High Fidelity Invests in Second Life

Great News!

Philip Rosedale Returns as Advisor, Along with Key Metaverse Assets to Help Fuel Growth

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 13, 2022 — High Fidelity announced today that it acquired an interest in Linden Research, Inc. (“Linden Lab”), the pioneering developer of the virtual world Second Life. The deal includes a cash investment and distributed computing patents. Members of High Fidelity’s metaverse team are joining the company, and Philip Rosedale, who is a founder of both companies, is also rejoining Second Life as a strategic advisor.

The transaction will help Second Life further scale its operations and strengthen its commitment to growing an innovative, inclusive, and diverse metaverse where its inhabitants’ ingenuity drives real-world value for themselves and others.

 

“No one has come close to building a virtual world like Second Life,” says Second Life founder and High Fidelity co-founder, Philip Rosedale. “Big Tech giving away VR headsets and building a metaverse on their ad-driven, behavior-modification platforms isn’t going to create a magical, single digital utopia for everyone. Second Life has managed to create both a positive, enriching experience for its residents — with room for millions more to join — and built a thriving subscription-based business at the same time. Virtual worlds don’t need to be dystopias.”

“Since Philip started Second Life in 1999, its visionary approach has not only stood the test of time, but positioned it for the future,” says Brad Oberwager, chairman of Linden Lab. “He and the High Fidelity team have unmatched experience and I can’t wait to capitalize on the vast opportunity in front of us.”

Now in its 19th year of operation, Second Life has had one of its strongest years ever with a growing user base and booming economy including an annual GDP of $650 million USD with 345 million transactions of virtual goods, real estate, and services. Over 2 billion user-generated assets exist inside Second Life with 8 million unique items sold on its Marketplace.

ABOUT HIGH FIDELITY

High Fidelity is a real-time communications company, whose mission is to build technologies that power more human experiences in today’s digital world. The company’s patented spatial audio technology, originally developed for its VR software platform, adds immersive high-quality, 3D audio that makes voices sound clearer and powers more natural conversations, like they’re together in a physical space. High Fidelity was co-founded by Philip Rosedale, creator of Second Life, Irena Heiberger, and Ryan Karpf. The company is backed by investors including Blockchain Capital, Breyer Capital, Galaxy Digital Ventures, GV, HTC, IDG Capital Partners, Kapor Capital, True Ventures and Vulcan Capital. Learn more at highfidelity.com.

ABOUT SECOND LIFE

Second Life, developed and operated by Linden Research, Inc., is the groundbreaking virtual world enjoyed by millions around the globe. First launched in 2003, Second Life has since gone on to boast nearly two billion user creations and a vibrant $650 million (USD) economy. Founded in 1999, Linden Lab creates social platforms and licensed money services that empower people to create, share, and benefit from virtual experiences. To learn more visit secondlife.com.

Hello (Again) to Second Life Founder Philip Rosedale


 

Lab Gab YouTube Thumbnail - Philip and Oberwolf.jpg

Have you heard the news? Second Life founder Philip Rosedale is back!

With today’s announcement about High Fidelity’s investment in Linden Lab, we’re excited to welcome back Philip Rosedale in the all-new role as Second Life strategic advisor. Philip is a recognized metaverse pioneer who led the early days of Second Life to help form and inform the now-mainstream concepts of virtual economies, cultures, and communities. In his new role, he will bring his vast virtual world experience and vision to help shape the future of Second Life. 

Philip will be joined by Linden Lab executive chairman Brad Oberwager in an exclusive “Lab Gab” community Q&A in the next couple of weeks – and we want your questions! To submit your questions in advance for consideration by both Linden Lab’s executive chairman and the Internet’s original metaverse pioneer, please use this form no later than midnight (Pacific) at the end of Sunday, Jan. 16.

This special edition of “Lab Gab” will be streamed on our socials in late January – so stay tuned to this blog and follow our social channels for more information!

Welcome Back Philip! Finally Great News From The Lab.

Have A Great Weekend From All Of Us At Zoha Islands And Fruit Islands…

 

Metaverse Predictions for 2022

New World Notes Metaverse Predictions for 2022: Likely Partnerships / Acquisitions, VR Headset Sales, Scandals & Much More

New World Notes

VRCreativity vs Rec Room

Better publish them now before we get even deeper into 2022:

Apple will not announce AR/VR products this year.

