A Maze In Grace in Second life

A Maze In Grace, LEA6
A Maze In Grace, LEA6

Recently opened at LEA6 is Krystali Rabeni’s A Maze in Grace, which offers visitors a two-part maze to explore.

“Labyrinths are arguably mankind’s first creation borne purely of human imagination. Today, labyrinths and mazes cradle millennia of legend and folklore in their twisted articulations,” Krystali says of the piece. “Labyrinth and maze imagery has at different periods of time in various parts of the world been associated with all aspects of human life. It has been used as a symbol of fertility and birth, as well as one of purgatory and death. It has religious and meditative importance in Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist and Shamanic rituals.”

A Maze In Grace, LEA6
A Maze In Grace, LEA6

The starting point for this particular maze is a raised stone terrace ranged to the west of the region, and which offers visitors a note card on the installation. Much of the rest of the region has been flooded, squat grassy banks dividing the water up into channels which surround the terrace. Fours sets of steps, one on each side of the terrace, descend into the ankle-deep waters. At the foot of each set of steps is a sign admonishing people to Keep Off The Grass – a reminder that the water forms the paths of the maze, not the grassy banks.

Within these channels lie several paths which will lead the explorer around and through the region, passing through gaps in the grass banks and to the entrance to the second part of the maze. This is a classic Venus labyrinth, the labyrinth of love and creation, and itself represented by the water element, and one of the nine celestial labyrinths.

A Maze In Grace, LEA6
A Maze In Grace, LEA6

There are also a couple of secrets to be found as you journey along the watery paths, passing swans and sculptures alike. The first of these is A Maze in Grace; the second, a solitary koi carp. The koi is also reflective of the overall theme of the installation, having a strong life symbolism of it own, as described in the introductory note card.

Krystali tells visitors that as with life, there is no map to help people through this maze. The paths to the centre are many and varied; some people may opt for the short, quick routes to the Venus labyrinth, others may try for the longer paths. There is no right or wrong; but also, as Krystali says, there is no rush nor race. This is a place where you can wander with your thoughts for as long or as short a time as you like.

After all, as many in the past have noted, it is not the destination that counts, but rather the journey taken.

A Maze In Grace, LEA6
A Maze In Grace, LEA6

A Maze In Grace is a part of the LEA’s Full Sim Art series, and will be open through until the end of June 2014.

 Related links

SL projects update 23/4: TPV developer meeting, Friday June 6th

A TPV developer meeting took place on Friday June 6th. The core items discussed in the meeting are reported below, with timestamps in the relevant paragraphs indicating the point at they are discussed in the video embedded here.

Note that the timestamps are not necessarily chronological; some subjects have been grouped together for ease of reading. Also, the last 8-10 minutes of the meeting is taken-up with general conversation (Oz’s vacation, trying-out the Oculus Rift, etc.), which is not reported upon here.

My thanks as always to North for the video.

SL Viewer Status

[0:18] Other than the release of the MemShine RC viewer, version, reported upon in part 1 of this week’s report, there have been no significant SL viewer updates. If the stats on this viewer remain good, it is likely that the individual MemPlug and Sunshine AIS v3 release candidates also still in the release channel will be closed-out, leaving just the MemShine version. As the overall stats between the RCs, which apparent include the SL Zipper RC which is currently absent from the Alternate Viewers wiki page,  are all so close, it is not clear which is most likely to be promoted as  the next de facto release viewer.

Oculus Rift Project Viewer

[1:33] Alongside the release of the Oculus Rift project viewer, the Lab also made the code repository available to the public as well. However, TPVs are warned against integrating the code for release purposes at this time, as it is anticipated there will be significant changes to the viewer once the new version of the Oculus Rift Development Kit is available. However, the Lab is not opposed to TPVs producing experimental versions of their viewers using the code if they wish to gain some familiarity with it.

The project viewer itself is unlikely to undergo update until at least after the new Oculus Development Kit is available to the Lab, although it is expected that the viewer will undergo periodic merges with the viewer release code in the coming weeks / months so that it does not stray too far out of step with viewer releases.

As well as supporting the Oculus Rift, the code within the project viewer is also intended to support other, similar VR headsets, although the Lab obviously does not have any definitive time frames as to when such headsets will become available or when they are liable to be officially supported in the viewer.

ANTVR: to be supported by Second Life at some point? (Assuming it gets to a production status)
ANTVR: to be supported by Second Life at some point? (Assuming it gets to a production status)

Group Ban and Snowstorm Viewers

[03:08] Again, as reported earlier this week, the Group Ban viewer is currently awaiting the server-side code to be fully deployed across the main grid prior to it officially appearing in a project / RC form. This is now likely to be delayed a little longer as a result of the GnuTLS issue, which promoted an additional server-side deployment which replaced the initial Group Ban deployment to LeTigre (the server code should return to the RC channel in week 24).

[03:20] There are further tweaks being made to the Snowstorm release, which should include the likes of STORM-1831, “Obtain LSL syntax table from simulator so that it is always up to date”, which has in turn been impacted by STORM-2026. Hopefully, the viewer will be heading for the release channel very soon.

Maintenance Viewer Updates (with more Cocoa Fixes)

[06:40] There are more maintenance (JIRA: MAINT) fixes coming down the pipe, none of which are expected to be particularly huge, but as things progress there could be a number of MAINT-related viewer releases.

[14:24] The next MAINT viewer to be released should include further Mac Cocoa fixes within it. Unfortunately, Oz did not have a list of what these might be, so expect an update at the next TPV developer meeting if the MAINT viewer hasn’t already appeared by then.

Upcoming Viewer Items

New Viewer Log-in Screen

[03:52] This has yet to make a public appearance, but the Lab is working on a new viewer log-in screen. Details are not clear as to precisely what is changing layout-wise, but it will not result in any actual changes to how log-ins are physically handled between the viewer and the SL servers, nor will it carry any significant updates other than to the initial splash screen. Commenting on it at the meeting, Oz Linden described it as, “yet another attempt to make a friendlier intro for new users”, as a part of ongoing attempts to smooth people through the sign-up and initial log-in activities.

It is expected that this viewer may appear as a release candidate as the current number of RC viewers in the release channel thins down (particularly if the MemPlug and Sunshine RCs are retired, as noted above).

The official viewer log-in screen is due for a revamp, although the mechanics of the log-in process will remain unchanged, and at least some of the widgets will remain in some form. In addition, at some point grid status updates *may* be returning to the screen
The official viewer log-in screen is due for a revamp, although the mechanics of the log-in process will remain unchanged, and at least some of the widgets will remain in some form. In addition, at some point grid status updates *may* be returning to the screen (see below)

Continue reading “SL projects update 23/4: TPV developer meeting, Friday June 6th”

Second Life machinima used in postgraduate law degree course

The University of Western Australia (UWA) in Second Life blog of how a Second Life machinima has, for the first time, been used in one of the major units for a degree programme at the university.

The film, Equity & Trusts: Estoppel Tutorial has been used within the LAWS5103 unit, Equity & Trusts, a 2nd Year compulsory postgraduate unit for the Juris Doctor (law degree), taught at the University of Western Australia. It is a collaborative effort between Metaworlds, based in Ulm, Germany, and the UWA, directed and edited by Laurina Hawks of Metaworlds and featuring a script by Professor Natalie Skead, Associate Professor – Faculty of Law at UWA.

Estoppel is a series of legal doctrines which preclude a person asserting something contrary to what has been expressed or implied by a previous statement or action by that person, or by a previous relevant judicial determination.

Professor Skead and students discuss the unfolding situation in the Equity & Trusts: Estoppel Tutorial movie (image courtesy of the UWA in SL blog

The film charts a situation which develops between a young student and her uncle, who initially offers to finance her tuition fees as she goes to university to study law – at his suggestion – before later withdrawing the offer.

At just under 8 minutes in length, the movie has been shown to students during tutorials designed to trigger  discussions on the Estoppel principle of law. Following the discussions, students were asked to evaluate the effectiveness of the film, and the overwhelming response was positive.

Commenting on the outcome of the presentations, Professor Skead indicated the use of the video resulted in far more rigorous and detailed assessment of the facts as presented in the movie. She added that she felt the discussion on the topic which followed the film was far more sophisticated and detailed when compared to previous exercises conducted using more conventional methods, thus marking Second Life as a valuable tool for connecting students to real life experiences.

Commenting on the approach, / said, “We are absolutely thrilled at how successful this has been, and hope to continue supporting more and more areas in the targeted use of Second Life where it adds value. We have the far have had various activities and outcomes across the School of Business, School of Education, School of Physiology, Anatomy and Human Biology aside from this newest venture with the School of Law.”

As well as this work, the UWA has also recently made a series of presentations on how they use  Virtual worlds to support teaching, research, architecture, international community development, art & film at the Digital Education Show Asia, which took place in May 2014 in Kuala Lumpur.