The Drax Files: World Makers [Episode 2: Jo Yardley] wins Best Machinima Award

Well-known machinima creator and virtual worlds enthusiast Draxtor Despres participated in the 5th New Media Film Festival with the second episode of his acclaimed series “The Drax Files: World Makers”, which I had covered back in March 2013. The episode’s subject was the 1920s Berlin Project and Jo Yardley, who created it as her personal labour of love.

Draxtor’s coverage of the 1920s Berlin Project featured a free-flowing interview with Jo; his approach eschews the typical interviewer-led “standard”. He happily takes the back seat, giving the floor to the interviewee. So, in this award-winning episode, Jo shares with us how she chose to experience Second Life, what her project is all about and how it evolved, and how SL mixes with her RL in Amsterdam.

Draxtor’s series of videos has been offering a warm, endearing and informative picture of Second Life and the reasons its users are so passionate about it. It also presents in a clear and concise manner the opportunities for exploring the platform itself and other people’s creative work. The “mixed reality” format works very well – a characteristic example is the projection of Jo’s RL activities on the silver screen of her 1920′s movie theatre in Second Life, with the audience seeing them.

Many people (yours truly included) who have been watching The Drax Files expressed the wish that Linden Lab would adopt it as a promotional tool. Eventually, it happened, as the Lab decided to sponsor the series on June 4th, 2014. Yesterday, the Lab announced the news of Draxtor’s win at the New Media Film Festival, and they talked to him about it. He said:

To have our little mini documentary played on the big screen & observe the audience reaction is extremely gratifying.

For me there is no greater reward than seeing preconceived notions and misperceptions about Second Life fall by the wayside and being replaced by understanding of what virtual worlds can be.

It becomes clear that for these folks this is the first time the possibilities of virtual reality for education and historical study are being presented in this way .

I am also very grateful for Jo and all the others who are portrayed in these videos because when they come forward and put up the courage to let a camera capture their “real” life they become spokespeople for all of us and hopefully inspire others to “come out” and tell their story!

It is, of course, great news that a machinima about Second Life, which has been (largely unfairly) maligned for far too long, receives an artistic award, as it amply demonstrates that SL’s users are creative people, with diverse interests, and that they are anything but the tired stereotype that has been promoted by the media and various internet gossip websites.

As for me, I wish to personally congratulate Drax on his win, and I wish him every success in the future.


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One thought on “The Drax Files: World Makers [Episode 2: Jo Yardley] wins Best Machinima Award

  1. Nice article Mona ! Berlin 1920 and Jo Yardley were indeed a subject of choice for a great Machinima like that ! Its brillant to see who she could connect sl and RL and its a big delight to hear her talking about her work with such passion !

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