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Time Portals, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Time Portals, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The latest episode of Designing Worlds – when we explore Time Portals, the fascinating new region created by Jo Yardley (creator of the very popular 1920s Berlin Project) – is now on the web!

There are three portals already open – with a link to Berlin itself. Each portal has a distinct time and theme, although not so firmly structured as Berlin, which echoes a single year at the end of the Weimar Republic. The idea behind the time portals is to enjoy experiences of different periods, but also to shop or possibly live in a congenial environment.

Time Portals, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Time Portals, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

And, because this us created by Jo, there are plenty of places to gather for social intercourse and partying!

You can explore the Time Portals from the central location at: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Time%20Portal/128/128/1930

Time Portals, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Time Portals, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

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Rosehaven Estate, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Rosehaven Estate, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The latest episode of Designing Worlds – a visit to the the beautiful estate of Rosehaven, which has recently celebrated its tenth anniversary – is now on the web!

 

And if the name is a little unfamiliar to you, that’s because until recently, the estate was known as Winterfell, a name it took in 2006, long before a certain television programme had made the name widely known.

 

Rosehaven Estate, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Rosehaven Estate, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Rosehaven is a estate of mystery and romance, with some dark undertones as we discover when we take a look at builds old and new (including some new mews cottages), and discuss the different aspects of this lovely fantasy estate.  We talk to the estate owner Selena Anansi and visit some of the residents in their homes – including Elizabeth, the Duchess of Trikassi, Mr Podruly Peccable and our very own Wildstar Beaumont who was one of the very earliest residents of the estate!

 

Rosehaven Estate, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Rosehaven Estate, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

And we take several tours of the waterways to see some of the magnificent castles and other builds, as we discuss the importance of story in the lovely and magical Rosehaven.

Rosehaven Estate, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Rosehaven Estate, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

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Virtual Ability and Health Info Islands, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Virtual Ability and Health Info Islands, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The latest episode of Designing Worlds – a visit to the a visit to Virtual Ability estate, a nonprofit that has created online community of support for people with physical, mental, sensory, developmental, and emotional disabilities and their families, friends, and caregivers – is now on the web!

 

And a full transcript of the programme is available here.

We hear from Gentle Heron, one of the three founders of Virtual Ability, how the Iasland – and the nonprofit  – came to be founded, and something of the design principles that underlie the islands, making them accessible to many kinds of disabilities. And we’ll be learning how they support new residents coming in to Second Life too.

We take a look at Health Island and explore the reading rooms, libraries and displays of various kinds – and above all the Path of Support that offers links the the myriad organisations that have a Second Life presence for a wide range of conditions.

Health Info Island, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Health Info Island, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Then we visit some of the residential islands that form a part of Virtual Ability, and meet some of the residents there who talk about their experiences, together with Stepinwolf Darkstone, the Cape Heron Apartments Manager.

Finally, accompanied by Gentle Heron and Suellen Heartsong, we visit a fascinating – and very informative – research project that has been developed on Virtual Health Adventures with Virtual Ability supporting a research project on diabetic foot health – a really important issue for the growing number of people with diabetes.

Supported Housing on Cape Heron, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Supported Housing on Cape Heron, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

If you want to find out more about Virtual Ability, you can visit the website here: http://www.virtualability.org/
Or visit Virtual Ability Island here: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Virtual%20Ability/127/138/23
Orientation Center: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Virtual%20Ability/170/100/23
Consumer Health Library: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Healthinfo%20Island/109/128/24
Path of Support: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Healthinfo%20Island/150/66/23
Fenimore Art Museum: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Cape%20Able/131/125/23
Diabetic Foot Health: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Health%20Adventures%20I/148/216/25

Additional Website mentioned on the show:
Universal Design website — ncsu.edu/ncsu/design/cud

Virtual Ability Island, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Virtual Ability Island, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

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Christmas with the Urchins in New Babbage, photographed by Miss Bookworm Heinrichs

Christmas with the Urchins in New Babbage, photographed by Miss Bookworm Heinrichs

The latest episode of Designing Worlds – our Christmas Special in New Babbage– is now on the web!

This year’s Christmas show takes a slightly different format. Well-known Babbage personalities – and Mr Merlin and Miss Widdershins, of course! – will be telling two Christmas stories about the Babbage urchins at Christmas time. One is How the Urchins Stole Christmas, and the second is a sequel to what is probably the best loved New Babbage show, The Miracle of the Bells – which of course, contains the dreaded Book That Must Not Be Named.

And of course, there’s Mr Biggins (as you’ve never seen him before)!

Christmas with the Urchins in New Babbage, photographed by Miss Bookworm Heinrichs

Christmas with the Urchins in New Babbage, photographed by Miss Bookworm Heinrichs

Then there’s a very special Christmas song (composed by MacKnight Culdesac) to finish the show – all about the Steam Santa’s somewhat dour companion, the Boiler Elf.

Christmas with the Urchins in New Babbage, photographed by Miss Bookworm Heinrichs

Christmas with the Urchins in New Babbage, photographed by Miss Bookworm Heinrichs

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ROMA, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

ROMA, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The latest episode of Designing Worlds – a visit to the fascinating state of ROMA – and a taste of Roman life – is now on the web!

With the help of Melanippe of Themiscyra and Gaius Tiberius Curio (added, behind the scenes by Maali Beck), we explore this three region combination of roleplaying, education, residential accommodation and fabulous events – including chariot racing in the Hippodrome. Elrik gets to try that for himself, while Saffia joins the aristocrats to cheer him on!

ROMA, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

ROMA, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Starting at the entry point of the Customs House, we explore how people are introduced to this world with the add of specially created characters, and find out about a game that helps people to begin exploring ROMA. From there we pass on to the market, and take a hair-raising ride across the estate to the port where we learn about the navy, the army, and various educational exhibitions, including a fascinating reconstruction of a house at different periods of its existence, for part of ROMA was created by the University of Durham as part of the online component of a real life archaeological dig in Northern England.

ROMA, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

ROMA, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

After all this, there’s time to explore the Roman tombs before we finish at the aforesaid Hippodrome for a spectacular chariot race!

 

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The latest episode of Designing Worlds – a hosted discussion on the future of Second Life – is now on the web!

Saffia is joined by a range of well-known Second Life residents – Patch Linden, Linden Lab’s Senior Director of Product Operations; Jessica Lyon, the person behind the Firestorm browser and the Firestorm new users’ experience; Gentle Heron, of the nonprofit Virtual Ability; Jo Yardley of 1920s Berlin; and Cain Maven of Maven Homes and Quantum Luxury Homes, who was one of the organisers of this year’s Home and Garden Expo.

The discussion covers the recent innovations in Second Life, how we can move forward – and what innovations residents would like to see. We discuss questions from the audience too!

The Future of Second Life discussion, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The Future of Second Life discussion, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The importance of shows like this can be seen in the impact this show has already had. The Radegast Second Life text viewer played an important role for the blind community in using voice. It boasts an impressive set of speech to text and text to speech integrations and can be integrated with other devices such as braille screen readers. Sadly, Latif Kalifa, Radegast’s creator, passed away earlier this year and despite the code being open source, no-one had yet stepped forward to maintain it at a time when the Lab viewer is moving ahead in leaps and bounds, with the risk that non-maintained viewers and client might lose functionality. A significant effect was that Voice with Radegast was breaking down as it was failing to install the all important SLVoice extensions.

The Future of Second Life discussion, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The Future of Second Life discussion, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Beq Janus, who was filming the show, volunteered to help, and you can read here how Beq, working with Whirly Fizzle of Firestorm, was able to create two workarounds. Beq ended her account of how they achieved that with a plea to C# developers to find a way to have Radegast install the correct Voice extensions automatically, as a part of the client install process. Cinders Roxley, a TPV developer and open-source contributor to Linden Lab stepped forward – and you can read about the happy conclusion here.

The Future of Second Life discussion, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The Future of Second Life discussion, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

It all proves that residents can achieve an enormous amount to help each other with the right communication. And the show discusses how the Lab too is working to improve our experience (and ways in which it would be problematical – for example, why we are unlikely to have true mirrors).

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Horizons Info Island, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Horizons Info Island, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The latest episode of Designing Worlds – where we visit the new Horizons Experience, created by Linden Lab and the Moles – is now on the web!

Join us as we explore the info areas, the social areas and the residential locations – and then explore the games that lie at the heart of the regions.

We’re joined by Patch, Dee, Kona and Shaman Linden – as well as a number of the Moles, including Naughty, Garden, Abnor, Ancient, Magic and Squishy! And, I’m afraid, there’s an awful lot of Saffia being killed in various gruesome ways!

Horizons Gaming Experience, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Horizons Gaming Experience, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

And if you want to visit the Horizons Experience for yourself, you can start at the info islands here:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Horizons%20Dione/131/134/23 or here:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Horizons%20Supernova/136/130/23
Or explore the game region here: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Horizons%20A1/132/225/69

Horizons residentials, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Horizons residentials, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

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