Category Archives: Uncategorized

Paradise Lost Premiere Announced – Tickets on Sale now!


Canary Beck

Paradise Lost MP Listing Image

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – (Please Reblog)

March 5, 2014 – The Basilique Performing Arts Company today announced the most anticipated theatrical event of the year: Paradise Lost in Second Life will premiere on Saturday, April 5, at 13:00 SLT.

Tickets for this – and every – performance are limited to 40 and the Company predicts that tickets will sell out swiftly. Tickets are available on the Second Life Marketplace for L$1000 a seat on a first come first served basis. Half of all ticket sales will be donated to the WWF Adopt-A-Gorilla Program.

Tickets are also now available for every show in the Premiere Season – 12 performances – running from April 12th through June 21st.

All ticket holders to the Premiere event are invited to the Red Carpet Event, where they can meet and greet the cast and take part in photo opportunities starting from 11:00 SLT.

Dress…

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Secondlife on Tablets – SL Go by OnLive


If ever there was a reason for me to go out and buy an Android tablet, this is it. Second Life on a mobile device.

I actually own an Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablet, but that uses a version of Android that is customized by Amazon, So that you can only use apps downloaded via the Amazon App Store, not Google play. I will have to check if the SL Go Live app is available for Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablets too.

Regardless of my Tablet conundrums, this is very exciting stuff. With all the news about the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headset and Second Life, and now this new way to log inworld via a Tablet, the world of Second Life is getting even more exciting and than it already is. Being abel to access SL from and using many different methods can only be a good thing to enhance our immerse experience.

The SL Go app renders all your SL avatars and stuff on their super servers and just sends the results to the Tablet, so in many instances so activities have apparently run faster on the tablet than a desktop. I haven’t tried it out yet but here are some links to some Top SL Bloggers who have already tried it out on their Android Tablets. There are some great screenshots and descriptions of the experience. I can’t wait to try it out.

Second Life Housekeeping


One of the things I love about Second Life is the ability to change your avatar appearance and clothing so dramatically, and so easily. The idea of going from Sherlock Holmes to a space alien in one click is highly attractive. I never now what mood I will be in from day to day with regards to SL and what I want to do/ explore in it. I do feel that wearing suitable clothing or changing your avatar is part of the experience if immersing yourself in other worlds.

Anyway, with that in mind, I finally got round to doing some much needed house keeping in Second Life. I started renaming all my SL outfits in the appearance toolbox by relevant category. The categories so far are:

  • 1 Sex
  • 2 Contemporary Casual – including beach wear
  • 3 Contemporary Smart
  • 4 History – including fictional characters
  • 5 Fantasy – split by Monsters, Superheroes, Warriors and Magical
  • 6 Sci-fi/Futuristic
  • 7 Alien

I have created an excel file that lists all the different looks – in terms of avatars and clothes/ costumes that I plan to buy and try out. There are so many different variants of SL Raza that I want to try out. Who knows which one will become my favourite! I like this alien avie I just bough today though. Very different from Red Gangster Suit Smart Raza.

SL Housekeeping Raza

SL Housekeeping Raza

Drax Files Radio Hour Show 1 Thoughts


Virtual reality in a Virtual World - trying out Oculus Rift

Virtual reality in a Virtual World – trying out Oculus Rift

I just listened to show 1 of the Drax files Radio Hour with Jo Yardley. It was really good fun to listen to and highly informative. I never knew anything about the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, or furries in sl, or how complicated fitted mesh was. I suddenly feel slightly more enlightened. Draxtor and Jo Yardley, who runs the 1920s Berlin SIM in SL, were great together.

The Oculus Rift seems amazing. If it will be in supermarkets by the end of the year I definitely want one. I remember VR from watching the early 90’s movie The Lawnmower man, Star Trek The Next Generation’s holodeck (showing my age!), or the brilliant British BBC sci-fi comedy show Red Dwarf. In Red Dwarf Lister puts on a headset that looks just like the Oculus Rift, and he’s transported to a virtual reality version of earth (which for him is great as he’s stuck in a spaceship in the middle of space miles from earth).

Being able to wander through jungles or futuristic cities in a total immersive way, without the peripheral vision of the real world interfering, would be a totally different experience to what SL is now and I can’t wait for it.

I find the idea of immersing myself totally in another world highly attractive. I find Real Life extremely burdensome, painful and exhausting, both physically and emotionally. It has always been this way, and as I get older I get more responsibilities and more stress. I’ve always survived by unwinding through escapism. TV, films, books, fictional universes where I can lose myself and forget all my worries are what keep me going. Yet the more exhausting and burdensome RL gets, the more stimulation and energising I need form my escapism and virtual lives. So being able to immerse myself totally in another world and trick my senses into feeling they are actually floating in space or swimming in a coral reef would stimulate me to a point where I feel alive, not just dragging my drained body and mind through another day.

In terms of the NSA in SL and furries, I haven’t really read anything about NSA in SL (until after composing this post) and like Jo mentioned I just assume that any spy agency that can spy on us, will be spying on everyone, in whatever way they can. I assume that everything I do online or with any form of connected technology, from phones to radio to TV to the web or SL is monitored. How much that bothers me varies.

From a purely personal point of view, I’m not doing anything online that I feel is dangerous or bad, certainly not illegal (I don’t even torrent!), which is like most people. That doesn’t mean to say that being spied on is OK. It is obviously a real and pertinent issue form a civil liberties and privacy point of view. No one likes to be spied on, even though I’m not naïve enough to think I’m not being spied on. The idea that someone, somewhere may be watching my every move from the standpoint that I am as likely as a real criminal to be a threat to society or a bad seed is unsettling. A society that views all it’s citizens with suspicion and as potential threats is a very sad one. It also matters who does the spying. Who defines whether or not I am a threat to the wellbeing of the society or others, and what that wellbeing looks like are all relevant factors. I agreed with Drax that we all need to be more cognisant of the fact that we are being monitored, and that we aren’t as free, and the web and many other platforms like SL are not as open as we might think they are. What a truly free, open yet safe society looks like, online or in the real world, are important questions that we all need to be thinking about and aware of, me included.

Personally, I’m not doing anything worth spying on (seriously). However I have grown up absorbing many dystopic sci-fi movies and books like The Running Man, 1984, or anything written by Philip K. Dick, where authoritative big brother states or corporations deem what is right or wrong without debate, spy on everyone and abuse that power to crush perfectly decent, normal, curious human souls. Maybe my paranoia will be worsened if more stringent censorship starts to creep into the world around me. I am naturally curious and inquisitive and love to challenge the status quo and all forms of authority. In many countries that would make me a risk to the oppressive state or powerful interest groups. Thankfully I live in a relatively free and open country (UK), at least I feel I do! How free and open is debatable, and it is relative to other far more oppressive places. That freedom is also something to be cherished and not taken for granted. Hopefully England won’t end up like the Fascist England of Alan Moore’s graphic Novel V For Vendetta. If it does, then being spied on whilst playing SL with the Oculus Rift may be a very dangerous situation after all. For the time being, if anyone out there is profiling me then they’re wasting their time and data storage space! Unless they like begin confused and bored by my badly typed long sentences in SL and the cyberspehere.

Having typed all that out about the NSA and cyber spying, I have realised that the Drax Files Radio Hour podcast has made me think about something very important that I have just ignored for the last few weeks. I love it when something gets my neurons firing. That’s testimony to a great podcast. I will definitely be listening again to further episodes.

Another topic that the podcast made me think about, linked somewhat to privacy and being monitored, is whether or not I should create an alt in Second Life. To alt or not to alt? That is the question. It’s not a simple question. There is no simple answer. I think it’s worth exploring in another blog post. I’ve ramble don this post for long enough. There’s only so much text one person can read through in one sitting of a blog post!

Maybe I should do an audio podcast. I’ve always got a lot to say and a burning desire to say it, even though none of it is probably very interesting to anyone but myself. Some friends did recommend I start video or audio blogging. But my voice sounds horrible when recorded, and is so deep it might break the internet. For now I ‘m sticking to text. Annoying as it is to type, especially when you type as fast and badly as me.

So thank you to anyone who bothered to read all of this post, and to all those poor souls spying on me and trying to make sense of who I really am from the verbose splattering I’ve strewn onto wordpress.

I’m off to watch all those Drax Files You Tube videos I’ve yet to see!

SL 10B Community Celebration Pod Tour


Although I missed all the parties for Second Life’s 10th Birthday Celebrations (something I’m not particularly happy about) I have managed to make some time to at least visit the brilliant SL10B Community Celebration SIM.

It has so much to offer the open minded explorer that at times it does feel a bit overwhelming. If I could spend all day everyday this week in Second Life, immersing myself in the user created exhibits, I would. Unfortunately I can’t, but i chanced upon a great way to see as much of the SIM as possible in a short amount of time.

Snapshot_018

Yes, hop onto a YavaScript Pod for an SL10B Pod Tour. You have to find a pod station and there are 2 pod tour lines, east and west.

The Western Line turns into a train journey for a short while, which I loved, reminding me of how much traveling in vehicles in SL can be. Anyway, going on the pod tour is a great way to see all that is on offer, albeit for quick flashes, but then you can go back and visit the areas you liked the look of best. I also find walking around SL quite clunky at times, so sitting back, relaxing and just soaking up the creativity on offer was a real pleasure.

