I have to confess I’m moonlighting in another world. I’ve started working in the virtual world Second Life as an “embedded journalist”. SLATE Magazine (Second Life Arts & Total Entertainment Magazine) is a new Second Life magazine that covers the arts in SL. There are 14 authors in the collective so far and we’re a mixed bunch of artists, academics, writers, business people and designers. At present there isn’t much analysis of SL out there as most blogs provide essential but simple reportage on events with little reflection. We’re taking a different tack and hoping to provide not only interesting information about things to do for SL residents, but analysis on what we think is going on. And, in true SL style we have a virtual office building with desks (I don’t get that, but it is funny). Here is a pic of our boardroom created by the talented Dell and Anya:

SLATE Boardroom


We are also paid in Linden dollars (the inworld currency), we’ll be having frequent events and there was a big launch. I unfortunately was unable to attend the launch because my interstate flight was delayed. But here is a pic taken by the wonderful editor of SLATE Anya Ixchel:

SLATE Launch Party

There are more details and pics at Anya’s page and at her flickr. Anya/Angela Thomas is a respected academic who has been looking at literacy in SL, even running postgraduate classes in it. The event had live streaming music and was attended by the 40 who could get in. Many couldn’t get in and this will be changed for future events when the SIM allowance will be tweaked accordingly.

The Magazine is now online at http://www.slatenight.com/. It will be available inworld and in pdf format very soon. Advertising space is available too. My first article is: ‘A Commanding Conversation’ and is a continuation of the ideas discussed here previously in this post on the poetics of keywords. In future articles I will be looking at how the gallery space and curatorial dynamics change in a virtual world and the writing and games specific to inside virtual spaces.

And IM me if you’re ever in SL, especially if you have some artwork, performance, book or game in SL. My SL name is Lythe Witte.

Reblogged at CME



6 Responses to “Writing About Virtual Words”

  1. 1 Mark Marino


    What wonderful news about your Second Life! This work look extremely interesting for all of our WRT readers (your article, in particular)!

    Keep us informed of all secondary, tertiary, etc. lives…

  2. 2 Kim Flintoff

    Thanks for the heads up on this develpment - its great to see that there might be some more informed commentary emerging from the very interesting engagements that are occuring within SL. SLATE certainly looks promising.

  3. 3 Mark Marino

    It also seems like you are innovating as you are writing by developing your critical apparatus within the context of the storyworld or encounter-space you are critiquing. Such a move has interesting implications for other media forms (IF, bots, etc.).

  4. 4 Christy Dena

    Yes Mark, I’m interested in how you critique art that ‘lives’ in a virtual world, that is intended to be experienced in it and can only exist in it…And I love the idea that we’re all made of the same substance: unlike a gallery where there is the paint or the TV or the UV, in a virtual world you are all made of the same pixels. Interesting democratisation of art and observer, art and interactor etc…And I’m also interested in the books in SL — that is what inspired me to get in there. And, you’ll love this, there are bots. I’m really looking forward to creating an inworld bot that has its own home you can visit…Mark, you’d appreciate that!

    Feel free to join us! :)

  1. 1 New Arts magazine in and on Second Life - Dramatech Space
  2. 2 The Output-Oriented Game (OOG) — The Movies at WRT: Writer Response Theory

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