The 2020 Second Life Sci-Fi Expo

The 2020 Sci-Fi Expo

I am very late in getting to this – I’m not entirely sure how I missed it,and my apologies to the organisers for only getting to it now –  but currently in progress until the end of Wednesday, October 28th, 2020 (SLT), is the 2020 Second Life Sci-Fi Expo in support of RFL of SL and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC).

Not to be confused with the annual Second Life Sci-Fi  Convention, which this year took place in May, the Sci-Fi Expo has generally been a smaller event (in previous years referred to as the “Mini Expo”), but this year has been taking place across five regions.

All five regions are packed with all things sci-fi, with each of them having a specific theme, a central hub providing an anchor point for explorations. The regions are packed with all things science fiction, with information available on sci-fi goods and services, role-play, communities, and more (including a hunt).

The 2020 Sci-Fi Expo

As it is late on in the event’s run, I’m not going to dwell too much on things – the best way to appreciate what is available is to hop over and immerse yourself; particularly if you are a science fiction fan. What I will do is refer you to the event’s Exhibitor’s List and Shopping Guide.

What I will say is that when exploring the regions, you’ll find a rich mix of merchants, role-play groups and more, together with the major franchises from media sci-fi: Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, etc., whilst those who have done six impossible things before visiting might want to consider breakfast at Milliways: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

2020 Sci-Fi Expo

So, whatever your interest in science fiction, be sure to set your phaser on fun and head back to the future with a visit to the SL Sci-Fi Expo in the next 36 hours.

Related Links

The 2020 SL Renaissance Festival for Making Strides

Banner courtesy of the SL Renaissance Festival

The 2020 SL Renaissance Festival is currently open to visitors through until the end of Sunday, October 4th, 2020, with the aim of raising funds for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC). A signature event coordinated by the American Cancer Society, MSABC is aimed at raising awareness of the risks of breast cancer and raising funds to support research into, and treatment of, the disease.

A new event for Second Life, the SL Renaissance Festival is a switch away from past MSABC events in-world. It is taking place across six regions linked to the American Cancer Society island, all of them decorated in a medieval / renaissance theme and presenting a range of merchants, activities and entertainment for visitors to peruse, participate in and enjoy.

SL Renaissance Festival: jousting arena

Please refer to the official SL Renaissance Festival web site for:

The event tournaments include daily rounds of jousting (including jousting with the Lindens on October 1st, 2020), archery, mounted archery, and mêlée, all of which are open to anyone who like to try their hand at any of them – check the official website for more details via the menu at the top of the site.

For those interested in role-play, the Kings Court Academy features a range of period role-play classes, and offers practice grounds for those wanting to try their hand at the various tournament activities, either on their own or via a scheduled class. It is also the starting point for the Conquer Trail, a path people can take on foot or horseback, running or walking, and use slingshots or rotten tomatoes to try to strike targets; when they do so, information about Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and the services it provides is displayed.

SL Renaissance Festival: silent auction area

In addition, the event features:

  • Auctions: the festival features both a One Of A Kind and a Silent Auction, both of which are running through until Sunday, October 4th. You can view the auction items via the catalogues on the SL Renaissance Festival website, and bid on them at the festival’s auction locations:
  • A Gacha market.
  • The Trail of Heroes – breast cancer survivors and caregivers from around Second Life reveal how Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and The American Cancer Society have benefited them in their journey with the disease.
  • The Best in Helm Contest – vote for your favoured swordsman, jouster, or archer in this contest by leaving a token of your esteem (donations to Making Strides). The helmed lord or lady by receiving the most donations will win the favour of the festival lands.
  • The Stag Hunt – find the stag statue in participating shops and claim the goodies inside for only L$25 (all payments go directly to Making Strides). Note that some stores may have more than one stag statue, and statues may also be found in the role  play areas of the Ren Fest I region.
  • The Royal Court Gala – Sunday, October 4th, at 13:00 SLT.
  • Lindens At the Pillory – on  Friday, October 3rd, a number of Lindens who misbehaved during their voyage to the festival will be pilloried between 13:00-15:00 SLT, or until their fines are paid. So come tease them or, if you prefer, pity them and pay for their release (all payments go to Making Strides).
SL Renaissance Festival: information area (Ren Fest I)

All of which adds up to a lot to see and do! To help visitors get in the mood of the event, the landing points in the main merchant areas include a range of period costumes and accessories on sale for between L$1 and L$175 – all funds raised again going directly to Making Strides.

URLs and SLurls

A renaissance festival for MSABC in Second Life

Banner courtesy of the SL Renaissance Festival

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC) is a global signature event coordinated by the American Cancer Society aimed at raising awareness of the risks of breast cancer and in raising funds to support research into, and treatment of, the disease. Traditionally held in the latter half of the year, in 2019 MSABC raised over US $13,600 large through two main activities – Out to Shop and The Pink Power Fest / Making Strides Walk-a-Thon.

This year, MSABC is changing things up again, and in doing so, they are also hoping to show support for, and receive it from, another of Second Life’s active communities: the medieval / renaissance community.

The Second Life Renaissance Festival in support of Strides will open its doors on Friday, September 25th, 2020 and will run through until Sunday, October 4th, 2020 inclusive, and it will offer something for everyone interested in the medieval / renaissance period, or who wants to support the global work of ACS in respect of treating and curing breast cancer.

The festival will take place across four themed regions – or kingdoms, as they are being called. They will comprise:

  • Two Kingdom Shopping Regions, which will also include the Minstrel’s Corner (the entertainment stage), and will host the Best In Helm contest and the Tale Of Heroes activity, of which more below.
  • The tournaments region.
  • The Kings Court Academy region – focused on role-play – which will also feature the Traveller’s Camp, home to the event’s Gatcha and auctions (silent and one-of-a-kind).

We’d like our events to be all inclusive, so the Best In Helm contest is open to anyone wanting to take their photo in knight’s armour. Visitors to the festival will be able to vote for their favourite knight by making a donation  through the Strides kiosk alongside their chosen knight.

The Tale Of Heroes is open to anyone in Second Life who wishes to tell their story of how Strides and / or Breast Cancer has affected them, or what it means to them.

– Nuala Maracas, Renaissance Festival co-coordinator

The tournaments region will offer a range of period tournaments – jousting, archery, mêlée, mounted archery – on a daily basis throughout the festival, and these are again open to anyone who like to try their hand at any of them.

The Kings Court Academy will feature a range of period role-play classes for those interested, and offer practice grounds for those wanting to try their hand at the various tournament activities, either on their own or via a scheduled class. It will also host the Conquer Trail, a path people can take on foot or horseback, running or walking, and use slingshots or rotten tomatoes to try to strike targets; hitting a target will provide information about Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and the services it provides.

Renaissance Festival merchant’s payments area (post registration)

Currently, the festival is taking registrations from: sponsors, merchants interested in participating – although slots for both are running out! – and period role-play communities / groups. Details can be found on the festival’s website as follows:

Those who wish to help in organising the event can also visit the volunteer’s sign-up page. Note that this does not include any sign-up for stage managers, greeters, entertainers, bloggers, etc., – a call for these positions will be made in due course.

Further information on the festival will be made available through the Renaissance Festival website as it becomes available, and I hope to provide updates through these pages as well.

My thanks to Nuala Maracas for spending time with me to discuss the event.

RFL of SL: Strides campaigns raise over USD 13K in Second Life

via ACS / Making Strides

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has announced that the 2019 Strides Campaigns raised US $13,633 to help those dealing with breast cancer and in the search for a cure.

The total marks an impressive US $5,000 increase over the total raised in 2018. This year, ACS ran two flagship events for Making Strides, the Out Shop Cancer campaign that ran right throughout the month of October and involved stores and creators right across the grid, and the Pink Power Fest, which was kicked-off by the Strides Walk-a-thon on Saturday, October 19th and ran through until Saturday October 26th, 2019.

In addition, individuals and groups across Second Life were encouraged to organise their own events in support of Making Strides, with the top Strides Campaigns raising over $2,500 including Camping for A Cure & Bikers for BOObies.

The official announcement provides a further breakdown of campaigns and amounts raised, with the organisers offering warmth thanks to all who took part, either in the events themselves or in helping to organise them.

via the American Cancer Society

Commenting on the success of the season, an overjoyed Stingray Raymaker, Director of ACS in SL, said:

We were confident that this would inspire people who wanted to fight breast cancer in their own way, and the community certainly stepped up. We appreciate everyone who took part in this year’s campaign, and after looking at the data, we are really excited about what the future holds.

