So, I’d heard so much about gaming before and after venturing into Second Life, I thought I’d better give it a try to see if I could learn something that would be of significance in developing our work in SL.
A friend heard of my plight (never having played a video game or online MMORPG) and offered to let me play Guild Wars with him. I still haven’t answered that offer, but, frankly, guilds make me think of the Medieval period in history, and that period bores me. I’m more of a futurist, so I looked around for something else.
I looked at World of Warcraft, which has going for it a viewer for Macs. But every time I tried to install it, a warning said it might damage my computer. Googling for a reason told me that it does something bad to your RAID files. Don’t know what those are, but I would prefer to destroy virtual badguys and bad civilizations than my computer.
I looked around for something else futuristic and found Eve where you are a pilot of a ship, but can’t leave it (?). I want to be able to go where I want in a virtual world, not be cheap labor for some military space force.
I don’t know where I ran into Tabula Rasa, but the name intrigued me, and the fact that it’s relatively new was a plus, also. The big drawback was that I’d have to use one of the office Windows computers, and I don’t like to burden any of our machines with extra software unless there’s a payoff for the school. It was Friday before New Year’s and the campus was extra quiet, so I figured it would be the best time to try out such a technology, and I could uninstall the software after finding out what I wanted to know.
I created the multiple accounts required for the 3-day trial period and began the download. Yikes, that software was over 2000 MBs and took about 3 hours to download. That left me with about two hours to play on it, except that it wouldn’t run without updates, and those took another hour. By the time I got into it, I only had an hour before closing to play.
I created my avatar, Sangwinn Roerk, and did what I could to create an appearance I liked. New users are pretty limited, but I chose some dark purple hair and a decent recruit outfit in dark purple. I wish I had a picture. I knew when I was done, I would be sent to what they call Boot Camp, and I looked forward to comparing it to orientation in SL. There is no comparison. There was no instruction on how to move or what to do. I ended up trying every key on the keyboard until I found ones that made me walk or fight, and mostly walked or ran around in circles. The mouse didn’t work at all and maybe I needed a joystick or something, but there was absolutely no guidance and no way to know what I needed to learn to move on. I’ll grant you that my ignorance of games didn’t help, but I have to give SL high marks for taking care of its residents much better
Of course, the college was closed over the holiday weekend, and my 3-day trial period ended Monday. I’ve uninstalled the software and never would have paid the initial and monthly fees to play, anyway. But I did hope to learn something about scripted play.
. . . . In the next post, I’ll give you my opinion about what learning experiences are best suited for SL at the present time, and I’ll weigh in on gaming knowledge, even with my inexperience. In the meantime, if you know of a scripted game for Macs that won’t ruin my computer, let me know.