SL18B: your pocket guide to the celebrations

SL18B Welcome Area

Second Life marks its 18th anniversary in 2021 with a week-long celebration of music, entertainment, art and more across multiple regions, eight of which are given over to exhibits from Second Life residents, and which include the companion Shop and Hop event.

The gates have now opened, but as there was not opportunity for any previews by bloggers, etc., in advance of the opening, we’re all scrabbling around trying to put things together. Hopefully, however, this will serve as a shorthand guide, and my apologies for any omissions.

The regions are, as usual, split between core event regions as exhibitor regions. The core regions include:

Key Events

In terms of major events, what does SL18B hold? Well, the best way the stay abreast of all that’s going on is via the official calendar of events, which I’ve embedded below. Use the Week / Month options, top right to change the calendar view. Major events are also summarised below the calendar.

Grand Opening

Patch Linden will be formally opening SL18B at 11:00 SLT as a Lab Gab special via the Second Life You Tube channel, after which Strawberry Linden will be hosting a tour of the SL18B regions.

Meet the Lindens

Meet the Lindens is now a staple of the SLB celebrations, and this year we’ll be hearing from – and putting questions to – the leadership team of Grumpity, Brett and Patch collectively and individually through the week at the SL18B auditorium, with things rounded-out by another session with the Moles of the LDPW. Catch the sessions as follows:

Day (Times SLT) Lindens
Monday 21st June
(14:00-16:00)
 Lab Gab SL18B Special with the Leadership Team (Grumpity Linden, Brett Linden and Patch Linden) via You Tube, with steaming into the SLB auditorium.
Tuesday 22nd June
(13:00-14:00)
Patch Linden, Vice President of Second Life Product Operations
Wednesday 23rd, June
(14:00-16:00)
Grumpity Linden, Vice President of Second Life Product
Thursday 24th June
(13:00-15:00)
Brett Linden, Vice President of Marketing
Friday 25th June
(13:00-15:00)
Meet the Moles

SL8B Music Fest

The SL18B Music Fest will kick-off at 13:00  SLT on Thursday, June 17th, and conclude at 19:00 SLT on Saturday, June 19th. It will feature 25 artists performing at the SL18B Main Stage, with the line-up as follows:

Time (SLT) June 17th June 18th June 19th
09;00 Randy De Lucia
10;00 KATIA
11:00 SpiritLed
Noon Seli Blackmore Semina
13:00 Milan Zepp Toxie Skye Galaxy
14:00 Rogue Galaxy and The Tiny Rebel Band Staring At The Sun Fly Kugin
15:00 Oblee Dandy Pianoman Marqs DeSade
16:00 Maximillion Kleene Mimi Carpenter Dude
17;00 Erik Kottzen Ruvilyn Gatchie Effinjay
18:00 Joaquin Gustav Wytchwhisper Sadofsky Gabriel da Silva
19:00 Gabriella Rothschild
20:00 Kendall Jigsaw

Shop and Hop

Sixteen regions and 320 creators, all offering a 20% or more discount on items and a free (non-group) gift for shoppers, with the event running until July 6th,2021. Shopping SLurls below!

Aurelian Chickory Dahlia Frosted
Gleaming Gilded Golden Halcyon
Hollyhock Jubilant Lupine Poppy
Snapdragon Snowflake Sugarplum Tinseled

Note that Shop and Hop regions are rated Moderate.

A full list of participating creators with direct SLurls  to there S&H stores is available here.

Other Points of Interest

The Tapestry of Time

First presented in 2018, the region-wide Tapestry of Time presents visitor with a walk-through of Second Life’s history from 2003 through to the present day using images, text and videos. True, not everything has been recorded, but there’s enough within the region to be of interest to the historically minded.

SL18B Tapestry of Time with the Ebbe Altberg memorial

Of special note this year is a replica of the Ebbe Altberg memorial, which can also be found at Altberg Island (see Paying respects to Ebbe Altberg in Second Life for more).

The Gifts Areas

The SL18B Gifting Areas offer gifts from the Birthday exhibitors and from merchants participating in the Shop & Hop event.

Exhibitor Regions

As is common for SLB events, the mix of content is varied, and the representation of interests broad. Role-play groups, arts, communities, are represented across the eight regions open to exhibitors; some are static, others are interactive in nature.

Direct links to the exhibitor regions can be found below:

SLB Amaze SL1B Astonish SLB Captivate SLB Electrify
SLB Incredible SLB Pizzazz SLB Sparkle SLB Stunning

Information / SLurls for individual exhibitors can be found in the SL18B Community Experiences pages of the Destination Guide,  and I hope to visit and write about some during the week.

Explore the SL18B regions via the automated pod tour cars, courtesy of Yavanna Llanfair

Advice On A Better Experience

The SL18B regions – celebratory and Shop & Hop can get exceptionally busy. To help ease the pain for you:

  • If you have a high draw distance, reduce it to  as low as is comfortable for your enjoyment.
  • Turn off shadows in your viewer if you usually have them enabled.
  • Go to Preferences → Graphics and reduce the slider Max # Non-Imposter Avatars to a minimum.
  • Remove texture-heavy HUDs to free-up more texture memory.
  • To assist the simulator, remove unnecessary scripted attachments.
  • If you are using Firestorm and still encountering issues, try going to Preferences Graphics → Rendering and:
    • If you are running a 64-bit version of the viewer, make sure Restrict Maximum Texture Resolution to 512px (will require a viewer restart).
    • Use the Max Texture Quality Level drop-down to set texture rendering quality to Mid.

Destination Guide Links

The calm of Bella’s Lullaby in Second Life

Bella’s Lullaby, June 2021 – click any image for full size

Bella’s Lullaby is the name Bella (BellaSwan Blackheart) has given to her Homestead region design I had occasion to visit in June, courtesy of another pointer from Shawn Shakespeare.

A quiet, natural setting of two main islands surrounded by off-region hills and embellished with a subtle and fitting sound scape, this is a delightfully tranquil setting that sits easy on the eye and most likely will soothe troubled nerves.

Bella’s Lullaby, June 2021

The larger of the two islands is home to a variety of trees scattered across its low form – Scots pine, fir, oak, linden, and so on, giving it a temperate feel. Between the trees, and occasionally shaded by them, is a smattering of small buildings – cabins, sheds, Tuscan style house – that give the suggestion this may once have been a farm smallholding, but which has now become a retreat of some kind.

Nor do the trees or buildings dominate the island; there is plenty of open grass where the young shoots of the rapeseed plant (which tend to be called by their Japanese name nanohana) freely grow, giving a sense of open space and room to wander and breathe.

Bella’s Lullaby, June 2021

The smaller of the two islands sits to the west, separated by a shallow channel marked by rocks that rise above the water, and by snakeweed and water moss. Devoid of trees, it is home to  more nanohana and grass, curtains of shrubs partially lining the low hump of its pate like hair on an old man’s head.

This smaller island is dominated by an old warehouse unit – what role it might once have served now lost, although the passing trawler suggests that perhaps, once upon a time, it may have had something to do with local fishing. Now it sits as another isolated retreat, partially furnished, a little (static) boat with outboard motor sitting at the dock apparently the means to travel back and forth to the large island.

Bella’s Lullaby, June 2021

The southern end of this smaller island forms a slender finger, edged by rock, a place where the nanohana gives way to poppies and daisies and other meadow flowers that offer a splash of colour to the island and which wash around the feet of the oblate water tank atop its sturdy tower.

There are a couple of tiny islets that also make up the setting. One is a flat-backed slab of rock, is home to a small lighthouse; the second is a little more robust, a rocky table with its own sandy-shale beach. In difference to the rest of the region, this little corner sports palm trees that grow alongside what appears to be an old rail carriage long ago separated from its bogies and converted into a cosy two-roomed shack.

Bella’s Lullaby, June 2021

These two southern islets are overlooked by the region’s main landing point (although this is not enforced), sitting on a square deck built out over the shallows surrounding the main island.

