Monthly Archives: September 2011

KatRose Serendipity Live @ Harmony Cafe

Friday, September 30th at 7pm singer/songwriter KatRose Serendipity will grace the stage at Harmony Cafe.  Influenced by some of the great female singer/songwriters, KatRose has been performing throughout the US, Canada and the UK for the last 10 years. Her repertoire crosses many genres and features both covers and her own music. Her sound is warm and soothing, just the thing to end a long week. Don’t miss it!

YouTube Videos posted by folks in SL that posted them just because!
*NOT productions!

KatRose singing MAD WORLD by Tears for Fears @ The Kat Rose Secret Garden of Live Music:

KatRose singing POWER & PASSION (original tune) @ The Hummingbird Cafe

KatRose singing TIME AFTER TIME by Cyndi Lauper @ a private party

Happy 5th Birthday Tricia Aferdita!

Birthdays, or “rez days” as we sometimes call them here in Second Life are always a happy reason to celebrate life and the achievements of the people we care about and in Avalon Town, we celebrate them with reckless abandon, especially those who reach milestone birthdays. Since SL has not been in existence even ten years yet, the only milestone birthday available (so far) for a resident of the virtual world to celebrate is the “Big 5”, which in and of itself is mark of accomplishment. Much like real life, many residents come and go and like a pyramid, the number of residents reaching the various birthdays is broad at the bottom and gets narrower the older you get. Reaching the number 5 in years puts one in a distinctive club of seasoned, veteran residents who have seen much of the evolution of the grid and beyond that number, the residents having attained 6, 7, 8, and in a few more months, 9 years old get fewer and far between. In Second Life, age in world is seen as more than a number but as a rite of passage and accomplishment just for having made it that far.

I cannot remember a time that I didn’t think of Tricia as a wiser, seasoned resident of Second Life, even though when I met her just a few weeks after my arrival, she was only slightly over a year older than I was. While I was running into buildings (I was notoriously bad at flying and even today, I prefer to walk or teleport around) she was not only managing her own art gallery but the entire Cetus Gallery District, one of Second Life’s earlier and most successful art gallery communities. While I was rezzing blocks, she was managing Harmony Cafe and building stages for performers to showcase their talent. Even then, she was the core of a community of people who have loosely remained cohesive over the years-meaning that even though many branched out in other directions, they have remained friends who come back and support each other again and again. In that aspect, Tricia has defined the meaning of community building and has crafted one of the more successful models. When she left Cetus in 2008 and moved to Avalon Town, it wasn’t long before she surrounded herself with a community of artists again, plus one oddball architect that went along for the ride. She found in Avalon a place that echoed what she loved about community and threw herself tirelessly into it, bringing along old friends and drawing new ones in as well.

Of my friends in Second Life, from Cetus, from the Frank Lloyd Wright Museum and from Avalon Town, I have treasured each and every one in different ways and for different reasons but through it all, I have had one best friend that has been there every step of my journey through the virtual world and that is Tricia Aferdita. It is startling to realize that I have known Tricia almost four years now, yet we have never actually met face to face….and yet, I still feel as though I know her as well as friends I have known all my life. That is the power that virtual worlds offer; the ability to interact with others beyond just written communication; to experience the same episodes of life, the same joys and sometimes, the same sorrows.

Today, as my friend, mentor, co-conspirator, sounding board, ally, sometimes-subject and sometimes-liege in Tiny Empires, occasional conscience and artist extraordinaire enters the realm of those who have been there and seen it all, I wish her a very Happy SL Birthday…. and I hope that any of you that read this and would like to add your thoughts and good wishes to this post will please do so.

Happy Birthday Tricia!

Autumn in Avalon Town

As Autumn arrives this week, you may notice many of the trees in Avalon have begun to show the vibrant tones of amber yellows and scarlet red, with splashes of orange among the evergreens. Avalon likes to observe the seasonal changes that serve to remind us that time, even in the virtual world, moves forward and that change brings new things to see and do. As the long, hazy days of the hot summer give way to the cooler breezes and earlier nightfall, we turn our thoughts to the time of harvest , of Halloween and being thankful for the places we love and the friends we have. 

Avalon invites all our residents to show their autumn colors; plant a tree or two in your yard in all its seasonal color or put a pumpkin or two out to remind us to be thankful for what we have, be it great or small. Finally, as we approach the season of spirits, witches, goblins and ghouls, we invite you to decorate your home for the month of October as we celebrate the Halloween of 2011, surely one of the most fun times of the year in Second Life.

I remember that I arrived in Second Life just one week before Halloween and part of the reason I stayed (just one part, there were others too) was that I was fascinated with the creative talent the residents of this world displayed in making Halloween such a fun part of being here. It is one of my favorite memories and each year I have enjoyed Halloween in Second Life because it brings out the creative talent, the fun and the wacky side of everyone.

This year, let’s make Halloween in Avalon Town a fun season for all our residents and an attraction for all our visitors and possibly, future residents.

Ethan Westland
Assistant Town Manager & Community Director

Crowns and Kingdoms: Avalon’s Hidden Royal Line

While you may see some of the Avalon management out and about doing manager-y stuff, what you may not realize is that behind the scenes they are also managing a line of subjects, creating a royal line and ruling over their own Tiny Empires.

Tiny Empires is a massively multi-player turn-based game played inside the virtual world Second Life via the use of a HUD (Heads Up Display), where the goal is to acquire land (acres), money (gold) and subjects and move in standings amongst the other residents of the Empire. Game play is set in feudal Medieval England (1100 – 1300 CE). (from the Tiny Empires Wiki). It is an astonishing feat of complicated scripting by the realm’s creator, “Emperor” Ultralite Soleil.

Avalon Town Manager Tricia Aferdita began playing Tiny Empires back in 2007 when she stumbled across a free trial HUD while out Freebie shopping. Having no clue what she was doing she wandered around with the HUD, pushing buttons, until she found herself assigned to a “liege”. As luck would have it the liege was a wonderful person and has been a friend ever since, with the added bonus that she was a clothing designer at the time and would give out free clothes to her subjects. So yay! A nice bonus for an avatar with a limited clothing budget!

After a time this liege got into a little bit of trouble, breaking some game rules and was politely asked to leave the game. Tricia didn’t play for a year or so until she ran into a friend who played and picked up the game again; ultimately reaching the rank of Princess. Her next title, if she were to choose to pursue it, would be Queen.

The game can be played at your own pace; from occasionally remembering to wear the HUD and see what’s going on, to intense plotting, planning, recruiting and building your own Kingdom (or Queendom!). Sometimes it takes a bit of strategy to find a Kingdom that fits you, your personality and your style of playing the game, but there are over 200 Kingdoms to choose from, each with its own reigning monarch and unique set of rules, people and personalities.

Avalon Assistant Manager Ethan Westland joined the game several years ago as well, and has achieved the rank of Prince. They are both members of the Kingdom of Rebels, under King Rebels Logo  (Blue_Red)StoneCoal Ashdene; a great community of people who share similar goals of camaraderie, support and fun. Situated among the highest ranking individuals in the kingdom, they call themselves “The Principality of Avalon”, and include in their line of more than 50 members Avalon Groundskeeper Alexx Fenstalker and Avalon Resident CardinalWildflower Sommer. The atmosphere of the kingdom is one of support and helping people achieve goals.

The members of the Kingdom also support each other in their various SL ventures, from the Tranquil Café owned by Princess and Grand Vicereine Brianna Beresford to designers, artists and musicians. The game is free to try and there’s a minimal purchase of the permanent HUD if you find you really like it. Once you own the HUD, there are no other expenditures to play. Your “income” within the game is all a matter of swapping out the gold you earn for acres and other perks. If you would like to play, you can IM Tricia or Ethan for your trial HUD, we’d love to have you and you’ll love the people you meet!

Avalon’s Tribute to Those Lost on 9/11

A lot happened around Second Life on Sunday, September 11th. Countless memorials, events, ceremonies, exhibits and tributes materialized across the grid. While we did not plan anything in terms of events or memorials, our own Ethan Westland was moved to create a touching tribute to those lost. In the main landing point of the Art District on Ars Lunga he created a representation of the Twin Towers, with beams of blue light reaching to heaven. Surrounding the base of the towers is a representation of the Pentagon.

While the events happened on American soil, the repercussions spanned the globe. Avalon Town is a global community and many of its community members were touched by the tragedy. The monument will remain up for a few days, please feel free to stop by and check it out.  The monument has also been immortalized by photographer PJ Trenton.






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