Friday, August 20, 2010

Yosemite Fall: During this learning-to-build-time in OpenSim with Harbin in mind, I made a box which corresponded to the Harbin warm pool

Harbin ethnography:

... As a prehistory of virtual Harbin, this was an exciting event and creative moment. Here was a community of two given form by this OpenSim virtual world technology around the building of virtual Harbin using digital technologies.

During this learning-to-build-time in OpenSim, with Harbin in mind, I made a box which corresponded to the Harbin warm pool, into which, like at Harbin, many avatars could fit and soak, and filled this pool with virtual water. I eyeballed the size of this pool to correspond with Harbin's warm pool. It stood on top of virtual ground, in a knoll of rolling hills and grassy knoll-like land, very different in appearance from the actual Harbin pool area. I / my avatar, with its wobbly legs which is what avatars have in OpenSim, got in to the waters and soaked virtually. In subsequent months, working alone on my own hard drive on the virtual virtual regions making up this beginning virtual island Harbin sim, I planned out the placement of virtual Harbin, raised virtual hills, beginning to create a valley, and played around on the beginning island. However, the OpenSim tools were too rudimentary, the sim (i.e. island) too buggy, and the lack of avatars to communicate with, learn from, and ask how to do things made doing this work unfruitful. Around the same time (March 2, 2008 journal entry), I was measuring some buildings and parts of the actual Harbin pool area (in the 'steps'/'pace' unit of measurement), to later translate into OpenSim.

Around this time, I measured the actual Harbin Gate House in some detail, and with Tom Boellstorff's permission, the editor of American Anthropologist as well as the person responsible for the AAA's virtual island called Anteater Island, and built the beginnings of the virtual Harbin gatehouse – as virtual island gatehouse - on Anteater island, with the intention of inviting virtual Harbin visitors to travel from this virtual island to where I built virtual Harbin, - either in OpenSim or in Second Life. ...

( - August 20, 2010)

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