Digital Artifacts

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Psychic Disequilibrium

I’ve been playing around on Second Life, watching machinima, and viewing videos on YouTube. I don’t know how or why to incorporate these into a movie. I can’t decide on my final project (although I have one good idea) because I don’t think I can produce something decent using Second Life or video game or anime footage. I am not familiar with the plots and visuals of the many episodes and I could spend the rest of my life searching for preexisting visuals out there in cyberspace. (And if I did find them, I don’t know how to capture and edit them.) I need to know much more about the content and how to manipulate the various technologies before I can move forward. When I speak to faculty members and students at my school about the above topics (thinking maybe we could collaborate on something) they are not familiar with what I’m talking about I’m usually excited by a challenge and having to generate ideas, but now I don’t feel at all in control of my narrative, creativity, progress, etc. – (way) out of my element, immobilized. In Sara B. Kajder’s article “Personal Narrative and Digital Storytelling” she quotes Adrienne Rich in describing how her students might feel: “when someone with authority of a teacher, say, describes the world and you are not in it, there is a moment of psychic disequilibrium, as if you looked into a mirror and saw nothing.” That’s a bit how I feel right now. Hopefully it’s the darkness before the storm (and/or the light?). Is anyone else having a similar experience, and how are you dealing with it?

On a practical note: Does anyone know where I can view interesting ways SL is being used out there (aside from just playing)? Also, other avatars are speaking to me in Spanish although I always click “I speak English.” Is there anything I can do about that? How can I make my own avatar talk?


Blogger Innes said...

in the reading, they talk about the main thing being the story. have you tried to focus on a story, or personal narrative, or personal belief first? if you have a storyline, then, as you encounter different spins (second life, graphic novels, trading cards, etc...) ways to utilize the technology may come to mind more easily than the other way around.

also, just to get comfortable with the techniques, try playing around with things on something totally unrelated (like i did with the music "video" of still images relating to a piece of music) that exercise made me a lot more comfortable with the editing software.

similarly, this video i made just last night was done just to try capturing video with FRAPS and Second Life. (Unfortunately, I'm having trouble uploading so you can't see it yet!) Basically, we took some silly poem, and i had my avitar recite it, one video clip for each line of the poem. then we had some fun putting titles and music. it's SOOOO crude, but, heck, we did manage to jump in and do it!

anyway, for what its worth, just jump in and do something--worry about the big picture later! hope this helps.

PS it does help to have someone to work with! preferrably someone under the age of 15!

September 27, 2007 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger Innes said...

you asked about other uses for second life... check out this one:

September 27, 2007 at 9:49 PM  
Blogger Innes said...

sorry, this link (copy and paste) may be more useful to you:

September 27, 2007 at 9:50 PM  
Blogger Innes said...

me, again (sorry!) i put our video on youtube since i couldn't seem to upload it directlyinto the blog. if you are interested, it's at:

(copy and paste link)

September 27, 2007 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger Colin and/or Michele said...

To see how to make your own avatar talk, see Innes SL movie.

And following Innes advice on just jumping in and mucking around and trying things out will definitely serve you well. The thing to do right now is simply explore a bunch of movie-making resources first.

You might also be interested in checking out the machinima-making game, "The Movies". You'll find that it's a much more supported movie-making environment than SL is and isn't too expensive to buy. You can watch a bunch of machinima movies made using "The Movies" on

September 28, 2007 at 12:00 PM  
Blogger Erin said...


I too feel out of my element with all of this. I have yet to find anyone at my school where I teach who has any experience with SL. I keep reminding myself that this is a learning experience and you have to learn to crawl before you walk and then run. I don't know if I will be running marathons by the end of this class but hopefully I'm walking my way through all this technology.

October 1, 2007 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Mirijana said...

thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I will keep on truckin' -- I think I just needed to vent.

October 1, 2007 at 11:19 AM  

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