Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Here are a few pictures from the evening I would love to share.
BTW - ZDiva is an amazing performer who can be heard live at Jade's Jazz Lounge
Monday, December 29, 2008
(Question 10 of 10)
I would like to think that with enough explanation, someone could grasp what Second Life is all about, but generally I think someone has to experience it. It is difficult to communicate the immersive feel of the space verbally.
There is no real guarantee that second life will last forever. How would effect your second life relationships and what would you do?
(Question 9 of 10)
Well, I would like to think that if Second Life were to come to and end, there would be enough time to go through my contact list and figure out who I would like to stay in touch with. However, if Second Life were to abruptly end tomorrow, I am comforted in knowing that at the very least, I have the email addresses of my closest friends and would not lose contact with them. Maybe we would be able to continue meeting up in some other virtual world if not in real life.
Do you consider your second friends as real life friends? Do you allow them to become a part of your real life?
(Question 8 of 10)
The vast majority of my Second Life friends are mere acquaintances. I have several I consider to be good friends in Second Life and in time they may become real life friends as well. I only have a select few friends in Second Life that I consider to be real friends and I have no trouble exchanging personal information with them. A couple I have met in real life already and I think of them as friends regardless of which world we are meeting up in.
(Question 7 of 10)
Second Life has had in impact on my real life relationships in two ways. I would have to say that anonymity Second Life provides can foster an environment for self exploration and the opportunity for personal growth that isn’t as easily achieved in the real world. Also the environment of Second Life is based largely on communication be it typed or verbal. As such, I have found that I have become more in touch with who I am and better at expressing myself. This translates into better interaction in real world interpersonal relationships. But at the same time, I have found I tend favor the convenient and immersive interactions with friends in Second Life over telephone conversations or making the effort to go do something with Real Life friends. As a result, I have pulled away from some real life friends and am not as close to them as I once was.
How do you begin to trust people in second life when you're not meeting in real life (sometimes)? How does trust form and how far do you let it go?
(Question 6 of 10)
Interestingly, I find that first impressions go a long way even when interacting with a “cartoon character” in a virtual world. There are real people behind each avatar the same ingrained rules of social interaction we use in the real world apply here. It is amazing how often a first impression of someone in second life is right on and I have learned to go with my gut when I meet people. Trust is built in Second Life the same way it is in real life, through interaction over time. You would not need to know someone’s full name, address and phone number in real life to get a sense of what kind of person they are. Yes, in Second Life, it is possible for people to hide behind avatars and misrepresents themselves… but over time, the illusion of the avatar will get chipped away and there is someone real behind it or there isn’t. Once trust has formed, there is no end to how far I will allow a friendship to go… people I meet in Second Life have become very good friends in real life.
(Question 5 of 10)
When I first joined Second Life, my intention was to reveal absolutely nothing abut myself at all. However, as I have spent time here, I learned that to get the most out of the experience, you have to be your self… you have to be real. There is no sense in spending time on empty personal interaction with people who you know nothing about and who know nothing about you. This said, it would be foolish to toss around sensitive personal information in Second Life just as it would be in real life. I openly publish my age and general geographic location. I am forthcoming with my industry profession and general information on my hobbies, sexuality, marital status, and my likes and dislikes. As friendships grow, and trust is established, I become more specific about aspects of my life but I tend to hold back on information that I would consider to be personally identifiable. With very close friends, I talk openly about my life and have shared, real life photos, phone numbers, addresses, and my real life name. I have even met a few friends in real life.
(Question 4 of 10)
Second Life is not a game at all… it is a new form of communication. It is part of the technological advances in communication from the telephone, telephone party lines, web bulletin boards, forums, instant messaging, video conferencing, webinars and other live streams. It has combined many elements of other communication technologies with the online multi player video game technology; however, unlike a video game, there is no objective set, no next level to get to. Because of that that, Second Life itself is not a game. I will note that there are games within the environment, from very simple diversions to some elaborate roll playing games, but these games are played within an environment that in itself is not a game.
(Question 3 of 10)
Second Life, particularly in its earlier years, was very much a society with a utopian feel and people tended to act as such. People went out of their way to be friendly and assist new residents and I believe they tended to tailor their behavior to what was beneficial for the society as a whole. Although these attitudes still exist in some form, they have slowly been eroded and replaced by more self serving attitudes. Similarly to how the experience would be different from living in a small rural town to living in a large urban city. I find that people not longer go out of their way to talk to strangers in the street or even say “Hi” as they once did. There is an increasing level of distrust of new residents as individual employ alternate accounts (alts) for underhanded purposes, often for things that are against the Terms of Service or Community Standards but harder to identify or trace with alt avatars.
(Question 2 of 10)
There are three distinct aspects about Second Live that I like very much. First and foremost are the people. I find it amazing if not outright addicting to be able to turn on my computer and have a group of people that I feel deeply about and have a genuine need to interact with. When I am not online, I wonder what they are up to, and I can’t wait to get online and share what I am doing with them or just hang out and enjoy their company. The second aspect of Second Life that I enjoy is the creativity. The culture of Second Life is one that values creativity and I have found that I experience a tremendous amount of pleasure expressing my creativity in this environment. The third aspect of second life that I enjoy is what brought me here in the first place... the business. Not only do I like seeing in world merchants do a great job of marketing themselves, I really get excited to see real world businesses using Second Life. What I have found is that the there are two very distinct aspects of Second Life, what I will call the social side of second life where residents actually “live” in this virtual space, and the business side where companies use this technology for real world applications (be it meeting space, virtual demonstrations, modeling and testing of products, etc.) This business side can be hard to see if you are living in the social arena of Second Life, but it makes up a vast part of the actual Second Life landscape and is exciting to me when I come across it.
I read an article about it a Southwest Airlines in flight magazine which talked about the fact that businesses were starting to look at Second Life as a way to market themselves. I viewed what I was reading as a sort of new media that I wanted to be familiar with, so I created an account and began wandering SL to try to learn everything I could about it. When I first arrived, I tried to remain anonymous and jsut observe. I didn’t want to join groups or talk to people. One thing I learned very quickly is that Second Life is a social environment and I was not able to simply observe. Most communication in Second Life is based on social networks, I had to begin meeting people and joining groups to find out information on what was happening in world.
Friday, November 28, 2008
When I minored in art in college, there was one course titled 3-dementional design and as part of the arts program, it focused on the study of artistic design as it focuses on a space (also known as installation art). Be it an indoor environment, a room that tells a story or the placement of artistic elements within a natural space (think The Gates by Christo and Jeanne-Claude) Ironically, that course of study is now known as Spatial Arts or Spatial Design, as today; the term 3-D design refers more commonly to disciplines within the field of computer assisted design, video game design and virtual worlds like Second Life. I guess the reason I find that Ironic, is that I was recently tipped off to an art exhibition in Second Live where artists are using the 3-D design tools of SL to create Spatial Art installations.
The place is called the Hotel Dare. Located on a sim that looks like it may very well be it’s own series of art installations, I focused my attentions on the Hotel Dare itself. Not really knowing what to expect, I entered the ground floor of the hotel in to a nice but unassuming lobby. As I wandered around, my first reaction was that there were no real nice places to sit and visit with someone, the poses on furniture seemed awkward at best. Well as it turned out after a little more exploration, sitting and visiting isn’t exactly the point of this place. The Hotel is meant to be experienced!
What I walked into is a creative project coordinated by Gattina Dumpling and Charlotte Bartlett. Designed to resemble a hotel, but each room is a spatial art installation by a deferent SL artist. The plan is to cycle the artist about every three months, currently installations by Four Yip, Eelilahlee Westland, Chicanery Turnbull, Censored Mylunt, JoJorunoo Runo, Speedy Horner, Dizzy Banjo, Meat Carver, Poid Mahovlich, Mijn Boa, Rachel Breaker are on display.
