"Dead on Second Life" ironically explores the possibilities offered by virtual worlds.
The Second Life virtual universe is used to give a second life to famous characters of the past,
questioning, on one side, the ways in which we use these environments to extend our lives
and social relationships, and, on the other side, analyzing the scenarios opening up
with the possibilities for interaction with digital life forms.
Special attention has been put to the creation of synthetic living entities
that mimic existing ones. The digital characters' essence is created through
the analysis and synthesis of their real-world counterparts: the traces they
left in our world (their texts, language and aesthetics) are used to deeply
shape their digital second lives.
The narrative level is used to offer a simple paradox
Particular focus has been put on the concept of identity
on sociological and anthropological levels.
Virtual platforms such as Second Life are not really
suitable to express diversity and individuality on
language limitations, avatar definitions, social acceptance
promote standards and stereotypes, more than identity.
Experiments have been performed and documented: trying to create
characters from specific cultural and geographical origins have
proven a failure.
Representing peculiar languages (such as aincent ones), body shapes
and capabilities, for example, have deeply suffered from the limitations
of the platform.
reborn as resident secondKafka Vita, in Second Life
reborn as resident secondCoco Vita in Second Life
reborn as resident secondKarl Mapholisto in Second Life
Yet our VIP deceased ones managed to make it back
to a form of new life
and they can tell you a tale or two,
if you happen to bump into them.
how is it done
Each character has been recreated as an autonomous agent in
Second Life's virtual world.
The agents travel autonomously through Second Life, walking
and flying at teir own will, seeking some company in
the form of in-world avatars.
Avatar aesthetics have ben made to resemble the ones of
their real-world counterparts:
Franz Kafka's spirited eyes, Coco Chanel's slim physique
and her famous dress, Karl Marx's beard. Many details
have been taken into account.
Chatting with our dead VIPs provides quite an experience.
The linguistic analyzer behind each one of them has been
fed with all of the written testimonies left behind by
our beloved celebrities.
Exensive research has been performed both online and
on paper-based media :) to collect anything that ever
came out of the mouths and pens of Franz, Coco and Karl.
Books, interviews, aphorisms, letters: anything we were able to find
has been put into their synthetic language.
All the text has been used in the characters' native language.
When you speak to them, their linguistic digital souls produce
a response built from the language they created and that they
left us as a testimony of their presence in the world
and in our immagination.
Dead on Second Life uses many features of libsecondlife
for the creation of the autonomous agents.
The lingistic intelligence is built on an artificial intelligence platform
based on the XSB Prolog architectures.
The code is released as opensource, but it's ugly :)
Please mail [firstname.lastname@example.org] to obtain a copy,
and sincere apologies for my bad coding