I still fail to see why Apple would risk its brand on a still-niche product as yet. Also, look at the lame prototype.

Second Life finally gets an official mobile app.

Risky prediction, given a previous SL app project was put on pause last year — but that was also when a new mobile project was strongly hinted at.

Quest 2 Install Base Remains Under 20 Million in 2022

We’ll likely see relatively strong holiday 2021 sales in upcoming earnings reports, but I’m assuming we went into 2022 with a Quest 2 install base of about 6-8 million total, and that the holiday sales brought in 6-8 million more.  

There will be major government involvement over one or more Metaverse platforms.

Since we keep reading stories like this, and most Metaverse platforms are used by children and teens, the chances keep increasing that Metaverse execs will be forced to testify before Congress (or an EU governing body).

Several more after the break!

VRChat or Rec Room will be acquired or partner with a major tech company.

I’d put odds on it being Rec Room, with the likeliest suitor being Microsoft. 

There will be a major scandal or controversy around one of the blockchain/NFT-oriented Metaverse platforms.

With NFTs beset by scams and NFT/blockchain-oriented Metaverse platforms seeing low user numbers but extremely high investment and speculation, this is only a matter of time.  

Linden Lab spinoff startup Tilia to announce major funding or partnership.

The success of Tilia-powered Upland, not to mention the need for a reliable payment provider that can deal with virtual and real currency, means we’re likely to read less about Linden Lab’s Second Life, and more about Linden Lab’s Tilia.

Valve/Steam will announce its own Metaverse product.

When it comes to the Metaverse, Valve remains the dog that doesn’t bark — but can, and should, if it wants to rule this market.

NWN 2021 predictions were 7 out of 10 correct (or 6 of 10 if you’re feeling less generous), so let’s see how I do this year.

Have A Great Week From All Of Us At Zoha Islands And Fruit Islands

Does Your Internet Router Auto-Update? (it should…)

Today I’ll tell you what I think is the MOST important security feature that your Internet router should have. “Self-updating” is the basement floor of my house of router standards. I can’t imagine using Windows without automatic security updates, and keeping a router’s operating system patched is no less critical. Read on for my recommendations on secure, self-updating routers…

 
 

Best Security-Minded Home Routers

Do you know the last time you updated your router’s firmware? Unless you have one that automatically updates itself, you’re probably vulnerable to a few dozen security issues. A recent router security study focusing on Wi-Fi routers from nine well-known manufacturers found over 200 potential security vulnerabilities. “All devices showed significant security vulnerabilities that could make a hacker’s life much easier,” said Florian Lukavsky, CTO of IoT Inspector.

A complete discussion of router security should identify a number of secure routers by make and model. The routers mentioned below are not the only secure routers on the market, but they meet important standards for being considered more secure than the run-of-the-mill home router. If you’re not certain a router can update itself, check specs and reviews. If you don’t get a straight answer, pass on that router.

I say self-updating is a deal maker or breaker knowing full well that a botched router update can make even the “smartest” device as dumb as a brick. That happened in August 2017, when smart lock maker, Locksafe, pushed the wrong update to its RemoteLock L6i devices; hundreds of those $470 locks lost the remote lock/unlock feature that prompted AirBnB to recommend it to hosts. Even worse, the locks could not be repaired remotely, but had to be mailed back and forth; until it was fixed, an L6i was just another deadbolt lock.

ASUS RT-AC5300 self-updating router

Router self-updating needs the ability to roll back a botched patch. (See this article on how to rescue from a failed firmware update.) I have not seen any articles concerning router update problems in the past few years, but I regularly see headlines along the lines of “Millions of routers need security updates right away!” Botched patches are much rarer than router security vulnerabilities or attacks upon them, so I’ll go with self-updating. Let’s take a brief tour of some good quality self-updating routers.

The Asus AX-6000 router (pictured above) might scare away hackers just with its intimidating design. It has an exceptional range and Asus AI Protection, a cloud-based router security service pioneered and operated by security firm Trend Micro. The AX-6000 offers commercial-grade security but is Certified for Humans, meaning setup is made easy for non-experts. Retail price is $349.99, currently on sale at Amazon for $259.99 with free Prime shipping.

