Last chances for virtual clubbing at Urbis

19 03 2008

Urbis have been running a series of club nights in their second life space and the last ones are tomorrow, Thursday 13 March, and next week, Thursday 20 March 2008. Both events run from 9pm – ‘late’ UK time, 2pm – ‘late’ Linden time.

I logged in quickly to the first event, but, as in real life, it seemed that everyone else was going to turn up fashionably late. I’ll see if I get a chance to see it properly this week or next.

Urbis virtual clubbing

Thursday 13 March  

Noir Bazaar

With DJ Pick Pocket playing Psychedelic Claptrap, including funk, jazz, folk and bubblegum pop, alongside incredibly heavy drums

Thursday 20 March  

Just Good Beats

Funk, Soul, Reggae, Dub, Hip Hop, Fast Rap, Barrio, Ska, Old Skool, Mid Skool, New Skool, Northern Soul, Beat Music, Blue Eyed Soul, Deep Soul, Big Beat, House, Techno, Dubstep, Drum & Bass, Phat Beats, Scratching, FX Units. 

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Factory and the Hacienda lecture: Urbis in Second Life

14 11 2007

I haven’t had time to look at the Second Life Urbis yet, but here’s very short notice of a lecture there today and slightly longer notice of the lecture series as a whole.Talks in Second Life from Urbis, Manchester

Design Lecture: Factory and The Haçienda…
Wed 14 Nov
6-8pm (uk time) 11am – 1 pm (Linden Time)
This event is sold out in real life, but experience it from the comfort of your own armchair by visiting Urbis and attending this lecture in Second Life… Don’t miss this chance to catch up with two design gurus and members of the original Haçienda crew, Peter Saville and Ben Kelly in this Urbis talk and question and answer session. So join us in Second Life find out how things were done the first time around.

Any (sensible) questions you have can be put to our guests live…so if you have any burning questions you would like answered from the good old days, then this is your chance!

The above event is just one of a number events Urbis is running in Second Life, along with our four floors of exhibitions which are now up for you to explore.





Chris Anderson and Wired on the Second Life ghost towns

31 07 2007

A wired magazine report ‘How Madison Avenue Is Wasting Millions on a Deserted Second Life‘ looks at the the Second Life islands and experiences created by big business. Author Frank Rose speaks to executives from Coca-Cola, the National Basketball Association, wondering why they’ve put so much money into worlds with so few visitors:

Once you put in several hours flailing around learning how to function in Second Life, there isn’t much to do. That may explain why more than 85 percent of the avatars created have been abandoned. Linden’s in-world traffic tally, which factors in both the number of visitors and time spent, shows that the big draws for those who do return are free money and kinky sex. On a random day in June, the most popular location was Money Island (where Linden dollars, the official currency, are given away gratis), with a score of 136,000. Sexy Beach, one of several regions that offer virtual sex shops, dancing, and no-strings hookups, came in at 133,000. The Sears store on IBM’s Innovation Island had a traffic score of 281; Coke’s Virtual Thirst pavilion, a mere 27.

Wired editor and author of ‘The Long Tail‘ Chris Anderson recently held a book signing event in Second Life and has posted on his blog on ‘Why I gave up on Second Life





Starry Starry Night machinima

23 07 2007

Via Musematic, this video shows the building of a 3D version of Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ in Second Life. I don’t think it has any relation to the Starry night museum I visited.





Museums in Second Life google group

17 07 2007

The Museums in Second Life google group is a mailing list with 79 members. As well as the mailing list, they hold meetings in Second Life and hold tours of venues.

With all the members in different time zones, organising meeting times that suit everyone is impossible. I thought I’d go along to their latest meeting yesterday, even though it began at 6pm (GMT), 30 minutes before our building closes.

Finding the meeting involved following an SLURL (hypertext link that opens at a location in Second Life) to the meeting venue, the UIUC-GSLIS parcel in Cybrary City II (no idea what that means). There were six or seven people already at the meeting when I arrived, seated on piles of books in a semi-circle.

Attending meetings for the first time in Second Life can be just as awkward as it is normally. I didn’t know how to sit down and spent ages messing round before working out that right-clicking on a pile of books would give me several options including ‘Sit’.

This left me sitting down, facing away from the group. I also noticed that I was still eating the popcorn. After several attempts at standing up and sitting down I managed to face in vaguely the right direction and concentrate on the conversation.

Museums in Second Life meeting, July 2007

A transcript of the meeting has been added to the google group. Before I had to leave we barely had time to introduce ourselves (clockwise round the semi-circle). Looking at the transcript today I see that discussions included scheduling of meetings, the creation of a map showing the locations of Second Life museums, potential locations to visit, evaluation methods, US funding for projects and, finally, how to tag photos and related documents (I think ‘slmuseums’ was the choice here but I’m not positive).





Creating museum content and community in Second Life

12 07 2007

It’s mentioned as a link in the previous post, but Robert Rothfarb and Paul Doherty’s paper for the Museums and the Web conference ‘Creating museum content and community in Second Life‘ deserves its own blog post. Here’s the summary:

Brick-and-mortar interactive science centers offer fun and educational experiences for visitors of every age. But in a virtual world, many of the constraints of the real world can be overcome, offering experiences that transcend reality. Exploratorium staff members have created just such a space in the massively multi-user, three-dimensional world of Second Life. In the virtual museum called the ‘Splo, we’ve been experimenting with the social, contextual, and educational possibilities of a world in which people can fly through the solar system, scan their own bodies, and change gravity so they can bounce off walls. In mixed-reality events which combine live media programs with the virtual world, visitors can watch a solar eclipse while sitting next to someone on the other side of the earth. What does this mean for other museums interested in creating their own virtual environments? In this paper, we share our own experiences, and offer some thoughts and recommendations.

‘Splo MuseumThere’s clearly a lot of high-quality work and research gone into this.





Sploland – first visit

12 07 2007

Visited Sploland with the vague idea that it is associated with the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco. I chose not to listen to the streaming music, I also chose to download QuickTime so that I could see movies.

The first thing in front of me is a giant eraser which I can climb onto and ride. Not sure why.

Eraser in Sploland

It’s a bit of a confusing mess to be honest. One of the conventional objects is ‘The Incredible Running Bat’ (you can see it in the left of the screenshot above). A series of flickering images show a bat running. If you click on the object you can collect a notecard that informs you:

Eadweard Muybridge, pioneer photographer renowned for his sequential images of horses, people, you name it, once bet rich guy Leland Stanford that a bat lifts all four limbs off the ground whilst running. Muybridge used these photographs to win the bet.

Still pretty confused about what Sploland is I searched on Google and found surprisingly little information. Several searches later I ended up in a page of the Second Life website that provided the following information:

The Exploratorium – the museum of science, art and human perception in San Francisco has created an interactive science museum in Second Life which allows residents to explore art and science whilst having fun. They have established two locations – their original Splo Museum at Midnight City (SLurl) and a dedicated Island, Sploland (SLurl).

The Splo Museum spaces house more than 100 exhbits including optical illusions and perception exhibits (SLurl), a 3D map of the nearest stars (SLurl), the Pie Ride (SLurl) and a Distorted Room (SLurl). Residents can also ride Halley’s Comet as it makes it’s way around the sun, or ride one of the other planets in the Splo Solar System at the Orbital Experience (SLurl).

Watch a video tour of Sploland, read the paper: Creating Museum Content and Community in Second Life or find out more on the Exploratorium’s Virtual Worlds website.