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The time for Virtual Ability’s annual International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference is upon us once again. This year the theme is “Let Me In” and the dates are Friday and Saturday, the 27th and 28th of September on Virtual Ability Island.

We are so excited! We invite you to attend the conference if you can, and tell your friends about it – bring them along!

The slate of presenters is broad and varied. We’ll have:

- Panels talking about disability rights around the world
- A keynote address about how young children with disabilities can learn through play
- Another keynote presentation about the World Report on Disability
- A discussion about making buildings more accessible
- Empowerment medicine
- Autism in India
- Reproductive health literacy in Ghana
- Emergency preparedness
- And more

Presenters hail from places as diverse as Germany, South Africa and the Netherlands. Panelists come from places as widespread as Brazil, Italy, Japan, Ecuador, and Denmark.

You can find more information about the conference, the speakers and the schedule on Virtual Ability’s website at http://www.virtualability.org and the blog at http://blog.virtualability.org.

Join us on the 27th and 28th as we celebrate successes, identify issues and re-affirm the rights of people with disabilities across the world.

International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference (IDRAC)
September 27 & 28, 2013
The Sojourner Auditorium, Virtual Ability Island
Teleport: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Virtual%20Ability/53/172/23

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Well, actually, there are several things that you could do … and some of them are related to filling out forms …

Art
Or perhaps you’d prefer to pick up your camera and enter our special competition to design a new fraphical strapline for Prim Perfect.  Our old graphic was created in 2007 – and Second Life – as well as other virtual worlds – has moved on since then!  We are offering a prize of L$5000 for the best one we receive, featuring images of Second Life (and other virtual worlds) in 2013. And Froukje Hoorenbeeke has generously matched that prize – our winner will also receive a voucher for L$5000 to spend at her gorgeous store, Dutchie!

Dutchie's Mesh Kitchen

Dutchie’s Mesh Kitchen

We are offering five further prizes of L$1000 each for people who share with us pictures of the best indivdiual style icons in homes, gardens and landscapes. So get out there and record your absolute favourites!

You’ll find full details of the competition (which closes on January 15th) here.

Romance
And don’t forget to complete our special survey of how you met (whether in Second Life, real life or somewhere else entirely!). We are planning a feature article on this for our Valentine issue, and we’ve already received some great stories – make sure that yours joins them!

Sunset on Gilmour, photograph by Honour Macmillan

Sunset on Gilmour, photograph by Honour Macmillan

Last day for sharing your story with us is January 18th.

Centre for Business Development

Centre for Business Development

Business
Finally, today (January 10th) is the last day to complete the survey being run by the Centre for Business Development who are gathering information that will be useful to use in identifying issues and provide them with what they hope will be a good basis to start developing strategies.

The Centre is is a collaborative group of business people working together to identify and improve areas that may be hindering growth in Second Life. Their aim is to be proactive in improving business growth, opening avenues of communication with Linden Lab and enriching experiences for SL residents.

So … what are you waiting for? There’s lots of things to do … and later, there may even be a jigsaw …

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Palm arrangement from the Heart Garden Center

Palm arrangement

In launching today’s competition to redesign the graphic strap for Prim Perfect, that isn’t to say that all of the original element have dated (although the photographic techniques available and windlight settings have definitely improved).  One of the elements in the original graphic is the Heart sisters’ lovely palm trees – which I wrote about as part of a series of style icons back in 2007, and which you can still see all over Second Life (and, sadly, all over Open Sim too, as the Heart Garden Center has frequently been a victim of content theft). It’s this element that forms our jigsaw today.

The Szabo Horn clock too is still a great piece of design, although the days are long gone when it was seen as a badge of taste in the well-furnished Second life home – at least a badge of taste displayed by those who could afford to house a 64 prim clock!

The hammock by Baron Grayson (shown in my exotic Gothic tower and forming yesterday’s jigsaw) is another lovely piece of work and I also love my lily bowls from Furniture by Sofia … but, let’s face it, both furniture and photographic techniques have moved on considerably since the strap image was created.

So the time has most definitely come for a new strap graphic that reflects the beauty of Second Life in 2013, and the creativity of its designers.  But we shouldn’t forget the creative route we’ve taken over the years, especially with the 10th Birthday of Second life coming up this year.

I was looking today at Second Style magazine.  That played a great part in my original decisions in setting up and developing Prim Perfect – it was then, for me, the great model of Second life magazines.  The first issue I encountered was the February 2007 one, but it stretched back to April 2006. The last issue, No.44, came out in March 2011 but it’s some of the earlier issues that are especially fascinating to look at, like studying a 1950s or 1960s magazine and marvelling at the old styles. You can browse at will here.

But first, let’s do a jigsaw!

Click to Mix and Solve

Palm Arrangement from the Heart Garden Center, photographed in 2007

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Catch up with your Prim Perfect jigsaws (showing images of Second Life and other virtual worlds).

If you’d like to submit a photo of your own to feature as a jigsaw, send it to the Prim Perfect Flickr Group. It should be sized 800w x 600h, or else it will need to be re-sized.

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If you look up at the top of this page, you’ll see the Prim Perfect strap – consisting of various element of Second life design.  It’s familiar, it’s pretty and it has a number of what were Second Life icons of design.

Unfortunately it’s also very, very old.

The time has most definitely come for a new strap graphic that reflects the beauty of Second Life in 2013, and the creativity of its designers.  But how shall we do this?

Well, we are going to run two competitions.

1) Design a new strap graphic for Prim Perfect – Prize: L$5,000
We are asking you to design a new strap graphic for use on our blog and publicity materials.  Images should be submitted as a png or a high res jpg, and should be sized 760 × 190 or, preferably, 1520 x 380.

The strap graphic should incorporate our new logo – but should also be adaptable to be used as a shorter graphic without the logo, similar to the way our current strap graphic works:

Old header with logo

can become:

Old header without logo

You can have different elements (the top logo manages to squeeze in nine different images) or maybe blow us away with a single stunning Look. The choice is yours.

Remember that you will need to use our new logo, which looks like this:

Prim Perfect new logo

Or, of course, in banner format:

Prim Perfect's new logo

We will feature all the entries that we love in the February issue of Prim Perfect – and announce the winner.

2) Show us the home and garden style icons of Second Life in 2013 – 5 prizes of L$1,000 for the best!
When the strap was created in 2007, many of the elements were selected as iconic. What would be similarly iconic in 2013? Send us an image of a design artefact that YOU believe is iconic in Second Life.  It could be a Botanical tree, or Dutchie’s mesh bed.  It could be the hanging plants from UrbanizeD or the Italianate villa from Maven Homes.  It could be as seasonal as a Patron Christmas tree. Whatever YOU think is a style icon of contemporary Second Life, send us a picture. Images should be submitted as a png or a high res jpg, and should be sized 512 x 512 or 1024 x 1024

Winning entries will appear in the February issue of Prim Perfect.

How to enter
Entries should be sent to primperfect@gmail.com by 12 midnight SLT on January 15th 2013.

Any questions about this should be sent to the same address.

Judges will be Saffia Widdershins, Winona Wiefel and Honour Macmillan – and people whose photographs have appeared in Prim Perfect can enter too!

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Water Reserve

Today’s jigsaw is another from the wonderful blog of our deputy editor, Honour MacMillan – Honour’s Post Menopausal (View of Second Life). This image is taken from a recent (and hilarious) post – “Ignoring My Testosterone-Challenged Real World Issues in Second Life“. The images are taken from Water Reserve – recently (and gorgeously) made ready for winter.

This sim was also recently visited by Inara Pey, writer of another wonderful blog – Living in a Modem World – which recently was chosen by New World Notes as its readers favourite blog. Honour’s was also honourably mentioned there too. So a sim chosen by both of both of them is well worth a jigsaw as a way opf saying “Congratulations!”, don’t you think?

Click to Mix and Solve

Water Reserve, photographed by Honour MacMillan

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Catch up with your Prim Perfect jigsaws (showing images of Second Life and other virtual worlds).

If you’d like to submit a photo of your own to feature as a jigsaw, send it to the Prim Perfect Flickr Group. It should be sized 800w x 600h, or else it will need to be re-sized.

Read Full Post »

Sea Salts

Sea Salts

If you enjoyed yesterday’s Prim Perfect jigsaw, then we have another for you, taken from Honour MacMillan’s blog – Honour’s Post Menopausal (View of Second Life). This image is taken from a recent post – “There is a Season” in Second Life – where she laments the early advent of Christmas music and enjoys the tints of Autumn (or Fall) in Sea Salts.

Honour, as many of you will know, not only writes one of Second Life’s top blogs – she also writes for, and is deputy editor of, Prim Perfect magazine – and we’ll be featuring more of her photos as Prim Perfect jigsaws.

Today’s pattern is a 51-piece crazy – and we promise it’s not as hard as it might look!

Do let us know if you’re enjoying the jigsaws – we’re thinking of runninbg three or so a week – but if there’s pent-up demand, we could try and run them daily.

Click to Mix and Solve

Sea Salts, photographed by Honour Macmillan

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Catch up with your Prim Perfect jigsaws (showing images of Second Life and other virtual worlds).

If you’d like to submit a photo of your own to feature as a jigsaw, send it to the Prim Perfect Flickr Group. It should be sized 800w x 600h, or else it will need to be re-sized.

Read Full Post »

Installation by Rod Mandel

Installation by Rod Mandel

Today’s first jigsaw comes from a picture by Honour MacMillan and is taken from her awesome blog – Honour’s Post Menopausal View (of Second Life). This image comes from an exhibition at the LEA (Linden Endowment for the Arts) by Rod Mandel, and Honour writes about it here.

It should make for a fiendishly difficult jigsaw and so, to be nice, I have a couple more to share with you as well …

But let’s tackle this one first.

Installation by Rod Mandel

Installation by Rod Mandel, photographed by Honour MacMillan

I can’t help but feel that the LEA is an under-used and un-visited resource, outside the Arts Community.  Or perhaps they could give me statistics that show that it’s amazingly popular, and just relatively un-visited by me.  But even the LEA blog doesn’t always give clear details of which exhibits are on, opening or about to close. And if you visit the web-site, the news that seems nearly the most prominent is about what to do if you feel you have been unfairly banned.  I’m sure that’s important information … but it is a little off-putting for the casual visitor, I feel.

Dreaming Machine #1 by Yooma Mayo.

Dreaming Machine #1 by Yooma Mayo.

And if you don’t go, you are missing some amazing work – like the Dreaming Machine by which Rowan Derryth wrote about here.

When we were organising SL9B, there was one web post by a prominent member of the Arts Community that I did find saddening.  They stated that they were planning to ignore SL9B (the Second Life birthday celebration) this year, but they were asked if they wanted a site, “so I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to put one together.”

OK, several people had that initial response to SL9B – and then came along and revelled in the community atmosphere.  But in this case, the person came, built, then name-checked artists: “The total number of art sites I counted is 35 and I’ve added a few already from others. I’m pretty sure there is no other segment at SL9B that is even close to that number and I think this has been typical in both the SLBs and Burning Life/Burn2 festivals.”

Dreaming Machine #1 by Yooma Mayo

Dreaming Machine #1 by Yooma Mayo

Finding your friends was a lovely part of SL9B. But so too was finding the wonderful crazy ecclecticness that it was all part of. Walking around and checking only one kind of build is a little … insular, it seems to me.  I’m reminded (not for the first time) of the Boston Brahmin:

“And this is good old Boston,
The home of the bean and the cod,
Where the Lowells talk only to Cabots,
And the Cabots talk only to God.”

Pico Pico Life by Mikati Slade

Pico Pico Life by Mikati Slade

Talking of SL9B, Mikati Slade, the creator of the amazing Cake Stage there, also has an installation at the LEA at the moment.

The LEA has the potential to be a wonderful community resource.

How about we all make an effort to promote it collectively rather than in the ad hoc way it’s covered now? How about a group of bloggers get together and decide that we will write about one exhibit each week?  The same exhibit – and then link our posts so that other people can see if we loved or hated an exhibition, if we found it moving, exciting, immersive, pretentious, boring, a hopeless mishmash or a fantastic collaboration? Fashion bloggers could join in, and use the installation / exhibition in one of their posts too – it could become a real opportunity to open up Virtual Art to a much wider audience.

After all. no matter who the Cabots and Lowells talk to among themselves, there’s an awful lot of interesting Bostonians out there.

Let’s do a final jigsaw!

Pico Pico Life by Mikati Slade

Pico Pico Life by Mikati Slade

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Sanity Falls Poster

Sanity Falls Poster

Last week we brought you exciting news of the forthcoming new game from MadPea, who were our featured region back in the Halloween 2011 issue of Prim Perfect.

Yesterday, we were invited for a special preview of what is in stoer for players when the game launches on Sunday, April 1st at 12 PM SLT.

We arrived, on a misty evening, to find ourselves on top of a bridge that towers high above the valley. Kiana Writer, the head of MadPea, had transported us there herself but players will arrive here after an initial orientation session during which they will acquire the mobile phone HUD that will be their interface to the major interactive elements of the game.

Sanity Falls - The bridge

Sanity Falls – The bridge

“I assume you have both seen the video, so you know the basics.” says Kiana. “The player wakes up without a memory and finds himself on this bridge, covered in blood and drugged”, she pauses,  the briefest of smiles flickers across her lips, as she delights in the telling of her story, “… and he starts getting phonecalls.”

Nearby to the starting point is the Sanity Inn. Not a place I’d choose to stay personally but it has some important clues to start you on your way.

Sanity Falls - Inn Sign

Sanity Falls – Inn Sign

You enter the Inn and start to look around, as you do, audio clues will embellish the In world interactions.

This is weird. I have no memory of ever being here, but I see my signature, and Livea’s.. which cottage did we rent? I should check that out. Maybe Livea is there and this is just a bad dream.

The game is interactive as many of previous MadPea stories and this one is “ten times more immersive than Peatonville” which is really quite a claim.

I will be careful to avoid spoilers in here but pretty quickly the player will realise that his wife has been kidnapped, and that unless he can raise one million dollars in 24 hours, his wife will be killed.

To fue gameplay MadPea are giving away a complete avatar, so those who wish to, can truly immerse themselves into the character.

Sanity Falls - Inside the Inn

Sanity Falls – Inside the Inn

There are posters around the town and each has a unique phone number which when dialled will result in a new clue. streaming audio is used to great effect with the phone calls. With each clue comes a land mark that will transport the player to somewhere on the grid, a hunt location, they must find the hunt prize in order to secure part of the 1 million dollar ransom.

Sanity Falls - Missing Person

Sanity Falls – Missing Person

The road back across the bridge leads down through the woodlands into the town. A number of cabins are tucked away in the trees as you  descend to the town.

Sanity Falls - Cabin in the woods

Sanity Falls – Cabin in the woods

The road winds through highly detailed countryside, the eery gloom of the graphics enhanced by those MadPea sound details which so impressed me in Peatonville.

The town is, not unexpectedly, deserted and there are some rather worryingly unexplained bullet holes in the window of a certain store.The mist hangs above it, casting a shadow over the entire area.

Sanity Falls - Sleepy Town or Creepy Town?

Sanity Falls – Sleepy Town or Creepy Town?

