Our Digital Selves: My Avatar is me [full feature film]
You. Know I, think that's another thing about being disabled, like people are like we just hold your chin up or, be strong and, I'm like okay will you come sit in my chair most, of the day and you'd be strong and you hold your chin up it took a long time for, me to say I'm pretty disabled. But that's the truth I'm pretty disabled. You. Know don't set, Olympian. Expectations. A bi emotional, and mental ability, to deal with my life day to day I mean, this is the other part I've had to reinterpret. When, people say these things, they're. Not saying it to be degrading. Or condescending or, assumptive, or anything they. Really wish they could fix my situation. My. Name in second life is Shiloh the super Gekko. You. Get we all have blood you. All feel we all matter, we. Are all different. There's. No book, life is scary, when it's like that isn't it there's not even answers. Just, one day at a time one experience. At a time one, moment at a time and, then, we decide what to do in that moment for good or bad better, or worse right or wrong and. Sometimes, it is small, wrong. And. You can take it back. You. Volunteered, to go first Rylan any thoughts you have about what, your avatar, means to you you know. When. I first came to Second, Life. I. Don't. Know if this is a game. It. Certainly, is sustenance. To. Be able to put on here to. Be in a place where, there's. Only a hurricane, if I want a hurricane, and even if the hurricane takes, me out I. Guess. Get. Up. Not. Walking again. Hey. There i'm Dragster also known as bernard racks in the physical realm before. We let the story of our digital selves, unfold, let me make a few clarifications, this. Documentary, is based on research conducted by, Donna Davis and Tom bursts of made possible, by a grant from the National Science Foundation I, will, pop in as my avatar boddyhm, and every once in a while here. He is to. Ask follow-up questions and. Provide additional context. But, for the most part I tried to stay in the background and leave, the field to, our researchers. And protagonists. So without any further ado let's. Dive right in take, it away Tom Thank, You Drax my name is Tom bell story with my colleague Donna Davis we've been focusing, specifically, on the, experiences. Of people with disabilities, in Second Life and so the basic way we framed this research project was, to, look at disability experience. In, Second, Life with, a real interest in the body and embodiment but not limited to that. Disabilities. And abilities come in lots of different sizes shapes and flavors the. People in our community, they don't like to think of themselves as disabled, they think of themselves as ability, diverse, what, we look, like is, the. Way people treat, us and we find that so many of the people in our community, have, created, avatars, that are the. Symbolism, of who they are one, thing it makes second life interesting. For research is that it's, a case where you have a lot of control, over what your avatar looks like if you're playing a military, game like Call of Duty you can't appear as an elf you can't appear as a Klingon right there's limits, you might be able to change your camouflage, or, your gender but not much more, Second Life is one of those virtual, worlds where you can change it as often as you want you, could change it every hour if you felt like it and you, can change everything from clothes to your entire. Embodiment, you can be a refrigerator. If you want to and so, that has really interesting implications for embodiment, because that's really different than physical, world embodiment, a key, lesson around virtual worlds, is that embodiment. Is, always. Emplacement. This is one reason why for our research, project, we really have these Islands, because, we wanted it to be about the relationship. Between that and place, and in my experience, in some ways avatars, come second because without a place you can't have an avatar anywhere, I mean the avatar has to be in a place or it's not an avatar it's a screenshot. In, our, community, we currently have, 30 people on parcels. And have. Given. Them to anybody who identifies. As having. A disability, the. Really wonderful thing, about the National Science Foundation, grant is they are looking at this from. An anthropological perspective. Trying. To understand, digital culture. My. Name is second life is Jayden Firehawk how sometimes called second life my substitute, career because my career is something that I lost due to my disability I. Basically. Crashed, and burned under. The demands of a major research, institution, the. Publish, or perish kind. Of environment. There are the pressures, were. Overwhelming. For me second.
Life Helped me at that time because, a great big aspect, of it is that it's a support group the, other thing which I didn't, know until I started, doing it was that building was, for me a very, meditative. Process. People. Had mental illness sometimes, refer to it as invisible. Disability. I'm, in a doctor's. Office and, the, nurse is making. Small talk with me and they she asked well what do you do for a living and I yeah I said I say I'm I'm on disability, and I just become very aware, that a person, might be looking at me and saying hey she doesn't look disabled. You, know or she, has bipolar disorder while, she's talking to me perfectly, fine I, made, something. In second life I call it a brain sling, it's, kind of a bandage, that goes around my, head, and I pass it out to people you, know when somebody wears a sling. On their arm nobody, asks them to lift a heavy object rain. Sling, or something, some, equivalent. Of it it is a way of wearing a sign you, do not walk, around in real life wearing, a sign and it might be nice if we could so. Jaden she's been able to do some interesting stuff in second life that is sort of related to her earlier academic, life that, a lot of stuff she does in second life has nothing to do with her earlier life experiences. Where she, become this masterbuilder who, teaches people about building, and it's this whole set. Of skills and. Creative. Abilities, that she, has really. Come to embrace. It. Is, important. To make a place in second life that is special, to you. There. Is a word, in the, field, of cultural, geography. Topo, philia which means love of place, and, it is something that everybody. Has in. Some ways your place muse the, place where you, feel. Sense. Of peace, inspiration. A place, that lifts, you up. One. Of my happiest, memories, of childhood had, to do with being. In Yosemite. Supplies. I just, feel very. Very connected to. I used. To change up the environments, of my home so. That was as important, to me more important, to me even than my look you, know in the winter a long cold. Wet winter, in Oregon, I needed, to go to the beach and I. Could, have a beach house and I could sit with my meditate. On the beach and watch the Sun come up and listen to the birds and the waves my. Soul was. Aligned and off I could go to the day if I have a second life on my computer, and I turn my computer off it's still there, so it's a persistent, place there I can build something and I can log off and someone can come and look at it or add to it and that persistence, of place, allows, for, social. Relations, and other kinds of things to happen that, couldn't happen otherwise. My. Name is Oscar several, over in, Second, Life I can, have a sense of space. Well I can, go and I can express. My. Memory. My. Family other, people they knew our deaf, could, not hear so, I became, a part of scenery for him. And. For. Me it, just gave. Me opportunity. To notice the water on me. If. I assumed, being. Deaf I could, not do things they, are absolutely. Babaca, to find out that I have quite, the up and I, just. Took my cat I thank. You the. Invisible. Visible thing, doesn't, go away it shifts. So, rip your death and people are using voice all, the sudden you're left out unless you reveal, that you're deaf I am, attacked, unable to have a time in. My second. Life profile, you were seeing a description. White, up front that I am deaf I am in a foreign country in your life I am not in shock because I, can communicate that.
My. Name is Slaton trike I suffer. From a post-traumatic stress, disorder and the main effect on me was a shutdown, to, the world around me I am. An ex-soldier. 19. Years, in a ha me like. Every other. Sorter. When come back I start. Having nightmares, during, my night like. A big, big stone. Pushing. On my heart pushing, on my let. Me say the, word soul. My. Art on ethnography. Represents. My feelings related, to my disability is, elation. And sometimes, fear, about, the word for. Example you, can see these disks like, different. Windows that you can open or shut down. My. Partner, in Second Life is I sky is her, web Slaton. And I momentous. And as I it, the more I serve, him I liked him for, me to a partner, means, to have. Someone. Very close to you and, with this person, you grow yourself. Shown. Himself at, one hundred three hundred tiny. Avatars, that he has from. That I got the sense that he really did have a good sense of fun. It's funny but me, and high sky we, have the, same age exactly. We are born the, same day moth. And here in. Your life I don't think we ever would have met on the physical out even, if we were in the same city and it is because, I am, have, communication. It's, an issue for me I would. Always be concerned about it with meeting anyone we, are not a replica, of our selves because we are different, you, had the chance to repair, your software, in Second Life, because. You can upgrade. Through. The experiences. People. Choose. Their avatar, to. Represent the. Circumstance. They're, experiencing. In, the virtual world the, way it's phrased over, and over again is that disability. Is part of who I am but it is not all of Who I am is that a deceptive, or is that liberating. The, screen just opens, up infinite. Possibilities. When you get to jump in it. I. Paid. To say I know I'm a dwarf, I'm, a little person, of. Course until, I came online you know I didn't, have that choice. Is, glazing or, not disclosing. My. Name in second life is Daisy, Gator are, melena kommen sands in, the physical. World like. Science fiction and fantasy mostly. Science fiction and they're, set on. Jupiter's. Moon Europa and, it. Stars a community, of, disabled. People who've been stranded. The. Margarita, sushi, bar is awash with seaweed, beer, I find. Myself sandwiched. Between acquaintances. One. Is an hour drinking buddy with leg stumps and 16 fingers, that, don't slack a cockle, Pickers the, others are former colleague Trixie, I think her name is blinded. By gendered, with might a neurological. Damage she, shakes incessantly. Like a demented, jellyfish. We. All have something here, on Europa, what, with the radiation, from the crash and maybe. A little, inbreeding. Now, I wonder is your Gator persona, in the SL an accurate mirror of your real-life self, or who does Daisy represent. She's my childish, side the other thing that she baby is miss the idea in the lightest muse, I mean she's basically a sort of emotional creature. In that sense you. Just react I wasn't. Too sure about this film when we started, after, all pretty but every little person knows that you deal with documentary. Makers and journalists, at your peril disabled. People are overwhelmingly. Presented. Poorly, most. Include, all four stereotypes, like disabled. Characters, who, sit around all day thinking about, how horrible, their disabilities, are whereas. In fact disabled. People just don't think like that we. Don't think about our disabilities. On a daily, basis, or not until some insensitive, blockhead, points. At us and reminds, us we're supposed to be this thing called disabled. I've. Been called a high-functioning. Person. And let me tell you that kind of label is really disturbing because what the heck does someone, mean by high functioning, my. Name in second, life is. Fidgets. I am, multi-disabled. I am capability. Diverse, whatever, you want to call it. Embodiment. To me means, that an aspect, of. Your persona, is allowed. To be, expressed, as, you. See me as a dinky. One, of the things since expressed, in that is uncute, and. I'm, not necessarily cute, in the physical world depending, on who you are and what you're looking at but. Here, people are much more friendly, to me because I'm less, threatening. I. Believe. That, people come here to connect, with each other. My. Name in second life is Melina Fox claw. I wear, my fangs almost. As much as possible and I. Have her in a dark skin, because. I, really liked my father's, really dark skin. With. The avatar, I feel like I can reflect, more. Of my heritage, my. Mexican. Lineage. But. I have lots, of other avatars, like. An Android. I've. Got lots of furries, I. Do. Have a male avatar, so, I can dress him up for, blogging purposes. Sorry, Melina we are 17, minutes into the film and the audience may ask how come that some of the protagonists, are seen in their physical self, and others only appear in avatar form how come we don't see the, person behind Molina Fox CAW, well I do, feel like my SL, and my RL should be separate right I just don't like being in front of a camera I just, prefer, to use my avatar, as the.
