Bay City, the first major project undertaken by the Moles of the Linden Department of Public Works (LDPW), will be marking its fifteenth anniversary on Sunday, May 21st, 2021. Citizens of Bay City and residents of Second Life are invited to join in with the celebrations, which will include the traditional parade down “Route 66,” followed by a live music event in the Bay City fairgrounds.
First opened for initial viewing in May of 2008 and with parcels throughout the city being auctioned soon after, Bay City has shown itself to be one of the highlights of Second Life: a blending of Linden infrastructure and a strong, friendly community of involved residents who give the area its unique charm.
Celebratory activities will kick-off at noon SLT with a parade line-up at the band shell in Bay City – Harwich. At 12:30 SLT, the parade will make its way down Route 66, and proceed to the Bay City Fairgrounds in the North Channel region. DJ GoSpeed Racer will be providing the music throughout the parade, which will be followed by at live concert from 13:30 SLT onwards at the fairgrounds.
The line-up for the concert this year comprises (all times SLT):
13:30-14:30: Jesie Janick – who has herself been active in Second Life for 15 years.
14:30- 15:30: Maximillion Kleene – a Bay City favourite returning once more to the City’s anniversary celebrations.
15:30-16:30: AleyKat (Aleylia Resident).
As usual, celebration goods, including parade float bases and ideas, are available at the Bay City Community Centre, in the Daley Bay region for those who wish to be a part of the parade. Ample viewing areas are provided. The music event is also open to all who desire to attend — not only Residents of Bay City
About Bay City and the Bay City Alliance
Bay City is a Mainland community, developed by Linden Lab and home to the Bay City Alliance. The Bay City Alliance was founded in 2008 to promote the Bay City regions of Second Life and provide a venue for Bay City Residents and other interested parties to socialize and network. It is now the largest Bay city group, and home to most Residents of Bay City.
Each year, in honour of Bay City’s founding, Bay City residents come together with this special celebration.
The 2023 Virtual Ability Inc., (VAI) Mental Health Symposium on Friday, May 12th, 2023, a little ahead of the internationally supported Mental Health Awareness Week (May 15th through 21st, inclusive). As such, it forms a part of a wide range of physical world and virtual world events framed around Mental Health Awareness Month, which has been throughout May observed in the United States since 1949.
2023 marks the 12th such symposium hosted by Virtual Ability Inc., and has the theme Self-Identity and Mental Health. As with previous years, the symposium will feature a broad cross-section of speakers, who this year will be talking on a range of identities, from “mad” to autistic, from military to caregiver.
The Symposium will take place in the virtual world of Second Life, at the Sojourner Auditorium on Virtual Ability Island. Those from outside of Second Life wishing to attend can do so by creating a free Second Life account through Virtual Ability’s Sign-Up Portal, and then entering Second Life via Virtual Ability’s New Resident Orientation Course.
The schedule of speakers for the event can be found on the Virtual Ability Inc., website, and presentations commence at 07:00 SLT (US PDT) on the morning of Friday, May 12th, and run through to the concluding presentation, which starts at 12:00 noon, with each session lasting approximately one hour. For ease of reference, a brief summary of the presentations is provided below – but do please check the complete schedule via the link above for the fullest information on speakers and talks.
07:00 SLT: Dr. Joanna Fox, Associate Professor in Mental Health Recovery at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, England – “Mental Ill-health and the Recovery Process”.
08:00 SLT: Dr. Yasuhiro Kotera, Associate Professor in Mental Health at the University of Nottingham, England – “Cultures and how we feel well: Making a global map of mental health personal recovery”.
09:00 SLT: Dr. Kate Cooper, clinical psychologist and researcher, University of Bath, England – “Autism social identity and well-being”.
10:00 SLT: Dr. Fred Berlin, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA – “Transgender Persons (Gender Dysphoria)”.
11:00 SLT: Dr. Bonnie Vest, Research Associate Professor in the Primary Care Research Institute, Department of Family Medicine, University at Buffalo, USA and Dr. Rachel Hoopsick, Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA – “Military Identity and Service Expectations among Reservists: Associations with Mental Health and Substance Use”.
12:00 SLT: Wonkyung Jung, PhD, RN, Postdoctoral Fellow in the RESILIENCE Centre, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, USA – “Social Integration and Resilience”.
About Virtual Ability
Virtual Ability, Inc. is a non-profit corporation, chartered in the state of Colorado, USA. It is a non-profit tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. This means that for US citizens, contributions made are deductible as a charitable donation for federal income tax purposes.
Virtual Ability hosts this annual Symposium to share information about mental health and mental disabilities with the general population. Within its cross-disability community, VAI has members who deal with a variety of mental health issues. So, not only is this an opportunity for VAI community members to learn more about topics related to mental health from experts they probably would not have a chance to meet otherwise, it allows the general public to attend a professional conference at no cost.
The 15th Fantasy Faire in Second Life brings forth many things for lovers of fantasy and residents of Second Life to enjoy – entertainments, shopping, role-play, auctions, literary and film festivals – and, of course a celebration of the arts in Second Life. From 2D art through to live music performances, dance productions and theatrical presentations. As I’ve already previewed the event as a whole, together with the Literary and Film Festivals, for this article, I’ll be looking at the Arts regions within the Faire.
For 2023, the arts at Fantasy faire are located on two Full regions directly accessible from the party / DJ events region of Sipla, whilst also offering an gateway into (and under) the shopping region Isle of Aquarius. Together, the three regions – Sambeaubee, Giraphoria and Sipla – form an almost contiguous setting, with the landscaping a joint design by Gidgette Adagio (Sipla, Sambeaubee) and Lilia Artis and Haveit Neox (Sambeaubee, Giraphoria).
All three regions have their own dedicated landing points, per the links in this article; however, I would recommend that when touring them, you consider starting at Sipla and then progressing onwards through Sambeaubee to Giraphoria.
Sipla sits as a ancient and magical garden; a place where tress stand guard around and upon rugged hills, aged steps offer paths up and down slopes to climb hillocks where aged arches and stone pavilions stand, and paved terraces sit within encroaching moss and grass. This is a place where aquamarine pools feed the lush ferns, grasses, plants and trees; pools themselves fed by waters which flow down in crystal curtains from islands floating in the sky, defying the demands of gravity.
A haven of piece, Sipla is also the home of the Faire’s DJ parties and entertainment (so the media stream can be raucous!), with the nucleus of these events – the legendary Fairechylde – lying before the rocky curtain and hills at the region’s western extreme, the landing point for the region sitting just below her, the paths through the gardens flowing down from these highlands much as the waters fall from the islands above, pointing the way eastwards towards Sambeaubee.
For its part, Sambeaubee forms a coastal causeway, arcing around a shallow bay to the south and open waters to the north. The land along this broad causeway in more open and less rugged than is the case with Sipla, but the architecture of stone towers, tall arches and glass-topped pavilions continues, marking the way east.
Giraffes roam the grasslands here and feed from the tall trees, while the land is in part split in two by a long, tall curving wall interspersed with arches and paths leading down to the bay. This wall stands as a celebration of past Fantasy Faire events and the Quests which have formed a part of many of them, whilst the bay beyond features a trio of small islands watched over by a pair of boats and the Cheshire Cat as he lies within the branches of a floating tree. I confess to being uncertain as to the function (if any) of these islands, with their Asian-inspired towers and buildings, but I did note they offer seating, as do the boats circling two of them).
At its western end, Sambeaubee is home to a large, open-air ballroom space, mirrored in neighbouring Giraphoria, which will be the location for the Masked Ball events at the Faire, with the region also hosting the Silent Auction (yet to open at the time of writing) and some of the Jail and Bail events. Overlooks a deep gorge cutting into the landscape, the ballroom offers one of two routes into Giraphoria, the primary home of arts and visual / live music performances at the Faire.
Here the land takes on something of a desert-like tone and a rugged, rocky look. Arms to the north and south are homes to, respectively, the second half of the ballroom and the arts display. Between them, they hold within their arms a further inlet, deep-cut and itself home to a large island. Reach via two bridges, this island in both the location of an impressive sculpture of giraffes raising themselves pyramid-like to the sky and surrounded by butterflies, and the access point to the seating area for liver performances which take place on a stage area which can be brought into being over the open waters, courtesy of a multi-scene rezzer.
