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Saturday, 31 October 2009

Shop Space in Virtual Hyde Park

Fancy opening a shop in a slightly different type of surroundings than the usual hustle and bustle of the urban sprawl? Well you can go in for a bit of elegance in our very own Virtual Hyde Park.

There are some beautiful glass houses with that Kew Gardens feel about them. You can rent one for L$1399 a week, which gives you 200 prims. Just think, in your dinner break you can eat your sandwiches by the Dell Cafe and feed the ducks as well!

Janey Bracken

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Halloween Parties For Saturday!

It's the clash of the Titans Saturday night, two fabulous Halloween parties going on in both of the Virtual London Clubs, oh well, not really a clash, the Mayhem Club's superbly ghostly Monster Mash starts at 8pm (UK time)(12 noon PDT) and the ghoulishly delicious Underground Club's Thriller Night starts at 10pm (UK time)(2pm PDT). If you can hold your 'spirits' (oh dear another pun!) long enough, you can party all evening and all night too!!
Janey Bracken

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Bon Jovi Tribute Band Booked for Knightsbridge

Another date to put in your busy diary, 28 November! Manager Brie Janick has booked the Bon Jovi Tribute Band and it looks like another brilliant evening in Virtual Knightsbridge! I will come back with the times etc as soon as I know them!

Janey Bracken

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Fun Down At The Garden Cafe Graveyard

“Janey you ok over there love? I can hardly see through all this green fog” said Billy Arentire, (Manager of the Mayhem club), as he peered at me through the heavy mist shrouding the Garden Café in virtual Mayfair. “Yes thanks” I answered. I wasn’t too surprised that I had become fairly invisible, as I had donned my witches outfit, including a nice green witch’s skin created by a very clever little witch I had met called Cerise Button, and dressed like this, I easily melted into the background of the Café in my black outfit. I was actually fine, and enjoying a great night out at a Halloween party at the Garden Café.

Garden Café Manager Eveshka Blackheart had done a fabulous job arranging the event, the place looked very spooky with the backdrop of a haunted house and a graveyard installed. The worrying thing was a giant pool in the centre of the dance floor that looked like mud (well, in fact they hinted that it was a pool of poo, but I won’t go there! and wouldn’t go there at the party either!). There were some brave souls who went swimming in it up to their necks though, and they didn’t seem at all bothered!

Sim Manager Torric Rodas looked extra creepy as his head rotated on his shoulders, just like the scene from The Exorcist, I could almost hear the creaking of his neck bones! People had some great costumes, ghouls, rotting bodies, witches, a vampire nurse and even Count Dracula dropped in, I’m not too sure about the giant banana, but there must be a ghostly connection somewhere, he looked good anyway! The music was great too, adding to the atmosphere. Eveshka, Billy and Torric had done a brilliant job decorating the club, and the event was a big success. Thanks for a smashing night out at the Garden Café Eveshka, it was a party to remember!

Janey Bracken

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Club Etiquette

As you know one of the real delights are the clubs and pubs in SL London, they are fun places where you can dance and listen to great music, plus socialising is so easy, that even the newest of people soon feel at home.

There is an unspoken code though, sort of virtual good manners that the majority of people abide by, and look on as a way to show both respect and affection for their fellow avatars. Language in SL may be cut down to text message type lingo in a lot of cases, and little bits here and there have become the norm, though not in all instances.

On entering a club, there may already be lots of people there that you know, and as you wait for the place to rez you can see in 'text chat' that people are greeting you with “Hello Janey” etc. People spot you on their radars before you have quite got to the door sometimes and it’s lovely of them to make you feel welcome. It’s usual to greet everyone in the room with a “Hello everyone” or “Hi” and then the 'virtual manners' come into being when you look at all the people who have greeted you personally and you greet them back individually by name, you can add a smile by typing :) or “hugs” to the greeting. If there are a big crowd its sometimes easier to click on your ‘Local Chat’ button down in the left hand corner of your screen and open the chat window, then you can look back to make sure you haven’t missed anyone. Sometimes you spot people in the club who you think may have missed you, but don’t be offended, some of the club positions are out of range and people haven’t always realised that you have arrived, or they may just be away from their keyboards (afk) for a short while.

Hosts do an excellent job at greeting people old and new, they watch for new arrivals greeting them all by name and making sure that new people are included every time, which, when you are new, a little bit of kindness goes a long way! It seems so English for people to greet each other with “How Are You” but SL has taught me that this is a familiar greeting all over the world as I have met people from many different countries in the virtual environment who use it too.

The abbreviations come into their own when someone has to leave the keyboard for a short time, but leave their avatar in the same spot, “brb” (be right back) must be one of the most widely used phrase in SL. People usually respond with “ok” or “k” and just lately I noticed that a new abbreviation has come into the equation “hb” (hurry back). Once the person has returned to take control of their avatar, they type “back” to let everyone know they are around again, this is then responded to with “wb” (welcome back), to which the returnee replies “thanks” or “thx”

The banter is usually going on all the time with a good crowd and jokes and comments fly back and forth. So too are ‘gestures’ which people love to use, you see the gestures mixed in with the text, it may be something like ‘Mayhem Club Rocks!’ or letters used to make the shape of a picture, along with a vocal sound, it purely means that people are having a good time. Anything humorous is met with “lol” (laugh out loud), “raofl” (roll about on the floor laughing) or just “haha” or “hehe”. You get plenty of “Omg” (Oh My God!), or even the ruder “lmao” (laughing my arse off). It’s no wonder that newbies get confused and with the gestures and text moving up the screen very quickly, it’s easy to lose your way with what is being said. That’s why opening the chat window is so handy. Of course while all this is going on, people may be getting in touch with you privately in IM, in the end you sort of learn to deal with the IM but still keep glancing at the local chat going on if you can, but it can get tricky.

On top of everything else, if you belong to groups, you may find someone using ‘group chat’ to start a conversation among it’s members, then you are in real trouble as their chat also fills the screen making things even more confusing. Opening the chat window will solve this as you click on the tab you want to keep up with, i.e. local chat, IM or the Group chat. If you want to get rid of the group chat, (and a couple of people got fed up with me chatting in ‘group chat’ the other day, who can blame them, hehe), all you do is open the chat window as stated before, click on the tab where the group chat is taking place, then you will see just below the main x in the top right hand corner there is a little square box with what looks like an arrow in it and next to that there is a small x. Firstly click on the little square box and this will tear off the page from the window, then click the x next to the box. By doing this you have left the group chat and you won’t hear any more until someone starts up a new one.

One of the things that bugs me about dance places though, is that you try to find a spot to dance which gives you plenty of room, so that you don’t knock into other avatars as you strut your stuff, then you find someone has entered the room and chooses to stand right next to you. In the beginning you just have to give them time as they may not see you as the room rezzes into view for them, but after a while it’s obvious that they just want to stand or dance in your space, which is really rude of them. If they just stand there while you are dancing away, you feel like a right idiot and if they dance and keep knocking you it’s just plain annoying. Someone did that to me the other day and I moved my avatar to another spot in the room to get away, he just teleported out when I moved, so who knows if he had meant to have bad manners or not, but crowding people is not something that makes a good impression.

Leaving the club also takes a couple of minutes, as you tell the room that you are off and wish them a good night. People will say goodnight, and you wait a few seconds as they do this, before saying your final goodbye and leaving. I think it’s lovely that people have created this mini society and framework of behaviours that proves they have real affection and friendship with each other. It also makes new people feel included with the regulars very quickly and lets them relax and enjoy what SL has to offer.

Janey Bracken

Friday, 23 October 2009

Spooky Sunday At The Garden Cafe!

More ghostly stuff in this scary spooky season!! By daylight the Garden Café in Virtual Mayfair looks like a really nice place to drop in and have a chat or go to that afternoon dance, but by night, just lately, it has taken on a different atmosphere, an eerie graveyard and haunted house can be spied through the door and you must enter at your own peril!! Be warned! you will have a frighteningly ghoulish, but fantastic night out if you go there this Sunday. (25 October, at 7pm UK time, (that’s 11am PDT)). Don’t forget to dress in your 'gravest' outfits!!!
Janey Bracken

Queen Gig Rocks Knightsbridge!

What a wow, the only word for it! The Queen tribute band packed out the sim, and everyone absolutely loved the show. As avatars Freddie Mercury and his band took to the stage everyone just rocked away to a couple of hours of pure Queen magic. People were still teleporting in as the evening went on and the atmosphere was electric.

Fellow reporter Ed Follet had been going to write about the band for Virtually London (lite), but Ed had technical SL troubles that night, and missed a great deal of the show. Hopefully Virtual Knightsbridge Manager Brie Janick will have a return performance by the Queen tribute band in the not too distant future.

Big thanks to Brie for bringing us such a great night!!

Janey Bracken

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Pajama Party at the Mayhem Club

Do you want the chance to win L$500, as well as having a great night out? Well get your pajamas on and head out to the Mayhem Club in Virtual Mayfair on the 24 October (this Saturday) at 8pm (UK time) that's 12 noon (PDT). They are having a 'Best in Pajamas' competition, and just think, you can rock the night away and then collapse into bed without even getting changed!!

Janey Bracken

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Maisy Garnet - New Landlady Of The Greyhound Pub

The Greyhound Public House in Virtual Kensington has a new boss, Maisy Garnet.

Kwame Oh, the famous SL publican gave up the reigns as manager of the virtual Greyhound recently and Maisy has become the new landlady.

I asked Maisy how she became involved in running the Greyhound, she told me that she had owned a house just across the road from the pub and had been interested in it for some time. Maisy has lots of plans for events like Karaoke nights and pub quizzes, so it should be a great venue for a fun night out. Maisy told me that she has already had quite a few punters dropping in. So pop in for a beer and say hello!
Congratulations on your new job Maisy!!
Janey Bracken

Monday, 19 October 2009

Renting Those Houses In Virtual London!

Well I was hoping to have a few more events to bring to you, but after sending note cards out to the Virtual London Managers they are taking a while getting back to me, so here is a subject quite close to my heart that I want to talk about - housing in Virtual London, and I would like your views on this too!!

It’s always been a nice idea to be able to live in Virtual London, just like the real London, there are some lovely buildings and you sort of feel like part of what’s going on if you live in the area.

I’ve been looking round the different London sims which all have places of residences to offer, except for Hyde Park, where the brave can camp out under a tree if they don’t mind the great outdoor life!

Shops seem to be a lot more reasonable than houses or apartments, although the prim limit is the thing to consider. Hib and I rent a shop in SL Kensington for L$300 a week, which is really good, but the prim allowance is only 30, which I suppose, for a shop, you can manage if you plan carefully with pictures of the objects for sale instead of the actual items being on display. Prims seem to be the things that are restricted lately and it appears that you pay accordingly to how many prims you have. The way to go with all this, is to shop around for very low prim furniture and I look out for sculptie stuff which lowers the need for prims dramatically in some cases. I have some couches that are one prim each, not the prettiest couches in the world, or the most feminine, but they look ok. You can get things like lighting and tables too which are one prim (sculptie), the only thing that is a bit off putting though, is the fact that sculpties can look odd whilst rezzing, and from different angles after rezzing as well, if your viewer is playing up.

You can rent a beautiful Regency house in SL Kensington for L$999 a week, which gives you 200 prims, now these are pricey but spacious and grand. At the other end of the scale, you can rent a loft there for L$499 a week which will give you 100 prims. Now I liked the lofts a lot, they are glass fronted one-room apartments with floor space that you could manage nicely with that amount of prims. I think there is a need for more of those type places, which more people can afford as times are still hard with the real life money situation.

Over in Knightsbridge there are some excellent terraced houses for L$400 a week which gives you an 80 prim allowance. You would have to plan your furniture very carefully to cover the rooms, but the rent is a good price. You can get a nice big spacious house in Mayfair for L$750 which has 150 prims, if you can afford that little bit extra. A bargain in Mayfair at the moment, is a three story house for L$399 with 80 prims, although covering three floors with 80 prims is still a problem. Chelsea offers some houses for L$700 with 100 prims or there is still the odd houseboat for rent at L$600 with 100 prims. My old apartment in Chelsea is now L$799 for a 100 prims and I would find this very difficult to manage, as the floor space is so large, but they are nicely located and if you are clever at making prims go a long way this may appeal to you.

When I first started this blog, a long time ago it seems, one of my first things I thought about Virtual London was that they needed to coax people in by giving them very reasonable rents for living spaces, and I haven’t changed my mind. From my own point of view, when I was new, I would rather have had a small one room place that I could call my own, for rent as low as L$300, than wander about the streets without a home. If someone new can afford that amount, they will soon look around for something bigger and more expensive as they become established in SL and decide to either buy Linden dollars or start their own SL business.

Whilst it seems a good idea to charge higher rents for less prims to bring the money in to pay for the sim upkeep, it’s time to remember that, with the real life recession and even without it, people do not want to pay what they consider is a lot of money for something virtual when they can simply find a quiet spot in a sim somewhere to change their clothes. But given the option of a small place with a low rent that they can feel at home in, it would make them consider that the outlay is worthwhile. So, in my opinion, it’s better to have a lot of small affordable houses, which are filled and add to the vibrancy of the virtual capital, than to have a large amount of empty properties that look nice but are totally deserted. Maybe even furnished small apartments would suit people too, if they could pick the colour of the furnishings. This would surely make life easier for avatars who have no idea about how to save on prims.

By the way, the last house in the pictures was in Mayfair and for some reason the man who opened to the door to me was not very friendly and I suspect that the house is not for rent. Got a feeling it might have something to do with Halloween though!!!

Janey Bracken

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Tonight's the Night!!

See you there tonight at 2pm (slt) (10pm UK time). Stage looks perfect, everything is in place for the Queen tribute concert!!! Knightsbridge sky platform.
Janey Bracken

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Spooky Events

Fellow writer Ed Follet and I went over to the haunted church and churchyard in Virtual Kensington to find out more about what’s going on. I think Ed must be a secret Zombie as he was drawn towards the coffin and then climbed in. He kept closing the lid, but I kept opening it to take his picture, I could tell he was getting fidgety as the sun started to rise, so I let him close it in the end (only kidding Ed!).

The Corn Maze at the back of the church has hidden treasures that you can find, as well as scary things that make you jump out of your skin, and there is to be a Trick or Treat around Kensington Square Park and a Zombie pub crawl later on as well. (For our foreign friends, a ‘pub crawl’ is when you go from one public house to another getting inebriated, quite a British tradition! Or do you do that too?). I will find out from TD Reinard when the Trick or Treat and pub crawl are happening and get back to you!

Janey Bracken

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Time and Date for Queen Tribute Concert

Don't forget, it's only a few days away now, virtual Knightsbridge will rock! The Queen tribute concert starts at 2pm till 4pm (SLT) (Thats 10pm to midnight (UK time)), this Saturday 17th October!

Janey Bracken

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Gossip Girl Events in Virtual Chelsea

Since the Gossip Girl headquarters was moved over to Virtual Chelsea they have quite a lot going on and you may want to pay them a visit to join in the fun. (I take it that all times are shown in SLT). I obtained a note this morning for the week’s events and they are as follows:


8:00 am: Morning Coffee and Conversation – The London coffee shop is where it’s at this morning. Sit down and have a cup of joe while we chat with good friends and start the day off right. Location: Le Bilboquet.

6:00 pm: Pool Party - It's been awhile since we've had a proper pool party, don't you think? Put on those bikinis and swim shorts, and join Shelby and Gemma at the GG Pool for some fun splashing around in the pool! There will be 100 Ls on the board for Best Swimsuit! Dress: Swimsuits. Location: Chelsea


8:00 am: Morning Coffee and Conversation – The London coffee shop is where it’s at this morning. Sit down and have a cup of joe while we chat with good friends and start the day off right. Location: Le Bilboquet.

6:00 pm: Breakfast Club – Dear Mr. Vernon: We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it is we did wrong, but we think you’re crazy for making us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us: in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, The Breakfast Club. Let's hope the lights don't go out this time! Dress: From the Breakfast Club movie. Location: Secret Library


8:00 am: Morning Coffee and Conversation – The London coffee shop is where it’s at this morning. Sit down and have a cup of joe while we chat with good friends and start the day off right. Location:Le Bilboquet.

6:00 pm: Fright Night - Do you like the thrill of watching a scary movie even though it may scare you out of your pants? Of course, right? I mean, who doesn't? Dress up as your favorite character in a horror movie for a chance to win 100 Lindens! Dress: Horror movie character! Locatin: Chelsea


8:00 am: Morning Coffee and Conversation – The London coffee shop is where it’s at this morning. Sit down and have a cup of joe while we chat with good friends and start the day off right. Location: Le Bilboquet.

6:00pm : Alice in Wonderland! - Do you remember reading about the whimsical magical world of Alice, the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, and so many others? Well, now's your chance to live it yourself! Join your host Sarah and special guest host Adelayda for an Alice in Wonderland party! 100Ls to best outfit! Dress: Like your favourite Alice in Wonderland character. Location: Shhh! Secret skybox!


8:00 am: Morning Coffee and Conversation – The London coffee shop is where it’s at this morning. Sit down and have a cup of joe while we chat with good friends and start the day off right. Location: Le Bilboquet.

6:00pm: For the Cure! - October is breast cancer awareness month, something that affects everybody and also near and dear to my heart. Join me (kello!) in the club and help raise a little awareness! Dress: Pink!


12:00 am: Sunday Brunch – See and be seen in London, by joining us for Sunday Brunch. Shake out those formal dresses and iron those tuxes. Time to really show London what a party is about! 100L for the best dressed. Dress: Formal. Location: Upstairs clubhouse

6:00 pm: Be Yourself! - Join "Gino"...err um "Michael" for a party in honor of celebrating your real life self! Have red hair in real life but play a blonde in SL? Time to show us your true colors! 100 Lindens on the board for whoever looks most like their real life self! Dress: Real Life Self!

Janey Bracken

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Virtually London (lite) Back For Event News

Hello everyone!! I’ve missed updating the Virtual London news and it has made me sad to log into this site just to see it lying dormant. As Our Virtual Trilogy is full of news from all around the grid and now has five reporters (Virtual Trilogy, Plus Two), therefore, there isn’t a lot of space in Trilogy for events coming up in Virtual London. So in respect of this, I thought I would bring back Virtually London (lite) in a smaller way, just to tell you of forthcoming events, (let me know if you like this idea). With the Christmas season getting closer there will be plenty going on in the virtual capital over the next couple of months. So bear with me, I may not update every day, but hope to tell you of club themes and stuff you need to know for the coming weeks.

To begin with, it’s that scary time of year, when heavy mists cling to the cold earth and mournful moans are heard from long dead apparitions who wander endlessly looking for solace (sounds a bit like me!!). TD Reinard has built a fantastic haunted church and graveyard in SL Kensington for Halloween, and it’s really spooky, well it scared me!! It looks just the sort of place you can have a ‘Thriller’ evening, so go over and be prepared to be frightened out of your life!!!

Janey Bracken

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

If You Haven't Found Us Yet We Are At ......

Don't feel left out in the cold as Virtually London (lite) readers, we are all over at Our Virtually Trilogy and will bring you news from around the grid as well as the occasional news from the Virtual London sims. You can also catch up with my thoughts in Janey's Place In Second Life
and our very own Hibiscus's private views in Hibiscus in SL Come and join us and leave a comment or two, or three!! we love to hear from you as ever!!!
Janey Bracken