Monday, September 1, 2008

We've moved!

The official SLLC blog at BGSU has now moved to:

Blogs.bgsu.edu/SecondLife

Please redirect your subscription settings there. Thank you!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

5 tips for Students on the SLED blog!

SLED® Blog
Beginning of the Year Tips: Five Things Students Should Know Before Creating Their Second Life Accounts

It’s August which means, of course, back to school time! The SLed mailing is is abuzz with questions about account creation, syllabus guidelines, and other issues related to bringing new students into the Second Life grid for the first time.

Let’s start with tips about account creation!
Read more at the link above!

Tracking in SL with cams



Original Post at Mobitrends: http://www.mobitrends.com/2008/08/27/head-tracking-in-second-life/

I someone at SIGGRAPH from Carnegie Melon who told me that 8 of their grads in the HCI dept went on to an internship for Linden Labs and were working on just such a thing (Mitch Kapor mentioned it at SLB5). But I'm not sure that this is the same team.

Likewise, this team is using a regular webcam... Mitch and his team are using the Zcam, which runs roughly about $250-300 (what I was told at SIGGRAPH). See the demo for that below

Zcam, webcam 3D - Second Life


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

SL and students

I'm not sure who said this quote or where I heard it, but when I did I knew I'd been hit with some real wisdom:

"There are two types of people in this world, those that believe people can be categorized into two types and everyone else."


I would consider myself in the latter group, however when it comes to discussing educational and student adoption (or lack thereof) in Second Life it seems that many fellow bloggers and researchers would rather segregate and divide users into two easy-to-explain groups. Educators and students. Gen X'ers and M Gens. Us and them. It's hard to believe that in this complex and diverse world that anyone can really think they can quantify such groups so easily.

If you travel across the country and speak with educators from very different geographical locations, in higher ed or K-12, with students from very different socioeconomic backgrounds you know that such categorization is simply not helpful. I've ranted about the so-called 'Digital Native' before, so perhaps you're with me on this. But hopefully, you can see the difference between learners in your own classrooms and conclude that grouping all-students-everywhere into one group and then making blanket assumptions about them would just seem silly.

Some recent online articles trying to make sense of education and student involvement in SL do just that however. I thought I'd take a quick minute to point out a few, their salient points and the views that seem detrimental to the continuing research in this area.

First, is "How we should encourage cheating in youngsters" by Roland Legrand over at the Metanomics blog. The article points out that students could be engaging in "'collaborative co-creation' using the internet-tools at thier disposal" and "challenging the underpinnings of education like it is organized now". I believe this sentiment to be very accurate, with educators encouraging such innovations by promoting such online tools as wikis, blogs, Facebook and more. However, he goes on to ask such questions as:
"So are these Millennials the perfect flexible, collaborative inspired
people who will transform society and the economy, and who will stream
into virtual worlds such as Second Life as soon as some virtual
evangelists make them discover those virtual environments?" (italics added)

And even quotes Feldspar Epstien's post in The Metavers Journal, Students vs. Second Life:

In Second Life, the gap between Generation X and the Millennial Generation comes sharply into focus (...):

1. Second Life is primarily filled with Generation X’ers,
unintentionally creating a socially unwelcoming environment for
Millennials;

2. Generation X’ers know how to play in the freeform manner that
Second Life requires, whereas Millennials typically do not display that
skill.


While this observation may be insightful and seemingly on que (with everyone else making such categorizations)... is it really helpful? It is true that the average age of the SL user is 30+, but even out of that demographic the percentage of actual Generation X'ers grows smaller with many users being older than the Gen X'er. It's also hard to say that they/we are "unintentionally creating a socially unwelcoming environment," as if all of Second Life was made of the SAME kind of environment. Also, I'd like to see something that says all Millennials do not display the skillset to play in a freeform manner. I know that some of my Millennial students do... some do not. Again, two types and everyone else.

