Friday, May 1, 2009

Free nOObs for all! Art Laxness releases new versions including mix-and-match heads

Posted by Bettina Tizzy

Musician, fine artist and 3d-modeler Art Laxness (aka Will Segerman) is releasing five full-perm sculpted prim Noobs into the wild today, as well as a pack of interchangeable and amusing modifiable heads: Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes, Maid Marian, and a couple of your more basic noobs (read: blank expressions). Also included: Noob textures so that you may export and modify them to your own specifications. These are mostly derivatives of a project for the British Council that Art worked on as lead artist for metaverse developer, The Magicians.

According to Kim Anubis (aka Kimberly Rufer-Bach), who heads up The Magicians, Art made a test model of a default “newbie” avatar’s head – the first Noob model, before making the Bard’s head. “Then he made a giant head with four faces and topped it off with The Magicians’ top hat! Next, he created the first complete Noob in Appearance Mode pose before he went on to create the Away Noob which you’re familiar. Since then, he’s created other Noobs and Noob parts, many of which are in the Noob Pack.”

Several months ago, the AFK Noob was copybotted and then offered full perm on Xstreet. I asked Art how he felt about this and he provided a surprising response:

“The copybotting incident has made me think about how copyright works and I have come to some fairly extreme conclusions. Over here in the UK, there are trailers before DVDs which ask "You wouldn't steal a car, would you?" which then, of course, leads onto not stealing films. But that’s not really how it is, is it? The actual question is: If you saw a nice car in the street and you could take a copy of it without taking anything away from the owner, would you? If everyone in the world could have a nice car for nothing should we restrict that? What if I viewed the noob model I made as I view music? Everyone in the world has "illegal" music. Obama gave an iPod full of music to the Queen: ILLEGAL. Walle gave a tune to Eve: ILLEGAL."

Art continued: "Let’s take this to a different extreme: How many people will die needlessly because of patents on medical drugs keeping the prices of those drugs high? The answer is an awful lot. The counter argument is that if the drugs companies can't make money out of what they do, then they won’t do it, but that sounds to me like a problem with society rather than an argument (in favor of) an obsolete business model. It strikes me that if everyone could build on each other’s advancements, rather than hoarding things to themselves, then humanity would get further faster. Artists and companies need to be rewarded for their output so they can keep producing, but a new business model is needed, as the current one is f**ed and is holding the world back. I'll throw the Clockwork Quartet out there as an example (his steampunk band). We're giving away all of our music for free. We intend to make our money off merchandise and gigs.”

You can pick up your own Noob pack at Abracadabra (teleport directly from here), and at British Council Isle in Teen Second Life (teleport directly from here).

Graham Stanley, manager of the British Council's Learn English Second Life for Teens project added, “Amongst other things, we are using the Noobs to give out clues on our language learning quests for learners of English. They have to ask the right question to get the right answer.”

See also: The most complex sculpture in any world, real or virtual?


Zonja said...

Great article and news, Art's response is very interesting too! :-)

Thingy said...

I wonder if people will pay content creators to rez prims live.

Sex, drugs and prims! Right on!

Ummm.. no.

But yeah, I hate that ad before movies that tries to equate piracy to theft. It make me spill me popcorn with anger. >:(

They steal my popcorn! >:(

Nexii Malthus said...

Very interesting article, Art Laxness has now earned my approval as a person with sense.

@Thingy, actually there were such economic things before in SL, everything had to be paid, including rezzing prims. It was a very interesting economy experiment. Many of the things from this old economy still leave their mark in the client code, nowadays people seem to take it all for granted, including the luxury of P2P teleports!