for a room together and know it will all look like it did in the store! The other great thing is that pretty much everything you see is for sale, from lamps, to plants and artwork so if you see a look for a room that you want, you can replicate it exactly in your own pixel place!

In particular, there is an entire room dedicated to black and white with some pretty unique pieces in there. Again all is laid out so it’s perfectly easy to look around and find what you want. Everything has a very ‘showroom’ feel to it, which always makes shopping easier!

In terms of the products themselves, there’s everything from couches, chairs, to tables, office sets, beds, lamps and plants. The prim usage is economical, with a corner couch (with 3 animations) containing 21 prims or so, up to 40 for a more elaborate one. An animated bed with texture changing for the bed clothes has twenty or so prims. So, admitedly, it isn’t ‘mega-low’ prim, but by the same account it certainly isn’t high prim and the prims that are used are used in such a way as to maximise the quality of the product.

So how much will this stuff set you back? Well, actually the pricing is good! You can pick up sculpted cushions (non-copiable) for L$ 49. The smallers couches are L$ 399, with the most expensive piece I came across (a rather elaborate corner couch with 6 animations) just L$ 499. And, you may notice I have mentioned that everything has animations! There’s perhaps nothing worse than sitting on unanimated furniture… you buy a beautiful couch and then you sit down only to look like a complete prat in your newbie style sitting pose, right? Not here! Xeit Lane’s pieces are all animated.

In all, this is a great place to visit if you are looking for modern furnishings at a reasonable price. I do have one complaint though…. it’s a no fly parcel! I really get irritated by that! Yes, yes, I know I could just enable admin options, I just don’t get the no fly thing!

Other than that, thumbs up!

Visit La Resistance here.

Thanks once again to Demoiselle (sexy) Denimore for the pictures and finding this place!

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September 29, 2008 Posted by | Stores | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lost Caverns at Villa

Second Life™ has plenty of caves and underground paradise type of places. Not so often, however, do you find these on sims whose focus is selling prefabs!

But on the Villa sim, a sim dedicated to the prefabs of Kumiko Mills, there is something of a hidden diamond! The entrance merely has an arrow pointing to the caves and it really doesn’t lead you to believe it will be anything spectacular. However, when you fall down, stand up, brush yourself off and look around (hoping nobody saw your undignified fall down there in the first place of course) you really find yourself taken aback and feeling somewhat smug that you found it! (Although I confess, it was my stunning, talented, wonderfully imaginative photographer, Demoiselle Denimore who actually found this, not me).

The caves are incredibly well built and put together. The organisation down there and the way it is laid out is such that it gives it a real adventurous feel! Look out for the skeleton camper… very witty!

Wandering around these Lost Caverns is kind of exciting, offering something of an adventure (very much a break from the prefab shopping). There’s so many directions you can wander off in, paths to follow (or not, as the case may be).

But it isn’t just pretty rocks and exploration down there. Perhaps my favourite part of the Lost Caverns was a small lounge/bar style area. It was darker in here, a welcome contrast in fact to the brighter rocks of the rest of the caves. With some sweet couples poseballs and seating, this place could very well be a great location to spend some quieter moments with someone, as I was sure to do with Demoiselle (I have a bit of a crush on her, shhh).

Judging by the name of the creator and owner (the same person, incidentally) it seems most credit goes to Dub Legend for the job done here!

Very much worth taking some time out of your incredibly busy Second Life to stop by and take a look? You want a SLURL as well? Sheesh, what do you think this is? Dial-a-Cab? Go on then… since I’m feeling generous.

You can find the Lost Caverns here.

September 26, 2008 Posted by | Beautiful Places | , , | Leave a comment

Glimmer – Fairytale Fantasy Roleplay at its Prettiest

When it comes to fantasy roleplay, those of us who are seasoned Second Life™ residents will probably think instantly of Avilion. And of course there is no taking away from the fact that the Avilion estate of sims is stunningly well designed.

I encountered another one today, however, that I feel very much holds its own in the sim beauty stakes! Wraith Unsung’s Glimmer Fantasy Roleplay area is an entire sim of outstanding landscaping, with a fantasy, fairtytale theme. At the landing point you can pick up a notecard about the sim and the rules. The first thing you notice is the relaxed approach taken here. There’s no dress code, no strict regulations, no background story or guidelines and no group requirement. There’s simply five rules; respect people, be polite, keep your modern cars, weapons and all that crap out of the way, no combat and no public sex! Now those seem like very reasonable rules to me. There is no animosity whatsoever towards those, like me, who are not there to roleplay, just simply to look around. In fact I spent a good hour just floating around there.

The sim is landscaped around stunning hills and streams meandering down into a valley. The focal point is a stunning castle and beautiful tree that overlooks the sim. There’s pods in that tree in fact, with cuddle balls in which you can just relax and enjoy the scenery, as I was sure to do!

Between the hills and streams is the occasional isolated medieval house, there’s a tiny fantasy style village too made up of a couple of small fairytale styled homes.

All in all there is far more to see here than I could describe, or even than I saw myself, I am sure. As such I’ll let the images do the talking. All photographs are taken by the superbly creative Demoiselle Denimore (who does a far more wonderful job on these things than I could ever even attempt to)!

You can find Glimmer here.

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September 21, 2008 Posted by | Beautiful Places | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tyrol Rimbaud’s “Ego.”

By ‘Ego’ in this case, I am referring to the remarkable exhibition in the virtual world of Second Life™ by Tryol Rimbaud.

I’ve been to a couple of exhibitions in game but never have I found myself feeling so challenged by one. I have always felt that Second Life as a platform for art or creative expression has incredible potential. This exhibit goes a long way to cementing this belief.

The exhibition deals with humanity in a social context. It falls across a number of parcels which enables a variety of different mood setting audio streams. The ‘Provenance’ parcel provides is home of the welcome area, over 500m in the air. The ‘Ego’ signs around and about contain notecards about the exhibit and provide some crucial information. My first time around, I missed the fact that these were notecard givers, actually!

The welcome notecard lets you know about the audio, how you might want to view things and asks you to pay real attention for the hidden details. Personally, I found the exhibition to have the greatest effects in midnight settings, though for clarity of photography these are taken in daylight settings by my rather wonderful photographer!

Upon entering the cave that marks to true beginning of this exhibit, you are greeted with historic tribal images, representing (in my opinion) the beginnings of mankind. You are suddenly taken by surprise while walking through here as you suddenly fall through the floor into the next part of the exhibit on the next parcel.

The next parcel is the Hall of History, which is a tunnel like corridor with images of world landmarks such as the Taj Mahal and Great Wall of China. Here the notecard speaks the responsibility society gained. You walk through the curtain here into the next parcel, which is in my opinion the most challenging.

The parcel is called “Will to Power,” and features some upsetting images that speak volumes about society. With photographs of missing child, Maddie McCann, other children as well as some disturbing Holocause images, this room will undoubtedly stir emotion in anyone. With minimal use of words this room says more about what society can do at its worst than any essay, political or philosophical paper ever will. One of the quotes that features around these images is, “People who live in society have learned to see themselves in mirrors as they appear to their friends. I have it, the filth, the Nausea.” The notecard here offers, “Each of us is capable of horrific deeds. The limits of human cruelty has yet to know its bounds.”

Again the descent into the next room takes you to Converse, a tunnel offering a number of evocative images floating around in a ghostly fashion.

The walk through here takes you out into the end parcel, “Responsibility.” The most interesting feature, I found, was the statue of a human with a globe balancing on its finger, representative of just what humanity has in its own hands.

The producers of the audio throughout are credited on the notecards. The audio varies from lines from Shakespeare to ambient mood setting music. The quick summary of the basics of what to expect from this exhibition, as I have provided here, cannot possibly do this work much justice. The fact is there are so many hidden details there and so much to consider. The descent from the Welcome Area throughout the exhibition to the end is symbolic of the progressive descent of society in complete moral disarray and actually left me feeling guilty, as a human, for all that mankind has done and continues to do. This is particularly impressive, in my opinion, as TV commercials and the like, all designed to make us feel guilty, often fail to have that effect. Yet here, with an exhibition put together in this virtual world… I was actually impacted. Forget the fact that I was actually, if we think about it, just looking at images on a screen. I wasn’t out there causing the Holocaust, kidnapping children, beating people or causing any physical harm myself. Yet I felt, in some way, responsible for the acts of humanity as a whole.

All in all, an amazing exhibition. I do feel that the notecard giving signs are very easy to miss… but honestly, once I’d realised what they were, the information they provided was invaluable and a true joy to read. The emotions evoked by the exhibit are incredible. The build itself is effective, put together to enable to images to have the biggest impact they can.

It’s certainly something I believe everyone should see. Tyrol told me that the exhibit was three months in the making. It will be on for several weeks to come and anyone not going to look will be missing out. You can visit “Ego,” here.

September 21, 2008 Posted by | Arts and Culture | , , , | Leave a comment