John Lester (formerly known as Pathfinder Linden) talks about Oddfellow Studios’ research work in virtual worlds at about 6:35 into the clip.
It didn’t quite all start when America’s Got Talent’s promo crew came into Second Life in summer 2007, but that’s when things took off. After the cattle call auditions, the SLebrity judging, and 300 residents of Second Life voting, Tuna Oddfellow was declared “Most Talented Avatar in Second Life,” and won L$1,000,000 (roughly US$4000). Tuna appeared on America’s Got Talent on US broadcaster NBC twice that July, to a total viewing audience of over 20 million Americans.
That winter, Hussayn Dabbous asked us to be the set for a music video he would produce for friends. Note how the Odd Ball is (relatively) small and we haven’t added a lot of the whirly bits and such. We thought this was hot stuff at the time though!
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Three months later, as a virtual wedding present, Hussayn also made us a wedding machinima when we staged a very sweet Second Life wedding. The day after the ceremony, Lewis PR, Linden Lab’s PR firm, called us to ask if we’d be willing to talk to a magazine about relationships in Second Life. We were hesitant — so much of the media coverage of online relationships is exploitation and sensationalism. But with Shava’s own background in journalism and PR, she figured we could frame it right. Imagine our surprise when the magazine turned out to be Business Week!
Shava quickly got hold of Hussayn and asked him if he could edit the video that day, and we think Hussayn just didn’t sleep until it was done. As a result, we are probably the only people ever to have their virtual wedding machinima and story covered in Business Week!
OK, this one’s not great — I took it with a little digital camera, at a show where the tech crew hadn’t been told we were coming and wouldn’t take down the foot lights, so we projected the show *waaaaay* up on a wall. But it’s the only documentation we have so far of what it looks like when we are running a mixed reality show, running 2-4 computers and driving the media on the screen. Now with Paul, we’ll be adding lights and music of our own too!
These fan videos (above and below) are from the five hour rave we did at the Grand Ballroom of the Westin St. Francis in Union Square, in San Francisco. We were the entertainment keynote for the Second Life Community Convention this past year, and three DJs (at the boards is Thomtrance OToole spinning Goa) played, Tuna improvised his graphical jazz, and Shava ran the tech for the projectors. The top and bottom videos, both by pietorg, show different aspects of the Odd Ball. Above, the view of the dancers and dancing — below, Shava gets artsy/tripsy with the graphics for a bit, showing off the expansiveness of the Odd Ball’s effects (although, in 2D projection, you’ll barely get a suggestion of how trippy they are in immersion).
Look for the differences in the depth, style, and compelling nature of this art vs. the music video from 2007! It’s been quite the trip!
Lenni Foxtrot’s a big fan — and this was her first ever machinima! It really captures a lot of the taste of the Odd Ball dances. The video ends halfway through, but it’s a stunning first effort!
And, just for fun, here’s Fish, the Tuna man himself, learning to walk on broken glass at our friend Dezrah the Strange’s house in Worcester MA. Have I mentioned that living with Fish is like running away to the circus without having to leave home? ;)