Category Archives: digimerssive_

China’s Internet Addiction Solution

This via Shanghaiist

An old military base in the Daxing
suburb of Beijing has been repurposed for battle against internet
addiction among China’s 12 to 24-year-olds. According to a new report,
14 percent of Chinese teens are vulnerable to internet addiction, and
the Communist Youth League says that internet addiction is "a grave
social problem" that threatens the nation. Additionally, the Chinese
media has recently drawn attention to social problems related to
internet addiction including a murder over the theft of virtual
property and a string of suicides….[Full Text]

 

 

Cyber-terrorists storm Second Life

According to vnunet.com, "the popular Second Life virtual gaming environment has suffered its first terrorist action."

"The so-called ‘Second Life Liberation Army’, a home-grown terrorist cell of users, has staged an online attack for the first time, calling for democratic decision-making in the virtual community.

Terrorists ‘bombed’ an American Apparel outlet and a Reebok store as part of a campaign for more of a say in the affairs of the online community.

An avatar called ‘Marshal Cahill’ told the LA Times in an in-world interview: "The population of the world should have a say in the running of the world."

"The action highlights a growing tension between long-term Second Lifers and those who have recently joined, and the corporations which have followed them."

permalink http://www.whatpc.co.uk/vnunet/news/2184013/terrorist-hit-second-life

The Second Life Liberation Army (SLLA) homepage is here http://secondlla.googlepages.com/

The SLLA blog is http://slla.blogspot.com/index.html, and here’s what they have to say about the *incident*:

"the army has staged a number of protests in Second Life to publicize its position. Three gun-toting members shot customers outside American Apparel — bullet wounds in Second Life are not fatal but merely disrupt a user’s experience — and Reebok stores last year.

Then they stepped up the campaign, exploding nukes, which manifested themselves in swirling fireballs that thrust users at the scene into motionless limbo.
Cahill said the group targeted in-world corporate locations to draw real-world attention to its cause.

LONG-TERM Second Life residents have given Cahill and his conspirators money to buy virtual guns and other weapons. Cahill says he believes that 80% of long-term residents support his cause.  "The Second Life Liberation Army", he said, "is just trying to make the world a better place."

Wow.  Get a Second Life and get nuked?

“Year Zero” ARG

Death, destruction, decay and bioterrorism – could it be both a fun game and NIN concept album?  oooooooooooooohhh yes, virginia.

To promote the upcoming release of Nine Inch Nails (NIN) "Year Zero" album, 42Entertainment "may have" (they won’t confirm) launched an Alternate Reality Game (ARG).  From the Makers of "I Love Bees" comes an interconnected string of dark digital experiences that paint a pretty bleak picture (NIN? bleak? shocker)

Apparently, if you picked up NIN’s current european tour tshirt and decoded the back (seen here)

…you were not only CLEARLY scoring the finest threads on the planet, you were also getting the first link in the "Year Zero" ARG immersion experience.  Light hearted NIN fans at http://www.echoingthesound.org have been connecting the twisted digital dots ever since. 

Here’s an excerpt (yes, only an excerpt) of what they’ve discovered so far (as of Sunday night)

——–[ http://www.echoingthesound.org/phpbbx/viewtopic.php?t=20265 ]————
1. http://iamtryingtobelieve.com/
first site discovered, about this Parepin drug.

2. http://anotherversionofthetruth.com/

On first glance, this is nothing more than simple, smiley propaganda. [but]…click and drag [to reveal] new text [and] a link…to a message board in which citizens of this particular setting are discussing many things about society…[three] audio files have been revealed so far:

  • opalo.mp3, discussing this Opal drug
  • ballgameOver.mp3, taken from the point of view of an "angry sniper." This angry sniper is most likely the same sniper found on Consolidated Mail Systems’ site, as well as Be the Hammer. Keith from the IRC channel has kindly transcribed all of the chatter in this file, and the complete bit of info can be found here.
  • nohurry.mp3, detailing a police raid and showcasing the REAL truth behind it.

3. http://bethehammer.net/
A resistance site, linked to at the anotherversionofthetruth.com message board. This is pretty much open to interpretation as nobody seems to have any hard evidence […]It is worthy to note that, as stated above, the author of this website seems to be the same angry sniper in the audio clip as well as the CMS website…

4. http://105thairbornecrusaders.com/
"Soldiers of Rupaul under the US flag" Not much is known about this site as of yet. The angry sniper claims to be a sniper who served the 105th Crusaders.

5. http://churchofplano.com/
Not much is known about this site of yet, either. cynicmuse lets us know that the Church of Plano is a New Evangelical Church; one congregation of the New Evangelical Church donated land for the first base of the 105th and another took care of Fort Paul during a deployment. The Church of Plano is also a sola scriptura organization (thanks SecretlyFabulous!).

