Moving and Shaping

This past week I made the “mistake” of noting that I have a free & open-source Slide Presentation Screen for Second Life (SL) on the SL EDucators mailing list.  After that, I got something like 40 requests for a copy!  It’s nice to know that I can be of help, but gosh, I thought almost everyone already had a slide presentation screen of some kind already.  Slide presentation screens (which can also show video) happen to be the main media tool used at almost all talks in SL.

One thing I hear a lot is: “Why are you showing slides in SL?  Can’t you do so much more?”   Yes… but if you want to show a drawing, some text, a video, or a photo, what are you supposed to do?  It doesn’t make much sense to make some things three-dimensional.  Another thing I hear goes something like: “3D virtual worlds will replace the (2D) Web.”  Um, no, because two-dimensional text, art, photographs, video, etc. will remain good ways of communicating.

In other news, I was interviewed on Cypress Rosewood’s weekly radio show this past Monday.  It gets broadcast live on the air in the Nashville area.  Every week, he interviews a different person who’s using SL, typically someone in the arts or sciences, asking how they found out about SL, what they’ve done in SL, how it’s affected them as a person.  If the guest is a musician, they’ll often perform a piece or two.  Very few shows, blogs, podcasts, etc. are doing in-depth interviews like that.  Tonight Live with Paisley Beebe is one, but the interviews on her show tend to be short because she’s got to cram three interviews into each show.  Metanomics has some interesting interviews, but they tend to be focused on virtual worlds at a higher level of abstraction (e.g. comparing different virtual world platforms).

My current project, The Earl and the Leviathan, is coming along…  The 3D model of the Leviathan (giant telescope) has around 1100 prims, so there was no way it was going to fit into my parcel on Caledon Moors; that parcel can only hold about 700 prims.  I did some looking around and finally made a deal with Rocket Sellers (SL name) for some land on the Space Island sim, which is part of the SciLands.  The parcel has been subdivided and terraforming has begun.  Tomorrow I’ve got a meeting to see about making a pathway connecting it to the Science Friday sim (associated with the eponymous NPR radio show).  I’ve placed a lovely Victorian house in my parcel on Caledon Moors for now… what will go there in the future?  Stay tuned!

The SciLands Senate changed their weekly meeting format last week.  Now we tour of a different SciLands sim each week.  Yesterday we toured the Genome sim and that led to interesting discussions about using SL for education.  The main person behind the Genome sim is Max Chatnoir (SL name).  She’s a professor of biology at Texas Wesleyan University.  Next year, she’ll be taking a full-year sabbatical to develop educational content for SL.