Representation. Of myself and. That's, it got it and I, fully accept you as the real you just like I am the. Real Drax I, know. My, daughters have said I was on a conversation with my best friend talking about second life over, the phone and my, daughters will look at each other and they'll be like they talk about that like it's real. When. I was like well it kind of is and, maybe. They don't want, their, physical, world identity, known, for. Any number of reasons whether. It's they don't like the way their voice sounds, or, they've been teased about the way they look people. Turn to second life to. Be able to share very intimate. Conversations. In, a way they never would with a person in the physical world because, they feel they safely, can our, current, era of big data and surveillance. And Facebook, and tracking, and Amazon, and wearables, and all this not, only do I know you're a dog I know you're dog food I know your breed I probably, know your DNA when you think of a rural village like. You know where my family grew up in Nebraska, everyone. Knows everything about everyone, and. One attraction with, urbanization often, the people moving to cities was, to have some control, over what. They would reveal to people and, that was never necessarily. Seen as deception it was more of having. Control over what you reveal to whom and when. Think. About what's happening, today in. Social. Media pick. A platform, any platform. And you will find real and you will find authentic and, you will find deception. And. Strange. It doesn't require the internet, and a mediated, platform, for that to happen we, do that in the physical world the way we present, ourselves all, the time you. Could certainly find a subset, of people for whom the label deception, might apply but. Then you have all, of this role-playing which. Is also not about deception, but is really about self-discovery, and sort, of alternative. Ways of being an alternative, social networks, role, playing a medieval village or 1920s. Berlin to, call that deception is really, missing the point. My. Name in second, life is cath, McGill, I'm 57. Years old I have, a variety of different disabilities. I've, been through cancer twice a series. Of medicines, that the doctor gave me has, caused. Somewhat. Of a cascade, failure of some of my internal, organs I have.
Been Through a series. Of, avatars. That I really wasn't happy, because the majority of the human looking avatars, were. The. Same. This. Is what they call a tiny, Avatar. I guess. You would Excel it would be a black. Leopard cub. I am, upright, wearing. A little. Dress with, a bustier. A, little. Pillbox, hat and pearl, necklace. Being. A, tiny. Avatar, it's. Easier, for me to build because, I, have literally a different perspective on. My. Build I tried. To demonstrate, the, effects. That I, had, endured. During, my. Journey through pain, management. The. First medicine, I was on with soma, which, has now been pulled, from the, market because, in very, very small amounts were, highly, addictive, it. Was after my, melanoma, surgery, they. Detached. My, right, arm and went, into my chest cavity. This. Is the darvocet, which was one, of the other pills that they put me on I had been misdiagnosed with. Thyroid, cancer, darvocet. Was. Very very trippy, I saw. Halos, I wasn't. Able to walk I wasn't able to function, you're. Gonna bounce around when you're on this this is not a stable. Drug. This. Went on for, six. Months five months I have. No, memory at all. This. Is Prozac, at this point the doctors are saying we're, just going to give you this and it's going to relax, you. The. Oxy codon. Which. Was, the. Last village that put me on when I had, my knee, surgery now. You, can see the. Difference, oxy. Codon, I understand. Why people love using your. Whole body, feels. Very. Nice. This. Is, a, very. Very difficult for to me for me to go on to, so. If I go quiet for, a while it's okay. My. Dad's been gone since, 2003. My mom died last year. She. Died on the day that I finished this build. Basically. My father had, lung. Cancer and it. Was misdiagnosed and, the nurse took the decision, to overdose, my father on morphine, and, his life. My. Mom. She. Just went. To sleep but they gave her another medicine, that, she could be relaxed, but still lucid. That. Was a, difficult. Decision for, us, that. We will make sure that she had comfort. Measures. There. Are people who, are, in, such. Tremendous. Pain. That. Death. Is the only answer, and I. Do not condemn, people, who. Have made, that, decision, so. Calf. It's been a while since we last spoke how have you been slowly. Losing, my voice. And. Understanding. How to get on to. Disability. Payments, or Social Security, it's beyond, me right now I would, basically be, homeless without my husband, I'm. So sorry Kat I wanted. To showcase the, books, for kids that you produce in Second Life before, we move to the next chapter, in the film we're, here on the set of book 3 of your any Hedgehog, series this. Instruction. Took weeks. And. The hedgehogs play out typical, family, dynamics, like sibling. Rivalries. Challenges. Of being a parent anxiety. Of being left alone at the beach. You, built the sets they. Can be manipulated to fit the photograph, people, can get these books inside, Second Life the, ebooks, are available. On, Amazon. Thank. You Calvin good, luck this, is very, inspiring. My. Name is second life is alum Nia autumn, I am, a student of social. And cultural anthropology in the University, of Vienna my, avatar, it, is me who, I would look if I had a, chance, to create my own body once again for, example she has a veneer she, is tall, she, is yes, skinnier, and maybe a bit prettier, she has more freckles than, I do there.
