Monday, December 06, 2004


You begin in Nowall on a coffee table, near the snow globe, some hundred meters or so as the crow flies from the table with the tiles of words that can be (and evidently have been) arranged into an infinite number of surreal statements. Coffee table and couch are separated by a deep crevasse, and there's a slightly narrower valley dividing couch from the lounge chair; you may actually be able to get from the left arm of the lounge chair to the tiny table next to it with a leap and perhaps a few seconds of flying-- that trip will reward you with a bonsai tree and a small pond, suitable place to have an afternoon picnic. At this point, however, you are no longer in Nowall, for you've moved into the neighboring simulator of Backstage, which is dominated by a desk that's proportionately the size of a butte in Monument Valley, and to reach it, you may want to avail yourself of the many toy flying craft scattered around the living room, perhaps left there by a careless child giant, including the scale model helicopter gunship and a playtime fighter jet. From high up in the cockpit, the living room passes beneath you like an industrial city of wood paneling and Naugahyde.

"Edg is the man with the plan," says Starax Statosky. "He tells me what to make, and I go make it." He means Edgware Marker, the patron of the arts who previously commissioned Starax to create a space station in the sky above Nowall. Edgware's new study in domestic perspective isn't the first of its kind to come to Second Life, but it is the most ambitious-- and when I visited last Saturday, it's not even finished. "It's still a bit barren yet," Edgware acknowledges, "but we'll add more soon... initially, we were going to do it all in one sim, so Edgware added a dividing wall between Nowall and Backstage. Then he changed his mind and decided he wanted it spread over two sims. So in the words of Pink Floyd, we had to 'tear down the wall'." For the time being, then, their living room is open to the sky.

"Edgware doesn't really build," Statosky continues, then grins. "He just whips me and gets me to do it for him. He's a smart man. Take a look in the bottom drawer of the desk. That might amuse you... it's slightly open, just squeeze yourself in there." After some grunting and groaning of my avatar, I manage to make it inside. A Dali-esque timepiece is waiting there for me-- and something else.

"What's the glowing thing?" I ask him in Instant Message.

"The white cells? Kind of a metaphor for Second Life."

But you have to move your camera through the walls, to discern its meaning. (Or in this medium, click the jump below...)

"There are people inside," Statosky explains.

"I see! Two imprisoned souls, trying to touch each other?"

He smiles. "Yeah, that kind of thing."

"You really see Second Life like this?"

"I think there are some people in here that happy to just make things and have fun," he replies judiciously, "but some people come in here and get involved in relationships. Whether it was their intention or not. And people are much nicer here. And easier to fall for."

As it happens, the cell is Startosky's own creation. "Edgware bought it from my [vending machine] and added it [there]... I'm not sure what Edgware's vision is. I try not to get involved in that. It's probably a personal thing. So he says 'make a chair and have it lying on its side'. I then go off and do it."

Still, it seems strange to put such a strong (if dark) statement on human nature in Second Life into a dark nook. I ask Starax Statosky to speculate on why it's hidden away like this.

"I think Edg just saw an empty space and needed to fill it," Statosky muses.

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The stuff that Starax makes, oh my it trips me out.

I check some of that giant prim shiznit out and it makes me feel like Honey I Shrunk The Kids -- only more immersive. I was kinda sad at first to see how Nowall+Backstage had been radically resculpted into this new form, but in the interest of keeping things dynamic, I think I'll be enjoying this too. I already have.

Can't wait to see a jolly green giant repurposed, this time as a "small" doll within the context of bigworld.

Cheerio. :-)

Posted by: Torley Wong at Dec 6, 2004 11:06:36 AM

one thing i think needs to be said here is that this project is showing alot of potential for being such a large project. Too many "large" projects in SL become barren and otherwise devoid of sustance because of the large scale. The drawer statement might be a sign that this might not suffer the quantity, no quality death we've seen in the past?


Posted by: Lefty Belvedere at Dec 6, 2004 8:04:55 PM

Starax is my all-time favourite builder. We commissioned a custom piece for DarkLife and I adore it.. all I can say is Ia Ia Ftagn!

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