The activities in Second Life of the New Media Consortium (NMC) are too diverse and too numerous to do justice to by writing about it in a single blog, so over coming weeks, I’ll be highlighting some of its exhibits and features. This educational collaboration between 125 colleges and universities includes over 100 regions in Second Life.
My topic today is the Storm Eye immersive art exhibit, a creation of Desdemona Enfield and Douglas Story (Dennis Schaefer in real life). The exhibit consists of about a thousand primitives, each with a moviing picture texture, and accompanied by very rich sound effects that include thunder, rain, and chirping birds.
When you first teleport to Storm Eye, you are almost 500 meters above NMC’s Aho Museum. You are in a deep red world, with a red path winding its way upward to what looks like a blue and white vortex, except that it’s stationary. Before going any further, make certain you’ve followed the instructions to turn up your audio to max and to enable media playback. Without these, it won’t be much of an experience. Also be sure to get one of the free umbrellas if you don’t want your av to get wet! When you’re ready, walk up the path into the vortex, and be ready for an experience.
Once inside, you are surrounded by 1,000 prims of video and audio looping in a 4-1/2 minute cycle of rain, lighting and thunder alternating with blue sky and birds singing. If you have headphones, use them. The audio is key to enjoying this exhibit.
When you’re ready to leave, you can’t just walk back out. You have to find the tornado and click on it.. Its location isn’t immediately evident at first, just a semi-transparent image. Once you find it, click on it and you will be immediately teleported back to the red world immediately outside.
If you’re a Second Life member, you can teleport to Storm Eye by clicking slurl.com/secondlife/NMC%20Campus%20West/91/86/501. If you’re not a Second Life member, you can watch a shortened, 1.5 minute version of the experience on the Storm Eye blog.