Fantasy Photo Contest

Fantasy Photo Contest

Fantasy Faire “Dream of a lifetime” Photography Contest Benefiting Relay for Life of Second Life

Fantasy Faire is looking for the photographs that best capture the spirit of each of the eleven sims – and the winners will be included in a calendar (with credits for the photographers) that will be created in real life using Cafe Presse and sold to raise money for Relay for Life. So this year, people really will be able to take the Faire home with them – and share it with their friends and family too!

But … eleven sims … eleven months. What of the twelfth? That one will be the photograph that – in the opinions of the judges – best encapsulates the spirit of the Faire. Not only will it be the image for the twelfth month – it will also appear on the cover of the calendar.

Contest Date
Open from May 1st 2014 thru May 11th

Contest Rules

  • Photographs are to be taken at your choice of eleven individually themed Sims for this year’s Fantasy Faire (Read sim information notecard for more details)
  • Pictures must be posted in flickr group Fantasy Faire [Photography Contest]
  • Twelve photo entries will be allowed per person.
  • Photos may be edited with any photo software of your choosing.
  • Photos must be PG! We will immediately disqualify any nude or distasteful photo(s).
  • Reminder, no text on photos
  • Fantasy Faire & Relay for Life reserve the rights to use photograph submissions for event advertisement and publication
  • Deadline for submission of photos is May 11th, 2014, midnight SLT
  • Enjoy the Fantasy Faire Sims and have FUN!


  • Top 12 selected photographs will be published in “real life” Relay for Life Official Calendar
  • 1St Prize winner photo will be on the cover of the calendar.
  • Contest winners will be required to provide their winning photography with the following dimensions: minimum 1800 pixels high by 2300 pixels wide at 200dpi


High up in the forward lookout pod, the on-duty ‘glasser strained his eyes against the glare of the incessant sun. Peering straight ahead, the young man squinted at the shapes forming on the horizon. Lifting his head for a moment, he blinked, rubbing his eyes, before placing an eye to the spyglass once more and to look again at the dark mass. “By the gears!” He cried, beckoning urgently to the older man, “quick Fred, I need yer to four eyes that storm, I don’t think it’s normal”. Frederick Lee, the most experienced lookout in the fleet, looked out across the cloudscape, hardly needing the glass now, as great purple clouds swirled ever larger, looming ever closer.

“Aye lad, that’s them all right. That’s the confluence storm, we’ve found it.” Turning to the brass speaking tube to his right, Lee sounded a klaxon to attract attention on the bridge far below them. The klaxon call was acknowledged with an anxious voice.

“What did you see?”

“Fairelands, Right ahead!”



Asperatus – An airborne community living high above the clouds which hide their broken homeland far below, is just one of the treats in store for visitors to this year’s Fantasy Faire. The Faire which opens to the public tomorrow (1st May) and will run until the 11th promises to be every bit as fun, exciting and full of tinies, as previous years.

Always my favourite RFL event, perhaps my favourite event of any kind, the faire is a wonderful mixture of fantasy styles and themes. 2014 is different for this seasoned Faire reporter, having journalled, filmed  and photographed previous conjunctions of Fairelands, this year I have had the honour of bringing you a Faireland from within my own head, Asperatus.


Come visit the faire and enjoy all the creations we have for you. Anything you could wish to buy in a fantasy related theme is available some where and there are many new treats to be found this year too.



Remembering Dirk Talamasca

Remembering Dirk Talamasca

Designing Worlds begins its new season with a special tribute to a very special man – Dirk Talamasca, who died recently.

Remembering Dirk

Remembering Dirk

Join us today, Monday 28th April at 2pm at the Designing Worlds studio in Garden of Dreams for a viewing party of this episode.

Dirk appeared on the show several times, as he did on several other shows where his wit and wisdom were always highly valued.

But he was someone who had many talents and skills, and we remember him as a key supporter of Second Life, as a mentor, as a businessman, as a supporter of art and design, and as a leader in many forms of social media. And we also remember him as a wit, as a gamer and – above all as a friend.

