Re: [-empyre-] residing in cyberspace

thanks for this link, barrie - it looks like interesting software (altho i've just been browsing the site & finding it a bit hard to discover what it actually does, & the download link took me in circles ... )

at the risk of blowing my own trumpet, but seeing it's new zealand month, UpStage ( is a live online performance/storytelling tool, & it's about as accessible as it gets - it's browser-based so there's no download required (unless you don't have the flash 7 plug-in).

telling stories in virtual worlds is definitely happening now, & has been happening for some time in MOOs & chatrooms, with roots in the dungeons & dragons kind of role-playing games. i got into online performance through desktop theater ( who began staging performances in the palace, a graphical chat environment, back in the mid-90s. the palace is a good example of a graphical chat room that has grown from a social environment into a huge & complex virtual world where all kinds of things take place, including weddings & funerals, festivals, & other events. quite a lot has been written about it - you'll need to do a bit of searching as the palace itself is no longer being developed so it's kind of gone underground (or under-wire? ; ) & there's a proliferation of user-owned sites which come & go. there are some links from

h : )

Accessability is the issue, gamers have the gear and the motivation to do
what you are describing. Artists who want to assist communities to put their
stories online have to deal with a level of expertise that isn't going to
overwhelm them or their clients. Maybe we'll see interactive movies that
deal with community issues using perhaps tools like the korsakow-system,

But the important thing is accessibility by the makers of the material and
their audience. Online gaming is an interesting model for this and some
artists have used gaming engines for their own works; Leon Cmielewski and
Josephine Starrs. I remember a group of gamers in a virtual world who
organised a virtual march on some virtual landmark to protest the closing
down of the gaming system, they won, the system stayed up.

Telling stories, about your community, your history, traditions and tribal
myths in the setting of virtual game tech could be very compelling. Is it
happening now though, certainly Flash has proved a potent way to get
interactive story telling working.

-- ____________________________________________________________

helen varley jamieson: creative catalyst

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