Archive for the ‘Machinima’ Tag

Creative Commons Licenses Come to Koinup

Koinup, the European-based home of virtual artwork, has announced that you may now set your copyright permissions on your works for Creative Commons allowances. The new capability, which you can set either on upload or on each individual item, includes full copyright and all five standard CC settings (Attribution, Attribution NoDerivs, Attribution NonCommercial, Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivs, Attribution NonCommercial ShareALike).

Creative Commons, in case you’ve been under a rock somewhere, essentially lets you determine what kinds of allowances you will grant on usage of your work.  If you want a full-on copyright, with all rights needing to be cleared through you, you make it the standard All Rights Reserved, and the usual © symbol will be placed somewhere in a legal disclaimer on your page(s).  But if you’re willing to share the work to some degree, you can specify, once you’re familiar with what each of the Creative Commons allowances entails, by making the appropriate settings on your upload.  A different symbol can then be placed on the page, usually something like this:

(as you’ll find in my sidebar very high up the run); or

(you’ll find this on Flickr).  Clicking on the graphic will take you to a page at Creative explaining the rights in detail.  This provides a highly versatile method of allowing others to use your work while still keeping control of it in the end.

To help promote the new capability, Koinup’s owner, pier, has opened a new group called Pile-Up, which is aimed specifically at artists sharing their work with others for the purpose of modification and derivation, then republishing it in the same group in the new form.  If you have a Koinup account, consider joining the group and trying your hand.  If you don’t have a Koinup account, perhaps it’s time…. (grin)

Caerleon Museum of Identity Explores the Question of Who We Really Are As Avatars

Botgirl Questi announced  that a new virtual art exhibit, the Caerleon Museum of Identity, will be opening on Saturday, October 2, at 12:00.  (Her press release was not specific, but I would assume that this is SLT.)  The announcement included a video clip:

You can read the full text of the press release at Botgirl’s blog.  With 18 artists represented in the exhibit, which will run through October, it promises to be a thought-provoking museum.

I say this because this exhibit goes to the point of one of the things that provokes discussion among people “living” and working in virtual worlds:  when we’re looking at an avatar, is that someone’s real identity there?  The anonymity of an avatar gives people wonderful flexibility — with this creation of bytes and pixels, we can be who we want to be, not what we really are.  For some, it’s wonderfully liberating; for others, it allows them to conceal aspects of themselves they’d prefer not to show.  But for all of us, we have to confront the question at least once:  is this what the person behind the other computer is really like?

Most of us play various roles in our RL day as it is, usually linked to our interactions with those around us.  We have one face for the customer in our store; another, a presumably looser version, for the co-workers when we’re in a private moment on the floor or in the back room.  Friends outside of work may see yet another, at a sports game or club-hopping.  Even our interaction with some family and relations, if not all of them, can be a form of role-play; we have favorite grandparents we love to visit, or abysmal aunts we wish would never stop by, and we either display our feelings, or conceal them as deeply as we can out of politeness’ sake.

But what happens when all of the cues built by society and the knowledge base of personal, direct interaction in a meeting are made invisible and irrelevant?

In Second Life, we only have what the person is showing us with words on a screen, or perhaps a voice; and, of course, the appearance they choose to build for themselves out of pixels and prims.  For all we know, the rampaging extrovert with chopped, grungy hair, greasy leather clothes and piercings in places never dreamed of, might be in RL a dramatically shy wallflower with clean, tied-back hair, an ultraconservative wardrobe, and never even piercings for earrings.  Indeed, they might not even be the sex they’re portraying themselves as.  And then,of course, there are the furries, dragons, fae and aliens teleporting all over the place.  One of my favorite avatars from my days at the Blarney Stone was a blue fox.  That surely wasn’t what the person was in real life!

You may want to check out this exhibit while it’s open.  Hang around for a while and meditate on the studies; see what these artists’ thoughts evoke in you.  I haven’t seen this yet, though I may attend the bloggers’ preview on Friday.  But my experience and training tell me that the best art make you think, opens up your senses to a new reality, or a new take on reality.  This virtual world we love and deal in is a reality in itself that needs new thoughts, new philosophers to work out its parameters.  Perhaps the Caerleon Museum may begin the walk toward such an exploration.

Teleport to the exhibit.

Machinima – “Mermaid Witch”

I featured a previous Mermaid Temple machinima a week or two ago in another article.  Here’s one I’ve been hunting for a moment to write about since then, in which the lead actor becomes a water witch.  Very well done!

Posted September 9, 2010 by Harper Ganesvoort in Machinima

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A Ballet Among the Mirrors of Nemo

I discovered this delightful machinima while going through my favorites on Koinup this morning.  Filmed by “kyota” and Mermaid Temple, it shows a lovely pair of ballet dancers, performing to music from Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty.  Enjoy this not only for the dancing, but for the wonderful Art Nouveau surroundings, and for the rotating mirrors — mirrors that simulate reflections in world, as discussed by New World Notes back in July.

New Machinima by Sam Lowry

Thanks to Hamlet Au and New World Notes….

Sam Lowry, a French Resident of Second Life, did the above machinima, which I discovered at Ham Au’s article.  (There’s an excellent stream of comments going on there currently.)

Sam celebrates some of the nicer builds on the Grid, such as Omega Point.  (Again, if your interested, see  the New World Notes article for SLurls to the sites.)  However, the opening of the film contends how, over seven years, the original creativity of the Grid’s Resident founders has given way to such things as the lust for lucre and the Drama Llama.  And there is some sense in this.

New, semi-Utopian societies such as Second Life — yes, there is a degree of cultural cohesiveness to us avatars, and Philip Rosedale started the concept with a very Utopian vision of what it could be — frequently go through a progression that can be charted on a graph as a declining asymptotic curve.  In other words, the line starts out at a high peak, drops in a very steep descent as time advances, then flattens out as it approaches the base line, but never quite reaches zero.  Real World attempts at Utopia — and, by extension and Lowry’s argument, Second Life — follow this same path:  the initial converts enter with a high degree of enthusiasm.  Mighty, puissant works arise from this opening energy.  Then, as more and more people come into the society, they begin to mostly float on the surface without contribution by themselves, for whatever reason.  True Believers will still arrive periodically; but, as time wears on, they become a smaller and smaller percentage of the population.  It never quite reaches zero, but it becomes a fraction of what the society started out with.

This is what has happened in Second Life.  The initial Residents of Linden World had to be creative, because there was almost nothing there.  Those avatars are the ones that forged the Grid out of white-hot prims, fresh from the foundry and the blacksmiths’ anvils.  As time passed, however, and more people joined Second Life, the population trend skewed away from the creative side to the commercial side.  Now it’s getting gradually to the people who are just turistas, ones who don’t want to do anything besides walk about and soak it in.  They look on the Grid more as the game that many contend it is, and have no great desire to do anything creative with it.  Others may have the creative spark, but lack the time, ambition, or resources (financial or otherwise) to pursue their dreams.  This majority, incidentally, are the ones who shape the cultural norms in many ways, and do so by importing their RL sensibilities and foibles onto the Grid.  There, by the magic of computers, they get multiplied and accelerated a thousand fold (grin), and thus you have the appearance of that thespian quadruped mentioned above, as well as the search for Instant Riches from Second Life!

This is not dissimilar to the Real World, if you think of it.  Consider, just in the United States:  out of a population of over 300 million souls, what percentage are actively in any of the creative arts?  And what percentage out of that subgroup are successful at it, in terms of making a steady, reliable income at it?  Expand that out to the world population as a whole, and you’ll find similar numbers.  In any society, you’ll find the extreme minority who offer the creativity.  Some would call them an elite, especially since they are often the ones who contribute the most original and daring ideas, but I shy away from that concept.  Any road, the creatives never disappear, but they become only a fraction of the overall population as the population increases.  The majority by far are content with the status quo, and simply schlep through (for lack of a better term).

Is Second Life then doomed to descend into decadence and decay?  Is this a terrible thing?  Is the Imminent Death of the Grid Predicted?  Only time will tell for sure, but I don’t think so.  This is simply a normal progression; and, while not necessarily desirable from a creative viewpoint, is inevitable as long as avatars are not lifeforms in themselves.  On the day that avatars “wake up”…well, then we may have other things to worry about, like What Is The Matrix.

SL Machinima — “Hierophant”

A moody piece of machinima, very short, entitled “Hierophant” by (I believe) its creator, PooperMr.

This is more of an essay, really, than anything more substantial; the camera work is rough, and one of the angles comes too close to a building for good cinematography.  But the sheer feel of it, the mournful string music and the rain, even the sound of the rain toward the end, get my attention and make this an interesting little film.

Posted April 29, 2010 by Harper Ganesvoort in Arts, Machinima

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Daytripping by RockerFaerie

Not the article I was planning — I didn’t have a chance to finish my research before church and work today — but I came across this as I was moderating some of my Koinup groups tonight.

Posted April 4, 2010 by Harper Ganesvoort in Machinima

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Lovecraft’s Dagon Rises from the Machinima

With thanks to Hamlet Au and New World Notes, I just have to share this:  Dagon, based on the short story by H. P. Lovecraft, filmed by Lainy Voom and a team of creators.

You may want to click through to the Vimeo page and watch this in high definition!  A very impressive film!!

Posted March 31, 2010 by Harper Ganesvoort in Arts, Machinima

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Machinima: Sextan Shepherd, “Nemo”

In announcing the opening of the Nemo steampunk city, New World Notes included this machinima shot by Sextan Shepherd, which gives you a look about the central part of the build:  Captain Nemo’s lab:

If you’re curious, as I am, jump there from here.

Posted March 24, 2010 by Harper Ganesvoort in Machinima

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Return to Creamshop

Spotted at New World Notes:  this lovely 5-minute machinima of one of the small jewels of the Grid, Creamshop region.  Ham asks, “What feelings go through you when you visit Creamshop?”  To which I would reply, “An appreciation of its beauty, along with a melancholy caused by the ongoing drench of the rain there.”  SAZAE Yoshikawa has designed a jewel that has survived the OpenSpace debacle of 2008.

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