During the early phases of the project I ran an idea, based upon a text by Benjamin Joerrisen [1] past Roy and since he thought that this might be something worth pursuing I then worked on some prototype avatars in Second Life. This idea of using avatars as the agents of communication has resonated with Selavy as well and thus it is the thing which we seem to be currently concentrating our efforts upon.

Figure 1: Avatar with attached text

The idea involves creating a number of semi autonomous “bot” avatars which correspond to the input nodes of LPDT2 (the storytellers). These avatars would have complex, emergent 3D constructs, which continuously reconfigure themselves based upon the input text, attached to them and would congregate in a dedicated (again emergent and ever changing) environment which would be constructed out of the “surplus” text, i.e., older entries.

Figure 2: Avatars congregating in the environment where many new text entries have happened recently. Thus, the bulk of the text is still attached to their bodies.

Figure 3: Older text entries are moving further away from the avatars, in this case towards us and to the left.

Thus, only text which is added within a certain time frame (such as the past 6 hours/12 hours/past day etc), stays on the avatar, while earlier entries drift away to form “text clouds” hovering in relative proximity to the avatar. Again, clouds with entries of more recent days stay closer to the avatar while earlier entries drift further afield.

[1] Joerissen, B., The Body is the Message. Avatare als visuelle Artikulationen, soziale Aktanten und hybride Akteure, Paragrana, Volume: 17, Issue: 1, 2008

(Note: The images above are only simulations where no coded attributes have yet been given to the displayed text or the avatars themselves.)

Questions to co-developers:

01) I have used transparent png files to create alpha transparencies for this construct. Can this be achieved with what we are working with? Would we need a software which automatically converts text entries to image files for this effect to work? Is this feasible, doable? If not, the alpha transparent backgrounds will need to be reworked.

Selavy: as far as i see, the only way to get transparent text is to generate textures and upload them dynamically. but that would add yet another level of complexity to the software that has to run on the HTTP server. and even though i know that bots can upload textures and apply them to prims, i’ve never done it so far.

02) The issue of available technology aside, is this level of textual deconstruction even desirable?