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Mar. 25th, 2009


Promo photo for new Muse releases.

Larger size after the cutCollapse )

Mar. 24th, 2009

The Great SL Is Not A Game Debate

First off, let me state that all along I've considered myself to be playing a game whenever I was using SL for casual purposes. The reason? I spent most of my time outfitting my avatar and having fun while interacting with different social groups. Not really different from any other MMO I've played in terms of the social aspect, and as a whole it was actually easier at times to deal with the residents of such MMOs as L2. I've also never really given this much of my time, as it didn't really seem all that important. But I was surprised at the vehemence of several residents who began reacting violently to the use of "game" to describe SL, and even more so at the arguments they'd lobby - most illogical and way off-base - at players who didn't mind using that term at all.

I've discussed this at length with many of my closest friends and acquaintances from SL, and come up with a number of observations on the reasons some residents come up with to counter the "SL is a game" argument. I've listed those of them that some players have been browbeating people like myself with their opinions as to what SL should be called.

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My opinion? SL is what you make of it. It can be a game to some and another life to others. Go ahead and call it a virtual world/creative learning platform if you want, which it is, too. But that doesn't bar the use of "game," in the meaningful sense of the term, to describe it for some people who use it as such. One other disturbing thing I've observed is that far too many SLers keep sneering/looking down at gamers and other platforms, believing it to be utterly revolutionary in terms of virtual worlds.

From Cybertown's Overview:
  • A private 3D VR (virtual reality) home with your own personal chat, inbox, message board and free e-mail. You can invite your friends over to hang out, chat and party - all in full 3D!
  • The Cybertown shopping malls and Flea Markets where you can buy, sell or trade cool 3D objects for your home.
  • A Virtual Pet for your home.
  • Customizable bodies to use in the 3D worlds.
  • Ongoing Role-Playing Games.
  • Interesting Clubs with 3D Clubhouses to join or start your own.
  • Awesome movie theaters and music concerts.
  • The Black Sun Club where you can dance in 3D and listen to your favorite tunes.
  • Live events and celebrity chats.
  • The opportunity to get a virtual job, earn CityCash and become a respected citizen of a large intergalactic online community.

Sound familiar? This was all back in 1997, in a world which was based on Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash no less. The technology was primitive and the visuals extremely rough, but it was there. What SL offers us is a step up, but the concepts are not new, at all. What IS new is how mainstream and populous SL has become, and the degree of realism we can imbue in-game creations with.

So, these seem to be the core reasons/beliefs that drive people to vehemently protest SL being called a game:

Games are relatively unimportant and ranked with simple amusements. Calling SL a game implies that I'm wasting my time.

Calling SL a game implies that one treats his fellow players as game NPCs and implies a lack of respect to other people in it.

Both seem to be hasty assumptions, especially given that the magic of SL lies in how it can offer different people different experiences. Given that this is an age where gamers have become a majority, and the power games have in shaping popular culture and opinion (so much so that Rock the Vote facilitated Xbox voter registrations) it seems a little bit much to be infuriated that your favourite pastime's being called an online game. This could also be because much of the playerbase of SL is older and the concept of online games as bonding activities and "serious" leisure time is one that younger people have an easier time grasping.

So, please, don't demean gamers, people who play SL as a game, or other games or platforms in an attempt to make SL look better, more important, or to justify the use of your time on it. Playing it as a game does not imply a lack of respect for the players inside it. And don't forget to have fun...if that's what you came here for.

More reading:
A Second Look At Second Life

Mar. 5th, 2009

Tera, the Exiled Kingdom of Arborea

The developers working on L3 that quit from NCsoft have made their own MMORPG company and are planning to launch Tera soon.

I am looking forward to this and Blade & Soul this year.

Nov. 17th, 2008

Saint Seiya Pegasus fantasy (neoclassical version) by DEMIANG

/me :o at this guy's skills.

Nov. 12th, 2008

Olbermann Special Comment: Proposition 8

Aug. 20th, 2008

Medium Starch

Why you shouldn't pick on the old man at the Chinese laundry.

Aug. 6th, 2008

Hyung-Tae Kim for NCSoft's Blade & Soul

Simply one of the most stunning MMORPG titles yet to come.

May. 16th, 2008

Ethical Issues, IP Infringement and Content Theft


While I've been largely keeping out of the current mess involving SCD, Danae Kotsi and Minnu - I have no taste for drama, and it's only when I can't help but comment on the fracas that I do - I felt i had to write a personal post as this is an issue that people in SL have always felt strongly about. Having been a victim of theft myself, as well as an employee of Glam World, one might think that my emotions might be more conflicted on the issue than those of a more impartial observer who's never had to deal with this sort of crisis on a personal level. In a way I am more involved, but what this has done is to give me more room to evaluate my own behaviour and stance regarding IP infringement. I can say I'm embarrassed at the way I handled the first case in which my work was copied, but when it's your own work, emotions run high, and you tend to lose much of the objectivity that you might pride yourself in. When I was stolen from I can say almost all logic vanished in the blinding white light of extreme emotion, and I wasn't as much angry as shocked that someone would have the effrontery to do it. To my credit, I took great pains to ensure that I wasn't falsely accusing anyone, and asked for opinions and feedback from a community of my peers - fellow designers, not the fashion community, as I felt they would provide more objectivity than I might have been capable of at that moment. What I regret about it is ever airing any of it before it was resolved, though the dispute was settled in my favour with surprising speed, considering the difficulty of resolving such cases in SL. This is what I think affected parties should think about - although one feels that they have been grievously wronged, it is our obligation as ethical human beings to give the other party the benefit of the doubt, whoever they may be. Read more...Collapse )

Mar. 13th, 2008

Harry in the Hood

Feb. 20th, 2008

Your avatar in the metaverse, in the future

This link was posted to one of the designer groups I'm in, and there seems to be a lot of excitement over it these days:

Realxtend Features:
OGRE rendering
Particle effects
3D objects, lights and shadows
Responsive avatar controls
Web pages as textures
Desktop application sharing (VNC)
VOIP client and 3D audio rendering
Scriptable teleports between worlds
Second life compatibility mode for use in SL and Opensim worlds
Additive blending mode for objects and sprites
Improved quicktime video
Dynamic object grouping for rendering performance
Address field in client login screen to select world
MS SQL support for server performance
VOIP Server
Python scripting
Script controllable viewer HUD and UI
Script handlers for viewer mouse clicks and wheel
Scriptable events when avatar enters a trigger prim
Control avatar position and rotation from script
Sound support (preload and play)
3D mesh collisions
Web services integration to scripts
Server-wide inventory for world builder teams
Terrain texturing
Changeable skybox textures
UDP throttle start/min/max configuration
Support multiple media urls per region
New UI skin for the viewer

And to be launched on the 29th of February:
Free-form non-humanoid avatars
Global avatar mesh, skeleton, textures, attachments and animations
Single sign-on to multiple worlds for teleporting
Avatar generator
Avatar attachment tool to help set 3D meshes to different bones
Unlimited amount of attachments per bone
Teleports between realXtend and Secondlife
Avatar storage to move avatar appearance between realXtend grids/worlds
Mesh tool to scale and set pivot of 3d models
Server launcher and configuration application
Home automation example using X10 technology
Bot with Python scripting
Media library for world builders
Server status window

Their roadmapped features are exciting to read through as well.

A friend of mine who works in interoperability hazarded a guess that moving between grids will be seamless in around 4 years or so, but said that it'll be possible (but rough going) soon.

Feb. 15th, 2008

We Gots The Religion

Dear Livejournal,

I am violently opposed to advertising from sites like http://realtruth.org and note that they are pushing religious points of view under the pretext of writing ads for categories like Internet & Media/Computers and Technology. I would respectfully ask that such ads be filtered from our sites. I have been a paid customer on and off but I am rather offended by their use of your advertising service to promote religious conservatism.
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Jan. 14th, 2008

Muay Thai - The Contender Asia


Someone tell me when this airs in Europe/Aus please.

Client Tips and Windlight

I've updated the Optimising Windlight for Avatars tutorial because of the increased Ambient values in version 18.6.76116 (thank you WL team). For me this version produced some beautiful avatar shots for ads; all the recent Muse ads in the last release were shot using this updated preset, changing the East Angle of the sun around in the advanced sky editor and some local lights (either face lamps or ones I set down manually). In my opinion, minus the black bands in the sky and other glitches, it was aesthetically the best release to date; with a little tweaking and some local lights avatars had the added depth and realism similar to characters in many current, high-quality 3D videogame titles.Read more...Collapse )

Client Tips for Sales
It's been the season for sales since December, so I thought of putting up a few tips in order to make your shopping experience as painless as possible. Besides stripping down to the basics (primless clothing, no or low-prim hair and no shoes) and turning down all your graphics settings, there are a few steps that you can take:
Under the Client menu (enable the Debug menu with ctrl+alt+D) select Rendering>Types. You'll see a list of types that your client renders. Turn off the types superfluous to your shopping - Sky, Trees, Water, Clouds, Ground, Particles, Sound, Bump.

Most importantly, to cut down on client-side lag disable Character when you've reached a spot where you can cam-shop comfortably. You won't be able to see your avatar, but your client is spared the effort of rendering dozens of other people and their attachments, and you the effort of asking other people to remove their prims. You will have to turn this back on if you need to move around, but the benefit is worth it.

A few people have noted some increases in stability with the Windlight client; one of its features that probably helps a great deal is Avatar Impostors. If you move around a bit while shopping having this is indispensable for reducing client lag. For me, using Nicholaz EC-1a with an older WL version 18.6.75762, with graphics settings at their lowest, impostors on and certain rendering types disabled has proven the most stable setup for high-lag, crowded areas. I didn't crash once at the Last Call sale and I've used it for the runway at fashion shows.

Have a good week :)

Nov. 28th, 2007

Traveller IQ Challenge

Traveller Challenge

I suck at Africa/South America. Fun game though, good for refreshing your memory.

Nov. 24th, 2007


Some thoughts on avatar identity and style

The Orange series of panels on Identity sparked a brief and engaging conversation with another attendee whom I had the pleasure of meeting previously at a piano concert by Gideon Kappler - Lili Brink (for the non-SLers on my list...yes, Orange the cellphone provider). I'm used to being very enthusiastic, at least in one-on-one conversation, in discussing one of my favourite topics - the particulars of how people choose to represent themselves in online worlds (not necessarily graphical ones). In a continuation of the discussion Steve and I got delayed in Armidi when we momentarily forgot to walk in favour of musing on particular styles people choose to clothe their avatar in, and how, for the sake of logic or other purposes, it still never occurs to some to disassociate the real-world connotations of a certain visual style from its 3D in-world version, where it could potentially mean something entirely different, or nothing at all.

