Thursday, June 30, 2016

Music in a Virtual World

Music is about as close to a universal language as humans are probably going to get to anytime soon. Music conveys emotion and concepts better than a thousand words could. Those carry over into the virtual world as well, possibly more so since there's less to judge on. There's three main different types of music in SL, when it comes down to it.

First there's the radio music, the kind that's just set to lands that no one really monitors. Then there's the stuff that goes in on clubs. Clubs come in all shapes and sizes, and most attempt to keep to a genre of music. Most clubs don't run 24/7 and revert to radio in off hours. DJs usually play prime time in SL and expand from there. It's fun to go to the sets, usually local chat has something or another interesting besides. Sometimes it's even fun to test the DJs with particularly obscure requests. Then there's live music, where folks come on and sing. Popularity and draw generally influence where they perform, with the more popular taking places in venues specializing all live music.

I personally am not always the biggest fan of live music in SL. Sometimes it just flat out doesn't do it for me. DJs are fun, but of course vary wildly in what they do specifically. Some just run the songs end to end, while others smooth out transitions and are very witty on air. The generic radios though I rarely listen to, since I can simply run my own music and skip around as I like. Any atmosphere must also be weigh the people contributing though, and that alone can make anything interesting.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Soonsiki Treasure
Clothing: Oddworld Clothing Salsa Rhythm, Needful Pixel Music Notes Jewelry
Sim: Serenity Gardens  Pose: Exposeur

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Bloodlines

The Bloodlines system is one of many things to do in Second Life, though admittedly it can be one of the more social aspects. I personally wander in and out of the system, but that's me. For some, it becomes an all consuming passion, for others it's something they'd like to forget ever happened.

The way Bloodlines works is simple enough, or at least in theory. It's HUD based, one purchases it to play. Once the HUD is on, the play begins. Each person starts with a 'soul', the first person to bite them gets the soul. From there souls can be moved between people either by willing transfers or forcibly by a potion. Many people place their souls in their liege's hands, but not always.

The lieging and clans are what make bloodlines social. A person picks their liege, and can choose to change at any point. All their statistics roll upward in the system based on lieging. Ultimately the lines of lieging form clans, with the king/queen not lieged to anyone else. Clans usually attempt to develop a family atmosphere, complete with welcome parties for newcomers and clan land. Of course, where there's groups, there's competition to be the biggest clan.

There are some who take the clan thing very far, to the point of starting feuds with other clans and causing bad blood between people. There are also people who send random requests to bite, which most consider very rude behavior, in an attempt to gain souls. Then there are people like me, who drift in and out as it suits. It's no longer quite as imperative to me to participate, even though my closest families and some of my best friends have come from the bloodlines system.

For more information on bloodlines, visit SL Bloodlines

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Blame Feet: Slink
Clothing: Sn@tch Consensual Behavior, Sn@tch Anette Heels
Sim: My home  Prop: Exposeur The Keyhole

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Why I Hunt

Second Life makes many pastimes available to its participants. These vary in how many participants are required, and some have some flexibility. One of my favorite pastimes in SL is hunting, for any number of reasons. It's easy to do in solitude, but more amusing to do in a group.

At any given time, there are a dozen or more grid wide hunts going on, a plethora of sim wide hunts, and a goodly number of fairs. It's ample diversion for the middle of the night, and there's a certain rhythm to it that's calming.

Then there's the rewards. It's not quite the same as shopping, but it's a whole lot cheaper. Hunting also takes me to stores that I would not have found otherwise, some of whom I started visiting regularly. Of course, there is a significant expansion of inventory until I have time to go through it, but that's another story.

For more on hunting: Hints on Hunts in Second Life

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Mint
Clothing: Lavian Can't Smile Without You
Sim: My home  Prop: Exposeur Hex Wall

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer

Summer is the season most people look forward to all year. I can't really blame them either, since I only rarely see the sun in winter. Every year we don't remember what humidity is though, or what high noon in July feels like. The other thing about summer is always water, since it has to be warm to be in the pools and swimming spots for extended periods of time.

In SL there is no temperature limit on water, nor on when the beaches are open. There's still something about visiting a beach in the summer as opposed to doing it in midwinter. There are quite a few options around the grid, and each one has a different feel to it. Water especially changes a lot with the environment settings, which the users can play with further. It's so much easier to be somewhere on a beach in virtual reality.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Soul Ranitomeya Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Luxe
Clothing: Erratic Natasha Monokini
Sim: Baja Sands  Pose and Prop: Elefante Poses - Addy

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Magic

Magic is just science we don't understand yet ~Arthur C. Clarke

There's a lot of magic in the world, and I'm not just talking about the magic shows. There's much that people don't grasp about the world around them. There's also things we may never be able to explain, like why people fall in love. There's one mystery we'll probably never understand.

When we jump into user created virtual reality like SL, magic is in the fantastic. Anyone can theoretically learn to build with prims, sculpts, and mesh.  Yet a lot of people choose to enjoy other aspects of the virtual world. Prim twisting to them is magic. There's scale and detail and feats though that many see only when someone else's imagination gives it form.

So, the summer solstice is today, combined with the full moon. It's a time of magic indeed to those who choose to be open to the wonder.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: .Olive. The Shiny
Clothing: Envious White Magic
Sim: Kingdom of Alurel  Pose and Prop: Elefante Poses

Monday, June 20, 2016

A Bit of Fashion

Fashion, well, runway fashion anyway, has always been weird. Fashion that the rest of us can wear has always been different from that. When we go into Second Life though, the barrier breaks again, since modesty or practicality aren't considerations. There's a certain reflection of self in it then.

Designers create SL fashion, rather than any kind of system. A lot of it comes down to personal preference, though skin typically wins unless someone is roleplaying. It works well actually, to be able to pick and choose due to the multitude of choices. Thus, it's more expressive of an individual to examine the choices they make for their avatar.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Soul Emma Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Mint Feet: Slink
Clothing: Sn@tch Laced Sweater, Sn@tch Jordan mini, Sn@tch Annette, Fetch Wayward
Sim: Flux Ser Mer

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

#Pride

June is Pride month. It was selected as such due to when the Stonewall riots in 1969 started following police raids on the Stonewall Inn in New York City, though it would take decades of uphill battles before pride month became a government recognized affair. Heck, it wasn't even until 2015 that same sex marriage became legal in the United States, and there still aren't equal protections in the workplace, housing, and so much more. The gender of who you love, or with whom you share a bed, still should never exclude you from the things afforded to every other person.

Then there's Orlando. Orlando is a tragedy. Period. Humans died at the hands of another human. If that was all we knew, that would be enough to mourn. We do know more though. We know that he believed that it was his right to end those lives. We know he deliberately chose a LGBTQ+ space. We know he pledged to a terror organization. These are things we know, these things make a tragedy an act of terrorism and a hate crime as well.

So yes, we have pride. We fly rainbow colors. We care for our own, whether they're just coming out or have been for years. We are a community forged, and we are strong.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Take Feet: Slink
Clothing: Barely Legal Mini Loose Dress, *IO* Alia Foot Jewelry, Sin Original EWSH
Sim: Duet

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Waiting for the perfect moment

The perfect moment is one of those elusive things. People are always waiting for it before they act, for some kind of signal that its time to act. There isn't really any such thing, but humans still wait. There are indeed better times for things to happen, but no such thing as a perfect one. The stars don't line up, the omens don't occur in the right order, whatever. There's an old proverb roughly paraphrased to "The best time to plant an acorn is 20 years ago. The second best time is today."

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Soul Emma Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Tommorow
Clothing: AdN Wait It Out, Earthstones Power Crystal, AdN Bangles and Headpiece
Sim: Aluz

Friday, June 10, 2016

Journeys

They say life's a journey a lot, though no one seems able to explain exactly what sort or how long it'll take, those kinds of details. In our physical journeys, most people travel with itineraries, destinations, and timelines. In non physical journeys, we don't have those things to go off of.

In SL, it's easy to get lost. There are so many things to get into, so many paths to wander, that people get lost trying to find where they belong. Granted, belonging changes over time, but most people find at least one permanent set of friends. It's human to want to see all the paths and what they're missing, and to get lost for a while in it.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangamoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Take
Clothing: ~ND~ Journey of the Sea, ~OGC~ Minoan Set
Sim: Everlong

Monday, June 6, 2016

Dusk

In photography, the hour before and after sunrise and sunset are called "magic hours." This is because the light tends to reflect best when things are developed. It's also a good time to see what's around without a camera. Of course, dusk is also the start of the witching hours, especially for those who're up all night. In some ways, it's an exciting time because it's when I'm most awake right now. In others, it's sad because it means the people I care about are going to start slipping off into their beds until it's just me.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: .:Soul:. Emma Ears: Mandala Skeking Feet: Slink
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Surprise
Clothing: AdN Night Changes, Fetch Wayward Necklace, .:KC:. Mina
Sim: Aluz

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Posts from wandering

Sim wandering is as good a thing to do at 3am as anything really. There are all kinds of sims just a click away with the right keywords. In this case, I was looking for a beach to hang out on for a while. I have an attraction to water, there's something soothing about it even in SL. Linden water is fun, but some of the things people script are awesome.

People put a lot of effort into sims, and a lot of them sit devoid of life most of the time. In some ways it's sad. In other ways, it's good to be able to enjoy the solitude of beauty and the freedom to do what I want. It's certainly easier to take pictures without having to cut other avatars out, or someone getting impatient.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangamoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Luxe Box May
Clothing: Love25 Modern Goddess
Sim: The Bay

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Windlight

Light is one of those perspective things. In Second Life, it's also one of the things individual avatars can manipulate to suit them. If someone wants to, they can spend their entire second life under the midnight moon. It's actually pretty cool to play with the various settings and create custom windlight packs.

Some sims use windlights to add to their ambiance for everyone, though the effectiveness varies by graphics setting and expertise. Light, dark, grey, its interesting to watch the human behavioral response to these things when combined with different surroundings, for example a beach at night versus a haunted villa.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangamoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Rewind
Clothing: ::PM:: Lurex, Larry 001, ~OGC~ Minoan Necklace. <<Digital Aura>>Quicksilver Cuff
Sim: The Ionic Collective

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Appliers

Appliers came with the mesh, because mesh is weird sometimes. Originally it was intended to fit over the implants as well, specifically the larger than life mesh boobs that were popular a year or three ago. That was weird to look at. As mesh bodies came in, the appliers took on a bit more of a natural approach without having to remap the appliers.

I like the appliers I've got actually, though some of them didn't fit the body. I think it has more to do with what texture was used in the applier rather than appliers as a whole. Some textures just don't work on certain bodies or proportions, at least not the way I look at them. That was hell on my outfit selection when I first jumped to mesh, but it's worked out so far.

I have a Maitreya body, which means I have access to the Omega system for appliers. It's meant to be a more universal system than designers making appliers for every single mesh body. It's what I use in my store, Wyld Chyld Fantasies, and it certainly saves time. Anyway, it gives me a lot more options than having to stick to the Maitreya appliers.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangamoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Tomorrow
Clothing: Sn@tch Anya Dark, Larry 001
Sim: Netherwood