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Archive for the ‘Machinima’ Category

See the first of this year’s informational videos!

How do I find out more?

You can find out more by following the official blog, and by following on Facebook and Twitter.

There is also a Flickr page where you can paste your own images when the sims open. You make see some sneak images from the team before that so keep watching!

Main site: http://slcommunitycelebration.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SLBCommunity
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SLBCommunityCelebration
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/groups/slcommunitycelebration/pool/

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Designing Worlds’ visit to the beautiful Dreamscenes is now on the web.

In this latest episode, we explore the Dreamscenes. Kayle Matzerath of Garden of Dreams has been creating his amazing Dreamscenes – a portable and expandable system of stunningly designed skyboxes – and landscapes for a number of years, and we have featured some of these as settings for shows.

In the Atelier, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

In the Atelier, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

His ability to move with the times and incorporate new ideas and developments in the platform has led to his latest creation (which I wrote about earlier in the year) the Atelier. And there’s a special surprise to be glimpsed through the windows here for all steampunk fans!

We also look at Kayle’s stunning work for Fantasy Faire.

The Library - another Dreamscene created by Kayle Matzerath, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The Library – another Dreamscene created by Kayle Matzerath, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

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Here is this week’s show, ready for you to watch. Don’t miss it!!

As you can see – this week’s show contains news of Steam: The Hunt – a very popular event on the Hunt calendar!

Rosa and Cinders

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Pallina60 Loon has produced a beautiful video about One Billion Rising for Justice in Second Life.

The first half features some of the stunning art installations, while the second half looks at people joining the event.

It’s a great tribute to the event – don’t miss it!

Snapshot_029

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The Singularity of Kumiko (detail). Photo by Rowan Derryth.

The Singularity of Kumiko (detail). Photo by Rowan Derryth.

If there is anything to bring me out of my Second Life hiatus, it is a new exhibit by Bryn Oh.

I’ve got Ziki Questi to thank… she probably doesn’t know that I still follow her blog in my absence, and pop in to see the things she recommends as I can. It was through her blog that I saw a preview of Bryn’s new exhibit The Singularity of Kumiko last week, and like her, I don’t want to give too much away in terms of just what happens. As many will know, all of Bryn’s exhibits at Immersiva are game-like narrative adventures, and posting spoilers is something I refuse to do.

'The Singularity of Kumiko'. Photo by PJ Trenton.

‘The Singularity of Kumiko’. Photo by PJ Trenton.

Suffice it to say, if you loved piecing together the the Rabbicorn/Daughter of Gears exhibits (which came together in her gorgeous machinima Standby), and others like the recent Imogen and the Pigeons, this one will not disappoint. In fact, the Canadian artist/puppetmaster behind Bryn Oh has just received a second award from the Ontario Arts Council to support this new work (the first supported the creation of Standby). Bryn credits the OAC for being forward-thinking in their approach to new media, and while this is certainly true, I also think it she would not find success if the work wasn’t so relevant to contemporary art practice, particularly in that she manages to make the virtual work available to a wider audience through film (machinima).

That said, in my opinion the best experience of the work still exists in the virtual visit, which is still problematic in terms of perceived access. I confess, the recent popularity of new narrative-based games like Gone Home and The Novelist has both excited and frustrated me. While I celebrate this attention to the art/game concept for a more mainstream audience, I also grit my teeth a bit thinking that Bryn (and others like Rose Borchovski and Rebecca Bashly) have been doing this so well in Second Life for years, and few people know. But perhaps that is a rant best left for a different post. Back to the exhibit…

Bryn oh at 'The Singularity of Kumiko'. Photo by PJ Trenton.

Bryn oh at ‘The Singularity of Kumiko’. Photo by PJ Trenton.

Never one to rest on her laurels, Bryn yet again pushes what is technically capable in Second Life, employing innovative use of browser-based lighting controls to create a dramatic and intense visitor experience that is not without some peril (as far as our pixels selves can be in danger, of course). The psychological effect is very real, and certainly fun.

If am to be critical, the very thing that makes this new installation so innovative is also perhaps its one drawback. As Bryn explains on her blog:

This artwork will use some features in a unique way allowing for a quite different experience which, sadly, is fairly demanding on your computer. I have tested extensively and have found that most are able to run, while experiencing minimal lag, the artwork on mid range computers. To help keep lag minimized I will cap the avatar limit on Immersiva to 10-15. As with Imogen and the Pigeons, I am attempting to look at the virtual medium and determine what is unique about it over other mediums such as painting, sculpture and cinema. Then I work towards using those strengths to create an immersive experience that is specific to a multi user environment.

When you land at Immersiva, there are signs that tell you exactly how to set your lighting up according to which browser you are using (I strongly recommend Firestorm). It is a bit fiddly, but the instructions are easy enough. But as Bryn said, you will need to be able to use shadows, etc., which some computers might not manage. The choice to allow only a very small number of avatars at a time might also be frustrating to some… but if people can spend hours trying to get into events like FaMESHed to shop, then certainly being patient to see something so beautiful as this is manageable. And it really does help with the lag, which is important considering the multi-media nature of the work.

'The Singularity of Kumiko'. Photo by PJ Trenton.

‘The Singularity of Kumiko’. Photo by PJ Trenton.

Also, please: REMOVE YOUR FACELIGHTS. Bryn politely asks you to do this at the start of the exhibit, but even walking around last night in a media preview I encountered two people still wearing them to see or take pictures ‘because it was dark.’ It is SUPPOSED TO BE DARK. It’s moody as hell! That is the point, and wearing a facelight deprives you and others of the authentic experience that Bryn intended. Bryn in fact dubbed me the ‘Facelight Police’ when I griped to her about it, and I said ‘You should see me bitch out people using flash/touching the art in actual museums.’ So yes, please, take them off for this. Actually, just take them off period and never put them on again, ok? People everywhere will thank you. /rant

Whew. So, this fantastic new exhibit opens this Friday, 14th February. And it is definitely a fun exhibit to explore with an accomplice, especially as you might need the occasional rescue. But if the low avatar limit makes it hard to visit, simply wait a bit, I’m sure the exhibit will be open for quite a while.

And incidentally, if you’ve never tried Second Life but would like to see the kind of amazing art being made there, this installation would be quite the introduction. Drop me a note or leave a comment if you’d like an intro.

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The last episode of this season, that is – for there will be a new series in the Fall!

Waiting to be interviewed

Waiting to be interviewed

Episode 2.6 of The Blackened Mirror goes live at 2pm PST / SLT today, Sunday 9th February (that’s 10pm GMT) and you can watch it in a variety of ways – but one of the most fun is to watch it on a large screen with friends inworld!

There are screens available at The Crescent Theater in Seraph City, the Designing Worlds studio in Garden of Dreams and the Prim Perfect Head Offices in the Seychelles. (The crew tend to head for Seraph City).

In this episode, Decisions, on their mission to rescue Millie, the young Seraph City waitress, our heroic three find themselves prisoners in the steampunk city of New Babbage.

Biggins and Quinn in the prison wagon

Biggins and Quinn in the prison wagon

And Harland Quinn, Alais Alleyn and Mr Biggins also face decisions that will shape their Quest – and their futures!

If you can’t make it inworld, then it will be available on the web at Treet.TV Blackened Mirror Channel, on The Blackened Mirror channel at Aview TV, on The Blackened Mirror YouTube Channel and, of course, on the front page of The Blackened Mirror website.

It will also be on our Facebook page, where our “likes” are steadily growing! Have you “liked” us there yet?

Can Quinn rescue Millie?

Can Quinn rescue Millie?

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Quinn discovers a secret

Quinn discovers a secret

Well, we always knew that Miss Alleyn had secrets, didn’t we? But even Quinn is surprised when one is revealed in the final episode of this season of The Blackened Mirror!

Prisoners in the steampunk city of New Babbage, Harland Quinn, Alais Alleyn and Mr Biggins also face decisions that will shape their Quest – and their futures!

Watch Episode 2.6 – Decisions today to find out! The episode will be going live at 2pm Pacific time (SLT) and 10pm GMT.

Click to Mix and Solve

Quinn learns a secret

You can see the show on the web on the Treet.TV Blackened Mirror Channel, on The Blackened Mirror channel at Aview TV, on The Blackened Mirror YouTube Channel – and it will be shown on today’s Metaverse Week in Review!

But first do the jigsaw!

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A new location ...

A new location …

Episode 2.5 of The Blackened Mirror goes live at 2pm PST / SLT today (that’s 10pm GMT) and you can watch it in a variety of ways – but one of the most fun is to watch it on a large screen with friends inworld!

There are screens available at The Crescent Theater in Seraph City, the Designing Worlds studio in Garden of Dreams and the Prim Perfect Head Offices in the Seychelles. (The crew tend to head for Seraph City).

In this episode, No More Angels, Millie has been kidnapped by emissaries of Babbage – Mr Biggins’ home city – and a place he is very reluctant to return to.

A determined Harland Quinn

A determined Harland Quinn

Quinn is determined to rescue his young friend – but what dangers lie ahead? What price is he asking his companions to pay?

If you can’t make it inworld, then it will be available on the web at Treet.TV Blackened Mirror Channel, on The Blackened Mirror channel at Aview TV, on The Blackened Mirror YouTube Channel and, of course, on the front page of The Blackened Mirror website.

It will also be on our Facebook page, where our “likes” are steadily growing! Have you “liked” us there yet?

What dangers are they hiding from? Watch - and find out!

What dangers are they hiding from? Watch – and find out!

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Hiding in New Babbage

Hiding in New Babbage

So what – or perhaps “who” has driven our heroes to hide out while looking for the missing Millie in New Babbage?

The answer may surprise you …

Watch Episode 2.5 – No More Angels today to find out! The episode will be going live at 2pm Pacific time (SLT) and 10pm GMT.

Click to Mix and Solve

Hiding in Babbage

You can see the show on the web on the Treet.TV Blackened Mirror Channel, on The Blackened Mirror channel at Aview TV, on The Blackened Mirror YouTube Channel.

But first do the jigsaw!

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Quinn and Alais face danger in New Babbage

Quinn and Alais face danger in New Babbage

Millie has been kidnapped by people from Babbage – Mr Biggins’ home city – and a place he is very reluctant to return to.

Quinn is determined to rescue his young friend – but what dangers lie ahead? What price is he asking his companions to pay?

Episode 2.5 – No More Angels – comes out on Sunday 2nd February at 2pm PST / 10pm GMT.

But in the mean-time – here’s a jigsaw!

Click to Mix and Solve

Facing Danger in New Babbage

And if you missed Episode 4, you can catch up now!

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