While some might have argued that cyberspace freed us from our bodies and gave us freedom over our identities, gender stereotypes and even national affiliations transfer into these virtual worlds where male and female bodies are equal and where real world nations don’t even exist. Perhaps the complications of our virtual identities derive from our insistence of embodiment in virtual worlds, and MMORPGs are showing us how easily real world privileges, affiliations and power structures transfer into virtual worlds.
- Nick Yee, Avatar and Identity http://www.nickyee.com/daedalus/gateway_identity.html
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Anyway, enough random rambling, off I go :)

Nov. 20th, 2007

Ed Alleyne-Johnson

Link for those who can't play the video from here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUO6kYLb6As

Extremely talented musician Ed Alleyne-Johnson, who plays electric violin. I discovered him through last.fm playing Lucia Micarelli's station, great stuff. This is without overdubbing.

"Busker and fiddler extraordinaire, Ed Alleyne-Johnson is best-known for his performances with New Model Army, although he has lately recorded a number of haunting albums on his own.

Born in Liverpool, he went on to Oxford University to study fine art, and began playing in the pubs and clubs around the area. Once he had completed his education, he took off for Europe with his home-made electric violin and all the paraphernalia needed to busk. During his travels he refined the style he had developed in England, which involved layering sounds one atop another. Fending off his critics, he said "It's continuing a tradition really. I've always thought people like Vivaldi and Bach, if digital delays had been around in their day, they'd have used them." Whether he is right or wrong, one thing is for certain - the 'soulless' technology he used produced a unique and haunting sound.

In 1989 he was approached by New Model Army to play on their single Vagabonds, and later on the album Thunder and Consolation. The five-year stint with the band took him all over the world, playing both violin and keyboards at some 500 concerts. He also recorded with the band on Impurity, Raw Melody Men and Living In The Rose, starting work on his own solo recording career in 1992.

In 1994 he teamed up with an old school friend, Denyze D'Arcy, who had lived at the other end of the street in his youth. While Ed was travelling the world, she had stayed in Liverpool, working with local bands and earning herself a reputation as a singer/songwriter. Although they had met before, when Denyze was playing saxophone at a school dance, this time it was for real. They married and settled in Liverpool, writing, recording and performing together. Although they still tour and play the big venues, Ed may still be seen where his roots are, playing to street audiences in his home town.

Playing Live

In the studio, Ed is an accomplished musician. Live, he is an superb performer - using a variety of effects pedals and creating layer upon layer of simple melodies, he gradually builds up haunting, ethereal pieces which build in depth to become so much greater than their components parts. He constructs a virtual orchestra, which shows many influences from chamber music onward. His first album has many elements drawn from Eastern European and North African sources, woven into a tapestry of hypnotic sound."

Edit: Apologies if this is showing up on the Fashion Planet feed, but I'm working on getting Tao Takashi to remove this blog and retain it only on Planet SL. Thanks. :)

Storm Constantine visits Second Life

Storm Constantine, author of the Wraeththu series of books and the Magravandias Chronicles, dropped by SL in a friendly visit to the Wraeththu roleplaying community in Second Life the other day.

From http://community.livejournal.com/raythoo/299074.html:

Forwarded message

Group Notice From: Sinji Itokawa

Sunday the 18th, tomorrow, sometime after 10am SLT (18:00 GMT), Storm Constantine will be visiting our project in Second Life. This is a huge honor for the community and I expect everyone to be themselves, and on their best behavior for this visit. Storm is visiting to tour our Quarter and get to know us...please do not pester her with IM's or question her incessantly. Lets make the Quarter a haven for her and a place she will want to come back too.


(Getting a second life identity is Free, any temporary vsitors will need directions from Sinji in order to find the Wraeththu Quarter on Pulse Island)

With a small group one could converse with Storm in a relaxed atmosphere, though I daresay everyone was nervous - she was friendly though and seemed very approachable :) She answered a few questions and talked about her inspiration and aims for the series, and asked us a few questions in turn about SL.

One of the resident hara (Yukio) had set up a beautiful avatar for Storm's use. I've replaced her avatar name so as to respect her privacy in SL. :)

Photos and Chat Log with StormCollapse )

I really do wish that I had the time to set up my own harish avatar, but I'm very busy as it is, so I may be doing that only much, much later. Thanks goes to Sinji for letting us attend this event!

Nov. 11th, 2007


A Farewell

As I sit here and try to sort through my thoughts to write on the loss of one of the most talented and well-loved designers in Second Life, I remember the first time I discovered Ginny Talamasca's work as a new and very green player in SL, around the time that Dazzle was having its first closing sale in September of 2006. I was fortunate enough to have learned of the sale by word of mouth, as I hadn't begun reading fashion blogs yet, and I was immensely happy that so many beautiful clothes had been made affordable for someone as new as me.

I didn't much wonder who the person behind it all was just yet, until a second chance came to buy the rest of the store's inventory, and Christmas rolled around; by that time I was well and truly hooked. Ginny must have been inundated with customer IMs but found time to help Steve out with his mistake in purchasing me one of the limited edition winter gowns, and his prompt and friendly service, as well as those releases that winter, made a loyal customer out of me. When Dazzle reopened as Last Call I was one of the eager and happy throng on the edges of the sim, waiting to rush in - that gaggle of Dazzle fanatics stampeding to get into the sim was probably one of the most humourous and memorable things I'd ever yet seen in SL. From then on new releases always seemed like a small gathering of familiar faces, and I came to look forward to them as part of a routine that brightened my week.

When Ginny spoke to me about my jewelry I felt greatly humbled and at a loss as to what to say - I had admired their work at Dazzle/LC for so long and never would have imagined that it would catch the eye of someone whose work I loved and whom I regarded with such respect. I've always felt I wasn't any more remarkable than the next person, but Ginny had a way of making one feel like they were special. Now I regret being so quiet and awkward, I had so many ideas I would have liked to share, but was too shy to put forward - and I just continued to wait and appreciate what work they had done, never realising that perhaps one day things would change.

I wrote my condolences but felt that I had to post this in acknowledgement of what this person has given us - inspiration, a standard to aspire to and a little more beauty to add colour to our SLives, as well as the kindnesses that will not be easily forgotten.

You will be missed.

Oct. 25th, 2007


Muse Updates: NY Gift Box

I feel very honored and pleased to be included in Iris Ophelia's "10 Second Life Fashion Designers Who Should Get Real" for New World Notes. Muse has been for the most part a labour of love, and it's gratifying to know that others appreciate the detail and effort that's gone into my designs. Thank you!

A Muse gift box is available for free at the Fashion Avenue sim for the premiere of the CSI:NY episode on CBS, with a limited edition variant of the Muse Classic Tank Watch in honey-coloured blonde croc, for both men and women, and a gold and freshwater pearl set of two necklaces, a bracelet and earrings. The gift box will be sent out early to the Muse Fine Jewelry group (to join, search for "Muse Fine Jewelry" in groups).


Muse's entire store inventory is now available on Onrez! View my listings at http://shop.onrez.com/Caliah_Lyon. Muse updates will now be posted to Muse Fine Jewelry on Wordpress. Please update your bookmarks; the LJ will continue to mirror the updates until the new blog is added to the Fashion Planet feed. Have a great week, everyone!

Virtual CSI:NY

Oct. 15th, 2007

Updates; the left brain/ right brain myth


Still working on my new location (at least, helping the builder along and doing some planning). I'm sorry if this has resulted in the noticeable lack of new releases, but I will try to make up for it as soon as I've gotten everything in order :)


I did some rooting around on the Left/Right Brain test because the dancer didn't wholly convince me of how it worked.
From http://scienceblogs.com/neurophilosophy/2007/10/the_left_brain_right_brain_myt.php :
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Sep. 30th, 2007


Avatar Highlights: Cyborg

I kept meaning to take photographs of my various avatars, but haven't really gotten around to it until now. This is one of my older avs that I acquired in January; when I went off to hunt for building inspiration, I dusted her off and took her out for a spin after six months or so of disuse :)

Got the Guns
Face 2

Avatar ProfileCollapse )

Sep. 11th, 2007


The Nerd Test

NerdTests.com says I"m an Uber Cool History / Lit Geek.  What are you?  Click here!

I already knew the history geek part, but I think I should have scored higher on sci-fi :P They didn't ask about certain fandoms...like manga, Asian film...*koff*

Aug. 25th, 2007


Year in Review

Today is my first ever rezday :) Although I'm not holding a party, I just wanted to muse a little and thank the people who've made this such an enjoyable journey. Thank you all for your words of inspiration, your encouragement, your advice, friendship and kindness.

Short Phrases in PicturesCollapse )

I joined Second Life in August 24 of last year thinking to use it as a platform for machinima, guessing that the graphics engine was too primitive to hold my interest for long. My machine was rather dated back then, and what I glimpsed of SL was far from impressive. Despite that, even on the very first day, there were intriguing hints of the possibilities that what creatives in such a medium were capable of. So I stuck around, exploring and learning very gradually, and continuing to be astonished at the surprising beauty and creativity that could be found within the world.

My first impressions of Second Life, a game review. Note that this was written about two days after I'd been in-world, as I didn't spend a great deal of time in SL due to my connection :)

I met stephen_bentham after only a week of play, in which all I did mostly was socialise. We became fast friends, practically inseparable as we explored the grid, and for the most part my SL experience has been with him. He and I have both undergone some rather interesting personal evolution together, and had enough amusing experiences for an SL lifetime. Though we've known each other for nearly a year, we were partnered only in June, as I'm rather stubborn about things like that :)

I didn't set out to be a designer, but it was a dream of mine after only a week in-world. Neither did I think I'd be doing jewellery until after I took an NCI class; only then did I realise I had a knack for working with tiny prims. After I graduated in January people started pressuring me to sell my work, so I relented. Enter Daydreamer Langway (great guy and one of my closest SL friends, practically a sib), and my first store in Imogen thanks to the kindness of the sim owner, Haver Cole. It was short-lived, however, as I was still dabbling and had no idea how to market myself. Meanwhile, I took some modelling opportunities for both photo and runway, and ran into Celebrity, who asked me to model for the February issue of Second Style. It was an eye opener on how I had to be more versatile as a model, and on the fact I needed more shoes >.< Modelling was always something I did almost purely for enjoyment, and I continued to do some runway shows and photo shoots, mostly for friends (I was never more excited about it as when I got the opportunity to model for Last Call).

Back then, Zatzai and company had an idea for the Second Convention. It was a great opportunity to become more involved in the fashion industry as well as learn the tricks of managing a show, and I met and got to know Lucas Lameth and several other designers, who have since become good friends. Luc graciously offered to host my work in his store (where it has stayed ever since) while I looked for another suitable location for my main boutique.

I moved to Linji a short time afterwards, and had my work cut out for me. Nevertheless I didn't really settle into the grind, but continued to play at a leisurely pace. I didn't want SL to become a place of obligations, though that has gradually changed, and I find myself enjoying each step as I develop myself as a designer. Creatively, I've begun to branch out, and have some surprises in store for when the Asian Designer Summit is done. I continue to encounter some very talented and great people, and am still a hopeless fashion addict, so it looks like my love affair with SL (or rather, my sphere in it) is far from over.

Muse can be found in the following locations:Collapse )

Aug. 22nd, 2007

A Bit More of the Ol' Personality Test

Since a couple of us were talking about this, here's a more in-depth personality test. I seem to vary between these two types (ENTP/INTP).

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Jul. 24th, 2007



I was pleasantly surprised by this when I was browsing the Planet SL feed:

Muse, as seen in Windlight, thanks to Torley:

The shots Torley has been posting using blogHUD are lovely. I'm hoping they tweak Windlight enough for it to be released soon - I'm looking forward to trying my hand at some pictures, though I don't seem to have a very good eye for taking pics of avatars.

Simone: Women at Work

My review of Simone's new businesswear line is here. I'm rather pleased with the result of these photos in my new skin (Jessica Pearl in Spoiled from Cake). I actually pigged out on the Jessica skins and bought three, though Steve went halfsies for me :3

Jun. 1st, 2007


The Cleansing of the Web, Or, The Conservatives Are Watching You

Just after the Six Apart/Livejournal debacle, Linden Lab merrily decided to join the fray and tossed this gem of a news post out on their blog:
Keeping Second Life Safe, Together

The diversity of things to see and do within Second Life is almost unimaginable, but our community has made it clear to us that certain types of content and activity are simply not acceptable in any form. Real-life images, avatar portrayals, and other depiction of sexual or lewd acts involving or appearing to involve children or minors; real-life images, avatar portrayals, and other depictions of sexual violence including rape, real-life images, avatar portrayals, and other depictions of extreme or graphic violence, and other broadly offensive content are never allowed or tolerated within Second Life.

Please help us to keep Second Life a safe and welcoming space by continuing to notify Linden Lab about locations in-world that are violating our Community Standards regarding broadly offensive and potentially illegal content. Our team monitors such notification 24-hours a day, seven-days a week. Individuals and groups promoting or providing such content and activities will be swiftly met with a variety of sanctions, including termination of accounts, closure of groups, removal of content, and loss of land. It’s up to all of us to make sure Second Life remains a safe and welcoming haven of creativity and social vision.

flaviusiulianus noted on second_lifers
I'm mystified....just when age verification was settling a bit, they go and pour jet fuel on the fire.

Couple this with what's going on with LJ this week and Myspace....I'm not a conspiracy theorist but even I have to wonder if there's some "morality police" who's decided to "clean up" web 2.0.

I'll make a recommendation: everyone who is concerned about this....do not buy Linden dollars until they change this. Boycott them by cutting off their money. I think that will help focus their attention.

At least Digg stood up and said they'd go down fighting.

This is a portrait in cowardice.
I replied:

I'm getting the same feeling of dread reading this.

And I think we should take a page from Digg and Livejournal and not stand for any more of this BS.

What they want to do is for the entire grid, international population included, to conform to some middle-America moral standard. I've always found it laughable that a bared nipple on national TV would cause more of a furor than a depiction of a man getting shot. And the latter wouldn't even qualify as "extreme or graphic violence."

Seriously LL should grow up. Where and how will you draw the line between a pair playing at BDSM and -real- sexual violence? Face it, other than the lack of a safeword, you can't. I refuse to stand around and have to suffer the consequences just because LL is caving in to the pressure from some self-appointed right-wing morality police to sanitise what should be a virtual world for mature adults. Okay, the crackdown on pedophilia is fine. But this?

Rather than making allowances for mature sims and areas with adult content, they have to go and make a blanket statement like this. What's next, nudity as a bannable offense? And why does LL never speak up on racially offensive organisations making their home in SL?

I'm torn between amusement and and a vague sense of horror.

What's next? Will Linden Lab cave in to pressure from groups from states where homosexual marriage is against the law? What about furries and nekos - would their private activities qualify as "bestiality" in the eyes of the uninformed and be the subject of another moral outcry from these right-wingers? Will BDSM products be banned altogether? Can we use the guns and swords we bought even in the privacy of our own homes, or use them at all? What is the future for gun and sword makers, if they make an rl living off selling their products?

This post, Linden Labs, has opened up a nasty can of worms. I'd hate to be in your shoes when your disgruntled users decide they've had enough.

Links of Interest:

Ashcroft vs. Free Speech Coalition

May. 31st, 2007


Fallout Hits Fandom, and 'Net Freedom Is Where?

What began as a rumour on how LJ would bend under pressure from internet vigilante groups ended in mass hysteria as a number of communities and users were deleted (2) Comms that espoused child pornography, bestiality and rape porn were included (good riddance) but LJ seems to have relied on the shotgun method of cleansing the communities and never bothered to verify whether they had more to do with the actual illegal activity beyond having interests that were "suspect". As a result, a comm for the discussion of Nabokov's Lolita was among those suspended, as well as fic and roleplaying journals, and those that dealt with such fetishes as ageplay (which, despite its connotations, is not illegal). Concerns have been voiced over the possible deletion of communities focused on Lolita/Elegant Gothic Lolita street fashion, as well.
We recognize that many people list these types of interests for shock value, as a method of expressing opposition for these illegal activities, or to indicate fictional activity. Unfortunately, the Abuse team does not have any discretion in these cases; if a journal profile contains interests that support illegal activity, we must suspend the journal.)

To be perfectly honest, I couldn't care less about the deleted communities, with the exception of the Nabokov comm. Kiddie slash isn't exactly my kind of thing. What worries me is that Livejournal apparently unleashed this on unsuspecting (innocent) bloggers without warning or care as to whether they were really in violation of TOS; after the age-verification fiasco that SL is looking to push after the German press' exposé on in-game child pornography and ageplay, it seems to me that the dark shadow of Censorship grows long over the intarwebs.
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*edit* This metaquote made me snerk.

Apr. 26th, 2007

Golden Compass Movie: Daemon

Taken from cugami's blog.

Your Daemon is Callum (a Tiger)

Modest, a leader, competitive, responsible and sociable.

Apr. 17th, 2007


VisualDNA Profile

Full Profile here:

Get one!

(Sorry I haven't been updating, but I've been busy yet again, and will get to posting on assorted thingies when I'm done with my next release.)

Apr. 3rd, 2007


The Queen of Myspace

From Fashion Emergency:

[22:35] Caliah Lyon: [22:30] Kendall Ellsworth: Ok, so this might be a harder request than usual.. but I'm trying to get my av. to look in the style of like.. a Christine Dolce (forbiddenxo myspace girl) and wanted to find shops that sell items to complete "that look"
[22:32] Caliah Lyon: Who the hell is Christine Dolce?
[22:33] Stephen Bentham: Proclaimed "The Queen of MySpace" by Vanity Fair Magazine and The Tyra Banks Show
[22:34] Caliah Lyon: Is it bad I know Keyra Agustina and not her?
[22:35] Caliah Lyon: I know the perfect ass!
[22:34] Caliah Lyon: And not the Queen of Myspace. I'm devastated.

Mar. 10th, 2007


Yellow Nascar

2:07] Caliah Lyon: The Tawa Supermarket chain is planning to open a 99 Ranch Market in a space vacated by Ralph's to meet the demand of a growing Asian population in the Inland Empire. Other chains plan to follow, but are being met with resistance by locals who, as a Cal State professor notes, fear the demise of their NASCAR loving culture.
[2:07] Caliah Lyon ...
[2:07] Caliah Lyon LAUGHS
[2:08] Stephen Bentham dies laughing
[2:08] Caliah Lyon: HAHHAHHHHAH
[2:08] Caliah Lyon: HAHAHHA
[2:08] Stephen Bentham: lmaoooooooooo
[2:08] Stephen Bentham: lkdshfklashdflds
[2:08] Caliah Lyon: AHHAHAHAH
[2:08] Caliah Lyon: TAKE THAT NASCAR
[2:08] Stephen Bentham convulses
[2:08] Stephen Bentham: That was my first thought
[2:08] Stephen Bentham: Ching Shih style
[2:08] Stephen Bentham: rofl
[2:08] Caliah Lyon HAHHAHA
[2:08] Caliah Lyon: that was soo funny
[2:09] Stephen Bentham: Next thing you know you'll see NASCAR teams sponsored by Chinese supermarket chains
[2:09] Stephen Bentham: The horror
[2:09] Caliah Lyon: HAHHAHAHA
[2:09] Stephen Bentham: Or Toyota
[2:09] Caliah Lyon: kiehkhdlhflskdhgs
[2:09] Caliah Lyon: ahuidhfilkg
[2:09] Stephen Bentham: lmaooooo
[2:09] Caliah Lyon: damn you
[2:09] Caliah Lyon is spasming
[2:09] Stephen Bentham: hahah
[2:09] Caliah Lyon dies
[2:09] Caliah Lyon: AHHAH
[2:09] Caliah Lyon jumps into the sea
[2:10] Stephen Bentham: I'd like to thank the number 38 Tawa Supermarket Chevy. It was handlin' real good out there today.
[2:10] Caliah Lyon: hahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
[2:10] Caliah Lyon: dkh;aoihdh
[2:10] Caliah Lyon: IXRGSDOe
[2:10] Stephen Bentham giggles madly
[2:11] Caliah Lyon: rhxt
[2:11] Caliah Lyon: Oh my god
[2:11] Caliah Lyon laughs
[2:11] Caliah Lyon: AHAHHAH
[2:11] Stephen Bentham: We went down a lap to the #45 Koala's March Dodge and I thought we had lost it, but...

Mar. 7th, 2007

Terminus Est

"Art had been lavished upon her, but it is the function of art to render attractive and significant those things that without it would not be so, and so art had nothing to give her. The words Terminus Est had been engraved upon her blade in curious and beautiful letters, and I had learned enough of ancient languages since leaving the Atrium of Time to know that they meant This Is The Line of Division."

Mar. 1st, 2007

The Book of the New Sun; some interesting art pieces

Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun is the series on my plate, now. The prose is deftly woven, lucid and concise, a pleasure to read for the author's cleverness with words and skillful narrative; while it lacks the gracefully descriptive lushness for which books like Kushiel's Dart are known and make reading fiction such an indulgence, it has a very distinctive style, at once unusual, yet in-depth and challenging. It tells the story of Severian, a man expelled from the torturer's guild in which he was raised for showing mercy to a prisoner he had fallen in love with, and his journeys in a decaying world set beneath the glow of a dying sun.

Why such a series went largely ignored or unread by most of the SF/fantasy-reading public even if it was highly lauded by SF authors and critics alike, I don't know. Neil Gaiman cites Wolfe as one of his influences.
We believe that we invent symbols. The truth is that they invent us; we are their creatures, shaped by their hard, defining edges. When soldiers take their oath they are given a coin, an asimi stamped with the profile of the Autarch. Their acceptance of that coin is their acceptance of the special duties and burdens of military life--they are soldiers from that moment, though they may know nothing of the management of arms. I did not know that then, but it is a profound mistake to believe that we must know of such things to be influenced by them, and in fact to believe so is to believe in the most debased and superstitious kind of magic. The would-be sorcerer alone has faith in the efficacy of pure knowledge; rational people know that things act of themselves or not at all. - The Shadow of the Torturer, Book One

Book of the New Sun "By stimulating the reader to reject primary assumptions and existing preconceptions, Wolfe not only lifts the reader onto a level of alertness that allows for his most subtle effects, but also reveals to the more cautious reader how they ascribe meaning to a text. This is, perhaps, the most fundamental factor in any claim that The Book of the New Sun is a 'masterwork': it encourages the growth of the reader towards what Jonathan Culler terms 'literary competence'....

...The Book of the New Sun does not invite the reader to marvel at how clever Wolfe can be, but to marvel at his or her own intelligence in perceiving one facet of the elaborate textual game the author plays. In this sense, Wolfe's tetralogy is a masterwork in that it can be read as a paraliterary fantasy but demands to be read as a comment upon, and a reaction to, such narratives. In effect, it is a coolly intellectual denunciation of passive reading practices, a clarion call to readers dulled by formula fiction."

Once out of print (I'd searched for this series long ago) The Book of the New Sun was republished in omnibus form as Shadow and Claw(books 1 and 2) and Sword and Citadel (books 3 and 4).

Highly recommended if you're looking for a set of books that require careful thought and a leisurely re-read or two.


Thought you guys, especially avad, might find this interesting: http://bathsheba.com./ It's the site of an SL player, Bathsheba Dorn, who had an av we couldn't readily identify (it looked like a stacked worm), but turned out to have some fascinating work on their own site.

Feb. 26th, 2007


On electric sheep and post-apocalyptic wastelands

Firstly, OT, from the ever engaging elysesewell:
The second time I wore it was to Christmas brunch with my family. As my great grandmother bent her head to say grace over her eggs Benedict, I began to regret the incredibly vain decision to break out the Gaultier and get all sexy on Christmas, of all days. Not only that, but the voice of God kept booming,"The baby Jesus can tell thou art commando under there."

I heard through the grapevine that CBS is the latest corporation to fall prey to the appeal of establishing themselves in Second Life, via the 7-million dollar deal that they signed with Electric Sheep, a virtual architecture and virtual world solutions provider that helps real-world companies create a presence in social 3d worlds such as Second Life. AOL, Sony BMG, Reuters, and NBC number among their clients in SL. This marks the beginning of a trend in which real-world brands will permeate and define virtual worlds as they do in meatspace; I simply see it as the next evolutionary step as virtual worlds begin to mirror real life more closely and are integrated into the average person's lifestyle as a medium of communication and a more mainstream form of entertainment. When advertising began to appear in games (such as Gran Turismo and NBA Live) there was a quite a bit of a fuss, if I recall correctly. Now it's nothing remarkable; the same will happen to virtual worlds.

After the event, I did plan on lazing around for a while, but being relaxed is greatly different from being indolent, and Caliah and indolence don't go well together. Even in games (that's why I had a crafter-spoiler pair in L2, eh).

So here's a list of things I wanted to do:

Clothing reviews, specifically outfits I have. Which I realise is a monumental task given the current size of my inventory, but should be done sometime ;)

Skin reviews. Although I think Linden Lifestyles has that covered very well, I want to feature the skins I like best, since I believe the makers deserve the attention for their work.

Notes on unusual and scenic sims. I'd like to include Midian, the Wastelands, etc. I seem to find all the great post-apocalyptic, dirty, run-down ones - they're sims with a characteristic gritty flavour. I need more "pretty" sims though, and it's hard to find ones that look as natural as the cyberpunk/post-apocalyptic/ghetto sims look grungy. A lot of them overdo it with the flowers I think :)

A line of punk/jrock accessories and jewelry. I have a name for it already...but no time to do it yet :)

Feb. 24th, 2007

Gaming Psyche

My results from The Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology at http://www.guildcafe.com/bartle.php:

Questionnaire Results

Based on your answers, you are AKSE.

Breakdown: Achiever 66.67%, Explorer 40.00%, Killer 53.33%, Socializer 40.00%

AKSE players like to be the best-of-the-best at everything the game has to offer. They like to be high on the ladders of whatever metrics the game uses, including PVP. They like the best gear, the most power, and they love being the 'first' at something. Their prowess in PVP is generally supported by a large degree of understanding and posession of the best equipment and skills.

The Bartle Test was originally designed for players of MUDs (multi-user dungeons) but continues to have applicability to virtual worlds of all kinds--especially MMORPGs. The test attempts to measure a player based on what they enjoy most about a game, based on four axes:

The Four Bartle Categories

  • People with high Achiever scores tend to prefer collecting points, levels, treasure and accomplishments that set them apart from other players--or simply present challenges.
  • People with high Explorer scores tend to enjoy finding all of the unique areas of the world, often enjoying the immersion of the experience. Finding a place with unique monsters and seeing what those monsters do is usually more fun for an Explorer than defeating the monsters themselves.
  • People with high Killer scores prefer the player-versus-player aspect of any game more than anything offered by the environment. They often relish the adrenaline and challenge of pitting themselves against real players.
  • People with high Socializer scores enjoy interacting with other people, forming organizations, and finding cooperative solutions to the challenges within the virtual world.

Not sure if this applies to me in SL, but otherwise it seems to fit my urges in other games..haha.

Jan. 21st, 2007

Body Language


Odd, but potentially enchanting, concept.

Deja Vu

(And a very belated Happy New Year to everyone, btw.)

So, after some cajoling from our clan leader (Russa) the Fallen Angels are together again for the opening of a new server. Incidentally all the old players of L2-Paradise are planning to play here, and it's a little nostalgic seeing so many familiar names. I'm not sure whether I feel like playing L2 again though. I've been tasked with representing the clan and dealing with the politics/clan relations. FB happens to be adminning the new server, so I'm not too eager about that either.

In SL, my char's going to open her own jewellery store, and has been working as store staff/runway and ad/photo spread model (no, not an escort/prostitute character :P). I've been spending my free time working on jewellery starting with the designs I made in a jewellery design class, which I found extremely fun but time-consuming. Been playing around with a few visual styles on the character, including classic punk (of the non-red tartan, torn fishnets variety), couture, Japanese mythology and just plain eclectic. There are quite a few professional and amateur photographers in SL who have been attempting to dabble in in-game photography, which is difficult given the limitations of what can be rendered in terms of light in the game, but it seems a lot of fun. I guess it has that Barbie doll dress-up appeal. Even if the meshes are messed up.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Aug. 28th, 2006

SecondLife First Impressions

Caliah says: Okay, since I'm aware I haven't posted any gaming reviews in a while (lack of English/Japanese betas I guess) I felt obligated to post on the popular American MMOG that's been getting so much press lately. My conn was being horrid all Friday and Saturday, so I had enough time to gather a bit of material on SL without actually being -on- it the majority of the time until Sunday came round.

Anshe at the Gates: A look at Second Life from the POV of commerce and personal enterprise.
Caliah on Second Life
The long and short of having a Second LifeCollapse )

The potential of this MMOG to foster communication and learning is boundless. Apparently the BBC and MTV have filmed concerts/videos in-game, and Harvard hosted a conference in SL to parallel a real-world conference just so others could attend without having to make the trip. According to the Guardian UK, at least fifty universities have purchased virtual land within the game to experiment with virtual worlds as a teaching tool. I can see that this would be extremely useful for use as a virtual classroom (imagine kids playing an MMOG in order to attend classes they might otherwise miss if they had to go there themselves...)

Musicians are given opportunities for airplay all over SecondLife, and there are a number of artistic and musical interest groups whose creations are on display in the gameworld (and are often used as the basis for real-world productions). People with disabilities (such as autism) are also well-represented unlike anywhere else I've seen MMO-wise, as the game appears to give them the freedom for self-expression, creativity and social interaction without real-world constraints.

The client is still a little unstable, but it may just be my machine (I actually started playing it on low-detail sans bump and texture maps, and will post new screens once I get my breath back from all the activities I've been swamped with).

It's worth a try for those looking for a leisurely way to spend their time, without the constraints of leveling and equipment. In fact I think MMOGs like this are perfect for more peaceful gamers who want to stay away from pvp as much as possible. And there are events, classes and parties every day; my avatar attended a debate on the morning-after pill, a modelling class (yes, fashion modelling, complete with runway practise) and various pool parties attended by very enthusiastic crowds.

Aug. 18th, 2006

[FIC] Chapter Excerpt: Demian

She had always been the fairer child, a slim young gamine with huge violet eyes and lucent skin, the lustrous silver hair that fell shining to her waist. Demian had both adored and envied her, the keen rivalry that existed between them serving only to sharpen his awareness of how they differed, fanning the jealousy that pricked his heart whenever she and her achievements seemed to outweigh all else he could accomplish.
Read more...Collapse )
copyright C. 2006

Aug. 9th, 2006

Learning curve

Poser 6 is one of the easier-to-learn 3d programs out there, but the models often require so many components that it's a bit of a chore gathering them off the web. Nevertheless I'm persevering and having a bit of fun doing test renders. I forgot to save a larger version of the small one.

Bit o" nudityCollapse )
It certainly feels better than Bryce, though the models tend to look a little strange in some joints and with certain settings.

Now for some clothes and materials x.x

*edit* If you guys saw the controversial pedo-loli-fest hosted by Koda Kumi (she of slut-pop fame) then you must've seen Jun Matsumoto...
He looks better now than he did in HYD live action. >.>

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