Draxtor Despres' mixed-reality interview series just keeps getting better and better. The latest episode of The Drax Files: World Makers highlights MadPea Games, a group who create immersive storytelling environments and game experiences within SL. Kiana Writer spoke for the group and had quite a few interesting things to say about what they do and why... But more on that in a bit. Check out the full episode for yourself, first:
So here's what really leapt out at me as both an SLer and a gamer. Kiana points out that in most games, you aren't really playing as yourself, or even a figure that you strongly identify with, which is what makes MadPea Games' productions so unique. And it's true.
While I may identify with Lara Croft or my level 50 mage in some MMORPG on some level, it's a lot harder to feel the same kind of connection to those characters than it is to my SL avatar. A SL avatar is often an idealized image, but beyond that it's an image we have almost complete control over in terms of their appearance, their actions, and their "progression". There's no story to follow, no equipment ladder you have to scale, no stats to place strategically, so there's much less standing in between you and your connection to your avatar. Taking advantage of this for gameplay is tricky, but definitely appealing.
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Iris Ophelia (@bleatingheart, Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Times and has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and with pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.