Saturday, December 31, 2005

a site with a word game


free now - but will cost money in the future

a word game - combo of scrabble and boggle - fun - but hard to play only because i couldn't figure out where to stand so the letters were clear and that weird name above my head didn't cover the letters up

(notice - if you have second life loaded, you can put a link on a wepage to a site in second life)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


We study games in class - second life is a virtual world which i'm goiign to call a game until we have the big class discussion on what is a game.

Anyway - we need some games to play.

I think we will play hide and go seek. And tag. Maybe in the sandbox - then there's be other people who might play with us and things to hide behind. And as my studnets got more confident - they could quickly build something to hide behind

There is supposedly a game-within-the-game called DarkLife. It's a MMORP. that could be interesting

A class we can attend

Bob Bunderland (SL name) has a weekday class for SL newcomers. It is very cool. It's a question and answer session. Bob has a shoutcast server so he streams his audio of the course. the students type in questions and comments and he gives answers, suggestions, tips. He walked us thru creating a default avatar and then gave us some costumes so we could play with them without losing whatever we were wearing originally. I learned that one avatar can give another avatra something by dragging it onto them. That will come in handy in class. And you can ecome someone's friend (makes IM easier) by right clicking on tehir avatar and doing the make friend option. I have to figure out the whole notecard/greeting thing. I got some good newbie tutorials too.

This is a picture of the class - they have a great amphitheatre for their class. And it is available for anyone to use. We could have a speaker there - and put it on the event calendar for SL to attract other people.

And then - there are signs to click that teleport you to a pool area and in the evenings (aboout 8 our time) they ahve a pool party with a dance machine and piped in music and free swim suits. and free beer too - but not during class time.

Turns out there are classes on building too and animation. That would be good for students after class activities are over if they want to stay in the world. Those classes would also be a good way to meet people who are after a different experience in the world - and would give my students a chance to see more of the SL culture.

A cool thing I found

There are some museums in SecondLife - here's one under construction about space exploration. Could be pretty cool.

It would be fun to help develop the content - write info cards for exhibits, program some music for background while exploring. that kind of stuff.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Some More Ideas for Class

I think we'll start by making our avatars look as much like our real world selves as possible - we might as well look familiar while everything else is new.

We have to go thru all the steps in the orientation island because ya earn Linden bucks - but only the first time you go thru

We have to go to some events - there's one that happens pretty frequently for new residents - that should be cool. I found some spaces where hopefully we can have a class meeting online - there's one in the building for hte educators in SL group. ANd one cool one that of course I forgot to bookmark. So guess I"ll have to go find it again The spaces have seating predefined -very cool. Otherwise we will have to just stand around.

We have to have a class in the sandbox - build stuff, play with textures, talk with people, check out the avatars
Same with the welcome center - lots of people just hang there talking

Then - we have to experience SL as something other than ourselves - if i can figure out how to save the first look. I would like to see people become the opposite gender - but becoming an animal might be interesting too.

Then we have to take a "grand tour" - here are some places to visit mentioned in the second life forums - places with things to explore, potential for in world games and role playing, interesting scenery, interesting malls, etc. - maybe we each take a place and write a travel brochure style description on the blog as a way to help others see what the world is about/what's possible. Or we each look at 3 or 4 places and try to come up with some commonalities and description of what SL really is/SL culture - here's the list of places so far:
Nexus Prime - like the world in Stephenson's Snow Crash - very modern and cyber-techy
Devils Moon - another cyber-techy city
Midnight City - a big city themed area - like NYC
Akasha Village - underground area to explore, a cemetary
Amsterdam - like the real city
Vail Art Museum - an art museum - this could be neat - I'd like to see a video wall with videos from park students - imagine iCTV promos running
Island of Dragon moon - has dragons!!! and a cave with cave paintings and lots of places to explore
Anango Island - supposed to be danger
Isle of Bliss
Disco Inferno - 70s themed disco
Nerd Emporium - low prim furniture
skydiving in Abbotts
Rizal - has Linden made games including laser tag
Parrot Islan - has jetskis
Big Easy
Blarney Stone
The Forest of Kahruvel (space ball)
Mars Japanese Gardens
Clementina Park
The Scurvy Pier
Pop's Roadhouse
Megabux Games Rides Fun (182,37,123)
Lost Gardens of Slosser
Telador Island - a recreation of hte land from the game Myst
Eldamar - an elven island
Lauk's Nest - has ruins of a Mayan temple to explore
Miyajima - a japanese themed sim
Taco - cartoony colors
Castle at Verloren
transylvania nation/vampire empire - vampire land
ALchera Winter Wonderland - has ice skating
Silver Island has a race track for cars called hte Silver City Motorsports COmplex
Tompson - quiet, place to sit and think
Portage - ditto - just pretty scenery - quiet
Chaos - has underground tunnels - lots of streat noise

