Avatars, Brands and Personas

 

My avatars online persona started with an email address.

This way I could separate SL related, avatar specific, mail from other day to day RL stuff. These days such things can be acquired in just a few minutes for free.

Then I thought it would be fun to tell people about my adventures in SL, so I bought a website domain for a blog, although I didn’t start using it for quite some time. When I actually started using that, a Twitter account to promote it followed  as well as a Flickr account for photos I took inworld.

I was gradually unintentionally building my avatar into a full online persona or psudonym, to the point they have more of an online presence than my RL identity.

But when does a persona become a “brand”? Is it based on the number of people that know of you? Number of “followers” or customer sales if you have an actual product.

To make things more confusing I discovered this term “brand-persona”, where a company creates a persona for their brand, without the actual person part. A fictional figurehead that doesn’t have a person behind it, but a marketing team. Sure we’re aware of these things, but I wasn’t aware there was an actual term for it.

An article I found on this suggested that individuals, while having or being an actual brand, don’t consider themselves as such. Whereas with business it’s completely the opposite,but that’s not surprising.

This lead me to think about these people known as “Social influencers”. Just the term makes me cringe, because it makes me think of “Reality TV” show participants that suddenly achieve “celebrity” by doing not a lot, certainly not anything worth being celebrated. But maybe that’s a misconception.

So what’s a social influencer?

The website Influence Markering Hub describes it as:  “People who have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a specific topic. They make regular posts about that topic on their preferred social media channels and generate large followings of enthusiastic, engaged people who pay close attention to their views”.
They go so far as suggesting influcer types from “Mega”  down to “Nano”, based on their follower numbers.

However based on the definition above, I have friends in SL that are probaly influencers, but they don’t consider themselves as such. They’re not the ones that make me cringe, it’s those that identify themselves as such.

Maybe if we follow the suggested numbers, persona becomes brand when you reach a certain “type” of influencer, at X amount of followers. Since the definition of these characters changes frequently, presumably the answer to my query does too.

I really struggled with this idea though, it seemed very  wrong to base value of something or some achievement based on mere statisitcs. To help me try and figure some of this out I asked Draxtor Despres. Undoubtedly an avatar and he certainly influences people, however I’d never want to insult him by calling him a brand.

The questions do overlap but I couldn’t decide which one might get to the point of what I was trying to work out.

Q. At what point does and avatar persona become a brand?

Draxtor: A simple answer to that is if you are on an entrepreneurial path, if you have something to sell. Which is totally fine. The wonder of second life is that you can do a mum and pop type shop or create something and have complete power over how to market to sell it and that’s a wonderful way to do commerce. So I would say an avatar persona becomes a brand when there’s commerce involved.

Q. Is whether an avatar becomes a brand related to the number of followers they may have on social media platforms?

Draxtor: Follows has absolutely nothing to do with anything, the idea of followers to measure the importance of what you do in terms of success in a measurable binary sense is total bullshit. That’s the capitalist paradigm. The capitalist paradigm is trying to equate number of sales to the importance and to the validity and to the greatness of a product and that’s just total bullshit.

Q. Do you think using an avatar name outside Second Life as name of blog or social channel make it a brand?

Draxtor:  I would totally do that just for consistency. If you talked to somebody who studied marketing in college would probably say I’m talking about branding, probably I am but I just don’t like the word because the word to me is clouded and soiled frankly by the nefarious agenda to sell bullshit to people for monetary gain of a small elite.

So it would appear Draxtors thoughts on the subject, matched pretty well to my own. His assertion that quite a lot of it was bullshit resonates with my thoughts that it felt so wrong to place value or worth on something or someone based on popularity or how many people know or approve of them.

On the subject of influencers however he had this to say:

I do Linden Lab contracting work where I produce weekly videos highlighting destinations, creations and creative individuals in personal profile style videos. In that sense you could see me as influencer, since I am on the payroll of Linden Lab AND showcasing the best of the platform. I don’t have a problem with that classification (influencer)however I would like to add that with my specific contract I have tremendous freedom to choose topics and the way I visually present them.
It is maybe a bit like working for the local tourism agency of country XYZ where you LOVE all the stuff the locals do and you tell stories how they do it!