Google Wi-Fi is another self-updating router. This is a mesh network router system. It is sold in bundles of 3 small devices that can be placed anywhere in a home, like sachets of potpourri. Each device automatically connects to others in its range, creating a resilient “mesh” of access points that can grow in any direction, providing a coverage surface up to 4500 square feet. Parental controls let set screen time limits, restrict adult content, and pause Wifi to specific devices so your teenage kids can get to sleep before 3am. Retail price is $199.99, currently on sale at Amazon for $177.

The Linksys WRT3200ACM Dual-Band Open Source Routersare self-updating. The OpenWRT open-source firmware on this model is certified for MacOS (10.X or higher) and Windows (7, 8 and 10), and is a favorite of techies who want more flexibility to customize or optimize certain networking functions. In addition to providing WiFi to your desktop, laptop or mobile gadgets, the WRT3200 can connect to eSATA and USB hard drives, network printers, and flash drives. The Linksys Smart Wi-Fi app allows you to monitor and control your network from a mobile device. On sale at Amazon for $229.99.

Other self-updating network router systems include Eero, Luma, Synology, and the Linksys Velop line.

A Patch In Time Saves Bacon

Whatever router manufacturer you prefer, you should check to see how seriously it takes security. One way to do that is to visit the manufacturer’s web site and try to find evidence of past security issues. There should be at least 2-3 firmware updates (sometimes called “patch kits”) per year. Some of the above routers automatically update on a NIGHTLY basis. Likewise, security bulletins and whitepapers should be fresh, not a decade old.

Be prepared to spend a bit more for security. Good programmers, prompt patches as vulnerabilities are discovered, and a mature, reliable self-updating routine are all essential today. Such things cost money, but they may save your bacon.

Have A Great Week From All Of Us At Zoha Islands And Fruit Islands

Holidays Made in SL

This week we are bringing you five Residents from all over the world who each bring their unique voices and experiences to the Second Life Blogger Network.

Lexy Nexen Headshot.jpg

Lexy Nexen is the owner of Wild Branch Brewery as well as a Second Life YouTuber, where she shares her love of exploration and food. Wild Branch is a craft brewery experience, the first of its kind in Second Life. Lexy tells us it was inspired by “times in life prior to the pandemic, where being in the community of a brewery was a time to bond and make memories with friends, family or even complete strangers over a pint of beer and some good ole board games.” For Lexy, Wild Branch is a chance to “{exchange} real human interaction during the pandemic” in an environment tied to both a specific subculture and of course, warmth and openness to others.

Lexy’s websites:
Linktree
Wild Branch Brewery: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Riverbrook/76/90/31

Miwa Bunny Headshot.jpg

Miwa Bunny, who has been in SL for over a decade, tells us that “during the pandemic Second Life became a source of both income and stability, I was able to make connections, meet new friends and keep in touch with all of them.” Miwa manages several brands on top of blogging, with some of her favorite aspects of SL being self-expression and connection. For Miwa, being inworld is “almost like a meditation… for my mental health.” We love to see Residents encouraging others to take care of themselves!

Miwa’s websites:
Official Website
Twitter
Flickr
Instagram 
TikTok 

Aurora Mercury Headshot.jpg

Aurora Mercury, a British Resident who is proud of her Jamaican heritage, is “the owner and creator of women’s networking group Sisters in SL, a community that helps women come together and network with like minded women. It allows women to meet others from all over the world and gets them out of their comfort zone.” Aurora also made an accompanying magazine for this organization, and she has a YouTube channel where she engages in “meaningful conversations with people all over the grid to discuss topics {that} allow people to share their experiences and perspectives during their journey in SL.” Aurora stresses the value of these shared experiences during the pandemic as a “reminder that we are all going through this together… it’s a different type of connection.”

