Linden Lab announces the “Second Life University”

via Linden Lab

Encouraging and supporting new users in order to grow the active Second Life user base has been specified as a key goal for the Lab for the past 15-18 months.

Some of this work has already been seen with a further iteration of the Welcome Islands (see: Poking at the new Welcome Islands), with it being indicated that more is to come, together with an overhaul of the entire new user experience and the starter avatar system.

On Wednesday, April 6th, the Lab announced a further programme to assist those who may be new to Second Life, and / or are finding it hard to get to grips with a range of aspects of using the viewer and the platform, which they are calling the Second Life University.

Welcome to Second Life University, a new project that aims to teach people all about the vast virtual world of Second Life! 
There are many videos and tutorials out there for Second Life already, including Second Life Tutorials on our YouTube channel as well as those created by our Residents, — and we’d like to consolidate information in one place as well as ensure that all content is up-to-date. We will begin with topics that are particularly relevant for newer users. This is a huge project that will take time, and we’re excited to work on and collaborate with the community to make it easily understandable and fun.

– From the official blog post

To start things off, the Lab will be hosting a livestream event, Viewer Basics, which will stream on You Tube on Thursday, April 7th, 2022 from 14:00 SLT, with the Lab further noting:

After the livestream, we’ll be  posting general notes on topics covered in the video here in text format, too. You can also get written information and assistance from our Knowledge Base and the Community Forums.

Given that trying to locate up-to-date information is often a cause for grumbling, even among established users, this sounds like a worthwhile goal, and I applaud the Lab from attempting to tackle it. However, I do so with one plea: as the idea is to gather all such information “in one place” – then please make sure it is a centralised, easy-to-find resource that is both decently indexed / categorised and properly searchable in its own right, rather than simply lumping /burying it with other options.

Skip Staheli at NovaOwl in Second Life

NovaOwl Gallery: Skip Shaheli, April 2022

NovaOwl is a new gallery space operated by ULi Jansma, Ceakay Ballyhoo & Owl Dragonash within the Mainland community of Novatron on the southern side of Corsica. It opened at the start of April 2022 with an exhibition of art by Skip Staheli, that runs through until late June 2022.

As a part of a broader community, the gallery presents a waterfront location, complete with local boat moorings, an outdoor events area with café bar, opportunities to participate in a fishing contest to music every Monday at noon SLT, while a teleport centre alongside the landing point offers connections to other point of interest on the southern side of the continent.

NovaOwl Gallery: Skip Shaheli, April 2022

The gallery building offers a main events space with a galleries lounge over, with the gallery hall running to one side, from front to rear. For Skip’s exhibition, this has been split into three, each of which with a specific focus for the presented art, which Skip describes thus:

The first room [is] a dark room, inspired by my dark thoughts, my worries and sadness, doubts and sometimes anger; about life and things going on in the world. Raw emotions.
The second room [reached] through a gateway, will bring you to a more mystical ambiance [one] still with a eerie feeling to it. Feel the calm, inhale the scent of fantasy, tiptoe to the little pond. Breathe in and see the fireflies dancing.
The third room will bring you to the light [and] a carefree happy spring feeling. [A place] where you can sit down and enjoy the flowers and tea with cake while your feet can rest and relax in the soft early spring grass. Maybe [you might] think a little about this journey in my head and I hope it can tickle you some, and at least give you a little well-deserved smile.

– Skip Staheli

NovaOwl Gallery: Skip Shaheli, April 2022

The result is three rooms with three distinct, but equally captivating artistic thrusts- although visitors should be aware that the layout of the exhibition space means that the first room to be encountered is actually Skip’s second room, with the first immediately to the right on entering and the third immediately to the left.This tends to interrupt the flow of ideas compared to Skip’s notes, as the mystical setting is the first to be encountered – but it does not alter the fact that across all three halls, Skip presents selections of his art that are richly captivating, each one carrying with it a particular narrative – or narrative themes in the case of some.

In this, I would dispute Skip’s reference to the first hall being about “dark” thoughts per se; both Run! and Tears for Australia speak to a man with a depth of love for nature and for animals that reaches well beyond anger to empathy and desire to help and care – although one can well accept an underlying anger at those who are careless enough to bring about wildfires quite outside of any natural causes of the same.

NovaOwl Gallery: Skip Shaheli, April 2022

The love of animals and nature is reflected in one of the images in the second room, sitting among those that turn more to fantasy for their narrative, and which in turn flow through to the remain hall, where beauty and nature take centre seat. Thus, while the three halls each have their own core ideas, all are joined through the richness of art and thematic flow that passes through all of the pieces presented.

SLurl Details