Monday, January 2, 2017

Scenes From New Year's Eve 2016

By Bixyl Shuftan

New Year's Eve has been celebrated for many ages, at least in places using what's called the "Gregorian calendar." The Julian calendar which it's based on came about in 45 BC, which gives some idea just how long it's been celebrated. Besides marking the end of the Christmas holiday season, and one last chance to have a good party before having to get to bed early the next night for work the day after, usually it's been a chance to look back at the old year and look forward to the new one. But 2016 saw the demise of many public personalities, including childhood heroes, from old age, disease, violence, or the effects of hard living earlier in life finally catching up. This became a year to be despised by many, someone dubbing it the "Year of the Reaper." So that gave a number of people additional reason to look forward to New Year's Eve and the stroke of Midnight to finally put the year behind them.

Shockwave Yareach was among those doing things to celebrate the end of 2016, including making a "Burn in Hell 2016" hat, which he passed out to some at Club Cutlass' New Year's party on Friday night. He also did a video in which in real life he blew up a calendar, which took a little more effort than planned. "The old year didn't want to die," one remarked when seeing the youtube.

Going about on New Year's Eve, it was in my Luskwood striped skunk avatar instead of the fox. I guess with all of the formal outfits in some parties, black and white seemed to be the thing to do.

I heard there was an event going on at the International Space Museum at Spaceport Alpha, but by the time I got there, the fireworks show had come and gone. I went aboard the boardable rocket for my own personal fireworks.

Club Serenity, which Grease Coakes recently reviewed, was among the locations having events early in the day. The normally sci-fi club had been winterized into an ice cave. Grease and DJ Khyra, who can be found at the Happy Vixen club on Mondays, were among those spinning the tunes.

For the Sunweaver/Angel community, their Saturday night venue of Club Cutlass was closed that night, but there was another hangout that officially opened that night, the "Goblin Cave" at
Pacific Waters (185, 178, 31). Although it's owner Cynthia Farshore planned to start things off at 8PM SL time, things got started off at 7PM.

The Goblin Cave has a jacuzzi and a couple of couples' spots, but it was the game room that got the attention of the crowd, at least for the first couple of hours. There was a pool table, SLopoly, chess, and the popular SL favorite game "Greedy." But the star of the show was a Second Life version of "Cards Against Humanity," a game with a cheeky sense of humor in which sentences with one or two blanks pop up, all the players but one pick one of the set of cards they were given to fill in the blanks, and one randomly selected player takes the part of judge to make the call on the best answer. Not surprisingly, people are inclined to give the funniest, or most perverse, possible answer.

 The first player to win ten rounds in the Second Life version of the game is declared the winner. So who won, well, I won't say as the cheeky nature of the game makes it one in which winning makes it look like they have a bit of an odd sense of humor.

Just before 9PM SL time, or Midnight EST just as the New Year first reached the United States, the party moved to the dance floor and bar, where the crowd danced away for a while. Cynthia played the tunes from her Farshore Radio station. We talked about a few things as we danced, including that the "Year of the Reaper" would claim one more celebrity on the last day. But on the whole it was mostly optimism about what was ahead and happy to spend the evening, and early morning, with friends. After Midnight SL time, those left began retiring for the night one by one.

At T1 Radio's Legend's club in Arinultra Cay, Trader Whiplash played the tunes for a crowd that included a number of personalities from the Relay for Life. The party lasted from about 7PM to some time after Midnigh SL time.

The Furry Fashion Lounge had a special New Years Eve bash that night, starting up at 9PM SL.

DJ Moff (Moffetmephit) was spinning the tunes, but instead of being behind the regular DJ Booth, he and the hosts took on the appearance of a rock band, "The Lem n' Ems," named after their host Lem Aiko.

One of the latest starting events was the "Prim Drop" at Bay City's North Chanel sim in the Fairgrounds. The event gets it's name from New York City's Times Square's "Ball Drop," which has been taking place since 1908, and broadcasted over radio and then television since the 1940s. 

The party started a little before 11:30 SL time. Marianne McCann, like other major Bay City events, was the organizer of this party, "You outdone yourself, Mari!" And at ten seconds to Midnight, the prim, now lit and glowing, began coming down.

 And when 2017 had officially come to Second Life, fireworks went into the air, as well as some ticker-tape that floated down. There were cheers, and a few couples kissing one another. "The prim is down! Here's to a new year!" Marianne announced, "It's my pleasure to bring this to all of you, my friends in Bay City and elsewhere, and everyone who called Second Lifer a Second Home."

 Among the people in the crowd was Draxtor Despress, who shot this video of the event, "Thanks to Drax's live stream I didn't have to miss it when locked up!" "Can't say I've ever seen you sober, Drax."

And so, Second Life bade 2016 farewell, and welcomed in a new one.

Happy New Year, Second Life.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, December 26, 2016

Scenes From The "Jolly Holiday Crawl" And The Linden Snowball Fight

By Bixyl Shuftan

On Monday December 19, Second Life had it's "Jolly Holiday Crawl" followed by the Linden Snowball Fight. The event was organized by Linden Lab, and had a number of Lindens taking part. This was the virtual equivalent of a bar crawl, in which people spend a little time at a pub then head to another one on their list. But instead of bars, the people would go to noted places in the virtual world.

