Bernard Drax is the man behind the Drax Files, a mixed reality YouTube channel that combines real-life interviews with in-game machinima to showcase the creations of Second Life. Launched out of Linden Lab in 2003, Second Life allows designers, developers, musicians, social activists, and historical reenactors across the world to pull ideas directly out of their imaginations and into virtual reality. The software is embedded with 3D modeling tools, allowing seasoned innovators like Drax to push the boundaries of space, form, and light. According to Drax, the capacity for immersive navigation in true 3D space has been missing in the span of his seven-year residency. Until now.
Enter Leap Motion. Drax pre-ordered our controller months before its release, intrigued by Leap Motion technology’s transformative possibilities in the world of Second Life. Upon receiving the device, he quickly mapped out GameWAVE configurations for his dreadlocked avatar, decked out with an Oculus Rift and blinking LED lights. Drax was immediately taken by the level of accuracy and expression transmitted straight from his hands into the digital space of his pirate village. In this video demo, Drax demonstrates how he’s using Leap Motion + GameWAVE to take his Second Life navigation into the third dimension, whether flying, walking, running, or teleporting home:
Drax sees enormous design potential with Leap Motion for his Second Life peers seeking next-generation immersion. For example, fashion aficionados could use the controller to stretch, pinch, rotate, and render gowns and elaborate headpieces that far transcend the laws of gravity. Time travelers who have transformed the digital space into the analog Weimar-era world of 1920s Berlin, could hand-crank a gramophone or reach out for cigarette holder. Architects could parse visions of urban development together in real time and 3D space.
“For these dedicated residents, the avatar is not just a separate pixelated entity, but a true extension of themselves with which they navigate the digital space.” Drax explains. “It is a world solely made and nourished by its residents – therefore truly only their imagination can be the limit!”