Author Archives: Inara Pey

About Inara Pey

Eclectic virtual world blogger with a focus on Second Life. My blog can be found below and I'm semi-active on Twitter and Plurk.

Skill Gaming: CapEx moving to the Internet, with important changes

Capital Exchange has seen activity in its stock market simulation game frozen since the November 1st enforcement of the Lab's Skill Gaming Policy

Capital Exchange has seen activity in its stock market simulation game frozen since the November 1st enforcement of the Lab’s Skill Gaming Policy

As regular readers know, I’ve been reporting on the Skill Gaming Policy changes, including the situation involving the stock market simulation game Capital Exchange (CapEx), operated by Skip Oceanlane.

Since my last report in December 2014 there have been a number of updates from Skip on the matter to keep CapEx members informed of progress, of which the April 18th, 2015 is the most important.

If you are engaged with CapEx, and you’ve not already done so, please ensure you read the April 18th update in full. What follows is a very high-level summary:

  • With as yet no confirmation or rejection of the CapeX Skill Gaming application by the Lab, the decision has been made to move the game to the Internet and away from Second Life
  • This does not mean, at this point in time, that CapEx is ceasing trying to gain approval as a Second Life Skill Game Operator (SLSGO)
  • A new website is being developed to support operations, and once available, all existing CapEx URLs (www.onlinecapex.com. slcapex.com and capex.biz) will redirect to it. It is planned to have this up and running in June, 2015; until it is officially announced, users are requested to keep using slcapex.com until otherwise directed
  • As a game of skill under United States law, the new Capital Exchange website will not be accessible to people reisding in the following state: Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee
  • Game players will be able to register via the website, with the option to connect to a virtual world avatar if they choose to do so – but it won’t be mandatory
  • A valid e-mail address will be required for registration with the new website – players who have not entered an e-mail address against their current CapEx details are asked to add one now, to ease transition. Instructions on doing so can be found in Skip’s update
  • The Linden Dollar will be replaced with the new CapEx Dollar (CD$). The value of the CapEx Dollar will initially be pegged at 250 to the US Dollar, in order to ensure stability with existing stock values
  • The new website will operate using HTTPS, and will be connected to a merchant account linked to VISA authorize.net to allow payments using major credit cards
  • The initial means of cashing-out will be via PayPal. The cash-out fee is liable to be “significantly” less than the current 3.5% fee with the Linden Dollar
  • Future options may include the ability to support additional currencies – GBP, the Euro, etc., and other virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, etc.
  • At a future date yet to be determined, the CapEx Dollar will be freely traded on a currency exchange, and CapEx may may allow multiple currency exchanges to free float CD$
  • Should Linden Lab grant CapEx authority to operate in Second Life as a Skill Game, the Linden Dollar may be accepted, and thoughts to how this might be done have been given. However, it is currently Skip’s intention to operate CapEx without support for the Linden Dollar
  • There are significant changes coming to CapEx ATMs and funds held through them (see below)
Skip Oceanlane - moving CapEx to the web and away from SL. Projected launch date: July 2015

Skip Oceanlane – moving CapEx to the web and away from SL. Projected launch date: July 2015

The new service currently has a projected start date of July, 2015.

An important aspect of this news is that all existing CapEx ATMs are to be withdrawn from Second Life on Sunday, May 10th (unless CapEx gains authorisation to operate as a Skill Game in SL before then). Users can opt to withdraw their L$ amounts held by CapEx ATMs ahead of that date, or can opt to leave them on deposit. L$ values will then be used to purchase stock in a yet to be named fund, and stock in this fund will eventually be able to be sold once trading restarts. In stating this, Skip goes on to note:

Now for you “old-timers” I already know what you are thinking – this is what was done when SL banks failed in 2008 at the old “SLCapEx” as well as a defunct fund at a defunct exchange called the “World Stock Exchange”. Deposits were converted to worthless stock, and no one ended up getting their Lindens back. Well this time, it will be greatly different. I will be maintaining a Buy Order at roughly 5% above the value of what was created/purchased. So anyone that wishes to “cash out” will actually make a profit, if they do not withdraw before May 10. It’s also an incentive for people to stay with Capital Exchange, and to continue playing the game. Note that I plan on adding assets to this fund, so it will be generating a monthly dividend.