Aurora’s websites:
Youtube: Aurora Mercury 
Official Website
Sisters in SL Website
Sisters in SL Facebook Group
Sisters in SL Magazine
 

Oema Headshot resized.jpg

Oema lives in Northern Italy in the physical world, and for the last seven years has been writing for her blog VIRTUALITY. Oema tells us “I care about communication {and} spreading helpful information to old and new members. So together with some talented friends, we created 360 GRADI: a magazine that talks about fashion, virtual psychology, destinations, art, photography, and music.” 360 Gradi is hosted on her VIRTUALITY blog, and has become a collaborative effort with many other talented Residents, who she gives immense thanks to for all of their contributions over the years. In Oema’s words, “During the time of the pandemic, Second Life helped distract me. Even now during the Christmas holidays, this incredible metaverse called Second Life, where users can create and give expression to their imagination, is a pleasant daily fixture.”

Oema’s websites:
VIRTUALITY Blog
360 GRADI Magazine
YouTube
Facebook

Victoria James Headshot.png

Victoria James is a Second Life explorer, shopper, and blogger. Victoria first signed up for SL a decade ago and tells us “I still love logging into Second Life because there is always something new to discover. New regions to explore, new stores to go shopping at (and old favorites), and of course being creative with my own blogging and photography.” It is our honor to share that, like countless others, Victoria found something priceless in SL: “Second Life changed my life… I actually met my husband in Second Life.” They’ve been married for over four years! It is often hard to describe exactly what SL is, and Victoria puts it perfectly with, “To me it’s not a game, it’s an extension of real life.”

Victoria’s websites:
Blog
Flickr
Instagram
Facebook


Happy Holidays, everybody!

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres

Have a Great Week Happy New Year

Will the metaverse bring the second coming of Second Life?

The idea of the metaverse is getting more buzz than ever. I gave a speech on it yesterday to Sharad Devarajan’s class of MBA students at the Columbia Business School at Columbia University. (I advised them to buy Bitcoin.)

In my research for the class, I checked the metaverse’s status on Google Trends, which measures the number of searches on different subjects, and I saw an explosion in the past year or so. Big companies such as Facebook, Roblox, and Epic Games are jockeying to be the arbiter of the metaverse, and many companies are talking about their metaverse strategies.

But one 18-year-old virtual world called Second Life had everybody talking about it being a metaverse long before we entered this modern epoch. Linden Lab, the creator of Second Life (the virtual world that debuted way back in 2003) is still going strong. And it plans to play a role in the modern metaverse, thanks in part to a cross-platform payment system called Tilia Pay that enables people to cash out the virtual currency they earn in Second Life and convert it to U.S. dollars. That’s something that is critical for the metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One.

Above: Metaverse mentions in Google Trends.

Image Credit: Google

In this age when we’re celebrating the “new” metaverse companies like Roblox, which has 43 million daily active users, it’s easy to forget that Second Life is still around. It has a $600 million annual gross domestic product (GDP). More than 2 billion user-generated assets have been created to date. It has 200,000 daily active users, and it processes more than 345 million annual transactions. It pays more than $80.4 million to creators annually. This is a remarkable achievement, as it’s very hard for companies that rule in one technology epoch to succeed in another, and Second Life has managed to thrive through multiple eras.

 

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January 25 – 27, 2022

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“If you look at Second Life, what it did 18 years ago and what it’s doing now, the world has kind of come back to Second Life,” said Brad Oberwager, the executive chairman of Linden Lab, in an interview with GamesBeat. “Everybody is trying to be Second Life. And it’s a pretty interesting time. When you think of creators in the creator economy, Second Life is still the leader and people are getting direct payments from each other. We’re a true economy.”

A survivor

Above: Second Life has a big economy.

Image Credit: Linden Lab

But Second Life, for all of its endurance and persistence, has never really become as mainstream as it could be. It has gone through multiple leaders. Philip Rosedale started Linden Lab in 1999 during the dotcom boom. And in the aftermath of the dotcom bust, he managed to launch Second Life in 2003. He stepped down in 2008, and Linden Lab went through a series of caretaker CEOs in the form of Mark Kingdon, Rosedale (who returned as CEO for just four months), and Bob Komin. In 2010, the company had some big layoffs.

 

Starting in 2010, Rod Humble, a former EA executive, tried to take some of the magic of Second Life and bring it into new applications on mobile and other platforms. But that didn’t work out so well, and Humble left in 2014. Ebbe Altberg took over in 2014 and helped get Second Life in good stead. He tried to create a VR version of Second Life, dubbed Sansar, but it didn’t get the intended traction. I met with Altberg several times, and he was a big advocate for how people needed to remember how successful Second Life still was.

But Altberg suffered from a long illness. He managed to get through some big shifts, like deploying Second Life to the Amazon Cloud, cutting back the staff, selling off Sansar, and eventually selling off Linden Lab to an investor group led by Oberwager and Randy Waterfield in July 2020.

Sadly, Altberg passed away from his illness in June. Obewager took over as executive chairman and noted that Altberg left the company in excellent shape. Second Life remains solid in its 18th year, with the best financial performance in the first half of the year in more than a decade.

Improvements

Above: Second Life is 18 years old.

Image Credit: Linden Lab

Second Life has benefited from the pandemic, just like most games, as more users are coming into virtual worlds to socialize because they aren’t so sure about meeting in real life.

 

“Second Life is back because it never went anywhere. Just 3.5 years ago, we were the same size as Roblox,” he said. “We’re starting to grow again. Now more people are, are interacting. It’s a re-engagement strategy.”

This has potential, since more than 70 million users have created their own accounts during the history of Second Life.

“We’re not starting Second Life again. We’re just improving, we’re just focusing,” Oberwager said. “Because of all the conversations about the metaverse, our name is coming up again as the pioneer. And so our conversion rates are going up. We are a $600 million a year economy. We are supporting creators in ways that allow them to make money. Our goal is to be the least-expensive place to be a creator.”

The company supports streaming live video inside Second Life, and it has virtual cinemas where people can watch shows together. And the company has long-established practices for dealing with problems.

Linden Lab supports free speech, but it has also figured out how to deal with lawless metaverse citizens.

Second Life has long had to deal with problems like rogue user-generated content and copycats. It has its own Second Life Patent and Trademark Office that functions much the way the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office does. It uses AI to stop such theft and it honors Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown requests from brands. It has undercover avatars to police bad behavior.

“We do have rules. If you break our rules, you have a problem,” Oberwager said. “It’s called the social contract. If you harass someone, you’re gonna get booted from the system.”

Tilia Pay

Upland is using Linden Lab's Tilia for money transactions.

Above: Upland is using Linden Lab’s Tilia for money transactions.

Image Credit: Uplandme

Under Altberg, Linden Lab also invested $30 million in Tilia Pay, Linden Lab’s payment system, over seven years to acquire all of the necessary state licenses in the U.S. in needs to run it.

 

Oberwager said that Tilia Pay could power virtual economies at other companies as they try to get users to come inside and spend money in their version of the metaverse, and then enable people to take their digital earnings and cash them out. It’s a basic function of the metaverse, and Second Life has been doing this for a long time, Oberwager said.

This is not as easy as it seems. For creators to get paid for their virtual content, platform publishers must first comply with money transmission regulations. That’s because when money is being exchanged for virtual goods and cashed out by creators, the platform publisher becomes a money transmitter and must be licensed in all 50 states. This holds true for exchanges trading nonfungible tokens (NFTs) as well.

Oberwager said that Tilia is the only fully licensed money transmitter focused on the virtual currency, gaming, and NFT opportunities. The Tilia Pay service acts as a combination of PayPal and Coinbase for virtual worlds and gaming platforms by providing the “financial rails” for publishers. Using the Tilia wallet, virtual worlds, games, publishers, and NFT exchanges can legally allow creators and others to transfer virtual currencies into fiat.

One of the new Tilia users is Upland, which is an NFT-based virtual property trading ecosystem, where players can play a kind of Monopoly by buying, selling, and trading virtual properties mapped to real world addresses. Prior to its partnership with Tilia, Upland players could not sell their virtual properties to other players for U.S. dollars, because facilitating funds transfers from one user to another requires money  transmitter licenses in the U.S. and other jurisdictions. Tilia came to the rescue, and Upland has more than 100,000 monthly active users.

Zenescope

Above: The Zenescope Metaverse is new in Second Life.

