Tuesday, December 20, 2011

.Story Project.

For my class in 'Virtual Environments: Is one life enough', we are required to stage a production as a group.

Noting how this blog entry is late and being written after much of this project has already transpired, I will detail what has occurred so far. 

First, notably, how the play was postponed from Wednesday 14th to Wednesday 21st. Apologies to all that were in attendance.

For this project, it was agreed that we would base our production on an old poem I wrote. The poem can now be found on our Wiki Page
After being designated temporary 'team leader', I made a first draft for the rules and regulations towards how the group would operate. Unfortunately this first draft was never developed by myself or the group, perhaps creating an initial difficulty for us to work as a group...

Next I developed a draft for a  script with little knowledge of how it could translate to Second Life. Eventually we decided to host the play at Dublin's amphitheatre. 

Jade Ernest created a graphic for our invitation to the event. Well done and thank you Jade.

The rest of the group contributed to creating advertising on Facebook, creating group pages and an event page.

Effa, myself and an friend of ours from our Fine Art Class, Aaron Ryan (Thank you Aaron) recorded the audio for the play.

It was left too late to be honest but I will note, Effa and myself then attempted to upload the audio into Second Life with the help of Elfay Pinkdot and Dublin Host. To no avail however...

Keith then agreed to help with the audio problems.

I have posted on the facebook page asking the rest of the group to show some initiative as I have been made aware that since I wrote the poem, it is presumed I would be making all of the calls. The group needs to decide on how we will use our avatars with regards to animations etc. 

.Importance of etiquette, convention and regulation in online communities.

While reading 'User Generated Content and Virtual Worlds', by Greg Lastowka, I found I agreed with his point, mentioning Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benkler, 'peer production' from his book, 'The Wealth of Networks'. 

Noting how if content is free, it is worthless and stating how this is quite obviously wrong, he moved on to point out that both professionally made product and amateur based product can be of value to us and to be of no value to us.

With this is mind, I would like to discuss World of Warcraft (WOW), a popular MMORPG that I have previously mentioned in one of my blog posts. Readers will remember that I stated how I used to be addicted to this game so bare with me.

In WOW itself, all content is made by the game developers, the professionals. However, user content is made on other internet networks such as fan pages on Facebook, artwork on Deviantart and machinimas (videos using the in game engine and extra, fan made material) on youtube. 

All of this user content is free, adding to the experience found in the professional content and a boon to the sales and lifetime of the product. 

The influence of the user content is sometimes felt in the game, when the developers take notice. There is evidence such as, the developers now include their own machinimas in game and even fan made material, such as a fan made comic previously featured on the website gamespy.com's character is now to be found in the game. 

In Second Life (SL), the developers create their own content, most recently found in their new 'Liden Realms'. This content gives the user the opportunity to acquire Liden Dollars which can be converted into real life currency. The Liden Realm content is different from the early content from the producers as it resembles a traditional video game as opposed to a social virtual environment. 

The majority of content found in SL however, is user based content. The interesting thing about this content is that it has the capacity to create real revenue. 

In WOW, social etiquette, convention and regulation can differ from server to server. There are three types of realms, PVP (where players are encouraged to fight freely with each other), PVE (where players engage with the environment enemies) and RP (where users usually role play their avatars.) 

The common regulation for all however is based in the users ability to report abuse to in game moderators known as 'GameMasters (GM)'. Players are encouraged to be polite and to treat others the way they would wish to be treated. 
Similar to how people wish to be treated in reality.
And similar again to how SL operates. Depending on the environment the user is in, whoever owns the content will be the moderator.

It is thus important to note that both WOW and SL have their own etiquette and regulations that strive to be both more civil than reality and more ideal but both struggle as they become more popular and generate more users.

Monday, December 12, 2011

.Visiting Enviroments.

Black Horse Country

Thanks to my class mate, Sandradit, 
I was teleported to BHC. 

She was excited by the prospect of riding a horse as she's an avid animal fan. 

We found one of the most populated areas I have encountered as of yet in SL. 

There were people dancing, I believe it was a dance class 
but I couldn't be sure as they were all deep in conversation. 
There was stables as the environments name suggested along with independently run shops. 
It was interesting to see the concept of the 'prosumer' in play.


I found Tasogare while searching 'art' in SL. This environment seemed a little more tailored towards adults as the art work on display was mostly erotic. 

There were magazines on the tables that when clicked, would produce another page. 
Not to mention some extra animation bubbles upstairs.

Colour Factory
Carley Noonan
Colour Factory scarletti.laval

The Colour Factory had some very nice art on display and for sale. 
The bottom levels are for live music while the top floors are a gallery. 
The owners have a flickr account The Colour Factory. However, compared to a art gallery in reality, I simply found the experience lacking. The place was a wasteland, returning on an 'event't night might prove different. 

Check it out.


Of course, it is worth mentioning Dublin. This is were my SL class meet every week, in the DIT Angier Street Building. Virtually that is. We've visited the pub of course, which is a lively place and well worth checking out! 
Not to mention the Amphitheatre, where we will be screening our group play! December 14th, 8pm, folks! 

See you there!

Monday, October 17, 2011

.First Experience.

Well, welcome to my Second Life blog. I'll skip what Second Life is, since those reading will be familiar.

To start, I'll talk about why I was interested initially in selecting the module, 'Virtual Environments: Is one life enough?'. 

In the past I was an avid 'gamer'. My most recent excursion was the online MMORPG 'World of Warcraft'. Having weened myself off of such a potential addiction (I felt I was borderline, alright!), I had heard in passing of a 'game' called Second Life. 

After encountering a chance article a year or so back in the Sunday Times Magazine, I decided to stay well away from this possible new addiction.

Then a few weeks ago, at the second year of my degree course 
in Fine Art, I found myself with the option of an academic module based solely within Second Life.

Post-module description; 
and I suddenly realized the potential of a growing virtual environment with it's very own 'real-virtual-real' economy. 

If businesses in the real world were purchasing virtual property with real currency, setting up shop virtually to turn a real profit, an entirely new art market could be taking place and I wanted to know more.