Fashion Pride: raising funds for the AIDS Committee of Toronto

fashion pride 2014Running from Monday March 10th through until Monday March 17th inclusive, the Fashion Pride Second Life Fundraiser, in association with sponsors RGF Estates, Master S&M Estates and Fire Island, is now raising money for the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT).

The press release for the event reads in part:

HIV and AIDS still impact the lives of millions throughout the world today. Its impact in urban areas is often understated publicly, but the effect it has on those it touches profound, transforming lives, destroying health, and devastating families.

Second Pride, the organization that creates Second Life’s largest pride celebration, is holding a fundraiser for AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT), to raise funds to increase awareness of the disease, assist those living with HIV, and service the community, while researching its impact on various segments of society.

Fashion Pride is an exciting shopping event that will take place from March 10th through March 17th 2014. It will include fabulous shopping, fashion shows, entertainment events, and live music from Tamra Sands to raise funds for both the Second Pride main festival in June and ACT. All proceeds from exclusive items created by designers will go to ACT.

The event region has been generously donated by Marcus Lefevre, and the organisers hope that people from across Second Life will attend. Please refer to the event schedule for details of entertainments planned for the week.

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With thanks to Firestorm and Fashion Pride Second Life.

Paradise Lost: exclusive invitation to bloggers

Basilique-logoI’ve been mentioning the Basilique Performing Arts Company’s upcoming season of  Paradise Lost: The story of Adam and Eve’s original sin, for the last few months, and with good reason: the production is one of the most ambitious and anticipated to be taking place in Second Life.

I most recently posted that curtain up on the premiere performance will take place at 13:00 on Saturday April 5th, 2014, and that such has been the demand for tickets, a second premiere event will taking place on Sunday April 6th at 12:00 noon SLT.


SL bloggers now have the opportunity to see the production ahead of the official opening, at a special invitation-only performance to take place at 13:00 SLT on Saturday, March 29, 2014. Places for the preview are limited, and so early registration is advised, as not everyone who applies may be invited to attend.

As well as possibly receiving an invitation to the preview performance all bloggers registering their interest in attending the event will:

  • Also receive a complimentary ticket to attend a performance of Paradise Lost, complete with audience mesh avatars by Sian Pearl (L$ 1000 value, 50% of which will be donated to the WWF’s Adopt a Gorilla programme sponsoring the welfare of a mountain gorilla)
  • Have access to the Paradise Lost Media Kit which has all the information needed to write a post apart from seeing the show itself!
  • Have their blog listed on the three websites associated with the production and have their name and URL added to the official information kit and programme
  • Be offered the choice of participating in the Paradise Lost Blog Hunt, which runs from April 5th through April 12th, and have their blog details shared among the Basilique’s 2000+ list subscribers.

So, even if you don’t receive an invitation to the preview performance, there are a lot of reasons to register you interest. Make sure you follow the registration link above and apply today!

VWBPE 2014: keynote speakers announced

2014 banner

Join us on April 9 for the start of the 4 day VWBPE conference and our amazing line-up of speakers, panels, workshops, sim demonstrations, poster presentations, and more.  Our conference covers a wide range of subjects concerning virtual worlds and how we use these for education, virtual reality, smart games, arts and science, and the future of technology.

So opens the March 9th announcement for the seventh Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) conference, which will once again be taking place in both Second Life and OSgrid.

Run by educators for educators, and with an annual attendance of some 2,000 people from all around the world, this year’s conference will take place between Wednesday April 9th and Saturday April 12th, 2014 inclusive. The Event schedule is still being developed,  but the conference will commence at 11:00 SLT on Wednesday April 9th, with an informal meet and greet between 12:00 and 13:00, and will close on Saturday April 12th with a special ceremony at 18:00 SLT, followed by a party at 19:00 SLT.

Between these times, there will be between 150 and 200 on-line events, including keynote speakers, presentations, panels, demonstrations, social events and networking opportunities – an appropriate activity, given this year’s theme of “Connections”.

VWBPE banner images (courtesy of VWBPE)
VWBPE banner images (courtesy of VWBPE)

Keynote Speakers

Wednesday April 9th

Thursday April 10th

Friday April 11th

Saturday April 12th

  • 07:00 SLT – David Gibson, Associate Professor at Curtin University in Perth, Australia Design Implications of Game-Based Analyses at the VWBPE Central Auditorium, Second Life
  • 13:00 SLT – Dr. Larysa Nadolny, Assistant Professor, Iowa State University “There’s always room for a virtual zipline”, and other lessons from SciEthics Interactive  at the VWBPE Central Auditorium, Second Life

As well as the keynote presentations, the conference will feature over 70 peer-reviewed papers.

VWBPE 2012 (image courtesy of Linden Lab)

Notes on Attending

The VWBPE conference is free to attend, and those wishing to do so should register via the conference registration page on Eventbrite. Attendees will also need accounts for both Second Life and OSgrid in order to attend all events on both grids.

Sponsorship and Donations

Organisations and individuals wishing to sponsor VWBPE 2014 can do so via the conference’s Indiegogo page. This lists a number of sponsorship options, ranging from $25.00 USD through to $1,500 USD, each level with its own benefits.

Those who prefer to donate to the conference can do so via the conference registration web page.

Follow-up Course

The main conference will be followed by a 3-week Massively Open Online Course (MOOC). This is intended to highlight examples of educational design from many immersive environments. In the past, presentations have included environments such as Club Penguin, Eve Online, World of Warcraft, Spot on 3D, inWorldz, Sococo, and a host of other virtual platforms. Details on the MOOC are generally posted to the VWBPE MOOC website, although information on the activities for 2014 have yet to be posted – check the main VWBPE website for updates.

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Slipping inside the mind of Hieronymus Bosch

The Garden of Earthly Delights, LEA 12, March 2014
The Garden of Earthly Delights, LEA12, March 2014

There have been some ambitious art installations displayed at the LEA; some have been elaborate, some have been fantastical, some have been immersive, some have been mysterious, some have been slightly disturbing, and some have been challenging to the eye and to the mind.

At LEA12, as a part of the Artist in Resident series, theoxyz (Thomm Pye) combines all of the above, from ambitious undertaking through to challenging the eye and the mind, as he seeks to present a 3D interpretation of The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch.

The Garden of Earthly Delights, LEA 12, March 2014
The Garden of Earthly Delights, LEA12, March 2014

The painting, dating from between 1490 and 1510, is regarded as Bosch’s most ambitious complete work, and one which experts and commentators have struggled to interpret over the centuries.

A triptych in form, the original comprises a central square panel with a rectangular “wing” on either side, each of which is hinged to close over the main panel. When closed, these show a grisaille painting of the biblical Creation. When open, the side panels offer two distinct images, the one on the left showing God presenting Eve to Adam, and the one to the right depicting the torments of hell.

The Garden of Earthly Delights, LEA 12, March 2014
The Garden of Earthly Delights, LEA12, March 2014

It is the central, square panel which forms the main focus for the LEA12 installation, and it is also the panel which has caused the most debate among scholars as to its intended meaning. It is believed that the painting is designed to be read from left to right, and so the central panel has most frequently been interpreted as a warning of the perils of temptation. However, it is also seen as possible representation of paradise lost.

Within LEA12, the major elements from this central panel are represented, but so to are elements form the other two panels (perhaps most noticeably the panel on the right), all of which come together to provide a unique interpretation of the original, which is not in any way intended to be an accurate reproduction, as theoxyz points out in the welcoming notes.

There are two structures within the installation which are not a direct part of any interpretation of the painting. The first, reached via steps leading up from the piece, presents a copy of the Bosch’s triptych together with theoxyz’s own interpretation of its meaning, and which also includes pictures of some of the elements of the original alongside images of their representations within the installation. Follow a glass walkway to the second structure, a dome set above a part of the work, and you’ll find links to additional resources about the painting, including a BBC documentary.

The Garden of Earthly Delights, LEA 12, March 2014
The Garden of Earthly Delights, LEA12, March 2014

As noted above, theoxyz indicates that the installation is not intended to be a 3D representation of Bosch’s original piece, but rather a reflection of the painting’s surrealist atmosphere. This is something which is, to my mind at least, achieved in spades.

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