Monday, May 17, 2010
Standing Corrected About Linden Lab's Support For the Arts
Location: In front of big plate of crow
Top-hat tip to Viv Trafalgar, who alerted me to this old but vital news item
Image: Burning Life 2008, closing day
I don't follow developments in Second Life as readily as many of my more connected colleagues who stay better plugged into various forms of communication, so I missed the Feb. 23 announcement of the Linden Endowment for the Arts.
The initiative makes me qualify the angry words I've sounded, from time to time, about the Lindens pissing on the creative classes while they cultivate suburban lifestylers. Could there be room for a virtual gallery district as well as virtual cul-de-sac burbs in SL? It seems so, and Linden Lab follows a clear precedent: corporations have long supported the arts.
Of course, there are some in SL's resident base who are terminally indignant. They will see this initiative as something akin to arbitrary promotion for selected artists. To you I say: wait to see what happens.
From my perspective, it's high time that Linden Lab reaffirmed the role artists have played in fulfilling Philip Rosedale's vision of a place where one could revel in self-expression and, given the low overhead costs, make a bit of spending money doing so. Of particular interest to me, as with the Svarga revival, is that the Lab understands the best immersive work merits archiving in some form, so future SLers can experience it.
If the Linden Endowment goes to those making subpar work or only to those who toady to the Lab, the discontent from others in the community will be long and prolonged.
And I'll report it right here. Meanwhile, this has me looking forward to Burning Life 2010!
Update May 19: Reading Prokofy Neva's post on this issue, especially Desmond Shang's comments about how it will affect sim-owners who have rented space to artists, complicates what I posted here.
Let's hope that we don't come to see those artists outside the 70-sim arts cluster treated as second-rate or those inside pressured to create content that meets LL's standards. Again, it will be a wait-and-see game, since the decision has been made.