A virtual museum done right

So there’s always been lots of talk (and perhaps somewhat less action :) ) about how virtual worlds are potentially great delivery vehicles for education, and schools, and museums, and all like that there.

There are a number of different ways to approach the idea, from wild “pretty much Not Possible In Real Life” things like that amazing and/or disturbing Virtual Schizophrenia build from the other year, to simple “upload my 2D art and put it on the walls of a virtual room” galleries, to novel interactive things that are about other things and that are yet to be built.

As an example of how to build a virtual museum about real-life artworks and artifacts, I can’t recommend highly enough the Peter Vos Museum in Second Life, as covered briefly in these two notes in NWN, and as covered most visually and memorably in this Yesikita Coppola machinima:

The machinima is very well done, and if for some reason you can’t get to the museum itself, by all means watch it.

But if you can get to the museum yourself, I’d suggest doing that first! Or at least second. :) I went the other day (and then got sick and almost forgot that I’d wanted to weblog about it), and am glad I did.

I knew nothing about Peter Vos before visiting the museum, and now I feel both fascinated and well-informed, as well as having come home with some nice souvenirs. The museum is a lovely build, perfectly fit to the purpose, and taking advantage of the SL environment in subtle but effective ways; the lighting is dark with focused lights, as a museum should be, the synchronized slide projectors are definitely synchronized slide projectors, making just the right soft sounds, the little peepholes that let you examine some of the smaller works close up are perfect little peepholes, that zoom your default camera position right in where it ought to be, while making your avatar bend in just the right “museum visitor peering into one of those little peepholes” pose.

About the art itself I won’t say much; it should be experienced. :) Nothing conventional, many many birds, and considerable surreality.

(The story behind the museum, the connections between the artist, the museum builder, and the machinimatographer, are quite a story in themselves, but I’ll let you discover that for yourself also!)

I would commend this both to anyone as a museum to be visited, and to anyone thinking of building a virtual museum (or gallery, or school, or…) as an example of one very effective way to do it. It’s just one point in the (big!) space of possible approaches, but it’s a very well done one, and definitely worth a visit.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2016!

Despite the silly atomic body being busy fighting off some “cold germ” sort of replicators, I managed to make a New Year card! And this is it here!

(I decided not to spam it out to everyone on my friend’s list, ’cause that seems spammy; have I actually done that in the past?)

It’s been a nice low-key sort of year in SL (at least to the extent I’m willing to publicly divulge, mu-hahaha). Lots of things have happened in the world, and I have for the most part just sat (or flown or danced) in more or less my usual places, and smiled benignly at the thought that other people were doing them.

Also I have not written in my weblog much. :) But I am still here! And still infinitely appreciative of my SL friends, creators, people in AVs normal and lovely and ugly and wild, who make the world the amazing thing it is.

(And I will believe in Sansar / useful VR goggles / sustainable server-side rendering when I see them. I am so crotchety!)

Girl Dale notes that her hair actually looks much better than that, and the “capture depth” feature of the viewer camera works with limited success in the presence of alphas.

(Pretty background is the Neva River sim, somewhat the worse for my post-processing.)

WaterMoon Breeze: stuff and scenery!

I haven’t done one of these Neat Things I Found In SL posts for awhile, both because I have been just hanging around the Rise and other familiar places a lot, and because when I do find new neat things, I am too lazy to organize about a post about them.  :)

The other night, though, I followed the usual SL chain of nice pointers and coincidences to WaterMoon Breeze, the sim and build and inworld store and probably also home of MenuBar Memorial, who (among many other things) made the wonderful crazy 50s-style Lucid Dream Together poster for Chasing a Butterfly, the machinima we posted about here the other week.

Turns out this MenuBar feller has some Mad Skillz, and his stores (inworld and marketplace) contain some Really Neat Stuff.  It’s Old SL stuff in the best way (crazy, fun, creative, offbeat, brightly colored), but also extremely polished. Not only can he script and do amazing things with particles (more on that below), but he also does graphic design like a person who does graphic design, so the offbeat brightly colored things actually look good!

 

Watermoon_001

See?  How brightly colored and well-done?  And there is a smart umbrella, and a Breedable Pet Rock, and Weather Devices, and all sorts of things!  Here are more of them:

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Bird-things, and water-things, and all kinds of things! And if you aren’t careful, some things that sort of, well, explode…

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(Hint: something about putting things into Coke…)

Spot the Pun in this one!

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Witty, brightly-colored, and useful…

There is also a long swaying bridge up to a mysterious floating island…

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with interesting things up top which might include, say, a zipline to get back down…

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and at the bottom, naturally, a Hieronymus-Bosch-based merry-go-round.

