Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Rethinking Virtual Commodification--Machinima in JVWR

The new Journal of Virtual Worlds Research is out and it is a special issue on Virtual Economies, Virtual Goods and Service Delivery in Virtual Worlds. I have a machinima piece in it, "Rethinking Virtual Commodification, or The Virtual Kitchen Sink."

The link to the machinima [used to be on the front page of the JVWR but that link no longer works now that there is a new issue. Here it is on youtube.]

The link to the pdf with the text of the narration AND then some Notes with some more writing about each of the four virtual commodities I focus on in the piece, Alexith and Shirah Destiny's plants, Maya Paris's burlesque items, Filthy Fluno's actual and virtual paintings, and Rayzer Haggwood's guitar animations is HERE.

This piece picks up some of the ideas I explored in an earlier JVWR piece from 2008. It is also the machinima I was working on when I deleted my SL office/house!!

1 comment:

Dusan Writer said...

Congratulations on the piece - I remember reading your initial article and thinking 'hmmm, I wonder if they've been in-world long'.

The idea of the 'gift economy' is so important and, I'd propose, has a lot of meaning in Second Life because of the ways in which gifts are given. Compare it, for example, to Facebook where "giving" is a mass act - click a button and send a gift to 1000 of your closest friends.

In SL, the act of giving, while it can be performed on a larger scale, usually happens only in small groups or one-on-one.

I was holding an event recently and made a comment about needing a coffee - someone 'gifted' me a cup of coffee and an animation to go with it! It was a unique form of social interaction that you can't find in other environments.

What you said about the value of content was also dead-on. It's not just the "price" of an item but the value it confers in social relationships....I've had hundreds of conversations about content - "Where did you get those shoes" isn't about "Oh, you spend lots" but rather "Wow, look at the craft".

An appreciation for craft, in fact, is an incredible accomplishment for a virtual world.

Go have a look at homemade videos on youTube - sure, there's an appreciation for craft, but the 'drive-by' comments are often hyper-critical, whereas in SL there's an appreciation that we are ALL content creators, and that as the craft is refined there's a level of expertise and art that goes into doing it WELL which is a shared social insight.

Well done, and thanks for returning to the subject.