The Mainstreet in Sansar

I’ve been exploring for a few days now Sansar, which gives me satisfaction.

As I anticipated in my post titled “That’s why (now) I like exploring Sansar,” it is essential not to make confusion between Sansar and Second Life. Comparing Second Life with Sansar means penalizing Second Life for the graphics and Sansar for the interaction and ease of use.

Right now I’m at The Mainstreet in Sansar. The Mainstreet is an experienceIn Sansar, user-created projects are called “experiences” and are equivalent to SL sims. With some differences that I will illustrate along the way. For now, I schematically anticipate some aspects, in particular:

  • Each user can create a maximum of 20 experiences (free of charge);
  • When you enter in creative mode, you are in an environment very similar to that of the leading modeling software, such as Blender (to give an example):
  • Experiences are built in two ways:

buying objects from the Sansar Store, or

importing 3D objects from the outside in fbx format;

  • The experience is personal, and this means that you can customize your own experience, but not that of others.

The Mainstreet is the experience created by Alfy. In the introduction to the location on Atlas (the equivalent of Second Life Destinations, the showroom of the places on the platform) the creator writes:

I built this city to see how far we can push in Sansar, but I think we have no limits 🙂
City NY LA San Francisco New York

It is an experience that suggests to the mind the cities mentioned, namely New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Personally, the experience brings me closer to the idea of San Francisco (the city I love).

Particularly impressive is the “skyship” that guides the visitor on a suggestive aerial tour. Unfortunately, at the moment, the skyship collides with a building during the journey. This aspect means that the avatars climb on it finally falling.

Another element that would be nice to see improved is the possibility to sit on the seats on the skyship. In the absence of this possibility, I remained standing, enjoying the view as far as possible (until the collision with the building I said earlier).

The Mainstreet is an experience that deserves a visit. Not only to understand how far you can go in Sansar, but also because its structure and architectural choices make it a unique experience.

Another part of the experience that I particularly enjoyed was the beach. A beautiful Ferris wheel and a carousel with white horses embellish it, giving remarkable realism. Unfortunately, the sore point is that even here there is no interaction, so you can not sit on the merry-go-round or the Ferris wheel.

Despite the lack of interaction, I recommend visiting The Mainstreet and taking advantage of the guided tour on the skyship (standing up will not hurt us!).

 

 

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Leggi in Italiano

Da qualche giorno sto esplorando Sansar che mi dà soddisfazione.

Come ho anticipato nel mio post intitolato “That’s why (now) I like exploring Sansar“, è importante non fare confusione tra Sansar e Second Life. Infatti, confrontare Second Life con Sansar significa penalizzare Second Life per la grafica e Sansar per l’interazione e semplicità di uso.

In questo momento mi trovo a The Mainstreet in Sansar. The Mainstreet è una esperienza.

In Sansar i progetti creati dagli utenti si chiamano “esperienze” ed equivalgono alle sim in SL. Con qualche differenza che illustrerò strada facendo. Per ora anticipo alcuni aspetti in modo schematico, in particolare:

  • Ogni utente può creare un massimo di 20 esperienze (gratuitamente);
  • Quando si entra in modalità creativa, ci si trova in un ambiente molto simile a quello dei principali software di modellazione, come Blender (giusto per fare un esempio):
  • Le esperienze si costruiscono in due modi:
    • acquistando oggetti dal Sansar Store, oppure
    • importando oggetti 3D dall’esterno in formato fbx;
  • L’esperienza è personale, questo significa che è possibile personalizzare la propria esperienza, ma non quella altrui.

The Mainstreet è l’esperienza creata da Alfy. Nella introduzione alla località che si trova su Atlas (l’equivalente di Second Life Destinations, lo showroom delle località presenti nella piattaforma) , il creatore scrive:

I built this city to see how far we can push in Sansar, but I think we have no limits 🙂
City NY LA San Francisco New York

Si tratta di una esperienza che ricorda le città menzionate, quindi New York, Los Angeles e San Francisco. Personalmente l’esperienza mi avvicina all’idea di San Francisco (città che amo).

Particolarmente interessante è la “skyship” che guida il visitatore in un tour aereo suggestivo. Purtroppo al momento la skyship collide con un palazzo durante il tragitto e fa cadere gli avatars che salgono su di essa. Un altro aspetto che sarebbe bello vedere migliorato è la possibilità di sedersi sulle sedute presenti sulla skyship. In mancanza di questa possibilità, sono rimasta in piedi, godendomi il panorama fin dove possibile (fino alla collisione col palazzo di cui ho detto poco fa).

