I'm writing this over a large Zwiec pilsner at an open air cafe in the old city square of Krakow (now with wireless Internet!) so I haven't had a chance to see the hardcopy yet-- but yes, as widely reported through the SL blogosphere, the October issue of Wired now on the stands includes a travel guide-style feature on Second Life. Working with Mark Wallace and a team of overwhelmed-but-agile Wired editors (my boy Chris Baker deserves especial props for his heroic wrangling), I helped put together what's hopefully a useful guide to the country of Second Life, both for first-time visitors and longtime Residents. My main contributions (shaped and molded with other hands) were the introductory preface, the American-esque timeline of SL, the nod to its key challenges (I claim ownership of the Bangkok toilet metaphor), and various and sundry highlights of places across the grid to visit. I also contributed some screenshots for the print edition, and plan on running some of the cooler "outtakes" in coming weeks.
After a long absence from SL blogging, fashion goddess Nephilaine Protagonist has been infusing her site with life, playing up her latest designs, especially those for the Nakama anime island she owns with her husband Neil. True to her roots as a long-established designer who's helped so many up-and-comers find their own place in the industry, she also spends about as much time playing up the industrial, locked-and- loaded, graphic novel-inflected styles of Jonny Dusk, here and here.
Daniela Guerrero's Expo entry is a screenshot of Avery Fei. "I was
complimenting her looks," she tells me. "Her face seems to say 'I know'. I think it
came as a coincidence, because we were doing nothing with the avatars
but sittting and talking."
See all the Uncanny Valley Expo entries here; background on the Expo here. Later this month, Clive Thompson will select the semi-finalists!
I'm perhaps the last SL blogger to pump this charge, but if we can at least get a scruffy pair of indy filmmakers to acknowledge Second Life as a country, might as well keep the blogswarm going. Here's the deal: Four Eyed Monsters is a cool-looking quasi-documentary from a hipster couple who've turned their relationship into a feature film. In true Web 2.0 fashion, they're planning a tour of the movie across the US and the globe, but to get them to come to your town (or country), you need to put in a request. (Over 150 requests, and they put your place on the tour.) True to form, the Electric Sheep's SNOOPYBrown Zamboni engaged the filmmakers and got them to add Second Life as a country on the request page. So there we are, in between the US and Afghanistan-- which is, when you think about it, probably the best place for Second Life to be. With enough requests, the filmmakers will bring their tour to SL. (Here's Mr. Brown's original write-up on the campaign. And props to Akela Talamasca of SL Insider for the screen grab.)
I'm honored to welcome Gwyneth Llewelyn as a contributor to New World Notes. A longtime advocate of political activity in-world, Gwyneth's first NWN story, unsurprisingly, is a profile of a new Resident with a truly unique motive for taking on avatar form: A Nobel-nominated professor emeritus who, debilitated by illness and age, has turned his fascinating theories on peace and democracy into an ongoing lecture series in-world. "Creating Peace", Gwyneth's interview with Rudy Ruml, after the break.
"And if you were elected President," Peabody Award-winning Brooke journalist inquires of the former Governor of Virginia, "would you have jurisdiction over Second Life?" At some point very soon, the fact that a serious reporter would half-seriously ask that question of a quite serious political figure will no longer seem quite so surreal. As will Governor Mark Warner's chuckling reply, in which he ponders the tension between "elected, embodied candidate", and the "virtual candidate". (At times, he muses, "they might have policy differences.")
The SL segments of the 9/22 episode begin at about 34 minutes in. Stream the episode here; download the episode here; subscribe to the "On the Media" podcast here.