November 18, 2012

No matter how long you kept a low profile

Posted in Second Life, Shows and Films, User Experience tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:16 pm by SarahAndrea Royce

As soon, as you give in to spent a bit more time in SL, the things to do can get a bit overwhelming. Only friday I was granted being a beta tester for my favorite SL car manufacturer Pro Street Cars, and started to test an update to their SUV “Commander” as official as well as as private vehicle.

GTA in SL

Suddenly I found myself Ambushed in what appears to be GTA III with a car the quality of a GTA IV. Good news, the commander is bulletproof

And spent the night at a Jaynine Concert kicking of the Machinima Expo 2012.

Kickoff Machinima Expo 2012

Nice Manhatten jazzclub

But the next morning (well more like afternoon) as soon as I wanted to write my report I had to leave. Draxtor invited me over to the panelscreenings of the Machinima Expo.

Machinima Expo 2012

There were many (SL-)famous people there… including Superstar Flufee.

Then I had to miss a few panels because there was an interesting talk at Virtual Ability Island

Talk about complex disease diagnosis

And than made it offworld to livetalks on TEDyouth and finally back to the Machinima Expo primarily for the panels Draxtor, Olibith and Daniel Moshel (Login2Life) attended. Which made a fun fact. In a 24 hour time frame I met all people who I know of who played a role in the production of Login2Life (yet unamed, Pooky Amsterdam), Jaynine Scarborough, Draxtor, Gentle Heron, Olibith (who was in the WoW parts, but is a bit active in SL now, too) and producer Daniel Moshel.

Yet after all that I was exhausted and didn’t attend the after party. Yet today it goes on. This morning I continued the testing of the Commander

A SVU in its natural habitat

Yet Pro Street Cars doesn’t pay for gas 😦

And was actually a bit sad, because by the way of testdrive I explored many yet unvisited areas of rural Heterocera and it became obvious that Linden Lab doesn’t invest much at keeping the mainland in good shape.

B Roads

Actually, Nowadays an SUV in rural SL really makes sense. As you can see here, Gouverneur Linden has lost his interest in the roads and they decay. Some places there are even small hills on the road.

And now on it goes with the last parts of the Machinima Expos that will be finalized by Will Wright himself. Maybe if there’s a Q&A I will address the thing about B Roads and other issues I have with the maintenance of mainland.

Back for the Final

Back for the final behind the silver screen in Midnight Manhattan Reverie

Anyhow that was one hell weekend…

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November 4, 2012

Torturing beyond prims

Posted in Metaverse tagged , , , , , , , , , at 12:45 pm by SarahAndrea Royce

One of the things that fascinates me about Second Life and Open Sim is the amount of immersion I get out of it. The better graphics and customizable avatars of the Elder Scrolls series still do not have the same effect on me. And I’ve written quite an amount of posts about my avatars and how they affect me in reverse.

I think nearly everyone would like to be able to change your flesh avatar more easily. Yet recently I came aross a more then likely fake story of a Chinese man who sued his (now ex-) wife for not telling him that she is “genetically” ugly and thus passing those genes along to their child. He only knew her as beautiful woman, but she did, unbeknown to him, have expensive surgeries costing a lot of dollards in the five digits mark to get there.

Yet what wasin fact real were some photos they used to illustrate the story, misleadingly leaving the source open so that you thought it was the woman in question…

… when it actually were the pictures from a private clinic that show what can be done:
Before:
ImageImage
After:
ImageImage

She actually “only” had two things done: Tightening of the sagging eyelids and a complete remodeling of her chin. (The change in skin complexion I attribute to makeup and lighting) and I don’t think it was as expansive as the operation of the women in the story. But if it was the major part of the cost lies in the modelling of the chin. To do this they have to create an implant that is biocompatible, attaches perfectly to the smaller, “old” one and is formed perfectly. Oh, and there is the big question how they got it in place without a visible scar, but I think there are techniques that do it from inside the mouth, I once had contact with a pioneer of these technique, Douglas Ousterhout. He is also a pioneer of craniofacial surgery which is about the remodeling of the forehead.  I think its pretty obvious were the torture part comes in, operations of these kind are very painful and the healing takes months. But where do the prims come into it?

Well, there is another emerging technology I’m very fascinated with, and that is 3D printing. And while the most you can read about it is about the progress of 3D printing in the home it actually gets more and more used in medicine. while things like “printing” vaccines on the fly or printing complete organs are researched and not that far away, printing bones is actually here and thus we come full circle – theoretically you can design your facial structure (only  parts of the shape in SL terms)  in a 3D program, print them, and have a surgeon implant them. Voila … you can torture meshes (ok not prims) and yourself to edit your face.  With progress in tissue printing one day it might even be possible to print and “apply” a lot more changes, maybe even without the “torturing yourself” part.

Note: This post was written from a perspective that some might assume is a bit cynical. This technology is developed for people who actually need reconstructive surgery and not to make bodies more customizable, but not only does one come inevitable with the other I think the need for beauty and youth makes a strong financial background for the implementation of technology like that. To use an  analogy: If mobile phones were only capable of emergency calls, they would not be as common as they are now, and the chance you have someone near you with one in case of emergency would be very low.