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Second Life December 6, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.
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Oyama   If you one day found yourself in a new country where you did not fully understand all the rules and were penniless, would you be able to survive and even prosper? Would you learn new skills or a trade? Would you take care that your precious funds went to improving your clothing or would you re-invest your hard won capital in an effort to improve your lot?

Of course, I am referring to Second Life, a virtual world that was the domain of a very few individuals but now, through many news stories about virtual economies is attracting new visitors every day. I am sure there are some who will one day reckon this to a virtual gold rush. Stories abound of individuals who have entered this realm, taken on avatar personalities, created objects like roller skates and then sold them for virtual money that was exchanged into real money.

I entered the virtual world of Second Life a few months ago and created a character called Oyama Maroon (pictured). I had control of the first name but had to select the last name from a list. I have yet to meet any other Maroons in the world but I am sure they are out there.

The first time I tried to use it in a class setting for demonstration it went about as well as when I demonstrated voice to text for the first time. My head cold totally destroyed the hours I had spent training the software to recognize my voice. On the night of the Second Life demonstration my colleague David Betts were scheduled to meet.

I suggested the glass elevator on the side of a building on an island called Midnight City. I choose Midnight City because the day before they had held an impressive show in an amphitheatre on that island. Dave created his avatar and I gave him the coordinates to rendezvous with me.

We instant messaged a few times so I knew he was looking for me then, without warning, while I awaited Dave, a large avatar looking like a slightly thinner Dave complete with white beard slammed into the side of my building and slid down the wall. Dave messaged me, “I’m still learning how to fly.”

Flying in Second Life is, as they say, worth the price of admission. A click of the “PageUp” button and you are on your way through the virtual clouds. I would urge you to visit one of the islands in particular, EduNation, to see the potential for using the space as a virtual classroom.

To learn more about EduNation and Second Life, give a listen to the mp3 link below.

http://educationbridges.net/k12opensource/wp-content/uploads/SecondLife.mp3

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