What ever happened to learning in Second Life?

The school opened in November 2006. The biggest challenge is SL itself. It requires above-average computers, good internet connections, and it can be intimidating for new residents. Although the number of visitors has been steadily declining, the number of paying students has been steadily increasing.

That’s what Giovanni Tweak, the owner of DRIVE-THROUGH ESL, had to tell us about how his virtual school inworld was doing in 2017.

A sad fact is that Second Life consumes a lot of one’s time and attention if they get too involved in the play. It’s one of the reasons why we have so few people online at a time compared to the number of people worldwide with stable internet access.

Most people are not aware of the fact that Second Life can be a great place to learn a new language or subject. Educational aspect of this virtual world isn’t well advertised outside. When someone hears of Second Life, they usually think of the pixel porn, music venues, and weird sims with weirder people or the emptiness.

With virtual reality getting more and more advanced and affordable each year, we can only hope that the educational environment created by the small number of enthusiasts in Second Life doesn’t get lost completely.


Contest: Win 3k L$ writing the best erotica

Since it is almost the end of the year, we are going to have some fun! What’s better than winning an exciting contest just as a new year begins?

Prize offered: 3000 L$

What do you have to do? Write an erotic short story in no more than one thousand words. The story should somehow have Second Life in it. No pictures needed but you can send some if you like.

Deadline: December 28, 2017

How do we select the winner? The winning story will simply excite us the most.

Email your story to blogveridical@gmail.com along with your Second Life username.

The winner’s username will be announced on 1 January, 2018


UPDATE: We received only a few submissions and they were so “rotten” that this year we are not awarding anyone anything for participating in our erotica writing competition. Thank You and Happy New Year!

Let Antreas Alter light up your Christmas

I don’t quite remember what took me to REAL Christmas lights decoration store but it was so different from going to any other inworld store. That place, literally, is magic…a fun experience.

What’s even more special about this store than the lights? The creator’s generosity. Antreas Alter (antreas.alter) was working on adding new things to his brilliantly illuminated land when I said hello to him. Besides being warmly welcoming, he immediately gifted me his best lights!

Absolutely notable is the following extract from one of his profile picks:

Thiefs: A new social approach by Antreas

Antreas understands
that some people may like and desire something,
but have no money to buy it.
Please do not steal / copybot / rip textures.
If you have no linden money, tell me,
i will send you what you liked, for free.

Do not become a REAL LIFE criminal for the sake of a game. Unauthorized reproduction of a texture in a virtual-world game is a real-world THEFT, can cost $30.000 per incident, its THAT serious crime.

Dont become a real life thief…

Talk to me.
Ask for what you like.

Visit REAL Christmas lights decoration store: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Real%20Trees%20Rocks/118/35/2233

Real Waves Tropical Beach foam landscaping & Neon lights signs: https://marketplace.secondlife.com/stores/31226?id=31226

Facebook: @Antreas.Alter 


One of those crazy posts from Inworld Employment

inworld employment requirements (2)

And here’s why I call it crazy: https://www.facebook.com/help/112146705538576/ 

People with Facebook profiles dedicated to their Second Life selves/avatars should read the last point on that page if they aren’t aware of it yet –

  • Pretending to be anything or anyone isn’t allowed.

And this particular Second Life job publicly demands its applicants to go against one of the Terms Of Service of the social media giant. Now what?

What’s wrong with Inworld Employment

Second Life’s Inworld Employment is definitely a funny place. You will find a number of clubs and brands promoting themselves in the name of seeking staffs but a person or a group of people looking for work usually get reported within hours if they happen to have a common name (a music band looking for gigs or a marketing agency looking for clients) and a link to their site in the forum post where information about their services and experiences are detailed. The latter is considered advertising by Linden Lab.

Inworld Employment has really helped me find out how many of those employers are just posting about jobs that they simply don’t offer anyone. If they do, the pay usually isn’t as promised in the job offering post. I generally come across job postings from those clubs and venues that are created today and won’t even last five minutes successfully. Just a few months ago, out of interest, I applied for one of those “fun jobs” only to end up doing  unpaid gigs since the employer who was about to pay “5k L$ a week” couldn’t successfully convert her real money to lindens due to “some temporary technical difficulties” that carried on for two months before she decided to leave her dying club and disappear.

Another employer who I found on the same forum hired me pretty quickly within days of applying for the position she was offering. So, when it was payday, she decided to pay me less than half of what I had signed up for. Why? “Because I couldn’t make any profit and my ex-husband who is also my business partner won’t give me any more.”