Anyway Hope you manage to go on a pod tour this week, and if so, enjoy!

 

Snapshot_001

SL 10th Birthday Celebrations Links


Links to SL 10th Birthday Celebration Websites:

Raza in Bladerunner City 29/01/2013


Visiting Bladerunner City SIM:
bit.ly/WqqIAq

Wearing Graves Black & White Male Space/ Cat suit:
bit.ly/WcY6eO

Reconnecting with Myself using Second Life


At the start of the new year I promised myself, and this blog, that I would make more of an effort to visit Second Life and explore new SIMs that were on my ever growing list. I love Second Life and always enjoy my time immersed in the metaverse but as with many things I enjoy I seem unable to devote much time them. I resolved to remedy this by focussing more on my needs this month and have managed to log inworld most days.

Below (at the end of this post) are some pictures of a few of the wonderful places I have visited.

The more time I spent  inworld the more I felt connected to my true self (corny as it sounds and comes out when i type it!), so I thought I would share a few thoughts about that.

One of the many reasons I love Second Life, and keep coming back to it since I joined (an age ago) in March 2007, is that it helps me understand myself.

I have always loved creating and exploring places and things, ever since I was a child. I am curious and inquisitive by nature and a little bit quirky. Seeing all the mind blowing creations sprung from the diverse imaginations contributing to Second Life never ceases to inspire me and fires my own, often stifled, imagination. When I see a magical SIM with glowing mushrooms on top of a Jungle Tree floating in the sky I think wow, I never would have thought of that, but it looks great. It makes me feel that life is full of endless possibilities and other ways of doing things and living. It helps open my eyes, and keep them open. We should not be confined by rigid rules and a lack of imagination, as much as those who try to suppress any form of creative spirit try to confine us. Why does this matter to me? Why does it strike a chord in me?

Well for the most part of my life I have always been suffocated and held back by a cultural background, family and peers who have a narrow and limited view of the world and all it’s possibilities. This is basically down to their own unresolved insecurities and fragility, though I didn’t understand this until now.

When my naturally open minded and curious young self tried to push boundaries I came up against this rock hard iron wall of resistance to the preconceived norm. A sort of solid cage that claustrophobically moved ever closer to me as the insecure people who built this cage did everything they could to crush my independent spirit. They were scared I would take them down with me. Or that I would end up like them, and they hated themselves. So they forced me to conform to their ways of living and doing things, because their way was the right way and the only way to live. People who loved me and whose job it was to build up my own self confidence and faith in life merely ended up crushing my faith in myself and humanity. My imagination was a curse, a blot on myself, my family, my community, all society. It was a hindrance, liek an infectious virus that needed to be caught and killed early on.

Whatever I truly felt deep inside me, or however differently I saw the world and all it’s possibilities didn’t matter. I was wrong. I was always wrong. They were right, always, and I had to obey them and give up my true self and all it’s dangerous ideas and conform to their uniformity or else be made to.

The more they pushed me to change myself to what they wanted me to be, the more i pushed back. But they were stronger. they were my parents, my family, my peers, my community, my ethnic background, people of my inherited faith, my society. Be it my ideas or questions on anything from religion to economics to politics to art to careers or even food, any desires i had that they didn’t like were always knocked out of me.

When you are a child your parents are like Gods to you. I only really understand this know, and how powerful it is, having become a father myself 5 years ago and also going through years of psychological therapy. I always thought that as much as i ended up having my true self, confidence and hope stripped away from me, I still had a lot of independence inside me. It seems I was mistaken.

It turns out that many of the decisions i ended up making, even in my 20’s and early 30’s were basically what my parents or society wanted me to do. I never really wanted to do these things myself. Examples include my career choices. My parents wanted me to become a doctor and do Medicine at University. I never really wanted to, but I still went for it. Then they wanted me to become an accountant. Me, a wildly creative and imaginative lover of films, art, fiction and all things eclectic and eccentric, become a staid, rule following, dull accountant (no offense to any accountants out there!). I caved. I gave up dreams of being a musician, a film maker, a fiction writer, an astronaut, a historian, whatever else i really was or wanted to be. I am naturally a bit left wing and liberal, a fan of charities and change, not corporations and tradition. Yet I “chose” to live and become part of a world that was nevr right for the true me, one of rigidity, material obsession, greedy tax avoiding corporations and insecure traditionalists”.