The Mainstreet è una esperienza che merita di essere vista, non solo per capire fin dove ci si può spingere in Sansar, ma anche perché la sua struttura e le scelte architettoniche la rendono una esperienza unica.

Un’altra parte della esperienza che ho particolarmente apprezzato è la spiaggia. Una splendida ruota panoramica e una giostra con cavalli bianchi la abbelliscono, donando notevole realismo. Purtroppo la nota dolente è che anche qui manca l’interazione, quindi non è possibile sedersi sulla giostra né sulla ruota panoramica.

Nonostante la mancanza di interazione, consiglio di visitare The Mainstreet e di approfittare del tour guidato sulla skyship (stare in piedi non ci farà male!).

References

The Mainstreet by Alfy

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Sansar Avatar and Camera Control Tutorial (Desktop Mode)

To appreciate Sansar and its wonderful experiences, you need to know how to move the avatar and the camera easily.

In this short video tutorial, I explain how to do. Let’s get started.

After logging in we are in our home, the place where we can customize our avatar and easily access the Sansar Social Hub. We will deepen the topic of the Sansar Social Hub, for now, we just need to know that it is a meeting place, the place where meeting other Sansar users.

After logging in, it’s normal to feel newbie. I joined Sansar after two years of absence and felt like when I first logged into Second Life. That’s okay. Let’s see how to move the avatar and how to move the camera independently from the avatar. Moving the camera independently of the avatar is very useful especially when you want to explore without the constraint of the avatar’s view. It is also useful for making videos (machinima).

To move the avatar in Desktop Mode (so no VR), just use it:

  • Arrows: forward, backward, right and left;
  • WASD: forward, backward, right and left:
  • SHIFT: Switches to run mode. SHIFT again, it’s back to walking.
  • F3: to switch from the first person to third person view;
  • Central mouse wheel: clicking on a specific point of the experience we are visiting with the central mouse wheel, you are teleported to that specific point;
  • Right mouse button + arrows or WASD: movement around the most gentle avatar, similar to SL. Removes the preset 45-degree movement.

To move the camera in Desktop Mode (so no VR), just use it:

  • right mouse button + drag: rotate the camera around the surrounding environment;
  • F4: enters Free Camera Mode. You can move the camera freely, regardless of the avatar. The camera no longer rotates around the avatar, but you can explore the experience regardless of the position of the avatar;
    • F4 pressed + arrows: moves the camera forward, backward, right and left;
    • F4 pressed + WASD: moves the camera forward, backward, right and left;
    • F4 pressed + E, C: moves the camera up and down;
    • F4 pressed and + sign: increases the speed of movement of the camera;
    • F4 pressed and sign –: decreases the speed of movement of the camera.

At the end of the article, I leave all references to Sansar.

Leggi in Italiano

Per apprezzare Sansar e le sue splendide esperienze, è necessario sapere come muovere l’avatar e la camera in modo agevole.

In questo breve video tutorial spiego come fare. Iniziamo.

Dopo il login ci troviamo nella nostra abitazione, il luogo dove possiamo personalizzare il nostro avatar e accedere con semplicità al Sansar Social Hub. Approfondiremo l’argomento del Sansar Social Hub, per ora ci basta sapere che è un luogo di incontro, dove confrontarsi con gli altri utenti di Sansar.

Dopo il login, è normale sentirsi newbie. Sono entrata in Sansar dopo due anni di assenza e mi sono sentita come quando ho loggato in Second Life la prima volta. Va bene così. Vediamo come muovere l’avatar e come muovere la camera indipendentemente dall’avatar. Muovere la camera indipendentemente dall’avatar è molto utile soprattutto quando si vuole esplorare senza il vincolo della visuale dell’avatar. Inoltre è utile per realizzare video (machinima).

Per muovere l’avatar in Desktop Mode (quindi no VR), basta usare:

  • le frecce: avanti, indietro, destra e sinistra;
  • WASD: avanti, indietro, destra e sinistra:
  • SHIFT: passa alla modalità corsa. Ancora SHIFT si torna a camminare.
  • F3: per passare dalla visuale in prima persona alla terza persona;
  • Rotella centrale del mouse: cliccando su un punto specifico dell’esperienza che stiamo visitando con la rotellina centrale del mouse, si viene teletrasportati in quel punto specifico;
  • Tasto destro del mouse + freccie o WASD: movimento attorno dell’avatar più gentile, simile a SL. Toglie il movimento preimpostato a 45-gradi.

Per muovere la camera in Desktop Mode (quindi no VR), basta usare:

  • tasto destro del mouse + trascinamento: ruota la camera intorno all’ambiente circostante;
  • F4: entra in Free Camera Mode. Si può muovere la camera liberamente, a prescindere dall’avatar. La camera non ruota più intorno all’avatar, ma può esplorare l’esperienza a prescindere dalla posizione dell’avatar;
    • F4 premuto + frecce: muove la camera avanti, indietro, destra e sinistra;
    • F4 premuto + WASD: muove la camera avanti, indietro, destra e sinistra;
    • F4 premuto + E, C: muove la camera su e giù;
    • F4 premuto e segno +: incrementa la velocità di movimento della camera;
    • F4 premuto e segno –: diminuisce la velocità di movimento della camera.

In fondo all’articolo lascio tutti i riferimenti relativi a Sansar.

Sansar Useful Links

Video Tutorial

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That’s why (now) I like exploring Sansar

Sansar

Read in English

A couple of days ago, I came back to Sansar after a long absence.

Sansar is the virtual platform of LL designed for virtual reality: it is a virtual world with realistic and high-level graphics.
As known, when Sansar opened its doors to everyone, the curious Second Life users explored the new virtual world. However, after a brief exploration, the majority of them did not deepen their knowledge of the platform, preferring to return to the reassuring arms of SL. I included.

What went wrong?

Probably one of the main reasons why the majority of SL users did not deepen their knowledge of Sansar (despite the spectacular graphics, which are sure) is the expectation of a graphically better SL. However Sansar is not SL and does not want to be.

When we enter Sansar, we should not expect a graphically better SL, but a virtual platform other than SL.

This first point is essential to understand Sansar and to know it in its facets.
When I joined Sansar, I made the mistake of the majority of SL users: I expected a better SL, so I thought that to move, build, interact, it was enough to know SL. Nothing more false.

Sansar should be known from scratch because it is a different platform from SL. This one is the bad news which I prefer to give immediately.
The good news is that you don’t need to be a computer engineer to get to know Sansar. With passion and a little patience, you can start to understand the advantages of this hyper-realistic virtual world.
After returning to Sansar, I immediately felt a need: the voice conference. Unfortunately, in Sansar, it is currently only possible to converse in local, while to communicate with one or more specific friends, it is necessary to write a message. If I wrong, please tell me.

So I launch this “cry of pain”: why not introduce the voice conference?

I will introduce in the blog some short tutorials to understand how to move and have confidence from the beginning with the interface of Sansar.

Why did I make this decision, after having expressed not enthusiastic opinions about Sansar in the past?

Because, after coming back and looking at it with different eyes, I think that, beyond the virtual reality, Sansar deserves to be explored and experienced. A reason? For example, the extreme ease in importing 3D objects created in special programs for construction.
Another reason? In Sansar, there are currently some enchanting experiences that I will talk about in my next posts.
For now, I share some photos of myself in my home in Sansar. The house is the same for everyone, and we find it already furnished and is the point of arrival at the login.

Leggi in Italiano: Perchè (ora) mi piace esplorare Sansar

Un paio di giorni fa sono tornata su Sansar dopo una lunga assenza. Sansar è la piattaforma virtuale della LL pensata per la realtà virtuale: è un mondo virtuale con una grafica realistica e di alto livello.

Come noto, quando Sansar aprì le porte a tutti, gli utenti di Second Life, incuriositi, hanno esplorato il nuovo mondo virtuale. Tuttavia, dopo una breve esplorazione, la maggioranza di loro non ha approfondito la conoscenza della piattaforma, preferendo tornare tra le braccia rassicuranti di SL. Me compresa.

Cosa è andato storto?

Probabilmente una delle principali ragioni per cui la maggioranza degli utenti di SL non ha approfondito la conoscenza di Sansar (nonostante la grafica spettacolare, su cui non si discute) è l’aspettativa di una SL graficamente migliore. Tuttavia Sansar non è SL e non vuole esserlo.

Quando entriamo in Sansar non dobbiamo aspettarci una SL graficamente migliore, ma una piattaforma virtuale diversa da SL.

Questo primo punto è essenziale per comprendere Sansar e conoscerlo nelle sue sfaccettature.

Quando entrai in Sansar commisi l’errore della maggioranza degli utenti di SL: mi aspettavo una SL migliore, quindi credevo che per muovermi, costruire, interagire fosse sufficiente conoscere SL. Nulla di più falso.

Sansar va conosciuto da zero, perchè è una piattaforma totalmente diversa da SL. Questa è la cattiva notizia, che preferisco dare subito.

