Posted by Bettina Tizzy
By the time each Thursday rolls around, I'm frantically trying to catch up with all the first-rate landmarks and notecards and emails I've received, rich with hot tips on new and undiscovered content and ideas that just might be worth sharing with the 2,600 members of my Second Life® groups Not Possible IRL and Impossible IRL.
I send at least one in-world notice a week - usually late on Fridays - featuring some 3 to 20 items that I've culled from hundreds of these suggestions, and I'm often asked what my selection criteria is. In addition to intriguing building tips, info on other virtual worlds, and advocacy for the rights of content creators in Second Life, my main focus is on creations that are Not Possible in Real Life.
Are my selections opinionated, discriminating and highly subjective? Yes, they are. There are many other ways to discover information and calendar listings on the topics relevant to your particular interests in Second Life, so this is my personal attempt to provide you with a distillation of what I think is cool, trendsetting and even groundbreaking, always within the context of Not Possible IRL.
Am I an academic, schooled in the arts? I am not. Jay Newt of Brooklyn is Watching once called me a theme park mistress and I can subscribe to that. Not Possible IRL and Impossible IRL are not art groups, and for that matter, this blog is not an art blog. They do feature and include art, but that is not all we are about.
That said, what follows is an attempt to describe virtual content that is Not Possible in Real Life or NPIRL. These guidelines were drafted with only prim and/or script-based content in mind, as I don’t believe – but I’d like for you to prove me wrong - that there is such a thing as NPIRL music. How that music is generated, however, can definitely be NPIRL (Komuso Tokugawa and Dizzy Banjo, I’m looking at you!).
Theatre and live performances often enable suspension of disbelief via real-time special effects and situations (think DanCoyote Antonelli’s ZeroG SkyDancers, CARP's Metropolis, Gazira’s Hammering the Void, and Grace McDunnough’s Musimmersion, for example).
Not Possible in Real Life (NPIRL) CONTENT (architecture, art, landscaping) is a generous combination of the following:
* Surreal, fantastical
* Indulges our sense of make-believe (can do strange, wonderful and surprising things; makes us laugh)
* Can fundamentally affect our behavior, perception and even our self-perception
* Physically impossible in Real Life, or could only be created at enormous/unrealistic expense (defies the laws of gravity and physics in general)
* It almost goes without saying that NPIRL creations in virtual worlds are three-dimensional. While photography and other 2D images may portray NPIRL content, they are difficult to render in-world and for this reason, I enjoy them best on the web. I am an avid user of both Flickr and Koinup, where so many of you post images taken in virtual worlds. I wish more machinimators would join the Not Possible IRL YouTube group, though their group management tools there are very poor.
NPIRL FASHION is garment-based and not a biological part of the avatar. In addition to clothing the avatar, it might do strange and wonderful things, or make us do strange and wonderful things. It can defy the laws of physics or expose the avatar’s body to extreme heat or cold or exploding particles or sharp things. It might include elements (such as clouds, or sunshine, or snakes, for instance) that could never be used in Real Life.
NPIRL AVATARS are fantastical, surreal, or funny, or surprising, but they all have one thing in common: They are definitely Not Possible in Real Life. They aren't human, or dogs, cats, horses, etc., unless they are exceptionally unusual (a unicorn, for example). While nekos, faeries and elves are NPIRL, their appendages must look integrated, credible and not like props.
I want to especially thank the members of my working group Not Possible IRL for their guidance and inspiration, and the extreme explorers and content creators of the vibrant Impossible IRL community who have sent in priceless tips and ideas. All this is possible because we've pooled our efforts and share an intense appreciation for the 3D platform. I adore you!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Posted by Bettina Tizzy