The Drax Files 2: dipping into history

Coming out a little ahead of schedule, Draxtor Despres launched the second segment of The Drax Files on Friday March 22nd. As with the premiere show, the format uses mixed reality, cutting between Second Life and real life to look at another aspect of the former and those from the latter who have made it possible.

The second show in the series focuses on the 1920s Berlin Project and the driving force behind it, Jo Yardley, from Amsterdam.

1920s Berlin project
1920s Berlin Project

Jo has worked on the 1920s Berlin project almost since her arrival in Second Life, and in doing so, demonstrates one of the major abilities of the platform: the creation of an immersive environment which not so much stands as a static reproduction of a place and era, but which actually brings it to life, allowing those involved in the project as residents and those coming to it as visitors to experience life as it was in Berlin during the inter-war years of the twentieth century.

As with the first segment, Drax takes a backseat in things, rather than opting for an interviewer-lead reportage-type approach to the subject. This allows Yo to present both her involvement in Second Life, and how it naturally overlaps with her real life in Amsterdam in an entirely natural style which draws you, almost intimately, into her life and passion for history.

1920s Berlin Project
1920s Berlin Project – image courtesy of Jarla Capalini, via the 1920s Berlin Project Flickr Group

There are times when Second Life is seen by those in the world at large as being for those lacking a “first life”, people without interests, hobbies or friends which and with whom to engage. By allowing us to see into her real life, as well as exploring her Second Life work with her, Yo presents the real, human heart and soul of Second Life – the ability to use it to extend hobbies and interests, the opportunity to provide immersive environments which both engage and inform and in doing so, meet with people from all over the world and form bonds and communities which perhaps run both broader and deeper than  those we might forge purely through the likes of Facebook and other two-dimensional social media.

What emerges is a warm, informative picture of Second Life and why people do care so much about it, how it can offer-up unique opportunities for those wishing to explore it and which further demonstrates how mixed reality is an ideal format for promoting Second Life. Witness, for example, the way in which we see an audience at the 1920s movie theatre in Second Life are in turn able to see into Yo’s real life activities as they are projected up onto the silver screen.

It is this care with the editing and composition of the show which, to me, does much to set The Drax Files as a beacon to those looking to positively promote SL to a larger audience through the use of machinima and mixed-media. Drax demonstrates an intuitive skill, doubtless spurred by his own passion for Second Life, to produce shows which are beautifully balanced from editing through the soundtrack selection to the final cut, to produce a unique and insightful window into the platform and its users.

Kudos, once again!

Related Links

1920s Berlin Project
1920s Berlin Project

7 thoughts on “The Drax Files 2: dipping into history

  1. The second Drax Files highlighted 1920’s Germany… roleplay, commerce, community, history… and how SL can let people explore their RL interests further with others. Shows power of SL, demonstrates build… and most surprising of all, Drax is sticking to the let-the-guest-speak formula, and he’s there just to prompt and to edit together the video and content to help them tell their story. He’s far better as a director and editor for storytelling than the front-and-center spotlight soapboxer (Fluffee/MetaReality). Here’s hoping he sticks to the formula, because these videos are a far more powerful marketing/pr tool for SL than anything Linden Lab has done in any medium.

    Is his Xanax covered by Universal Healthcare, or is there a tipjar to contribute to the fund? Because SL needs more of this than any SIM DEATHWATCH madness at Hamlet’s. 😉



    1. The formula is absolutely spot-on – and in just two segments, Drax has offered-up the means, as you say, to market / promote SL far more powerfully than anything to come through official channels.


  2. I picked up on the mention of Blitz-era London, and I am thinking of all the uniforms which were seen oin the streets. British forces of course, and the US Army and Navy, and soldiers of all the exiled governments of occupied Europe. And we’re not talking the combat uniforms, though they tended to be rather plain. Even withour seeing the insignia, a Polish soldier would be wearing different headgear.

    I have seen some good US combat uniforms. And there are the German uniforms in what sometimes feels like uncomfortable excess. It will be good to see the British Battledress uniform done well, in the various colours used (and the variations and revisions as it was used after the war until the early 1960s).

    And everyone had that cardboard box with their gas-mask in it. Don’t forget that.


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