La buona notizia è che per conoscere Sansar non occorre essere ingegneri informatici e con un po’ di passione unita a una piccola dose di pazienza, si potranno iniziare a comprendere i vantaggi di questo mondo virtuale iper-realistico.

Dopo essere tornata su Sansar, ho avvertito da subito una esigenza: la conferenza vocale. Purtoppo in Sansar è attualmente possibile solo conversare in local, mentre per comunicare con uno o più determinati amici, è necessario scrivere un messaggio. Se sbaglio, vi prego di scriverlo in un commento.

Lancio allora questo “grido di dolore”: perchè non introdurre la conferenza vocale?

Detto questo, introdurrò nel blog dei brevi tutorial per capire come muoversi e avere sin da subito confidenza con l’interfaccia di Sansar.

Perchè ho preso questa decisione, dopo avere espresso in passato opinioni non entusiaste su Sansar?

Perchè, dopo essere ritornata e averlo guardato con occhi diversi, credo che, al di là della realtà virtuale, Sansar meriti di essere esplorato e vissuto. Un motivo? Ad esempio l’estrema facilità negli import di oggetti 3D creati in appositi programmi per la costruzione.

Un’altra ragione? in Sansar ci sono attualmente alcune esperienze incantevoli di cui parlerò nei prossimi post.

Per ora condivido alcune foto di me nella mia casa sansariana. La casa è uguale per tutti, la troviamo già arredata ed è il punto di arrivo al login.

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Why You Feel the Need to Share on Social Media?

Read in English

Sharing on social media what we want others to see. Choose carefully the content that we post to have the appreciation of others, the likes, the applause of our audience. Living by sharing every day, checking that what we have shared is appreciated, in turn, shared and recognized as valuable.
It is the disease of our time.

Foolishly we seek the consent of people who, in most cases, we do not even know.

Why? What drives us to share our lives, our thoughts, our desires, and our moments?
The answer is only one: the other’s approval.
Why do we want the approval of others so much? Here, too, the answer is simple: to increase our self-esteem.
Not me, but psychologists of the caliber of Wilcox and Stephen who highlight this aspect in the text “Are Close Friends the Enemy? Online Social Networks, Self-Esteem, and Self-Control”.
I agree with this vision.
The need to share aspects of one’s life is closely linked to the need to feel better.

You share to create an online image that makes you feel better offline.

Sharing information or newspaper articles is not, of course, part of this narrative. Those who share information do so to enrich themselves also through the stimulation of the opinion of others. On Facebook, there are many groups in which it is possible to share views, compare, and learn.
However, there are many cases in which people show their life moments, whether positive or negative. The aim is to attract the attention of friends to feel close to them in their utterances.
Feeling close to friendsthat sounds like a positive expectation. Who doesn’t want to feel close to friends during the moments of their life?
There would be no problem if social media could be a tool for keeping people in touch who know each other and support each other.
However, social networks are mostly used to have an audience, to generate consensus.
We all fell for it a bit.
We need to remember that those who have solid self-esteem do not need to share the moments of their life. They don’t feel the need to create an image of themselves that others appreciate.
There is a subtle trap in the game of sharing: the selection of content. That is, we share what we think others might like, giving an image of us that is misleading, not true.

We implicitly despise those parts of us that we don’t want others to know, hiding them under the carpet of shame.

And so we despise ourselves. None of us is 100% positive, just as none of us is harmful.
But then what does positive and negative mean? For some, positive has a meaning that for others, is simply inconceivable.
Self-esteem passes through the acceptance of oneself, for better or for worse.
Self-esteem is understanding and indulgence towards our human misery that spares no one.
Self-acceptance is to love oneself in a profound understanding of one’s own identity and life situation.

Self-love is to understand that the only faithful travel companion who will never abandon me… is me.

When we are at peace with ourselves, we do not feel the need to share anything, because it is not from a virtual image that we draw our energy. It’s from being aware of who we are and consistent with our identity.
Everything else is a pretext.

Leggi in Italiano: Perchè Senti L’Esigenza di Condividere sui Social Media?

Condividere sui social quello che vogliamo che gli altri vedano. Scegliere accuratamente i contenuti che postiamo con l’intenzione di avere l’apprezzamento altrui, i likes, gli applausi della nostra platea. Vivere di condivisione ogni giorno, controllando che quello che abbiamo condiviso sia apprezzato, a sua volta condiviso e riconosciuto di valore.
E’ la malattia della nostra epoca.
Insensatamente cerchiamo il consenso di persone che, nella maggioranza dei casi, non conosciamo nemmeno.
Perchè? Cosa ci spinge a condividere la nostra vita, i nostri pensieri, i nostri desideri e i nostri momenti no?
La risposta è una sola: l’approvazione altrui.
Ma perchè desideriamo così tanto l’approvazione altrui? Anche qui la risposta è semplice: per aumentare la nostra autostima.
A dirlo non sono io, ma psicologi del calibro di Wilcox e Stephen che mettono in evidenza questo aspetto nel testo “Are Close Friends the Enemy? Online Social Networks, Self-Esteem, and Self-Control“.
Condivido questa visione.
La necessità di condividere aspetti della propria vita è strettamente collegata con il bisogno di sentirsi meglio.

