Doing Business Using Machinima and Second Life

Scoble has been increasingly talking about Second Life for the past few months – and I’d still like to understand his interest and/or relationship with them better. It’s entirely possible I missed his explanation about that – he posts a lot! Check out his blog from today on these subjects.

Background from the Second Life wiki:

Second Life (SL) is a privately-owned, partly subscription-based 3-D virtual world, made publicly available in 2003 by San Francisco-based Linden Lab [1], founded by former RealNetworks CTO Philip Rosedale. The Second Life “world” resides in a large array of servers that are owned and maintained by Linden Lab, known collectively as “the grid” [2]. The Second Life client program provides its users (referred to as residents [3]) tools to view and modify the SL world and participate in its economy.

The majority of the content in the Second Life world is resident-created. Linden Lab actively promotes the concept that residents retain the intellectual property rights to objects they create (although they are required to offer Linden Lab a limited license for the purposes of promotion and marketing [4]).

Second Life’s website is here, and the info about last week’s Second Life Community Convention in San Francisco is here.

Much more about Second Life later – the focus of Scoble’s blog and of mine is more on John Hartman‘s awesomely creative use of cheap technology to do real corporate training work.

Specifically, John uses machinima recorded in Second Life to do corporate training. Machinima is short for machine cinema: any use of recorded digital computer graphics to make a movie. There are 2D and 3D examples, but the interactive recording of scenes using 3D-rendered game technology is currently hottest. It’s made very easy by the number and quality and flexibility of these various 3D games/engines, and a few tools, also cheap. This is what John is doing in Second Life.

Note that Second Life is free – though you can spend money in it and on it if you want to.

John makes movies using Camtasia Studio, which is also software we use in making KPL and Phrogram movies. It costs a lot less than a Hollywood studio.

And John uses Crazy Talk, which I haven’t yet check out, but will, given his recommendation. It’s software that makes animated talking heads lipsync your own recorded audio – like for a lecture or training session. I want to see this in action before I make any assumptions about how well this works.

Fraps is software he uses that I haven’t heard of before – looks awesome! From the website:

Fraps is a universal Windows application that can be used with all games using DirectX or OpenGL technology. In its current form Fraps performs many tasks and can best be described as:

Benchmarking Software – See how many Frames Per Second (FPS) you are getting in a corner of your screen. Perform custom benchmarks and measure the frame rate between any two points. Save the statistics out to disk and use them for your own reviews and applications.

Screen Capture Software – Take a screenshot with the press of a key! There’s no need to paste into a paint program every time you want to capture the screen. Your screen captures are also automatically named and timestamped.

Realtime Video Capture Software – Have you ever wanted to record video while playing your favourite game? Come join the Machinima revolution! Throw away the VCR, forget about using a DV cam, game recording has never been this easy! Fraps can capture audio and video up to 1152×864 and 100 frames per second!

All movies are recorded in outstanding quality.

Lots more about machinima in the future – its use for small indie films and for just plain creative self-expression are, of course, a lot more common than John’s use of it for business/training. But we’ll be seeing a lot more of all those uses.

Want to see a bunch of cool machinima examples? Check out the Internet Archive’s Machinima archive.

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3 thoughts on “Doing Business Using Machinima and Second Life

  1. Robert Scoble says:

    I have no relationship with Second Life, I’m just a customer. I like what they are doing.

  2. theschwartz says:

    Thanks for clarifying! Says a lot about how cool you find their stuff, considering that you’ve blogged a bunch of times about them. We do, too – we just think they’d make room for a lot more happy customers if they had a scripting engine as easy to use as, say, Phrogram. 🙂

  3. theschwartz says:

    Another article today: Business consulting comes to ‘Second Life’

    http://news.com.com/Business+consulting+comes+to+Second+Life/2100-1043_3-6107513.html

    “If one thing has become clear about the virtual world “Second Life,” it’s that it is providing lucrative business opportunities to a large, and growing, number of entrepreneurs.”

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