Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Project Bento. Spread Your Wings.

Project Bento is now live on the grid.  After months of talk and beta testing, Bento is now available.
Bento is extensions of the standard SL avatar skeleton. Including 11 extra limb bones for wings, additional arms, or extra legs. 6 tail bones, 30 bones in the hands, 30 bones for facial expressions, 2 other new bones in the head for animating ears and 13 new attachment points associated with the new bones.
Mesh avatars came out in 2011 with much excitement and a lot of trial and error but that release has prepared us for Bento.  Why?  Most of us have worked hard on getting our shapes and skins perfected
and since the Bento is Omega compatible, many of your favorite skins and makeups can be used as well as your shape.
We tested several different brands using Bento from Lightstar to Catwa.  They all came with preset HUD choices such as skins, lashes, shine etc. and starter shapes that you can copy the slider spec's from your favorite shape.  When the Bento Mesh Head was added to pre-existing shapes, we found that the look was still somewhat different.  This is to accommodate the new "bones" for the facial animations.  Don't be surprised if you look slightly different with the Bento mesh heads then your regular mesh head. But since the Bento heads can be edited with the appearance sliders, you can easily get the right look.  There are empty slots in the HUD that you can add and save your favorite skins and makeup options.
The Bento Mesh heads also come with a facial animation HUD for basic expressions including talking but an additional HUD can be purchased for more advanced expressions.
The Bento hands work with an animation override so the individual finger's move as well as tails, ears, wings and other attachments.  Wings can be expanded or retracted with flapping movements when flying.  Bento animal avatar HUD's include realistic and random ear and tail movements among many animations.
Note:  System eyes will not work with the Bento Mesh Heads.  You need mesh eyes such as Ikon eyes.  A few of the heads we tried came with mesh eyes.  We had to do some tweaking to get the eyes right.  Zoom to the eyes and try the different animations to make sure they are correctly set in the sockets or the eye balls with stick out on some of the animations
You MUST have a Bento compatible viewer such as the latest Second Life Viewer release or Firestorm 5.0.1 to see the Bento mesh.  Also other's who do not have the latest viewer releases will not see you correctly.  As in just hair and a pair of eyes.
Also, It is very important that you try the demo's.  Not all Bento Mesh heads are alike.  Before buying, check that the Bento head is Omega compatible and then check that your favorite skin can be added to the Bento head via the Omega system.  This will save you time and frustration.
Be on the look out for innovative new creations using Bento such as attachable and ride able animals and shoulder pets, fairy wings, and full non human avatars.

Friday, December 9, 2016

More Prims!

Last year when ISL did a survey with 100 residents stating what they would like to see changed in SL, more prims was among the top answers. LL has heard you.

This week Linden Lab has rolled out the increased land impact for all regions,  What does this mean for you? For all of us that own full private regions, the prim allowance went from 15, 000 to 20, 000.    Response time is surprisingly fast.  For private region owners also have the option of increasing your prim allowance to 30,000 for an additional $30.00 USD maintenance fee. This is not an automatic upgrade.  Private region owners must request an upgrade by submitting a case through the support portal.  Go to the Second Life website, look under Land & Region then Land Impact Change Request.
 You can utilize these extra prims in several ways.  For instance, one of my regions is split into four 1/4 parcels.  With the prim increase to 20,000 prims that is 1,333 prims per parcel.  I could easily take that region and make 5 parcels now with each parcel having 4,000 prim allowance per parcel or I can increase the rent on the four parcels or simply say Merry Christmas renter's, extra prims!
I chose the 30,000 prims for the majority of my land holdings. One of my commercial regions is split into 14 rental parcels. In this case, it was easier to simply increase rent rates for the extra prims to cover the $30.00 extra maintenance fee.  Personally, I have not had any problem convincing my renters to pay a small increase in their rent for the extra prims.
I have a few of my older residential regions, that were my first privately owned sims and my first renters, that have been renting from me for years.  I sent a notice to each renter requesting a vote, giving them the option of the free 5,000 prims or a rent increase with an additional 15 000 prims.
They unanimously voted for the latter.

Prim allowance has always been the dark cloud above every resident that has ever owned a full region or even rented a 512 sq parcel.(which usually has a prim allowance of around 100 land impact)  This increases the value of your land, especially commercial sims.  More products displayed means more sells. Residential sims can add a few more parcels to rent, increase the rent or make your rental property's more attractive to potential renter's.  The SL reality business is very competitive, increasing your region's prims to 30,000 will give you an edge up on those who did not use this option.
Some region owner's are offering their renters the extra prims as an option with additional fee's to their rent cost.

If you rent a parcel from a privately owned region, you should contact the owner to inquire about how this change effects you as a renter.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

4th Annual Rock Your Rack Event

Support the National Breast Cancer Foundation through October 16th at this worthy and fun charity event.
Including 9 fashion shows, 4 tribute concerts with 9 live performers, 7 Sea's Fishing Tournaments, $10L Hunts and shopping with exclusive fashions from 62 of SL's best designers plus a silent auction, art exhibits and more.  Hit one of the official donation kiosks and give what you can. 
Use the link below for more information and schedules.

Friday, September 30, 2016

2016 ISL Media Award Winners

After months of research and careful consideration, The Innovative Second Life Group has chosen our 6 winners for the 2016 Media Awards.  We have awarded the #1 best magazines and webzines in SL.  The six categories are:

*Fashion & Lifestyle
*News & Events,
*Home & Garden
*Arts & Culture
*Adult Content
*Special Award-The Best Magazine in Second Life

Congratulations to all the winners!  Here is a list of our 6 winners and why they were chosen the #1 best in SL.

Arts & Culture:
Kultivate Magazine:
Formally Windlight Magazine, Kultivate covers the arts and culture in Second Life.  Excellent interview's with creators and artists and featuring some of the most beautiful photography in SL by many talented artists. The interviews are complete and entertaining and the articles are informative ,  Kultivate is not only a visually stunning magazine but also very well written and constructed

News & Events:
SL Newser
We chose the SL newser as the #1 news source because it is a well constructed webzine offering residents news about current events, innovative products, press releases and informative articles. Covering Second Life's current news and real life matters of concern that effect SL.

Fashion & Lifestyle:
Eclipse Magazine
Eclipse Magazine stood out as the #1 best fashion & lifestyle magazine because of it's excellent variety and content. Beautiful photography highlights the latest trends in fashion and accessories, but also features artists, businesses,  designers, current events and SL lifestyles. The photography and graphics are professional and well done.

Adult Content:
Playmates Magazine
There are more adult magazines in SL then any other.  We chose Playmates Magazine as the #1 best because it offers professional, quality photography that is tasteful and imaginative.  The articles are entertaining and informative covering current fashions, destinations and creator interviews.  The content is classy, not trashy. and very well done.

Home & Garden:
LTD Magazine
We chose LTD Magazine (Love to Decorate Magazine) as the #1 best source for home & garden content because it features the newest innovative products from the best designers in SL.  Beautiful, professional photo's highlight informative articles in this well constructed magazine.

The #1 Best Magazine in Second Life:
BOSL (The Best Of SL)
Superior page design and graphics, superb photography, well written articles about a variety of subjects, and outstanding content elevates BOSL above the rest.  Consistent excellence in every issue.  We unanimously voted BOSL the winner of the best magazine in SL award.

Monday, September 5, 2016

In Search of the Best Magazines In Second Life - ISL Media Awards

The judges for the 2016 Innovative Second Life Media Awards have been working hard to look through every publication in Second Life.  As professional writers, photographers, editors and publishers in real life, we are all tough critics.  As much as we appreciate the efforts of anyone undertaking the task of publishing a monthly magazine, we have been underwhelmed by many. We have seen some mediocre photography, poor editing, badly written articles, inconsistency and amateur graphic designs. We have also seen amazing talent.  There are more adult magazines, then any other in SL.  We are looking for classy adult magazines with creative photography and interesting and informative content. We have chose not to include magazine's containing hard pornography, Porn movie stills or content strictly covering the porn industry as they have a large community that conducts their own appropriate awards.  A close second are the fashion magazines.  We are looking for fashion magazines that cover current trends from popular designers, short descriptions of the pictured outfits with designer and store information and beautiful photography that shows off the outfit. We are not including store or designer magazines that focus on their own products.  After careful deliberation, we have posted the nominees for this years awards in a previous post.  We compiled a list of requirements that we are judging.  
**ISL's Criteria For An Outstanding Publication:
  • 1. Professional photography. is a must.  Most anyone can take a photo of a person or thing against a Second Life sim background.  We want to see some effort.  Photo Shop editing, unusual windlight settings, shading, shadows, use of advanced photography tools, etc.
  • 2. No repetitive photo's or content.  The same model, same background just different poses or angles page after page loses our interest fast.  Same with text such as stories, articles and interviews.  We do not want to read a novel.  We like informative content that has been summarized by highlighting major points of interest.
  • 3. No Incomplete information: If an article is featuring a fashion designer, product or destination, We want to know how long have they been established. Where can the product or service be found, who to contact and is it offered in-world as well as Marketplace and price ranges.
  • 4. Consistency: Monthly issues should be available each month without fail. Content and format should always be consistent.
  • 5. Advertisement Overload:  We understand that ad's are the only revenue for most magazines but no one enjoys looking at more ad's then content.
  • 6. Self Promotion: An introduction page or a note from the editor or owner is important to let the reader know about you, your vision and direction of your magazine.  But we don't need 10 pages of your opinions or your photo in every article.
  • 7. Professional Graphics. We are looking for original and creative page design.
  • 8. Dated Content:  We are looking for current news and events, new products and destinations.  We don't want to read an article about something that been written about in dozens of publications already.  Date your publication! Volume 12 does not tell us if it was published in 2006 or in 2015.
We are looking for the best of the best.  The #1 best magazines in Fashion & Lifestyle, News and Current Events, Arts & Culture, Music, Adult Entertainment and Home & Garden.


Creating A Magazine In Second Life

Are you an aspiring editor or publisher?  Have you been wanting to produce a magazine or webzine in SL?   Below are some points to help create a great SL magazine or webzine.

Planning Process,  Think About This First:
So you think you are creative or a good photographer and would like to publish a magazine in SL.
Unless you literally have 10-12 hours everyday to dedicate to creating your magazine, you can not produce a quality monthly magazine all by yourself.  6 years ago I was delusional enough to think I could create a great magazine focusing on current events, new products and the latest trends.  After all, I have been in the publishing industry since college in real life and have worked for several popular magazines. I worked my way up from a copywriter to my current editor position.
I purchased a Thinc publisher system and began my magazine layout.  I created an outline of what I would be writing about and titled each article and interview adding a short description of the articles points on a notepad then decided how I wanted to construct my content.  I opened Photo Shop and began, starting with my introduction page and table of contents.  It took me many long hours just to complete those two pages to my satisfaction.  Then I started taking photo's of the places and things I had planned to write about.  Hours setting up and shooting products and locations then many more hours in Photo Shop editing and enhancing each photo.  Then I began the page layout of my first article and started researching my topic, another huge amount of time.  Long story short, I had put in around 40 hours for the cover and only 6 pages of the 60 pages I had planned.

Consider These:
  •  It takes a substantial amount of start up funding.
  •  You will not see any profit for months and even years sometimes if at all.
  •  It takes a lot of passion and drive to construct a great magazine every month without being over whelmed and eventually burn out and quit.
  • You will need a well established magazine with a high rate of readers in order to sell ad space.
  • You need ad fee's to fund the magazine. Usually a magazines only revenue.
  • This is not something you can simply slap together each month.  It is a long and painstaking    process.
After you have considered all of the above and you still want to create a magazine, here are some important steps.

First Thing:
 Do your research!  Look through every publication in SL.  Those in-world as well as webzine's in programs such as Issuu.  Know your competition and take notes.

Getting Started:
There are several things to consider before starting a magazine in SL.  First and foremost, what kind of magazine are you wanting to create, what is the concept?  What topic's will you be covering?  Who is your target audience?
Once you have that established what kind of magazine you will be creating, you need to create the framework or design.  This is very important.  You want your magazine to be consistent every issue.  There is no set standard for a magazines' framework as you will notice in real life and SL magazine's but there are the basic's.
Design, structure and substance.
  • Cover
  • Introduction page - Introducing the reader's to your vision and what to expect.
  • Contribution Page - Acknowledgement or credits of writers, editors, photographers etc.
  • Table Of Contents Page
  • Body (articles)

Hiring A Team:
Ask any publisher in SL and they will tell you the most valuable part of their magazine is the creative team behind it.  It's hard to find good help in SL.  It is helpful if you have a notecard detailing job description and expectations ready to give applicants.  They should submit several samples of their work, how many hours per week they are in SL and if their schedule would prohibit them from meeting assigned deadlines.
Interview the applicant asking why they want the position.  It is easy to tell those who are passionate or just looking to make some extra cash doing what they think will be an easy job.  The difference between a photograph created with the love and passion for the art and a photo that was taken because they "had too", is like the difference in a chef and a busy mom throwing together boxed mac & cheese.
*Having a group of trusted and creative friends to co-own the magazine is an option.  There are drawbacks such as shared debts.getting paid, creative differences and pulling of weight. But if you have a group that shares your vision it can be a fun project that could lead to a business.
*There are some residents that may contribute to your magazine for exposure or simply because they truly enjoy writing or photography and those who are looking for recognition. Keep in mind, those donating their projects have nothing to lose by not coming through or meeting deadlines.
*There really isn't a set salary base for magazine employees since it depends on the amount and complexity of their contributions and whether they are full-time or freelance. Most magazines do not pay their writer's and photographer's, but offer exposure and recognition.  A paid staff may sometimes be more dependable but costly.  A real life standard for writer's is $1.00 USD per word.  In SL, however payment is usually by the page or photo or on a monthly salary basis for full-time employees.
An example from one popular magazine in SL who does pay their staff.  Writers submit assignments in notecard form for in-world publications or email for webzines.  They are paid $100L per article. Since some of their writers also shoot their own photo's, they also receive $100L per image used.
The graphic designer then takes the articles' notecard text and photographs and creates the page layout textures to upload to SL or the webzine.  He is paid a monthly salary of $1000L.
There are two owners' that split the remaining profit and all revenue is made from selling advertisement.

Creating Page Design:
You will need to do some grid work for your page layout.  You may have several different templates for each content subject.  These need to have textures that you can give to your writers or graphic designers to use each month to insure consistency in your publication.
  •  Heading - Should be large bold text.
  • Subheading - Bold, smaller text than the heading and creatively draws the reader's attention also called "The hook." 
  • Description Summary - The supporting points of the article.  Should be double spaced between the subheading and first sentence of the article. Should consist of a short paragraph.
  • Body of Article: The story or interview.
  • Conclusion: The last paragraph should sum up the point of the text written in the description paragraph summary.

Page Layout Sample 1

Page Layout Sample 2

When all your pages are finished and uploaded to SL.  You need to buy a publishing system in-world,
Thinc or IntelliBook are the most popular.  You will need blank magazines that can be used in the publisher system you bought.  These are no copy/transfer and can only be used once.  This is what the server reads.
Now you are ready to load your blank magazine or upload to Issuu.
Follow your wireframe that you created for the design of your magazine. 
After you have loaded every page, double check all pages before hitting the "publish" button.
The publishing system will load/copy your template magazine and give you the finished product which you can change the permissions to yes copy and transfer.  They are no modify.

All that is left to do is distribution and gaining readership.  Both Thinc and IntelliBook sell kiosks.  These work off a server and automatically update each kiosk that is rezzed inworld each time you reload the server system.  Each month you simply open the servers content's delete the cover texture and magazine from last month and drag the new cover texture and magazine into the contents tab and select "reload" from the pop up menu.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Second Life's Stand Up 2 Cancer 2016

This month starts the 3rd annual Stand Up 2 Cancer benefit concerts in SL.  The Second Life Music Community is once again holding a series of concerts to help fund cancer research.  Each venue will have official donation kiosks.  The kiosks are scripted to take both lindens and credit card donations.
All Linden donations will be split between three countries. USA, UK and Canada.  Credit card donations will go to the country that the credit card issued in.  Unlike many other charity organizations who spend portions of donations on celebrity endorsements, advertisement, employee salaries, etc, 100% of all donations to Stand Up 2 Cancer are used for research all over the word in finding a cure for cancer.

Find scheduled venues and performers on the on the SLMusic Races website here:

Check back often through the month of September as the schedule is subject to change.

For more information or to donate directly to the Stand Up 2 Cancer foundation, go to their official website here,

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Innovative Second Life 2016 Media Awards Nominees

    This month is the Innovative SL's 4th annual Magazine & Media Awards to show our appreciation for all the creative and entertaining magazines, webzines and newspapers in SL.
Innovative Second Life was created as a collaborative group of real life writers, journalist, publishers, authors and editors who have joined together to explore and share excellent experiences in SL.  As our real life careers naturally draw us to the many magazines and newspapers offered in SL, we have joined with other qualified judges and media groups to award the best magazines and newspapers in Second Life.  Through my years in Second Life, we have seen many magazines and periodicals come and go.  Some of our all time favorites are no longer in publication.  This year we have seen the end of several popular magazines and webzines but the beginnings of new ones.
We looked through dozens of publications the past few months and narrowed down our nominees for the 2016 awards.

The Innovative Second Life 2016 Awards Categories:
Fashion & Lifestyle
News & Current Events
Arts & Culture
Home & Garden
Adult Content

2016 Magazine, Webzine and Newspaper Nominees:
Eclipse Magazine
L'Hommes Magazine
Dope Magazine
Attention Magazine
SL Enquirer
New World Notes
SL Newser
Kultavate Magazine
rez Magazine
Nu Vibez
BOSL Magazine
LTD Magazine
SL Connoisseur Magazine
Brit-X Magazine
Playmates Magazine
Aroused Magazine

  Winner's will be announced September 30th.  Good luck to all of this years nominees!

New Improved SL Marketplace

Several months ago we reported about resident's most troublesome problems concerning SL's Marketplace.  Their search engine was the biggest complaint.  Type in say "apple" and everything from clothing, weapons to designer's that have the word apple in their names would show up.  Even choosing the correct category didn't help much.
Finally, after months in beta stage, the new and improved marketplace is up and running.  Linden Lab has updated the old infrastructure that was supporting search. "Part of the new search is a learning algorithm that will further improve search results with time - the more it’s used, the better it performs." 
You can now use words like "not" or "and" in the description to better your search.  LL claims that the new and improved infrastructure will be faster and more accurate for a better marketplace.  This is good news for both the resident shopper and merchants.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Gay Pride in Second Life

"Second Pride" is an organization formed in Second Life to bring the LGBT Community together and raise awareness to the issues the "gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender community faces each day in real life and the virtual world.
Second Pride was created not only to bring the LGBT community together but also to educate people about the fight for human rights.
The Second Pride group is led by an elected committee that works with Amnesty International and their "Outfront" project.  Amnesty International is not just a RL charity organization, but an organization that also has a presence in SL.  Amnesty International fights for human rights around the world.  Anyone can join the Second Pride group regardless of sexual orientation.  There are members who are not gay but are advocates of equality for everyone.
There are several LGBT community's in Second Life.  Boystown is one of the most popular spanning 11 regions.  Called the gay urban capital of SL, Boystown sims hosts a number of popular clubs and entertainment venues such as Skate Town, The Dude Ranch, DARKbar and Steamworkz, A men's only bath house to name a few as well as homes to rent.
Nylonia is a land for feminine girls & tigirls only. Nylonia offers shopping, beaches, clubs, pools, cafes and more.
Cedar Creek State Park is an all-male sim featuring outdoor activities all set in a mountainous state park setting. The sim offers inexpensive rental cottages, perfect for new comers to Second Life. There's also a night club and lots of weekly activities for residents and visitors. Come and visit the park and become part of the Cedar Creek experience.
Lost Paradise is an island for all who want a nice and romantic place. It's an adult island for gay, lesbian and straight with parties, a beach house, jazz, rock, ballrooms and many other options.
Adonis Heights is comprise of residential and commercial properties for LGBT Community.
EDEN is a dance club exclusively for women. There's also shops, a temple for meditation, a romantic area and a castle for more private moments.
The Gay Archipelago is an international region of Second Life consisting of 148 sims today which share traffic, conduct archipelago-wide events, and welcome LGBT newcomers to Second Life. The Gay Archipelago (GA) includes a variety of content, including business, shopping, entertainment, role playing, and services for the gay Second Life community. Linden Labs recently gave the Gay Archipelago its own region allowing it to expand and remain focused on and for the LGBT community.
The above mentioned are just a few of the many LBGT community's, clubs, stores and residential areas in Second Life.
June is  "Gay Pride Month" with activities and fund-raisers across the grid.  One of the most popular activities is the Pride Parade in London City. A colorful parade that runs through the streets of London City with daily events and live performers.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


If your web browser security TSL( Transport Layer Security) or also known as SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is using 1.0 or an earlier version, you will not be able to access the cashier to send, receive or exchange lindens $L's. You must update your browser to support 1.2 before June 15th, 2016.
If you are not sure what version of security your browser is using and want to see if it will support SL's cashier simply use this link below to find out.  This website automatically detects which version you are using and analyzes your TSL/SSL client and will let you know if it is up to date or if it's unsafe:

You will also need to use the latest version of the Second Life viewer or Firestorm 4.7.7.  If you use a different 3rd party viewer, check their website to insure that they support the new changes.

Why You Need To Update Your Web Browser & SL Viewer:
Updating your web browser and SL viewer will secure encryption protocol. Older versions will not support the ephemeral key cipher suites.  These protect against spyware programs.  Adversaries that gather large amounts of traffic and then use it to attack your computer.  Session ticket support is used to speed up encrypted communications between the client and server like your passwords and other private information without exposing it to spyware and other attackers that may be tapping your line.  The newest versions of the SL Viewer and Firestorm Viewer supports the updated TSL which the protocols provides a more secure HTTPS for internet transactions between the web browser and the SL servers thus making your cashier transaction and log in information more secure.

TSL/SSL is not automatically built into all browser nor does it automatically update on all browsers.
However, the TSL/SSL is implemented in all versions of Windows.
To be sure your browsers has TSL installed consider using one of these popular browsers:
Internet Explorer
MS Edge

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Making Money In Second Life

From 2006 to 2010, it was very possible to make pretty good money in SL.  Many creators were making enough $L's to actually quit their real life jobs and create in SL full time.  Shopping Malls were crowded and in-world stores flourished.  Land fee's were less expensive and buying sims, then dividing them and renting parcels was a cash cow.  Buying a sim and creating an ocean view or mountain view community with rental houses and group activities and adding a nice shopping mall, was a great way to make money back then.  The beaches houses were always occupied and the stores at the malls were all rented.  Most would make not only their land fee's but a good chunk of pocket change.  We saw a decline in sales by 2011.  Land fee's went up, buying lindens went up as well as Marktplace commission fees.  Sims were abandoned by the dozens and shopping malls became ghost towns.
For those of you that are new to SL and heard story's of it's glory days for merchants and want to start making real money in SL.  It can still be done, but don't quit your day job just yet.

Making Money in SL

Property Owner
In my opinion, buying whole sims on the cheap and renting parcels is still the best way to make money, especially if you buy multiple sims.  You must have investment money and terraforming experience.  Landscaping is very important. Dividing the sim so that each rental property has access to the water and a beach is my most popular rentals.  I include a nice beach house with deck and a dock on the beach which is optional.  If they want to rez their own house they can simply return the beach house to me.  Or you can quarter or halve the sim and rent them as is.  They won't sell themselves.  You have to advertise in everything you can.  In search, classifieds, groups, etc.

Content Creator
Depending on what you plan to create, you can make some serious money or just some extra spending money.  The marketplace is saturated with content ranging from excellent to "hmmm".
Mesh body's are a top seller.  One creator admitted to making over $1000 USD a week. Best advice is to learn Blender and other 3D/Mesh modeling programs.  You can learn how to script or create animations with programs such as Poser.  If you have the time and patience to learn and a creative mind, any of the above are great money makers.  Mesh houses and buildings are another big sales item.  Low prim mesh houses furnished with working kitchen, bathrooms, fireplaces, etc. are top sellers.  Clothing always sell's if it is well made, mesh with all appliers, and priced fairly.
Other content ideas are furniture and décor, swimming pools and Jacuzzi's or outdoor furniture and décor.  Vehicle's,  Lawn and garden items, beach décor and furnishings, club buildings and supplies.
Keep in mind that it's competitive, so it's important you create a high quality item that is low prim.  Just remember the best looking product with the lowest prims will always sell first regardless of price.  Most are willing to pay for a higher quality product.

Selling your Content, Animations or Scripts
You have two options.  Selling at a store in-world and selling on Marketplace.  If you own land such as a free 512 parcel with your premium membership, setting up a store is helpful if you can bring in the traffic.  But renting a large parcel for your store may have it's disadvantages.  Unless you can bring in traffic using a Midnight Madness board or giveaway chairs, etc.  You may not even make the tier fee's.  It will take time to build a group following to be able to bring in traffic with group discounts and promo sales.  Your better likely to be seen in a heavy traffic mall.  Renting a store is less expensive.  Make sure that the mall has "true" traffic.  Some malls also have a club that brings in traffic while the stores stay empty.
The Marketplace is where you will see the most sells.  Make sure you list it in the correct category and use as many applicable keywords as possible.  Photo's and vending textures need to look professional.  First impressions can make or break a sell.
* You must have "payment info on file" to open a marketplace store.
* You must follow content creators TOS
* You must list the maturity level of your item correctly. (Nudity, sex items, drugs, alcohol, even  
    cigarettes must be listed Adult or it will get flagged and removed"
* Be prepared, Linden Lab takes a %5 commission from every sell.

DJing or Performing in SL
If you have a large collection of music downloaded and an enthusiastic personality you can make good $L's as a DJ.  Tricks to success include building a following through a group. This is very important.  Send out group notices announcing all your gigs with LM's.  Play the musical genre according to the club or event.  For instance, rock and roll in a rock club, or popular hip hop in a hip hop club.  Make your tip jar large and visible.  Many tips go unpaid because the resident can't find the tip jar. Always take and play requests.  Sell yourself.  Go to clubs and music venues with high traffic and offer your services.  This goes for any group or sim that has occasional events.  Have a notecard and mention your following/group that will add traffic to their event.  I have a DJ friend that is generally booked for 4 events per day, back to back.  He does around $L4000-6000 tips on the average per set.  He has a large group, always sending group invites during his sets and includes his followers by announcing their presence at each show. "I want to thank Kim, Selma, Cherry, and Belinda for always coming to the shows and giving me something good to look at". "And Kyle, Jake, Noonan thanks bro's for always supporting me."

Live Performers:
You don't have to be the best singer, just a good one.  You can sing to tracks you have downloaded or play an instrument.  Just like with DJing you need a big following.  Once you have built up a large group, you can offer your performances to clubs and live music venues.  The bigger you are, the more you can charge.  I have seen a mediocre singer who had at least 20 group followers at every show.  He got booked a lot because of his following and the traffic he brings with him.  Besides a set fee for your live performances, you can also accept tips.

Making Spending Money or Pocket Change in SL
These jobs won't likely make you rich but with hard work they can give you a nice amount of SL spending money or maybe a little extra pocket change in RL.
Club host/hostess
Club manager
Public relations
Sim manager/real-estate manager
Resale affiliate (Resell store or Marketplace)
Graphic designer
Performer agent/manager
Ad agent/Marketing

Getting Your Lindens Turned Into Real Dollars
You must have payment on file.  Go to your dashboard online.  Choose "Manage" from the menu on your homepage. Then choose "Sell".  You will see where to put the amount of $L's you are wanting to sell though LindenX and what your profit is.  Press the Sell button.  You will have to put in your account password again.  After you have done that you will be taken to a page explaining how to process your money.  Click on the small link "Process Credit" and it will take you to a page that will ask you where you want your money sent.  Your options are, in a check through the mail, though a Paypal account or Skrill.  Paypal is the fastest way.  Once you have set up your paypal account, you will need to put in your log in information again for security.  LL will then send your money to your Paypal account.  This takes time.  You can look on "Process History" from your home page and it will show either "Processing" or complete.  It has taken up to 10 days for me to get money in my Paypal account.  Paypal however takes from 2-3 days to reach my bank account once I have transferred it.
It has always cost a flat fee of $1.00 for processing since I started SL, but as of April 5th, 2016, LL has changed it to %1.5 of the transaction value. With a minimum of $3.00 USD and a maximum of $15.00 USD.
# Note: As of April 5th 2016,  purchasing $L's increased from $0.10 cents to $0.30 cents per transaction.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Modeling in Second Life

There is a lot more to SL modeling then just having a nice looking avatar. Being able to take direction from the photographer and knowing how to adjust your avatar with a moments notice takes practice, organization and skill.  I sat in on one fashion photo shoot and was impressed with the technical aspects.  The photographer directed the model to look into the camera, then to look to the left.  To change clothing, then change hair, etc. "That shade of lipstick is too dark for that dress" and " With that outfit I need you to wear a hair style that is shorter but not an updo" I was amazed at how quickly the model could change her look and follow directions. I thought if it were me, I would still be digging through my inventory looking for the right hair and how do I force my eyes to move to the left or look straight at the camera.  Then I was invited to go behind the scenes of a fashion show and I was blown away at the amount of work that went into it.  I left with a tremendous amount of respect for the Second Life models.
Luckily there are modeling schools that can teach you everything you need to know to become a successful SL model. 

L'Amour Nexus University of Fashion is a high end modeling university, production and model management company that has an impressive curriculum of courses. From styling to runway walking and posing. And advanced classes that teach self branding, organization, creating an AO, editing your poses to your outfit and even photography and runway productions.
After graduation, you are added to the roster of models for L'Amour Model Agency if you chose to join.

I have copied part of L'Amour Nexus University's "Mission Statement" below that explains why L'Amour is more than just a modeling school.

 L'Amour Nexus University of Fashion (LNU) has a mission to develop each student to become the best they can be in the SL world of modeling.  We will  provide each student with the proper skills, resources and knowledge needed to enter the competitive world of SL modeling and much more.  LNU students will graduate with the necessary skills to manage, coach and be self-sufficient and self-reliable as part of any group being artistic and/or managerial.  We expect them to go out into the modeling world upholding all that this school stands for.  Expectations for them is to give 100% commitment, be honest, ethical, supportive, and to put forth their very best when representing our brand.
          We offer comprehensive programs with intuitive courses that are designed to accelerate the learning process with the guidance of a professional team of experts, who will work together to ensure that each student receives a well-rounded, thorough, and meaningful education.   We will always be there for each and every student.  This is a lifelong commitment not just through their course work with LNU, but as a supportive hand during their career.

For more information about L'Amour Nexus University of Fashion, contact Ava Jhamin CEO and Dean of Students. Or stop by their headquarter for an application and curriculum at

L'Amour Nexus University of Fashion and L'Amour Production Company

L'Amour's  Mr. and Miss Model International

The world of SL modeling is very competitive.  There are store models, runway models, fashion models and nude to semi nude models.  They pose for designer's vendors, fashion shows, blogs and magazines.  We interviewed two very successful models.  Lolly Starr - Fashion and runway model and Tatiana Alexandra - Fashion and nude model.

Lolly Starr- Fashion and Runway Model

ISL: What got you interested in fashion modeling and how long have you been doing it?
Lolly: " I was interested in modeling from the start.  I saw the beautiful models on vendor posters in clothing stores and when I went to my first fashion show, I knew that was what I wanted to do.  I attended and graduated for CWS modeling school in 2012 and they helped me book my first modeling job. I have been modeling ever since."

ISL: What are the challenges of fashion modeling?
Lolly: " Always updating your look to the latest trend and organizing your inventory."

ISL: Who have you modeled for?
Lolly: " I have worked for several modeling agencies like Elite, Magnum, Models Inc and Calla's.  I have modeled for a lot of designers. Redgrave, Coco, Scuderia, BabyDolls, Apple May, KoKo, Bella Couture, Alli&Ali and many others and have done fashion shows for Suta, Couture Co., House of Haute Couture, just to name a few."

ISL: What was your favorite fashion shoot or fashion show?
Lolly: "That's a hard question because I have had so many fun and exciting shoots and shows, but if I had to pick one it would be the Back To School fashion show for Couture Co.  The set was made to look like the inside of a classroom and instead of chairs, the audience was seated at school desks."


Tatiana Alexandra - Fashion and Adult Model

ISL:What got you interested in nude modeling and how long have you been doing it?
Tatiana: "I primarily started with Playmates Magazine when I was chosen for Playmate Of The Month July 2015."

ISL:What are the challenges of nude modeling compared to fashion modeling?
Tatiana: "Nude modeling is a bit more involved. Poses ,Lighting, interaction, body form where fashion modeling is more emphasis on clothes ,blogging etc."

ISL: What publications or media's have you modeled for?
Tatiana: "Playmates Magazine, Foxtails Magazine, Something New Poses, Unique Phaze , Pornstars & personal work on Flikr."

ISL: What was your favorite photo shoot?
Tatiana: "I would have to say my shoots with Ima & Playmates.  My favorite would have to be the Masquerade shoot and the Winter Shoot with ImaHotOne - Photographer. And the Playmate Of Month Shoot with Tommi Waydelich

ISL: Which do you prefer, fashion modeling or nude modeling and why?
Tatiana: " I prefer nude as its not limited creatively, fashion is fun but the focus is the clothes and not as much freedom."



If you are interested in modeling in any form, you need to go to a good modeling school, (we recommend L'Amour Nexus University of Fashion).  You have to invest in the top of the line skins,  hair, mesh body and avatar enhancements such as Slink Hands and Feet and be organized enough to be able to change hair, make-ups, poses, clothing quickly.  It is hard work, but with determination, you can be a top model and make some lindens or receive free clothing from fashion designers. 


Monday, March 28, 2016

Explore Second Life

One of our favorite SL activities is exploring new sims and destinations.  Our group members are often sent information from new sim owners, clubs, galleries, etc to write about in our blog and we love to go check out interesting destinations.  If you are a SL explorer and are looking for great places, your first stop should be "Expedition Central".
Expedition Central is an explorers club dedicated to seeking out cool new sims and sharing them with like-minded individuals.  Everybody is welcome --no exceptions.  There is an Expedition Central group, a clubhouse and a blog.  Join the group to receive weekly sim reviews.

In the clubhouse is a library of 132 interesting Second Life locations.  Each location is represented by an image.  Click an image to receive a landmark to that location, and occasionally a explanatory notecard or a free t-shirt or whatever we have for it.  The locations are constantly being updated

The clubhouse is shaped like a big beer can and has several floors.  There is a semitransparent platform halfway up so you can see all or most of the locations at once, a lounge/map room above that and a rooftop observation deck with hang gliding available!  There is also an orientation area up high.

You can right-click the teleporters or just fly straight up through the hole in the ceiling.  This is a flight-friendly facility, however we are at 3500 meters, so watch your step.  There are free flight feathers on the bottom floor, also free maps and free vehicles. 

The Expedition Central group is open enrollment and anyone can invite others into it.  There is a teleporter to the Chilbo Sandbox on the bottom floor of the museum. 

