Beginning in 2010, Around the Grid has run an annual photography contest for Second Life Residents, based around the simple question: “If you somehow received or wangled an invitation to this year’s Academy Awards, what would you wear?” The answers to that question go into a competition based on artistry, quality of the dress, and fidelity to the theme of the contest. The finalists receive cash prizes (in Linden dollars) and acclamation in a feature article in Around the Grid, usually within a week following the Oscars ceremony in Hollywood.
Competition opens on the same day as the announcement of nominees for that year’s Oscars. At that time the contest submission group on Flickr is unlocked. All Residents of Second Life are welcome to submit entries within the rules of the contest. (During the first four years, members of other virtual worlds, such as IMVU, were invited to enter via Koinup for recognition only.) Prizes are awarded for the best three entries, along with four honorable mentions.
The quality of the first winners was very good; as time has went by and people have practiced their photographic skills in the various Second Life clients — joined by the many improvements to the clients and the virtual world itself — the quality curve has steadily risen. I hope you’ll visit the groups, and leave comments and “faves” on the participants’ pages.
The list below gives links to each year’s winners’ article, along with a list of the winners themselves:
- First Place: Ruriko Bracken
- Second and Third Places (tied): Natasja Schumann and Holly Beaumont
- Honorable Mentions: dancer Dallagio, Cajsa Lilliehook, Caylla Winnikow, Whimsy Winx
- First Place: Curl Swinderhurst
- Second Place: Draakje Dailey
- Third Place: Kit Balogh
- Honorable Mentions: Rudyn Carter, RayRay Shippe, Aida Ewing, Strawberry Singh
- First Place: Link Bressig
- Second Place: Kristen20 Macarthur
- Third Place: Moxy Macbeth
- Honorable Mentions: Seiya Perl, Charolotte Caxton, Holly Beaumont, Moniq Salamander
For 2013, I experimented with sponsorship to increase the prize pools, and was joined by Sascha’s Designs and Styles by Danielle. Additionally, this year the men reached the prize pool, with an identified honorable mention by Carthalis Rossini.
- First Place: Rachele Delgado
- Second Place: Domitalia Jinx
- Third Place: Dolly Baroque and Ayla Qinan
- Honorable Mentions: Nieve Thor, Carthalis Rossini, Strawberry Singh, Connie Arida
The prize fund took a huge jump this year, and so did male participation. Five men made the Shining Seven, and it was a man whose photo took first place.
- First Place: Jackson Redstar
- Second Place: India Canning
- Third Place: Jadelyn McAuley-Stratford and Jackson Greycloak
- Honorable Mentions: Lucas Quingly and Nimoe Constantine, Kaiden and Marc Draconia, Vivena Resident and Honey Vesuvino, salmanhameed 13 and Raerae Messinez
There were fewer entries in 2015, despite an earlier contest start, but the total prizes handed out went up to L$48,000, due to more two-person participation.
- First Place: Finn Lawksley and Colby Hatchuk
- Second Place: jujujhb
- Third Place: Skye Donardson and Billy Dollinger
- Honorable Mentions: CronoCloud Creeggan and Charlemagne Allen; Lil Vix; Okami Aquila and Lucian Domenici; Astralia Miliandrovic and Lucas Quingly
L$50,500 in prizes, with L$25,000 to the winner! The level of quality went up again, as well.
- First Place: AnoukAnna Resident
- Second Place: Reese Firanelli
- Third Place: Skye Donardson
- Honorable Mentions: Ric Applewhyte (with sister), Connie Arida, Euridice Qork, Strawberry Singh
- First Place: Skye Donardson
- Second Place: Kira Ahn
- Third Place: Anandaheart Resident
- Honorable Mentions: lilaskyheart Resident, WillowWho Flowers, EleanorJean Webster, Lunarayvin
Congratulations to all participants and finalists!