I'm sure just about everyone reading this knows a fair amount about Canary already, but in case you missed it, here she is featured in a great video by Draxtor:
And if you're not impressed already, here's here full official bio after the break:
Got any plans this weekend? How about a hot date? With a hot pink pug?
I've been seeing gifs and teasers for Hot Date on Twitter for a while now, and with scenes like the one above you can probably understand why I was excited to see that the pay-what-you-want indie game finally launched earlier this week. There are Mac, Windows and Linux builds available, and you can pay as much or as little as you want for them.
The premise is simple, and a bit absurd. You're speed dating and trying out conversation starters on your current partner, a floppy-eared pink pug with a downcast gaze. It's not the most exciting "date" you'll ever go on, but it will probably be among the more... Unique. The game's itch.io page gives precious little in the way of details about the game, but with gifs and screenshots like theirs what is there that really needs to be said?
As I mentioned, Hot Date is available as a pay-what-you-want release on itch.io. This means you can downloaded it for free if you want. If you do download the game for free, remember that there's nothing stopping you from going back to the page and using the pay-what-you-want checkout to pass the game's creator a tip for a job well done. Either way, enjoy your "hot date"!
Twitch has officially classified Second Life as Adults-Only on its website, therefore prohibiting anyone from streaming Second Life on its game video sharing service. (The company discussed this with NWN last March.) SL blogger Ciaran Laval is upset:
Yes there are adult themes in Second Life, but there are many parts of Second Life with Doctors, universities, hobbyists, sci-fi fans, artists and inexplicable curiosities if you look.
This is all true, but Twitch, which actually has former Linden Lab staff working for it, knows how Second Life actually works. I didn't explain this very well the last time the topic of Adult content in SL came up, and there's still clearly some confusion among the community, so let my try explaining again:
Due to griefing and other factors, extreme, pornographic, violent, explicit and/or offensive-to-many content often appears everywhere in Second Life - no matter what the region rating.
This point is often missed by longtime SLers with an established community who know how to instantly Mute/eject/block/ignore griefers and other offensive content, which sometimes leads them to get confused and offended by Second Life's (unfair) outside reputation as a weird sex land. But social media tells a different story. For instance, the most notorious incident of pornographic griefing in Second Life happened in a G-rated corporate sim:
Coming soon to Apple products, this augmented reality technology:
The acquisition comes a few months after Piper Jaffray senior research analyst Gene Munster said Apple has a small team exploring augmented reality technology. He argued that Apple could help develop AR products that appeal more to consumers than products like Google Glass.">The acquisition comes a few months after Piper Jaffray senior research analyst Gene Munster said Apple has a small team exploring augmented reality technology. He argued that Apple could help develop AR products that appeal more to consumers than products like Google Glass.
Apple's acquisition also means this: Nearly every Internet/high tech giant is now in the virtual/augmented reality industry.
Last week I covered a great blog post from Canary Beck about the Dos and Don'ts of approaching women in Second Life. Although there's a lot of practical advice in both posts, it does only cover one shade of the Second Life dating spectrum. As NWN commenter Merc put it:
I can assure you, men avatars in SL have also the very same creepy approaches by women avatars, no difference. For example, as the reverse of the blogger's statement, me, as a male avatar, the unsolicited IMs I receive typically come from females. And trust me, with the same type of eyebrow-raising communication. As the blogger writes about how men don't believe that you don't feel lonely when sitting on the beach alone, women avatars, just like that, don't believe that a man avatar doesn't want to be seduced every time they are addressed.
It's true, especially if you take even an ounce of care with customizing your avatar. Even in the brief time I've spent with a male avatar on I remember receiving proposals and propositions completely out of nowhere, with almost as much frequency as I received them while wearing my everyday female avatar. But of course I've never spent a significant amount of time presenting as a man in Second Life. Even when I wore that male avatar, my account name and profile were unchanged, so I'm far from qualified to speak to the experiences of those who spend all their time in SL as a member of the sometimes-scruffier sex.
That's why I want to hear from those of you proudly sporting male avs in SL: What are the best and worst ways that someone could approach (or has approached) you in the virtual world? And if you have a non-binary (or even non-human) avatar, I want to hear from you too! As I said, there's a very broad spectrum of possibilities in SL, and mine and Canary's experiences only cover a sliver of it.
As ever, share your thoughts in the comments below!
I was listening to KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic" the other day -- generally considered the most influential music show on the country's most influential radio station -- when up pops a hooky, eccentric, infectiously fun song ranting about virtual reality, virtual worlds, and all the many other strange/freaky/wonderful phenomena emerging all around us, before we quite have time to process them. Let's listen to De Lux's "Oh Man the Future":
More about it on KCRW, which has put the track into pretty heavy rotation. Selected lyrics:
Virtual networking, replaced by social interaction
Virtual reality becomes sub-reality
People make money off being good at life in a virtual game
Oh Man the Future!
Last week's post on Ebbe Altberg's presentation about Sansar provoked some backlash from Linden Lab, who disputed my interpretation that the CEO was suggesting his company would "filter" sub-optimal user-generated content created for Sansar. I've made a correction/update in good faith, but for the record, here's exactly what Ebbe says at about minute 51 of his talk (video below the break) when speaking about a key challenge for launching Sansar:
"One challenge we have is that we don't have full control over the content being created. Users don't necessarily know how to create extremely optimized content that a gaming studio would. So we have to understand how to deal with sub-optimal content, and find ways to automatically optimize content."
One could argue that the very act of identifying and distinguishing "sub-optimal" content versus optimal content by definition involves some variety of filtering, but let that go. Because however Linden Lab decides to deal with sub-optimal content, it brings up a larger, thornier problem. I'm not a 3D graphics expert, but the challenge as I see it basically breaks down like this:
Unless you're creating a user-generated world with procedural/building block-type content creation tools, ala Minecraft or Second Life's prim-based system, where the primitive nature of the graphics is part of the world's charm, you're going to want to build that world with high-resolution 3D models. Which basically gives you three options, when it comes to user-generated content:
If you caught the first and second part of this series of posts, then you already have a pretty good idea of what your options are when it comes to tying a social network into your Second Life self. What you may still lack is an idea of the best way to use these networks. That's particularly true when it comes to Plurk, which is so popular among SL users that they allow you to select "Second Life" as your location. Outside of Second Life however you'd be hard pressed to find people who know what Plurk is, nevermind how to make the best use of it. And that's where part 3 comes in...
Via the Facebook feed of BioShock lead creator Ken Levine, here's an intriguing game on KickStarter from fellow development team members - Perception, a survivor horror game with a unique twist: While it's first-person, the person you play is a young blind woman who explores a haunted house through echolocation. Watch (and listen!):
I'm simultaneously admiring, supportive, and personally NOPE NOPE NOPE-ing at the idea of playing this myself, because it looks and sounds too freaking freaky: