Sunday, January 24, 2010

If You Are in SL, Go See this Sim: Lemondrop's Forest

I've seen a lot of amazing builds in SL, and had a lot of fun, but getting a tour from Lemondrop Serendipity, a fairy even more delightful than her name, of the imaginative, super-fantastical sim she and Photon Pink (also a name indicative of good things!) have built at Lemondrop's Forest was one of the most fun experiences at the most amazing places. (slurl) Lemondrop is one to run, not walk, and trying to keep up was a blast. The huge tree at the center of the sim has wonderful leaves, and the colors and phosphorescence if your settings are at Midnight are glorious.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I will try not to neglect this blog, but I am pretty excited about my new course, Digital Narrative Theory and Practice, and will be posting on the blog for that a lot this semester. For the past 4 years, I have been teaching a course in the Film Scoring Department at Berklee that I designed for the film composing students, to help them better understand the movies that they will be scoring and be better able to communicate with the directors with whom they will be working. Now, with the explosion in audio for video games, reported on by the Boston Globe (with a great picture of my student Nazer who is President of the Video Game Music Club!) and picked up by the Chronicle of Higher Education, I've created a new class, Digital Narrative, to explore gaming and other forms of new media in their wider contexts, to provide the students who are working in this new field with a stronger background in storytelling and to start to think about what the people who make the games, DVDs, and immersive environments they will write music for are thinking about. In the Fall, we'll start having minors in the Liberal Arts, and Visual Culture and New Media Studies will be one of them, and I am completely thrilled to be developing this area at Berklee.

The Second Life component of Digital Narrative is something we are going to evolve together as a class. It is an easy platform for us to use as a group, to try out some gaming, computer-mediated communication, ideas about immersion and interactivity, synthetic camera, virtual subjectivity, etc. We can of course also use it to make machinima or for screen shots for comics for the the projects. We want to do some gaming together as a class, so I am trying to figure out the best ways of doing that, without only doing what I already know. Should all be very interesting, and I invite you to see what we are up to on the class blog, and later, if all goes well, to check out the wiki we are going to make. I'll be using the blog to post things for students, and also projecting it in class as lecture/discussion resource.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Berklee Mixed Reality Panel on Music in SL

Here are some snapshots from the mixed reality event last Monday at Berklee College of Music. You can see the live video feed of Pathfinder and me in the actual room behind the inworld panel. Thanks to Joyce Bettencourt/Rhiannon Chatnoir for running the mixed reality tech and for the use of the Vesuvius sim. Note the twitter garden showing tweets with the hash tag #BTOT10, which is a good example of how something on the web is flat and textual, but can be 3-d and more interactive in a virtual world.

L1 Had a Busy Week at Berklee Last Week!

Last week, on Monday at Berklee College of Music, I was really thrilled to bring together an amazing panel of Second Life musicians inworld while Pathfinder Linden and I held down the fort in the physical venue at Berklee's annual faculty development conference, BTOT (Berklee Teachers on Teaching).

Then on Wednesday night, I was just trying to show the new students what L1 looked like while I was welcoming them on behalf of the faculty at the Spring Entering Student Convocation, but you know her, she is not one to keep quiet . . . .

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Virtual KinoEye

My "Working Theory" piece, an essay with machinima and images, that pulls together much of my sabbatical work on Second Life, is now published in the Journal of e-Media Studies!! See

Virtual KinoEye: Kinetic Camera, Machinima, and Virtual Subjectivity in Second Life