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Monday, December 28, 2009

Quoth Thoth

And again, unto me spoke the Seven, saying:
Child of the LIGHT, O THOTH, art thou,
free to travel the bright path upward
until at last ALL ONES become ONE
The Emerald Tablets of Thoth, The Seven Lords
Open Habitat is a sim and a group of about 700 oriented around science, philosophy, critical thinking, and the arts owned and founded by Maria Blaisdale. She was involved with the original Open Habitat, a project by Oxford's philosophy department to explore how SL could be used for teaching, etc. Maria took over the sim when the "experiment" ended.
Thoth Jantzen is an advisor and instigator to the group, his build "Cosmique III" is part of the 'art' angle. It's a unique place for people to go for some fun, and to help raise funds to defray the cost of the place. Philosophy and science have been the main focus of most of Open Habitat's events - some of them streaming a live debates from London. Philosopher Stephen Law came into SL to discuss a book of his, and they hold weekly discussions on philosophy, psychology, and and science led by professors and working professionals. For art, there's some work there by the likes of Artistide Despres and Glyph Graves. The Cosmique III are consists of various goodies, like the ground-level art gallery, which has Thoth's sculptures and a nice installation on a King Tut theme complete with a Mask of Tut that comes from the lost and lamented Rezzable show. You can TP to the Kaleidoscope, to the media active gallery and other places, from a Stonehenge portal system (it's like falling through the Time Tunnel!) Since names were being dropped, I asked Thoth how he picked his own...
Thoth Jantzen: The metaphor associated with the ancient Egyptian gods Thoth and Anubis tie together in different ways to a lot of interests I have; science, philosophy, linguistics, the arts, and I'm a bit involved on some community projects relating to those topics. About three years ago I started Thothica SL, an SL community focused on science, the arts, and philosophy, which is still going strong under the guidance of some friends,who have done most of the work, I'd say it's my "best" creation in SL.
We went to the nth dimension dance cubes, where "The Carnival Is Over" by Dead Can Dance was playing; all the constructs and sculptures are in sync with whatever is playing in the parcel at the time - can you imagine the chaos if it were otherwise? - but that particular song was so perfect for the visual effects, it was mesmerizing. All this tp-ing and bright lights, half the time I didn't know where I was, but that's how I roll. There was what I took to be Cirque du Soleil and Elton John live... it's very Vegas, ideal for such a big energy rich immersive experience. Staring at dear old Sir Eltie doing his thing all over the globe, I asked the usual question and after some 'Oh, there are so many to choose from' hedging, Thoth came up with two artists he feels worthy of being imported, interpreted and generally feted in Second Life.
Thoth Jantzen: Albert Einstein and Leonhard Euler. The formula's they've given the world embody SO much that's so deep, so important, and so simply and elegantly that in addition to the scientific value, there's a deep beauty that, I feel, certainly qualifies as art. As for how to best represent them in SL, I have zero clue...
Well, that's OK, I have no clue who Leonhard Euler even is.
We went to the media active art gallery and I admired the unique pieces by Feathers Boa, Glyph Graves, and 9-volt Borkotron. I asked Thoth about artistic collaboration in SL.
Thoth Jantzen: It means that some really good artists who'd otherwise not have much exposure get a chance to have their work seen by a lot of people. I've been involved in some groups and collaborations, including Diabolus and Caerleon. Collaboration in larger groups is sorta like herding cats when you talk about artists, and while the results can be great, the process can be...difficult, shall we say! Anyway, I see myself more as a builder. In a sense, all I really do is create a canvas on which the real art paints itself - in my case, music videos. When I came into SL, i had no idea I'd do much in the way of actual building, let alone anything resembling art. I was more interested in learning and community building. I sort of fell into the kaleidoscopic, 'media-active' stuff fooling around with some video screens one day. I felt that the normal flat screens were boring, and that was the start of what you see here now. The V-Max is possibly my favorite piece in SL, but the "Octoscope" on ReactionGrid is the newest and, I think, the nicest thing I've built so far. Working with the Caerleon Art Collection on the Reaction Grid - is great - sort of like 'pioneering', as Georg Janick likes to put it. The folks who run RG are great, very responsive, and despite a lot of unexpected "learning moments", it's been really good so far there. Places based on the OpenSim software, like ReactionGrid, SpotOn3D, and OpenSim, are growing in numbers and in size, and offer options to everyone, from artists and educators to businesses and institutions, and the casual user. I've recently begun to spread my 'virtual wings' to other places, and from what I've seen, it'd be a great idea for others to do it, too. Being 'virtually mobile' doesn't mean you have to abandon SL, but it does give you more options to explore things (waves hand) 'out there'...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Evora Story

If you had to sum up your Second Life in a single word, I wonder, what would it be? For Thirza, it is simply Evora. Everything that matters in her existence started and ended here, among these pixels. It has gone through myriad changes of fortune, and now jupyter Lecker has turned it into Castle Tale. I am utterly and unashamedly, foolishly in love with it, the narrow stairs and the mysterious rooms and passages, the balconies, the windows, the mist and the shadows.
And the dragon. Jupyter's work is matched only by his generosity of spirit, and he has allowed us to fill the castle with some of my favourite artists, curated by Lion Igaly. On show are pieces by Aloisio Congrejo, Cristian Rexi, Feathers Boa, Igor Ballyhoo, Katy60it Cyberstar, Kicca Igaly, Kolor Fall, La Baroque, Lion Igaly, Lookatmy Back, nessuno Myoo, Shellina Winkler, Solkide Auer, Tani Thor, and Zhora Maynard.
Personally, I prefer to explore the rooms slowly; the castle's bliss is the wanton difficulty of moving about the labyrinth, making discoveries as you go, taking your time. If you need to speed things up, however, you can click on the names above to go directly to a piece by each artist. You'll find a full list of LMs available onsite, which is helpful if you get lost or stuck... again thank you Lion for making this invaluable notecard. The credit for the show goes entirely to the generous creativity of all the artists, the amazing hard work of Lion Igaly and the dark talent of my beloved jupyter Lecker. We now have a .ning sister site, where you can find an absurd number of pictures of Evora, as well as the blog and other stuff, but it would be sweet if you came over to see the castle for yourself. The current artwork will be on display until January 15th. UNA FRASE PER DESCRIVERE LA TUA SECONDA VITA: quale ti viene in mente? La storia di Thirza la si può raccontare in una sola parola, Evora. Tutto per lei è nato qui - il bene e il male - , e ora, Evora è Castle Tale, opera del builder jupyter Lecker. Un castello difficile, misterioso, all'antica, un labirinto avvolto in ricordi sussurati, textures cupe di una bellezza fredda, pieno di giochi di ombra e luce, immerso nella nebbia eterna. L'adoro, specialmente il drago.Ora Evora è anche mostra d'arte. Curatore Lion Igaly ha organizzato l'esposizione di artisti meravigliosi quale Aloisio Congrejo, Cristian Rexi, Feathers Boa, Igor Ballyhoo, Katy60it Cyberstar, Kicca Igaly, Kolor Fall, La Baroque, Lion Igaly, Lookatmy Back, nessuno Myoo, Shellina Winkler, Solkide Auer, Tani Thor, and Zhora Maynard. Hanno abbellito i cortili e gli stanzoni con foto dipinti poesie e sculture. Se hai il tempo, il modo più suggestivo di visitare Castle Tale è a piedi, navigando per le scale anguste. Cliccando sui nomi qui sopra ti porterà subito alle opere principali, ma nel cortile troverai una dettagliatissima nota con LM in ordine alfabetico (grazie Lion!) molto utile se ti perdi nei sotteranei... ti invito anche a visitare il nuovo sito ning di ArtsParks, dove troverai una quantità assurda di foto di Evora, ma anche machinima, musica e forse qualche nuovo amico... ti aspetto.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Assisi as pie

RL Assisi is a beautiful hilltop town, full of light and fresh air and tourists. Religious, artistic historical, it brings in the crowds every year, all year, enchanted by the idea of 13th century mysticism, values of peace and love, and an escape from the materialism that pervades every age. The Basilica of San Francesco was finished in around 1280, and is probably best known for the frescoes of Giotto and Cimabue, the Godfathers of Italian painting. Hundreds were left homeless and the church was horribly damaged by a series of earthquakes in September 1997, when much of the timpano, the curving roof of the nave, collapsed onto the floor together with its priceless artwork. It turns out, previous anti-seismic 'improvements' - metal braces in the vault - increased the weightload on the fragile roof and actually made the disaster worse than it might otherwise have been. A phenomenal amount of work went in to making Assisi SL, but RL Assisi is tech savvy in its own way. The mayor of the city, Claudio Ricci, regularly and 'openly' comes into SL, and has in the past used it as a forum in which his constituents can approach him with questions. SL Assisi is pretty much a relic too, since it was built in ye olde 2007. That was the year SL exploded onto Italian consciousness, a time when lots of politicians, entrepreneurs and social thinkers came inworld bringing with them hopeful adherents of every kind. Much of the progressive spirit turned out to be either too pedestrian or too rarefied to survive the rigors of 'real' Second Life, but from that classic italianate fizzle, some quality remains... tee hee, I won't put that in the Italian bit, but it makes Assisi Sl even more interesting for its stamina, especially when you sit down and watch the footage of the earthquake, and start to grasp what the restoration process has involved.

I brought artist Kolor Fall to see Assisi with me, he looks like the Silver Surfer's beefier, brighter brother, he also has a better sense of humour. If you haven't seen Kolor's 'hands on' art, go over to his sim/studio and see/hear the new Lashes of Earth installation... among the magical elements, there are free 'drawable' earrings to be had. Must be worn to be believed.
The inworld Assisi build can be credited to, among others, quozar Winx, Sarg Bjornson, Whinge Languish and Oliver Wombat. There's a little Youtube machinima about the build also. I wanted to know how SL Assisi came about, so I talked to Simone Brunozzi...

Simone Brunozzi: I was born and grew up at Assisi and I've always been in love with the idea of love and brotherhood as expressed by St Francis, even though I consider myself an agnostic. I felt that SL would be a good way to bring Assisi to the many people who have never seen it in person. This is not a 'take' on Assisi, it was my intention to make something as close to reality as possible. There were a lot of technical difficulties to overcome: first of all, we had to keep the whole build to under 15000 prims, the presence at one time or another of as many as 90 people, and the fact we were trying to re-create a huge and irregular building complex. It took five people five months to put the whole thing together. We included a HUD in the build because, obviously, SL is open 24/7 and we can't always be present to give people the tour. My favourite part of the build? I'd have to say the upper Basilica. From both an artistic and architectural point of view, it's a masterpiece without equal.
At $L300 the HUD is way too expensive for my travel budget but if you are thinking of investing in it, you can get a preview by going to the Assisi blog. The sim may seem slightly underused; Simone told me he has no events planned - but he's a busy man, working as an 'evangelist' for Amazon in Luxembourg - a job he got through an inworld job fair, no less! Getting the job couldn't have been easier or less serendipitous. If you can read Italian or are willing to brave the hilarity of the translator, go and check out the adventure of his life clicking here.

Sembra quasi superfluo parlare con te di Assisi, una delle città più belle d'Italia, località di pace, di arte, di fede, di turismo. RL Assisi è San Francesco, è tradizione, è speranza, ma anche metaversalmente evoluta... il sindaco Claudio Ricci, si è fatto un ufficio e un avatar in SL - mi dicono una riproduzione fedelissimo della sua persona - per poter meglio communicare con i cittadini della sua città. Anche Assisi SL si può definire un monumento venerabile, esiste nel metaverso dal 2007... una sopravvivenza notevole. L'edificio virtuale è di un gruppo di collaboratori tra i quali quozar Winx, Sarg Bjornson, Whinge Languish e Oliver Wombat. Troverai qui una Youtube machinima francescana... ho chiesto a Simone Brunozzi l'owner di SL Assisi, quali erano le motivazioni dietro questo bellissmo build.
Simone Brunozzi: Sono nato e cresciuto ad Assisi e sono sempre stato innamorato delle idee di pace e fratellanza di San Francesco, nonostante mi consideri tuttora un agnostico. Ho pensato che SL potesse essere un modo per far conoscere Assisi alle tante persone che non l'hanno mai vista dal vivo. Lo scopo della Basilica di San Francesco di Assisi in SL è proporre alle persone una rappresentazione realistica, non una interpretazione. Le sfide tecniche sono state molteplici: il numero di prim inferiore ai 15.000, la presenza in alcuni momenti di oltre 80-90 persone, la riproduzione fedele di un edificio molto irregolare e gigantesco. Cinque persone in gamba per cinque mesi, questo è stato il costo dell'operazione. Il HUD serve come una sorta di visita guidata interattiva, utile perchè SL viene usato 24 ore al giorno, e noi non potevamo rimanere online sempre, per questo motivo abbiamo pensato di creare un HUD. La mia parte preferita del build? Sicuramente la Basilica superiore, che dal punto di vista pittorico ed architettonico è un gioiello ineguagliabile.

A $L300 il HUD, in vendita in piazza e in varie parti della basilica, è un pochino caro per chi girovaga in SL senza reddito, anche se il prezzo equivale solo a un euro, per 'vedere prima di comprare', basta andare al Assisi blog.
Eventi ad Assisi in questo periodo sono pochi anche perché Simone è molto occupato. Lavora a Lussemburgo come 'evangelista della tecnologia' per Amazon, e questo bel lavoro l'ha trovato proprio qui in Second Life... per sapere come ha fatto, vai a leggere la sua storia, cliccando qui. Ho fatto il giro della basilica con il grande artista Kolor Fall, è stato per me un privilegio fargli conoscere le opere di Giotto e Cimabue... ha messo un po per capire che non si trattava si San Francisco, ma poi il boy, con l'avatar da Silver Surfer dopato con forti steroidi e dotato di un ferocissimo sense of humor, per non parlare del suo canale YouTube, ha rezzato e ha potuto godere appieno questo pezzo d'antiquariato virtuale. Se non hai ancora visitato il sim di Kolor, non è da perdere l'ultima istallazione Ciglie del mondo su sim Kolor - ci sono anche i suoi originalissimi orecchini scripted gratuiti!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Troy Story

I have watched the pleasing strife
Within thy tender bosom, have inspected
Thy young ideas teeming into life,
Thy mind with wonder, joy and awe affected.
For when before thee lay the mighty tale
Of great Achilles' wrath and Hector's doom
By turns elate with joy, with pity pale
For varying passions scarce thy mind had room.

On her first reading Pope's Iliad, Arthur Henry Hallam
Pointless mooching rocks. Whenever I do it, I always meet the best people. This time, Troy. It's one of an archipelago of RP sims offering combat in ancient times, from Persia to Mongolia to Scandinavia. There's advice, attire and freebies, including combat HUDs on offer here; the group uses the DCS combat system and also support compatible weaponry, so you might like to pull out your Gorean Quiva (hmm how did I...?) and show us what you're made of in the bloody arena.
Being a scribbler, not a fighter, the combat element isn't my cup of tea, but it was fascinating to see how other people have fun. Troy is run by Lew Nightfire, Ricard Collas, Sheema Rae and Yumi Acker. It is a place much frequented by newbies for some reason, and the more experienced players can often be heard pleasantly explaining how to 'Stop all animations'. The sim offers not only a fabulous arena but also palaces, a wooded hill with nice places to relax, ot to mention this fantastic Wooden Horse.
There were four people combatting in the arena when I got there, Rock Aquila, Anubis Guisse, Mor Lannock, and Trojan Hoplite strelnikov Dubrovna. This is them, from left to right. I was very jealous of strel's tusks but was too shy to say so at the time. I got them to stop for long enough to take a photo, which proves they have infinite patience. That surprised me, I don't know why but I imagined them a more fighty and less welcoming crew, but the notecard is enough to show how wrong I am: "we are a sim where all avaters will try to help you get started with no experince in combat, or role play. Lessons are held to guide you of the ways of roleplay conducts. Everything is easy, hard thing is to take first step, we will guide and help you through everything." And yes, I know fighty is not a word. Or wasn't. I went exploring among the palaces and managed to break into the Blacksmith's bedroom - don't ask - and take the photo seen below. After a bit, Mor Lannock came over to have a word. She asked me if I had seen the Library ... I said no... and so off we went.
Mor Lannock: I built this library, or rather, when it is finished it will be better... maybe over the holiday I'll have time. I am going to add many other characters from the story, Paris, Helen, Menelaus, Achilles and so on. The uniform over here is a Greek one, made for Achilles. You can see the leaders of the Greek army on the left, and the Trojan commanders on the right. Did you know the city of Rome was founded by a decendent of Prince Aeneas, a survivor of the Trojan War? His name was Romulus. I have here the Iliad in many different languages, and there are books, maps, busts in the room, if you pass your cursor over them they give you information about the person or place.
Thirza Ember: why did you want to make a library?
Mor Lannock: To inform people. For me, the sim is like a poor man's guide to history. I know many people have never read the Iliad, but many people are curious. They can come here and read the notecards. Maybe they won't read them all, but they will just learn a little. It's my goal to pique and cultivate their interest in the subject.
Delight and inform... a warrior princess after my own heart. See, mooching around pays off... HO FATTO UNA PICCOLA GITA A TROIA OGGI. Di solito i sim di combattimento e gioco di ruolo non mi attirano molto, ma avevo voglia di vedere qualcosa di diverso. E poi hanno un cavallo di legno, chi di noi sa resistere alla tentazione di vedere un cavallo di legno, magari portarlo in casa.... Ed eccomi a Troy la città - anzi l'impero - di Lew Nightfire, Ricard Collas, Sheema Rae e Yumi Acker. Il cavallo mi è piaciuto molto e sono graziosi anche i palazzi (ci sono case e stanze in affitto, io un po' stanca dopo tutte quelle scale, mi sono intrufolata nella casa del fabbro di Troia, e ho fatto un pisolino, non so resistere ai mobili altrui... Ssss non c'è bisogno che tu gli riferisci la mia piccola invasion of privacy... Quando mi sono alzata ho fatto una bella passeggiata nel bosco, e infine sono arrivata all'arena dove combattevano quattro guerrieri. Eccoli qui, sono: con il martello Rock Aquila, accanto a lui vestito di nero Anubis Guisse, Mor Lannock con la corrazza d'oro, e infine, con i denti strepitosi, Trojan Hoplite strelnikov Dubrovna.
Ho fatto due chiacchiere con la bellissima Mor Lannock, una ragazza che per fortuna parlava italiano. Mi ha chiesto se avevo visto la Biblioteca ... Abbiamo fatto un salto insieme e mi ha mostrato le carte geografiche, le pergamene, il busto di Omero e le immagini di altri famosi scrittori e pensatori dell'epoca classica.
Mor Lannock: La biblioteca l'ho costruita io. Veramente non l'ho ancora completata....quando completa sarà meglio. Ho altri personaggi da mettere, come Menelao, Elena, Paride, Achille ecc. Questo uniforme greco, di Achille, l'ho fatto io. E qui, vedi i capi dell'esercito ... quelli greci sono a sinistra, quelli di Troia a destra. Sapevi che un discendente di Enea, un sopravvissuto della guerra ha fondato Roma? ... Si chiamava Romolo... ops scusa certo che lo sai!
Le ho chiesto perché ha voluto creare una biblioteca in Second Life.
Mor Lannock: L'ho costruita per informare la gente. La sim è come un guida alle persone non disposte a leggere un libro. Così posso informare tutti i curiosi in un modo leggero e anche divertente. Non tutti hanno letto L'iliade, e magari non leggono tutte le cartoline ho messo ma almeno adesso sanno cose e magari posso stuzzicare e coltivare interesse...
Bella, brava, coraggiosa e intelligente... insomma un'eroina per tutti i tempi!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Face Facts

If you haven't been over there yet, make sure you don't miss the new show at the Woodget Gallery on sim Phasma. The gallery itself is a really nice place to hang out, there's the skyline of Tokyo to admire through the big windows. This latest show is called PersoNation and features ten fantastic portraits by, among others, Miabella Foxley, Rob Danton, Maguire Smit, IsabellaGrace Baroque, James Schwarz, Sennaspirit Coronet, Cienega Soon, and Zap Zhong. As she stood before this remarkable picture of Keiko by the insanely talented four Yip, (OMG you have to see this animation) I asked Siri Woodget why she had chosen this theme for her show.
Siri Woodget: Historically, portraits represented the authority, lineage or religiosity of a person, but in SL, a portrait is an articulation of identity in a realm where identities are much more fluid.
The pictures Siri has chosen to put on show are almost breathtakingly different one from another, glimpses into lives, and eyes, that enrich our own. In their variety, the ten portraits, as the notecard says, 'express the unique intersection of artist and subject' - take a moment to read the notes that go with each portrait, and you find yourself in the presence of twenty interesting people, all talking at once, and no-one minds if you eavesdrop... more than that, you'll get lots of valuable landmarks to see more work by the artists you most admire. I really liked Aaren Reyes by Kasabian Beck it's from a series of pictures called Stem Cells, Kas' approach to what he defines as a 'pop art' series of portraits is very interesting, I leave you to go and read his card. The effects and manipulations speak for themselves, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of the series. More portraits, but on a very different scale, can be found on Portrait Island an initiative of Australia's National Portrait Gallery of Canberra - doppelgänger. There are five installations here, ranging from the naughty animated avatar statues of Gazira Babeli to Cao Fei's melancholy machinima, Man Michinaga's 'last supper' of code portraits (confused? and see yourself) and Autoscopia by Adam Ramona, Christopher Dodds and Justin Clemens.They all rock, but my absolute favourite though is temporary self portrait in preparation for the singularity by Nonnatus Korhonen (in RL Andrew Burrell). It is, to my mind, the closest way to illustrate how thought, and by extension, self, is made: little whirligigs hover close, quietly muttering their stream-of-consciousness, while transparent elements of knowledge, fantasy, feeling and experience intersect within a giant cube, around which an avatar flies, helplessly and endlessly observing the narrative being played out below and around him, bringing into question the location of self itself.
Doppelgänger will be on Portrait Island until March, don't miss it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It takes one to tango

El tango es un pensamiento triste que se puede bailar
Enrique Santos Discepolo

Oh for the joys of the tangueria ... the smoky atmosphere of the milonga, the flickering lights, as the milonguero catches the eye of a beautiful woman, and nods, offering the cabaceo, or silent invitation to dance... a dance, or a date without small talk, where all is in the eyes and the body language, a date lasting the length of a tanda, three or four songs; they say that a tango song without words is romantic, but a tango with lyrics is full of feeling ... and after the dance, on to the next connection, or perhaps not, but be careful, too many dances in a row with one person, and you will both be counted as off limits to other prospective partners... Some say Argentine Tango's true origins are in 1938 - 1940 with the legendary Carlos Gardel, its Golden Age took place in in the late 1940's and early 1950's, when some of the classic tango songs, singers and orchestras were put on vinyl by an amazing range of recording companies in Buenos Aires. Tango reflects the world view of its inventors, the most macho of the milongueros, the compadritos. If you like to read, try Rick McGarrey's online book Tango and Chaos about his adventures with the Tango and other Argentine delights.

Where can you enjoy all this in SL? To my mind, the best tangueria in SL is the Arrabal Tango Club where, thanks to the exclusive music stream created by Favio Piek, you can dance the day or night away using their excellent dance animations, enjoy wine and song, and perhaps catch one of the live performances inside the club. Want to know more? Favio Piek, Ludmilla Writer, and Zonja Capalini's group will keep you updated. I asked Craig Altman of Bits and Bobs animations what it takes to tango in SL...
Craig Altman: I make couple animations myself in Poser and in the case of the tango I was specifically asked for it, to which I replied - sorry but I'm not a dancer, I don't know how it goes, the steps etc. I prefer making up dances as I go along, like my slow dances, I'm then free to decide what I think looks nice. Making a strict dance you kinda can't do that, it's why I've only done that a couple of times. This guy came back to me a few days later with a video he had found of the tango being performed, I watched it and decided - yes it looks like something I can make. It took about 150 hours, about 5 hours to make each second of animation, then another 3-4 days to make the animation work in SL, because complex animations from poser always need a lot of tweaking and reuploading to make them look right on SL AV's. Because the anim is made for two, you cut it in half, upload each partner separately, make sure the upload settings are exactly the same and get the script to start both parts at the same time.
For anyone who's ever had a tender moment ruined by jumping on a poseball and finding themselves in a very unattractive sitting pose instead of the one they were expecting, Craig has an answer.
Craig Altman: When you use an animation set for the first time, the sim downloads it to your cache and then plays it, this is why in a laggy sim, you might 'sit' for about 5 seconds before the anim starts, you may even see the other person start first, this is because their animation was downloaded into your cache and started before yours was. This is why with the best will in the world, the animation of the two partners will not start at the same time even though the script has told them to, most people when they see this, jump off the ballset and jump back on, this works is because by then the animation has been downloaded into both people's cache, so when the script tells them to start again, no downloading is needed.
Craig Altman: Think of it this way. You go to a shop and buy 6 of the same film on DVD, you then post 5 of them to your friends and tell them to play it when they get it so you can all watch it, what chance do you think there is that all 6 of you will be seeing Darth Vader kill Obiwan at the same time? Your friends will receive and play the DVD at different times due to delays in the postal service, they will all see it but it will be out of sync with the others watching it. To fix this, you could phone all your friends, tell them to stop their DVD players and all start them at the same time. That is what resync does. After about 30 seconds, my dance sets stop and restart. By this time the users and those who were watching have the anim in cache, Now they'll see it start at the same time and it will look right, but it will still of course look wrong to anyone who TPs in after this.
So that embarrassing moment where you're sitting in midair instead of in the arms of your hottie is on you, not on the ‘bad’ script. No less cringe-worthy, but now we know. Is this unique to SL?
Craig Altman: No, all online games work this way, it's a common misconception that we are "sharing the same world", we are not really, what is "going on in SL", is essentially your own personal film, exclusive to you.
I always knew you were a movie star....
El tango es un pensamiento triste que se puede bailar
Enrique Santos Discepolo
È arrivato l’inverno, è ora di sognare un luogo dove si respira un’aria esotica, passionale, caliente... magari una milonga argentina, sotto le lampade fumose, tra i tavolini fragili, l’aria densa di profumi e desiderio. Il milonguero incontra lo sguardo di una bella donna, senza avvicinarla, con un cenno, il cabaceo, la invita a ballare, un’appuntamento senza parole in cui il discordo si tiene nel linguaggio del corpo, tramite il lessico degli occhi e dei passi, un’ ballo che dura quanto una tanda, una serie di tre o quattro canzoni... si dice che la melodia d’un tango è romantico, mentre le parole infondono nella musica i sentimenti veri... e dopo questi dodici minuti d’intenso contatto, si passa al prossimo partner, o forse no, forse il ballo continua (scorrettissimo abbandonare il partner prima del termine della tanda) ma attento, se balli troppo con la stessa persona, vi renderete ‘off limits’ ad altri possibili incontri...