Over at Second Thoughts, the post "Why The Kids Aren't Alright" sums up student users SL experience by looking at their Blog Hud posts, the amount of users on a virtual campus on a Friday night, and a theory of "boredom" reified by one of the student interns at Metanomics.

Most of all, he hated that he couldn't grief people. See, that's the
reality of this generation, and why we need to wait another generation
for virtual worlds to be used effectively, until the griefing impulse
is bred out of this current one, raised on violent video games, or at
least, until there is enough of an institutionalization of virtual
worlds that they are able to successfully restrain the griefing genes.
Violent video games? Really? Give up and wait until the next generation comes along?

I can't say that there isn't reason to believe that certain individuals in the Gen M population don't like violence, even in my own experiences at BGSU. For example, last year Dr. Dena Eber held a student art critique in which two of her students 'crashed' (mildly greifed) the event by attending as horrific avatars. Since this was an art class the so-called griefing seemed appropriate, even performance like. This interpretation was reinforced for me when I attended the MUVE session at Siggraph last week in which Mick Brady (Chrome Underwood, Live Teams Manager at the Serious Game Design Institute) called griefing something like 'the most interesting and important thing happening in Second Life artwork'. (Please note that these were 2 students out of a class of 20... 10%. Imho, that's probably about the same percentage of student population that these articles are accurately referencing.)

Even AJ Tan, the intern at Metanomics whose blog post on boredom was referenced above, goes so far as to say:
In my experience, the demographic of Second Life residents is roughly
in the mid- to late-thirties. For me, these individuals represent
“real” adults who do not celebrate the end of finals week or the
advertisement of a city-wide bar crawl.
As a thirty-something Second Lifer and educator, let me just say... I do celebrate the end of finals week. I'd also like to point out that not all of my students are drunks interested in keg-stands, bar crawls, and/or violent video games. AJ's post on his experiences in SL are a wonderful addition to this discussion however, we need to see more student blogs, responses, and polls in order to better understand what the 'students' are really getting out of SL; students of various ages, geographical locations, races, socioeconomic and technological backgrounds who may offer a wider range of analysis than the tech savy Gen M raised on violent video games.

I would also challenge those intent on changing education - are we creating socially welcoming environments? Are you providing your students with a platform for reward advancement, much like an mmorpg? (I see this as a typical letter grade approach really.) Or are you pushing your students toward freeform play in which information can be applied and developed into a product of learning achievement, much like the structure of SL?


Monday, August 18, 2008

Second Life 3d

At Siggraph 08, last week in LA, I was fortunate to meet someone from " 3D Embodiment", a company out of Colorado specializing in immersive experiences for the digital world. One of their Second Life projects uses 3D glasses and a Nordic track to immerse the viewer in the experience of skiiing. Check it out by clicking on the link to the right of the page marked "Interactive 3D skiing."

http://3demb.com/

Monday, August 11, 2008

SL in a Browser

We all knew the day would come... Finally some really big break through news on running SL in a browser. The biggest news: there are several SL browser projects trying different methods.

New World Notes reports

As seen in Firefox:

Using XABP on Firefox to embed the Second Life browser in a web page

Running on Xenki

More about Xenki

Need in-depth knowledge/opinions from an expert?



As seen in IE:



inDuality - 3d universal client

Or try the PC plug-in developed (in part) by IBM


All of this because of the OpenSim and open source projects surrounding SL. There are good and bad points to how this will change the web experience - how it may or may not be integrated. Whether you want SL to run in a browser or your favorite browser (Firefox) to run in SL... You may eventually get both!

And of course if you haven't heard, the brilliant teenager Katherine Berry, creator of the AjaxLife browser interface for SL, has now released it as an app on the iPhone.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Wheelies Radio Interview

Our own Linda Mandlebaum, along with Wheelies creator Simon Walsh and Pathfinder Linden are interviewed on radio.

Listen here. KPFK.org

KPFK

Thursday, July 31, 2008

SL Teacher's Toolkit


Second Life Teacher's Toolkit

From: umhealthscienceslibraries, 1 month ago





A brief, half hour presentation for the School of Dentistry Bootcamp series, reduced from a 2 hour session taught in Second Life during Enriching Scholarship 2008.


SlideShare Link

Getting Started in SL


Getting Started in Second Life

From: umhealthscienceslibraries, 1 year ago





Part 2 of a 2 part series designed to engage health and science academicians with Second Life for teaching and research. Part 2 focuses on necessary skills and streamlining the learning process to become active in Second Life (especially getting through Orientation and Help Islands efficiently).


SlideShare Link

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Scratch - scripting help

Scratch for Second Life
What is Scratch for Second Life (S4SL)?
S4SL is a new easy way to add behaviors and interactivity to your objects in Second Life. S4SL is based on Scratch, a graphical programming language that lets you construct programs by snapping together graphical blocks. With S4SL, you can snap together a few blocks to make your SL pet interact with you using chat commands, make your sculpture change size and color, or make your house respond to your presence.




Blackboard, Second Life, and more....

Taken from Rod's Pulse Podcast

    • Interview with Mauri Collins, DEd, Instructional Designer, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV
      • Dr.
        Collins is also an adjunct assistant professor at Boise State
        University, where she co-teaches an innovative course: Teaching and
        Learning in Second Life. She has been involved with computer-mediated
        communication since 1987 and worked in distance education since 1992.
      • Her presentation shared teacher and learner experiences for those who plan to teach using Second Life.
    • Second Life and Learning Spaces
      • "it's not just pixels on a screen"
      • "Testicle in the Sky" (Slurl) by DrDoug Pennell (SL) aka Dr. Douglas R. Danforth of Ohio State University
      • "Prim" - primitives, basic building blocks in SL
Listen here.

Wheelies up for an award!

Second Life nightclub up for an award | News | TechRadar UK

http://research.richcollaboration.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/wheelies_sim.jpg
It may have been destroyed by cyber-vandals when it was first opened in 2006, but Wheelies, the virtual nightclub for people with disabilities, has been put up for a UK Catalyst award.

The virtual club's creator Simon Stevens, from Coventry, has been put in a short-list for the People's Choice Award that celebrates community on the web. Other entrants include: The Wiki Project, My Neighbourhoods, and Boom! Boom!.

Congratulations to Simon, Linda, and everyone else who has worked on Wheelies!



Monday, July 21, 2008

New "Browser-Based" Virtual Worlds

There has recently been an outcropping of virtual world platforms that run in your browser. Some seem to hold some promise and others seem a bit lackluster. Only time will tell what survives.

Small Worlds - PC & Mac
A Flash based virtual world with minimal camera movement, API for widgets, and the possibility of opening the world to allow Flash game developers to create content.



Happy Features:
  • Easy widget interface to stream/showcase YouTube videos, Flickr pictures, and Last.fm music.
  • Avatars are a bit cartoony, although they are LESS cartoony than the current champ of browser based virtual worlds: Gaia Online (the less cartoony feature is the happy part)¹
  • Easy to use and well designed interface (however, within a browser there is only so much screen real estate - unless you have a large monitor)
  • No download required (unless you don' t have Flash player installed for your browser, in which case you have your own issues).
Downside:
  • Limited camera movement: Constant 45 degree angle with rotations at 90, 180, 270, & 360.
  • Avatar options are limited, very similar to the Wii's Mii creations.
  • Economy based on XP and gold gained from missions, not from user created interplay
  • Missions are not nearly as fun as the children's vw Build-A-Bearville (seriously)
  • Using Amazon S3 and therefore susceptible to outages... I experienced this yesterday actually.

¹ Gaia Online is ranked 6th according to GigaOM among MMOs, but seemingly #1 among 3d social spaces for adults. It doesn't look like its for adults but there are plenty there. I blogged about their YouTube and Sony Pictures features way back in January.


