I’m stood on a ledge at the HQ of SL Goth magazine in Second Life. Next to me on the ledge is Marsha Warwillow, editor in chief of the magazine. Marsha is sporting a dress made by her friend Moeko, for the Lovecraft Festival. The tentacles and the fact that the ledge is rather high up make me somewhat uneasy, but Marsha assures me that she’s not a pusher.
I have talked with Marsha before, all the way back in January. Then Marsha had explained to me the history and concepts of SL Goth Magazine. The magazine is available inworld, via Issuu and they even have their own website. Marsha is a fan of magazines and writing and yet she’s fully aware of the changes in how media is being consumed.
“Would you ever read a book in virtual reality? For instance… let’s say, you could open a book of the Hobbit, and then a virtual reading room that looks like a hobbit hole materializes around you?“, Marsha asks me.
This takes me by surprise, but yes, I probably would do that, although I confess to Marsha that I really do prefer books to book reader devices. I love the tactile nature of a book and dusty old book shops make me happy. Marsha informs me, somewhat mischievously, that a book scent spray is on the market to create the real book ambience.
Marsha continues with the book and virtual reality theme; “My focus is to.. have you heard Neil Gaiman’s talk, about how he quotes Douglas Adams on ‘Books are like sharks..they will survive because a shark is good at being a shark.’ I’m focusing on how to get magazines and books into virtual reality, outside of SL, in different environments, because I want them to survive, it can’t all be roller coasters and space games.”
This bring me to a theme I’m fond of in Virtual Worlds, storytelling by voice. I ask Marsha if she is aware of the work Seanchai do.
“Yes, I’ve been there a few times, I’m a fan!“, Marsha replies enthusiastically, “Recently I also went to the Chelsea Hotel, it was an open mic event.”