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SL12B Community Celebration: “What dreams may come”

The website for SL12B, the largest Community Celebration marking Second Life’s 12th anniversary, opened on Thursday, April 22nd. Celebrations this year will run from Sunday, June 21st through to Sunday, June 28th, inclusive, and have been given the theme “What dreams may come”.

The opening of the website also saw applications for exhibitors, performers, presenters and volunteers also open.

Those wishing to apply for any of these positions are asked to read the General Event Policies for SL12BCC, and then proceed as follows:

Key Dates for the Event

  • Wednesday, May 13th: All applications closed
  • Saturday, May 25th – Monday, May 27th: Exhibitors notified via email
  • Monday, June  1st – Wednesday June 17th (noon SLT): Sims open for building
  • Wednesday, June 10th: Performers notified via email
  • Wednesday June 17th (noon SLT) at noon SLT – Thursday, June 18th: Sims closed for walk-through
  • Friday, June 19th and Saturday, June 20th: Extra time for adjustments
  • Saturday, June 20th: Press day
  • Sunday, June 21st ( noon SLT): Sims open!
  • Tuesday, June 23rd: Second Life’s twelfth anniversary
  • Sunday, June 28th: End of main celebrations
  • Monday, June 29th – Saturday, July 4th: Sims remain open for viewing
  • Monday, July 6th – Wednesday, July 8th: Break down
  • Thursday, July 9th: Sims go offline.

About the Theme

The theme for SL12BCC, What dreams may come, a phrase which perhaps most famously can be found in Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, and the  the Prince’s fourth, and most famous, soliloquy (Act III, Scene I).

At first glance, it might seem an unusual choice, given the context of Hamlet’s thinking within the play.  However, as the SL12BCC website reminds us, the words also formed the title of Richard Matheson’s acclaimed 1978 novel, and the SL12BCC website itself offers a new, uplifting interpretation of the words:

Unlike our physical world, everything we see in Second Life© was born out of the stuff of dreams. For some, these dreams are what they aspire to, while others seek to recreate that which is unattainable in their lives.

Some may craft elaborate worlds of gleaming gold, while others may descend into the netherworld, portraying realms of flame and darkness.

Still others may have dreams of a simpler variety: a nice house, a picket fence, and a perfectly green lawn. All dreams, big and small, are valid and welcome.

We want to see your dreams. what do you imagine for the future, what are your aspirations, or what is your own personal flight of fancy?

Bring life to your dreams at SL12BCC.

Dreams of SL11B and the Cake stage by Loki Eliot; what dreams will give form to the SL12B celebrations?

Dreams of SL11BCC and the Cake stage by Loki Eliot; what dreams will give form to the SL12BCC celebrations?

Related Links

 

 

Fantasy Faire: The Lost Lands – hints and guidelines

The Lost Lands is more than a hunt – it is an unfolding story, and you are one of the principal characters! To help you play your role to the fullest, here are some hints and suggestions to start you on your way.

The HUD and Getting Started

There are two versions of the HUD available, one priced at L$250 and one at L$350. Both operate exactly the same way inside the hunt; the L$350 version will also give you a costume to let you be more “in-character” as you seek to come to the assistance of Princess Flora. And it’s yours to keep as a memory of the Faire and the hunt; so why not treat yourself to the full package – remember 100% of all payments go to RFL of SL. It will also help you recognise other Hunters – and you can help each other!

When you have purchased your HUD package wear it, and then touch it to unpack the contents to a folder in your Inventory called FF2015 The LostLand Hunt. When it has done so, you can detach the HUD package and then wear your hunt HUD (and your costume, if you purchased the special edition of the HUD).

