Diplomacy Island is the next step in over a decade of research and development in the field of Virtual Diplomacy. Through Second Life, Diplo will explore new possibilities for diplomatic representation and interaction. Diplomacy Island will also be another channel for Diplo’s main mission of assisting small and developing countries in participating meaningfully in international relations. At the Island, Diplo will also promote development issues among Second Life citizens.
What is Second Life?
Second Life ( SL) is an Internet-based virtual world which has substantially developed over the past year. More than five million users worldwide have registered to become part of this virtual world developed by Linden Lab.
The users, or Residents, interact with each other through mobile avatars, providing an advanced level of social network services. They can explore, meet other Residents, socialise, participate in educational and social activities both individually and in groups, and create and trade virtual property and services with one another.
The stated goal of Linden Lab was to create a world like the Metaverse described by Neal Stephenson in his novel Snow Crash. The Residents define Second Life – they create a world in which to communicate, interact, play and do business.
Second Life’s virtual currency is the Linden Dollar (Linden, or L$) and is exchangeable for US Dollars in the marketplace operated by/driven by residents, Linden Lab and real life companies.
More than 60 universities have established campuses in Second Life, alongsidemany companies and media houses. Some of these are Aarhus Business College of Denmark, Harvard University, Leeds Metropolitan University, New York University, Newcastle University, Sheffield Hallam University, Stanford University, the University of Edinburgh and Virginia Tech.
How to find us in Second Life
Your computer must meet these REQUIREMENTS or you may not be able to successfully participate in Second Life.
Address of Diplomacy Island in Second Life:
- from the Net: Diplomacy Island
- our SL “latitude/longitude” (if you are in SL) is: 150,191,26
Second Life Official Blog
Get the New Materials Viewer Today!
Linden Lab is excited to announce the release of the Materials Viewer! This Viewer will allow content creators to build objects using normal and specular maps and will allow users to view the effects of this new feature set. The end result is photorealistic textured objects inworld, such as the SL10B Bear Avatar, which will look even better with this Viewer.
We’ve prepared a video to demonstrate the effect of Materials inworld and show builders how to add normal and specular maps to their creations.
In order to view Materials, you will need to have a Viewer that supports this feature and have Advanced Lighting Model checked under your graphics options. Not all systems will support this option; please see the Materials FAQ for more information on whether or not it is supported on your system. Additional documentation, including case studies, can be found on the Good Building Practices wiki and the Content Creators Guide.
We’d like to extend our thanks to developers from Exodus, Firestorm, and Catznip for their contributions to this feature. We are very excited about the result!
SL10B News and Premium Gift Hunt
It’s hard to believe that we’re halfway through the month already - but we’re still in full party mode for Second Life’s 10th Birthday.
To start - there is an all new party pack available on the Marketplace, chock full of great celebration items including tasty treats, party favors and a bottle of the celebratory beverage of your choice. It’s free and only available until the end of the month - so get yours now.
Here is a quicklist of the other items available on the Marketplace. Get your goods before the month’s end - then they will be gone for good.
Starting today - Premium members can enjoy a grid-wide hunt with exclusives prizes. Not a Premium member but want to participate? It’s not too late - sign up for a Premium account, and you can join the hunt right away.
Magellan Linden has uncovered an evil scheme by mad Doctor Talpa, to build some form of mind-control machines and take over the world. Magellan is busy building a machine to counter this scheme, but in the meantime YOU are needed to gather materials and components -- and to destroy any of Talpa's machines you can find.
Get started now!
Second Life’s 10th Anniversary - The Celebrations Continue
The Second Life 10th Birthday celebrations kicked off with a bang last week - and there is plenty more to come.
To highlight just a few things that have been going on - here is your guide to ensure you get the maximum benefit of everything SL10B.
On the Marketplace we launched some SL10B exclusive items to commemorate the occasion. If you haven’t yet had a chance to get in on the fun, here are some things you may want to check out:
Already, nearly 7,500 Bear Avatars have been claimed on the Marketplace, and we’ve started to see some great snapshots being shared. Here are just a few that have been featured as Second Life Pics of the Day this week. Keep ‘em coming! We love it!
“SL10 Bear Coffee" , photo by Roudoudou Hirons
"This year linden bear, tell me I am a cutie!" , photo by Isanelli Anatine.
"Teddy Bear Picnic" , photo by Serena Snowfield.
Take your own Bear Avatar or other celebration snapshots and submit them the SL10B Snapshot Contest for a chance to win a homestead prize!