Is The physical body, that we can feel and there is the body that we have in our mind the thing that is in there that looks different. If. Pressure, in second, life means, just, what it means in real life you have to be able, to tell yourself like am i okay, the way I look, am i okay, that. I might not spend all of my money on, getting. An updated. Order as other who say it therefore. They somehow turn. To, I'm sorry to use this less updated. Avatars, which, pity that oh my, god they must be really, poor with, a certain, form of shaming, yes. I was. Diagnosed, when I was, 24. My, parents, have er and never ever heard, about ADHD. Or, that it can happen to girls as well mostly to boys it. Feels like you can. Barely walk everybody. Else is running by you sometimes. People can see me crawling but, I'm so good at and so many other people with ADHD are good at this that, we can become very confident. And people, think that we actually levitate, but, we are still crawling like heck, sometimes. Like to think about it just like any superhero, superpower. They, not choose it they get it and they have to deal with it at being, awesome and being miserable at, times, or sometimes at the same time. There's. A lot of role-playing in Second Life some people play children, they. Sometimes. Play, because, they, had an, abusive relationship. Or. Maybe there is nothing, going on they had the perfect lead elect writer they just want to relive. It I have. Been hitting some blocks in my trauma, to repeat so, I created a child of what horror I dressed her up like. A younger version of my own avatar, she doesn't have a veneers, but that doesn't matter it, just looks like a little child. With blue eyes red hair and a lot of freckles I wanted. To hold myself, just. Like the very strong, symbolism. Of creating, my own body, and being in control of what is happening do. We need her to run around and just let her hyperactivity. Be vile without anybody, saying anything about, her can, we just say, that she can sit down and read a book without feeling. Like she has to be a hundred percent without. Hearing, her parents, fighting in the background. My. Therapist, when we are trying to go over a traumatic, experience or. Just like the memory of it she. Asks, me that what, would you do to. Your childhood, self to. Help her. Suffer. Less, as my. Homework sometimes logging, into second life I can, pick who is around her I can, pick there she is and I can see that she is safe. We. Have somebody, in our community, she. Has six babies, in second. Life she. Is the first to say I know, people think this is weird but. You know what it gives me joy a, mother, turned, 92. And she. Just found out because, my sister with dementia. Told, her did. You know that she's, on this game and she's married, to a white man and she's got six babies, and my mother I, feel. Bad for, but. Now, she knows. Lady. Is someone, for, whom the. Second Life has been a very valuable way to create. Kinds of family, I was, married once for a short period of time but, I could not have baby, so. When, I was able. To have. Babies in second, life I just really, thought, that was something it's, not about me, create a baby it's about creating, a sense of care and. People. Who have babies, like that are perfectly clear, about that distinction I have a total, of seven, children but. Oldest, is Bobby then, two sets of twins Ella, and Emma, axel and Alicia. Then there's Cassandra, and our newest, baby is Devon, jr. the, pleasure in caregiving. And to, have that kind of reciprocity, even. If it's in a small way that. Agency, of taking care of something because others, are taking care of them so, much and many of them are parents. Or caregivers, for, elderly parents. We've, lost that sense of how, do we define joy, and I, think for a lot of people who live in isolation. Because. They, have a social anxiety. When, they can open, a door, to a social, community, they. Have tapped into a source, of joy, connection. And support. That, their physical world has not. Provided, them for what ever reason. Withholding. Judgment is, a really, important, thing to learn about culture, in general and you, know the classic, German anthropology. Is cultural, relativism, that is often misunderstood. This mean everything, is okay because if someone does it it's all relative, and that's not what it means at all it means that if you just stop and listen for a little bit you might find out that something that you thought was wrong is actually, another. Legitimate way, of living a human life this. Is not. Escapism. It's. Augmentation. I, didn't. Want to choose the black body I just wanted to choose the body and then turn it into me, Miami. Tar has been very thin when, I first came in because, I wanted to be the opposite, of what I really, am in real life but.
