Stumbling Around, Who Needs Drugs When You Have Second Life?

Toybox (moderate)

This is going to be a very strange – even for me – post. I can’t actually show you any of the things I want to talk about. There’s nothing preventing me from doing so, at least nothing other than my complete inability to make the first subjects pose properly. The second, related, subject is something I won’t actually experience until Sunday.

Confused yet?

Toybox (moderate)

It all started with NAO Adagio. You might remember me talking about Kagami, the amazing Japanese Horror Event from last August. NAO was the scripter behind that huge success and I was heading to his/her store, called Toybox Entertainment, but wound up first on a slightly lower sky platform.

I kept tripping over these bizarre creatures called Krafties – this is a type of breedable game. You can “kraft” your own creatures (which NAO seems to have mastered) and battle, cast spells, etc. They’re free, but extra energy for things can be purchased. They were very distracting as they popped up in this toy landscape.

Then I found this pipe thing, which a different kind of creature kept crawling around, and fell through a cloud.

Toybox (moderate)

Now things got really strange.

I had placed myself in a world populated by Mossms. It was mesmerizing! The scripting is beyond anything I’ve seen so far – particularly for breedables.

First I noticed a Mossm in a tanning bed,  then saw one come over from the other side of the platform to argue about who should be using it. In the middle of food manufacturing equipment, a full gym, and more bizarre scenes, these beings seem to move around and interact at will.

Returning to my screen, after having a conversation with somebody, I realized that they’d noticed me. A few of them came over and were waving and bowing and attempting to communicate. They’re adorable – I just wish I spoke their language.

Toybox (moderate)

The reason I was thinking about NAO this morning is that there is a new hunt at the same place which hosted Kagami. Called the Mine Shaft Hunt, it looks very detailed and just as impressive.

I’ve spoken about my need to avoid acquiring breedables, but I do on occasion willingly humiliate myself by failing at hunts.

I can’t get time to try it until Sunday. Based on the fact that NAO is scripting it, and these two participants I found outside the door, I’m looking forward to it. :)

The Mine Shaft Hunt (moderate)

Kagami 2014, a Japanese Horror Event in Second Life

Kagami 2014 (general)

 I would really love to provide you with images that adequately deliver a sense of the Japanese Horror Event called Kagami 2014. The problem is that I was distracted.

You see I don’t often attempt games and so my focus was entirely on what I was doing, not what I was seeing. I’ll try to give you the more pedestrian information and show you other, more suitable sources at the end of this post.

Kagami 2014 (general)

It started with one of those childhood exercises that exist in all cultures, e.g.,  twist the stem off an apple while reciting the alphabet to get the first initial of your future husband/wife. In this case, the harmless-seeming bit of youthful wisdom became far more sinister:

“Hey, you know what? At midnight, put two mirrors facing each other.
  Then you can see your future spouse in the mirror! “

For most of the children it was just a waste of time. For Kasumi, it became a terrifying adventure. This event is our opportunity to follow and explore in that dark world (kagami means mirror in Japanese).

Kagami 2014 (general)

There are 3 major components to this event. First, it is a game – you wear a HUD which controls your camera and location, and you look for clues and gather objects which are necessary for progress on the journey.

It is also a Hunt; on your way to solving the mystery you look for, and try to collect, 50 yōkai (each releases a soul when you find them). Talk to the right character and you’ll get a map to their locations.

The third aspect to the event is a marketplace. Participants were appearing in the game in stunning kimonos after doing their shopping.

The HUD will hold the objects you pick up, hints (when available), your map, the book where you keep track of the souls you’ve released, teleport buttons if you get stuck, and text conversations with the characters you click.

Kagami 2014 (general)

The good news is that this event will run for the full month of August. Keep that in mind because getting into it is not easy. Even the website is difficult to access. I could before the launch on August 1, so I’m thinking it’s just really busy.

The sim is restricted to 35 avatars. You may have to just be patient and keep trying to enter, but it’s worth it though and there was almost no lag, in spite of all the scripts.

You will also want to make sure you have at least 2 hours to complete the entire adventure.

Kagami 2014 (general)

Set your environment to region default and ensure that your script memory is below 1.0 mg or you won’t be able to get the HUD (you can find instructions for checking that here, or use one of the stands just outside the gate).

Starting the game is easy. You’ll find helpful greeters in the Marketplace if you get stuck and your fellow participants are great sources of instruction. Devin Vaughn was my saviour. :)

I made it half way through and loved it, and I’ll keep trying to get back in to finish. Congratulations to Nao Adagio and the rest of the team!

This video is a wonderful taste of what awaits you and the Flickr group is here. I don’t think I’ll be putting two mirrors face-to-face anytime in the near future. :)

Radicalizing the Metaverse, Bring Your Daughter to a Conference in Second Life

Serena Siesta 2 (moderate)

I’m using Serena Siesta 2 as the backdrop for part of this post because, in a strange way, it reminds me of the Metaverse. We’ve been part of it, and people have been working on it, for years, but it’s really still bright, and shiny, and new.

Something cool, metaversally speaking, is happening over the next two days and I’m going to make a radical suggestion.

Serena Siesta 2 (moderate)

The first Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference and Expo starts today (Monday, May 19) and runs through til 6:00pm SLT tomorrow. Part of the proceedings will be streamed live in Second Life (thanks to AView) and you can watch at the LEA Theatre. The entire schedule is here but there are two sessions we can attend inworld.

Philip Rosedale will be presenting the keynote address this afternoon at 2:00 pm SLT. He’s always interesting, but the one I think will be the most fascinating takes place tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 pm SLT.

Serena Siesta 2 (moderate)

There will be a panel discussion on Creating the VR Metaverse. The group, including Philip and Ebbe Altberg (Linden Lab’s CEO), will address the following questions:

  • One global metaverse or many?
  • Identity and Privacy
  • Virtual World Governance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Avatar Portability and Standards

Now for the radical bit. Look at this list of the conference speakers and panelists. Now look at this next photo from one of the monthly meetings of the group hosting the conference.

SVVR Monthly Meeting

All of these individuals are smart and, I’m sure, interesting. They are also the ones determining the future of our Metaverse. I don’t think I’m alone, though, in noticing a distinct gender imbalance.

I have nothing against men (or even white men, as Otenth points out the overwhelming paleness of those involved), I just don’t see why they should have all the fun. I suggest that if you have a daughter, or know a girl/woman who loves technology and wants to be part of creating something really cool, that you bring her to tomorrow’s session. Have her look over your shoulder while they describe the future of virtual reality.

She might wind up being one of the key players in something which is only going to get bigger and more amazing. It’s an “out of the box” idea I know, still I’d like to hear some women’s voices in those future discussions and it would be a really wonderful way for her to both make a living and have a lasting impact. :)

Lea Theatre (general)
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