Thursday, July 23, 2009
While working the kinks out of my Fraps installation, I took a short video of the new dusk-til-dawn fireworks show at the Mo-Tech Tower SkyLounge (SLURL link). Definitely not a cinematic masterpiece, but it shows off the particle effects quite nicely. Music is courtesy of SomaFM's Space Station Soma stream.
On a completely unrelated note, I went to my first live SL comedy show last Tuesday (July 21). Mariner Trilling was on the stage, delivering his comic monologue, "Mariner Trilling, Below the Waist," based on his hilarious and insightful articles on romance, sex, and dating in the virtual world. I didn't really know what to expect when I arrived, but the performance was low key, and quite funny. Mariner simply took the stage, kicked on the SL Voice, rezzed a couple of slideshow prims (which were unfortunately plagued by technical difficulties), and went to work. In spite of the usual headaches caused by lag in a crowded sim, Mariner managed to pull off a warm, natural, engaging show. That, in and of itself, is quite an achievement when filtered through the innate woodenness and awkwardness of the medium. After the show, Mariner informed us that he would likely only do one more show, in a few weeks, before retiring this monologue. (I have hopes that he'll come back again, with new stories to tell, but he was noncommittal on that point.) Date and time are unknown, but it would be well worth keeping an eye on your events calendar to catch him. I know I'll be back again.
My initial excuse for attending, aside from prodding by Taralyn Gravois and Menubar Memorial, was to observe and provide emergency tech support for the first use of the prototype Audience Response Chairs. This joint project with Menubar allows audience members an easy way to give feedback to performers, by showing floating particle comic balloons ("Ha Ha Ha!" "Bravo!" "Yay!" and so on), playing sound clips, and running animations. It's very much in the early beta stages now, and has a fair bit to go (mostly in terms of making it less disruptive), but it could turn into something of a small revolution in SL performances. The jury is still out on whether this is an improvement over audience-member-provided gestures and text comments, but the response was tentatively positive. Mariner seemed to like them, anyway, or so I hear.
We'll see if it goes anywhere. For now, the project has at least gotten me out from my script windows in Louise, and exposed me to a new aspect of SL. Well worth the time, even if the project itself ends up dead in the water. I'm sure I'll have more to say about this later.