McLuhan in Second Life


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How Media contributes to Learning in the Virtual Community, presented at the The 2nd Louisiana Invitational Conference on Virtual Worlds in Higher Education

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McLuhan in Second Life

  1. 1. The 2nd Louisiana Invitational Conference on Virtual Worlds in Higher Education<br />McLuhan in Second Life: How Media contributes to Learning in the Virtual CommunityNovember 12, 2009<br />PhylisJohnson (Southern Illinois University) <br />Lowe Runo (University of South Florida)<br />
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  5. 5. Second Life, Media & the Other Society (Peter Lang, 2010)<br /> This book takes a “mediated” perspective on virtual society. Second Life is comprised of a diverse community of residents. Is this the global village that McLuhan spoke of in his writings. (The largest countries represented within SL are Japan, UK, Australia, Brazil and the U.S) <br />
  6. 6. Second Life & the Virtual Society<br />Section 1: The Virtual Society<br />1 Second Life, Imagination, and Virtual Community|2 Social Networking: Extending Your Circle of Friends, Virtually3Identity In-World: Self & Fantasy in Second Life4Extending Consumer Culture: Work and Economy in the Virtual World5 Safe Spaces: Home Sweet Home in Another World<br />
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  9. 9. Second Life, Media & the Other Society<br />Some say, SL is IM on steroids – it is a social network and beyond. It is an extension of real life in many ways, in terms of experimenting with gender and cultural identity. <br />
  10. 10. Second Life, Media & the Other Society<br />Mark Stephen Meadows (2008, p. 8)<br /> “The immigrants coming to Second Life…Some are here to solve problems that can’t be solved in their ‘first life,’ and some are here to make new lives.” <br />
  11. 11. Second Life, Media & the Other Society<br />“Virtual Communities” – The Course: <br />What is community inside SL? How is it formed? How does it shape us?<br />Expert Definition: Howard Rheingold<br />Student Definition: Name, Avatar, Profile <br />Cultural Definition: Groups Joined, Places Visited, Friends Made, etc. <br />Cultural Feedback: Revisions to Identity along the way, how does SL inform our creations, activities.<br />
  12. 12. Second Life, Media & the Other Society<br />Identity in Education<br />Angela Thomas<br />School age youth, w/higher education applications <br />
  13. 13. Authenticity of Online Relationships<br />Aaron Ben-Ze’ev (2004, p. 1) in his book, Love Online: Emotions on the Internet: <br /> “Cyberspace is a psychological and social domain. It is not tangible and some of its dimensions, such as distance, and location, are not measured by physical parameters, but by psychological content. ” <br />
  14. 14. Authenticity of Online Relationships<br />Aaron Ben-Ze’ev (2004)<br /> “This often imaginary reality is not limited to the private domain of a specific person; rather it is shared by many people. Such a novel psychological reality is supported by sophisticated technology, but it is not defined by this technology;” it is defined by the various psychological interactions occurring in it” (pp. 1-2). <br />
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  16. 16. Authenticity of Online Relationships<br />Aaron Ben-Ze’ev (2004)<br /> “Cyberspace is a part of reality; it is, therefore, incorrect to regard it as the direct opposite of real space. Cyber space is part of real space, and online relationships are real relationships.” <br />
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  19. 19. Media Makers in the Virtual Society<br />Section 2: Virtual Media Makers<br />6The Image Makers: Selling Fantasy and Reality in Second Life.7Flying to Learn: Exploring Real Life through the Virtual Campus <br />8 Tuned into Second Life: Avatar Groupies, Beer Gardens, and Soundscapes9My Avatar is Watching Television: Media Makers & Audiences10News Media across The Metaverse: Reporting Live From a Virtual World Near You<br />
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  27. 27. Media Makers in the Virtual Society<br />Media construction, performance and literacy<br />-Music composition and performance<br />-Current events, reporting (electronic, print via web)<br />*crossover to real world<br />-Storytelling – fiction and nonfiction, reflections of virtual worlds and real world<br />
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  42. 42. The Good, the Bad in the Virtual Society – Mediated Reflections<br />Section 3: The Good and Bad of a Virtual Society11The Fringe of Second Life: Sex, Violence and Crime12Diversity in Second Life: Virtual Expression through Culture and Gender 13Religion in Second Life: Virtual Gods, Spirituality and Fellowship14 Conclusion: A Second Look at Virtual Worlds: Is the Future Now?<br />Human Drama in a Virtual Medium – human drama as it unfolds, as it mirrors the outside world, or attempts to foster change in the real world within a virtual laboratory.<br />
  43. 43. Mediated Reflections<br />Media can serve as a means to analyze social phenomena. <br />Media can be used as a means for cultural engagement and communicative expression.<br />Media can be used as negatively as propaganda/or positively for “imaging” or “reimagining” institutions.<br />
  44. 44. Mediated Reflections<br />Second Life encompasses mass media.<br />Second Life is the convergent point of mass media. <br />Second Life encourages media making and remaking!<br />Second Life encourages niche/micro audiences.<br />Second Life is “mediated” human drama unfolding.....interactive, participatory, etc.<br />Epilogue: Interview with Wagner James Au, author of The Making of Second Life: Notes from the New World (HarperCollins, 2008)<br />
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  47. 47. I could see my daughter becoming interested in a school because of the personal connections she could make in SL. Getting to know someone in SL is a very real experience, and spending time there would be a nice precursor to a RL campus visit. I doubt it would ever be able to take the place of one, however. .. they are, most importantly, present, exploring, learning and promoting their institution. In so doing, they are establishing the foundation of a learning community that may one day actually have a measurable impact on admissions and, who knows – perhaps even the university as a whole….<br /> in response to Case Western Reserve’s Virtual Campus<br /><br />
  48. 48. References<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />