Thursday, May 21, 2009

Playing Around in Second Life

Second Life is a cool invention. Like everything else, it has educational value- it's just a matter of using your imagination and discovering it. I've proudly used SL with students for 2 years now- mostly in creative writing, where we use the appearance editor to create a character and discuss how physical attributes can affect that character and the story they will be a part of (example here).

But I find myself being a little too Net Gennish when I get into Second Life. I had a group of 7th graders basically maul my avatar (Cabarrus Braveheart) to look like the creature from the black lagoon...and I love it! The guy is so hilarious. So I've left him as is and will forever be the trollish dude strolling around SL, visiting Ed Tech hotspots.

Last night I took my troll to the grand opening of the North Carolina Virtual Public Schools island in Second Life (sorry, have lost the link and am in a bit of a rush to finish this it!). I see the Cape Hatteras lighthouse so I decide to climb it. At the top, some folks are discussing the opening and how to move forward with the island, etc. All very good, smart, responsible stuff. But I think I'm too immature for Second Life. I dunno. Maybe it comes from playing RPG's and MMORPG's for so many years. I always find myself wanting to conquer things when I get into this kind of environment. So my thinking quickly shifted to "How can I get on top of this lighthouse?" So I spent the next 5-10 minutes doing that (fly up the stairs to the landing, turn on mouselook, fly up over the next ledge, smack the lightning rod at the top and click off flying at the same time...voila!). I got up there, took some pics, then decided to take a video of myself plunging over the edge.

I used Camtasia and it's choppy because my computer needs a better video card. But here was the result:


Had fun at the NCVPS and will look forward to using it for more educationally relevant things in the future (like figuring out who has to give me authority to fly the gliders.....).

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