Something the whole Paradise Lost crew has been looking forward to for a long (long, long, long, … ) time: the first demo scenes from the semi-documentary film ‘My Avatar and Me’ (Me Avatar og Mi in Danish). Lead star of the - kick ass, of course - video containing both Real Life and Second Life footage is Paradise Lost’s own Princess Helena Kirkorian. Besides being totally promising, it’s also incredibly education (if in doubt about this, start watching at 6:20)! The question we’re all pondering: that print out, is that Helena’s atomic? And is that Rob Danton at the end of the demo footage, professionally holding that virtual camera, but breaking the poor Mick Proud’s heart? Behold:
Can’t wait until it’s on TV (with subtitles, please! ;)). Fenris Film was as kind as to include a bit of behind the scenes footage as well. Go Rob! Go Rob! Go Rob! No, no, nooo! Auwch! C’mon.. you can easily kick that guy’s ass! Oh? What do you say? Anoter sex scene? Where? Show us! (Or at least don’t let us wait to long.)
PS. I’ve always said I’d blog again, if I had something interesting to share related Second Life. With this blog entry, point proven! ;) Now, all, go favourite these videos on youtube, share them on Facebook, Tweet and Plurk them, as well as leaving some sweet comments. That’s an order!
‘Starfish’ is a new - mixed reality - play by award-winning playwright Judith Johnson, which aims to explore the issues raised by clinical trials. It uses real life actors and Second Life machinima to convey the message. The production will tour schools throughout London in Spring 2008, from Mon 26th January to Fri 13th March. And guess what? Rezzable created the machinima footage. RightasRain ‘Boss’ Rimbaud: “Big thanks to my associate producer in making the machinimas–Meral (aka Lokum). It took hours and burned through all of our collective patience, but we pulled it off! Thanks again for hanging in there with me.” Some excerpts ft. a terribly cute tiny Greenie:
Each performance is followed by a live debate, utilising electronic voting technology, during which the students will be encouraged to explore what they think and feel about the issues posed by the drama. ‘Starfish’ is targeted at students at KS4 and above (aged 14+). The production is accompanied by a suite of online support materials which will engage directly with science and humanities specifications.
It seems the most time intensive part of shooting the machinima was nailing the ‘avatar’s expression of emotions’ down: “The biggest issue is working with a fairly limited set of facial expressions. Oddly in many ways the non-human avatars can be more expressive–with doing less even. But if someone could build a animation control panel that allowed detailed movement of the face, eyes, body parts independently and then back again as a set–well…call me let’s lunch on that one!” I guess as the VRW Viewer which mirrors your Real Life emotions on your avatar is far from finished, and the Lindens seem to be so busy with ‘enterprise solutions’ that they forgot about avatar puppeteering they promised in 2006, I’d go with my Pandora HUD for such a use. Or are there any other alternatives I haven’t heard from yet (and that are either not to complicated to use, or totally worth the time you spend mastering them ;)) ?
Are oppressive labour laws and expensive real-estate prices getting in the way of your dream of running your own sweatshop? By following these 10 simple steps you too can become rich using telematic manufacturing.
10 simple steps to start your very own virtual world sweatshop:
1 Choose a virtual world.
2 Create a virtual team.
3 Develop a business model.
4 Purchase virtual land.
5 Build a virtual factory. 6 Hire avatars as workers.
7 Conduct training sessions. 8 Set up a real world storefront.
9 Begin telematic production. 10 Pay workers.
Invisible Threads is a mixed reality performance installation created by Eyebeam artists Jeff Crouse and Stephanie Rothenberg. The project explores the growing intersection between labor, emerging virtual economies and real life commodities through the creation of a designer jeans sweatshop in the metaverse Second Life. Simulating a real life manufacturing facility that includes hiring Second Life “workers” to produce real world jeans sold for profit, the project provides an insider’s view into current modes of global, telematic production. Machinima by Annie Ok.
Unionize Attempt by Second Front
On Thursday, December 18th, a week before Christmas, the Double Happiness factory was almost overthrown by virtual anarchists claiming to be affiliated with the virtual pranksters known as Second Front. The hysterical rioters attempted to take over the factory with at least 300 lbs of explosives and bottles of hairspray. Chanting “Happiness, not Double” while the Dead Kennedy’s “Kill the Poor” blasted from their iPhones, the hooligans tried to force our happy Double Happiness workers to unionize. Only a few avatars exploded but in “virtuality” no one was hurt in the incident and production continued to run smoothly during the joyous, holiday season. The attack happened during a tour of the factory with potential investors BIW (Brooklyn is Watching). Watch footage from Double Happiness’ security cameras:
Double Happiness Manufacturing
Of course you can visit the ‘Double Happiness Manufacturing’ factory / sweatshop in Second Life (TP to Eyebeam Island), at this time of year, the entrance is even decorated with a lovely Christmas Tree. (I believe that falls under ‘keep your workers motivated’?) Although no “global workforce” was at work - hey, they got today off whilst I was working?!! what kind of sweatshop do you actually run there?! ;) - the Double Happiness factory is a lovely build to visit with lot’s of proof of heavy jeans manufacturing going on: empty pizza boxes, whiteboards full with notes, time sheets & cards, … . I searched for a ‘x days without any accident’ sign or safety warnings, but could not find any. Although when trying out one of the machines, it became clear I did not have the right safety clearance, as it refused to being handled by me.
Some of my impressions:
The Double Happiness Manufacturing Factory / Virtual Sweatshop entrance. I love how they keep the project updates - for people like me who stumble over it only 1 year after it started, and for returning visitors - by adjusting the build to the season. That Christmas tree shows they put constant effort into this! Can anybody tell me which font they used for the factory name? It’s absolutely awesomely vintage! ;) (Overall I was pretty impressed by the ‘custom’ textures such as name plates, time cards, white board + markers, … . Only at times some more baked shading would have been appropriate. <- Before I forget to mention that!)
Trying to get details on what they produce, what’s planned and most important - factory visiting hours. ;) Hmmm… seems although the doors were closed, you could walk right through them!
My favourite picture from the whole visit, gotta love subtle use of shallow DOF, no? ;) Second best manufacturing line I’ve seen inSL, maybe if it would have been on (did I miss a button?) and a bit more cute, this sweatshop would have beated Fiat’s assembly line.
I deserved a lunch break. K? But I did not eat the last slice of pizza. Honestly. I swear! *crosses her tail*
Double Happiness Manufacturing Products
Although Double Happiness produces a wide range of different styles of jeans - RoadKill, No Pants Left Behind, Classic, Casual Friday, Lowrider - my favourite is definitely the ‘myPants™’: “Do you spend hours every day approving new batches of friends on mySpace, FaceBook, and Friendster? Do you want people to see how popular you are without having to log on? Show the whole world that you have friends to spare with myPants™. Comes with Fine Black Sharpie™ while supplies last.” I guess DHM ran out of supply, as I was able to find a price listing (Price: $45.00 USD/$11,890 Lindens) but no ‘order here’ button. Please, put those avatars back to work! ;)
Machinima & Image Credit: Double Happiness Manufacturing
Start reading more about this project at DoubleHappinessJeans.com
On PlurkDandellion reports: “Help Islands full of people. Been asked for a date twice, one guy wanted to know where he can find romance.” We’re not sure yet if that’s a more realistic question than ‘How can I get rich here?‘, but it is a funny thing: just say that one can fuck up their own life and there is an army of noobs coming to the grid. Quite ironic, no?
So in the next few days, don’t be surprised if n00bs ask about a/s/l (age/sex/location) in stead of Second Life Stock Exchanges.
If you are a mentor, make sure you have a landmark to both SexGen and xCite shops in your inventory to hand out to those enquiring new residents! We better make sure they find a mate and buy land and a house and skins and fashion and… basically, let’s abuse them to boost our SLeconomy, shall we? :D Luckily views on my Don’t hold Second Life Responsible! blogpost are sky-rocketing too, so hopefully some will get the message we’re not all like that.
Although there are many in Second Life, those ‘non-profits’, we don’t talk about them that much, unless they organise a shoe, fashion or hair fair. And because there are so many, it is hard to keep an overview, know them all. And because there are so many, we - the ‘average residents’ hardly do anything more but buy a beautiful new outfit for ‘the good cause’ and feel we’ve done our part. So I was relieved I did not have to write this post, and very much er.. ‘chuckled’ about Tiessa Montgolfier - Mistress Strangelove - having to write this. I wondered where non-profits would take her.. a hilarious post about even more hair - pubic maybe - for her adventures? New shoes? But no, she wrote a good, serious and touching post. With a hell of a ‘challenge’, or ‘call to action’, whatever you may name it, in the end. So by this, Miss Tiessa, I apologise!
Through the mix and match blogger challenge, I received the challenge of writing about non-profits and Second Life for Vint’s blog. A topic I know little about and about which my usual irreverent writing style is probably out of place. I contemplated writing about “The Home For Wayward Subs” or some other imaginary non-profit and making a cutesy, joking blog post, as is usual for me.
However, something compels me to be serious about this because non-profits are almost all designed to help people in some way or another. In my simple, black and white world, helping people is serious business and when this post is seen, I want people to be
educated about the subject, rather than entertained.
So, my own internal challenge is to educate about non-profits in SecondLife, a subject I know nothing about, on Vint’s blog, one of the more highly read SecondLife blogs, and say something profound that will move everyone to be more aware of non-profits in SecondLife. Yeah. No pressure.
Oh, and add in some photos. To Vint’s blog. Let that thought sink in for a moment. Double the pressure. Or triple.
Let’s begin, then, where all good stories begin… with me.
Okay, I couldn’t even do one sentence of serious. But all good articles or stories begin with a problem or a conflict and through the
course, bring the reader to a conclusion or a resolution.
Thus, let’s begin with me…
Because I am the problem.
I know nothing about non-profits in SecondLife and when I was thinking about what to write in this article - an interview, an overview of non-profts, or a whirlwind tour of resources for non-profits. All of those have been done, and done much better than I could ever hope to achieve. Just type “nonprofit second life” into Google and you will have links to everything you ever needed. Knowing one’s limitations is the first step in overcoming them.
Why do I know nearly nothing about non-profits in SecondLife? Have I been living under a rock? I’ve run into the Relay For Life signs and other worthy charities; I’ve even donated to a few in world. In Real Life, I volunteer for many things, donate to many causes, and participate in numerous activities involving charities. Why am I so divorced from that activity in SecondLife?
It goes back to the “education versus entertainment” dichotomy I mentioned earlier, I still see SecondLife as a place for
entertainment, a place to go, to be an alternate me, to have fun, but not a place that is actually a true part of my life. At least not how some people use it.
Let me tell you about a few of the people I’ve met in SecondLife and how they use it. Right next door to my plot of First Land was a very nice person, we talked, we had fun, it was all very neighborly. One evening we talked more about Real Life. I discovered she was in a wheel-chair in Real Life. It was like I hit a brick wall. She told me about walking, dancing, and just being. She was able to do things she was not able to do in Real Life, but even more importantly, she was free to be “normal”. She wasn’t seen as “that girl in a wheelchair.” A person to be helped or pitied; not an “other” at all. I won’t moralize about this, it is sufficient to know that it occurs.
One man I know is a “shut-in” in Real Life, he is nearly unable to travel outside of his home because of his illnesses and their
challenges. However, he plays in Second Life all the time. He too is free to just be himself, forget all of his problems, and have fun in a way he is unable to in Real Life.
Someone else I know is deaf, but in SecondLife, she can socialize completely normally with everyone else because of the chat interface.
There are many more like that, people I’ve met in world that I never knew had Real Life disabilities. Many more in my friend’s list are probably disabled as well and I don’t even know it.
THE WILDE COLLECTIVE ON CRIMES AND INJUSTICES - MORE THAN OUR SHARE
[”Written by all the members of wilde, but namelessly for their protection and greater transparency”]
most of us, if not all of us,
have had things stolen from us, because we were disabled
many of us, if not all of us,
have been slapped or abused physically, and several times
all of us have been verbally abused - a lot!
which hurts by the way!!
we’ve had our money taken from us
perhaps the greatest pain when our dignity has been taken, stolen.
our humanity, feelings, kicked around and abused control.
people take control.
they take control of our things, our decisions.
they force their will and preferences upon us.
no we cant buy that. no we cant eat that.
no we have to watch this. no i dont have time now.
no you cant go anywhere.
no you will be unable to move for awhile.