Even when I thought I was outgrowing and overcoming all the years of brainwashing and being pushed around, i was still really living other peoples lives. I had forgotten who i really was. I bought a house and took on loads of debt when i didn’t want to, realizing it was too big a commitment. If I bought this house then I would have to work in high pressured, highly demanding, corporate, soulless jobs forever, and I never once thought I had a choice to say no. I went to work for a large global multinational corporate giant, a psychopathic entity that was even more corrupt and wrong for the world than i had ever thought possible, deep in the hidden recesses of my forgotten true self. The list goes on.

I essentially got in so deep  into this world that others wanted me to live in that i forgot who i really was and wanted to be. I became a walking pod, on automatic pilot, a pale shadow of my natural, youthful, imaginative self.

However, through a combination of good fortune and perseverance i have managed to get to the stage where i no longer accept that I can’t make choices that are my own and that I have to live the life that others want me to live. No matter how powerful a pull they have on me, i am determined to overcome their brainwashing and holding me back and I am doing all i can to reconnect with my true self. The calm, patient, warm, tolerant, accepting, passive yet strong, creative, open minded, film loving weirdo that i am. I am not the ruthless, aggressive, permanently angry money grabbing, greedy capitalist the modern world, my parents, peers and many in wider society want me to be.

Happiness is a complex difficult thing to understand, let alone attain, but it does not come from material wealth or power. It certainly does not come from living the life other’s want you to live, at the expense of the life you feel you truly want to live. The more you try to deny your true self, the unhappier you become. That much i have learnt so far. It seems to hold true for me at least. And that is the point. What matters is what seems true and relevant to me, What makes sense to me. What fires me and my imagination, not my parents or others around me.

That is where Second Life comes in. Trying to reconnect with a self that has been battered and pushed deep down and who in many ways i am still deeply suspicious off, is a very hard task. It is a painful journey of self discovery. Yet deep down I always knew who i really was and what i really wanted from life. It is just about reconnecting with that again. Second Life helps me do this.

When i see a SIM or an Avie that makes me tingle with excitement or when i hear virtual water flowing over virtual rocks in a Zen garden and i feel taken to another place that chimes with me, these are all examples of little ways in which i am reconnecting with the real me. In my real life i was always limited by the insecurities and anxieties of others. Those who held sway over me. In my imagination the possibilities seem endless and hopeful. In Second Life I can see the boundaries of what is possible to create being challenged, and limit’s being pushed. Our creativity and imagination should be the only limits to what we can do.

We all need tools to help us in life, and as a tech lover I’m happy to still have Second Life to help me on my journey.  Seeing other people build worlds, people and places they want to see come to life, unhindered by preconceptions or outdated “norms” is refreshing and empowering to my own quest to challenge the norms holding me back.

The only problem is that the more i delve back into the world of wonder and creativity the more time i want to spend there, and time is a luxury i don’t have.

Anyway, enough of my psycho-babble and internal musings. Here are some pictures of a few great SIMs that took my breath away and fired my imagination:

Dryland SIM

SLURL

My Flickr Pics

(More pictures to come in further posts)

Raza in Dryland 1Raza in Dryland 2

Basilique Private Members Club Island SIM

(More pictures to come in further posts)

SLURL

My Flickr Pics

Raza in Basilique Private Members Island 1Raza in Basilique Private Members Island 2

Pacifique SIM

Visit this SIM quickly as it will be moving on February 2nd 2013!
(More pictures to come in further posts)

Official SL Page

My Flickr Pics

Raza in Pacifique 1Raza in Pacifique 2

2013 Pacifique Photos


Pacifique 24/01/2013Pacifique 24/01/2013Pacifique 24/01/2013Pacifique 24/01/2013Pacifique 24/01/2013Pacifique 24/01/2013
Pacifique 24/01/2013Pacifique 24/01/2013Pacifique 24/01/2013Pacifique 24/01/2013Pacifique 24/01/2013Pacifique 24/01/2013
Pacifique 24/01/2013Pacifique 24/01/2013Pacifique 24/01/2013Pacifique 24/01/2013Pacifique 24/01/2013Pacifique 24/01/2013
Pacifique 24/01/2013Pacifique 24/01/2013Pacifique 24/01/2013Pacifique 24/01/2013Pacifique 24/01/2013Pacifique 24/01/2013

2013 Pacifique, a set on Flickr.

Snapshots from my 1st visit to the very magical Pacifique SIM in second life. It has a beach, beach club, floating jungles, underground forest, Pirate cove and much more.
Worth visiting.
SLURL: http://bit.ly/10TMLnS

Dryland SIM 21_01_2013


Dryland SIM 21_01_2013 by Raza Lane
Dryland SIM 21_01_2013, a photo by Raza Lane on Flickr.

Cowboy Raza scoping out Dryland SIM in Second Life at sunrise on 21/01/2013:

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Mado/124/176/38

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