Friday, July 27, 2007

Where is life'??

This image was taken during the first 10 minutes of Second House of Sweden, the Swedish embassy in Second Life being open to the public. I thought to put it here after the discussion I was part of last night while having dinner with colleagues. We spoke about SL and what makes it "different". It is a tricky thing really as I am not so sure it is that different from other virtual world platforms and I have difficulty defining what it is that has made it into such a international media topic (newspapers, TV, radio and magazines all run content about it). Last night we spoke about about presence, affordances and the relationships of space to content. The depiction, representation or simulation of space is of particular interest to me. We also raised the long vexed issue of mediation and reality; in a sense all this is mediated even waking up and opening your eyes and looking around. The problems of 'Real' is something that concerned Plato and it has been going on since. I don't want to 'champion' SL as of course it is a commodity and it exists in networks of capital exchange. From such relations comes much of the hype of SL; "7 MILLION USERS!!!" and so on.

In research calm detachment helps I suppose, a curious interest in what is actually happening, what people are doing using 3D media platforms and how we construct communication and representation in them. Something that Henry Jenkins said in his HUMlab seminar, of which Patrik reminded me of once, that it is not so much about the future, the speculation over where this is taking us and what glorious possibilities await. Rather it is about what is happening NOW. What does media like SL mean and what can be done with it? That's what I am interested in.

I did enjoy the conversation last night.

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