SL10BCC: Now the party is over – a personal look back

So the celebrations of SL’s 10th have come and gone and once again it’s time to cast a final personal look back at the event, as is my habit. Well, actually, it’s an overdue look back, considering I had intended to get this piece out a week ago; but as the famous saying goes, In proving foresight may be vain: The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ Peys Gang aft agley, or so Robbie Burns wrote. Honest.

SL birthday events tend to be a fair mix of the good, the bad and – it has to be said, I’m afraid – the downright ugly. The builds are many and varied, the entertainment generally rich and diverse, the regions expansive and seemingly never-ending, the crowds numerous and, as a result and despite the best efforts of the Lab and the organising team, the lag ever-present and waiting to mug you at almost every turn.

The SLB Express, a popular feature from SL9B, made an appearance at SL10BCC, linking the present with the past
The SLB Express, a popular feature from SL9B, made an appearance at SL10BCC, linking the present to the past in a very evocative way

All of this is to be expected enjoyed and, in the case of lag, countered. In this latter regard, kudos to the organisers for not only providing people with clear and concise instructions on limiting the impact of lag on their experience, but also for provide a set of “low-lag” and retrospective freebie avatars to adopt if one wished. Ah, Ruthie and friends, how we’ve missed you! I admit, I didn’t use any of the supplied avatars although I did wander around as a Primitar for the part of one visit.

There was much to be admired and enjoyed this year; so much so, that my own reports only really scratched the surface of things as I explored the regions. If your own piece didn’t appear in my updates, my apologies. It doesn’t necessarily mean I didn’t like it – rather that time was frequently against me and I didn’t actually get to see everything.

This year’s celebration installations were especially good. I’ve already waxed lyrical in these pages about Flea and Today’s magnificent A’stra main / live stage, and will resist the temptation to do so again because, quite frankly, all of the stages were magnificent. I loved the echoes of SL9B’s lake stage within Kazuhiro Aridian’s mesh lake stage, which was simply awesome and brought something of a new meaning to getting high on magic mushrooms, with people dancing up in the air and over the water on the huge mushroom cups…

The Lake Stage by
The Lake Stage by Kazuhiro Aridian

Marianne McCann’s History Walk was simply stunning, offering many of us who have been involved in SL for a good while a trip down memory lane, and was another part of the celebrations I found myself returning to on a number of occasions.

The theme for this year’s event was Looking forward, looking back, the idea being for people to look back at the last 10 years of SL’s history, or to look ahead to what the future might bring – or both. One of my personal criteria in exploring the regions was to seek out exhibits which reflected all or some of the theme and presented it in a unique or fun or immersive or personal way. I also kept an eye out for exhibits which, while not obviously reflecting the theme, offered an eye-catching, fresh and clever insight into Second Life or the community / persons behind the exhibit.

The Isle of Dee exhibit presented an immersive, attractive and engaging insight into this role-play community
The Isle of Dee exhibit presented an immersive, attractive and engaging insight into this role-play community

And it is here that I had my first feelings of disappointment. Walking through the SL10BCC regions I found myself coming across exhibits which I’d more-or-less seen before at SL9B and / or at SL8B and in several cases even as far back as SL7B. Some made little attempt at redressing themselves. Others had a thin veil of “retrospective” painted across them which, for me, did little to hide the fact that they were retreads.

Continue reading “SL10BCC: Now the party is over – a personal look back”

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SL10BCC: Was it good for you?

SL10B-CC_WordPress

Yes, the celebrations are at an end. The regions will be closing their doors on Saturday June 29th, and will forever vanish shortly thereafter.

That leaves but one question to ask: was it good for you?

To help understand where the team got things right or wrong, or where things might be improved, everyone who participated in or visited this year’s SL10BCC celebration is invited to provide feedback.  Please take a couple of minutes to complete the form below and let the organisers know your thoughts. It won’t be possible to respond to every comment received, but do feel free to leave your email. Rest assured, however, that every comment received will be read.

The Lake Stage
The Lake Stage, SL10BCC, June 2013

Missed one of LL’s SL10B gifts? You can still grab them in-world

As a part of the SL10B celebrations, the Lab offered a line of limited offer gifts to residents through in-world vending machines: varsity jackets, teddy bears, furnished homes, etc. These were offered on a time limited as well as a limited number basis.

However – if you missed any of them, you can in fact still claim them from any of the vendors scattered around the SL10BCC regions (and possibly elsewhere, if there are any). Simply find a vendor and click on its right side to scroll through all of the available gifts. Any you haven’t already got will be automatically offered to you, which you can accept or reject.

The SL10B varisty-style jacket available in-world
The SL10B varsity style jacket available in-world in both male and female styles, and with or without t-shrits

The list of gifts comprises (as far as I can tell – the order from the vendors is random:

  • SL10B Women’s Varsity jacket
  • SL10B Women’s Varsity jacket with t-shirt
  • SL10B Men’s Varsity jacket
  • SL10B Men’s Varsity jacket with t-shirt
  • SL10B Jumbo Cupcake
  • SL10B bear avatar (also available on the SL Marketplace)
  • SL10B Teddy Male
  • SL10B Teddy Boy
  • SL10B Teddy Girl
  • SL10B Teddy Female
  • SL10B Teddy Baby
  • SL10B Hold Teddy Male
  • SL10B Hold Teddy Girl
  • SL10B Hold Teddy Boy
  • SL10B Hold Teddy Female
  • SL10B Teddy with Bottle
  • SL10B rare fireworks (also available on the SL Marketplace)
  • SL10B Furnished House

All offers end at 23:59 LST on the 30th June (although the SL10BCC regions close before then). Vendors themselves can be found at places like SL10B Pizzazz and SL10B Enchant, and may well be available elsewhere on the grid – I confess, I’ve not looked.

In addition, the SL10B t-shirts in both mesh and clothing layer forms, the mesh baseball cap and SL10B party pack remain available on the SL Marketplace for those who missed them.

The secrets of the turtle

Yes, it’s back to Flea and Toady’s A’stra stage build for yet another post. What can I say? I love the place, there is so much to discover.

I had a good look around the stage regions (SL10B Impressive and SL10B Spellbound) before the SL10BCC regions opened on the 16th, and found a fair few things, some of which were featured in the video I put together about the build – although I didn’t include everything, as that would have spoiled the fun of discovery during the celebrations :).

"Did I turn left when I should've gone right?"  - Lost Noob
“Did I turn left when I should’ve gone right?” – Lost Noob

Anyway, now that the main event is over, and as Toady passed me a list of things to find so I could see what I’d missed, I’m curious as to how many of the lovely little touches Toady and Flea included in the build you’ve managed to find.

If you’ve not actually explored the two regions of the stage before, and wish to do so before they vanish, you might want to either use this article as something of a guide (although I’m not giving everything away!), or run away if you want the thrill of discovery to yourself, because I am including some SLurls…

Of course, there are the easy ones – the Grand Stairs, the Walk with its statues which range from a cube to homo AFK, passing such creatures as a fish, dinosaur and Homo knuckledraggerensis and more along the way.

A couple of Bored Gaming Noobs
A couple of Bored Gaming Noobs

Just about every must have seen the Painter Noob, which is perhaps my favourite among the Noob sculptures for personal reasons. But I wonder how may have seen the Noob.F.O? It’s not that far away, although a swimming costume is recommended. Thinker Noob and Noob Crash are featured in my video, but have you managed to locate Lost Noob? Find him and you might also find the Noobtyr close by.

Most people have likely found the Toad Buddha and the geysers, but have you made your way to the Builder Temple nearly? No? Well if you go in search of it, make sure you keep an eye out for the crystal caves and the secrets they hide (and yes, the lack of SLurls here is deliberate – I did say I wasn’t going to give the location of everything away!).

A family Kodak moment. Go stand with the kids and look out over the water to the turtle. You might find something trying to get in on the picture
A family Kodak moment. Go stand with the kids and look out over the water to the turtle. You might find something trying to get in on the picture – make sure you have three friends with you if you want to see … her … again

Continue reading “The secrets of the turtle”

SL10BCC: My picks of the day – Saturday 22nd June

SL10BCC is well underway, with lots to see and do. Given the size of the event, trying to review everything on offer simply isn’t feasible, and some hardware issues at my end mean that I’m not in a position to do the kind of “region round-ups” I did last year.

So instead, I’m offering some personal picks from what’s on display by way of suggestions as possible stop-off points in your explorations.

Loki Eliot – Behemoth

Loki Eliot - Behemoth
Loki Eliot – Behemoth

Another exception to the “building up doesn’t mean building better” rule. Loki’s gargantuan creation is a masterpiece of mesh, storytelling and metaphor. Standing tall among the Wonderous exhibits, at first glance it might look like Godzilla about to tap the light fandango across Tokyo. Albeit admittedly a Godzilla carrying the oddest assortment of things on his back – pirate ship, broken aeroplane, quaint village, water wheel, and so on…

Of course the behemoth represents Second Life made pixel flesh, and the various items it carries stand as images of the many and varied uses to which Second Life is put by its users. There’s also the story which sits alongside the piece, as told by the folk living there (just grab a HUD at the entrance and let them tell you some of the tale) of how “the engineers” once started a project, which took on a life of its own, growing over time to become something huge, which some thought needed to be tamed and controlled, while others felt should be left free to grow in its own way…

Loki Eliot - Behemoth
Loki Eliot – Behemoth

However you look at this piece, it is brilliantly imaginative, and one of the real highlights of this year’s exhibits, one which is very much worth the time to climb and listen to (and don’t forget the little gifts along the way!).

