SL8B: Must See Sites

If you haven’t seen the notices everywhere, Second Life’s 8th Birthday (SL8B) celebration opens tomorrow, June 20th, at 10:30 AM. More schedule information can be found here, but I’d like to give a taste of a few “must see sites” that I found.

“From A Single Prim” certainly demonstrates the birthday theme of Magic in Second Life. From a single prim, a massive 130-prim animated statue grows … and grows .. and grows. Chuckmatrix Clip of CMC Designs very skillfully uses the XD Fusion Puppeteer scripts and some great prim work to really dazzle the viewer.

“Soaring With Magic” is one of the most imaginative builds I’ve seen ever in Second Life. Windyy Lane’s monochromatic art piece beautifully illustrates how our world can be used by artists to step beyond the “4th wall” that usually separates the viewer from the art.

Shadows are in Second Life to stay with the latest official viewer and the “Magic Soul of Prims” lets users of that viewer play with the new feature in fun and creative ways. There are many interactive exhibits throughout the birthday sims, but be sure to see this one. It is beautiful, poetic, and fun, both inside and out. Look carefully or you might miss something!

When you boil it all down, people are the most magical part of Second Life, as Aeon Perian’s “Portraits – The White Gallery” strikingly reminds us. Each avatar you see is a walking, living work of art created by unique individuals. In this gallery you’ll see some very well crafted examples from people who really care about their art.

What? Only four “must see sites”? Frankly, I became overwhelmed at how many gorgeous builds there were this year and have lots of recommendations. These are the ones that I kept going back to again and again as I traveled the sims over the past few weeks. Each is striking in its own way and very evocative of the “magic” theme to this year’s birthday.

Of course, there are other exhibits that are “must see” for various reasons, so here are a few more:

Yavanna Llanfair has donated her time to create tours of the birthday sims with her famous Pod cars. You’ve probably seen them or used them to visit the Mainland. She has an exhibit specifically about her creation, but these take you on guided tours that shouldn’t be missed.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SL8B%20Magnificent/1/125/22

The Happy Hippo Building School’s exhibit is an amusing example of the whimsy you can find all over the birthday sims. Touch the UFO to help destroy a building and aid in the downfall of … well, I’m guessing humanity. Great fun in any case and be sure to look for other other fun, like the many amusement park rides scattered about in various sims.

Since the celebration is a cross section of the best in Second Life then why not check out how “the best” has evoloved over time? Will Webb returns for another year of his famous Time Capsules, each stuffed with goodies donated by builders at past birthday celebrations. Look for the time capsule I designed last year, the rocky arch, and see what is new this year. In the background of this pic, by the way, is the Welcome Area Tree and giant snakes. Snakes? Saunter over for a look after you visit Will’s exhibit.

Landscaping is a big part of my Second Life so I couldn’t help but be attracted to “Zun’s Forest Magic” with it’s skillful use of plants and structures. Created by a landscaper for Anshe Chung, this parcel also attracted me for it’s freebies. Many exhibits feature gifts for visitors, in this case landscaping goodies.

Marianne McCann reminds us that Community is also part of Second Life’s magic with her spot-on build representing the mainland community of Bay City. She’s one of the best builders I know and an all-round good kid so I think you’ll enjoy visiting here. When it is night, fireworks go off every 10 minutes and there is a secret dance floor. Drop by to see the schedule and get ready to par-tay! Few people rock like Mari! Many other exhibits look good at Midnight so be sure to play with those sun settings or just let the sims change the daylight as you go.

Whew … now I’m really tired. But I’m not done. I have more parcels I’d like to showcase so if I can sneak away from the Main Stage and all the great entertainment, I’ll feature them as soon as I can.

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