3 Reasons to stay in Second Life.

There has to be a reason to visit Second Life. At least for me, since I can’t help feeling bored in The Grid. So, last week there was again the bill from Linden Labs, to continue my membership for a year – my third year. My (initial) enthusiasm, two years ago, has faded away but downgrading my account would feel like mutilating myself, discontinuing my membership would feel like committing suicide.

So, I signed, again, and donated RL$82, which is not too much in Euro’s for a year. I once again visited he World, waking up in my home and teleported to Uvvy.

A lot has changed there, so I had to find out where I had to go, but there are still lectures being held, as I saw again an interesting presentation, or, to be more precise, the whiteboard with the slides. I read them and took some snapshots, to do it all over again when I was back in First Life.

The main reason to be a citizen of Second Life is to keep up with developments. How will the Metaverse evolve, and will there be a time when people will live their lives, or at least a great part of their lives, in the Metaverse? I certainly think that it will be the future, but I’m not sure if Second Life will be the best medium for it.

Yesterday I read the blog of AngryBeth Shortbread (RL name: Annabeth Robinson), one of the most innovative and interesting people I eh…know. In fact, IRL, I don’t know her at all, but I read her blogs and I see her work – art, music, ideas. Her music – Sonic Art as she calls it herself – is much better than mine (damn, I’m a professional musician – what do I do wrong?). On 2nd april she held a talk about her work that dealt with PEOPLE (AVATARS) : PLACE (VIRTUAL) : PRESENCE (TELE). On her Design for Digital Media-blog she elaborates a little bit more on the subject.

Though most of these works – could be recreated in other software, it is the social aspect of the virtual world, that makes me stick to working in Second Life or similar. Seeing groups of online people experiment and collaborate on producing music with my pieces, is more rewarding than a more solo experience on a flash based website or similar. And I still get goosebumps when I watch a group of international avatars all playing together telepresently, yet seemingly all together in one place and presence.

And then she makes that great closure that gave me another reason to stay in Second Life:

Play – a way of learning, Play – to be actively engaged, and Play – to perform .


And then there is FRAPS. I discovered the software by accident, reading the Digital Urban blog. It is software to capture the things you are doing, like a screenshot, but then a movie 🙂 So I tried it out. Here you see my first movie. Others have made better one’s, but I don’t care: after all I’m not a professional.:-)

The movements at the start are rather strange: you might think that I’m dancing, which – in fact – is true. But the point is that I had to push the F9 -button to make FRAPS start capturing, but the same button also triggers a small program in the Katana I’m wearing on my back. The graphics take a lot of time to build up; with my three year old notebook and FRAPS running in the background my second life experience has really slowed down.

However, there are three good reasons to Play another year in the Sandbox of the Metaverse and try to learn making better music, movies and writing scripts, to engage myself actively in future developments and to perform.

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  • The Aesthetics and Beauty of Knowledge

    Shih was the opposite of facts and raw information; shih was the elegance of knowledge, the insight and skill to organize knowledge into meaningful patterns. As an artist chooses colours or light to make her pictures, a master of shih chooses textures of knowledge – various ideas, myths, abstractions, and theories – to create a way of seeing the world. The aesthetics and beauty of knowledge – this was shih.

    – David Zindell, The Broken God, 1993

  • Geek Attitude

    The attitude thing is about flexibility, portability, creativity, sociability and jamming (ran out of suitable “ity” words!). It’s about improvising – in the practical and musical senses of the word; not getting tangled in boundaries and the “right” way to do things.
    Definitely the only way to travel.
    Martin Delaney – “Laptop Music”.