Opening an Isle of Wyrms: Part 2

Shadow Dragon on display
Shadow Dragon on display

Dragon Cult Investigation Update! Inside the spectacular cathedral on the Isle of Wyrms in Second Life™ you will find an array of finely decorated dragon eggs created by Daryth Kennedy. When you touch an egg a list of options appears on your screen, and the chosen dragon materializes for just a few minutes. Each dragon egg provides three stages of dragon evolution, you can select hatchling, wyrmling or dragon.

Now, if you decide you want to own a full scale Isle of Wyrms dragon you are in for a surprise (wyrmlings and hatchlings are available). Just because you have enough Lindens to buy an adult dragon does not automatically mean you have the right to possess one of these magnificent avatars! As far as I can understand you must attend an Isle of Wyrms Hatching Event but these are only held four times a year! You register to purchase the dragon of choice, and this will then enter you in a dragon lottery (no guarantees just keep your claws crossed). The registration process is somewhat complex to learn but you will soon discover that Isle of Wyrms dragons, wyrmlings and hatchlings are all very charming and helpful, so just ask for assistance.

The good news for anyone interested in entering the lottery, a Hatchling Event is coming right up! On March 19th (the Vernal Equinox) to be precise.

Close-up look at 3 Dragon eggs on display in the cathedral on the Isle of Wyrms
Close-up look at 3 Dragon eggs on display in the Isle of Wyrms cathedral
Bast Dragon on display
Bast Dragon on display
Bast Dragon Egg
Bast Dragon Egg
Shadow Dragon hatchling
Shadow Dragon Hatchling

Cathedral, dragons, wyrmlings, hatchlings and dragon eggs all created by Daryth Kennedy.

Slurl to Isle of Wyrms http://slurl.com/secondlife/Cathedral/124/91/102/

Lost in a ‘Lively’ Nightmare!

I decided to take a look at Google’s new online world called ‘Lively’. It was a pretty horrible experience! With very mournful looking avatars and cartoon-ish environments. When you type, your text is attached to you by long voice bubbles that give the impression of pinning you to the web page like a dead moth! I think there were a lot of people dropping in to check out Google’s latest application while I was there, and that added some life to the proceedings. However, if too many arrived at one time we became tangled together like some unfortunate collision more suitable for a scene from ‘The Fly’! Here are a few images brought back from ‘Lively’. The name does make me wonder a little… why ever did they call it ‘Lively’?
Second Life Room in Google's 'Lively'
cyberloom posing in Linden Lab's Room in Google's 'Lively'. Wondering why Pathfinder Linden added the mines? Is he dropping a hint?
Sad avatars in Lively's Science Fiction Room
Mournful looking avatar in Lively's Science Fiction Room
Lost in Lively
'Lost' in 'Lively'
Tangled up of avatars on 'Lost' in 'Lively'
Collision of avatar dna on the 'Lost!' Island
Nightmare Before Christmas
Nightmare Before Running back to my Imperfect World

Thunder-breath dragon blog

Thunder-breath. Green and blue Pelagic Sea Dragon by Flea Bussy.
Thunder-breath. Green and blue Pelagic Sea Dragon by Flea Bussy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Blogs are like lumps of damp malleable clay. We bloggers bend and shape our blogs into little idea carrying vessels, then we display our wares out on the Internet. The Internet is more like a giant car boot sale where people can wander about aimlessly picking up shiny, eye catching objects here and there. This blog is a simple thumb pot (with pictures on its sides), there are cleverer, more highly glazed pots (some could even be termed fine bone china vases) to see out there.

Green and blue Pelagic Sea Dragon by Flea Bussy (underwater view).
Green and blue Pelagic Sea Dragon by Flea Bussy (underwater view).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like to get one idea into my blog and then put it out to be read by the web wanderers. These unfocused ramblers flitting here and there, according to their passing whims, have extraordinary influence. Their gathered searches, funneled by search engines, become geo-systems moulding the shape of the World Wide Web itself. (A chicken or the egg situation, which came first, the searchers or services?) Google Images for instance funnel hordes of dragon-seekers to this blog. Never mind my stunning pearls of insight, my thought provoking reveries into Social Presence Theory or the nature of virtual worlds, my blog visitors are hungry for dragons.

Orange Pelagic Sea Dragon by Flea Bussy doing a loop-the-loop.
Orange Pelagic Sea Dragon by Flea Bussy doing a loop-the-loop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lurking amongst the rocks. White Pelagic Sea Dragon by Flea Bussy.
Lurking amongst the rocks. White Pelagic Sea Dragon by Flea Bussy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Out of respect for these mythological beast hunters I am posting some more dragon images. Now, I wonder who influences who here? I myself am a lump of squidgy clay, never mind my thumb pot blog. I am feeding dragons to my readers, and I have some gorgeous dragons too, more avatars created by Flea Bussy of Grendel’s Children in Second Life™

Red Pelagic Sea Dragon by Flea Bussy flying over dormant volcano.
Red Pelagic Sea Dragon by Flea Bussy flying over dormant volcano.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Dragon flying overhead. Red Pelagic Sea Dragon by Flea Bussy.
Dragon flying overhead. Red Pelagic Sea Dragon by Flea Bussy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Now I am starting to wonder if this blog should be re-named ‘Thunder-breath’? I will have to think about that, but then, ‘thumb-pot’ has a certain something.

To see more of Flea Bussy’s avatars visit Grendel’s Children in Second Life™.

Cyberloom’s most popular post of all time: ‘My Dragon Avatar!’ featuring the metal dragon avatar created by Malathar Xavier.

AngelGate almost ends with a bang…

Box avatar by Flea Bussy dancing a happy dance

Cyberloom doing a happy dance after winning L$1,000 in the AngelGate photo competition. I have a sneaking suspicion there were no other entries in the competition, but I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth (L$1,000 is L$1,000 afterall). I am wearing the box avi created by Flea Bussy from Grendel’s Children, this fetching (and free) avi is perfect when you have no idea what to wear.

Bau Ar in light rays at the AngelGate end of show party

Bau Ur curator of AngelGate galleries dancing in a great ray of light. This celebration marked the official closing party of the “RADIANCE” art shows though Bau Ur wrote in a notecard “the show will remain in place for an indeterminant while longer, but this is the official end.”

Box avi by Flea Bussy at the end of show party at the Angelgate galleries

The party was given the theme “Famous for Fifteen Minutes” and Bau also wrote on the invitation “Guests will be invited to rez objects they have created, and show them around the dance floor to be admired for fifteen minutes at a time. At the end of the last party everyone is invited to rez fireworks, large art, and outrageous particle effects until we freeze or crash the sim. Wo-Hooooo!”

Truthseeker Young standing in front of photo of Cheen Pitney sculpture

Truthseeker Young (one of the exhibiting ‘RADIANCE’ artists) arrived wearing a fascinating avatar (click the photo twice to see the picture’s detail). This outfit demonstrates (one of Cyberloom’s favorite themes) that avatars can truly be works of art in themselves. Truthseeker is standing in front of my photo of Cheen Pitney’s ‘Eagle Dancer’.

Avatar wearing his heart upon his sleeve

This is the avatar of Voodoo Buwan from rezmagazine.co.uk. Voodoo’s avi is wearing his heart on his sleeve and the heart was actually pulsating! (In the background you can see Cyberloom’s photo of Saiwun Yoshikawa’s moving feathers installation).

Angelgate end of show party

At the end of the party the floor was filled with various rezzed sculptures and then in the final minutes there were massive explosions that preceded a cube waterfall. Cyberloom appeared to be protected by her box avi (cube respects cube). However some of the other avatars were less fortunate triggering the following message from Bau Ur:

“Apologies to everyone that got tossed off the gallery roof last night. It was the last few minutes of the party and I okayed and encouraged ‘silly extreme creations’ that ‘normally can’t do at an art show because of prims, physics, scripting or whatever’. the explosions bounced me only about a meter. Apparently various kinds of AOs greatly affected what it did to us. I hope everyone got to see the cube waterfall before crashing. I am pleased to report that the sim itself held up well!”

Visit Angelgate RADIANCE exhibition to see shows which explore the special power of darkness, light, and color in SL art’.

To see more of Flea Bussy’s avatars visit Grendel’s Children.

Earlier Cyberloom post that features the Radiance exhibition at AngelGate ‘3D mind maps and Web 2.0’

Next post will show Cyberloom’s Angelgate photos.

Avatars as celestial bodies (and debutantes)

Cyberloom in demo ballgown by Sacha\'s Designs standing in the ballroom of S.S. Galaxy.Cyberloom posing on board the S.S. Galaxy wearing a Sacha’s Designs (demo) ball gown .

I wonder whether an avatar qualifies as a virtual world in and of itself? That is, it need not be seen as just a vehicle for moving through virtual spaces, or as a communication device with social presence. (Though an avatar is certainly these things.)

A virtual world might be described as a space, or dimension, which:

  • applies a virtual representation that (apparently) complies with real life physical laws,
  • is a metaphor of the real world,
  • immerses us within a 3D imaginative experience,
  • shares a story/narrative of some nature with us.

Perhaps an avatar, our personal metaphor for ourselves, can be a virtual world too? But generally only one individual inhabits an avatar at a time, whereas populations inhabit virtual worlds. It might be fairer to say an avatar can be compared to a small celestial body? A tiny, virtual satellite moon that revolves around it’s larger host planet?

And now, here is proof that it is possible that once avatars lived in a virtual world that seamlessly meshed with the real world, albeit for a brief period of time! Take a look at The Last Debutantes on the BBC website.

Cyberloom in demo ballgown by Sacha\'s Designs standing in the ballroom of S.S. Galaxy.

Cyberloom modeling Sacha’s Designs’ (demo ) on board the S.S. Galaxy.

The art of ‘universal language’

Dear Reader (as Charlotte Bronte would have said had she been a blogger) I have recently been taking a lot of ‘happy snaps’ in Second Life™. These photos record visits to the NPIRL ‘Garden of Delights’ and my avatars (by Flea Bussy) have posed like tourists on vacation for my virtual camera. This has been both an entertaining and thought provoking exercise. I have found myself thinking a lot about imagination, and the social presence of avatars and place within virtual spaces.

Darkle Sands \'Gravity\' and Flea\'s Bronze Sigil Knight (female)

Darkle Sand’s ‘Gravity’ and Flea’s Bronze Sigil Knight (female) (1). NPIRL Garden of Delights. Second Life

One thought is that virtual worlds are successful as communication platforms because they have social presence, and this is achieved by applying real world metaphors to the virtual space. I heard Chuck Hamilton, IBM’s virtual world mastermind, suggest in a talk to the Gronstedt Group, that virtual worlds provide a ‘universal language’ to people of the real world. We can have a meeting of many nationalities in Second Life and everyone will understand what a chair, table or door might be used for. This shared understanding saves a great deal of time and helps people move into deeper discussions where translation is used to address more complex agendas.

Darkle Sands \'Gravity\' and Flea\'s Bronze Sigil Knight (female)

Darkle Sand’s ‘Gravity’ and Flea’s Bronze Sigil Knight (female) (2)

Now the fun begins in virtual spaces when this ‘universal language’ is exploited to communicate on other levels of perception. NPIRL explores its ‘not possible in real life’ paradigm by selecting creations that could not be realized in reality. This is a conscious play on the metaphor of reality that we use to exist within the virtual world. After all, virtual worlds are simply 3D spaces that employ the metaphor of the real world. We move through this 3D metaphor using avatars (a metaphor for ourselves).

Darkle Sands \'Gravity\'

Darkle Sand’s ‘Gravity’

The laws of physics in these representations are based upon the laws of physics of the real world. For instance, we desperately require the metaphor of gravity to help us orient ourselves to the virtual environment (otherwise we might all throw up?). But once we have gained our bearings we have a lark breaking these bonds of logic!

