Draxtor Despres' Mixed Reality Documentary Series Returns With the Man Behind Some of SL's Best Designed Spaces

Drax Files Editorial Clarity
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

There's a new episode of Draxtor Despres' mixed reality machinima documentary series The Drax Files: World Makers (which is now sponsored by Linden Lab,) and it's packed with absolutely breathtaking virtual spaces. That's because episode 21 focuses on Editorial Clarity, the aptly named avatar behind SL interior design blog Love to Decorate and its complimentary magazine. As always the opportunity to learn what's inspired, motivated, and changed some of Second Life's most talented and interesting individuals is invaluable.

Clean lines, cracked plaster, and a wealth of inspiration await. Watch the full episode for yourself after the cut:

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Virtual Vlogger Ami Yamato is Back... in Tokyo

 
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Our favorite virtual vlogger, Ami Yamato, is visiting friends and family in Japan this month, and she's chronicling her trip along the way. In her latest, Ami's walking the streets of a Japanese suburb just before midnight, camera held out, and musing about the differences between her homes in Japan and England.

If you've already taken a peek at the video embedded above but are otherwise unfamiliar with this underappreciated YouTube personality, you might be wonder why I'm talking about her as if she's a real person. While she might look like she belongs among a lineup of the latest Disney princesses, Ami is presented as a real flesh-and-blood vlogger. Every now and then she makes tongue-in-cheek references to the programs and people that have made her existence possible, but for the most part she's playing it straight, and that might just be the best thing about her.

If you're looking for an extra dose of Ami, be sure to catch up on the videos available on her YouTube channel, and check out her new Instagram account for some unbelievably unreal selfies.

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Watch it This Weekend: A Second Life Artist Who Found Real World Inspiration in the Virtual World

 
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

The latest episode of The Drax Files: World Makers (now sponsored by Linden Lab) is out, and it tells the story of flockers, an artist who draws real portraits of Second Life avatars. This isn't just about her artwork, though; it's also about how SL has changed her life for the better, bringing her out of her shell and helping her achieve her dream job. It's one hell of an inspiring story, you won't want to miss it.

If you're new to Draxtor Despres' ongoing mixed-reality mini-documentary series about the faces behind some of Second Life's most iconic characters and you're not sure where to even begin catching up, you're also in luck. Draxtor recently posted a video with highlights from the series, so if you're just looking to get your toes wet it's a fabulous place to start!

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Is a Virtual World Lab Better for Students Than a Physical One? Find Out in the Latest Episode of The Drax Files

 
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

If you're interested in the role that virtual worlds can play in education, you won't want to miss the latest episode of The Drax Files: World Makers, Draxtor Despres' ongoing mixed reality documentary series about what, how, and why people are doing what they do in Second Life. 

A chemistry professor at Texas A&M University has been running a particularly interesting experiment -- on her students. By having one group work in a virtual lab while another works in a physical one, both she and her research partner have been observing some pretty powerful benefits for students given the opportunity to work in a digital environment... But I won't spoil the juicy bits. Watch it for yourself above, or head over to Draxtor's YouTube channel to catch up on any episodes of The Drax Files that you may have missed. 

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Where The Magic Happens: Draxtor Despres Interviews an SL Entrepreneur Whose Focus May Surprise You

 
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

It's been a little while since we checked in with Second Life mini doc-maker Draxtor Despres, but that isn't to say he hasn't been busy. The latest episode of his series of mixed-reality resident profiles, The Drax Fles: World Makers, went up recently, and features yet another incredibly interesting creator that many of us may never have heard of. Zach Barkley makes magic in SL. Literally. Scripted, particle-powered spells and mystical effects for fantasy roleplay... Or just for showing off.

All in all this episode is an interesting look at a niche that may not spring to mind when you think about Second Life content creation. Just as interesting is hearing how Zach, who is still quite young, fits virtual worlds into his life (and how friends and family react to them). For me, learning about Draxtor's subjects outside of SL is always as interesting as learning about them inside of SL, if not moreso.

You can catch up on The Drax Files: World Makers over on Youtube, and if you need an even bigger Drax fix don't forget to check out the weekly Drax Files Radio Hour podcast.

