A Burning Man sim challenge?

This is why I love SL. Sometimes, things just come out of left-field at you, as with this notice from Sedi at Commune Utopia.

The Commune has been given a quarter sim with 3515 prims to build something fantastic in the style of the Burning Man festival. We have a whole month to build, and then the general public will vote on which out of the four plots is the best – and then the winner gets a whole sim for a month! Obviously I do not want to be building alone, so let’s get a team together and discuss and collaborate! You do not need to be an expert builder, the enthusiasm is what I want!

I love the idea of Burning Man, despite never having attended it or anything like it. In a world of increasing standardisation, it’s just lovely to know there’s a counter-culture out there and that people are buying into the idea.

SL will often throw up ‘prizes’, such as being the centrefold for Playmates magazine, or cash for photographic competitions. What’s exciting and possibly unique is that someone’s largesse has determined that they’re stumping up the ‘prize money’ of a sim free for a month. And because of the way in which the competition is framed, it means we’re going to get a Burning Man styled sim to enjoy later in the year.

Casual nudity is often part of the Burning Man vibe, often among people who wouldn’t describe themselves as ‘naturist’. It’s all part of the normalisation of social nudity, and getting wrapped up in the whole Burning Man atmosphere. I’m rather hoping that the winner, whoever they may be, embraces that casual nudity element into their finished sim.








I’m still undecided whether or not my SL continues once I step out of the editor’s chair in a month’s time. Needless to say if I’d been fully committed to remaining I would have loved to have thrown my energies into helping with this project.





SL may be increasing your sense of wellbeing.

Mr. Keng was listening to football commentary on the radio last night while tinkering with an old radio he’d picked up in an auction. This is an old style radio with the dial marked with now long forgotten radio stations on it, post war and possibly up to as far as the mid-60s would be my guess at its age (although I’m no expert). But apparently the names of the stations evoke a sense of romanticism for people of a certain age in Europe. Let me run down some of them to see if they trigger your memories or if you remember them: Luxembourg, Athlone, Hilversum, Paris, Light Programme, Third Programme, Home Service (the latter three would become BBC Radios 2, 3 & 4 respectively, and I thing Athlone became the Irish broadcaster RTE and Hilversum became NOS, Netherlands Radio).


It’s a rather long pre-amble into me telling you that BBC did one of its ‘stings’ for its own programmes, this morning’s BBC Radio 5 Breakfast programme, and my ears pricked up when I heard that one of the items being discussed was that virtual reality gaming makes you smarter and gives you a sense of wellbeing.

An extract from the discussion is here (although I’m not sure if that will be playable to internet addresses beyond the UK).

However, a psychologist says, in that extract, that “you have these other psychological phenomena which give you a sense of wellbeing, such as competence […] you get a sense of achievement, we know that’s a fundamental psychological need that people have, and that gives them a great sense of wellbeing and happiness”.

Is Second Life giving you that? Does the process of dancing with SL friends and indulging in idle tittle-tattle while listening to someone DJing give you a sense of wellbeing? I know there are times when doing that, in SL, is a far superior relaxation and ‘wellbeing’ process than watching some television programme.

Do you think that too many people are far too quick to write off SL as ‘that thing that was briefly popular’ (I know that, in relation to this very blog, I’ve read a comment on the internet that more or less reads ‘Is that still going? And it has a naturist community?’)

Yes. And yes. And in both instances, up to a point, thriving. Clearly not of Facebook/Twitter style popularity (although we’re comparing apples with pears) but thriving, improving and being a pleasurable experience to its players nonetheless.

Is the view that SL players are ‘sad loners’ misplaced? Might it be that people who, for whatever reason, live alone, have a sense of belonging provided by SL? Might it be that cybersex is a positive, valuable release valve rather than some sordid thing? It will be interesting to see, as SL develops, just how psychologists come to value it. Because it’s clear that we’re now moving away from that ‘video games made me a mass killer’ view into something different.




Naked Groceries

Recently I’d moaned about the lack of cultural diversity in SL, a lack of alternatives to the ‘mall’ shopping experience. It was therefore interesting to read on the Fab Free blog that there is a Grocery Store & Market sim in SL.

Model Helene popped over there (dressed) and grabbed the free, wearable shopping trolley you can add to your avi to wander around the store. Because this is SL Naturist, she quickly lost her clothes (the sim isn’t naturist, so be sure to tp in wearing something!) because I’d asked her to do a bit of an SL replicates RL post for me.


In many naturist locations you can shop nude. Indeed, a search on Google for ‘supermarket nude shopping’ quickly revealed that photos from this blog are immediately viewable, as it’s a topic we’ve covered before.




Yes, we covered the topic of nude grocery shopping before, away back in issue SLN8, at another grocery location in SL.

It’s all quite pointless, of course, but enormous fun to do a bit of fun pointlessness in SL from time to time. And, of course, recreate part of the SL replicates naturist RL experience.

FlevoNatuur Supermarket






On my next holiday, a bit of this will be part of my daily routine (I walk the beach to the nearby naturist hotel and usually pick up a copy of a British newspaper each day when there. Not quite grocery shopping, but nude shopping nonetheless).

helene supermarket3_001b

helene supermarket2_001b

So here’s a couple of photos of Helene prowling the aisles, obviously intent on ensuring the fridge/icebox is stocked with cold drinks.