The following is a guest post by Pooky Amsterdam (@PookyMedia).
It was Joannis Kepleri in 1634 that first wrote of weightlessness in his book Somnium, or Dream. About a hundred years later, Jonathan Swift would write of two moons of Mars (which would take another 150 years to discover) and Laputa, an island where residents have geometric modeling and knowledge engines.
Jules Verne wrote of rockets, propulsion, undersea mining and a raft of creations too numerous to list. Science Fiction writers have contributed to future ideas and innovation since the genre was invented. Writers from HG Wells, whose babel machine presaged television, to Gene Rodenberry, whose Star Trek imagined so much, have infused our minds with imaginary and fantastic invention.
The Creative Process
And these ideas are taken further, and form the seeds of reality as it will come to be. Such is the creative process, it must begin somewhere. Paper and pencil allows for anything to be “made,” after being seen in the mind’s eye. You can use words to create anything, then use paper to draw how it looks in two dimensions. What if you can go right to a 3D world, and build futuristic cities, design outfits for the year 3011, and actually design the people who would wear them?
Today you could make those visions and drawings reality in an expensive CGI kind of way, or you could use a graphic novel kind of approach to tell your story while showing vivid creations. The mind is not now nor has it ever been limited to contemporary tools for story telling or fantastic creations. Words have sufficed to ensnare the imagination, and immerse the audience since the first campfire. Now we are living and socializing around a virtual campfire, but it glows just as brightly when we gaze into it.
The Virtual World
As it has been said that we didn’t create the universe, so we can not fully understand it. Yet we have created the virtual world, in which we can create anything imaginable. This is done with what are free building tools, in the 3D world of Second Life. While much is recreated to reflect the outworld reality of the residents’ lives, there are opportunities for fantasy, science fiction and historic role-play which are met. Enthusiastically talented, the creators of Second Life’s vast and stunning array of virtual goods and content contribute much.
The legacy of science fiction has inspired many people to carve out tracks of the grid for space bases, futuristic cities and to sell everything from starships to transporters. All while wearing the latest 2520 fashion. While books give much for our mind’s eye to describe, it is thought out before us. Being able to immerse in a 3D world with other people provides a level of visual storytelling which is unique to us. And that can be unique every day.
A number of traditional media programs have spawned new virtual worlds like the upcoming BattleStar Gallactica, Star Trek, and Star Wars – Clone Wars. What Second Life provides is a way to create a new vision and interpretation, not just re-create and role-play within it. There is a pool of resources within people’s minds that can and is crafted into being. That they can also be sold as an incentive and this encourages a new way of manifesting the future. There are designers and builders in Second Life creating assets and adventures which reflect the same design traditions of classic sci-fi, yet made out of prims.
A New Episode
They also provide a great backdrop and wealth for films. The Future will See You Now is the title of a new episode in our ongoing webseries, Time Travelers, for iHelpLoan and SLFC. Films can not be made without sets, costumes, props and all that makes for great visual story-telling. I feel lucky to be part of this kind of creative world which inspires.
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