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Romantic Spots of Second Life: Dreamscape Romantic Get Away

Dreamscape Fantasy Escapes are a string of sims dedicated to bringing romance to couples in Second Life. Originally a honeymoon getaway, owned by Mikhail Obscure and his Second Life partner Sophia Vanderverne, it features 11 unique and perfect locations to have an amazing romantic retreat with your better half. They include a castle, six sinter wonderland spots, and three tropical destinations. Lovers can choose whether to stay for 24 hours – 3 days or more with the perfect price range of 24 hours being as little as 150L$ (Lindens) to 3 days being as high as 8000L$. Don’t have Lindens? Why not turn on your stream and follow the tunnel down to dance floor? Romantic Love songs play 24/7 on the sim. Here is a little taster of what the tunnel has to offer:

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Take your date to the romantic sphere that is Dreamscape Fantasy Escapes.

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This Week In Second Life – Sep 23rd

Continuing events:

Arts:

Virtual Reality by Mexi Lane In 1995 Mexi Lane painted a picture titled Virtual Reality. Today, with the technology available in SL, Mexi is turning the painting to reality.

UWA Artists’ Choice Water Show The fourth Artists’ Choice exhibition from the University of Western Australia focuses on water as a theme. The full sim exhibition has been flooded to 100m with each of the 20 artworks on a separate island. Boats and swim balls are provided and there is an underwater park to enjoy. Go bumper boating and get some culture at the same time!

Bryn Oh’s Virginia Alone Virginia Alone is the real life story of an blind elderly lady living with mental illness. In her solitude she recorded her thoughts over 20 years on hundreds of cassette tapes which can be found and listened to in the environment. Virginia Alone is exhibiting in both Second Life as well as at the Santa Fe New Media Festival.

Continue reading

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Cultures in Second Life: Getting Steamy with Steampunk

in Second Life there are many cultures, one very popular culture is that of Fictional Steampunk, a genre that originated in the 1980s based around an alternative time line where our Victorian time was more advance with the help of steam power and clock work. For those of you who don’t know what Steampunk actually is, it is  normally associated with a dystopian future, where the advancement of steam power is used as the new technology, creating airships, analog computers and so on. This kind of culture became popular through books that featured Steampunk such as, Jules Verne novels, like ‘20,000 Leagues Under The Sea’ (1870), ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ (1873), and ‘A Journey to The Centre of The Earth’ (1864). It is said that Jules, also known as the Father of Science Fiction, single handed inspired  this new culture, much like William Gibson, Frank Herbert and Bruce Bethke did for cyberpunk, but we’ll get onto that part of second life culture later.  Continue reading

This Week in Second Life

 

Continuing Events

5th Annual Virtual State Fair: Feral Hog Invasion, White Grub Tunnel, Wild Water Rapids, House of Germs…The 5th Annual Virtual State Fair week sponsored by Cooperative Extension is a four region extravaganza of exhibits, rides, art, music and games. Line dancing nightly in Gertrude’s Barn. Check out the optional orientation area for new users. Held through Sept.16.

London City Disco Spectacular: Throughout September, visit London City for Disco Spectacular, celebrating all things disco with concerts every weekend from the people and bands who established this unique music genre.

Upcoming Events

Peace Weekend & Spirit Fair 2012: Join the celebrations at the three-day International Peace Event at Nirvana Island, held the weekend of September 21–23. Over 40 spiritual organizations, musicians and performers will gather on Nirvana Island in a celebration of peace and unity in honor of the United Nations International Day of Peace, which is a day devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.

John Taylor Live Event: John Taylor of Duran Duran will stop by Second Life to present his new book “In The Pleasure Groove: Love, Death & Duran Duran” live to the SL fan community on Sunday, Sept. 16th at 3 p.m. (Pacific). John will read an excerpt from his book live and then do a short Q & A. Access is limited to members of the official in world fan club group only. For More information check out their website.

 

More events on This Week in Second Life Page

Having A Family in Second Life: Why Do It All?

