"Some people say Second Life is just a dollhouse," Mankind Tracer told dancers during a break between songs while performing at Pop Art Lab’s first birthday bash on Saturday. He was quoting cynics who question the seriousness of virtual worlds such as Second Life and say we are doing nothing more than dressing up our avatar dolls and furnishing our virtual dollhouses.
Cynics about cars and telephones a century ago, who viewed these new contraptions as nothing more than toys for dabblers that would never have any serious application, could not see how thoroughly each would change the world. Today’s cynics make the same mistake in dismissing Second Life and other virtual worlds.
The performers at the Pop Art Lab birthday party are one example of the many ways virtual worlds are changing our world. Not long ago, performers starting out in their career were limited to local stages; today, their avatars can perform before global audiences. The performances on Saturday reminded me again of what extraordinary musical performers we have in Second Life. In addition to Mankind Tracer and his Tracerettes, Pop Art Lab party goers were entertained by singers Hazideon Zarco, Avvy Banzrane, Obeloinkment Wigglesworth, and Starflower Orbit performing a combination of classic Sixties songs and their own compositions.
Pop Art Lab’s founder Claus Uriza
The theme for the party was the psychedelic Sixties. Some guests got totally into the role, such as the woman shown in the picture here, smoking what appeared to be an enormous joint while dancing. Avatars could also recline in flower seats rotating slowly above the dance floor and enjoy 3D art contributed by the Caerleon Art Collective.
These photos and the ones below are all from the Pop Art Lab party.
This was my first visit to Pop Arts Lab. I’d been intending to visit ever since hearing founder Claus Uriza talk about it at the Second Life Community Convention in San Francisco last month (see my coverage of Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4), but I was always too busy to take the time. On Saturday, however, I decided to skip other important business I should have been tending to and instead I logged onto Second Life and teleported to the party. I’m glad I did!
The party itself was fun, and the music excellent, but the Pop Art Lab itself was the important discovery. I didn’t get to explore it at the party, but I plan to return. Even apart from what it offers, visually it’s a treat, very imaginatively laid out.
Pop Art Lab consists of themed music domes clustered around a dance circle, with bean bags scattered around for those who don’t want to dance. There are domes devoted to Rock, Pop, Hip Hop R&B, and Electronica, and a stage. There’s more than I have the space or time describe here. It’s not a club, but a place to go hang out, alone or with friends, listening to a variety of music in a wildly imaginative 3D environment. The best way for you to learn more is to pay a visit.
The party may be over, but Pop Art Lab remains a fascinating place to visit. Second Life members can teleport there at slurl.com/secondlife/Pop%20Art%20Lab/85/128/131. If you use Second Life’s in world Search to search for "Pop Art Lab" you’ll find not only the main teleport link, but teleport links for each of the themed music domes.