Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Funding a Gaming Career

Funding a Gaming Career

There are dozens of careers in the gaming industry that can lead to big money. Did you know that a game artist earns an average of $61,000 per year? And a game designer with one year of experience makes an average of $52,000 per year with the highest salary documented at $300,000! Game development, design, testing, audio, production, support and programming are just a few of the types of jobs in the game world that are available. Depending on what field of study interests you the most, degrees in areas like computer programming and advertising are great degrees to have when trying to get your foot in the video game world.

Diverse Degrees

Just because you receive a degree in gaming development doesn't always mean that you will be working with video games. Graduating with degrees in majors such as art, multimedia or program development can take you in all sorts of directions and although it can be used in gaming, these degrees are versatile enough to be used in many other fields.


There are multiple scholarships for serious gamers. A few examples are:

1. Emagination Game Design which is a program designed for high school students who show interest in gaming and are given the opportunity to attend camp for gamers, the chance to show off their creations to game developers and the ability to apply for scholarships to cover tuition.

2. Rochester Institute of Technology created a Masters of Science in Game Design and Development that offers several scholarships.

3. The International Game Developers Association offers annual scholarships for those that attend the Game Developers Conference.

The list of available scholarships for serious gamers goes on and on. So the days of mom yelling at kids to stop playing games are over, it's those same games that just might get their kids into college one day!

Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at College Scholarships.org. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

Public Domain Photo:

Saturday, July 31, 2010

#secondlife art tour Saturday

Real life may change for some however Second Life continues to provide a platform for presenting the work of artists, authors and educators. While I have not been able to maintain my previious level of writing about and exploring Second Life I have found that creativity remains strong in Second Life as I have demonstrated below.

If you enjoy seeing innovations in art, presentation of art, and mixed media I highly recommend a journey into Second Life. Today I visited the University of TX in San Antonio and got a new perspective into art in Second Life.

The work of Bryn Oh, I retrieved the information below from a notecard retrieved at the University of TX site where this build is located. Please watch the machinima:

Opening the door allows the viewer to cam into a bunker type enclosure. The first element encountered is an old radio playing the music of Vera Lynn. Vera Lynn was born at the end of WWI and sang music for the troops in WWII. Her music offered hope to the common soldier. In addition to the radio the viewer will also find two types of flying robotic insects symbolizing war technology and the dog fights of WWII.

The viewer proceeds down a narrow tunnel into a new room whose main focus is a tiny robot in a test jar. The robot is in the process of being handed a cable which will allow them both to be connected. They are the expendable creations of the Scientists. Experiments viewed dispassionately by humans, yet who contain deep emotions of fear and lonliness. Perhaps moreso than their keepers. They symbolize soldiers as game pieces for war leaders. Left clicking the tiny robot will show the machinima for this build.

To learn more about artist Bryn Oh I would suggest visiting his blog, his in world sites, and viewing his mahcinima. Below are some photos I took of his work in Second Life:

Utopia 04:


Immersiva on midnight settings:

Here I am sitting atop a mushroom in Immersiva:

The work of Second Life resident, Ragamuffin Kips is also featured at the University of Tx San Antonio build. The background information below was retrieved from a note-card in Second Life.


Ragamuffin Kips is the alterego of Texas-based artist Anthony Jacob. His current fascination lies in merging SL elements with pastel and charcoal drawings to create works with a foot in both "worlds." A life-long artist, holding a master's degree in Communication Arts, Anthony has a passion for both the theory and practice of art in virtual space, and their future implications for the human endeavor of creation.


My new work continues with themes of organic form, but seeks to merge my real life experiences with this new world of virtual sensations. Stepping back from it as viewer, I'm often surprised by some of the imagery it conjures. These images appear, to me, deeply personal but also universally human.

In addition to the University of TX build Ragamuffin also has a a gallery in Second Life.

From the University of TX art notecard:
by Gary Kohime

When we are united as a collective we are able to accomplish many things. Especially when it comes to Humanitarian endeavors or causes.

My Piece represents, at its base, the source that brings us together in Unity as a spiritual rose.

In the center of the rose is a cocoon. The cocoon represents the many various factors that need to come together to give birth to all our efforts, as a collective, in order to make a difference; its also being protected inside the rose. The cocoon strings are all of us, as individuals, not only coming together, but also as the glue to staying the course for a particular cause.

As it matures inside the cocoon then it breaks through as a process of realization that has us reach out our hands to those in need.

After all is said and done, the Red Tipped rose represents the budding of an even greater Unity with those that were served. This will ultimately be a cause to some future blossoming into those that received help will or may assist with some need to come.

In closing;

I sincerely hope, that when the occasion arises, that we step up as brothers, and sisters and do the right thing.

Thank you


Gary’s art:

Igor Ballyhoo:

My work on this exibit is appology to person who you see infront of you in name of all human kind and in the name of humanity...
If you dissagree with me, kiss my ass!
Igor Ballyhoo

Field of Scissors:

I would like to thank every person that was interested in seeing it, my special thanks to all of you that even filmed it...
I must admitt that I find some of machinimas that were made in my forest even more interesting then forest itself:

ColeMarie Soleil

Osprey Therian

Nur Moo

Welcome to the HeartSeed
[13:14] HeartSeed: Plant the Seed and Nurture it.
[13:14] HeartSeed: It Will grow....
[13:14] HeartSeed: Reach for The Stars!.
[13:14] HeartSeed: Put your hands in the Earth!.
[13:14] HeartSeed: For many years.
[13:14] HeartSeed: We have been together.. linked through the etheric plane,...
[13:15] HeartSeed: ..we are the seven spirits of celestial light, and love of our creator.
[13:15] HeartSeed: We meet like brothers and sisters to honour our link within the etheric plane.
[13:15] HeartSeed: We are of the earth yet of the stars.
[13:15] HeartSeed: Children of the forest seek and you shall find my brothers and sisters.
[13:15] HeartSeed: For We are All Children of the Light.

