Archive for April, 2006

Second Life Makes Business Week Cover

Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

Second Life Virtual World

Virtual land ownership and Second
made it to the cover
of Business Week. Cat’s out of the bag folks.

SL is doing a lot of things right. For one thing it’s not really a “game.”
And like the best of new web content it is generated by its participants. But
it is not governed by its participants. This is because SL is a private
- which in my view means is it an interim world. Open worlds are
the future of virtual places.

As public space disappears and becomes privatized it makes open virtual spaces
all the more important.

Subdivided Clip: McMansions & Community

Friday, April 14th, 2006

aVaTar Documentary Starting

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

The Subdivided documentary is in the final editing stages. But that of course has not stopped me from starting another one. The new project is tentatively titled aVaTar.

It’s follows the theme of community building from Subdivided into the online space. My contention is that in the near future immersive, shared online spaces will no longer be restricted to games, or even to private spaces like Second Life, but will be legitimate spaces for culture and commerce. We will move in and out of them the same way we move from web page to web page. The film asks the question: what lessons can we learn from what’s going on now in spaces like WOW, Everquest, and the social networking sites? What does it mean to have an avatar?

So… We went to our first event at Fan Faire in Atlanta over the weekend. It’s the Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) Fan Event for Everquest, Star Wars Galaxies and other properties. And apart from a truly crappy hotel - one rated four stars on Travelocity but which in reality was a two star hotel - the experience was immersive, exhausting, and very satisfying from a documentary experience.

After a day of making our presence known and getting folks comfortable with the fact that there were two guys running around sticking giant cameras in their faces, we felt like we were part of the crowd. The SOE folks were particularly helpful accommodated our numerous requests for interviews, space, light, etc.

I felt like I was there for a week, and it was just over two days.


A Sprawl Tax in Texas

Saturday, April 1st, 2006

This from the Project for Public

In a move that stunned political observers from El Paso to Texarkana, Governor
Rick Perry announced a bold move to revitalize Texas communities by creating
thousands of town squares modeled on Mexican plazas throughout the state.

“Let’s face it,” the governor announced in a surprise press conference
at the Alamo in San Antonio, “we may have whupped the Mexicans to win
our independence but we sure lost the battle to make great places. Mexican
towns and villages have lively plazas and zocalos, where everyone can gather
in the evenings. They’ve got street life, damn it. We’re stuck with a bunch
of Wal-Marts and strip malls. Ay Caramba!”

Perry said that his ambitious public space plan, which includes grants of
up to $1000 per resident for any neighborhood or town wanting to create a
plaza, will be paid for by his new sprawl tax on stores and offices that are
not pedestrian-friendly.

Happy April Fools day... More
from PPS.