Second Life is an Adult!

SL18B_Logo_2-Planets_5x3.png.7eaffbfc239fa68e348936ac8f26b884
Fenella with SSiD_001It's hard to believe but SL is 18. Our very own little (actually, not so little) virtual world has finally reached adulthood!

The 18th annual Second Life birthday celebrations (SL18B) begin tomorrow, June 17th, and continue until July 1st. There will be opportunities to shop until your avi drops. There will be live music, performances and many exciting exhibits.

One of those exhibits will be that of the Bellisserian Bureau of Bureaucracy. We'll be showing the premiere of our new movie and revealing exciting new plans for the future. 

The BBB officials on the stand will carry their own SSID's – Staff Stamp Issuing Devices. Be nice to us and we will perform a personal passport control for you on request – a service only available on the BBB stand.

The picture above shows our Editor Fenella holding her SSID. Below is a picture of the stamp she will be issuing; signed in her own handwriting and featuring an ink-well and pen to symbolise her role at the BBB.

There are ten staff stamps to collect in total so be sure to stop by and say hello to as many of us as you can. Check the sidebar for the staff directory so you know who we are. Of course there's also the SL18B stamp itself to collect – see below for details of that.

Screenshot 2021-06-15 at 22.47.24This year’s theme for SL18B is Hidden Worlds. In truth Second Life® contains many worlds. There are role-playing regions set far in the past or future. There are sci-fi regions, fantasy regions teeming with magical folk and creatures. Until Fenella became a mermaid herself, for example, she'd been in SL for 14 years without ever visiting the many beautiful undersea builds. In some cases, she'd sailed right over them, without knowing they were there!

Our passports encourage residents to venture to places they might not otherwise find. Some may only stop to pick up the stamp and that's fine as long as they're having fun, but we hope they'll often stick around and explore.

Our passport stamp locations aren't hidden worlds exactly, but they're not usually as prominent as the places merchants and event organisers work so hard to promote.

Our terminals are only at non-commercial locations. They're not used to advertise goods, services or land rentals. We issue the passports, licence plates and driving licences for free. We design the stamps, make the terminals and our other equipment for free. We organise rallies and tours to stamp-issuing locations for free. All our staff are volunteers.

Don't get us wrong. We love to SL shop as much as the next avi and there's nothing at all wrong with commerce. It's just not what we are about. We are very much in SL's tradition of content generated by enthusiastic amateur users.

Collecting stamps for your Bellisseria Passport (and soon perhaps other passports as our systems and scripts can now be licensed for use elsewhere in SL) will take you to builds lovingly-made by your fellow-residents. We hope it helps you get to know our now all-grown-up virtual world even better.

Happy exploring and see you on the stand at SL18B!


Our only new stamp location this week – not live until the big event opens tomorrow, when the SLURL below will work – is the terminal for the special commemorative SL18B stamp itself. Enjoy the event!

SL18B Sl18b billboard Screenshot 2021-06-16 at 14.04.26

Hopefest 2021

HOPEFEST - June 9 - 13 - A Multi Community EventIt's time for Hopefest 2021 – a charity event in support of the American Cancer Society/Relay For Life. Fenella of the Gazette spoke to Nuala Maracas – Coordinator of Hopefest – this week, who said;

I am very excited about the Hope Fest Belliseria Community region at the 1st Annual Hope Fest in support of the American Cancer Society. Hopefest Bellisseria has 5 days of events planned June 9 - 13. Everything from live music, DJ's and tribute bands to shopping on the boardwalk, including a special Slenderman Bear and of course our Linden Block Party Day.

The Lindens and Moles have a special Neighborhood Block Party on Friday, June 11 from 12pm - 3pm SLT. Chef Patch will be cooking up the burgers and, for a donation at the American Cancer Society Hope Fest kiosk, he will be taking pictures with the neighbors while he cooks ! We also have over a dozen Moles who will be in the neighborhood for the Hug-A-Mole pictures in front of each house, again for a donation to the kiosk. 

