Intro to Second Life Workshop at Eastern Bloc

by Darian

Intro to Second Life Workshop at Eastern Bloc

by Darian
January 26, 2016

She:kon everyone! A warmer week greets us here in Montreal as this is written.

Skawennati and IIF Research Assistant Erica Perreault gave the first of a series of three workshops on creative uses of Second Life at Eastern Bloc in Montreal this past weekend. It was an intimate environment as the group set up their laptops around a wooden table in a room lit with sunshine.

The day took off with introductions from participants and the IIF team. A look back on TimeTravellertm gave everyone a view on what Second Life looks like and is capable of. The word “machinima” is the combination of “machine” and “cinema”. Skawennati defines it as “making movies in a virtual environment”. She has also started to use the term “machinimagraph” to describe a photograph taken in a virtual environment, as we learned when she showed some stunning images from TimeTravellertm. The participants would later learn to take their own “machinimagraphs” and document their adventure.

Once the Second Life viewer was downloaded and accounts were made, people started taking their first steps in this popular on-line world. Starting to play in Second Life is much like being a newborn baby. Participants had to learn how to walk, run, fly and talk to each other. Appearances were customized for better or worse as people played with the controls.

Some confusion and fun as the group first meet in Second Life.

Skawennati and Erica made a great team as the group had to navigate the sprawling preference pages and set it up so that their experience was at the highest quality they wanted or were able to handle with their laptops.

A group outing for lunch to a nearby restaurant helped make the afternoon session more relaxed as people were more comfortable with each other. Browsing the Second Life marketplace to find user-created content was covered, along with searching through the available library for textures and items.

A row of snowmen lined up with their creators for a group photo.

This led into the building process of Second Life. The participants had a lot of fun creating chaos in the private sandbox as avatars ran around with rocks for heads and random items populated the area. They were presented a mission to build a snowman that taught them the basic building tools and kept Erica on her feet as she troubleshooted for people.

The day wound down with a viewing of some examples of machinima in other games and a showing of the first three TimeTravellertm episodes. This sparked some further inspiration in the participants as they went home to prepare for day two.

Creativity, determination and teamwork will be the keys to the creation of successful machinima shorts as we move forward with the workshop!