Offered as a piece of art honouring the giraffes that wander both it and Sambeaubee and which continues the butterfly theme found within Sipla, Giraphoria may be for some the first hint that there is more to these regions that meets the eye. As well as being connected to the rest of the Fairelands by the two bridges leading down to it, the seat area for live performances also has a third ramp, one that dips down beneath the waters. It leads down to an underwater gallery overlooking a deep ravine the floor of which offers scattered glowing plants, whilst a narrow cleft offers a suggestion that there is more to be found in this underwater world – but how is it to be reached?
Well, one way is to simply walk through the balustrade of this raise balcony-alcove and drop down to the sea floor. Another – and my preferred route – is to return to Sipla, then find your way to the archway connecting the gardens there with the Isle of Aquarius. Whilst this tall arch leads down to path leading out over the water to the neighbouring region, a second tall arch sits at the water’s edge, looking out towards the walls of Isle of Aquarius – and this in fact a gateway to the underwater realms which extend out under the shops and precincts of Aquarius as they sit on the waters, and beck unto Sambeaubee and Giraphoria.
The path down to the sea floor is steep, but marked by further archways. Turn left as you reach it, and a path of lighter hue compared to the rest of the sea floor well lead you west towards a huge basalt formation and undersea sculpture. However, just before this formation, a second path branches away to the north and under a further stone arch. This is the entrance to the underwater walk.
Here, set within a deep ravine, area gardens rich a corals, anemone, sea grass and more, where fish swim and play, while drowned gardens, sculptures and temples await discovery. Following the very edge of Sambeaubee, this path and its gardens eventually bring visitors to the bowl beneath the waters of Giraphoria, where further tunnels are home to art both framed and painted onto the rock, as they lead to the Octopus’ cave and gardens.
Richly diverse, home to much that makes Fantasy Faire special, and visually engaging in their own right, the Arts regions of the Fairelands should not be missed.
Fantasy Faire 2023 is now open, and with it comes the Fantasy Faire Literary Festival (LitFest), now in its ninth year, and the Fantasy Faire Film Festival (FilmFest), returning for its third year at the Faire.
Centred on the Stump Theatre in Fungalmire the LitFest is a special place where the magic of the spoken word will weave tales of wonder, relate stories of great adventure and daring; where talks by authors, discussions, creative writing sessions and performances will all take place. In addition, literary hawks and writers will be encouraged to join daily LitFest tours of the Fairelands and afterwards compose pieces related to their travels.
This year, our theme is anthropomorphic fiction – that is, fiction in which animals displaying decidedly human traits form an important part of the narrative. Think of the likes of Aesop’s Fables or legends out of Africa and the orient, or the retelling of Hamlet through the likes of The Lion King, to evergreen favourites like The Wind in the Willows, Winnie the Pooh and Charlotte’s Web.
Guest Of Honour
The LitFest 2023 Guest of Honour is Anne Louise Avery, author of Reynard the Fox, the beautiful novel that draws upon medieval sources. Anne also creates Twitter vignettes that tell stories of a world where animal and humans live together.
Born in London to bohemian parents – her mother was a novelist and her father a journalist who worked with Ian Fleming and Graham Greene in Naval intelligence during the War – Avery received a First Class degree in art history at the School of African Studies (SOAS), University of London, one of the world’s leading institutions for the study of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. She then held a fellowship at Brown, and studied Japanese at the International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo, before becoming an art historian and writer.
In 2020, she published Reynaud the Fox, which takes William Caxton’s bestselling 1481 English translation of the Middle Dutch tale of a subversive, dashing, anarchic, aristocratic, witty fox from medieval East Flanders and weaves a new interpretation of the story, complete with innovative language and characterisation and themes of protest, resistance and duplicity fronted by a personable, anti-heroic fox making his way in a dangerous and cruel world.
