RE: [-empyre-] Re: Second Life
Ok, good point, Mez.
New? Maybe not as new as we'd like to think. Each of the emerging
technologies has some novel differences that (might) make them
I've had an account on SL for about 3 years, got active in September,
and I think my most current avatar was made in October.
Given, I was playing with Vrbuilder, Palace, VR Toolkit, VReam,
Superscape (probably the first good online world, IMO), inlive
Traveller, and VR386 since about '92-94?
Sure, we can say these environments have been around since 1978 (first
MUDs), there are little idiosyncracies that are interesting.
For example Second Front loves the near-impossiblity of coherent stage
performance in SL. That's why as an avatar-performance group, we love
the chaos of bad server calls, system latency, lack of voice (although
that is coming), and so on. I think it's the social interaction and
brokenness that fascinate us, and how far people are willing to go to
fill in the gaps between the breaks. In many ways, it's like a Marx
Everquest and WoW aren't open-ended. They're in a (more) defined
environment/context, and you're forced to operate under that paradigm.
SL, being open-ended, just is not a game in that sense.
In SL, you do operate under the setting of the client, and that has its
Also, I think that exploring SL for its own sake is boring. I feel that
it's not the end-all, be-all, but a significant place and time, and
worth investigating, despite the capitalism, inane puppet sex, slavery
and gambling. Maybe not despite...
We start with the performances in SL, then everge them into the physical
through derivative media (print, video, print, sculpture, blog, social
The other thing that fascinates me there are those brave souls who bring
dysfunction to this 'utopia' and make it a place that might not be as
nice as the real world - pick your poison.
For instance, I and Ian Murray of Art Metropole live in a favela on the
side of a hill, scavenge from dumpsters, and fight for the porta-potty.
I eat his wOOt Loops, and he drinks all my liquid heat - it's beautiful.
There are evangelists and Luddites when it comes to SL, but my favorite
thing is to wedge open the cracks and see what the dialectic has to
- Professor, Interactive Arts & Media
Columbia College, Chicago
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