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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Year in the Life - Second Life

I ran across this really great little machinima piece the other day.  It's on YouTube, and you can watch it here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgNcTxgCMLQ

It's the story of two avatars as they spend a year in Second Life, starting out as clueless noobs and winding up as seasoned residents with a big house.  And, it's a promotional piece by Linden Lab.

For once, I can't find too much to complain about.  In fact, I found myself watching the thing several times (it's less than three minutes long).

Some may say that it's an unrealistic depiction of SL...there's no lag, the avatars exhibit facial expressions and just the right gestures and animations at just the right moments.  It doesn't show any of the typing and mouse clicking and so on that goes on "behind the scenes"...and often detracts from the immersive experience.

But that's the nature of machinima, and of promotional material in general.  What the piece gets right is much more important.  It gives a picture of what SL should be, and in fact, at its best, is.

One of the themes of the video is one that resonates with me -- the idea of passing on what we've learned and helping others.  At the start of the video, Our Hero is given a stylish safari hat by a helpful stranger.  At the end, another clueless noob drops in (literally) on Our Hero's patio...and is given the same hat.

There is no dialog, titling, or narration, only a catchy music track, but the video gets its message across superbly.

The people behind this little gem (or at least the ones shown in the credits) are Pooky Amsterdam and Russell Boyd.  My safari hat's off to you, lady and gentleman!  Well done.

EDIT:  Pooky Amsterdam has a nice website, http://www.pookymedia.com with a lot more machinima and recordings of her "talking heads" show, "The 1st Question".

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