On YouTube's massive community of video bloggers, the "Stripped Down Challenge" is a popular video segment where the vlogger extemporizes unedited about what they think and feel for ten straight minutes. So what happens when the vlogger is an avatar? Something like this:
Last January I told you that Bryn Oh received a grant from the Canadian government to create a Second Life machinima, so I'm glad to show it to you now. Get comfortable, get popcorn, it's nearly a half hour of beautifully moody, dream-like viewing:
"The Singularity of Kumiko" was funded with a New Media art grant by the Ontario Arts Council, and it's a good thing they helped -- because, Bryn tells me, the most difficult aspect of producing this Second Life machinima wasn't artistic, but financial:
"I think the most difficult practical aspect would have been [SL land] tier," as she puts it. "The story had to be written, then built in the virtual environment, then exhibited for months. I was tempted to say writing the story was hardest, then was thinking of the many months it took in building each model for the story... but really in the end the hardest part is paying for a region for so long as it is being created. I accept that it is a part of working in this medium, but it is still a difficult barrier."
Since it was funded by real life arts organization, will "Kumiko" be shown in an IRL museum or gallery?
Because every Internet-powered trend inevitably winds up in some form in Second Life:
Created by Mistell Production Film, the answer to your first question is no, this is not actually a version of Pokémon Go that's playable in Second Life, but a fan-made tribute machinima to the augmented reality game/TV show/etc. However, according to one viewer, there is at least one playable Pokémon Go game for SLers currently in production:
Well this is a pretty excellent treat to come back to after a long weekend: Polygon vidcasters Justin and Griffin McElroy's "Monster Factory" with their best and funniest visit to Second Life -- and for my money, the best "Let's Play SL" video so far. Don't believe me? Watch:
It starts with a party in a giant pizza crashed by a cavalcade of avatars of every possible shape and form, and continues to get increasingly insane, anarchic, and hilarious, to the point where one of the hosts finally enthuses:
"The image I've got right now is two dragons fighting to save a marshmallow man. Second Life is the best game ever made."
I was kinda blah on their previous outings in SL, but with this video, the McElroys finally capture Second Life at its best:
After a long delay, Polygon's Griffin McElroy is back in Second Life for pizza and political-flavored quasi-trolling hijinks. (Watch Part 1 from last September here.) Unlike the many trolls besieging SL lately, Griffin and pal are pretty good-natured smartasses. If anything, I just wish they'd visit cooler, more popular sites in SL. As one of them casually notes, it's sad to see so many well-made places seem like ghost towns. In fact, I'd put it regular NWN readers: What are the best SL sites with lots of regular users with a sense of humor for these guys to visit next?
Now that Trump's virtual mansion in Second Life has become big news, the inevitable has happened:
Like I said last year, trolling videos in Second Life is quite literally a cottage industry on YouTube, so it was inevitable this would happen. And while I generally don't blog trolling videos, this one is actually on the relative low end of offensiveness. (I'm more offended this dude's Trump avatar doesn't look anything like actual Trump.) Even more notable:
Pepa Cometa has a lovely YouTube channel devoted to beautiful photographic tours of noteworthy Second Life sims and scenes turned into music videos -- like this one, featuring "H220", built by Squonk Levenque (SL map location here), cut to a Mumford & Sons track.
Perfect watching while wrapping Christmas presents or preparing to eat Chinese food or airing grievances, here's my favorite five SL-made machinimas this year, with some background on each at each link: