FASHION VOODOO 2012

Had some time this week to check out the Fashion Voodoo urban style fashion fair and was really pleased. The event is sponsored by Depraved Events who do some great events and features over 100 labels including Insanya, Razorblade Jacket, Beeleza, Kmadd, Gawk!, Ducknipple and many more.

A lot of it is urban style, but this fair stretches out a bit and you will find everything from high fashion to lowbrow. There is a lot of mesh to be found, most of which wont fit me of course, and plenty of unique event only pieces. What I really liked, was the easy time I had shopping on the Fashion Voodoo sim. Normally the fashion events are one big lagfest where one is advised to strip off all attachments and prims just to make the experience functional. Not here. I visited the sim on three separate occasions over two days, with me wearing all the attachments that my little avi can carry, and had very little lag issues at all.

The shops are also laid out nicely in a very open setting so it was pretty easy to check out every store. The event runs through August 30th, so there is plenty of time to stop by.

Fashion Voodoo 

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It’s Duran Duran’s Universe (and we are all just visitors)

How do you describe the Duran Duran Universe?

Take Jane Fonda from Barbarella, sprinkle in some Blade Runner, let Andy Warhol blend it all together (for 15 minutes only), give it a good run through the transporter of the Starship Enterprise and set the entire thing to a thumping soundtrack for THE pop band of the 80’s, and you have a pretty good start.

Officially opened in 2011, The Duran Duran Universe (DDU) is, according to the band’s website, the permanent virtual residence of and by the band Duran Duran. If you have not yet not been to the DDU sims, you owe it to yourself to run, not walk, and give it a visit. Although the bands music and imagery are certainly evident throughout the area, the sim is much more than just an all out tribute to a musical group. Using some really interesting visual and sound arrangements, The DDU is a virtual feast for both the ears and the eyes.

A  lipstick shaped tower-nightclub  reaching into the sky, a giant retro phonograph club, geometric light displays, plus a mountain range of snow capped eyeballs staring back at me all combined to make my avi felt like it was on acid (again) as I explored the location. My favorite spots were a tunnel of light that made me long for my Spirograph from chidhood, plus a…well, it is sort of like a…a…it is an awesome  musical light and sound thingy! (Work with me here!)  Imagine sitting in a chair and you are surrounded by circling boxes each identifying a track of a song. Touch a circling box marked “bass” and a bass line begins. Touch the box marked “vocal” and Simon Lebon is singing to the bassline. Keep adding and subtracting from over a dozen choices and you are creating your own mix of a Duran song.

A few  real word musical groups have tried to establish a presence in Second Life, with mixed results. WIth the DDU, Duran Duran is doing it better than most and seems to take a keen interest in the virtual world. Duringa recent show for the 2012 Olympics, the band used footage from SL in the background during their live performance.

Chrissy Welinder

Chrissy Welinder is the DDU Community Manager and in world face of the DDU. An admitted fan of the band, she keeps everything running in world. I really love how she has taken what could have simply been a typical “Isn’t Duran Duran Awesome” self indulgent promotional space, and made it into a real piece of performance art that any 80’s supergroup would be proud of.

Visit the DDU in Second Life

 

What does where we are going in Second Life say about us?

So there I was, slumming and looking about online when I stumbled upon a list of the top 25 most visited sims in Second Life. I learned that these monthly figures are often posted by the folks over at New World Notes. (A great read if you really want to know what’s going on behind the scenes in Second Life.) This list was interesting and, for me, a bit depressing:Image

Never one to miss the obvious,  my first thought as a I looked through the list of sims was, “Wow! Is everyone really THAT horny?” I mean, let’s look at the very top, right below our number one destination of London City. In second place, and by second place I mean the SECOND MOST VISITED SIM IN ALL OF THE WHOLE FRIGGIN’ GRID, we have “Sexy Nude Beach“. Now, color me a skeptic, but the name itself sort of makes you wonder about the creativity you will find on this sim.

“Hey, this is a really sexy nude beach. What are we going to call it?”

“How about Sexy Nude Beach?”

“Works for me!”

Don’t laugh. Why do you think THEY are number two and the folks down at plain old Nude Beach are number 22? It does manage to get way more descriptive as you journey down from the top of the list. Bukkake Bliss Island anyone? …anyone? The list goes on with Escort Oasis, Chained Desires and Bondage Ranch, with the forementiond Nude Beach bringing up the rear. With places like Sexy Nude Beach and Bondage Ranch doing so well, I am a bit shocked that Escort Oasis can stay in business. Like mom always said, why buy the cow, when you can get the milk for free? (If only I knew back then that she was not encouraging me to be a dairy farmer.)

What really makes me sad is what you will NOT find on the list. Instead of naming my favorite sims, let me ask you to think of three or four of yours. Think of those places that you visited that just totally blew you away with what they where able to achieve. Those places that show what you are truly capable of producing in Second Life. Now, how many of the places that you thought of are on this list?

Is everyone really just coming here to get laid? I mean,are we all taking the time to log in, create an avitar, learn how to move and work a viewer, then listen to somone bitch that you are using the wrong viewer and ultimately learning that the two most important letters in SL are “A” and “O”  …all done just to get our rocks off?

Now, don’t call me prude. Karma loves a good romp on a well made set of poseballs as much as anyone. There is a reason the folks down at Xcite customer service know me on a first name basis! On the other hand, Second Life is about so much more than what this list shows.

As much as they hate us, and they clearly do, the folks at Linden Labs have basically given us a world that is a blank slate and have provided us with a set of tools …and left the rest up to us. A lot of folks have taken that challenge and put their hearts and minds into creating some truly amazing places. Inside those spectacular worlds we can meet people, fly a spaceship through the stars, pilot a sailboat at sunset, dance on a floating palace in a purple sky, be harassed by vampires. It makes me sad to think about what people are missing out on. Then again, to each his own. If somone is going to find their true bliss at Bukaki Bliss, who am I to deny them that joy? I just think they might be missing out on the real bliss that lies in the sims that, sadly, you will not find on this list. Clearly the method with which we promote the various destination to the best that Second Life has to offer is broken.

Now, if you will excuse me, I am heading down to Really Sexy Nude Beach for a swim.

Linden Labs to offer new pathfinding tool (Beware of zombies)

While they often seem to be incapable of managing somethng as as simple providing residents with a last names, every once in a while Linden Labs gets it right.

I am excited about a new development tool that LL will be bringing into Second Life. The pathfinding tool, will allow developers to create objects or characters that can follow, patrol, flee or otherwise interact with another object, including your avatar. Even better, it will be able to do it with only three lines of script. If you ventured the LL in-world  game, Linden Realms, you saw this effect in action as the “rock monsters” that would pursue an avatar that got to close or moved to slow.

I already see this being used to create even smarter zombies that will no doubt be chasing  me all over the place when I am simply wanting to find a good pair of shoes. If I go to the Moonletters sim, perhaps now those cars moving up and down the street will not be allowed to run over me. Then again, maybe they instructed to do just that.

The project is still in beta, but you can get a sneak peak at how it works in this video:

Read more about it here.

Finally, a mesh product worth being excited about!

