Monday, November 26, 2012

Meet Myf

I have noted before that I am not a "gamer". Apart from a couple of blasts around the track in Mario Kart, I have never been compelled to go in pursuit of the Super-Duper Sword Of Killingness*. This is in no small way down to the fact that I am fiercely competitive. I don't start things I can't win, and if I start it, you had better assume my endgame is to win it.

I'm not really one for shooting, blowing up or setting my problems on fire. And I like to dabble ... and dabblers don't win races.

Since knowing Shippy, and as a direct result of Second Life having become a place of work and not leisure, I have been logging onto Clone Wars Adventures and have completed Guild Wars - Prophecies.

I had to start from the very beginning. In fact I still don't know how to move with anything resembling agility, and every achievement has come as the result of repeated smooshings.

I started Guild Wars 2 last week. Please meet Myf Rogue, and her companion/mentor Jyotis Ravi.

 I could write at some length, believe me, about the game culture, and what it's like to stumble into this microcosm. How intensive is the preparation and research, how resourced these players are. How it's natural instinct to them to make use of tools within and without the world they inhabit. And I probably will consider these things at other times. Because I really love this game.

Myf and Jyotis in Rata Sum, the capital of Metrica Province
"we're setting out on the journey"
Myf and Jyotis are Asurans -:
"The Asura value intelligence and intellectual superiority over all other attributes. Individual asura will dedicate an entire lifespan to building a portfolio of successful projects or becoming the foremost expert of some tiny aspect of the arcane. They constantly seek to prove their own intellectual superiority, and by extension the superiority of the asura race. This typically results in asura being arrogant to the point of rudeness towards others, especially towards non-asura races. The asura have quickly established their intellectual and magical superiority over the other races and view them as useful primarily for heavy lifting, taking risks, and asking stupid questions."

No comment on that at all. I admit, I chose an Asuran because Shippy already was one, although it was also because he thought the character type would suit me. Before I entered Guild Wars 2, I would have told you I wanted to be a typically beautiful human-type character. I don't really "get" how people spend their online lives as other creatures, maybe it's just been to fantastic for my fairly pragmatic nature.

There is just something so endearing about watching these two tiny creatures scamper through Tyria, exploring, adventuring, learning ... and fighting. The game is best played full-screen, and to do so cuts you off, somewhat, from the usual distractions like facebook updates, emails and IM from other forums. It's also such a beautifully made world, it's so easy to immerse.

Jyotis and Myf are agreed it is like having their own movie to influence, participate in, and ultimately consume. That's not dissimilar to what their Second Life counterparts have been heard to say. "Proper" gaming involves quests, challenges, the acquisition of skills, and very little of the "lifestyle choices" of Second Life. It is very goal-oriented, and in that sense, a refereshing diversion for chryblnd Scribe.

I'm still getting smooshed. At time of writing, I am a level 24 stain on the ground :-).

You can expect to hear more of Myf Rogue and her adventures in this lovely alien environment.

Music to read this post with:

Track 06 from The Unofficial Soundtrack for Guild Wars 2, composed by Jeremy Soule

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Chry's interview with Gem Karas from the Australian Trader

One of the most inspiring and talented people I have met in SecondLife has to be Chryblnd Scribe, a tireless and enthusiastic worker for her group Idle Rogue and Second Life in general. Her infectious personality seems to inspire other to give of their best.
Caught up with Chry this week to find out a little more about what makes her tick!

Gem: What was your first impressions when discovering SL?

Chry: Heh ... like so many of us, I rezzed on the Pond Estates, and was bumbling around, more than a little out of my depth, when Parky Lane dropped out of the sky looking all kinds of glamorous, and helped me find my way from orientation into the game lol. I have never lost that sense of wonder, that instant bonding as I learned I could create things, put things together that were really beautiful, and meet other people who have this same (sometimes untapped) creative streak in them, that SL lets loose.
Gem: To us you seem to be a woman of many facets, are there parallels in Rl?
Chry: It is my profound belief that, if you allow it, SL simply distills and underscores who you are as a real person. And you will know who you are, what moves and motivates you, and what you wish you could change, if you pay attention to the choices you make in your Second Life. There are many things it turns out I am, in RL, that I didn't really recognise until they wove themselves through the ether.
Gem: What was your Inspiration behind Idle rogue?
Chry: I was raised by people who lived the philosophy that you get out and create the community you want to be part of, and that is all that I wanted Idle Rogue to be. A community where like-minded people could come and be who they are. Idle Rogue grew organically. I'm a little bit alternative, so it's a little bit alternative. The people who enjoy it best are people who have similar interests to mine, and they are who makes it strong. Idle Rogue is the community I always wanted to live in.
Gem: Have you had any disapointments?
Chry: Of course! We are dealing with humans, and I am relentlessly human myself. I've had painful personal losses that I still struggle to accept. I will say, though, that my biggest disappointment, and this is true for many committed SLers, I think, is that SL remains a misunderstood "fringe" medium. We all, to a more or less degree, treat it like our dirty little secret, and perpetuate the notion that there's something not-quite-right about having a virtual life, when in fact, having a virtual life allows us to explore, trust, create, love, in a way many people will NEVER get from their real life.
Gem: Your greatest highlights are?
Chry: My greatest moments have come from times when I see my friends and family pull together. There are times on Idle Rogue, or with Guerilla Burlesque, or when a group of Idle Rogues travel to an outside event, when I am just bursting with joy to part of such a diverse, engaged and clever group of people. They make friends wherever they go, they get involved with things on the grid, they're people who do, and they do it without bullshit or drama. An Idle Rogue is never alone, and that's actually a pretty awesome thing.
I often say that everything I do, I do for Idle Rogue. The highlight is and always has been that Idle Rogue is worth it.
Gem: Where to now for Chryblnd Scribe?
Chry: Honestly? I have no clue. I am flattered to be offered marvelous opportunities almost constantly. And I am lucky to have the time to be able to accept some of them, though the unadorned truth is that I badly need real life work.
All I really do, in everything I do, is look for ways to help my friends live the kind of Second Life they want. I manage time and resources in a way that lets them get on with doing the (much cooler) stuff that they do, and by "they" I mean the musicians I work with, the dancers in Guerilla Burlesque, the content creators on Idle Rogue. It turns out that this is a kind of leadership, but it's just so exciting, for me, knowing that if I do my stuff right, they can do their stuff brilliantly. It is most definitely, as anyone will tell you, a work in progress, but I'm getting there!

For the few who have yet to see Guerilla Burlesque (SL), it's a show not to be missed, the talent and professional performers make this a rivetting hour of music and dance.
The key to Chryblnd Scribe's success is simple, good music, good friends, and a different slant on life, she helps open your eyes to what can be.

Story by Gem Karas
Pictures by Whelan Ferraris Australian Trader, November 2012
Dresses: Left - GizzA - Dolly Dress [Lace]
              Right -  salt. summer romance vintage sundress
                           Slink Womens Natural Barefeet (Mesh Rigged) (with thanks to Sho Kyong for her patient help with skin-matching)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Still a dancer, always

I don't get time to dance very often. I have commitments that include managing the Second Life engagements of Jordan Reyne and DeepSky Timeless, and a commitment to maintaining the Idle Rogue sim and community. Dancing as a soloist for Guerilla Burlesque has become a fairly demanding pursuit, the bar is very high indeed, and I don't have time to learn the skills the other dancers regularly deploy.

I am frankly in awe of the dancers who arrive at every rehearsal with fully-realised, clever concepts that are freshly developed. It's a rare thing for a Guerilla Burlesque dancer to need to run a repeat, and is more often about performing to their own personal satisfaction than it is about a creative block.

We just went through the Halloween season. Our performances were watched over 500 times, and we did five fresh shows, each with a rehearsal (some shows featured repeat acts). It was hard work, and every dancer dug deep and found the stuff to make it great. We made a lot of new friends, and we did some amazing things. My team is better, faster, stronger than ever, and they make me incredibly proud. Not least, for me, is the fact that our last show, on home ground, was the best. I love that they treat Idle Rogue so well, because Idle Rogue loves them very much.

As my own dance commitments have shrunk, new faces have appeared on the team, and these are truly interesting, natural performers. You will enjoy getting to know them, as they have already shown a distinct personal style and a heartfelt dedication to creating great works. We are honoured, in so many ways, that they chose to work with us.

My act for the final show was based on two thing. The first (as always) was the song, Juular from The Devin Townsend Project. The second was the *~*Illusions*~* Civetta Venetzia Mask which was every bit as majikal as wearing a mask is in real life. In case you missed the act, enjoy the song :-)