New Technology & Dark Journeys in Second Life

Nitroglobus Gallery (moderate)

JadeYu Fhang↑ has an exhibit at the Nitroglobus Gallery↑ with both works demonstrating  her signature 3d style as well as some glorious 2d “paintings”. I’ve spoken of her before and if you haven’t visited the Song Bird↑ sim you really need to visit each of these locations.

This artist’s belief that the two worlds of the artist (real and virtual) feed each other and complete each other is appropriate for my thoughts these days. The title of her installation at the gallery, Dark Journey, reflects my concern in those thoughts. By the way – she also has the best bubbles I’ve ever seen inworld. :)

It could just be that I’m becoming more cynical and suspicious as I get older, or I’ve been in Second Life too long, but every time there’s an advance in technology I wait for the inevitable uproar/scandal involving the more criminal elements in our world.

Nitroglobus Gallery (moderate)

You’ve heard of 3d Printing↑ I expect. If not, take some time to research what’s happening out there. It is very exciting and will be a boon to people in many industries including, I predict, those who like to steal things.

Not everybody can afford to have their own printer – but, in the tradition of service industries everywhere, you won’t need to. Staples↑, for example, is going to offer to print your objects for you (at a cost of course). You’ll just need to have the file – they’ll provide the output.

One of the aspects of Second Life that I think is underutilized is the ability to prototype everything from small objects to plumbing design to architecture before attempting to build it in the physical world. Creating samples of your idea on the grid is far less costly than contacting a real life manufacturer to build you samples. Now you can prototype and manufacture directly.

When mesh was introduced the big concern was that people would import creations from other parts of the metaverse without permission. Now we should be thinking about people making real world versions of mesh creations owned by others.

Can you imagine the excitement felt by Maxi Gossamer↑ when she held a physical copy of her Second Life jewelry? Her virtual design now available for sale as a real life object to the world at large.

My first reaction was pleasure on her behalf. My second was that this could prove profitable for a lot of inworld creators. My third was less positive.

How long before somebody takes a mesh piece of jewelry or art or anything they like on the grid, has it printed and sells it as their own work? Oh I know there are technical aspects involving higher detail in the mesh etc., but you can bet they’ll figure that out.

I asked the wrong question initially. I wondered if you “can file a DMCA”. Of course you “can”. If you know about it. Finding thieves in the real world is going to be a lot harder than seeing them on marketplace or having your loyal customers report seeing copies in Second Life stores.

My conclusion is that it’s going to happen and creators need to start keeping documentation etc., filing whatever official records they can, to protect themselves. But, knowing that somebody on the other side of the globe is selling your broach to people is going to be almost impossible. Prototyping something for real life and not sharing it with others on the grid will be one approach. But the stuff that’s already out there? The things created for inworld sale or display? The coming years should be interesting.

Leave a comment


  1. sorry babe but i think it mostly goes the other direction. I see things in Second life and even on blog photography that are copied almost exactly from things I saw already on Pinterest. Funny? You decide.

    • Oh I agree that’s what’s happening now! But the market for gorgeous metal jewelry for example is huge. Imagine just plucking a piece you like from the grid and manufacturing it yourself. I’m thinking future of course, the technology is still an infant.

  2. Nathan Adored

     /  December 7, 2012

    I dunno, but I’ve love to have an action figure made from my SL avatar (including the shape, clothes, and attachments (primhair, etc)) to play with. And would love to have an in-world statue of me, where my avatar (with the same shape, hair and stuff) has been turned into a mesh object, different statues created in various poses… say as a neoclassical (that is, ancient greco-roman style) thing with me in ancient robes or tunics. Wonder if we’ll ever get something like that.


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