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  Multiplayer Gaming’s Quiet Revolution  
Posted 2004-07-20 by Tony Walsh
 just published my article entitled "Multiplayer Gaming's Quiet Revolution," about the emergence, maturity, and future of body language and facial expression as a method of human interaction in gaming. Second Life is heavily featured in the article as an example of how a multi-user platform can empower its users and forward warm communication in cyberspace. Shouts to Liam O'Donnell for his constructive criticism on my final draft.

I wish I'd seen these player-created Star Wars Galaxies videos before I finished the article. They are worth mentioning for the fact that even when players are not explicitly given the tools to self-express, they'll find a way to do it anyway. The message behind the videos, which involve scores of players dancing in unison, is related to game design and play politics.
  Second Life Machinima Contest  
Posted 2004-07-06 by Tony Walsh
Second Life's "New Moves for a New World" contest takes full advantage of the massively-multiuser environment's newly-added custom animation feature, and invites animators to compete for fame and fortune. Prizes include a $500 gift certificate to Turbosquid, a custom avatar created by Linden Lab staff, and honourable mentions worth L$10,000 each.

Of note is the focus on creativity, and while the contest page doesn't specifically request Machinima, it does state: "Extra consideration will be given by the judges for creativity and originality and animations featuring more than one person. Recreate famous scenes [*cough*Machinima*cough*], play a game, perform theater [Machinima], tell a story [Machinima], create a fantasy world, feature unusual avatars, vehicles and builds. Use your imagination to show Second Life’s possibilities." Obviously Linden Lab is fishing for some future showcase material here as well as getting some cross-promotion in the Machinima world.
  SL Universe Expands Again  
Posted 2004-07-06 by Tony Walsh
Cristiano Midnight's is becoming a well-rounded, outspoken, and thoughtful resource not only for Second Life afficianados but virtual world anthropologists in general. On the heels of Second Edition and Second Language comes Second Thoughts, a critical look at Second Life's sights. This new review-blog will hopefully act as consumer counter-point to the Linden Lab marketing engine as well as an index of user-created content hits and misses.

SL Universe's forums support Cristiano's new blogs and offer alternative discussions not available on the official Second Life forums.
  My Second Life, Part 10  
Posted 2004-06-28 by Tony Walsh

My Second Life
is a multi-part journal detailing the Second Life exploits and observations of Tony "Zero Grace" Walsh.

DarkWood: A Community With Roots

" are in this forest at dusk.. it's getting dark the light is fading... the fog is rolling in... little eyes start looking at you from the depths of the woods, you seem to think that scarecrow is.... following you with his eyes slowy turning... suddenly you see some light beyond that bend... a village! no one dares adventure past those first big trees leading in the black forest once the sun is down!"
-- Concept for the original DarkWood simulation as related by co-founder Nexus Nash.

DarkWood is one of Second Life's first theme-oriented realms, founded on whims of the dark fantastic, but now much more: Today's DarkWood encompasses such classic notions as chivalry, ribaldry, fealty, loyalty, masonry, carpentry, monarchy, anarchy, pleasantry, peasantry, gentry, rivalry, revelry, and archery. In short, it's a fantasy- and medieval-style setting that spans one and a one-quarter sims.

Continue reading: My Second Life, Part 10
  Moblogging from Second Life  
Posted 2004-06-23 by Tony Walsh
Despite my initial disdain for moblogging (mobile weblogging), I should soon have some moblog entries here. More specifically, I am in the process of setting up a moblog to display "live" screenshots and commentary documenting my Second Life travels.

The system will allow me to take "photos" in Second Life and send these along with comments from within SL to an external email account-- this is a standard SL function whereby users can send their friends e-cards. The email is collected by the blogging system and stripped of text I don't want, leaving only my message and a picture. Hopefully I'll have this implemented soon, the technical aspect is all handled by the blogging system, and it's not too hard. The end result will be the ability to report "live" as events happen in Second Life. Pretty cool!
  My Second Life, Part 9  
Posted 2004-06-10 by Tony Walsh

is a multi-part journal detailing the Second Life exploits and observations of Tony "Zero Grace" Walsh.

Catching Up

Ahh yes. Nothing kills your leisure hours and side-projects like a new full-time job--up until recently I've been freelancing exclusively and was graced with plenty of cycles to burn on fun stuff. I've had a mere trickle of minutes over the last few weeks to spend in Second Life, but managed to host my first event: A meeting of the Monster Makers group. The rather informal rabble took turns transforming into a range of horrific critters. New acquaintances were made, and plans for a Halloween parade discussed.

While it's not likely I'll be banging off a new Second Life article every week any more, I did manage to get another edition together. While you're waiting for my next installment, you might be interested in keeping tabs on Cristiano Midnight's personal journal of Second Life goings-on. Between Cristiano and Hamlet Linden, you'll be set for frequent SL news.

Continue reading: My Second Life, Part 9
  My Second Life, Part 7  
Posted 2004-05-16 by Tony Walsh

, Part 7

It took under ten minutes for my Land for the Landless in Janus to sell—appropriately to Schwanson Schlegel, one of Second Life's wealthiest land barons. With an eye peeled for a more cohesive neighbourhood, over a week passed before I scouted a new home amongst the oft-sardined dwellings of Second Life: DarkWood (114, 50).

The modest peninsula of DarkWood is split into quadrants by four rivers originating from a small central lake. The fantasy-themed region was once a testing ground for the ill-fated DarkLife project—an attempt to bring a role-playing game system to Second Life. Now, only a dark fortress, a small cottage, a graveyard, and a tiny zoo of inanimate animals remains. The rest of DarkWood has been populated by creative architects responsible for jewels such as a tranquil town square and the Elizabethan-style SL Globe Theatre. Although a few of the longest-standing members of the area have moved on, the newcomers seem to have taken up the mantle of responsible urban planning.

Continue reading: My Second Life, Part 7
  EFF in Second Life  
Posted 2004-05-06 by Tony Walsh
The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Ren Bucholz is giving a series of presentations in Second Life.

The first, which begins tomorrow, is entitled "A Better Way Forward: How To Deal With Disruptive Technologies." Up for discussion is "...the history of technologies that shook up 'business as usual' for content holders and how we dealt with them in the past." Ren's speech will be followed by a Linden Labs rep discussing the DMCA's impact on Second Life.

Monday (May 10) features a chat entitled "Mash-Ups, Memos and the First Amendment Online," wherein copyright and the DCMA are discussed in their capacity to "squelch speech online." On Wednesday, May 10, it's "Exporting American IP: Trade Agreements, Treaties and Policy Laundering," covering the viewpoint that "The U.S. is exporting the bleeding edge of its maximallist intellectual property law to countries around the world."

These meetings are of course exclusive to Second Life, but anyone with a credit card can sign up for a 7-day trial and attend. Make sure you let them know Zero Grace sent you ;)
  Still Kicking? R U Sirius?!  
Posted 2004-05-05 by Tony Walsh
I first became aware of R U Sirius through the pages of seminal cyberpunk magazine Mondo 2000. This was back before the Web was a Big Thing, the Nintendo Powerglove was on the cusp of Virtual Reality, and Wired magazine featured more content than advertising. And I had to walk forty miles to school in my bare feet.

Anyway, it seems the kids over at defrosted R U from his cryogenic storage capsule. The resulting conversation covers areas such Mondo, transhumanism, aliases, and neophilia.
  My Second Life, Part 6  
Posted 2004-05-04 by Tony Walsh

At last I am beginning to find the better-quality people,
places, and things in SL. Like scrutinizing an object under a microscope,
SL becomes more detailed and complex the further I zoom. This sixth edition
of My Second Life marks week three of my other-worldly experiences in the
massively multi-user environment of Second Life (SL). Click
here to review the entire list
of My Second Life articles,
or read on for the latest.

Continue reading: My Second Life, Part 6
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on 4159 entries

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