Spotlight Interview – Alexina Proctor

VCARA Blog

This month’s spotlight interview is with Alexina Proctor from InWorldz. Alexina has also previously been involved in SecondLife but a significant portion of her virtual worlds life takes place in InWorldz. Currently, she is most likely to be found on Tolmire or Sendalonde in InWorldz.

Sidenote: I, Whitni Watkins/LeKrish, have been fortunate enough to take a course with Alexina and learn how to build books for a library Science Fiction collection in InWorldz. It was an invaluable experience and has really helped in other aspects of my virtual world experience.

Alexina and another InWorldz member, Prax Maryjasz, founded the first community library in InWorldz and just debuted a brand new library (You can read about the InWorldz community libraries at the Metaverse Library website.)

You can view the new full-region community library which had its grand opening at the beginning of this year, January 11, 2014. Sendalonde Community Library, Art Plaza & Theatre in InWorldz: http://places.inworldz.com/Sendalonde/56/83/36.

Outside of creating and maintaining the community library, Alexina & Prax also own a store called Featherburr where Prax Maryjasz and Alexina sell their creations.

{Begin Interview Questions}

How did you become involved with Second Life? “I first joined Second Life on October 7, 2006 in preparation for teaching SJSU SLIS class LIBR 240 in Spring 2007. In the first couple of years I was in Second Life mostly to set up my office on the SJSU campus and learn enough to be able to teach my students something about Second Life. SJSJ SLIS student Greylin Fairweather (Robin Williams) helped me learn some prim building techniques and helped me understand how things are put together with prims, scripts (LSL), textures, sounds and animations. Prax Maryjasz helped me with students who had lag problems and got behind.”

What are some tasks you do your virtual world life? “Build, teach, terraform and publicity. As co-director of the Community Library along with Prax Maryjasz, I lead meetings of the library board, coordinate exhibits, plan the collections and setup any device that requires scripting and/or configuring.”

Alexina is very involved in building and creating in InWorldz. She is currently designing a castle on Tolmire, a region next to Sendalonde (where the new community library is) and some other projects she does in InWorldz include:

  • Building a library including creating a building and adding content.
  • Teaching library graduate students about virtual worlds and how to create books and posters.
  • Taking photos to post on the the web as part of publicity for the library and other venues. I am one of the managers of ArtWorldz, an artists colony and gallery in InWorldz. (View more information about ArtWorldz at http://www.artworldz.com/)

What were some of the challenges of getting accustomed to the virtual life? “Learning to walk, finding the keyboard shortcuts, finding out which groups are the most helpful for asking questions, learning how to use the search window and discovering groups who have like interests.”

I would say I agree with this response 100%. In my experience with virtual worlds, traveling within the world and finding those with like interested was a task that took a lot of patience and even courage to ask other avatars for help.

Adjusting to virtual worlds can be a challenge, what would be a great tip for new comers in Second Life to help with the learning curve? “In InWorldz and Second Life, visit the library where there is information for new residents. Second tip: It is very handy to always have the movement controls and camera controls on your screen all the time, as it makes viewing things and maneuvering easier.”

Virtual worlds open up opportunities to meet people and to experience really neat things and sometimes really awesome and bizarre things.

What were some of the strangest things you have experienced in Second Life?
What I am about to share with you isn’t really so much strange as it is incredible. Please visit the references below as you will be amazed by them also.

“I am awed by many of the amazing creations that I find in the various art fests, virtual parades and large events such as the Toys for Tots auction and builds. Years ago I visited a walk-in version of the book Fahrenheit 451 on Bradbury Island in Second Life which was part of the Alliance Library System (http://bit.ly/1rv0Hwi).

Creators have reproduced paintings in 3D, such as Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night (break down of Robbie Dingo’s build: http://bit.ly/1pEbLeU) that is exists only in a YouTube video now. (http://youtu.be/9UQfm8f-BDg)

At least one architect creates models of homes he is custom building and has the clients walk through the home in the virtual world to help them decide on changes.”

Second Life is a 3D world where everyone you meet is a real person and every place you visit is built by real people. Virtual Worlds, like InWorldz, create opportunities for you to meet people from all over the world without ever having to leave your home. To conclude the interview I asked Alexina:

If you could invite anyone from real life to Second Life who would you invite? “A group – 3D artists in RL because VWs provide the opportunity to create immersive art environments that can be experienced by more than those who attend a local exhibition.”

How great would that be to experience 3D art from artists around the world that you would otherwise not be able to experience. Virual worlds are amazing.