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Thursday, January 14, 2010 11:20 am
Book Trailer Thursday: Virtually Dead
Posted by: Daniel Kraus

Got a press release the other day touting Virtually Dead by Peter May, a thriller author who purportedly has a Brando-style dedication to what I guess you’d call “method writing.” Supposedly May has infiltrated the Beijing police, been inducted as a “Chevalier of French wines,” and is currently shadowing a top chef–all in the name of research.

A while back, May set up a private detective agency, handling “surveillance for matrimonial investigations, stalking and harassment cases, and missing person searches.” But there’s a twist! Are you ready for me to BLOW YOUR MIND?

He did it all in Second Life.

Yes, I know, twists are supposed to make things more interesting, not less, but stick with me here. I was fairly amused by the trailer, which alternates shots of human gumshoe Michael Kapiniski with his dashing, vest-clad avatar. The voice-over, which kinda sounds like the computer in WarGames, gives everything a droll humor, nailing such classic lines as “What would you do if your first client was a giant gecko?” As is often the case with Second Life–I mean, cough, I assume it’s often the case–the main attraction here is the scantily clad “exotic dancer made entirely of pixels,” who oddly enough looks just like Shannon Doherty.

Verdict: But will it work in First Life? Watching Second Life footage is one thing. Reading about watching Second Life footage might be something else. Unless the avatars upload Second Life-style virtual copies. I no longer have any idea what I’m talking about.



2 Responses to “Book Trailer Thursday: Virtually Dead”
  1. Joel Reese Says:

    Wow. Did he use a TRS-80 to program the graphics? Absolutely hilarious.

  2. Peter May Says:

    No, Joel, I shot it as “real life” action in Second Life, with friends’ avatars playing the parts. I simply scripted and directed the action in SL and shot it off the screen in digital video. Edited it on my Mac, wrote my own soundtrack in GarageBand, and distorted my own voice for the voice-over. I actually created the fictitious Michael Kapinsky’s Brad Pitt lookalike avatar, Chas Chesnokov, and used him in the action.

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