Should I also tell you about the boss who didn’t pay me at all after I greeted his clients for nearly eight hours straight and didn’t get any tips? No, he wasn’t supposed to pay me. But his job posting was this – “earn while you have fun! 100% tips!” Well, when I asked him for some lindens after working all those hours, his words to me were: Fun is guaranteed. Not tips. Why didn’t you mention that in your job posting?

I have many other such experiences of “getting hired” and it is safe to say that Inworld Employment is a remarkable place to do some free advertising if you can create a fake job position. “SL is SL. RL is RL” You can get away even if you fool your staff into thinking that you are going to pay them.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t genuine folks on that forum looking for people to help them in their endeavors. Happy searching!

What amount of people’s donations does Feed a Smile spend on Kenyan kids?

Live and Learn in Kenya‘s founder Brique Zeiner replies:

As Live and Learn in Kenya Int’l is a relatively small organization doing big things, we have a very good oversight of exactly what is going on and how donations are being used for our 465 – 480 children.

All donations go directly to Kenya. There is no paid “middleman/woman”. Everyone at LLK Int’l volunteers their time and energy. Only our Kenyan staff in Kenya are paid – but they have to live… and are extremely diligent. I’ve been working with most of the staff for over 16 years now. I am the founder and chairwoman of Live and Learn in Kenya.

You can see the results on an almost daily basis on Facebook. A lot more information is on our website.

The website is in the process of being totally updated and the new and improved version will go online mid-November. There will be a blog added to it.

You can check out some of our links below.

We have some awesome charity fundraisers with fantastic performers at the Lavender Field for Feed a Smile. See you there!

Visit Feed a Smile in Second Life:

http://goo.gl/PuwRqT  event calender


Live and Learn in Kenya Website

Global Giving LLK School Construction: https://goto.gg/21277
Global Giving Child Sponsorship: https://goto.gg/25776
Global Giving – Build a Kitchen and Help Feed Hundreds of Smiles – https://goto.gg/26398
Global Giving – Let’s keep food on 480 children’s plates in Kenya http://goto.gg/29925

4th grade classroom dedication





Video about the school construction 2016




What designers earn by sponsoring events in Second Life

So, for a designer or creator, what are the advantages of participating in a shopping event in Second Life?

It depends on the event organizers. A popular event that takes place every month or bi-monthly for a couple of years can fetch a well-known designer quite a lot of money. But, those events are pretty expensive to join – about at least 5-8k linden dollars per round. It also depends on what exactly you are selling and how many useful contacts you have.

When I started back in 2011, I used to sell non-mesh clothes and furniture. I had made many good friends who were eager to buy my stuffs and recommend them to their other friends. Most of my buyers then became friends of friends and then it spread. It wouldn’t have been so if, first of all, my products weren’t good enough. However, those sales didn’t last long as people wanted more sophisticated products. I had to learn how to make mesh clothes so I could once again make money selling my creations. It wasn’t easy. That’s when I realized how competitive this field is. Now, I join about 2-4 events every month. My sales vary.

Yes, there have been rounds when I didn’t make any profit but there were some events that got me a huge number of sales. Basically it is a matter of great content, efficient marketing, time, and massive investments.

No, I cannot claim to have made more than what I have been investing for years to promote my work. I do it because I love it.

That’s one opinion and fact coming from a fine designer in Second Life. I asked a number of others the question and the ones who replied had more or less the same things to say. The rest hesitated to let me know how lucrative the events are according to them. Here’s a little different and detailed response from one creator:

I join events and I don’t hope for sales. I join to get my name out there. Basically like an art exhibition. You don’t make much or any sales but you exhibit your work to let people know that this creator exists. That might interest them to try out my stuffs. Or not.

I cannot say for everyone. But, for me this is my full-time job. I make enough now from marketplace. Opening a store inworld is very expensive. I had one before but had to close it down. I needed a good marketing manager which I couldn’t afford. So I join events where the marketing is taken care of by the organizers. It may cost about 3500L a round for some events but still I think it’s cheaper than renting land for months and months and hiring markters for my store. Only if the event organizers are good enough though. But, there’s no lack of great designers in SL. Some are seasoned and popular while some are new but with extremely good content (like me). You can only hope people notice your work among so many other attractive things at the event. There are also the kinds of big monthly events that will only choose popular designers and it’s not easy to get in those.

And then I chatted to a marketing manager of a well advertised moderately popular monthly event:

Most people like great quality free or extremely cheap items. That’s why we encourage the participants to offer free gifts or 1L$ items. Some people won’t even get a 1L$ item! Even if you rent ad spaces at every sandbox and club and hangout and online SL blog, you will be getting many visitors but not all of them will be potential buyers. They are hard to get. Some SL related facebook groups have lots of people who love shopping inworld. Despite spamming your event ad regularly in those groups, you are not getting…say more than 20 buyers per round. 20 is too big a number for this though. Exceptions can take place sometimes. Hence, 20. So where do you get the buyers from? It all depends on how influential the event organizers and most designers are in SL and on facebook. How many “shopaholic connections” the marketing manager, the organizers, and the designers have and make over the years. I have managed a number of events and not all traffic you see on land are real. Mainly too many alts of event organizers and bots. They are done to rank the event place higher in search. Still, you will see, save the extremely few established events, most of the time the places are empty. We cannot guarantee sales. We can only guarantee you the opportunity to showcase your creations and make sales.

Why not tell us about your experiences with these shopping events inworld, if you have any?


SL will one day be a relic of days past, says Dr. Rashid Kashani


Rheumatoid Arthritis Joint Protection Education Display is now a completed PhD project, open to everyone, that is aimed at instructing individuals how to correctly deal with Rheumatoid Arthritis. For people who do not suffer from the disease, the display is a neat infotainment. This research inworld was conducted by occupational therapist Dr. Rashid Kashani who is also known as Rashid (rashid.singh) in Second Life.

Here’s what I learnt from him:

How did you find out about Second Life? 

Dr. Rashid Kashani: I originally found out about SL via one of my PhD supervisors, Dr. Maged Boulos, who was doing a research study at the time using a Sexual Health SIM at Plymouth University. 

What inspired you to use SL for your PhD research work and how did it actually help you? 

Dr. Rashid Kashani: I tried out SL and felt it might be the more immersive online experience I was wanting my clients to have if they couldn’t attend RL education sessions. SL was the medium that my research was carried out in as it was a VW study, so it was very helpful.

What year did you start the project in Second Life?

Dr. Rashid Kashani: I started the initial exploration etc around 2008, but that was then followed up with a combination of qualitative interviews and coding, etc. The actual building and alpha / beta testing was from around 2010-2012. The actual pilot RCT was around 2013-2014 with the writing up taking up most of 2015-2016, including the final defence, viva and revisions. 

At present, are you working on any other project inworld?

Dr. Rashid Kashani: The PhD study was a success, so I am mainly working on catching up on my clinical practice, writing articles and looking at porting over the SIM to other VWs, if possible. Future projects are definitely in the works as I have also branched out my clinical practice to pediatrics and feel there may be a lot of uses for a VW medium with younger populations that are under served.  

How valuable is Second Life and other such 3D worlds when it comes to education?

Dr. Rashid Kashani: The value of VWs is considerable in education and there are several studies to support that claim. Quality studies, such as comparison studies, pilot RCTs, and full RCTs are needed to better define our best practices in education, provide evidence to funders about the efficacy and cost effectiveness and reflect a shift in the types of learning experiences users are expecting.

What, according to you, is the future of education and awareness in Second Life?

Dr. Rashid Kashani: I think that SL will eventually, go the way of other early iterations of new technology. America Online was the most recognizable name in ISPs several years ago, I now can’t get a room of 20 year old students to recognize the logo on screen. SL will not be disappearing immediately, but it will one day be a relic of days past, as newer VWs with similar user driven content capabilities are invented, and with better graphics and user experiences. I think VWs will gradually develop as a tool that can be used in traditional education settings as a combination of AR, the Internet of things and 3D web/movies/etc become more mainstream. Again, some of this will be tied to serious research as well as marketing focused not just on the enterntainment value or the the “wow” factor alone, but that there are studies that indicate it is an effective learning tool and has the ability to be value added as an educational medium.

Visit Rheumatoid Arthritis Joint Protection Education Display:

Do you want to look like your avatar in real life?

Just a few days ago, I asked a number of strangers in Second Life the very question. So many people invest quite a considerable amount of time, money, and emotions in their respective avatars. Naturally, if people could edit their shapes in real life to look more and more attractive, why wouldn’t they? So, I wanted to learn from one of those individuals with a stunning human avatar how content they were to be in their real body. A number of women whose avatars resembled Victoria’s Secret’s “perfect body” had claimed that they already look like that in real life. Someone said that they made their avatar after their real appearance when they were twenty. There were people who said that they had tried to make their avatar look somewhat like their “real selves” but “more presentable”. Another person informed me that their avatar looked like their real mother who had died years ago.

Following are just the few related chat extracts that I found pretty intriguing…




If I could change my physical features, yes I would. But, I don’t want to look like my avatar which is a giant spider right now.

Read the title of this post again and let us know your answer?