Lively by Google
- PC only
A recent contender by a big name. I really have no idea what they are thinking.



Happy Features:
  • Embeddable 3d room onto your website (I don't think it works in a blog, at least not yet - I tried to post it here).
  • Facebook plugin
  • Meet people in your private or public rooms, animations allow you to body slam them silly
  • Widgets for YouTube, Flickr photos (no longer working), and soon to be more.
  • Pop-out window with full controls
  • Easily search for other people/spaces (come on... it's Google)
Downside:
  • Horrid interface:
  • - camera jerks around, , looses the viewer in the environment, clunky to use
  • - even placing furniture is a drag for a more experienced SL user, jumping from wall to wall not exactly ending up where you want it.
  • Limited character creation options. Although there is enough diversity to recreate an episode of Drawn Together
  • Not available for Mac. What?
  • Download required (plugin). Creates a desktop icon that does NOT launch Lively
  • Free objects/economy (at this moment in Beta)
  • Facebook plugin takes you through set-up everytime (a bug, I hope)
  • Animations promote griefing (as if the interface wasn't bad enough, sometimes all you can do is watch yourself get pummeled by other users)
  • No integration with anything Google except GTalk (which I can't even get to work)
**Update: Even Gartner thinks Lively isn't that exciting. Their advice: wait and watch. Read here: http://www.gartner.com/DisplayDocument?doc_cd=159757**

Just Leap In
- PC & (supposedly) Mac
The newest of the new - built by digital artists and promising better graphic quality for 3D worlds (if your computer can hack it...)



Happy Features:
  • Interface is slightly above average. Better than Lively worse than Small Worlds
  • Upload your own videos or pictures (music coming soon) to share with friends
  • Embeddable 3d room onto your website OR blog (check it out below)
  • Pop out to larger window (see downside for the same)
  • Excellent graphics! Again, only if your computer can handle them. My PC at home needs a new graphics card but I was able to boost the graphics to check out the lighting features and water in an outdoor environment. To move around without much lag I had to push the graphic quality down to the 1st setting.
  • Portals connect you to friends rooms




Downside:

  • Could not get it to run on my MacBook Pro. The people at JLI told me it was due to:
We suspect that your MacBook Pro with the 8600M GT @ 128 MB VRAM is running into a recently announced NVIDIA graphics board fault (http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=2172 and http://www.engadget.com/2008/07/10/all-nvidia-8400m-8600m-chips-faulty/). We understand that new drivers will be released shortly by OEMs that would minimize the problem. We're also working on some workarounds for our next Player update in a week's time so that we can keep the issue - and full utilization of the card - from affecting our users.
  • Using Amazon S3 and therefore susceptible to outages
  • No economy. No stores, no gold, no xp. Everything is in your inventory and everything is free.
  • Popout window controls are limited to camera movement. This is bad because you have to work in an even smaller window (again with the screen real estate issues) when decorating.
  • NO AVATARS! Ok, I know it's beta but really? It is on the list for upcoming additions. For now however, you can put one of the avatars in your 3d space so they can stand their and scratch their heads (they do!).
  • System to search for other spaces/people is quite ugly.

Final Notes:
There was a really great rant by __ the other day I picked off Twitter. He complained that all of these companies were promoting 3d vw's that claimed to allow you to really be you... but that the simplicity of the graphics for each character were unable to really capture you. Studying what a virtual self really is through art is one thing I've been working on for the last year. How much farther from the self you believe yourself to be will these worlds take us? Will we find immersion in ways we find it in SL?

Also, the development of these economies will be of key interest. Some of them have no economy and some have game like ones. Where SL seems to stive is in its user created content and the economy that it creates. Will the economy for these worlds become one only for the widget, flash, plug-in developers? And how will the economy of space work out? If these worlds are giving everyone a 3d space and Linden Labs wants to continue making money on selling space how will this affect the user base? I think it's great everyone can have/share a room on a website, but if the diversity of those spaces is limited because of the content 'given' vs. content created then there really won't be much out there as far as interesting environments.

