Monday, 29 June 2009

Theatron 3 website

I'm very pleased to say that the Theatron 3 project, which we funded last year, now has a website detailing the theatres that have been created by the project and some of the ways in which they can be used for teaching and learning.

Good stuff...

Tuesday, 2 June 2009


I haven't been into Second Life for a while now... I'm not exactly sure why but I guess you could say that I've fallen out of love with it for various reasons.  If nothing else, I have little work-related reason to spend time in-world and that means it is difficult to find time for it.

I don't actively dislike it but I don't like it enough to keep going back right now.  That situation may change... on the other hand, it may not.

In Linden Lab needs to read Snow Crash again Fuzzysoul argues that Linden Lab aren't working hard enough to transform SL into the premier platform for education and business conferences (their stated goal). I think I agree and I also agree with the analysis of the inherent problems caused by the teleport anywhere and economy based on land value approaches that LL have adopted.  I'm less convinced by the argument for better facial features - but maybe that's just because my imagination isn't very good.  My favorite avatar remains my original, default-skin one :-(

For me, and I say this with a certain amount of hindsight, the most valuable and fun experiences in Second Life were those associated with meetings and events (particularly hybrid RL/SL events). Yet, as a platform for collaboration and communication, SL sucks in many respects. This is partly a personal view, but I know from having stood up in meetings and said this that others agree with me, voice destroys the immersive aspects of SL yet chat is hopeless for most kinds of serious conversation. 

Until this is resolved SL with struggle to be a compelling place for collaboration. Our avatars are either an extension of our real selves or they are pseudonymous alter-egos. If the former, then voice will work fine (it seems to me) but I don't think SL is currently set up to support that kind of mentality (why give avatars non-RL names for example). If the latter, let's accept that chat will remain the predominant communication channel and recognise the collaborative limitations that result.

I want to believe in virtual worlds like Second Life but right now I'm struggling to hang on to my faith in them.  Somebody please pray to the gods of the metaverse for me!?