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In terms of buying things so far I have mostly bought this amazing Orb

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which I have installed at one end of the Park in the Rise (as pictured) where I can sit and alternate between zoning out and wondering how the heck he does it.  (Just when I think I have a pretty good feeling for how particles work in SL…)

So that is that!  Another example of craziness and creativity in SL, for your consideration.

(Oh, and I still have a marketplace store myself, come to think of it!  But I never add anything to it, and no one ever buys from it, so that works out…)

These atomic persons…

I have hardly existed at all for some time, as my atomic counterpart claims to have been “out of the country” and to have “jetlag” and “a plugged ear” and all sorts of unlikely-sounding ailments of that kind.

Also to be in dire need of “sleep”. (I don’t understand why the atomic person can’t sleep while the SL person is inworld doing things, since the converse seems to be well-supported.)

When I have been in, I have been mostly (a) checking the riotvends and lucky boards at Sn@tch (see above), (b) sorting inventory, and (c) now and then going to sets by ‘leet DJs.

None of which have inspired me to weblog about them much!

But here is a neat thing, that I can claim some connection to: Karima and Nat have posted on their entry for this year’s UWA Machinima contest (with the very SL-ish theme of “Transcending Borders”), and you can see it on the web and leave comments and stuff (Karima also says some Wise Things about the Culture of Easy Likes, which should be read and commented on). For this film, I got to gallop about as a horse some (see the amazing scenes with horses emerging from water and walking on tabletops and such), and I helped a little with some of the “data flowing” effects; also it includes inter alia some memes and clips from prior films of theirs, some of which I also did scripting and/or galloping about as a horse and so on in. And it is a great film, perfectly on-theme and very worth watching.

So I bask in the reflected creativity! :)

And I urge my atomic person to drink some green tea with honey, say, and get back in shape so that I can exist more often…

Updated: because in the original version I forgot that some stuff that I did was for this movie, because I always forget things.  :)

Sn@tch will have all my monehs!

From that Ivey:

As you will see there are no Sn@tch-n-Grab or Woeful Wednesday Specials this week. That’s cause I decided to try something new! Rob made me this cute little Mesh @ sign with an arrow and this week you can find them all around the store next to certain vendors. When you find them, the item it’s pointing to is on SALE! Everything with the @ arrow pointing to it is marked down between 0L and 50 L! There are several things this week scattered around the store on every level (including the Bargain Pit) and there is something FREE this week too! I’m hoping to mix this mini sale hunt into the regular line up of specials every week if it goes well! Happy Hunting!

So, being unable to resist quality things under about 75L, I have yet even more Sn@tch outfits to catch up on opening and admiring myself in!

Share the joy and/or poverty! Sn@tch LM

(There should be a picture here of me wearing clothes and all, but I am too lazy and/or busy! It is amazing I have even weblogged…)

Cat and Samurai

Just to show I still exist. :)

Cat and Samurai, a picture

The looks go together surprisingly well, don’t you think?

Second Life is the only reason I need a computer

That may be a slight exaggeration. :)

But my fancy Alienware laptop, which has had various power problems for some time, has been ignoring its power cord for a few days now, either to operate or to charge its battery, and the local convincing-sounding person that I found on Craigslist to fix it says it’ll probably be next weekend.

And the only thing I find myself missing (aside from a few media files trapped on its hard drive because they were too big to keep conveniently in the cloud), is Second Life.

For work and general keyboard-typing, I have this worked-owned Chromebook Pixel, which arguably counts as a netbook rather than a laptop computer. To do work-related stuff I use that to talk to a computer under my desk at work (it’s running a Linux variant, and I don’t even know what brand of hardware it is), and use that to talk to hundreds of other computers out in the cloud somewhere, but those aren’t really mine.

For music and some games and things I have an iPad. But even that I haven’t been using all that much lately, because I finally got my first smartphone, and it takes care of a surprisingly large fraction (near 100%) of the things that I can’t conveniently do on the Pixel.

Which fits in with this whole bizarre thing about how PC sales are down by more than 10%, due almost certainly to how everyone else is also buying netbooks and tablets and phones and things instead.

This suggests that things like Second Life (and for that matter WoW and so on) do need to figure out how to get onto netbooks / tablets / phones, if they want to be relevant to anyone but hardcore gamers with needs for more muscular PCs.

One way to do this is with server-side rendering, but not much seems to be happening with that. (Whatever happened to that server-side version of the SL viewer? Is that still a thing?)

Another way would be to have some lower-resolution world with a lightweight client that could fit onto an iPad, say; maybe something like a more Linden-flavored Minecraft with cute little — ohhhhh, I get it.

And a third way would be to have netbook / tablet / phone viewers that did actual client-side rendering of the usual SL world, and let you interact with it. Hm, anyone tried out Lumiya lately?

Maybe someday I will say “the only thing I need a computer for is taking high-res pictures in SL”… :)