Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Technical Problems Destroy Beautiful Victoriana

This plainly isn’t right, it’s a well known fact that nothing is permanent in Second Life, but when you have something that is totally a work of art, something that would have been around for a very long time, to the delight of many, many people, for it to be suddenly gone, is a complete travesty. The spectacular sim Victoriana is to close and I’ve heard that it isn’t because its creator Mayor LittleBlackDuck Lindsay tired of it, it’s purely because of huge technical problems which the guys at Linden Labs could have worked on and resolved to give the Mayor support and keep things going. I’ve always marvelled at the wonderful Nation of Victoriana, 12 simulated areas in all, which must have cost a fortune for the Mayor to run, and I can’t believe that more help hasn’t been given to solve the technical issues to keep Victoriana alive. Just recently the Mayor also created Tinytoriana, a miniature version of Victoriana, where people who wear tiny avatars could also enjoy the Victorian delights, this too is to close.

I’ve travelled a fair bit in SL and can honestly say Victoriana is the most beautiful, detailed and exquisitely designed place out of everything I’ve seen. The Mayor paid so much attention to making it perfect that you felt you were walking down a real Victorian street with its little tea rooms, taverns, houses and shops. The shops sell the right merchandise for the period and people dressed accordingly as well, greeting each other with polite conversation befitting a much gentler age. The Mayor had also created wonderful gardens, beaches, and a harbour as well as breathtaking landscapes.

As I understand it, the Mayor ran into difficulties maintaining the sims after an update from Linden Labs on their servers, he was no longer able to modify the objects on the site, which left him unable to repair and move his possessions about. I would only hope that the good people at Linden Labs may yet save the day by contacting the Mayor before it’s too late and we lose what must be the ultimate showcase item in SL. After all the Mayor has achieved everything that the Lindens must dream of, he not only spent an awful lot of money on the purchase and the monthly tier payments of 12 sims, he also put a lot of hard work in to create the ultimate SL experience for so many people. It sounds as if the Mayor has had enough of struggling uphill to sort his problems out and he is determined to close The Nation of Victoriana down. I just hope someone from Linden Labs realises what a total loss this will be to Second Life and how it doesn’t look too good for customer relations either.

Janey Bracken

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Damani Art Exposition Center

I visited a wonderful art complex a few days ago, the sim is owned by incredible SL builder Damanios Thetan, who has constructed a very unusual and unique building to show off his inspirational artwork. The building itself is an art form with its glass walls and elegant bronze frame. You take the central lift up to the floors, which have their own glass cylindrical rooms displaying Damanios’ sculptures. The sculptures are spheres of light with spinning or floating shapes within them, catching them in different light settings alters the look of them completely, so it’s best to run through your environmental menu when viewing, going from Sunrise to Midnight.

We were joined by good friend Eliza Janus who had introduced me to Damanios. I asked Damanios about his art and he explained “each of the spheres contains a dynamic sculpture” he said “just walk towards them to activate them” I did, and they are truly beautiful. I asked Damanios if the sculptures had titles and hidden meanings, he told me they are “just to relax” by. And relax you can as you stand and watch the swirling colours inside the spheres.
Damanios is a genius with his building skills, he introduced me to a big metal robot he had made that interacts with you when you talk to it. Really clever stuff!!

Take a trip over and visit the 'Damani Art Exposition Center' and have a wander around his sim as well, it is probably one of the prettiest places in SL.

Janey Bracken

Monday, 15 March 2010

Come and Sing at the Greyhound Pub

There is an Open Mic Night in The Greyhound Pub in Virtual Kengsington on March 17. If you fancy yourself as a singer it's a great chance to sing live in the friendly pub, and you can even win some Linden dollars too!! If you want to be included in the show contact Landlady Cutewillow Carlberg in-world to take part. (Pictured above is singer Josie Anderton who gave us a brilliant live performance in the Greyhound last week)

Janey Bracken

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Tribute to Pathfinder Linden as he Leaves Linden Labs

There is some sadness in Second Life today at the news that one of the favourite Linden Labs workers, Pathfinder Linden, is leaving the SL company. Pathfinder, John Lester in real life, joined SL in 2005 and shared a wealth of knowledge with us in respect of community development, specialising in fields such as healthcare and education.

I heard the news from friend Eliza Janus and I contacted Pathfinder who kindly came over to see me. I asked Pathfinder if he would like to say a few words to everyone in SL and he said “I'd like to thank everyone who has sent me kind words and thoughts recently. I am overwhelmed. means a lot to me.” He also said he would like to point everyone at his public email, which is

The good news is that Pathfinder won’t be leaving SL, he will be coming back into the community as an SL resident, he told me “Thanks Janey. My Pathfinder Linden account will be morphing into "Pathfinder Lester" sometime next week” So his many fans will be pleased to hear that he is staying in touch.

Pathfinder has an impressive real life background, he was the Information Systems Director of the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and in 1993 he pioneered using the web to create online communities supporting patients dealing with neurological disorders. The Second Life web site states “As a Research Associate in Neurology at Harvard Medical School, he also created online collaborative education environments for professors and students to advance the case-based teaching method in medical education.

John leads Linden Lab's customer market development in Education and Healthcare. He acts as a strategist and evangelist for people using Second Life in teaching, academic and healthcare research, medical education, simulation, and scientific visualization.”

So you can see the role of Pathfinder Linden will be sorely missed, however we will have Pathfinder Lester joining us very soon and I wish him well both in his real life and his second life. I would like to thank Pathfinder for meeting me and saying a few words for his many SL friends and colleagues.

Janey Bracken

Monday, 8 March 2010

Leave Your Graffiti Tag in SL

AM Radio has created some great sites, I loved ‘The Far Away’, a beautiful wheat field created in SL by AM and it’s well worth a visit, but AM’s site at IDIA Laboratories is very interactive indeed, you can do a bit of graffiti and it’s all part of the artwork. Fellow writer Hibiscus Hastings had visited one of AM’s sites and spray painted a wall, so I thought I would have a go at spray painting the side of a railway carriage at this IDIA location.

It’s dead easy, you arrive at the side of the railway track and there is a spray can on a table, you simply click on the can and it opens a link to the web page where there are simple paint tools to use to create your artwork. If you make a mistake you can click the arrow to delete your error. I had great fun and I thought I would show AM Radio how much Our Virtual Trilogy loves these imaginative places.

Janey Bracken

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

The Twisted Wheel is a Little Piece of England

I’ve just seen a really nostalgic looking sim, a small piece of England with it’s little terraced houses and lace curtains, phone box, red pillar box and milk bottles on the doorsteps, plus that dustbin on the pavement waiting for the dustmen to call. It could be a council estate anywhere in North England with its cobbled streets and the smoking coal fire chimneys. There’s even a scrap merchants at the end of the road under the railway arches. It’s The Twisted Wheel, England 1966 sim and it has a great looking club which plays 60s and 70s music. There’s a nice couple of ladies shops that sell clothes from that decade too, and right next door you can buy a Lambretta scooter to wiz around the streets on.

The wording from 'Search' in SL says ‘THE best Mod/Northern Soul club in SL BAR NONE. Come and meet some of the nicest people in SL too. Mods, Scooters, Vespa, Lambretta, Pub, 1966, Swingin Sixties, Twisted Wheel Night Club, The Who, Ska, R&B,, The Small Faces, All Nighter.’

If you fancy going back in time for a great night out this looks like the place to be!!

Janey Bracken