Si condivide per creare una propria immagine online che ci faccia sentire meglio offline.

Naturalmente la condivisione di informazioni o di articoli di giornale non rientra in questa narrazione. Chi condivide informazioni lo fa per arricchire se stesso anche attraverso la stimolazione dell’opinione altrui. Su Facebook esistono numerosi gruppi in cui è possibile lo scambio di opinioni, il confronto e l’apprendimento.
Tuttavia sono numerosi i casi in cui le persone condividono i propri momenti di vita, positivi o negativi che siano. Ovviamente lo scopo è attirare l’attenzione degli amici per sentirli vicini nelle proprie esternazioni.
Sentire vicini gli amici… detto così sembra una aspettativa positiva. Chi non desidera sentire vicini gli amici durante i momenti della propria vita?
Se i social potessero davvero essere uno strumento per mantenere in contatto persone che si conoscono realmente e che si sostengono a vicenda, non ci sarebbe nessun problema.
Tuttavia i social sono usati per lo più per avere una platea, per generare consensi.
Ci siamo cascati un po’ tutti.
Bisogna ricordarsi ogni tanto che chi ha una solida autostima non ha bisogno di condividere i momenti della sua vita, nè sente l’esigenza di creare una immagine di sè che gli altri apprezzano.
C’è una trappola sottile nel gioco della condivisione: la selezione dei contenuti. Ovvero, condividiamo quello che pensiamo possa piacere agli altri, dando una immagine di noi fuorviante, non veritiera.

Implicitamente disprezziamo quelle parti di noi che non vogliamo gli altri conoscano, nascondendole sotto il tappeto della vergogna.

E così ci disprezziamo. Nessuno di noi è positivo al 100% così come nessuno di noi è negativo in senso assoluto.
Ma poi cosa significa positivo e negativo? Per alcuni positivo ha un significato che per altri è semplicemente inconcepibile.
La autostima passa attraverso la accettazione di se stessi, nel bene e nel male.
L’autostima è comprensione e indulgenza verso la nostra miseria umana che non risparmia nessuno.
L’accettazione di sè si ottiene amando se stessi nella profonda comprensione della propria identità e situazione di vita.

L’amore di sè si ottiene comprendendo che l’unico vero compagno di viaggio che non ci abbandonerà mai… sono proprio io.

Quando siamo in pace con noi stessi non avvertiamo l’esigenza di condividere nulla, perchè non è da una immagine virtuale che traiamo la nostra energia, ma dal fatto di essere consapevoli di chi siamo e coerenti con la nostra identità.
Tutto il resto è una scusa, un banale pretesto.

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Eastshade: a first-person, open-world exploration game

Art is a fascinating aspect of every virtual world. It is so compelling that in some games, it is the predominant aspect.

In about ten years, I’ve tried out several virtual worlds, including Sansar, High Fidelity, SineSpace, Minecraft, and some other lesser-known virtual environments.

Now I’m exploring Eastshade, a game born in 2013. Some call it a fantastic virtual world; others call it a simple game. As often happens, there are criticisms about how the platform can be defined.

What’s Eastshade?

From the official website you can read:

A first-person, open-world exploration game

If I could afford to give a definition, I would say that Eastshade is the virtual world-game of artists or art lovers.

You don’t need to have artistic talents to exploit the potential of the virtual platform.

In Eastshade, there are no enemies that attack us and prevent us from exploring the land. However, only through interaction with the locals and through paint do you get scores that allow you to access the next area.

I installed Eastshade a few days ago, and I’ve already fallen in love.

Walking along the paths and exploring the land, it is impossible not to feel the need to take a picture or, even better, to record a video.

The view is breathtaking, as you can see from the images I share in this post.

There is no lag, the game is fluid, and I have never experienced a slowdown.

It’s essential to know English because the languages available are English, German, Russian, and Chinese. I am Italian, so English is my only chance to play.

Eastshade is a payment game

Eastshade cost € 20,99 now. You can purchase on Steam.

Eastshade Store on Steam

What do you suppose to do in the game?