The build quality is, as we have come to expect, superb; yet it is in the combination of build aesthetics, audio and scripting that the game comes to life. Interactions cannot be easily triggered by those who like to “cam”; proximity detectors are used on many scripted items including the doors. Yes, you will have to walk up to the door to open it!

The immersiveness is enhanced by the audible calls on the phone, the crunch of the gravel underfoot. You know full well that if Kiana and her team could make you smeel the smouldering cigarette in the ash tray, you’d be smelling it right now. This story has many levels, think you know what is going on? Don’t be too sure, you have played a MadPea story before right?

There is more to the game visuals than the gritty ghost town. At varioous points the player will be drawn into dream sequences.

Sanity Falls - Dream sequence

Sanity Falls – Dream sequence

I will not talk about their content beyond the screenshots but suffice to say, the artists have gone wild on these and they are a visual and technical treat.

Sanity Falls - Dream Sequence

Sanity Falls – Dream Sequence

Back to our adventure, the clock is ticking, a life hangs in the balance.

The main street through the town loops through a small tunnel beneath a movie theatre; litter, caught up in small eddys of wind, twists and rolls across the street. You shiver involuntarily as you step into the shadows.

Sanity Falls - Town centre

Sanity Falls – Town centre

This is not a video game, the medium that MadPea choose to express themselves through has its challenges and nuances. You won’t find the slick inter-cutting of pre-rendered movies nor high-end AI characters with which to interact, but does it need it? There are many ways to tell a tale and this is virtual, interactive fiction at its best.

Do not expect to feel welcome here.  Do not expect to feel comfortable and safe. Turn off the lights, put on your headset and prepare to be on the edge of your seat. Prepare for Sanity Falls.

MadPea Sanity Falls Poster

MadPea Sanity Falls Poster – Click for MadPea

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The Blarney Stone in Second Life Dublin

The Blarney Stone in Second Life Dublin

We’re looking for readers’ favourite Irish-themed locations on the grid!

Do you know a special pub or club that has an Irish theme, or a special way of celebrating St Patrick’s Day? Or perhaps you know a friendly Irish community, or a place that has beautiful Irish- themed landscapes? Would you like to share your perfect St Patrick’s Day location with Prim Perfect readers? Here’s your chance!

O'Hare's Gap

O'Hare's Gap

Fill in this form, send a picture to primperfect@gmail.com (or point us at a Flickr picture we can have permission to use) and we will include it in our Patrick’s Day blog postings!

The sims can be in any virtual world – it doesn’t need to be Second Life.

Rural Ireland on Empress and Hierophant

Rural Ireland on Empress and Hierophant

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Seasons Of Hope Logo for SLRFL

Seasons Of Hope Logo for SLRFL

The annual charity extravaganza, Relay For Life of Second Life (RFLSL), got off to a flying start last week when ahead of the official launch date, the organisers opened their doors to team registrations. Within the first 24 hours more than 30 teams had registered their interest in building for the event and within the first week this number had risen to 60. The number continues to rise and is a certain indication of the important place the event now holds in the minds of Second Life’s creative communities.

The RFLSL, now a staple of the Second Life calendar is the Second Life incarnation of the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraising event, Relay For Life (RFL). RFL began in 1985 and is centred around a 24 hour team relay event under the slogan ‘Cancer does not sleep and neither do we’. In 2005 the RFL moved into virtual worlds with the RFL of SL and has been an annual event ever since.

This year, operating under the theme ‘Seasons of Hope’ the activities will start with the kick-off ceremony on the 12th March, alongside the launch event “Fashion for Life”. A series of events lead up to the relay itself which is held on a circular track spanning many sims. Teams are recruited to build a sim or part-sim in line with this years theme.

Prim Perfect will keep you appraised of all the developments through this blog and our magazines.

Further information on RFL of SL can be found at the American Cancer Society website for RFLSL. There is also a Second Life wiki page with more history that some readers may find interesting.

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