Transarcadia: SL’s Original Gender-Bender

Hi, everybody! Liana here. I want to spend some time today discussing Transarcadia, which I had mentioned in an earlier post. Set a couple of thousand years in the future,  it is SL’s original gender transition area. Once covering only two city blocks in a rented sim, it now occupies its own sim. Newcomers are always welcome, and you can choose the level of BDSM you wish to engage in. Many people have developed strong RL friendships that have grown in this sim.

Transarcadia (or simply TA) was created over 10 years ago by a core of loyal supporters, many of whom are still involved today. One original member is memorialized by having a park named after her after she died.

The TA web site can explain far better than I can the philosophy behind the sim. You can study the rules, and learn what’s expected of all players, both old and new.

In a previous lifetime, before my breakdown and subsequent recovery, I was a noble of the city. Moreover, I was also TA’s first hermaphroditic (or intersexed) character. But that was a long time ago….

I’m starting to spend more time in TA than at the Emasculata Academy, mainly because I can never seem to be on when anyone else is, so I still haven’t been able to teach any classes.

Regardless, the blog will continue.

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Building Resources

Hey there! Chloe here—ChloeBuilder, that is. I’m Iliana’s other alter-ego she created for building without interruptions. I’ve taken the time to explore various resources for learning how to build in Second Life, and I’m here to report on them. I’ll cover my favorite places, and then offer a few other tips.

The Builder’s Brewery

The Builder’s Brewery is your best resource for learning how to build in SL. In fact, it has been voted as “SL’s Favorite Group,” and that’s saying a lot!

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Formal classes are held regularly, covering everything from the basic building tools to advanced animation and avatar construction. There are several stores selling anything and everything you’d need to build your projects, as well as several sandboxes where you can do the actual building.

You can always find the latest class schedule on the web at the Builder’s Brewery website.

Caledon Oxbridge Gateway

Caledon Oxbridge Gateway – New Resident Help is our next stop. Not only are there classes on every topic imaginable (building, scripting, how to emote, how to role-play), but there are even sessions where you can go to get help with specific problems you might be having. It’s also an excellent learning place for the new SL resident.

It can also be found on the web.

And that brings us to…

Happy Hippo Building School

The school describes itself better than I can:

Who are we? Happy Hippo Building School is found online in the Virtual world called Second Life. Created by Victoria Paule, and co-owned by Leslea Aldrin and Gillian Snowbear, we focus on our students having an enjoyable time while they learn to build, apply textures, create clothing, script, animate and learn to use some basic graphics programs. We have classes for those who are absolutely new to Second Life and those who have progressed onto more complex concepts. Our teachers are skilled and patient and will work with you until you are successful with the class being presented. We have some free self paced tutorials, as well as some boxed classes which are mainly at no cost.  Come and check us out! Wander around, take a windsurfing trip on the waterway! Play Whack-a-Mole! We have several games – all free and fun, as well as a bistro to sit and relax in.  Join our chat group for plenty of help and pleasant conversation!

Happy Hippo Building School -Classrooms and Sandbox is another great starting place for the novice builder. In addition to lots of great freebies, there are also self-paced projects for you to build. They can also be found on the web.

New Citizens Incorporated (NCI)

NCI is yet another good place for the beginning builder or scripter. Heck, it’s a good place for the beginning anybody. Tons of freebies (including complete avatars), tutorials, and regularly-scheduled classes.

They can also be found on the web.

In Conclusion

These are my own favorite places. They are all privately-owned and are operated through the good graces (and purses) of their various hosts, so if you can afford to help support them (read: upgrade to a Premium account), please do. The freebies alone will save you a fortune, so why not chip in a little $Linden love?

Are Prewritten Scripts Dangerous?

I’ve always found that studying other people’s source code to be an excellent way to understand a new programming language, and this holds true for LSL (Linden Scripting Language) scripting as well.

But it helps to know your source (in this case, source means where you got the script in the first place). As an example, I recently found a collection of 91 scripts, and it was free for the taking. Not wanting to add 91 new objects to my inventory (which would make it slower to display), I decided I’d create a prim in which to store them. This was easily accomplished with the Build tool, but when I selected the scripts and added them en masse, most (if not all of them) started executing. And the real problem was several of them wanted permission to access my $Lindens!

Fortunately, I was able to prevent any damage (or theft of my $Lindens!), and delete the prim. There is a safe way to add a script to a prim for storage, but that involves first adding the script, then editing it and unchecking the Running box in the edit window. Unfortunately, this has to be done with each script, one at a time, as you add them.

My solution? If you double-click on a script, it will open inside SL’s own script editor. This is a built-in feature that allows you to create and test scripts in-world. All you have to do is click on the Edit button to edit the script.

However, you can also configure your SL viewer to open the script in an external editor when you click the Edit button. And by doing so, I was able to open each script in my external editor and save it off-line to my computer. Once I’d done that, I then deleted all 91 scripts from my inventory.

Now it’s just a matter of examining the scripts while I’m offline, and deleting the ones that cause harmful actions.

My Script Editing Preferences

If you’re at all interested in scripting, I would encourage you to download and install the Firestorm viewer. I do this for a couple of reasons:

  1. It’s faster and uses fewer resources than the official SL viewer
  2. It’s easier to customize to use other resources than is the SL viewer

My off-line editor of choice is Notepad++, a free (as in “free speech” and also as in “free beer”) source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. Running in the MS Windows environment, its use is governed by GPL License.

Sorry, but I’m not familiar enough with MacOS to make any recommendations, but you can find out more information directly from Second Life. You can also learn how to configure Notepad++ to handle LSL.

Olivia’s Recommended Script Resources

And who, you ask, is Olivia? She’s my alter identity for building and scripting without interruptions. This is where she shops:

As SL is constantly changing, and vendors come and go, you should periodically do a Search for “free scripts” and “scripting.”

What’s Next?

Building resources. Until then,

Love,

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Building and Scripting in Second Life

If you haven’t figured it out by now, everything in Second Life was built (and is still being built) by the residents. From simple furniture to flying machines, everything depends on two basic skillsets: building and scripting.

Building

Building covers objects, the most basic of which are called primitives, or prims, for short. Everything you see in SL is made up of one or more prims. Building is an easy skill to learn, and there are frequent in-world classes that will teach you how to do it. Two of my favorites are Caledon Oxbridge Gateway and Builder’s Brewery.

If you prefer a less-structured environment, where you can learn at your own pace, I recommend the Ivory Tower of Primitives.

There are also excellent tutorials to be found on the Internet.

Scripting

Scripting covers everything that happens in SL. Do you have an AO that allows you to hug other people? Well, inside it, there’s a script that makes it happen. If you sit on a chair, a script controls your posture and position. Maybe you have a shirt that came with a HUD that you can use to change its colors. Right: there’s a script inside the HUD.

Scripting isn’t too difficult to learn—although it’s more complicated than building. Again, there are many in-world resources to help you learn, as well as many tutorials on the Internet.

To be honest, “scripting” is another word for programming. But don’t let that put you off learning—as with everything else in life, it just takes time to learn, and there’s no deadline. And like building, there are free classes in-world to help you.

That’s one of the nice things about Second Life: people are always willing to help you learn, and to share their knowledge and experience.

A Word of Warning

And that brings me to where I’m going to share with you my own knowledge about building and scripting: create an alternate identity to use strictly for those purposes. Otherwise, as you gain more friends and rise in popularity, you’ll find it increasingly difficult to deal with the interruptions.

But if you take the time and make the effort to learn, not only can you save money by building the things you need, but you can also earn it by selling your creations in SL. Remember, everything that you buy in SL or from the Marketplace was made by someone. They’re making money, and you can, too!

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Emasculata Academy

Liana enjoying a cup of hot chocolate

Sometimes a girl just needs a nice cup of hot chocolate!

Since I spend most of my in-world time at the Emasculata Academy (EA), I thought you’d like to know a bit more about the Academy, as well as what we do there. After all, gender modification and resources therefor are what this blog is all about!


Emasculata Academy is dedicated to preparing new women to take their rightful place in their workplaces, families and communities. We pursue this goal through rigorous behavioral conditioning and mental programming to establish a fully realized and fully feminine identity; integration of an outcomes-based curriculum demonstrated through personal research and presentations; active, collaborative, applied studies and immersive real life experiences–in an environment that celebrates traditional feminine values and dedication to pleasing and serving.

Emasculata is a sanctuary and place of learning and transition for gender gifted people. I call it gender gifted because those of us who embrace our gender identity, as opposed to having it assigned to us, are truly gifted indeed. We are here to nurture transgendered people, specializing in male to female transition and education.

A day in the life at EA could be anything from taking a class, to meeting new friends, or growing relationships with old friends. It could be a day undergoing another aspect of your physical transition. In the end, a day at EA is what you make of it. Being active, social, and frankly…. around…… is the key to our success.

EA has an amazing curriculum, with 4 semesters of education in everything from appearance, to truly empathizing on the essence of a genetic woman, from her socialization to her substantial hormonal and mental differences that make her a woman. We seek not to only physically transitioning, but also mentally transitioning as well. Not through the typical brainwashing nonsense that tends to go on in SL, but through challenging you to re-think things, and empathize with the things a genetic woman experiences every day.

