Machinima Report

Saturday, June 9, 2007


Our plans for the site are far broader than what we can accomplish during these few days. We have plans for Camp Delta, including two more “avatar experiences” to portray an interrogation chamber and a solitary confinement cell. We design both experiences, the layout and reference for Camp Delta as well as ambient sound and imagery for the entire camp. We need soldiers, dogs, iguanas...

We have extensive talks, throughout the nights and days and weeks afterwards about how to handle these experiences. No, we will not trivialize torture or imprisonment by torturing an avatar, we recognize that kidnapping and imprisoning an avatar is not the same experience as the real thing.

And yet, with this sensitivity in mind, we work at designing experiences to expose prison practices to visitors. It’s been documented that many of the detainees were “purchased” with ransom offers in poor countries. We discuss the possibility of a day-long event to offer Linden dollars (the currency of Second Life) for bringing in an avatar. We take a “hands off” approach to torture: there are audio transcripts of interrogation sessions – we can recreate them in audio and offer them for listening and contemplation. We finally come back full circle to a “game” – while in a solitary cell you try to question your situation: How long will I be here? Can I call a lawyer? Can I call my family? What am I accused of? In the absence of habeas corpus rights, the answer will always be negative.

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