For more information please IM Cyrus Hush. Or use the link below to teleport in-world.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

ISL Fashion Awards Winners

All of the nominees are SL's top of the line designers.  Just to be nominated by our resident polls, says a lot about the popularity of these brands so they are all winners.  The last stage of our resident surveys and focus groups have been completed and the results are:

2016 Fashion Award Winners

Women's Everyday Casual
Pink Pearl

Women's Upscale Casual

Women's Urban Wear

Women's Formal Wear

Women's Intimate Apparel
Dirty Princess

Woman's Costumes

Women's Shoes

Women's Hair

Men's Everyday Casual

Men's Upscale Casual

Men's Urban Wear

Men's Formal Wear
Adam Edelstein Couture

Men's Costumes
The Forge

Men's Shoes

Men's Hair

Chop Zuey

Congratulations to all our winners!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Innovative Second Life 2016 Fashion Awards Introduction and Nominees

The Innovative Second Life Awards were designed to give recognition to all the innovative ideas and hard work from the talented creators in Second Life.  The past few months our group has been preparing for the 2016 Fashion Awards.  Our nominee list was compiled from resident surveys that were demographically focused.  Our responders were first given several screening questions for qualification purposes.  They had to be a resident for at least 2 years.  They had to have purchased at least 4 outfits or clothing items per month and could name 3 of their favorite stores or designers in 4 or more of the categories on the survey questionnaire.  They were directed not to answer any questions that did not directly pertain to them.  Respondents were given a small monetary compensation for their time.  The survey's were then tallied and the top brands were listed in no particular order up to 12 nominees per category.  We are in the process of round two of the surveys with respondents looking through the nominees Marketplace and/or In-World stores and choosing only one in each category. After those survey's are tallied and narrowed down, we will begin the final round of surveys with a focus group to determine the winner's. (Note: All spots are filled for this project.  Thank you to everyone who applied.  If you did not receive a survey folder, you will be contacted first for our next project)
This process was coordinated by a marketing research firm.  It is not a scientific approach to determining the best fashion designers in Second Life but it is a common method used in business to find out what consumers like.  If your favorite designer is not on the list, we apologize.  We did try to target residents from different communities, groups and lifestyles to represent.  However a survey is answered by opinion.  Respondent's were not screened for their advanced knowledge of fashion nor a measurement of their good taste. Simply what their preferred style was and did they love to shop.
While our Innovative Media and Publishers Awards are judged by qualified professionals, our fashion awards are judged by residents opinions.

The 2016 Fashion Award Nominees

Women's Everyday Casual Wear                       
Pink Pearl Designs
Dead Dollz
Gizza Creations
*CK* Crazy Kitty

Women's Upscale Casual Wear
Vero Modero
Sabre Style
Gizza Creations
Posh Pixels
Lapointe and Bastchild

Women's Urban Wear
Alter Ego
Cynful Clothing
Custom Inks

Women's Formal Wear
Wild Orchid Haute Couture
Le Forme
Valentina E. Couture
Kelini Haute Designs
Purple Moon
Sabre Style
Paisley Daisy

Women's Intimate Apparel
Mon Cheri
Juicy Lips
Dirty Princess
Wild Orchid
Black Lace
Le Forme
Big Beautiful Doll

Women's Costumes
Karu Karu
Dirty Princess
Costume Creations
Curio Obscura
Fetish Doll

Woman's Shoes
Candy Doll
Baby Monkey Shoes
Pure Poison

Men's Everyday Casual
SF Design
Dead Wool

Men's Upscale Casual
Kai Rau
Heth Haute Couture
Lapointe and Bastchild
::ZED:: Designs
Ruca Tease
Vero Modero

Men's Urban Wear
Dead Pool Fashions
Delirium Style
Legal Insanity
Deathrow Designs

Men's Formal Wear
::Zed:: EVK
Heth Haute Couture
Adam Edelstein Couture
Lotus and Lapointe
Lapointe and Bastchild

Men's Shoes
::ZED Designs

Men's Costumes
Dark Profit
Fallen Gods
The Forge
Costume Creations

Women's Hair
Anolog Dog
Wasabi Pill

Men's Hair
Action Hair
Redgrave and Dean Ashby
eDeLsToRe Hair

Chop Zuey
Alyssa Bijou
Zuri's Jewelry
Max Glossamer

Congratulations to all our nominees and good luck to you all.  Winners will be notified and posted mid-March.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Second Life Photography - Tips & Tricks For Great Photo's

There are great photographers in Second Life that have produced some of the most breathtaking and amazing photo's I have ever seen.   But even the most accomplished photographers started off as beginners with little or no knowledge of the tools and technics available in SL.  Below is a guideline to help you get started.  I have included both simple and advanced viewer tools, in-world photography HUDs and photo editing software tips.

Using the photography tools available within your viewer is the least expensive way to start.  To use some of the more advanced tools, you will need a computer with a good graphics card or you will experience extreme lag and crash.  Make sure your computer can handle the graphic heavy settings.
You don't need to run out and buy a new computer.  With a little knowledge, you can update your old computer for half the price by improving the CPU/GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) A few suggestions for good graphics cards are;  Radeon R9 290.  Nvidia GeForce GTX 680.  Radeon HD 6990. Nvidia GeForce 960
Or you can purchase a new computer that's specially made for gaming. 
For around $2000.00 you can buy the "Digital Storm" with an Intel Core I7-6700K processor, 8GB RAM with a Nvidia Geforce GTX 970 graphics card.
Or for around $600.00 - 700.00 you can get the "AlienWare" with an Intel Core i5, 8 GB Ram and a Nvidia Geforce 960 graphics card.

Even if you don't have the best computer, you can still take great photo's.  Explore different windlight settings with different effects. These can change your landscape from dark and mystic to a beautiful Monet painting. Then use your environmental settings.  Open and experiment with the sliders in your sun settings.  The best way to focus on a subject is by sitting or standing on a poseball or item, right click something in the center of the scene you want to photograph and choose zoom to selection.  Then you can move forward and back until you get the distance you want.  Hit the snapshot button and save the photo to your hard drive in your pictures folder.

Using your viewer tools
These instructions are for the Firestorm viewer but most can also be found in the SL viewer as well.
In your Preference tab go to Hardware Settings. Check Anisotropic, Enable Open GL Vertex Buffer Objects and enable Streamed UBOs.  Set the Antialiasing to 16x (you may need to set it lower depending on your computer specs) Then slide the Viewer Texture Memory Buffer (MB) to 512.

Then open your Graphics settings in preferences. Under "Render Quality" You see Low, Med, High and Ultra, slide all the way over to ultra (this is where a good graphics card comes in so you may crash using this setting)

Under "Shaders" check all fields except Field of Depth.  If you are taking landscape or outdoor photo's you need to check this, but if you are taking indoor or studio photo's leave it unchecked.
Under LOD Level of Distance, push all sliders all the way to the end. except Objects & Sculpts LOD.  This you may need to experiment with depending on your subject but a good place to start is 3.000.

Under "Shadows" Select Sun and Moon Projectors (This allows objects to cast a shadow or have shadows cast on the object.
Enabling "Ambient Occusion" will cause the darkening shadow effect.
Under "Avatar Rendering" check all.
Point lighting-Full
Terrain Default - check High

Open your "Advanced" drop down menu
Check all of these; Limit Select Distance, Disable Camera Restraints, High Res Snapshot, Show Develop Window and Quiet Snapshot to Disk.

When Lighting and Shadows are enabled you can go to your "Build Tools" using Texture Chooser and Light Chooser that creates projections so the light projects the selected texture.

Using an in-world photography tool
There are several on the market in SL.  There are studios with lighting options, background and pose options but they are limited. These have to be rezzed in order to use, but they are good for profile photo's or fashion shots.  The best option is an all in one photography tool.  The best of these is the LUMIPro.  It's a little pricy but it will seriously be the only photography tool you will ever need with automatic updates several times a year. With the LUMIPro, you can take photo's anywhere in SL, even places that don't allow rezzing object or scripts. Everything is controlled through an easy to use HUD.  With wearable lights and projector, you can move them around yourself or model to get just the right shading, lighting and shadows.  The wearable pose ball allows you to choose the poses and move your model around to where ever you want the shot. The Eye Gazer tool allows you to position your models eyes. The HUD offers many options from highlighting points, casting shadows, lighting color, soft focus and much more.  Customers rave about the LUMIPro and it won the SL Avi Choice Awards for the best photography tool in SL.

Using photo editing software
Photo Shop can do everything from casting shadows to subject enhancements.  It can fix any photography flaw and add some amazing photo effects.  It is also an expensive program and fairly complex to learn.  There are several free photo editing programs you can download that are easy to learn and have many of the same tools as Photo Shop.  Gimp is a free program that is easy to learn. Smooth jagged avatar lines with the smudge tool, blend in flaws, add a colored tint to a photo, shadows and lighting, saturation and contrast and more.
The saturation is how harsh the colors are in a photo, by lowing the saturation, you can even out the colors and eliminate harsh skin colors.
When a model has pointy elbows or other parts, use the smudge or blur tool to even it out.
Use the blur tool to even out face lines and under eye.
Use the Burn tool to brighten eyes or add darker lines to the model for subtle shading.

1st photo done with a windlight setting and sun settings.  2nd photo was enhanced with a red tone added in Gimp.  3rd photo was taken with LUMIPro.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Second Life 2 AKA "Sansar". Is this the end of Second Life?

There has been much talk and speculation about the new virtual world project that Linden Lab has been developing.  Many insider interviews were vague, simply stating that it will be a better and more advanced platform then Second Life.  From what we have researched, this new virtual world will be called "Sansar".  However, I don't believe this is the official name yet.

Here is what we have learned about Sansar.

 Sansar will not be Second Life 2.  It will be a totally different platform. LL is building a whole new rendering engine and advanced in-world tools for content creators with more options.

Sansar will be Oculus Rift compatable

Linden Lab's CEO, Ebby Altberg was quoted as saying in an interview with Derrick Schneider "“we’re turning the concept inside out and thinking of it as a platform. We want to make sure that every experience that creators make can be directly entered into from the outside world.” While you’ll still need to download a client, imagine going to a web page that goes in-depth on a given topic — Mayan temples, say — and then says, “here’s a VR experience that gives you another view” in the same way you might see an embedded video today. There will also be ways to find other experiences once you’re inside the ecosystem. “Consumers of the experience have a relationship with the creator,” he says, “but you can discover other experiences from there.”
“We want to lower the barrier of entry for VR experience creation,” said Ebbe Altberg, CEO of Linden Lab. “Project Sansar will do for virtual experiences what WordPress has done for the Web: empower a broad range of people to create with professional quality and reach global audiences. By greatly expanding who can create virtual experiences, Project Sansar will also extend the value of VR to a wide variety of use-cases — from gaming and entertainment to education, architecture, art, community-building, business meetings, healthcare, conferences, training, and more.”

Following that statement, some residents were concerned that Sansar will be a gaming platform where developers can create games without having to create an infrastructure needed for most MMO;s.

Another change is that all sales will be taxed.  This is a concern because creators will need to charge more for their products to cover taxes. Plus, it leaves to question how things like tip jars or donations will be taxed.   Where Second life made revenue through land sales, Sansar will make revenue through sales taxes.

It won't be a blank canvas like Second Life was.  SL began as an island with nothing but trees but as more residents joined, houses, building, parks, etc were built and more regions created.  LL has invited the "chosen" few creators and content partners will be invited to "test" and they will create content using Autodesk Maya Software and importing their content to the new platform.  They will add new content to the platform as the testing expands.  As I understand it, the "chosen few" will basically be dominating the market in Sansar before it's even open to the public.

Linden Lab claims that Sansar will be a social platform first and foremost.  They are selling it as the Word Press of virtual reality.  They aim to both democratise VR and make it much more diverse than if the future of the medium were decided by say, the games industry and Hollywood. They want Sansar open to not only PC's but mobiles and may other virtual reality devices such as PlayStation.  They want Sansar brought into the real world through social media's such as Facebook.

Avatars will be created using 3D scans of actual people, giving a more realistic look with the pixel resolution of the Oculus Rift.  They are also working on more advanced facial expressions.

Sansar promises to be lag free by creating a platform that supports more people at one time.

Many have ask why not just improve Second Life instead of creating Sansar.  And the answer is that it would be impossible. Sansar is a different platform that won't rely on multiple servers with limited space and coding.

With Sansar, LL is building their own version of a HTML5 virtual world which is basically web pages with 3D objects. They have already created "High Fidelity" in the same format that also uses HMD's such as Oculus Rift and hand controllers for movement, much like Wii games.

Does this mean the end of Second Life?
In our opinion, no. First off, the fact that creators have to use Maya or Blender outside of the platform means that only the most skilled creators will be making content.  Also, since only the chosen few will be creating or "testing" on the new platform, means that new residents will have to purchase everything from clothing to homes and property from the chosen few to start.  Also the sales tax will be factor with creators of smaller or less expensive objects.  The rumored $30.00 USD monthly fee will keep many from even coming to Sansar altogether.  There still is no word on whether SL inventory can be migrated into Sansar, which leads us to believe that it will not.
Where as LL promises advanced and easier to use building tools in Sansar, they will not be available at first so anyone trying out the new Sansar will be disappointed if they plan on creating and don't know Maya or Blender.  LL will introduce those tools in time but how many people will leave Sansar in the meantime?  It seems that all the Linden favorites such as those who have been involved in the early slim days and those who's creations and ideas have made LL very rich will be the only ones who will benefit from this new modern world. If they can pull of more realistic avatars that are better looking and have facial expressions.  They may have several SL residents that move over to Sansar but SL has well established clubs and hang-outs, friends and families.  Homesteads and sims that took months and years to build.  Where SL may see a slight decline in new residents due to the large advertisement campaign planned to launch Sansar, and may lose some residents to the new improved world.  I don't believe there will be nearly as many SL residents willing to leave SL for a few shiny baubles. Only time will tell.

We will keep our readers informed of new developments and news as soon as possible.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Second Life Addiction

