“… it may be full of beautiful pictures and churches, but we cannot judge a country by anything but its men,” she remarked.
“That is quite true,” said Philip sadly.
Henry James, Where Angels Fear to Tread
I stumbled briefly into SL last night, to see what Ina Centaur’s Twelfth Night might be like. To see, really, if anything had changed since the last time I watched a production there. Crap Mariner was one of the first players to speak, so the show was at a disadvantage from the start – he has an unattractive voice at the best of times, but it’s especially unsuited to Shakespeare. Skylar Smythe sparkled, but she sparkles in everything she puts her mind to; apart from that, and of course the lovely if predictable avies by Ina, things lagged in every sense – unremitting and appalling lag in all four sims. And before you say ‘oh it’s just your rubbish graphics card’, I asked three people near me if they were also suffering and they all eventually replied yes. If you can believe anything people tell you.
Interestingly, Ina chose to play Malvolio herself, she made a good job of it, using the voice morphing, I think it was the first time I heard someone morphed (unless Crap has been Beta testing all along, which would explain a lot) and if I never hear it again, it will be an easy fate to live with.
But I met a new friend, who explained to me that the company is made up of old-age pensioners (I’m sure Ina and Skylar would be interested to hear their Social Security has already kicked in) so it wasn’t an entirely wasted evening.
On the other hand, Craft is effortlessly beautiful. OK I lie, you do quite often have to relog when stuff happens. But who cares. It’s full of wonderful places already, like this fabulous Renaissance villa, on sim Hiems, complete with pineta and parterre and a lovely loggia. There are fountains, statues and – well, everything you’d expect to find in a Second Life sim, and why not, creator Nicola Reinerman got his start over there, and is now beautifying a new world, one region at a time.
I ran into him, because Oberon Onmura was trying new terrains on his adjacent sim, Titania. I was standing on it – well, flying just above – when he first attempted the terrain file swap. I got chucked in the air to a height of 90,000 metres. Woohoo. It was a bumpy ride, and a lot of fun, but then I thought I’d better land somewhere and chose the sim next door, Autumnus, where you’ll find this pretty (if empty) house.
From here I could watch Oberon’s progress in comfort. His sim looked like a big grey cake, just waiting to be sliced and iced.
Being able to see other sims from your own seems a great way to foster a spirit of community and cross pollination; privacy is great, but company is the lifeblood of virtual art. Especially when you think that this is all part of a hypergrid. That really rocks.
Autumnus is another build by Nicola Reinerman (that’s a BOY’S name in Italian, thankyouverymuch). He was a regular both on OSGrid and in Cyberlandia, the Italian world created by Carlos Roundel, which faced significant structural changes last May as you probably remember. At the same time he was closely involved with the Museo del Metaverso in Second Life.
Nicola Reinerman: I’ve been making buildings, flowers and trees for years. More than once, I have come across items that I immediately recognized as my own, only to discover they had a different creator – they had been copybotted. It’s annoying, but I guess it’s a sort of a compliment in a way – someone thought they were good enough to steal.
Perhaps in part for that reason, he has been building and experimenting on his own server for some time now; and has found it a great place to test out architectural and textural ideas – in fact he first built the current MdM structure here, before importing it into Second Life. Wow virtual Euros. Insert your own exchange rate quip here.
Nicola Reinerman: There’s a certain amount of prejudice against Open sim worlds. But I think nowadays it’s misplaced, we’ve come ahead leaps and bounds over th epast two years. Licu Rau has had both the courage and the knowhow to put together a new Grid – this one, Craft. Since September there’s been a huge migration of builders and artists. Our idea is to make it a creative grid, and the presence of the Museo del Metaverso is a really important element of that. It’s not the only project in hand on Craft. Lyth Karu and his collaborators are putting together a virtual library of copyright-free books, and we hope to welcome many non-profit organizations, including educational organizations, who, as we all know have been having a tough time of it tier-wise – but we’re still in the early phase so we will see where that goes.
Dozens of metaverse-class artists like soror Nishi, shellina Winkler,La Baroque, and Artistide Despres are taking up residence on the grid. It’s pioneering stuff to be sure, but being a newbie here is not the same as when we were all noobs in Second Life – gosh even I can throw down a sculpty and make a new shirt on my first day. (OK still haven’t done the hair thing, I grant you, but bear in mind I’m not really here.) And a man on his knees on our first encounter, hey, that’s none too shabby.