One more thing. Here's a ss of me imaginining a day when I'm in SL with several browsers in front of me jumping between several other browser based virtual worlds:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Web Browser in SL



Check it out on the BGSU Community Island here:

http://slurl.com/secondlife/BGSU%20Community/130/40/29


Daden Navigator - A Web Browser for Second Life

PRESS RELEASE

15th July 2008 - For Immediate Release

Daden Launches Web Browser for Second Life

The first publicly available web browser for Second Life was
launched today by virtual world consultants Daden Limited. The browser,
called the Daden Navigator, allows residents of the virtual world to
collaboratively browse the web, sharing one web screen between users
who may, in real life, live on different continents.



Purchase it here for :

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Daden%20Prime/206/204/26



Original video from Daden:

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Check us out!


The BGSU Virtual Campus in Second Life has recently added three new islands to its growing continent! The islands are named BGSU Collaborate, BGSU Community, and BGSU Interaction and the original island will be renamed BGSU Creation. Regular visitors should note that renaming the existing island will not change any SLURLS or landmarks.

Over the next couple of weeks you will notice that existing structures and environments may be relocated to new areas and new construction will begin on the 4 islands. Some SLURLS and landmarks may need to be adjusted accordingly. We will also be making improvements to the telehub area, making it easier to traverse the larger continent.

If you are a BGSU faculty member or student and would like to request specific classroom space or you have other needs, please let us know as it may help our planning process. Also, keep an eye out for our "Call for Participation" that will be posted here and on our site within the next week. As always we encourage and welcome your feedback.

That's not all!
Our student employee, Nick Schroeder, has recently completed work on our new logo! We're happy to show off the new design for the BGSU Virtual Campus inSL.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Wheelies in the news again!

Translated version of http://www.ichduihr.de/?p=45

Check out this google-translated news article from Germany about Linda Mandlebaum's Wheelies club.

UPDATE: Thanks to the article's author, Tabea Schmitt, we now have a correctly translated copy of the article (printed below with permission).

Second Chance in Second Life

DJ Namav is dancing on the dancefloor. He is wearing a tight, multi-coloured shirt with a batik pattern over his washed-out jeans. He has smooth, black hair and wears a full beard – just like his Alter Ego in "real life“, Nick Dupree. In "real life“, Nick from Mobile, Alabama has muscular dystrophy and relies on a ventilator to breathe. He cannot move his body without help - except for his thumb. His thumb allows his avatar to dance in Second Life now, per mouse click.

Every Sunday, Namav spins his sets at “Wheelies” Club – the first virtual danceclub for people with disabilities. A camel is standing right next to him on the dancefloor. The camel is Namav´s permanent companion. “It collects tips,” he tells me.

Does that work?

“Yes, pretty good.”

Some of the guests at Wheelie´s come in a wheelchair. Others don´t. “It´s a matter of self-image,” says Simon Stevens, who founded the club in 2006. His avatar, Simon Walsh, was one of the first to appear in a wheelchair in Second Life. “I didn´t feel like representing someone other than myself. I have cerebral palsy in both worlds.”

New rules of the game

An avatar in a wheelchair? Simon broke a “taboo” in a world, where many want to be as perfect as possible: slim, sportive, sexy. His avatar took a piece of reality into the net – even if Simon Walsh was “still younger and smoother than Simon Stevens. And he´s not drooling…!”

There are daily events at the Wheelies - parties, discussions, story telling. Simon estimates the community to around 500 members worldwide: “Approximately 50 people come here a week. On big events, we full the sim!”

Second Life Chat:

Second Life chat with Simon Walsh and Namav Abramovic

[20:49] Tabiia: (have) you always used a wheelchair

[20:49] Tabiia: im second life, simon?

[20:49] Simon: yes….

[20:50] Simon, except when I swim

[20:50] Simon, then I (use a life jacket)

[20:49] Simon: namav how do you think about wheel chair?

[20:49] Namav: I sometimes take only one…

[20:51] Simon: (self image) is crucial.

[20:52] Simon: I have a (self image) from the "real" living

[20:52] Simon, that I also show in second life.

[20:52] Tabiia simon, second life is a "game"?

[20:52] Simon: (nnnnnooooooooooooooo)

[20:52] Simon: SECOND LIFE IS NOT A GAME.

[20:53] Tabiia: second life, you can define for me?

[20:53] Simon: it is a "complex phone call"

[20:53] Simon: a new form of media

[20:54] Simon, a social network.

[20:54] Simon: we are all "real" here

[20:54] Simon: (except) the kamel….

“Real life” strikes back

Simon put a lot of money into his virtual venue. The plot, the club, the DJs and live performers: everything costs money in Second Life, too. The club had to move to a new venue in March 2008 and is now enthroned in a virtual sky. This sky is owned by Polgara Paine.

In “real life”, Polgara Paine is called Lind H. Mandlebaum. She is an associate professor at Bowling Green State University where she teaches Special Education. “The Wheelies brings people together who need each other. It provides a social network for people with and without disbility. I won´t allow it to disappear.”

The party goes on

It has become late at the Wheelies. Polgara Paine comes over to the dancefloor to Simon and Namav: “I can´t keep my eyes open, I´m going to bed.” Simon is tired, too. In Britain, it´s five o´clock in the morning. “Good night, ya all!” Simon and Polgara disappear. But the party keeps going: Namav is explaining to a guest why his camel is not a dromedar. Other people around them are dancing. More people just arrived.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Quit - a new machinima by Anthony Fontana

I wanted to share with all of you the newest version of my machinima titled "Quit". In this work the avatar is given the controls to his own destiny, through the general UI controls we perhaps take for granted. The concept stems from how much we (the residents who populate virtual worlds) value our virtual lives which, in some regards, are not nearly as fragile as our own lives.

Monday, May 19, 2008

SL AI

Wired News - AP News: "TROY, N.Y. (AP) -- Edd Hifeng barely merits a second glance in 'Second Life.' A steel-gray robot with lanky limbs and linebacker shoulders, he looks like a typical avatar in the popular virtual world.

But Edd is different."

Read more here.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Environmental Disaster Hits BGSU Virtual Campus, Faculty Member Saves the Day

(Bowling Green, OH) – On Tuesday, April 22nd the Bowling Green State University Virtual Campus in Second Life® held a "Birth/ Earth Day Celebration" in commemoration of the first birthday of the virtual island. The celebration included poetry readings, live DJs, art exhibition openings, and an Earth Day scavenger hunt. During the scavenger hunt, the island was devastated by the effects of global climate change. In the past week, factories emitting black smoke appeared around the island. The sandbox, an open area for building objects, transformed into a paved parking lot full of cars. The island, unable to sustain the polluting effects of these new additions, began to change. The water levels rose and covered 80% of the island flooding the classrooms, Writing Center, Performance Center and Zen Garden. The trees on the island turned brown and died. The grassy areas became an arid wasteland and turned brown. Icebergs carrying stranded polar bears appeared around the island. This catastrophic event complicated the Earth Day scavenger hunt and made it extremely difficult for the participants to find the hidden clues. The scavenger hunt contestants were asked to find 10 items that contained clues on what they could do to prevent global climate change in the real world.

Despite the challenging environment and the difficulty of finding the clues, there emerged a winner. Linda Mandlebaum, BGSU Professor in the Department of Intervention Services, collected the 10 items and answered the five questions correctly. As the participants discovered the various clues on how to save the earth, the environmental damage began to reverse itself. The water receded, the trees turned green, and the parking lot disappeared. Dr. Mandlebaum won 2,000 Linden dollars for being the first to “save the island.” She donated her winnings to Wheelies, a center for disabled residents in Second Life.