That now looks like a contradiction, since I said people that identify themselves as influencers make me cringe. The difference being here is that Drax hypes imagination and creativity in the virtual world, not things for sale.

But is it that simple? Throw in money and you go from a persona to a brand? I thought maybe I need some more input, a contrary view.
I asked someone that I thought fitted this description, that receives money via sponsored ads on their social media content. I asked if they felt they considered themselves a brand and if so, at what point they thought an avatar becomes a brand.

“I think our social media foot print is kind of like a brand. Any time you are blogging or vlogging you are branding your self, your image, etc”.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a reply to a follow up question for any clarification but thier response does match up with the finance argument Drax makes. Their money comes in through their social media postigs, because they charge for ad space, which therfore makes them a brand just by posting.

So maybe it is that simple after all.

Edit:
Coincedentally just hours after I posted this article Isabelle Cheren posted a spoof video called “That Cringe Social Influencer” which depicts very well the type of person I talk about above, give it a watch.

I’d love to hear any thoughts readers may have on this, so do please put your thoughts in the comments. (While you’re there, read the comment by Drax where he clarifies some points.)


This post was featured on the Second Life Community Blogon 7th April 2021.

Thoughts on Emotional connections, Real and Virtual lives.

A few things recently have set me thinking about the nature of virtual vs physical realities.

The first of those came out in my post about Virtual Hugs, which seemed to be very positively received. In that piece I talked about the importance of emotional attachment to your avatar.

I’m not debating whether virtual spaces, activities or experiences are “Real”. We interact within them, do things and have experiences within them. So from that perspective, the fact the “place” is computer generated is irrelevant, its Real. They’re just a slightly different kind of real, but you can’t deny the interactions happened.

Shortly after my blog post about hugs, a thread started on Twitter by Loki Eliot (@Demonkid) about how virtual experiences may have affected the physical reality, set me thinking more.

He posed the question of how much of our virtual lives (whichever space that may be in) pervades into our physical lives to shape our perception of it. I would say that it may well be quite a lot. Or possibly more accurately it could be proportionate to the amount of time you spent on these spaces. I’ll start by sharing my responses:

“Belief whether something is real is exactly that, belief, which is something you feel. If something happens in a virtual setting it’s no different to your mind than a physical world [..]”

“Perhaps those that mocked you may see their error now they can’t go out, but you can still do all your regular recreational things. Re-creation being the perfect word. It’s all recreation of a type of Real but better and how we want it. “

Emotional connection to your avatar and feeling part of the virtual environment are sometimes known as embodiment and immersion respectively. Whichever terms you use these things are important to get the most out of these worlds, to feel connected.

Some people can spend years in Second Life and not develop this connection. I have a friend that was in SL for years, until it finally happened. I said something like “Welcome to the Real Second Life” playing on the line from The Matrix. Others including myself form the connection quickly, it’s different for everyone.

Some people that don’t understand the idea of places or environments like SecondLife say things like:

“Just log off and forget about it”

It doesn’t work like that though. The thing that bridges the Physical and Virtual worlds is yourself. Your mind that experiences both places, you can’t switch your thoughts off. If you have an argument with someone online, particularly if they’re a friend, if they say something nasty it hurts you emotionally. It hurts in exactly the same way as if a friend in the physical world did the same.

So you would probably log out, but those feelings are still there and the exchange could rattle around inside your head for quite a long time. Note I said “online” above, because these things aren’t limited to 3D worlds, people are always getting into arguments on social media too. It can also happen in the Physical world, something that upset you at work for example. This is something the “just log off” brigade don’t realise, it’s the same emotional triggers as when they have a squabble on social media,it can hurt.

Does that mean Virtual Worlds are “Social Networks”? Perhaps in a way, we socialise and we network with our friends and make more friends. That’s where the similarity ends I think. In SL there is much less tolerance for disruptive behaviour I believe. We (Second Life residents) have a simple all-encompassing term we apply to it, “drama”. If you start any, you’re likely to be removed (ejected) from the place/group fairly promptly.

Perhaps where the virtual overlaps into the physical, is how we deal with people. We may have fewer physical interactions right now, but for those that inhabit virtual spaces, life continues as it did before or maybe even more frequently.

We may even go as far to say that interactions in Virtual Worlds are more like the Physical world than things on social media. People have jobs they go to, places they socialise at and favourite stores they like to shop in.

Imagine you ran into an old friend unexpectedly while you were out, that friendship may be refreshed, you’ll have a catch-up chat and may arrange to meet again. That kind of thing doesn’t happen on social media, because they’re flat, 2D, boring.

It’s  exactly what happened to me recently, as opposed to the hypothetical situations mentioned earlier. I went to a club to hang out with a friend and by pure chance there were a number of people there I hadn’t seen for over a year, many years in one case.

So those overlapping emotions can be positive as well as negative. I’m now looking forward to a catch-up chat, a shopping trip and another event I was invited to,  with the various different people I met.

All from the comfort of my home in the physical world.

Featured on the Second Life Community Blog on 24th March 2021.

Would you trust these two to save the Galaxy?

After seeing Isabelles fab post about Cyber Fair I thought it would be fun to do a little collaboration. So she invited me over and we had a nice little chat about what to do and tried stuff out until we got some great shots worked out. I absolutely love this one and had great fun taking it.

Isabelle: “We’re here to save the Galaxy…”

Isabelles corresponding (Light-side?) post: Same moment, different view.


My Credits:

  • Bodysuit:INORI – Ziva CombatSuit – MainFrame 2021
  • Tattoo: Circuited Body (Black Red) by APOCOLYPTIC from Mainframe 2021
  • Choker:*z e r o i c h i * AG CHOKER – Cyber Fair 2021
  • Eyewear:[N.C] – Protective Gear – glasses – Cyber Fair 2021
  • Wrist cuffs: Cainva Modulators by :[Petrichor]: -Cyberpunk 2020
  • Weapons & Backpack: Cyberpunk Space Combat Suit Set by Meli Imako
  • Hair: Raven Belle – Luxe Hair -Engine Room Event April 2020
  • Body: Maitreya 5.1
  • Head: Genus Project– Strong Face
  • Skin: -{The Attic}- Anjelica – Natural

Featured on the SecondLife Community Blog on 13th March 2021.

Don’t Undervalue a Virtual Hug

I woke up the other morning and really wanted a hug, in these current times such things are no longer to be taken for granted.

So we do “virtual hugs”..in the Real world (*rolls eyes*). This is not what I’m referring to here though. Not the extending our arms and waving them about in an impersonation of a hug at someone stood 2 metres away. Some people may get some comfort from this gesture but for me, it just looks ridiculous and doesn’t really trigger the emotional response we need, so I don’t do it.

I’m also not talking about emoji and gifs (although the latter are usually more heartfelt) expressing the same sentiments.

What I’m referring to is something like this:

Pic by Strawberry Linden.

This photo was taken in Secondlife because that’s my playground. You could achieve the same thing in other virtual environments. (But SL’s the best!)

The key though is emotional attachment, if you form an emotional attachment to your avatar, what happens to your avatar triggers an emotional response for you. In this case the sensation of closeness to another human being, even if what your eyes are seeing is pixel people. In your head it’s a virtual “you”, the other person wants to share this moment with you and that is the point. This doesn’t work for some people I know that, they just see pixels on a screen and it triggers nothing, to me they’re missing out.

So come Valentines Day, (or any day you feel you need one) if you can’t be near someone for a Physical hug, come into SL and get a proper Virtual Hug.

