Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Jokaydia Grid Orientations for Nevermore
Location: Virtual House of Usher, Nevermore Island
Of seventeen students in my "Invented Worlds" course, fifteen opted for the "take-home exam," consisting of a one-hour orientation to OpenSim and then a ninety-minute "expedition" to the House of Usher on Nevermore Island.
Officially, it's my fifth time in a virtual world with a class, and only my second with an OpenSim derivative. Time required to set this up? Twelve hours for setting up avatars and orientation, sixty for building and scripting in Jokaydia Grid since we left Second Life.
I'll just post a few pictures today, since no one was in-character as a participant in an 1847 adventure based on Poe's story. I was surprised, and pleasantly so, by the students' adeptness with level-one VW skills. Moving, finding and opening notecards, IMing and chatting were no barriers. I also showed them how to capture chat and take snapshots.
The orientation sessions also helped me add immersive elements to the simulation, such as invisible prims under the Tarn so avatars could not go diving in over their heads. I also got ideas, watching over students' shoulders, where I should hide more clues and more atmospheric elements to the build.
Many thanks to Jokay Wollongong, who did a quick sim-restart and provided advice for this large group...not to mention a quick list of account names and passwords! She's even working on a few accounts, individually, where student avatars would not rezz for other participants.
Though I kept wishing for some of Second Life's bells and whistles, I did at least see that in either virtual world, small-group orientations accomplish a great deal in one hour.