Close by is a sign that draws on motto of the Baltimore Grotto: Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints (the motto itself continuing Kill nothing but time), itself a variation of a phrase from the “Leave No Trace” philosophy of naturalist all over the world. It’s a perfect sentiment by which to start an exploration of the region.

Bella’s Lullaby, June 2021

From the landing point, a rough track runs north between several of the island’s little buildings to the Tuscan style house. It’s a natural way to start explorations, although the  cabins either side of the path are liable to tempt feet away from it.

Not that this is a bad thing – there really is much to discover here without the region feeling an any way overcrowded. As such, roaming freely (if under the watchful eyes of the local cats!) is the best way to proceed.

Bella’s Lullaby, June 2021

From landing point to old ranger’s tower, and from water tower to east side patio, Bella’s Lullaby has been beautifully crafted to offer a place to explore or to sit and enjoy company and comes rich in opportunities for photography.

SLurl Details

SL18B: Meet the Lindens – who and when

SL18B Meet the Lindens will focus on the leadership team of Brett, Grumpity and Patch

A staple part of the SL Birthday celebrations over the past few years has been the Meet the Linden sessions. Featuring selected members of the Lab’s management team who appear each day on stage, either individually or in pairs and groups, to discuss (almost) anything related to Linden Lab and Second Life, the sessions are a popular source of information straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

2021’s SL18B continues the tradition, offering another a week-long series of Meet the Linden events. These have now been formally announced via a blog post from the Lab, which provides information on them and other streaming events that will be taking place during the week commencing Monday, June 21st.

Featuring the core Leadership team, this year’s Meet the Lindens events kick-off with a special Lab Gab Live Stream on Monday, June 21st, and the complete line-up of sessions is as follows:

Day (Times SLT) Lindens
Monday 21st June
(14:00-16:00)
Lab Gab SL18B Special with the Leadership Team (Grumpity, Brett, and Patch Linden).

Available via the Second life You Tube Channel

Tuesday 22nd June
(13:00-14:00)
Patch Linden, Vice President of Second Life Product Operations.

Live Stream link

Wednesday 23rd, June
(14:00-16:00)
Grumpity Linden, Vice President of Second Life Product, who will be discussing several Second Life initiatives including recent efforts focusing on growth, a stronger, more balanced economy, movement towards better community cohesion.

Live Stream Link

Thursday 24th June
(13:00-15:00)
Brett Linden, Vice President of Marketing, who will be talking about recent user acquisition and retention efforts for Second Life including advertising, public relations, content strategy, and social media.

Live Stream Link

Friday 25th June
(13:00-15:00)
Meet the Moles. The Moles are builders, scripters, and content creators employed by Linden Lab to work in the Linden Department of Public Works.

Live Stream Link

You can watch any of these session in two ways:

  • By being a part of the live audience in the SL18B auditorium,
  • By following the You Tube live stream links above at the time of the event.
    • In addition, the Tuesday through Friday events are listed on the Lab’s Meet the Employees page on You Tube, together with pass SLB and Lab Gab sessions.

I confess to being a little disappointed that we’ll not be introduced to / hearing from Executive Chair Brad Oberwager (Oberwolf Linden) or Chief of Staff Cammy Bergren (Cammy Linden); it would have been nice to hear from one or the other, even if via a Lab Gab session. I certainly hope there may yet be an opportunity for such a session in the not too distant future.

In the meantime, I hope to have summaries of all this year’s Meet the Lindens sessions available through this blog as soon as possible after each has taken place.

Landscapes, avatars and digital dreams in Second Life

GenovArt June 2021: Deyanira Yalin

I made a return trip to the GenovArt Galleries, curated by Juna (Junanuj) to continue my promised explorations of the Glass Hall there, after my initial visit to the B&W Hall last month (see: Four artists for June at GenovArt in Second Life).

My visit came just after the opening of the new ensemble exhibition within the hall that features the work of Jamee Thomson (Jamee Sandalwood), Vanessa Jane (VanessaJane66), Deyanira Yalin and Eyes Kirschtaria (varutina).

GenovArt June 2021: Jamee Thomson (Jamee Sandalwood)

Both Jamee and Venessa are highly regarded for their landscape images of Second Life, and rightly so. Although neither is constrained to just this form of art, it is the core of the pieces they present on the lower and upper levels respectively of the gallery.

Each of them has a considered eye for their work, perfectly balancing angle, cropping, lighting, post-processing and finishing to produce truly memorable pieces that both reflect the region in which they were captured and offer very individual views of Second Life.

GenovArt June 2021:  Vanessa Jane (VanessaJane66)

Deyanira Yalin has been active in Second life since 2007, but I believe that this exhibition is the first time I’ve encountered her work; a fact that is to my loss, as her art is simply marvellous.

It is also said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I believe that my art is the product of cumulative dreams and visualisation. I get joy if the beholder finds something unique to him or herself that may be hidden or may be an illusion. I do not know if I am an Artist or a dreamer who likes fiction and dreams, but what I believe is inspired by all of the above.

– Deyanira Yalin, describing her art

GenovArt 2021: Deyanira Yalin

A graphic designer by training, Deyanira has had her work exhibited in Mexico City, and her involvement in Second Life has enabled her to fully embrace the digital art form – a fact more than demonstrated at GenovArt.

These are truly extraordinary works that fold into them digital collage, suggestions of abstract art, surrealism, pop art and  – notably those images in the rear section of her exhibition – a tremendous depth of narrative.

GenovArt 2021: Deyanira Yalin

As such, I would respond to Deyanira’s musing on whether she is an artist or a dreamer by saying there is no either/or – she is both, and she is also a weaver of dreams and teller of tales through her work.

Eyes Kirschtaria is another artist whose work I do not believe I’ve previously encountered.

GevovArt June 2021: Eyes Kirschtaria (varutina)

Hailing from Japan, he presents a magnificent series of male avatar studies at GeovArt, all of them deeply rooted in fantasy and the imagination, and each ready to weave its own tale of heroes and / or villains, warriors and princes, magicians and hunters, and more.

Rich in colour and depth, several of these works beautifully blend what might be seen as western fantasy and oriental tales and influences, whilst others offer more traditional oriental tales in the making or enfold touches of science-fantasy (who cannot see shadows of the Dune series hiding within 15, for example?).

GenovArt June 2021: Eyes Kirschtaria (varutina)

With its rich diversity of talent and content, the June exhibition at GenovArt’s Glass Gallery exhibition should not be missed.

SLURL DETAILS

SL18B: Shop and Hop, the Music Fest Line-up + more

via Linden Lab

The Second Life 18th birthday celebrations are almost upon us, and while news in advance of the event has been scarce this year, the Moles and the Lab have been busy with things.

On Tuesday, June 15th, Strawberry Linden issued a note card to members of the SLB Press Group, providing a short update and links (including the Birthday Calendar – see below), with a focus on the upcoming SL18B Shop and Hop event. A blog post was also issued later on Tuesday, highlighting the Music Fest and the Birthday Calendar directly.

SL18B Shop and Hop

Shop and Hop

The SL18B Shop and Hop event is perhaps the largest S&H event thus far held, featuring no fewer than 16 regions and 320 creators offering a 20% or more discount on items and a free (non-group) gift for shoppers.

Dates

  • Public access to Shop and Hop, 09:00 SLT on Thursday, June 17th, 2021 through until July 6th, 2021.
  • Early access for Second Life Birthday Group members from 09:00 SLT  on Wednesday, June 16th, 2021.

Shop and Hop SLurls

Note these SLurls will be available on Wednesday, June 16th for members of the Second Life Birthday Group, and from 09:00 SLT on Thursday, June 17th for everyone:

Aurelian Chickory Dahlia Frosted
Gleaming Gilded Golden Halcyon
Hollyhock Jubilant Lupine Poppy
Snapdragon Snowflake Sugarplum Tinseled

A full list of participating creators with direct SLurls  to there S&H stores is available here.