By the way, since my visit the other day, that unassuming lobby is already gone... replaced with a winter lodge, presumably for the holidays. The room exhibits have not yet been changed.
Visit the Hotel Dare in world at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Aura/126/129/22
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
When you visit Jake’s Club an Fine art Lounge, be sure to spend a little time looking around. There is more there than just a dance floor. click here to visit Jake's Club and Fine Arts Gallery at Fire Island
Jake's Club is the heart of the complex. A home to fantastic parties and the original Jake’s Boys, who will welcome you and make certain you have a great time. Currently parties are hosted two nights a week in the Club, the Thursday night Strip down starting at 7pm every Thursday with DJ Syriana Paine and the hottest guys in undies on the grid. Saturday's bring the hottest and most original theme parties. Again with the sexy sounds of Syri the parties start at 9pm SLT and run till Midnight.. with a strip down afterhours party continuing on 'till the wee hours of the morning.
Currently featuring the photography of Brady Rowell, the gallery space flanks the staircase entrance to the main club. Over time, it is planned that the gallery will feature rotating exhibits. Be sure to keep an eye out for special art exhibit openings and events showcasing the artists of Second Life.
Designed with the intention of adding an organic element to this modern structure, this tropical atrium also serves as an environment for romance. Beyond the grand entry fountain, tucked near the planters of palms are several couples dances and kissing poses. Club goers can sneak away from the craziness of the parties upstairs with that special someone and enjoy the indoor beauty of this space. Currently, the atrium still has several open areas between the planters; these were intentionally part of the layout as the atrium will also be a sculpture garden. Watch for upcoming installments of 3-dimentional artwork nestled among the palms. If you do meet that special someone and really love this space, it is also available to rent for weddings. IM JakeC Hotshot for further information on rental of this or any other part of the complex.
The pool was one of the must have features in the clubs design, not only does it provide a great place for outdoor parties but it is open for guys to hang out at anytime. When you are not dancing away at one of DJ Muhu’s naked pool parties at 6pm on Sundays, relax in one of the double lounges or take a dip in the pool with you friends.
WET VIP Lounge
Not a sex club, but hey… what you do in IM is your business. If the grand romance of the Atrium isn’t what you are looking for, then the WET Lounge might just be it. Fountains of flowing water and stepping stones separate two intimate lounge areas draped in with sheer, flowing curtains. The feel of the lounge is chic, modern and intimate. Tucked in the elevated portion of the complex away from the rest of the action, the WET Lounge can me accessed be using the teleporter located in the main lobby.
The Jake’s Dance Club and Fine Arts Lounge project was designed and constructed by B&B Construction.
Who is B & B construction?
Baz Ceawlin – Principle partner, builder, designer, and consultant. Baz has a Real World background in Marketing and Graphic Design and manages the project to ensure that the client’s needs are met and exceeded.
Brutus Merriman – Partner, Builder, designer. Brutus possesses exceptional math and geometry skills. He manages the accuracy of builds with precision and masterful building techniques.
The mission was to create an all inclusive environment. Build with a modern look with lots of glass and concrete. Elements that will allow the guests and members of Jake’s to find a place they can hang out at, not just come to the scheduled dances. In addition to the dance club, you will find a lush atrium and sculpture garden, an art gallery, a relaxing pool area and a sexy upstairs VIP room.
The B&B Construction team hopes you enjoy your experience here at Jake’s.
My friend Thomm, who has had delusional ideas about the superiority of my building abilities ever since the day I showed him how to make a sculpted lamp out of freebie sculpt textures, recommended me as a builder to JakeC Hotshot when Jake was looking to build a brand new Jake’s Club. Being in between projects, I agreed to meet with Jake to talk about what he wanted; ultimately, I took the job.
