Lab revamps Linden Realms in Second Life

The flames of Linden Realms

Linden Realms, first introduced by the Lab in 2011, has proven surprisingly popular among residents. An early example of the Lab’s (then) nascent experience tools, the appeal of the game is – in part at least – its relative simplicity (coupled with the Linden Dollar rewards). In short, players are delivered to a 12-region location (there are several – all identical – on the grid) – where they can receive a game HUD and instructions. Then it is a case of running around the landscape collecting crystals which can be exchanged for Linden Dollars.

Crystals come in three colours, reflecting their rarity  / value, and they can be collected by running over them. However, this being a game means there are a range of hazards – from the rock monsters patrolled the regions and which will chase you if you get too close, through to toxic waters, fireball-spewing rock carvings, treacherous caverns and so on. However, no-one actually dies from these hazards – being “caught” by any of them will lead to players being teleported to one of several “resurrection circles” (generally the one closest to the point where they were “caught”), and then they can resume the game. Or those are the basics.

Linden Realms: the threats are still there, despite the flames

The game has been tweaked a few times along the way (such as being opened to all SL users a month after it opened, rather than remaining Premium-only), and on Thursday, March 15th, the Lab announced the latest of these tweaks: a new fiery look for the Realm regions. In a very brief back story, it seems the wicked Ruth (she of the villainy in Tyrah and the Curse of the Magical Glytches – see my review here) has used Magellan Linden’s coffin (launched into space as part of the prologue to the Tyrah story), to divert a comet so it has crashed on the Realms, leaving them in flames (technically, it should have flattened them, but I’ll push the space fan in me to one side 🙂 ).

From the  – admittedly brief – time I spent there, game play is still the same as previously, just now within a lurid,  smoky-orange environment where trees and building equally burn. How long it will remain so is hard to say, but right now, and allowing for the aforementioned point that Linden Realms has retained popularity through the last 6+ years, the new look and feel does appear to be attracting the curious and encouraging them to play.

Should you opt to renew your acquaintance with Linden Realms (or even hop over to play it for the first time), don’t forget that the regions are also available for the capture of Glytches from Tyrah and the Curse of the Magical Glytches mentioned above. Just be sure to wear your Tyrah HUD and Glytch capture weapon at the ready, as the note in local chat reminds you on first arriving within the Linden Realms regions:

If you would like to play Tyrah and the Curse of the Magical Glytches on this parcel (and many others) you need to be wearing a HUD and a weapon for collecting Glytches. If you do not have a HUD or weapons for collecting the Glytches, you can collect them from Hartyshire (144,126,23). You can read more about the game Tyrah and the Curse of the Magical Glytches at this URL: https://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:TCMG.

Glytches are also in Linden Realms, and can be hunted and caught is you’re wearing the Tyrah and the Curse of the Magical Glytches HUD (the Glytches will ignore you if you don’t)

And happy hunting, whether it is for crystals or Glytches – or both.

Linden Realms, Tyrah and other Linden-created destinations can be reached via the Portal Parks:

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The poet and the Prince of Denmark in Second Life

La Maison d’Aneli – Nino Vichon: Hamlet 5 Scenes

Opening on Thursday, March 15th at La Maison d’Aneli, curated by Aneli Abeyante, are two new exhibitions by three well-known Second Life artists: one by Nino Vichon, and the second by Tutsy Navarathna and JadeYu Fang. They are two very different exhibitions, but they are drawn together through each of them having literary foundations. Both are reached via an initial arrival point, and can be reached via either the teleport disks or by clicking on the artist’s names on the main board (which will also deliver note cards). There’s also a direct drop down to one of the installations.

In Hamlet 5 Scenes, Nino Vichon presents his interpretation of five Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. As Nino points out in his opening notes, we know of three versions of the play have survived through to modern times: the 1623 First Folio edition, considered to be the “definitive” version of the play; and the “First Quarto” (1603, aka “Hamlet Q1”) and “Second Quarto” (1604, aka “Hamlet Q2”).

La Maison d’Aneli – Nino Vichon: Hamlet 5 Scenes

The former of these two Quartos is now widely regarded as the “bad Quarto”, possibly written by an actor who participated in a production of Hamlet. While the Second Quarto is now regarded as an attempt by Shakespeare to published the “full” version of the play (it is some 1600 lines longer than the First Quarto) to set the record straight. In support of this, historian point to the title page of the Second Quarto stating that it is “Newly imprinted and enlarged to almost as much againe as it was, according to the true and perfect coppie.”

For his part, Nino takes these three versions as the leaping-off point for imaging Shakespeare within his study, struggling over the play, writing and revising it. For the purposes of the piece, we are Shakespeare, invited to take a seat – in turn – in each of the five chairs ranged around a central table. Each chair represents a specific element of the play, which we see through the playwright’s eyes, as it were, as he contemplates each.

La Maison d’Aneli – Nino Vichon: Hamlet 5 Scenes

For this to work. make sure your camera is not free-flying when sitting in a chair (hit ESC before sitting in each one). This will allow the act of sitting to take control of your camera and focus it on each scene. The chairs should be occupied in numerical order (each has a number visible on its upholstery), so that the scenes can be seen chronologically in reference to the play.

These scenes start with the sightings of the ghost of Hamlet’s father which set the events of the tragedy in motion, and conclude with Hamlet’s encounter with the skull of a jester he knew in his childhood (“Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a thousand times.” Between there sit the famous soliloquy, the murder of Polonius and the death of Ophelia. Modelled in 3D , using a mix of mesh and particles to achieve their effect, each offers unique view on the aspects of the play it represents, while the liner notes accompanying the installation offer further context, should it be needed.

La Maison d’Aneli: Tutsy Navarathna and JadeYu Fang – Bring Me Your love

For Bring Me Your Love, Tutsy and JadeYu present a tribute to the German-American poet, novelist, and short story writer Henry Charles Bukowski (born Heinrich Karl Bukowski; August 16th, 1920 – March 9th, 1994). The title of the installation is taken from Bukowski’s 1983 short story of the same name, illustrated by Robert Crumb.

This installation brings together images taken from around Second Life together with quotes from Bukowski and excerpts from his writing – poetry and stories. Blunt, at times aggressive in his use of language, Bukowski was forthright in his writings and views, and this is very much reflected in this installation, which is presented as a single piece – art and quotes making up walls and floors. To one side there is an area set aside for sitting and contemplation, complete with a  television set playing a loop of clips of television shows and films for the later decades of Bukoski’s life.  This area is also home to what might be regarded as the bric-a-brac of Bukowski’s life.

La Maison d’Aneli: Tutsy Navarathna and JadeYu Fang – Bring Me Your love

As noted above, these are two very different exhibitions, drawn together through each of them having a literary foundation. Each is individually fascinating, their core subject matter being very different, thus they make an ideal complimentary visit.

Slurl Details

VWBPE 2018: March 15th-17th – preview

VWBPE 2018

The 2018 Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) conference takes place between Thursday, March 15th and Saturday March 17th, 2018 inclusive. A grass-roots community event focusing on education in immersive virtual environments, VWBPE attracts 2200-3500 educational professionals from around the world each year.

I recently gave a brief overview of this year’s conference at the end of February, so this piece is intended to provide a little more meat for potential visitors.

As with recent years, the conference is focused on the 8 core VWBPE regions in Second Life, centred on the VWBPE Gateway.

Event Calendar

The best way to keep abreast of the full schedule is via the VWBPE 2018 event calendar. By default, this displayed in posterboard (shown below), but can easily be switched to agenda, month or stream views via the drop-down menu in the top right corner. Individual events can also be added to a number of personal calendars – Google, Outlook, Apple – making it even easier for attendees to track the events and activities they particularly want to attend at this year’s conference.

