A machinima project reminds me of what we are capable of in Second Life.

Sometimes we think we have seen it all in Second Life. Then someone comes along like KabukFarshore who presents something to us that, at least for me, is a reminder that Second Life is limited only by our imaginations. The film is entitled “echo quietes serenata” and I wanted to share it with you because frankly, I can’t stop watching it. For me, this is so well done that there are moments I forget I am watching something created in Second Life. I found it to be both melancholy and uplifting. (I also love when the music stops and you just hear clapping!) Take a look for yourself:

According to her blog, this work was done as part of the University of Western Australia’s 5th Short Animated Film Festival: “See Wisdom”. The UWA is one of the few reaming universities maintaining a  presence in Second Life.

In her video post, Farshore says the piece is  “a film essentially about how we learn. To me, wisdom is a combination of how we handle things beyond our control (in this case, a small… apocalypse), and how we respond to the situations that we ourselves create.”

See this and more of Farshor’s work here.

The University of Western Australia in Second Life

SL resident Sw1tch Nirvana releases CD with in-world release event

Musician and SL resident Sw1tch Nirvana has released his first CD and is using SL to launch his music with an in-world “CD Release Party” at the club Pandamonia.

Switch’s release, entitled “Into The Mountains Of Madness” is currently available through Nirvana’s Reverbnation website. The release is available in both digital format and compact disk. Nirvan (aka Peter Natale) began playing music at the young age of 8, picking up an electric bass before switching to guitar as a teen, but that was just the beginning.

“I played loads of classic rock covers until I was about 18, then the guitar came along…thrash, heavy metal, death metal,” says Nirvana. “Then, at (age) 20, I got shown two turntables and a mixer. It was all over.”

Nirvana’s electronic music features an electro, house sound. The music reflect his influences that include BT, Deadmau5, Porter Robinson and Skrillex among others. The new release, according to Nirvana, was inspired by what was going on in his life.The entire process took about 10 months to come together. Nirvana says he feels that music, especially electronic music, has the power to touch people in various ways.

“Music is the natural healer, I think we can all benefit from it in some way,” said Nirvana. “whether it be for stress relief,  emotions we can’t say for ourselves, or just plain fun. It’s beautiful …and I’ve never been so proud of anything I’ve done like being an electronic musician.  I feel I actually connect on a different level with people more than with any other kind of music. “

As a resident of SL, Nirvana has discovered, like many other artist, that SL is a great platform to promote their RL artistic work. Switch is among many artist who have both influenced by the virtual world, and who have used to to promote their work.He says their is a huge benefit to working with SL.

“I see a huge benefit. People all over the world can experience the music you make from your own home, and be half way across the world,” he said “It’s really amazing!”

On Wednesday, March 28, Switch will perform at Pandamonia, a large venue located on the Retropolis sim.  Retropolis was recently featured on Treet.Tv’s “Designing Worlds” program. The event starts at 7 SLT with a short set by Missy Ember, followed by a performance from Nirvana that will include the tracks form his latest release.

Sw1tch Nirvana @ Reverbnation:

http://www.reverbnation.com/sw1tch

Pandamonia @ Retropolis Sim:

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Dream%20Reliance/173/180/2729

Advanced Experience Tools Preview

Hey there! While I am out enjoying some much needed RL spring weather (and cheering on the University of Kentucky Wildcats in the NCAA basketball tournament!) I thought I would share some new development tools that LL is working on. Along with the pathfinding tool I blogged on earlier,  LL is also working on  what thay call “Advance Experience Tools”. Go Cats!

More info from the SL blogs here:

Advanced Experience Tools Preview.

What does where we are going in Second Life say about us?

So there I was, slumming and looking about online when I stumbled upon a list of the top 25 most visited sims in Second Life. I learned that these monthly figures are often posted by the folks over at New World Notes. (A great read if you really want to know what’s going on behind the scenes in Second Life.) This list was interesting and, for me, a bit depressing:Image

Never one to miss the obvious,  my first thought as a I looked through the list of sims was, “Wow! Is everyone really THAT horny?” I mean, let’s look at the very top, right below our number one destination of London City. In second place, and by second place I mean the SECOND MOST VISITED SIM IN ALL OF THE WHOLE FRIGGIN’ GRID, we have “Sexy Nude Beach“. Now, color me a skeptic, but the name itself sort of makes you wonder about the creativity you will find on this sim.

“Hey, this is a really sexy nude beach. What are we going to call it?”

“How about Sexy Nude Beach?”

“Works for me!”

Don’t laugh. Why do you think THEY are number two and the folks down at plain old Nude Beach are number 22? It does manage to get way more descriptive as you journey down from the top of the list. Bukkake Bliss Island anyone? …anyone? The list goes on with Escort Oasis, Chained Desires and Bondage Ranch, with the forementiond Nude Beach bringing up the rear. With places like Sexy Nude Beach and Bondage Ranch doing so well, I am a bit shocked that Escort Oasis can stay in business. Like mom always said, why buy the cow, when you can get the milk for free? (If only I knew back then that she was not encouraging me to be a dairy farmer.)

What really makes me sad is what you will NOT find on the list. Instead of naming my favorite sims, let me ask you to think of three or four of yours. Think of those places that you visited that just totally blew you away with what they where able to achieve. Those places that show what you are truly capable of producing in Second Life. Now, how many of the places that you thought of are on this list?

Is everyone really just coming here to get laid? I mean,are we all taking the time to log in, create an avitar, learn how to move and work a viewer, then listen to somone bitch that you are using the wrong viewer and ultimately learning that the two most important letters in SL are “A” and “O”  …all done just to get our rocks off?

Now, don’t call me prude. Karma loves a good romp on a well made set of poseballs as much as anyone. There is a reason the folks down at Xcite customer service know me on a first name basis! On the other hand, Second Life is about so much more than what this list shows.

As much as they hate us, and they clearly do, the folks at Linden Labs have basically given us a world that is a blank slate and have provided us with a set of tools …and left the rest up to us. A lot of folks have taken that challenge and put their hearts and minds into creating some truly amazing places. Inside those spectacular worlds we can meet people, fly a spaceship through the stars, pilot a sailboat at sunset, dance on a floating palace in a purple sky, be harassed by vampires. It makes me sad to think about what people are missing out on. Then again, to each his own. If somone is going to find their true bliss at Bukaki Bliss, who am I to deny them that joy? I just think they might be missing out on the real bliss that lies in the sims that, sadly, you will not find on this list. Clearly the method with which we promote the various destination to the best that Second Life has to offer is broken.

Now, if you will excuse me, I am heading down to Really Sexy Nude Beach for a swim.

Linden Labs to offer new pathfinding tool (Beware of zombies)

While they often seem to be incapable of managing somethng as as simple providing residents with a last names, every once in a while Linden Labs gets it right.

I am excited about a new development tool that LL will be bringing into Second Life. The pathfinding tool, will allow developers to create objects or characters that can follow, patrol, flee or otherwise interact with another object, including your avatar. Even better, it will be able to do it with only three lines of script. If you ventured the LL in-world  game, Linden Realms, you saw this effect in action as the “rock monsters” that would pursue an avatar that got to close or moved to slow.

I already see this being used to create even smarter zombies that will no doubt be chasing  me all over the place when I am simply wanting to find a good pair of shoes. If I go to the Moonletters sim, perhaps now those cars moving up and down the street will not be allowed to run over me. Then again, maybe they instructed to do just that.

The project is still in beta, but you can get a sneak peak at how it works in this video:

Read more about it here.