Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Review of Public Talk @ UWA on 14th August for UWA Open Day

On UWA Open Day, 14th August 2011, Jay Jay Jegathesan (Jayjay Zifanwe) gave a public talk on second life at the Woolnough Lecture Theatre at 10.15am in Perth.

Hearing about the talk through the UWA 3D Art & Design Challenge Group at 7am that day, Perth based Pieter Kaan  (Seamus Hammerthall: SL) made the trip to UWA to listen to the talk in person. He has been kind enough to provide the following review of the talk:

Pieter Kaan  (Seamus Hammerthall: SL)

Jay Jay @ The Open Day
Review of Public Talk @ UWA Open Day by Pieter Kaan  (Seamus Hammerthall: SL)
"On Saturday 13th August 2011, I attended Open Day at the University of Western Australia campus as a member of the public.

One of the special activities presented at the Woolnough Lecture Theatre was a presentation on UWA's presence in Virtual World

With a brief outline of what virtuality is and how people can utilise this concept in  real life, the presentation explained how UWA began in the virtual world.

It introduced the audience to Second Life, (SL) created by Linden Labs of San Francisco, USA which is best known for virtual technology providing a global grid social network wherein each member is represented by an avatar.

UWA's presence in Second Life is for the global community who in turn contribute their skills in 3D art involving the building of objects, textures and animation scripts.

It also showed how graphic image building contributed to Google Earth in the conversion of 2D imagery of satelite maps of city buildings to 3D representations of landmark sites such as the Sydney Opera House and various other well known buildings. This involves the building of objects and the application of textures.

The presentation included a demonstration of three award wining feature videos produced by members within UWA's Second Life community which gave  fine examples of 3D graphics in both static Art and Animation introducing Machinima, the combination of animation and computers. The first feature video produced by a member from the USA, the second from Perth WA and the third from Berlin in Germany.

This demonstration showed the audience that although in an experimental phase, Virtual Worlds were going to be significantly beneficial in more ways than currently realised.

The presentation concluded with a brief demonstration of an avatar whilst being logged in to Second Life, interacting with other people from all around the world who responded by virtue of an incorporated  chat window.

The presentation, in my opinion, was quite information intensive considering the limited time available. It was easy for me to race through with it and understand since I am a regular participant and user in SL. However, I felt that the presentation was perhaps too rushed for members in the audience who may not have been familiar with the concept of Virtual World and consequently would fail to see the point it was making.

From my experience of just over two years in SL with many long hours of involvement on a daily basis, I have learned that online virtual world is a most fascinating educative and creative tool and would benefit not only students enrolled in university but also a broad global community of remote and homebound members.

Its only a matter of time before we begin to see 3D technology virtually pop out of the computer screen."


In a heartwarming postscript to this review, Seamus revealed an amazing personal journey that also leads to UWA. His words describe it best:

"I met a lovely person by chance here in SL about 18 months ago. We became friends and met regularly. we never stopped meeting. After some time we met in RL after sharing pics etc and She flew all the way from Holland to Perth two times. We decided to get married and we chose to have our wedding withing the beautiful gardens of UWA, where my son also was married about 4 years ago. I never thought SL could become RL...but it did, unexpectantly."

Pieter Kaan  (Seamus Hammerthall: SL)


  1. yeah its great that we receive constructive criticism like that. keeps us on our toes :)