- Wilde Cunningham, 05/12/2004
That was written by sufferers of cerebral palsy and found in the wonderful post, Second Life Is My WheelChair. I told you others say it much more eloquently than I.
All change begins with an intent followed by a single, simple action.
The challenge in the title of this blog-post has nothing to do with the challenge of writing this post, it has everything to do with the challenge I am about to give to everyone, not a simple meme where you list a few things people don’t know about you, but a real challenge…
Anyone can donate money, the real challenge is to donate time.
I want to see blog posts about how people volunteered their time to help others.
A very simple challenge and the action doesn’t need to be major, every little bit helps. If all you can do is donate and not provide time, do so, make a difference in someone’s life.
If you are looking for ideas, the picture shows the Path
Of Support on HealthInfo Island, where a large number of non-profit organizations have provided easy links and information about what they do. Talk a walk down it.
Maybe I didn’t educate very much in this blog post, maybe I didn’t entertain you much either, but I did one thing, I spoke from my heart.
The British design artist Marc Owens is fascinated with 3D games and the relation that gamers have towards those. One of his most recent projects is - besides Second Life related - rather ingenious. Lately, I’ve been pondering Virtual Death a bit: is anybody paying to use those virtual suicide machines inworld? What happens if you terminate your account with LL? What would you prefer your SL memorial service to be like, and should it happen upon disappearance of your avatar from the grid or your human from earth? Where do deceased sims go? And so forth. Well, Marc Owens created SABRE & MACE, a company that offers virtual characters the opportunity to experience death as a way to close their user account permanently. The project examines the notion of feeling sentimental toward a virtual character and examines the link between sentimentality and tangibility.
Sabre & Mace, virtual death row
The service works as follows:
Having discovered the Sabre & Mace site on-line (the website had to be taken down after the show) or through one of the virtual adverts in Second Life, the prospective customer teleports to the company headquarters. There, the client meets a manager who explains the full process and guides him or her through the signing of two contacts. Contract 1 - states that at some point (completely random) in their second life the avatar will be collected by a Sabre & Mace officer and taken back to the headquarters for termination.
Contract 2 is in fact the client’s ‘Last will and Testament’ where he or she outlines how they wish their virtual moneys, land and assests to be distributed once they have been terminated. The client continues to live their second life until one day, a Sabre & Mace officer appears and informs them that the final proceedings are about to begin. The client is collected and taken to the Sabre & Mace HQ. The client meets again with the client manager, to discuss the final process. At this point the client reveals their ‘account password’, which is the means by which the avatar is terminated.
The client is led through the cryogenic chamber, where the virtual physical forms of past clients are stored. Upon arrival at the ‘Termination Room’, the client is instructed to walk through the ‘white noise’ door. Once he crosses the threshold of the door his Second Life game crashes, giving a Sabre & Mace member of staff time to change the clients password - effectively terminating the character.
The client’s former avatar is immortalised as a golden statue. Information about the avatar can be read on the plaque which sits on the monument. Should the client visit the Sabre & Mace memorial gardens he would see his own statue as well as the monuments of previous clients.
Would you have put your avatar up for ‘death row’, just for the sake of art? ;)
More ‘Game’ related content by Marc Owens
Virtual Transgender Suit
Also ‘inspired by Second Life’ is Marc Owens’ ‘Virtual Transgender Suit’. As a study by psychologists at Nottingham Trent University has found that 54 percent of all males and 68 percent of all females “gender swap”–or create online personas of their opposite sex, this became Marc Owens’ next project after the Avatar Machine listed below. A real life manifestation of that practice, the Virtual Transgender Suit replicates the aesthetics of the typical virtual female form and catapults them within a real world context. The piece was specifically designed for men to wear in the real world, creating a bridge between real (where cross-dressing is not really socially accepted) and virtual.
Translated: OMG! Look at that mesh! (S)he’s hot!
The virtual communities created by online games have provided us with a new medium for social interaction and communication. Avatar Machine is a system which replicates the aesthetics and visuals of third person gaming, allowing the user to view themselves as a virtual character in real space via a head mounted interface. The system potentially allows for a diminished sense of social responsibility, and could lead the user to demonstrate behaviors normally reserved for the gaming environment.
Translated: will we act just as silly as we do in virtual worlds, when we see ourselves as avatars, and through an ‘avatar perspective’?. I think not. Number 1 reason why not? Real life is damage enabled! ;)
Nobody Fugazi just posted ‘If Linden Lab ran The United States with amongst others: ‘There would be no invasion and/or occupation of foreign countries. People would just buy new simulators‘ and an excellent - but anonymous - reply of ‘Anyone could be executed, their estate seized, and their possessions repossessed with or without reason and at the sole discretion of Linden Lab‘. I’d like to broaden this a bit and say ‘If Linden Lab ran Real Life‘, as we don’t all live in the USA.
If Linden Lab were to run First Life
Healthcare would only be available to Premium Residents. Others will continue to keep filing support request to no avail.
Priority and government funding is given to the development of Augmented Life Cocoons, where as finding cures for existing diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis , … are left to the residents. If the cure is found, Linden Government make no hurry to dispense medicines or vaccinations.
Birth rates go up, which is proof of good government. Independent news sources report however, that lack of decent care causes more than 80% of the newborns to die during their first 24 hours.
Stress is not on climate changes or preserving natural resources but on trying to increase the maximum amount of humans earth can sustain at this moment in time.
Kids are separated from there parents at birth, to live on different continents until the age of 18. A communications & trade embargo with the ‘Teens Continent’ is kept in place.
First travellers arrived on Mars, sadly enough without supplies.
World®, Earth® and Global® became registered trademarks to Linden Lab®.
Life slows down to 10 to 30fps, according to your budget.
There is no more fear of rising sea levels, as Linden Lab officials can adjust that at will.
Is it just me, or is my Facebook suffering from serious segregation issues? I suspected this to be the case already, but confirmed by the ‘TouchGraph’ facebook app:
Full size via Flickr
Segregation according to Encarta: The practice of keeping ethnic, racial, religious, or gender groups separate especially by enforcing the use of separate schools, transportation, housing, and other facilities, and usually discriminating against a minority group. Guess humans - or at least non-Second Life related contacts - are the suppressed minority here? Where as the SL residents can TP, the humans must make do with normal transportation? ;)
For all those worried that I was stuck at border control, flushed myself through the Eurostar toilet - sorry, loo that is - or catched the wrong train, I did not. We, human and I, even made it to London, UK safely.
For those who just wondered where the hell I was, not blogging anything for almost a week, well, I’m in Londen. (For the American residents: London is a rather big city on an windy island close to Europe. About 20 hours of swimming, I assume.)
Surprisingly London is way better equiped for avatars: I brought my own poseballs, but this deemed to be unnessecary. At Rezzable HQ for instance, I just use Lokum’s pink poseball. Neat, no? It’s even programmed to take me up to the roof for smoking breaks once in a while. ;)
So, I’m safe, sound, on information OD, have met Shockwave Plasma and Rob Danton and of course RaR. And Second Life turns out to be even more fun, challenging and bigger than I ever could imagine. More later, from a Belgian PC with azerty keyboard and a crappy video card. =)
In your ‘basic’ form: no prim attachments, lousy shape, ugly hair, … don’t you ever feel like a digital version of a Playmobil figure? I guess this must have been inspiring for Implenia, a Swiss bulding management company: they have build an in-world replica of a Playmobil house, and hooked the two up.
The adapted PlayMobil house is in fact part of an experimental platform to explore new ways to bridge the gap between virtual and real worlds. A range of sensors and gadgets inside the house allow it to be monitored and controlled through an exact digital replica inside the virtual world Second Life.
If the front door has been left open or a light left on in the doll’s house it will show in the virtual version. It works both ways, too. You can control the real house — for example by cranking up the thermostat — via its virtual doppelganger.
The point of this elaborate set-up is to demonstrate a new way to monitor and manage buildings from afar, says Goh, a business design executive for Swiss building management company Implenia. “We have created a virtual gateway that allows you to link real buildings to virtual worlds.”
I’m guessing that the virtual PlayMobil house is located on the Eolus sim, but not sure. Anybody knows where it’s at?