Second Life has a wide variety of Media, from Radio, Television to countless amounts of print publications ( blogs, magazines and online websites). The Torch SL Guide was able to get in touch with one of the show producers from the very popular TreetTV. Saffia Widdershins, is the CEO of Prim Perfect Publication, as well producer of Television shows Happy Hunting, Designing Worlds, and Metaverse Art.
“I decided to get involved in Second Life’s media industry when I started reading blogs and magazines that helped to give residents advice on clothes, make up and hair. I looked for something similar that would give me tips on designing my first second life home and found that there was nothing. That how Prim Prefect came to be.”
Prim Perfect is a magazine dedicated to helping residents find the perfect items to help make their Second Life home a little bit more homely. It is the Home and Garden Magazine of Second Life, and it has become its own Designing Empire, pushing forward into a sister Television show also created and Co host by Widdershins named Designing Worlds, which does not only look at the homes but complete sims and locations. It is, for the British readers, the Location, Location, Location of Second Life.
“Designing Worlds started as Meta Makeover, “ States the show producer, “ in the early days of 2007. SLCN ( Second Life Cable Network, was asking people with ideas for shows to contact them so I did and suggested this home and garden show. We developed a format together - a show called Meta Makeover where each week one or two designers would make over someone’s home. That was how it started but as time went on we expanded to a more design orientated programme, although we still do the occasional makeover.”
The Torch SL Guide began when our co creator Izzie Morgan began studying magazines and newspapers in the Second Life Metaverse. Originally in SL to do research on an essay about media in Virtual Worlds, she stumbled onto its popularity and its rapid growth.
Widdershins gives her take on this idea, “ I think it’s become popular for a number of reasons. On a fundamental level it’s an extension of the Social Networking era. There’s also an element of instruction – as your publication is doing – actually helping people to deal with things in new environments. There’s the element of being able to pursue dreams too. But I don’t think it is as popular as it might be. There are a lot of people in Second Life who still don’t know a lot about Second Life media, but we are slowly converting them".
There are a lot of publications and blogs developed in Second Life so much so that is it actually impossible to count. There a few SL Radio stations, the most popular being Frolic Mills’ BOSL radio ( Best of Second Life). There are several Television channels, such as TreetTV, Metaverse TV, Meta World and Metamix. Although it isn’t surprising that SL’s Print Media is phenomenally larger than SL’s TV media.
Widdershins gave us an insight on what is was like making Designing Worlds, “When I was creating Designing Worlds, it was quite scary we had to do a lot of Networking – in the early days we had persuade designers and residents who perhaps had never heard of us to let us make over their homes. Now people tend to get excited when we call.”
Making a television programme is a mass of work but its good to know that there are people out there, like Saffia Widdershins, who are always willing to give some much needed advice, “ You can’t do it alone, you need a team of people who are all equally enthusiastic as you are about your idea. You will also need a strong idea. It needs to be something that is visual (otherwise, why not do it on radio or as a podcast). You’ll need to draw up a plan with specific aims and basic ideas on what you want for your show. For example, would you like it be a weekly, fortnightly, monthly? How much time can you commit every week? Are all your team mates equally committed? For something like this to work you’ll need to tackle something that is always going to happen in Second Life, and that is drama. That is the real core. You’ll need a team that will get on with each other and work together, laugh together. Of course they will get irritated from time to time but you must hope that your passion is strong enough and they are committed enough to overcome all the stresses and problems that SL and other people will throw at them and at you.
For your team you will need to have someone to host, obviously. Others to produce, direct, someone to handle publicity, as well as someone to handle advertising. Ideally, there would be different people but sometimes roles can be combined. If you have a studio where you’re filming, you will need a studio manager which also means you’ll have to have a builder. Builders are helpful because of Second Life glitches such as if SL decides to ban mega prims and half your studio disappears. Most importantly you will need a cameramen/women and an editor. Some programmes are single camera shooting and others are multiple camera shooting. On Designing Worlds we use multiple camera shooting while on Happy Hunting we have one camera person who is also the editor and she is very very good, she uses a HUD that allows her to get different camera angles.”
If you want to catch these magnificent shows or experience more of Second Life Television, head over to the TreetTV website where Designing Worlds shows every Monday 2pm SLT. Or Check out Happy Hunting which is shown fortnightly on Friday at 3pm SLT. Metaverse Arts is shown once a month usually at the end of the month and is broadcast on Sundays at 2pm SLT.
Second Life is more than online video game it is a community that thrives off of its users, consumers and content creators, get more involved with Second Life’s Media, by checking out the links below: