Tag Archives: The Drax Files

A look back at 2016 in Second Life – Year In Review


10 years later

My 10th rezday – 31st October 2016

This is my special year in review post looking back at the biggest news, events and more during 2016 in Second Life. There have been so many good memories and some not so good ones during 2016. See the bottom of this blog post for month by month highlights of 2016. 🙂

Improved communications

I do think communications between the lab and the Second Life community have greatly improved during 2016 through various channels like the official Second Life blog, on the Second Life status grid reports page, via Twitter and inworld.

The lab have already posted their highlights of 2016 here including raising the land prims limit for the mainland/private estates, introducing the new horizons experience, adding 360 snapshots, extending Bento, adding new community gateways and much more.

Horizons

New Horizons Experience

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Improved grid status page

State of the grid in 2016

The amount of Main Grid regions and private estates have declined further during 2016 which is not good news but that’s what’s officially happening. I hope that in 2017 there will be some sort of region growth because that would be cool. The lab needs to work out and try to come up with workable solutions to stop the decline happening.

Back on 3rd January 2016

  • Total number of Main Grid regions: 24, 886
  • Private Estates: 17, 775 
  • Linden Owned: 7, 111

As of 25th December 2016

  • Total number of Main Grid regions: 23, 975
  • Private Estates: 16, 792
  • Linden Owned: 7, 183

There have been many well known places that have closed down this year in Second Life because of various reasons and some places managed to be saved.  Yay! 🙂

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Mont Saint Michel

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Insilico

Amazing Events This Year

There have been so many enjoyable events that have happened during 2016 including the Second Life 13th birthday celebrations, One Billion Rising, Lab Chat events, the VWBPE conference, Relay For Life of Second Life events,

Don’t forget the incredible Bay City 8th anniversary, BURN2 events, the annual faires and the list goes on.

Thanks to all those that organised and volunteered these amazing events this year. 🙂

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Fantasy Fair 2016

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Bay City Eighth Anniversary

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Second Life 13th Birthday

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RFL of SL 2016

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London City 7th birthday

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BURN2 2016 Festival

Sansar is almost ready 

There was huge interest this year for Sansar with hundred’s signing up for the Creator Preview and testing it out. The lab have released various interesting Sansar photos, demos and updates during the course of 2016.

Sansar is due to open to the public sometime in January 2017.

Some shocks in 2016

The big shock of 2016 has to be when Donald Trump won the US Election 2016 and will become the next US president from mid January 2017.

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Donald Trump supporters area

Another big shock of 2016 has to be the terrible Orlando shootings earlier this year because that was really sad. In Second Life the community came together and raised L$ to support the victims.

Orlando Shooting SL_001

We lost some great talent during 2016 

Sadly a few well known residents that I knew in Second Life passed away during 2016. If anyone knew anyone else that passed away in Second Life during 2016 – please let me know so I can add it below!

  • Ladyslipper Constantine  Involved with Virtual Ability events, Virtual Worlds Best Practices education events, One Billion Rising, BURN2 events and she was involved in past Second Life birthday celebrations
  • Latif Khalifa – Developer of the Radegast Metaverse Client, Singularity Viewer and Replex Viewer

Here is a month by month highlights during 2016 on what happened in terms of big events and news. All links below are from my blog posts 🙂 

January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

2017: the year ahead

I hope everyone has enjoyed reading my blog posts during 2016 and I am looking forward the blogging more in 2017. I will be covering Second Life, Sansar and OpenSim next year. Wooot! 🙂

I hope 2017 will be a good year 🙂

Sneak Preview: The Drax Files Episode 35 – Metal Mole Moshpit Time


On Wednesday 3rd February Draxtor uploaded a sneak preview for the new upcoming episode of The Drax Files. Episode 35 will be available to watch on Friday 5th February 2016 and it’s all about the Moles in Second Life.

The Moles are banging their heads to an old rehearsal room recording of a band I was in 1993ish = excuse the bad audio but it seemed fitting….

Episode 34 called Cheeky Pea has now been viewed 14, 394 times on YouTube. Wooot! 🙂

Watch previous episodes of The Drax Files here.