Darkle Sands \'Gravity\' and Flea\'s Bronze Sigil Knight (female)

Darkle Sand’s ‘Gravity’ and Flea’s Bronze Sigil Knight (female) (3)

Virtual art installations, the mini-virtual worlds we can visit in Second Life run a close parallel to books and movies (see ‘Lost in Other Worlds‘ ). They establish logic systems of their own by creating a story-telling space that adds drama! Through emotional interpretation of both real, and virtual, realities another dimension (the fifth dimension?) infiltrates our imaginations and fills our hearts and memories.

For more thoughts on the role of narrative in art, both real and virtual, visit Alpha Auer ‘s blog where she writes:“What I want is unselfconscious narrative, someone getting totally carried away with the story that is inside of them and spilling it all out as visual form. Something that is not just of the “now” but carries embedded in its being a “past”. A personal mythology.”

Darkle Sands \'Gravity\' and Flea\'s Bronze Sigil Knight (female)

Darkle Sand’s ‘Gravity’ and Flea’s Bronze Sigil Knight (female) (4)

The deeper the artist or 3D designer goes with their exploration of their own personal mythology, the more universal symbols they will discover. Art uses ‘universal language’ and has the potential to communicate far beyond the basic ‘chair, table and door’ mentioned earlier. Art, in both the real and the virtual world, can transcend language barriers to communicate complex thoughts and emotions; conveying the social presence of the artist, whilst also touching upon universal truths both magnificent and utterly trivial! It may even be the case that IBM can learn something from the artists of NPIRL about how to use the virtual spaces of Second Life.

If Twitter had been around, Ludwig Wittgenstein might have used it to say: ‘The limits of my language mean the limits of my worlds’ but today, we could twitter back ‘no longer is that the case Ludwig!’

To see more of Flea Bussy’s avatars visit Grendel’s Children in Second Life™

This is the entrance to the NPIRL Garden of Delights! (Only just found it!) Links to this location from inside the garden don’t seem to work! But it makes sense to start here!

Lost in Other Worlds

Are we in a virtual world when we read a book, or watch a gripping movie, and get carried away by their story? We can find ourselves mesmerized by the magical spell of descriptive words and clever scenes, our imaginations captured as we willingly immerse ourselves in these other worlds.

Derek Deluca\'s Chaos within his installation \'Other Worlds\'

Derek Deluca’s ‘Chaos’ from his installation ‘Other Worlds’. NPIRL’s ‘Garden of Delights’. and Flea’s avatar Leader of the Vairy Swarm.

A computerized virtual world could be described as the place where story books and film sets meet. There are different types of virtual worlds; structured gaming worlds like World of Warcraft (WOW), and the more free-form social worlds like Second Life™. I am guessing (as I have never played) that WOW is like an unfolding story, a quest that you follow. Second Life is rather more like an episode of ‘Lost’ where people invent themselves and their stories as they go along because nobody knows the plot.

Derek Deluca\'s \'Heaven on Fire\' and Flea\'s Viper swarm avatar

Derek Deluca’s ‘Heaven on Fire’ (‘Other Worlds’) NPIRL’s ‘Garden of Delights’ and Flea’s Vairy avatar.

The difference here (in the virtual world) is that you (represented by your avatar) are the central character (the star) of the story. The other difference is that the ‘virtual world’ is not described in words, it is visually presented and so bears more similarity to a movie. Yet a virtual world is not a passively watched film scene! Far from it! 3D software wraps the virtual world all around us, hugging us close within its bubble of invention. We can look in every direction, including behind us, and above, and below, and see the virtual space extending towards infinity. OK, a little poetic license here, but it can look like infinity!

Derek Deluca\'s \'Hell on Ice\'

Derek Deluca’s ‘Hell on Ice’ (‘Other Worlds’) NPIRL ‘Garden of Delights’.

To see more of Flea Bussy’s avatars visit Grendel’s Children in Second Life™