Sunday, December 9, 2007

voice virgin no more!

Risking digital life & limb with my proximity to the cleaver weilding demonic turkey (back left) that patrols Calletta's Hobo Camp,I finally got myself set up for voice chat in SL with an inexpensive $20 headset with microphone. Here you see me engaged in a voice-chat conversation. The reception was reasonably clear, and it was interesting hearing the voices of the other avatars in my head.

As I've noted in past entries, a key element of spoken word is the unique autograph of embodiment that shapes the soundwaves according to the specific anatomy of the speaker. So, using voice-chat in SL gives avatars a stronger connection to their creators and the specific vocal qualities of each gives greater depth to the character of the avatar. This is but one effect of the resonance of sound.

The only problem with voice-chat is that there is yet no record of the conversation like there is with typed text, no way of recording all the voices in SL dialog.

Thought I thought that voice-chat would make it easier for me to communicate in SL, I still seem to retain a kind of shyness, perhaps more so because my voice is so personal. An unexpected experience!

Another interesting aspect of voice-chat is that avatar voices often carry further than their immediate proximity making it easy to eavesdrop on conversations...
so even loose digital lips might sink digital ships!

A few postings ago, I visited the USC Annenberg conference where "chat" was the main topic of discussion.
During this event major speakers used voice chat while volunteers like Iggy helped to moderate discussion and questions from attendees via type-chat.

In this web page about the discussion,"Chat History from Virtual Worlds" we can see that no voice-chat recording was made, but it makes sense to get voice set up and working smoothly with clear sound before we start recording it. I have tried to record my voice-chat sessions via Mac's GarageBand, but it only picked up my voice. Though I could still hear other avatars, their voices did not record.


Anonymous said...

Nice. One sided recording of voice that's an interesting proposition. It's like the sound of one hand clapping, slightly meaningless except for its being imbued with possibillity.


Iggy O said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of voice in SL.

My thoughts on voice are simple: it rules for small groups and is lousy beyond, say, four or five speakers.

The lack of a transcript is a severe problem for educators...but we'll work around that.

Jordan said...

I like your suggestion that the unexpected shyness could be rooted in a natural reluctance to share your 'unique autograph of embodiment' with others. But I also think the opposite could be true.

We are accustomed to spoken word being imprinted not just by the unique soundwaves of ourselves, but by the unconscious body language that facilitates our communication. Your shyness, therefore, might actually stem from your inability to fully embody your spoken word. Stripped of such a natural accompaniment to speech, maybe your voice felt naked.

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