Saturday, 13 February 2010
Recently first year students of Sculpture and Environmental Art [SEA] at The Glasgow School of Art were introduced to Second Life. The virtual world of Second Life is just one site of exploration in larger self-directed, five week project titled "Site-Place-Context". Lead by Paul Cosgrove, head of the SEA Department, the project was shepherded by artist Chery Feild and myself. What follows are some observations of the student work from across the project and snapshots of works and experiments created at the GSA inWorldStudio.
Thursday, 11 February 2010
I keep trying to grasp the advent, depth and nature of the massive multi-player on line roal playing games (mmorpg), such as World of Warcraft, and in many ways Second Life. In trying to do so I tend to see at the hart of these games, as virtual worlds, more or less defined by the rules and conditions of the game. Now this is not a ground breaking realisation but, its the seeded conditions of these games, the rules (if only very loose), technical limitations, objectives ex-cetera, that lead me to think of the games as social experiments. Perhaps with these kinds of systems, we can start to reveal how humans behave, interact, and analyse what players try to achieve as a result of the rules and limitations of the game. Far from a Newtonian universe these games often lead to surprising, unpredictable behaviour –– such as Chinese firms hiring players to mine and resell for a profit, virtual gold, the currency of the game World of Warcraft.
After much consideration, a lot of pushing around and a some casual editorial sight of hand, I've narrowed our original ideas into several broad groupings:
Observations & Phenomenological, Story Telling & Memory, Ethics, Gender & Body, Identity and Economics.
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
I was introduced to Second Life when we started working on this project during the spring 2009. I had read about Second Life and snapped up some bits of information about the virtual reality from mainstream media before we started. Logging on to Second Life and creating an avatar was a bit like and role-playing game. As I moved into the world I learned to find free stuff, got myself some hair some clothes and started making myself "a home".
Gender and sex are two different things. Gender is social and sex is physical. Where I grew up, and many other places, there are two genders, male and female. Most will be brought up and socialised according to one or the other.
How does the creation of a "new identity" in Second Life relate to your "real life" identity? What kind of experiments do we do with our avatars. Do we move the borders, if yes, does moving the borders in Second Life make it easier to transgress the same borders in Real Life?