Sunday, April 23rd
11:00 – An interview with Anne Louise Avery
LitFest Fairelands Tours
The popular Fantasy Faire LitFest Tours will once again be taking place, leaving daily from the LitFest home base in the Drifts of Anamnesis to explore the Fairelands and seeking the stories they have to tell as well as their special secret places and details. Stories can also be submitted for publication on the Fantasy Faire website, provided they are submitted within two days of each tour.
The Tours depart daily from Fungalmire, and at the time of writing, the tour schedule is as follows (all times SLT):
The Film Festival is returning for its third year at Fantasy Faire. Events will include: talks, discussions and retrospectives of the works of different machinimatographers, three film premieres, including the premiere of the third episode of the ongoing series, Harland Quinn and the Omega Hex. And don’t worry if you missed Episodes 1 or 2 – these will also be shown.
The Film Competition
2023 will see the second edition of the Fantasy Faire Film Festival Competition, complete with awarding of the Wafflies!
Open to all, the competition is based in the Fairelands, and comprises three categories, with the winner in each will receive a golden Wafflie statue.
Category 1 – 5-minute fiction
Tell a narrative story, set in the Fairelands
Category 2 – 5-minutes factual
This could be a documentary, a tour of a region, a special Faireland event and – if the creator is willing – perhaps a short interview.
Category 3 – 10-minute Livestream
Either edit a ten minute sequence from the livestream, or give a timeframe of 10 minutes from the longer livestream.
The LitFest and FilmFest Calendar
The calendar blow lists all of the LitFest and FilmFest events – click on any link for more details.
LitFest and Film Festival Highlights
All times below SLT.
Weekdays April 21-May 5
The Milkwood Dash – a chance for you to spend 15 minutes writing your own prose or poetry based on a writer’s prompt, and then share what you have created with your fellow authors.
Friday April 21
Chantal Harvey and Saffia Widdershins explain what will be happening at the FilmFest
Sunday, April 23
An interview with Anne Louise Avery at the Stump Theatre, Fungalmire.
Tuesday, April 25
An interview with Pryda: discussing her machinima work, some of which – the Future Shock series – has been featured in this blog.
Wednesday, April 26
An interview with machinima maker Teal.
Friday, April 28
An interview with Macguyver Mode, followed by the premiere of his new film.
Saturday, April 29
An interview with machinima maker Chantal Harvey.
Saturday, May 6
The Wafflies Awards
Saturday, May 6
The Mythos of the Fairelands- Zander Greene and Aoife Lorefield are in conversation about the Mythos the underlies the Fairelands.
If you are just after links and Surls, click here to jump to them!
The largest fantasy-related event to take place in Second Life, Fantasy Faire 2023, opened its gates to Fairelanders at 12:00 SLT on Thursday, April 20th, 2023. It will remain open through until Sunday May 7th, 2022 inclusive, once again raising money for Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) efforts to bring about a World Without Cancer.
As with previous years, 2023 will see a wide range of activities and events taking place at the Faire through until Sunday, April 30th, with role-play, parties, Jail & Bail, the LitFest, live performances, auctions, and more. After this, the regions will remain open for people to visit and enjoy sans on-going activities, allowing them to shop at their leisure and explore the regions in relative peace – although some activities such as the Fairelands Quest will also continue through the final week as well.
The notes below are intended to get Fairelanders old and new up-to-speed with a one-page look at the event as it opens.
If You Are New to the Faire and Other Notes
If you are new to Fantasy Faire, the many regions it encompasses can be overwhelming to the point where you might fill panicked into trying to see everything at once.. But – the Fire is here for two weeks, so you have lots of time to visit, and remember: shopping and sightseeing can be much easier once all the initial rush is over!
The best place to start a first-time visit is Fairelands Junction. From here you can reach all of the regions via the teleport portals, so it makes a good hub for exploring. You can also grab a Fantasy Faire teleport HUD from here (or at the region landing points).
You might also want to take the following suggestions:
The Fairelands have their own mythology and history. If fantasy is your thing, be sure to read about the History of the Fairelands.
For the best visual experience:
Make sure you have Advanced Light Model (ALM) enabled in your viewer (Preferences → Graphics) – this shouldn’t hit performance too heavily on most reasonable systems (you do not have to enable Shadows).
Make sure your viewer is set to Use Shared Environment (World → Environment) as the regions all have their own environment settings, and several have dedicated day / night cycles.
