Category Archives: representation

Finally Found Virtual Snow that Rezzed

I wouldn’t take no for an answer this time and went to a few destinations marked as Winter Attractions, determined to find an interesting snowy spot, minus the naked exhibitionists and poorly created holiday theme items. I also determined that I would just walk away and come back when everything was rezzed, or mostly everything.

I ended up in Imaginaria–good name, but not as imaginative as I had hoped for. Pretty, yes, but a pretty traditional winter scene. I think I was hoping for something more imaginative, still it was a nice build. Okay, there was one naked person (?) in the pond, but it wasn’t that realistic and didn’t spoil the experience.

Then I went to the Old Europe Winter Village, but did not skate. It was okay, but then I just teleported back to Glasgow Caledonian University, where they had their own bang up job of snowy trees and lights and falling snow–which does not show up in the stills, of course.

spirit of innovation

Even though the Frank Lloyd Wright Museum in Second Life® was forced to close, the “spirit” of Wright can certainly go on there, as this post suggests. You can see a few photos I took at the exhibit in this old post of mine on the value of simulations:

I agree that the spirit of innovation in architecture can go on with new designs, rather than with a recreation of the past, and I hope to sit and gaze at such exhibitions in the future.

3D AIDS Quilt

Another great example of using a virtual world for education: 3D AIDS Quilt

3D AIDS Quilt

Squares on the quilt are rooms where you can explore the lives of individuals who lived with AIDS. The immersive display opens on Dec. 1 on Storybook Island in Second Life©, and you can find the location here:

Such an exhibit is an example of how a concept can take on both physical and symbolic form in a virtual world.

new SL® viewer offers “display names”

As noted in this recent blog post, the most recent Second Life viewer allows you to choose a name to display with your avatar. Previously, you could only display your avatar name, which could be confusing to colleagues and students, “Hey, it’s me, really.” Now, you can edit your profile, adding a name you prefer to display. As you can see in this snapshot, I changed my display name to Dr. Pittman. You can also still see my avatar name–Grinn Pidgeon–but that’s a choice. In my preferences, I opted to show both. You can show one or the other, both or neither.

Some educators will always want to be known by their real names; others prefer that you learn to know them as their avatars. I’ve been Grinn Pidgeon since 2006 and think it’s kind of odd to see my real name there, but I’ll try it for a while to see how it feels. What do you think you would do? Would you want to ask your students to show their real names or a “course” name that you pick for them?