Thursday, March 15, 2018

VWBPE List of Events

VWBPE 2018 (March 15 - 17)

List of Presentations*

Calendar URL:

*Social events have not been included.

Virtual Ability's display at the VWBPE Gateway


8am SLT
Opening Ceremony

9.30am SLT
'Identity, literacy, immersion and presence; joining together the building blocks of virtual world learning' (Keynote: Mark Childs)
Main Auditorium

10.30am SLT
'The Minecraft VRevolution: Collaborative Learning' (Panel)

10.30am SLT
'Web 4.0 : Interaction in the 4th Dimension' (Judy Bloxham)
Lecture Area A

1pm SLT
Conversation with Ebbe Altberg
Main Auditorium

2pm SLT
'DeDe the transwoman: Cultural Issues and Second Life' (Rebecca Sisk)
Lecture Area A

2pm SLT
'How to Get There from Here' (Barbara McQueen)
Lecture Area B

3pm SLT
'Future of STEAM' (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts, Math) (Panel/Public)

4pm SLT
'Learn About Machinima' (Gridjumper and Bluebarker)
Social Plaza



7am SLT
'Digital Makerspaces' (Panel/Public)

9am SLT
'Improving Digital Literacy – A Solvable Challenge using Virtual Worlds' (Marie Vans & Valerie Hill)
Lecture Area B

9am SLT
'Virtual Self-Directed Learning Workshops' (Yen Verhoeven)
Lecture Area A

10am SLT
'Nursing Informatics Student SL Practicum Outcomes' (Toni Hebda and Karen West)
Lecture Area A

10am SLT
'Use Cases for Social Virtual Reality' (Gentle & Panel)

11am SLT
'The VRevolution calls for a new digital literacy' (Bryan Alexander)
Main Auditorium

1pm SLT
'A Hybrid Conference as a Way to Create Community' (Sandrine Hsiao-Cheng Han)
Lecture Area A

1pm SLT
'Innovative Virtual Libraries: Research & Design' (Valerie Hill & Robin White-Sieber)
Lecture Area B

3pm SLT
'Chemistry Experiments in Virtual Worlds' (Wendy L Keeney-Kennicutt)
Lecture Area A

3pm SLT
'NPCevolutions Panel for the NonProfit Commons' (Joyce Bettencourt, Cynthia Calongne, Valerie Hill etc)

4pm SLT
'Our Brains, Oursel      ves, Our Worlds' (Thuja Hynes)

4pm SLT
'Virtual Worlds Database: Crowd-Sourcing Our Worlds' (Alyse Dunavant-Jones)
Lecture Area A



8am SLT
'Blending VWs & Digital Tech. in Language Teaching' (Anabel Nowak)
Lecture Area A

8am SLT
'Mobile Virtual Reality for Environmental Education' (Ana-Despina Tudor and Shailey Minocha)
Lecture Area B

9am SLT
'Cultural Appropriation? Cultural Appreciation?' (Sandrine Hsiao-Cheng Han)
Lecture Area B

9am SLT
'If They Build It, They Will Come!' (Carolyn Lowe * Amy Pihlainen)
Lecture Area A

11am SLT
'Flying Stickies, Easy Quests, VW + Unity for Edu' (Julie LeMoine)
Lecture Area B

11am SLT
'Low Threshold Virtual Events' (Ulli Berthold)
Lecture Area A

12pm SLT
'Etopian Evolution for Real World Solutions' (G Ronnie Kraegel)
Lecture Area A

12pm SLT
'Liberate Agency Amplification Via Avatar Identity' (Renne Emiko Brock)
Lecture Area B

2pm SLT
'Meta Manifesto: Think Tank 4 Effective Tactics' (Panel/Public)

2pm SLT
'You’re Grounded! Theorizing Virtual Learning Space' (Yen Verhoeven)
Lecture Area A

3pm SLT
'Avatars as Data Points' (Mary Ellen Gordon & Aaron Griffiths)
Lecture Area A

3pm SLT
'Bridging Worlds: Learning in a Strange Land' (Cynthia Calongne & Bradley ?
Lecture Area B

4pm SLT
'Waiting for the VR Evolution' (Panel TBA)

6pm SLT
Closing Ceremony
Main Auditorium

Monday, March 12, 2018

Virtual Worlds Best Pracitces in Education

By Gemma Cleanslate

VWBPE (Virtual World Best Practices in Education) takes place, from March 15th 08:00 AM to March 17th 09:30 PM, this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. This is the 11th annual event held in Second Life. This is my first real exposure to the event. I did attend two or three lectures there last year. So this year I decided to be a greeter . I went over to the regions on Saturday to have training about our duties there and met several other hosts. We took a tour of the various sites where lectures and other events will be held and became familiar with them.

To accommodate the large audience expected for the keynote speeches the auditorium is set at the meeting point of four regions. Every location is set up for comfort of the attendees and the place looks great. There are 2 lecture halls and other  besides the main auditorium and venues for activities.

Sunday I took a leisurely tour of various places to check out what is there . I visited the sponsor’s area where they have set up displays and information. I took a walk through of the Virtual Ability section and saw pictures of several friends as they were in the beginning and as they are now. We have come a long way! I stopped in the underwater park and found fascinating builds down there. There will be an underwater party going on, so look for it.  Don’t miss the lovely site! There are several exhibit areas to visit. The legacy area is a showcase of all the past meetings and very interesting . Pick up a hud when you land at the gateway to aid your movements around the sims.There is also a teleport map to aid you .

To understand more  fully what this is all about I invite you to visit the website where you can learn so much and check out the calendar to see what is being offered for these three days. Ebbe Linden is on the schedule. We are always interested to hear what he has to say about Second Life. Check the calendar where you are looking on the web and you may find a lecture or event you would like to attend. The keynotes addresses look so interesting.I just hope I can make it to them. See you there .

Gemma Cleanslate

Friday, March 2, 2018

The 2018 Roma Lupercalia Weekend

By Bixyl Shuftan

So what did people do around the time of Valentines Day before the holiday came about? In the days of the Romans, they had a yearly festival called the Lupercalia. The rites in the event were believed to deter evil spirits and purify the city. The most familiar of these rituals were young men running naked or nearly naked through the streets and lightly slapping people with thongs of hide made from a sacrificed goat. Women sometimes got in their way in hopes that being struck would help them become pregnant. Sometimes called "Februatus," the modern calendar in the West gets "February" from the name.

Although the holiday was held on February 15 in ancient times, the Roma community in Second Life holds their festivals at the end of the month. So the days of the celebration inworld were the Weekend of Saturday February 24 and Sunday February 25. And at 10AM Saturday, members of the community, and a few friends of theirs, gathered at the Lupercal cave. There, two women, Maali Beck and Melanippe Karas, reenacted the ritual for Faunus Lupercus, the God of Wild Things and Lupa, the female wolf in Roman legend who was believed to have raised the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, until they were found by a shepherd.

Maali Beck: "Salve Ianus Pater - Ianus Inceptio, Ianus Brifons, Ianus Patulcius, Ianus Domesticus, Ianus Quirinus! Te precor uti sis volens mihi propitius. Admitte me coram numina lucentia! Hail, Father Janus - Janus of Beginnings, Two Faced Janus, Janus Door Opener, Janus Home Protector, Janus of the Folk! I pray to You so that You willingly might be well-disposed towards me. May I behold the Shining Gods!"

Melanippe of Themiscyra (Melanippe Karas): "Ave Iuppiter Optime Maxime Pater Omnipotens Rex Deorum hominumque. Sive quo alio nomine appelari voluveris si pietae mereor da mihi Roma nostrae prosperitatem ac felicitatem in opere nostro. Hail, Jupiter Optimus Maximus, Almighty Father, King of Gods and Men. Or by whatever title else that You may have willed to be named. If by obedience I am deserving, then give to me and to our Roma prosperity as well as happiness in our work."

After the pair and several others saying "Ita est," Maali went to the next part of the ritual, "Ave Faunus Lupercus. Te hoc vino ommovendo bonas preces, precor uti sies volens propitious illis Quiritibus te laudatis, quoius re ergo hoc sacrificium offero. Hail, Faunus Lupercus. With good prayers I offer to You this wine. May it be Your will to look with favor upon these folk who have honored You, for which purpose I make this offering."

After several more calls of, "Ita est," Maali went further, "Faunus Lupercus, God of the Wilds, bless us this Lupercalia. Yours is the season of fertility, passion, and lust. Grant us fertility, not only of the body, but of the mind. Let our creative visions come to fruition. Grant us passion, not only of the flesh, but of the heart. Let our spirits be inflamed with the passion of living. Grant us lust, not only of our loins, but the lust for success, in all our endeavors. Let us achieve all our desires." Melanippe spoke, "Ianus Pater Ivppiter Pater et Faunus Lupercus, si quidquam fuit vobis ingratum in stipe a me oblata, accipite hoc piaculum. Father Janus, Father Jupiter, and Faunus Lupercus, if anything was displeasing to You in the offered gift from me, receive Ye this rite of atonement. Ita vultis ita est! So You will, so it is!"

After several more spoke "Ita est," Maali went on, "Quod bonum faustum felix fortunatum salutareque sit mihi Maali Beck ac nationi Romae Universae. Ita est! May I, Maali Beck, and the entire nation of Roma have what is goodly, auspicious, fruitful, fortunate, and wholesome. It is so!" Melanippe then spoke, "Ilicet! It is done!" Maali then spoke to the crowd, "The rite is now ended - The Luperci will now lead you from the cave for the Running of the Luperci. This year we race to the Gardens of Maecenas for our post-ritual celebration! Mela and I will lead you, and the other Luperci will follow behind the crowd, snapping their whips to bless you. (And hurry you along, perhaps!) Everyone ready?"

And with that, the crowd rushed out of the cave and down the streets, with the Luperci occasionally snapping their thongs. The people ran around, and ended up at a dance area with a bonfire. There, the folk danced to the music, and sometimes strummed some instruments.

When the hour was close, the people headed to the bathhouse. This was where the second event of the festival took place: "Venus' Truth." In previous years called "Venus' Truth or Dare," this year people were just asked to recite poems. The woman portraying Venus watched from a giant shel while the audience watched from the steps to the baths, or sat in inner-tubes.

Glittering-throned, undying Aphrodite,
Wile-weaving daughter of high Zeus, I pray thee,
Tame not my soul with heavy woe, dread mistress,
 Nay, nor with anguish!

But hither come, if ever erst of old time
Thou didst incline, and listenedst to my crying,
And from thy father's palace down descending,
 Camest with golden

Chariot yoked: thee fair swift-flying sparrows
Over dark earth with multitudinous fluttering,
Pinion on pinion, through middle ether
 Down from heaven hurried.

Quickly they came like light, and thou, blest lady,
Smiling with clear undying eyes didst ask me
What was the woe that troubled me, and wherefore
 I had cried to thee:

What thing I longed for to appease my frantic
Soul: and Whom now must I persuade, thou askedst,
Whom must entangle to thy love, and who now,
 Sappho, hath wronged thee?

Yea, for if now he shun, he soon shall chase thee;
Yea, if he take not gifts, he soon shall give them;
Yea, if he love not, soon shall he begin to
 Love thee, unwilling.

Come to me now too, and from tyrannous sorrow
Free me, and all things that my soul desires to
Have done, do for me, queen, and let thyself too
 Be my great ally!

Eventually, the event came to a close, and the woman portraying Venus spoke, "My children, I shall ascend to the heavens and gaze upon ROMA lovingly, protecting you from all harm. Remember to love one another and continue the beautiful community that ROMA has become." She blew some kisses to the crowd, then vanished. Then Cupid appeared, watching the people with innertubes bump one another, "So, you have no poetry to share but bumps of affection with your floating things?" When asked, "You make poems Cupid?" He answered, "I mostly seem to make trouble." Talking about what was a particuarly lovely moment, someone suggested when a new puppy is brought into a house. The talk went on for a while, and eventually the time for the next event approached. Cupid went, "I must be about my work anyway. My family's blessings on you, Romans!"

The crowd then moved on to the arena. After a few minutes of waiting for anyone dropping in at the last-minute, T. Iulius Sabinus (titusiuliussabinus Resident) shouted, "Salvete Romani et Peregrinii! Welcome to the Lupercalia Munera. As time as our narrator is missing in action I will take over this part too. As many of you know, and if don't know will know now, the gladiators group perform weekly in Roma starting with 12 pm SLT. The show try to be historical accurate. During festivals we perform another kind, more related to the festival theme. Mythological creatures are included too."

After introducing three of the usual gladiators, T Iulius went, "After our usual warm up I will continue with a few words about the current festiva Lupercalia. And what can be more relevant than the poem of Horace.Hymon to Faunus, Q. Horatius Flaccus, Odes, Book III, Poem 18."

O wont the flying Nymphs to woo,
Good Faunus, through my sunny farm
Pass gently, gently pass, nor do
My younglings harm.

