Cica’s Prison in Second Life

Prison by Cica Ghost

Prison by Cica Ghost

Prison is the title of Cica Ghost’s latest full sim installation in Second Life. It opened on Sunday, October 11th, and it is a most curious piece.

On an island bathed in Cica’s familiar muted windlight settings sits what at first glance might seem to be a giant construction site. Great walls of steel bars rise into the air to cross hatch the sky like some enormous scaffolds, or steel reinforcements missing their concrete sheaths. Only the title of the installation reveals them to be what they are: the “walls” of a “prison”. But what kind of prison is open the sky, and has multiple exits to the outside world, all of which open on demand from those within?

Prison by Cica Ghost

Prison by Cica Ghost

“In this prison, all the doors will open for you, and you’ll be able to escape at any time,” Cica says of the installation. “But you won’t feel like going away. And even when you finally leave, you will want to come back.”

And so it is; step through the first door (you may need to touch it up close to get it to open), and you’ll find yourself in something of an open maze with no single defined path through it. Instead, any number of routes through the metal doors may lead you back outside; and once there, you most likely will return inside again and trace another path through the maze, and then possibly another and another.

Prison by Cica Ghost

Prison by Cica Ghost

Is there meaning or metaphor here? Perhaps, or perhaps not. Maybe the piece is a commentary on the many paths and choices we face as we travel through life. Or perhaps a metaphor for life as a learning process: we attempt this or that, find it doesn’t lead us to here we wish to be, so we go back and try a different route.

Or perhaps Cica is simply enticing us with a little game. That there is no deeper meaning other than the desire to sate our curiosity as we seek various routes through the prison’s maze; it’s all in fun. And perhaps that’s why the crows we encounter along the way all cock their heads towards us, as we pass, what seem to be knowing grins on their beaks.

Prison by Cica Ghost

Prison by Cica Ghost

The only way to perhaps find out is to pay a visit for yourself.

SLurl Details

Crossing Sands in Second Life

Crossing Sands; Inara Pey, October 2015, on Flickr Crossing Sands Marina (Flickr) – click any image for full size

Fellow Brit Geoff Qunnell posted an image of his club and boat slips at Richmond Landing, which forms a part of the Crossing Sands community and estate, and it served to remind me that while I started exploring the estate earlier in the year, I never actually got around t completing my explorations or blogging about them. So I set out to put matters to right.

Operated and managed by Little Anwyl (LittleUnicorn Meredith) and her partner Q Anwyl (Kejwla Anwyl), Crossing Sands is an estate of 32 regions, mostly residential homesteads, which have been designed as a themed estate with a distinctly Californian tone to it. Community focused, it offers a range of attractions to residents and visitors alike, including motorbike and car racing tracks (one at ground level, the rest up in the air and reached via the teleport stations to be found around the estate),  driving, boating and flying.

Crossing Sands; Inara Pey, October 2015, on Flickr Richmond Landing at Crossing Sands (Flickr)

As it had been several months since my initial visit, I decided to initially re-acquaint myself with the estate by flying out of the local airport  and seeing what had changed since my initial visit (this also gave me the opportunity to try the air racing course!). After this, and on my return to the airport, I took to the road in my trusty (if now a little old and in need of a mesh replacement) 435 GT.

Driving around the estate is another excellent way of finding out about what there is to see and do. The road system connects all of the regions in the estate, using both bridges and tunnels to span the waterways between the various parts of the estate. A drive also helps to get a feel for the various styles of housing used within the estate and what will fit with the theme if you’re interested in becoming a part of the community. It’s also a good way to meet some of the locals.

Crossing Sands; Inara Pey, October 2015, on Flickr Touching down at the airport serving Crossing Sands (Flickr)

For those who like to take to the water, sailing and boating is easily accomplished. There are numerous places where boats can be rezzed. I opted to use the Crossing Sands marina for my explorations on the water, which I’m also using as the main SLurl in this article. Do be warned, however, that the bridges in the estate don’t open, so you’ll need to have non-physical masts to safely pass under them if sailing.

The “downtown” areas of the estate are suitably urban in nature, and given the road system that’s available, it should come as no surprise that there are a number of car dealerships to be found here, alongside smaller business districts, such as Richmond Landing. A number of clubs can be found within the estate, offering social opportunities, as well as attractions such as 10-pin bowling and hang gliding.

Crossing Sands; Inara Pey, October 2015, on Flickr Crossing Sands (Flickr) – click any image for full size

Should you be interested in renting a parcel or beach house at Crossing Sands, a good place to start is the rental office, located across from the marina I mentioned above. The parcels are all of a generous size, while for those needing a smaller place to call home, the beach houses might be a suitable option.

Whether you looking for somewhere to put down roots in SL, or enjoy exploring themed communities, Crossing Sands is well worth a visit. Should you do so, be aware that although many of the regions are rated Adult, this is not actually indicative of overt adult activities taking place in any of them.