The Birth/Earth Day Celebration was simultaneously broadcast on a large projection screen in the lobby of the Bowen Thompson Student Union on the BGSU campus and in Second Life on the virtual campus. Barbara Toth, director of the BGSU Writing Center hosted the poetry readings. The art exhibitions included an installation artwork by Jeff Lovett, a visiting artist from Ohio University, and work by graduate students from the Digital Arts division of the School of Art. The live music was performed by DJ What the Bleep, a TCOM student and VCT student, DJ PsysiX. The event was coordinated by Anthony Fontana and Bonnie Mitchell, both professors in the School of Art, with the help of the Ohio Learning Network Second Life Learning Community members at BGSU and Second Life student assistants.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Second Life streaming to your mobile phone by Vollee

Vollee has registration available for free beta at http://www.volee.com/secondlife

Friday, April 11, 2008

Poetry Reading


There were several faculty and students who gathered with Second Life residents to share poetry in the new BGSU Writing Center on Friday April 11th.

The event, which coincided with a writing consultation on the lower level, used voice chat and notecards (text documents) to deliver the poems.

One of the things we learned from this reading, was to keep in mind the distance between events when coordinating multiple events that will use voice or local chat.

There will be another poetry reading and open mic before the end of April. Please refer to the BGSU Second Life calendar or Facebook group for details.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Wheelies

"Wheelies: Under new management" from SLNN.com

Simon Walsh, founder of Wheelies Nightclub, announced Sunday that he was resigning his role as overall manager of Wheelies Nightclub. Wheelies Nightclub has been an important fixture in Second Life for many, one that Mr. Walsh has worked tirelessly to build.
Our very own, Polgara Paine has become the Director of Wheelies.
Ms. Paine has been active in Second Life since May 2005. She is a professor of special education at the School of Intervention Services at Bowling Green State University. During the transition, Wheelies will continue at a temporary location. Moving forward, Ms. Paine intends to establish a board of directors and to raise funds to make Wheelies sustainable on a long-term basis. The first fundraising event is scheduled to take place on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day as part of a grand opening of their new space.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Tips for getting around




To have your students share locations they find in SL they can do it several different ways:

To save a location (called a landmark)
:
  1. Click on World in the main menu bar
  2. Click 'Create landmark here'
  3. A window will open showing the info of the landmark including it's name (at the top of the window). That landmark can be found under the landmarks folder in your inventory or found by typing the location name into the inventory search bar.

To create a list of landmarks:
  1. Open your inventory and click 'Create'
  2. Then select 'New note'
  3. A new notecard window will open. Drag the landmarks you would like to use in your list into the notecard. Textures, snapshots, and other notecards may also be dropped into a notecard.
  4. Finally, rename the notecard by right-clicking (or crtl/ cmd+click) on it in your inventory. Select rename.

To create a list of landmarks using the SLURL system (Second Life URL):
  1. Open the map by clicking on the map button on your toolbar.
  2. Click 'Save location to clipboard'. This SLURL may be pasted into a notecard (crtl/cmd+V) or entered into a document on your computer or in your internet browser (where you may then save to your bookmarked favorites or del.icio.us account).

Friday, February 29, 2008

SL Network Issues

You may have noticed some increased performance when using Second Life on campus over the last several days (I know we did well at our meeting on Tuesday!). Chris Wammes, our ITS LC member emailed me the other day:

We have worked with our networking software vendor to target Second Life traffic on our network and give it a higher priority. This should solve the latency issues that you have been experiencing when using Second Life on campus. Please forward this information on to the SLLC and any other users of Second Life.

And added:

We have added rules to... our packet shaping software, to identify Second Life traffic based on Second Life subnets and the ports that they are listening on.

We would like to thank Chris and ITS for making these improvements. If you continue to have problems with lag on campus be sure to submit a ticket (and CC me) so we can diagnose the problem.

PS. The client of Second Life has a 'Lag Meter' composed of simple red, yellow, green lights that you can use to determine where a lag problem is coming from. These lights indicate whether the Client, Network, and Server are running at normal. Here's a video tutorial on performance by Torley Linden:


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Feb 12th. - Lance R. Williams

On Feb. 12th, 2008 Professor of Computer Science Lance R. Williams from the University of New Mexico gave a demonstration of his work with the programing language Scheme in Second Life to the BGSU SL Learning Community.



The learning community was thoroughly impressed with Prof. Williams work with "distributed computation in the area of CS which deals with dividing the pieces of a computation up and distributing them across many computers which communicate over a network." Williams has built and scripted all of his work in Second Life at the BGSU sandbox. "SL is an ideal testbed for research in dist. computation because of its programming model... scripts are tiny...and limited to 16K, which is many thousands of times less memory than most comp. scientists are used to working with." By distributing the algorithms and data structures across hundreds of different objects, the 16K limit for a single script can be overcome."

Williams showed three different evaluators for the Scheme programming language. Each evaluator was comprised of hundreds of scripted objects which communicate with each other to effect the computation. Learning community members were very interested in the artistic nature of what Williams calls the "reification" of the programs, or the physical embodiment of something which is normally purely abstract. One of the virtual machines William's presented to the learning community resembled a school of swimming fish which was not simply a visualization of a distributed data structure, but literally the data
structure itself; the functional elements of a distributed virtual machine,
operating wholly inside the virtual world of Second Life.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Second Skin

Monday, February 4, 2008

What do phones have to do with it?

I would just like to call your attention to the video below. This is a demo of an phone using the open android platform (or the google phone). Please fast forward the video to 4:25 to see the phone running the video game Quake, who's graphics are on the same level as Second Life.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

B!G on Respect - Sandbox Rules



The B!G on Respect campaign continues in our Sandbox. Running a sandbox, or public building space, in Second Life may seem like a daunting task. Users must respect each other's space and abide by the rules. One of the things that makes our sandbox a great place to socialize and work is the level of respect each user gives one another. Our new slogan, "B!G on Respect," will stay posted in the sandbox to promote a high level of courtesy towards our fellow Second Life resident.

Friday, January 18, 2008

B!G on Respect


BGSU Second Life Island: B!G on Respect

Human Relations Commission, Bowling Green State University, 10 January 2008

To promote an atmosphere of respect, tolerance, and civility in Second Life, the BGSU Human Relations B!G on Respect logo will be displayed throughout the island, specifically in the sandbox. Free buttons and T-shirts featuring the logo will also be available in Second Life.

This BGSU Second Life initiative represents part of the BGSU Human Relations Big on Respect Campaign, beginning this month in both SL and RL.

Contact Barb Toth, HRC Chair, at btoth@bgnet.bgsu.edu for more information.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

First SLLC meeting of 2008



The Ohio Learning Network Second Life Learning Community in Northwest Ohio (whew!) met for the first time this year and discussed recent projects in Second Life. Radhika Gajjala is working with two graduate students on the a bi-lingual educational exchange project (English and Japanese).



Cassandra Jones is teaching "Women in Sci-Fi," an American Culture Studies class. She is using Second Life to explore fandom and the many ways in which people express their interest or participate in fandom. Cassandra lead the group on a field trip to the Star Trek Museum of Culture in Second Life. We were also joined by Montana Miller, Richard Anderson from Psychology and Chris Wammes from ITS.



A portion of the discussion was focused on creating a survey for students using Second Life. What sort of initial reactions, experiences, or change in online practice did Second Life facilitate? Perhaps these responses change over time as the students become more familiar with the virtual world.



We also dedicated a short amount of time looking at:
  • A "chat logger" which records local chat even when your avatar is not there
  • The new planetarium on BGSU island (SLURL) and
  • The ongoing construction of the Writing Center on the BGSU virtual campus (SLURL).