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Showing posts with label Stareyes Galaxy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stareyes Galaxy. Show all posts

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Guitar Museum of Second Life ©- Stareyes Galaxy Reporting...

Many sims in Second Life © (SL) are created as a homage to some phenomenon or another, in all walks of life. 

Many times, these sites are a great way to educate oneself on the history and present state of the art of the topic at hand. Stareyes Galaxy went to see the Guitar Museum and to interview its creators, Bono Fouroux, Angel La Femme, and Veronica Weksler. Bono is a well-known guitarist himself, and Veronica sings live on SL. They sometimes have duo performances, combining their streams from The Netherlands and Ohio.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Technology: Oculus Rift – a New Virtual Reality Viewing Accessory- Stareyes Galaxy Reporting…

Oculus Rift is a new virtual reality (VR) viewing accessory that is designed to give VR gamers a new level of user experience. 

The device development was initially financed by Kickstarter, and demonstrator units are now available for developers, together with a software development kit (SDK). Linden Lab is looking into porting this VR experience to Second Life © (SL) users, but there is still a way to go before we can expect the first avatars to enter SL using an Oculus Rift viewer. Stareyes Galaxy had the opportunity to test the demonstrator.

The technology behind the Oculus Rift is quite straightforward. It uses a 6” liquid-crystal display (LCD) and enlarging optics for both eyes. A personal computer (PC) is used to send the viewable content to the display. The user then sees a stereoscopic view of the VR content, as both eyes get their own view, separated by the perspective. The optics focus on the display surface itself, but the perspective seems to be set in infinity. The rendering for the display is done by means of the software, for each eye separately. The viewer uses the same content that is rendered on the PC screen.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Technology: Second Life (C) on Text-based Viewers – Stareyes Galaxy Reporting...

Metabolt Chat Screen

There are times when an avatar, logging on, is restricted to low-bandwidth connections. Mobile laptop connections, firewall issues, or just plain choice may be the deciding factors to switch to a non-graphic viewer. Fortunately, the Second Life third-party viewer (TPV) list includes such gems as METAbolt ® and Radegast ®.

Sometimes one has to make a choice whether to log on at all, or to use text-only viewers. One of the earliest text-only viewers was the famous AjaxLife that was developed by then 15-year-old Katharine Berry and gained wide popularity until it fell by the wayside, probably due to the demands of the upkeep. Today, the TPV list has two text-only viewers, METAbolt and Radegast.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Baker’s Dozen of Stareryes Galaxy’s Articles

A baker’s dozen is said to be twelve of today’s bakeries and one of yesterdays. This time, as Stareyes looks back on the dozen articles she has written before today’s one, it’s the other way ‘round.

I am just an ordinary girl, out there on Second Life © (SL) on my own. I have always relied on the kindness of strangers, and luckily, I have been able to stay out of trouble. Idling away just isn’t my style, and I have always been eager to find purpose in my ventures in SL.
It took a little over three years on SL for me to find a job that matched my abilities. In the beginning, I had just a few modeling gigs after which my funds were dwindling slowly but steadily. Soon, I felt that doing hunts and scouting for freebies was not the best way to go about Second Life. I started writing in the beginning of May 2013 when the Editor of SLE, Lanai Jarrico hired me on a free-lance basis. Since the first article was published, I have not looked back – until today.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Wild, Wild West of Second Life (C) – Stareyes Galaxy’s Travel Report from Tombstone

Stareyes on prairie

Tombstone is a role-play estate set in the year 1899 that portrays an anachronistic recreation of the late 19th century boomtown atmosphere. 

Stareyes Galaxy took a coach journey there, to explore the Wild, Wild West of SL. This is her travel report. I set out with the task of reporting to our Readers the true state of the West.

 In many reports, what I felt a gross exaggeration; the dangers of the frontier are overplayed, and I felt someone needed to set the facts straight.

Landing at the welcome center, a greeter is there to welcome the casual visitor and take her through an orientation, upon which she will be able to enter the Tombstone proper. My greeter was an Apache woman, whom, after a first shock, I found very welcoming.

I decided to interview as many people as I could, to get a feel of the atmosphere, and how things are run in these parts. First, a rather liberally-dressed young woman, known as Frisco June, led me to Dutch Annie’s, a local establishment for questionable entertainment. She has been in Tombstone for two years.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Bibbi Resident, owner of Rainbow Amphitheatre – Stareyes Galaxy Reporting...

There are many venues in Second Life © catering to audiences who appreciate live music. One such is Rainbow Amphitheatre, operated by Bibbi. Having been to a few live shows there, I had the opportunity to interview Bibbi on Rainbow Amphitheatre and the live music scene.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Real-life pictures in Second Life © – Stareyes Galaxy reporting ….

In Second life ©, there is a bifurcation of the attitude to sharing one’s own real-life (RL) pictures. Many avatars are dead against such a practice, saying that SL and RL are two separate entities. Then there are others who freely share their real-life pictures, right on their profile. Furthermore, many design their avatar appearance to match their real-life looks. I interviewed some avatars to get behind the reasoning behind the different views of sharing real-life images.
The question of the day is “Does sharing real-life pictures enhance the fantasy, or kill it?” I met Anastasia at MIAMAI main store, where she works as a model. “It depends,” she answered.

SLE: How, and on what does it “depend"?

Anastasia: First and foremost, it would depend on how well and for how long I have known the person. I am not going to give out RL info or images to just anyone I come across.

SLE: Would you, at a certain point, insist on seeing that other person's RL picture, and would you be willing to share yours?

Anastasia: I don't know that I would insist on sharing RL pictures.  I have known many people in my SL for a year or more and we have never seen a RL pic of each other... With others whom I consider close friends or family I have shared a RL image, and they with me.

SLE: Does seeing someone's RL picture change your perception of that avatar?

Anastasia: I can't say for me personally it has. I get to know the person first and foremost, and I try not to judge a book by its cover.  If in a SL relationship of a romantic nature, it may alter perceptions, as you do get used to someone looking a certain way as an avatar which may differ greatly from their RL person, but the underlying person is still the same either way.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Second Life © Effects on the Real Life of Avatars – Stareyes Galaxy Reporting…

When you go In Second Life © (SL), it is quite clear that the time spent is taken away from one’s real life (RL); this being the minimum effect of SL on RL, what other consequences on one’s RL are there due to various encounters in SL? 

Stareyes Galaxy polled avatars on this subject, and also asked an expert for an assessment.
I had the pleasure of discussing the subject with Hondo Slade (Lone Wolf), who had a heart-breaking RL story, and thing or two to say about services to veterans in SL. In his opinion, the strongest effects of SL on RL are in relationships.

SLE: So, you mean, when you are with someone in SL, it will carry over to RL?
Hondo: Yes, it does. Have you ever had a partner that you trusted so much that you start to talk about your RL to your companion?

Hondo told of his experience with a girl in a neighboring country, with whom he fell in love. After two years of dating in SL and in RL, she dropped him cold. After a few months, he’s still depressed and gets less on SL than when he was in this relationship. “Bottom line: [in] relationships just like in the real world, [breakups] hurt after many years of being together.”

Friday, June 28, 2013

Newbies invade Second Life © – Stareyes Galaxy Reporting ...

Do you remember the day you first rezzed in in Second Life ©, entering a madhouse chat area full of avatars, all in varied stages of confusion? Do you remember how difficult it was to get started, and once you did, how humiliating it was to realize that regardless of how you had learned to use the interface and to interact with avatars, you still were a newbie? While the entrance into Second Life for newbie avatars has improved, they still face similar challenges as we more established residents did back in the day. I went out to prey on unsuspecting newbies to get their first impressions on Second Life.

User statistics [1] show that signups for new avatars exceed 10 000 daily. Where there are about 30 000 to 60 000 users online at any given time, these statistics mean that a significant portion of avatars online are less than a day old. As to what purposes these avatars are created, one can only surmise the reasons. However, in info hubs there seems to be a constant flux of migrants, some new to the online virtual world experience, some transferring from other platforms such as IMVU.

Newbie avatars, in any case, face a culture shock entering Second Life. I had the opportunity to stalk new avatars in the hope of pinning them down for an interview. This was not an easy task, as you will soon see!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bending the Boundaries of Gender in Second Life © – Stareyes Galaxy Reporting...

Second Life © has proven to be a powerful platform for people who wish to explore life on the other side of the gender spectrum, as for instance transgendered avatars. For many, play-pretending to be the opposite sex is just a trifle, for others it can be an insult to all avatarkind. It is a common complaint among male avatars that they fear being preyed upon by other males in female avatar form, and many female avatars can attest to the begging of men to “go voice” as it seems to be a common perception that any female avatar could be a G.I.R.L. (“guy in real life”). Stareyes Galaxy went out to interview some avatars who came forward as cross-gender experimenters.

“Jane Doe” does not wish to volunteer her real avatar name. She states good reasons for this: “I have found that not only will people help me more readily when I ask them as a girl, but that they also better accept being helped by a female avatar,” she says. As a real-life male, she has worked as a consultant and helped corporate avatars get up to speed when first entering Second Life. “I once was specifically asked to appear as my female self in a strategy seminar,” Jane continues. “Using local chat, I helped people teleport to the location, find their seats, get started on instant messaging, and so on. I even ran treasure hunts with the goal of getting the newbie avatars acquainted with navigation, object manipulation, and camera control. In the [strategy] group discussion, using voice, it was interesting to hear the reaction toward my robust male voice. I think it opened the eyes of many with regard to the range of possibilities of Second Life.” Another use for going female for Jane has been seeing how other males behave in social situations. ”There is a lot to learn about both honesty and deceit,” she concludes.

“John Doe” heard that I was working on this article and wanted to tell his views on the subject, having experimented on sexual relations as a female alt.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Second Life © Celebrates 10 Years of Creativity –Gates open June 16th!- Stareyes Galaxy Reporting…

Stareyes riding the pod

The summer of 2013 will be remembered as the 10th anniversary of Second Life ©. The SL 10 B Community Celebration has been working discreetly behind the scenes to bring you the most astounding 22-sim fairground bursting with the creativity of avatars. Stareyes Galaxy had the privilege to preview the fairgrounds and talk with some of the personnel and exhibitors on the eve of the opening.

