Monday, April 15, 2019

First Annual International Photography Festival

By Marcel Mosswood

    The “First Annual International Photography Festival” will be held on April 13th – May 12th. It is to bring together real-life photographers in one place and allow them to exhibit their photos in Second Life for one month.

    “The festival will allow people who are interested in the photo real-life to discover more easily the work of the photographers present in Second Life by grouping them in the same gallery. Currently, they are scattered in several galleries with other artists (painters, sculptors, art designers, etc.). I am convinced that SL is still a good way to promote photographers in the real world,” said Nils Urqhart, the avatar behind the event.

    The Annual International Photography Festival will be organized every year with more photographers, this year they are twelve. “It's already a good start,” said Nils. There is no charge for the photographers and they are allowed to sell their photos during the exhibition.

    This event was inspired by the photo festivals in real life. For example in France: Montier en Der, Bourg en Bresse, Hauteville-Lompnes, or Namur in Belgium. Montier en Der and Namur are international festivals. It’s also held on April - May in same reason, it is the moment of the photo festivals in France.

    For the event, Nils work in a team with Annie Scott-Siegel (claera). This event also supported by Chia (volchia.ferduccio) the owner of the Art'e Gallery which provides a gallery for displaying photography for free during the festival.

    Nils Urqhart (Paul Maurice in RL) is a French landscape photographer in real-life. He takes photos mainly in French Alps and other French mountains (Vosges, Jura, Bugey, Aubrac). He is present on SL since December 2007, opening his 1st gallery at Isla Victoria in 2008, and since 2010 he shows his photos at Helvellyn (Art gallery Rill'Arts).

Here is the LM of the First Annual International Photography Festival:

Marcel Mosswood

Friday, April 5, 2019

The Primtionary Games

The Primtionary Games: Challenge Your Building And Language SkillsBy Marcel Mosswood

Have you heard about Primtionary? It’s a cool and fun game in Second Life. I remember, one day when I was in the middle of the games, my friend asked me over IM, “Hey, what do you do?” I answered, “Playing games.” She said, laughing, “Of course, I’m in the games too. It’s called Second Life!” But I was too busy playing Primtionary to explain to her.

Primtionary was established in 2004 and has been played since, the copyright is owned by Yummie Olsen. “Primtionary may just be the longest-running, most popular game in Second Life,” said Peace Dragovar, the manager of one running Primtionary game at Creations Park and The Palace.

The Primtionary Games at Creations Park
“The rules are simple: the contestant puts together prims to build out a secret word, while the audience tries to guess the word within 10 minutes. The audience member who gets it right earns 25L and the privilege of building the next word. Primtionary is a challenge for both your mind and your building skills,” Peace explaining on my interview with her.

There are four levels word: Easy, Medium, Hard, and Evil. The Easy level can be built with 1 prim. The Medium level is a concrete word for everyday kind of objects or obvious symbols. The Hard level is a common word that is an object or concept and takes creativity to build. The evil level is a common word that takes a lot of creativity or uncommon words. So Evil should be hard to build, but could be easy to guess.

So, who are the avatars behind these great games? As mentioned earlier the copyright owner of Primtionary is Yummie Olsen, the scripter for the timer and word catcher is Lum Kuhr, Hooten Haller created the theme manager, and Aisuru Reiko built the stage (he is the winner of the Design-a-Stage contest). The avatars who keep it running are the hosts: Gardendancer, Technus Grayman, Hooten Haller, Peace Dragovar, Buck Enoch, and Ololo Petya. Yummie is the head host.

As a game, Primtionary makes benefit for the players. According to Peace, “Personally, I enjoy guessing what is being built. Once in a while, I like the challenge of building the word given to me. As a host, it's amazing to see how builders build clues. I often get surprised by how creative people can be. I also find it’s a relaxing game, there's pleasant chat among players.”

And what are the other hosts said about the benefit of this game? Technus Grayman said that “Newer folks learn new building techniques. Also, non-English speakers learn new words! Actually, some English speakers learn new words as well!” According to Ololo Petya: “We have fun! Also, an incentive to make people learn to build.”

