Odd Virtual World and Gaming Stories

August 7, 2011 at 9:33 pm (computers, internet) (, , , , )

There is a great article over at cracked.com about the “7 Biggest Dick Moves in the History of Online Gaming“.  It is a fairly extensive account of some of the best (or worst depending on your point of view) examples of human misbehaviour in virtual worlds and online games.

I’m not sure what was worst, that they were all described in detail or that I had already encountered most of them at some point whilst following the antics of virtual worlds.

Do take a look to see how some people played the system, broke assumptions about the worlds, took the money and ran or just generally trolled out the griefing.

They include the out of control plague to hit World of Warcraft, where carriers deliberately wandered around newbie areas killing them off!; the ganging up in Ever Quest to kill an unkillable monster, totally surprising the game owners so much that they turned the servers off as it was about to die; the slaughter of the virtual mourners holding a funeral in World of Warcraft following the RL death of a player; the Anshe Chung interview ruined by flying penises in Second Life (did this influence the title of the post I wonder); and the chap who setup a virtual bank in Eve Online and then did a runner with the profits.

The only story that I could think of not on the list was the group (I forget who it was) who organised a virtual conference in World Of Warcraft, after all as an immersive medium virtual worlds have a huge edge in interactivity for virtual events, who had a large percentage of their guests slaughtered when they entered the world for the first time.  Many didn’t even make it to the location of the conference.  Oh well, a bold experiment.  More recent virtual world conferences tend to be held in more controlled environments these days.

Human ingenuity.  Fabulous.  A fun read, and thanks to Pete for the link.



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Mobile Phone back channel at concerts

March 22, 2010 at 10:03 pm (art, internet, music) (, , , , , , , , , )

There have been a couple of occasions recently where I’ve had a difference highlighted to me between the times when I used to perform in concerts at school and kids performing in concerts today.  The difference I am talking about here is the mobile phone.

I’ve seen presentations where people are using social media as a back channel, for example using twitter to provide live feedback or discussion to presenters.  Its quite a different style of presenting, giving the presenter a chance to tailor their presentation to the audience … or giving the audience a chance to gang up on the presenter if things don’t go well!

However, I’ve now started to see times when what could be considered a more traditional concert is augmented by the use of (silent of course) mobile phones.  In the first instance, daughter was performing, and we happened to have the misfortune of having the guy with the biggest hair in the group sitting in front of her, right between us!  So a quick text later, and daughter shifts her chair on stage and all is good (yes, the phone was in her pocket whilst on stage).

In the second instance, I was watching another performance in an informal setting, and could see a number of people sending texts to each other.  How good would it be to have an official mobile-driven back channel at a classical concert, where performance notes could be published and the audience could engage in discussion about the music.  Sort of like a live version of the teletext programme notes that accompany performances on BBC 3 (or 4?), but with an added chat part too.

You see a little of this going on in virtual worlds.  There are many instances of ‘live’ performances in the virtual world of Second Life for example, and during the concert, where avatars are dancing, sitting or standing ‘watching’ a performance, with the music streamed to their owner’s PCs, there is usually quite a bit of chatter.  Both private chat as in instant messaging, but also group public chat going on. Its quiet, it doesn’t interfere with the music and it enhances the performances by providing a live context to what is going on.  There are lots of other uses for back channels in virtual world events too.

It would be really interesting to see if this kind of thing will start happening in real, more traditional, live concerts.  There have been one or two ‘dipping of toes’ into this area already.  The ENO for example, has Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.  However, I’m not aware that social media back channels have started to appear at concerts and performances yet (if you know otherwise, do send me a reference or link).

(Maybe the 21st century equivalent of John Cage’s 4’33” would be a large screen showing a twitter feed).

I think that, in general terms,  when it starts happening, it would be a good thing.


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Royal Opera (Virtual) House

December 15, 2009 at 10:17 pm (art, computers, internet, music) (, , )

When you read about virtual worlds like Second Life or World of Warcraft, you tend to think of the stereotypical geek in front of the computer.  You don’t usually associate them with the likes of the Royal Opera House, London.

However, in November 2009, as part of their ‘Firsts 2009‘ series, they staged a mixed reality performance consisting of musicians on-stage at the Royal Opera House, and other performers as ‘avatars’ within the virtual world of Second Life.  Looks like it was an interesting experiment. The work was entitled ‘The Second Death of Caspar Helendale‘, and looks to be the brain-child of the composer and artist Jessica Curry, a classically trained composer working with digital art, virtual worlds and composition.

Shame I missed it – I would have liked to have seen that.


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Surreal Machinima

September 4, 2009 at 5:42 pm (art, computers, interesting, internet, odds) (, , , )

I’ve been reading about Machinima recently.  This is basically a film, filmed within a virtual world.  Its not really CGI, but more an actual recording of someone using a virtual world such as Second Life or World of Warcraft.

Well, on my travels, I’ve found this rather exquisite example of surreal Machinima, using Second Life.  Its from an in-world artist called Lainy Voom.

See it here on YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLeK9Lanh94&feature=channel_page.


Push by Lainy Voom

Push by Lainy Voom

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