Image Credit: Linden Lab

Second Life has other things going on as well to try to juice user interest. It cut a deal with comic book publisher Zenescope Entertainment and licensing agency Epik to bring the dark and twisted Grimm’s Universe to life as the Zenescope Metaverse inside Second Life.

 

Fans can interact with and play as some of the classic fairytale characters popularized by Zenescope’s comic books and graphic novels, acting out scenarios and following different storylines. The virtual experience features Cinderella (aka Cindy): Serial Killer Princess — the main character of a six-issue mini-series of the same name. Also on hand are Belle: the Beast Hunter; the Mad Hatter, and Jabberwocky. Fans of Zenescope number around 70 million, and they now have 50 different digital items they can buy inside the Second Life location.

Oberwager said this was the beginning of many new brand and entertainment partner collaborations in Second Life. And he wants to start making some noise about it.

“Metaverses are the hot thing right now. Second Life was a pioneer, but a lot of people don’t know that it is still alive and thriving,” Oberwager said. “We had the COVID bump, like every game company. But now, we’re going up again at exactly the time when we’re getting out of the COVID bump. That’s quite compelling in our mind.”

Have a Great Week From All Of Us At Zoha Islands And Fruit Islands

We will be observing the Christmas Holiday and will be limited support and sales staff Dec 24th and Dec 25th

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year To All

Second Life Spotlight: Tzeitel Enchantment

This week we are shining a spotlight on Tzeitel Enchantment, the ambassador for “Power Up for Charge,” the official fundraising arm of the Charge Syndrome Foundation in Second Life.

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How did you first hear about Second Life?

I have been a member of Second Life since March 2007. I first heard about it from a story in the news and just had to log in to see what it was all about. I’ve never looked back, it’s been an amazing ride.

What gave you the idea to start running fundraisers for Charge Syndrome in SL?

A friend of mine first suggested I have a fundraiser for Charge Syndrome in late 2019, because I’m so passionate about the work of the foundation and such a strong advocate for my child who lives with Charge Syndrome. I am quite open about my child with Charge Syndrome, and the challenges he (and we) have faced in Second Life. I feel it’s important the stories of those with disabilities are told. So it was also important to me to not just raise funds for The Charge Syndrome Foundation, but to also build awareness about this rare disease that is not only the most complex condition a child can be born with, but is also the leading cause of deaf-blindness among other things.

I let it percolate a bit, knowing that it would be a huge task, because when you do something in Second Life you gotta go big!  As the idea percolated, Love Kats offered up a space for me to host the event. I found 12 amazing musicians to perform live, some content creators donated  for draws and I had a small cohesive team of folks that helped me plan all the details and make it happen. So on February 29, 2020 I hosted the first annual “Power Up! For Charge” fundraising event to celebrate Rare Diseases Day. The day was a huge success.

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Tzeitel Enchantment getting her son ready for graduation

Do you build in SL, or collaborate with other Residents? Please describe your process for running these events and getting Residents engaged.

I am not a creator in Second Life, but since the inception of the Charge Syndrome Region, I’ve learned a lot about region design, terraforming etc. My creative head and principal designer is Suzen Juel (Juel Resistance) and she has taught me just about everything I know. While we have very different styles, we have a fun but messy process for creating the fun space we call Charge Syndrome, and it works really well for us. I am really open to collaboration, and allowing others to create fun spaces in the region. I think it is empowering for everyone involved and it helps to keep everything fresh. As we build, my charger inevitably interrupts and becomes part of the conversation. Almost everything we do is inspired by him and the joy and inspiration he creates by being simply the person that he is.  

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Suzen Juel and Tzeitel Enchantment

In addition to Suzen, my core inworld team includes Dusty Caldera and Sana Lisbeth (Dreamsdesire Starfall). Tintin (Aborignal) has joined the creative team this time around and is really excited about the ice cave “experience” he has created as well as some other wonderful spots. We have also welcomed Cranston Yordstom, the creator and builder of the Charge Syndrome Railway. Additionally, Ing (ingwaz.thor) has joined the fold who is designing a fun space for the Tinies and Dinkies of Second Life. 