Of all the new mesh products to enter into the SL marketplace over the last few months, nothing has really impressed me as much as a simple pair of feet designed by Siddean Munro at Slink.
We all know how the standard avatar we are stuck with is cursed with little wedges where the feet where supposed to go. (It always seemed to me like they worked for weeks on creating the SL avatar and then got to the feet and looked at each other and said , “Whew! I am tired. How about we just stick some little wedges on the legs and call it a day?)
Even though I am huge fan of mesh and the many benefits it offers, I have felt that most of the avatar clothing and attachments I have seen produced had the stylish equivalent of wearing a plastic garbage bag. I put on a mesh outfit and look like I am wearing clothing made of paper mache.
That all changed when I found these great feet (feets?) at Slink. Let it be known right now that, as a girl who grew up in the hills of southern United States, I am not big on wearing shoes. Oh, I love shoes! I am a female after all. I just don’t bother to wear them all that much. (More than a few TP requests friends send me are followed by me asking “Do I need to put shoes on for this?”)
But hey, enough about me.
These feet look absolutely great and are far superior to most of the prim feet I have seen or tried on in Second Life. Prim feet were a definite step ahead of where we were, but they were a tad clunky. RIght? You were usually forced into some weird anklet set you had to wear to hide where the prim joined the avi, and the were not ferry flexible. They were more like feet shaped shoes.
These mesh feet become part of your body. They move as your body moves. Skin matching can be tricky, but the feet feature an ankle blending layer that makes the tone of the feet blend in perfectly with the tone of the rest of your body with only minimal effort. (One issue with any mesh avatar attachment is that it is not going to adjust to fit your body, you have to adjust your body to fit it. If you are like me and  you have a lot of time invested in your shape, this can be a  big negative, but slink provides the feet in four sizes so you can get a perfect match with only minor shape adjustment.)
The feet offer high detail from top to bottom,This design was really thought out well and it it truly shows once you find yourself wearing these cute feet.
You can find them on the SL marketplace, or check them out in world here:

Not Everything Is Plain … (even in your Second Life.)

I love when artists take on the basic environment in Second Life and convert it into something beautiful or thought provoking. Despite the increase in costs to do so, artists have a history of grabbing hold of the flat, bland look of SL and twisting it, massaging it and painting it into something truly unique.

One of the latest to do so is artist Fuschia Nightfire who has created a wonderful sim environment entitled “Not Everything Is Plain Black & White”. Nightfire has created an immersive, interactive environment using very simple shades of black and white. The main path takes you through elaborate, dazzling halls into to wide open vistas.I love when you can stray form a main path and still find  some unique settings, and this environment that  Nightfire has made has plenty to see. My favorite part of the visit was coming across beautiful “transparent” Zebras. I am always amazed how a certain environment in SL, when done well, can provoke a feeling to me in RL.  There are those moments when a place can actually make me “feel” cold or warm, or provoke optimism  or melancholy. I would say Nightfire’s creation has moments of all the above.

At the entrance area, Nightfire has taken the time to provide some wonderful free gifts that go along with the theme of her display, including skins, eye shades and a few clever outfits for both men and women. The Exhibition runs from 20th January until 20th February 2012.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/MetaLES/56/62/30

Just what the virtual world needs…

Here we go, yet another blog about Second Life. Now, before your eyes get heavy and you decide to jump over to YouTube to look at funny kittens, I hope you will take some time and read through and maybe look around. I begin this endeavor with the hope that we can offer a fresh approach to discussing what is going on in Second Life. Oh, and if you have no idea what Second Life is, why are you still here?

Karma

Karma

I promise, this is more than just a space for little me to rant and complain. (Though I am more than capable of doing plenty both at any given moment.) At “somegoodkarma” I  want to introduce you to and discuss a variety of issues concerning your Second Life experience. (I’ll be sharing some of the more tragic and hysterical experiences of my own as well!) A resident of Second Life for just over a year, I still consider myself a novice. I am not approaching this blog as an expert. There are plenty of those out there, and I hope to introduce you to a few here. This blog is from a curious beginner and it is  for other curious beginners like me. We will discuss the technology of Second Life, as well as all the creative aspects of the virtual world, but not limited to  photography, music, and design. I want to mention and promote some cool places that you should check out, and perhaps introduce you to some of the interesting characters I have been lucky enough to meet in Second Life. I plan to keep it simple.

And by now you are asking, just who the heck is this person and why is she making me read all this? Well, during my ongoing experience that is Second Life, I have been a writer, experienced DJ, and have operated my own photography business. I have a natural curiosity that makes me an annoyance to many friends, but let’s me share a wide range of information with others. However, be warned. I stipulate up front  that I typically know just enough to be a danger to myself and others.

So, sit back and have a sip. Welcome aboard. After all, everyone can use some good karma once in a while.