Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Interview with Tiffany Nahinu of Avatar Reality

Avatar Reality HQ, 55 Merchant St, Honolulu
Courtesy of Scott Sharick

Tiffany Nahinu is the latest recruit to the Avatar Reality Community team.

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself, and if you are not from Hawaii, can you say how you ended up there.

TN: I was born and raised on Oahu and was pulled in to the concepts of virtual online world creation earlier this year. I just find working for Avatar Reality to be an amazing opportunity! ... And in the next beta update I’ll probably change the way my avatar looks so I’ll keep ya posted on that.

Q: As one of the latest recruits to the Blue Mars team, can you tell me how all that came about?

TN: One name. Glenn Sanders. He stood at the welcome portal greeting everyone… but I was engaged in another conversation with a few other avatars about computer specs. We had been chit-chatting about how we first heard about Blue Mars and I mentioned my involvement with a summer school class at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. The summer school class is a long story, but cutting to the chase, I had mentioned a few names and I guess Glenn followed up on that lead. A couple of days later I get an email from him asking if I’d like to work for Avatar Reality!

Q: What is your job title, and what responsibilities have you been given?

TN: (lol) yeah, they had to make something up for me . . . Community Development Associate. My responsibilities are to assist Glenn in monitoring the Blue Mars Client Forum, Facebook page, Blue Mars Blog and do in-world Q&A. It’s a part time gig that I’m really stoked about! Glenn is pretty much GLUED to answering questions, taking phone calls (sometimes skyping 3 people at once), relaying information to and from everyone within the company . . . my presence within AR makes it a little easier for Glenn to focus on the top priority issues (and it’s a growing list!)

Q: What did you know about Blue Mars before joining them?

TN: Jim Sink came to the School of Architecture at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in early February this year to talk about Blue Mars and Avatar Reality. That was where I was first learned about them . . . So up until that fateful day in February, I hadn’t heard of them at all.

Q: What is the working environment like at Avatar Reality? (mad/businesslike; relaxed/frenetic; smooth/chaotic; needs more women, the sandwiches could be better, etc)

TN: I’ve got to be honest with you - the office is very casual and I’m only there one day a week. I’d like to think there’s chaos but I’ve only been working for them about two weeks. The office is conscientious about their energy consumption and runs some pretty cool task lights . . .

Avatar Reality Office

Q: What strengths do you think you will bring to your position?

TN: Mediation hopefully! Because of my involvement with that summer school class mentioned earlier, I can definitely relate to the developers who are creating content. You’re probably going to be reading about this later in a press release . . . but I was auditing the summer school class whose main project was to replicate the Soswaewon Garden in South Korea. I worked with the instructor Kris Palagi and the students to import their models and specific data to the Blue Mars version of the Sandbox 2 Editor. So I have firsthand experience with working with all the tools and necessary plug-ins. . . my weapon of choice happens to be 3d Studio Max 9 and 2010 when it comes to modeling.

Q: Do you go in world much? (and if so, when, and what do you do?)

TN: I try to be in-world at least an hour a day to meet and greet people, answer basic questions, answer not so basic questions. Some days it’s really packed and on others it’s slow.

Q: Have you been a resident of any other Virtual Worlds before coming to Blue Mars?

TN: If you count the 34 minutes and some odd seconds I was in Second Life . . . yes.

Q: You have probably seen a lot of wish lists presented in the Blue Mars forums. If you could wave a magic wand, which are the top three wishes would you grant?

TN: The top three wishes huh? . . .

  1. Chat bubbles organized NUMERO UNO!!
  2. Pet bots or companion bots
  3. Free health-care! … wait … wrong world, ummm, I would give people the option to continuously run around or jump extremely far. (Mass transit systems have to be made by City Developers)

Q: Do you go with the comments in the forum that Blue (boy) Mars (war) and the Blue Mars symbol (male) are way too masculine, and might put off some females from joining?

TN: No, and I think it’s hilarious.

Q: When Glenn is out to lunch, go to his desk, third drawer down on the right, that Memo concerning the next client release date: what does it say?

TN: I would but Glenn doesn’t have any filing cabinets! He’s a digital dude. LOL!

Q: Are there any plans to merge the developer and player forums?

TN: No, because they need to remain separate so members don’t have to wade through technical posts, and dev’s don’t have to wade thru posts about how masculine the Blue Mars logo is … ;)

Q: What is the largest number of concurrent avatars that have been seen in any one City in Blue mars so far in the beta?

TN: I’m not privy to that information.

Q: Tell me three things about Blue Mars I probably don't know?

  1. If you have a dedicated number pad on your keyboard and you tap the 1 key near water in the New Venice world, these random blue balls emerge out of nowhere and bounce all over the place. No one else can see them (except you) and the blue balls go away when you exit from New Venice. Fun right?
  2. REALLY good mentors (volunteers) will be able to live in a GORGEOUS 4 story house in beach city (after it’s all been set up of course)
  3. . . . . that’s all I can divulge for the moment Rock ;)
Thanks Tiffany