Friday, June 29, 2012

SL9B: A Violent End

As I noted yesterday, many exhibitors at Second Life Birthday celebrations like to "blow up" their builds after the public days end by letting physics-enabled prims rain from the sky. The infrastructure staff likes to do that, too, as you see in this photo of me sitting at the Lesbos@SL9B exhibit after having a sidewalk dropped on my head (yes, I crawled out with nary a scratch).
With the fabulous all-mesh stage in the background, I sit at the edge of Lesbos@SL9B and think about the past few weeks, rubbing my head where the 10m2 prim hit me as it tried to drive me into the ground.

For the first time ever, though, the main stage was given the same treatment. The fabulous four-sim,  4300-prim Cake Stage created by artist Mikati Slade was lifted up, unlinked, set to Physical, then dropped, the debris scattering in a slow-motion ballet as the Linden Lab servers (they are solid gold, you know) struggled to keep up. I don't think some bits ever came down, but in the half-hour or so that I watched everything seemed like colorful hard candy smashing the ground through a clear molasses. Some prims were extremely fast. Others paused as if undecided. Still more remembered they had rotation scripts and careened wildly in the chaos. It was a fabulous time and Pygar Bu has a wonderful set of pix in his Snapshot Stream here. But the real fun was sharing it with others and now I'm sharing with you:

Stilling with Rails Bailey and awaiting the impending carnage. We had on our frosting-proof suits. Pygar Bu had a fork.
I was too stunned (and too ill from something at supper eight hours earlier) to start taking pictures early

Eventually I left my seat and flew in to the melee.

This shot was taken about a minute after the first so you can image how slowly some pieces were moving.

Eventually I went in to try to jump up and down on some of the more recalcitrant bits to little avail.

As I logged off I watched a mermaid whose name I didn't catch flying over Marianne McCann in her FIC chopper.

I don't know how long it took for all the wreckage to settle though I wouldn't be surprised to learn that some of it was still falling when the bosses finally had to clear the sims, much to the delight of some screaming servers. Do you think some alarms might have gone off when the trigger was pulled?

If you had half as much fun at SL9B as I did then you can figure I had twice as much fun as you, but it was still an amazing time in either instance. Check out my Snapshot Feed here to see some of my other memories of an amazing event. See you next year!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

SL9B: The Wrap-Up

With the Second Life Birthday regions closed to the public, the builders and staff get to play a bit as they clean up so the sims can be returned before billing rolls over for another month (many thanks to all the sponsors for ponying up the bucks so the community could play). A few builders started before the close and many simply de-rezzed their builds, but some of the hard core went with tradition and blew up their builds and/or leaving a thank you sign.

As of this writing I've withheld blowing up Lesbos@SL9B, partly because it is a memorial and partly because of some news today that will go public soon. But I did make a thank you note for when the build is removed.
I'll move the sign into place when the Memorial is gone.
But I did have a blast (pardon the pun) blowing up my 2003 Starter House exhibit. A few times during the day I did practice demolition with a copy. Like most I simply raised the whole build, unlinked everything, set the bits to physical, and closed the Edit pane. Everything dropped like a stone with a half-dozen people standing on the roof and spread it's prims across the sim. Yes, I cleaned it up.

Mariann McCann in the Bay City chopper watches the destruction.

Debris lands everywhere, but the windows held up amazingly well.

Another angle because can you really get enough of senseless prim violence?

Birdseye view just because.
Pygar Bu dropped a giant foot on his build (see a pic here).

Marianne McCann used a wrecking ball and explosives on her Bay City exhibit (see a pic here) and then left a nice "Thankoo!" note in prims to everyone. And Toady Nakamura had one more Temple Burn, raising the flaming structure quite high then dropping the timbers on all of us.

A fitting end. Now if I could get Mari to fly me to Disney World ...
My thanks to all the visitors, exhibitors, staff, and sponsors of SL9B, the BEST Second Life Birthday ever, bar-none, period. Time to Riverdance!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

SL9B: The Video

Lots of videos were made of Second Life's 9th Birthday event, many on the official blog, actually, but this one is tops! Thanks, Loki Eliot!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

SL9B: Best Exhibit

Everytime there is a big event with exhibits in Second Life I try to not think about "Which is the best one?" but its always in the back of my mind. SL9B is no exception and there are so many that are fabulous, but I was touring "My School Project - Inside Linden Lab" by Loki Eliot (SLurl) today and if there was ever an exhibit that would make the cut, this is one.

Basically, the idea is that a youngster created a 3D virtual school report of how things work at Linden Lab. Visitors should grab the HUD at the entrance and press the button on the door outside after wearing the HUD and before going inside. There is a free avatar you can wear while taking the tour and I think it really enhances the experience. Other freebies "pop up" as you go around the "offices" of Linden Lab. I'll let you discover the rest, but here are some pictures. Visit soon as this goes away at 11:59pm SLT on the 27th.

Make sure you grab the HUD before you go in.

These pix are in no particular order. Each "station" is about a function of Linden Lab and its operation of Second Life. Mythical Linden employees are named, but I think some descriptions sounded like actual Lindens.

The exhibit is very whimsical and sneaks in some pretty sly jokes. That's me with the balloon, BTW.

Awww .. *sniffle sniffle*
The HUD, pictured here, pops up when you click buttons like the one you see on the wall.

Everything is animated and wicked funny.

Friday, June 22, 2012

SL9B: Starter House 2003

It was inevitable that some parcels at SL9B would be left empty. Either a builder never showed or they pulled out at the last minute or they were booted out for some violation (none of the latter that I've seen), but we've had some talented staffers and some guest artists step up at a moment's notice to fill in the empty spot. And then there's me.

I was given a shot at filling one, too, for some reason, despite having an exhibit for Lesbos (SLurl) and other staffers being fabulous builders. Since it is a birthday party for SL and I've had this recent obsession with retro housing (see here) I decided to put up the Starter House from 2003 (SLurl).

The entrance. Grab a free copy of the house then touch the sign for info.

Another view shows the flamingo and the landscaping. All items in this build are from the Library folders in your inventory save for the exhibit-specific signs and the gifts.

In the back yard are more free retro houses.

Freebies inside the house and some parrots that are scripted to "speak" on touch. They explain about the exhibit and about things like the glaring Alpha Texture Bug that is prevalent throughout the build.

This early Linden bed hinted at the future ... Residents would either need sleep after being in-world for long periods or someone would be looking for sex.

SL9B: Recursive Gaming

R. Crap Mariner has brought Tateru Nino's Second Life: The Game to SL9B!

That is Crap standing on the Community cards. I'm near the Club property. In the background is an exhibit with a tribute to Rodvik The Linden.

Come see it at SL9B (SLurl).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

SL9B: A Break in the Madness

My Real Life has kept me out of SL9B so far today but I have a couple minutes so I checked e-mail and I found something very amusing:

Time Capsule Guru Will Webb has displayed several time capsules from previous birthday celebrations and arrayed some of the freebies from same around each container. Two of the displayed items are from Lesbos@SL5B and Lesbos@SL7B and I think one of them might have my visitor counter from one of those events because I've been getting e-mails like you see above. Either that or Will copied my counter script for the current time capsule but hasn't edited the e-mail part. One way or the other, I'm amused.

I've been very busy with so-called griefers, nudie people popping in, and generally helping to make things run smoothly that I've barely had time to shower let alone blog. But I follow journalist and raconteur Andy Ihnatko's 5-2-1 Rule of Cons for this event — 5 hours sleep a day, 2 real meals a day, and 1 shower a day. The latter is meant so that real life convention goers remain pleasant to other attendees, but I think it counts for me as I live with others, even if they don't follow the Rule.

If you haven't been to SL9B, now is a good time. Check out the blog first for hints for good places to go, the official Flickr feed, my Profile Snaps Feed, or just head to Lesbos@SL9B (SLurl). Below is some video from the opening ceremonies (look or the cute Tiny kangaroo .. dats meee!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

SL9B: The Snaps

Honour looks on while I trap Bo, the Greeting Wizard, in a Tiger Dome. It was her idea, after all. Here we are preserving his 1970s essence for future generations to admire and be confused.
While helping people today I took time out to take some snaps for my Profile Feed photo library, like the one above. I sure wish there was a way to have them automatically drop into my blog so folks not logged into the Second Life Web site architecture could see them. I'd even be tempted to renew my Flickr pro account it they had auto load.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

SL9B: Mainland Organized

As I zip about the Second Life 9th Birthday (SL9B) regions adjusting parcel settings, checking for rules compliance, or just exploring, I can't help but make comparisons to Mainland Second Life. Islands in SL tend to be homogenous. Sure, there are those set up with rental lots and so become chaos reborn, but on the whole, Islands tend to be one theme and one harmonious form. Mainland regions, on the other hand, is a mishmash of discordant designs.

This next gen Apple OS desktop wallpaper reminds me of Mainland: The Discordant Collective
Near my home in Nangrim, for example, are empty lots, a full-bright castle, gardens, a corporate headquarters, homes, shops, and more. The parcel sizes are all different and the area shapes are sometimes amazingly convoluted. Yet everything eventually forms a collective.

The SL9B regions started out as regulated, squared parcels but then the builders were let in and things became all Mainland-y. A full-bright temple sits next to a gorgeously manicured park build. Wild mushrooms dwarf a huge, flaming phoenix. Small castles sit next to a New England waterfront so real you smell the salt air. If you can think it, you can probably find (g-rated) places in SL9B to match. But something is wrong.

Mainland really blends. Maybe it is the way roads and rivers wind through the landscape. Maybe it is the varied shapes of various parcels. Sadly, the SL9B regions aren't allowed to blend. For example, trees and shadows may not overhang the roadways, even if they are set to phantom and don't interfere with traffic. When I see a nice palm tree over hanging or various trees from side-by-side lots making a nice canopy, I really don't want to report them as an issue. These things make little squares into neighborhoods.

The SL9B regions snapped a few moments ago
Others have noticed the "variety" among builds and have thought about applying the harmonic island idea. There has been talk about too many builds being strictly corporate advertisements without any bearing on the event theme and maybe setting up a business district next time. I even pointed out that a previous Birthday celebration had themed regions such as Lifestyle, Art, etc. But that would take away from this little slice of Mainland. By mixing exhibits with different points-of-view a diverse view of Second Life is crammed into 20 regions and gives many who claim to "hate" Mainland a chance to experience what they are missing.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

SL9B: Press Day

Yes, that's the Lesbos@SL9B build featured in Crap Mariner's video about Press Day!  Here is the Press Release about Press Day:

If you would like to have a early sneak preview of the SL9B sims, then join us for SL9B Community Event Press Day on Sunday 17th June 2012 starting at 10am SLT until 8pm SLT.

This year there will be press tours at
     * 10am SLT
     * 2pm SLT
     * 6pm SLT

Tours will include visiting some of the attractions of SL9B including stages, the welcome area and amazing builds.

You can, of course, also explore the twenty sims on your own throughout the day, either on foot or by pod!

If you are interested, then please register your interest on the Press Day for SL9B Community Event Application Form ( see: by midnight on Friday 15th June to receive a Press Pass and access to the sims.

You are welcome to tour all the SL9B sims and take snapshots, machinima and blog about this wonderful SL9B event.

Please send a copy of your SL9B snapshots to

Read more about the event on the SL9B Community Event Blog

SL9B Press Day contacts:
Daniel Voyager –
Ginette Pinazzo –
Saffia Widdershins –

Contact us either inworld or via email.

Friday, June 8, 2012

SL9B: Time Capsule

This press release just in! The SL9B Time Capsule competition is open! Now don't fret. Just because I won it a couple years ago and I'm entering again doesn't mean you don't have a chance. Read on and send your entry!!


Creating a new time capsule is a wonderful tradition we’ve kept alive each year at the Second Life Birthday event. Residents are invited to try and create a capsule that represents something significant from that year (SL4B’s capsule had flexis, SL5B’s used glow) or something inspired by the theme of that year’s event (SL6B’s capsule was a meteorite chunk for its space theme, SL8B's was a modified version of the event logo).

We’re inviting Residents to propose their ideas for this year’s time capsule, so if you’re interested, here are the guidelines:

  • * The capsule should be (relatively) low-prim. Some of the older ones reach up to 96 prims, and some years it gets difficult to display them all. If at all possible, please be prim-friendly! This will only get worse as more and more capsules join the ranks every year.
  • * If you choose to make it look like a chest, box, or anything that would open in RL, we’ll need an open version AND a closed version. This allows us to keep up the illusion of “opening the capsule” at every year’s event. (SL3B had a vault, SL5B an intelligent particle system, SL6B had an asteroid container that could open, SL7B was a portal with a vortex that could activate) Don't worry too much about scripting the open/close, we can help with that. Sometimes we can ask for modifications to the design to accommodate the look.
  • * Overall, be creative; this year's theme is "Community" if you want to go theme-based.
  • * Size: Don't go too big, the SL3B Vault is about 6meters cubed and you might consider that the upper size limit (it certainly looks massive), although nobody will be disqualified for going over it on one side or so, if the design warrants it. A tall spire won't be rejected, a Death Star sized megasphere just might :-)
  • * Some particle activity is allowed, but keep it manageable. No giant fireworks fests, but some minor activity is fine. For an example of a previous model: SL5B's capsule has particles that float inside it, defined by the amount of items in its inventory.
  • * The capsule should have full perms. This is very important, as modifications may be needed; plus, it is of course needed for the adding of the contents, the most important part of the capsule.
  • * If you submit a capsule, it will not be returned to you. So be sure to keep a copy if you want to keep it! If you do manage to screw up here, a return copy can always be arranged upon request; we're not ogres :-)
  • * If you have any low-prim pedestals or display cases, please feel free to submit them. For that matter, don't be afraid to make a smaller capsule that stands on an independent pedestal (and yes, you may design the pedestal too; the SL5B and SL6B capsules did that very same thing)
  • * No guarantees that you'll win. You may have the nicer design technically, but someone else's might fit the theme better.
  • * To submit a design or to ask any related questions, please contact Will Webb, the official keeper of the capsule. (Ed.: If it is a MESH item, include a pic as Will doesn't have a MESH viewer yet.)
  • * Last but not least, the previous capsules may be seen upon request, for those of you that need a bit of inspiration and guidance in choosing your design. Good luck :-)

HIgh-End Graphics

A little trend in gaming you may have noticed (I say tongue-in-cheek) is high-end graphics. Game consoles are always pushing the envelope as today's Engadget post about the Unreal Engine 4 rendering standard attests. And look at all those people who now spend less time in Second Life because of Skyrim. You can't tell me that the the gorgeous graphics are not a big part of the reason that game is popular (2011s most popular game, says Raptr). Is there a contingent that "play" Second Life that see the need for console-like or Skyrim-like graphics?

I'd say so. Yesterday's New World Notes post by Iris Ophelia is an example. Or look at the various SL groups on Flickr (such as the SL9B group). Quite a few people are genuinely interested in having the best possible quality images in Our  World. Could increasing the quality of graphics in Second Life be the solution to declining populations? Looking at the rest of the gaming world, it just might.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

SL9B: Random Stuff

Much slower day today at Second Life's 9th Birthday sims. Most folks have claimed their exhibit space and have started building. Many are actually done. The admins are catching up on some sleep, but are still tired. At least The Grid isn't throwing curveballs like they did on Build Day One. I made a 4th avatar to wear, the tiny mole me. All of them will change when the Greeters get their hats, of course, but they are saved for now. I can't think of any tweaks for my build, really, so making avatars in between helping others seems to be the order of the day. And I'm grabbing landmarks of some wonderful places. Look in my Profile Feed Snapshots to see some of them. I should be posting them to the SL9B Filckr feed, but I'm too lazy. Maybe later. Right now I'm going stand around a lot and chat with people. So many very nice ones here this year. Be sure to talk to anyone you meet when you visit.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

SL9B: Lesbos Represents

More later, but I was able to take a few minutes and drop in the Lesbos@SL9B exhibit (SLurl). Tweaked the banner textures and setup all the About Land bits. I'll look again in a few days to see what else needs tweaking. If you are an exhibitor, get your exhibit name and description ready and find a spot where you want folks to land. Also, make room in your Profile Picks to feature your build.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

SL9B: Training Hard

Yep. Spending the last day before SL9B Exhibitor access goes live by getting lots of training as an Exhibitor Assistant. I'm one of the people that Exhibitors will talk to when claiming their parcels starting at 10am SLT on June 4th.

Those aren't my alcoholic beverages. Blame Rails Bailey.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

SL9B: Exhibitor Status

I got this in my email this morning:

Congratulations! Your application has been accepted for the Second Life Birthday Celebration this year! 

I'll be near the all mesh main stage in a really decent spot (SLurl). Finally near the main action! Past birthdays my parcel has been out in the boondocks.

Hard at work finishing up my build. Visitors can grab a gift pack and take copies of all the candles.
To dispel some rumors: I did not get preferential treatment with a nice spot because I'm a Greeter, Exhibitor Assistant, and a Moderator for the event. If I had then my parcel would have an unobstructed view of the western ocean as requested. Over 400 applications were recieved for about 350 parcels so I'm darned lucky to have gotten one at all. In fact, I asked if I could drop in a day early to put up my build in since I'll be sooooo busy helping other exhibitors when the sims officially open for building but I was denied. Fair is fair.

I hope to see you all there. Until then, take a look at the SL9B Website for more information and to volunteer.