Gli origini del tango argentino risalgono agli anni trenta e il legendario Carlos Gardel; l’età d’oro del ballo è stato durante gli anni 40 e ’50. A quell’epoca a Buenos Aires furono incisi molti dischi in cui si sentono le orchestre e i cantanti più significativi del genere. Tutt’ora, le canzoni più amate del tango sono di questo periodo. Il tango nasce da balli precedenti, ma è l'invenzione ironica, lirica, prepotente, si dice, dei più macho dei milongueros, i compadritos... E il tanguero più bello di SL? Per me è Arrabal Tango Club dove, grazie a l’esclusivo stream musicale di Favio Piek, e le eccellenti poseballs, insieme alla persona dei tuoi sogni, nell’infinita sera torrida dell’emisfero meridionale del metaverso, puoi ballare tutte le tandas che vuoi.
Ho chiesto a Craig Altman di Bits and Bobs animations cosa significa creare un tango in Second Life.
Craig Altman: Quando mi hanno chiesto di creare un tango all'inizio ho detto di no, io non so ballare in real, non conosco il tango, e poi preferisco la libertà di creare un balli lenti con le pose che più mi piacciono. Ma poi ho visto un video del tango e ho voluto accettare la sfida di ricreare un ballo formale con il programma Poser. Ci sono voluti circa 150 ore in tutto per creare il tango, 5 ore per ogni secondo di movimento, e poi altri tre o quattro giorni per perfezionarlo in SL. Essendo un ballo di coppia, l'animation va tagliata e caricata in due parti e ci vuole tempo per assicurare che le due metà una volta nel metaverso si combaciano.
Se ti è mai capitato di finire su un poseball che 'non funzionava' rendendo goffo quello che doveva essere un momento, e ti sei chiesto ma perchééé... Craig ci dà la spiegazione.
Craig Altman: Quando usi per la prima volta un'animation, viene caricata nel tuo computer, diventando parte delle tua cache. Ci vuole un momento per questo - in un sim con lag, forse anche 5 secondi, ed è questo che crea l'effetto 'sit' ... di solito le persone si staccano dalle poseballs e riprovano, e la seconda volta 'funziona' perché nel frattempo il computer ha caricato l'animation. Ma in ogni caso è impossibile che due persone possono iniziare insieme la stessa animation, e per questo esiste 'resync' - la sincronizzazione dell'animation. Funziona così. Se tu comprassi 6 copie di un DVD e li mandassi a 5 amici, dicendogli di guardare il film appena ricevuto, quali sono le probabilità che tutti voi 6 vedrete nello stesso momento la scena in cui Darth Vader uccide Obiwan? Impossibile, perché la posta porterebbe il DVD ad ogni persona in un orario diverso. Ma per risolvere il problema, potresti telefonare gli amici in conference, e dirgli di spegnere e poi riaccendere tutti insieme. Questo è il 'resync'. Dopo 30 secondi, uno script ferma l'animation e fa ripartire le due parti 'insieme'... Questo è un effetto che si riscontra in tutti i giochi online. Spesso dimentichiamo che il mondo che noi vediamo non è 'SL' una esperienza in comune, ma invece, ognuno ha la propria versione, influenzato da fattori tecnici unici. Siamo, si può dire, protagonisti di un nostro film personale...
A volte tragico, a volte comico, ma sempre avvincente. Se vuoi allontanare questo inverno prima che ti abbia del tutto tra le grinfie, prova il tango al Arrabal. Sarà forse un capitolo indimenticabile del tuo capolavoro...