Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New World Notes, and kids!

blog.secondlife.comNew World Notes is holding their "Uncanny Valley Expo" contest for 2007, and I've managed to beat 33 other great avatar photos to the finals! The goal of their contest is to showcase avatars who've"crossed the divide between creepily artificial and the believably human."

My entry, titled blog.secondlife.com was a visiual depiction of how I felt reading some very anti-kid comments on the Second Life blog titled "Accusations Regarding Child Pornography in Second Life." The photo has previously been an editor's choice on Snapzilla.
Voting is open for a couple of weeks.  Please, if you wish, vote for my image. I think it'd be cool to show 'em dat us kids got what it takes, an get someting more positive about kids out in the press!

EDIT: Voting will be closing on the 14th of November!

Monday, October 29, 2007

I just spent a wonderful week at camp...

ObstaclesCamp HardKnock is the outgrowth of the the old HardKnock Elementary. Run by Jill Caldera and Gattz Gilman in the Tu Amor sim on a seasonal basis, Camp HardKnock serves as a sleepover camp featuring numerous guided activities and plenty of "free play" time.

I arrived a day or two late, due to real-life commitments, as well as a little trepidation about being away from my SL family for so long. A Second Life week can feel like forever!

Once I settled into camp life, however, I saw that the experience was something quite wonderful. The sort of thing I wish there was far more of in Second Life. A place full of joy and delight, peopled by some very loving and caring individuals, and a place to truly, safely explore one's own "inner kid."

There were activities galore, from a "cabin pranking day" that left the boys cabin full of pink, and other filled with giant cup cakes, to a talent show full of play acting, performing, and other moments quite unlike the dance clubs of "mainstream" SL spaces. We had ghost stores, camp outs, dances, scavenger hunts, and even just pancake breakfasts in the mess hall.

Even when there wasn't a scheduled activity, we still found ways to occupy our time. In the open area between cabins, there was always plywood cubes being turned into some new shape as kids let the imaginations go. Counselor Gilman's morning building events -- more of a "build on a theme" gathering with some instruction as need be -- made for everything from sentimental mementos of camp friendships to imaginary creatures.

Then, one night of camp, you got to see the real heart of the place: one camper's SL father -- and another's SL grandfather -- was killed in a real-life car accident. The camp pulled together for them, holding a solemn memorial for those who lost family, and reflected on how much their own SL families mean to them.

This is the thing about these Second Life kids, and about this camp. While there sure are some to whom the name might fit, we're not some perverse subculture that some would lead you to believe. The camp, while red taped to allow a respite from the outside world's interference, was something I wish all could see, just to have a better idea what all these kids are doing on Second Life.

We're creating and using our imaginations. We're sharing with each other, and enjoying each other's company. We're caring about each other, and lending a hand when needed. We're learning new skills, new ideas, and even new interests. Above all this, we're having fun.

For those who might be interested, there is a movie on YouTube that Counselor Caldera put together at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9iNjwMy8eU - an also photos at http://www.sluniverse.com/pics/Default.aspx?Name=Marianne+McCann, Casey Sawson's website at http://www.rainbowramen.com/princessofsl.html, and in Maxi Rehula's MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/maxirehula, amongst others.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Kids are the most creative souls in Second Life

The SLC has been up and running for a year and a half now me thinks. When i talk about working on stuff for the SLC im not just talking about the group, im talking about the Child AV community as a whole. The SLC was formed as a way for all kid av's to stay in touch and find out what everyone is up to. It was also formed so we could advise noobs about current attitudes towards Kid Avs in SL.

With over 500 members and still growing, i think we are at a point where we really could be crating some wonderful stuff for SL. More and more Sl communities are saying how much imagination people behind Child Avs have. If just look at some of the stuff us Kid Avs create its a wonder more of us arnt approched to create more.

We tend to think about those nostalgic things like Cans with string on them for communication. Wooden Swords and collander helmets. Animation overides that perform wedgies. We as a community of people are highly creative, its part of being a kid av. You might not think you are. ;) but i know better :-p

Thursday, October 4, 2007

"Why A Kid?" art show!

My show!Livingtree island will be hosting a showing ofself-portraits by me, titled "Why A Kid?", and focusing on the experiences of child avatars within the Second Life world. Show will run from the 5th of October to the 19th, with an opening event with me on the evening of the 6th at 8:00 p.m. SLT.

If you or anyone you know has ever had a misconception about child avatars in Second Life, please come and learn some of the reality behind why people would choose to be a kid in this world!

My works and a show book will be available at the show. All are welcome, an lotsa refreshments will be provided.