SL8B Day 6: Highlights


R. Crap Mariner’s innovative musical poem and collaboration, “The Magic of Music”.

“The Magic of Music” – and no, in keeping with Crap’s wishes that his Exhibit is stumbled upon, I’m not giving the Surl ūüôā

I came upon a grassy meadow
Up from which grew many hands
Holding violin bows into the air
Like magicians’ wands.

Read the poem in full, and click on it for the exhibit credits!

The wonderful KittyCats display.


The Japanese water garden and reclining Buddha. Set and relax; calm your mind and spirit.


Happy Birthday, Second Life!

SL8B Feature: NY HealthScape

NY HealthScape¬†describes itself as “a diverse collection of creative and enterprising individuals actively involved in the virtual world of Second Life.” The community is spread out over twenty sims capturing the old world charm of historic New York, and is sponsored by the¬†Southern Tier HealthLink, New York, a non-profit organisation that is bringing electronic information from hospitals, doctors, etc., together into a comprehensive patient record, available to both health practitioners and the patient.

In operation since January 2008, the aim of NY HealthScape is not simply to provide a residential and business environment within Second Life, but to facilitate qualitative patient education using innovative media methods such as Second Life to reach out to those who might otherwise be unable or unwilling to access healthcare information and education due to mobility or other difficulties, allowing the Southern Tier HealthLink to further “connect the dots” in patient healthcare in the real world.

A key example of this has been the development of a series of Quest Homes. These are interactive tour or hunt inspired installations on the NY HealthScape sims which allows for themed health information to be delivered in a game format. Visitors can click on interactive aspects of a tour to get points which are then redeemable for prizes. During the Quest tour, information is provided by local prompts which make learning fun.

The breast cancer Quest tour recently became the subject of a superb machinima written by Sylar Smythe, NYHS’s Communications and Marketing representative and produced by Panacea Luminos, the Executive Director of Southern Tier HealthLink NY. Entitled Between Worlds: A Journey of Hope, the Machinima both introduces the concept of the House Quest and itself serves as an innovative use of Second Life to educate people about the potential uses of Second Life. The film is available in four parts on¬†You Tube, and you can see Part 1, below.

The NYHealthscape roller coaster

NY Healthscape are represented at SL8B by a fabulous roller coaster exhibit located in the SL8B Spellbound sim, and which represents one of the more fun element of SL8B – not only can you find out more about healthcare and the work of NY Healthscape, you can also have fun riding the roller coaster itself (I recommend you use ML on at least one trip around the ride, just for the full experience!).

I caught up with Panacea Luminos and Skylar in order to gain further insight into the exhibit itself and the work of NY Healthscape itself. I started out by asking them about why a roller coaster in particular.

Panacea Luminos (l) and Skylar Smythe (r) with NYHS Customer Service Rep Linda Wei and the NTHS exhibit, SL8B

“Skylar came up with the idea,” Panacea explains, “If NY HealthScape’s goal is to demonstrate the benefit of educating through ‘doing’ rather than being told then we felt our exhibit should express the same mentality. A fun roller coaster was purchased and modified to include messages about our core mission in an entertaining way.”

“We hope that it communicates¬†the concept¬†that healthcare management is a long term perspective,” Skylar adds. “One that requires consistent delivery of healthcare information and patient access is the key to long term quality health. By maintaining awareness and taking an active role in their own health management, patients can enjoy a ‘longer ride’.”

So how do NYHS quantify the benefits of an in-world experience when it comes to healthcare?¬†“It’s a non-threatening environment,” Skylar replies immediately. Panacea nods in agreement, continuing, “We offer people the chance to get to know us and one another first. “There is no pressure. People can come and go, take part in events such at joining in with a blues night at our club, explore Second Life, and learn about health matters at their own pace.”

“It’s a gateway for those with mobility problems as well,” Skylar adds, “And the medium is more attractive – the interactive element encourages investigation and learning that traditional methods cannot emulate.”

Panacea Luminos speaking at SL8B

So what do you hope people will gain from the ride at SL8B? “We hope it will pique their interest,” Panacea states after considering the question a moment, “That they’ll come visit [the NYHS sims] and engage with us and redefine their assumptions about delivery methods for health education and awareness. It is important information but it can be fun and intuitively communicated.”

