CSI:NY in SL: Trying to solve the latest case…

CSI ToolbarA new case came afoot on CSI: NY Island last March 21st. As usual, I went to the site, downloaded the latest tool bar, collected the evidence and went back to the lab. For some reason, this time around, the audio clips do not seem to work. The text version will appear for each piece of evidence analyzed, but for some reason, the list of suspects does not appear. So I’m stuck. I thought it was perhaps lag. Tried to listen to the clips on my home turf, which is pretty lag-free, still no luck. Asked one of the CSI managers, who suggested I check my Audio/video settings. Everything was setup as it should be. I’m stumped. Wow! A mystery within a mystery. I’ll keep trying. Stay tuned. 🙂

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Playing Live in SL: [insert up-and-coming musician name here]

The VibeThinking back to when I joined SL in October of 2005, the abundance of activities now present was negligible. Point-to-point teleporting (TP) was non-existant, and half the fun getting anywhere was flying from the teleport hub to the actual location, indicated by a red beam of light. There were clubs you could dance in, new lands to explore and people to meet. SL was definitely in building mode. However, even back then, live music was rapidly gaining a foothold. Today, you can find pretty much any genre of music played live, from folk to jazz, blues, rock and bluegrass, it’s there for the listenin’.

A couple of months ago I tumbled upon a musician who goes by the name of Hep Shepherd. Actually, I stumbled upon a free download offer of one of his Hep Shepherd/Jeff Krantzsongs through SL: Last Goodbye. Not one to pass up free music, I downloaded the song and liked what I heard: Acoustic guitar, for a nice blend of soft rock and folk. His MySpace profile highlight Cat Stevens, Paul Simon, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Pearl jam, Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews as his influences.

I dug deeper and found out that Hep in RL is New York musician, Jeff Kranz. I signed up for his newsletter and his SL group. I was thrilled a couple of weeks ago when he announced he would be playing live in SL at The Vibe. I’ve caught two of his shows now and look forward to the next show. Jeff/Hep is currently working on his first album. I don’t know when the album will be released, but I’m looking forward to that. If you’re in Austin next week for SXSW, you can hear Jeff on March 14th at 7 pm.

More info on  Jeff can be found on MySpace and Facebook.

You can listen to a couple of his songs through his website at: jeffkrantzmusic.com.

Jeff Kranz onstage - The VibeAre you a musician interested in reaching a worldwide audience? Check out the Second Life Blog here on what you need to stream on SL. To perform at The Vibe, contact Bratt Lunasea or Dior Flanagan in-world or through The Vibe website.

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Journey rockin’ in SL?

On February 1st, classic rock band Journey launched the Journey Virtual Island in Second Life. The island Journey Virtual Islandoffers information on the band’s albums, in the form of structures each designed to reflect the respective album. There’s a dance club, streaming all of one (1) video, of the band playing live, and one song(!). There’s a clothing store selling Journey t-shirts and jeans ($L250! I don’t think so…) Pretty sad, all around. I’m told there are activities planned. I’ve subscribed to the fan club in-world. We’ll see what comes across that wire…

I was a fan of the band when Steve Perry was its lead singer. I haven’t followed its own journey since he left in 1997. What I’ve seen today, though, seems like another case of an established business “let’s-jump-on-the-SL-bandwagon-and build a site”. Why am I listening to Sky radio, hits of the 80’s and not Journey songs while walking around the site? Why are the videos not streaming continuously in the dance club, with links to iTunes so I can buy the song easily? Why is the male voice greeting visitors and explaining the site not one of the band members’? Hello?.. Wouldn’t this be a great opportunity for Arnel Pineda, the new lead singer, to introduce himself, if only in voice?…Oy…

To check it out for yourself, click on the following SLURL: Journey Virtual Island

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SLCN TV: Broadcasting Live from Second Life

I had heard of the Second Life Cable Network inworld, but I had yet to explore it until today, when I read about it inSLCN TV Massively, the successor to SL Insider. The breadth of programming was a surprise. Everything from a Shopping Channel, Business channel, Lifestyle, Community channels and including a Sports channel, featuring ice hockey, sailing and snail races…I tuned in to the last laps of this race. A real nail bitter…

Also in the mix is the Music Channel. SL has always been a great venue for artists to reach new audiences by streaming live concerts into SL. The SLCN has a few of those shows archived and available as podcasts.