Wearing your HUD will deliver instructions on how to use it, please read them, as they will answer many of your questions.

The special edition hunt HUD includes a costume for you to wear, designed by June Dion of Bare Rose. When you purchase the HUD package, wear it (shown in my hand) and touch it to unpack it to your inventory

The special edition hunt HUD includes a costume for you to wear, designed by June Dion of Bare Rose. When you purchase the HUD package, wear it (shown hovering over my hand) and touch it to unpack it to your inventory

Game Play Guidelines

Part 1: Find the Orbs

  • Your first task in the HUD is to seek out the Bard Queen in Fairelands Junction and receive her instructions. If you prefer, a landmark in the HUD folder of your inventory will teleport you directly to her presence
  • Part of the Bard Queen’s story will be told through videos displayed in your viewer via a screen provided by your HUD. If the videos do not start automatically, click the screen. If they refuse to run, use the links in chat to watch them on YouTube (please do not share or embed links to the videos in blogs!)

Courtesy of Saffia Widdershins / Fantasy Faire blog

  • Sometimes you will need to click on someone after watching a video as well, so that they can give you an additional clue (such as how to find the Book of the Champions)
  • Champions are to be found across the Fairelands (although not in any shops). The Bard Queen will direct you to the Book of Champions, which will in turn help you locate each of the Champions.  Some might be close to a sim’s landing point, others you may have to seek out
  • Touch a Champion to interact with them, and it will display a dialogue box – be sure to check all of the options displayed, as there might be some special surprises!
  • Make sure you give them a ring via the dialogue box in order to gain a clue to find their orbs
  • Each orb is located in the same sim as its Champion (but again, not in any shops). When you have found the orb, return to the Champion and give it to them to receive a prize
  • You can visit the Champions and seek their Orbs in any order you like, as long as you find and return all 10 orbs to them
  • When you have found and returned all ten orbs, return to the Bard Queen to commence the second part of the hunt.
The HUD with the orb collector open - touching HINT in the centre will give you the last hint on an orb's location that you received

The HUD with the orb collector open – touching HINT in the centre will give you the last hint on an orb’s location that you received

Part 2: Help the Princess

  • This takes place in Ravenshold and will engage you in puzzle-solving
  • Clues to all the puzzles will be spoken in text or can be found in Ravenshold – so look around you carefully and pay attention to everything that is said!
  • Some of the puzzles are HUD-based, and sometimes the HUD can go wrong. If this happens, reset the HUD using Options > Reset HUD – this will not reset your hunt progress.

Other Things to Note

You can stop playing the hunt at any time and remove the HUD – your progress is automatically saved for you, so you do not have to do the entire hunt in one go.

If you don’t pick up a gift from a champion, or at the end of Part 2, you can return to receive the prize at any time.

When you complete the hunt, you can use Options > Reset Hunt and have another go, if you like.

Further Information and Related Links

Bright Canopy: first in-world Q&A, Saturday April 25th

Bright CanopyBright Canopy, the company working towards offering a new streaming access service for Second Life and OpenSim has announced its first in-world meeting and Q&A session.

The event will take place on Saturday, April 25th, starting at 11:00 SLT, and will take place in Thorncliff, Second Life. The meeting announcement reads in part:

Please join us for our first in-world Q&A at our shiny new, Bright Canopy Meeting Hall.

How This Works: To make sure everyone gets a turn to ask their question, please take a seat when you arrive. When we get everyone settled, we will begin taking question. If you have a question, please stand and I will call on you. Please ask questions in text chat so that we can keep a transcript.

Please be aware that we will be keeping a log of the chat and will be posting it to the website. We respect your privacy, but want to share the discussion with people who can’t make it

Seating may well be limited, depending on the numbers attending, and will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. All things being equal, I’ll be attending myself and will be producing a full transcript of the meeting, which will appear both in the Bright Canopy blog and here.