RSI is an art and technology team that advocates for and designs irrational human-computer interfaces.



Project Overview

Willy Nilly's Surf Shack

Willy-Nilly is a set of alternative scripts that reprogram avatars to exhibit momentary poor coordination and unpredictable tripping, erectile dysfunction during cybersex, and progressive aging over time.

Virtual worlds often mediate the relationship between physical and virtual bodies by creating an idealized representation of the self in an idealized space. RSI believes that the ubiquity of virtual environments, like the massively popular Second Life, makes them mundane, and that idealized representations are no longer appropriate. Willy-Nilly subtly and unexpectedly intervenes with, rather than amplifies, users' intent, liberating avatars from the entrapments of idealist complacency.

Willy-Nilly undermines idealism in Second Life by subtly and unexpectedly intervening with, rather than amplifying, a user's intent. These behaviors are publicly distributed, and manifest only occasionally. Rather than intentional, conscious actions, they are involuntary and ambient. We suggest that the physical human body is itself an imperfect interface, and that the continued blurring of distinctions between the physical body and virtual representations calls for the introduction of these mundane, clumsy, impotent elements.

Meet Willy Nilly

Meet Willy Nilly

Willy Nilly is the proprietor of a surf shack in Second Life. With its eternal sunshine and techno-libertarian marketplace, Second Life is modeled on Californian escapism and the American dream of westward expansion. Willy Nilly is an aging Californian dropout, an alternative counterpart to gurus like Steve Jobs. With a surfer's sun-baked enlightenment, Willy Nilly gives away free behaviors to the avatars who visit his beach front hut.

Willy Nilly Out Front

Continue: Willy-Nilly Behaviors