Thursday, October 30, 2008

Viva la Revolution!

Well, what an interesting day yesterday was!

I logged on, to be greeted with several messages about the price increases in tier fees for Openspace SIMs, and headed over to one of the protest locations to see what was going on.

When I arrived, I met Loki and Myrtil, along with several other kid AVs and a HUGE number of other people, all talking and discussing the increases.

So what is it all about, and how does it affect us, your average (who, us lot? heheh) kid AV?

Well...... from my research, seems Openspace SIMs were originally designed for open spaces, water, forest and such, and had a limit of 1875 prims. To be honest, they were not that attractive, quite highly priced, took ages to deliver, and apart from scenery, not much use for anything. Then the price dropped dramatically, the number of prims increased to 3750, and they were delivered almost immediately. It was also possible to buy them (you had to own a full SIM), then pass ownership to someone else!

Overnight, they became very popular, and the areas we had to explore expanded wonderfully! Often they have been used as residential SIMs, with lots of space and not many prims.

Places like Goony Island, which was in danger of vanishing, found a new and affordable place on an Openspace SIM, keeping a wonderful place for anyone to explore. Many of our friends now live on Openspace SIMs, where, for a modest rental, they have space to live and play. New sailing, flying and frankly wonderful builds were made available for us to use, because residents could afford to have a SIM that they could leave mostly as open area.

Unfortunately, it seems some people decided they could be used for heavy use, such as clubs, and, an Openspace SIM being used heavily affects the performance of the other Openspace SIMs using the same processor.

This has lead to complaints by residents, and Linden Labs have decided that the solution is to raise tier prices by 67% from January (on existing and new Openspace SIMs), and to increase the initial set-up fee by a similar percentage.

To be honest, I can't see how that will actually help, and from what I have read on the blogs, neither can a lot of people. What it effectively means for us as kid AVs is that, with people no longer able to afford the tier, many of the places we have learnt to love and explore over the past few months will vanish. My feeling is that without these places, with sl a poorer environment for new people, we will see less staying and contributing to our communities.

This is a sad situation, and I hope that Linden Labs will reconsider, or we will all end up the poorer for it.

There is a JIRA on this issue at, and you can follow the forum discussion at - have a look at what is being said and discussed.

In friendship


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Surf's up DUDE!!

Hello again everyone, or should I say “aloha!” or maybe “Surf’s up, Dude!!” I just had a great time at Bishara Island

where the waves are always big and the fun is too. Aang Minotaur dropped by the Vortex today and asked if anyone wanted to go surfing. He teleported our group to the islands where we spent some time learning to ride the surfboards and catch the waves. It is relatively simple, the boards are standard vehicles but the effects on the water are very well scripted. One only has to paddle out to the wave and wait for it. When it arrives it is easy to start surfing. Like anything else, though, fancy tricks require practice.

The surf boards can be purchased in the shops nearby and they even cater to child sizes with half sized boards perfect for youth. Aang says that the boards available in the many shops only differ mostly in art design, shape, and look. Boards range in prices from L$450 to L$550 but there are loaner boards floating around on the beach for anyone to ride on a first come first serve basis.

The island also rents apartments for those that are interested in having an SL home on a tropical island.

So.. until next time, I’m going to be working on my tan and my surfing skills, trying to catch the eye of my favorite beach bunny with my antics.

Monday, October 20, 2008

New Blogger for Second Life Children

Hello everyone, this is Wlfric Gausman, a new blogger for Second Life Children. I would like to start out by telling you a little about myself. I am a regular at the Whippersnapper sim and own land right next to our own SLC Learning Tree and I am a DJ at the Vortex Club not far from there. I am a twelve year old SL child and I love to script, build, sculpt, DJ, and play with toys both big and small, but my favorite thing to do is just hang out and pal around with my good friends.

My blogging will be mostly about exploration as that is one of the funnest things to do in Second Life. I will blog about places that would be of interest or fun places to play for children of any age.
I will start off with one of the very first places I went to upon leaving the Help Island over a year ago.

The International Spaceflight Museum - Spaceport Alpha - ISM

As you can see, these first three pictures were taken with a much earlier viewer (and a much earlier me as well). Yes, I started my second day in Second Life as a child. I figured since we could be anything we wanted to be, I wanted to be a boy again. Little did I know that I was not the only person in Second Life with that idea.

The rockets are just a very small part of this exhibit. Above them on the platform is a representation of our solar system with the planets in proper scale from the sun and with the times of their journey around it above them. Above that is a model of the international space station.

There are many more exhibits to see, including a planetarium, a rocket ride in a Gemini Rocket (no relation to a Gemini Enfield, thank goodness), a model of the hubble telescope and the international space station.

This sim is honestly one of the reasons I became hooked on second life. In the picture on the right is the video screen with the live NASA TV stream that is constantly playing video from latest space launches to explaining the technology to what exactly the astronauts are doing on the particular mission. It is very educational and interesting.

The last picture is the sim as it looks now, with the windlight viewer, on highest settings of a very high powered video card.

There is so much here to see you'll just have to go yourself and explore this wonderful sim


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Evolution and my AV

Dear Friends,

Tepic here again! The other day, meeting a new person, I was asked, "Are you a Neko?". Well, it's a fair enough question, as I do have ears and a tail (of which I am inordinately proud and which are very much of my sl character now). In the end, I had to check up on the Wikipedia (hoping the info was right! hehehe), and guess, beacuse I see my tail and ears as fox rather than cat, I am probably a Kitsune.

This was not that straight forward, as I have never specifically chosen to be Kitsune, it's something which has evolved with me over a long time. When I first came to sl, logging in for the very first time (boy, was I nervous and uncertain!), I was presented with a set of possible starting AVs, none of which really appealed to me. The clean cut hunk, the college boy, the nightclubber, none felt right, and as for the lady AVs, I could never play a lady convincingly. However, there was one last AV, what looked to my eyes as a fox (oh OK, I learnt later that it was some kind of ringtailed ocelot or something like that!), and I instantly felt I could be a fox in this wonderful new world.

I walked proudly into sl wearing my new form, fully dressed and looking forward to exploring and making new friends to be greeted by another new arrival, with the words "Ewwwwwww.... you are a furry! That's sick!". hehhee my first encounter with sl cyber prejudice! Anyway, I was not deterred, and spent the next few months exploring some wonderful new places and making friends I still have now.

I also started to make modifications to my AV, creating my own fox fur textures, changing the prims to look more fox-like. It was a fun and productive time, I didn't feel constrained by the adult role I would have otherwise have taken on - after all, I was a fox!

Although I was enjoying myself, I had not found a community I felt I belonged in, no matter that I visited the Furry sims, they were nice enough, and the people were fine, but it still wasn't really me. It was about then that I heard about the possiblity of being a cub or kid in sl, something I hadn't considered. However, it felt like an interesting experiment, so, with a little searching, I found freebee cub and kid shapes, which I tried out for size. I was also lucky to find Nemo Beach, and a safe area to explore my inner youth.

In those days, you could find me messing about on the beach, either as a fox cub or a human boy, and I had found a community I felt I could be a real part of. More and more, I stayed in human form, and with a few tweeks, made the free boy shape I had found into the me you can see today!

I was happy as I was, though usually described myself as part fox, there was nothing to show that independence of spirit I saw in the fox I had been. I had seen other kid AVs with tails and ears, who described themselves as Neko or Kitsune, neither term I was familiar with, and we have our share of cat/puppy/wolf/otter people. It was like I was missing something to make my AV identity complete.

Then, by chance, I came across a starter kit of ears and tail, that I could colour and change to how I wanted to look. I took the chance, and have been wearing them ever since!

Occasionally, my tail will vanish when I attache some object, but as soon as possible, I put it back - not something that should be a mere de-tail! My AV now feels right for me, not from a constructed image I had way back when I started, but by a process of slow evolution. Sometimes I meet new people who have arrived, and immediatly taken on a kid AV, this may well be right for them, but I do wonder if they have missed something in the evolution process I and some of my friends have gone through.

What do you, reader, think?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Do you remember.....?

Hi everyone! I'm Tepic, and I'm one of the new contributors to the blog. I was not quite sure what to write, possibly something about the stuff I make in sl, why I make it and what it means to me as a kid AV. However, this morning, as I wa making my rl breakfast, I opened a new jar of set honey to spread on my toast. As I looked at the unmarked whiteness of the top crust, a memory from my rl childhood was sparked, of fighting with my siblings about who should have that wonderful top layer! Oh, those fights were bitter and hard, but looking back on the memory, it was with a warm and comfortable feeling.

It occurred to me, in a moment of clarity, that this is one of the reasons I am a kid AV in sl, I can re-awaken all those wonderful memories, that I had forgotten even existed. Last week, I was trying out some swings in sl, and I remembered jumping off at the top of the movement in rl..... Well, how could I resist! At the top of the swing, I stood up, and flew through the air to land in a bush! I couldn't stop laughing, in both sl and rl, because it was exactly the sort of thing that I remember doing, and it was exhilarating!

That is one example of my "Do you remember...", but since coming into sl there have been so many, each touching a remembrance, sometimes sad but mostly happy, always comforting. I was wondering, do other people find the same thing, or is it just me? The kids AV community is so diverse, just looking at the shapes, sizes and other characteristics we have, that there are probably as many reasons for being here and playing the parts we do, but if anyone else has a "Do you remember..." moment, I for one would love to hear about it.

Thank you for reading, and if you want to know more about me, have a look at my profile, drop by and have a chat sometime, and we can remember together!

Oh, I'll probably be chatting about my AV sometime, if I remember!

In Friendship

Tepic Harlequin

Sunday, October 5, 2008

SLC Office Hours at the SLC Learning Tree in Whippersnapper

Second Life Children group are pleased to announce SLC Office Hours at the SLC Learning Tree in Whippersnapper.

Maybe you have some questions or concerns, you're a newbie looking for help. you want to hang out and meet other kids, you're looking for a little fun and entertainment, or a curious adult wanting to know more about the kid community, then pop along to one of the sessions listed below.

Each duty officer may have something lined up for your entertainment, such as a live DJ, a quiz, a theme, stories or a special guest. So come on down and take your face for a joy ride!!

The first session will start on Monday 6th October with Loki Eliot at 2PM

Click to teleport to SLC LEARNING TREE

SLC Office Hours

Loki Eliot
2pm - 3pm

Arianna Pinkerton/Marianne McCann:
6pm - 8pm

Akiko Qinan:
10am - 11am in German/English

Arianna Pinkerton
6pm - 8pm

Cricket Nelson:
10am -12pm

Gemini Enfield:
10am - 11am

Sokmunky Rutabaga:
Features stories using voice
English (a little Italian, French, and Spanish)
10am - 11am

Thursday, October 2, 2008

SLC get a mention on the blog

Thanx to all those that Turned up at the Hay Barn on open day. The massive turn out impressed one journalist who writes ongoing reviews about The Burning Life festival.

He was so Impressed with the way our community comes together he awarded the Hay Barn a Sizzle Award.

Head over to the blog to read his words of praise.