One of the things that *really* annoys me when I tell people about Second Life is how quickly they dismiss it as being nothing more than a fancy chat program, or as a perverts hang-out. Thanks to some really bad media coverage in the past it would seem that most people don’t know that the truth about Second Life is very different, and what a wonderful virtual environment it really is.
Fortunately, the celebrated Machinima visionary, Draxtor Despres, is going some way to correcting this unfavourable reputation with his new documentary series, ‘The Drax Files: World Makers’, which features individual avatars and the stories behind them.
The first video in this series is about Kriss Lehmann, the creative genius behind Botanical. If you’re not familiar with the name, Botanical is one of the best places in-world for landscaping, plants and virtual topiary. It’s a wonderful place to explore and Kriss’s creations are truly evocative and perfect for creating your very own natural retreat.
This video gives us a peek at the man behind the avatar and his creative process. It’s also really refreshing to discover how he found love in Second Life, which subsequently blossomed into real life. I adore stories like this, and I didn’t realise Kriss was partnered with the wonderful Shai Delacrox, an avatar whose fashion brand has long been respected and admired.
This video is so sharply edited and produced that it leaves you longing for more, and fortunately there’s a brilliant second instalment,featuring Jo Yardley and her astonishing recreation of 1920’s Berlin.
This is a place that I never knew existed, and it looks sensational. It’s clear that this location has been created with love and care and the utmost respect for the period. It looks totally authentic, even to this untrained eye, and the fact that it is home to a thriving community is testament to the beauty and spirit of the place. Draxtor’s video presents Jo’s story perfectly and shows how she applies her fascination for this decade to the modern world of Second Life.
Jo also makes a really interesting comment during her commentary. She explains that “I have more social interaction with people than you do the entire evening updating your Facebook profile..” and this is a very valid point. Behind every avatar is a human being, so when you’re in a club surrounded by thirty or more of them you are interacting with thirty complete strangers, can there be anything more social than that?
I honestly cannot wait for the next instalment in this series.
It’s a fascinating glimpse into Second Life and the people who use it, and it also strikes me as great publicity for the product. It’s the kind of advertising that Linden Lab should produce, but they seem so out of touch these days. At least we have residents in-world like Draxtor who are clearly so passionate about Second Life that they care enough to make these documentaries.
In future episodes I’d really love to see Draxtor feature esteemed avatars like Antonia Marat, who is the creative force behind Artilleri, where you can purchase stunning 1950’s and early 1960’s style clothing and homewares. I’d also like to see Strawberry Singh featured. Strawberry blogs the virtual world and creates the most fantastic photographs, so it would be great to see her in real life, and listen to her voice as she explains how she creates her wonderful Second Life images.
But of course I’m sure Draxtor has a list as long as his arm of all the people he wants to feature! Whoever he chooses, it would seem that their stories are in great hands.
Thank you Drextor for making this video series. It truly captures the spirit of Second Life and illustrates the many reasons why I am so happy to be a part of it.