Drax Files 17: It’s a kind of magic

Zachh Barkley is the Master of Magic in SL, as revealed in the 17th instalment of The Drax Files. While it’s not clear from the video, he appears to have joined SL as a teen, and has since built up a successful brand within the virtual world specialising in the thing that most fascinates him: magic.

Spells, incantations and more are Zachh’s stock in trade, and LSL, particles, prims and more are his hallmark. It’s the extension of a childhood love which (I’m guessing from his chat with Drax) grew out of a love of Harry Potter and early experiments with build-you-own game environments and tools.

Zachh Barkley
Zachh Barkley

Which should not be taken to mean Zachh is the archetypal Second Life user beloved of certain elements of the media (i.e. someone lacking a life). It’s clear from the video that not only does he have a life outside of Second Life, he has shown friends and family that the virtual can give rise to real world benefits, such as an income.

Those who do tend to dismiss Second Life as a crutch for the less socially capable would do well to listen to Zachh’s disarming explanation of his time with the platform – building revenue-generating business, learning skills (such as coding) which are transferrable elsewhere, mastering digital content creation (another transferrable skill) … it all adds up to something rather unique and which offers potential for development and employment (as well as fun) well beyond the platform.

There are a lot of great moments in this segment, and Zachh’s disarming openness and honesty again demonstrate that those engaged in the platform really are the best ambassadors for it. This is something I really do wish the Lab would more fully appreciate: the opportunities for strong narrative marketing which are available to them for promoting the platform to a broad cross-section of different audiences. The stories don’t have to be constructed – they’re already here, waiting to be told.

All they lack is the reach of a constructive, progressive marketing campaign. And with all the improvement and updates made to the platform over the last two years, perhaps we’re approaching the time when such a campaign can enter the planning stages – so how about it, Ebbe? Are your marketing team ready to construct a narrative around the stories we have to tell?

And with that said, there can only be one … way to sign-off this article, and that’s with another video, not a million miles removed from this segment of The Drax Files or the essence of Second Life itself.

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