So what else are NYHS planning?

“At the moment we’re planning to expand Quest Homes further,” Panacea states, “To cover subjects such as diabetes and obesity. Second Life also offers a unique environment where¬†any healthcare situation, including procedures and emergencies, can be simulated as a hands-on, ‚Äúlearn-by-doing‚ÄĚ experience, which we tap into.” She goes on to explain that as well as the interactive elements such as Quest Homes, NYHS also stages presentations on chronic illnesses, fitness events, and health assessments, as well as more entertainment-oriented activities, “To build a sense of community that will keep the region vibrant and evolving. These events may also have a secondary health education component, such as a Manhattan restaurant that offers low fat cuisine and recipes.”

Turning to the NYHS sims themselves, I asked about how else they are used beyond issues of health and welfare.¬†“We have twenty sims in operation,” Panacea replies, “And we’re not currently planning on expanding that,” she pauses a moment and then grins, “Unless LL decide to lower sim tier! We offer a range of business and residential rentals across the sims. As an NPC, our goal is to generate income to make the sims self-sustaining, so rentals help with this. We also accept donations and sponsorship, and sell breedables. We encourage people to come and explore, and offer them several means of doing so.”

“Such as?” I prompt.

“Well, we have our own railway that connects ten sims,” Panacea continues, “It’s a replica of the famous Phoebe Snow, a steam engine that rolled along the Lackawanna Railroad through New York. We also have electric trams and taxis available, or people can take two balloon tours of the sims.”

Looking across New York, with the Binghamton RR Station centre foreground, where you can catch the Pheobe Snow

“We also have some fabulous locales for photography and machinima,” Skylar adds, “Like the Athens-Hudson lighthouse.”

Athens-Hudson Lighthouse

All-in-all New York HealthScape is possibly one of the most innovative uses Second Life has been put to; with its integrated approach to healthcare, community and virtual living, it more than ably demonstrates the very real magic of Second Life.

To find out more about this remarkable project, I urge you to pay a visit to both the NYHS SL8B exhibit and the unique New York sims (Surls below) and that you to tune-in to Designing Worlds on Treet TV, Monday June 27th at 2:00pm SLT, when Skylar will be talking about the project.

Useful Links

Southern Tier Healthlink, New York

New York HealthScape Website

New York HealthScape SL8B roller coaster

Binghamton RR Station, Southern Tier New York – take the train or ride a tram. Balloon tour in the field next to the station.

The Athens-Hudson Lighthouse, Eastern New York

Tribeca Blues Club, Midstate New York – there’s another balloon tour just up the road.

SL8B Day 4: Highlights


The Magic of Perception.¬†Albert Einstein said, “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a persistent one.” Experience the various levels of reality and expand your own consciousness by visiting this experimental build.

Exploring the Magic of Perception

Inside Art¬†is an interactive art gallery, where you’ll find layered 3D layered pictures. Each one has a pose or animation that when sat in immerses you magically into the image.

Getting Inside Art


The Printers of the Mind celebrates the 450-year history of the art of printing and its rebirth in Second Life through the recreation of the printing presses and printing technology of the past. Learn about the history and art of printing, and to view the presses that brought literacy, information, literature and, perhaps, even freedom to the world.

Virtual Printers of the Mind

The Magic of Storytelling.¬†An epic and magical book ‚ÄĒ Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”‚ÄĒ is used to celebrate live storytelling in SL. This book rests on a massive maritime stand, from which protrudes the podium from the story (made from the bow of a whaling ship). Readers can conduct a marathon “tag-team” style reading of Moby Dick to entertain book lovers at SL8B.

The Magic of Storytelling

FedoraJones Popstar

The evening was rounded-out by a set from FedoraJones Popstar. I have to admit, I’ve never heard him before – but I’m sold. He delivered a range of songs with skill, verve and oodles of fun.

I also envy him his hats. Not that I can wear any in SL. I look seriously silly in them.

Of course, a lot of people were there as Rodvik Linden was due to put in an appearance, but that gave me time to mingle with friends and to spot others as they enjoyed the show.

People like the ever-courteous Lord of Dee, Mr. Ciaran Laval; if you don’t already read his blog, you really should. The same goes for Daniel Voyager, who has a unique perspective on SL, having originally joined via the teen grid, and has an excellent blog full of all the goings-on in SL.

Ciaran Laval with some blogging bint (left) and Daniel Voyager (right)

I also managed to pick out Anne O’Toole as well, looking somewhat anime-ated, and literally bumped into the delightful¬†Ahuva Heliosense.

Anne (left) and Ahuva (right)

Sadly, I had to curtail my time at FedoraJones’ set, as Firestorm would appear to have a problem with crowds, and¬†unceremoniously dumped me out of Second Life and then refused to play nicely until I’d teleported home.

Neverthless, another fun day, capped off with a truly memorable appearance by Rodvik!

SL8B: Rocket Man

So, I was a little disappointed that Rodvik wouldn’t be speaking at SL8B. Then I figured that as he’s appearing when FedoraJones is on the main stage, maybe we’d get a duet, or I’d at least get to see the fabled toga for myself.

But in the end, we were treated to none of the above – no talk, no toga, no songs. Instead we got and ultra-cool Rodvik “Rocket Man” Linden.


Yes, Rodvik arrived wearing a spiffy spaceship avatar, which I managed to catch as he headed towards the Main Stage as FedoraJones was starting on his set. Arriving stage-side, Rodvik commented wryly, “Heh, I should probably ghave changed av’s,” to me as he proceeded to fly around the stage auditorium, mingling with the crowd.

“Heh, I should probably ghave changed av’s”
Rodvik proves a hit with the smaller members of the community

For the next half-hour, Rodvik mingled with those celebrating SL’s eighth birthday, chatting here and there, avoiding walls, boogie-ing around ¬†– or as he put it, “Dancing with my afterburner!” and describing his little ship as having, “Power seats and nanorobots ready to run amok and take over the galaxy. usual stuff :0”!

Of course, with the CEO of LL making good on the dance floor, it was hard not to resist doing a Hamlet…

“Here I am at SL8B, with Linden Lab CEO, Rodvik Linden…”

I also couldn’t resist passing a comment on duets,

Inara Pey: There was I, hoping you’d be on stage singing with FedoraJones!

Rodvik Linden: Dream on :O

Well – what is Second Life if not for dreaming? And that is really what the magic is all about – given wings to our imaginations and desires and creativity and giving them flight in incredible ways. Even in cute little spaceship-style avatars.

Kudos, Rodvik, again, for joining in and demonstrating how much you do grok Second Life!

Rodvik rules the airways!

SL8B Day 2: Highlights

The Humble Prim

With Mesh on the way, CHUCKMATRIX Clip¬†presents a magnificent homage to the humble prim, a stunning sculpture that grows from a humble prim sphere into a full-blown man. The photos don’t do it justice – this is a “must see”.

Magnificent Builds

SL8B is full of some magnificent builds.¬†Zun Sahara’s Phoenix House being one of them.

Another build I was drawn to was Giantfar Peaks, a celebration of medieval / fantasy role-play in Second Life.

There is also the collaborative build by Groll Greggan and Colemarie Soliel at the Machinarium, coincidentally featured in today’s main blog entries on the SL8B blog.

The REAL Magic of SL

Kirstenlee Cinquetti is well-known for the S19-S21 range of Second Life Viewers (with S21 being own of my two favourite Viewers). At SL8B she lifts the lid on the real magic of SL, by showing us just how the Viewer really works! An amusing and fun-to-see / be-a-part-of exhibit.

The engine that powers the Viewer…
…which puts you in Second Life!

Transform Yourself

One of the odder exhibits at SL8B is Times Sands’ Avatar Transformation Chamber, wherein you can enjoy something of a¬†psychedelic experience, which starts out normally enough as you climb the stars – but step across the threshold…

Transformer: On the outside (l); with the camera outside, looking in (c); with the camera inside with me (r) (click to enlarge)