and since we're media people - we need to seqarch out the media in the world - the infohubs, movie screens, radio, there's supposedly a newspaper (maybe is sort of that newspaper)- i wonder if this is something we could get involved in - making media available to places to improve dwell - we get artieK to DJ, how about some instructional podcasts, interviews with residents, machinima travelogues (i like that idea).

so how do these things fit in with qualitative research - part of that research is understanding culture - and part is understanding the different between observation and participant observation, part is interacting with people for interviews and such - and one of hte things I want peole to learn/get better at is writing in lots of different styles - for academic journal articles, for newspaper stories and for online venues - - so i think these things still fit - - and if one of our goals is to figure out what is or isn't a game - then playing more indepth in SL might help us make that definition

Friday, December 16, 2005

Some photos

Interesting - SL has daytime and night time. I wonder if there are different things going on in the dark as opposed to in the light. Now - get your minds out of the gutter. I'm not talking about that kind of stuff. I'm thinking about things like dinner and walks on the beach in the moonlight, and dress up dances.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Winter/Holiday Themed scenes

I saw a post on another blog about all the themed areas dressed up for christmas/the holidays. So i checked them out tonight. There are some incredibly talented people in SL. Makes me want to start learning how to build and animate. That's one of hte things I want to do over winter break from school.

old and new (for now) me

This is some ghoulish makeup and skin time - yuck!


Ok - I'm cruising around, looking at SL christmas decorations (pics in future post)

and then i decide to look at popular places - went to IceDragon's Playpen

they have these dance pads - they animate your character for ya and you dance, and dance, and dance

and get paid - $3L per 10 minutes.

I can't figure out what the deal is - it's not like a party, people aren't talking.

Then i remembered sites with big "dwell" get money - so they have these dance pads to help you earn a little and they earn more

Odd - there's a character there dancing who's been there more than an hour dancing - he's made about $20L. I'm going to dance my 10 minutes to get $3L just to see what it's like

You can go off and leave your character tho and they keep dancing so you can multitask

They also have music - streaming music with a DJ - can't tell if it's recorded or live. Bu it's definitely not my kind of music.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

some ideas for class

I saw a presentation by a male student who's been palying in SL as a female and thought - hmm -0 i wonder why he thought of doing that? And then at an online conference about edcuational gaming, someone mentioned doing this gender switching too.

People always say - on the net you can be anybody. But can you really - or can you just be a stereotype of people - how you think they act/think instead of being in their skin. that's not very clear. I think guys can act like how they think girls act - but they can't act like a girl.

However, what was interesting was that people reacted to the girl avatar like it was really a girl. Going by appearance alone, or maybe the stereotypical actions and speech are all we look for online?

I think we will play with this in class - gender issues are interesting and I think it would give us some different insights into the culture of online games.

Friday, December 02, 2005


I have to remember to point student to the SL forums. There is a lot of good discussion going on there. And tips on scripts and textures.


Ihave to admit - I like teleporting - it's like star trek. You get to a major place near where you want to go and you can check out cool stuff - fly toward the beacon which would be more fun if the land underneath you appeared more quickly. Maybe it's not the quickest method of getting places - but you see some territory, see some new stuff that might be fun.

I guess if you were going to an event and were running late, you might not want to have to fly or drive to the actual spot from the teleport hub.

Land developers have built up the land around the hubs and invested time/money. I wonder what will happen to them iif the hubs go away?

Why bring this up - there's some discussion about a proposal to do away with the hubs. Instead we'll go right to the place when we teleport. I guess that makes all parts accessible. Does it weaken neighborhoods tho?

Tied in with this discussion I read a chain of forum posts on privacy and how in SL there's no privacy. People can walk into your house without knocking. YOu can get doors that lock, doorbells. You can type "knock knock". But most people can walk right in. I wonder if people can teleport right into your house?