There are several reasons why some of the residents of Second Life decide to have a family in this virtual world. All of the reasons vary and can be more complex than others. It could be that they are doing it for the experience, since Second Life makes it as a realistic  as possible. It could be that they are reliving what they had in real life since some people who have families in SL have children and families in real life. Others may do it for fun, as it is part of having another life, but for whatever the reason, it could mean a lot to those who take part in this experience.

Abigale Whitock (Persephane) talks about her experience of having a family  and why she decided to have a familyWitlock family in the virtual world of SL, “The reason for me is pretty simple, I can’t have children in real life any more and I wanted a good experience. When we got together in real life,  we met in Second Life and we brought the relationship into real life, we weren’t married and I got pregnant young. My pregnancy was fairly normal, the only issue I had was that I was sick more than other women at pregnancy. I spent a lot of time in hospital when I was 7 months pregnant started to feel pain that got worse over time. I went to see the doctor but he told me that it was just back pain and I went home. 2 days later, in the early morning, I felt worse and my water broke. After that it went down hill. 3 days later I gave birth to a daughter and after five minutes she was gone.

I’m not sure when we decided to try Second Life pregnancy, we just always wanted children and our  second life always reflected our real life, so we adopted in world and in real life we’re currently going through the same process.

My husband and I went through the complete nine months, getting pregnant through insemination. I looked for the perfect pregnancy HUD settling on one called Pooterbelt. We also spent some time looking for a good clinic, we eventually settled on a clinic called “First Choice Medical Center” where we found the doctors to be nice and offer a lot of fun ‘treatments’ such as Lamaze , weekly checks and ultrasounds as well as Yoga. They also have emergency support and other great things although we didn’t have much time to do everything.

While pregnant, we did everything we would have done in real life, from shopping to going to Lamaze classes. I think we probably did everything differently than other people, normally they’d go through a pregnancy for about three months tops but we wanted it to be as close to the real thing as possible and doing that here gave us the experience we were looking for.

Since then our SL family has grown, along with our Zooby baby, five more have joined us, we have also adopted several child avatars although one is still around and he’s been with us for almost a year.

Second Life can never replace or correct what happened to us. It did give us what we were looking for, it made us, along with our experiences in real life, strong as a family and a couple.”

She closes the interview with her own set of tips: “ If I were give advice to those are interested in having a Family in Second Life, I would say this: if you are with a partner, discuss it with them, look for a clinic that works for you as well as babies that work for you. Be careful when adopting child avatars, some of them are great but like everything else there is the odd one that can be  just horrible.”

With everything we write about at the Torch SL Guide we always state that your experience will vary, this is one of those articles. As I stated before, everyone has their experience for different reasons and before you decide whether or not it is weird, look into it, talk to the people around you who have experienced it and give it a go yourself, because you’ll never now what you might find.

Why do we do it all? Because its one out of thousands of  brilliant experiences that Second Life and other virtual worlds have to offer us.

Whitlock Family

Dedicated to the loving memory of Elizabeth Whitlock

Pictures by: The Whitlock Family

Jobs in Second Life: Doctor

Name: Reba SilversmithReba Silversmith

Job Title: Physician

Rezday : 10/07/09

How long have you been in Second Life? almost 4 1/2 year ( prior avatar)

What is your job? How long have you been doing it? I am a Doctor at a Maternity Clinic on and off for 2 years

A little back ground of you place of work.  What do they do? How long have been doing it for?  We are maternity doctors with real life medical back grounds. We are not real life doctors but we have worked as nurses or nursing assistants in the medical profession.

How did you get into that field of work? Well I always found that the clinic was filled with great people and it was something I knew I would enjoy doing with in Second Life more than anything else i had done in the past.

Do you need any specific requirements to do what you do? The owner of the clinic requires us to have real life medical backgrounds. Other Clinics may vary.

Do you have a regular salary? If so how much is that? I do have a regular salary but the amount I wish to be kept to myself.

 Do you have any tips or words of wisdom to give newbies who are interested in doing your job? Have lots of patients (no pun intended). Have a loving nature, be respectful of others.

Types of Nekos

Types of Nekos

The lifestyle of being a neko is not an easy one, in fact being a neko is just like being a cat in the Real World. Keep in mind that because neko’s are so popular it has become very difficult to make a person stand out from the crowd because like cats in RL there are so many different ones out there to choose from and even then it also means that showing off unique you are is even more difficult. Below you will find a small list of some of the types of nekos there are out there.

First off there are the Steam Punk type nekos, who are much like the more modern version of the Victorian style clothing and have a bit more rustic look. It can sometimes be looked at as a as a modern cowboy/cowgirl style. It is simple to find things to wear in the online marketplace you can search for steam punk, Victorian, or even neko steam punk. These are just examples of ways to find great outfits.

The next great version of the neko is the fantastic post- apocalyptic type neko, who runs around with a mask on their faces because they cannot breathe the air. These type are often seen with grudge style clothing and will have tattoos and blood on them. Often they are wearing clothing that is torn, blood stained, and looking dirty. The best way to find these kinds of neko outfits is to look at the marketplace online and search just simply neko; this will give you the biggest variety that you can find on the marketplace.

The last one well discuss for this article is the cutesy type neko, these are typically children and can come a variety of different look from the dark and scary to the lovable little kittens many peoples see in Second Life. These little guys come in all kinds of shapes and designs with a number of different colors. The reason these are most often children is because they are often shown as much smaller than most other nekos and are often mistaken as a child av as well.  The best way to find these cute little guys on the Marketplace is to search under child neko, tiny neko, or just neko and weed them out for yourself.

These are the three most popular one that I have personally found and hope you enjoyed the little introduction on the styles. This article will have one more follow up for all those out there that have questions and need them answered please feel free to comment on this post or drop me a notecard or IM and I will post responses in my next article. I am planning on creating a few more articles for this series of articles on nekos but I need all my readers to take the time to let me know what you want to hear about. Thanks everyone, KittySmiles Soulstar, I hope you have enjoyed the articles so far.

Roleplaying in Second Life: Crack Den

Crack Den is the name of an urban role-play community, set in the fictional city of Hathian in present day NewCrack Den_003 Orleans. Hathian is filled with crime, back alley bar fights, strip clubs and dirty dealings. This community gives residents a realistic experience embedded in different aspects such as a college named Columtreal University, a newspaper called Hathian Observer and the ability to “call” the police as well as another emergency services.  The  portrayal of a real broken down society is what makes Crack Den an amazing spot to role-play in Second Life.

Crack Den is a part of Alterscape, a network of communities in Second Life, that focuses on urban and realistic role-plays. 

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Not only does Alterscape cater to Second Life adults but also to Second Life kids and teens, with their university and elementary school.

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Crack Den gives step by step introductions on how to join the Hathian community as well as how to become different roles such as Victim, Deviant, Citizen and more important roles such as Police, Medical Staff and Fire fighters.

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One of the many establishments in Hathian that offer role-play jobs to its residents. The information on how to apply for job roles are located on the Hathian Observer website but you will need to be accepted to be a Citizen. Once you are  you can also walk into any store or bar and click the ‘Help Wanted’ signs.

 

If I were to review this place, I would say that there is little to nothing wrong with Crack Den. Everyone is always willing to role-play, even if it is just about going to the local pub to get a couple of drinks. There are always people  there, it is very rare that you find the place empty. OK, there is one thing that might be wrong with Crack Den, and that is the lag, but that isn’t really their fault. Please note that Crack Den does have quite a bit of adult oriented role-plays going on there so if you are easily offended by seeing things such as, stripping, foul language, sex, drugs and everything else, don’t visit. If you aren’t offended by it, then have fun.

To Learn more about Crack Den or Alterscape and its different communities head over to their website.

Introduction to Kidz Korner: Kimka Fralto

family photo_001My name is KimKa.  I play a five (almost six!) year old on Second Life.  I have been a child for about a year now.
I chose to be a child in Second Life for a few reasons.  One reason was my desire for a family.  In RL (real life) I have been an orphan for a long time.  I don’t have much family that is alive.  I missed the bond that can only be explained as family.  I especially missed having parents.  Also, I am disabled.  Due to my disability, I function better as a child.
There are many ups and downs to being a child  in Second Life.  I will give a brief overview of some of these for you now, and more to come in a later article! 
I’ll start with a few of the negatives.  I have had to deal with rude people who, as an example, feel anyone playing  the game as a child is a freak.  There have been griefers (people who actually try to make you miserable enough to quit).  There have been failed families, inworld financial difficulties, moves, sibling rivalry and jealousy, abuse and neglect.  Life is not always fair or easy in either Real Life or Second Life.  These are things you may have to deal with if you choose to play as a child in Second Life.
There are some amazing positives, though.  There are parents, grandparents, siblings and friends.  There are hugs, kisses, playtime, being read to and tucked in at night.  There is the feeling of knowing someone cares about you and will be there for you.  There are fun places to go.  There are even schools to attend. Wait, shouldn’t that be a negative?  There are homes, hobbies and pets.  The list just keeps going on … trust me. 
Life as a child in Second Life is not always easy or perfect.  It can have some amazing rewards, though.  If you choose to be a child in Second Life, please do so with your eyes open.  It won’t always be sunshine and roses.  I ask you this, though, how do you truly appreciate the good if you don’t also experience a little bit of bad?

I hope that this has helped you in your decision making process.  It is a difficult and serious decision to make.  I wish you the best of luck in Second Life, whether you choose to be a kid, an adult, or a robot (or something else entirely!)

Roleplaying in Second Life: Meet Elizabeth Morgan and the Isle of Dee

Elizabeth steps out of the new home she now shares with her Lord Morrice, their journey was long and tiring but

Home of Elizabeth and Morrice

sure enough they made it  as far as their legs could carry them. They had settled on the Isle of Dee a calm and serene medieval city and quickly found a home in the St. Vitus Village.

While her lord is away working for a few shillings and pence. Elizabeth wonders alone in this new strange yet peaceful place. She journeys into the city, making her way to the tavern she looks around inspecting the old buildings of Dee. The sound of horses, birds and other wild life fills the quiet air. And as she settles into a seat at the tavern she meets several of the locals. Over the topic of pancakes she meets an elf, Runa tel’taur, Cora of the wilds, Tari of the Hini Tel’kemen’Fae and later the mate of Runa, Gideon Drascol who watches over the city from the Tavern rooftop.

Roleplaying in Second Life is an experience that can not be explained in a few words, but experience for yourself. Therefore I have created Elizabeth

Elizabeth Morgan: Servant Of Oxenstierna

Morgan, former servant of a Swedish Noble family known as the Oxenstierna af Södermöre, in medieval Sweden. She and her lover, a son of the Oxenstierna, fled to England in hopes that their love would go unchanged by any one, whom at that time thought it would be forbidden. Cheesy I know, but to keep things authentic and accurate a certain story had to be created.

Isle of Dee is sim dedicated medieval England and give you a sense of being a part of that era. Evolving from a residential sim the community is today.   Runa have

Runa tel'taur, Cora of the wilds, Tari of the Hini Tel'kemen'Fae

been a part of Dee since its beginning while her partner Gideon joined last October and take on the roles of Elves, who reside in the forests of Dee. Runa also known as Alrunia Ahn, comments about her time as part of the community, ” Originally Dee was a rental sim. I came for it said ” medieval” and rented a parcel for my first main store. Mandragora. Then after a while I contacted the owner with suggestions regarding sim design and started in the non rented parts to change the landscape… and then the tenants that been interested started to meet every monday to plan “mischief ” and we came up with the vision of what Dee may become …. and when Ginny started to show her amazing  building skills and to be of the very same mindset than me the story started :).”

There are many aspects of Dee from newcomers friendly adventures, to the different races and over the next few weeks, as Elizabeth Morgan, I will document my experience in this amazing sim and those who call the Isle of Dee home.

Izzie Morgan

Picture provided by Runa