slum magazine

“Our dreams are a second life.” ~Gerard de Nerval

Second Life and the Avatar: Drax Files Episode 12

By Cat Boccaccio.

Second Life is a little different for each of us. Some create avatars that resemble their Real Life selves and meet up with RL friends in Second Life. Others keep their RL strictly private, and the avatar can be just about anything. Most of us fall somewhere in between.

Drax mr bones 1 white

Ole Etzel and his avatar, Mr Bones, are creatures of Second Life. As he says in the 12th episode of Drax Files: World Makers, he prefers the Eastern style of avatar presence on the Internet, as opposed to the Western or American Facebook style of posting real names and pictures.

Since Ole Etzel is not his real name, he can maintain his privacy and be “very free” in Second Life, expressing himself without restraint, and having the time of his life while doing so.

Drax mr bones guitar

In his spare time, from his busy life in Hamburg, Germany, Ole produces wildly creative, often cartoonish machinimas about Mr Bones’ adventures at sea and about Mrs Bones, left behind but no less adventuresome. He does the script, the voice overs, design and often the music for these movies. He admits they are often “wild stuff”, while at the same time having a “clear political message that matters to the so-called real world, because that is where we are from– because we are real!”

Drax mr bones elbe

He has loving support from his wife, but his gamer friends are fixated on the “learning curve” of Second Life. Ole scoffs at this. Blender, he says, has the learning curve; but you would have to be a bit dim not to be able to master the basics of creating and manipulating your environment in Second Life. It is the relative simplicity of Second Life that makes it accessible to everyone, no matter what your perceived skill level. Anyone, as Drax emphasizes in his World Maker series, can be creative in Second Life.

This episode did leave me with one burning question: What are those delectable treats we see at about 1:35? Delicious vanilla cupcakes? Creamy lemon cakes? We never did learn Ole Etzel’s real name. Perhaps these tasty treats can lead us to his door.

Drax Files: World Makers Episode 12:


About slummagazine

slum magazine is about all things Second Life: art, music, news, reviews, shopping, love and life.

6 comments on “Second Life and the Avatar: Drax Files Episode 12

  1. Pingback: The Drax Files: Ole Etzel | Wurfi's Second Life

  2. Ole
    October 13, 2013

    1:35 those are pumpkin muffins YARg!


  3. Bernhard Drax
    October 13, 2013

    Cat you are a great writer & thank you for bringing these films to a wider audience. Also: as someone with a slight eating disorder I applaud you for drilling through to the core question in this piece – what are these darn delicious treats???? AND MORE OVER: who made them and do you ship internationally?????


  4. Jean-Paul DuQuette
    October 13, 2013

    Though you’re not really the one making the Eastern/Western avatar comparison, I really feel I have to nip this false dichotomy in the bud before it gains any more popularity. If you’re going to talk avatar use, better to keep the old immersionist (anonymous role-playing) vs. augmentationist (just using SL as another piece of communication software) paradigm.


    • Ole
      October 14, 2013

      honestly, i am not a professor at the media school … and i may understand what u mean but i am not happy with the roleplaying vs. communication tool paradigm. from my point of view it does not even explain the half of what is going on in SL and goes across real name avatar name users. same with the www in general. sitting here at the 10th degree of longitude looking across the atlantic makes me see people (not all) more use their real names, posting wildly on fb and slummagazine ;P while here the privacy of your data already is part of the bill of constitution and (a lot of) people care about not spamming the web with their personal information… and the more i travel to the east the more people start roleplaying even in their real lifes aka. streets of tokyo. so i think there is more going on about avatar use that may have roots in the different cultures and societies.

      but for sure if u can make me smarter on this i ll be happy to learn. bet at the universities they have fancy explanations.

      one last thing. using SL as a communication tool sounds sooo weird to me. that would really be the last reason to use it ever. yuk


      • ole
        October 15, 2013

        jean-paul? jean?! well, would have enjoyed the discussion but then i discuss things with myself:

        i could use SL as an communication tool using an avatar identity and i could use SL as an communication tool using my real identity.

        so, for now, let’s call the “old immersionist vs. augmentationist paradigm” inconsistent. because that’s what it is.


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This entry was posted on October 12, 2013 by in Art & Music, Reviews & Opinion and tagged , , , , .


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