By Eric Kohn | Eric Kohn March 9, 2009 at 11:10AM
This story from The New York Times about artists selling their work in Second Life raises a lot of important issues. Rather than getting the details of the story here, I highly recommend checking out Sara Corbett's extensive feature.
I am a little hesitant to fully embrace the creative potential of Second Life, mainly because I tried it out for about five minutes before growing bored of the place. (Also, some weird technical glitch kept turning my avatar into a vaguely defined cloud -- not the best welcome to the neighborhood.) However, there's no denying that smart, capable minds have found ways to utilize the digital realm as a means of extending their art into new media spaces, and this will surely increase over time. I recently received the third edition of David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson's invaluable Film History textbook, which now includes a detailed chapter on cinematic expressions in new media, with a screening of Four Eyed Monsters in Second Life used as a prominent example.
I would like to know if many filmmakers would at least consider this route. Why not market your movie to avatars? The average indie filmmaker has to break the bank just to cover traveling costs while promoting his or her feature. In Second Life, all you have to do is teleport. Okay, we're talking about a very limited audience here, but isn't that always the case?
Think about it.