Mike Pastore – “Live Music Performances in Virtual Worlds” – Empathic Argument

This is a short audio recording of my empathic argument explaining the topic of live music performances in virtual worlds that I will address in my final paper for E4: Virtual Worlds.


1 Comment

  1. Rebecca

    November 26, 2007 @ 5:33 pm


    Hi Mike,

    I really like this project idea. Your podcast is set up more as a description of your paper than as an empathic argument to an audience that you want to persuade. There are, however, some empathic elements. You acknowledge the concerns that many people have about the current format of live performance in virtual worlds. This lays out the problem that you’d like to address. You then go on to make some arguments about how, in spite of these problems, there is still a role for these types of performances.

    I’d like to challenge you to take your thinking in a slightly different direction. There are these problems with live music performance in SL (on which I think we agree). For instance, if the performer is represented by an avatar (or a group of avatars) it is impossible for him/her/them to control the avatar and play live at the same time. This causes a weird sense of non-presence of the artist. When video is incorporated that alleviates this problem somewhat, but it leaves little advantage over a webcast as far as the concert-goers are concerned. The benefit to them in this case, i suppose, is that they have a sense of being part of a fan group because they are aware of the other fans there with them. but even this is limited by the capacity limits on spaces in second life and other virtual world platforms.

    What I wonder is if there isn’t a way to reconceive what a performance might consist of in an environment like Second Life. Perhaps because of the ability to do it from anywhere and at any time, artists might be free to offer some different kinds of connection/interaction with fans than is currently possible in RL. Perhaps they might stream a version of a new song and discuss it with fans, or have a “backstage party” where they hang out with fans, or who knows what. It seems like the current model is so stuck in just replicating the real-world concert in a paler, less satisfying form. I’d be very interested if you would spend some time thinking about what artists might be able to do in a live virtual world setting that they can’t currently do at a concert or on their myspace page.

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