Arriving at the welcome area, I was expectant but also a bit hesitant, having already heard of the numerous exhibits to be seen at the SL 10 B CC fairgrounds. As I walked over to the nearest pod ride station, I quickly realized how little imagination I had had, as the sights started to unravel all around me. The pod rides are divided to the East and the West Exhibit tracks, and taking the ride, the visitor gets information on the exhibits located adjacent to the track. There is a HUD to control the speed of the pod, and you can get off anywhere you wish.

The sheer number of exhibits left me breathless, and soon I was experiencing “fairground frenzy”, only missing a stick of candy floss to tangle my hair in. The exhibits range from commercial to the artful, showing all aspects of SL creativity. Ethnic groups, charities, entertainment - all are represented for a good day’s family fun. The sims are “G”-rated, so I do advise discretion.

Yavanna Llanfair

I talked with the creator of the pods, Yavanna Llanfair, who said she does these as a service to the SL 10 B celebration. Her exhibit tells about the history of the pods, how they came about, and the basic principles of how they work. “This is the third SL  B I have run the pods. It’s a big responsibility, but I love that sort of responsibility – something I have to get right,” she told me at her exhibit. She doesn’t sell the pods that also run routes on mainland, but she does sell the scripts to make the pods run.

Interview with Yavanna Llanfair

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Going Furry in Second Life – Stareyes Galaxy Reporting

Among human avatars in Second Life ©, there roam creatures that have a varying degree of features that refer to other, usually mammalian species. 

These range from some having “neko” ears and tails to those decked to full “furry” animal avatars. Whereas these creatures express a great amount of creativity in their appearance and demeanor, they are quite often shunned in clubs and entertainment venues. What is so offensive and deprecating in furries that makes sim owners ban them? What is it that makes furries tick? Stareyes Galaxy donned her cow fursona and went out to find out more about the furry lifestyle.

Despite having had my cow avatar for several years, I had not really been privy to the lifestyle of furries, and often was wondering why on earth one would want to go traipsing about the meadows of SL as a plump but admittedly very sexy bovine character. I contacted the “Furry Dating” group, with over 700 members, to get the first leads. After having been solicited to “yiff” a few times, I was eventually directed to the USF sim (United Space Force Nation) where I found Kiara and Charlie to set me right. USF is one of the largest furry communities in Second Life, and they host an annual AGRA (Anti-Gravity Racing Association) race as well as other competitions.

Interview with Furries

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Interview with a Vampire – Stareyes Galaxy Reporting from The Castle of Eternal Solstice

The Vampire and Lycan role play platform Bloodlines © has generated a thirst as well as rage among residents since its inception in 2008. The allure to become a vampire clan member and to advance in the ranks of the game system has led to thirst of many vampires to feed on unsuspecting newbies, and consequently, generated rage in well-informed residents against their sometimes unscrupulous hunting practices. Among other deprecating things, Bloodlines has also been called an outright Ponzi scheme, which has added to the resentment toward Bloodlines among avatars at large. What is the reality today in the vampire circles? Stareyes Galaxy had the privilege to visit a castle and interview a Clan Queen.

Trials and Tribulations of a Beginner DJ – Stareyes Galaxy Reporting…

Disc Jockeys (DJs) form the backbone for the social encounters in clubs in Second Life ©. Who wouldn’t find elation in dancing to the tunes of DJs who can select, sequence, and execute a night of entertainment in a club full of your favorite people? Many club patrons will, in time, aspire to provide this entertainment as their own initiative, but it is not easy to get started as a DJ. I went out clubbing to find out about the woes of beginner DJs.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hair Issues in Second Life – Stareyes Galaxy Reporting...

Hair is an issue for all avatars. We scratch our heads trying to find the perfect hair for different occasions, often rummaging in our inventories and coming up with nothing that fits the theme. For avatars with recurring hair woes, how do hair designers cater to their needs? How are the seemingly contradicting expectations with regard to style, colors, naturalness, and compatibility with clothes and the social occasion met by designers? I went hair shopping to find out.

Before going blindly about the grid, poking my head in stores, standing on model stands, tweaking prims, and changing colors and outfits, I asked the “Fabulously Free in SL” group about their favorite hair stores. There were many that deserve mention, but Truth, Elikatira (formerly ETD), ChiChickie, BiZaRRe HaiR, and Alli & Ali were mentioned more than once. Truth is most famous for their mesh hair designs, and as I happened to wear Truth hair, I decided to concentrate on some other stores to explore their offering.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The State of Mesh Clothing in Second Life- Stareyes Galaxy Reporting…

     Mesh clothing has taken the grid by storm, since Linden Lab started allowing 
mesh uploads over a year ago. 

 As an apparent answer to their clothing woes, 
especially female shoppers have made it a necessity for designers to change 
over to mesh completely, or at least to open sections of mesh clothing in their 
stores. However, despite its seemingly great benefits, mesh does not completely 
solve all problems of traditional Second Life clothing.

 I wore my SLE Media Group tag to interview both customers and designers of mesh inworld.