At the base of the piece, you’ll find information on Loki’s SL projects, so if you’ve not come across him before, now is your chance to get acquainted with him. There are also a couple of storyboards demonstrating how the exhibit was developed, which provide insight into Loki’s creative processes.

You can also find out more about the piece via Draxtor Despres who, with Loki, has produced a wonderful video short which is itself deserving of attention, and which has a very subtle message of its own towards the end, which addresses those who tend to believe that the Lab is no longer paying attention to SL or working to enhance it still further…

Marianne McCann – Bay City

Bay City turned five years old in May 2013, so having a retrospective exhibit at SL10BCC is entirely appropriate, especially as it again presents a superb exhibition space (albeit one straddling two parcels) which demonstrates the value of a functional, clean build without the need for bling and flash.

Marianne McCann - Bay City
Marianne McCann – Bay City

Inside the main building is a complete history of Bay City, together with photos, maps and props, with key dates and events – happy and sad – duly noted and recorded. Outside is a rest area perfect for meeting friends, complete with a pool and a cute little tugboat rezzer for those wishing to play bumper-boats or have a little sailing session. The walls here are adorned with photos of some of Bay City’s notable residents, some of whom I’m fortunate to know as friends and acquaintances in SL.

Marianne McCann - Bay City
Marianne McCann – Bay City

If you are in any way interested in SL’s history, this is a very worthwhile stop-off in any travels you make around the SL10BCC regions.

SL10BCC: My picks of the day – Friday June 21st

Apologies to anyone receiving an earlier notification of this piece being published. A mis-click on my part.

SL10BCC is well underway, with lots to see and do. Given the size of the event, trying to review everything on offer simply isn’t feasible, and some hardware issues at my end mean that I’m not in a position to do the kind of “region round-ups” I did last year.

So instead, I’m offering some personal picks from what’s on display by way of suggestions as possible stop-off points in your explorations.

Main Installations – the Cake Stage

Straddling the four regions of SL10B Astound, Enchant, Fascinate and Pizzazz, the SL10BCC cake stage is, as is the tradition, huge. A very organic design by Donpatchy Dagostino, it offers wealth od detail which has already kept photographers across SL very busy – as can be witnessed via the SL10BCC Flickr group.

The SL10BCC Cake Stage
The SL10BCC Cake Stage

If I’m completely honest, I much prefer this year’s design over that of SL9B; it is attractive and draws one in to it in a very natural way. As such, it forms an eye-catching centrepiece to the celebration regions which forms the perfect backdrop for photos of other exhibits or for shots across the sims themselves.

Inside the build is a wealth of detail, including the dance floor itself and, suspended above it, a very delicious-looking birthday cake!

The Cake Stage
The Cake Stage

Even if you’re not into shaking various parts of your anatomy in time to music, the cake stage is still very much worth a visit and a look around. Use the official SLurls:

Kirstinlee Cinquetti – Bobbekins Back and Forward Game

I’ve covered Bobbekins a couple of time in this blog, and it is great to see them participating in SL10BCC.

For those not in the know, Bobbekins World is a series of children’s e-books which use advanced animation and combine video, music and still images of cute little characters called Bobbekins, which are created using a range of media – including Second Life.

The bobbekins Back and Forward Game
The Bobbekins Back and Forward Game

The Bobbekins Game is a fun piece which helps promote the project (which is something worthy of this kind of promotion) in an interactive and entertaining way.

Definitely not one to be missed when exploring SL10BCC in a small group. Just grab a space hopper, click “roll dice” and off you go! Don’t forget to click the info givers as well to discover more about Bobbekins World.

Gravie Garzo – Avatar Evolution

Garvie Garzo - Avatar Evolution
Garvie Garzo – Avatar Evolution

While we’re all out celebrating Second Life, parting, looking back over the past and looking forward to the future, it’s easy to overlook the very thing which, next to the viewer itself, really allows us to enjoy SL in all its forms and which gives us the real power of personal self-expression in-world: our avatar.

Gravie Garzo fixes that with a clean, easy-on-the-eye exhibit which takes us right from the beginning of things (a pre-animate blob!) to the Primitar, and then steps us through the various stages of SL avatar evolution to the modern full-body mesh avatars of today, now complete with added materials chewiness!

It’s a light-hearted but clever piece which serves to remind us, all grumblings aside as to the underlying faults with the basic design, just how our avatar has actually evolved, and how it has tended to keep pace with other aspects of SL’s evolution.

Gravie Garzo - Avatar Evolution
Gravie Garzo – Avatar Evolution

Th exhibit also offers you the chance to take part in the avatar parade, and complete three little polls about SL and the avatar, and collect a boxes of goodies which includes your own Primitar action figure (yes, I’m aware the real thing can be obtained elsewhere in SL but – it’s an action figure collectible! who could pass-up on that? :D).

Continue reading “SL10BCC: My picks of the day – Friday June 21st”