MachinimUWA VII: Final 24 hours – Vilvi Rae, Arrow Inglewood, Mexi Lane, Elizabeth Spieler & Alfonso Garavito Olivar

No Man's Land from Vilvi on Vimeo.





As we approach the final 24 hours before the close of entries, more works have come in from all over the globe. Vilvi Rae takes us back to one of the most remarkable days in the history of war with 'No Man's Land'. Mexi Lane shows how people try to cross borders to greener pastures with 'Mediterranean'. Arrow Inglewood attempts to transcend the space-time continuum with 'Pas de Digital'. Elizabeth Spieler's 'Transcending Borders' gives us an insight into the wonders of the human mind. Alfonso Garavito Olivar shows us how virtual worlds help with language teaching in a global interconnected world with "La profesora de lengua castella". Alfonso's work epitomises the global nature of virtual world collaborations, with himself hailing from Colombia, now living in the USA, the poet, Beatriz Giovanna Ramirez is also from Colombia but living in Spain, the musician, David Postigo Rodriguez is from Spain, the voice over actress, GLOR14 is from Argentina and the SIM designer, Kai Separis is from Japan. These films are the latest entries to the L$545,000++ MachinimUWA VII: Transcending Borders, the 7th UWA Short Animated Film Challenge. The 'Transcending Borders' theme was selected by Professor Ted Snell, Director of the Cultural Precinct, UWA and who inspired the very first of the UWA art challenges in 2009. This theme is in honour of the 'Transcending Borders' exhibition at UWA's Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery in 2014CLOSING DATE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS 31st OCTOBER 2014.

You may interpret the theme as you see fit, however the average viewer would need to be able to appreciate how you fit this theme (alternatively, please indicate in the notes how it fits in the film notes on the web). Your machinima must be made specifically for this challenge, and this should be indicated in the opening credits 'For The University of Western Australia's MachinimUWA VII: Transcending Borders'. You do not have to film on the UWA sims, however this of course will be appreciated, and there is a Special UWA Prize which will be made available to a film which includes either Winthrop Clock Tower, The Somerville Auditorium or The Sunken Gardens.
ALSO, public viewing for TRANSCENDING BORDERS: The 5th UWA Grand 3D Art Challenge is now open (though the closing date for entries is the same as the Machinima - 31st October)

Special prizes are also offered for machinima that best portray one or a few of the artworks entered to TRANSCENDING BORDERS: The 5th UWA Grand 3D Art Challenge.

Do visit the UWA Challenge Gallery HERE to view the submissions so far

List of Submitted Machinima for MachinimUWA VII: Transcending Borders:
(In Reverse Klingon Alphabetical Order)

Glasz DeCuir (San Sebastian, Spain) - Guest Outsider

Vilvi Rae (Jyvaskylla, Finland) - No Man's Land 

Chic Aeon (Corvallis, Oregon, USA) - The Ghost in the Machine 

Braclo Eber (South African in Canada - Thanks to SL) - Beyond 

Erythro Asimov (Tours, France) -  The 6th Extinction  (Click HERE for Vimeo Version) 

Iono Allen (Paris, France) -  Butchery  (Click HERE for French Version) 

GnomeZen (Ashland, Oregon, USA) - Transcending the Borders of Consciousness

Joe Zazulak [Spiral Silverstar] (New Orleans, LA, USA) - 'Transcending (surreal) Borders'

Tutsy Navarathna (Frenchman in Pondicherry, India)  - Metaphore - "Transcending Borders" 

Natascha Randt (Gelsenkirchen, Germany) & Karima Hoisan (San Isidro del General, Costa Rica) - The Connection 

Lilia Artis  (Berne Switzerland), Haveit Neox (Los Angeles, USA) & Mouehane Sandalwood (Berne, Switzerland) - Striding - Unknown Roads

Eric Takkar (New York, USA) & Arcane Marenwolf (Perth, Australia) - Unseen Transcended Borders

Arrow Inglewood (Toronto, Canada) - Pas De Digital 

Pepa Cometa (Andalusia, Spain) - Little Marie 

Yepar Saenz (The Island of Martinique, French Carribean) - Delphine et Hippolyte 

Boris Twist (Portland, Oregon, USA) -  SORTIE...a film of the beautiful dark

Sophia Yates (Boston,  Massachusetts, USA) - Transcending Borders 

Babypea Von Phoenix & Masterperry (both from a little town near Horsham, Victoria) - Silence Remains 

