A snapshot of ... in Second Life


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A brief look at Second Life in the context of Web 2.0.

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  • A snapshot of ... in Second Life

    1. 1. A snapshot of … in Second Life UKSG Meeting – Caught up in Web 2.0
    2. 2. Second what? <ul><li>3-D virtual world </li></ul><ul><li>MUVE </li></ul><ul><li>run by Linden Lab </li></ul><ul><li>‘ proprietary’, but public commitment to open standards and OSS </li></ul><ul><li>populated by avatars, aka residents </li></ul>www.secondlife.com
    3. 3. So it’s just a game right? <ul><li>can use SL to build games – including shoot ‘em ups </li></ul><ul><li>but such activities frowned on in public spaces </li></ul><ul><li>looks and feels like a gaming environment </li></ul><ul><li>but no purpose as such </li></ul><ul><ul><li>use it to buy / sell, entertain, learn, collaborate, … </li></ul></ul><ul><li>do not approach it simply as a game – you’ll be disappointed! </li></ul>image by J0@nn@ @ flickr.com
    4. 4. Joining SL <ul><li>two steps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>register </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>install client software </li></ul></ul><ul><li>note technical requirements </li></ul>
    5. 5. What does it cost? <ul><li>basic accounts are free </li></ul><ul><li>need to pay monthly subscription ($10) to own land </li></ul><ul><li>land can be quite expensive </li></ul><ul><li>‘ land use fees’ for owning more than smallest plot </li></ul>
    6. 6. Naming / identity <ul><li>every avatar has a name </li></ul><ul><li>chosen at registration </li></ul><ul><li>can’t be changed </li></ul><ul><li>though can have ‘Alt’s </li></ul><ul><li>mine is Art Fossett - not an anagram! </li></ul>
    7. 7. Identity / appearance <ul><li>on the Internet no one knows you’re a dog </li></ul><ul><li>in SL no one knows you’re a bloke </li></ul><ul><li>appearance can be changed instantly </li></ul><ul><li>wings and tails (‘furries’) seem oddly popular! </li></ul>
    8. 8. Communication <ul><li>chat </li></ul><ul><li>IM </li></ul><ul><li>group IM </li></ul><ul><li>IM <-> email </li></ul><ul><li>voice – however support for voice fairly recent and not clear what impact it is having </li></ul>
    9. 9. Building and selling stuff <ul><li>anyone can build </li></ul><ul><li>objects made out of basic building blocks – prims (cubes, spheres, …) </li></ul><ul><li>objects can be textured for realism – but uploading costs L$10 </li></ul><ul><li>objects can be scripted </li></ul><ul><li>in-world currency enables buying and selling of goods </li></ul>
    10. 14. SL and Web 2.0? <ul><li>prosumer </li></ul><ul><li>remote apps </li></ul><ul><li>social </li></ul><ul><li>API </li></ul>
    11. 15. SL APIs <ul><li>scripting language can issue HTTP GET and POST requests </li></ul><ul><li>can integrate with Web 2.0 services </li></ul><ul><li>but significant limitations currently </li></ul><ul><li>no built-in HTML, XML or JSON parsers so need to parse externally </li></ul><ul><li>SLURLs can be bookmarked in del.icio.us </li></ul><ul><li>some good examples – Second Talk, SLoodle, SLtwitter, BlogHUD, RSS readers, Facebook </li></ul>
    12. 16. Hype <ul><li>SL very over-hyped </li></ul><ul><li>significant complaints that stats are misleading </li></ul><ul><li>i.e. worse than Web stats </li></ul><ul><li>LL have improved the way they report usage but… </li></ul><ul><li>SL also (inappropriately) touted as Web 3.0 </li></ul>
    13. 17. Usage statistics
    14. 18. Uptake in UK <ul><li>July 2007 snapshot of use of SL in UK HE and FE </li></ul><ul><li>undertaken by John Kirriemuir </li></ul><ul><li>funded by Eduserv </li></ul><ul><li>fragmented and somewhat cloudy picture </li></ul><ul><li>activity happening at multiple levels – sometime within same institution – not always visible, even within the institution </li></ul><ul><li>series of snapshots planned over next 12 months </li></ul>http://www.eduserv.org.uk/foundation/sl
    15. 19. Major findings <ul><li>some SL activity at 43 institutions </li></ul><ul><li>15 of those building an institutional presence </li></ul><ul><li>what are they doing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>small-scale activities… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>hosting exhibitions of students’ work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>researching possibilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>building tools </li></ul></ul>
    16. 20. SL and learning <ul><li>widespread interest in use of SL in education </li></ul><ul><li>explicitly encouraged by Linden Lab </li></ul><ul><li>not clear that people really know how to use SL yet </li></ul><ul><li>but some interesting examples of use </li></ul><ul><li>arts, social sciences, law, psychology, archaeology, languages, … </li></ul>
    17. 21. SL and research <ul><li>even less clear what is possible here </li></ul><ul><li>but note that Nature Publishing have an 2 islands (‘Second Nature’) </li></ul>
    18. 22. SL and libraries <ul><li>strong library community in SL </li></ul><ul><li>centred around Info Island </li></ul><ul><li>reference desk </li></ul><ul><li>information literacy </li></ul><ul><li>book-related activities </li></ul>
    19. 23. SL in context <ul><li>SL is one of many virtual worlds </li></ul><ul><li>there.com, World of Warcraft, Entropia Universe, Active Worlds, Croquet, Metaverse, … </li></ul><ul><li>not clear that SL is the answer </li></ul><ul><li>SL client now released as open source </li></ul><ul><li>clear demand for server to made OSS also </li></ul><ul><li>some commitment to this by LL (partly because people are reverse-engineering the server anyway) </li></ul>
    20. 24. Finding out more <ul><li>SLED list – run by Linden Lab, US-centric but is the main forum for learning-related SL issues </li></ul><ul><li>secondlife@jiscmasil.ac.uk (UK) </li></ul><ul><li>alliancesecondlife@googlegroups.com (libraries) </li></ul><ul><li>in-world UK Educators group (open and free to join) </li></ul><ul><li>lots of Second Life Facebook groups </li></ul><ul><li>pointers to other resources on the Linden Lab Second Life Grid education page </li></ul>http://secondlifegrid.net/programs/education
    21. 25. Conclusions… <ul><li>too much hype </li></ul><ul><li>no clear best-practice (or even much practice) around e-learning </li></ul><ul><li>high technical requirements </li></ul><ul><li>impact of voice not clear </li></ul><ul><li>but… useful experimental environment </li></ul><ul><li>building and scripting environment very powerful </li></ul><ul><li>seems likely that 3-D virtual worlds of some kind will be part of the future </li></ul>      ?
    22. 26. Conclusions… <ul><li>sustainability, ownership and privacy issues around use of and reliance on US-based commercial-run, externally hosted service </li></ul><ul><li>unclear what student perceptions and attitudes are </li></ul><ul><li>but generally accepted that SL is a minority sport at the moment and is likely to remain so </li></ul><ul><li>SL appears to be most suitable for active, constructive learning styles </li></ul> ? ? ?
    23. 27. questions…