If you are interested to participate in the game here is the schedule:

And here are the LMs:

Creation Park:

The Palace:

Marcel Mosswood

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

AGRA Racing

By Bixyl Shuftan

Various games and competitions have made their way to Second Life. Among them are various races and racetracks. The Giant Snail Races have been a part of the virtual world for over a decade. But there are others. One that got my attention recently was AGRA Racing. While some races may take things into the third dimension with jumps, AGRA (Anti-Gravity Racing Association) Racing does it even more so with the track and cars going part of the way on the walls.

Not long ago, I went to United Furry Outpost at the Topaz Oasis sim where my friend Jasmine Dawn found something interesting. She introduced me to Skywind Kitsune (Gravity Wright), who showed me around. Eventually, he decided, "I'll show you the Anti-Gravity Racing Association. This is something that only we have, and we are very proud of. ... Ever hear of the game F-Zero? Well, we basically made that game in SL, with cars that can cling to walls."

The track itself resembled a holodeck, with the techy grid-like appearance of much of the surface, but was much, much larger. Much of it was on the ground, including the starting/finish line and the vehicle rezzer. But there was lots of track on the walls of the place, as well as the ceiling. "People can register here to race," Skywind told me, "We host racing tournaments every year, with a 1st place prize of L$2000. ... Weve been hosting this events since 2006, we even had Lindens race. But back then, we didn't have the wall-clinging cars. At AGRA, we've been perfecting the racing tech over the years (chuckle), finding new and creative ways to race in Second Life."

Skywind brought my attention to the car rezzer, "Let me rez a car." The rezzer offered a choice of two red vehicles, the Taravi Tundra F2K-XL Racetruck, and the VixLock Zeta-1 F2K-XL Racing Machine. There was also a cube that allowed people to make their own custom vehicles, the "AGRA Voltage-XL Vehicle Building Kit." I would later be told that experienced drivers were encouraged to build their own vehicles. Behind the rezzer was an opening leading to a "Vehicle Testing Area," presumably for custom made cars, underneath the racetrack.

Skywind chose the smaller VixLock, "This car hovers inches above the ground. They use raycasting physics." When I asked how they were controled, he answered, "Arrow keys, and you have to be in mouselook. Otherwise, you get dizzy (chuckle)." When he got in his car, he told me and Jasmine, who was with me, "Just train your camera on me." Then he started, and went to racing speed in seconds. And moments later, he was on a section of track that took him up the ceiling. "Oh wow, he wasn't kidding!" Jasmine quiped. Skywind went around the track, going around a number of turns and one jump, eventually finishing the lap and steering back to the pitstop area.

Getting back, Skywind suggested to watch a race, people change their draw distance to 1024 meters. Of his fast car zipping around, "as you can imagine, have six racers go head to head, it can be quite the spectacle. It also gets pretty technical, the cars are entirely adjustable. ... I told my friend Kyosuke who built this track he probably built the longest race track on SL."

I would later meet up with the builder, Kyosuke Yexil. He told me the first track didn't take long to make, "Only took a few hours to build the base, then worked on and off on aligning the textures." Back in 2006, the course was simpler than it was now, "back then though, the engine was very different, it could only move in two dimensions." Of the recent tracks over the wall and ceiling, Skywind told me, "We actually build a new track all the time." Someone else told me they try to make the tracks fill as much of the racing area as they can, "every couple months we build a new one."

Skywing mentioned, there was just one slight problem, smaller participation lately, "the game kinda has fallen out of popularity. ... I've been trying to setup a tournament, but we don't have any racers. We have three people interested, that's it. It's like the game is at it's peak and we got nobody that wants to participate (chuckle)."

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Before we parted ways, Skywind would send me a link to a Youtube of a race a few years ago.

Giving the vehicles and track a try myself, I found it quite a challenge. I turned off the music so I could hear the sound effects better, such as the whines of the engine and the rush of power boosts. I found AGRA to be a great and unique racing game in Second Life. Hopefully interest in the race course picks up soon.

Bixyl Shuftan