Monday, October 10, 2005

SL NYC Convention - Crossing the Divide

SL NYC Convention - 1L meets 2L - LIVE!

This weekend 8-11th of October is the first ever Second Life Convention organised by a group of energetic SL residents, headed up by my friend Hiro Pendragon, and working with Linden Labs to create the first 1L meeting of SL players at the New York Law School.

This event crosses the digital gap between our 'meat' world of 1L and the digital universe of 2L and the core link is a video and audio streaming link between both worlds which showed presentations, speeches,meetings and question sessions happening LIVE at New York Law School which could be seen in world by SL residents. Guests included many Lindens on panels, question and answer sessions and Philip (Linden)the founder and energetic CEO of the Linden Labs group.

For me, in Japan, the event was too far for me to invest a week in travelling to New York to attend, though I avidly watched and listened to a lot of the content, when I could. I sponsored the event myself paying the in-game equivalent of $100 which now looking back doesnt seem much, as an in-world only sponsor. For this I gained a plot of land in SL near the giant screen and the virtual model of NYC Law School. Hard to belive this is the SL picture here, Hiro and team made this SO real ! I built a tribute exhibit.

My exhibit was a 'Dragon Hall' a richly textured Chinese style Hall with dragon wood, stone guardian dragons and solid pillars, with a distinct ' Metropolitaine ' feel about it.
I saw it as the kind of building that might exist in a city like NYC.

Inside it i created a vaulted complex ceiling of curves and elaborate dragon wood chinese lanterns suspended and floor based.

The lanterns are the classic chinese pagoda wood style with carved dragon fret cut wood, and glass painted panels. these you can see in Chinese restaurants around the world. If you want to buy one the entire range is now on sale in Neo Japan store.

On Sunday, and my Monday (Japan time) I tuned in to the giant screen in Fortuna sim with many many other AVs, The sim was FULL. Performance on the streaming was, sadly, poor with constant crashes, loss of signal, downtime and erratic jerky video and on and off sound which sounded at times like a broken mic.

The SL in-game audience coped with it with spirit knowing, as we all do, that we are pioneers in a never ending beta test with SL. In the end having spent many hours even on Japan's fantastically fast DSL Broadband ( Speeds of 15-20 mbps would be regarded as SLOW in Japan whereas many UK and USA residents get 512mb-2mb at best)I still gave up and went onto the net to listen:
rtsp:// This won't work now of course !
This however was not a lot better with server loss, failed connections and erratic picture and sound. Compared to even the poorest streaming radio station on the net this was pretty unreliable. Clearly the NYC Law School's ISP or streaming service was not up to the job.
The question I asked myself a lot and I am sure many have asked is ' do I wish I had been there?' on what was a history making exercise. Strangely enough, though you know i love SL dearly my decision is I am glad I did not go. How can I put it?.. well.. since being a little grl I have loved virtual life, and I have whoop with joy when I managed to get Lara to jump another gap, or escape another's always been an 'escape' for me, a fantasy world. I am not sure I want to meet the other SL AVs in their human forms, I prefer to meet them resplendent as winged angel, giant robot or cute bunny, or just as their 'wannabe' self!
I do like how virtual worlds bring out the kindness, help, friendliness and cheer or many yet also reveal the greed, selfishness and anger of others.. that way one can judge the human behind the AV.. in world without rules.. one becomes as one truly wishes to be and can leave behind all those excuses for not being what you can be, at your best !
Also much of what I listened to tho fascinating was very business like, about money, corporate expansion, technical needs and such, and of course the ever present politics .. and I am still myself (naiive?..) to prefer to continue to be the wide eyed child when in these magical ' I can fly' worlds.
For me, the experience, which reflects in the places I create is one of immersion, of wonder, of adventure and variety and I think for me to sit in a conference room and discuss it with others would not have been the same. I was struck looking around that there were more ANSHECHUNG.COM sponsor banners than SL !
I think I will continue to enjoy the varied multiverses I visit as Snakekiss just as they are, as uniquely separate worlds from my 1L self, yet places where I can be a 'better' me in many ways, physically, behaviour and ability. I want it to be that same magical feeling that I get when immersed in the lastest Harry Potter book overnight, or the 'can't wait' feeling that I get as the cinema curtain opens. That to me is the ultimate value of this...and the chance to see us humans better ourselves and learn. Perhaps if lessons come back from 2L to the 1st world yes this will be worth it! Maybe some day I will go, who knows.. WELL DONE Hiro !.. well done all.. a great and historic event made real by your hard work and imagination!
One amusing story then...
I 'beamed in to SL NYC Law School in-game from a shopping trip to Curious Kitties and others and soon attracted an eager crowd of guys wanting to chat about SL NYC and me. It wasn't until I looked back at the snapshots I had taken I realised I still had a dramatic 'no panty' and very non PG ( sorry!) outfit on... I wondered why they had all been so attentive, ah ha!
boys (even virtual boys) will be boys!


Blogger Hiro Pendragon said...

SnakeKiss, thanks so much for your compliments and support :) I'm very happy you contributed as a donor and put up such a beautiful build!

5:26 AM  
Blogger Joe Bickley said...

I am mixed. In truth, I love to expereince people for thier virtual selves. To know the avatar as the avatar, with out ever going deeper.

But some people I am glad to have met in the flesh. The trip to San Francisco was a revalation to me, and having met other residents, I appreciate keeping in mind that we are not avatars, but people.

Yet really, aren't virtual bodies and real bodies just masks for the spirit?

8:44 AM  

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