Emasculata is also a place where sissies and submissives can explore as well. We are working on a campus called St Trinian’s, which will teach such things, and sissies and submissive maids can serve the school by serving at parties, and keeping the place clean.

We have a classroom, a dorm, lovely grounds, including a porch and swing where many friendships have been made over the years. We have a state of the art medical facility, a beauty parlor, free dorms, and lovely inexpensive cottages to really make this place feel like home.

We need teachers and students alike. We also need nurses and doctors. Soon, you will see applications for every discipline. Meantime, student applications are already available on this kiosk.

Please tour our place, and if interested, please fill out the application most suited to your goals. I hope you can consider us as your home, free from drama, full of support and love.

Kisses
Headmistress Erin Taylor


While this is still role-play, and not meant to have any influence on anyone’s real life, the classes and lessons are based on staff’s real-world experiences. I’ll also be compiling a list of trusted real-world trans resources which I’ll make available on request. I’ll post a note here letting you know when I’ve done that.

A Word About Gender and Honesty

Everything I post on my blog as it relates to SL assumes that you’re here with good intentions; that is, you’re serious about role-playing as opposed to merely pretending in order to con other women into having sex with you. And don’t think we can’t tell: most of us have been in SL long enough to recognize the fakers and trolls. And many of us have been on our RL journeys to recognize them as well.

This isn’t to say that if you’re brand-new to this life, we’ll call you out on it. We’ve all been there at one time or another, and we do make allowances for our newly-begun sisters. Indeed, we welcome you with open hearts and open arms! After all, that’s what both EA and this blog are all about!

Love,

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Where To Shop

If you’ve decided to change your gender to female, you’re in luck when it comes to avatar options. Male, not so much. Most SL builders count on the fact that in SL just as in RL, women spend far more money than men when it comes to shopping. In practical terms, this means that there are far more opportunities when it comes to shopping for women than for men.

But all is not lost! I’m going to show you a few places for both men and women where you can shop ‘til you drop—and most of it without spending a single $L!

(NOTE: The Linden Dollar, or $L, is the currency in use in SL. They can be earned or purchased. See here for details.)

Free (or almost so) Places to Shop

New Resident Island is one of my favorite places to shop. It’s a one-stop shopping center for all your in-world needs. Here you’ll find shapes, skins, hair, eyes, complete avatars, clothing, and other accessories. And best of all? Everything is free!

The Free Dove is one of SL’s oldest places for finding quality designer fashions. Clothing, hair, skins, shapes, makeup, accessories—you name it, it’s yours for the taking.

Freebie Galaxy:
Second Life’s biggest in-world collection of freebies. 15 floors of free skins, clothes, hair, goodies, houses and a lot more. Established in 2010 and the leading freebie store ever since.

London City: Soho & Regent’s Park Freebie Megastore

NCI Kuula – New Citizens Incorporated – Help/ Classes/ Freebies: A good source for clothes, scripts, and accessories.

Freebies Warehouse: – Clothes and Fitting Rooms
This is your new place for freebies, dollabies and bargains.
Find designer mesh clothes, skins, shoes and hair, for male and female.

And our final in-world resource: Yasum Design:
Original Mesh, Belleza, Maitreya, Omega, Slink, Appliers, G Fashion, Mesh, Events, Jeans, Leather; Accessory, Accessoire, Streetwear, Steampunk, Hat, Shoe, Shoes, Lingery,
Model, Jewelry, Gacha, Hair, Skin, Groupgift, Freebie, Full Perm, Original Mesh

Second Life Marketplace

The Second Life Marketplace may not be the ultimate shopping experience, but it comes pretty close! Here you’ll find millions of items to customize your appearance and your in-world experience. Some of my favorite vendors here are:

And That’s It For Today!

If there’s a particular topic you’d like me to discuss, or any questions you’d like answered, drop me a line (leave a comment) either here or send me an IM in-world.

Until next time,

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Other Gender-Bending Places

Role-Playing Areas

As much as I enjoy Emasculata Academy, honesty compels me to admit that it’s not the only place for structured role-play involving gender transition.

The Velvet Crossing specializes in feminization and sissification of young men and boys. It has a slight BDSM flavor, so that might not be to your taste.

Transarcadia is another BDSM-themed transition area. Set a couple of thousand years in the future,  it is SL’s original gender transition area. Once covering only two city blocks in a rented sim, it now occupies its own sim. Newcomers are always welcome, and you can choose the level of BDSM you wish to engage in. Many people have developed strong RL friendships that have grown out of this sim.