There are many fascinating places in Second Life such as Patron Art decor and Gallery, owned by Eliza Wierwright in Second Life:

Raul Crimson wrote about Patron in December 2009 at this blog: http://raulcrimson.com/2009/12/20/patron-by-eliza-weirwight/

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Music in Second Life

Second Life does provide plenty of opporutnities for musicians to gain a following, allbeit somewhat small..but then you get to get this audience sitting in front of your computer, in the comfort of your own home or studio if you wish.

I decided to venture out today, and wander around and listen to various musicians, take some pictures and review the music scene in education from an educators perspective. Is there a chance that college level music programs can use Second Life as a learning opportunity for students?

It's 8 am (SLT) and I am sitting in the comfort of my living room when I log in to go on this venture. I find that musician Russell Eponym is playing at the Drunken Dow in Second Life. Russell plays regularly at the Drunken Dow at this time every Saturday morning. He has a soothing voice and focuses on folk songs. Based upon a review of his calendar you can see that this talented singer is actively involved in bringing his music to an audience in Second Life.

According to his real life bio he is:

Russell Taylor Ashby
Quintessentially British living in North Wales
- musician/singer/songwriter
- artist
- writer
- teacher
For free downloads go to: http://www.thesixtyone.com/ukcowboysinger
For photos go to:

While these events are held virtually it is important to remember that these events are experiential can be experienced as if they are real, and quite enjoyable.

It is hard to judge how much these artists make in Second Life. If 10 people are there and they each tip around 100L the artist gets 1000L for that performance which lasts an hour. 1000L is a little less than $4.00 (USD), if they also charge a fee to the venue to perform they may get anywhere from 3000L - ..well I suppose up to what the venue is willing to pay.

I could listen to the amazing russell Eponym all day, his music, his story, and his voice are amazing.

Musicians in Second Life are more than happy to promote and sing for fundraisers. Today I attended a fund raiser for Virtual Helping Hands Helen Keller Day celebration in Second Life at Club Accessible. This morning Jordan Reyne was playing..and I found her to be amazing artist.

As a visitor to Second Life you should be impressed by the level of fundraising that occurs across the grid, the willingness of talented musicians to give of their time to support these efforts, as well as the level of talent involved.

By 9:46 am I was wandering over to Avillon Mist to listen to Shannon Oherlihy, in my opinion, one of the best singers in Second Life. Her voice evokes memories of Joan Baez or Judy Collins.

I then wandered over to Guthries in Second Life to listen to davecorbett Darwin. He has this wonderfully gravelly voice that really resonates with the blues lover.

Second Life Musicians have a variety of ways to promote themselves. The venue owner who books an artist who has a good following really has a gem as these people come with the artist to visit your sim and perhaps even tip your venue. If you have shops on your sim perhaps they will shop for some virtual goods.

Below is a picture of Guthries which shows how signs, group joiners and other boards are used to get tips and have people join your group so they return to your venue:

I next found Remy Farman at Club Falling Water's Back Up Club. I found his web tab and reviewed his schedule of events. As you can see his event run through the morning, 10 am SLT and 12 PM SLT. Remy like Russell is also from Wales according to his bio.

One of my favorites is the superb singer, Tone Uriza in Second Life. He is pure blues singer and is simply amazing. His Second Life information is also on this website. I see that Tone only has a couple of shows lined up in Second Life, I hope this doesn't mean he is backing off on his events in SL.

This is what I am finding, that at this time of the day most of the artists are from the UK or other countries. This is a wonderful thing, Second Life is truly a 24 / 7 venue for events, to see and hear artists from all over the world, and to be entertained at all times of the day or night.

Second Life provides a means of communication via instant messaging, groups, notecards, and the guides associated with Second Life. In addition to this many artists make use of websites, Livestreaming and Ustreaming.

What can students gain from this? A way of gaining an audience, getting feedback on their singing, and a motivation to practice. They can also link up with other artists all over the world. In addition they can also learn a little about entrepreneurship through promoting themselves and/or their own venues.

Of course I can't close this out without mentioning one of my favorite venues in Caledon..that of the Empress of the Aethers on Thistle Hill. I have watched this from the start and there are exciting things going on there as Mr. Plutonian slow grows the following of this fine venue for musicians. These musicians include Mrmulti Writer, Shannon Oherlihy, Geos Copperfield, Strum Diesel, and DJ Lucien Brentano. If you are looking for a venue drop Andy Riverstone, manager, a note or one to Onyx Plutonian, owner, to get the details on scheduling your event there.

The interior of the beautiful Empress of the Aethers:

Another shot of the stage:

I include Empress of the Aethers here not only because it is owned by a friend but because it is also one of the most aesthetically pleasing venues I have visited, musicians and the audience all seem to love it. This is a key point if your venue is hard to find, if you don't promote your event using the events feature of Second Life, subscribo matics, groups,etc you just aren't going to have a good draw to your events..and a good audience means good tips.

Have a successful venue for music in Second Life just takes persistence. I have heard a rule of thumb that establishing a small business in real life may take a year or longer, it may take at least that long in Second Life if not longer.