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.

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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

2020 SL Christmas Expo: of memories and merchants

via Christmas Expo

The 2020 SL Christmas Expo in support of the American Cancer Society, will take place between Friday, December 4th and Sunday, December 13th, 2020, inclusive. The theme for this year is that of Christmas Memories, with the organisers noting:

Christmas trees towering over your head while the Lionel train makes is journey around the base. Brightly wrapped gifts spread under the lowest boughs, as the aroma of sugar cookies and gingerbread drift in from the kitchen. Carols playing on the Victrola while the family gathers together to celebrate the holidays.  Christmas Memories of all shapes and sizes spring to mind each year as the holidays approach.

– Nuala Maracas, RFL of SL Christmas Expo co-ordinator

This year, the organisers plan to have:

  • 150+ merchants.
  • Breedables and one-of-a-kind auctions.
  • nearly non-stop musical performances / entertainment via the Holly jolly Café.
  • Gachas and hunts.
  • Christmas trees, ice skating, and a snowman building contest.
  • The 3rd annual Lights of Hope contest, featuring the best builders and teams of Lindens and Moles in a holiday home decorating competition.
  • The closing Live Auction with one of a kind items from Linden Lab and SL’s top creators and the annual Holidays of Hope Ball.
  • The Holidays of Hope Ball.
2019 Christmas Expo

Merchant and Auction Registrations

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 2020: it’s the Weekend to Relay in Second Life

Relay for Life of Second Life: 2020 Relay Weekend

Update: Trader Whiplash-Ballinger dropped me a note to point out that those wishing to hear the music stream for the event, provided by T1 Radio, should visit the T1 Radio website and use the pop-out Relay Radio media player rather than using the in-world stream. The player will give lag / interruption-free listening enjoyment as visitors travel the Relay regions.

Friday June 5th through Sunday June 7th 2020 marks the Relay for Life of Second Life Relay weekend  – and this year it’s a biggie! The Relay track this year covers some 40-ish regions, which are supported by additional event and activity regions so that the entire weekend comprises some 57 regions in all, with the American Cancer Society (ACS) region forming the 58th and anchor-point region.

In a year when the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has done so much to prevent people coming together around the world to raise money for ACS and global cancer organisations, Relay for Life of Second Life takes on added importance. It is, in effect, THE major grass-roots fund-raising series of events raising money for ACS and its projects in 2020. Already, Relayers across Second Life have accept the challenge by raising some US $260,000+, and this year’s Relay Weekend offers the opportunity for all of us to significantly advance that total.

While the Relay Weekend doesn’t formally kick-off until 10:00 SLT on Saturday, June 6th, you can learn about ACS, Relay for Life and the weekend on Friday, June 5th at noon SLT when Strawberry Linden interviews Stingray9798 Raymaker, Trager Alter, MamaP Beerbaum, and Nikki Mathieson on Lab Gab

The theme for this year is Game On Cancer, and in reflection of this, relay teams have come together to present a whole host of parcels along the route of the track the take games as their theme – many of them interactive in nature (you can engage in a giant game of Mahjong, for example, or enter an avatar-sized setting based on Clue – or to use its original name (I won’t say “proper”! 🙂 ) Cluedo; while several of SL’s popular communities – science fiction, the road / driving community, role-play groups, sailing / surfing / water communities, and so on – provide region-wide installation focused on their activities framed within the overall theme.

This means there is a huge amount to see and do within the regions as a pert of the overall aim of raising funds for the American Cancer Society’s world-wide efforts to bring treatment, care, support and (eventually) cures to cancer sufferers world-wide.

Relay for Life of Second Life: 2020 Relay Weekend

With the regions, there’s also room for social commentary with subtle reminders that those from poor backgrounds are often more prone to the effects of cancer, simply because they do not have the ease of access to care and support. In this the “Las Vegas” region is quite effective in showing two sides of the coin. May of the teams participating also appear to be running their own events throughout the weekend, with numerous stages and event areas to be found along the track, all of which further helps encourage engagement and participation.

Also to be found through the region are informational displays about cancer and its treatment, parks in which to rest and reflect on life, and places to share in the stories of Second Life residents who have survived cancer, offered as a means to provide hop to those caught within its shadow.

Relay for Life of Second Life: 2020 Relay Weekend

The weekend officially kicks-off at 10:00 SLT on Saturday June 6th with a formal Opening Ceremony. However, as noted above, you can catch up with some of the people behind Relay for Life of Second Life by tuning into Lab Gab on Friday, June 5th, and 12:00 noon SLT.

For 2020, laps around the track are themed as follows, all times SLT.

Saturday, June 6th
Sunday, June 7th
11:00
Survivor/Caregiver Lap
sponsored by the Relay Rockers
00:00
Toga Party  / Food Fight
cream pies at the ready!
12:30
Teams Lap
sponsored by Grid Play
01:00
80’s Hour
C&V’s House of Rock
14:00
Roller Skating Hour
don your skates and roll around the track!
02:00
PAC Man Hour
gobble, gobble, gobble!
15:00
Walk with a Friend
two’s always company!
03:00
Monopoly Hour
Go!
16:00
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
sponsored by Attention to Cancer
04:00
Ahoy Matey!
get yourself ship-shape!
17:00
Your Favourite Sports Teams
show your colours!
05:00
Heroes Hour
sponsored by Heroes Helping Heroes
18:00
Nerds and Geeks Unite!
grok you geek!
06:00
Fight Back Hour
sponsored by Gavin Dionysus
19:00
Your favourite video games
sponsored by Friends for a Cure
07:00
Wear Your Coffee and Drink Your Curlers
sponsored by Relay Rockers
20:00
Camping Hour
sponsored by Camping for a Cure
08:00
Hawaiian Hour
Aloha!
21:00
Luminaria Ceremony
09:00
Purple Power Hour
sponsored by Team shadow
22:00
Candyland Hour
sponsored by SHB Gems
10:00
Closing Ceremony
23:00
Las Vegas Hour
11:00
Victory Lap
dancing with your sparklers!

Luminaria Ceremony and Lanterns

At 21:00 SLT on Saturday, June 6th, the track will be in darkness and silence, with all those in the Relay Regions are asked not to engage in open text or voice chat but to walk the track in silence or stand to one side, as the names of those to be remembered are read.

It is a time for each of us to reflect on how this disease has touched us personally.  And it is a time for us to look inside ourselves with quiet reflection and find hope.  Because no matter what our experience has been with cancer, we all share the hope that we will one day live in a world where our children, and their children, will never have to hear the words “you have cancer”.

– Relay for Life of Second Life event web page

If you wish to have a name read out during the ceremony, please complete and submit the Luminaria Dedication Form.

Relay for Life of Second Life: 2020 Relay Weekend

Along the sides of the relay track are the Luminaria lanterns that can be used to commemorate and / or honour someone you know who has succumbed to or survived cancer. Lanterns can be lit for a minimum donation of L$50 (all proceeds to Relay for Life of Second Life). Donations can can be made by clicking  a lantern and then either selecting a set amount or typing in an amount of your choice. You can also optionally enter whether you are lighting the lantern in memory or in honour of someone, and also add their name and / or a message.

Lanterns will be available for donations from the opening of the weekend through until the weekend ends. They will display different colours, depending on the amount donated: Yellow: L$50-499; Green: L$500-999; Blue: L$1000-2499; Orange: L$2500-4999; Pink: L$5000-9999; Purple: L$10,000 and above.

Relay for Life of Second Life: 2020 Relay Weekend

The Spirit of Relay Award

The Spirit of Relay are annual awards presented to the individual and the team that embodies what the community calls, the ‘spirit’ of Relay, from Kick Off to Relay Day. It is not representative of just the amount raised, but takes into consideration the spirit of the individual or team: how they embraced Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society’s mission, their enthusiasm and their participation in Relay activities as a whole, not only in their own but other team’s events as well.

Nomination can be made via the 2020 Spirit of Relay Award form, which will remain open until Sunday June 8th, and the recipients will be announced at the 2020 RFL of SL Wrap Up Party on Wednesday, June 10th.

SLurl Details

The 2020 Second Life SciFi convention touches down

via Second Life SciFi Convention

On Friday, May 15th, the 2020 Second Life Science Fiction Convention, raising money for Relay for Life of Second Life and the American Cancer Society, opens its doors to sci-fi enthusiasts from across virtual worlds.

Running through until Sunday, May 24th, 2020, the convention is spread across eight regions packed with all things science fiction, and offers insight into sci-fi goods and services, role-play, communities, and more, whilst also including a range of entertainment, talks, readings, hunts and activities to keep people engaged throughout the event.

Information on the event has been sketchy in places during the run-up when compared to other major RFL events (how to attend the blogger’s day was only published on the day, for example, which left some wondering that – while the date was known in advance – would it require registration beforehand, and if so how they might register in the run-up to the day).

2020 SciFi Convention – Electric Sheep, a suitably cyberpunk / Blade Runner settings, given the region name

Of course, now the event is rolling along, the core details are there, including a complete calendar of events (although information on hunts, etc., is best obtained from the information boards within the convention regions), and information on the region themes, the latter being:

Scifi Con 12 Hub (Time) – Abyssal Depths (Underwater) – Electric Sheep (Cyberpunk) – Orion’s Landing (Ancient Aliens) – PangaeaTesla Park (Steampunk) – Thunderdome (Post Apocalypse) – Tomorrowland

2020 SciFi Convention

Details of exhibitors / vendors participating in the convention can also be found on the website.

When exploring the regions, you’ll find the usual interesting mix of merchants and role-play groups, all with something to offer. All of the major franchises from media sci-fi are represented – Star Trek in its various forms, Docotor Who, Stargate, Battlestar Galactica, etc., together with the likes of Gundam, Babylon 5 while there are some nice references to Buck Rogers, Space 1999, etc., awaiting discovery, with even what might be a nod towards the short-lived Terra Nova, with much more besides. In touring, I admit to particularly liking Waxen Works’ The Life and Work of Gerry Anderson.

2020 SciFi Convention – the Gerry Anderson exhibition

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 SciFi convention. So say we all!

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