Avatar Appearance

Of course, if you’ve decided that role-playing is the best way to change your gender, you’ll need to work out the logistics. At a minimum, you’ll need the following:

  • A shape
  • A skin
  • Hair
  • Clothing to suit your new gender

Other recommended items are an AO (animation over-rider) and a decent set of physics.

  • Animation over-rider: An Animation Override (“AO”) is a scripted attachment which replaces standard animations (walk, jump, stand, run, etc.) with animations created by Residents. (Further details are here)
  • Physics: This is a relatively new feature in SL, designed to make your avatar movements more realistic. Strawberry Singh has an excellent tutorial on the web. Firestorm Avatar Physics goes into even more detail.

Both items can be found in various places in SL, as well as in the Second Life Marketplace.

In addition, many items such as shoes and collars come with built-in AOs, most of which can be turned on or off. And for the ultimate in control, you can learn how to build and make your own. After all, everything in SL has been made by its residents!

Next Post

Unfortunately, that’s all I have time for right now. But I’ll be back with a list of where you can find free, good-quality shapes, skins, hair, and clothes for your journey into womanhood.

Until then, love,

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Changing Gender in Second Life

Just as in real life, some people in Second Life are Transgender. Some are male-to-female, and others are female-to-male.

Some players transition before they even enter SL; that is, they pick avatars corresponding to their true genders when they first create their accounts. Others may have not known of the option when they started, and still others may have been playing as their assigned-at-birth (AAB) gender, only to come to the realization—often in conjunction with their real lives (RL)—that they are not really of that gender.

In real life, transitioning, that is, becoming y0ur true self, is often a long process involving psychological counselling, hormone treatments, alienation of friends and family. For many of us, it is a painful process, often causing us to lose friends and family.

In SL, however, it can be easier—although it may also cost you your SL friends and family. But physically, it’s a lot easier.

The Case of Geoffrey St. Clair (geoffreystclair_resident)

When Geoff first started in SL, he played his RL self: a young, gay man. But as time went by, he realized that he wasn’t truly comfortable in the role, in either SL or RL. There was always the option of deleting his account and starting over—which is a viable option—but he had accumulated (read: purchased) too much inventory, and he didn’t want to waste his money. Now there are two easy ways to make such a change: simply buy a new avatar, or look around for a decent shape and skin combination for free.

And that’s where places like New Resident Island come in. That’s where Geoff was able to pick from a wide variety of pre-made avatars, each coming with shape, skin, hair, and clothing. In short, everything he needed to become his new self. But since the avatars in the kits can’t be modified, he wanted something with more flexibility.

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Instead, he picked a modifiable shape and skin combination.

NRI 3

And here are the before and after results:

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Quite simple, really. Now all she has to do is settle on a new name. Hmm…I think she looks like a Gwen, don’t you?

A More Difficult Way to Accomplish the Same Thing

You can also use the appearance editor in SL to change both your gender and your appearance. The ways of doing this can be found in the following articles:

A Word of Warning

If your avatar  permissions include Copy, make a backup of it before you start modifying it. That way you’ll be able to undo any mistakes you might have made.

My recommendation? If you’re going to do it manually, i.e. with the sliders, etc., wait until you’ve had some experience building. There are also lots of free classes in SL that you can also take.

Next Time

We’ll look at all the ways Emasculata Academy can help you as you transition in SL, as well as some Real World resources.

Until then, love,

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Welcome To My Neck of the Woods!

Hi there! My name is Liana, Liana Alharizi. I’m only a virtual character; that is, I only exist as pixels in a strange and wondrous world known as Second Life (SL). If you click on the link, it will open a new browser window, so you won’t lose your place in my blog. This is true of all of the links on my site.

So Who Am I, Anyway?

Well, my SL profile says this:

“Mixed-race Jewish/Native American lesbian and educator. My degrees are a BSci in psychology, a MSci in Gender Conditioning, and twin PhD’s in both Psychiatry and Psychopharmacological Gender Modification.


In other words, I specialize in training young men and boys to be the best young ladies they can be. (I’m not a real doctor, but I play one in SL.)”

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Yeah, that tells you a lot, right? In order to understand what I’m talking about, you need to understand the Emasculata Academy, which specializes in “Male to Female Transformation Role-play,
Classroom Education, and Medical Services.”

It also helps to have a basic and accurate understanding of transgender people. And that’s something my blog can help you with.

What’s Here

Over the next several days I’ll be posting information relevant to SL in general, and gender in particular. I’ll also be posting a calendar of classes I’ll be teaching in SL, as well as times I’ll be available at Emasculata Academy for counseling.

And That’s It For Today!

Until next time,

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