What Second Life Means to Me – Bay Sweetwater

Here’s my video about why Second Life matters so much to me. Hint: It’s the people. And the possibility of living in the beauty that we create.

This is in response to Xiola Linden’s video share project as part of Second Life’s 12th birthday in July. I’m a bit late adding to the pool of videos, but I wanted to share my thoughts and feelings, since Second Life is so valuable to me and such a big part of my life.



How About a Flying Warlock Drone for Halloween?

How would you like to fly a warlock drone through the skies on Halloween? Of course you would.

Otto Dieffenbach of Flyguy Promotions has one for you. He promises cutouts, but right now the site is so popular you can’t get through.

While you’re waiting, maybe you want to watch his drone of Jimmie Kimmel fly over Las Vegas.

Continue Reading “How About a Flying Warlock Drone for Halloween?”

Castle in the Sand, a machinima for summer

My new machinima is Castle in the Sand. It’s a love story —  with a sand castle, waves crashing on the beach, a raging storm, poetry, romantic music… your basic summer flick. 🙂

This is my entry in the University of Western Australia MachinimUWA VI short animated film competition, with the theme “Reflections.” Continue Reading “Castle in the Sand, a machinima for summer”

Singin’ in the Bay…coming to a theater near you!

This is my response to Strawberry Singh’s challenge to make a movie poster starring your Second Life avatar. Bay has been in quite a few machinima, but you may remember her best from her big screen role in Singin’ in the Bay. Thanks, Berry! I fell in the water far too many times during the shoot, but it was worth it. Continue Reading “Singin’ in the Bay…coming to a theater near you!”

My SL Pet Saddenings

This is a response to Strawberry Singh’s My SL Pet Peeves meme challenge – for SL bloggers to write about what bothers them the most about our second world. Since I’m feeling sad on this foggy cold Saturday morning, my contribution is more about what saddens me in SL than what peeves me. But perhaps they’re pretty much the same. Continue Reading “My SL Pet Saddenings”

No Shadows in Second Life on 2012 MacBooks? Here’s why

Update April 28, 2013. Woot-woot! Firestorm has enabled shadows for the Intel HD 4000 graphics chip in their latest Second Life 4.4.0 viewer release!
(but not yet on the standard Linden viewer)

My 2012 Macbook Air went a little shadow-crazy when she got the news, as you can see below. lol  Thank you, Jessica Lyon, Whirly Fizzle, Tankmaster Finesmith — all of you wonderful developers at Firestorm! I can now see shadows on my Macbook Air — and so can all the other retina 2012 Macbooks with that chip. I named my little Macbook Air “Shadow” when I first got her 8 months ago, and now she can finally see her namesake! Continue Reading “No Shadows in Second Life on 2012 MacBooks? Here’s why”

Farley Crabgrass – Pile On! (a digital memorial)

My tremendous friend Farley Crabgrass is gone. He passed away IRL just before Christmas on December 23, 2012. I am still taking it in – that he is really gone. It has been confirmed by official group notices from the Elf Circle group, where he served on the High Council, and by the Farhaven group, where he co-owned the cluster of the “Haven” sims associated with Elf Circle, including Farhaven where I live.

I’m writing this post to remember him, and to encourage all who knew him to leave stories and tributes in the comments so that we have a central digital memorial here. As Farley used to say around the seal racetrack – when the race was over and we all hopped on a single sled for a just-for-fun ride around the course: “Pile On!” Continue Reading “Farley Crabgrass – Pile On! (a digital memorial)”

Jingle Bell Snowman – Happy Holidays to all!

My machinima short, “Jingle Bell Snowman,”  to say Happy Holidays to all. May your holidays be merry and bright, and may all your loved ones be near.

Walk through Robert Frost’s snowy woods, in Second Life

I’ve built a snowy woods in Second Life where you can walk around inside Robert Frost’s much-loved poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”  Come visit! You can also get a sled to ride around on – and snowballs, skates, and hot chocolate too. It’s my Christmas present to all my blog readers and friends in Second Life. I think of it as a sort of 3D Christmas card.

In case you’re not familiar with Second Life, it’s a virtual world where you can make yourself an avatar and visit worlds of your and others’ imagination, for free. I have lived there now for four years in the sim of Farhaven, which is where I built this little woods. To visit my snowy woods, just register at Second Life, pick an avatar for yourself, then click here and choose “teleport.”

Snowy Woods

I first got the idea of building this woods when I was laid up with a foot injury four years ago and couldn’t walk. I didn’t know if I would ever be able to walk again, and it left me dismal and frightened. I had heard about Second Life, and I decided if I couldn’t walk in real life, I would build a snowy woods where I could walk virtually. I had always been fascinated with the idea of being able to walk around inside a masterpiece, be it a painting, a poem, or even an idea. So I built my woods four years ago, with painstaking attention to detail, which took my mind off myself.

My body healed, as bodies often do, and I am now fully recovered. I looked back on the memory of that little woods and decided to build it again this year. I have built other “Poem Parks” over the years, but it has always been my favorite. So I give you: Snowy Woods 2.0. It’s similar to the first one, but there are a few changes. Just as there are in me, and probably you as well.

Also, please don’t miss Farley Crabgrass’s wonderful video of the the woods four years ago, called A Second Life Winter’s Night. He filmed it in my little woods, and I was so incredibly moved by it. I loved my little snowy woods, but to have someone else say it was beautiful too, and then to put it in a movie, I was over the moon. I watched that video every day for quite awhile. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot chocolate and a moment of relaxation.

It is a rough time in the real world. Some people ask: How can you play around in a virtual world when there are so many problems to solve in the real world? I do it for relaxation and inspiration. Also, it awakens a soft poetic dreamy side of me I find so hard to touch in real life. It’s not a substitute for reality, it’s an accompaniment.

May all your holidays be merry and bright, and may the peace of the season accompany you.

Playing online games with copyright is not a good idea

Online games are not immune from copyright infringement claims. Zynga just laid off 100 and discontinued The Ville, mostly because of a copyright suit from EA.
Take warning, machinimists … copyright infringement is serious and expensive stuff.

When The Ville came out in June, everybody thought it looked shockingly like Sims Social, but Zynga went ahead anyway. Now they’re head-to-head with EA and a whole gaggle of lawyers. Continue Reading “Playing online games with copyright is not a good idea”