Free falling Fiend

I like that you can’t die when skydiving in SL. The blood pool animation when you hit the ground (much) too hard is about as real as it gets. Or is it. Why would anyone want to skydive in SL when you can fly…? Continue reading ‘Adrenaline Lite – Adventure Sports in Second Life’


Blake 2.0


Excerpt from The Tygr by W1ll1am Blak3:

Tygr! Tygr! burn1ng br1ght

In th3 for3st5 of th3 n1ght,

What 1mmortal hand or 3y3

Could fram3 thy f3arful 5ymm3try?

(The real thing.)

My apologies to William Blake 1.0.

In a sum-up of the 2008 Second Life Community Convention (SLCC), Eric Reuters reported that “notably absent from the conference were any real-world businesses from outside the virtual worlds industry,” but that “the breakout star of SLCC was the burgeoning virtual world educational community.”

As the platform matures, Second Life is proving to be a ground-breaking and innovative way to not sell stuff but to teach stuff. One of the most compelling examples of this is Foul Whisperings, Strange Matters (SLURL). As accurately described in the press release, it “brings Shakespeare’s world renowned and extraordinarily influential play Macbeth into a virtual worlds environment.” And is a “timely use of pop culture as an adaptive bridge between classic texts and new media technology.”


Foul Whisperings, Strange Matters

Continue reading ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’


Another Update: As predicted yet again, The Economist has devotedly referenced and linked to Second Life. This time in a August 2008 article (I predicted summer 2008 – bingo!) titled If you build it… (Lively, Google’s virtual world, has been a flop). This article about Google’s Lively virtual world ends up referencing SL almost as much as the the title topic. If the pattern continues, there will be another article around Christmas 2008.

Magic and wonder is on display from DanCoyote Antonelli and fellow Second Life artists at Kiss The Sky, a “definitive group exhibition of Hyperformalism” at the NMC Arts Lab [SLurl] .

Continue reading ‘Hypermagic and Wonder’


Another Update: I am a regular Nostradamus! As predicted again, The Economist has once more referenced Second Life. This time in a March 2008 article – OK, so I predicted April, but I was only a couple of issues off – titled Break down these walls (History suggests that open standards will once again trump “walled gardens” on the internet). If the pattern continues, there will be another one in summer 2008.


Update: As predicted in the last sentence of the original post, The Economist has again referenced – and linked to! – Second Life. This time in a December 2007 article titled Getting serious (Virtual worlds are being put to serious real-world uses—and are starting to encounter some real-world problems). If the pattern holds, there will be another one in April 2008. Stay tuned.


The Economist magazine, described by its own (boastful, but arguably true) words, is “the premier online source for the analysis of world business and current affairs, providing authoritative insight and opinion on international news, world politics, business, finance, science and technology, as well as overviews of cultural trends and regular industry, business and country special reports.” And has, in the last 18 months, published five stories about (or mentioning) Second Life, several of which were also chosen to be read on the weekly “This Week In The Economist” podcast. Continue reading ‘Second Life in The Economist’

Fiend Ludwig and Typist are separated by the boundary of anonymity.

Anonymity shields Typist from prying eyes and leaves him free to traverse his Real without concern of recognition or retribution. It deflects criticism and accountability. Fiend can say anything, however vile, and Typist can expect protection.

Anonymity is Typist’s Charon. It carries his soul across the Stygian divide between the Real and the Virtual. However, Typist is much concerned for the reputation of his representative there. For across the ford flows revelation. Typist takes great pains to be accountable; to say nothing too vile. Anonymity empowers Typist to transport himself – so himself it should be.


Continue reading ‘And Anonymity Masks Much But Reveals All’

vHUD is v cool


What I saw recently from interactive media application developer i3D (formerly Metaverse Tech) confirms my opinion that these guys should have won the Electric Sheep Company/Edelman SL Business Plan contest, as they continue to develop sophisticated tools for use in SL that stretch the bounds of creativity and functionality, while remaining inherently intuitive and useful.video_hud_metaversed_rss.jpg

The latest wonder is the vHUD. Although they wrote about it a couple of weeks ago on their company blog, it is to be officially introduced at noon (Second Life time) today, in the Metaversed sim, where they will hand out vHUD prototypes for anyone to try, and announce a working relationship with SLCN, including three new SLCN channels for the vHUD.

This is perhaps the most intriguing and sophisticated HUD I have ever used. Based around their equally innovative Silver Stream System (SSS) technology, the vHUD can stream individually customizable RSS feeds (I am following the RSS feed from Metaversed on my demo vHUD in the image above), HTML, videos (here is a very short video of the vHUD streaming a machinima promo video), and searchable Flickr images to an avatar’s UI. It can also display a list of SSS enabled regions SL, which includes clickable teleport links. “Basically, something for everyone to get their SL info with while they are inworld,” says i3D’s Anthony Reisman.

i3D will distribute the vHUD free of charge, with plans to support continued development the product with unobtrusive, targeted ads. “Most people don’t mind ads, as long as they have relevance to what they are doing,” says Reisman, “so we are going to do our best to implement a relevancy system. When viewing content or an ad, the user [will be able] to put feedback into the system about the ad’s relevance to the location they were and the content they were viewing. We don’t need to store data about the person providing the feedback, just whether the ad is good or bad, relevant or not, and over time, collect enough data so that the ads are relevant to what people are doing and watching.” i3D will also announce today that they have a working relationship with SL Exchange to explore the potential for implementing these ads.

Continue reading ‘vHUD is v cool’

Cristiano Midnight has written an open letter and started a petition protesting the decline in stability and usability of Second Life over the last year and a half. He writes:

project open letter was started after I read yet another open letter in a third party forum begging Linden Lab to fix myriad problems that have been going on daily for more than a year, in some cases extending years. Since Linden Lab had worked actively to cut off two way communication methods (the removal of the official discussion forums as well as restricting commenting on their blog), I knew a post on a third party site was not going to get any attention. Continue reading ‘Project Open Letter’

I had a chance to have a quick chat via email with Camille Utterback after her talk at CADRE. Here are her thoughts:

I’ve been thinking about what one of my installations would be like in Second Life with no absolute physics, and no ‘real’ bodies. It seems it would be very ‘meta’ – using a representation of your body/self in a simulated world to manipulate another screen based representation within this screen based representation. Russian dolls. Are there any mirrors in SL? It seems there’s no need since you’re looking at your representation from the outside all the time anyway? Continue reading ‘[update] CADRE Speaker Salon – Camille Utterback’


Camille Utterback speaks. In SL and rl.

The day before yesterday I attended another in the series of Speaker Salons – this one featuring pioneering artist and programmer Camille Utterback – hosted by the The CADRE Laboratory for New Media at the School of Art and Design at San Jose State University, and simulcast in-world at the Ars Virtua New Media Center (Dowden, 45,59,51). Continue reading ‘CADRE Speaker Salon – Camille Utterback’

April 18, 2007. 5:33 PM SLT. Search/Events/Arts and Culture.

DiscoQuinn Freeloader says:

Come buy some of my Art, so I can afford to apply for art school!
I need to make $600us for my application fee. But I am very poor and mentally ill in RL.
Kill, kill, kill in the name of looooove.

Upon visiting his/her gallery, some interesting art nonetheless.


Jeska Linden announced today that the new client being tested in the Beta grid no longer has the rating system where one resident can rate another positively in one (two, or all three for that matter) of three categories. Continue reading ‘I like(d) the Ratings’


James Morgan speaks to audiences in real and Second Life.

The Ars Virtua New Media Center (Dowden, 45,59,51) has been simulcasting a series of Speaker Salons taking place at the The CADRE Laboratory for New Media at the School of Art and Design at San Jose State University. I attended the most recent, featuring CADRE lecturer James Morgan. Continue reading ‘Ars Virtua hosts CADRE Speaker Salons’

The New Priests


(Originally published in the Second Life Herald on March 6, 2007)


Last night I was chatting with Pixeleen Mistral about the furor over Tenshi Vielle’s article. I asked her why she published it, because surely she must have foreseen the – more violent than average – storm the article would stir up. Pix replied, “Do you understand the Magic Circle concept – that when you mix real life in [to SL] it ruins the immersion? The Lindens are falling all over themselves to ruin immersion, [for example] that ‘voice’ mistake they want to make – this is more of that.” “Do you think Tenshi Vielle was trying making that point, though?” I asked. “Yes.” Pix said. Continue reading ‘The New Priests’

(Originally published in the Second Life Herald on November 29, 2006)


Peace & Justice Center on Better World Island

There has been so much furor lately over the minutiae of Second Life — CopyBot! CopyBot! — and endless parsing of how real-world interests interact or conflict with more native metaversal establishments and institutions — First! First! — that it seems to me that the effectiveness of SL as a communications medium for efforts other than the commercial is being largely overlooked these days. But not by everyone. Bruce Wallace, aka PT Witte in SL, runs the Peace and Justice Center on Better World Island. It is home to discussions and presentations which speak to visitors about his efforts with the 121 Contact project and the September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, both of which advocate non-violent options and actions in the pursuit of justice. Continue reading ‘Peace, Justice, and the Second Life Way’

The Awful Truth


(Originally published in the Second Life Herald on November 4, 2006)

They are hiding something from me. I am sure now. Sure that my world is only partly realized, partly resolved. Sure that a superseding reality exists. I have suspected for some time – catching fleeting glimpses of the another place. For a while I was able to ignore this nagging veil, and I explored. I waited for things to rez. I thought nothing of the fact that there were lots of empty spaces in the world around me. Continue reading ‘The Awful Truth’

Over the next few days I will be posting some of my favourite pieces that have already been published elsewhere over the past year. Watch this space for a Fiend retrospective.