Category Archives: Advice

The Newbie’s Guide to The Arcade

The success of The Arcade is a testament to power of gambling. Gatcha machines have you pay one for a random item each play. The thrill of an unknown result is what you’re really paying for. The fun of hunting down an elusive item afterwards is what gives the item value. This is my first Arcade event and I was impressed by the mini-subculture (new word?) that popped up in the just the last half year.

The SLebrity world is already well versed in the art of gatcha grinding at the Arcade. But for those newcomers like myself, here’s a quick guide to the basics.

Going gaga over Gatchas at The Arcade

1. Scope out the goods beforehand

Both The Arcade Shopping Guide and SeraphimSL have extensive galleries that tell you exactly what is available, the price, and (usually) prize charts. Furthermore, The Arcade SL FLicker Group is booming with photos showing the gatcha prizes, especially of participants in The Arcade Photography Contest.

2. Go to The Arcade with a plan

Recognize that the first week is the hardest. The sim will often be full, so come with as few attachments and scripts as you can bear. Grab any demos that you need before your viewer crashes. Lastly, if you get an item you really like, screenshot it. Without a screenshot, there’s no way a creator can resend you an item in the event of a delivery error. It helps to be prepared.

3. Join the group: The Arcade – Gatcha Events

Trading is wonderful part of gatcha culture. These items are transferable. So join the Arcade Gatcha Event group and use their group chat to find what you’re looking for. You can also give away or trade away your extras via chat. This group is very active and friendly, so don’t be afraid to jump in.

4. Make a list of your haves/wants online

If you’re going to trade a lot of items, make a web-based list of your items, as well as your wishlist. Then, paste that link in the Arcade Group for trading. It’s a lot easier than posting your long list in the chat box every time, and some people will bookmark your list. And please, put your SL name on your list! Don’t lose a potential trade due to a lack of contact information.

5. Check out the flea markets

You’re not getting an item you badly desire, and you don’t have millions of Linden dollars to spend. When times get desperate, maybe you should head to the yard sales. Yard sales and flea markets are areas where people sell their gatcha items. A public yard means that anyone can rez items for sale; a private yard means that all the items belong to one person or group of persons. I like the Red Barn Flea Market and Garbanzo Yard Sale for the sheer amount of stuff. I love the organization of the Little Wonders/Pixel Homes Yard Sale where they have carts by brand – if only all yard sales did that! Pick up Lex’s Yard Sale HUD for a big list of various yard sales.

6. Have fun and share!

Everyday, there is someone in the trading group giving away items. What a great idea! If you have so many extras that they’re just going to rot away in your inventory, why not share them with others for free? You never know – that item could make its way to a new resident in SL and be a part of the early Second Life adventure.

I live a simple Second Life and I am fortunate to never run into any drama. If you do love drama though, I hear Iris Ophelia’s article “The Arcade’s Latest SL Event Soured by a Virtual Property Rights Drama Blowout” is a good place to start looking at the different perspectives surrounding this event. Until next time, good luck with your Gatchas!

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How to Style Bare Feet #1

I love going bare foot, both in real life and second life. Until real life loses the risk of injury, I’ll have to live out my comfortable lifestyle sans shoes in second life with great bare feet from brands like Gos,  Slink, Love Soul, and more. And after you get those mesh bare feet attachments, the question is, “With what do I wear these?” My answer: Anything! This is your Second Life. Do what you want. For the more pragmatic types, I have a ton of reasonable ideas for bare foot outfits as well. First up is Bohemian Style.

Go bare foot, boho-style.

For those who are cautious, there’s nothing better than a maxi dress to ease you into the look, slightly covering the feet, while still being suitable for public wear. This long maxi dress (also styled at My SL Look)  is a steal at L$40, compared to the original L$300 price tag. I added a leather watch to match the leather belt. Throw in some whimsical accessories with a loose, casual hairstyle and you’re a modern flower child. Check out Pixel Pantomime/Virtually Vanilla‘s awesome take on this hippie style (with bare feet too!).

barefeet1b

Close up.

Credits

Skin: Lara Hurley – Joelle, L$0
Hair: TRUTH Hollana in Honey, L$88
Dress: Auxiliary – Summer Sun Dress in Noon, L$40 TDRF/$300 normal
Feet: Gos Boutique – Mesh Feet Arched, L$595
Earrings: Undefined Lillies – Petting Zoo, L$99
Watch: Muse – Classic tank Watch in Caramel
Flower: Artilleri – Lilium Longflorium
Eyes: Insufferable DastardShades of Brown #6, L$75
Lips: LAQROKI – Parted Lips in Pale, $150
Pose: Croire – Flamingo, L$15
Shape: Custom

Location: Hazardous @ Misali (See Inara Pey’s blog for more on this sim)

Tips for Budgeting Second Life Fashion & Home

Because Second Life is a virtual world, it becomes easy for a casual player (one is not making his or her living off of Second Life business) to get caught up in retail therapy. I have wasted so much money on items that I didn’t use for very long. It’s easy to forget that Linden dollars ARE real dollars. Once I started organizing a virtual budget, my impulse purchases became investment purchases. Here are some First Life tips on budgeting that have been tweaked for Second Life.

Curb your SL indulgences with smart budgeting.

Curb your virtual indulgences with smart budgeting.

1. Treat your Addictions

I am addicted to skins. Rather try to eliminate this need cold turkey, I’m taming it. I subscribe to Skin brands that have a consistent history of giving gifts, like Izzie’s VIP group and WoW Skins VIP Group. I keep an eye on skin brands that frequently participate in events and sales, like Belleza Skins, which has Best Buys and Fifty Linden Friday promotions often. I give more leeway to my skin spending, in small doses, while cutting out clothing spending significantly to balance it out.

What ever your addiction is – shoes, hair, poses, furniture, etc – recognize it. Then, find a way to curb it with hunts, freebies, lucky boards, camping, groups, and sales. “Small doses” of your addiction work just as efficiently as large impulse buys, and they’re a lot better for your wallet.

2. Narrow Budgets by Category

When I bought my virtual home, I set a limit of $100 for individual furnishings, with three exceptions allowed for my most important pieces of furniture: a bed, a kitchen, and a work desk. In the end, I spent about $600 total for those important pieces and everything else in the house is  low cost or free. Using my Premium Account has also helped out with budgeting in that my stipend is disbursed weekly. This way, I don’t blow my self-imposed allowance all at the beginning of the month. If there’s a sale that comes up, and I’m out of the money for the week, I let that sale go.

If having an overall budget limit for Second Life isn’t working, break it down into categories. To get started, begin with the expenses that are easily foreseeable, like “$xx amount for pet care per month, $xx amount for rent per month,” and then divide out the rest for your shopping and entertainment needs. For even more control, break down each category even further by identifying your most important purchases you’d like to make in that category. It will put everything into perspective.

3. Make a Wishlist

I use the Second Life Marketplace’s My Favorites list to keep track of everything that catches my eye. I also keep a big folder of demos in-world. Then, I periodically go through my Favorites list and my Demos folder to remove ones that I no longer want. This narrows down my purchases to things that I could like for a while, and weeds out the ones that can’t hold my interest in the long run.

In first life, the longer you wait to see if you still love something (that new career change, that potential spouse, or that pretty new pair of shoes in the window after a long time has passed), it’s more likely that you won’t grow tired of it later on. The same applies to Second Life. Most to the things you’re thinking of buying will be there later on. The next time you want to buy something, write it down, bookmark, and put it away. You’ll be surprised at the frequency at which you cross off items.

I still have some definite problems with limited-time sales and other shopping events, but budgeting my Second Life has already led to less regret and more bang for my buck. It’s a good start.