We also have the 2nd ever Animesh Linden Bear available in the Hope Fest vendors. The special Hope Fest Linden Bear and Linden Hope Fest coffee mugs are only available during Hope Fest.

Screenshot 2021-06-09 at 17.24.42Of course the special Bellisseria Passport stamp is available as well. 

Hope Fest Bellisseria is part of the Relay For Life of Second Life. 100% of all donations and sales support the American Cancer Society.


This week's new locations are HopeFest and the Haunted House. Details are below and are already featured in the online travel guide (see sidebar). 

RFL Hopefest Bellisseria BBB Stamp Locations.002 Screenshot 2021-06-09 at 17.24.42
Haunted House BBB Stamp Locations.001 Screenshot 2021-06-09 at 17.32.02

SL18B and new locations

image from gyazo.comThe celebrations for Second Life’s 18th Birthday (SL18B) are scheduled to run from 17th June  to 1st July and the Gazette can now officially confirm that the BBB will be taking part! BBB CEO Boo says

I know many hours have gone into the creation of this exhibit, it will feature projects which have been long in the making and so far not shared beyond the BBB and the Moles.

Of course, you'll be able to apply for a Bellisseria Passport on our stand. The premiere of our movie will also take place there and it will offer the first glimpse of our our newest innovations; including new sub-offices that — thanks to the Lindens and Moles — will be appearing around Bellisseria. They will be styled to fit in with the local housing and will play an important role in our services as well as offering an ever-changing range of collectible postcards.  

Our staff on the stand at SL18B will be conducting passport controls in person; issuing unique passport stamps to visitors. We hope to see many Gazette readers there.


This week's new locations are the mysterious home of a witch (visit with caution), an airfield (also to be visited with caution, judging by the smoking wreckage of a badly-landed plane) and a club. All the details are here and will eventually find their way into the online travel guide. Enjoy!

Kiamo Ko BBB Stamp Locations 5 June 2021.001 Screenshot 2021-06-05 at 17.23.26
 
Oniakaloha Airfield BBB Stamp Locations.001 Screenshot 2021-06-01 at 09.15.30
The Club BBB Stamp Locations 24 May 2021.003 Screenshot 2021-06-01 at 09.17.05

Rally report and New Locations

BBB Stamp Locations Slenderman_002Almost 200 people took part on the day of our joint rally with the Drivers of SL. The HUD remains available and people are continuing to do the course, but it was fun to be part of a group. After a false start in her Ferrari 599, our editor, Fenella, decided to experience at least part of the rally as a newbie might, using the golf cart provided for anyone who didn't have a vehicle of their own. That was quite a relaxed drive, shall we say, and she was more overtaken than she's used to.

BBB Stamp Locations Slenderman_010She did eventually make it to Lower Barensmouth where she rezzed her Boss Bandit classic-style wooden motor launch to get to the Pugwash rail rez zone. As far as SL railways are concerned, she is a newbie and had no locomotives in inventory. She used the train provided to travel to Campwich. Her lack of railway experience cost dearly on arrival there as she failed to calculate the braking distance of her loco and managed to flatten her dear colleague Zoe. No long term harm was done but grudges are being held. It may take a little while yet for Zoe once more to view her as a colleague should!

BBB Stamp Locations Slenderman_007From Campwich, the rally took again to the water and, looking to put some safe distance between herself and Zoe's wrath, Fenella once more rezzed her fast motor launch, which allowed her to progress both in style and at speed. She was lagging behind the pack by this stage because stops for photography were slowing her down.BBB Stamp Locations Slenderman_011

She'd already picked up all but one of the stamps when she first joined the BBB as a route-tester for  the original BBB Rally but used the special hud for non-passport holders to collect them all again! From the Panamole Canal she rode her horse to Millbank and on to Millers Pond, using the motor boat again to head on under the low bridges and out to sea.

Picking up her penultimate stamp at the Bellisseria Fairgounds, she rezzed her Bandit 170 for the final leg to Mermaids Grotto where, transformed into a mermaid and mission completed, the amazing DSL HUD teleported her – tailed, scaled and dripping on the carpets – back to the BBB offices and a severe shunning from Zoe. 