The game consists, as I mentioned above, in exploration, painting, and interaction.

On the official website you can read:

You are a traveling painter, exploring the island of Eastshade. Capture the world on canvas using your artist’s easel. Talk to the inhabitants to learn about their lives. Make friends and help those in need. Discover mysteries and uncover secrets about the land. Surmount natural impasses to reach forgotten places. Experience how your actions impact the world around you.

The following infographic explains very well what you do in the game to level up and acquire the right to explore new lands.

Now, a word about the developers. It’s possible to find information about the authors on the official website where you read:

Eastshade Studios was founded in December 2013 when Danny quit his day job as a 3D environment artist in triple-A games to build a weird world (Eastshade). With collaborators sprinkled around the globe, we are committed to making worlds that feel like real places, explored through non-violent mechanics.

While experimenting with the game, I acquired some useful keyboard commands that I share with pleasure.

Eastshade keyboard controls

  • WINDOW + D → Minimizing (for all games)
  • ALT + ENTER → Windowed Mode (for all games)
  • E or Left Mouse Botton → Interact
  • Right Mouse Button → Walk
  • Mouse Movement → Look
  • WASD → Move
  • Space → Jump
  • J → Journal
  • Left Shift → Run
  • R → Autowalk
  • Ctrl → Crounch
  • TAB → Open Inventory

My opinion

If you love art and you are not an enthusiast of fighting games you will be thrilled by Eastshade.
I’ve explored games that offered captivating virtual worlds, but where I died in 5-10 minutes.
Finally, I can take pictures, explore, and make videos in peace.

Eastshade Links

Eastshade Official Site

Eastshade Blog

Eastshade Youtube Channel

Buy Eastshade on Steam

Eastshade Trailers

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LEA Project – news and how to be part of the next “LEA Committee.”

I’ve received today an email from Linden Lab™ informing me of the news about the LEA project evolution.
I don’t hide that the answer satisfies me since the decision of LL is oriented to give everyone equal chances to be involved in the active part of the project.
Here is the text of the e-mail.

Dear Oema,

Thank you for your expressed interest in the Linden Endowment of the Arts (LEA) program. As this program comes to an end we are considering our options to move foward with Arts Program support. Once a decision is made on how best to support the amazing talents within the Second Life community we will post a public blog so that everyone will have an equal opportunity for involvement.

Thank you for your support of The Arts in Second Life,

Linden Lab™

I think it is essential people who have been part of the SL artistic community for a long time have the opportunity to apply for the new project (what will be its name? To understand each other, we keep calling it “LEA”).
In my previous article, I highlighted the thoughts of the community and some ideas about the new project. I also expressed my views about the importance of an employee of the LL like a supervisor.
This involvement would be useful to avoid disagreements in the management team and would allow choices in line with the quality standards that an important project like this requires.

We have to wait for the decisions of the Linden Lab™ and give our availability as soon as possible.
I will publish updates about it as soon as I know about it.

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LEA closing, voice to the Community: suggestions, ideas and new projects

The announcement of the LEA project closure has alienated those who, for various reasons, work in the SL artistic field.
I tried to understand the reasons for this bitterness, what went wrong in the LEA project, and what the artists expect from a new one.
To do this, I asked the question in my group dedicated to art and artists on Facebook, named “Art and Culture in Virtual Worlds Community.”
Exciting answers emerged that made me think about different aspects.
In this article, I want to talk about the LEA project, what it was, its criticisms, and the expectations that the community has for the future.

The LEA project

The original project involved a collaboration between some SL members and LL. The praiseworthy initiative started from some passionate art people and LL itself. The result of this collaboration was the management of 29 regions. Nine called CORE and destined to rapid projects, with short residence time, and 20 areas intended for the Artists In Residence (AIR), that hosted longer duration projects (up to at six months).
The statute highlighted the artists’ ideas of hospitality and collaboration with the gallery owners. Significant projects that have worked very well for a long time.

What went wrong

Then later, something has changed. The presence in the LEA Committee of bothering people added some Committee members had abandoned the project. Plus the tendency not to be accountable to the community for the decisions taken by the Committee has given the impression of a closed group, whose decisions seemed inscrutable.
Even the official LEA project website seemed to have been poorly managed from a communicative point of view. It did not allow people to be aware of ongoing initiatives and installations.
The weaknesses of the LEA project have emerged very well from my conversation with Roxy Gellar, a very active user in the relevant LEA conversations on Facebook.
Here is our conversation:
Oema: What do you think about LEA closing? Honestly, please.
Roxy Gellar: Closing LEA isn’t necessary, going that far goes to show just how distant from the community the volunteers managing LEA became, through ego and control issues. They were removed from the community and accountability.
That said, Eliana (Oema’s real name), it doesn’t have to stay that way. I’ve suggested quarterly “town hall” meetings open to all during which ideas could be discussed, perhaps a vote was taken on a policy if say, 2/3rds of the inworld group are present. If really pro-active? Survey Monkey votes could be an option. Transparency and accountability should be a part of the foundation for a possible revival of LEA.
Besides, shorter periods for volunteers on the board as well as for artists in residency. Again I suggest four months turnovers. Board member/volunteers and artists both could go on the bottom of a volunteer list that is kept open and growing. Fresh blood and shorter terms would help prevent things from going stale and also prevent egos from becoming unresponsive to the greater community.
Oema: true. What do you think about the LEA 2.0 project? Can be a solution? Or you think more can be done?
Roxy Gellar: I think if they revamp the idea towards less authoritative management and more community involvement, it might be a good thing. On the other hand? It could be that SL has had its day, hopefully not the case. If an active community involved in actually maintaining art in virtual reality isn’t possible? At least we still can enjoy the Mavericks who largely work independently in SL.
Oema: excuse ignorance, who are the Mavericks?
Roxy Gellar: Cherry Manga for one. And although they may have participated in LEA, Byrn Oh continues far beyond, Nina Camplin (no longer in virtual reality) could perhaps be courted, Kimeu Korg who I’ve largely seen outside of SL, Silas Merlin. I’d also try to incorporate TheEye Gallery, Diotima, among others.
Come to think of it, if six to eight regions were supplied to galleries to manage it could provide additional support and lessen the burden on a LEA volunteer board. On a rotation basis as well.

I believe Roxy has highlighted two important points:

  • The LEA project failure may be due to the lack of involvement of the art community and to “keeping to oneself” the project and its choices;
  • LEA could close an era that has run its course. If there is a new project, it is important that the committee is at the service of the art community and not aimed at its ego.

What the art community expects from a new project

I believe the art community expects to be heard and involved in decisions.

This aspect is possible above all through a rotation of the committee members.

Jonesy Bewohner explains it well:

 I think those who are on the LEA staff should have at most a 1 year stint. That’s it. Every January 1st an entire new staff is elected. Those who were on staff before can remain as volunteers, but if you were elected before you cannot be re-elected again.

Also, Maria Duna Gant is clear:

I read the comments and I agree with many of them. The “committee” led by the LEA should not be perpetuated for years. LEA should be a participatory entity. All of us who work for years with virtual art are likely to be able to comment or participate in the project. Artists (all kinds of artists, 3D, photographers, musicians etc) gallery owners, bloggers, virtual art collectors. We have ALL helped virtual art remain in SL. Therefore, I think it would be very important to listen to all who had an opinion and choose among them the representatives of the LEA, and above all, for a limited time.

About her proposal:

My proposal, more concrete, for a future LEA is:
Invite ALL who have collaborated with virtual art during these years (I repeat, artists of all kinds of arts, bloggers, gallery owners, collectors)
When the group has a sufficiently large number of participants to be representative of the SL art world, ask all of them to voluntarily introduce themselves to those who would like to be part of the LEA work team.
If there is a larger number of candidates than the positions to be filled, take a vote (one vote per avatar) only open to the participants of the group, to choose which people would be in the working group.

My ideas and proposals

By now, I have been dedicating myself for several years to articles and videos about artistic events in SL. I believe that one of the essential aspects of a new project similar to LEA is communication.

In addition to inviting artists, being available, helping them in what is needed, it is essential to write and document, perhaps through videos, the artistic installations hosted. This activity will have the double positive effect of paying tribute to the artists and documenting the work carried out over time (which justifies the collaboration between LL and the artistic community).

I believe in particular that:

  • One month is enough to prepare the installation; you can always agree on more extended periods, if necessary, with each artist;
  • A month is more than enough for the show. A more prolonged period is useless because the visits begin to diminish;
  • It is essential to ask the artist to be original and not to propose copy-installations of others already made;
  • The creation of a professional site, rich in videos and content, is essential. The artists themselves could be given a voice, through interviews, surveys, etc .;
  • Listen to the art community that expresses itself mainly on Facebook and the official SL page;
  • Flexibility, or ability to quickly change one’s ideas to the needs of the artists;
  • Advertising and promotion: the committee should take responsibility for promoting the installations, as well as the artists it hosts. Once again, communication is an important aspect.

The LEA 2.0 initiative

It was born from the idea of Tansee Trillium who wants to collect ideas and suggestions for a new project to be presented to the LL.

