Intro to Networked Collaboration

Second Event Review

I attended the Networked Collaboration graduate student event in Second Life last week. We met at The Port and two grad students led us on a tour of Angrybeth Shortbread’s exhibit.

I continue to be amazed at the things I find in Second Life, and this exhibit was no exception! (I didn’t take any snapshots during the event and I ended up wishing that I had. I went back to revisit some of the pieces so I could take some pictures—I’ve included some here.)

We began with a piece that looked like a block of green haze. When your avatar walks through the haze, different musical notes play and a block of color is generated in your wake for each note. The effect of several avatars walking through the piece at once is something like a small, random symphony. One of the students commented that we were creating an audio/visual pattern that would be impossible to replicate.

musiccubes_0012

The “Push-a-tron” is a piece that allows your avatar to have a physical effect on the purple bar attached to the center of the circular room (see photo below). An avatar can actually push this bar, and anything the bar runs into. In other areas of Second Life, avatars don’t really have a feeling of weight. It was really interesting to feel the change in weight in this room. (It was also amusing to watch my classmates push each other around with the bar!)

pushatron_0011

The typewriter piece was beautiful. I flew a little way away from it and watched as some of my classmates typed… the letters appeared on the enormous piece of paper feeding out of the typewriter, and also from a smokestack nearby. This piece was an interesting link between the real world and Second Life, as everything typed on the typewriter appears on Twitter.

typewriter_0022

My favorite piece in this exhibit was outside, in space. It consisted of two “cages” with bars spaced far enough apart for an avatar to enter. Upon entering one of the cages, you discover that any bar you look at produces a tone. Standing in the center of the cage allows you to spin around in place and create musical scales as you look at each bar in succession. There was something very magical about it. I spent a good amount of time in one of these cages while my classmates were falling off a nearby ledge and trying to get back up! I was somehow lucky enough to not fall off the edge of this particular walkway!

harpthings_0011

harpthings2_001

harpthings3_001

My voicechat wasn’t working properly and I ended up just using the local chat, which made it tough to comment spontaneously on the work that was being presented. I wished that I could have been more interactive, but at the same time, I was able to focus on the exhibit without feeling too much pressure to interact. This was an amazing experience, and I’m grateful that the grad students chose to share it with us! Thanks, guys!

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December 16, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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