Last week one of my sim managers left Second Life.  She explained that she needed to walk away from SL for awhile and was not sure if she would ever be back.  She was one of my best employees. I could always count on her to be online at any given time.  She spent around 16 hours a day on SL and it was affecting her real life.  When I asked her if it was possible to simply cut down on her SL time, she replied that she realized she had an addiction to SL.  Her story is not unique.  Back in 2009, Nikala Diamond, ISL's communications manager, wrote an article for a real life tech magazine about virtual world addictions, explaining that the lines between real life and a virtual world blur because our brains can't decipher between the two. "When you become a character in a virtual world, you become that character in the sense that you control the movements.  You see the items surrounding you in the virtual world as you see the items around you in real life.  For instance, if you have a table in front of you in real life, it's not much different then having a table in front of you in a virtual world.  When someone says something negative towards you in a virtual world, you feel the anger or hurt in real life.  Same with falling in love. Your heart beats fast and the butterflies in your stomach are real."
Most of us log onto Second Life to escape our real lives for awhile then leave our SL's behind when we log off and get on with real life, but for some people their second lives become their real life.  The main reason is that their SL's are far more glamorous and exciting then their real lives. One of the residents that Nikala profiled in her article admitted that he woke each morning and immediately logged into Second Life where his avatar was "sleeping" in his virtual home. He drank his coffee and ate breakfast in real life as his avatar did the same in SL. From that point on he merged his real life with SL.  Where his avatar dressed and went out to his D.J gigs, his real life ceased to exist.  He became his avatar.  In his real life, he was an obese man with heath problems that prevented him from working and he was limited physically but in SL, he was fit and handsome.  In real life, he had very few friends and was lonely, but in SL, he was popular and had a girlfriend.  In real life, he was on a fixed income and lived in a small apartment but in Second life, he lived in a mansion and drove a sports car.  He could do everything in SL that he could not do in real life. He said although he knew it was not healthy mentally or physically to sit at his computer all day and night living inside a virtual world, he felt justified in the fact that he was disabled and SL was allowing him to work, be social and find love.  He didn't think he had a "problem" until his computer quit working and he had a mental break down from not being able to log onto SL.  "I completely panicked, I cried and begged everyone I knew to help me get a new computer.  I didn't want to live if I couldn't live in SL.  SL was my life."  He explained, " That little melt down made me see  just how much SL had taken over my whole life and it really scared me.  I had no ambition in real life but I worked hard at my DJ jobs in SL.  Without a computer and SL, I was forced to sit and think about what I was doing with my life.  I had basically given up.  I got a job at a call center where I worked 6 hours a day and went back to building model ships as a hobby.  After 3 months away from SL, I was a afraid if I logged on that I wouldn't be able to control myself and go back to my old habits. I put a limit on how much time I would spend online and can actually separate my RL from my SL now.  I really enjoy being a DJ and I got back with my SL girlfriend, who is my best friend.  My SL is still more fun then RL but at least I have a real life now."
The Sign's That You Have A Problem:
Enjoying Second Life or loving being online as your avatar, does not mean you have a problem. Even if you are in-world daily for several hours this does not indicate addiction.  I remember when I first started building and was working on a project.  It was hard to stop building and log off for bed.  After work and taking care of business, I couldn't wait to log on to SL and finish my project. Also during my day at real life work I will occasionally think of an idea or product I would like to do in SL.  Does this make me addicted to SL? Not at all.  My real life comes first.  I live in real life.  Second Life is a hobby, my entertainment.
The first signs that you have a problem is ignoring real life or choosing Second Life over real life.  This is most common for those residents that work from home, have disabilities and are housebound and stay at home mothers/fathers. As well as those who are unemployed or living in the basement of their parents home. The more time you spend on Second Life, the easier it is to become addicted to it.
However, there are many residents that work a full-time job and spend every minute outside of work on SL.  If you stop doing household chores, don't call or visit friends and family as often and put off real life responsibilities in order to stay online, you may have a problem.  A good example is an essay published by a SL resident about her addiction and how if affected her life:
" I am married with three children. I was a stay at home mom because my husband did not want me to work.  I wasn't very happy in my real life. My husband was not attentive or romantic anymore and our love life was gone. He didn't even seem to notice me anymore and we didn't do anything together. He watched sports on TV while I went into the bedroom and logged on Second Life.  I had a great second life.  I had met a wonderful man who treated me like a princess.  He spoiled me with gifts and constant compliments.  He adored me and it felt really good.  We had the most amazing wedding.  Because my real life husband kept all the money, I didn't have many lindens outside the small amount I made from modeling and a small resell boutique I owned.  My SL husband gave me a very generous weekly allowance and bought me a sim and the house of my dreams as a wedding present.  Right after my rl husband left for work I logged into SL.  I would go shopping, decorate our home, hang out with my friends and when my SL husband logged in my heart would start beating.  I really loved him and we had the most fun together.  He was smart and funny and very adventurous.  There was never a boring moment when we were together.  I didn't want to log off SL ever.  I had the most wonderful life there and I hated having to leave it to go to my crappy real life.  As the months went on, I became more and more engrossed in SL. My day consisted of getting my kids off to school, then getting on SL. I stayed online all day and an hour before my husband got home I would rush around and do house chores, whip something out for dinner and get dressed.  After dinner, I logged back online and stayed there until sometimes 1-3 in the morning.  I spent very little time with my children, which made me feel guilty.  I fed them, spent a few minutes helping with homework and then set them down in front of the TV or video games and went back to SL. Then my SL husband said he wanted to start a family and we got pregnant with the tummy talker system. He would tell me how beautiful I looked pregnant and pampered me. Then we had our SL baby.  It was an emotional and joyful experience and I loved him even more.  We got a zooby baby and took care of our SL son.  We gave him all the zooby's gadgets and toys and took very good care of him.  In real life, I had 3 children that I was neglecting.
I had been married to my SL husband for over a year when we started discussing meeting in real life.  We had shared our real life stories. He knew I was in an unhappy marriage and he was divorced with 2 kids.  He asked me to leave my husband and move in with him with my 3 kids.  I began this fantasy in my mind of this great life I could have with him. I was honestly considering leaving my husband but was afraid that he would win custody of my children.  My wake up call came when I started noticing behavior changes in all 3 of my kids.  Their grades were slipping, my youngest started wetting the bed again and my oldest was acting out. Even as all this was going on, I couldn't  pull myself away from SL. I felt so guilty but I had no control.  My husband and I had a talk about our marriage and he suggested counseling and I agreed.  During those sessions, I came clean about my second life. In order to save my marriage and children, I had to leave SL altogether.  I deleted my account and I know that I can't ever go there again."
When The Addiction Becomes Dangerous:
If your online 8-16 hours everyday, there are several health risks involved including blood clots, dehydration, malnourishment, obesity, back and leg problems, bladder infections and more.  There are dozens of cases where someone has actually died from spending too much time playing video games.  Besides physical risks there are also mental dangers such as losing your grip with reality.
As, with the above story, the addiction can be dangerous to others as well. One of the worst of these examples is the story of the Oklahoma couple who neglected and starved their almost 3 year old daughter because they spent so much time in Second Life.  In 2013, Mark Knapp and Elizabeth Pester were arrested for child abuse and neglect when it was discovered that their almost 3 year old daughter had been nearly starved to death because her parents spent all their time on Second Life.  The child was found living in filthy conditions, she was wearing dirty clothes and was grossly unweight. While their daughter was being neglected, the couple were living it up in SL with a huge wedding, a homestead and jobs.
In 2012 Justin Koutrige won custody of his 2 children when it was discovered that his ex-wife had been forcing the children to stay outside for 8-10 hours a day so she could make money in SL as a voice escort. She admitted in court that she became addicted to the game, the attention and the easy money.
Steps To Take If You Think You Have A Problem:
The first step is recognizing that you have a problem. Are you spending too much time on SL?  Are you ignoring real life responsibilities to say online?  Depending on the degree of your addiction, the first thing you need to do is set a limit and stick to it.  Make real life plans such as visiting family, DYI home repairs, a hobby or anything you enjoy doing outside of SL. Confide in a friend or family member for support.  If needed, take a break from SL. It's even better if you take a break from your computer all together. No YouTube or Facebook posts.  Often these little breaks help remind you how much fun real life is. Snaps you back to reality.