Saturday, December 26, 2015

Star Wars Tribute Events at Luskwood and the SLCS

By Bixyl Shuftan

Unless you've been on a deserted island, you've heard about the new "Star Wars" movie, "Episode Seven: The Force Awakens," having recently hit the theaters in December 18. It was descended upon by it's highly enthusiastical core fandom, and casual fans alike, giving it the biggest box office opening weekend of movie history.

Second Life had a few tribute events to celebrate the movie fans have been waiting years for. On Saturday December 19 at 6PM, Luskwood had a tribute event somewhere in space high above the Perry sim.

The place took on the look of an Imperial station's hangar, with it's dim lights and TIE fighters,"Oh we're in an imperial bay?" But there was no shortage of people dropping in.

DJ Dash (Shurikenangel) played the tunes for the event, "Let me know if you have any requests! Does not have to be just Star Wars!" Many were from the movies, such as the music from Jabba's den, "I dunno what George Lucas was smoking when he thought up this song." "This is a pretty nice wretched hive of scum and villainy, though." When it turned out that the music had been given the name "Jizz," it brought no shortage of snickers, "Pfffft!" "Unfortunate name." "Let's fill the room with jizz!" "Jizz Music... Damn you, George Lucas. (grin)"

But there were other tunes played, such as the theme to Mel Brooks sci-fi parody "Spaceballs." And when that started playing, so did the jokes, "I have a Mr Coffee/Mr Radar I can rez." "Y'know I work on security systems fairly often, and it's amazing how frequently the pin "1234" works (grin)." "Prepare ship for Ludicrous Speed! 

There was no shortage of Star Wars themed avatars, as well as outfits, such as this BB-8 droid avatar and Mandalorian armor.

Behind the DJ booth, Satch Flan had rezzed a few freebie Star Wars avatar and outfit vendors. Disney's owning of the trademark means no one else can legally make money off it without their okay, though fan-made items given out for free are another matter, "I always upvote protective gear."

One of the avatars was an "Imperial Critter," a mesh furry avatar in an Imperial uniform.  One vendor was for Stormtrooper armor, the folder in one's inventory simply called "Armor." A third was for a larger mesh furry avatar in modified Stormtrooper armor made for a digitgrade, the folder simply named "Trooper."

In the novels, the Empire was described as having a policy against non-humans due to the Emperor's prejudices. Though that didn't necessarily stop other races from serving in it's ranks, especially in lesser-known space, "Live long the Empire!"

Michi Lumin, pictured here, told everyone as the movie had just come out, anyone giving out spoilers would be booted out of the party, "Spoilers will get you kicked. I'm not joking." She did allow one Stat Wars spoiler to be shown, though. Satch joked, "Only thing I want to know, is Jar jar in the movie? And is he the Sith Lord (grin)."

A few came as Jedi with their trusty lightsabers, though since they couldn't actually cut anything here, "I guess I do have this goofy lightsabre glowstick."

Unlike some other sci-fi at it's start, "Star Wars" aliens were not just "humans with bumps." That's me in the center left as a Zehethbran smuggler, some interpretations of this race's appearance being skunklike. So the story universe fit quite nicely in mostly furred Luskwood. 

But the near humans weren't absent either, such as this T'welik lady.

With Trotsdale's close relationship with Luskwood, there were several ponies who showed up. One wondered how feasible it would be to make Stormtrooper armor for them. Someone joked they could always put white lacquer on a horse coat.

The next day on Sunday December 20, there was another Star Wars tribute event. This one was for the Relay for Life, organized by the Second Life Cheerleading Squad.

Jedis, Sith, Droids, Smugglers, and Bounty Hunters rejoice Star Wars is back. To honor this great occasion The SLCS Cheerleaders are having a Star Wars Party today to honor the opening of the Force Awakens. It will be a 12 hour concert with all sorts of Cantina Band Singers\ With a stellar presence, her voice sultry and smooth, Starrfish Ohmai is pure sweetness with a touch of fun.

The place high in space over the Cheertopia sim resembled a space station with a YT-1300 Correllian light freighter parked just outside. Though some cheerleaders joked to people dropping in, "Welcome to the Death Star."

The event would go on for several hours, with a number of DJs and live performers. The Newser has yet to find out how much has been raised, as I was at the event only briefly, but it was certainly in the thousands.

To core and casual Star Wars fans alike, "May the Force be with you."

Bixyl Shuftan

*Addition* Someone posted this link to a number of pictures also taken at the Luskwood party:

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Scenes From the Linden Snowball Fight

By Gemma Cleanslate and Bixyl Shuftan

 Monday December 21 was the day the Linden-Resident Snowball Fight took place. At 10 AM SL time at the Snowball Arena in the Winter Wonderland area, a number of Lindens, including the CEO of Linden Lab himself, Ebbe Linden, faced down numerous residents in a "Snowball Showdown."

 Come one - come all to the Snowball Arena for a friendly ice battle of epic proportions! We’re bringing back the Official Snowball Showdown - where you’re free to pelt your fellow Second Life Residents and Lindens with a bevy of sparkling snowballs!

 Gemma Cleanslate was there, and took a number of pictures of the event, saying it "was huge and fun. The snowballs had the capacity to toss everyone high in the air so bodies were flying. Lots of Lindens and Moles with avatars chasing them and vise versa."

Here, Ebbe Linden runs from a huge snowball. Gemma would write,  "Ebbe ran a lot!!"

 Pygar Bu of Bay City was among those there, harder to see with his white suit and white bunny hat.

One resident came dressed as the DC Comics superhero "The Flash." For those who don't know, this hero's arch-villain uses cold as a weapon. Looks like he decided to beat Captain Cold at his own game.

Ciaran Laval and Daniel Voyager would also write about the event, which was real freezy fun for all.

Pictures from Gemma Cleanslate

Dialogue from Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Memorial Dance for Rypanthian Abilene

By Bixyl Shuftan

On December 12, the Sunweaver community found out that one of their own, Rypanthian Abilene, known simply as "Panth" to friends, had passed away. He had died a couple days before without warning from a heart attack, and his brother had logged on to give his friends the bad news. For many, it was simply sad news. But for his partner Felina Fermi, it was devastating. The two had been partnered for ten years in Second Life, and she had known him online for a total of fifteen.

Yours truly knew Panth since 2008 when we were neighbors at a short-lived estate that lasted for just several weeks. Not many words were exchanged between he and I though as he let his partner and my friend Felina talk. She did some music around the time of her early years in Second Life, but was especially proud of her detailed houses, getting an article in JamesT Juno's Second Life Newspaper as "The Primmiest House in Second Life?" The place had a lot of little items, down to paper wads next to the trash can, and pet cats running/sleeping/playing about. They would once again make news, this time for the Newser, when Felina converted one room to a theater. But Panth never would say very much. He would just sit on the couch and cuddle with his partner. He and Felina were briefly part of a MLP roleplay, he taking on the role of "Big Mac," whose vocabulary tended to be limited to one word responses, "Yep" and "Nope."

While Panth may have been silent, he was the one who was paying for his and Felina's house. And his demise left her without means to pay for the place. In response, Nydia, who had called of her rezzday party in response to Panth's death, began organizing an event in her honor after Dusk Griswold suggested one. This one would cover the day and much of the night, going on Tuesday December 15 from Noon Second Life time to 8PM. The event would take place at Nydia's Happy Vixen beach club in Purrfection.

Today from Noon to 8 PM, we are going to be raising Lindens for Felina as we remember Panth and share our memories of him. We will always miss him, but he will live on in our hearts forever.

The normal tip jars were not used that day. Instead, residents were invited to contribute to a cube with pictures of Panth and Felina. The money would go to help pay for Felina's land tier.

Nydia and Dusk were among those DJing that day. Others did so as well, Tantari Kim did for a while with her set, narrating the tunes with texted lyrics and a few facts about the songs. Shockwave Yarreach entertained the crowd with a set that included a few parodies he himself came up with. Dusk Griswold did a number of classic rock tunes. Rose Redfoxx (Rose Evans) finished the set with more modern fare.

Quite a number showed up to at the event. Felina came, honored with all the attention, along with Tigerclaw, a mutual friend of both she and Panth. Nydia thought she counted thirty-one at the club at one point, though there were more as people dropped in as others left when real life called.

As the event went on, the donations kept coming in. These included 2,000 Linden dollars from Marusame Arai, and 5,000 Linden dollars from Kryxia Silverfall. Rita Mariner, the Sunweaver chieftess, announced Felina's next tier was considered paid in full, so the donations would go to the next month. But the donations kept coming. Near the end of the event, it was announced thirty thousand Lindens had been raised to help take care of Felina's tier.

But the money was only part of the story. The Sunweavers realize Rypanthian's departure leaves a hole in his partner Felina's life that can never truly ever be filled. But they could and did show they valued her as a friend, and there would always be a place for her her among them.

Rest in peace Rypanthian. Until we meet again, you'll be remembered.

Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Snowman Contest and the Holidays For Hope Ball

By Bixyl Shuftan

The Relay for Life Christmas Expo wasn't over until Monday. But Sunday December 13 was the high point of the festival. This was a day of events such as the conclusion of the snowman contest, and the Holidays for Hope Ball.

Those taking part in the contest paid a 500 Linden dollar fee, with cash prizes going to the winners. Voting was done by donating Lindens to the kiosk next to the entry you wanted. Some of the entries were fairly conventional, such as this one sitting down next to a Santa sack.

Would this guy be an "Ice Pirate?" Yo ho ho and a keg of rum.

This one was a tribute to the new "Star Wars" movie out.

And this one, either the builder was from the big city, or a "Calvin and Hobbes" fan.

"Welcome to Atlanta." Looks like this snowman didn't survive his trip.

That dalek isn't part of the display, but someone in an avatar. But he certainly gave a new angle to this entry.

Now this snowman looks downright creepy, something out of a Lovecraftian story. You don't want to end up "Alone in the Dark" with that.

And then there was this one. Cuddly Waffle called it, "very cute. This was a snowman who was taking a break from the cold and somehow managed not to melt!" Maybe he was on a beach in Alaska.

 I would later hear that this snowman, built by Thathy Slade, was the winner. Second place went to the green tentacled horror by Eclair Martinek. ArianaAstro Resident's snowman came in third. A total of 80,000 Linden dollars would be raised by the snowman contest.

Soon it was time for "the Grand Finale Event of the 2015 Christmas Expo," the Holidays for Hope Ball. This would be the sixth time this annual event had taken place. It would be held in a double ballroom.

The ballroom was created by Darkstone Aeon and the event was sponsored by T-1 Radio.

Dozens would show up at the event.

Formal attire was requested, though not a hard requirement.

There were two people in Santa outfits on the dance floor, one of whom was the one doing Santa duty at the Expo. Maybe one can call this scene "dueling Santas."

A fun time was had by all. Trader Whiplash would later announce the festival had raised over two million Linden dollars.

Congratulations To Nuala Maracas and the Expo Staff for a Job More than Well Done.. .. For an Expo that was not just a fund raising success but was a wonderful place to visit -AND- L$ 2,108,062 or $ 8,432.

And so, the 2015 Relay for Life Christmas Expo is now over. But the Relayers are not despairing. In a few months will be the the start of the official Relay for Life season. And once again, their fun-filled antics will resume.

Bixyl Shuftan