Monday, September 27, 2010

Searching in Second Life

For our annotated list assignment, I began with reviewing some of the landmarks I created previously with hopes of finding some that would work. As I was going through them, I realized that while some of them had stayed completely the same and others had moved to another island. When you create a landmark, it's truly just a physical landmark that doesn't follow an organization when they move to a new island. I think that'd be a great feature or script that would allow this. Since everything is virtual, I wonder if this increases the likelihood for sims to move and change.

Aside from checking out new sims, and definitely some really cool ones, something I greatly appreciated was the learning how to search within Second Life. I first started with using keyword searches within SL and keyword searches in Google, and had some very poor results. The majority of the things that I found were completely unrelated or sometimes returned with no results. It was frustrating, but eventually I started using the SL Destination Guide and searching by category. I find it ironic that some of the keyword searches were the same as the categories in the SL Destination Guide and that I didn't get the same results. If perhaps SL could improve their search results, perhaps it would lead to a greater transparency and sharing of resources.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Building and Readings

In my last post, I discussed how different the layout of the SL View 2.0. I'm quite glad that the building menu remains unchanged. While I have built in SL before, I think it would have been quite painful to have to learn something else. This way, I can concentrate on improving my building skills, and perhaps actually become good at it. It is quite amazing how quickly I forgot how to do simple things like remove the color of a prim so that the texture doesn't have any color tint.

In the readings for Session 3, one of the articles focused the presence of Universities present in SL and discussed their methods of how they actually found them. Me, being the nosey person that I am, decided to put their methods to the test. I know for a fact that both UH and CSULA use SL in their courses so I checked to see whether or not they would be listed. My results were interesting. In the I found that CSULA was listed but UH was not. I also found that on the SL educator list, UH was listed and CSULA wasn't. Since neither of these sources contained both schools, it makes wonder how do you accurately find all educators? Are these lists managed by anyone? Or does it require the school to contact the owners to be added to the list? I think that these are important issues to consider for future academic work in the topic of universities in SL.

Now for some randomness, it's always great to see how much taking classes and course discussions affect your point of view. Just reading the articles, I find that I pick up things that I would have simply glossed over before. One of the articles included a piece about inter-rater reliability. This is a topic that was discussed in 606, as the article utilized qualitative methods. Either in the same article or the other, they discussed the presence of games in SL. Gaming in virtual worlds is exactly what my group was working earlier this year with our game revolved around Kimo. After reading this, it encourages me to revist Kimo and perhaps continue development.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Second Life Revisited

I first became involved with using Second Life (SL) while completing a course for my Masters in early 2009. At my peak, I was able to do some basic building, and attempted basic scripting, though I was never really good at it. When I started this class this Fall, I was quite surprised to the see that the user interface had changed quite a bit.

While all the essentially functions and abilities were maintained in the new viewer, key things like the pie menu had been taken out. While it wasn't necessarily the best tool, it was familiar to me and was something that I was accustomed to see. Something else that had changed, was the inventory. The inventory was now embedded in some menu buttons on the side of the screen. I like this change since it makes the screen less cluttered. Something I really miss, is the ability to quickly jump between the public chat and private messages. When the viewer was changed, these functions were no longer bundled together, and now exist in completely separate windows. If anyone knows shortcuts, or ways to mimic the old style, I'd greatly appreciate it.

I'm glad that we had an overview of all the SL controls, since it helped me to catch up!