The Second Life Art World Isn’t Pushing Hard Enough

Paying It Forward

Listen–we need to talk. You aren’t going to be happy about what I’ve got to say. You probably have your defense ready and that’s great, I’m happy to have this discourse with you, but I would like for you to consider what I’m about to say first.

Yes, I love participating in LEA programs. I can’t praise the idea of allocating sims to artistic endeavors enough. But there’s something going on that I’ve noticed and needs to be addressed. Are you ready? Let’s do this.

There’s way too much self-importance and too little forward thinking in the SL art world. It isn’t groundbreaking enough, and focuses too little on the very culture that makes up this game. It doesn’t warrant the attention it gives itself, and is over-saturated with elements that ignore what the outside art world even celebrates about us.

Second Life is a place of unlimited potential. For a community of creators to miss the train on this again and again is a damn shame. This is a virtual world, where anything is possible, and yet most of the art produced and put on gallery walls are little more than selfies and headshots.

Yes–selfies are a valid point of work. Some artists’ entire careers cover evolving selfies. But this is something our art world is positively bloated with.  When you have an art gallery full of headshots from various artists and this is the best you can present to anyone, you know your industry is in trouble.

Exhibit A: Second Life has missed its own honorary party in the mainstream art and fashion world. When’s the last time anybody pursued some still life shots like this? Or this? That’s a serious callback to SL and our snap-to grids. When’s the last time you saw a virtual body of work like that? This is the kind of aesthetic we’ve seen with vaporwave, with past fashion collections, and nary a fuss was made on the grid about this at all. How? And why? When did we become so blind to what the rest of the world was doing that’s clearly inspired by us?

Exhibit B: Most of what is considered fine art and put on a wall is not fine art. Blogging pictures are great and can still be art, but that’s like visiting a gallery, expecting to see fine art, and seeing a bunch of Annie Leibovitz shots and no paintings. That’s what we have. A lot of Annie Leibovitz and Vogue editorials. Where’s the work commenting on the culture of the game, the administration, making fun of ourselves and talking about how we relate to one another? We can’t call ourselves a proper society until we have art like that.

Exhibit C: The best machinima artists are designers who have never had major participation with a LEA sim, much less the SL art world in general. We need to be trading more notes with each other, and this is one aspect I’m focusing on for the next six weeks to even learn more of myself. Machinima has got to improve, but there are definitely people willing to try that out.

Exhibit D: What’s with the drama? What’s with this? Are you serious? You guys act like thousands of people are going to your shows, because that’s the kind of egos I’m seeing pop up a lot. Tone it down, have a seat, and chill out. Let’s get somewhere better with our overall scene first, and then we can talk about how much bravado we should be sporting.

No, I’m not saying every artist is guilty of these things. But I am saying it’s the majority and it should start to change. Stop and ask yourself–what is this art I’m creating, and why? And then ask how we can push a bit harder to create something more thought-provoking.

Stop Ripping Art That Isn’t Yours.

STOP this practice.

The person responsible for the mural in this painting is MALT, an artist from Detroit who does beautiful paintings around town and abroad. I recognized this picture because the irl version is located at an art park not far from me (scroll down to the last picture), and his style is recognizable just about anywhere.

I am not the first Detroiter to be active in the grid. Detroit Techno Militia was here once too. I’ve seen Niagara‘s work for sale at Tart Gallery, I’ve seen tons of great art in galleries that said they were used with permission, but I always had a funny feeling about it. Something was always off.

So when I recognize a fellow painter’s work in the game, especially if they’re a local artist, I contact the artist to let them know what’s going on. Sometimes they have actually given permission to have their work for sale or used in the grid, but many times they don’t even know their work is being used at all.

This practice is especially troubling when it comes to to hi-res photos like the one in the picture. I can tell it’s of a good quality. Whoever uploaded the texture either took a picture of this themselves, or ripped off a hi-resolution photo of the mural.

Many people still don’t understand this rule about art in Second Life, so let’s be clear:


  • You can’t just “take art” from Google searches and use them on tshirts and clothing.
  • You can’t use Disney movies on mesh versions of a VHS tape for c88 because you think it’s quirky and cute and that Disney has “enough money”.
  • You can’t upload books you didn’t author that aren’t public domain because “you think all creative work should be open source”.
  • You can’t demand to be talked to privately about this in order to prevent a public discussion. Get over yourself.

The sim this belongs to is filled with art that is both corporate (I saw an ad for Levi’s on the other side of the wall in the photo), and from other art that is so varied, it couldn’t possibly be all sourced with permission. I won’t link to them because it would encourage visits or possibly even hate–but I have contacted the muralist to tell him where his art is being used.

It’s not snitching, it’s what happens when other artists are tired of seeing work abused in Second Life and want it to stop. The grid should be a place to foster creativity and inspire others, not to deposit work you’ve taken from others.

The Rules of Gacha

The Woods

It’s pretty obvious I’m not opposed to gacha machines when I create gacha sets myself. Recently, however, Gogo brought up a pretty interesting conversation on Plurk about what’s okay to include in a gacha and what isn’t.

By the way. Is it gatcha, or gacha? How do you spell that? Because I’m pretty torn on that issue.

Anyway, here are my personal rules for content creation when it comes to Random Stuff You Stick In A Machine In Order To Get Money:

  • Don’t set the playing price too high. I’ve seen some gacha machines charging 75/play or higher. Are you crazy? The only way I would play that is if there were relatively valuable items for commons, or if I truly wanted to win the rare.
  • Don’t bait-and-switch your customer. Some machines show rare prizes on one sign, then farther below are the common prizes you’re more than likely to win. Come on, you don’t have to trick us into paying you for anything. If we want your rare prize, we’ll play anyway, right?
  • Don’t use mesh templates for gacha prizes if you aren’t going to add unique textures to them. WHY? Why do this? For a few hundred more Ls, we can snag the original, full-perm item on Marketplace. It would be one thing if the art you add to the template were outstanding and worth it alone, but an everyday item with forgettable textures? That’s rude. Make it truly unique if you want to use mesh templates.

Gacha(gatcha?) machines are supposed to be fun to play. The dress I’m wearing in this picture, for example, is from Junbug and had reasonable common prizes to win on top of the rare corset I wanted as well. I was fine with playing the machine over and over in order to obtain what I desired. It’s an even deal when your machine is set up that way; both creator and customer walk away happy.

But when the practice gets out of control, it’s giving your client base the short end of the stick. They aren’t your enemy and they aren’t obligated to be your source of income. Treat them with respect when you create your machines, and they’ll come back to play again and again.

The Woods

What I’m Wearing

Pink Fuel Skin
Junbug – Madame Corbeau’s corset (rare)/silk ruffles/split silk skirt (Ivory)
Blueberry – Tiara (hair fair gift)
Dura – Girl’s hair 51 (Strawberry)

Location: 005: Dreams of Secrets

SLink Physique Male

Slink Physique Male

It’s BoyCake, back with another review! Hello, lay-deez. ;D

Are you ready for the new male mesh body from SLink? Well, it’s here! As some of you may know, I’ve been searching high and low for a good mesh body for my boy av, and now it looks like I finally have it. Or have I?

Before I start off, I want to give a shoutout to both my close friends who tried this on with me, as well as the Convergence City roleplay group for discussing this with me in their out-of-character chat area. Their thoughts definitely influenced what I’m writing now! I always like to get other people’s opinions and have discussions about things before I give a final verdict.

What did I compare this to in considering the SLink Male Physique for purchase? Mainly, the TMP male body and the Aesthetic by Niramyth. For reference, I snagged the TMP body to try on after my awful experience with the Jomo male body, which turned out to be a suspected rip. I have two male friends who own the Aesthetic, one who came with me to SLink’s store to examine the demo.

Now, one to the review!


The SLink Physique Male comes with a mesh body (no hands or feet) for 1250L. If you don’t have feet and hands already, take about 2400L to the store with you so you can pick up everything at once. The mesh body will include underwear, one pair of jeans, and one tank top. If you don’t like the basic skins you start off with for your mesh body, there are neck blenders provided to help with skin-matching.


  • The Physique Male includes a penis. Yes, really! There’s even a foreskin option and pubic hair. The penis doesn’t seem to be able to get erect; I believe it’s there for completion purposes, sort of like most vaginas on skins and mesh bodies are. At first I was weirded out by an SL peen that doesn’t do anything, but after a while, I got used to it.
  • Your body will seem a little lean when you try it on, but it can bulk up nicely if you edit your shape. Will it get as muscular as the Aesthetic? I’ll talk about that in a moment.
  • For script maniacs like me, you’ll be happy to know that with the male body, hands, my AO, and the alpha/clothing hud attached, I was only running 32 scripts. That’s awesome. Everyone in SL should always try to wear low-script items so they end up under a total count of 50 for their avatar. It not only improves your SL experience, but helps to decrease sim lag.

Room For Improvement?

Slink Physique Male

This picture has been brightened because my windlight was super dark when I took the pic. I’m dumb. SRY

I, for one, am not crazy about the clothing/alpha HUD design. I know it’s a lot to include to the clothing hud, and Siddean must have realized this because she created two size versions of the HUD (small and large) for those who have trouble seeing everything. But it took me a moment of wtf’ing to understand just what button did what. Afterwards, I figured things out. I just wish the UI were a bit more friendly.

I don’t know about you, but I like my men with some thigh. When I increased BoyCake’s thighs, I noticed some poses caused the underwear to clip (see pic above). I tried to find the correct button to HIDE his thighs in that area, but that took another ten minutes and then I gave up. My point–if you create underwear or clothing for the mesh body, I would include an auto-hide script for it. Kemono has that and so does Maitreya.

Is This The One?

Is Physique Male for you? That’s what you want to know, right? It’s been a long search for that one mesh body you can finally wear, won’t clip your damn clothing, won’t do this or that or make you unhappy or sorry you ever bought it. When I asked my friends about the Physique versus the Aesthetic, we both admitted we liked Aesthetic’s muscly body more, but only on certain avatars. Not everyone looks good with that much bulk, and not everyone looks good with TMP’s skinnier mesh body either.

Physique Male is that sort of happy medium between TMP and Aesthetic. You don’t spend too much for what you get, and you end up getting a lot. For me, that means it’s a body I’m sticking with! For good, hopefully.

You can teleport here to check out SLink Physique Male for yourself.

Notice: if you create products geared towards men and want me to review it, please send an NC/pack/etc to Aemeth Resident. I can’t make a promise that I’ll review everything, but I understand the struggle of finding men’s products out there so it’s worth helping out!

What Do You Think?

What Do You Think?

I’ve got an important question to ask you. I don’t want to rush you in answering, either:

Do you think this body is a rip?

It’s nice, right? It looks so good on me. I honestly don’t want to take it off. I looked all over for a mesh body suitable enough for my male avatar that wouldn’t be overly buff or cost five thousand lindens just to be able to use a simple (and necessary) alpha HUD. I just wanted something I could wear, look good, and if I go walking around in nothing but some skimpy shorts, I wouldn’t look like a joke. So, I bought this body from Jomo on Marketplace.

I tried to do what New World Notes recommended in looking over the creator’s store to judge their character. I’m not the most versed in video games and their properties, but I did look for obvious copyright infringements where I could. I thought I was safe, so I bought the mesh body. But then, I saw this thread on the Second Life Universe forums… no one can seem to come to a conclusion about Jomo or their mesh avatars, although there’s some possible resemblance to some pants the store has created. Some items look like either altered rips from the online game Tera, or are VERY close inspirations of it.

Speaking of, that’s the problem with “inspired” items. Some designers in SL believe items that are created with heavy influence isn’t crossing a line and can’t hurt your reputation. But sometimes, there’s an ugly backlash and the truth can’t easily be sorted out. Customers might want to do the right thing and buy only honestly-created items, especially when they’re shelling out a pretty penny for it. But what’s the end result when the item is DMCA’d and they’re left with nothing? They can’t exactly get a refund after that.

In the end, I have no conclusion I’ve reached about this body. I’m sorry I didn’t look into it more, but then again–how much research can I do on a mesh body to ensure it’s safe to buy and wear?

Men, I’d love to hear your recommendations on affordable, legitimate mesh bodies available for consumption. I’d also like to hear everyone’s opinion about my situation. I thought this was okay when I bought it, but now I have no idea of the body’s origins since I saw the thread on Second Life Universe. What should I do? Trash the body? Ask for a refund? Something else?

What Do You Think?

Let me know!

What I’m Wearing:
Hair: Exile – Tidal (Moonlight)

Notice: if you create products geared towards men and want me to review it, please send an NC/pack/etc to Aemeth Resident. I can’t make a promise that I’ll review everything, but I understand the struggle of finding men’s products out there so it’s worth helping out!

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