Early feedback from the RL walkabout in Boston

A good day today.  Over 6 miles walked, which covered a LOT of the Hub City.  The town of my youth is much different than I remember.  (Although Newbury Comics still is “a wicked good time”!)  

The architects built a facility that looks out over the water in Boston Harbor - very impressive!

The first trek of the day was to check out The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston.  A nice place, with a number of fine works that demonstrated the creativity that can happen when you use tools beyond oils and watercolors.  Worth the price of admission.

At the same time, I was looking at these unique pieces of art and asking myself, “Where’s the virtual world art?  Where’s the machinima?  Where are the SL photography displays?”  

It’s a nice museum, indeed, but the curators are about half a step behind that which is truly contemporary.  There’s a whole new medium out there, and that medium makes up the Second Arts.

Cheen Pitney makes a statement at Burning Life

Cheen wisely left the nipples out this year and created a powerful statement about the destructive impact of greed and war on the chances for peace. To the right, a black lion looks on – perhaps a symbol, adding to the scene, or maybe just another great example of Cheen’s sculpting prowess.

If you can’t tell, I had a devil of a time taking this snap. Surprisingly, the lag was almost tolerable. Problem is, there was no advantageous way to take a photo of it! The build sites are packed so that you can’t take a builder’s work on their own; you must look at it in terms of the flea market scene in which it is placed. Sigh. And Cheen really DID do a strong presentation…
posted by Morris Vig on Burning Life using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

[UPDATE] I caught up with Cheen inworld and asked him about the black lion.  Made for an interesting discussion.  If you find him…try figuring out his motives in including it!

Reclaiming the Dream

[I usually don’t mix and mingle RL with SL ™, but this post does…so please bear with me.]

Greetings from downtown Boston, Massachusetts.  Boston isn’t my home – I used to live not too far away, but it’s been so long that the Bay State is no longer “home” and Boston is a vacation destination, nothing more.  I’ve got the entire city, with its culture, history and Red Sox right outside my door but have Second Life ™ very much on my mind.  

Right before I left, I had a brief fit of creativity and worked up a piece, “The Dream is Real.”  I love the quote that a simple Google search unearthed: “The dream is real, my friends.  The failure to realize it is the only unreality.”  As I reflect on my day to day jaunts into the metaverse, I instinctively know that the Neil Stepehenson vision of a virtual world has achieved a degree of reality that few could have imagined.  Sure, there are crashes and lag and asset servers that would be better serving as paperweights, but the DREAM of a functional, virtual world is REAL.  

I tell you that to tell you this…

A little while back, I wrote a brief, introspective piece called “Transformative Changes.”  In it, I said that 2 things were going to have a profound effect on my (real, and perhaps second) life.  Both came to pass.  I’ll share with you one: I enrolled in college after 15 years away.  That was a grand experiment, one that was supposed to  permit me to be a full-time worker and a student at the same time.  The experiment lasted all of one week.  My insane work schedule, which regularly entails 55 to 60 hour weeks, left me exhausted and in no condition to study until all hours.  I’m not Superman – never was – and didn’t have the stamina to make it work.  I hear countless stories of adult learners who persevere through conditions way harsher than mine, step up to the challenge of juggling work and life – and achieve their dream.  That I was unable to do the same places me in a quandry.  Am I a lesser person because I can’t live up to these expectations?  Have I failed?  This tears at me in ways I could not have considered.

“Transformative Changes” mentioned two new challenges.  I’ve addressed one now in this blog but don’t plan to address the other anytime soon.  It’s too personal, much too personal.  Suffice to say that it, too, is coming to pass and leaving me full of self-doubt about myself as a person.

Which brings me back to Boston.  I’m in town as a self-described “trophy spouse” as my partner is here for a conference.  I have all of today and tomorrow to reacclimate myself with the city of my teenage years yet am stuck at this computer, thinking of my second life.  

Since deferring my enrollment in school for a year (I didn’t quit altogether – I HAVE to go back to school and pray that work will lighten up in the months ahead), I’ve spent a bit more time in Second Life trying to reestablish some raison d’etre, a rationale for spending as much time as I do in this virtual world.  I’ve reconnected with a couple friends, taken in some wonderful performances, even suffered through the jaw-dropping lag at Burning Life in an effort to fill out the storyline of “How Viggy got his goove back.”  I’ve redesigned (and partially rebuilt) my Bay City – Tanelorn “Second Arts” facility and started to fill it with works of my own.  Some day, perhaps soon, I’ll add in the works of others whose creativity I admire so much.  

Despite all that, I find myself right back where I was emotionally about 4-5 months ago – flailing about, trying to find my SLpurpose.  Clearly, I don’t have any.  Any time I take half a step forward in trying to find one, real life snaps me back in place faster than a lag-induced sim crossing at Burning Life.  I know I have talents and skills to offer for the betterment of the grid, but I have no idea how to do so considering my RL entanglements.  I’m inworld enough to witness, but not consistently enough to participate.  It’s driving me crazy.  

Look at the time.  It’s almost 11AM and I’m sitting in a hotel room in a town filled with creative excellence on a level with any on the planet.  I’m going to go out, take it in and, in the process, try to figure out what I should be in this very important part of my life.