Mindfulness

Mindfulness

The fundraiser is over and the tragedy has passed. You’ve collected money and made a fantastic donation. It’s sent off and you feel good for your contribution. You will hopefully help someone who never even plays this game.

But at home, are you mindful? Do you practice good allyship on the grid?

Do you listen to those who look like the victims you just raised money for? Or do you tell them their reactions to racism on the grid are too strong? Do you yield the floor for them to express their frustrations, or do you block them and tell your friends to block them too?

Do you listen to how they feel trapped and don’t have good options for finding places that are welcoming? Have you ever searched for a hangout that has the words “trans” and “genderfluid”, that isn’t an inflation dickgirl fetish sim? Do you know how few places welcome people who are actually nonbinary and don’t view them as a sexual adventure?

Do you ask yourself what someone feels when they combine the anger and fear of Black Lives Matter with the anger and fear of people on the grid laughing at Caitlin Jenner around you? Have you ever spotted an avatar in a club wearing a penis attachment under a skirt and their profile says they’re a “t-girl”, and it made you, the person who is nonbinary irl, feel like an imposter?

Do you know what trans racism is? Did you know it exists on the grid too?

The grid is not an escape for some of us. It’s a place where we can figure out who we are both as people of color and as members of the queer and nonbinary community. We can figure out what style is best for our desired appearance. We can come to understand how we wish to present. We don’t run from real world problems and when we see them here, we call them out.

Not to make waves, not to make people upset, but because if we don’t, we will suffer a shrinking space where we feel welcome and free to be ourselves–our true selves, where we know we can go to a place where the folks there will accept us for everything. Not part of us, not make slight slurs about race or gender or queerness when you think we aren’t listening, but 100 percent of our being. If we aren’t allowed to do so, then the grid is no good to us at all. The grid becomes a place that is welcoming to straight white people only.

And I cannot abide in a place like that. I won’t make paintings to hang in rl galleries of a grid that doesn’t value me as a person. I just won’t.

Practice mindfulness. Wherever you raise money, ask yourself on the grid if there’s someone suffering in a similar way. Ask if you’ve crossed paths with them before. Then ask how you can behave differently next time.

Skybox – The Cyberpunk Apartment by Djehan Kidd

AnacondaS Wave Dancer

AnacondaS Wave Dancer Boat

The Wave Dancer. Get that free demo, yo.

When Second Life gets a bit stressful, it’s time to put down the obligations and do something fun. My suggestion? Get out on the water. Grab a free boat, visit the Blake Sea, and start sailing. Whether you do so with a motorboat like the Magellan, or a sailboat like the Fernseed Keelboat, you’re sure to calm down after listening to the sounds of the pixel ocean for a while. (Don’t forget to grab this free swim HUD too.)

After a while, you might get tired of free boats and want something a bit nicer. If you have the Lindens to spend, take a look at the AnacondaS Wave Dancer.

It’s amazing how spacious the Wave Dancer is inside. You won’t need to adjust your camera unless you prefer driving in mouselook or third-person. It also comes with a full working kitchen, bathroom/shower, cabin/bed, and dining area. There’s a media player just behind the driver’s seat for if you want to play videos while you’re out boating. The dashboard holds a fuel gage, working GPS system, and radar. Even the microwave works, which I found to be charming.

You can seat 14 people on it–great for parties or running a tour around the Blake Sea or other body of SL water. The boat turns a little too fast for my tastes in the water, but that’s because it’s meant for driving primarily in mouselook. If you’re using an Oculus with this boat, however, you’re in for a pretty great time.

The drawbacks of it are small but ultimately decided why I didn’t buy it yet. For everything the Wave Dancer has, the one thing it doesn’t is a multi-sit system. For 2900L, this is something I’m hoping the builder will fix.

You see, when you’re out boating, you need to be able to move around your boat without standing up. If your boat doesn’t have a system where you can click and choose various poses on the craft, you’re going to inevitably have to stand up–which might cause your boat to be returned while you’re in the middle of the sea. Multi-seating systems solve this problem while letting you “live” on your boat. Some boats like the A-T Portal Tug even have a roaming system that lets you walk around the boat without ever getting out of your seat.

I’ve sent a request to the Wave Dancer’s builder to see if they’re interested in implementing a multi-seating system. If they do it, I’m snatching up this boat as soon as I can.

I still highly recommend you trying out the Wave Dancer, though. The demo will let you drive the boat for up to two hours. It only counts the minutes the boat is actually in the water! It’s great for letting boaters decide if they’d like to purchase it or not.

If you know of a boat I should check out, contact me in-grid (Aemeth Lysette). For more destinations, check out the SL Sailing directory. See you on the water!

 

My Wishlist For Project Sansar

My Wishlist For Sansar

What would it take to make Sansar thoroughly engaging? Sure, Linden Lab can update the graphics and make it much easier to load and navigate the game, which I imagine they’re doing right now. But what would make it stand out from the previous grid? What would draw in new users, as well as ones from SL?

This is an ongoing list that readers are welcome to add to. If you want to suggest a feature here, please do so in the comment section! Maybe someone from the Lab will see it and think it’s a good idea, too.

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Sword Art Online

Sword Art Online

I’ve been binge-watching Sword Art Online lately. An anime about players who are unable to log out of an MMO until they defeat the final boss, it explores all kinds of philosophical subjects that have to do with online gaming. That’s right up my alley! I love deep things like that.

Here’s a paraphrased quote someone says in the series: “The choices you make in a video game can affect who you are in real life.” This quote doesn’t mean simple tasks or clearing levels, but how you treat other players. I agree wholeheartedly with this.

Second Life is especially prone to this because it has no end goal unless you create one. If you attack the grid like it’s a game, manage your business like a ruthless CEO, or discard of people you meet in rp sims like they’re little more than an NPC to be used, you’re going to change irl if you aren’t that way already. You can become someone you didn’t think you would ever be. You will slowly but surely become a low-key sociopath. I’m not kidding.

Sword Art Online

The power anything in this game can grant you can end as soon as the grid itself goes away. Do yourself a favor, and always remember what’s really important in life. Your happiness. Your sanity. Your friends. People who love and care about you. Power and cash are not the end-all. Don’t let a lust for these things and the setting of a virtual world turn you into someone you don’t recognize anymore.

It might be a strange word of warning all of a sudden, but let’s get real: Sansar is something LL is creating because it needs to retain its users, or else the company may flop and both grids can be lost. We’re looking at a possible endgame here with our surroundings. But don’t let that take away what’s important. Love conquers all, and will be there when all your virtual swag has disappeared.

That’s all for now!

What I’m Wearing
Verve – Coco Skin
Logo Alex Mesh Head
glYph – Acolyte Hood and Skirt*
Bliensen + MaiTai – Viper’s Nest Necklace*
Empyrean Forge – Borealis Sword*
JIAN – Wolf Companion*
Moon Elixir – Mira Tunic*
PEQE – Trumpet Sleeves
Wicca’s Wardrobe – Joyce Necklace*

*available at We <3 RP until the end of the month!

Life2 versus G&S

Life2 versus G&S

G&S shots of weaving and farming.

I love farming and fishing. When I was a kid, my father took me fishing all the time. My stepmother kept our backyard filled with plants, and taught me the importance of keeping a garden. I love both of these so much, I’m more likely now to play video games that feature these two activities.

Imagine my joy when I discovered both the Life2 and G&S systems in Second Life. Although clearly meant for different time periods, both systems feature cooking, gardening, and eating to keep your energy up. Life2 is more for the modern period, geared towards city sims with families. G&S is created with Gorean and medieval sims in mind, expanded to include mining, crafting, carpentry, fishing, and raising animals.

For the player who wants to invest and bring more entertainment to their SL experience, the task of figuring out which system is best for them can be daunting. Which one should you pick? Thankfully, I’ve shelled out the cash on both of these so you don’t have to–read on to check out my comparison of both.

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