2008.04.18 13:00 - Ways of Playing

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    In the afternoon, I met Stim in the tea house. Like Storm, the day before, he asked me how the PaB exploration is going.

    Pema Pera: Hi Stim!
    Stim Morane: Hi Pema
    Pema Pera: How was your Qwaq session?
    Stim Morane: I still haven’t made it out to get lunch yet today. But I am hoping we can find some ways of discussing various topics that have come up recently.
    Stim Morane: it’s not always easy to have a sustained, in-depth conversation during these scheduled second life time frames. So maybe something else may be needed
    Pema Pera: Where would you like to start?
    Stim Morane: If nothing else, while we are here, I’ll just ask how you see things going in PaB.
    Pema Pera: I did not know what to expect
    Pema Pera: I think they are going very well
    Pema Pera: But the sheer number of different people and different types of conversations and various new ideas that have been brought in — all of that I find very encouraging
    Stim Morane: Are people “playing”?
    Pema Pera: I think so
    Pema Pera: in two ways
    Pema Pera: Several of them have spoken about how the 9-sec practice has been interesting for them
    Pema Pera: leading to various forms of greater awareness
    Pema Pera: That is the RL form of playing
    Pema Pera: But also the whole way we talk about it here in SL
    Pema Pera: is rather playful in itself
    Pema Pera: and it feels like a great antidote
    Pema Pera: to the type of concerns that many people carry
    Stim Morane: Right. Both are important.
    Stim Morane: That’s the kind of thing that could never happen in qwaq, perhaps.
    Pema Pera: Indeed.
    Stim Morane: I notice your avatar moves quite a bit while you’re sitting. Mine on the other hand seems less restive. Is that some kind of profile setting?
    Pema Pera: aha! I have AO
    Pema Pera: Avatar Override
    Stim Morane: That’s interesting. I have to look that up.
    Pema Pera: one of the things you acquire (buy) at some point in your SL life — makes your avatar behave more natural.
    Pema Pera: let me demonstrate.
    Pema Pera: now I am standing
    Stim Morane: IC. Okay, another item to add to the list.
    Pema Pera: and I swift position naturally
    Stim Morane: Interesting.
    Pema Pera: and now I switch off AO — and immediately you will see me looking more stiff, like a default av (=avatar).
    Pema Pera: do you see the difference? I am now non-AO
    Stim Morane: Absolutely.
    Pema Pera: now I will switch it on again:
    Stim Morane: Intriguing. So does that mean that everyone who has that option turned on manifests in more or less the same way?
    Pema Pera: oh no, many different AOs!
    Pema Pera: People laugh because mine makes me do a head roll whenever I trip :>)
    Stim Morane: IC, an added feature.

    We compared our experiences in Qwaq’s WoK Forums with that of Second Life.

    Pema Pera: Why do you think our Qwaq’s WoK Forums experiences have been so different?
    Stim Morane: As for the qwaq experience, you’re in a much better position to assess that than I am.
    Pema Pera: For one thing, Qwaq Forums takes place in a class room
    Pema Pera: not a pretty tea house and land scape
    Pema Pera: For another, the avatars with faces have a mixed sense of presence
    Pema Pera: and I would say less of a felt immersion;
    Pema Pera: a block body and a realistic photograph
    Pema Pera: presence, yes, but something hyrbrid:
    Stim Morane: I doubt that people are really in the qwaq space in some senses. There is definitely a visual sense of the distribution of avatars, and that matters, but beyond that there isn’t that much of a sense of really being there. Play probably comes from being together more in a shared context.
    Stim Morane: Even moving around doesn’t really mean much in qwaq
    Stim Morane: Yes. But it’s interesting that even the newcomers you are working with find it easier to play here than in the earlier space.
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: but that may be a selection effect
    Pema Pera: Perhaps the most enterpreneurial ones from Qwaq
    Pema Pera: actually make the jump to SL
    Stim Morane: Yes you’re probably right about that.
    Pema Pera: and are already playful in their very willingness in trying something different
    Pema Pera: but in addition
    Pema Pera: there is the virus of playfulness going around here ;>)
    Stim Morane: This is a major new element, and can have great importance going forward
    Pema Pera: Maxine for example
    Pema Pera: came here the very first day I started
    Pema Pera: for the evening session
    Pema Pera: and met Dakini and Bunan
    Pema Pera: two neighbors
    Stim Morane: i see
    Pema Pera: and soon they began to have a fun time
    Pema Pera: playfully showing Maxine many different color hats
    Pema Pera: for example
    Pema Pera: including very silly hats
    Pema Pera: and they started to do the chocolate disco dance
    Stim Morane: where did those come from?
    Pema Pera: have you seen that one?
    Stim Morane: no
    Pema Pera: do you have sound on?
    Stim Morane: yes
    Pema Pera: チョコレイト・ディスコ ♪
    Pema Pera: A very silly Japanese mini-disco-dance that Dakini loves getting into (^_^)
    Pema Pera: hahaha!
    Stim Morane: so what does she make of all this?
    Pema Pera: So when Maxine saw all these gigs
    Pema Pera: at first she was surprised
    Pema Pera: but then she quickly caught on to the playful atmosphere
    Pema Pera: a “virus” going around here ;>)
    Pema Pera: I have the transcript here of that first evening, April 1.
    Pema Pera: Maxine said: am beginning to see that there is a quality of play in nearly everyone’s manner here, something I may need to learn a bit more of

    We continued our discussion of different ways of playing.

    Stim Morane: it would be interesting to consider all the ways play is promoted or nurtured here
    Pema Pera: the software of course comes from videogames — play right there!
    Stim Morane: yes, but this seems different somehow
    Pema Pera: yes, but I do think there are loose relationships
    Pema Pera: then there is role playing
    Pema Pera: something we don’t do in Qwaq either
    Stim Morane: oh right
    Pema Pera: then the very notion of a 9-second meditation has something very funny it itself!
    Stim Morane: so you can do even more with the PaB than you might have thought at the outset
    Pema Pera: YES!!
    Pema Pera: MOST definitely
    Pema Pera: it was a happy surprise
    Stim Morane: for me too. This is increasingly impressive
    Pema Pera: You should have seen Dakini with a giant ice cream cone on her head and Bunan with a Japanese cerimonial bowl on his head . . . . hahaha
    Stim Morane: if people can get that attitude from their experience here, that would be an enormous achievement
    Pema Pera: and then Storm made a storm
    Pema Pera: have you seen Storm making a storm?
    Stim Morane: no
    Pema Pera: He was standing outside and created a storm around Maxine
    Pema Pera: white whisps circling around
    Pema Pera: like a dancing derwish
    Pema Pera: and of course Maxine was deeply puzzled, hehehe
    Pema Pera: still have to laugh out loud remembering it all
    Stim Morane: Yes, but I suspect she was also deeply moved in some ways
    Pema Pera: oh yes
    Pema Pera: that was pretty clear
    Stim Morane: Well this throws many new light some things, I’m not even sure how to begin to consider this.
    Pema Pera: she moved into it fast and deeply so
    Stim Morane: But it renews my intuition that you are in a position to start fresh, free from the orientations and emphases of the traditional contemplative stuff
    Pema Pera: YES!
    Pema Pera: the one experience I have felt most strongly
    Pema Pera: and which is echoed by all the oldtimers I meet
    Pema Pera: is how similar SL and RL really is
    Pema Pera: people are pretty transparent
    Stim Morane: yes
    Pema Pera: in the more complex situations here
    Pema Pera: you can run but not hide
    Pema Pera: and the way you react to unexpected situations
    Pema Pera: shows almost as much about your personality as if you had met someone in real life
    Pema Pera: interestingly, in some ways even more perhaps
    Stim Morane: yes
    Pema Pera: or at least different angles, features, aspects

    By this time, since no one else had dropped in, we got up and went shopping to start looking for a better skin for Stim.

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