As part of its 20th Anniversary celebrations, CCTV will be launching it’s presence in Second Life (SL), an online virtual world. The project is an effort to reflect on CCTV’s remarkable history using a medium that will speak to CCTV’s determination to remain a cutting edge leader in cable access programming.
To help get us started, we’ll be looking at other non-profit communities as potential partners who can offer us their experience getting organized in SL, as well as Cambridge community partners who would benefit long term from a SL presence.
Among our immediate development ideas are creating an SL museum to host archives of stills and motion medium from CCTV's past 20 years. We are also seeking to understand ways to make this an educational venture AND venue, and as such are looking to set up appropriate classroom space in SL. Finally, because we want non-local (in real life) visitors to be able to appreciate the scope of our current work, we would like to create a viewing area where people can come to learn about our community as it is represented in CCTV's programming. We hope to make this not just a viewing space, but a space for dialog, and are considering ways to foster feedback and asynchronous conversation in the same space as the viewing room.
Finally, as part of CCTV’s overall mission, we intend to make this not just a local experience, but an opportunity to compile and share our knowledge with other cable access stations considering making such an excursion. Although I’m not sure what the format will be precisely, the final product will offer resources, recommendations, and a retelling of the obstacles (and triumphs!) the SL project encounters.
Since I am technically an intern as well as a member, I will also be considering this from an academic perspective, asking “What does ‘local access’ mean in a virtual world?” It’s a question that ties in with Colin Rhinesmith’s Master’s Thesis. Both will have increasing relevance as we move into a world more mediated than at any point in history!
Oh, and one last thing. We really need a name (and, of course, an acronym...) for this project! The easy picks seem to be CCTVSL, or VCCTV (Virtual CCTV), but I’m aching for something more creative. If you have any ideas, send them my way via the comments section below!