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Beq Janus's Escher at Relay for Life

Beq Janus’s Escher at Relay for Life

The telethon team were very proud this year to be given a whole region for the Relay for Life weekend – and were thrilled when the two builds created both won prizes.

The stunning studio created by Phobos Jamberoo won first prize in the Exhibition Design category, while Beq Janus’s brilliant Escher inspired design (pictured here) took third prize in the Designer Sim category – Winter Nightfire took Second prize in that category while Ub Yifu came first.  All three will be featured in future episodes of Designing Worlds, talking about their builds.

Plans are already being made for the next Relay for Life, and people have a chance to vote on the theme – there’s a poll here.  Personally – and this is just me – I would like to see another international theme; the strength of Second Life is that we can all come together from all over the world, it seems to me.

Anyway – on to the jigsaw!

Click to Mix and Solve

Beq Janus’s Escher at Relay for Life

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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.

With the opening of the Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference on Wednesday, the announcement from Linden Lab that they were restoring the 50% discount they offered to nonprofits and educational establishments could not have come at a better time.  This was, I believe, the first year that the VWBPE had taken place in Cloud Party as well as Second Life and Open Sim … as opposed to out-reach tours. So the announcement from Linden Lab was something of a distraction, it might seem.

The Main Auditorium, spanning four regions

The Main Auditorium at VWBPE, spanning four regions

Of course, until 2010, the reduction for nonprofits and educational institutions was standard – Inara Pey has details here (including the revision that occurred in March this year).  There was a great deal of protest when the discount was abolished, with very little notice, and in the middle of the academic year (although there later emerged a way of keeping the low price for a period by paying in full in advance),  This was a policy change that was never going to win friends and influence people, and a lot of institutions began to look seriously at Open Sim. Some, of course, looked and came back to Second Life, swallowing the bitter pill.  But many others just gave up on virtual worlds. There are, after all, some alluring new technologies out there to spend money on …

Inside the Pompeii Court

Inside the Pompeii Court – a project from the University of Bristol, which moved to Open Sim in 2011

So now we are back where we started – although a number of educational institutions and nonprofits are bitter about the way that they have been treated. So an area that should be – should always be – a good news story for Linden Lab was sabotaged by a very strange policy shift in 2010.

But the Lab’s good news stories seem very much focused on new products they are developing.  I must admit I’m a little baffled by the fact that many of the positive initiatives undertaken by residents are largely ignored by the Lab. I can understand that, after all the negativity of the downside of the hype cycle, they are interested in maintaining a low profile and focusing on new products.  But no outreach for the artwork that is being done here, perhaps best expressed in terms of news through the awards given in the University of Western Australia challenges? No emphasis is given to the fact that Second Life has – over the last nine years – raised over 2,000,000 US dollars for Relay for Life – over 375,000 this year alone. Surely this is worth a few external plugs?

Relay for Life in Second Life

Relay for Life in Second Life

If the press persists in perceiving Second Life where sad and lonely losers go to have sex in a vastly under-populated world, is it really the best policy to keep saying, “Never mind that – look at the other cool things we make?”

But perhaps I’m being unfair. The Lab did make a big PR push to celebrate the 10th birthday, and have been championing Draxtor Depres’ The Drax Files.  It is always hard to keep talking when no-one’s listening.

At all events, in a good news story, the VWBPE continues until the end of today. Check out today’s events here – and you can catch up on some of the talks that you’ve missed here (currently under recent uploads but soon to have their own category).

Now available on the web (after a few glitches!) our final we celebrate Second Life’s Tenth Birthday with the third and last of our programmes from the Community Celebrations!

We talk to some of the people who made SL10B so special – Yavanna Llanfair who created the wonderful podcar tours, AineMarie Flanagan with her beautiful Sotrybook exhibition, DrFran Babcock who displayed her amazing spoons collection and we catch up with our old friends from Arcachon who tell us about their taste of their own little corner of France. And we’ll be take in the iconic builds of The Cornfield and Bear Island before signing off from the last of the four stages – the Lake Stage.

The Lake Stage

The Lake Stage

This was the last show in Designing Worlds’ current season, and we are now on our summer break. But we’ll be back in late August with another great season!

The Main Auditorium, spanning four regions

The Main Auditorium, spanning four regions

The largest educational Conference in Virtual Worlds gets underway today, with presentations taking place in a variety of virtual worlds – including Second Life, OpenSim/Jokaydia, and Cloud Party. The Conference as a whole will include lectures, workshops, poster presentations, machinima presentations, and a wealth of social events, and will run from 6am today, Wednesday 24th June to Saturday 27th June when the final party closes at 10pm.

Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education is a global grass-roots community event which focuses on education in immersive virtual environments. The open conference is organized by educators, for educators, to provide an opportunity to showcase the learning that takes place in this community of practice.

Some of the posters being prepared for the Exhibition

Some of the posters being prepared for the Exhibition

Over 2000 attendees representing 90 countries participate in 150-200 online presentations including theoretical research, application of best practices, virtual world tours, hands-on workshops, discussion panels, machinima presentations, and poster exhibits.

Innovative educators will be sharing their achievements and challenges that they face in enhanced learning technology as well as their vision of future collaborative learning in virtual worlds and games. The conference will be covered across virtual worlds and will host presentations in Second Life, OpenSim/Jokaydia, and Cloud Party. If you have a passion for virtual worlds, the topics covered will help shine a spotlight on the possibilities for their many uses in education.

The VWBPE Gateway

The VWBPE Gateway

Many of the presentations will be streamed and should appear embedded on the Home Page – and if not, can be accessed at: www.metaversetv.com/vwbpe. But – if you can – attending and soaking up the atmosphere will be awesome. The place to start (in Second Life) is the VWBPE Gateway. Links to all the locations – in Second Life, the Jokadia Grid and Cloud Party – are to be found here.

You can see the full schedule of events here.

Inside the Auditorium

Inside the Auditorium

Today, the opening keynote will be given by Gentle Herson of Virtual Ability at 7am SLT and Saffia Widdershins will be presenting at 11.55am, with a lecture on Turning Film Noir into Fun Noir – Creating a Narrative-driven Interactive Online Environment – just two of the many excellent events schedule for today.

In Belegaer

In Belegaer, looking over to the Bay of Balfalas

A message has gone out to the friends and followers of the beautiful park regions of the Calas Galadhon estate (which we have featured twice on the Designing Worlds show – here and here; it also made an appearance as the “country” location in the One Billion Rising video!).

Tymus Tenk, co-owner with Truck Meredith, writes:

It is with regret that because of new rl challenges for both Truck and I, it will be necessary that we close Calas Galadhon Park sims to the general public on Monday, August 1, for a period of time.  This unfortunately must include our live music program for that time as well.

To continue financially carrying the estate on our own, we will need to drop at least 4 of our 13 regions and possibly make another of the homesteads into an OpenSpace.  At this time we see that the sims that will be removed are Bay of Balfalas, the new water sims of Belegaer & Sea of Nurnen and regretfully, Eryn Vorn. Those of you who have come to know us over the past 4 ½ years, can imagine how difficult it has been to arrive at this decision.  Our sims are like our kids. Our creative work, our desire to share that with others and to help support Live Music in SL has always meant the most to us.

Eryn Vorn

Eryn Vorn

Truck and I have a hope and a desire to reopen Calas by the first part of September. We want to assure you that we will keep you informed at all times via group notice and the WWW.CALASGALADHON website.

It is very sad that some of the regions will be closed – although I have complete confidence in Ty and Truck to create something quite wonderfully beautiful on the nine regions that will remain. And I’m looking forward to seeing it in September!

Bay of Balfalas

Bay of Balfalas

Tranquil Scene at Relay for Life

Tranquil Scene at Relay for Life

One of the features of this year’s Relay for Life of Second Life weekend was the number of waterfalls that formed part of the features of campsites and designer sites.  I was particularly taken with this particular set, with the beautiful fairytale castle behind.

It is the first law of Second Life that if you build a waterfall, there must be something behind it.  Sadly, with only a few days to explore the delights of fifty sims (and those delights further curtailed by being rather involved in presenting a telethon for the main part of the event!), I didn’t have time to explore any recesses that these particular waterfalls might have contained!

Click to Mix and Solve

Tranquil Scene at Relay for Life

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

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.

Relay for Life Central Area

Relay for Life Central Area

The amazing Relay for Life Weekend has now started and it will take place over 42 amazing regions.  It will be covered on T1Radio and by the major TV stations in Second Life who come together to create the Relay for Life Telethon.

Over $300,000 USD has already been raised this year for the American Cancer Society, and it is anticipated that figure will be much higher by the end of the weekend.

Relay for Life in Second Life

Relay for Life in Second Life

Everyone is welcome to attend and join in the fun walking around the track to celebrate the theme of 100 years of hope.

Go Relay!

Go Relay!

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