Tag Archives: virtual world

Remembering the potential of virtual creativity

There are times in Second Life when the graphics seem as crude as Minecraft, the big art installations look like my doodle-covered teenage notebook come to life, and the extent of imagination appears to be choosing a pose from a menu. But then when you’re least expecting it, you can be swept away.

Mermaid 2

Yesterday while I was in the midst of some virtual landscaping (a lot less messy than RL), a new friend asked if I’d like to come along to a performance art show. I answered, “Sure!” before contemplating what exactly “performance art” could mean this time. I was in for a wonderful surprise.

The show was at the Lady Garden Cabaret and it was stunning. It was assembled like classic cabaret, where each performer has a self-contained act, but all of those acts aligned with a theme. This month, the theme was “enchantment” and specifically Peter Pan, thus the show had a flying Pan, dancing pirates, fairies galore, a sexy crocodile (yes indeed), and a mermaid. The performers exploited many advantages of the virtual world, plopping an entire ship into the theater, taking us underwater or into the sky. I snapped a few photos. As usual, these are not PhotoShopped or altered except for cropping, and I didn’t change Windlight settings or sun position. The photos are far inferior to the live experience, where everything was in dazzling motion and accompanied by a cleverly chosen soundtrack. What you see is only a fragment of what you experience in person. (Clicking an image will take you to a larger version on my Flickr stream.)

Pirate ship in the theatre

Sexy croc

Mermaid leaps into the sky


Time fairy

Fire fairy

Pirates (and a monkey!)

Second star on the right

Some of the acts were very good and others were jaw dropping. I wish I was quick enough to make notes and name the members of the Minxettes troupe that appeared, but I was too busy enjoying the show. I’m glad my friend mentioned that Misse uses a lot of particle effects so that I knew to adjust my graphics for her mermaid segment, which was breathtaking. And yes, it should be said that there were some Second Life irritations like lag and slow rezzing. The overall show was so good that those didn’t distract much.

As I was camming around between numbers, I saw a poster advertising that the show was looking for performers. The skill required is far more than the “spin around a pole choosing from a menu” style, as the artists provide their own sets and choreography. Wow. How I wish I had the talent for that, but clumsy me can barely jump onto a poseball without breaking a virtual nail.

The Lady Garden Cabaret is located at and I believe their next regular show is December 18th. Stop by and smack the subscriber to get updates on future performances or visit the Lady Garden Cabaret blog. I’ll make a point of going back with plenty of $L to stuff into the tip jars for the talented artists. They reawakened my sense of wonder and potential in Second Life.

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Posted by on November 29, 2015 in Art in SL


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A reborn SL noob after 10 years

I spent a couple hours in Second Life last night, for the first time since August (and, to be fair, I hadn’t explored outside my SL home for several months before that). In the interim my desktop computer died, so I had to do a clean install of Firestorm with no cache and no preset preferences.  After months of playing an MMORPG, my fingers were trained to move around the environment using the WASD keys. This often resulted in my avatar exclaiming “ssd” or “wwwdd” in local chat.

It was not an easy experience. I didn’t stay at my home long. I’ve wanted to replace my skybox for a couple of years — it’s old technology now, crude and strangely sized — but Jakob objected. It’s highly unlikely he will sign on again as his illness progresses, yet I couldn’t bring myself to start deleting. I checked my land. 86 objects owned by his avatar, including numerous bouquets of flowers intended as gifts but not transferred, just placed around the space we shared. What can I do about those now? I wish I could communicate with him and ask for his password, to properly archive his account, but his sister says he has forgotten his passwords and how to use technology.


Quickly, I switched from my Kay avatar to my original avi. She’s the inside part of me, more sweet and gentle, more readily emotional; she’s like younger me behind the facade. It was easier for me to tolerate the sadness and loneliness in her body than Kay’s, where I feel more need for composure and restraint.

I visited locations from the Destination Guide and was struck both by the beauty and detail of some areas and the Duplo-like blunt ugliness of others. Second Life at its best is a glorious virtual world where resident creators have pushed the technology and often found ways to make amazing things despite it. At its worst? Well, it’s as good a place to learn about 3D building and virtual coding as Minecraft and I have nostalgic affection for blocky builds with freebie textures. With a small handful of skills and no cash, anyone can start turning imagination into digital reality. That’s marvelous even when the results are unsophisticated. I admire both hyperrealistic and surreal environments in SL, so I wandered from sim to sim. Usually I was one of very few avatars there, as I avoided clubs and adult areas. I’m open to meeting people again, but those aren’t the places I want to be now.

If Jakob is not returning, I need to downsize my SL land holding (the tier is too expensive to pay alone) and I’d like to start splitting my evening online time between gaming and the virtual world again. I suppose it will depend on how my mourning progresses and if I can find a community, or at least a friend or two, with whom I want to spend my SL time.

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Posted by on November 8, 2015 in Embodied Experience, Relationships


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