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Second Life for Special Libraries Association, San Diego 10 26 06
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Second Life for Special Libraries Association, San Diego 10 26 06






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  • Hi, everyon. How many of you would say you’re overworked in your “real life” (RL)? Maybe what you need is a brand new self in “Second Life” (SL). I’m Esther Grassian from the UCLA College Library, and I’m here to talk to you not about how I’ve used new technology effectively, but about how we might, by participating in a grand experiment…
  • By using avatar representations of ourselves to fulfill some of the imp functions we offer in RL, Real Life This is my avatar--Alexandria Knight HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE HEARD OF SECOND LIFE OTHER THAN WHAT YOU’VE READ IN THE ARTICLES I SENT OR SARAH’S DESCRIPTION? There were articles about SL recently in the New York Times Magazine and in Wired in addition to the 2 citations I sent you Both are listed in your bibliography, along with a number of other items related to SL
  • In the next 25 minutes or so, we’re going to be talking about what SL is, who’s involved, and examples of how libraries and librarians can contribute and also have fun in a virtual world like Second Life. Questions welcome
  • What Is SL? HAS ANYONE HEARD OF “WORLD OF WARCRAFT” OR WOW? It’s like SL, in that both are modifiable MMOGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) WOW has about 7 million registered users, while SL has just over a million registered users. SL is growing rapidly, though, increasing at the rate of 25% or more registered users each month … It’s a virtual world loosely based on the sci-fi novel, Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson… with…
  • its own currency, a newspaper, Residents (or others they hire) build everything you see in SL & following Lawrence Lessig’s advice, they retain intellectual property rights to those items They decide whether or not something they create can be copied, modified or transferred to other avatars many shops where people sell their SL objects (>7000 businesses!)
  • The top ten SL entrepreneurs earn an average of over $200,000 a year each Linden Lab earns about $1 million/month by charging about $20/virtual acre of space/month Plus, they take a small cut on currency exchanges, U.S.$$ for Linden $$ & vice-versa
  • Exchange rate is about L$280/US$1
  • Who participates in SL? It’s pretty evenly split between men & women, which is different from gaming demographics in general. You may be surprised to learn that women constitute about 64% of gamers Median age of an SL participant is about 33 There’s a growing number of international participants as well, though someone told me that in South Korea there’s another virtual world, Cyworld?, and that about half the population participates in it
  • Let’s look at some examples of businesses in SL… Here’s an example of a business in that sells shoes
  • This is Empyrean, a giant store that sells hair, glasses, even umbrellas, for that sudden rainstorm in SL! Since there are businesses in SL, it follows that there’s marketing, some of it really obnoxious and annoying, just like in RL This next one is particularly annoying
  • “Barkers” at casinos yell at you to hurry and place your bets before it’s too late… & you miss out on winning huge amounts of money
  • Here I am flying around another mall Yes, you can fly in SL & for me, that means you can stumble, bumble, fall down & crash into things a lot… Here’s a storefront ad--space for rent
  • SL Newspapers report on news & events, publish interviews & have regular columns The main SL newspaper is called the Metaverse Messenger or M squared You just click on it to get a copy of the latest newspaper This M squared kiosk is located in “Midnight City”, an area with a number of stores selling clothes, hair, shoes, fur, wings, furniture, skin & more!
  • Some SL areas attempt to be historically accurate replicas, that is simulations or sims of a point in time or a place - e.g., a 19th century sim called Caledon Residents wear 19th century clothing and speak in 19th century English I was really surprised, though, when a steam locomotive rolled on by just after I took this snapshot. They’ve just established a library, by the way, and want to stock it with replicas of 19 th cent. Publications, of course…
  • This is a fictional land of elves, Elven Glen. This part of Eleven Glen is an outdoor shopping mall, with many different kiosks selling objects made by Elven Glen residents. Another avatar is reading the sign
  • It’s not all shopping, though… Several institutions have established campuses in SL, including SDSU and NMC, with about 100 more in the process of developing them
  • This is the entrance to SDSUs very nice campus…
  • This is a view of their Webquest Students can take on roles of immigrants, learn about their background and interact in real time with other students taking the roles of other immigrants But, I didn’t notice a library or information literacy instruction of any kind So this represents a great opportunity
  • The New Media Consortium or NMC consists of over 200 institutions worldwide interested in exploring & using new medias & technologies for teaching & learning. I’ve been a member of NMC’s SL Campus since it was opened in April 2006. It was the reason I got a free Basic SL Account and an avatar – they’re planning on offering courses, and they have a library. I wanted to work with faculty as they develop new curricula, to suggest IL enhancements & other library-related collections & services that could be useful to them and their students, particularly if they have research assignments
  • Various research studies & experiments are being conducted in SL & there are political & social events.. AN IMPORTANT CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION TO KEEP IN MIND IS: Are they real and authoritative or are they completely fictional? Let’s take a look at some examples…
  • The Heart Murmur Sim is very realistic… Before you can enter the Exam Rooms, you have to get a badge, and then they ask you to answer a survey form
  • You proceed through 3 Exam Rooms, listening to heartbeats, reading diagnosis charts, and viewing the patient (on the bed). In the last Exam Room, you’re tested The purported goal is to teach you how to identify different types of heart murmurs, as opposed to healthy hearts WHAT DO YOU THINK--IS IT REAL OR IS IT FICTIONAL/ENTERTAINMENT?
  • The person who created it said this: This exhibit is for your entertainment only. None of the medical information presented here should be taken as true. Consider this a work of fiction, not to provide instruction on medical diagnosis or treatment.
  • How about this… Svarga is a beautiful sim designed as a fully functioning self-contained ecological system with clouds, sun, bees that fly around & pollinate flowers My avatar is getting an automated tour, sitting on a tourbot IS IT REAL OR FICTIONAL?
  • It’s an artificial life simulation, so it’s fictional and entertainment, but based on science…
  • This research and training site, called Virtual Hallucinations purports to study schizophrenia, & expose people to a schizophrenic’s world It’s quite mind boggling. You hear voices, see weird objects, the floor drops out from under you & more… IS IT REAL OR FICTIONAL?
  • Nash Baldwin, MD & computer programmer at UC Davis has established this site “the building contains a closely researched recreation of visual and aural hallucinations, based on interviews of real schizophrenics.”
  • Real! Here’s USC’s Annenberg Island where they’re exploring the use of virtual worlds to teach public diplomacy http://www.simteach.com/wiki/index.php?title=Second_Life:_Universities_and_Private_Islands Our goals are to explore how virtual worlds can be used as effective tools to bridge cultural gaps, to foster new ways to resolve conflict and to learn and teach new skills in dealing with each other to build a better world.
  • I was surprised to see this ad in the central mall of Midnight City It asks you to click on the sign to get a white wristband, signifying your support of the global fight against poverty Then it says that if you click on your wristband on 10/14 You’ll be counted in the Guinness Book of World Records IS IT REAL OR FICTIONAL? One way to try to figure this out is to check on sponsorship, just like with web pages
  • October 17th actually was the 4th annual WHITE BAND DAY, sponsored by a real group called GLOBAL CALL TO ACTION AGAINST POVERTY These are all examples of how librarians can help users get in the habit of thinking critically about what they find in Second Life, as well as in other virtual worlds, social networking and filesharing sites common in the Web 2.0 environment See handout--Thinking Critically About Web 2.0 & Beyond -- EG
  • What about libraries? The Alliance Library System (ALS), a consortium of 253 Illinois libraries of all types has established Info Island with a main library, a medical library, and other buildings. In addition to ALS’s libraries, there’s an ICT library and store, and TechSoup on Info Island ICT is a group of educators in SL TechSoup is an organization that provides technology help to nonprofits in SL ALS just won 2d place for the Second Life Library in an international mashup competition called TALIS
  • Here you see me flying over part of Info Island
  • This is the entrance to the main library
  • At the very back of the ground floor is this giant book you can read while you stand there. You just click on pages to go forward and back It teaches you how to create clothing for your avatar and how to put items on your avatar and take them off That sounds easy, but actually, it took me quite a while to learn this, as I fumbled and bumbled around… putting boxes on my head, attaching sunglasses around my neck & generally messing up
  • Right outside the main library you can see another experiment— Hallie the ChatBot, a kind of information robot that might be able to answer some low-level basic questions now handled through digital or virtual reference In fact, librarians on Info Island are staffing virtual ref using Question Point
  • The medical library opened just recently & soon will be moved to a new Health Info Island
  • Since ALS consists of libraries of all types, there are librarians who also address public-library-type interests Mystery Manor focuses on mysteries and horror books and movies
  • This is the inside, ground floor… They’re also developing a sci-fi building
  • On the bottom left is a teleporter bench In the upper right is a list of places in Info Island where you can click to teleport to…
  • This self-reflective poster was mounted in Info Island for a while Info Island libraries hope to serve as info resources for everyone working w/in SL, including students, faculty, businesses & others. Librarians give tours of Info Island & of SL ALS is also working with other groups, including Tech Soup & ICT
  • Besides Info Island, Museums are popping up in SL too…like this one…
  • Entertainment… I put bazaars under entertainment, though lots of avatars go to bazaars not for entertainment, but for free stuff… And you do have to be wary of mature areas in SL…
  • This is a well-known place where you can get free stuff of all kinds…
  • You can gamble in SL, and use US $$$, exchanged for L$$$
  • In case you run out of money, there’s an ATM, just like in RL…
  • Now for bars… This is a supposedly accurate replica of the city of Dublin… The poster is announcing a Beatlefest…
  • This is a view of the inside of that same bar
  • So, we’ve talked about what SL is, who’s involved, and examples of how libraries and librarians can contribute and also have fun in a virtual world like Second Life. To conclude…
  • You know now that there are businesses in SL--there’s even a detective agency that spys on avatars to see if they’re cheating on their avatar partners with other avatars… Higher education offers great opportunities to learn new technology-related skills, as well as opportunities to work with faculty designing and developing curricula for courses in SL, It also offers opportunities for working with other librarians & technologists worldwide in a new and developing arena, where you can utilize and go far beyond what we now offer in the way of digital reference & other technologies--chat, IM, wikis & blogs It offers an important new means for us to highlight our own skills and knowledge of information tools, in order to help people learn of their existence and learn how to think critically about information resources. So, SL is a popular social networking site with rapidly increasing membership, and …
  • It takes us to users where they are excitedly congregating, rather than waiting for them to come to us. Sure hope some of you will jump in & join us--it’s a lot of fun! [This snapshop is actually of libarians getting training in being greeters and tour guides for the Info Island grand opening, held on 10/13 & 10/14]

Second Life for Special Libraries Association, San Diego 10 26 06 Second Life for Special Libraries Association, San Diego 10 26 06 Presentation Transcript

  • Stumbling, Bumbling,Teleporting & Flying…a Librarian Avatar in“Second Life”Esther Grassian(aka Alexandria Knight)UCLA College LibraryRev. 25 Oct 2006
  • Alexandria Knight
  • Agenda What is Second Life (SL)? Who’s Involved? Examples: Library & LibrarianInvolvement & Fun Questions Welcome!
  • What is “Second Life” (SL)? MMOG/MMORPG Massively Multi-player Online Role-Playing Game >1 Million Registered Users 25%+ Increase/Month Based on Snow Crash (Stephenson)
  • Virtual World? Currency = Linden $$ Newspaper = “Metaverse Messenger” Objects Designed by Residents Intellectual Property Rights Respected >7000 Businesses
  • More… Top Ten SL Entrepreneurs:>$200,000/year Linden Lab’s Profit $20/virtual acre/month = $1 million/month + cut of currency exchange: L$ & US$ L$280 = US$1
  • SL Demographics (2 Aug2006)… 50/50 Male/Female Participants Median age: 33 75% U.S. Participants [early summer] 57% U.S. Participants [20 Aug 2006] “Second Life Statistics.” The Electric Sheep Company; “StatisticsUpdate.” The Electric Sheep Company
  • Businesses…
  • More…
  • Marketing/Advertising
  • More…
  • “Metaverse Messenger” Kiosk
  • Caledon (19thcentury Sim)
  • Elven Glen
  • Campuses San Diego State University NMC (New Media Consortium) 100 more in development…
  • San Diego State University
  • SDSU WebQuest
  • NMC Campus
  • Heart Murmur Sim
  • Heart Murmur Sim…
  • Fictional! “This exhibit is for your entertainmentonly. None of the medical informationpresented here should be taken astrue.” Kemp, Jeremy. “Notices and Disclaimers…”
  • Svarga
  • Fictional, but… "If I was to turn off the clouds the wholesystem would die in about six hours…Turn off the bees and [the plants stop]growing, because nothing getspollinated.” Laukosargas Svarog, “Second Life Virtual Ecosystem NewWorld Notes”
  • Realistic attempt to replicate… Nash Baldwin, MD & programmer, UCDavis “…the building contains a closelyresearched recreation of visual andaural hallucinations, based oninterviews of real schizophrenics.” Au, James. “A Lever to Move the Mind.”
  • Real! USC Annenberg Island
  • Social Issues… Sponsor?
  • Real! White Band Day: 17 Oct 2006 Global Call to Action Against Poverty(GCAP)
  • Libraries, Librarians & Others Info Island -- ALS Main Library Medical Library Mystery Manor Sci-Fi Building (in development) Health Info Island (in development) ICT Library TechSoup
  • Flying in Info Island…
  • Info Island: Main Library
  • “Hallie” the ChatBot
  • Medical Library
  • Mystery Manor
  • More Mystery Manor…
  • International SpaceflightMuseum
  • Entertainment Bazaars Casinos Bars Be wary… Mature areas
  • Yadni’s Junk Yard
  • Casino…
  • Blarney Stone Bar(Dublin Sim)
  • Blarney Stone Bar…
  • Review What is Second Life (SL)? Who’s Involved? Examples: Library & LibrarianInvolvement & Fun To conclude…
  • Why Get Into SL? Businesses Higher Education Learn New Technology Skills Collaboration Opportunities Faculty Other Librarians & Technologists And…
  • Go To Users!