We are a welcoming and diverse group of people, and if anyone wants to be part of the growing community, I am always looking for help. It’s not just the design of the region, but we also need folks to help plan and implement our events, outreach and whatever else we can think of. 

 I am very grateful for everyone who has donated their time and talents to Charge Syndrome. Together, I believe, we are building an amazing and supportive community.

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Power Up! For Charge Holiday Creators

Do you have any inworld events coming up?

I am hoping to have some holiday events this year. We currently have Nina Settner confirmed for December 4th. This will be a special event where she will be performing some more classical pieces. I am also in the planning stages for Sul’s big birthday bash in January. That’s my charger’s birthday, so we have to celebrate!  

Planning is also underway for the 3rd Annual “Power Up! For Charge” event for Rare Diseases Day. This has become a multi-day event during the last weekend in February, and is the cornerstone for all of our fundraising efforts for The Charge Syndrome Foundation. 

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Your region just underwent a transformation for the winter months. Could you tell us about that process and if there are any things in particular that inspired or influenced the design?

Charge Syndrome is transformed about four times a year. It’s a fun but messy process. That usually starts with emptying and flattening the region so it’s like a blank canvas.  The base textures have all been hand drawn and created by Suzen Juel and from there we build upward and create the shape for the space. Suzen is very specific about the whole visual component so before we begin to lay anything down together we will decide on the sky, environment, and mood. It can take a while to do this part, but it’s a lot of fun as we experiment with all the lights trying to set the right vibe and tone. 

The themes we choose for each build are typically inspired by my son, who lives with Charge Syndrome. They tend to be playful and quirky and focus on light and texture. My charger lives with low vision so definition and light play a big role. My creative director, Suzen, is an artist so the region is never going to have a realistic look to it. Our trees have hearts or curlicues, our grass glows, and there is always something unexpected around the corner. 

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I’m not sure where I got the idea for the railway for the winter theme this year, but it was embraced by the whole team. I’m so glad we went with it, and that I got the support of Cranston Yordstrom to design and build the whole system. I contacted him out of the blue and he hopped over immediately to start building. I was blown away by how he has embraced the project and the train is definitely a highlight for all of us.  

I also invited the Tiny and Dinkie community to the region this time around, and a space has been created just for them. In addition, we have customized dance and skating intans for them so they can enjoy all that Charge Syndrome has to offer. There is also a hot air balloon to enjoy, lots of spaces to find and explore and to take pictures.  Finally, we are in the final stages of creating an “experience” with the inclusion of a hidden, underwater cave system. This cool addition is being designed by Tintin (Ab0riginal), another new and wonderful addition to the team.  

My hope with each build is that people will be inspired to come and enjoy the space but will also  take a few minutes to read up our information boards about Charge Syndrome. Simply by accepting the teleport to the region, they have now heard of this disease, and I think that is a big step in beginning the education process. We want people to feel relaxed and happy in the space we’ve created. We want them to return again and again and bring their friends. Hopefully each step we take will help the community grow.

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For people unfamiliar with Second Life, what is something you’d like them to know?

Second Life to me is really an extension of my first life. I have met some of my most favorite people in the world on the grid, and then have gone on to meet them in “real” life. I have laughed and cried with these folks, we have hugged and drank wine together.

Second Life brings together a diverse and amazing group of people. You can be whatever you want in the metaverse, you can explore your creative side, be an artist, singer, content creator. The exciting part of it is that you have a global community there to support you on your journey.  

Follow Tzeitel and learn more about Charge Syndrome at the following links:

Power Up! for Charge Destination: https://secondlife.com/destination/charge-syndrome
Power Up for Charge Flickr Group: https://www.flickr.com/groups/14758574@N23
Tzeitel Enchantment on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/41484783@N02
Tzeitel Enchantment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/people/Tzeitel-Enchantment/100011509209478

Watch this Made in Second Life video about Power Up for Charge!

Video Production by Draxtor Despres
“You’ve Got a Way” written and performed by Suzen Juel
RL videography by Rosie L.

 

We hope you enjoyed learning more about how Tzeitel channeled her passions into this stunning region that raises awareness for Charge Syndrome. Each of these weekly Spotlight posts will feature a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup

Have a Great Week From All Of Us At Zoha Islands and Fruit Islands