Tuesday, 26 February 2008

That Hamlet moment...

Read this humming Air on a G String...

Joff Fassnacht has sent an email to the SECONDLIFE@jiscmail.ac.uk mailing list, announcing various performances of Hamlet Act 1, Scene 1 in Second Life:
... the SLShakespeare company will be performing Act1 Scene1 of Hamlet at the SLGlobe on Sliterary from this Thursday.

This is a live performance, no bots, so anything can , and quite possibly will, happen. It is free and seating is on a first come first served basis but the theatre can in theory hold up to 300 (though if that doesn't crash the system nothing will.)

Please note times are SLT so add 8 hours for UK times, yes the first performance is 2am Thursday night.

SLSC Thursday, Feb 28: 6 PM
Fri, Feb 29: 3 PM
Sat, Mar 1: 11 AM
Sun, Mar 2: 1 PM
Mon, Mar 3: 11 AM
Tues, Mar 4: 6 PM
Weds, Mar 5: ---
Thurs, Mar 6: 3 PM
Fri, Mar 7: 1 PM
Sat, Mar 8: 6 PM
Sun, Mar 9: 3 PM
I'm not sure if this is a chat or voice production?

Crushed velvet curtains and lava lamps

In a provocative post on the Ancient Geeks blog,
I expect that some sort of virtual world will be seriously mainstream in the future, maybe even a killer app for education, but I’m sure that it will be very different from SL, which we’ll remember the way we now look back at crushed velvet curtains and lava lamps.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

University of Surrey on Eduserv Island

I'm pleased to say that staff at the University of Surrey have taken one of the offices in the Office Space on Eduserv Island on a temporary basis while they find their feet and sort out an island of their own.

Welcome aboard...

Educause SW - does your campus need a Second Life

A useful blog summary by Topher Zwiers covering the Second Life session at the start of the Educause SW Regional Conference, which I attended virtually thanks to Topher's live-blogging.

There are some interesting references here which I need to follow-up, particularly the stuff about Chickering & Gamson's 7 Principles and Dodge's PADE formula (see here and here).

Friday, 22 February 2008

Brain control headset for gamers

Another story from the BBC, this time about brain control headsets...
Gamers will soon be able to interact with the virtual world using their thoughts and emotions alone.
Oh dear... does that mean I actually have to think!?

Billion-fold increase in the price-performance of computers in the next 25 years

So says a report from the BBC.
"Computers the size of blood cells will create fully immersive virtual realities by 2033"
leading inventor Ray Kurzweil has predicted.
"Virtual will compete with reality."
Cool. I can't wait...

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

MBA role-play on Eduserv Island

I was really pleased the other week when Simran Grewal in the School of Management at the University of Bath asked if she could use the offices on Eduserv Island for a role-playing exercise for some of her students.

Why was a I pleased? Because for the first time it meant that Eduserv Island was going to be used for some teaching and learning.

The role-playing, which took place yesterday, involved small groups of students discussing the pros and cons of various organisational changes in the context of one of six well known companies, each student adopting a different role within the company. I did some preparatory work, making six of the offices in the Office Space look vaguely like offices of the organisations concerned. This amounted to little more than putting their logo on the wealll of the office - but was probably sufficient in the circumstances.

I went in world while the exercises took place. Things seemed to go well... at least from my perspective.

Firstly, I don't know if the turnout was 100%, but the numbers of students involved looked very impressive to me. I'd be very interested in their reactions to SL - given the general impression that students of that age group don't think much of it. As I was loitering outside the offices I did overhear one of them say, "Who's that Art Fossett geezer"! Lol.

The six groups came in one after the other, to allow Simran to make sure that each group knew what they were doing and stuck to their alloted time. Several of the groups stayed silent while waiting for Simran to get to them. Others chatted amoungst themselves - I dunno if they just knew each other better in RL - asking each other what preperation they had each done... just like waiting for the lecturer to turn up in RL I guess.

I'm going to try and get some de-briefing info out of Simran at some stage - just to see how she felt the sessions went. I'll try and report those here if I get a chance. But my informal impression is that this is the kind of thing that SL is very good for. It's certainly something I'd like to see more of on Eduserv Island.

Eduserv Island - Office Space revamp

I've recently been revamping the Office Space on Eduserv Island, primarily to allow someone from the School of Management at the University of Bath to use 6 of the offices as a venue for some role-playing exercises for her students (see next post).

Here's what the area now looks like. Much better I think.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Dept. of Public Works

According to Clickable Culture, Linden Lab is creating a department of public works to:
beautify and improve the virtual mainland of Second Life by repairing broken land, expanding certain existing "builds" (such as a city area), establishing "better gathering places" and adding "themed builds."
Not sure where this idea will go, but I like the same entry's description of the current mainland:
It's been many months since I've spent any appreciable time in Second Life, but from what I remember, the mainland looked like God had eaten a yard sale, a carnival, a suburb, a stack of porn videos, and the entire cast of the Transformers movie before barfing all over the virtual landscape. Doubtless any concerted effort to improve the landscape will be welcomed by most virtual-world residents as well as contribute to the retention of new users (who are increasingly becoming aware that Second Life ain't the only game in town).