Tuesday, 31 August 2010

A Russian Village

A Russian Village with little information about Russia or villages actually.

Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life
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Monday, 30 August 2010


Cetus the studio of DB Bailey

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Seeking out the amazing in Second Life

I have been seeking out the most amazing structures and places in Second Life. A friend told me about Cetus the studio of DB Bailey. Bailey really pushes virtual architecture and space creation in this project, creating a must see SIM of light and structure.

I was struck by the use of Baroque themes and structures in the space. I have been thinking and writing for some time that Virtual Reality promotes a new style like Baroque, that the supply of vast visual possibility and the conquest of space encourages a style with many of the themes of European Baroque, and I see more and more good looking space in Second Life that look Baroque. Cetus has straightened this belief.

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Seeking the best in Second Life

The Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum

"Licensed by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, The FLWVM collection includes exhibits depicting the life and works of Frank Lloyd Wright and SL recreations of some of his buildings including the famous Fallingwater. Dancing every Friday night at Breeze! "

Seeking out the best qualities features in SL. This SIM was interesting. Excellent buildings no doubt, but useless in SL access to look at from a distance. Second Life buildings have to have massive internal spaces. You can have a Frank Lloyd Wright in SL, but you could not really use it. But the SIM is cool to see these things and to learn about architecture. I found it a very good learning experience.

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Saturday, 28 August 2010

A crowd in Second Life

The lag is getting to be constant in any larger cluster of people. I think Linden Labs is not even trying anymore.

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Friday, 27 August 2010

Another art show, these titles are getting a bit

iMAGINE Art Gallery

This is a nice gallery, and seeing gallery spaces is one of those things you can do in SL which is almost as good as RL. Provided the works are not major masterpieces that is.

But I have gotten a bit bored with seeing new artists putting work up in gallery spaces. Not that the work is not good, it just a bit flooded right now with artistic works. SL is such an easy place to make your work public.

For me I wish major galleries would but themselves public in the was Dresden Museum has. When I was in Delhi I missed the national museum, and the major museum in Crete.

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BBC News - Living life in augmented reality

BBC News - Living life in augmented reality: "Augmented reality smartphone apps allow users to view the world through their phone's camera with an overlay of useful local information. But with the advent of augmented reality games, could fantasy finally become reality?

A shadowy organisation is stalking a lone individual across London. Its goal? To capture a young woman who has knowledge which could blow the lid off this outfit's nefarious activities in Zambia.

Can a group of ordinary people protect this whistleblower and expose a conspiracy involving oil, a sinister multinational and a library in an African village?

This is not a movie script, but it is the scenario being played out in an augmented reality game called Conspiracy For Good."

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

A Mall

MASINA VILLAGE 80s Club MATURE RATED (70'S,80'S and 90's)

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When we be able to plug Virtual Reality in to our brains.

I have been surprised to learn that Brain Computer Interface (BCI) is far more advanced than I had imagined and likely a BCI interface to virtual reality that can be worn on the skull will be a feature of Web 2020.

Things is Second Life really won't be worth going in to in such a form. Not only is their presently not object features from making Prims and clusters of Prim have temperature, pressure, texture (as felt), smell, or anything beyond visual and auditory. That is to say Second Life only provides a reality adequate (barely) to the monitor and it would really suck to be "inside of it" and an immersive direct brain interface.

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Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Xzavier's & Angels

^^Angel's Designs^^ Male & Female Fashion

Another shop in the sky, like the tree though


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Monday, 23 August 2010

Japan and Korea lead the world in virtual reality

Tsubaki Club owned by Burnercrew Spyke.

Japan, Korea and China's adoption of Virtual Reality really come home when you visit a SIM like this. I have found SIMs owned by Koreans and Japanese designers tower over the rest of Second Life.

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A sky full of shops

DARK Shop. Warrior, Medieval, Skin, Hair, Gothic, Kitty, Queen.

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One reason Second Life does not suck: cool buildings

The Citadel is a public piece of land built by Linden Labs. Anyone who has travelled through Europe can tell you that public land is critical to make a place a destination, but you also need a mix of private creativity and public projects to make a city like Paris or London a must see destination.

This large project by Linden Labs does provide a stunning view of private businesses to place themselves, but this ugly white building in the front ruins the view for me. Too little regulation of SIM development has driven the move to self contained island SIMs and communities.

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Sunday, 22 August 2010

Does using Second Life for cybersex make you gay?

I am not the first to point out that it is simply not possible that there are so many female to male users in Second Life. The great urban legend is that all the girls in the sex SIMs are really guys. Well given the technical demands of Second Life and the general male culture of the geek world, it seems strange that so many "women" seem to be playing.

Amanda Grainger noted
A few minutes of game play will indicate that many gamers choose female
characters. Female avatars are everywhere. They roam the stores, decorate the
houses, strip in the nightclubs and are available for sex. Second Life’s
self-reported statistics reveal that 58% of Second Life players are male
(Linden). Since a majority of gamers are men, the prominence of female avatars
suggests that the purpose of the female player is centered around the male gaze.

Crossing Gender Lines? Second Life’s Replica of Reality

That is fancy feminist talk for "many of the guys are getting off watching their female avatars get screwed."

Bringing this issue up often makes openly male and openly heterosexual players a bit uncomfortable. The issue of being deceived in to a male on male virtual relationship that would make one gay without knowing it often hangs in the air. People generally don't like to talk about it.

