Lab launches Authorised L$ Resellers

Update: May 18th: Podex and Gyndex have indicated they have applied for Authorised Reseller status with Linden Lab.

Upate May 17th: Gwyneth Llewellyn provides an analysis of LL’s move – very much worth a read.

secondlifeLinden Lab has issued a further statement on the recent changes to the Second Life Terms of Service relating to the buying and selling of Linden Dollars.

The blog post, which covers the fact that Linden Dollars can be purchased via credit card in using some 27 currencies and which includes the Lab’s “Getting and Spending Linden Dollars” Quicktips video, reveals that the Lab is launching a new programme of “Authorised Resellers” of Linden Dollars – a move which is likely to spake the most reaction.

The post reads in part::

Now, to give users more options and make it easier to purchase L$, we’re launching a pilot program of Authorized Resellers of L$. These sites are authorized by Linden Lab to purchase L$ on the LindeX and then resell those L$ using a variety of international currencies and payment methods. To be clear: per the Terms of Service, these resellers will not be allowed to purchase L$ outside of the LindeX (i.e. they will not be able to buy L$ back from users and cash people out). The list of Authorized Resellers participating in the pilot program is available here.

 If you would like to receive an application to the program when it formally launches, please send an email to LDollarSeller@lindenlab.com.

The initial list of Authorised Resellers comprises AnsheX, Buildo, VForEx Inc, VirWoX, and Zoha Islands, with more potentially to be added to the scheme – there is an invitation for other exchanges wishing to join the programme to e-mail Linden Lab.

The full terms and conditions for the new programme can be found on the SL wiki.

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The Drax Files 6: An animated Second Life

The sixth episode (webisode?) of The Drax Files come relatively close to home for me, as the focus of the segment is Edinburgh, Scotland, where Abramelin Wolfe of Abranimations fame has both his home and his base of operations.

I’d never actually really considered the amount of work which goes into creating in-world animations – or the real-world expense. Obviously, I’m aware that it involves motion-capture and digtising movement, but when hearing how Abramelin’s first motion-capture outfit cost him £14,000 ($21,300), I admit my jaw flapped somewhat.

Going through the mitions: at work
Going through the motions: Abramelin at work

“Body language and human motion is something that we see every day,” Abramelin says, explaining why he started creating animation in Second Life. “If we’re very rigid and not moving, it stands out like a sore thumb; it’s very unnatural, there’s lot’s of subtleties. I mean, if you say to someone ‘stand still’, they’ll probably in their head think that they are rigid and not moving. But in reality, people are actually moving a lot; a subtle shake of arms and the way that weight displaces. So I think that by having a very fluid motion which is very life-like helps people feel immersed in that universe.”

Operating their business out of Edinburgh, Abramelin and his wife focus on Second Life as their primary market, producing not only animations, but also a range of avatars and other creations, very much working as a team; he creates the animations and rigs them, she creates the avatars.

Abramelin and his wife in Edinburgh
Abramelin and his wife in Edinburgh

Abramelin very much regards Second Life as a frontier and those using it as pioneers.

“It’s such a world of possibilities for invention and innovation,” he says, still as enthusiastic and engaged with the platform as when he started in 2004. “Pioneers? Yeah! We want a universe we can step into and actually be there!”

Animations are something almost all of us use in SL, yet we perhaps seldom give any of the creative process which goes into them more than a passing thought; as such this segment serves as a fascinating insight into a brand which is something of an SL household name (my very first AO was from Abranimations!), and on the entire creative process involved in developing life-like animations – as well as yet another look through the eyes of others at why Second Life is so engaging.

A Conversation with Drax (part 2)

The Drax Files have taken Second Life by storm. After seeing the first segment, I took time out with Drax to find out more about the man behind the show and also about the series itself. In the first part of our conversation, we discussed what led to the creation of The Drax Files and how reaction to the series has affected him before touching on future plans – which is the starting point for continuing our chat.

Inara Pey (IP): The current series has focused very much on content creation, covering the work of some of the top content creation merchants, and the use of SL to create immersive environments such as the 1920s Berlin Project. You’ve more recently moved on to look at SL as a means of global action with the very excellent piece on Fantasy Faire and Relay for Life, and also examined music and live performance in SL.  In the past, you’ve also looked at art and design – I’m thinking here specifically about your piece from November 2011 on IDIALAB at Ball State Uni, Nov 2011. Did you opt to tackle content creation first, as you felt it was a better means of helping people grasp the potential of SL, and where might we be seeing future segments of the show going?

Draxtor Despres (DD): Oh, the Art and Design thing! That was basically a one-off thing back then. It was a great project with IDIALAB. I just called it “The Drax Files”, a play on “The X Files” and it was fun. But yeah, the initial approach with content creation was to grasp the potential of SL for an audience outside of SL.

Continue reading “The Drax Files 6: An animated Second Life”