Tuesday, 13 May 2008

A&D Pilot - Day 5

The day started with an unforeseen problem. Second Life was down, and remained down until 11.45.
Instead of the planned in-world activities, I handed out the project briefs, and asked the group to express a preference for one or more of the briefs. Interestingly, the 'Shrine to your avatar' brief was by far the most popular.
We then had a general discussion about Second Life and the projects. I went round the group and asked them to talk about what sort of work they had been producing this year, and I made suggestions about how this might translate into SL, and how it might link in with one or more of the briefs.

I then got everyone to search for Second Life on Flickr and YouTube, which was quite useful for helping them to get a sense of what is possible. I also pointed them towards the Second Life News Network to check out the latest news. By complete coincidence - honestly, I had no idea - SLNN had a story about the Brooklyn Watches art gallery project, illustrated with a snapshot of my hologram of Clive Egginton. Everyone thought I had set this up to blatantly show off.

When we finally got into Second Life, I organised a quest to test out collaborative building. I got the avatars to pair up and set it so that their partner could edit their objects. I then asked them to build a bridge together over a small river that I had terraformed. This proved problematic. The whole permissions thing complicates shared building, and the students found that they couldn't edit each other's objects as easily as they would have liked to. I then got them to revoke their partner's ability to edit their objects, and asked them to repeat the exercise, this time dividing the labour more coherently. This proved to be less confusing and more effective. When all the bridges had been built, I got them stand in the middle of their bridge, select their objects, and turn physics on. We all laughed heartily as the bridges and the avatars crashed into the river. I pointed out that if they had taken a copy, they could have rebuilt the bridge, but now it was too late.

The rest of the day was spent working on initial ideas for the projects. I did some one-to-one stuff, addressing some of the particular issues that were emerging for individuals.

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