SL_016.jpgI'm gathering tools and sources for an interrogation of depictions of nature in Second Life and could get two papers out of underwater sims alone. While most of SL Under fits Cephalopodcaster Jason Robertshaw's apt "stark abyssal plain" description, others are teeming with -- well, mostly two-dimensional uploaded scans-o-fish textures scripted in eternal 3-D orbits. But there are many choice depictions and I intend to create a resource page with SLURLs of some of the more interesting ones.

Toolwise, my epistemic will be redolent with hegemonies, articulations, and possibly Spectacles (Greek inventor of eyeglasses). Given SL's powerful ability to represent "real" spaces and create realities that are carried back to RL -- an environmental-awareness activist's dream, in one sense -- it's also possible that the immersive realism of these anthropocentric creations can be read in ways that do not threaten unfettered industrialism.

(For example, count the number of polluted sims, considering the amount of development that goes on. Just like in certain cultures in RL, the costs and waste are invisible!)


You Only Live Twice?

SL_006.jpg...or so it seems. I have been having all too much fun lately in Second Life, between the silly fantasy components and the extremely pragmatic and promising elements. Imagine:

  • a virtual Paris, circa 1900
  • a simulated tsunami and hurricane
  • a richly detailed museum of rocketry
  • a haunted house full of horror bibligraphies
  • a faux coral reef complete with critters
  • becoming -- at whim -- an Ent, a ghostly astronaut, a rather fetching water-nymph, an animated planet, or merely various shades of Me

and so much more. Implications for online and distance learning are obvious, with several universities already "present" in a number of virtual locations throughout the place. Highly recommended as a way of exploring ideas and meeting interesting people from all around the globe.