Submission have started to come in for the SL10B Category of the Destination Guide - for example check out SL10B By Us - an intersim event celebrating Second Life’s 10th Birthday.
You can submit your events for consideration to this category and look out for more community events.
There is more in store for the rest of the month - including the upcoming Premium members grid hunt, more limited special items, and the SL10B Community Celebration event that kicks off later this month, so continue to watch this space for the latest!
Celebrate a Decade of Second Life!
This month marks ten years since Second Life first opened to the public in June of 2003! We’re incredibly proud of Second Life’s success and longevity and we hope that all of you are too - it’s thanks to everyone who has made Second Life part of their lives over the past decade that we’ve reached this major milestone.
We’ve planned some special things to celebrate SL10B that we’ll be rolling out throughout the month - be sure to keep an eye on this blog to be kept up-to-date with the latest!
Commemorative SL10B Avatar
Starting today, you can get a free, special-edition SL10B avatar on the Marketplace. This avatar is made with some of the new Materials features and will look even better once that Materials Viewer launches (you can also check it out with the Materials Beta Viewer). Visit the SL10B Marketplace and get your commemorative avatar today - they’ll only be available until the end of June!
We’re also kicking off an SL10B Snapshot Contest! Start snapping your celebratory images and get ready to share. Top prize is free use of a homestead for four months, and second and third prizes are free use of a homestead for two months. Check out the rules and submit your entries here.
Watch Rodvik Linden on The Drax Files
On the occasion of Second Life’s tenth birthday, machinimist extraordinaire Draxtor Despres interviewed Linden Lab CEO Rod Humble (aka Rodvik Linden), for a special episode of the great video series The Drax Files: World Makers. Check out the episode here.
Join the Parties Inworld
Throughout June, there will be celebrations for Second Life’s tenth birthday (SL10B) all over the grid - thrown by DJs and event planners inworld. So that you can keep track of where the parties are at, we've launched an SL10B Category in the Destination Guide. If you have an SL10B event planned - there is still plenty of time to submit your entry; and check back frequently - we’ll be continually updating the Destination Guide as always.
From June 16 - 29, there will be a large community-organized celebration inworld as well. As with past Second Life birthday celebrations, you can expect great exhibits, music, and events. For more info, check out the SL10B Community Celebration website.
More to Come
Later this month, we’ll be kicking off a special grid-wide hunt with unique prizes, exclusively for Premium members. We’ll blog with more details soon, but if you want to get in on the fun, be sure that your Premium membership is up-to-date.
We’ll also be releasing some limited-edition gifts on the Marketplace and inworld. Some will be limited quantity - so stay tuned to find out when and where to get them!
There’s more coming to celebrate Second Life’s tenth birthday, so be sure to keep an eye on this blog for the latest.
Thanks again to everyone who has been a part of the last ten years in Second Life - we look forward to what is still to come!
Materials Beta Viewer Launches
Linden Lab is excited to announce the launch of the Materials Beta Viewer! This Viewer will allow content creators to build objects using normal and specular maps and will allow users to view the effects of this new feature set. The end result is photorealistic textured objects inworld.
Credit: Katana by June Dion
Normal maps provide modelling of fine scale surface textures at far lower cost (to performance and Land Impact) than the equivalent geometry, while Specular maps, along with advanced specularity controls, provide much richer control over how the surfaces of an object interact with all the light sources in a scene. Together, these new features provide creators in Second Life much greater ability to make detailed and responsive content appearance.
Setting any material property on an object will change the accounting method to the current accounting from the old count-the-prims accounting; in most cases, this will mean that you can get lower object cost for detailed or varied surfaces that would otherwise require more prims to create. It also means that Materials objects will have improved simulator performance and mesh object upload cost by decreasing the complexity of object geometry.
Credit: Jacket by Geenz Spad
A Collaborative Effort
This new set of features has been developed in collaboration with open source Viewer developers and content creators. New pages on how to best leverage these features and optimize the Land Impact of your creations are being published on the Good Building Practices wiki and the Content Creators Guide, and more will be added in the coming days by Second Life content creators and builders from Linden Lab.
Download the Beta Viewer from the official downloads page.
To see the new effects in this Beta Viewer, you must enable 'Advanced Lighting Model' in Preferences > Graphics > Advanced (this preference used to be called 'Lighting and Shadows', but actually controlled a wider range of rendering behavior, so the name has been changed).
Once we have squashed all the beta bugs (which you can file in the MATBUG JIRA project), we will be pushing the Materials Beta Viewer to Release. Check back here for updates!