20 Jul 2020

The 1st Question > Virtual World Television < Proof of Concept

*Tinies Prance*
*Music swells*

The Grande Finale Edition of the 1st Question!
Our Tribute to Paradox Olbers and the Era of The Scilands in Second Life

Paradox Olbers / Spike McPhee to whom this show is dedicated offered me the SpinDome in a special area of Second Life in which to produce The 1st Question in March 2008. In 2020 after 8 years off the air we came back to honor him in his passing. Paradox was a guru, friend, inspiration and is sorely missed, though there is comfort in knowing his ashes were scattered amongst the stars...

The show which ran weekly 2008/2010 and monthly 20011/2012 produced over 150 episodes of incredibly fun, rich content of humor and invention. The panelists were incredible people from around the world's science and tech communities who were there for business, universities and commerce. It was a show highlighting human innovation, one that made rock stars of smarts with questions about the past, present and future of discovery. The live audience logged in and texted along in real time, playing the game as it went along for some real immersive entertainment.  

Great thanks to everyone who were part of the shows, the crew who filmed, did sound checks, ran the game boards and provided security when needed. Also the tiny furries who opened with dynamic props and flair, riding tiny helicopters through burning hoops of fire among other mayhem.  And of course to the magnificent panel, a stunning array of visually and mentally brilliant avatars. Thank you for being game enough to play! And to our audience, smart and funny as the panel! It was great to be in this pioneering era of virtual entertainment, with The 1st Question being the only game show broadcast live over treet.tv.

And because this is a great example (imho) of what user created virtual tv looks like, attached is a paper I co - authored on the subject, with the very estimable CarrieLynn D. Reinhard.

If you want to talk about the Future of Game Show TV or Multi - Person User Television, I can be reached at info@pookymedia.com.  I have over a decade of experience in this field.

(originally published on December 16, 2012 by CarrieLynn D. Reinhard in Scholarly Reporting.)

Virtual World Television Products and Practices:Comparing Television Production in Second Life With Traditional Television Production was presented at the Midwest Popular Culture Association conference in the fall of 2012, and will be presented at the Central States Communication Association conference in the spring of 2013.

This paper represents the first academic research produced from the study of virtual world television, and thus it is posted as the first of an ongoing research communication series that will include in-depth narratives of the producers’ experiences creating television programming in Second Life.

Abstract: Virtual worlds are persistent digital environments populated by people, engaging with each other and the world’s designers to produce the content of the media product. In some virtual worlds, the worlds’ users have been experimenting with how to produce informative and/or entertaining content that is analogous to traditional television content. In a series of interviews, the producers of such virtual world television programming in Second Life discuss how they perceive the role of the virtual world in their production endeavors.

From these discussions, three themes appear to be integral to their ability to produce: issues of;

  • connectivity,
  • creativity,
  • and community.

These themes are also used to compare virtual world television to the traditional television spaces and practices that exist in the physical world, in which the virtual world is embedded. While these producers may be replicating some aspects of traditional television, it is their act of producing that transgresses tradition.

5 Jun 2020

On Second Life…..and Death

(picture taken after 100th Show by PB Recreant)

On June 28th at 12 NOON SL time You are invited to the SpinDome for 
The Guru Edition Of The 1st Question!
Tribute to Paradox Olbers

On the Panel:
Troy McLuhan. Korii Tiger and Jimbo Perhaps
PLUS our special Guest panelist

The show will be streamed Live Too, so can watch from the web!
(Watch this space for updates and links)

The Quiz Show To The Stars! If You have an Answer, We have a Question!

Once Upon A Time in a land both far away and in the next room, begins a journey that would take me into the future, Once Upon A time that was in 2008, clearly 12 years ago. And I entered this strange land where water isn’t wet, where I could fly, where I could change the time of day or landscape with a click of a mouse, yet unsure about things like how to sit to learn something.  I had entered the world of Second Life for a marketing conference but by the end of the three day event  had met some people who would go on to change my life forever. None of us are who we are without the people we meet in our lifetimes. Here I met people from all over the world and all over the country, on a 19 inch screen, which through its 360 degree view, extends for virtual miles...

Memory works like a small film, and we can “roll” that film before our minds eye by pressing play on that moment. If I have a visual of what is going on, a scene from a film as well as real life, I can replay that. 

My memory of the day I met Paradox Olbers runs like that too. There he was standing outside the large virtual conference auditorium with some other people I had seen texting and whom I interacted with. Arthur C. Clarke had just died and we both spoke of being affected by his writings and sad he was gone. He was standing with his tie Dye shirt on, blue jeans, greying ponytail and a smile. He asked me if I wanted to see something cool, and I said yes, so he disappeared in a cloud of orange smoke and soon a prompt to take a teleport to him appeared on my screen. And with an instinctual trust, I took it.

Then we were in a large dome shaped building, and a large man creature elf was playing the most illusory sounds with electronics and flutes, that was how I was introduced to Cypress Rosewood. We sit and watch and Paradox messages me (IM) “I wish I could get more people in here’ having just come from 5 years on another virtual platform albeit a 2.5D one where I regularly staged productions I texted back….”Well, I have an idea….” and put forth the concept of a weekly show, a science/tech quiz show which would celebrate smarts and make rock stars out of scientists. Paradox loved this, and with only knowing me for less than a week said yes, and the weekly edition of The 1st Question was born. 

Paradox had helped set up the region known as The Scilands in Second Life which would be a protected place for educators, scientists and science related places. It had no sex, no gambling and no real stores. It was a safe space where universities and government agencies could set up shop, and they did so in great numbers. Businesses such as IBM followed too. Paradox, and the others who did this, helped establish Second Life as a great place and resource for those of us who think. Intelligence of the human mind, curiosity and mental challenge are all things we can embrace, and moving forward I hope the pendulum will swing back to a celebration of smarts and the sacredness fo thought. Hearing of his passing only recently, I must make the steps back to Second Life to remember and embrace Paradox’s memory here. Second Life also gives Second Death, no less a loss for those who remain.

We remember our heroes - the people who gave us a chance, who understood us, who touched our hearts and minds with songs, words or solace. We all have our Personal Hall of Fame, those who walked with us down any time period path in our lives, holding our hands figuratively if not literally. We do not live in easy times, we live in times where we must honor those who have stepped forward to guide us , so we may step into those shoes too and guide others. Paradox was my Guru because he had a vision of a better and smarter world, and strove to make that a reality. And while the physical limitations of anyone's life can prevent much, Second Life allowed Paradox a freedom to be who he was, to build and look at what he wanted and even more to craft together an area which would focus on some of humanity’s greatest achievements. And then he helped me and so many others get to where we needed to be, in our lives, no matter if the platform is based on earthly gravity or virtual reality where gravity doesn't really exist. 

And the memory of meeting him, of our cherished moments together are in my mind's eye and will be, until I leave this mortal platform which has launched us all. I am forever in his debt, he is forever in my heart. Whether I met Paradox Olbers in Second Life or Spike MacPhee in Boston, he was the same human being inside, and the tesseract of Second Life which bridges distance in the snap of a log in, made it possible for me to find a real friend, mentor and yes Guru. And because we live in times where we must embrace our heroes, the news of his passing made me realize I had to do something for him.

Please join us, wear tie dye and have a ton of fun!

And here for the record is the Interview Paradox granted me so early in my Second Life.

Great people make an impression on one’s life, and thank you Paradox for being par tof mine!

See you in Spindrift on the 28th! Wear tie dye if you will too!

With Love-