I left a long comment on a YouTube video on inducing the phantom sense of touch in VRChat. I'm interested in how this could relate to mindfulness practice and Qigong - maybe I should get a headset and see for myself.


Early thoughts on YouTube Reframe 

I watched the YouTube Reframe video for its advice on balancing "our online and offline lives".


The video is hyper edited with effects and cuts every second, I find the effect very unpleasant to watch personally. Does this help engage younger audiences?

The video stresses the good side of community the platform offers their creators, with less emphasis on the downsides YouTube presents to its users. No mention of addiction is made, although beneficial advice such as "my mum bans us from using our phones at the dinner table" is repeated and emphasised. A minute of the video is dedicated to a vlog style introduction edit.

Comments, likes, dislikes, and views are disabled. No mention of sponsorship is mentioned in the description, although text URLs are provided to helpful resources. It would be nice if direct hyperlinks were added, so these resources were just a click away for viewers.

someone should make a website that crawls all NFTs on some popular NFT website and sends a request to the attached url (if present), then if the url is inaccessible, adds it to a real-time expanding list of NFTs that point to something that no longer exists

Some rough analysis on the best words to start your Wordle guess with - how about "soare", an old english word for a young hawk?


New mini essay!

Thoughts on time, the message that shows up on Wii Sports asking if you want a break, and a few little net art experiments.


A call for papers from the folks at Soapbox Journal:

For the next issue of Soapbox we invite young researchers and established scholars alike to submit academic essays or creative work that critically engages with the theme of interface. We are inviting extended proposals (500-1000 words) that follow the MLA formatting and referencing style to be submitted to submissions@soapboxjournal.net by December 5th, 2021.*

An interface is a space of contact and interconnection. Thinking within but also beyond a media studies framework, we can understand our lives to be constantly mediated by interfaces of one form or another. They can be understood to serve as an intermediary between individuals and cultural objects, or alternatively, between experience and infrastructure. Interfaces mediate between a body and its environment, the private and public, subject and object. In each instance, the interface enables interaction and activity.


Unreal Engine vTubers (xanadu) 

Well, it looks like another small production company recently made a 6 week film in UE5; youtube.com/watch?v=0kXWNfW9ia
Pretty cool! One or two quirks, made with mocap and a helmet that is never removed makes the storytelling easier.

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Unreal Engine vTubers (xanadu) 

xanadu refers to their UE setup as a "meta-bubble". In a sense, all 3D networked spaces are meta-bubbles, e.g. Molly's homepage, molly.energy, or an old project of mine, fingerprint.garden.

If the metaverse is created through the combination and forming of metabubbles, the question remains as to which protocol users decide to connect to - will it be Meta's protocol? Will it be a community alternative?

There will be competition, and if Meta restricts users freedoms in how their meta-bubble can join their network (e.g. "no, you can't just copy and reuse those NFT shoe model files! you don't own those!") then users may choose other protocols to be a part of.

Why join new systems of power and ownership in a metaverse when we've got VRChat and decentralised technologies? Why buy belongings or real estate in Meta's metaverse when you can build or join the universe next door?
I guess we'll always be paying for server upkeep and content, I just hope we're still able to make and share our own content for free. The freedom of the internet (subsidised by free web hosts) will hopefully lead to the freedom of the metaverse.

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Unreal Engine vTubers (xanadu) 

Just found xanadu, an indie unreal engine YouTube production. Created by one person, the latest episode took 6.5 weeks to produce - youtube.com/watch?v=zLcdmwXUdV.

It looks like more creators are making the jump into Unreal Engine + mocap for real time effects, so CodeMiko is no longer alone.

It reminds me of the realtime UE4 scenes in Rogue One back in 2016, or how more recently Lucasfilm used a realtime 360 background screen shooting the Mandelorian. Real time storytelling in virtual worlds is the precursor to real time interaction, and tbh we've already got the tech for cinema quality metaverse VR, if you've got the money to spend.

Thinking of the countless machinimas made in video game worlds, I wonder what casual creators will do with a hollywood standard playground?

Web Comics in HTML, JS, React? 

Whoops, I missed that HelloFromHaloHead has already been published on two other platforms 🤦‍♂️

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Web Comics in HTML, JS, React? 

I've seen a few interactive webcomics across the internet, they seem like a lot of effort to put together.

Could there be an easier way of making interactive comic websites? At its most basic level it would be dragging and dropping images like mmm.page, (See how React Komic already does this github.com/sonnylazuardi/react) but then expanded with comic frame interaction code snippets.

Writing comics with React components feels like crazy overkill, it might be palatable if the tool came with a user friendly UI, something like mechanic.design/ 's features, and if all the components you want are already made. A responsive comic design takes more effort, so that's another hurdle to clear before comic creators would consider using webpage HTML as a medium.

I've recently read a webcomic series that has been solely published to Twitter - a excellent way of promoting your work & producing consistent content for an algorithm. If promoting on Twitter comes with these benefits, it's probably better if you can't read the comic straight from a webpage. Check out Batty's HELLOFROMHALOHEAD.com

(Oh, and flash / canvas / unity2D are good ways of making interactive web comics, these methods don't get the variety offered by HTML though...)

YouTube removes the dislike count 

YouTube is now removing the dislike count so users can't gang up on videos and completely maul video uploaders with the power of community numbers.

YouTube viewers are upset, as the like / dislike ratio also serves useful purpose aside from community justice. The line between community justice and mobbing / harassment seems to depend on your opinion of the situation.

From now on, discontent will be spread in the comments. Expect to see a lot of "dislike" comments in the near future, until these are also filtered out via YouTube's obscure comment section sorting algorithm.

I'd hope that a few resourceful commentators will comment "dislike" in response to comments they dislike as well, further spreading the meme; however this is unlikely.

In the meantime, I'd guess that at least three different coders have started making a YouTube dislike count browser extension. This extension probably won't see much traction until one of the larger professional YouTube analytics extensions integrates the idea as a marketing strategy / requested community feature.

VRChat, live editing 

Bonus: clip of another VRChat player with full body motion tracking being picked up in real life:

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We are an instance for discussions around cultural freedom, experimental, new media art, net and computational culture, and things like that.

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