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Second Life Overview

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Hi. My name's Jeremy Kemp. I'm the Assistant Director of the Second Life campus here And I'm here to give you an overview of the Second Life virtual environment; how it relates to other virtual environments and also some information on how to get started technically. And this is an overview for the 203 course. So while there are many virtual environments out there, we're going to be focusing on the Second Life virtual environment. Think of it like a virtual world built and owned by its residents. It's a vast digital continent. And it's filled with librarians and their customers, some entertainment and some other features as well. You'll find museums and concerts, settings for teaching and learning, role-play and more. Now, to the outside spectator, it may be very difficult to see why anyone would jump into what seems like a game. But this is a tool, actually, and it defies the traditional view of online gaming. For instance, the average age of users is 35-years-old. And you'll participate in a range of very professional activities in this environment. Because Second Life isn't a game, it is very important to look And I will break those down into six key activities. So we're going to look at: Professional services role-play, interfaces and Web interconnectivity, groups and events, commerce and creativity, personal discovery and identity, and finally, Marketing and outreach. The first of these six key activities are the creation and enjoyment of groups and also events. So Second Life has a free voice tool so that multiple people can get on with their headsets and chat with each other. It's pretty inexpensive to create group. So you'll see things such as author programs, book discussions and also programs that promote reading. Now I'd like to introduce Robin Williams, an '08 graduate and let you watch her film on communities in Second Life. I think this is really interesting. (Female voice) I like to think of Second Life as a city garden project. The city is the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. We have these areas like Second Life where we can work with people from all over the world to grow something that could be amazing. My fellow gardeners are friendly and eager to give advice and share hints and sometimes clippings or samples of their work. Every so often someone peaks through the fence and yells: (Gruff male voice) Heh? What's this? Gardening?! Gardening's the stupidest thing I've never done. You could not pay me to garden! I can't believe… It makes me so angry that people would waste their time. You could be solving world peace. I would never do this. You could not pay me enough to do this. It's ridiculous. You guys and your… (Female voice) Although our plantings may not live forever we take pictures and movies and learn from the process. Is it a game? Some people will grow or develop games, some won't. Your product is limited by your imagination. It's true: gardening isn't for everyone. It's a lot of hard work. But for those of that enjoy it, it can be a lot of fun! (Male voice) Okay, the next set of activities I'd like to talk about is interfaces and web connectivity. So Second Life allows you to build, very rapidly, spaces such as teen library spaces seen here. You can also connect to web databases and see things like real time weather data. Now you're starting to see more and more 3-D interface affordances and designs in the operating systems. So the rapid prototyping ability of Second Life allows interface designers to play with new types of ways to interact with data using 3-D viewers and builders. The third key activity that happens in Second Life is professional services role-play. And I'm going to show you an example of this in the Information Island Second Life reference desk where reference interviews are conducted mostly for information about Second Life. But they do do interviews for information outside of the Second Life environment. Here you can see an overview of the reference desk. You'll notice some ready reference terminals around the front of that. And also there is a volunteer on duty here. People sign up for one-hour blocks. Now the next key feature is the commerce and creativity aspect of Second Life. Two things are unique to this platform: one that funds are convertible to US dollars so they flow back and forth. This is new. Another new thing here is that all of the intellectual property created created within the environment belongs to the people who create it. Usually terms of service for virtual reality games leave the ownership of intellectual property with the company that runs the game. So this is a little bit different. One activity that a lot of people find exciting and interesting is personal discovery and identity development. So there people who are experimenting with their gender identity, with their hobbies, with their work roles. So it's kind of a freeform place to do a lot of experimentation. The final set of activities I want talk about are interesting for library administrators. Obviously, Second Life has lot of marketing and outreach benefit so you could think of it like an extra branch. You can also serve younger populations and do things like this Machinima to do promotional videos about your own branch. So that's an overview of the non-technical portions of Second Life - the first part of two videos. Now the second part is gonna deal with actual logistics of entering the environment. So stay tuned.

Video Details

Duration: 8 minutes and 6 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: Public Domain
Producer: Jeremy Kemp
Director: Jeremy Kemp
Views: 3,798
Posted by: jeremykemp on Jun 29, 2008

Second Life Overview

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