Regions can be busy! So:
If you teleport into one, be sure to move a little way from the landing point as soon as you can to avoid becoming part of an avatar tower!
Don’t over-dress with lots of bits and bobs and attachments to avoid adding to the rendering lag everyone has to experience.
Fantasy Faire is very much about shopping. Merchants from across SL can be found in the shopping regions, all of whom offer some of their items through official RFL of SL vendors, so that proceeds of sales go to RFL / ACS.
The Fairechylde will once again be docked at the Faire, spending her time within the region Sipala and hosting DJ parties to keep Fairelanders entertained. These parties – live or via Fantasy Faire Radio – will be running right throughout the Faire, and further details can be found at:
Every Friday through Monday throughout the run of the Faire will be live performances by musicians, singers, dance troupes and more from across Second Life. Performances will be hosted on the Arts and Performance regions of Giraphoria and Sambeaubee, and all participating performers, acts and troupes can be found at the Live Performance Schedule.
The Fairelands Masked Ball
Fancy a more formal soiree where tuxedoes and gowns are encouraged and an air of mystery is added with eyes behind masks? Then head for the Fantasy Faire Masked Ball, with two dates to suit time zones:
Saturday, April 29th – Noon through 14:00 SLT.
Friday, May 5th – 18:00 through 20:00 SLT.
The Ball will take place within the Sambeaubee Arts and Performances region.
Events and Activities Highlights
Literature and Film Festivals 2023
The Literature Festival (LitFest) will this year be based at the Stump Theatre in Fungalmire, and will again offer a range of activities including tours of the Faireland regions and opportunities to write about them, together with poetry readings, open microphone readings and the LitFest theme day.
This year, our theme is anthropomorphic fiction – in other words, fiction where animals (often displaying decidedly human traits) form an important part of the narrative. This can range from Aesop’s Fables or Beowulf, to oriental legends, to well-known children’s books such as The Wind in the Willows, Winnie the Pooh and Charlotte’ Web, to the medieval tales of Reynard the Fox or the the trickster tortoise and the hare in West African tales. The Guest of Honour for 2023 is Anne Louise Avery, author of Reynard the Fox, the beautiful novel that draws upon medieval sources.
Returning for its third year at Fantasy Faire, the Film Festival features a special machinima focused event almost every day of the Faire from April 24th, at 11:00 SLT. These will include talks, discussions and retrospectives. There will also be three film premieres during the Film Festival, and the Film Festival Competition, and a chance to win a Golden Waffle.
Details of LitFest and Film Festival can be found via these links, and I’ll be previewing both shortly in these pages.
Region tours schedule – region tours are held on most days of the Faire at 13:00 and / or 17:00 SLT, offering the chance to explore the Fairelands and seeking the stories they have to tell as well as their special secret places and details.
The Children of Stories will once again be offering a rolling role-play event during the Faire. This year the focus is on the The Gathered. Based within Flambois as they play out and explore a special storyline tied to the Fairelands.
Flambois is a school dedicated to the Fairelands itself, and has taught many illustrious alumni, but why then did these lanterns summon them to this realm if everything was alright? Strangers to this land, they will have to discover this realms stories and watch for unknown dangers and suspicious characters who may be Shadows of the Unweaver.
In addition there will be a range of role-play classes for all who are new to role-play in Second Life – fined out more on the Fantasy Faire Role-Play Classes page.
Fantasy Faire Quest: The Magic of Dragons
This year’s chapter of the Fantasy Faire adventure quest series is The The Magic of Dragons. Once again the Bard Queen will call upon adventurers bold of heart to purchaser a Quest HUD (also proceeds to RFL / ACS) and follow the clues in a quest of two parts. The first opens on Monday, April 24th, and will take adventurers across the Faireland regions in search of answers. In part 2, opening on Thursday, April 27th, adventurers will be able to enter the Quest region and resolve the mystery – and receive their bounty from the Bard Queen!
You don’t have to join the Quest right from the start; prizes are for everyone who completes the adventure, and the Quest will be open right through until May 8th.
Many years ago, a realm called Nadiya was invaded by the forces of the Unweaver. Its residents defended their land so well, they drove the enemy to retreat. But sadly, their land was so damaged by the attack that it could no longer support them. They, too, were forced to leave their beloved home.
– from the introduction to the Fairelands Quest, 2023
So, why not dress for the occasion (or buy a Quest Deluxe HUD and dress in the outfit supplied with it!) and head on over to the Fairelands to discover what adventures and parties await?!
What’s it all About: The Beacon Initiative
In February, 2022, the American Cancer Society (ACS) began a new chapter in its global work in the care and support of those diagnosed with cancer in all its forms, with the launch of the BEACON (Building Expertise, Advocacy, and Capacity for Oncology Navigation) Initiative. In partnership with health care facilities and cancer organisations around the world, the BEACON Initiative improves support and access to care for people living with cancer in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs). It supports health facilities and cancer organizations in LMICs to design, implement, and sustain their own oncology patient navigation programmes. This is accomplished through the development of materials – called the Toolkit – and a peer-learning collaborative, both of which are provided in an online format for ease of access and adaptability.
Currently BEACON is engaged in a pilot programme which encompasses ten healthcare facilities and cancer organisations across eight nations: Armenia, Brazil, Egypt, Guatemala, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, and South Africa, with some 22 countries expressing interest in the Initiative at its launch.
Fantasy Faire has, through its work in supporting the development and operation of the Kenyatta National Hospital Hope Hostel in Kenya, has become a key player in the the development of the BEACON Toolkit, funds from the event being put into the production of two key elements within the kit: a patient and caregiver booklet and a health worker flipchart. While these materials cannot cure cancer, they will ease patients’ stress, helping them to better understand what is happening to them during their treatment, and help them to make the best choices for themselves and their loved ones .
Fantasy Faire is one of the cornerstones of our vital work. It’s an inspiring example of a global community working together to address a global challenge.
– Kristie McComb, ACS Managing Director of Global Capacity Development and Patient Support
June 2023 will mark the 20th anniversary of Second Life opening to public access – and as we’ve all come to expect, a portion of the month will be given over to celebrations at the Second Life Birthday (SLB). On Monday, April 3rd, the Lab opened applications for exhibitors and volunteers, and both will remain open through until Sunday, May 14th, 2023, alongside of the currently open applications for the SL20B Music Fest and Performer applications.
The theme for the event is Our Fantastic Future, which the Lab describes thus:
The cornerstone of this idea is what we would define as eco-futurism including sustainability, a focus on our environment, and the next generation of our world. Some might call this science fiction, but what is science fiction except a dream for a possible future? In Second Life we build worlds. Our worlds, our way. For SL20B, we invite you to show us your worlds of the future!
SL20B Exhibitors – Notes and Changes
In terms of Exhibitor applications, and as with recent SLB events, the Lab notes:
Your exhibit does not need to stay in theme. Share your Second Life passions with us. Your interests. Your communities. Your world! Every year we celebrate because of you, the amazing and creative Residents who have chosen to call Second Life home. What has drawn you into this world, and what keeps you here? These annual festivities are an opportunity to show us what fuels your Second Life. Let’s celebrate that together!
This year will see a number of changes to the Birthday for exhibitors, including:
There will be both General and Adult rated regions available to exhibitors.
Exhibitor parcels will be 4096 sq m in size, with a Land Capacity of 1872 LI.
Exhibitors can use there parcels for more than one exhibit, with the Lab suggesting those who wish to can re-display exhibits they have created for past Birthday events if they have them available, and there will be a Birthday Reboots category at SL20B in support of this.
There will also be a Second Life History category for those exhibits specifically celebrating SL’s past 20 years.
Volunteers for SL20B are also being sought to help with the event and festivities. In particular LL are looking for: Stage Crew to help with the performances and entertainment; Stage Hosts to help manage and maintain the flow of performances; Stage Crew Technicians to be available on an on-call basis to help with stream management / issues; and Greeters working to help welcome those visiting the Birthday and answer any questions they might have, etc.
All volunteers will be expected to attend training sessions and to commit to completing at least two hour shifts at a time, and be available for more than just one or two days during the week of festivities.