AvaJean Westland (New York City, USA) - Changes 

Valentina Tremont (Milan, Italy) - Imagination

Peter King (Chester, England, United Kingdom) - Crime Knows No Borders 

GnomeZen (Ashland, Oregon, USA) - Transcendence

NicoleX Moonwall (New Orleans, USA) - Transformation, The Long Journey Home

NicoleX Moonwall (New Orleans, USA) - The Great Hunter of Tuna

Alfonso Garavito Olivar (Florida, USA) - La profesora de lengua castella

Erythro Asimov (Tours, France) - Night of the Johnstown Flood 

Elizabeth Spieler (Seattle, USA) - Transcending Borders  

Mexi Lane aka  Marina Bellini (Rome, Italy) - Mediterranean 

Misio2 (Melbourne, Australia) - Virtual Toy Island Plankton 

Glasz DeCuir (San Sebastian, Spain) - Disappear - Simulator Crossing

jjccc Coronet (Talygarn, South Wales) - What a Wonderful World

Valentina Tremont (Milan, Italy) - Dreaming

Second Life in October

I haven't been writing much lately, but I have been thinking -- and exploring.  While there is news amidst the grids, the main thing on my mind is Second Life -- the 1.0 version.

Now I have been on record in the forums stating that business was good -- still good that is after the announcement of SL 2.0. I am still of a mind that having a new world on the horizon hasn't impacted spending habits all that much. But, to be fair -- and I always try to be -- I can't say that my previous declaration of monetary abundance was completely true.

It wasn't a LIE you understand, I just hadn't actually been working with my calculator close at hand. Last week, I did just that. Comparing January to mid October 2013 with January to mid October 2014 shows about a 30 to 33% decline in revenue. This is just me of course and I am not a big name content creator. BUT there are some other bits of info that make those numbers even less uplifting.

I am also on a variety of smaller grids these days and while they aren't big money makers they do pay for graphics cards, power supplies and the like -- so not coffee money. Adding that NEW revenue stream into the mix shows an even steeper decline in SL revenue.

I don't work for the paycheck really so this isn't a big deal for me, but it is an indication that things might be slowing down. Another indication? I have nothing to blog (OMG!).

That isn't completely true. A more correct statement would be that I have nothing EXCITING to blog. Quite a few designers are on hiatus, some appear to be bored and cranking out less than heart stopping designs  -- presumably so that they can feel they are still working. Certainly, there are exceptions, but the overall picture presented is of folks not quite as enthralled with their creative process.

How many styles of couches can you make after all? How many gowns? How many swimsuits? Eventually even the best run out of inspiration because they have already made "something very close to that". I get in that mode too at times, but since I pretty much make things for myself and THEN sell them -- there is a very different energy involved. When I get bored? I change my location. That simply isn't practical for the folks putting the kids through college or paying the rent.

The other dynamic that may be coming into play is longevity. SL has been around a long time now; many of the players have been here more than a handful of years, some a decade or more. When we were young we NEEDED things. Now many of us honestly have all we can possibly use. Hence, getting us to buy something new just for the sake of difference is the marketing strategy.

Put it all together and much of October, historically the busiest and most exciting month in Second Life, has been pretty dull.

So let's circle around again to the new world (see, I already forget the official term -- old brain cells). Folks moving over or visiting will NEED new stuff. Mesh as in furniture and houses will likely be portable but there is a whole slew of other items that will not be. We will all in some sense be starting over.

Having done that on a handful of worlds similar to Second Life, I can definitely relate -- and it isn't a bad thing! First you have a pristine clean inventory; that in itself is newsworthy for many folks. There is also a thrill when you find "the hair" or "the skin" or "OMG- fingernails!".  Most of us are pretty blasé about our wardrobes, they are so vast. Think back to when you were just out of the pod. Those were good times too. Times when little things meant a lot.

I don't have an answer to the ennui that seems to be going around. Hopefully it is a passing thing, a brief energy of the stars that is dampening our spirits. My best suggestion is to find a new way to create, a new product to mold, a new experience to grab hold of and make your own.

Then again, baking some cookies with the kids is a good thing too.

From a Little Village a Little Town does grow…

In March through April 2014, Cica Ghost has a charming installation on the region of Caramel. Called Little Village, it was a marvellous collection of whimsical little houses with wobbly chimneys, huddled together in groups or standing alone, some on level ground, others precariously straddling little hills, and about which I blogged at the time […]

Artist Shops at Remood United Portugal

Nestled on a little avenue in the sim Remood United Portugal is a delightful new row of shops featuring works by some of Second Life's most interesting artists: Meiló Minotaur, Eupalinos Ugajin, Maya Paris, Kikas & Marmaduke (Kikas Babenco and Marmaduke Arado), Cica Ghost, Whiskey Monday, Ole Etzel, and Alpha Auer. The owner of the sim, KhrysT Lords (Khryst Neox), has gracefully provided this space for free, working with Meiló, while Eupa has been instrumental in organizing the larger group.

Many of the items are offered for free, among them some delightfully silly poses by Kikas & Marmaduke, avatars by Meiló, and avatars and related objects by Alpha Auer, while other artworks and objects are offered for low prices. Rather than create a shop with items for sale, Maya opted to create a space with some delightful interactive animations. Stop back again after your first visit, because there's some possibility that more artists may join this initiative over time. (Several other unrelated shops are also located on the row.)



[Entwined] Cara
-Belleza- Ava Oct Gift Pale  (worn with -Belleza- Venus Mesh body)
#He La#Silent Partner Crown @ A6D MixMatch Oct 25 – Nov 25 ‘2014
#He La#Silent Partner necklace @ A6D MixMatch Oct 25 – Nov 25 ‘2014
#He La#Silent Partner dress @ A6D MixMatch Oct 25 – Nov 25 ‘2014

:CP: Persephone Day Lounger Raven & Oiseau es Chandelles (Birdcage Candle Thingy) Partial Lit @ Uber Monthly Event Oct. 2014

Calmness “A Jewel of wisdom”

Calmness, "A jewel of wisdom"



Stockholm&Lima:Autumn’s End Bedroom Set(Adult)
Scarlet Creative Love Curtain
TA Seventies Telephone

I am Wearing:

Argrace ITSUKI black hair
Hermony Symon Skin ST1
Shai Mens Denim Shot
Reckless Iridescence @ N21 Event

This Is My Costume

Beautiful Dirty Rich Halloweeny Mini-Tees Pack 3 – This Is My Costume / Forze
Skinny Jeans – Black / L Warwick Fusion Ankle Strapped Platforms – Ruby
Love Zombie Creepy Necklace – Redrum

The Sugar Garden Baby Skin & Appliers – Vampy / Angelica Tsuya Eyes – Wash
Aitui Stretched Ears Gen 4 / Bolson Casanova Tattoo / Little Bones Trouble Hair -
Royale / Nox Renae Brows – Dark Brown / Mons Septum Ring Style 17 – Gold
Slink Hands – Casual / Slink Feet – Mid / Dead Apples Mouth Alpha – VII
Slink Physique Mesh Body

Elephante Poses – The Glory (Thanks MJ!)

So How’s Second Life Performing For You?

Linden Lab have posted a new blog post : Performance, Performance, Performance! The post details some impressive improvements to Second Life from Linden Lab’s metrics. In terms of the Second Life Marketplace the post informs us :

We recently deployed infrastructure upgrades for the Marketplace, and the site has since shown some of the best performance we’ve ever seen from it. Even during peak usage periods over the weekend, when in the past performance would degrade, we’re seeing response times that average 70% faster and page load times that are 30% faster than before the changes.

Then we see a bold claim, I mean this is a very bold claims, it’s so bold that I’m almost speechless, but Linden Lab are improving Group Chat! Indeed they’ve recently deployed new chat server configurations which metrics show have resulted in dramatic improvements in group chat performance. Now before we all get too excited, they also acknowledge that some groups are still seeing a reduction in performance but early indications suggest that group chat is improving. Linden Lab aren’t washing their hands on this matter though, they are still very much working on continuing to improve group chat.

Faster texture and mesh loading has been facilitated by Linden Lab utilising a content delivery network to the whole grid. This is more likely to be felt by people further away from Linden Lab’s data centres in the USA and the initial reports do indeed sound very impressive :

Our testing showed dramatic improvements: average download times for textures and meshes have been reduced by more than 50% on average, and the improvement is even more dramatic outside of North America.

The final improvement mentioned in the blog post is with regards to the HTTP Project. This has been a long ongoing project that has slowly but surely brought improvements to Second Life. The basic concepts is that the way the viewer communicates with grid services has been improved. The blog post once again posts some impressive stats :

With the HTTP Project Viewer out now, the faster content download times you’ll see thanks to the CDN change get even better – we’re talking 80% faster!

However there is one more improvement highlighted via this blog post, although it’s not one Linden Lab are blowing their own trumpet about.

The final improvement is with regards to Linden Lab’s improved communication channels with their customers. The final paragraph of the post states :

So, How’s Second Life Performing for You?

Performance improvements are generally behind-the-scenes work, and we know it’s not always as exciting as rolling out a new feature, but these changes directly impact all our Second Life experiences and our daily lives inworld. We hope you’re starting to notice the effects of these improvements – if you are, please let us know in the Forums, on Twitter, or however you prefer.

That is such a refreshing change from the communications between Linden Lab and their community in recent years and I find this very encouraging. Ebbe and Oz Linden have already been busy in the forum thread, responding to some folk who unfortunately don’t feel Second Life is improving but that’s part of the feedback process. However what would be nice would be if people who are seeing improvements, let Linden Lab know about it. Generally people are more motivated to comment when they disagree or are annoyed, this is human nature, bad experiences stay in our minds longer.

That’s not to say that those who are not seeing improvements should be dismissed, feedback of positive or negative experiences are useful for Linden Lab. Feedback of either kind is better when it’s constructive, but please don’t be shy about letting Linden Lab know how Second Life is performing for you.

Have Yourself A Merry Little Halloween

Halloween in Second Life has always been a popular time of year and this year is no exception. Whereas many of you will already have plans for parties events and such like, the Second Life Destination Guide will also help you to find some gems which will be around for a few days at least, after the event.

Linden Lab have added a new attraction to their impressive Portal Park, a Haunted Halloween Tour.

Haunted Halloween Tour

What will you do this Halloween? Help children with a sugar fix? Buy overpriced masks from big-box stores? Do something different, something frightening and fun. Linden Lab is proud to present the Haunted Halloween Tour. Strap in and prepare to experience haunts, ghouls, death, scares, and a descent through madness itself. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart!

Visit in Second Life

This is an attraction that takes advantage once more of the experience tools and allows you to ride a coffin up to the house and get spooked with shadowy figures appearing in the windows and much more.

Haunted Halloween

SLURL To Portal Park :

Moving on there’s the Smithsonian De Los Muertos Festival taking place until November 2nd and on my brief visit this was a busy sim, although a lot of people were hanging around in the graveyard!

Smithsonian Dia De Los Muertos Festival

The Smithsonian Latino Center in collaboration with the University of Texas at El Paso are proud to present a Day of the Dead 3D experience, Oct 29 through Nov 2, 2014. Join them in celebrating Latino cultural heritage through this holiday for honoring both the dead and the cycle of life and death. There’ll be a Halloween dance party, dead poets reading, ofrendas, a meso-ballgame tournament, costume contests, music, art and more!

Visit in Second Life

I’ll have to go back and take another look when I have more time because there was a sign regarding a film festival.


SLURL To Smithsonian Dia De Los Muertos Festival :

There are a couple more eye catching destinations which I haven’t fully visited yet. They aren’t specific Halloween destinations and in terms of the first one, it isn’t even a horror themed location, it’s more of an art destination. However I’ve seen some gorgeous images on Flickr of Little Town by Cica Ghost. I did land there and noticed that they had received over 300 visitors today and more than 300 yesterday.

Little Town by Cica Ghost

The inhabitants of Cica Ghost’s Little Town have all disappeared for the day, are they just hiding? Take this chance to to explore their quirky, curious, humorously delightful island.

Visit in Second Life

Last, but not least, is a destination that unfortunately I haven’t yet visited yet. However it once again looks very impressive from the images I’ve seen. Damned Divine Haunted House has the look of a zombie apocalypse but is described as a sim wide haunted house.

Damned Divine Haunted House

Come visit the Damned Divine sim-wide haunted house experience! Will you survive the many and varied intricately-terrifying horror zones?

Visit in Second Life

‘Tell me baby, what’s my name..’

‘Tell me baby, what’s my name
Tell me honey, can ya guess my name
Tell me baby, what’s my name
I tell you one time, you’re to blame’

Coming Saturday, 1 November, a new exciting hunt by MadPea Games will start. Now, I am not into hunts – never made a secret of that – but the MadPea hunts are something else and the only ones I have always enjoyed so much. I have fond memories of solving the mysteries of  the Room 326 hunt, together with Tem over a year ago (maybe 2 years?), we used to dress up as detectives and had so much fun!

The new hunt is called ‘ Blood Letters’  and it is of an Adult nature, which is something new for MadPea! It will work, as usual, with a HUD and you are supposed to solve mysteries and murders, for which you have 25 days.
The rewards are awesome prizes along the way, from SL’s finest designers (a full list of creators is to be found on the MadPea official website). The previous hunts I did for the sheer fun of it, the story line makes it worth doing without going for prizes, but they are a very welcome extra of course, well..or a reason :).


Poster courtesy of MadPea Games

From the official press release:
‘Kiana Writer, CEO and Founder of MadPea said of Blood Letters “ It’s the most twisted storyline I’ve ever written combined with clever puzzles and will give the players a glimpse of what’s coming soon with UNIA.”

So, I was so lucky as to get some previews of the prizes offered..and had some fun with my friend Gidge (Gidgette.Adagio, see her flickr, she makes awesome pics!), with a pose from Rack! called ‘Fine Dining’. I have to explain I did edit the pose slightly, as it is made for a man and woman, with the man with his face somewhat lower than I positioned Gidge..haha, and also, I didn’t really get in the dining aspect but had the idea of portraying the Devil, seducing poor Gidge with some fine wine…hence the title and lyrics at the start of this blogpost.

'Tell me baby, what's my name..'

Blood Letters, you want to solve the murders!
Start 1 November, here: MadPea ‘Blood Letters’