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Showing posts with label imagination. Show all posts
Showing posts with label imagination. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

SPOTLIGHT ON the Original Marvel RP sim (Excelsior) and DC Universe RP - SLE Reporting…

In July,  the SL Enquirer’s Ops Manager Orion Baral celebrated his 15th rez day with a surprise Hulk Themed party right in the middle of Times Square, SL. Friends from far and near came in their best marvel costumes and were in for a wild show complete with humping pokemon, a broken ankle, and a lost contact lens. However, Melina Firehawk, Mankind Tracer, Terry’s Place’s DJ Ninja, and Lanai Jarrico made it possible.  The party was amazing!

For Marvel fans across the grid, this is one of the most detailed roleplaying experiences we’ve seen in a long time. Melina Firehawk and her team created a replica of Times Square on the original marvel Sim (Excelsior) as well as a DC Universe roleplay sim using the comic characters to tell stories based on the 616 Marvel Universe. We sat down with Melinda Firehawk to learn more about these two very popular RP experiences and how to get started.

Interview with Melinda Firehawk

SLE: Melina, first and foremost we want to thank you for allowing us to host a surprise party on your Sim. I asked for a Hulk Inspired theme and got more than I expected. It was a blast!  I’ve been to NYC plenty of times and I have to say the SL Times Square really looks like the real deal. How did you discover Second Life and what inspired you to get involved in Marvel RP in SL? 

Melina:  I discovered Second Life 16 years ago in July 2005.  At that time, I was part of an organization that focused mainly on traditional mediums of role-playing such as forums, AOL/AIM chat rooms, IRC, and email with a high concentration in Star Trek offerings.  They had a few other options that they branched out into including Stargate, Firefly, and Star Wars, but I was more of a PBeM (play by email) roleplayer.  I could not, for the life of me, keep up with the live-action role plays that took place in chat rooms like AOL/AIM and IRC, which at that time comprised the bulk of the roleplay opportunities the group offered.

That is until I came across Second Life.

I did some research on ways that I could improve with live-action roleplaying and that's how I came across Second Life.  I didn't join at first, but once I did I was hooked.  I not only found the old Star Trek Museum at Indigo, which had a Defiant that you could go into and roleplay in, but I learned how you could literally make your av look like anything, and do almost anything while interacting with others around the world.

Sadly, the founder of the group passed away suddenly so I was never able to fully propose the idea of Second Life to them as an option for a roleplay offering, but I stuck around and got involved with a few Star Trek groups in Second Life.

Even though I was doing Star Trek roleplaying, I was a huge Marvel fan ever since I was little and watched reruns of the 1960s Spider-Man cartoon on TV, as well as the early 80s shows like Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, and others.  I got involved with the peace-keeping group, Justice League United, and that rekindled my interest in Marvel and DC.  I started searching for possible roleplay groups and sims within Second Life, but unfortunately, the character I really wanted was always filled.

The person who had the role eventually was willing to give it up so I could have a chance to play it out, and I've been part of the roleplay ever since.  At this point, I believe that I've been there for at least 7 years.

SLE: That is a dedication to Marvel RP. You have come a long way!  The beauty of Second Life is it can be anything you want it to be. Do you consider SL an extension of your real life or just a game?

Melina:  I kind of consider Second Life to be a hybrid that is both a game, but also an extension of my real life.

The hybrid is due to the fact that, as a game, I can exit out of it anytime I want to in order to focus on things in the real world like work, home repairs, and the like.  But once I'm in Second Life, it's definitely an extension of my real life as I've made friends that I'd never get the chance to meet without it.  Additionally, I'm able to participate in fundraising efforts like Relay for Life as I've had several family members who have had cancer.

SLE:  Great answer, it is like a hybrid of both. Can you tell our readers a bit about the original Marvel Sim and the DC Universe sims?

Melina:  The Original Marvel RP started in 2009 on a small plot of land using a skybox and a rezzer.  It eventually grew to occupy a full sim that was part of Aftermath, which had already offered a DC roleplay.  Leadership members came and went over the course of time, and the Marvel roleplay broke off to become independent and we've been on our own ever since.  When the DC roleplay at Aftermath took a hiatus for a while, we actually acquired a second sim and launched our own DC roleplay effort in 2015.

The Original Marvel RP, which won the 2015 Simming Prize, is based on the 616 Marvel comics universe.  Even though the MCU is extremely popular, by being comics based we're able to offer a much wider range of characters that haven't been seen in the movies or recent TV shows.  In the past, we normally did our own spin on the comic storylines, but after we saw what Marvel did with Civil War II and Hydra Cap, we decided to go in our own direction.  This gives us more freedom to integrate and keep elements like Parker Industries, or A-Force, even though they no longer appear within recent comics.

Our DC effort follows the comics, but we actually had a divergence in the timeline from the beginning of the sim.  We saw the changes that occurred during the New 52/Rebirth comics, and honestly, nobody was a fan of the highly unpopular alterations to various beloved characters.  We also didn't want to go with the DCEU since that effort has been filled with a few hits, but mainly misses.  Similar to Marvel, taking our own direction allows us to open up fan-favorite characters that people remember from the more popular comic titles in the past and avoid a lot of the changes that we didn't like.

SLE: I really like how you accessed the status of the role play and you took your own direction but still keeping true to the fan-favorite characters. Some people get confused about roleplaying. Can you define what it is and how people engage in it? Is Marvel RP  like being a hero in your own action movie or something more?

Melina:  We've all had books, comics, TV shows, and movies that we've enjoyed, and some people become big fans of the characters that appear in them.  But after that book or comic has ended its run, or the TV show or movie ends, then what?  Do they just fade into obscurity never to be seen or heard from again?  Or are they still out there, doing what comes next and continuing to embark on new pursuits, new adventures, etc?  The "what's next" part of it is what ultimately drives people to write fanfiction or create roleplays to immerse themselves in that environment . . . in the shoes of their favorite characters . . . to create all-new adventures. The difference between fanfiction and roleplay comes down to one very simple element. Interaction.

Fanfiction is normally the work of one person alone, wherewith roleplay you are doing the same thing with continuing the adventure of your favorite characters, putting yourself in their shoes, but you're doing it with someone else.  You're engaging them, and they are interacting with you, and together you are building an all-new story for the characters you love.  You can even create your own character to fit into the genre and interact with others who are playing your favorite characters on sim.

SLE: It is great that you offer the ability to role-play in these scenarios and if one particular character doesn’t fit into the role you want to role play you allow them to create one if it will fit into the Marvel or DC universe. In order to keep everyone on the same page, All roleplay sims should have a set of rules to prevent the storyline from going off-topic or griefed by trolls. What are your guidelines and how do you keep everyone participating safe, informed, and involved?

Melina:  Most of our rules are very common sense for not only the sim but also the roleplay itself.  Many elements of the rules regarding griefing, age, behavior, minimum clothing, etc are in line with the Linden Lab Terms of service so it's pretty self-explanatory.  Other rules are specific to the roleplay sim itself like rez and character limits in order to achieve fairness and spread things out so you don't have one person taking up so many prims that part of the sim gets returned or hogging more than one character from the same team.

We provide a link to our rules, which are in a Google Doc, in not only the notecard that has a bit of information about the sim but also at the top of the application itself.  From that point, we're on the honor system when it comes to our applicants.  We expect that, if they are interested in dedicating the time to write up an application and become part of the roleplay, they've taken the time to actually read the rules and understand them.

Members of our leadership are normally available through status boards in the landing area of each sim, plus our annex, for those that may have questions about the rules or our sims.  On top of that, not only we will monitor the sims at different times throughout the day to ensure that visitors are not violating any of the rules, but we also have members of leadership who participate within the scheduled roleplays who can react and prevent griefers from interfering.

If someone does violate the rules, in many cases we'll try to talk to them first.  Most are more than willing to stop any undesired behavior, but those who persist normally have action taken against them if they refuse to comply after repeated warnings.  In the rare event that someone intentionally griefs the sim, we do react quickly in order to remove them and minimize the impact on the region, but we'll also alert other sims that conduct superhero roleplays.  Griefers who are banned in one sim will often try again in another sim of the same genre so giving those sim owners a heads up can also help protect them as well.

SLE: It is unfortunate that you have to uphold the rules to protect against people that troll and grief and try to upset the role-playing. So tell our readers, due to time zones, it can be difficult to gather a group of roleplayers at one time. How often do characters come together for an RP session and approximately how long does it last?

Melina:  We try to schedule our bigger RP events on Tuesdays and Thursdays at a time that's reasonable for not only most of the US but also those who are in Europe as well.  We do understand if people have to bow out early or arrive late due to the time difference, even with the time that we normally schedule our RPs to be held.  Those sessions on average last about two hours, although sometimes it's gone much longer.

Additionally, we always encourage our members to check the group to see who's online and reach out within the group or via IM to engage in roleplay on an individual basis.

SLE:  Not everyone is born with the thespian bug and it can be a bit intimidating for starters. What advice would you recommend to help make the transition into the RP easier? How can they get started?

Melina:  The best approach to take is to look at it as a simply interaction.  We interact with people all the time . . . in the office, at school, our family, and our friends.  Roleplaying is the same . . . it's interaction with others who may be just as nervous or intimidated as you are, but the difference is that you are putting yourself in the shoes of your favorite character just as the others you are interacting with also are putting themselves in the shoes of their favorite characters.

Once you get approved with a character, you become part of our family, and like family, we try to look out for each other.  We're always willing to roleplay with anyone who wants to get help easing into it, whether it's one-on-one or in a small group before you participate in the larger group events.

SLE: We truly appreciate all that you do in Second Life to give people a place to Roleplay and allow people to bring out the inner hero or villain :) they have inside. Now, is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Melina:  In addition to roleplaying, we also have a Relay for Life team called Heroes Helping Heroes.  We invite anyone who wants to help us be a hero by supporting the real heroes fighting cancer and those who care for them.  Join us and participate in some of our events, or become part of the team and help us grow the impact we have by providing fun events for all Relayers to enjoy.

Additional information:

Original Marvel Sim SLURL:

Group (invite upon character approval):  secondlife:///app/group/07b3669a-5ee0-b9dd-3a99-0bbfff3550db/about



Cast List: 

Marvel Created Powers: 

DC Universe SLURL:

Group (invite upon character approval):  secondlife:///app/group/ba832b2a-c548-0913-43e1-91ca8e7fdbba/about



Cast List: 

DC Created Powers:

Preferred Contact: Melina Firehawk  secondlife:///app/agent/143318ce-1b9a-41ab-b99c-0c4e6a69fbde/about

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Second Life Portraits: An in depth interview with Cameron Cove - Dean Lawson reporting

Cameron Cove is a Second Life artist and explorer who finds inspiration in the dark and murky shadows of the virtual world. I had the good fortune to chat with Cameron and learn more about his attempts to "capture the horrific atrocity of imagination.”
Dean : Could you tell me a bit about yourself?
Cameron Cove : I'm a real life photographer and graphic artist. I joined Second Life out of curiosity. At first I thought it was an RP game but with no clear objective I was about to quit when I discovered the snapshot application. After taking snapshots in Second Life I began to look for work as a Second Life photographer which was very difficult because there are a lot of SL Photographers and most of them have a lot more experience with Second Life photography than I.
Dean : Your blog is titled “Second Life Portraits by Cameron Cove” but most of your images are landscapes with your avatar appearing almost inconspicuously as part of the background. Is this intended to be ironic?
Cameron Cove : It wasn't my intention to be ironic. The reason why I refer to my collection of Second Life images as "Portraits" is because the places I explore and find interesting enough to photograph is more an expression of who I am than the appearance of my avatar. I include my avatar in the snapshots to provide a subject or, in some cases, to provide context for the scale of other objects in the frame but the true subject of the image is the moment or memory that is captured by the snapshot. In this sense, the word "Portrait" is a portrayal of my spiritual self more so than my physical which, of course, doesn't exist in Second Life.
Dean : Most of your images are engulfed in shadow with your avatar’s back to the viewer, is this intended to create an enigmatic impression? 
Cameron Cove : I use one of the generic avatars that people can choose when they first register with Second Life. I added spectacles and, in some snapshots, the avatar is carrying a flashlight but, because the focus of my images are the different locations I visit as opposed to my avatar, I frequently face the avatar away from the viewer to create a sense of anonymity, as if to say, the individual is less important than the environment. I consider my images to be a collaboration between myself, the people who create the sim and the people who create the objects within the sim.
Dean :  The depth of shadows in your images reminds me of the paintings of Carravagio, what are some of your artistic influences?
Cameron Cove : Thanks for the compliment. Michelangelo da Carravagio is definitely an influence. I think he is a master of creating shadows within shadows. The Spanish painter Francisco Goya is another big influence when it comes to the way I try to capture details within the shadows. Another influence is the French Iranian cinematographer Darius Khondji who worked on the films Delicatessen, The City of Lost Children,  Alien Resurrection, In Dreams, The Beach and Panic Room. His work on the movie "Seven" is probably the most influential as this is visually a dark and moody film that spends a lot of time in the shadows.
Dean : Some of your work has been featured in MAGE Magazine. How did you get involved with this group?
Cameron Cove : I posted an announcement in the SL Creation Forum asking if there were any Second Life photography groups I could join that would help me learn about the different techniques used to create great images. I had visited some art galleries and seen some images that were truly incredible and realized I had a lot to learn but the only person who responded to my questions was Othella, who is the editor of MAGE Magazine. After becoming friends with Othella I joined the MAGE Magazine group and found the creative team was very helpful. Andressa, Sizzelle and Ozymandius were surprisingly generous with advice and would even give me things like a green screen studio, props, accessories and different lighting equipment to help improve the quality of my work. Out of gratitude for their help and support I've contributed some of my images to MAGE Magazine which can be seen in the SL Perspectives section.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

“A Pilgrimage of Pixels: Furillen” Romero de la Luna reporting


Fade in from the black- breathe in and slow yourself. Opening before you, a world; bleak, yet lovely. Desolate, yet full of feeling.  Furillen is the depiction of a world beyond pixels, residing in the island of the real; up north, off the coast of Sweden. Rendered by pixels, yet hauntingly real.

Close your eyes and tilt your head upward.  Do you feel that?  Snowflakes the size of an infant’s fist floating down in a windless sky, or maybe they are the ashes of a recent love’s apocalypse. Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference. For now, for the sake of our hearts, let us imagine they are baby-fist snowflakes.  Open your eyes, your mouth.  Catch one on your tongue. Let it sizzle-melt with the heat of your body. Swallow. This is our communion.

Look back to the skyline and to the world around you. The camper, the pier.  The light is fading, the coppery peach that lives just past the edges of sunset. Beyond the nearby outbuildings stand the outcrop of abandoned and eroding walls. Walk up to the base.  Take your time. After all, we are on a pilgrimage, and pilgrims are seldom in a hurry. Stand at the foot of these walls and allow yourself to feel small.  Look up again.  Regard the slowly-eroding stillness that inevitably comes after the fever of Spring, after the smoulder of Summer. Only echoes now- the sounds of Autumn like lost spirits, singing their song toward Winter.

It is okay if you feel lost and a little bit lonely.  Listen to the loneliness inside of you. In this place, It will sing back to you. Listen. Closer. The mouths of that song are making sounds like words-  a language that eludes the grasp of the ear. It hums deeper inside- a tuning fork vibrating inside us beyond the territory of words. We will understand it if we are slow and close our eyes and prepare for the kinds of winter that always must come for a season; a season of slumber, a season of silence, of goodbye.

* * *
If you are anything like me, you may wonder after dwelling somewhere beautiful, how such a place came to be- whether it be by chance or by some artist’s hand, and where did this place come from, how was it made, and by whom?   I imagine a profile name scrawled on the cornerstone of this wall. Serene Footman. I put my hand over this name, my palm against the stone wall-  and there, a flicker of an image, a picture of a man, hair long and thick, a tangled beard rivalling the lost Odysseus.

And have you ever wanted to knock on God’s door, just to see who it was who answered?  Hoping maybe she is like your lost grandmother, and that when she embraces you, she smells like lavender and cookies.  Or if you peer through the keyhole you see a strong man’s arms, forging the rudiments of another abandoned world-the steam and heat and smell of labour. His hair long and thick, his tangled beard like that of the long-lost contender. And just before knocking, have you ever turned around and walked away without knowing why?

Perhaps when you visit this place, you will feel much differently than me.  Perhaps your heart resides in another hemisphere- and life is just beginning to warm. Of course your heart is in a different place than mine!  After all, it thumps in your own chest. We are pilgrims of these worlds. It is inevitable that we bring more along with us than just our digital selves. Perhaps that is the point. When a world is born, a conversation is begun, with outstretched arms. A world that sings, Here I am… come and see… walk along the shores of my body. Climb upon me, and for now, even if it be just for a season, let me be your home.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: (visit Serene Footman’s extensive yet minimalist website at

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Spotlight on Enchanted Alice: Being Alice in Wonderland- Debby Sharma Reporting...

Photograph Credits: Rex Havoc

UPDATED 1-3-15
 Enchanted Alice is currently relocating, when it is settled at its new location we will share the teleport link!

“Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late.” The white rabbit ran past Alice, down into the hole. His pink eyes glistened while holding a watch in his hand. Alice was curious and followed Mr. Rabbit down the hole. Have you ever wondered what would you have done if you were given the same place and the same situation?

Enchanted Alice is a wonderful place with a mad house, a library, a caterpillar lounge, a cavern, a maze, a tea pot, a raining room and a rope swing. Rex and Angel Havoc have created a truly enchanted place with lots of things to do. They say, “Explore a twisted adventure in a new take on Alice! Crawl through the Looking Glass, explore various levels, use our anywhere doors, check out our animations. We are still a little twisted and a little mad but we are always enchanted!”

I had the privilege of interviewing one of the creators, Rex Havoc.

Debby Sharma: Please tell us something about yourself and your life in Second Life.
Rex Havoc: I've been in world in one form or another since 2007. I am a husband, a father, an uncle, a cook and the chief bottle washer here on our parcel. I also dj on certain occasions; I love to build, design and explore. I am not a fan of shopping though; despite what my wife and kids might think.

Photograph Credits: Rex Havoc 

Debby Sharma: How did the idea of Enchanted Alice happen? Why an Alice in Wonderland theme among all the fables?

Rex Havoc: It happened by accident. I Dj, my host and wife suggested a theme for the evening, the main idea was 'Your Favorite Fairy Tale'; I asked her to elaborate, the suggestion was Alice in Wonderland. I built a set for that event and well, the rest is history! It grew and blossomed from there. I originally built it for her, she was my Alice and I was the Mad Hatter, we had fun with it, building and tweaking the set, it grew from there. Angel started showing it off to friends and eventually we decided to share it with the masses. Our virtual world had grown. A few parcels later, we have grown into what you see today, an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland combined with The Madness a twisted spin off of American McGee as interpreted by me. 

Photograph Credits: Melanie von Prague

Debby Sharma: There are some very unique scenes like the rain room. Have you been shot listing the themes for long time or are they something you always wished for?

Archer Mactavish: There are indeed a few different twists and turns here on our parcel. I haven't followed a storyboard per-say, other than Alice falls down a rabbit hole and then her twisted adventure begins in the library. Here she interacts with various items, reads a book, swings from a chandelier is memorized by a cat chasing a gold fish in a bowl. She crawls through our looking glass into a strange and dark hall. She sees aspects of herself from the days she spent in the asylum (from the Madness Returns). She interacts with the Cheshire cat and again falls further into the depths of Enchanted Alice. There are various rooms here on many different levels, the 'Rain Room' is just one of these areas, it's near the end of Alice's journey. It's her retreat, a place to chill, relax and enjoy the sounds of raindrops falling. On occasion she has been caught dancing to the sounds emanating from our club, 'The Mad House'.

At our entrance there is a sign that reads, 'The most amazing gift you can receive is the gift of Adventures. Enchanted Alice is an adventure. It is meant to be explored; it's a parcel built for fun and it's very detailed. You may have to explore to find though, for instance we have an old crow aptly named Edgar Allen Crow. You can eat cake with the Mad Hatter and his entourage from Happy Days! and so much more. For instance my wife Angel penned the perfect poem on what you will experience here, it reads.

Cheshire cats and rabbits in hats
A mushroom house, a scurrying mouse
Little doors and lopsided floors
Pictures to take and memories to make
The Mad Hatter, awake for hours, just to find the perfect flowers
A March hare, a floating chair
Poses, roses, waterfalls
In her madness, Alice roams the halls
A thought began, all such a long time ago
Zip the line, watch the river flow
A wish here , a dream there, twisted madness everywhere
We're all mad! (or so they say)
Be amazing and have an ENCHANTED DAY

Photograph Credits: Melanie von Prague

Debby Sharma: Since when did you start working on them and what or who were your inspirations?

Rex Havoc: Each build has combined various attributes from Alice in her many different forms, whether it be Alice in Wonderland, American McGee or The Madness Returns. My inspirations have come from within and through many conversations with my wife. I like to refer to these as 'Brain Farts'. Laughs. I take it from there, give it some thought, build a prim and let my mind interact with my surroundings. I create and build. After all it is my twisted interpretation of all things, Alice. 
Photograph Credits: Debby Sharma

Debby Sharma: What would we see in the future? Any further projects related to Enchanted Alice? 

Rex Havoc: Talking about that 'Rain Room' has given me a few more idea's indeed. Only the Cheshire cat knows for sure what the Mad Hatter is brewing underneath his Hat! (Gawd! what have you done.) Yes indeed the parcel is always changing, whether it be minor or major items. Make sure to join Enchanted Alice and keep abreast of all our happenings, whether it be the songs our Minstrels spin in our club, The Madhouse to the live singers in our Caterpillar Lounge, there is always something happening here for sure! Have an Enchanted Day!

Second Life Legacy names: Archer Mactavish and Angellace Resident

Friday, August 15, 2014

Beautifying Treatments in SL. Use your Imagination and Relax.- CeciliaRosalie Reporting...

In the real world, spa days and beautifying treatments are a way to pamper ourselves and just ease tension. In Second Life we can also experience relaxation with a virtual pampering.

My inspiration comes from one morning that was extremely hot and I thought how good and refreshing a spa treatment would feel. I had logged into Second Life and my mind was drawn to SL’s slogan, “your world your imagination.”

That was it ! In the name of virtual reality I wondered what it would be like to have the same pampering amenities as there are in the real world.  It isn’t all about the hands on massages, facials, manicures and pedicures. In avatar form, our minds can use some calming as well.

I started searching for spas in Second Life. I found one place that offered what I was looking for.

Beau Mermaid is the most realistic spa I’ ve ever seen in Second Life. It consists of three floors of amenities. You can tour the facility easily by using the elevator.
On the ground floor you will find: the nail salon for manicures and pedicures.

Next you’ll find a hair salon where you can have your hair styled, including treatments.

Moving on to the 1st floor you will find yourself in the changing rooms one for ladies and one for gentlemen. There you get your towels and robes and yet you can have a quick shower.

Okay okay! You caught me I won’t hide from youJ I really enjoyed myself at the sauna while I was doing this article 

There’s also a massage room where you can get group or single virtual massages!
If that isn’t enough to relax and beautify your avatar, Beau Mermaid also offers group yoga classes and Zumba twice a week!

Last but not least there’s a modern fully equipped gym to use for free. 
You may be wondering how this is all possible. Just bring your imagination, your friends or even make it a unique date with your significant other!
For more information and pricing, teleport here

Have fun!!!!