I Didn't, feel like I was really treated, any different. Cuz being always treat women like they're a piece of meat, so, I changed. It to I got where. I am beyond, I'm probably been wearing this size. Haven't, talked but, maybe about a year to, me I feel like this avatar is me the, other avatars, I was just in them trying to figure out well, what now, lady, you are aware, that many, people will see this finished film and you. Shared a lot of very personal information. How, do you feel about that I was. So afraid I'm talking, I'm still, afraid because, I have no idea of what I've said to you and I've revealed, some much. Of myself but, I'm not gonna worry about it I'm gonna just go out on a limb and live with whatever happens, I am. 61. Years old I deserve. To express, myself and, be heard it's Who. I am. Kody, Haiti. Yeah. Welcome. Everyone to this week's meet and greet and thank you. So much for coming, today this, is a very special, meeting so. It's. Your turn. Sort of coming out of some things people were talking about last week. What. Does your avatar, mean, to you. It. Means everything. To me. If. You, guys wanna come and hang out at my house. Do. You want to date ever. Time. She's. Gone too far and that's, for sure. Your. Time. Pilot. Stop is she needs time to I sneeze. Quality. Time. I. Just. Have no time for, a change. I, was, born a regular baby. And. Then on my first birthday. Hmm. I decided, to go for a swim. And. I didn't know how to swim. I'm. 30. My. Mom and the nanny. I. See. Myself as, somebody. Who has a, little. Different. Abilities. I. Don't. See myself as disabled. Okay. Charlotte so where are we going tomorrow we're, gonna try to drive in towards the city at least as far as we can, what city Chicago. I. Think. More and more I'm really grateful that I have an active life but, I did a lot of things that I had a bucket list and I started on at a young age and, there's a lot of things Frost also if I was going to tell an able-bodied person anything I would tell them what my grandmother, told me don't. Wait till you're old you won't be able to fulfill your dreams then do, it now. Desmond. It's coming in. My, heart walks a lot to the city, oh you. Want to turn back now yeah, we need to turn back does this traffic is too slow when, I'm running out of time here okay the, traffic going back is not bad so we'll be able to make it back. I only, guy ever remember, is an able-bodied person being told no so many. Times, so. Easy to become angry. My, goal was to see the skyline. Right. That, was my that was really my goal but, then in my heart my heart will need to get to the skyline get. To the city, it's. Hope we tried it right, we, tried it and, you. Gotta keep trying. It's. A grief that never. Completely, ends especially because in my case is chronic, it's degenerative, it's progressive, my, situation, continues to get worse what I'm able to do today a year from now I may not be able to do all those things and I will be grieving, with the things that I'm no longer able to do. My. Life in the real world I I sit, in a specially, made chair that a guy makes for people just like me, it's, a welded. Behemoth. But. In it I'm in, about, as little pain as I am at any moment, of the day I spent. Years, finding. Acceptance. Of my situation. Learning. How to love myself again, like. How crazy is that my, spirit. Is not. My body I can't. Avoid whether, or not my situation. Just, inherently, make people uncomfortable. My. Favorite, interaction. Ever with my disability, in real life was from a little boy I was, going into a movie theater I had, all my braces, on knee. Brace ankle, braces, back brace especially, if I have to sit for an extended period so I have all my braces, on and this, little boy comes, and he points, at my braces, and he says to. Those hurt, and. I said oh no. They. Actually make, it hurt less they're. Really a good thing and. He put on a big grin and he said that's, good because you look like Tron, and I thought that's. Awesome. The. Thing is I'm not broken, and it's this ableism. Of the world that. Thinks I am you. Don't have to fix me shylu. You appeared many times already throughout the film but there are a lot of protagonists. And their various embodiments. Your main alter-ego. In second life is I'm a super Gekko why because, I wear a cape. I. Went around as somebody trapped. In a sack of potatoes you, know I did, all these things and, and what. It. Was okay. People. Doesn't really have like. A Superman, superpower, I think the power of the Gecko had was. Transformation. You must be Rebecca wins I mean.
The Geckos kind of mean. The. Children sing. Armageddon. This is Armageddon. I'ma, get did the game I like to play, I'll, stand to decide I'm. Confused, about this value on life don't. Prevent its birth don't, legalize, early, termination, yet. Such deep desire, for the end, neocons. Invade. Our Great Hall screaming, war will bring peace embrace. Israel, so that Armageddon. Can begin, the. Populace, goes crazy jumping. Yelling, a frenzy, of Glee that Armageddon. Might come to be in mob. Fervor, they blame disabled. For disability, impoverished. For, poverty religious. Without charity or clarity, or integrity. Children. Sing on, Armageddon. This, is Armageddon um a, guy did the beam I like to play. Sometimes. I just need to cry. It. Creates. Serotonin, and endorphins that, make me feel better, and, when I'm down sometimes, I just can't cry and the. Gecko never makes me wanna cry like the echo is always to some beat and I have seeing. Myself as a woman, who. Needs you, know to be loved, and needs some, compassion, and needs, to be held and told it's okay. It's. Not a bad thing to cry it's not a bad thing to have pain it's not a bad thing to be sad or happy or, crazily. Joyful. It. Is so of the moment. To. Me disability. Becomes a spiritual. Journey, and on, this journey, what role does Second Life play I'm learning, more and more it's my mental and emotional world. You. Know this whole thing of calling, calling. What I do outside. Of second life real life in my. Head, is a bit. Bizarre so, what do I do I lay, here typing words and changing, this bastardized, world this, world that thinks that loving is hoarding gorging, sucking, the life out of everything that's, weak, go, for it world you, got a super Gekko to deal with I'm cute, but, I'm punchy. Have a long tongue like I got you and bike don't. Laugh dude you, think this is a game this. Problem was addressed in my former therapist, and. He said something he. Was concerned about the time I spent in the virtual world you. Know that this is a game and that I need to be. Part of the real world Tom. Would get upset at this second, life is not a game I've talked about it's like a soccer, stadium isn't a game you play a thing in it right. That, comes from Richard Barbra that like the Pasadena, Rose Bowl or a soccer stadium is not a game you play a game in it you could also have a rock concert in it you know and then my therapist talked to me about the screen generation, and that I shouldn't become a part of the screen generation. And, I'm like you'll never see me at a restaurant looking at a screen it's a space and Second Life is like a soccer stadium it's not the game itself because.
I Don't actually eat in restaurants, very often so the odds have you seen me at 1:00 are, limited and if I'm there I'm there with a human being and I'm gonna be interacting, with them hi, poppy hi, you. Think virtual, worlds are strange. Well. I'm talking about Second Life which is the only relevant, universe. It's. Not sure if you're familiar with it. What. Say you about, this universe. Let. The kids eat in peace you really can't put that camera down can you. My. Name in second life is varaha, lush I am part of the ethnography, a group but. I do a lot of other things in second life for example I run the companions guild a grid, wide Network and weekly, get-together as open meetups, and we explore, role plays and all sorts together yes thank, you talk about dedication this. Is an important, topic and a great thing to both understand, and have in our toolkit, my. Rejoicing, is like, buying. Something. We. Like. Dedication. Is like. Making. Sure we find a safe place to keep it I'm, personally, a Buddhist so at these classes. We, often talk, about things, that affect our. Personal, growth yes. Ready Molina. And, Daisy. And, Tom and. Han. China, today. The ethnic raffia group are here and that makes it slightly more fun and easy because I know who they are and I know that they have disabilities and, understand. What's, going into this, okay. So remembering. We. Are after ultimate, happiness we. Need something that is not just something that happens in our external, conditions. In. Terms of my avatar, I wanted to manifest a body that could make a difference, to people so I picked the, name Ferrari, because it's actually part of the name of my personal deity Vajra. Ferrari. All. These, avatars. Can be gods if we choose them to be the only thing that's stopping, that from happening is, the obstruction in the human mind really. When. I created my avatar I wanted, her to look. Like me as much as possible, because, I'm an epileptic I have, quite a bit of doubt in relationship, so during, that time I'd rather feel someone's developing, affection, for, being. That looks similar to me rather to mother being, that, is unrelated to Who I am in real life she's, a celebration, of, my. Form. My. Parcel on ethnography. Er starts, off with. Just a heart floating, in their air and the sounds of waves, my. Expression. With this is they say my, epilepsy, is a hidden disability, so. Um, the, heart is kind of like me, and. The closer we get to it the more. Complexity. There is in the waves and the louder the waves are from. There you can teleport up to the woods between the world as I call it so, you can explore my various activities, on the grid. My. Apology, is part of who I am I've, had seizures since I was 8 years old they've really carved, my, personality. Into what it is my. Husband is 21, years older than me with my disability. It slows me down to a point where we have similar, energy I'm, not, sure I would enjoy having, a relationship with a man my. Age because. I think they would just get very frustrated, with me unless they were really kind. I think. Being brought up to recognize, that, there, are disabilities.
And Struggles, in the world it can, actually be quite a good thing because, it. Makes you aware that everyone. Has struggles, so, you so when, struggles, when struggles, or difficulties, come up they're, not some alien thing to panic about. Mike. It's had to grow up early, because, they're, young, carers, one. Time I was in the, country and start to have a seizure my, oldest was about 10, or 11 at the time I was kind of frozen the seizure had kind of passed but I just hadn't come back to myself enough to see noticed, you know she, said I think we need to go home and she knew that we'd come on the bus and she knew where we, got the bus so then she's like come, on mum and she kind of led me there when, I have a seizure it's a little bit like computer. Suddenly rebooting. And you know when you're in the middle of something, and your computer does that sometimes you've saved things and sometimes. You haven't so. When I come back to it I can't really be sure, what. I'll be working with what. Most able-bodied. People, don't understand, that normal, things take more energy, so, if that disabled, person is acting, normally, with you they're, providing you with a gift, okay. I think that's enough detail, now track so I'm really quite tired so, we ought to stop. Now and drink tea just, one more tiny question please so we are in a time of next generation, immersive, VR what, do you think of the. Current development, in that technology. Well that's to me most is emotional, intelligence and. I haven't seen that developed, enough yet. For. There, to be any need for more. Technological. Advancement, if people. Are, having an embodied. Experience. With. That headset where. They're actually. Experiencing. Something, that helps, them to think about their, relationship. To the world and their. Relationship, to others, fair. Enough, but. If it's just more fair ground right, it's. A bit of a low aim for, you know if we consider, ourselves to be an intelligent, speed. So. Where, are we going Tom we're going to San Francisco and, what, are we doing there we're gonna go to Linden. Lab and we're gonna go to high fidelity and, we're gonna bring, some cool people with us long. Drive up north all, across California right, that's right, road, trip. It's. Not a coincidence within, the early years of Second. Life and when they would make new, land, it would always be to the west that all, the continents are always expanding to the widest way. One. Way that people would extort, money is. To purchase a, piece of land right next to the wonderful, home you had built in second life and then they would put the very ugly sign. Or billboard, and, this. Happened to me one morning I looked out of my window to, look down on my beautiful view. Of the canyon, and the water I saw a big ugly billboard. Literally. About 1 meter from my, window and it gave me a very hopeful note card saying, I'm, your neighbor basically. Put. This on my property which I have the right to do because I own the land, for the very. Reasonable, price if I can't remember what what it was a hundred Linden's so. About $0.50 us if, you paid this box that money it, will turn invisible for, one week on another note in the physical world we've been driving for many hours what, are we doing next we're going to pick up solace whose part, of the ethnography, a community, and solace lives in a rural, sitting. It's, looking, pretty rural. I have to say.
You've. Got to be able to drive so. Ways. Of connecting online like, virtual worlds can be something, really, valuable for people with disabilities. If the disability is one that impacts, their mobility. My. Name is second life is solace naka Lee and I. Create. I. Had. A successful, career as a fashion designer for over 25, years and. Till. I. Was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson's, and the stress was. Making me very symptomatic, and I, had quite, a few years of depression because I felt lost I mean when, you've wanted to do something, since you were 5 and you made it possible and, then. It, started, to make you really sick it's, a hard thing to deal. With with. A disability. Or an illness you're, limited, on time and that was the hardest, thing I had to accept and learn, to manage because, all my life I had always been the person that would push through it push through it with Parkinson's, the more you push the more symptomatic, you get so. To actually have to learn to back up and say okay I have three hours, this morning where I feel good what am I going to do to make a difference. The. Disease it takes, from you but it gives back to I remember. My son he, was five at the time when I finally retired, he. Basically. Said mommy I'm so glad you have Parkinson's, and I'm like okay, this is interesting. And, I got wise out of him and he's, like well. Because you're home with me all the time now so. I got to raise my son. Every. Once in a while the. World is beige and plastic. Looketh, I wonder. If you noticed, it too. My, ever turn look is important. To me but. Having. A house and having a home that totally, represents me is even more important. You. Know and some people laugh about it but if you think about especially people who are in relationships, or. Marriages or. Everything's. A compromise, which is good and that's how a good marriage should be or a good relationship, should be but. How often do we get to go someplace, that, is totally, you totally. Alright. Soulless just wanted to say that our physical, selves are now, on the way to you, are, you driving up five yes. We are indeed see, I live two hours from San Francisco, but on Highway five you drive right by my house. We. Came all the way from Hollywood. We. Don't have a lot of time San, Francisco and they stopped you already yep. Let's go. Here's. The right three lanes to take exit for 33 B. We. Have found a number of people in our community are able to use these technologies, because they have the wherewithal to have the computing, power it's. Like let's understand. These technologies, from your, perspective. There. He is this is Cody. If. You can only ask them one question already that question. Cody. Wants a bigger house on the mainland. Man. That's. A tough call you know I'm not the boss anymore. You. Know from your own experience of, second life that people. With disabilities, have been pioneers from, these spaces how, do we think about how. We can make these virtual, worlds and virtual. Reality more. Accessible, and keep including, and learning from these, experiences, well, I think as I was saying before I mean. From a pragmatic, perspective let's, give the pragmatic, answer do, you need to build, highly. Extensible. Probably. Open source systems, that enable those, who would provide, varied. Forms of access and, accessibility to the system to do so quickly so. If somebody wants to write up, a plug-in. Today to, extend the Xbox controller like that work can be done in parallel with our own outside. Of this office and you can submit a pull request and, get up and we accept it and it's in write one thing is to make this software. Fundamentally. An open system so that somebody if they want to make a completely. Different. Set, of assumptions. And designs that are focused on a certain disability for example they can do it, it's.
Just A question of what we want to do is make it so that you can control like the pointer on the tablet. Like I was showing you this, the. Tablet right there uh-huh, what we want to do is we want to figure out how to let you how. To map your, hand, or your foot on here yeah that you could basically control, this thing with, with your hand, like you do with your outfits, in second life. Somebody. Has to formulate, that job on the work list and put it out there would. You be willing to yeah, for that. If, I make Boise work perfectly, if in every don't want this their voice, ar-ar-ar, impaired, I have that choice right right, I don't have easy answers to that because I think that we still want to use our voices. Because. We can communicate with. Bias. Discoveries. Of the whole dating world right there are few women now can, command can demand. Complete. Sentences. I know. It's hard because I've gotta like be your arms. You. And I, let's. Try. You. Have. Boobies. You. Think you have boobies. People, sometimes think it's like oh you're trying to escape your physical, body you're trying to deny who you are and, people are very clear I am NOT trying to deny why I could, do it you know anyway I want this is another part of who I am so. Now look around look. Down at your hand right here see. That. I. Was about almost a year ago I started, working here with Kody before, that I had never seen or anything, like that I would call it a game but he would get mad and say it's, not a game. This. Is what it feels like to be inside, my, brain knows there wasn't there but. What I was looking at made me feel like I was there your character does the same thing. To. Be honest with you I even kind of thought I'm. Kind of look stupid, like I'm kind of dumb putting it on how, am I gonna look putting that on and you know everybody's you're staring, at me I mean. That interesting, question for you Kody like what is your ideal avatar. It has to be Second Life 2.0, oh, yeah. That's true like Second, Life I didn't, think about that whole second life to saying and how funny that would be and how everybody would make fun of me about it. Second. Life - well Sam's. Heart is definitely second, wife too. Abbot, is Sansa our second life 2.0, no. Sound. Starts at different products, from second, life you. Expect, a 2.0, product, to be. Linear. In in, its progression you expect, a lot, of functionality, a, lot of capabilities. A lot, of purposes, to be sort. Of the same and, it also would somehow suggest.
That It. Would. Be, some sort of end to second life which it's not. VR, I think it's easy for people to reject, right, now because of price comfort. It's, such an early beginning. Of this new ecosystem but it's an equalizer, where your physical. Appearance. And. And. Functionality. It. Becomes, less of. A. Handicap, disabilities. The category, any of us can enter in a heartbeat or an accident but, most of us have some, constraints. Physical. Or psychological. Is. Not comfortable, doing something, or afraid of something or not capable of something in virtual, space where you can't eradicate. Some of those what. If we try putting one of these controllers, on his foot because. This is smaller and it's like a circle, and then. It would move the avatar arm. Your. Avatar can walk but. Your human can't getting. Down to the basics, you know the importance. Of these spaces to. People who have the ability to break, out of whatever. Bind, they've been living in I think one of the most damaging, misunderstandings. Have often shows up is when people will say, you know in real life colloquially. But take that seriously. As if what's, on line isn't, real I. Don't like the saying, of real. Versus. Virtual. It's all real yeah, it's, all real and I was first in second life and had this light bulb moment where I was doing an interview someone. Just turned to me and said you know in. The physical world you get to know people from the outside in but second life is from the inside out yes and I was like that's just like poetry, light asked that's it. This. Question, comes from our, community, member ice KY who is a deaf woman and she. Asks can linden lab developed. Simultaneous. Automatic. Real-time. Speech, to text and, text-to-speech. Available. For anyone and everyone to, choose to use or not to use it we don't have it currently on the roadmap the. Good news is that between Google, and Amazon and, Microsoft and, Apple there's. A huge, amount investment. In making text to speech and. Even speech, to speech real-time, translation. Partnering. With one of those to. Integrate, that capability, will. Happen. So, that we can create software. And tools that allow people to sort of. Be. Part, of this and. Makes, us active, participants. In what what. These virtual lives will be rather than just passengers. So, what have you learned about the. Inclusion. Of people with disabilities. I think, we've learned that there is, an. Interest a dedication. Commitment a desire, to. Be. Inclusive, they, are in developing, their technology, they've got to get it where everybody can get access first.
With. The idea that they understand, the needs and, are listening and that's fine when the most important pieces yeah now there's definitely good intentions, and when we look at the history of these things there's one thing we know it's, that when you are inclusive. And accessible that benefits, everyone, not just folks who are disabled, let's, go into San CERN discuss it further shall, we because we have to wrap up the movie pretty soon can you guys teleport, over here. You. Are being, customized, here to, resemble. Your second, life avatar is, that something you can live with after. 13. Years I think it is in second life in some, ways this is my real virtual. Body. Customization. Is really. Important, and if. You can't afford those, things then. It creates, a certain hierarchy. Ableism. Is a huge issue of privilege, that we don't normally think of as privilege so we're here in a so-called next generation, virtual world with headset compatibility. And just like Second Life Sansa is. Trying. To solve problems that, may or may not have hindered mass adoption of Second. Life now a lot, of people in this in the documentary really don't care about visual, fidelity as, as sort of the the, number one reason why it why they keep coming back a virtual, world is a different thing than virtual. Reality, virtual reality, is about an interface, and you, can go to a movie theater with 3d, glasses and, you, can see some stuff that a director, could do that they couldn't do with a regular movie but, if it's a bad movie, the 3d glasses are not going to save it when you're asking, about what makes these great for the people that we, have been working with for the last three years is accessibility. So. For, a person for example who is homebound, room bound or bed bound when. They can put a laptop on the bed, or on their lap or on their belly or. Mounted on a phone. That strapped, to their wheelchair, they, have access, to a. Social. World. That. The physical, world has prohibited, when, accessibility. Is an afterthought, over. And over again we see bugs we see problems we see new forms, of exclusion some. People cannot, wear a headset, some, people cannot hold. Controllers. Final, question now because, you, know I mean this movie was supposed to be I think 10, or 15 minutes long can, you believe it guys I don't know. As. A filmmaker, I'm always concerned that people might, say the audience might say I I understand. That disabled people they have to fill a void so you, know that's why they engage with these platforms. But, I don't have that void in my life so, I'm not interested. In it do you guys encounter, that all the time, and. I think this for me at least there's sort of two responses to that the. Narrow, response, in a sense is that disability. Experience. Is valid, in its own right, disabled. Folks are part of the human journey they're, a part of every human culture and it. Is valuable, and, worthy for, us to understand, and appreciate their. Lives. But, then there's a bigger picture, kind of answer, as well which is that it's, not that there's a hole in the ground and the hole gets filled if you, listen. To the stories, that you see in this film you will see people doing something new that, they never imagined.
They Could have done before, they encountered, these virtual, worlds and we see over and over again that when able-bodied. Folks come into these virtual worlds it's the same story, they think they're, gonna come in to hang out with their friends and then they discover they can do music, they discover they can build things they discover, a new community, of people that they can hang out with when, it's, augmenting. Your physical. World or, supplementing. Something that's missing, if. Somebody. Can come in here and dance and they cannot, do that in the physical world. Who would anybody, be to judge that person for wanting to dance if. You want my best clue for what the future is going to look like talk. To someone who's disabled, listen, to their stories watch, what they're doing because, we know in the history of Technology, what they do often, ends up being what we all do all right thank. You guys, that, was wonderful I think the movie is a wrap it, was wonderful, to tag along and document, all this let's hope we we have an impact dragster. Out please. Roll credits. Turbulence. Right. Beautiful's. All of the sky. Beauty. Falls out of the. Sky. There's. Of course now when it's blowing free. It's. Touching you, - to me. A. Minor. Will blue what to make, us see. Beauty. Comes out of, the sky. Beauty. Comes out of, the sky. Yay. It's. Pretty hard, to see where beauty I've. Got. No phone got, no size a. Change. In temperature. Bernadine. Beauty's. Awake, when, you sleep. Judy's. Awake, when, you sleep. Did. I break it. You.