A Favela challenges stereotypes where otherness is at stake

When I first visited A Favela, a parcel in Second Life decorated by Lotus Mastroianni and Fred Hamilton in a way that represents a typical Brazilian slum (actually, a typical slum in Rio de Janeiro), I thought it looked accurate enough to go well beyond one of those simple displays of stereotypes. Indeed, it offered…

Randelsham Forest, seen from above

A community forest in Bellisseria

As Bellisseria expands in Second Life – but it was clear from its very beginning – the latest Linden Homes continent becomes more organic and integrated. Each time it increases, visitors and residents can confirm that, in contrast with the old premium continents, Bellisseria has been planned as a continuum where houses are not just…

Lighthouse near the harbor in Ooost West

Geography matters

One of the most interesting tasks involved in building a sim or a group of sims in Second Life is the one of landscaping: not only because this is how we give some (virtual) concreteness to the atmosphere we mean to create, but also because it determines how integrated the different areas of our project…

Altitude at sea level

A place where you can get visually (and musically) high

Altitude (noun): the vertical elevation of an object above a surface […], the angular elevation of a celestial object […], vertical distance or extent, position at a height, […] a high level (as of quality or feeling) (Merriam-Webster, 2019, Altitude). Altitude is not only a club for alt music, but also a place for an…

Warning: a crashed UFO in Cornhub

And a UFO crashed in Second Life

The late 1940s and the 1950s produced a series of sci-fi themes in the United States that have spread and marked our cultural imaginary since then. It’s from those times that the most famous UFO-related case in history emerged: the Roswell Incident, in New Mexico, US, dates back to 1947. That’s the starting point for…

A sculpture by Eupalinos Ugajin in Avaloir

Eupalinos, architect of an eccentric world

When I made a list of six curious ways to die in Second Life, artist Eupalinos Ugajin suggested I could try an additional means of killing my avatar: by throwing the virtual me from a giant catapult in Avaloir, Eupalinos’s sim. So I did – and that was not the end of the road for…

Ricco looks back: visiting Drune

Celebrated cyberpunk city 2019-XS reborn as Drune

Back in December and January, different blogs featured a futuristic, cyberpunk region in Second Life called 2019-XS. It was, some will have figured already, a tribute to Blade Runner, the movie by Ridley Scott which is set in a dystopian Los Angeles of… 2019. After a few posts on that great sim, though, the place…

Randy Firebrand surfs at Aloha Beach

Aloha! Time to go surfing, dude

Aloha Beach is not just a sim for surfing – it’s an interestingly decorated sim for surfing and having some fun. The atmosphere is a lazy, relaxed one, as a surfing beach should be, but one can see that details in the region’s landscape are carefully thought of, which turns the place into a very…

Ricco trapped in a coffin

6 curious ways to die in Second Life

Death in Second Life is a particular experience: in many cases, it may result in great fun. One of the great advantages of SL for that matter is that avatars can always be brought back to life. In my early days in the virtual world, I used to enjoy jumping from the sky and seeing…

Traffic in Mopire City: not the rush hour

A highly detailed virtual city shows how realistic SL can be today

These days, when many are rightly praising the stunning visuals in Sansar, Linden Lab’s newest virtual world, it’s particularly exciting to stumble on some graphically spectacular sims that definitely demonstrate how powerful Second Life can still be, almost 15 years after its public release. This is the case of SSOC, Mopire City and Mitsumi-Town in…

The chairlift seen from the ground

Randy’s chairlift installed at home

At times, my journey in Second Life takes me back home – which is great: after all, home is the place we build for ourselves. And what motivates me to write about the sim where I live, now, is one of those marvels of SL: technology for reproducing physical aspects of the atomic world (or…