Each year, thou know'st, a kid must die
For thee; nor lacks the wine's full stream
To Venus' mate, the bowl; and high
The altars steam.

Sure as December's Nones appear,
All o'er the grass the cattle play;
The village, with the lazy steer,
Keeps holy day.

Wolves rove among the fearless sheep;
The woods for thee their foliage strow;
The delver loves on earth to leap,
His ancient foe.

After the applause, T Iulius continued, "Well, let start our show. The first act is reconstruction of a battle, BELLUM MARCOMANNUM, Battle vs Marcomanns. The struggle against the Germans and Sarmatians occupied the major part of the reign of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, and it was during his campaigns against them that he started writing his philosophical work Meditations, whose book one bears the note 'Among the Quadi at the Granua'." The fight had one legionare versus two warriors clad in wolfskin and armed with axes. The fight was furious, but with two against one, the Roman was not the one to be victorious this time. T lulius, not at a loss for words, remarked, "It seems that in the end this was the reconstruction of the Teutoburg Forest battle. For sure Marcus Aurelius would not be happy of it end."

After the fighters from the first act cleared the arena, T Iulius went on, "Our next acts are related to Lupercalia. But for that i want to present you a some information. LEXICON MYTHOLOGIAE. Lycaon - In Greek mythology, Lycaon was a king of Arcadia,, who, in the most popular version of the myth, tested Zeus' omniscience by serving him the roasted flesh of Lycaon's own son Nyctimus, in order to see whether Zeus was truly all-knowing. In return for these gruesome deeds, Zeus transformed Lycaon into a wolf, along with his offspring. Nyctimus was restored to life. Satyr - In mythology, Satyrs are deities of the woods and mountains. A satyr is the member of a troop of ithyphallic male companions of Dionysus; they usually have horse-like ears and tails, as well as permanent, exaggerated erections. However in Roman representations they are portrayed as having the upper body of a man with a goat’s ears, tail, legs and horns but Satyrs can come in other hybrid human/animal forms, as well. And our next event is in conection with satyrs and lycaons. CERTAMEN ARCADIAE (Arcadian struggle): Satyr vs Lycaons,"

The fight put a giant satyr, armed with a spiked (and bloody) club versus two werewolves that were armed only with their claws. The fight went fast and furious, with the wolves leaping a few times, "Flying wolf-people!" "Is not sure whose side she should cheer for." This time, superior numbers did not prevail, and the wolves were knocked out. "We have a winner, ladies and gentlemen! The, er, Satyr!" "Impressive fighting!" The huge humanoid bowed, and left the arena, along with the wolves after they revived.

The next part, T Iulius spoke, "As many you know, during Lupercalia a ritual was held. During it a goat and a dog was sacrificed. Of course now in modern times we don't reconstruct that. We all love animals. But symbolic want to present you, Lupercus vs Goat!" There were a few chuckles from the audience, "And our next event is - a fearsome, a deadly - er, goat?" The match pitted a Luperci with a knife versus someone in a feral goat avatar armed with only his horns. The goat put up a fight, "C'mon GOAT!" But unfortunately for the critter, horns were no match for iron, and it fell. "Awwwww. Brave goat." T. Iulius shouted, "Roma is purified!" One resident commented, "Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have the most ferocious, deadly wild beasts here each week.  and goats, too."

Once the Luperci and the goat were out, T. Iulius announced, "For the last act of festival we present you a scene of wild life." After a moment, the area was filled with rocks and grass, and appeared a lion couple and cubs. The smaller kitties were well received by the audience, "Aww, little cubs." "I want one too." But the idyllic scene didn't last for long as a crocodile entered the arena, getting some gasps from the crowd, "No no, don't hurt the baby!" The big cats went after the reptile, and after a furious fight, the couple stood over the defeated scaly beast, and the audience cheered, "They kept her from the cubs, hooray!"

Melanippe announced, "On behalf of the Consul and the Consul Pro Tem, I'd like to award our brave lion family and dead crocodile a token of appreciation! ... Gratias for a splendid and well-thought-out show!" "A masterpiece!" another complemented.

With the fight over, people began heading out, "Thanks to all, see you later, happy Lupercalia!" There would be two events the next day, chariot racing and "Half-naked Harpastum," a Roman version of soccer in which this time, the women would be topless. Unfortunately, the Newser was unable to be there. So there would be no pictures of half-naked female athletes.

The Roman community has events at the end of every month, so be sure and stop by next time.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Reader Submitted: Scenes From Caledon's Anniversary

Pictures from Cynthia Farshore

Monday February 26 was the 12th anniversary ball of the Independent State of Caledon. Among those there was Cynthia Farshore, who took a number of pictures.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Scenes From Valentines Day at the Isle of View

By Bixyl Shuftan

February 14 was Valentines Day. And while the day would have many themed parties across Second Life, it was "Hug a Linden/Dunk a Linden" at the Isle of View. This was a chance for the residents to interact with some of the Lindens, either get a hug, or dunk one into the water.

The Isle of View was a four sim area in the shape of a heart. Although residents could set their viewers at any time of day, it's default time was a permanent sunset with a dark pink sky. The light would also give everything on the ground a pinkish hue.

Many who were there went dressed for the event. And so did I in a Cupid look made with an old Luskwood mouse "Bunkie."

 There were a number of people there, Lindens, moles, and regular residents.

There were some Lindens in dunking booths

And when someone hit the target, it was a free bath, "Nuuuuuuuuu..."

And some were at hugging booths, such as Izzy Linden.

Squishy Mole was there, "From below."

 Garth Linden looked more ready for war than love with him sporting a huge gun.

Cupid Linden, who volunteered for the dunking booth.

Signal Linden had what looked like computer-generated zig-zag patterns on his avatar.

Xiola Linden was there in a pair of wings. No bow and arrow, though.

Silent Mole, who's not afraid of mice.

Strawberry Singh was there. In this picture she was trying to hug a friend. She had trouble getting one for herself, so I handed her a copy.

Strawberry recorded the time she was there, so you can see my avatar going about the place time to time in it.

Evie Linden also offered a hug. Unfortunetly, much of her head was missing.

Maraki Mole, in an elderly lady avatar, and Coyot Linden.

 When I first saw Maraki, she looked like she'd fallen onto the ground, "Help, I've fallen, and I can't get up."

Tommy Linden was also there. But with that t-shirt, the women weren't too eager to hug him.

Bender Linden was looking a little "crabby."

And there was April Linden, the bunny among the Lindens.

It was a fun Valentines Day meetup with the Lidnens.

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Samedi Gras: New Toulouse Pulls it off Again

By Klaus Bereznyak

True to form, New Toulouse dished up another resplendent "Samedi Gras" celebration earlier this month, on Saturday the 10th February. The carnival season coincides with that held in New Toulouse's RL shadow, the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, and it is always well attended, attesting to the historical status of this sim in SL and the popularity of the event.

Along with the annual New Toulouse hunts, it's one of the highlights of the year. Festivities begin with events in the week leading up to Samedi Gras: Masked balls, float decorating parties and parades come to a head when the authentically modeled French colonial streets are hung with purple, green and gold, and play host to an epic float parade. This is typically a huge technical challenge, tackled with dedication and humor by the Krewe captains.

The parade was scheduled to kick off at Noon, by which time the floats were lined up along Shotgun row, with their horses, unicorns, pegasus and various mythical draft animals rearing to go. The crowds kept piling in, at least 50 avs packing into the sim before the parade had even started. I was riding with the fiery Krewe des Flambeaux for the second year running, drawn by a pair of white horses ably driven by long-standing talooster, Francesca Alva.

Last year, the start was very much delayed with technical difficulties but, this year, while there was lag and a few crashes, we got moving around 12:20 amid cheers from the bystanders - "Laissez les bons temps rouler!" Residents, turned out on their porches and balconies to watch the parade throw beads and offer refreshment to the revelers as they passed.

DJ Outlaw kept up the patter and filled the airwaves with a steady stream of spicy New-Orlenian classics that made the whole event feel as close as could be to the real thing.

Apart from some interesting amalgamations of floats piling up at points along the route, and minor damage to some buildings on street corners that proved a little too tight for the tottering vehicles, the parade was successfully concluded around 1pm, with floats drawing up around the town square and krewes disembarking for a party in the park. The Mayor of New Toulouse, Henri Godenot, was there to greet them, and it was a chance to socialize and admire the effort that had gone into some of the costumes.

A good time was had by all, and it was gratifying to see that the affection for this unique sim and its events is still alive and kicking.

New Toulouse Flickr:

Klaus Bereznyak

Editor's Note: Among those who had a float in the parade was Baron Wulfenbach and Baronin Zantabraxu.  Zantabraxu had a well done avatar of Tinka the Muse of Dance from the "Girl Genius" graphic novel/online comic.