As I have said numerous times throughout this course and within my blog posts, I am a total newcomer to Second Life and to the entire world of Multi-User Virtual Environments. I came into this course because I had a slightly negative attitude about MUVEs: for the most part I didn’t see the point and I didn’t see how they were useful to the real world. However, to my great surprise, MUV601 has turned out to be my favourite class of the year!
I am a very creative person and I absolutely relished the opportunity to build within Second Life. I had tried some 3D modelling in the past but I never knew it could be as easy as it is in SL. Being able to click one button and start building is a far cry from the complicated coding I had previously attempted, and once I got started I was in my element. I remember Clare saying at the start of the class that I would be surprised by how quickly the time passes once you log in to SL, but I didn’t take much notice as my schedule is very important to me so I knew that I wouldn’t spend more time on SL than I planned to. But sure enough, I would look at the clock after ‘an hour or so’ building and realise that it was closer to 3.
The build has been through many changes but I absolutely love the final version and I feel like I have achieved my goal of making an ideal performance space for myself. If I’d had slightly more free time this semester I’m sure I would never have stopped adding more functionality to the build, but overall I am very proud of what I have managed to achieve with this assignment. I never expected my build to look half as good as it does!
There were a few problems that I needed to overcome but overall the build went without a hitch, and the biggest problem I faced was my constant mind-changing about design elements. I am quite indecisive by nature but I’m managing to resist the urge now to go back and change elements now that I’ve marked the assignment as finished.
Thanks to Clare and Isa for making this class such an enjoyable one!
Today, during some downtime that I managed to find, I watched a documentary produced by the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) called Life 2.0. It explored the physical and virtual lives of several users of Second Life, and as a new user myself, it really helped to give me some background knowledge of the program.
I have included a link to the documentary below
It is an unbiased look at both the good and the bad sides of Second Life, focusing not only on users living happy and successful real lives, but also delving into the stories of users who are heavily addicted and the terrible impact that can have on their real life.
I was unsure what to expect from this class but after a great first lecture I’m very excited about getting stuck into MUV601! It’s quite a different subject from any I have taken previously so I’m looking forward to all the challenges it will bring.
As requested by Clare, here is my first blog post, in which I will answer the questions posed to each of the students on the class blog.
What is a virtual world?
As far as my understanding goes, a virtual world can be defined as a simulated environment through which users can interact with each other. This does not necessarily have to be defined as a game, although I feel that the most popular and easily available virtual worlds are MMORPGs, or Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games.
What is interesting to me about virtual worlds?
I have to be honest and say that I can be quite closed-minded when it comes to the subject of virtual worlds. I remember last year in ITC501 when we first touched on the matter, I was slightly skeptical about the practical and perhaps constructive uses of this kind of software. This is one of the reasons that I joined MUV601 in the first place, because I would like to broaden my knowledge on virtual worlds rather than make an unfair and uninformed judgement about the subject.
How important do you think virtual worlds are?
Now that I have spent slightly more time researching, it’s safe to say that there is huge potential for the uses of MUVEs, but I am unsure as to whether the software is being utilised to its full potential at this point in time.
How important do you think virtual worlds will be in 5-10 years?
I have now heard of MUVEs being used to teach new procedures to medical staff and for training military personnel for combat, which can be invaluable and life-saving exercises, but I feel as though there is a way to go before this kind of software is made completely mainstream. I do hope that in the near future these kinds of programs will become more readily available, as they will certainly make a difference in the world.