Use the drop-down at the top right of the VWBPE event calendar if you’d prefer to see it displayed in other formats

Note: event details pages in the calendar include a “Where” item with an apparent SLurl. These links tend to open a further copy of the event details page, rather than provide a SLurl map page. Instead, and where provided, use the “location” SLurl at the bottom of event pages for direct access to the location via a SLurl map page OR note the location name and use the event Teleport HUD in-world – see below for more.

Event Selection

The following is a (personal) selection of events those curious about VWBPE 2018 might want to attend:

Thursday March 15th

All times SLT

VWBPE 2018: Main Auditorium

Friday March 16th

  • 06:00-07:00: Morning Meet and Greet: meet VWBPE staff and volunteers, have your questions about events and the schedule answered and meet other attendees at the Social Area.
  • 11:00 – 12:00 noon: keynote: Bryan Alexander, Education Futurist: VRevolution calls for a new digital literacy at the Main Auditorium.
  • Social event highlights:
    • 12:00 noon – 13:00: Live Music with Keeba Tammas and her backup band, “The Tiny Maniacs” at the Social Area.
    • 14:00-14:50: Under the Sea Adventure: explore the beautiful underwater area of the social sim and become a mermaid or merman. Under the Social Area.

Saturday, March 17th

  • 07:00-08:00: Morning Meet and Greet: meet VWBPE staff and volunteers, have your questions about events and the schedule answered and meet other attendees at the Social Area.
  • 08:00-09:00: Blending VWs & Digital Tech. in Language Teaching: teaching immersive English literature by blending 3D worlds, machinima and other external digital tools. At Lecture Area A.
  • 12:00 noon – 13:00: Liberate Agency Amplification Via Avatar Identity: at Lecture Area B.
  • 16:00-17:00: Waiting for the VR Evolution: for many who have embraced change and have been early adopters, waiting for the rest of the world to catch up has not been easy. A discussion at the Quadrivium.
  • 18:00-19:00: VWBPE 2018 Closing Ceremony at the Main Auditorium.
  • Social event highlights:
    • 13:00-14:00: Games and Fun on the Social Plaza.
    • 17:00-18:00: Live Music with Nina Bing at the Main Auditorium.
    • 19:00-21:30: Music and Dancing featuring Lightning Production’s U2 Tribute Concert. In honour of St Patrick’s Day (19:00-20:00) followed by DJ Coz Okelly 20:00-21:30). All at the Social Area.
VWBPE 2018 Quadrivium

Getting About

VWBPE takes place across 8 regions (including the exhibitors spaces). While exploring on foot is fun, the quickest way to get to event / activity venues is via the VWBPE Teleport HUD, which can be obtained from the vendors at the VWBPE Gateway.

Simply ADD the HUD to your screen and click it when needed to open a dialogue box listing the key locations in the VWBPE regions. Click on the location you require to open the World Map with the location marked. Click on Teleport on the World Map to TP to the location. Simples!

The VWBPE Teleport HUD – click the HUD to display a dialogue box of destination in the VWBPE 2018 regions (appear top right of your screen). Click the desired destination to display it on the World Map, then click the Map’s teleport button to go to the location.

About VWBPE

VWBPE is a global grass-roots community event focusing on education in immersive virtual environments which attracts over 2,000 educational professionals from around the world each year, who participate in 150-200 on-line presentations including theoretical research, application of best practices, virtual world tours, hands-on workshops, discussion panels, machinima presentations, and poster exhibits.

In the context of the conference, a “virtual world” is an on-line community through which users can interact with one another and use and create ideas irrespective of time and space. As such, typical examples include Second Life, OpenSimulator, Unity, World of Warcraft, Eve Online, and so on, as well as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest or any virtual environments characterised by an open social presence and in which the direction of the platform’s evolution is manifest in the community.

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