08 July 2016

A Second Life for Chess

With 1031 views and 125 faves after less than a week on Flickr, what is going on here? First clue: subtitled 'Location: The Outer Garden'; second clue: 'This photo is in 106 groups'; third clue: groups with names like 'SL pictures that touch us' and 'SL LOVE'. It's the latest in a long series of Flickr chess photos for Second Life, already seen on this blog in This One's for Alexandra.

Floating chess pieces © Flickr user Leonorah Beverly under Creative Commons.

What's Second Life? That's easily answered, thanks to Wikipedia:-

Second Life is an online virtual world, developed by Linden Lab, based in San Francisco, and launched on June 23, 2003. By 2013 Second Life had approximately 1 million regular users, according to Linden Lab, which owns Second Life. In many ways, Second Life is similar to MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games); however, Linden Lab is emphatic that their creation is not a game: "There is no manufactured conflict, no set objective". • Second Life

What's the chess connection? That's not so easily answered. Here's Wikipedia again:-

A wide variety of recreational activities, both competitive and non-competitive, take place on the Second Life Grid, including both traditional sports and video game-like scenarios.

See, for example, Second Life Chess Community on lichess.org; the linked Youtube video is useful for understanding the attraction. Another chess connection is art. See, for example, New Second Life Art Installation Takes Chess to Giant & Surreal Heights:-

Oberon Onmura of Second Life Arts and Entertainment [SLANE] has a write-up of "All Rules Disrupted ... The Chess Revolution", an intriguing new installation by avatar artist Shellina Winkler, a giant-sized play on chess themes which evoke comparisons to 20th century surrealists.

As for The Outer Garden (secondlife.com), I'm not enough of a romantic to get it. I'll stick with Flickr photos like Search: chess second life.

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