Social Networking and Gaming

So many of the predictions from the dreamers are coming true. Second Life game platform is definitely the one that the innovators look to for inspiration.

raftwet jewell in metaverse

There are many worlds now, all vying for a piece of the pie. Some are trying to pull SL members to their platform just as interests do in many of the groups within Second Life.

raftwet jewell on RiverLand

They sneak in, recruit members and then poof they disappear. This is happening now between the different worlds.

raftwet jewell building at riverland

But, I smile, as I write this. This is good news. To know that other worlds are vying for SL members tells us that we are the important world. Light years ahead of everyone else, SL attracts them as they come like moths to a bright light.

meditation : raftwet jewell

But, don’t believe me. Believe the universe of professional social networkers and bloggers who are analyzing the virtual world as I write these words.

rafee at wetlands

Those with their alogorithms, their logs, their mathematical analysis of what is happening with the traffic on the net. They know more then me… raftwet jewell.

 

All photos by raftwet jewell from rafeejewell flickr site.

Check my other blogs out! http://raftwetjewell.blogspot.com

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2011 RAFTWET Jewell

So, I’m a little slow in getting the ubiquitous New Year blog out. Que sera. Real life was calling, and commitments, much more fun than the daily grind in Second Life, were overwhelmingly more fulfilling. I like to party.

GOL 8 : raftwet jewell

I’m coming of age. An old avatar from the Beta days told me so. He told me that there were several transitions of aging in this virtual world. And, I am about to begin a new journey.

I now realize the futility of dreaming of a utopian metaverse. It’s impossible. People are behind the cartoon characters and are ever so present with their psychological baggage that all of us carry. That’s ok. But, we can’t expect the world to be peaceful and without strife or drama. Fer shur.

THE A LIST! owners raftwet, xavier

People are people, no matter where they are. There is jealousy, envy, hate, greed, war and one-upmanship, just like my every day real life. Did I really believe this place would be any different?

RUSS SCRIBE : raftwet, xavier

What I have found are great people and creative fun in here. Good and decent folks who care and respect each other. Artful places that are soulfully satisfying have inspired my real life art.  That’s a big plus in any place and time.

The metaverse is the new frontier, and I am so honored that I got to beta the whole thing before the general public. Everything has changed in Second Life. The place has a feel of totality now encompassing everything possible in one’s life. From education to business to services to retail to creation and art; the place reeks of innovation for the future. SL has become a dream come true. (Yes, we still have a ways to go…)

CHRISTOPHER135 QUAN : xavier, raftwet

So, I carry on with my real life and invest there wisely. The time in Second Life should be fun and surrounded by good times and wonderful people.  My focus now is to do the best job that I can do for myself and the alliances that have formed in my groups. The rest of the bullshit just comes with any world’s territory, and now I understand that. I should not invest in the avatars who seem to spend their time undermining and back-stabbing with a smile on their face. It’s just not worth my time and effort in any world.

raftwet at nuclear winter

So, I carry on knowing that things in my virtual life are changing for the best. My old avi friend has told me that I am becoming one of the old guard. I fiercely defend this place, but I no longer will sacrifice the well-being of my own avatar. I love my avi and she is truly the best part of me.

My photos and photo groups can be found here:

Chapel by the Sea

wetlands chapel by the sea

Last year, I built a small, hidden chapel right next to the ocean on WETLands. Not many avatars have discovered it as it is well-hidden.

wetlands sunset at chapel by the sea

The church has large open windows facing the ocean, and at sunset, it is quite beautiful looking across the azure waters.

raftwet jewell at wetlands church

I like to sit there and meditate and reflect on my day. My beliefs are my own, and I don’t preach as I respect all world religions.

wetlands chapel stain glass window

I hope that you can visit and just reflect and connect with your own soul.

BURN2 is Almost Here!

There is definitely a melancholy setting in this month of October. It’s the beginning of another change in the air. Saying good-bye to summer, saying good-bye to all the summer parties. And, of course leaving the memories behind on the desert playa of Burning Man.

In here. In the virtual world of Second Life, there are only a few days left to the BURN2. I wonder how many real life Burners will be there mimicking and recreating the incredible art that I saw just a few weeks ago.

Big Poppa created this video out of a bunch of snaps that he took during the blazing heat and horrific dust storms that probably wiped out his favorite camera. I feel the melancholy in the music chosen as I listen and look at the photos.

This year, I am not part of Burning Life or as it is now called BURN2. I didn’t try to get a plot or purchase one either. Though frustrated with the land grab last year, I really enjoyed that part of the “game.” The attempt was madness and I loved it.

This year, I will be an attendee oohing and ahhing over the rich display of the builder’s art and creations. I will go to the myriad parties and have a blast. And, I will dream of someday becoming one of those fabulous builders.

Art really is my life. I live and breathe it everyday with visual, musical and technical applications. This place called Second Life holds a promise to each and everyone of us. That we can become artists in our own way, in our own time.

BURN2 ?

BURN2 is beta for 2011!

I waited 2 years before I attempted to build for Burning Life. The builders at the event are phenomenal, and I was just plain intimidated by these grand creators. Fantastically designed creations are born from the brilliant minds of these digital builders to delight and mesmerize us. And, finally, last year I got to participate at Burning Life for my first time.

Burning Life is a quasi-reflection of the real life Burning Man. BM is an event of magical proportions. Long ago, in the San Francisco Bay area, there was a group of people who I would call groovers. They were the remnants of the hippie drug-culture of scientists, engineers, artists and designers who wanted to have a party to celebrate life, art and love in a rave-style event.

What began on a small San Francisco beach mushroomed into an event of almost 50,000 people where BM finally settles in the dust of the dry playa of the Black Rock Desert. Now, Burning Man becomes part of Burning Life in the virtual metaverse of Second Life.

As Linden Lab downsizes its staff, it is inevitable that many programs may be left hanging without the company’s sponsorship. Thus, in 2010, we watch as Phil Linden announces the partnership between BURN2 and Burning Man. I think we have finally come full circle with the original dreamers finally coming in identified as the old guard and ready to rave both in RL and in SL.

unreal avi meets real avi

Whether or not, BURN2 is successful in both attendance and participation is a wait-and-see affair. As I read the BURN2 blog, I realized that this entire program has to come together rather quickly in both funding and in execution. Is it possible to get everything in place so soon? Can Phil Linden galvanize the troops and create a buzz on the grid? Or does this event mark the demise of all lab sponsorships?

So far, two sims are rented and ready to go for this year’s burn. 2010 may be the year that creates the template for Burning Life in the future. What would be so cool is if Burning Man would adopt Second Life’s homage to BM as part of their own marketing and buzz creator. In partnership, the two entities could create an event in both worlds. Imagine if LL could have a RL build at Burning Man highlighting the digital arts much like they did at the Shanghai World Expo.

Fundraising for the SL Burn could be year round with the culmination of the major fundraising to occur around the end of summer right before the actual event. The possibilities for future fundraising events are endless. And, I personally would love to see more fundraising for the SL community and its members than send Linden$ to the outside world. (don’t throw stuff at me… it’s my personal opinion).

With land space being a premium at this year’s burn, I imagine the builders will be invite only(?). There will probably be no land grab or possibility of small builders like myself to participate in the grand scheme of things. That part is kind of sad. I always looked forward to those new builders who bring such a fun passion to their creations. Not everything has to be so darn serious!

Whatever happens, I will be visiting the BURN2 site looking for inspiration and new concepts. Here is the news link for the BURN2. Keep checking the blog for any updates or news for this year’s burn. Burn baby burn…

In the meantime, I got (2) tickets to the real life Burning Man where a collection of my friends, crazy artists and cool musicians will be participating again in the desert. So, I will be out there in Nevada spitting sand out of my mouth and brushing the dirt out of my hair. No matter what happens, the Burning Man concept lives on… and on… and on!

second life, phil linden and browsers

Summer of 2010 and many things are changing on the Second Life landscape. Recently, Linden Labs laid off 30% of their staff. Included in that group, were part of their dev team, some from support teams and other well-known Lindens. I saw a memorial over on Codie’s Rouge sim that was installed honoring those laid-off avatars. So many well-known avatars such as Blue Linden, who had reached out to the grid community in way of forums and meetings on a regular basis. When I saw Blue’s name, I was, quite frankly, shocked. Is Torley next?

Svarga in Second Life

Yesterday M. Linden aka Mark Kingdon, CEO of Linden Labs stepped down, and  my favorite avatar, dreamer, Philip Rosedale has stepped up as intermin CEO. Welcome back Phil Linden! (Gawd, just in time… I hope!)

When a company lays off their employees, there are usually several motivations. First, of course, is a cost cutting measure as labor expenses are usually the largest in a budget. Or, LL could be consolidating departments and job duties to be more cost effective. Or the grid is not supporting the amount of employees that the lab has hired. Or, LL was getting rid of employees who were not team players. Who knows?

Whatever the reason, Second Life is about to morph. We have seen it coming for many years. And, I am feeling quite privileged in knowing that I got to be here during the beta (hey, it’s been beta since it launched!). Now, I am very excited to see what is coming next… Mr. Rosedale, the dreamer extraordinaire… my hopes are with you!

WISH LIST & questions:

  • Browser based with a killa search app (which entities will partner up in this quest for control of the virtual metaverse?)
  • Who will be divine? and reign this metaverse?
  • I see Apple and Google and MSN and Sony and Second Life and others joining together to bring an easier platform.

IMAGINE:

  • a browser that handles the virtual world with a tool bar that we can load up with specific apps
  • builder’s tools; sim building, artist palette, clothes design, scripting tools, photoshop and more
  • media tools; music, live music, performance, DJ tools, musician tools, machinima, video apps, video streams, websites, and more
  • business tools: spreadsheets, writing, b2b tools, purchase tools, service lists
  • retail; buying power, cc merchant services, store, inventory management
  • social media networking; virtual, business, social etc
  • education; school, resources, educators tools, books, presentation, etc
  • photography/video; social network, photo/video tools, photo/video directories

Uhhhh… it’s already here. It’s just not in one neat little browser that includes the virtual metaverse. That is coming very, very soon…

Welcome back, Phil… we missed you… a lot!

RAFTWET Jewell is in the Virtual Metaverse

rafee dream in second life : raftwet jewell

My friend and I made this video together on my regions. We also tp’ed into several sims to get the running sequences. Aoshi is a machinima artist and creates wonderful videos in the virtual world. He helped make this video while I covered the art direction with my personal concepts.

I am running because of many things. The grid can be stressful and frantic at times. We are real humans behind our digital characters. We hurt, we feel joy, we love and we crash and burn just like we do in real life.

The video is a dream… frantic pace while surrounded by surreal beauty. I love it here… and I love making the videos.