Music Fest

The Music Fest will kick-off at 13:00  SLT on Thursday, June 17th, and conclude at 19:00 SLT on Saturday, June 19th. It will feature 25 artists, with the line-up as follows:

Time (SLT) June 17th June 18th June 19th
09;00 Gates Open Randy De Lucia
10;00 KATIA
11:00 Opening Ceremony SpiritLed
Noon Seli Blackmore Semina
13:00 Milan Zepp Toxie Skye Galaxy
14:00 Rogue Galaxy and The Tiny Rebel Band Staring At The Sun Fly Kugin
15:00 Oblee Dandy Pianoman Marqs DeSade
16:00 Maximillion Kleene Mimi Carpenter Dude
17;00 Erik Kottzen Ruvilyn Gatchie Effinjay
18:00 Joaquin Gustav Wytchwhisper Sadofsky Gabriel da Silva
19:00 Gabriella Rothschild
20:00 Kendall Jigsaw

The venue for the Music Fest will be the SL18B Live Stage – the SLurl will be available when SL18B opens.

Second Life Birthday Calendar

The Second Life Birthday Calendar provides a full breakdown of events -note again that all times are SLT.

Destination Guide links

Note some of these may not be available until Thursday, June 17th:

2021 SUG meeting week #24 summary

Bella’s Glade, March 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, June 15th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. These notes relate to the core points of discussion; other topics may have ben raised without specific feedback from LL as actionable items, so  please refer to the video at the end of this report for the full meeting and all points covered.

Server Deployments

No deployments are planned for the week, other than those related to the SL18B regions. Restarts will be taking place for those servers that have not done so for the last 10-ish days. The (non-)deployment notes are here.

Week #25 (commencing Monday, June 21st) should include a deployment to the RC channels.

SL Viewer

The Project UI RC viewer updated to version 6.4.20.560520 on June 14th.

The rest of the official viewer pipelines remain as follows:

  • Release viewer: LMR 5 viewer, version 6.4.19.560171, dated May 27, promoted June 7 – no change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Maintenance 2 RC viewer – Fernet, version 6.4.19.559726, dated May 19.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, dated November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16, 2019.

In Brief

  • Group chat remains unsteady, but the Lindens are planning for additional work in an attempt to stabilise things further.
  • The Aditi inventory syncing / log-in issues continue. The root cause appears to have been identified, but fixing it has been referred to as “complex”, although the hope is the issue fixed Soon™. Mazidox Linden further added:
I can’t really get into details because it involves the insides of how logins work. But the best thing you can do on Aditi is log in using an alt with a tiny inventory. That’s more likely to succeed than your account with all the stuff you have on Agni. (The actual issue has nothing to do with inventory, but that’s the only thing you can control from your side to make it more likely to succeed.)
  • Scripts and resources: the core of the meeting revolved around the issue of script usage and its impact on server resource use and simulator performance – notably, but not exclusively – with regards to in-world scripts and the impact of idle scripts. In brief:
    •  Onus tends to be put on avatar scripts (which do have an impact – most notably when an avatar is entering a region and all the data related is being unpacked and all its associated scripts are re-started.
    • However, in-world scripts, even those that are idling, can have an impact on performance. Whilst action has been taken to ease some of this, the impact of have thousands of scripts in a region can and will have a cumulative effect on simulator performance.
    • How better to manage things is a matter of much debate. Should script resources be increased? Would it be better to allow larger scripts rather than making people split functionality across multiple scripts? Do large, multi-function scripts  run better (or worse) than a plethora of smaller scripts doing the same thing? Would it be possible to restructure script handling / LSL capabilities such that scripts that only need to be active in the presence of an avatar can be automatically be disabled when no avatars are within a (creator-defined) proximity, etc.
    • This discussion starts around 22 minutes into the meeting, and full context can be gained through the meeting video below.

Video

The following video of the meeting is courtesy of Pantera Północy.