Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sunday, August 19, 2012

How To Best Demonstrate Love: Second Life Speed Build Competition

A new gallery of photos from a recent Speed Build contest at the Zindra Help Vortex.  The theme was:
How To Best Demonstrate Love!
 

Note: The Sexy Speed Build Contest happens every Sunday at 8PM SLT and is open to all skill levels! This is THE best place to learn building (and other things!) on the adult mainland of Second Life.

See the Speed Build Photos Now

Read More About Zindra Help Vortex in Second Life Destination Guide

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ginette Pinazzo Interviews Nedria Cyr: Designer of the New Zindra Help Vortex Landing Point

Designer Nedria Cyr recently won the 'Design a New Vortex Landing Point' Contest and has been busy creating the new look for the Zindra Help Vortex LP.  Her innovative 'Oasis' concept is now being finalized and will debut shortly.

In the meantime, Zindra Help Vortex founder Ginette Pinazzo interviews Nedria to find out more about the talented Second Life builder.

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Ginette:  
Tell us a little bit about your 'career Path' in SL. How did you start, where did it lead, twists and turns, and how did you end up where you are now?

Nedria:
I guess you could say my "career path" in SL has been full of twists and turns. I've been a dancer, a host, a DJ, a manager, a club owner, a public relations/marketing rep, I've modeled for a couple of friends ads, and I've been building since 2006. The thing that has stuck with me through everything else, was the desire to create. My real life family are all creative in one way or another, so I guess you could say the need to express ones self through creative outlets, runs in the blood. I've had my periods where I got burned out on what I was doing at the time, even to the point of having left SL for a few months - but I just keep coming back, like a bad habit. :P  I always wind coming back to the one thing that makes me happiest: creation.  I am a bit of a perfectionist with a slight case of OCD, and an eye for details - so I tend to be my own worst critic. I build for the pleasure of it, and hopefully someone else out there likes what I make enough to toss me a few lindens for it to help pay my rent, and aid me in putting money back into the SL economy, by supporting other creators when I buy resources to use in my creations.



Ginette:
Tell us your feelings about SL's adult mainland (Zindra) and how Zindra may fit in to your worldview of SL

Nedria:
When I first heard about the plans for Zindra, I had mixed feelings about it. I felt like if mainland was labeled "Mature", then it should allow adult content.. after all there was already "Rated G" areas that those who don't want to see it, could stick to those. The club I had from 2007-2009 was known for guests and staff being in various stages of undress at any given time. We didn't have strippers or anything like that, we just enjoyed being a clothing optional club. When talk of Zindra came about, I worried that if I had to move the club to Zindra that I wouldn't ever get any guests. There seemed to be a lot of people who were apprehensive about age verifying, and I was afraid I would have to require age verifying. I was afraid half my staff wouldn't be able to work for me anymore, and that would be the end of business. As it turned out, the club closed before that even had a chance to become a problem.

In 2011 I decided to give the club another shot, and this time I rented space in an adult rated privately owned region, instead of on Zindra. The club wasn't open more than a few months when I remembered why I'd closed in the first place, but regardless of that I found that being on adult rated land really wasn't a problem at all. By then it seems that most of the people I know/knew had age verified and that was no longer a concern.

Until my partner rented a skybox from a landlord on Zindra, I hadn't ever really spent any time on the continent proper. One night we were standing in the skybox and bored, and decided to go down to the ground level and explore. We walked along the road through several sims, exploring what was around us. I was amazed to see how populated the continent had become. I don't visit Zindra often for businesses or clubs or anything, but I do visit the sandbox regularly.

Now, I think overall Zindra needed to happen. Adult content needed somewhere it could go and be accepted. You don't have to agree with everything that people are into that falls into adult content, but at least there is somewhere you can go where you know you aren't going to be told 'you can't do that here' about certain things.  I think having the whole continent be adult (and non-adult, if they want to join in) content kind of helps foster a sense of community over the whole continent. It's kind of like putting up a big 'Kinky People Welcome Here' sign. You know you're going to attract similar-minded people.


