Karma’s Little World in Second Life

Terrygold Art Gallery: Karma Daxeline 

Currently open at Terrygold Art Gallery (TAG), operated and curated by Terrygold, is My Little World, an exhibition by Karma Daxeline (Karma Weymann).

Located within an environment recognisably put together by Terrygold, and which is itself expressively minimalist and softly reflective of the exhibition’s title, give the sense of moving through a unique world, this is a selection of 20 avatar studies by Karma which might be said to offer a journey through her life within Second Life and a reflection of her love of photography (an additional frame within the exhibition offers the opportunity to view further pieces of Karma’s art).

Terrygold Art Gallery: Karma Daxeline 

Each picture offers a vignette; a single-frame story focused on Karma’s avatar. However, these are not your typical avatar-centric stories. Karma has a natural gift for presenting scenes and settings that are at once minimalist in feel and look, yet deeply expressive of mood; that are characteristically atypical of the normal avatar studies so frequently seen, and all the more richer in content and tone for it; and which offer seemingly ordinary activities laced with the more extraordinary sense of humanity, life and – in some – sensuality – which all again reach far beyond the more usual focus of avatar  expressiveness.

Utilising considered angles, focus and cropping, together with a very real understanding of the power of colour mix or monochrome scale, lighting, and use of shadow, all combined with a lightness of post-processing touch, the twenty images resent within My Little World are among the most richly expressive I’ve seen within Second Life, both in terms of the narrative each contains and for the way the pieces individually offer subtle counterpoints of style and idea within them.

Terrygold Art Gallery: Karma Daxeline 

In this, Karma’s art is marvellously supported by the environment Terrygold has provided: the islands of green and autumnal browns, floating as they appear to do within a night sky, suggest moments in time and life, just as do Karma’s surrounding images. And by sitting with those parts of the environment where seating is provided, we can indirectly become a part of Karma’s little world.

When visiting, do make sure you have Advanced Lighting Model enabled (Preference Graphics check Advanced lights Model), and use the teleport disk from the landing point to reach the exhibition space.

Terrygold Art Gallery: Karma Daxeline 

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Premium Plus gains Speedlight benefits & some thoughts

via Linden Lab

On Tuesday, October 4th, Linden Lab announced that Premium Plus members can now leverage the Speedlight client as a part of their Plus benefits.

For those un familiar with Speedlight, it is a client specifically designed for use within browsers and on suitable Android and iOS devices, one I have covered in these pages – although admittedly, not the more recent updates.

Since its inception, SpeedLight has steadily increased the capabilities it offers such that it now includes (but is not limited to) chat, IM, Group chat, inventory management, friends list functions, search options, the ability to switch between devices (on SpeedLight) without having to re-log – and basic 3D world view rendering with avatar movement capabilities. A full list of available features and capabilities is available here.

The core product is offered free-of-charge, albeit it with some limitations (log-in time is limited & requires re-logging every 6 hours). However, there is also a dedicated subscription option called Gold (and quite distinct from the Lab’s Premium Plus), which in turn can be tiered through associated Patreon options to offer additional benefits,

The benefits offered to Premium Plus subscribers have been placed between the existing Free and Gold options offered directly by the SpeedLight team, and are summarised within the Lab’s announcement as:

  • Unlimited online time at SpeedLight.
  • Access to Speedlight’s Advanced 3D World view [the cutting-edge element of Speedlight’s 3D rendering capabilities, offering options and abilities first, some of which may (or may not) eventually filter down to Free accounts].
  • Prioritised support (tickets and live chat).
SpeedLight is now available to Second Life Premium Plus subscribers with special options. Image via Speedlight

Given the frequent calls for the Lab to supply a mobile option for accessing Second Life – particularly since the stagnation of Android-based Lumiya -, and with its multi-platform reach, list of capabilities and a basic world rendering capability, Speedlight does have a lot to offer.

However, I would be remiss if I did not mention the graphics used in the Lab’s announcement. Placing a full-feature in-world image of Second Life on both a laptop and mobile device screen might lead to misguided expectations among some (e.g. users relatively new to SL) that SpeedLight offers the same graphics fidelity as an actual viewer; something the SpeedLight team would be the first to acknowledge is not the case. So perhaps a footnote stating the images are not from SpeedLight might be in order to avoid this and accusations of misrepresentation?

That aside, this is an interesting turn in Premium Plus subscription benefits. Not so much the SpeedLight offer itself, but rather if the move might signal a start of other “partnership benefits” for Plus subscribers – such as with creators / businesses from within SL own ecosystem, or with some of the Lab’s content partners. If this is the case, it’ll be interesting as to what might come next.

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