To send your suggestions to Tansee, go to LEA 2, where a box for ideas is.

Ask LL to join the new committee

If you want to present your ideas directly to LL asking to be part of the new committee, write to editor@lindenlab.com, to the attention of Derrick and Patch Linden.

Conclusions

I believe a project similar to LEA should be having a Linden employee as a supervisor, to prevent the committee from being used to satisfy its ego.

Periodic rotation of members is also essential.

I gave my availability to the LL for the realization of a new project. I hope that many do the same.  

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Second Life destroyed by Italian press: the murder of Paolo Vaj

Second Life described superficially like “role play” or even as “platform where people give free rein to their fantasies” by Italian Press.

Once again, the Italian press does not miss the opportunity to cast a shadow over the gaming platform of Linden Lab. The pretext of so much denigration is the murder of Paolo Vaj, shot dead by Angelica Comaci, Patrizia Armellin‘s virtual daughter.

Patrizia and Angelica played the roles of mother and daughter in Second Life. Those who live in SL know that many situations of family relationships exist. These roles are distinct. People who pretend family relationships in SL are aware that it is a fiction. Patrizia and Angelica had probably crossed the game’s limits, confusing a role played with real Life.

However, the Italian press does not make differences or clarifications, and hastily defines the virtual relationship between mother and daughter as “sick,” a “mental disorder.”The one between Patrizia and Angelica was probably sick (I am not sure since I don’t know them). I read in the press that the magistrate will ask for a psychiatric examination to ascertain the mental illness.

The Italian press speaks about Second Life as a “role play” and subsequently, not satisfied, defines it as a “platform where people give free rein to their fantasies.” In those” fantasies,” it suggests a world of frustrations, of unexpressed libido, violence, and masochism.

In fact, in Italian, there is a noticeable difference between saying “gives free rein to the imagination” and say “gives free rein to his fantasies.”
Italians are aware of the negative propaganda that the press gives to SL. We know that the reporters describe SL players as “mentally disturbed.” Reporters don’t think Imvu or High Fidelity players are “mentally ill,” they instead believe SL players are problematic people.

Perhaps because reporters see SL as a “platform to express one’s unexpressed fantasies.” Imvu and High Fidelity offer the same opportunities in Second Life, but those who populate these virtual worlds are not mentally ill. A Second Life player however is. Why? Maybe because SL is not just a game, but a place to vent your frustrations, in their opinion.
I do not want to talk about Patrizia and Angelica. I don’t know them, and I don’t know if there was any confusion between the role played and real Life. I do not know anything about the victim, Paolo Vaj, nor if there was a legitimate defense, a negligent excess in self-defense or intentional murder.

What I know is that the sad crime story has little to do with SL. Some events are unfortunately part of Life, of complex emotional dynamics and disorders, such as Vaj’s alcohol abuse.

Second Life was an opportunity for Patrizia and Angelica to meet. A bar, WhatsApp or other makes no difference.

To say that whoever plays in Second Life is a mental disturbance is like saying that who plays The Sims is a voyeur. Nonsense.
Finally, I suggest LL read with attention to the Italian press and how it describes SL.
I am not sure their way to express opinions are legal.

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“Leonardo 500” by Astral Dreams Project

Second Life Leonardo 500 Astral Dreams Project

Leonardo 500” is the project created and curated by Astral Dreams Project to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo Da Vinci.
It is an artistic installation that hosts photographers and sculptors, I remember their names:

  • Nabrey Aabye
  • Caly Applewhite
  • Sergio Delacruz
  • Desy Magic
  • Lara Tommaso
  • Ciottolina Xue
  • Aqua Aria


Many have visited and shared their images on social networks.
I remember that “Leonardo 500” will be open until the end of August.
In the meantime, I recorded a video for future reference.

"Leonardo 500" by Astral Dreams Project

"𝐋𝐄𝐎𝐍𝐀𝐑𝐃𝐎 𝟓𝟎𝟎" 𝐀 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐉𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐃𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐌𝐢𝐧𝐚 𝐀𝐫𝐜𝐚𝐧𝐚 Mᴀᴄʜɪɴɪᴍᴀ ʙʏ Oᴇᴍᴀ Mᴜsɪᴄ sᴇʟᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ ʙʏ Vᴀɴ Lᴏᴏᴘᴇɴ Open until the end of August SLurl: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA8/80/129/3208

Pubblicato da Oema's Blog su Venerdì 12 luglio 2019

Video

Teleport to “Leonardo 500”

Visit inworld here: https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA8/80/129/3208/

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