The nicest thing about all of this is, though you can stream these shows inworld, through special tv sets, you can also stream them on the web via Quicktime. The SLCN has been in operations for a while now. Wow, is all I can think at this point…

CSI:NY in SL – First case solved!

NY in Second LifeI finally took the time to figure out the CSI:NY environment and game launched in Second Life at the end of October. I had ventured a few times late at night but had lost patience as I tried to figure out the best way to navigate, as my own pre-existing avatar (Maxie Mostel) or another one created just for the game. I finally opted to go in as my SL alter ego. It allowed me, among other things, to buy neat CSI:NY t-shirts using my current Linden funds. 🙂

After listening to the intro and getting my CSI:NY Rookie badge, I was off to solve my first case, titled High Flying. Picking up the evidence was easy enough. You click the object and get a recorded audio describing the details of each piece. Once all evidence is collected and saved to your toolbar, you’re directed to teleport to the Crime Scene Lab to analyze the evidence. Unfortunately, I originally teleported to the wrong lab (the one reserved for the Venus crime – the gal that got this whole game started). Thanks to a kind fellow avatar (Luisa), I was pointed into the right direction. Once all the evidence was analyzed, by clicking on the various stations and receiving more audio descriptions, a suspects list got added to the toolbar. I was told to go and interview one of the suspects, Davis, co-owner of the Pegasus Club, location of the crime, while the other two suspects were interviewed by two other CSI officers. Those interviews were then video streamed (each video preceded by the Cisco theme) through the toolbar. Pretty slick, despite the lag. Luckily there’s a text option to that, which types out the text spoken. The final step is then to return to the 2nd floor of the Crime lab and identify the culprit. The case was not too difficult to solve and I’m now a Rank 5 detective..Ahem… 🙂

Next up will be the Zuiker Crime mystery. I’ve read the details of this gruesome murder (Face – $5,000/lb), involving a deli, a meat slicer and said face. This one has a web component, which took forever to load tonight, so I’ll try again tomorrow. Participants of the Zuiker mystery are then encouraged to log onto CBS and describe, in 500 words and less, how they think this murder went down. The top posts will be involved somehow in the CSI:NY episode tomorrow. I don’t know exactly how that will happen, whether during the show, as part of the show or after the show. I’ll check it out tomorrow.

Now that I’ve gotten over the learning part and getting a feel for it, this is turning to be a lot of fun. Considering I don’t consider myself much of a gamer, I’m really getting into this. Well done CSI:NY! Click here for slideshow of inworld pics.

Beowulf Scribes in SL

Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary, scribesScreenwriters Neil Gaiman & Roger Avary dropped into SL this morning to discuss their upcoming film, Beowulf. The interview was conducted by Pica Paperdoll of the Electric Sheep Company, the folks behind the OnRez viewer and the CSI:NY Virtual game in SL. I attended the Q&A at The Shelter, one of my favorite spots in SL. The interview was streamed via Quicktime from Beowulf Island. I took a quick gander to the island after the interview and marvelled at the dishes laid out. 🙂 Click here for slideshow.

Beowulf Island Orientation PathHere’s another nice example of the integration of marketing and SL. Newcomers to Beowulf Island are greeted by an orientation path and led into the castle. I didn’t explore any further, but the castle seemed like a nice location for fans of the genre to mingle. It’ll be interesting to see if any other features are released in conjunction with the opening of the movie, November 16. I didn’t really listen to the interview — my sound card isn’t the greatest inworld. But SL is featured on the official Beowulf movie site, though more details are not available there. Stay tuned. 🙂

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra Hall Picture – now published

RLPO HallA while back I attended the RLPO live concert in Second Life. It was an interesting experiment, as we sat in a replica of the real auditorium, watching a live streaming of the concert. I had taken some shots of the hall before the show and during and uploaded them to Flickr. To my surprise, I received an email a couple of weeks ago telling me one of my picture had been shortlisted for an online guide for the city of Liverpool. Would I be interested having my picture included? There was no money involved, but I said, sure. Well, my picture was chosen and is now online on the Liverpool Schmap Guide.

Here are more shots of the concert itself.

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