Update on Closure of Avatars United & XStreet SL

We have written before about the Closure of Avatars United. The site was taken down on September 29, 2010 and now redirects to the main Second Life homepage.

Many have been upset about this decision. Linden Lab plans to integrate the social networking into Second Life. Hopefully everyone had the opportunity to backup their information and get a refund on Avatars United Coins.

On a separate front XStreet SL is also being wound down. It will stop operating at the end of November with the website staying up for several months afterward allowing you to view history and other information. More updates will be coming soon.

Linden Lab Shuts Down Avatars United 8 Months After Purchase

Avatars United Shut Down

8 short months after Linden Lab bought Avatars United it has announced that the gamers social media service will be shut down forever.

This is a stunning blow to the gaming social media world and a further hint at mismanagement and money problems for the Second Life creators Linden Lab.

It seems like a Yahoo style waste of money if you ask me.

Avatars United will be shut down almost immediately on September 29th, 2010. Second Life will soon develop their own resident profiles but players of other massively multiplayer online role playing games are basically screwed.

Read more here.

New Second Life Documentary to Show at Anaheim Film Festival

Second Life Documentary

Alain Della Negra and Kaori Kinoshita have created a new Second Life Documentary. This French Documentary is called The Cat, the Reverend and the Slave.

The interviews are in English and translated in French. The documentary covers three people as they look for more out of life in the virtual world. One is a minister who runs a virtual church, one is involved in S/M and the other is a Furry.

The video includes footage from back in 2007 but with much newer footage. The DVD will be out sometime next year and the movie will be shown in theaters in France and also at the Anaheim Film Festival in California.

Below are two trailers for the documentary. They are about 2 minutes long each. Check them out below.

The Cat, the Reverend and the Slave:

Second Life Documentary Trailer 2:

Blue Mars Clothing Customization HD Video Tutorial

Blue Mars Clothing Customization HD Video Tutorial

We have written frequently about the Blue Mars massively multiplayer online role playing game. Below is a new high definition clothing customization video tutorial.

The video is about 5 minutes long. Check it out below.

Blue Mars HD Clothing Customization Video Tutorial:

48 Hour Second Life Machinima Film Festival – 48HFP Going on Now

Second Life Machinima Film Festival 48HFP

We have written frequently about machinima in Second Life. This weekend over three hundred film makers will showcase their films at the UWA-BOSL Theater in Second Life for the 48HFP Machinima Film Festival.

Teleport there now

Below is the schedule for the Machinima Film Festival:

1. Begins Friday September 17, 2010 at 6:00 pm Pacific Daylight Time

2. Ends Sunday, September 19, 2010 at 7:30 pm Pacific Daylight Time

3. Premier Screening of finalists Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 1:00 pm Second Life Time

Below is an interview with the 2009 winner. The video is about 3 minutes long. Check it out below.

Video Interview with 2009 Winner:

Read more about the project here.

6 Upcoming Changes to Display Names in Second Life

Second Life Display Names

We have written before about the open beta test of Display Names in Second Life. Thousands of Second Life residents have downloaded the display name project viewer and tested the feature and provided feedback.

Linden Lab is responding by making several improvements to Display Names. Below is a list.

Display Name Improvements in Second Life:

1. Default will show both Display Name and unique Username if the two do not match. Otherwise Display Name will show.

2. Usernames will be more prominently displayed in the Profile

3. Chat improvements and display of names

4. Password authentication imnprovement

5. Modifying Unicode to allow for easier copying of Display Name.

6. Chare a fee for changing Display Names

Read more here

6 HD Videos on 3d Mesh Import in Second Life – Open Beta Coming Soon

Second Life 3d Mesh Import

We have written frequently about 3d Mesh Import in Second Life. The Collada file format would be supported allowing for complex 3d Creation Tools such as Maya, 3D Studio Max, or Blender to be used to create and import directly into Second Life.

This feature is currently in closed beta testing with the Non Disclosure Agreement just recently lifted. The open beta test for 3d Mesh Import will be coming to Second Life soon.

Below are 6 high definition videos showing off 3d mesh import. They vary in length from one to two minutes long. Check it out below.

3d Mesh Import in Second Life HD Video:

Designing Avatars with 3d Mesh Import HD Video:

HD Machinima Videos Featuring Mesh Imports:

Read more here.

Is the Second Life Economy Up?

Second Life Economy

Linden Lab has published the second quarter metrics for Second Life. This included 805 million monthly repeat logins, and increase in Linden dollar exchange rate to L$269, and LindeX trading volume of US$29.4 million.

It is interesting to note that transactions between users are decreasing. “In Q2 2010, Resident-to-Resident transactions totalled approximately L$40 billion, or US$152 million………….At least for the time being, one figure we will no longer publish in our historical charts is the Resident-to-Resident transaction data. As we’ve analyzed this data we believe that it is not as accurate a measure of the inworld economy as we would like.”

Other statistics are mysteriously missing: “From time to time we will change our reporting….”

Read more here

Exploring this SL Online Virtual World playing Avatar Games for Lindens | 2nd Life & more!