I thought this was interesting. It was interesting to me because of the unusual choices made in marketing this Second Life event, because of the reaction to it (mine included, natch), because of who and what were involved and because of a couple of the coincidences connected with it all.
Virtual Outworlding, a blog published by Thinkerer Melville (aka Selby Evans), advertised a concert in the Eclipse Nightclub and Mall.
"We wil be hosting our very first concert AND this is the FIRST time John Cougar Mellencamp will be in SL, so everyone come down and welcome him to SL and have a great time with us at Eclipse*Nightclub*!!"Lavalie also posted advertising the event in the "Upcoming Events and Activities" section of the Second Life Community Forum.
"John Cougar Mellencamp!! Sept 2nd! Hello Everyone!!! The subject says it all! John Cougar Mellencamp!! When: Friday - September 2, 2011 Time: 6pm SLT Where: Eclipse*Nightclub* and Mall Click to Teleport In We wil be hosting our very first concert AND this is the FIRST time John Cougar Mellencamp will be in SL, so everyone come down and welcome him to SL and have a great time with us at Eclipse*Nightclub*!!"People, understandably I feel, took issue with the way the event was marketed. John Mellencamp (he stopped using the name "John Cougar Mellencamp" in 1990 according to Wikipedia) did not perform live in Second Life at the Eclipse Nightclub. I know, and for sure, because I went and checked it out. I checked both the real Mellencamp's official touring schedule site and I went to the Second Life "John Cougar Mellencamp" Eclipse event. I wanted to know what kind of performance met the parameters of what was advertised.
1. No actual visit from John Mellencamp operating an avatar in Second Life.
2. No live music performance in Second Life.
3. No videos.
So the real John Mellencamp did not perform in Second Life, natch, and a tribute band did not perform live covers of Mellencamp music.
The performance was actually a group of people roleplaying a tribute band using a recording of a live Mellencamp concert. Avatars using AOs and props on a stage moving and grooving to a recording. That was the nature of the performance.
Malia Gustafson played the role of Mellencamp and the other avatars in the band were April Dalglish, Lazer Skytower and Aisza (Asia) Serrano.
People at the event seemed to be having a good time. People on the forum appeared to be either perplexed or motivated to protest.
Some people commented on the misleading advertising.
Some people commented on the potential violation of ToS and copyright law.
I think people might have preferred to see, say, "come see LightNing StrikeS, tribute band, do John Mellencamp at Eclipse" or somesuch. (There are a lot of other ways this could have been handled, especially after people started commenting on it in the forum threads.)
Lavalie's response was that the show was free. (The band earned a fee from the club owners and put out tip jars, but there was no entry fee to attend. I tipped $L50 knowing I was going to take pictures and make a blog post.) She also said that people knew it was not really John Mellencamp. (It's not clear how she knew what people knew. I saw at least one person ask her how Eclipse had managed to secure such a famous celebrity for their club.) Lavalie also stated that because there were live humans operating the avatars on the stage and streaming a recording of a live show, that the Eclipse show was, as advertised, a "live" show. The avatars' AOs were moving them in real time. Live. I feel, as I suspect most do, that this is an incredibly low standard for the definition of a "live" performance. This would make any performance in which the avatar's operator was not afk and on autopilot, moving to a recording of some sort, a "live" performance. I'm also now a little curious to know how Lavalie knows no one has done a Mellencamp performance in Second Life before. (The advertising said this event would be the first time Mellencamp peformed in Second Life. How does she know?)
So it was free and there was something to see, so get over your bad self. That seems to be the message from Lavalie.
The message back appears to be, "you screwed up, own it, recognize it, apologize for it, don't do it again, exit with some grace, and then, yeah, we"ll get over our bad selves."
I do think it is interesting that Thinkerer Melville aka Selby Evans, a man who runs a website created to help new Second Life residents, a man who says he is a Ph.D. who taught classes in both psychology and computer science, would be so lax about supporting such misleading information on his website. He attended the concert, so it is not for lack of information. Maybe Melville thinks we should get over our bad selves too. Maybe it was an oversight, a brain fart, a favor for a friend or something. Maybe Lavalie and Melville have not had the opportunity to experience the real live music performers in Second Life yet and do not understand quite how high and specific the expectations are for those of us who have.
The concert may have had more attendees because of this advertising, hell, I would not have gone except to see how they were going to reconcile the event with the advertising, but it has potentially caused longer term damage for the credibility and reputation of Lavalie, Melville and Eclipse. My hope is that all parties involved will recognize the value of a gracious explanation and apology and remedy the situation. We'll see...
In the meantime, I will mention the odd coincidences and then post some pictures from and related to the concert.
The odd coincidences? Thinkerer Melville for one, for me, Randall Ahren, too. Randall's the one who asked about Mellencamp. He also happens to be a supporter of my blogs. And then I think I saw Pep's new friend Mayalily at the concert. Imagine my surprise.
I'd love commentary, so please, if you have some thoughts on the advertisement, the event, the nature of "live" shows in Second Life or this blog post in general, comment away.
Here come the pics.
Advertisement for the event on Virtual Outworlding. That's Thinkerer Melville looking up at the poster.
One of the advertisements for the event on SLF.
This is one of the posters inworld at the venue.
The roleplaying tribute band performing at the Mellencamp concert.
Malia Gustafson as John Cougar Mellencamp.
One of the tip jars.
People seemed to be enjoying themselves. There was a lot of enthusiastic gesture spamming going on in there.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Business District Indigo/217/99/22/
This was Lavalie's reply to me in the "Scratch" thread on SLF for which I thanked her.
"I understand I worded it wrong, obviously people on here know that it's not really him. So I'm going to be the bigger person here.. and accept everyones information and APOLOGIZE for misinforming everyone of what a "LIVE" show is. The post should have read.. "TRIBUTE BAND" I do realize that "Live" means different things to different people. Being that I am new to SL, I didn't know all of the rules (which is definitely something I should have looked up) so THANK YOU for informing me of the correct information. I apologize for being snappy about this, I just didn't see it was wrong in my eyes, but now I see exactly what you were all talking about. So once again.. I am truly sorry for misinforming everyone."
"Thank you for pointing that out and I once again do apologize. I appreciate your input."
I'm not entirely sure what Summer Carillon's connection to the event is, but she also gave an explanatory comment in a post in that same thread.
Ah, mystery solved. Eclipse appears to be owned by DJ disFUNctional (hercules.fallen) and Summer Carillon is his "summer love" and the co-owner of Eclipse.
Lavalie was advised to notify a moderator and ask to have the thread ("Scratch," which was one of two) pulled. I see now that the thread is gone.
Next day (9/3). It looks like both threads have been pulled now.
Also, the Virtual Outworlding blog post has been pulled.
"Sorry, the page you were looking for in the blog Virtual Outworlding does not exist."Aack. Scratch that. The blog post is still there, it's just my link that's borked. Here are the unborked VO blog post links: