Friday, 6 April 2007

On naming...

There are a couple of slides in my talk (see previous post) to do with identity - one concerning appearance and one concerning naming.

In discussion at the end of my talk, someone raised an interesting issue about naming...

No-one in Second Life has their own name - it simply isn't possible given the way that names are assigned. You have to choose a surname from a pre-determined list. The questioner wondered if the act of having to choose and use a new name would be a hurdle for some students? I'm not sure.

It was also noted that remembering a second name for every student would also be a hurdle for teachers and lecturers!

I wondered if it might be possible to get round both these problems by selecting a surname for a whole cohort of students and then asking them to create their first name thru some algorithmic transformation of their real name. So for example, instead of being 'Art Fossett' I might be 'AndyP Fossett' or some such.

3 comments:

Richard Urban said...

One of the problems we are struggling with right now are US regulations called FERPA that are intended to protect student's privacy. University lawyers are already concerned that student data might reside outside the universtiy on LL servers. I doubt that using

Richard Urban said...

Ooops, this is coming in twice. Sry. :(

One of the problems we are struggling with right now are US regulations called FERPA that are intended to protect student's privacy. University lawyers are already concerned that student data might reside outside the universtiy on LL servers. (this mosltly applies to assessements of a students work and/or grades).

Perhaps some other public ID that a university might already use (like their e-mail address) might work, but I think there would be reservations over here about your suggestion.

Although I'd agree that trying to not only remember SL names and their associated RL personalities can be a challenge. Especially when the RL person has multiple avis.

Art Fossett said...

Hmmm... that's true - I hadn't really thought of that. We may have the same problems here in the UK/Europe with the Data Protection Act I guess.

I think the issue would be whether the algorithmic derivation of the SL name from the RL name is obvious enough that anyone could identify the individual as a result. And, yes, I accept that in general it probably would be.