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Re: <nettime> [Augmentology] _A Warcry for Birthing Synthetic Worlds_
pighed on Sat, 9 Aug 2008 22:23:30 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> [Augmentology] _A Warcry for Birthing Synthetic Worlds_


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!gonzo! ~

> why has it become such an object of obssession, to its users,

because Second Life is the new Los Angeles.
specifically, Second Life 2006 = Los Angeles 1929.

people moved into SL for the same reasons people moved into the LA
region in the 1930s; cheap luxury, quick wealth, automated
manufacturing, and easy access to a new flavor of media-based lifestyle.
   SL's full of immigrants, ultimately, and demographically, if you do
the research, it maps out as the same, nomadic weirdos that went to LA
back in The Day; same linguistic, economic, ethnic, and gender divisions
(again, SL.2006 = LA.1929). there's a TON of data that can be found by
following this line right down to a real estate mogul reselling
pre-built and pre-furnished homes famous among her clients by only her
first name (LA was "Mary," and SL was "Anshe").  its twilightZoneCreepy,
i'm tellin ya, the # of parallels.

in both LA.29 and SL.06 you get to be rich, famous, lazy and beautiful,
and live in a modern, automated world.  but SL clambered into the
media's spotlight because 1) the tools constrained the imagination of
builders, and 2) the culture forced the exploration of visitors.

1) the tools guided world builders towards making fast downloads and
speedy framerates.  by limiting sims (islands) to 5000 primitives per,
it avoided the problems that VRML had, back in the '90s (i was there).
building interactive 3d is a bitch, so the tools for virtual worlds must
constrain over-ambitious and under-experienced designers.

the other thing (2), is that the culture in SL is based on roles, not
rules.  its a virtual world, not a game. the role / rule distinction is
what draws the line in the screen between them - games force you to
follow rules.. but SL is a role-play street theater and our avatars (our
psychological prosthetics) let you to play out the interactive narrative
that you invent.  more than WoW or Eve, where the metaphor is determined
for us, you can follow the archetype/s that you invent.  oh, and you can
make money, too.  me, i made money, but i was there to learn how to make
autonomous avatars.


> what would happen if John Lennon's assassination were re-enacted in SL

well, i spent time in a charles manson mansion.  there was great
attention paid to the blood on the walls.  the tools allowed that
paintjob and the culture framed the LA-style manson metaphor.

ok; i published a book this spring on my adventures in SL - "I, Avatar,
The Culture and Consequences of Having a Second Life..."  \
	http://boar.com/books/avatars
its got lots of pictures.. portraits, more acurately.

	- mark stephen meadows / pighed

PS: .. wait wait, i have to also mention - on the post about "My not
inconsiderable sins in Second Life".. i interviewed 300 people and asked
them, "Can sin be committed via your avatar?" and 150 answered yes, and
150 answered no.


> ! < wrote:
> One question that continues to fascinate me is: why Second Life .. ?
>     As in: why has it become such an object of obssession, to its users, and
> to a large number of critics & theorists .. ?
> 
> Are we not still talking about a screen-based interaction with a computer,
> without consequence to the lived body that manipulates mouse, keyboard
> joystick. Or rather, the only consequence being the sagging & drooping of
> the body into the chair ..
> 
> Or is SL a significant cultural event, such as the novel: a method of
> dissemination of the imaginary in a medium that has somehow incorporated,
> transcended or displaced past artifacts. And, by force of the text and its
> technical framing, the event of participation forces transactions in the
> world at large (what would happen if John Lennon's assassination were
> re-enacted in SL -- the former pushed out of the interaction with Catcher in
> the Rye and a certain body -- only to be re-enacted in the real, again ?).
> 
> The (second) loop closing however insofar as SL itself is forced from the
> text of the world. Which I guess is the point -- and why SL is 'synthetic'.
> 
> 
> tV
> 
>> My first article on Augmentology.com went up last week! Mez invited me
>> to write some articles for them, and I'm very happy to be included in
>> their site, because the writing there is so interesting, and has
>> affected my thinking about synthetic worlds a great deal. Here it
>> is...
>  <...>
> 
> .
> .
> tobias c. van Veen -----------++++ !
> http://www.quadrantcrossing.org --
> McGill Communication & Philosophy
> resistance . through . rhythm .
> |||||||||||||||||||
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> 
> 
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> 

- --

Mark Stephen Meadows / pighed
Paris, France: +33-(0)6-20-22-98-27
www.markmeadows.com


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#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
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