The Drax Files: World Makers: Episode 32 now available featuring Jayjay Zifanwe


Draxtor Despres has released episode 32 of the amazing Drax Files World Makers series featuring Jayjay Zifanwe. This month it’s all about Machinima and this epsiode runs for 4mins/59secs.

In this episode JayJay Zifanwe and the University of Western Australia in Second Life helps people to express themselves through using machinima in Second Life. The UWA in Second Life is a great place for artists to come together and take part in many interesting projects.

I thought this episode was fascinating and informative giving a more in-depth look into machinima which is a great way of promoting. Here are some more details about this epsiode…

“The backbone of the our university’s presence in the virtual world is the art and the film. It keeps things alive at all times!” says Jayjay Zifanwe from the University of Western Australia in Perth.

With the blessing of his Dean Jayjay is actively promoting immersive art and machinima made by Second Life residents from all walks of life all the while emphasizing giving voice to creators with disabilities or chronic illness.

The relationship between UWA and the SL art scene illuminates how a major university can use the creative and social aspects of virtual environments to enhance their mission of inclusive learning on a global scale.

May this be a model for other educational institutions to follow?

With the resurgence of interest in VR JJ’s efforts may just be a template to emulate in the future…

More information on UWA in Second Life is at http://www.uwainsl.blogspot.com

Great job Drax and Jayjay 🙂

Tom Boellstorff featured on Episode 31 of The Drax Files


Episode 31 of The Drax Files is now available to watch featuring Tom Boellstorff talking about avatar identity and the use of virtual worlds. Tom is an anthropologist from the University of California in Irvine. Tom is the author of Coming of Age In Second Life which was published back in 2008 and many may find the name Tom Boellstorff familiar. 

When Tom signed up to Second Life back in 2004 there were only around 2, 500 members with an average concurrency of two hundred. Tom said that you could fly over every region across the grid within a week at two hours a day.

Tom says that Second Life’s a place with places in it, people are still interacting inside the virtual world, there’s still plenty to observe. Tom feels if the virtual reality explosion happens then virtual worlds are going to be a major use case. Tom says that VR won’t take over virtual worlds, it will be a different way of accessing them.

The interview is around five minutes long but there is great footage of Second Life throughout the episode and its really worth watching.

About Epsiode 31

“The challenge is always time” he says: “You need to get to know the people you are studying, you need to live among them, so they can get to know you!”

For over 12 years Tom Boellstorff has been an active resident of Second Life, not only writing books about his research there and the methodology used in exploring user-centric online societies but engaging hands on with diverse communities such as the Parkinson’s support group and Virtual Ability.

In a recently published new edition of his book “Coming of Age in Second LIfe” [http://press.princeton.edu/titles/106…] he cautions against dismissing sustainable digital communities like Second Life simply because they are not the hot tech property of the day: “The biggest obstacle in studying technology is the obsession of the media with what is new and what is big. Nobody asks me why I am still going to and writing about Indonesia for instance. From an explorer’s point of view the culture in Second Life today is as vibrant and fascinating to me if not more so than when I started out!”

In this 5 minute mini-documentary Tom Boellstorff not only addresses the issue of big data, avatar identity and what role the new wearable VR technology may play for revitalizing interest in virtual worlds but elaborates on a more nuanced way to address the difference between what we tend to label “real” versus “virtual”.

For more information about Tom Boellstorff go to http://faculty.sites.uci.edu/boellsto…

Big thanks to Marianne McCann for creating powerful sets, Apple Fall for custom props and all the great extra actors who had the courage to film with us at the Welcome Area [especially Hexapoda, Bryn Oh, Gidgette & Wilber Adagio and Chorister, Calisto Amato and williarenato]

Special thanks to the Drax Family – young and older- for participating in the filming of this episode.

Super special thanks to Jacki Morie for getting great footage from the SoCal VR Expo 2015.

Spread the word about this episode 🙂

Watch previous episodes of The Drax Files here from 1-30.

More at draxtor.com