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Watch It This Weekend: Don't Miss This All-New Episode Of The Mixed-Reality Mini-Doc Series That Dominated In 2013

 
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

We can't really talk about the best Second Life content of 2013 without mentioning Draxtor Despres and his mixed reality machinima profiles of characters, and creators. This year The Drax Files: World Makers filled NWN's Machinima category with short mini-documentaries about the real lives behind the avatars, and covering them has been one of my favorite parts of writing on this site. It's always interesting to see who Draxtor will cover next-- I'd even say it's half the fun of following the episodes. Maybe it'll be a name you've known for years, or maybe it will be your first time hearing about someone and their amazing work. It's a mixed bag, and a great way to expose yourself to people you may never have crossed paths with otherwise.

Suffice it to say that The Drax Files is a must-watch for anyone interested in virtual worlds and the people behind them. You can watch the latest episode in the series embedded above, or catch up on past episodes on Draxtor's YouTube channel

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Share Your RL Experiences on an Upcoming Virtual World Podcast From The Creator of The Drax Files: World Makers

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Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Draxtor Despres, creator of The Drax Files: World Makers, needs your help on his latest endeavor. Alongside Jo Yardley (who has made an appearace in the mixed-reality machinima series herself), Draxtor is planning to launch The Drax Files Radio Hour, a virtual world podcast. It seems like this new branch of The Drax Files will blend some of the personal content that makes Draxtor's mixed-reality machinima series so compelling with current events and Second Life news items. 

Here's where you come in: While they're setting everything up they're looking to collect your stories for a segment on the first episode. Specifically, they want to hear stories of RL friends or family raising an eyebrow (or worse) at your presence in Second Life. Maybe they even cast a few tired stereotypes your way. In Draxtor's own words, "our goal here is to gather accounts of ignorant statements concerning SL and perhaps to find ways to combat them in the future. Or at least have a good laugh?"

If you're interested in contributing, call up "draxfiles" on Skype to have your story recorded. And just in case you're behind (like I was) be sure to catch up on the most recent episode of The Drax Files: World Makers here.

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Invisible Cities: Masterpiece Mixed Reality Opera Creates a Shared Virtual World Within Los Angeles' Union Station

Invisible Cities mixed reality opera

Invisible Cities is a mixed reality opera playing in Los Angeles' Union Station, and if you can attend this weekend or next week (when the show ends its run) you absolutely should. It's easily the best live public art I've ever seen, and more key, suggests an entirely new medium of performance ideal for the smartphone era, a time when all of us feel constantly connected and simultaneously cut off from the world around us.

Based on Italo Calvino's classic book of the same name, in which Marco Polo tells Kubla Khan about the fantastic cities he's visited in his travels, the opera uses wireless earphones and mics to create a shared virtual world within Los Angeles' cavernous, art deco-inflected train station. The performers quietly sing through small headset mics as they move through the station, and their voices are mixed with the music from a live orchestra at the end of the hall; while this happens, dancers in costumes designed to evoke different eras and cultures also perform throughout the station, creating the sense that they are citizens in these cities that Marco Polo describes.

Watch this video below to better understand what I mean:

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The Drax Files Goes Ourobouros: Watch A Machinima Mini-Doc About A Machinima Maker, Then Make Your Own

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Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

It's that time again! Draxtor Despres is back with an all-new episode of <em>The Drax Files: World Makers</em>, his ongoing mixed reality documentary project that shares the real and virtual lives of some of Second Life's most creative and outspoken users. Episode 12 introduces us to the man behind Ole Etzel and the <em>Mr. Bones</em> machinima series.

Watching this machinima ourobouros might just give you an itch to direct a virtual production of your own, and you're in luck if it does... But first thing's first. Watch episode 12 of The Drax Files after the cut.

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Ami Yamato Meets Breaking Bad: Watch The Latest Reality-Bending Video From A Virtual YouTuber

Ami yamato breaking bad thumb
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Ami Yamato's latest video might be one of her most impressive (and most endearing) yet. The virtual YouTube personality (who I wrote about earlier this year) usually keeps things pretty tame, walking around the very real outdoors or talking about mundane life details in her equally real apartment. Her newest video, however, is a rather ambitious take on Breaking Bad, pitting Walter White against a rather menacing Miss Yamato in a tense stand-off.

I don't watch Breaking Bad myself, so it's hard for me to say, but if you're behind on the show you may want to skip this one.

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