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Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education      PerformanceInnovations Virtual TheatreTheof Ourin
Metaverse Shakespeare Company (MSC), aka, mShakespeareisa professional theatre company based in SL. curator of the most historically accurate theatres and architecture relating to William Shakespeare in virtual worlds.(formerly SL Shakespeare Company!)The MSC is an independent organization.Fiscal Sponsor: sLiterary, Inc. (NPO, arts in virtual worlds)Not affiliated with Linden Lab (Second Life)Not affiliated with any one institution, though many have participated, and all are welcome to participate. OriginsFounded in 2007 by Ina Centaur Funded and supported completely by the residents of Second LifeIntroduction, Part I
Introduction, Part IIProductions – Quality and with Passion and Innovation Main Canon: A single full-length Shakespearean play/yearSeveral smaller productions other than the main playRSC Methods of scansion/analysis with rigorous rehearsalsEmbrace SL: Open auditions - Most actors have never met in RL. An innovation  introduced with each main canon productionImmersive Performance Environment – Cinematic atmosphereSL Globe TheatreTo-Scale replica of Shakespeare’s second Globe TheatreSet in the midst of an an arts mecca in virtual worlds. Blackfriars TheatreWorld’s only complete replica of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre.Perfect for Elizabethan-style black box theatre.
Effects in Education - Setting“Open Access” PhilosophyParticipation: Anyone can join or witness our public events. Open Venues: sLiterary, Inc.  sLiterary is a nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering the arts in virtual worlds—to create “What Second Life can be!”sLiterary Venues - Always Open to the PublicMetaverse Shakespeare Venues are sLiteraryVenues Over 50 venues, only some examples shownBrief preview and event listings at each venue are available at http://venues.sLiterary.orgAnyone can book *their* public event for freeShared Content:Creative Commons Licensing for Not-for-profit Use of ContentAttribution+Noncommercial+ShareAlike (by-nc-sa)
Via “Open Access”, we’ve reached both current students and “potential students”Current Students: Supplementing existing for-credit RL coursesShakespeare, Film & Theatre CoursesWitness/Discuss a live Shakespearean play virtually @ SL Globe or Blackfriars (UC Davis, Bryn Mawr, MPC, Stanford, UT)New Media CoursesObservations of best practices in literary artistic uses of new media(UCSC, CSU, HVCC)History CoursesLectures given in a virtual construction of a historic venue “bring history to life” (Oberlin, Princeton, Waldorf)Recreational, not-for-credit courses on SLVoice Acting courses, Hobbyist courses“RP” courses on SLEngaging the “potential student”: General PublicReaching out to unincorporated audiences in rural and inner city areas—many of whom have never seen a live theatrical performance beforeEffects in Education - Results
Effects in Education – And ResearchEffects, in general, for historically accurate immersive settings and activities, with/without theatrical supplementsEducationEngages the student in a way beyond traditional textbooksStudents learn in an intimate first-hand way when immersed in a historically-accurate settingAn ultimate globally-accessible form of asynchronous learningResearchProvides an authentic medium for simulation of and experiments on era-activitiesInsights in era activities, even from passive observationsCase Study – Historically Accurate, Blackfriars Theatre
The BadLimited audience per sim. Not the unlimited theatre one would expectCurrent Solution: - 4-sim stage/theatreBut, client-side lag may still strike.Down-side: Lag and Many users of SL outdated graphics cards, more users, more to render. Audience perspectives differ takes extreme toll in “User experiences may vary.” Often Haphazard or “Borked”VoiceMedia Stream – Variable delay between avatar movement and voice arrival SL Voice – “Instantaneous” Uncertain expectationsRandomly disruptedSometimes disabled for hoursCrash!Limitations Due to Linden Lab (More to come in Part III—Socioeconomic Insights)Unprofessional (BBB F)Unexpected, haphazard policy changesUncertain service uptime, complete or partial failureClosed-source server – no way to add mo-cap, etcThe GoodProven L$-spending userbase. Possible to sustain tier even in a non-profit way (though not without its difficulties)Immersive world—while some come on SL just for the show, they can also explore the world beyond in-depth, become immersed in it, like a true alter reality—or, like visiting a new country. SL as a Platform for Virtual Theatre
MSC Innovations in Virtual Theatre, IAccessibilityClosed-Captioning, live subtitles provided in English and other languages. AppearancesLip-synchingLSL Script-based (Dec. 2007) – Regular/Sculpted-Talking FaceBuilt-in (June 2008) House/Director-control of audience viewDefault-View CushionsLive Director-ControlDistinctive AvatarsSemi-Photorealistic Faces to convey a quintessential human element in avatar visageTailored and Custom-Made Costumes that define each characterDesigned and Dressed by professionals
MSC Innovations in Virtual Theatre, IIOptimized SetsTexture, script optimizedPreload on alpha=0 and unseen sides of primsTouch-click actionMulti-Sets for large audienceSets pre-rezzedSet-placer instead of set-rezzerToggle-touch to place in/outYet More Technological Innovations on the Virtual StageGlobal LightingVirtual StormUsage of PhysicsAutomaton actorsAvatar-basedPrim-based
MSC, in context of SL’s status quo and infrastructureSecond Life is a very material worldIsland sims cost US$300/month, and setup fees for empty islands have cost up to US$1600. Nonprofit/Edu sims are discounted at 50% - $150/month, up to US$800 setup. This does not include any construction or content-creation costs. The vast majority of content and islands on SL are commercial.Most educational/nonprofit endeavors on SL are funded by external sources, whether the institution itself or grants.MSC, along with all sLiterary endeavors, involves island sims that are 100% “dedicated to the arts”—and are currently completely funded and supported by the residents of SL.Meritocracy in a miserly v.w. based on nitty-gritty microeconomicsWe operate on Merit  Not everyone gets to create for us. We examine hundreds of thousands of creations yearly. We do blind evaluations by quality of work.We make sure to give our best back in our creations.As a result: Thousands of residents have donated to support our cause.Full TransparencyUsage of any public funds are reported to a Transparency website.Script-facilitated donation beacons instantly report each donation to a public website, broadcast immediately by the official donation beacon, and accessible by all.Political intrigueCoups, back-stabbings, slander/libel, Machiavellian deviousness, the works—even if all this is happening in what you might think a “game world” real people take it very seriously, enough for these complex social phenomena to occur.Socioeconomic Insights from MSC

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The Performance of Our Innovations in Virtual Theatre - Metaverse Shakespeare Presentation @ VWBPE

  • 1. Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education PerformanceInnovations Virtual TheatreTheof Ourin
  • 2. Metaverse Shakespeare Company (MSC), aka, mShakespeareisa professional theatre company based in SL. curator of the most historically accurate theatres and architecture relating to William Shakespeare in virtual worlds.(formerly SL Shakespeare Company!)The MSC is an independent organization.Fiscal Sponsor: sLiterary, Inc. (NPO, arts in virtual worlds)Not affiliated with Linden Lab (Second Life)Not affiliated with any one institution, though many have participated, and all are welcome to participate. OriginsFounded in 2007 by Ina Centaur Funded and supported completely by the residents of Second LifeIntroduction, Part I
  • 3. Introduction, Part IIProductions – Quality and with Passion and Innovation Main Canon: A single full-length Shakespearean play/yearSeveral smaller productions other than the main playRSC Methods of scansion/analysis with rigorous rehearsalsEmbrace SL: Open auditions - Most actors have never met in RL. An innovation introduced with each main canon productionImmersive Performance Environment – Cinematic atmosphereSL Globe TheatreTo-Scale replica of Shakespeare’s second Globe TheatreSet in the midst of an an arts mecca in virtual worlds. Blackfriars TheatreWorld’s only complete replica of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre.Perfect for Elizabethan-style black box theatre.
  • 4. Effects in Education - Setting“Open Access” PhilosophyParticipation: Anyone can join or witness our public events. Open Venues: sLiterary, Inc. sLiterary is a nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering the arts in virtual worlds—to create “What Second Life can be!”sLiterary Venues - Always Open to the PublicMetaverse Shakespeare Venues are sLiteraryVenues Over 50 venues, only some examples shownBrief preview and event listings at each venue are available at http://venues.sLiterary.orgAnyone can book *their* public event for freeShared Content:Creative Commons Licensing for Not-for-profit Use of ContentAttribution+Noncommercial+ShareAlike (by-nc-sa)
  • 5. Via “Open Access”, we’ve reached both current students and “potential students”Current Students: Supplementing existing for-credit RL coursesShakespeare, Film & Theatre CoursesWitness/Discuss a live Shakespearean play virtually @ SL Globe or Blackfriars (UC Davis, Bryn Mawr, MPC, Stanford, UT)New Media CoursesObservations of best practices in literary artistic uses of new media(UCSC, CSU, HVCC)History CoursesLectures given in a virtual construction of a historic venue “bring history to life” (Oberlin, Princeton, Waldorf)Recreational, not-for-credit courses on SLVoice Acting courses, Hobbyist courses“RP” courses on SLEngaging the “potential student”: General PublicReaching out to unincorporated audiences in rural and inner city areas—many of whom have never seen a live theatrical performance beforeEffects in Education - Results
  • 6. Effects in Education – And ResearchEffects, in general, for historically accurate immersive settings and activities, with/without theatrical supplementsEducationEngages the student in a way beyond traditional textbooksStudents learn in an intimate first-hand way when immersed in a historically-accurate settingAn ultimate globally-accessible form of asynchronous learningResearchProvides an authentic medium for simulation of and experiments on era-activitiesInsights in era activities, even from passive observationsCase Study – Historically Accurate, Blackfriars Theatre
  • 7. The BadLimited audience per sim. Not the unlimited theatre one would expectCurrent Solution: - 4-sim stage/theatreBut, client-side lag may still strike.Down-side: Lag and Many users of SL outdated graphics cards, more users, more to render. Audience perspectives differ takes extreme toll in “User experiences may vary.” Often Haphazard or “Borked”VoiceMedia Stream – Variable delay between avatar movement and voice arrival SL Voice – “Instantaneous” Uncertain expectationsRandomly disruptedSometimes disabled for hoursCrash!Limitations Due to Linden Lab (More to come in Part III—Socioeconomic Insights)Unprofessional (BBB F)Unexpected, haphazard policy changesUncertain service uptime, complete or partial failureClosed-source server – no way to add mo-cap, etcThe GoodProven L$-spending userbase. Possible to sustain tier even in a non-profit way (though not without its difficulties)Immersive world—while some come on SL just for the show, they can also explore the world beyond in-depth, become immersed in it, like a true alter reality—or, like visiting a new country. SL as a Platform for Virtual Theatre
  • 8. MSC Innovations in Virtual Theatre, IAccessibilityClosed-Captioning, live subtitles provided in English and other languages. AppearancesLip-synchingLSL Script-based (Dec. 2007) – Regular/Sculpted-Talking FaceBuilt-in (June 2008) House/Director-control of audience viewDefault-View CushionsLive Director-ControlDistinctive AvatarsSemi-Photorealistic Faces to convey a quintessential human element in avatar visageTailored and Custom-Made Costumes that define each characterDesigned and Dressed by professionals
  • 9. MSC Innovations in Virtual Theatre, IIOptimized SetsTexture, script optimizedPreload on alpha=0 and unseen sides of primsTouch-click actionMulti-Sets for large audienceSets pre-rezzedSet-placer instead of set-rezzerToggle-touch to place in/outYet More Technological Innovations on the Virtual StageGlobal LightingVirtual StormUsage of PhysicsAutomaton actorsAvatar-basedPrim-based
  • 10. MSC, in context of SL’s status quo and infrastructureSecond Life is a very material worldIsland sims cost US$300/month, and setup fees for empty islands have cost up to US$1600. Nonprofit/Edu sims are discounted at 50% - $150/month, up to US$800 setup. This does not include any construction or content-creation costs. The vast majority of content and islands on SL are commercial.Most educational/nonprofit endeavors on SL are funded by external sources, whether the institution itself or grants.MSC, along with all sLiterary endeavors, involves island sims that are 100% “dedicated to the arts”—and are currently completely funded and supported by the residents of SL.Meritocracy in a miserly v.w. based on nitty-gritty microeconomicsWe operate on Merit Not everyone gets to create for us. We examine hundreds of thousands of creations yearly. We do blind evaluations by quality of work.We make sure to give our best back in our creations.As a result: Thousands of residents have donated to support our cause.Full TransparencyUsage of any public funds are reported to a Transparency website.Script-facilitated donation beacons instantly report each donation to a public website, broadcast immediately by the official donation beacon, and accessible by all.Political intrigueCoups, back-stabbings, slander/libel, Machiavellian deviousness, the works—even if all this is happening in what you might think a “game world” real people take it very seriously, enough for these complex social phenomena to occur.Socioeconomic Insights from MSC