Saturday, February 18, 2017

What Have You Been Doing in Second Life Lately?




There are no uninteresting things, only uninterested people.

G. K. Chesterton







OK, the title to this story is not a trick question!

(Significant Other appears doubtful.)

With the Big Thoughts of 2017 and Sansar’s anticipated arrival any year behind us now, with all the other excitement of Second Life (SL) and Real Life (RL) behind us now, what do you do to pass the time?   

What’s good, old fashioned, everyday life like inworld for you now?

Take me for example.

(Significant Other snickers.)

I’m always exploring inworld.


My perennial quest is for new places to visit, new friends to meet, and new experiences to have.

And, I’d be lying if I said life inworld for me was an unending, hectic series of adventures. 

Sometimes, a little boredom inworld is a good thing I find.

(Significant Other adds that this explains a lot about our real life together.)

What about you?

I’ve learned a few things about some of you so far.

(Not to worry, I’m not going to name names or other incriminating details.)

Some of you are there for the social life.  Dancing, attending live music events, or simply hanging out with friends.  A few just sit by themselves and take in the view.

Others are there for the technical aspects of SL.  Building things and challenging themselves to test the limits of what’s possible inworld.

Roleplay occupies some.

And, my list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention sex!

Starting to sound a lot like RL doesn’t it?

I’m beginning to believe that many of us, after the initial orgy (I choose this world deliberately) of excitement of being in SL, drift into habits not terribly dissimilar from what we do in RL.

Scary, huh?

Do you think so too?

How do you pass your time inworld in the most ordinary ways possible?

Please send me your thoughts and if I get enough replies then I’ll write a follow-up story.

Let’s not take advantage of my three loyal readers and get a few new respondents!

Look forward to receiving your replies! 

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at webspelunker@gmail.com . 

            If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
 please click here.

            Open roads and kind fires!





Saturday, February 11, 2017

Helping Others in Second Life IX – A Progress Report




When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.

Maya Angelou







As my three loyal readers know, I occasionally blog about a need someone has in Real Life (RL) and tell everyone how they can help in Second Life (SL) if they’re both willing and able to do so. 

Most of these are one-time requests and I don’t often get a lot of feedback on what happens.  (The last thing people in need should worry about is getting back to me!)

However, I’m happy to be able to give a progress report on one of these requests for assistance.

XMarieX (Marie) Fairport is a woman living with diabetes in RL.   


SL has become somewhere she can go to cope with the distress and chronic pain that this disease causes her. 

A while back, I blogged about her efforts to raise $15,000US to acquire a diabetic service dog from Diabetic Alert Dogs of America (DADA) to help improve the quality of her life and to potentially save it as well. 

Recently, Marie has cleared her first hurdle in acquiring her service dog.  She’s successfully raised the down payment for her dog (To be called Musketeer.) and is now number 23 on the waiting list with DADA. 

Approximatively six weeks from now, Marie'll be on the top of the list and DADA will begin to look for her dog (already named Musketeer Puppy) according to her needs and
lifestyle that have already been communicated to them.

When Musketeer Puppy has been located, DADA will send Marie a scent kit.  She'll provide scent samples (spit) of her low, normal and high blood sugar levels. The scent kit will be sent back and the samples will be used to train Musketeer. 

While all of this will be going on, Marie’ll receive weekly updates, photos, and videos that she’ll be sharing of what Musketeer has been successfully trained to do, what he is currently working on, field trips he's taken and how he did.  Seems Musketeer will get to go to Target, Wal-Mart, restaurants, etc.

Sounds like Musketeer’s going to be a busy dog! 

Now, for the best part!

How can we help Marie get Musketeer?

Here’s how!

First, contributions can now be made directly to DADA!


At the bottom BLUE part of the page, second from the right, click on PAYMENTS.

 Click BUY NOW. 

In the description, type MUSKETEER PUPPY, enter an amount and continue.  Verify the payment type (credit card, debit card or PayPal) and know that your help is greatly appreciated by Marie and her family! 

(Important:  You must enter "MUSKETEER PUPPY" in the payment description, othe wise those funds will be "lost"). 

Donations can ALSO be made via L$ to XMarieX Fairport.  

Also to any Wells Fargo Bank, let them know you wish to donate to MUSKETEER THE DIABETIC ALERT DOG.

The down payment is just the first step!  Half of the remaining balance is due the end of October. 

How else can you help?

Not everyone can always afford to donate even if they want to.

But, you can help in other ways!

First, share this story with it’s links to your friends and ask them to help

Next, keep Marie and her family in your thoughts and prayers!  These do help!

I know other people’s thoughts and prayers have helped me in my life.  (Significant Other nods in agreement.)

Marie will be keeping all of us up to date with any new information about this life saving Service Dog at http://mariesdog.blogspot.com/

Be sure to check it out! 

I’ll also be doing another update as we get closer to knowing who Musketeer is! 

Marie would like to thank everyone who has contributed, shared her story, and prayed for her!

If you’re ever inworld when she is, give her a shout out!  She’d love to talk with you! 

Thanks in advance from me for whatever you decide to do!

I’d like to thank Marie for taking the time to chat with me about Musketeer and I wish her every success in her endeavors! 

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at webspelunker@gmail.com . 

            If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
 please click here.

            Open roads and kind fires!



Saturday, February 4, 2017

Calm Before the Storm in Second Life?


I like these calm little moments before the storm, it reminds me of Beethoven.

Gary Oldman

  



We’ll well into the New Year! 

The Holidays have passed and, hopefully, the hangovers as well!

The first page has already been torn off the calendar.  (Yes, Significant Other warned me that I may be ridiculed for admitting to still using one of those but I do love Snoopy’s and Woodstock’s pictures every month.)

Now, we get back to the ordinary pace of life, whether it be in Second Life (SL) or
Real Life (RL). 

Which brings us up against the 800 pound gorilla in SL this year.

Sansar (Or, SL 2.0 as some of us used to call it.) may soon be upon us. 

Of course, we still don’t have an official launch date and according to Daniel Voyager’s recent poll, most respondents don’t expect Sansar to be released to the public until sometime in 2018.  (Hey, Linden Lab has never been too forthcoming about SL why should things change with Sansar?) 

A recent article from Wagner James Au on his exceptional blog about all things virtual, especially SL, New World Notes, got me thinking about one of my old concerns about Sansar. 

Au started by quoting longtime SL resident and Metaverse aficionado, Gwyneth Llewelyn, who believes that ultimately Linden Lab will have no choice but to push people into Sansar.  Yes, she says Linden Lab has promised not to close down SL but how realistic will that be and for how long?

Ever the optimist, Au outlines a scenario whereby increasing Premium SL subscriptions could offset falling private sim revenues to keep SL going indefinitely. 

As much as I respect and admire Au, and plug his blog whenever I can (If you don’t read it you really should.) I’m going to disagree with him here. 

Here’s why.

Sansar represents a fundamental shift in how we interact in virtual worlds.  And, yes, I understand that means we may have a lot less than what we enjoy today inworld. 

From a strictly business perspective (I freely admit I’m probably one of the least creative residents in SL but I do know something about debits and credits!)  Linden Lab will be facing a difficult choice.

Sansar will probably cannibalize the SL user base. 

SL is an aging infrastructure which will require a significant overhaul eventually.  (I
have to believe that given all the recent hacking scares that Linden Lab is pulling some long nights just to keep up currently.)  This isn't a put down, every platform faces this moment sooner or later. 

As Au points point, private sim revenues are falling and, while increasing Premium subscriptions is a good idea, I don’t see Linden Lab running the promotions necessary to draw in new Premium subscribers.  Furthermore, would more Premium subscribers create more demand on a system that may be already struggling under its existing load?

So, does Linden Lab split its bets and double down or just play one hand?  (Significant Other always laughs when I try to use gambling analogies which is a big reason why I don’t gamble in RL.)

I suspect that Linden Lab will have to make some difficult choices sooner or later. 

And, all this assumes that Sansar is successful.  What if it isn’t?

All bets are off then in my opinion.

My overriding fear is that Sansar will lead to the elimination of SL. 

And, before everyone sends me comments about change is good, inevitable, and necessary, I get it!  (To the guy who sent me a link to Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, many thanks!  Please don’t resend because I already had a hard copy edition which I’ve read.)

Let’s talk about what we lose. 

Unless Linden Lab does something very creative, the investment of time and money people spent creating wondrous builds and everyday objects could be lost. 

If this were to happen, how willing would these folks be to sign on somewhere else and do it all over again?  Would this precedent hang over Sansar like a dark cloud and hinder its own vibrant growth?

What of the communities that have grown up in SL and may come to a sudden and
final end?  Will they become a diaspora like the folks from there.com ? 

Not to end on a low note, I do have hopes for the future.

I want to see Sansar succeed and I want to see SL continue to grow and thrive.

These goals are not mutually exclusive, they can both coexist.

All they require is planning and effort.

Also, more transparency from Linden Lab wouldn’t hurt!

Speaking of whom, if anyone from Linden Lab would ever like to meet me inworld for an interview to tell their side of the story, I’d be happy to do so! 

Also, James Wagner Au is running a poll to see when respondents expect Linden Lab to push people over to Sansar.  Check it out here!   

Let’s see what happens with SL and Sansar, I have a feeling that this year will
answer a lot of our questions! 

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at webspelunker@gmail.com . 

            If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
 please click here.

            Open roads and kind fires!