The idea of an inworld venue crawl got started last year with the 2015 "Creepy Crawl" on Halloween. The event was so popular, the Lidens organized another this year, and decided to follow up with a Christmas-themed one. This would be a shorter crawl, with just four stops in a two hour period. It was probably just as well, as some residents were itching to toss a snowball at Linden Lab's finest.

The event started at 10 AM Second Life time at the Arctic Express at Moonlight Sonata (197/141/23). Unfortunately, I didn't get there early enough, and found myself with a few others in the adjacent sim trying to teleport over every so often. After several minutes, I gave up and headed to the next stop on the list.

Kate's Whirl was the second stop of the Holiday Crawl. Located at Luscious (205/53/11/), the most noticeable part of the place was a brick and iron bar maze.

Already the place was filling up, even though I was twenty minutes early. The crawl was attracting quite a number of people. One commented, "Do pardon if I bump anyone I'm lagging, plus I derendered a ton of stuff."

 Xiola Linden soon arrived.

Not far behind was Warp Linden.

Whitney Linden demonstrated even Linden Lab's finest go Away From Keyboard.

 Next was the Winter Ice Christmas Festival 2016 in Rebel Yell Concerts (49/62/27/).

 It took a considerable amount of time for the avatars to rezz, but the scenery was pretty.

The final stop in the Holiday Crawl was Frisland at Liebe (192/152/22/)

The lag was less of a problem here than in the last place.

Torley Linden was there in his off-duty account, complete with trademark watermelon colors. He described the thing on her head as a roast beast which was a reindeer crossing the road that ended up freezing at the sight of oncoming headlights.

Zig Linden looked like a "Transformer" or a "Robotech" fighter, or with his name, perhaps a fighter from "Zero Wing," the poorly translated Japanese game that led to  "All Your Base." Actually, Zig did admit, "That's where the name came from," but, "I'm less of a fan of the game and more of a fan of the video." Did anyone ever ask him to "Move Zig?" His response, "It happens from time to time."

Tommy Linden tries a Santa look, but it was reminding me more of the Red Spy in "Team Fortress 2."

Noted resident Loki Elliot was also there.

Xiola Linden soon rezzed, but Steeltoe Linden remained steel gray.

 Finally as 12 Noon approached, it was time for the event we were all waiting for, the Linden Snowball Fight. But I made the mistake of using an old Portal Park LM.

 So I checked the Newser for the SURL at Portal Park 1 (175/118/52)

Heading to the portal to Winter Wonderland.

Getting to the snowball arena involved getting through some scenery.

I forget who this Linden is, only that he was one.

There were a few sights on the way to the "freeze-for-all."

To get the weapon hud, one had to click on the display at the glass case. Then a HUD would appear. For most players, they had a choice between a snow rifle with a high rate of fire, or a kind of pistol that produced snowballs that would knock someone in the air for a bit but had a five second recharge. naturally most chose the second option. The Premium players, and presumably the Lindens, also had the option of a "snowzooka" which fired snowballs that could trap someone for a few seconds.

Unfortunately I ended up crashing after just a few minutes of snowball scrapping and lost my gun. But rather than go and get another HUD, I went to the tallest spot in the place and took pictures.

The avatars of all kinds showed up, such as this centaur.

Marianne Mccanne was there, with her snowzooka.

Squishy Mole coming back down after a snowball threw her into the air.

Keira Linden's hands in the air looked confusing at first. Was she giving up?

Not exactly ...

 She had taken a seat onto the Loch Ness Monster, "It Liiiivvessssssss ..."

 This guy was prepared to sleep it off if he got knocked out.

Rider Linden, with his steampunk look and hovering sled, enters the fray.

Bianca, Dee, and Xiola Linden bunch up with Torley in a ditch, Xiola shouting, "Could we make it any easier? There is a nice, whole, pocket of sitting ducks, er, Lindens, over here!"

As expected, they got a number of snowballs tossed their way, and broke up. Xiola earlier commented she didn't mind the snowballs too much as it gave her a chance to enjoy the view from above. But still, there was one person she felt overdid it earlier, "Where is Marianne? I owe her from last time! ... ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO LINDEN!"

Shimmy Mole gets caught in a Snowzooka's trap. Kona Linden tries somersaults to dodge the snowballs.

This guy coming down spread out after being hit. No sign of it slowing him down.

Magic Mole in a tiny avatar, of which one guy commented, "These Lindens are cheating, they made themselves smaller."

Or maybe he was talking about Derrick Linden, who was in a small avatar of his own.

Quartz Mole and Kona Linden survey the situation.

There were a few residents whom were "jellydolled," even though I had set my Firestorm to the max in avatar rendering. Even the most decorative avatar designer in my virtual community doesn't have this problem with me.

At 1PM SL time, fireworks went off around the arena. It didn't really stop the action, but for those whose computers could handle it, it was a nice sight.

I never did see the end of the "Snowball Showdown," but no doubt the fun went on for a while. For those interested in a snow battle of their own, the arena should be up there all winter.

It was a fun event in Second Life

Bixyl Shuftan