Ginette:
Tell us your feelings about 'Adult SL' in general and how Adult SL may fit in to your worldview of SL

Nedria:
I think this really ties in with the previous question, so I'd say that answer really applies to both. Both on how I originally viewed it, and how it's come to change over time.


Ginette:
What is your own definition of 'Adult' (as it pertains to SL).....as you would LIKE to see it defined

Nedria:
This is a difficult question for me because I'm one of those people who can see several points of view and see them all as valid arguments. 

Part of me thinks well, nudity and sex are in movies and TV shows that are rated R. You have to be 18 to see them... so I guess it makes sense if similar content as acted out by avatars should also be 18+ to view.

Another part of me thinks that nudity should be optional in real life, and that we should be open and honest with children from a very young age about what parts our body is made up of, what their functions are for, and what sex is... rather than making them taboo subjects. Things that are considered taboo tend to hold an attraction to children and young adults. The 'I shouldn't do this / say that / smoke this / drink that / so I'm going to. I'm going to rebel / be one of the cool kids / prove ___ by doing so' mentality is why those things happen. Take away the mystery and replace it with education and it's no longer a temptation, but instead an educated choice with known repercussions.. and hopefully this information will aid them in making the right choices.

I'd like for us to be that open in SL as well, but unfortunately the online aspect leads to other problems such as child predators. Ideally I think SL should be 18 and older and require age verification to sign up - but then that doesn't keep Teen Joe from sneaking mum's drivers license for a few minutes. Also lets not forget the parents who knowingly create accounts for their teenagers. Nothing is fool-proof online. 

Because of that, I suppose the definition of Adult in relation to SL is 'Anything you might see on HBO'.  While I might not like it to be that 'strict' (I was happy with my days of being naked in my club on 'Mature' land), I can understand why it is.. and I can respect the need to 'move that stuff aside' to it's own continent.

Whew! That was a long answer to a short question.. but I hope it made sense.


Ginette:
What is your vision (some ideas, anyway) for the future of Adult SL and Zindra?

Nedria:
I think it would be great if there were more places for people to interact as a community, with more common-interest groups and events. I think the ZEXPO was a good idea to start with.

With as many role play sims as there are in SL, I don't even know if there are any such sims on Zindra. What about a nature landscaped sim designed for naturists to gather and do activities... bonfires... boating, swimming, etc. where they could make friends and maybe even create meet-ups for RL.

There's a Fetish community website called Fetlife that can sort of be described as a more private Facebook for kinky folk, and I know they have a group in SL and they hold talks on different subjects. I'd love to see them more active in Zindra too.

I'm starting to recognize a theme with my answers. I promise I don't run around SL naked all the time!


Ginette:
What is your vision (some ideas, anyway) for the future of the Zindra Help Vortex?

Nedria:
I would like to see a second sim connected to the sandbox that is reminiscent of the old starter/welcome areas, that acts as a hub to connect visitors to other points of interest and community on Zindra. A section that advertises Zindra businesses, a nightclub connection area, information about role play sims, special interest groups and what not. It would also focus on education on a variety of topics, sort of like the Builders Brewery does now, but not just topics related to content creation. There would be areas created on land and in the sky in different areas around the sim for different classrooms (again, similar to the Builders Brewery)  It would point out those new to SL towards the sandbox/current help vortex. 

The current help vortex sandbox would work more like a hangout / sandbox / welcome area. The landing point area would be a safe spot to congregate and just meet people and hang out. It would be no-rez and no-object-entry and no-scripts, except for staff.  2-3 staff members could be found at any given time, hanging out in the sandbox, helping people and dealing with trouble makers.

The current help vortex staff would have the ability to actually do something about griefers so that everyone there can have a more pleasant experience.  I'd like to see all staff have the ability to return objects and to place bans.. with a policy that goes something like:  1st infraction - 7 day ban. 2nd infraction - 21 day ban.  3rd infraction - permanent ban.
I know that sometimes those attracted to power can come in and abuse it - so I would want there to be a system that if there are enough complaints against a certain member of staff that they are placed on probation, and if there are still problems, then they're removed from staff. You need the ability to prune the bad apples for the sake of tree.


Ginette:
What are some contributing ideas / philosophies / design approaches behind your Landing Point design?

Nedria:
Oh, you make it sound like I put a lot of thought into it. ;)  I guess you could say a welcome area that I visited long ago was sort of an inspiration. It had several rounded areas to it, and while it was nothing like what I came up with, it was the circles that got me thinking.  Much like I often do, I just started playing with cylinders and suddenly I was making a pattern from them. Being slightly OCD, I greatly enjoy patterns - especially mirrored ones. Before I knew it I had the base design down and went 'Oh, this doesn't suck.'  Of course then naturally I spend hours refining the little details until my inner perfectionist is happy.


Ginette:
What importance / significance (if any) do you see the Vortex having?



Nedria:
I think as it stands right now it's 'a good idea' with good intentions... a small seedling that needs love and water and to be nurtured, in the form of time and attention and people, ideas, and things getting done. I think it's also going to need a lot of discussion with Linden Lab employees and getting someone who can help the vortex staff get certain things done.


Ginette:
What are some other aspects of your SL life you'd just love us to know about? Anything unusual?

Nedria:
Unusual? You don't know me very well yet.. *maniacle laughter*  I have created a pig that you wear on your head, and it's tied to your head with ropes (it's called 'hogtied', appropriately)... a vacuum cleaner that you can ride like a motorcycle... an avatar called 'so board' that's a piece of wood with cute anime faces.... yeah I'd say there's quite a bit of unusual about me and my SL life. But it's mostly fun or goofy stuff, so you don't have to worry about calling for the men with the little white coats just yet.


Ginette:
If you could teach a class to residents (newbies or oldbies) what do you think would be some topics they really need to learn about most?


Nedria:
Never teach a class to oldbies, we think we know everything. ;)  Hmm. I spent a few months on another grid during that time that I left SL last year, and it reminded much of my early days in SL. One thing that I took away from that grid was the importance on deleting extra scripts in your clothing and attachments, and the benefits to using a client-side AO.  I also learned that when going to super-crowded events (such as the Hair Fair) that makes a huge difference if you completely de-prim your avatar and use a client-side AO. So I guess those could all 3 be rolled into "ways to help yourself and the grid with lag". 

Maybe a tips and tricks class for builders that that cover special builders tools in different viewers, and how to use them. There's a feature we've had in Firestorm for awhile that I figured out how to use a few days ago by accident. I think a lot of people don't understand the "Align" tool yet, even. Oh, and how about general things like the importance of making sure the scripts you're including in your products have a "delete all scripts" option, or you're including a non-scripted version that is re-sizeable by hand in addition to the scripted one. Also, the importance of NOT using systems that require you put a script in every single prim of that 200 prim belly chain you just made.

Oh, another one would be how to write marketplace reviews for the products you purchase, and why you should bother. Ever since LL took over the marketplace and completely redesigned the website, there's no longer a link that takes you to your history of purchases that you haven't reviewed yet. I've had customers tell me they don't know how to write a review.

With my experience with clubs spanning almost as long as I've been around (and that's 6 year and 6 months, if you've noticed the rez date) I have accrued vast insight into the do's and don'ts of creating yet-another-nightclub. What you will get out of it, what you won't, certain things you can expect, things you won't expect, common cliches that new owners fall into, and so on. I think a lot of people thinking about making a serious go of a club should learn from the collective experience of others who have been there and done that for many years.. and hopefully they won't become another victim of statistics.


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Thanks Nedria, for the insights! We look forward to your continued involvement in the Zindra Help Vortex and Adult SL - Gina