Sunday, October 31, 2010

Standby is now open at IBM Exhibit A

Standby is now open at IBM exhibit A.

Standby is the third and final part to the Rabbicorn story. I strongly suggest you watch these two machinima if you are unfamiliar with the story. Better yet would be to go through the builds themself.

I have put both the Rabbicorn story and the Daughter of Gears physical builds on Immersiva.

I have also written up both on my blog where you can watch the machinima if you prefer to do it that way.

The post on the Daughter of Gears

The post on the Rabbicorn story

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Standby opening November 1st at IBM exhibit A

The third and final part to the Rabbicorn story entitled "Standby" will open at IBM Exhibit A starting November 1st. There will be a performance by the band Soleil to open the event. Join my inworld group Immersiva for more info on times etc but I will also add them here in a few days.

If you know of any groups or such which might be interested in this then please post the info with them or embed the trailer above or whatever you like. If you would like a media package then contact me in world and i can send you one.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Soleil and Skye


 One of the great things about Second Life is its ability to connect people with similar tastes from all parts of the world.  In some cases these connections can turn into collaborations.  One such collaboration is between two great musical talents.  One is Colemarie Soleil who is a type of modern Renaissance man .. so I guess Renaissance woman.  She works in everything from machinima, fashion and particles to music.  She can often be found performing in her group Cole's Corner.  Tasuku Ghost previously lead a band named Grass Ark Parade and recently the two combined to make a supergroup called Soleil.  I created the machinima above to showcase one of their original songs.  So without SL we can safely say they likely would never have connected, seeing as Cole is from the USA and Tasuku is from Japan.  What I also find fascination is that SL as a tool allowed them to meet yet also communicate using a translator.  Originally they could barely communicate with one another and the music came out as the language.  They both are making great strides to learn each others language but I just really like the unique way SL has allowed them to work together.
     There really is a great deal of musical talent in Second Life and one recent example was for the Live4Pakistan benefit where Skye Galaxy called in to play a song.  The event had a bunch of musicians performing but at one point Imogen Heap was unable to play as she was caught in a hurricane.  This was a bit catastrophic for the host Ze Frank who put out a call out to the listeners to come forward and play.  I mean you can imagine how risky that could have been, imagine if I called in and sang?  it would have been like someone let a donkey loose in the room.  Below is the live recording of what happened when Skye offered to sing.  He blew the host away not to mention everyone who was listening.  Apparently everyone was twittering "who is Sean Ryan?"

I am going on vacation for a week this sunday, so if anyone needs to contact me please leave a notecard in world.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Too much coffee

So this is my second post in one day which means I really have had too much coffee.  Anyway straight to the point.  I read an interesting article on Dusan Writers blog about why he believed LL isn't about to sell.  One of the rumours floating about lately has been that Microsoft have been making overtures into buying Second Life.  Dusan said something that got my mind going though.  He spoke about investors or buyers potentially having a user base of their own to combine with SL.  Here is what I wrote on Dusans blog...

"Really interesting post Dusan and something you said made me start thinking. I will preface a bit, many of my friends play video games regularly and most do so online. They play against people from around the world and often use voice. But there is no real social environment for this. I also read a while back that the video game market has surpassed Hollywood in revenue. I remember reading that in one month World of Warcraft made more than the entire run of the first Iron Man movie. So when you mentioned Microsoft as a partner who could bring in existing users to SL as a product, then it made me think of XBOX live. This might be fantasy daydreaming but imagine taking online gaming to the next level where you don’t just go online when you want to play, but rather live in a social environment like SL and combine that with the opportunity to play while there. Combine the social aspects that SL has mastered with the massive appeal of online gaming. I could almost envision my groups of friends horsing around in the virtual environment for hours before deciding to play XBOX games or whatever. I don’t know if I am explaining myself very well, but rather than separating being online only when you want to play a game, to being online regularly in a virtual world built to accomodate the successful elements that already exist in sl, (relationships, user creativity etc) with the mass appeal of social online gaming that currently has no real social atmosphere to hang out in. Anyway just a thought."

Then I began daydreaming a bit more and started to see some more connections.  So here are a few more things.  When my friends play games the games themself often have elements where you bling up your character.  So for example in Tiger Woods golf they buy new shirts and shoes and stuff.  In other games they unlock logos or emblems to put on their character.  I asked once whats the big deal in unlocking those logos and they told me they do nothing at all they are just cosmetic things.  So that means players just like to dress up their characters.  SL lets you dress up too in a big way.  I could see people going shopping with friends or alone more like RL for these same additions but in the Second Life economy rather than by the game itself.  Another thing is that with mesh it would not be too difficult to use our SL avatars in any game the Xbox makes.  It would just be sticking the golf swing animations into our avatars instead and letting us upload them to the game.  Not rocket science.
     If you go to the video game store near to you then you will see that PC games are relegated to a tiny sliver of space now with Playstation, Wii and Xbox ruling.  Makes no sense because none of them can compete with the raw computing power or graphics of a good PC.  What is killing PC games slowly is that they are solitary.  You play alone at  your PC where the other consoles are social.  There are up to four players unless you link up more and then you are all in the same room or you can use the internet to link up.  So I think the social aspect is extremely strong and will trump pure graphics and quality.  SL is if anything a social platform.
     Another thing is that apparently gamers are not kids.  They are adults with money with a huge chunk in the range of 30-40 year olds.  SL already is mostly adults and business, educators etc, so combining a new user group that already has money to a functioning economy sounds like a good idea to me.
If the future of humanity is going to include a virtual world which is an integral part to everyday life, then I could totally see combining these two things right now.

Here are a few things Dusan said that I have taken from his blog....

- There are two things that will drive the valuation of Second Life. First, it’s a social media platform. It connects people. Key to this is that when it connects people, it does so at a level of engagement that can’t be matched.
- Second, it has the largest virtual goods market in the world. Virtual goods are the future and we see it with Zynga and we see it in the fact that the market has grown to exceed a billion dollars.
- As a social media platform with a large virtual goods market, we’re sitting on gold. The problem is, we need more users. And in order to get more users, we need to get more people in and we need to make that fast and easy to do.

Another thing I have often wondered is when the first video game star would arrive.  Right now people watch the worlds top athletes perform on TV.  We cant really associate with them because we are average human beings with normal genetics.  They are separate from us in that they are generally way out of our league in ability.  We can't really associate with them.  But in the video game world I think we could all be a bit closer in skill, which then should make it more appealing.  Training involves buying the game and playing it. When someone beats you in a game you can appreciate their skill on a first hand basis because you understand the skills needed to succeed.  Its no longer abstract and unattainable.  But how could someone become a video game superstar? first you would need a venue with enough users to hype the results worldwide.  That's what SL could be.  It has around 1 million users log in each month and if you combined those users with the online video game population you suddenly have a market where video game sport could thrive.  To be a recognizable star in video games you need to stand out with a character that is distinguishable from all the other competitors.  The nature of SL as a creative economy allows for just that, and if you cant buy the look you want then make it yourself or commission it.  Ok I can't blog all day.  I am actually going to see Ronnie Burkett tonight who is a brilliant Marionettist? puppeteer?   Look him up and go see him if you ever have the chance he is amazing.


 I was hoping to write about Douglas Story and Desdemona Enfield's build "Ripple" a few months ago, but got bogged down in a variety of things which kept delaying it.  Fortunately I am not a blogger who is expected to post  the story as it happens.  I sometimes post well after it has happened and people are on the verge of forgetting about it, they say "WTF you are so way behind strange person! now we must fight to the death!".  A kind of second wave reminder blogging.  A very crappy form of twitter, but with videos!
Blitter or Twogger.  I made up the part about fighting to the death btw.  Oh here is a tidbit of info about me which is mildly interesting.  I have a black belt in Shotokan karate.  My parents put me in karate at a young age and well speaking of fighting to the death reminded me that I like to punch people in the guts sometimes.
I am in a fairly random mood today much like a flock of startled pigeons, so I will get back to Ripple.
Vaneeesa Blaylock wrote a great article about them on her blog I Rez, Therefore I Am.  So I won't expand on this teams  history building together in Second Life, but yes they have worked together for years now and this is merely their latest work in a line of compelling builds.

Ripple fits in a bit with the post I did a little while back about Thoth Janzen's Simplexity.  It has that borderline connection to Demoscene without being intentionally connected to it.  Rather they could step over the line into making demoscene work if it were something they were interested in.


What I particularly like about Ripple is the scripting.  When you touch somewhere on the wall it will trigger an outward ripple effect from that point, with each layer of prims hosting video on them to change and twirl depending on how you have set them up to react.  Its great scripting work and the entire build revolves around that effect.  The way I almost see Ripple is as a demonstration of technology they as a team have created.  Where they essentially say that this is a taste of what you can do now take it and fill a sim.  Make a flock of birds like this or use it for business.  Its the type of wow factor that would be perfect to impress non slers who come into sl for business meetings.  Too many companies that come here recreate their office building with that large boring meeting room avec glass table.  If a person comes into SL to meet with someone from another city to speak on a future project, its true they have saved on plane fare and hotel accommodations, but they have not really progressed to a better tool than video conferencing.  I think part of the strength of sl for business is of course the 3D environment but also the ability to conduct business where once that other person logs off their head is spinning a bit from being in a completely foreign environment than what they are used to.  Make them step back into reality and realize that the company they just dealt with just blew them away with something completely new to their senses.  Naturally you would have to balance between distracting the person from what you are saying, but that is all about building composition within the experience.  Peter Greenaway said something I found interesting the other day while he spoke here in SL.  He started off by saying that Cinema is dead and that he was disappointed in the machinima he came to see, I absolutely loved his non pandering style. But what he said that I found interesting was that artists often work around 2-3 main ideas over their entire life and that the vast majority of people have no ideas at all.  Look at the businesses in SL who have come from RL and you will see that most really don't have any creativity.  They come to SL and build garbage then look at what they have created and base the possibilities of SL off of their own trash.  Pay the experts to build your product in this virtual world, people like Desdemona and Douglas and many many others.

Its the change of seasons that makes me hyper I think, also a giant coffee.  I am going to stop typing now because I was just about to start chatting on my caterpillar who I filmed over the last few weeks turning into a monarch butterfly.    I think I need to run around for a bit.