Second Life, Infinite Perspectives

All of these new things that I am being introduced to, now Second Life, I can barely handle first life!  It is so much to take in for someone that thought I knew ALOT about the internet.  From Twitter and Blogging to creating Avatars and SecondLife.  I spent a little longer then I realized this afternoon browsing around on Second Life and visiting the sites that we were assigned to, and much to my surprise found some pretty neat stuff.  The first place that I went was the Library that was recommended to us.

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While walking around I didn’t really see anyone then noticed all of the computers with little titles over them.  People created a virtual library with links to just about everything.  It intrigues me in that it is a way of filtering through the internet.  As Lessig talked about, a great example of collaborative action.  Every contributes their links for the greater good of the virtual library.  This process works especially well with REAL librarians all over the world making sure that everything checks out (pun intended).  I clicked on the Cowboy Adventures computer and found myself lost, browsing through places on the web I would have never seen.  Next stop was the NMC Information Mall.

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I found this to be quite helpful because of the lack of knowledge I have about how the Second Life world works or even really what it is.  I watched the “Advanced Camera Techniques” video that was literally posted on a wall in the mall(http://tinyurl.com/m8o98r) Definitely watch it.  It has proven to be very helpful for helping me take these pictures and manipulate the camera the way that I want to.  Thinking about it, this could also be a really cool way to do some “pre-visualizations” for shooting a real movie.  Other then the camera flying away, most of the moves that the camera does are completely replicable.  If someone were to build a house in Second Life that was like the movie set, they could essentially block out all of their shots before hand or have a pretty good idea of what looks good and what they like.  Just a thought.  Moving on, I went to the Space Station.

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Taking a few pictures and browsing around just as if I were a real tourist, I then set up in the air and flew around to peek at the models of space ships that had been created for the island.  A nice stop on my world tour, it really went to show that people really are building ANYTHING in this world.  A few more teleports, and I found myself at the Middlebury College Terra Project.

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Not only do they only speak spanish in this “building” but they say it outside on big billboards that plaster the walls.  Just like the article about “Second Life rape”, anyone could just as easily violate the rules here and run in speaking English without anything stopping them and without a voodoo doll.  It really just comes down to respecting what people ask for and ask you not to do because to the best of my knowledge there are no Second Life police yet!  I stopped in and admired the artwork on display in the gallery here and then headed out to catch sunset in Dublin.

One of the glitches about a program like this is the speed at which a “world” loads.  I had a lot of trouble here because of how long it took to load everything (buildings, posters, modeling, textures, music playing in the streets etc.)  That did not stop me from doing some wandering though.  Dublin had some cool stores and buildings.  In one, I found the “Dublin Literary Pub Crawl” which apparently was a quest I could set out on to combine finding great literary works and great Dublin bars.  I did not indulge because of all the literary works I have to deal with tonight in First Life but I am sure that it would have been an interesting journey to go on.

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I ended my adventure flying around Dublin and admiring the sunset that reflected off of the endless ocean, separating this island from the next.  Though time consuming with all of the loading, I enjoyed the sharing and community that this online world has to offer.  It can be used in many ways and I’m sure that as time goes on, they will only keep expanding.

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