Sunday, August 24, 2014

It's Your Second Life - Capture it!

The Ides of August were upon us….

By now, you probably heard the news.  A hurricane blew through Second Life.  At one point, a series of tornadoes spun through Riel Estates.   High waves overcame the St. John Parish in New Orleans, thanks to the mastermind behind the project - sim owner, long time Radio Riel owner, Gabrielle Riel.    Storm Diane didn’t stop the rooftop parties , and people came out to tour the city via raft, boat and even by surf board.   The wind, rain, waves, and overflowing water gave proof through the night that the virtual spirit of Second Life is still here.  
YT link: Hurricane Pt2 (Second Life) - spoiler alert: Gabrielle is dancing on the roof at the end!

Anticipate lots of photos and machinima over the course of the next few days, as an attempt to archive this amazing event.   This is not the first time Gabi threw a great storm party (2010, 2011, 2012 and now 2014), and she was sensitive to those hurricane survivors of real life.   She was simply testing the waters of creativity in-world, and accomplished the fantastic feat.    She thanks her estate managers for their help to make this the best event so far.
Another quick virtual tour via machinima, as the storm overwhelms its SL residents.

For me, it was an epic movie unfolding across the grid, that my friends and I, and many others, had the opportunity to enjoy - playing in the rain, and getting our cameras all wet.  It was worth it.   Second Life has those moments you know - you just gotta archive them, even if it takes you off schedule from your real life.   Machinima is a fast, simple way to capture those times, especially when the event is a moving experience like this one.   So whatever is going on in your Second Life, remember lights, camera, action.    

Here's Witchy Woman (below), a quick fun machinima capture of the aftermath, with Kara Trapdoor as the tour guide through the now city swamps of St. John Parish in a typically quaint quarter of New Orleans.  

Second Life is a story unfolding before your eyes - and ears - every day.   We live in the greatest medium to date.    It is a bit like a mix of Jim Carey's movies The Truman Show and Bruce Almighty, and then some.    So whether it is your first virtual pet, or fifth SL marriage, hey, film it.   

I have never claimed to be the best machinima maker (and am far from it), but when I want to remember an event - I film it.  If you are the only one that thinks it is important, then it is important - at least to you.   It's your Second Life too.    You might have so much fun, that you will up your machinima skills, either intentionally or just from practice (via play).    Machinima, while an art form for some, is also fun as a tool for virtual home movies.  

Ira Glass' series This American Life explored the significance of home movies to our culture in his 2002 show that I recently came upon in the online archive.  Glass is one of the premier storytellers of our century, and he is still at it - entertaining the world by bringing to life the simple stories that we often overlook.   Here's the link I think you might enjoy on home movies -

Old home movies have become great sources for archiving our past - and one day,  machinima in the same way will be studied for its relevance to understanding the beginning of virtual life.  So not only make history - record it! 

Sometimes, we feel intimidated to try something new because we see so many better than us.   Yet sometimes, it is not about how good we are - it is the message that counts, be it personal or for the larger community in which we live.
I archived Hurricane Diane in Second Life because I was enthralled by the virtual experience, having lived through a few along the Gulf Coast in Texas.  (They were never fun, and I boarded up my house and stayed indoors.)   Here in SL, it was something different, unique, and provoked this typically non-role player to be consumed by the moment.    So dip your toe in the virtual waters of Second Life, and you might jump into it full body, letting the waves take you away for a while.   Cherish the moment.  Record it.   Share it.   Archive it.   
Kara Trapdoor, social machinima blogger/producer, of Kara's Korner

My teen daughter, looking over my shoulder, thought it was silly to create a hurricane in a virtual world.  And then for me to be so excited about recording it - living it, as I kick back on Kara's raft, Belinda's boat, and an acquaintance's floating umbrella, as well as prepare for the event by barricading my flat, then stocking up on pizza, doughnuts and beer.   My neighbor Kara (Trapdoor) braved it out, with only a few provisions in her home and a handful of sandbags around her back door - then again she is never in one place, but out and about taking pics and making films for her blog on the many events of SL.  

As for my response to my daughter, I laughed, and said, for me - it works.   And I know I am not alone….

Happy Machinima surfing!

From Sonicity

on behalf of Bel, Kara and Gabi and her gang, and the many others who participated in one way or another! 

For more pics and info,
Kara's Korner -
Riel Estate (Flickr) -

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