Monday, October 31, 2011

A "Modest Proposal" for Art in Second Life

LEA Art Sandbox  (moderate)

There's a new bully in town.  That's right, the Linden Endowment for the Arts is wreaking havoc in the world of art sims.  Bad enough they provide a sandbox. They also have sims which highlight artists in a variety of categories (and of course let Crap and I loose on the world) but now they're giving out grants to individuals so they have an opportunity to create and share their vision with the rest of the grid.  Outrageous!

However, the real problem is much bigger than just the LEA.  I feel compelled to expose the full nature of this situation but please be comforted by the fact that I do have a solution. Falling back on the inspiration of my hero Jonathan Swift I propose to end this scourge permanently.

There are multiple components to the issue.  The first is that there are way too many artists in Second Life and their numbers are growing all the time.  People keep talking about the virtual world and its tools for creativity - this inevitably leads to people thinking they actually have the right to use them and try creating stuff.

The Great Fissure (moderate)

As a result we have a creative birthrate that cannot be sustained.  There just aren't enough outlets to handle the myriad of new and struggling "artists" which means we have a large population of artsy fartsy types living below the poverty line.  They squat in shacks and under bridges and generally make the metaverse look tawdry.

The second part of the problem involves those people who, for whatever reason, feel a need to open new art sims.  We already have enough art sims.  In fact we have too many. They're all competing with each other and to what purpose?  Why bother displaying the work of more than a few "artists"?  It's not like they're as valuable as a new mall or Zyngo parlour.

I propose that we limit the number of art sims to 3.  That seems like a reasonable number. To avoid the spectacle of unwashed painters and sculptors beating at the doors we round them all up.  You read that correctly, we incarcerate all the would be creative types.  (This will have the added benefit of bringing the whole bdsm subculture into the mainstream - we have to do something with these people once we have them.)

The London Dungeon  (moderate)

Stage Two will be to seize all the individuals who have opened art sims over and above the 3 we have designated as acceptable.  We can't have them drawing traffic away from our trio of approved destinations.  As part of this phase all of the Lindens who thought the LEA was a good idea will be included.

The best part of my proposal is Stage Three.  Each of the official art exhibitors will hold regular executions of the prisoners.  The frequency may have to be high initially, because there will be quite a backlog to get through, but it's doable.

Publically sanctioned terminations would give the 3 sims a chance to compete with each other while eradicating the excess artists and sponsors from Second Life.  They could try to outdo each other in style, efficacy and even, dare I say, artistry.

Ankh Morpork  (moderate)

Eventually the population of artists and art sim owners will be whittled away.  This process will also spread the message to any newcomers that they should not consider creativity as a worthwhile activity to pursue.

A terrific side benefit will be that we get a new source of entertainment.  It could be gamified and draw the right kind of residents inworld.

For any of you who do not believe this is a real problem you have not been paying attention. There is a limit to the amount of help and support that should be provided to a seemingly endless number of artists.  Particularly if you believe that only the same two dozen creative types should be indulged at all.  In addition, the whole idea of having both "public" and private sponsorship is an anathema. Really, what were people thinking?

My proposal is an efficacious approach to both deleting the problem and erasing the drama and we'll get a new game out of it.  My hero would be proud.  

Image from A Tale of Two Cities (1935)

8 comments:

sororNishi said...

Brilliant. Count me in, even as an unwashed artistic type.

[the fact is that business is being ruined by LL, the edu types have gone to OS, only art and the dreaded future Games will remain.]

I especially condone the hanging of people showing photos of roses and cats.... (well any photos of RL.)..

Uccello Poultry said...

Hear! Hear! The added benefit is that those of us without talent would feel better about ourselves, what with not being constantly assailed with quality art. Frankly, I'm tired of those that CAN lording it over those of us that CAN'T.

Chestnut Rau said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emma Geraln said...

I think it's a great idea, get the artistic types down to a manageable number and hem the remainder into 3 sims.

I mean the diverse creativity from the beginner to the seasoned pro making mind blowing sim sized creations just confuses people.

Bryn Oh said...

I like the idea of public executions but seems like such a waste of avatars. I once saw a movie called Soylent Green that had some enterprising ideas on food service. Might be something to look into.

Honour McMillan said...

/me thinks Bryn and Crap have diets which should be kept a secret. In addition gamifying the consumption of avatars could be a challenge :p

Miso Susanowa said...

"Oops, I did it again."

Venk said...

I liky Byrn's Idea on the Soylent Green solution.