Screenshot 2021-05-24 at 17.23.05A succession of happy travelers came by and much positive feedback was gratefully received. We are delighted that so many of our BBBug members enjoyed the drive and suspect that many will now join Drivers of SL. The official thanks of all at the BBB go out to Christi and Xarabethe of DSL. They have been doing this a long time and are so practised and accomplished that they make the feats of organisation involved seem easy. We are now well aware that they are not! The Drivers of SL HUD is really a marvel – both efficient and (thanks to Xarabethe's carefully-researched commentary on places en route) entertaining and informative.


This week's new stamp locations are an airport and a sailing club. Details are featured below and will be added to the Travel Guide in due course. 

Location  Photo Stamp
Mala Regional Airport Nautilus BBB Stamp Locations 24 May 2021.001 Screenshot 2021-05-24 at 17.46.15
Yorkshire Belle BBB Stamp Locations 24 May 2021.002 Screenshot 2021-05-24 at 17.48.00
     

BBB: The Movie – a trailer – and this week's news

As we at the BBB continue our preparations for SL18B (Second Life's 18th Birthday), our very own Prudence Anton and her team at Pring Productions have been working on a movie about us. It is not due for release until its premiere on June 17th but here is the most teaserish of short trailers. Enjoy!

The movie features the BBB staff in action at our headquarters and other locations. It explains what we do and how to apply for your Bellisseria Passport, driving licence or licence plate. It breaks yet more news of technical innovations, including a clever (and bureaucratic!) solution to the SL problem of BBBug group invitations going astray when users are offline.

That's not the only news coming down the BBB turnpike. We are always being asked by non-Bellisserians if they can have passports too. We have even had asylum-seekers asking to be taken into Belli as refugees, so they can get in on the fun of collecting passport stamps. We can't tell you how, but for at least some residents of mainland SL, there is hope. Watch the Gazette for further details as this top secret project progresses.


Don't forget that our joint stamp rally with Drivers of SL is today – May 22nd. It will run twice. Firstly at 11-30am and then at midnight SLT. If you are a member of DSL you'll have received your information and navigation HUD in the usual way by group notice. Anyone else who wants to take part should stop by the BBB head office to pick up the pack with everything you need. 


Becca Ordinary was kind enough to send this note to all BBB officials:

I just started with the Passport and the Travel Advice List and LOVE them. I'm a huge fan of Bellisseria and love that people are exploring. So... A while ago I made a series of travel posters and want you to have them as my thanks for this wonderful thing you've made.

That's sweet and we appreciate it, Becca! We're all volunteers but put a lot of time and effort into the BBB's work, so your "thank you" means a lot. You're welcome! Becca's writing about her adventures with her passport at her blog. Her latest post is here, in which she complains about the difficulty of finding the stamp terminal at SL SciFi Con; 

message to the BBB- it's a passport not a hunt. Don't hide the thing please or rename it. I've traveled all around the real world and never had to hunt down someone to look at my passport, they are usually right there when you land.

We're glad to have this chance to clarify. We don't dictate where landowners place their terminal. We do ask they don't modify, rename or locate it outside the published parcel. Those rules ensure it's not too hard to find.

Of course some landowners encourage visitors to look around by placing the terminal out of the way and that's fine. We don't allow terminals at commercial locations (SciFi Con is a charity event) so every parcel you visit is made for love at somebody's (often considerable) expense. Owners just want you to enjoy their builds. As long as they've observed our basic rules, they run the risk that if they frustrate visitors by being a little too tricky with terminal placement, they'll resort to an area search. We don't recommend that but, landowner or visitor, it's your Second Life. Unlike RL bureaucracies, we don't try to tell you how to live it. We are unique among bureaucracies in that we only exist for fun – yours and ours!


BBB Stamp Locations – Slenderman.001
click to enlarge

Meanwhile back in Bellisseria, a new passport stamp is offered by our continent's most terrifying resident; the Slenderman. It's available at his very scary gallery so collecting it is a badge of valour! It's also a badge of persistence and ingenuity. Fenella met some very frustrated visitors trying to find the stamp terminal, who were beginning to think it wasn't there at all. As the picture shows – it really is.

It complies with applicable regulations. It's on the parcel. It is not renamed and (though it's in a special form designed by our very own ever-creative Sun) it is not disguised. We won't spoil it for those of you who enjoy solving a mystery, but if you IM our Fenella, she'll give you a clue. She couldn't find it herself without one. 

 

Also briefly available this week is a new recurring event stamp from a Pickle Party. For a while these were a regular event at the original Squishy Pickle itself. They became so popular they affected local residents' ability to get to their houseboats so were discontinued. The new idea is to hold them in different places around Bellisseria. The Moles have agreed to place the iconic Squishy Pickle build at each party location.

The first will be at the Bellisseria Fairgrounds on May 23rd (i.e tomorrow!) as a celebration of the second anniversary of the first Pickle Party (the one in the video). For those of us who live on its atoll this also gives hope that the original Squishy Pickle will see action again. Music this time will be provided by DJ's Doc, Far, Miss Hammy, Bela and Usagi. The stamp terminal will be set out on Saturday (today!) as soon as the Moles have placed the Squishy Pickle itself and will remain until the party is over. If you can't make this first party, which will be at 10 am - 3pm SLT, don't despair as the same stamp will be available at future ones.

Finally, just to prove they're out there – here's Fenella's passport with a stamp each from Patch and Abnor. No BBB strings were pulled in obtaining them. She acted on a tip in BBBug chat, as any member could. Congratulations to BBBug member, Becca Ordinary, who succeeded in getting all three stamps from each of them! Don't ask us how (no-one from the BBB has achieved it yet) but it obviously can be done in a single session!


This week's new stamp locations and some exciting news

Members of BBBug should by now have received Sun's usual notecard with LMs to new locations with passport stamp terminals. There are six this week. We reported last Tuesday on the terminal at Second Life Sci-Fi Con 2021. Many of you will already have found it there, floating in the vacuum of space. The others are

LOCATION CATEGORY
Ascension Park Nature
WONDERPARK Theme Park Leisure / Activities
Little Kenya Restaurant Bars / Cafes 
CK's Smuggler's Cove Leisure / Activities
Eschen Rest Area Leisure / Activities

CK (ceakay.ballyhoo) is well known on the SL art scene. She has built a delightful little seafood shack at her Smugglers Cove, conveniently located for merfolk and leggers alike.

Mer World
Mer World / click to enlarge

We Bellisserian Bureaucrats are nothing if not thorough in researching new locations, so when Fenella saw the Mer World sign at Smugglers Cove she magically transformed (or as she puts it, "tailed and scaled") to investigate. It's very pretty down there! If you're a legger, don't despair. You can always wear scuba gear to check it out.

Ascension Park is on SL Route 6 (the High Mountain Road) in Heterocera and near to a rez zone. The "ascension" seems to refer to the enormous hot air balloon moored there. There are also bike rezzers to allow you to explore on wheels. You might like to check behind the pretty waterfall for a cute little spot to watch the virtual world go by. The final three new locations this week are all on the SL continent of Corsica and all on its Boulevard Périphérique, the Circuit La Corse. 

Wonderpark is a family theme park. Who doesn't like those – especially if you have children to tire out? Enjoy the rides! A giraffe greets you on arrival at the Little Kenya restaurant – a delightful taste of Africa in SL. Finally this week, Eschen Rest Area  is a travellers' refreshment stop on the Circuit La Corse –featuring a Visitor Centre for Corsican tourists where you can book accommodation if it's time to rest from your travels.

Pick up your passport, citizens of Bellisseria. Pop it in a waterproof bag, pack your camera and your swimwear, put on your hiking boots or driving shoes and get exploring!


The exciting news of our headline has been under secret discussion for some time since it was first suggested by our own Ghost. It has finally come to fruition by dint of a lot of hard work by our tech team. In addition to our fixed passport stamp terminals, we have now created portable devices called RSIDs (Random Stamp Issuing Devices) – and the first two have been issued to Patch Linden and Abnor Mole

Don't even think about stalking them around the Grid though. They'll only be carrying the RSIDs at Relay for Life (RfL) charity events. The new devices will make their debut at SL HopeFest, which runs from June 9-13. HopeFest is:

5 days of SL communities building hope to support the Relay For Life of Second Life and the American Cancer Society.

So it's an excellent cause. If you are are lucky enough to encounter Patch or Abnor there, you will be able to collect a passport stamp memento by clicking on their RSIDs, which look like tablet computers. Each has three stamps and the one you receive (only one!) will be chosen at random. To get all 3 stamps from Patch or Abnor could take many attempts because you can't click on them repeatedly. You have to collect a stamp from another terminal before clicking again on an RSID. We are sure the Blues are way too smart to stand near any terminals!

Abnor © Bel 2021
Abnor with RSID / click to enlarge

The picture shows Abnor carrying his RSID. Just click on it when you see him!

Portable SSIDs (Single Stamp Issuing Devices) will be carried by BBB staff on our stand at the SL18B celebrations. This will allow our officials to perform a personal passport control and apply their unique stamp.

Unlike the Blues, who must be impartial, our  officials have discretion in the issuing of stamps so be sure to be nice to us! It's not like we're corrupt bureaucrats or anything, but Fenella is very fond of fine Belgian chocolate. Just saying!

We think this is a great concept and are thinking of other ways to use it. Suggestions in the comments please, BBBug-ers!


BBB Stamp Rally in association with Drivers of SL - 22nd May 2021

Drivers of SL HUD
Drivers of SL HUD / Click to enlarge

In 2017, Christi Charron with a few of her friends, came up with the idea of a weekly "Grid Drive" for SL drivers. The plan was to use a HUD – working rather like a satellite navigation system - to complete a mission travelling from one waypoint to another. The routes can involve many vehicles and methods and completing one correctly usually earns a reward. The current Drivers of SL grid drives can be found here.

Before the BBB took over his Slife, our CEO BÓÒ (boo.rojyo) was an active participant and has been on dozens of grid drives. He has recently rejoined the group.

Xarabethe of Drivers of SL took part in our first BBB Rally. She enjoyed it so much she approached BÓÒ to  suggest a combined BBB/DSL event, which is now scheduled for May 22nd. As is the Drivers of SL's usual practice it will run twice – at 11.30 am SLT and again at Midnight, in order to accommodate drivers from different time zones. 

Drivers of SL HQ
Drivers of SL HQ / click to enlarge

The route is twice the distance of the first rally, involves an additional location and driving a train! Rather than following directions in a notecard, the impressive Drivers of SL HUD will guide you. Bellisserian Passport holders can collect stamps as usual, but anyone can take part using a special stamp HUD. Even if you have some of the stamps in your passport from the previous rally, you can still use the stamp HUD to make a new collectors item!

The Drivers of SL HUD includes such neat tricks as an SL Experience that drives automatic teleports. It will also guide you to rez zones to bring out of your inventory the vehicles you need. If a participant lacks a necessary vehicle, the marshals can either supply them or point them to free ones – so nobody need be left out. The DSL HUD will also direct you to additional rez zones if you have an accident and need to re-rez.

Xarabethe told the Gazette

We're called Drivers of SL, but our grid drives have used just about every form of transportation imaginable. The DSL HUD is brilliant, and really makes for an interactive and enjoyable experience. I try to make it function as something of a "travel companion," pointing out interesting sights and sharing some SL history and trivia as we make our way along. I try to choose routes that showcase some beautiful sites, and also give the driver a keen sense of where they are (what continent they are on at the time, for instance).