The vision was simple... modern with a lot of glass! Turns out the club also needed to be big. Jake didn’t necessarily want a big club per say, but he wanted to incorporate many elements that would I explained would require a large structure. First, and most obvious, the Club itself. A simple dance club, with enough space to allow for elaborate theme party decorations, and dance floor big enough to hold a crowd yet intimate enough for everyone to interact. Also, an Art gallery was to be included, a pool area where guys could hang out and outdoor parties could be hosted. Something organic should be included in the midst of the modern steel and glass, and some place that was more intimate too. There would also need to be and office space and a couple of small apartments. Now the challenge…how do I develop a structure that incorporates all of these elements and still makes sense? If you have been to the club since the opening, the solution may seem obvious now… but initially; it was a bit of a challenge to get my head around conceptually.
Inspiration actually hit one day as I was driving up Highway 101 to
The structure didn’t look much like how the club turned out in the end, but it provided some of the inspiration for the design. Two separate towers facing each other. In envisioned those towers with a third cylindrical tower in back. That design was sketched out, and modified several times until a sketch of two building emerging from a central tower was settled on. But it wasn’t just two buildings, it was two tapered buildings which would give the structure a more modern feel.
Okay… so the sketch ws easy enough, simple prims tapered with SL building tool. But what about the real thing? I realized quickly that this building project was gunna take a lot of math. And not just any math... the serious stuff that makes your head hurt. It was at this point that it was time to bring in help and I contacted Brutus Merryman, a relatively new resident to Second Life, but a human calculator and an amazing new builder. I shared my vision with Brutus, and we began to work together. He would build while I flowed behind texturing and scripting the elements into a rezzer. We developed a great working relationship and plan to do more projects together in the future. Thank the stars for Brutus... because I just don’t do calculus (apparently that was required for some of the angles)
A third and more detailed sketch was developed before the final work began, it was approved by Jake and construction began and moved very quickly. The club would probably have been completed and up in a matter of a couple weeks, but there was the small question of, “Where was it gunna go?” Originally, putting the club on its own open space sim was the idea, but with the incredible attendance of some of Jakes parties, there was not way to accommodate that many avatars, another solution had to be found. Fortunately, Jakes club found its new home on Fire Island Pines with a fantastic new partnership formed between Jakes and the new
Check the next blog post for more detail on the amenities of Jake’s Club and Fine art Lounge at
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I have to chuckle when I look back on the dates for the missing posts for this blog... I realize that the single biggest life changing event took place for me on Halloween night, October 31st when the undeniable and inescapable chemistry between Jake and me was revealed to both of us. Since then, I have been so singularly focused on Jake, wanting to start and end my day with him and send every spare minute in between with him. I am amazed I have gotten anything else done at all (but those things are for future posts).
How did we meet?
I first met Jake on the dance floor of the old Jake’s Club on Hyacinth Island… for those of you who have been around long enough. .that is like four incarnations of the club ago. Curious to talk to talk RL shop with him after reading in his profile that we were both in similar RL industries… we chatted, talked shop and became friends. From that point on, Jake was always the friendly, welcoming club owner whose parties seemed to have a personal quality that was above the norm in SL. I made some close friendships with some of the other regulars at his club and always knew Jake as kind of a friend of a friend. Later, when Jake started dating my friend Steve and hired me to design and build the new Club, I found myself in the position to get to know Jake much better. Always a completely professional relationship on the club, and as a close and supportive friend to Steve and Jake.
How did it all change?
Still don’t know the answer to this… when I describe the chemistry between us as being revealed, that is because I believe that is exactly what happened. It was like someone took the blindfolds off all of a sudden. Just a few days before, I had been asked about a relationship developing between Jake and myself… I didn’t just deny it... I adamantly explained that it was out of the question, there had never been anything other that a truly professional and respectful interaction between us. It was later explained to me by my friend who had made the inquiry; his observation was just that… a working relationship that was so in sync and so supportive that there had to be more there. Jake and I certainly didn’t see this coming, but some of our friends did and so must have the stars because the series of events that fell into place couldn’t have timed out any better. Steve and Jake’s relationship ended, the club build was done and all that was left was for Jake and I to realize there was something there.
Now, three weeks later…
Jake is the most amazing man, and I love spending time with him and getting to know him better and better every day. We are on a path to build something very real together and it is exciting, and scary and wonderful all at the same time.
I know that I can tell this man anything. Share my deepest thoughts, dreams and desires with him. I know I can share all of myself with him and he will share all of himself with me. I am there when he needs me and know that when I need him he will hold me, press his forehead into mine and give me the support I need.
Standing by my side, I hold his hand. Staring out at the horizon, eagerly anticipating what tomorrow will bring.
So today, I will try to catch up a bit and publish a series of posts that cover all that I would have liked to have written but just didn’t make the time for. Enjoy…
Thursday, October 30, 2008
If you are one of the few (and I do mean very special few) followers of this blog, who may have noticed the near absence of posts over the last week or so. Well, that is certainly not because there has been nothing on my mind, it’s actually quite the opposite. I have come to the realization that blogging is one of those activities for which my proficiency will increase as my commitments to other projects decreases. They expression goes, “when it rains... it pours” and I guess when it’s pouring, things like keeping up on a blogs gets washed away. Unfortunately, I have also arrived at the conclusion that my blog is not the only thing to get washed away. I seem to have lost my patience too.
I originally sat down and started to write this a couple days ago… feeling an extreme frustration each time I logged in world to be immediately inundated my IM’s and group notices, requests for favors (not that kind of favor Brady) and propositions for favors (Ok Braids.. now that kind). I planned to whine about friends who know I’m stressed out and yet feel compelled to corner me in private calls and IM’s with trivial questions and lengthy discussions about nothing of consequence. I considered complaining about the hours spent wasting time doing nothing when there was building to do, or the frustration of trying to work when you have Skype, and MS messengers going in addition to SL IM’s on top of Photoshop and Firefox and who know what else was launched on my PC before the crash – did I forget to mention I hate this new viewer?
Then I realized, the only thing that has changed here is me. Suddenly, because I am busy, all the things I usually love about our highly social community - sans the crashing - became a curse because a shift in my own attitude. Now I’m irritated when a close friend wants to talk about he hot date he had or another at another friend who keeps IM’ing with questions about things that seem trivial to me. I pose the question, “Don’t they know I’m busy?” I guess they wouldn’t unless I tell them and even so, does my work load make them any less imortant?
Now, I’m not saying that there isn’t a certain amount of courtesy that should be shown to each other in Second Life. I’m not saying that you should have some restraint in making demands on people’s time, and certainly when you know they are busy. But I am saying that I realize that I need to find a way to keep a better attitude when these crunch times arise and realize that SL interaction is going to magically change just because I find myself feeling too busy. Considering the alternative to this existence, SL would be a very sad experience if every time I logged on I found my self standing in my little parcel of the metaverse with no one to talk to and nothing to do.
So to all that I have been short with, curt with or just plain blown off (and no Brady not what you are thinking)… I apologize if you have recently found me to be less than welcoming you’re your question, requests and conversations. I do value all that you add to my SL experience and my life in general.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
My comments to the forum are below:
How does this even begin to address the problem???
I certainly understand that there is abuse in the use of Open Space Sims, and it maddens me to see mall and club owners building out OS Sims for high use purposes. Furthermore, I have talked to numerous residents who don’t understand the difference between OS and full sims and rent them from unscrupulous estate owners who tell them they are “owning their very own sim”. But really, how does charging more for the OS sims address the problem of abuse?
Yeah, the solution may make it more difficult to for those unscrupulous estate owners to “resell” them. However, those who are using them responsible will be penalized financially while those abusing them for commercial endeavors (particularly mall and club owners) are the most likely users to afford the increase… They will continue to abuse the OS sims while responsible users will abandon them. This hardly solves the abuse problem.