6. http://www.consolidatedmailsystems.com/nooneimportant/
…Site for what must be the main mail service of society (perhaps). It features a description of Opal stolen from a police officer and his reference handbook, as well as numerous crude drawings, including one of the Presence. It is definitely worthy to note that the page reads "ANGRY SNIPER sent you this message on Thursday, Feb 10, 0000." The title "angry sniper" is most likely a reference to the sound clip that features an angry guy shooting people with a sniper rifle. At the bottom of the page is a footnote, talking about a site called Opalescent Haze. Hmm… Interestingly, if you try to click any link on this page, it gives you a warning:

WARNING CODE 24.10.4 (All page functionality disabled): You are not the citizen assigned to this account. Close this window immediately and stay where you are. Authorities will be in contact shortly for appropriate reeducation.

7. http://www.consolidatedmailsystems.com/citizen_unknown/
Ironically, one cannot enter the site if you are an "unknown citizen," but "no one important" is able to enter freely to view a detailed drug description from an officer reference handbook.

8. http://www.uswiretap.com/case_number_required/
AND
9. http://www.uswiretap.com/71839J/
[These sites were discovered] through the phone number revealed to us in a spectrograph image of 2432.mp3, a file that was contained inside the .rar that "Me, I’m Not" came in. Calling this number revealed a downright scary conversation. The phone conversation can be heard in links found here, or by calling the number ‘          216.333.1810       ‘, which is found in the 2432.mp3 file as well as on the text of the actual site.

10. http://www.artisresistance.com/
This seems to be a page detailing resistance using art. According to the thread that links to the site, World War Three has already happened. The website itself has stencils, wallpapers, and forum avatars for download. Also, this flyer has been found.

NEW!
11. http://www.hollywoodinmemoriam.org/
– This one was found through this image, found along with "In This Twilight" on a USB thumb drive. Not much is known so far.

————-[end echoingthesound.org excerpt]—————————-

and it spreads and spreads.  what gets really interesting is that once this enters the digital space, its pretty tough to tell what is real and what isn’t, what is created for the ARG, and what is created by its "players".

Here’s an audio clip (via youtube) that’ll curl your whiskers…

I’d like to remind y’all: All this is for an album release.  Unless it’s really real.  In which case we’re all doomed to dress, look and act like Trent Reznor.

Machinima/Rooster Teeth

I love Machinima.

Machinima "concerns the rendering of computer-generated imagery (CGI) using real-time, interactive (game) 3D engines, as opposed to high-end and complex 3D animation software used by professionals." 

Basically, its a bunch of cool folks, like Roosterteeth (www.roosterteeth.com), making entertainment using video capture of video games and laying over an audio track of dialogue.  Roosterteeth, with whom we have worked on EA (NBA Street) and Sims 2 efforts, really blew up on the strength of their "Red vs. Blue" series based on the XBox game ‘Halo’.

Here are two examples of their work – the first is from P.A.N.I.C.S., their spoof of F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault and Recon), the second is from The Sims 2: The Strangerhood, which they created using, yep, Sims 2.

P.A.N.I.C.S. (People Acting Normal in Crazy-ass Situations)

And here is the article/interview from IGN with Matt Hullum of Roosterteeth, on the making of The Strangerhood.

Sims 2 The Strangerhood

Here’s a quote from that interview:

IGNPC: So how’s it different doing movies for Sims 2 as opposed to Halo?

Matt Hullum: It’s radically different and very enjoyable but it required us to completely change our mindset on the animations. Using Halo is kind of like puppeteering where the characters we’re manipulating don’t really have any thoughts or AI that drives them, they just kinda do whatever they want but at the same time, they’re expressionless. With the Sims it’s fascinating and different in that it’s almost like working with real actors. The way it works in the game is that everyone has basic needs so you have to learn to manipulate and adjust those needs in order to get those characters to do what you want in the shot you’re trying to create.

Sound familiar?

Google Life?

Google and Linden Labs (makers of Second Life) have been meeting.  Rumors of those meetings have been among the worst kept secrets in the marketplace.  Second Life was out at the Google campus to do a presentation on their universe this past year,

and rumors have been circling about Google partnering with or buying Linden Labs, or constructing a complete, "playable" virtual world out of Google Earth.

"I would expect to see someone using Google Earth as a virtual social space by the end of the year," says Jerry Paffendorf, research director of the Acceleration Studies Foundation, a futurist organization (in "Google Moves into Virtual Worlds", Business 2.0, 2006.12.14 )

Jeffrey was an organizer of the Metaverse Roadmap Summit, a gathering of programmers of virtual worlds.  That summit featured disagreements among:

"those who believe the Web should stay as a 2-D environment with 3-D components, and those who want the Web to become a 3-D metaverse-like environment where your avatar can call up 2-D screens if and when they need to – say, for a word-processing program.  Those in the latter camp believe, like Paffendorf, that Google Earth is the most likely candidate to become a metaverse. Just add avatars, they say, and the possibilities are endless.

Consumers could fly into the virtual New York, go shopping in a virtual Times Square, get past the velvet rope at a virtual Studio 54 and chat with an avatar dressed as Andy Warhol. They could plan their next trip to the real New York in meticulous detail, become a detective in a Gotham noir, browse an apartment for sale, or jump into a taxi and play a driving game.

…By 2016, Google Earth should be a very crowded place indeed."