SLurl Details

Folkboat racing in Second Life

Second Life International Folkboat Fleet races at Skagway

Second Life International Folkboat Fleet (SLIFF) races start from the SLIFF HQ in Skagway, Blake Passage most Sundays

While I enjoy sailing in Second Life, having my own Loonetta 31, I’ve admittedly never really taken a close look at sail racing. So, when MarkTwain White recently invited me to observe the weekly Folkboat races which take place around the islands of Blake Passage on most Sundays, I was curious to learn more.

First up, a little bit of background. Folkboats – also called Nordic Folkboats – are a class of sloop-rigged sailing boats some 7.68 metres (25 feet) in length. They came about as a result of a 1942 competition organised by the Scandinavian Yacht Racing Union for a low-cost, easy to sail boat. While there was no outright winner, the competition organisers took the best features of several of the submissions and commissioned Tord Sundén to design a boat incorporating the ideas whilst meeting the goals of the competition. In the 70 years since the design first took to the water, the Folkboat has  gained global popularity as both a racing boat and cruising yacht.

The SLIFF Headquarters, where information on races can be obtained

The SLIFF Headquarters in-world

In Second Life, the Folkboat has been beautifully reproduced by Analyse Dean in the form of the Bandit IF, which is available through her in-world store and via the Marketplace. Sine its introduction, the Bandit IF has become extremely popular in Second Life, and in recognition of this, the free-to-join SL Folkboat Fleet (SLIFF) group has been created to keep owners advised of Folkboat events and activities, and the Second Life International Flokboat Fleet headquarters has been established in-world at Skagway in Blake Passage, where the Alaskan setting of the regions is in keeping with the Nordic origins of the boat.

It is from the SLIFF HQ at Skagway that the weekly races are run. These are open to anyone owning the Bandit IF, and information on the races is posted through the SLIFF sub-forum available on Virtual World Sailing, together with information on other activities and on the boats themselves. The first race starts at around 07:00 SLT on race days, but participants are asked to turn up about 15 minutes ahead of this, so a count of racers can be taken and heats arranged. A nearby boathouse roof offers a spectator’s stand, providing a good view over the start / finish line.

Folkboats head out to position themselves for the start of a race

Folkboats head out to position themselves for the start of a race

There are a number of race courses used during events, and map of these are available at the SLIFF headquarters. A typical race session will see heats take place around one of the courses, with the winners going forward to a final race against one another, possibly around a different course.

Each race lasts around 20 minutes, and starts with contestants putting to water as the clock counts up towards zero, and the start of the race proper. During this time, the boats can be seen manoeuvring for position in order to get across the start line as quickly as possible as zero is reached, and the clock starts counting the race elapsed time. This actually requires some skill, and a couple of people in the races I watched handicapped themselves somewhat by sailing a considerable distance from the start line before looping back, the clock already running and their competitors well ahead of them.

Another heat gets underway ...

And the race gets underway.

Following a race can be difficult given the distances involved and the capabilities of your computer. I did attempt to follow the boats for part of the course using flycam mode and my Space Navigator, but the best way to enjoy things is to watch the boats head out over the start line and sail away into the distance, then wait to see which is the first to reappear around the islands and race for the line.

As the Bandit IF can be actively crewed by 2 people, the races can made for a fun shared activity, and the races I witnessed had several couples taking part. Conversation around the spectator areas is lively as well, with those awaiting their heat adding to the general chatter and greeting visitors.

Crossing the line

Crossing the line

In addition to hosting the races, the SLIFF also hosts sailing classes for those new to the Folkboat or who have one but don’t feel confident enough in their skills with it to enter a race. Details of classes are again posted through the SLIFF sub-forum at Virtual World Sailing.

In the meantime, if you are a Bandit  IF owner, and haven’t tried your hand at the races, why not hop over the SLIFF HQ one Sunday and take a peek at activities for yourself?

Related Links

My thanks to MarkTwain White for the invitation to witness the races, and to Mark and Nber Medici for their input to this article.

2015 viewer release summaries: week 41

Updates for the week ending Sunday, October 11th

This summary is published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version:, September 29 – no change – download page, release notes
  • Release channel cohorts (See my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Project Azumarill (HTTP updates) RC viewer version released on October 9 – provides improved performance and stability. Impacts include: asset uploads, AISv3 inventory manipulation, VMM, Experience management, LSL compilation, Simhost event polling, etc.  (download and release notes)
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Valhalla (CEF media update) project viewer version released on October 7 – replaces the ageing LLQTWebKit system used in the Web media plugin with a shiny new one based on the Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF) that supports modern web technologies (download and release notes)

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers


  • No Updates.


  • No updates.

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No Updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links