Now personally I find all of this a bit silly. Second Life is not real, its fantasy. Cybersex is not like sex, its like pornography. And the fact that a pornographic movie might be written, directed, filmed, produced, edited and distributed by men with a female actor simply playing the part of pawns or "avatars" does not distract from our sexual pleasure in watching the porn or make us "gay". Maybe in some feminist analysis of pornography it can be seen as sexual exchanges between men using women as tokens, and I can see the point to this. But that does not mean that a man who watches porn is going to start singing show tunes.

Second Life is not some cyberspace in which people assume virtual bodies and carry on like in real reality: Second Life is a place of fantasy production and collaboration. Two men might work together to produce a sexual scene involving a male an female avatar that they both find pleasing. Its more like staging a play or movie with puppets than actually "being there"

For me the issue is not really around sexual usage or deception as much as simple trust. I give my real name and a real life photo of myself on my Second Life profile. The photo is me, though not the least flattering photo I have. People can follow my SL name and easily find who I am in reality. I fail to see the point of having a community of deception. I think this is more the problem, the total lack of real trust that is so built in to Second Life it is almost an ethic. Providing RL information about yourself in SL is so uncommon it is almost viewed as kind of perverted by the community.

Now I love privacy, and if people want to come in SL with their identities hidden sometimes fine, ALTs can be fun. But what troubles me is that you almost never know anything about anyone you contact in Second Life. Almost every 1st Life tab has no picture and a short text saying "you will not know anything". A degree of privacy is fine, but a community where everyone is hiding all details of their identity can not foster the necessary trust to evolve. I think this has a lot to do with the observed flakiness of SL, with people coming and going so fast its impossible to form stable relationships or earn long lasting trust. Avatars in Second Life are just ghosts or drawings, don't mistake them for people unless they act like people in RL.

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Listening to Global Warming warnings


Second Life mixed with other web platforms is a powerful communication tool. But the sad thing is that the global warming message is already out there, the problem is not communication but social commitment.

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Why does Second Life Suck so bad?

Me in my ugly body enjoying the bounty of a vacation in Northern India

Me in my perfect SL body trapped in the redundant hell that is Second Life.

Explorers throughout history have sought to travel to difficult places. There is not game or honour in travelling to the easy places, exploring the simple places. Great explorers have had to face difficult, ugly and sometimes dangerous challenges to try and expand the map of imagination of our world.

My explorations in to Second Life have their own perils. Not any real dangers, if anything Second Life is too safe for its own good. But I feel more and more I am exploring in to an ugly new reality that is emerging, the sad state of humanity post singularity reserved in a kind of nature preserve.

Second Life presents a really ugly image of how human reality might be distilled, secured and preserved in the age of machines. Even if the interactions become richer the core problems with this kind of virtual community will always make life in them banal. In Second Life people can put on identities and cultures likes trying on hats. The result being that no community means anything, that everyone is essentially a poser. Identity is empty, not even really a part of the person. No one is really anything in Second Life. There is not creation of an identity, rather the person just is purchased and worn, personality means as much as a t-shirt logo.

People can turn other on and off with a few flicks of a button. The result being that no relationship with others is stable, people vanish
without notice. Your relationships become like dealing with outsourced call centers. Some day you will IM someone you thought cared about you only to find yourself passed to India.

On the deepest level Second Life is always a computer system, thus it is a closed formal system. Life requires an open chaotic system for the human creativity to flourish. Humans need cities full of cultures, they need face to face with people where they can see the imperfections of age or ravishes of poverty. They need all the flaws, all the heat and smell, and the inability to avoid the junkies begging or the political protesters screaming at you, the traffic jams and the long lines.

Virtual reality can only provide a movie like experience, perhaps a period of fantasy or a platform of communication. But the idea of a cyberspace in which most of us will be living in the near future is horrific. My exploration of Second Life has shown me what this kind of place would be like, and trust me no one wants to live there.

I would go as far as to say humanity would be better of choosing extinction than preservation in cyberspace.

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Friday, 20 August 2010


UTSA ArtSpace

"Dedicated to the support and exploration of art and culture as they exist in the real and virtual worlds. ArtSpace is part of the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA)."

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Again flaking out in Second LIfe

Mine, as I have said before when Second Life flakes out, it really flakes out.

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BBC News - Virtual reality tackles tough questions

BBC News - Virtual reality tackles tough questions: "Virtual reality is allowing scientists to ask difficult questions about human behaviour that were previously not possible or were thought too unethical.

A Spanish team has designed a trial that allows men to step inside the body of a woman subjected to violence.

Meanwhile scientists in London are simulating a controversial experiment from the 1960s in which people were persuaded to inflict pain on others.

The original experiments were condemned as immoral and too traumatic.

At Barcelona University, male volunteers have experienced life as a virtual young girl and then separately, witnessed violence towards her.

On returning to live the girl's virtual life, the men empathized with her more than usual, feeling scared and insecure themselves.

'I want to know whether you can use virtual reality, not just to transform the place you are in, but also to transform your very self,' said Mel Slater, lead researcher at the Catalan Institute of Research and Advanced Studies.

'If you see yourself in a virtual body, which moves as you do, how will this affect your behaviour?'"

1888 and the hybrid nature of Second Life identity

1888 a Kinky Victorian Sim

Imagination more likely takes what it knows and merges it with something else it knows to create something new, rather than having to work to make everything up from the start. In SL you often find Science Fiction genres with Victorian, Native American with classic Fantasy, furry with bondage, and other combinations creating the new from two existing neo-tribes.

1888 is a SIM themed around London of the time of Jack the Ripper. The Ripper RP is core to the SIM, though it really does not look like the East end of 19th Century London. What 1888 does is merge neo-Victorianism, which is very popular in SL, with bondage training. The two ideas have a strange affinity though you don't normally associate sex with the Victorianism the very fact you don't may make it work.

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