Sunday, July 15, 2012
Pausing Along the Path
In my drive to become a semi-art blogger, I ended up pausing to take some pictures along the Path, the second incarnation of Bryn Oh's collaborative project. Something I read on New World Notes got me thinking along these lines - I really think the best creations come not when people are in conflict, but when they are in collaboration. Hamlet Au's book (which I haven't read and doubt I will) refers to the response of early Linden Employees to the actions of the players; Feline Slade paraphrases: "You wrote that the early Linden World developers were more interested in creating a game out of their destructive avatars and rock-eating birds, but they realized that during a meeting, the board members' eyes were drawn to the image onscreen of a giant, evil snowman that one staffer was building, with little snowmen being built gathered around to worship the big one. Even from that early development, the Lab was building something for a different customer base than the one that the platform appealed to."
That image of a Linden Employee building a giant, destructive snowman in the context of a violent combat game attracting a small army of worshipers from new players really struck me at the time of how different things become in the movement between isolation and community. It also made me wonder what role gender might have played; I believe the early Linden employees were mostly male, and I also believe the first builder who wasn't a Linden was female - I don't believe that men and women are intrinsically different, but I do believe we're socialized differently. Men tend to be socialized for collaboration only within narrow boundaries and when united against a shared enemy, like on sports teams. Women tend to be socialized for broad based collaboration even unto dismissing their own thoughts and desires, and only accomplishing power through hidden means and social pressure. Both men and women have aggression, but women tend to express it much more covertly - not necessarily passive aggressively but rather strategically. What this ends up leading to is women having more social awareness and knowledge, and often defaulting initially to practicalities instead of combat when it comes to hobbies.
Practicality leads to collaboration for the simple fact that other people don't go away when we want them to outside of games, and as near as I can tell it is within that collaboration where the fastest and more diverse creativity occurs. You can see this within Further Along the Path, in how one element in one place becomes major in a second then transforms entirely in a third. Even where elements aren't directly related, there's a conversation between artists that is visible. A similar thing occurred with some of the artists in A Rusted Development, where the vision of the artist was altered in reaction to and conversation with other artists. I remember one of the interesting points about the initial Sims game was that it had equal staffing of men and women, which meant that unlike many games the developers put in things which appealed to a wider diversity of people. A similar thing happened in the writing room of Community; when you introduce diversity among creators and developers, the end product has a broader appeal than it might otherwise, but it will also be different from what you expect - which can be a shock and lead to the end product being rejected.
( More pictures here. )
Skin: De La Soul, Aestali - Cream Rose
Eyes: De la Soul, RooMee Rainbow
Ears: Illusion, Seelie Ears
Eyelashes 1: *X*plosion, PrimLashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Eyeshadow: Mock, eShadow Fall Festival Rust
Lipstick: Mock, Mizu Venetian Red
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Brigitte Mesh (promotional item)
Wings: Favole, Laced Phoenix
Jewelry: Earthstones, Caged Heart
Collar: Favole, Prolific
Dress: Solange, Carnal Special Edition - Red/Gold (One Voice Event)
Shoes: G Field, Flower Pumps "Eve"
Location: Further Along the Path - Alpha Auer
Light Settings: TOR, FOGGY Sad Purple
Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only