Drivers of SL often do rallies with vehicle designers, GTFO and other groups so this is part of their regular programme. It's the first with the BBB however and we hope it won't be the last. We think that collecting the passport stamps adds another dimension to a grid drive!


A new special stamp to collect

SciFi Con 2021 - 1
click to enlarge

Relay for Life (RFL) is a fundraiser for cancer research. It holds five megaevents in SL every year. The next is the last of this year's season: Second Life Sci-Fi Con, which will run from May 13-24. This will be the thirteenth SL Sci-Fi Con and the first to offer visitors a commemorative stamp for their Bellisseria Passport.

There are eight regions arranged in a circle so visitors can walk through them all from the arrival point in the Alien Star System. One of the other regions is Alien Invasion, where a town's defenders are fighting off invading alien spacecraft. Another is The Mainframe, a TRON sim set entirely inside a computer!

Organiser Teresa Firelight told the BBB Gazette:

There are some shops of course and many booths for sci-fi groups and role-players. The decorations of the regions are truly amazing. Visitors arrive inside the Sun of an alien solar system, then step out to see swirling stars, nearby planets, comets and asteroids.

Screenshot 2021-05-08 at 22.38.25Visitors looking for the passport stamp will need to walk down from the arrival point to find it.

There are many events scheduled to take place during SL Sci-Fi Con and all are listed here. Take a careful look and plan to make the most of your visit! This is certainly not a location to grab your stamp and run. We recommend you set aside some serious time to enjoy it. The stamp will be a collector's item only available at the event itself. Don't miss out on what should be a great show for anyone who enjoys Science Fiction!


Who we are and what we do

The staff of the Bureau has grown recently as demand for our services – especially the Bellisseria Passport – has increased. Bureaucracies burgeon; that's normal! Every BBB official will try to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. However some of us are more technical than others so it may help to know about our specialisations.

The BBB Information in the column to the right now features a photographic directory of BBB staff so you can check out who we are and what we do. We hope you find it useful.


New reviews and new locations

Licensed publication #004, Passport to Bellisseria, has been active in the past week. Blogger, Bluesman and general good egg Cranston Yorkstorm has visited Glastonbelli, Zoo-Palooza 2/the Bellisseria Animal Sanctuary and the renovated and relaunched Airship Limoncello. Please follow the links, have a read and leave some encouragement in the comments for one of the BBB’s best boosters.

There are five new stamp locations this week. Full details and pictures are to be found in the online Travel Guide but here are the locations for you.

LOCATION CATEGORY 
Cohiba Cay Surf Sim leisure/activities 
Eulennest leisure/activities 
Galleria Amano at La Perla leisure/activities 
PIER 7 - restaurant - bar bars/cafés
SLINFO.DE german SL-Forum leisure/activities 


image from www.flickr.comFenella visited all five to photograph them for the Travel Guide and the slideshows running at our head office and Embassy to Corsica. As the curator of an art gallery herself, she was familiar with Eulennest (German for "Owl's Nest") — one of several artistic ventures by SL-art celeb and all-round good sort Owl Dragonash. The others, however, were new to her — though two are just a short sail (or flight if you're showing off) from her office in Campbell Coast. That illustrates just how useful the Bellisseria Passport can be for finding interesting new SL destinations.

Fenella got to practise her rusty German language skills at the location for the German SL-Forum. She was rewarded with the offer of a "second breakfast" at Pier 7 restaurant nearby. She has no Italian skills but also had a nice chat with a friendly local at La Perla while photographing the Galeria Amano. That location – and a conversation about Italy's most iconic product; the Ferrari – made her nostalgic for travel. As did her visit to an ideal destination for those who like pixellated sand between their virtual toes – Cohiba Cay Surf Sim. Let's hope we can all travel again soon in RL, but remember there's no pandemic in SL – so pull on your leisurewear and explore!

Sadly one of Fenella's favourite locations — Cathedral at Isle of Wyrms — was retired this week. If you don’t have the stamp, it’s already too late! Let that encourage you never to delay your visits to collect a stamp and savour what our locations have to offer.