Participating in a community

The community I chose was NCI (at Clare’s recommendation). I had originally chosen a group for people wanting to learn Japanese, but upon visiting the group’s headquarters I found that there was nobody there to interact with (probably due to the time difference between NZ and Japan).

I still do not feel fully confident with of Second Life, so I thought NCI would help me to get a bit more of a grasp on all of the basics. I teleported to the NCI plaza and was quite amazed by the number of people around. My nearby people showed several hundred in the immediate area!

However, when I zoomed the camera out and went to take a screenshot for this blog post, Firestorm viewer promptly crashed. Needless to say I haven’t got off to the best of starts.

While I waited to be logged back in, I decided to take a look at NCI’s official website [link]. According to their description, NCI is ‘a voluntary association, dedicated to providing information, education and assistance to Second Life users (new and old), in order to maximize the benefits that they can gain from Second Life. NCI believes that new users who are better educated, supported and prepared benefit all of Second Life. NCI does not operate for profit and is not motivated by any desire for monetary gain.’

This screenshot was surprisingly difficult to take

This screenshot was surprisingly difficult to take

Participation 1: Class

Luckily for me, I was logged back into the NCI plaza just as a tutorial class was starting. I teleported to the classroom and took my seat with the other students

The virtual classroom in the NCI beach resort

The virtual classroom in the NCI beach resort

The class was fairly basic and I didn’t learn anything we hadn’t already covered in class with Clare and Isa (the topic of the day was basic prim creation). I think because of the low level it wasn’t particularly well-attended, but everybody there was very friendly and I had a good chat with some of my classmates.

My other classmates

My other classmates

It was an hour long and was done solely by chat as some people were unable to use voice. We were all sent a copy of the lecture notes by the teacher which we could save for future viewing.

The lecture notes

The lecture notes

Participation 2: Game

After the class finished, I looked around the plaza for some other ways to interact with the community, and found a rather strange looking square filled with completely stationary avatars. I thought maybe I was experiencing some lag, but upon closer inspection it turned out to be a game to do with mastering the controls of Second Life.

The object of the game is to walk through this obstacle course, avoiding the avatars and walking through the green balls which were strategically placed in difficult to access areas.

I am sad to say that I failed the task! I bumped into somebody and got the message “Emily finds her brush with bensammett to be unamusing.”

The obstacle course

The obstacle course

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