There must be a better solution out there! Surely LL can see there is a demand for both Low use Sims as will as moderate use sims. Either restrict the use of OS sims by placing real use limits on the OS sims or devise a product offering and pricing structure that meets the needs of the residents. This solution just seems lazy attempt on the part of LL to curtail the obvious abuses of OS sims. But think about the solution... where does it actually stop the abuse???
Please make your comments on this topic to: SL Forum
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
This is the second post in part of a series featuring Brady Rowell’s’ photography projects for Jake’s of Second Life.
The set was spooky, the characters ghoulish, and according to Brady… composing this shot was pure torture. Few people realize how much thought and work goes into a photo shoot (be it RL or SL) to achieve a certain artistic look and also communicate the advertising message you are tasked with incorporating. In this case, communicate the theme of Halloween and present it in a sexy way. Leave it to Brady and the Boys of Jake’s to eventually pull it all off – the photography task that is, they don’t pull their clothes off 'till the after party.
First, the costumes. Everyone who is going to be in the shoot needs to be notified of the theme a couple days before the shoot and conversations about who is going to wear what take place so that each person doesn’t show up wearing the same thing. Not to mention making sure that everyone’s costumes make sense for the shoot. Generally several group shopping trips evolve out of this process each week.
Second, find a set or location fir the shoot. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. Imagine finding that perfect location - perfect look, all the elements are spaced right and in the right proportion for the models. Now you realize that you can’t rez a posing stand cause there is no building or scripts allowed and the land owner is not around to contact. Or in the case of this shoot, I helped Brady and found a great cemetery site complete with fog rezzers, crypts and grave stones. Building was turned on and it looked like it would all be a go until I got attacked by flesh eating zombies. Well, that will certainly mess with a shoot… Run Baz Run! BTW - I only got bitten once. Eventually, Brady opted to have me build him a set for this shoot. (If you happen to be interested in running with the zombies, visit the Hauted Cemetary Shop and Treasure Hunt, then use the teleporter to the cemetary)
Third, shoot everyone! At least take their picture, although with all the unsolicited advice Brady gets from his models, I wonder if he ever considers the alternative. Brady was now faced with arranging seven models in such a way to balance color, accommodate wing spans, hide flaws in the back ground, minimize alpha channel conflicts (invisibles that fight) keep the shot tight enough to get close and also manage to keep the look and feel of the set in the shot... this is no small task. But on top of that, the models all need lighting. Ritch’s dark panther skin needs a brilliant lighting source, but that can also wash out the rest of the models and the set. A yellow light on another model will make the black of someone else’s costume look green. This whole process can take a couple hours to get just right – bet you had no idea. Rarely do the first-time models realize this process and they can get cranky till they finally get told the torture is over.
Ok, so no Brady has his shot... but is still just a raw screen capture, saved in high resolution to his hard drive. This is where Brady now works his magic. He applies various filters and does color adjusting. Oh, and a little Photoshop work to get rid of that darn lighting orb that was lost in the fog but showed up in the finished shot... damn, I hate it when that happens.
Now the finished shot, after hours of work invested gets set to Jake to be placed into the next weeks event poster and sent out to the metaverse so that all who are interested will know where, when and how to dress for the next big party. The next time you come across a poster for Jake’s (or any ad in SL really) take a minute to appreciate what when into the creation of those images. If you are a patron of Jake’s theme parties, maybe consider tipping the guys a little extra too – after all they only get paid tips. They do this each week out of love for the club and a desire to put on a great party!
Halloween Party at Jake’s Club
Jake’s Club (temporary location)
Click here for the SLURL to Jake's
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25TH
9:00 SLT – Midnight
DJ Syriana Paine will be spinning her amazing tunes and taking requests
Costume Contest for Best Halloween Costume with a minimum L$1,000 prize
And then of course, the after party…