All funds raised through Strides Campaigns in Second Life are used by the American Cancer Society to contribute to our life-saving breast cancer research and breast cancer patient services.

Congratulations to all involved on achieving such a worthwhile result!

Are you interested in becoming a volunteer for the American Cancer Society in Second Life, and help their global efforts in helping cancer patients, their families and in seeking cures for cancer? Then please contact Stingray9798 Raymaker in-world or e-mail jeffrey.montegut-at-cancer.org.

Support Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 2019

via ACS in Second Life / Making Strides

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer has, for the last several years, been a signature event for the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life of Second Life, focused on – as the name implies – the issue of breast cancer.

Around 1.6 million women and men are diagnosed with breast cancer very year, which equates to around 270,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer per year in the United States and around 55,000 in the UK alone. It’s a cause I’ve always supported throughout my time in Second Life, although I will admit it was something brought a lot closer to home for me when I was diagnosed with DCIS – ductal carcinoma in situ, a form of non-invasive breast cancer. I was fortunate enough to be diagnosed early – but many around the world are not so fortunate, and breast cancer remains the second largest (by diagnosis) form of cancer to impact people world-wide; hence to focus of Makes Strides.

In keeping with the changes made in 2018 to Making Strides fund-raising in Second Life, this year will see two major events take place to raise funds to help with the detection, treatment and, ultimately, prevention of breast cancer world-wide: the Out Shop Cancer event and the Making Strides Walk-a-Thon.

ACS has recently put out a final call for merchants to join the Out Shop Cancer event, as well a call for participants in the 2019 Walk-a-Thon, which this year forms a part of the Pink Power Fest; details of both can be found below for those interested in participating in either event.

Out Shop Cancer

  • Dates: throughout October 2019.
  • SLurl: all across the grid – HUD based.

This is a grid-wide shopping event starting on October 1st, 2019 and ending on October 31st. Merchants are being asked to support it by designating specific items that will be sold either in their in-world stores or on the Second Life Marketplace store (or both) as a fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer programmes and services.

When the event opens, shoppers will be able to obtain a special HUD enabling them to teleport to participating stores in world and find items on the Marketplace and make purchases, with the funds going to RFL of SL / ACS.

In 2018, 40 merchants participated in the event, and this year ACS is hoping to see 50 or more join in.

Because breast cancer is the 2nd most diagnosed cancer, and because Second Life gives us the opportunity to explore so many different forms of expression, we are planning a shopping experience that will offer something to as many types of avatars as possible. This means that we need a cross-section of designers and creators to represent fashion, hair, accessories, skins/shapes, A/Os, recreation, art, and anything else that would interest men, women, children, and non-human avatars in Second Life.

– Sandie Slate, ACS Event Lead for Make Strides Out Shop Cancer

Merchants willing to take part should follow the links below:

The Pink Power Fest and Making Strides Walk-a-Thon

  • Dates: Saturday, October 19th through Saturday, October 26th, 2019.
  • SLurl: TBA

This year’s Make Strides Walk-a-Thon will be the kick-off event for the 2019 Pink Power Fest, it will run from 10:00 through 18:00 on Saturday, October 19th.

Walkers are invited to join in throughout the 10 hours of the event and participate for as long as they can, walking the track and raising money from their donors for each lap they complete – tool will be provided to track their progress, allowing them to collect the pledges of supporters. Laps will be accompanied by music throughout, adding to the festive air.

If you would like to participate in the walk and obtain pledges from your SL friends and family who are willing to support you, please follow the links below:

In addition, the Pink Power Fest will feature daily events including live music and entertainment from singers, tribute bands and DJs gathering for the festival from across the grid. There will also be raffles, gachas, and vendors, with all donations & proceeds going to the American Cancer Society and the work in treating and preventing breast cancer. On Saturday, October 26th, the Fest will close with the Harvest of Hope Gala, honouring all Survivors & Caregivers, and remember those we have lost. I hope to have more information on the specifics of all of these events and activities in due course.

Hosting your Own Breast Cancer Event

This year, ACS is also inviting SL residents to host their own October event to support Making Strides, with a September 18th ACS announcement noting:

If you would like to plan your own breast cancer fundraiser, you’re encouraged to work within your community or group in Second Life to organize your own Strides Campaign. Make sure to let the American Cancer Society know about it by completing the ACS Calendar Event Submission Form so we can share it with others.

All Strides Campaigns must use the official Strides fundraising tools that are provided by the American Cancer Society. Fundraising campaigns may include events, hunts, shows, sales, or simply putting out a donation kiosk at your club or store throughout the month of October.

Individuals and groups wishing to do so should read the ACS announcement, complete the form linked-to in the quote above, and then obtain their free fund-raising tools via the Second Life Marketplace or by going to the Strides office on the American Cancer Society island.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 2018: the full season

via Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Across Second Life

Some 1.7 million women – and men – were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, the most recent year for which detailed statistics are available. It is currently believed that the figure remains around the 1.6 million mark world-wide, which equates to around 270,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer per year in the United States and around 55,000 in the UK alone.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is a signature event by the American Cancer Society to raise awareness of, and funds to counter / treat breast cancer, and it is marked in Second Life very October with the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC) Across Second Life event.

For 2018, MSABC Across Second Life will be holding an expanded season of events through October, a couple of which I’ve previously blogged about, and on which ACS and the MSABC team issued more information on Friday, September 7th, 2018.

In all five events are planned for the month, offering a broad range of options by which Second Life users can donate money that will expressly go into the work involved in treating and researching breast cancer and its causes. Full details of the events can be found on the MSABC Across Second Life website, and I’ve summarised the key points below.

Photos For A Cure

  • Dates: now through until Sunday, September 30th, 2018.
  • Theme: The Rat Pack
  • Sponsor: SKYY Games

Photographers across Second Life are invited to share their artistic talents by submitting a photo that they feel best reflects the Photos For A Cure theme to the MSABC Across Second Life Flickr group.  A prize pool of L$22,500  is available for the photos judged as best reflecting the theme. For contest rules and details, visit the Photos For A Cure on the Making Strides website.

Out-Shop Breast Cancer

  • Dates: Monday, October 1st through Wednesday October 31st, 2018.
  • SLurl: all across the grid – HUD based.

Get your shopping HUD at the American Cancer Society Island, then visit the variety of stores who have committed to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. The more you buy, the greater the funds raised for MSABC.

Out-Shop Breast Cancer and Parade of Homes

Parade of Homes

  • Dates: Monday, October 1st through Wednesday October 31st, 2018.
  • SLurl: all across the grid – HUD based.

Collect a Parade of Homes HUD from the American Cancer Society Island and use it to hop to the participating designs and discover your dream home for Second Life. This is a perfect opportunity to discover some of the great home designers in Second Life, get your new home, and fight breast cancer – all at the same time.

The parade of homes will conclude with a special live auction for a L$90,000 dream home, donated by Slash Hansome, owner of AXL pro – check the MSABC website for details in October!

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk-A-Thon

  • Date:  Saturday, October 20th, 2018.
  • Registration opens: Saturday, September 15th, 2018 (walkers); Sunday, September 16th, 2018 (sponsors).
  • SLurl: check the MSABC Across SL website.

Get your walking shoes ready and join other walkers at the 2018 Strides Walk track. The Walk-a-Thon will take place between 10:00 to 18:00, with walkers invited to join in throughout for as long as they can. Music will be provided throughout the event, and there will likely be an after-walk party.

Walkers will be provided with tools to track the number of laps they complete around the track, allowing them to collect pledges from their supporters. Awards will be presented for Top fund-raiser, most laps completed, most sponsors (pledges), and Overall Top Walker.

Registrations, once open, will be available through the MSABC Across SL website.

Breast Cancer Gala

The annual gala event will celebrate breast cancer patients, survivors, and pay homage to loved ones that are no longer with us. This is a chance to meet new people,  reconnect with old friends, and share stories with others about your personal connection to breast cancer. This is a formal attire event with special live performances. Donations are encouraged throughout the event.

Meet the Challenge

In 2017, the Making Strides campaign raised over US $10,000 for the American Cancer Society. For 2018, the MSABC team would like to beat that total – so why not be a part of the efforts by taking part in one or more of these events throughout October?

About Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer or MSABC is the largest network of breast cancer awareness events in the United States, uniting more than 300 communities across the country. Every breast cancer walk run during the MSABC’s season is seen as an incredible and inspiring opportunity to honour those who have battled breast cancer, raise awareness on how the risk of breast cancer can be reduced, and to raise money to help the American Cancer Society fight the disease with research, information, services and access to mammograms for women who need them.