On December 5th, 2015, I reached my ninth anniversary of continuous activity in Second Life. That’s 3,287 days. On my eighth anniversary, I was able to note a lot of significant events having occurred between it and my 7th. This year things have been a little quieter of late, although the first half of the year saw a lot going on SL-wise, which kept me busy with the blog. We’ve also seen more news emerge about the Lab’s new virtual spaces / worlds / experiences platform, including its code-name. The latter has led to understandable doubt, uncertainty and concern for many, although some of the accompanying levels of vitriol and accusations have been a tad OTT.
My own rate of blogging has also slowed somewhat when I compare 2015 with 2014. There are a fair few reasons for this, both outside and inside of my virtual worlds time. Even so, I’ve tried to keep abreast of all that’s been going on, particularly within Second Life, and I’d again like to thank everyone who takes the time to come here and read the articles, reports and reviews.
The year has seen me become more deeply immersed in virtual world art. Most notably, I was invited to become an contributing writer for Windlight Magazine, and I’ve been asked to show my SL images in a number of art events, including developing a full sim installation at the LEA.
The latter was exceptionally daunting, given it was something well outside my comfort zone; I don’t for a minute consider myself an artist or creator in any capacity. But it was also fun – and more to the point, allowed me to bring the work of CioTToLiNa Xue, through her beautiful mesh sculptures and her art, more fully into the public eye. She has tremendous talent, and I genuinely hope more galleries will seek her out.
I’ve also recently taken up the post (and challenge!) of curating art at Holly Kai Park. Again, I’m not familiar with running art exhibition spaces, so there has been a rapid learning curve for me, coupled with putting together a supporting website, as well as the need to gently re-work elements of the park and build a new venue. All of this has been keeping me fairly busy of late!
Of course, I’ve kept up with flying and boating in SL. I’ve become particularly attached to my little AD25H Little Bee tender-style speedboat, developed by Ape Piaggio, and which I personally feel is the best SL boat in its class. I’ve also become a firm fan of DSA aircraft, with three either in my inventory or moored at home. The ability to swap these ‘planes between conventional wheels and floats makes them ideal for island living. VetronUK also does some superb materials paint kits and script options which really bring DSA aircraft to life.
But it is the area of friendships and relationships where 2015 has been most rewarding. I’ve met a host of people through the year, and while it is somewhat unfair to single out just one or two, I can’t write about 2015 without mentioning John, who not only offered me the opportunity to write for Windlight Magazine, but who has also been hugely encouraging and supportive through the year, and is himself a powerhouse of talent and generosity. He and his partner Emma have brought together some remarkable talent through both Windlight Magazine and Team Diabetes of SL, and I’m honoured to be a small part of things, and greatly appreciative of their friendship.
Most of all, however, I cannot let this article pass without mention of Caitlyn. The past few months have been a whirlwind of renewed pleasure in my time in-world, and an opportunity to share time in so many special ways, be it exploring together, re-working the island and house together, loitering in galleries together or simply spending the time sitting and chatting together. I’m not sure quite when I’ve smiled so much; thank you, Caitlyn.