Archive for October, 2008

filling the void

October 29, 2008

so there is LL’s new policy on openspace sims and I think most of us agree that it sucks and where I was complaining about a missing or dysfunctional “virtual civil society” in SL a little while ago…I have to admit that things are happening today. My fellow citizens are exploding in outrage over those new policies on blogs, forums, in world, and other social networks.
Check the -SOS- group in world if you want to participate in the discussion. Or The Second Life OpenSpace/Void Sims on flickr. There is a list of all bloggers involved in reporting about the issue.

Missing Image!

October 20, 2008

Missing Image Suit 1.0 at Molly’s Millions or SLX

Openlife Grid

October 20, 2008

Creativity still comes before money here…I had loads of fun, going back to my newb roots and being forced to create everything from scratch was very inspiring.

Hello Avatar!

October 19, 2008

What is between RL and SL? I have been asking myself that for quite some time and even more so recently while working on my new project called “Static Transitions”. Of course I have molested my friends by asking them as well and most commonly the answer that followed was: “The Screen, duh”. That is true. Yet, to me, the question has more layers than just the obvious. How does our virtual presence change us? What exactly do we transcend when we log on”? Does our avatar in it’s behavior and appearance reflect all of ourselves, a part of it or maybe even something beyond who we are in RL? I am doing some research on the topic and one of the most enlightening definitions of what exactly our avatar is, I found in Mark Stephen Meadows’ “I Avatar”:
“Most of all I found the avatar to be a machine that is attached to the psychology of its user. From within that machine, the driver can peek out, squinting through alien eyes, and find a new world. And oddly, the driver can also look into himself, as if gazing into his naval, and find a new landscape as well.”
So a machine, hm? A ‘mind machine’…perhaps altering and mirroring a person at the same time. Now that is interesting! And very much in tune with my own experiences. It makes sense and it opens a whole new universe of questions like how exactly this machine works and effects us. What is the main purpose of said machine? A catalyst, an adapter, an amplifier? An interface to a new dimension? I’m not sure how much of these thoughts will actually be “visible” in my build but at least it gives me something to think about while throwing prims around.

Feel free to contribute your thoughts if you enjoy pondering similar questions.

Case (the mind machine) x

Art, AR’s, LL and Avatar Rights

October 15, 2008

Selavy Oh recently posted an e-mail from Linden Lab on her flickr stream revitalizing the discussion on “fairness in handling abuse reports in Second Life”. Following this were posts by Bettina Tizzy, Brooklyn is Watching and in the SL Forums. Honestly I am glad this happened the way it did, of course not out of lack of compassion for those recent victims of LL’s policy but rather because now that people with a larger, more influential network are involved there might just be a chance that this evolves into a solid public discussion. Thus bringing about the necessary public pressure to start changing LL’s policies towards a more “human” direction.
The current discussion touches many problematic areas of organizing virtual communities but two points are most prominent 1) Mixing politics and business, thereby fostering a dysfunctional legal system 2) Avatar rights. For immersion in the latter Terra Nova appears to be the perfect site at first glance. Another topic came up as a separate string of discussion that is whether it is more outrageous if a well known artist is falsely abuse reported than someone who isn’t. Personally I don’t think it is worse if a well known content creator is falsely abuse reported or someone who is not popular in any way and just wants to enjoy his time on SL. But this is not important for the discussion I would like to contribute to at the moment.
Back to business: One thing that always surprises me is how unaware my fellow SL citizens are that LL is perfectly capable of closing down YOUR account and even hardware banning you NOW without any further notice or explanation. No matter who you are or how much love, work, money, or time you have invested into your virtual presence surrounding SL. Which brings us directly to 1) Linden Lab is a profit maximizing company (“ruling” a virtual community btw. I mean think about it. Would you like, say, Walmart to be your government? Ok getting carried away, but the same in theory still) frankly, using more resources on handling abuse reports is nothing but an increased cost factor and it would be highly irrational to increase the cost of the company unless the pressure to do so gets intolerable. And this is where we come in, the consumers, since actually, that is what the citizens of SL really are at this point, at least legally. Yet, as the content of SL is being created entirely by the citizens I am sure there are ways for us to create a better legal system as well. This can be done through broadening awareness, discussion and well dosed pressure exerted on the “regime”.
2) Avatar rights is a little more tricky, especially in SL. The extent to which each player identifies with his or her virtual life differs greatly and may have a lot to do with certain personality traits or general abundance of time…or not. Either way many people who make it beyond Help Island and stay in SL for a couple of months realize that it is a community or rather a collective of different communities and some people actually “live” there. Thus making a fair regulatory system concerning the handling of abuses and disputes absolutely necessary. When I look at the way life is currently organized in comparison to RL societies (as far as that is possible) it resembles more or less all traits of Authoritarianism. In my opinion this is due to a general immaturity of virtual worlds and will regulate itself as it “grows older”, more people participate and through discussions such as the current one. I believe that, eventually it will be inevitable to have some form of participation of the people in SL (or perhaps LL’s successor?) In the end, we are all pioneers of a new emerging world (though flawed it might currently be). How exciting!

See you online…