Thursday, 27 March 2014

Oculus Rift Is Not Virtual Reality

There seems to be some confusion about Oculus Rift. Let's get a grip on the hype and get something straight. Oculus Rift is not virtual reality. Virtual Realities are 3D digital worlds and places.

We can experience virtual worlds right now through something that could be described as a magic window or more commonly called .... a computer monitor.

Virtual Reality Worlds are already here.

Multi-User Game Realities such as Halo, Call of Duty,  Everquest, World Of WarCraft, Rift, Elder Scrolls,  are all a type of virtual reality. I would call these limited virtual realities or perhaps frozen or fixed virtual realities as users have limited control, they play and act out  specialised parts such as warriors, healers, soldiers, magicians etc whatever that realm/story/game world dictates. These are limited story based virtual realities.

The only real virtual world that exists right now is Second Life, created by Linden Lab. It's the only 3D world that qualifies as a living virtual reality. Real virtual worlds have user generated content, economies and commercial ecosystems. Second Life is currently the only virtual world that fully empowers users in this way.

Oculus Rift is just one of the means of seeing into a virtual world. Oculus is a marvellous, super, duper, stereoscopic Head Monitor, it's an aid to immersing oneself into virtual reality. But it's not virtual reality itself. Oculus Rift is a fantastic bit of tech. I hope with the 400 million USD they got from Facebook, they can speed it's developement and make it perfect. I wish them well.

If Oculus Rift, as an unfinished, stereoscopic, immersive head monitor, is worth 2 billion USD - on the strength of what it will be in 3-5 years -  then Second Life, the only real virtual reality world that exists today, with it's established community of creators, users and existing virtual ecosystem and content , must be worth at least 20 billion USD or more ...... since Second Life is a 'LIVING PLACE' .... it is currently the only qualifying candidate that can call itself a real virtual reality.

Note to Self ...
I'm officially coining the phrase 'LIVING PLACE' as a qualifying necessity of any virtual reality. If there are no other real people, that are not you, present ....  creating their own stories, experiences and shaping themselves and their surrounding environment ... then it's not a true virtual reality.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Living In The Fairytale World Of Second Life

I can hardly believe I have lived and worked in a fairytale virtual reality world for the last 8 years. There is something truly remarkable about the virtual world, Second Life.

Second Life has everything the real world has - magnified, it's an exaggerated reflection of the real world, both good and bad. But let's not forget the magic.

Today Dolly and I were setting up screenshots for our new mesh pine forest when some fairy friends dropped by. I'm often visited by fairies since I am one, some of the time. But today , after viewing these totally spontaneous screenshots (windlight and fairy dust added) it really did make me stop and think, not for the first time,  ..... what a wonderful place Second Life is, it's a truly magical world. Where else can you be busy working and be interrupted by the visits of fairies and I have the screenshots to prove it.

What you see below is a tiny glimpse into a magical moment that happened today in Second life

Lilith Heart and The Fairies

Moonstruck Fairies

Lilith Heart Telling Fairies Stories 

 Dolly Heart thinks to herself ...
 "I do love fairies, but I couldn't eat a whole one."

Recently Dolly and I transformed into forest elementals -  larger than fairies and a tad scary but fundamentally the same DNA. We'd been human for too long ...  time to be more virtual, time for change, time for Fairy Power !

I always knew Second Life and Virtual Worlds were an important medium, from the first time I logged in 'I got it'. Eight years later I am not surprised to learn it still has the power to amaze and delight me.

What have I learnt in eight years ?

1. Don't trust appearances
2. Change is gonna come
3. Many a mickle makes a muckle

Also .....  Welcome to the Fairytale King Ebbe. Please be gentle with this world, as you can see .... it has fairies.

Saturday, 26 October 2013


Dark spooky Black Oak Witch forest with hanging skulls, purple and white Moon berries, red Bellock's Crowns and twited Black Thorns. It's dark, it's scary, it's strange.


( Normal price 1800L$)

If you already have the Heart Soul Catcher Witch Tree this forest kit is a must have !

More information about the Witch forest, including prim counts etc, can be found at the SL Marketplace listing

Teleport Now to see the Witch forest inworld at the Heart Garden Centre 

Friday, 5 July 2013


Second Life is wondrous and marvellous. One of the most incredible things about the virtual world Second life is how malleable and plastic the environment is, it's changeable. Everything can be changed and transformed. One day a Second Life simulation, a sim, an island, can be a flat, empty space void of life ..... the next day a lush overgrown Oak Forest can grow out of nowhere, or a tropical paradise perhaps.

In Second life nothing is fixed, everything is ready to respond to the user's imagination. It's the ultimate play-box for grown-ups. There are more than 2 million virtual goods in the SL marketplace catering to every niche and every imagination.

When an individual avatar transforms their environment it's an act of creation, an act of imagination. In Second life we are powerful, we can do magic.

So here's a little something that will hopefully add to the magic of Second Life. If you would like to do magic and make a giant lush , green overgrown oak forest, appear as if from nowhere ....... Please take a look at our new MESH TERRAIN Wildwood Giant Oak Forest Landscaping kit.

It's a rather a large kit - 9 different 20m forest modules to avoid repetition and help create an organic and believable deep forest experience. All parts have Copy/Mody/No Transfer permissions.
See below for screen shots and more info.

and here's the link to the SL Marketplace listing.  


Teleport Now to the Heart Garden Centre to see the Oak Forest inworld

WildWood Giant Oak Forest Landscaping Kit

There are 9 base modules included in the kit
4 Single Tree modules
8 Copse modules

Also Includes:
Plant Palette - A selection of forest floor plants - Ivy, Ferns and Sapling trees 
2 undecorated Forest Floor mesh bases 
A 512x512 tiling version of the Forest floor texture for sim terrain and 1024x1024 for use on prims, sculpties or mesh  

WildWood Base Modules

Plant Palette

Tree Stump

Thursday, 25 April 2013


Living with, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say living through an avatar, in a virtual world like Second life can be a fascinating and revealing experience. One of the things I've noticed over the years is that Lilith Heart, my Second Life avatar, is an all round better person than the real life me. The real life me is a little more cranky, more cynical, less trusting, less patient.

The strange phenomena I am speaking about is that Lilith brings out the better parts of me. Lilith is very patient, Lilith is trusting, Lilith is easy going and rather transparent, possibly too transparent, she shares her thoughts and ideas easily ..... Must try to cut back on that ! I'm starting to think I maybe shouldn't be so open. I may encourage Lilith to be a little more reserved :-)

For some reason this medium, the virtual world Second Life causes me to manifest a better version of myself through Lilith. In fact over the years I have come to love Lilith, my avatar persona, and try to be more like her.

It truly is an unusual situation. Even though I am Lilith I often find myself referring to Lilith in the third person, as if she has a life of her own. I will often say to myself .... 'What has Lilith got to do today ? ' Lilith has her own diary to keep track of events, meeting, correspondence, and general to do list.

The way I am starting to see it now, maintaining and living through an avatar, is a future experience that soon everybody will have. Avatars are our virtual agents, our virtual representatives. Everyone now has email and it's quite possible that in the near future the virtual barrier will be broken and everyone will maintain avatars for different purposes from MMO gaming to virtual businesses, remote working/learning and all kinds of digital doings.

The experience of sharing virtual space with other human beings has a powerful magic, the fact that behind every avatar is a real person provides unlimited possibilities.  It's a remarkable thing to be able to share space and time with someone who can be on the other side of the world.

Working and playing in Second Life over the past 7 years I have met countless people from every corner of the world. And Lilith has grown from a simple explorer of virtual worlds to a fully fleshed out individual that has her own life above and beyond my own RL duties and responsibilities.

All of the above does sound rather crazy now I am re-reading it but true none the less. I'm sure thousands of other people are developing similar relationships with their avatars.

I love Lilith, I have learnt more than I could ever imagine from her. Working and experiencing a virtual life through her, is making me a better person.

Sunday, 24 March 2013


Well goodness me ...... I was suspended from Second Life, my account was on hold for 24 hours.

For those who don't know me, I have been in SL since 2006 running a garden centre with Dolly Heart. I'm also one of the caretakers of CCA ( Content Creators Association ). Dolly and I love making plants and trees for Second Life and have always done our best to try to help make Second Life more beautiful.

I've always been one of Second Life's biggest advocates and fans. So having my account suspended and being sent on a 24 hour ban-cation was a puzzling experience.

When I tried to log in Friday night I almost had conniptions when I saw my account was on hold and I couldn't log in. There was just a message telling me to file a support ticket.

I filed a support ticket asking why this was happening as I had not received any emails from Linden Lab informing me about the hold on my account. I still don't know why my account was suspended for 24 hours.

Have I been a bad girl ?
What could I have done ?

I also telephoned support, which didn't go quite as expected but was a strangely calming experience .... I suspect Jedi mind tricks !  "these are not the droids you are looking for" kind of stuff

I got through to a soft spoken gentleman who is obviously a Supreme Master of the word NO.
No he didn't know why my account was on hold, No he didn't know how long the hold would last, No he couldn't put me in contact with the Admin department, No he couldn't talk to the admin department for me.

But he said no in such a calming and tranquil way, I thought if this chap doesn't know what is going on nobody does. So I accepted the suspension with a philosophical frame of mind.

I have been wondering if evil LillithHeart, my Second Life Impersonator has been on the rampage again abusing people and perhaps I was accidentally ARd by people involved in an incident thinking it was me and not noticing the spelling difference in the names. See my previous blog post about evil LillithHeart here...

Actually, it was an interesting experience having my account suspended. It's the first time I have been prevented from logging in to Second Life in 7 years (barring grid issues). It was interesting because it really focused my attention on how much Second Life .... the world, the people, are part of my real life experience. And being forcibly disconnected from it, not being able to log in as Lilith was jarring but also liberating. I couldn't do anything so Lilith had a day off !! Woooohoooo. First proper day off Lilith's had in 7 years. When I logged in this morning Lilith looked quite refreshed and energised from the short ban-cation :-)

I really, really would like to know what happened. Why was my account put on hold ? If I have done something wrong, please Linden Lab let me know, as I very much value my Second Life experience. It's not a Second Life for me, it's an integral and vital part of my first life.

If there are any Lindens 'in the know' reading this please contact me. When you get in the office Monday please email me, IM me, call me ......
Call me .... Call me the moment you get there :-)

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


I have just read Fleep's passionate article ....  Personal Perspective: The End of the Second Life Community Convention and there is a little section of the article, talking about the infighting amongst some Second life residents which encouraged me to talk about a difficult issue .... Avatar stalking

Here's the clip from Fleep's article :
"Last year’s shenanigans put us in an extremely difficult position – we were forced to deal with people’s personal vendettas against each other (!), threats of harm against other attendees (!!), vandalizing of sponsors’ booths (!!!), and even threats of lawsuits (!!!!).  At some point you have to ask yourself, is it really worth this much grief?"

Also, in light of the current ongoing discussions about avatar privacy and Cloud Party, I thought this would be a timely post in regards to why lots of content creators want to maintain their privacy and not connect their avatar identities and brands to their real world details and Facebook accounts and also to put some experiences and thoughts on record.

Fake Evil LillithHeart Runs Amok At Virtual Jazz Club
A concerned Second life Club owner friend of mine - Nanceee Sinatra - contacted me weekend before last to tell me about an unpleasant incident which took place at her club - Franks Jazz Club.

Some crazy person was impersonating me. They had registered the name LillithHeart resident (two ls and no space) and at 1 day old went to the jazz club and pretended to me, talked about the Heart Garden Centre, threatened to ban people from from my store, used very foul language and generally upset and abused the members of the jazz club.

Second Life Profiles 
Psychotic LillithHeart Impersonator And The Real Lilith Heart

Here are some brief extracts of the public chat Nanceee sent me recording the incident.

Please note this is the 1 day old, FAKE crazy LillithHeart speaking :
During the first incident:
[10:10] Joanne Swansong: so please be kind and wear a formal dress
[10:10] LillithHeart: if I get kick from here, I kick the whole staff from all my shops
[10:10] Joanne Swansong: and i will ask you to pass on IM thank you very much
[10:11] LillithHeart: they won't be aable to buy my trees, palm trees etc
[10:11] Now playing: Michael Buble - What A Wonderful World
[10:11] LillithHeart: I own one of the largest garden center in SL
[10:12] LillithHeart: let me bann the all in advance. Prehemptive war

The next day:
[11:50] LillithHeart: hey you!
[11:51] LillithHeart: are you there, f**king idiot?
[11:51] Cheri: Do I know you?
[11:52] LillithHeart: open your mouth
[11:52] Cheri: And that is certainly a way to get me to answer
[11:52] LillithHeart: I sh*t diarrhea inside

This person is clearly psychotic and evil. They don't JUST have a similar name to me, they are actually pretending to BE me. They clearly have destructive intentions, trying to damage my good name and reputation. This is defamation of character.

The truth is, as Lilith I have been stalked, harassed, threatened in various ways over the years. Since the beginning of  2007 I've intermittently received abusive and threatening emails ..... telling me to stop creating and leave SL, threatening me and my family. I am not alone in this experience. Speak to any successful SL creator and many will give you examples of similar experiences

Avatars are our representatives in these shared virtual spaces. They represent our business and Brand. Lilith Heart is not a pretend game character, she is the public virtual representative of a real business and a real person, who just happens to work in a virtual world.

I am very happy for Linden Lab, Cloud Party or whichever virtual world company to have my real world details on file. This is important stuff, because of IP issues and accountability. I have never agreed with anonymous 'No Payment Info Accounts' for creators. It's a recipe for IP crime, confusion and distress. We all need to be accountable for our actions. In fact, I am not comfortable with the idea of truly anonymous accounts in user generated content, virtual worlds.

Avatar privacy is important. Let's not be naive, there truly are some crazy, destructive and dangerous people inhabiting virtual worlds. Avatars should have rights ..... The right not to be abused, not to be harassed and threatened, the right to privacy. The right to live and work in a civilised, respectful environment.

Linden Lab's original intention for Second life is something I have always greatly admired. That Second life would  'Enhance the Human Condition'. And the Second Life TOS does reflect this idea. All the rights we need as Avatars are expressed in the TOS, we just need Governor Linden to fully wake up and remember his original grand intentions and defend the world and the residents from the negative.

Edmund Burke said .....'all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing'. 

My overwhelming experience of Second life is that it is full of smart, caring and interesting people who are brave pioneers of this new medium, a new place in which human beings gather, work, love and play. My good experiences FAR outweigh the negative. In fact there seems to be some strange karma like effect in place. The more these negative people attack me, the more positive energy and positive people seem to come my way.

Second life is absolutely amazing and I love it.

My family, friends and peers are often amazed, bemused and intrigued by my Second life stories and learnings. It's a strange, new and unusual phenomenon, living and working in a virtual world. After all these years, Second life is still ahead of the curve and we are still breaking new ground. We and the avatars that represent us need and deserve rights similar to our real world counterparts. And one of the first rights we need to have fully recognised for a tranquil and civilised virtual existence is privacy.

If we the inhabitants of the new virtual frontier don't take avatar identity and rights seriously, who will ?