~ Archive for Virtual Worlds ~

Gene, Penguin Instructor for CyberOne

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This is Gene, my instructor for Cyber One. In Korea, I would be calling him Prof. Koo, but apparently everyone else addresses him by his first name. It is still something I feel very uncomfortable about.
It was interesting that he chose to make a penguin. The lives of male penguins are not exactly those to be coveted; starving for months sitting over the eggs! Poor things. Gene says he is working on making a mini penguin that will follow him around. I was going to ask him if he were working on making any mini penguins in real life, too, but decided against it. After all, I am a student and I’m sure that would seem extremely rude. Btw, Gene looks nothing like this penguin in RL.

Meeting Adam Reuters

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After reading about Reuters, I teleported to the island and was taking some aerial shots when Adam Reuters IMed me.

-I like your dress. I was on the roof and thought I saw a parachute, he said.
-Ah, waiting for Superman now, are we? I said.
-I’m no Clark Kent, he said.
I didn’t tell him that it was Lois Lane, not Clark Kent, that had been waiting on the roof for superman. Besides, Clark Kent was the shame of all journalists. I don’t remember if he ever actually did any reporting. I did appreciate Adam’s great taste in fashion, though. (I was wearing an outfit of my own design, called Paradise)

We sat on the edge of the roof and had a short conversation, sipping Pina Coladas, but only because it wasn’t his official working hours yet. In RL, Adam was on the phone for most of the time, but in SL, at least he was sitting there smiling and sipping his drink while I blabbed on and on about nothing in particular.

The island and the architecture were beautiful, and quite a number of people were there. In the lobby, some people were interviewing a man from Electric Sheep. Outside, there were people lined up to meet Adam. One of them pointed out that his online presence may turn out to be annoying to him, especially since it makes it easier for anyone to meet him. Interesting, on the banners inside for “top news” there was a huge picture of Kim Jong Il. I bet Mr. Kim doesn’t even know his face is hanging in virtual Reuters headquarters.


Adam gave me a newsfeed banner (sort of like Google Toolbar) that you can put in the corner of your screen and click on for updated news, which will take you to the news link. I was impressed that Reuters was so net-savvy as to implement these functions in Second Life. But then again, I don’t really want to have Reuters news hanging in my window all the time. Even in RL I have disabled all the IM-type RSS newsfeed services that most newspapers and broadcasting companies offer.

Design and Copyright in SL

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I was at Dazzle, one of the most famous shops for women’s clothes, and saw a bag that was unquestionably a Louis Vuitton knockoff. Of course, the monogram was entirely different, so I couldn’t say it was counterfeit, but more on the lines of being cute, but it still raised questions in me just where the lines of copyright come in when it comes to cyberspace, especially designing in SL.
Now that I have started making my own clothes, I am undoubtedly inspired by my favorite designers, but as to where I take that inspiration, I’m not sure just what the limit is. The other day, I saw a marvelous Dior couture dress and I saved a photo of the dress because I loved the texture, but then when I thought about it, I suddenly got scared and wondered whether or not I was stealing from John Galliano.
But then, even artists copy from each other and no design is truly original. Why even Gogh copied paintings of Hiroshige.

Sometimes I see some very original artwork, furniture, or architecture in SL and I wonder just how original it is. I’ve seen things that seem very original, like this frog chair, for instance. But if you think about it, certainly copying someone else’s work is not something that is overly difficult, if you have the skills. But then, if copyright becomes so unimportant, I believe I would be left with a sense of futility and be discouraged.
But perhaps that is the way of the world. Sometimes I see that articles published in our paper are rewritten with almost no changed under someone else’s byline for some other publication. But being a media in a small country, there are limits to what you can do about it. In the end, it all comes down to ethics, but not everyone has the same standards or sense of what is ethical and what is not. So if you can’t prove your financial or emotional damages- you basically don’t have a case. It’s just a bitter pill you have to swallow.

Stand Up in Second Life!

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“Stand Up!” was the first public campaign that I’ve encountered in SL that takes an RL campaign, extending it into SL. Going to Midnight City one day to look for some hair (what a weird expression), a huge sign was floating over the huge fountain. (This fountain always reminds me of the sitcom “Friends” but somehow it is very intimidating, which keeps me away from sitting on its edge. Usually, I always like to splash water up in fountains, but certainly not this one.)

The sign was offering white wrist bands as a symbol of the global fight against poverty. On Oct. 15-16, clicking on the sign will apparently count towards an attempt for a Guinness World Record. Stand Up’s Web site has more details on the campaign against poverty. I believe these kinds of campaigns are examples of offline elements entering SL and that interaction between offline and online makes SL just more than a place for 3D dating.

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