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Monday, January 18, 2016

An In Depth Interview with Photohunt Organizer Dave Koi - Dean Lawson Reporting...

Shoot To Win

The LEA Photohunt is a regular event in which second life residents can win prizes for taking snapshots. I had the good fortune to speak with the event coordinator Dave Koi.
Dean : Could you tell me about the origins of the LEA Photohunt?
Dave : Photohunt is an event started as part of the Virtual Artist Alliance (VAA). The purpose of VAA is to provide artists in Second Life with creative opportunities, and to unite people and groups into artistic collaborative experiences. Cyanide Seelowe started VAA and Photohunt was one of several events individual VAA members put on. As near as we can work out this would’ve been in 2007 sometime. Last year we had opportunity to expand to include some Photohunt event that focused solely on what was happening on LEA sims. Recently we incorporated the LEA hunts and the hosts all together and have since moved the main gallery and starting point onto LEA donated land for which we are very grateful. Photohunt and LEA are a perfect fit.
Dean : Could you explain how the photo hunt works?
Dave : PhotoHunt is a game in which participants must search for the best Second Life snapshot that embodies a theme or landmark provided by a moderator within a time limit of 60 minutes. No outside manipulations are allowed. Spectators are welcome, and everyone is invited to vote for the winners of each match! Prizes of $L for 1st, 2nd, 3rd are given based on donations.

Dean : How often do you have photo hunt events and how can people get involved?
Dave : Photohunt runs every Wednsesday at 6pm slt. Also Photohunts are run each Monday at 11:30am slt - this is specially created time to suit Euro-centric countries and is run by hosts from that region. Adhoc events are run weekends - as announced through group. Photohunt has a Facebook group at and a Flickr group at
Everybody is welcome, just TP to the start location on LEA in time for the start. The location is

Dean : Who are the judges of the photohunt events and what is the criteria for judging?
Dave : It’s very much a peer review process. Each event is judged using a voting process. Those who took part vote on each others photos. The voting script doesn’t allow you to vote on your own work. The criteria is largely left up to each individual, though often some like to see any Theme that might be given as part of the photo submitted. This however isn’t mandatory.
Dean : In a previous conversation you mentioned that the Photohunt avatar is used by more than one person. How does that work? 
Dave : The Photohunt event itself is run to a pretty well set formula. There’s a group of core hosts that make the major decisions but mostly I see it as a community owned and run show. Because of that fundamental belief I took steps a couple years ago to create a Photohunt account that is separate from the hosts themselves. In this way Photohunt becomes its own entity and all the items involved with running Photohunt can go with it. That way hosts can come and go and the Hunt live on. 

Dean : Is there anything you would like our readers to know about yourself or the Photohunt Events?
Dave : Photohunt is a unique event as it’s a set time limit and set location. This creates an environment of almost “forced creativity” . It offers a set time to be creative and each hunt is a self-contained event with a start and end in a relatively short space and time that is complete in itself.  The nature of peer review voting means anyone has a good chance to do well. In addition it’s a great bunch of people and friendly helpful creative community. It’s those who take part and invest part of themselves in the Photohunt ideals that become a part of the community and the Photohunt entity and so it becomes an ongoing community owned and run show. At least that’s how I envision it.


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