I didn’t capture the hug I got that day, but it inspired me to write this, the picture above was taken at Second Life Book Club.

Outfit Credit

This post was featured on the SecondLife Community Blog on Tuesday 16th February 2021.

Persia – The Immortals

This place is beautiful shadow-draped historically styled region based on ancient Persia of 550B.C.

Arriving through some undergrowth to the bottom of a set of steps drenched in shadows of statues cast by purple moonlight, it has got to to be one of my favourite region arrivals for quite a while.

As you proceed its pleasantly free of clutter, just a few boards, but not intrusive, before you come to your ride.

Ride a horse benefits: Fuel Efficient, Environmentally Friendly,Can drive you home when drunk!

Just click the horse and choose a name from the menu to get your own horse to ride. I picked “magic” because that’s how the place feels. You proceed by walking through a multi-layered veil into a dark but open space.

When you go through it’s such a view, dark and mysterious. To the left is the top arches of an arena, some steps ahead and to the right a small plain leading to a river.

At the top of the steps is a sign reading:

  • Raid Field
  • Arena
  • Shops
  • Rezz Zone.

Seeing the word “Raid” I decided I’d check that later and headed to the right towards the the intruiging palm trees and buildings.

The word “Raid” suggests caution is in order.

Heading towards the distant lights there are buildings and palm trees.

Down a gentle bank is a paved collanade following the path of a dry stream bed. Across the here are a few small homes, some of which are for rent.

Having seen all there was in this area I backtracked towards the steps and the arena.

Aerial view of the Arena

I headed down the steep steps and onto the cobbled path below, passing the entrance to the Arena. The next thing tou see is an imposing temple, which I’ll investigate later, there’s a more impressive view ahead.

What caught my attention ahead were two rather large bridges arching over an impressive harbour scene.

I took the nearest bridge and crossed to the other side where there is a row of various shops. These sell an assortment of appropriately themed weapons and RP props. I headed left towards the harbour mouth until I came to a guard (npc) blocking your way. Mainly because there’s nowhere else to go except back the way you came, or steps onto the roofs of the shops.

Back at the other end of the row there is a narrow but passable slope that used to get back down to the plains.

The bottom of this slope leads me towards the temples, so time to have a look inside. It’s rather imposing from the outside, with steps on either side of the entrance leading up to it. Inside its suitably gloomy in kind with the surroundings, lit by torches near the altar. It does have the feeling of reverence you often experience at religious sites, although I can’t really explain how that works in a virtua space.

Strangely however it’s for rent..but I couldn’t find any kind of residential accommodation thereabouts.

I stopped to meditate for a little while before leaving, because back outside there’s only one structure I’d not explored yet, the Arena and I’m not the fighting type.

A few moments editation before leaving the temple

Fortunately at this time of day there were no combatants about so it was a peaceful visit to this place of violent sport.

This is an amazingly beautiful region to see and wander around. If you want to join in their Roleplay there is a group joiner at the landing point as well as a vendor for their free combat system called “URA Kombat”.

Update 12th Feb: Wondering about the harbour? Check out the follow-up post: Persepolis Docks

Arrival: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sky%20Atoll/20/82/53

Post featured on the SecondLife Community Blog on 11th February 2021.

Outfit Credits:

VARGSANGEN

A beautiful Viking/Scandinavian theme location that has a wonderfully cold wintery atmosphere to it. It looked great when I arrived and started taking my snapshots, then I remembered to turn on Shared Environment setting and wow, the place took on a whole new feel.

I find it’s always good to look behind you when you arrive at places, you never know what you’ll find. This is why most of my posts have a rear-facing shot near the beginning.

Most of the time it’s a blank wall, this is one of those times that it’s not, there’s a set of steps leading up the hill from the beach.

There’s a few houses and meeting hall which all look great and fun to explore. You can see from up here all across the bay, the waters seem to go on forever, but there is also a far shore that needs exploring!

Back down the steps there is a log bridge that takes you into a dense woodland. But this is no walk in the park! There’s an assortment of animals in here, not all of them friendly.

A couple of bears are far enough to not be a worry, but the wolf pack (you’ll hear it before you see it) deserve a wide berth, so as not disturb their catch. This small scene is actually really effective with animated deer and wolf snarling sounds, makes it feel real.

Further along the path widens into a small clearing containing someone’s home. There are a number of these dotted around, their simplicity compared to the houses suggests outcasts or solitary individuals keeping away from the main local community.

This place is on the end of a land peninsular so has water in 3 sides, I went across to the beach to get a closer look at something I saw in the distance from the landing point. A rather large creature circling in the water, definitely a place for a paddle!

Retracing my steps through the woods there is a steep set of steps leading up the mountain (by SL proportions). It’s quite a walk up to the top, with some great views as you go up and from the top.

There are signs of some old structures half buried in the ground as you approach the summit. When you reach the top (giving the solitary howling wolf plenty of space) there appears to be an area of worship, with standing stones and a sacrificial altar. You can also see from here another little home, on the beach below a large statue. In the opposite direction is a barren clifftop view over the sea, which can be quite calming to enjoy with the sounds of whistling wind.

Up here I met with the regions creator and we had a nice chat. I said I kept expecting to find an NPC of Floki (a crazy little guy from the Amazon series Vikings) in one of the huts. I asked her about RP in the region and she told me there was none organised, but people were welcome to come and use it for that, she just wanted to create a beautiful place.

Which in my opinion she has achieved and surpassed. If you’re a fan of the series or anything like Viking culture, you will love this place.

To get the best experience I would suggest you enable Shared Environment setting, so it looks how the creator intended it.

If you’ve not got this turned on, in a Firestorm goto the World menu select Environment then “Shared Environment”.

Enjoy exploring!

Landing point: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/White%20Widow/101/205/23

Outfit credits :

This post was featured on the SecondLife Community Blog on 29th January 2021.

Sindaria Part 2 – New Runner City

I found Sindaria via a Scoop.it article that led me through to a Blog post about the Cyberpunk area of Sindaria. At the time of writing my previous post on Sindaria, I hadn’t fully read the said blog post, for which I owe the author an apology for seeming rather dismissive of it,when that wasn’t my intention. Anyway onto my visit to this city. Obviously this time I took the other teleport doorway, the one lit with neon.

The teleporter to New Runner City

This brings me to a large circular platform surrounded by skyscrapers with giant ad boards on them (not actual advertising for inworld stores or services, RP related). The one that stood out the most was one for a place called “Galaxy Glub”, so clearly a place I’d have to look at. Nearby is a shuttle landing platform that I headed for.

The shuttle landing platform

Before I left however I thought I’d mention the eco-dome type structure containing a few trees. A nod to the other theme on the region, like the police car in the Elven Woodland area below. At the shuttle platform I hit the big green call button and a shuttle could be heard approaching and landed next to me and I boarded.

The shuttle system is fairly impressive with quite a number of locations it will take you. I picked a location at random and the shuttle tok off and flew me down to a lower level, rather smoothly.

At the bottom I found myself a short distance from the Galaxy Club so I went to investigate. As Secondlife clubs go this was fairly mediocre, but given the region is meant for RP not parties, this is understandable, much more effort has been spent elsewhere.

Back outside I found a teleport station, again with a reasonable number of destinations. This is good, because as I explored I kept finding more to see, similar to Hangars Liquides, but on a smaller scale. I ended up at what appeard to be the rear of the club, near the entrance to another unidentified building. No signage and a locked door. What was beyond this place however I found more interesting.

Rain. Yes I know sounds weird, but when most people try to add weather to a place in SL, it looks dreadful. Not that it’s something you deliberately look for, but it stood out to me because it was so atmospherically accurate and appropriate to the setting.

Rain, that actualy felt like rain.

To my left I saw what appeared to be pink crosses so went to investigate, I guess even cyberpunks need religion, but this seemed more of the Vegas variety.

I headed out in the opposite direction to see how far the rain went and where the road led. The rain didn’t extend far, but the road does, lots of winding bends, leading downhill. The further down you go, the scruffier it gets, more proligic garffiti and the like abound.

I didn’t explore much more of the region beyond this, it would take quite some time with the city being so large. Lots of RP locations everywhere and multiple transport methods to find and get to them. If you like your Cyberpunk RP this is a place to definitely check out. Usually I keep my writing about SL, because making comparisons to PC games is usually like comparing chalk and cheese. However while I was writing this peice I saw a video that mentions the much hyped Cyberpunk 2077 game. I haven’t played the game on any platform so I watched it with inerest to hear a critical analysis. It was mentioned a few times that the linear nature of the game didn’t allow for much aesthetic character customisation or Roleplay in what was meant to be an Roleplaying Game. But to me that’s like trying to hammer a nail with the handle of a screwdriver, it’ll work, but isn’t the right tool. You want to aesthetically customise you character to your hearts desire with few constraints and have freeform RP? Sign up to SecondLife and spend the game price on Lindens (at time of writing that’s about $L 16,400) to customize your avie to your hearts desire. Then visit the cyberpunk location of your choice and RP away. Obviously if you want to go round shooting folk and NPC’s as part of a structured plot, it’s not for you, but if your focus is the “RP” in RPG give it a go. Landing Point: https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sindaria/58/91/1089 Website: https://www.worldanvil.com/w/sindaria-scarlet-fey The Cyberpunk 2077 video mentioned: Youtube

Outfit:

This post was featured on the SecondLife Community Blog on 20th January 2021.

Drune: Babalon

Another district of Drune is unveiled to us!

In a similar style but not ground layout as the previous build (Drune Crossroads), Drune Babalon is full of lights in a dark setting.

Like Crossroads you arrive by tube (Subway), although this time the arrival point is in a carriage rather than on the platform.

You’re not in the wrong place, walk forward!

Unfortunately the TP routing drops you too close to the back of the carriage when using the default camera position. Just take a step forward.

Walk along the carriage til you come to the doors

and step out onto the platform

Exit up the stair into a much smaller lobby leading out onto the street:

I went left and across the street to the purple steps and what looked interestingly like some kind of portal

Which took me into a small club calle “Peaches”. The neon lights change very regularly to different colours, giving the club a different feel from minute to minute, but thankfully not at a fast flickering speed.

Coming back out I saw a weapons shop across the street, a reminder of the dark kind of RP that could be found here.

Maybe it’s close to the station for a reason, but I came prepared with my own.

Along the street I find a club East of Eden, but didn’t go inside

The building across the street was more intruiging..”Jesus Saves..with Drune Central Bank”. I wondered whether I find pews or bank teller cubicles inside.

Turned out it was neither, the church had been converted into a nightclub,the pulpit the DJ Booth.

Out on the street again I see a neon sign for another potentially interesting place to investigate, a Fight Club.

This place wasn’t too surprising on the inside, exactly as it proclaimed.

While I explored it became evident that while the layout of the streets near the station were similar to Crossroads, there was more levels to Babalon. The Crossroads had another level but it was high up above street level, here the levels are more evident, due to a waterway running through the region. This meant there was a lower waterside level.

So obviously I had to explore the lower level and see what trouble may be found.

However before I descended I spotted a tiny detail on the bridge, just some puddles, but is another example of the attention to detail in Drune builds.

Only in SL might puddles deserve a photo, but the detail caught my eye.

As I descended to the lower level I could see some brightly lit places that might warrant later investigation.

Down on the lower level however I found a fun looking Rock Club

But Drune being a Roleplay simulation, it’s unlikely it’ll see any dancing.

Back outside I found there was a walkway that ran underthe bridges, but no way to cross the river without getting wet.

I retraced my steps and crossed over to look at the other places I’d seen. The most brightly lit turned out to be a chinese restaraunt. As you would expect from a Drune build,while not particularly exciting, this wasn’t just an empty facade.

Nearby however I found a small starirway and followed it up.

On the upper level I found a small cafe and access onto a walkway similar to that of Crossroads, but not quite as extensive.

When I reached the end of the walkway and a brief rest, I took the quickest way down to the ground, off the edge again. The fal being much shorterthan the one in Crossroads!

Back on the ground I found another instance of the Vooddoo club

At the end of my post about Crossroads, I commented that it could probably have got away with a Moderate rating,due to the establishment signage being merely suggestive and absence of adult furniture. So I thought I’d have a look and see if the same was true here.

When I arrived I’d tried a few doors and they seemed to have combination locks keeping the public out, seems I’d just been clicking the wrong part of the lock.

So first stop was a massage parlor, which turned to have functioning massage couches.

Then the more flagrant establishment across from the station..which was pretty much as you’d expect,but more peepshow type than couples animations.

So this district of Drune definitely requires it’s Adult rating. But as you can see, this is just fairly small aspect of the highly detailed cyberpunk build. Which along with bars and clubs, even includes your regular mundane service vendors..

As always we never know how long these builds will stay around, so go check it out before its gone.

Arrival point: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Blissful%20Summer/135/184/2496 (Region Rating :Adult)

Note on lighting: This Drune build uses an EEP shared lighting model, you’ll get a notecard about it when you arrive. If you don’t have EEP viewer thinks might look different.
(Also besides EEP implementation the photos got a whole lot better since the Crosroads post because I got a sweet new laptop with much better graphics!)

Outfit Credits:

This post was featured on the SecondLife Community Blog on 5th January 2021.

A look back at My 2020 in SecondLife

While we may not all want to look back at 2020 in the Real World, doing so for my Second Life isn’t half as depressing.

Looking at my previous posts over the last year I was actually busier than I thought. I did quite a bit of RP in SL Gor during first few months of  the year tracking down old friends,

Pondering what adventures are to come with my return to Gor

before moving on to a Prison RP  which had me chasing escapees for a few weeks.

I caught up with one of the escapees in a bar

 

Then along came Fantasy Faire,where this year I was able to have early access the empty lands before the masses arrived.

Empty streets of Fantasy Faire

This was through my involvement with the NeoVictoria Project as opposed to the FF Bloggers (since I didn’t make the official list,maybe next year!)

This gave me a new perspective on the Faire that I wrote about. I also wrote two short stories  based around the Faire as part of their “Faire Folk” challenge, called Under the Pass and Casseopeia. How could anyone not be inspired by the Faire?

I next moved onto a different more futuristic RP, a cyberpunk location inspired by the city of Helix.

The city didn’t survive the RL lockdown,but it has led to a small but thriving group,making a life for themselves in a dusty Martian crater.

Bits of ruined machinery in the dusty crater

Halloween came around fast and all the spooky places sprung up for October and I had great fun blogging some of them.

Shortly before the *actual* date of Halloween arrived I was at a club called Ohana that I’d visited several times in the past and they mentioned Hosting vacancies,so I applied and was taken on after a trial set that went great.

Debut Set at Ohana Rock Club, 19th October

Finally in December I decided I’d try to go along to the SL Book Club readings. I’d seen the Twitter activity about it weekly (who could miss Draxtors enthusiasm?)but never actually got around to attending. I went along two and a half hours early,just intending to have a look and take a Landmark.

I realised I’d unwittingly taken myself hostage,the place was already half full and if I’d left,getting back in wasn’t guarunteed. Fortunately I’d already done my whip around of Christmas advent calendar clicking that day!

Already half-full hours early!

Which pretty much brings this year of Second Life adventures to a close.

However..

I’ve explored more places than I got around to blogging about, so I’ve lots of photos of places that deserve long posts of their own. Maybe I’ll write those next year if the locations are still there in the New Year.

For now I’ve simply made small galleries of some of the different places I didn’t feature on the blog, as well as some one-off snaps,in chronological order:

A storytelling evening at NeoVictoria (3rd January)

Furry Night at Kitty Kaboom (23rd January)

Bikini party at Kitty Kaboom,from PG angle. (13th February)

Hayo as a Tarn (18th May)

Tarns are large birds,ridden by some warriors in the fictional world of Gor.

Sci-Fi Con 2020 (21st May)

 

Ash Falls (15th July)

Murder City (21st July)

SecondLife 17th Birthday explorations via train (24th July)

Pandemonium (7th August)

Delerium (12 August)

 

Tea with Sheree (15th September)

Hayo preparing for Halloween (4th October)

 

Jeep Antics with Sheree and Hayo (11th October)

NeoVictoria 10th Anniversary Roleplays (22-24th November)

 

Boggying with Nyte after my set at Ohana (19th December)

Boogying with Nyte at Ohana

 

SecondLife Book Club (16+23rd December)

This post was featured on the SecondLife Community Blog on 28th December 2020.

Drune Crossroads

Drune is back!

I missed the last incarnation of this place, since it doesn’t seem to stay for long, so I’m pleased I got to visit this time around. Hopefully it’ll still be there for you to visit when you read this.

To set the scene this is the land description:

Drune Crossroads
A drift down memory lane, with an eldritch tone. Cyberpunk Streets, Cyber Punk City, Sci Fi, Bladerunner, Lovecraft

So you can expect lots of bright neon lights, dark alleyways and (non-drivable)flying cars.

The arrival point is an Underground (Subway) station.

exit through the ticket barriers up the escalator as you would a real station.

This takes you up into a waiting room

Now we get to the interesting part, exiting this area takes you out into a main street where you are bombarded with the expected neon and shopfronts.

You then come to what must be the proclaimed “crossroads”.

You may have noticed in the last picture in the previous gallery I passed a blue Christmas tree, this becomes relevant when you reach the crosroads.

There’s different coloured trees in different directions, this helps you keep your bearings, when at street level at least. I picked red and went that way.

Drune has lots of little nooks and crannies full of detail, as I walked I saw a sliding door open slightly and had a peek.

This one was a car repair place,not super interesting from my point of view, but illustrates the detail put into the place.

When I got to the end of the road there was a junction

I headed right towards the pink neon lighting a stairwell and wasn’t surprised what I found..a bar with a some rather evocative statues at the entrance and some fun solo dance furniture.

Heading through to the back I had a look down at the street below

Next I retraced my steps down to ground level and took the opposite alley that took me to a ground level bar with a somewhat classier feel.

I then took a nearby fire-escape style staircase which seemed to go on for ever, when I reached the top I look over the edge…it’s a long way down!

However up at the top is a whole nother way of seeing the city, via a maze of walkways.

When I reached the apparent end there seemed to fortunately be a lift back down

But when I took it down and followed the subsequent corridor..It led to a locked door!

I had no choice but to go back up and walk around the gangways. But as I said, it’s a bit of a maze and couldn’t find the stairs! I decided to abandon my pedestrian approach that I try to stick to when exploring and took the express route back to the ground, that you could only get away with in SL, jump over the railing. The fall seemed even further than it looked.

Back on the ground I’d landed in what at first glance was a sex venue of some kind, til I read the second line “Cosmetic Surgery”, not what you normally might associate red or pnk neon with, also not a roleplay avenue I’d want to pursue!

On the whole another great incarnation of the cityscape, worth visiting for sure, lots to be found with lots of attention to detail.

Arrival point: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Real%20Angel%20Estate/33/128/37 Region Rating: Adult
(although it could probaby get away with being rated Moderate, if it weren’t for a few revealing photos on an upper level,since the signage everywhere appears to be merely suggestive and I didn’t find any furniture with adult animations.)

This post was featured on the SecondLife Community Blog on 14th December 2020