We are joined by Iota Ultsch, Bevan Whitfield, Jerry Martin, and CaSimone Aquitaine – although the show was also made possible by the work of Sanie (Insane Khaos) and Jessica Lyon.

Remembering Dirk Talamasca

Remembering Dirk Talamasca

The show was recorded on a beautiful region, Seduction Territory, created as a homage to Dirk by Iota Ultsch – do go and explore it; it should be open for several more days.

Join us at 2pm for this very special opening show in our new season.

Remembering Dirk Talamasca

Remembering Dirk Talamasca

Or – if you can’t attend in person – tune in to the web at 2pm SLT on Monday for a showing on Aview TV or on Treet – or catch it later in the week on our shows page on the Treet.tv web site at http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds, on the Aview TV Designing Worlds channel – or on the Designing Worlds blog – our very own version of the iPlayer!


exhibitorsIf you want to create an exhibit for the Second Life 11th Birthday Celebration, you’ll be pleased to know that the applications are now open, joining the applications for performers, people who wish to use the auditorium and – crucially – people who want to help us put on the Best Birthday Party ever for Second Life!

What do you want to create? Do you want to tell everyone about your passion for Second Life golf, or surfing or drassage? Do you want to build a fun game that people can play? Do you want to share your enthusiasm for beautiful landscapes in Second Life, or the work of your nonprofit? Or do you want to create an amazing art installation?

All of these will be welcome. And guidelines for exhibitors are published here – make sure you read and understand them fully before putting in your application.

Take time and thought to put in the best possible application – space is always limited, so you need to give it your best shot!

You’ll be asked how your planned exhibit matches the theme – which this year is The empires of the future are the empires of the mind- a quote from Winston Churchill. How will you interpret that?

The MadMan from the future has some thoughts about that too …

How do I find out more?

You can find out more by following the official blog, and by following on Facebook and Twitter.

There is also a Flickr page where you can paste your own images when the sims open. You make see some sneak images from the team before that so keep watching!

Main site: http://slcommunitycelebration.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SLBCommunity
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SLBCommunityCelebration
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/groups/slcommunitycelebration/pool/


This year, a series of tales will be unfolding directly at the Fantasy Faire itself, with three established roleplaying groups bringing their stories to the Faire. Each will tell a story over part of the Faire; there’ll be opportunities for Faire visitors to become involved, to watch key events in the stories, and to follow the progression of these tales through news bulletins on Fantasy Faire Radio, and through special pages in the Events section of the Fantasy Faire blog.

This is one of those groups.

In Wiggenstead Mooring, in a shipwreck hidden by the jungle, live a group of feral kids who call themselves “The Rickety Weasels”. They ferociously protect the four Guardians of the Elemental Stones, which keep the balance of the Fairelands.

Rickety Weasels

Rickety Weasels

Little do they know that, no far from there, the Shadows are growing stronger and greedier, and that their leader, The Dark Shadow, covets the Guardians of the Elemental Stones. For the Stones could give him Power, and into Darkness plunge the Fairelands forever.

Rickety Weasels Roleplay at Fantasy Faire 2014

The Rickety Weasels roleplay will be starting with the Faire on May 1st 2014, and will progress over five days until May 5th with everyday free-form roleplay and two big planned events on Friday May 2nd starting at 1pm SLT and on Monday May 5th starting at 1pm SLT.

The rest of the time, they will still be present, welcoming you to their home in Wiggenstead Mooring or wandering around the whole of the Fairelands.

Feel welcome to interact with them!

(look for the group tags “Rickety Weasel”, or “Elemental Guardian”, or “Shadow” and if you’re very lucky –or unlucky rather…- “The Dark Shadow”).

This blog page will be updated daily with news and pictures of the roleplay. Also don’t forget to listen to the Fantasy Faire Radio for announcements and news reports.

Who are they?

Rickety Weasels
The Rickety Weasels are more commonly known as the wild children. They come from near and far, but none agree on how they got here or why. One day, they were simply there. No one knows where they came from, and the Rickety Weasels aren’t offering to tell.

Rickety Weasels

Rickety Weasels

They are playful, and always looking for someone to have fun with. They are mischievous and enjoy playing pranks on the visitors who come to their land, but never mean to offend.

They know that their world is held together by the Elemental Stones. These stones are Earth, Fire, Air, and Water and are watched over by four Guardians. The Weasels see it as their duty to also protect the Guardians themselves in their task.

They are mainly land dwellers and linked to the Fire Stone, but also count in their ranks a few merkids, who are linked to the Water Stone.

SeaShimmer and the MerKids

The MerKids

Guardians of the Elemental Stones
Strifeclaw, the Guardian of the Earth Stone, is a Dire Panther almost as large as a horse. She spends most of her time in nature surrounded by the animals that answer to her element and removed from the prank-loving, fire-wielding wild children.
All the animals that can’t swim or fly are linked to the Earth Stone.

Strifeclaw - Guardian of the Earth Stone

Strifeclaw – Guardian of the Earth Stone


Miranda, the Guardian of the Water Stone, is a playful, but distrustful young Mermaid. She usually keeps to her waters and avoids large groups of strangers, but enjoys the chaotic nature of the wild children.
Mer-people and all the animals that can swim are linked to the Water Stone.

Miranda - Guardian of the Water Stone

Miranda – Guardian of the Water Stone

Firefly, the Guardian of the Fire Stone, was burned horribly as a wild boy and survived. He was chosen by the Fire Stone to act as its Guardian and was reborn like a Phoenix. He continues to live with the other wild children, playing their games and enjoying his second chance.
The Rickety Weasels, goblins and trolls are linked to the Fire Stone.

Firefly - Guardian of the Fire Stone

Firefly – Guardian of the Fire Stone


Avariel, Guardian of the Air Stone, is a Unicorn who is often very befuddled. She comes and goes with the wind, and even she does not know where it will take her. She is the newest guardian and is not entirely sure why she was chosen. She is just happy to see what adventures this new wind has to offer.
Fairies and all the animals that can fly are linked to the Air Stone.

Firefly - Guardian of the Fire Stone

Avariel – Guardian of the Air Stone

The Dark Shadow
The Dark Shadow has delved in the dark arts for decades in the hopes of conquest. He knows if he can get his hands on the Elemental Stones he can use them to take over the world with his dark powers with minimal effort.

The Dark Shadow

The Dark Shadow




The Shadows serve The Dark Shadow as his private army. They serve him because they have been promised fortune and glory in his New Empire. Because of these promises they come from near and far to see his plans through.





Beltaine is one of the most important ceremonies for the Guardians and the wild children. On that night, all four Guardians must come to a ceremony prepared by the children to perform a hallowed ritual celebrating the Spirit of Summer and renewing of Nature.


Who are the roleplayers behind it?

Like the Rickety Weasels and the Shadows, our roleplayers come from near and far.

The kids are part of several different Second Life communities,  brought together by Jimmy Branagh and Myrtil Igaly, including the SL Goonies, led by Loki Eliot, whose sim, Escapades, is a wonderful playground packed with quests, adventures and fun.
Visit in world, here
Join the group here
Or find out about the upcoming events on their website

Our mer-kids roleplayers have their own group, SL Mer-Kids, that you can join here
And they also belong to the group of pirates, nobles, merfolk (and the occasional kraken) located in the kid-friendly Victorian sim Antiquity, which you can join here

Some of our roleplayer kids also come from the “Steampunk Kids” group, founded by the same Loki Eliot, who regularly organizes city-wide roleplay events in New Babbage, for all citizen and visitors. Those roleplay events are called the Babbage Chronicles and you can learn more about the current one here
Join the group here
Or follow on Twitter for news : @BabbageMystery

The Dark Shadow

Another Shadow

New Babbage is a steampunk city led by Mayor Mosseveno Tenk and the place where most of the Shadows come from. This is also a lair of avid bloggers and roleplayers as well as wonderful builders.
Visit the sim here
Join the group here
Or learn more about what’s happening on their forum



The Creativity of ocean-loving, energy-consciousSecond Life Residents when given a small house and 117 prims!

The Creativity of ocean-loving, energy-conscious Second Life Residents when given a small house and 117 prims!

I’ve had quite a few comments on my post of a few days ago – The Need to Nest – building communities to retain new users, and several have suggested that – in essence – the Lab should use the experience within existing communities to develop the program, and even – rather than developing new estates themselves – actually embed the new residents within existing communities.

I like the idea of the connection with existing communities … after all, my original example was Caledon Oxbridge. And perhaps there are some (many?) communities that would like to participate – and would offer genuine communities. However, that sort of thing would need to be judged so carefully … and would need to be monitored. That’s higher maintenance than my original proposal, and high maintenance is something that the Lab has stepped back from (quite logically, in my estimation).

But if you were to go that route, there would need to be a basic level of servicing the community that the landlords would need to sign up to – otherwise you would end up with newbies being dumped in land every bit as soulless as a Linden Home estate, with landowners trusting that inertia will prevent the newbie tenants from moving on.

Sadly, too many Linden Home regions lack a sense of community

Sadly, too many Linden Home regions lack a sense of community

Of course, many landowners and their teams will do community much better because they have an already existing community. But would they necessarily trust the Lab enough to participate? Some of the best estates poured a lot into the Community gateways … and lost it all when they closed. I would think the service level agreement would need to be pretty stringent on both sides.

I do, for what it’s worth, see such a program as benefiting content creators and other creatives. In addition to building and furnishing the new homes, there would be opportunities for musicians and artists, and also for creators of the games that enrich our lives – a Seven Seas Fishing dock in a sim and a Greedy table in a community centre would both be great ways of giving newbies (and Linden Homes escapees) something to do – and a way of connecting with others. One of the reasons that Elderglen scores (for me) over the other Linden Home Info Hubs is that it offers Fun Things To Do.

And having a few stores would get people interested in looking at things from a grid eye level and not just clicking on the marketplace.

It could be possible that the Lab could sponsor landowners to add these newbie sims to their existing landmass and run them this way, rather than creating replicas of Bay City (although Bay City is terrific – evidenced by its strong community and high land prices). But one of the points of my concept is to allow people to take an active part in BUILDING their community (as Bay City did).

Bay City Community Center, photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

Bay City, photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

The problem of being added into an existing community could be that it would be harder to assimilate. And there would be the howls of unfairness … do these new communities get distributed on the basis of how many sims the landowners currently have, regardless of their communities, or is some measure of community-ness applied to each, and the higher they score, the more new residents are directed to them?  Very tricky to do.  Or do landowners apply for these new islands?  It may not be the most community minded who can take the most residents.

And think about the problems if you have a new sim that can hold 60 residents in your adorable village of Umgebindehausen, and all the new residents want urban grunge and head off elsewhere, The Lab can, to a greater extent, suck up the damage. Landowners shouldn’t have to.

In addition, handing this over to private landowners would kill the second part of my proposal – that existing Linden Home owners could transfer to the new estates – stone dead.

The estates have to be on Linden land for this to work. But there is certainly room for the location to be close to existing estates, and even for those estates to take on the management and provide community elements.That might work really well – and also offer landowners the opportunity to engage with new clients.Would they be interested? Would Linden Lab?

Host and Hunt Reporter Cinders Vale brings forth gifts from the Aladin’s Lamp of the Arabian Nights 2 Hunt, and then turns her attention to the Roleplaying Rascals Hunt.

This week the Hunt Buzz explores some of the tricks to using hunts as an effective marketing tools for merchants.

C&R #53


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