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New World Notes and Second Style Fashionista

The New World Notes (NWN) blog announced it’s Uncanny Valley Expo contest back in July, and the directive was simple: “Send me images and video of realistic avatars who engage on a human level.”

So yours truly took a pic and sent in her avi’s mug. Although entries are no longer being accepted (the deadline was August 12th, soz), the contest hasn’t quite started yet. Wagner James Au is slowly sharing the entries, releasing one new image per day, and you can view them here. At some point in the future ten finalists will be selected, and readers will be asked to vote for the image and video that they feel accomplishes that human engagement.

What is this “uncanny valley” biz, you ask? I followed a Wikipedia link to learn more, too, which may be found here. If you’re too lazy to go to that URL right now, I’ll do my best to sum it up for you: It’s basically about the way we react to robots and other non-human entities. Someone made note of how human response to these entities becomes more favorable as the entity takes on a more realistic human appearance, but that response will turn negative if the realism becomes… well, creepy. It’s an interesting read, I’d recommend looking at that wiki entry. 🙂

Anyways, why am I bringing this up? It’s because my entry was chosen for the NWN 9/7 feature :p…

nwn uncannyexpo

And speaking of SL blogs, Vivienne and I recently submitted a Reader Style photo for Second Style Fashionista (SSF). ^_^

A little while ago, we discovered that we’d purchased Soviet military coats from D3volution separately (I have the Spetznaz and she has the Army one), and Vivi came up with the cool idea of visiting the Moscow sim while decked out in our coats. I really liked how our outfits looked, so I told her I wanted to take a shot of us and submit it for Reader Style. (Clicking on that link will give you the shop details for the clothing articles we used.)

Turns out we’re not the only ones who liked out outfits :p Grazia Horwitz, who blogs regularly at SSF, decided to feature our entry.

ssf readerstyle

Vivienne seems to have a knack for putting together some pretty awesome outfits; she’s won countless SL costume contests (and no, she doesn’t TP her entire friends list every time she’s in one of these, she actually wins on her own merit). When I realized she still did not have an account at Snapzilla, I told her she should get one and submit her stuff to the Reader Style section. You can now see her outfits for yourself at Vivi’s Snapzilla.

And speaking of SSF, there is a Fashion Challenge vote being held right now! The theme of it is supposed to be cultural diversity in SL, and all of the pictures look fab. Last time I checked, Georgette Whitfield’s photo was in the lead. Woo, go Georgette! 😀

September 8, 2007 Posted by | Fashion | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mitsukoshi sim

While looking around some random Japanese sim a few days ago with Vivienne, I met someone by the name of Shoji Kumaki. After we’d conversed for a bit he told me he wanted to show me a place where I could get free kimonos.

We ended up at a beautifully constructed sim called Mitsukoshi. Mitsukoshi is actually the name of a fancy department store in Japan (think Harrod’s or Neiman Marcus), which has it’s roots in the kimono business dating all the way back to the 1600s. The landing point is located on a broad walkway surrounded by cherry blossom trees on green hills, which leads to a somewhat large teahouse.

Newbie named Yasso

As soon as you arrive at the entrance of the teahouse, you’re already offered two free hapi coats:

free hapis at the entrance entering the building

The details are beautiful. The floor is covered with a very pretty tatami mat texture, and there are several zabuton scattered around with kneeling animations. In the areas surrounding the teahouse, you’ll find cutouts of Japanese caricatures standing here and there:

Mitsukoshi

Cutouts Sub?

And, who doesn’t love freebies, especially when they are pretty ones? ^_^ Those two hapi coats at the entrance are just the tip of the iceberg! Look around the teahouse and you will find at least eight more kimonos (some with the long sode, or sleeves, and some without), two men’s kimonos, two more hapi coats, and a variety of fans and hats. I say “at least” because after going back over my pictures, I think I may have missed some more!

Kimonos with great textures senbu and jingsa Kimonos and hapis

hapis

kimonos_01

kimonos-sode_01

kimonos-sode_02

Of course, this is a sim launched by big business, so they’re not going to be content with simply handing over a bunch of free stuff, right? Behind the teahouse is another walkway flanked by white sakura, leading to a sort of courtyard. The area is dominated by two large, semi-transparent elevator shafts that take you up to a much more modern looking build about 140m into the sky.

White sakura Elevator shaft Gift Salon

The build in the sky is a fairly straightforward interface that will lead the user to Mitsukoshi’s website and services. It’s divided into several departments, such as Gifts, Fashion, etc.

UPDATE: I recently became aware of another blog that discusses this sim, have a look. 🙂

September 8, 2007 Posted by | Fashion, SL Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment