DIVA 300 – Final Report

December 8, 2009

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Here are the details on the two internships this semester for my DIVA 300 class – the first being the Motion Capture Studio at Emily Carr University and the second being CODElab, a look into surveillance during the Olympics taking place here in Vancouver in 2010. Click final_report_john_deveaux for a PDF download.
– FlashAddict

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Did you have a transformative experience over the internship? How you may have changed since starting the internship?
MoCap – “John has grasped the principles of motion capture quite well. He has already exhibited thoughts of how to use the technology in areas outside the norm.” The paradigm shift for me in working with Rick in the school’s motion capture lab was seeing the ways in which the technology can be applied to multiple products, company and individual requirements. From biofeedback, to ergonomics, the applications for MoCap are endless.
CODElab – I and the CODELab artists mutually admitting errors were made and working to rebuild our collective relationship together.

How you may use the skills that you’ve learned in the future?
MoCap – I am presently building my own company to provide ongoing project management consultation with some key friends of mine; Paul Cordick who was a Producer/Project Manager at both Mainframe Entertainment and Electronic Arts along with Kirk Hutton, who just completed his MBA. Both of them will be assisting me in developing our business plan, scope/vision of the company and identify key clients and competition – having my own company will allow me the freedom to create and develop the projects that I truly want to work on.
CODElab – Learning how to setup and edit a Wiki page will greatly help me in the near future as one of my company’s first clients requires a wiki page to be setup and content input and maintained.

Do you have goals for continuing with the internship? Was there an on-going relationship that was developed or a network of contacts that will benefit your practice?
MoCap – Not directly with Rick in the MoCap lab, but he asked that I keep him in the loop as to the progress that the company makes moving forward.
CODElab – I will be doing some additional research for the CODELab artists later on this week for the project Wiki page and will be meeting with Simon later on in order to finalize what he needs me to look up. On a long term basis, I am not sure if I will be working with them down the road, but if our paths cross in the future, I would be open to talking with them to see if there are areas in which we can join forces.

Comment on the working relationship with the organization, working in a collaborative environment, the organization’s flexibility and communication about the projects.
MoCap – Not really applicable here as Rick and I were 1 on 1 all of the time and did not have a major project that needed to be worked on or completed by the end of the internship. That being said, I had a very good working relationship with him and would definitely work with him again in the future.
CODElab – There were a few bumps along the road in my internship with CODELab but at the end of the day, we were able to move forward based on mutual respect for one another and a common interest in putting forward a kick-ass art piece.

How your expectations of the internship changed over time? (what you ended up actually doing vs. what was initially proposed.)
MoCap – The complexities of the software itself are so immense that constant trouble shooting and tech support was required. In those instances where Rick was madly working away to try and solve the problem, rather than pester him with questions, in some instances it was better to just stand back, shut up and let him work the problem.
CODElab – Do to some miscommunications, the only concrete item that I have produced so far for CODELab was the Wiki page that I briefly showed during the mid-term assessment: http://codelab.blprnt.com/wiki/index.php/Information_on_the_Olympic_Games

Mention the tasks and accomplishments that occurred after the midterm presentation
MoCap – Working with Rick this week to ascertain whether data could be captured without the black rubber mats being laid out in the studio. By moving the mats off of the floor and dialing up the threshold of the cameras, we were able to prove that while possible, the square footage of area that is seen by the cameras is greatly diminished which would result in limiting the movement of the actors within the space.
Since the infrared cameras are very light sensitive, a potential project coming down the pipeline was looking to see if they could do mocap without the mats, as they are cumbersome to move and stack and also emit a fairly potent smell each time they are moved. The studio needs to be aired out as a result which means more time is lost
CODElab – still to be determined…


DIVA 300 – Critical Review

November 25, 2009

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Here are the details from one of the performances that I saw over this past weekend’s Interactive Futures conference here at Emily Carr. Click critical_review_john_deveaux for a PDF download.
– FlashAddict

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t2:Echo – by Henry Daniel

Due to the fact that my schedule was quite full this past weekend along with the fact that I get quite severe motion sickness from watching 3D movies, ride films and IMAX movies, I was not able to see most of the presentations that were shown at this year’s Interactive Futures conference at Emily Carr. That being said, the one performance that I was able to see in at least some form was t2:Echo by Henry Daniel.

While I was not able to see the entire performance, due to the fact that the concourse gallery walls that were blocking my seeing most of the actual dancers’ performances. On top of this, I was also helping direct the audience members to their respective locations, facilitating their viewpoints and actively going to get benches for more vertically challenged people to stand on.

By positioning the dancers in two separate yet interlinked locations, the director was able to create a bridge between the performances. This was further articulated by the video coding and processing for telepresence technology that was used to create the concurrent ghosting effect that was seen on the wall of the ECUAD concourse gallery and the main display screen in the IDS Motion Capture studio.

The ghosting effect that was projected onto the concourse gallery wall showed the dual performances and interlaid them onto one another and provided a somewhat random video playback quality as each dancer took centre stage in front of the crowd. They also entered the stage from multiple entry points and once their rotation in each location was complete, they then ran either to or from the concourse gallery and IDS MoCap studio in order to continue their respective performances there.

I have never seen a live dance performance like this before and it was quite the sight to see, as the dancers themselves were able to glide through the space with the greatest of ease and truly encompass it. From what I could see, it was a beautiful and creative bridging of technology and human performance into a multi-faceted co-locative art piece and would enjoy seeing more performances by Henry Daniel and his accompanying dance troupe.


Internship Mid-Term Report

October 28, 2009

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Here are the details on the two internships that I am working on this semester for my DIVA 300 class – the first being the Motion Capture Studio at Emily Carr University and the second being CODElab, a look into surveillance during the Olympics taking place here in Vancouver in 2010. Click mid_term_report_john_deveaux for a PDF download.
– FlashAddict

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IDS Motion Capture Studio Internship
http://crossfitmocap.wordpress.com/
– blog setup to provide project info to participants and show progress
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=177700972600&ref=mf
– Facebook user group setup as well with video links on group wall

LEARNING OUTCOMES
– Rick’s philosophy on learning is to be fluid and allow for creative freedom
– he did not want me helping with mundane tasks such as answering email
– seeing as how he has no set schedule, he wanted to have as much fun in the process
– on his own, he would calibrate the cameras by running back and forth = boring
– having me working with him, gives him a greater chance to explore new outcomes
– “If I have to do one more damn US Marine with a machine gun walk cycle again…”
– CrossFit coaches and athletes were brought together with artists for group meeting
– much easier to learn by bringing in and suiting up actors to have them perform
– ability to work with the performers and fine tune walk cycles or isolated movements
– unfortunately, we had a major software glitch which nixed our live MoCap filming

– Rick pulled up some pre-recorded footage to show multiple data captures instead
CFmeeting2a
CFmeeting3a
CFmeeting4a
CFmeeting5a
CFmeeting6a

CrossFit – Motion Capture – group meeting 1

CrossFit – Motion Capture – group meeting 2

CrossFit – Motion Capture – group meeting 3

CrossFit – Motion Capture – group meeting 4

CrossFit – Motion Capture – group meeting 5

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CODElab Internship
UPDATE
http://codelab.blprnt.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
– Wiki page setup as a collective of project information and outcomes
http://codelab.blprnt.com/wiki/index.php/Information_on_the_Olympic_Games#Olympics:_
Secured_.E2.80.94_Past_and_Present

– researched previous and future Olympic cities’ security and surveillance activities
LEARNING OUTCOMES
– overall project is still open-ended as far as final outcomes
– I foresee my continued responsibilities as becomming a researcher
– our first task was to get a video camera and go around Granville Island and record
– criteria asked for unique and creative locations in order to record people and events
– possible location of setting up a “Ministry of Mis-Information” at Granville Island info board
surveillance1a
surveillance2a
surveillance3a


DIVA 300 – Internship Scope of Work Report

September 29, 2009

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Here are the details on the two internships that I will be working on this semester for my DIVA 300 class – the first being the Motion Capture Studio at Emily Carr University and the second being CODElab, a look into surveillance during the Olympics taking place here in Vancouver in 2010. Click John DeVeaux – Scope of Work Report for a PDF download.
– FlashAddict

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IDS Motion Capture Studio Internship

OVERVIEW
– Motion Capture Studio located here at the ECUAD Intersections Digital Studio
– Rick Overington is the studio tech who runs the operation
– major motion picture and local computer games companies use the studio space
– 20 Infared Passive Optical System to cover most of the floor space in the studio
– Motion Buider is the software application and is also good for pre-visualization
– full body suits which have 30-50 sensors sewn in are used to capture the data
– the system is unable to capture both bodies and facial features at the same time
– computers, cameras and the studio space need to be calibrated for each shot

– wand wave / L-Frame / Floor Calibration are the steps used to calibrate

Mocap

INTERNSHIP OUTCOMES
I want to incorporate CrossFit athletes and coaches into the Motion Capture Studio to serve both as a diagnostic tool to help provide real-time live data to athletes and coaches on their body dynamics as they do individual exercises, but to also merge this data into an artistic format as well.

I would like to work with some of the animation students at Emily Carr and create 3D character avatars which could then be animated with the motion capture data recorded from the original athletes to either match their actual likenesses or go really crazy and make the avatars look completely different (ie: men becoming women, humanoid looking animals, aliens…you name it).

I ran my idea by Rick on Monday and he said it would be great to work together on a collaborative project so that I could have an actual self-directed portfolio piece at the end of my internship, rather than just work on other peoples/companies’ projects. In addition, the owner and coaches at CrossFit are also very interested in what the Motion Capture Studio could provide to help enable their athletes propel themselves even further.

http://www.crossfit.ca
– CrossFit Vancouver homepage

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=crossfit+vancouver&search_type=&aq=f
– YouTube page listing of the CrossFit Vancouver workout videos

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CODElab Internship

OVERVIEW
CODElab will be a large-scale participatory new media artwork that will coincide with the Olympic and Para-Olympic Games from February 5th to 22nd, 2010 and be part of the larger CODELive event going on throughout the Vancouver area. Live capture nodes will be installed throughout Granville Island where visitors will be able to interact with artist and student facilitators via custom-designed balloon cams, umbrella cams, shoe cams and the like will record, transmit and present video with nontraditional perspectives and cutting-edge visuality.

CODElab

WHAT THIS ALL MEANS
– evolving process – the project guidelines will be set by the group
– roving, moving capture nodes for CODELab between the observer and the observed
– bodystorming vs. brainstorming – quickly create a conceptual idea and take it into the public sphere and test it out to see if it will actually work
– who will be our audience – project workers, ECUAD, Granville Island, Vancouver residents, 2010 Olympic visitors, the interwebz…
– orange and white colour scheme was decided upon for CODELab
– orange is significant of colour coded terrorist alert / being on alarm (CODE ORANGE)
– orange is the rabbit hole to engage the audience and bring them in further once they more and more CODELab orange coloured objects

PROJECT DELIVERABLES
http://delicious.com/search?p=codelab+ecu&chk=&context=main|&fr=del_icio_us&lc=
– setup a delicious site to bookmark important corresponding information
– a project Wiki site is being developed as a base for final outcomes and data captures

INTERNSHIP OUTCOMES
I had the opportunity to see the artists’ previous project, GLOCAL, at the Surrey Art Gallery last year and was absolutely blown away at what they had achieved. I hope to get hands-on experience and knowledge on building an immense data capture project and to further visualize it with Processing so that I can create and expand my own projects to their full potential.

http://www.glocal.ca/


DIVA 202 – Tuesday at Emily Carr

January 13, 2009

CONTEMPORARY DIGITAL ARTS AND ARTISTS

John Wilhelm “Billy” Kluver 1927-2004
– curated 14 major museum exhibitons
– received Ordre des arts et des lettres awards from France (worked with Rauchenburg, Warhol, Johns and composer John Cage)
– he was an electrical engineer at Bell Telephone Laboratories
– his work ranged from the TV antenna atop the Eifel Tower to an underwater video camera for Jacques Cousteau
– his artistic work reached pinnacle in 1996 with “9 Evenings: Theater and Engineering”
– John Cage – Variations VIII
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Kl%C3%BCver

Kluver believed that artists and engineers could go one step beyond what either would have done separately.
– absorbing new technology into art practice is persistent throughout the 20th century (futurists, dada, constructivists, fluxus, John Cage)

Fluxus movement is essentially a geocache without technology

John Cage – Water Walk

John Cage’s ASLSP / Organ 2 / Halberstadt,

World’s slowest, longest concert

The world’s “slowest and longest concert” resumed on July 5, 2008, when the Halberstadt church organ played the next – 6th – chord of John Cage’s As Slow As Possible. The weights holding down the organ pedals were shifted resulting to the 6th chord change, and accordingly a chance of hearing the final note being played in the year 2639 would be a possibility. In 1985, Cage opted to omit the detail of “exactly how slow the piece should be played.” Its maiden performance was 29 minutes, while a second version took 71 minutes. The piece is a 639-year-long version of Cage’s ORGAN2/ASLSP As Slow As Possible, first played on Cage’s 89th natal day at 1361 St. Burchardi on September 5, 2001. At 3:33 p.m., Saxony-Anhalt politicians, tourists and media led by Hans-Jörg Bauer, head of John Cage Organ Project, attended the chord change to C4-A flat4.

The former Church of St. Burchard was used as a pig-sty in the communist years of East Germany. Two more organ pipes were added alongside the four installed and the tone became more complex at 3:33 p.m. local time. The second of the new pipes, the next musical change in John Cage’s slow masterpiece will be in this November. A machine keeps the sound coming out.

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Video and satellites allowed artists to experiment with live performance and networking

Douglas Davis performance “Last 9 Minutes” (1977?) is broadcast to 25 countries live.
In 1977, at the opening of documenta 6, alongside Nam June Paik and Joseph Beuys, Douglas Davis took part in one of the first international satellite telecasts with his live performance The Last Nine Minutes. His exploration of interactivity involving various media continued throughout the 80s and 90s. He is the author of one of the earliest art pieces on the world wide web, The World’s First Collaborative Sentence (1994).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Davis_(artist)

Keith Sonnier and Liza Bear

Robert Adrian – using 1979 Comtech, artists collaborated and exchanged multimedia artworks for 24 hours

1970’s Digital Art expands into multiple strands of practice
– object oriented
– process-oriented virtual object
– open structure and process that rely on flux of information, like a performance

1980’s
– the audience participates in the work
– the artist is not the sole creator, but a mediator or facilitator for audience interaction
– the creative process involves complex collaboration and collapses boundaries between disciplines

Concepts of new technologies are shaped by fiction, and are compelling enough to inspire their recreation in reality

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Or in Digital Art, what came first, the idea of an online universe or the realization of it?

William Gibson
(Vancouver based author) – invented the term “cyberspace” in his book Neuromancer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Gibson

Neuromancer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuromancer

Neal Stephenson

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neal_Stephenson

Snow Crash

– cyberspace, avatars, second life, mmorpg, internet…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_Crash

10 Cube Gallery in Second Life = online avatar art gallery

Selling Digital Art
Precious/Scarce does not always apply in digital context
– printmaking model of limited editions scan work with digital items
– for installations or other software dependent art practice, museums are buying the source code and keeping it on their servers

Collecting Art
– Means you are responsible for maintaining the work
– is inherently ephemeral and may only exist in documentation
– ones and zeros are stable, but hardware and software are not – technology creates an obsolescence

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SELF-DIRECTED Project – due February 10
– Digital Tools (photo, print, high contrast digital picture, GPS,
– HIGH CONTRAST

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http://www.stuckincustoms.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_dynamic_range_imaging

– Digital Native (installation, conceptual, performance, projection, intervention, public)

GROUP Project – due March 31
– ARG
– Real-Time performance (acting on audience input) aka improv (Subsurvient Chicken)
http://www.subservientchicken.com/


Snow Crash and Alternate Reality Games

November 15, 2008

/ SNOW CRASH

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_Crash
http://www.time.com/time/2005/100books/0,24459,snow_crash,00.html

– lethal text as popular fiction
– Neal Stephenson stared writing Snow Crash in 1989; published in June 1992
– in 1990, Tim Berners Lee began testing the ‘world wide web’ at CERN in Switzerland
– in 1991, the world wide web was released
– in 1992, there were 26 websites, mostly associated with the University of Illinois
– in 1995, traditional online dialup services like AOL began to provide access to “The Internet”
– cyberpunk / post-cyberpunk genre novel
– Time listed it on the 100 all-time novels written since 1923
– a graphic novel without the graphics
– cyberpunk is gritty (technology bad – like Blade Runner)
– post-cyberpunk = technology is good (Hiro Protagonist – technology is celebrated – young urban professional with more social status)
– Phillip Rosedale who created Linden Labs (aka Second Life) – Snow Crash was their business plan
– there is a video game company named Black Sun
– Are the characters governed by their ideas and origins or their feelings and emotions?
– popularized the word AVATAR- virtual world-ware named Blaxxun (after the disco in the metaverse)
– Google Earth / Google Knol – monetizing information = CIC

– video of Neal Stephenson speaking in London in 2008

– did Stephenson write a technical vision of the future or did techies take his ideas and make it a self-fulfilling prophecy
– Dr. William Gibson – wrote Johnny Mnemonic (invented the term cyberspace)
– memes are self-replicating units of culture – memes to genes as memetics to genetics
– memetics = the theory that cultural information comes in chunks, and are transmitted like viruses.
– Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene
– principal thematic concern of Snow Crash is memetics – ideas are transmitted like code and are vulnerable to hacking
– the original Sumerian is analogous to binary/machine-level coding
– language and ideas are programs written by priests/hackers
– diversity in a culture is a good thing so as to not have everyone vulnerable to a single viral attack
– L. Bob Rife (metaphor of L. Ron Hubarb) seeks to control the media and UNDO the nam-shub and then recreate a lethal text that will control through hacking
– A TEXT THAT DISRUPTS OR DESTROYS THE MECHANISM THAT PROCESSES IT.
– a computer virus is a lethal text
– The Tower of Babel
– Die Laughing?

MONTY PYTHON – funniest joke in the world then die laughing

– lethal text paradox: no one can know the lethal text and remain capable of telling it (perpetual auto-responder computer paradox)
– many a malevolent computer in science fiction has been short-circuited by making lethal text queries that have no logical output (Wargrames)
– we can choose to lose at Tic-Tac-Toe – the WOPR in Wargames came to a rational conclusion about nuclear war by being force to play tictactoe

– “The only way to win is to not play”

– the brain can deflect paradox by ceasing to think about it, machines cannot – no one can win, so why play?

– is dystopic or futurist writing (in this case cyberpunk and post-cyberpunk) a form of memetic virus that infects the future?
– Mosaic and Google founders / CEO of Second Life / XBOX architect J Allard
– most prophetic aspects may not be the technology, but the depiction of a decentralized, post-statist social system
– has de-coupled the notion of land of sovereignty and redefined nations as people linked by values or interests

– posits an atomized, completely de-centralized future
– “Rhizomatic” structure; small, inter-dependent nodes, no central government
– the one nuclear power in the story  is an individual, Raven (the ultimate free-agent)

– Freidman wrote “The World is Flat” in 2005 – just won the Nobel Prize for economics
– international best seller – describes the mechanics of fungibility and out-sourcing
– documents flatteners like technology, workflow, the web, outsourcing…
– American economy needs to shift to a creative or value-added economy
– Blackwater = General Jim’s defense System and Admiral Bob’s National Security
– for-profit prisons in the state that has 3 strikes you’re out laws!

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ALTERNATE REALITY GAMES (ARG)

– an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform
– uses media and traditional game elements (like puzzles) to tell a story that may change or be otherwise affected by the participants’ actions or reactions
– the internet is the central binding medium for an ARG (cellphones, the web…)
– players are more actively ‘controlled’ by designers, as opposed to the AI-based characters in a video game
– does a game require an opponent?
– ARGs don’t necessarily have an opponent
– puppet master may change or engage players in real-time, but they want you to ‘solve’ things

ARG TERMS

The Curtain = a metaphor for the dividing line between the designers and the players (from Wizard of Oz – man behind the curtain)

Puppet master = the lead designer or producer of an ARG; directs or impedes the progress of the players through clues or puzzles

Rabbithole = AKA Trailhead, the Rabbit hole is the first clue or invitation to the ARG (Alice in Wonderland)

ARG DESIGN PRINCIPLES

Archaeology = not a single narrative, but a story that is assembled by player community from pieces scattered across multiple media

Platform Appropriate Media = using the best media to deliver pieces of the story (ie: download mp3, watch youtube, send txt / I Love Bees)

Crowd-source Solution = requires cross-discipline expertise within player community to solve

Whisper Rather Than Shout = present the entrance to the Rabbit hole with a whisper rather than a shout; get players to ‘pull’ out the story, rather than ‘push’ it on them

TINAG = this is not a game – actual phone numbers, URLs etc all worked – characters functioned like real people

NAH = Not A Hoax – at the same time, one has to be aware of creating panic, discomfort or a disturbance in players, public and civil authorities. It needs to be a game.

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CASE STUDY EXAMPLE:

http://ilovebees.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Love_Bees

– Halo 2 launch event website – they sent jars of honey to previous ARG players with ilovebees website and the countdown = rabbit hole
– around the same time, TV commercial showed a link to the ilovebees url
– these were not connected publicly for several weeks – curious players went to the website that had been “hacked”
– no direction or guidance was given – the community worked within itself to help this lowly beekeeper
– players were given 210 time codes and gps locations (turned out to be pay phones) which were when the pay phone calls would go down
– communications between puppet masters and gamers increased in scope – phone calls, emails
– the winners got to go to 4 theaters and play first edition Halo 2 game
– over 3 million people were playing the game
– game was designed and produced by 42 entertainment

http://www.42entertainment.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/42_Entertainment


‘Second Life’ ends couples’ first marriage

November 14, 2008

LONDON (AFP) – A woman is to divorce her husband after discovering he was having a virtual affair within the online game “Second Life,” newspapers reported Friday.

Amy Taylor, 28, met her husband David Pollard within the game in May 2003, and six months later, she moved into his home in Cornwall.

The couple married in July 2005, while their “Second Life” avatars Dave Barmy and Laura Skye — younger, slimmer versions of their real-life selves — also held an online ceremony for their virtual friends.

After a rare break from the computer, however, Taylor returned to find her 40-year-old husband in an intimate, albeit virtual, position with an online prostitute within “Second Life”, which she said was the “ultimate betrayal”.

“I was so hurt,” she was quoted as saying in The Times, adding that theirs was a “very serious marriage”.

“I just couldn’t believe what he’d done. It’s cheating as far as I’m concerned, but he didn’t see it as a problem and couldn’t see why I was so upset.

“He said I was just making a big fuss and tried to make out it was my fault for not giving him enough attention.”

Second Life is an online role-playing game with more than 15 million users, in which players can create virtual avatars and interact with other gamers, or the environment.

The game has its own virtual economy, in which online currency can be exchanged for real-world US dollars, and several major businesses have set up “branches” within the game, while others operate entirely within it.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Taylor claims that Pollard is now engaged to the woman he was having an online tryst with, despite never having met her.

She has, meanwhile, found a new love, through fantasy online role-playing game “World of Warcraft”.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/081114/world/lifestyle_britain_family_divorce_internet_offbeat
– the last part made me seriously laugh hysterically lawlz