Monday, January 26, 2009

First Dispatch: Second Life Education Support Faire

Location: The Faire!

Okay, I'm a jaded fellow in real life, but SL continues to impress me. The spirits of learning and play came together well at the Faire, which I've had the pleasure of visiting twice.

Getting oriented:
My First Day: A Virtual Ecosystem

On Sunday, a decent crowd hung out to hear the presenters at the stage in the center of the four regions that make up the Faire. Lag was present but not overwhelming, though my mic got stuck open and I had to leave the area to adjust it properly without lag.

When I came back I had to fix real-life dinner, just as Kitsune Kyomoon began to talk about the Undiscovered Florida build, " basically a inner tube ride through various ecosystems of my home state" done for the SL 5th anniversary event. This work led her to a real-life job. Now she leads the KittysTeam group, full-service architects and scripters. A pic from Undiscovered Florida follows:

Undiscovered Florida

Luckily, while I made some Spanish food, Iggy sat like a lump and logged Kitty's chat. Just visit her Team's Island (note--some adult content present) or the Undiscovered Florida build at U of South Florida to see what can be down talented builders. It also shows that good work can and should be preserved after the end of an event.

SL Education Roundtable Booth: Tote-Bags and Bald Pates

The Roundtable Booth

I spent some time greeting newcomers here. We will hold our weekly meeting on Tuesday the 27th at the Faire, at 2:30 SL time. We expect a large turn-out. Our booth is not far from the center of the four sims that make up the Faire.

As at a real-life conference, I gave out tote-bags. These contained landmarks from my student projects and freebies for men and women. You may IM me in-world or e-mail me with your avatar's name if you'd like one (iggyo -at- mac -dot- com).

AJ & Tenchi

Two good friends, class mentor Tenchi Morigi and Montclair State's AJ Brooks, were both on the scene this morning. AJ was having trouble not running his Segway into walls, and Tenchi, ever the fashionable one, having fun watching scores of fashioned-challenged academics.

Perhaps the funniest moment came when a bald woman walked into our booth, yelling that she had lost her hair. She's a faculty member at a Turkish university, and she was new to SL. We shared stories of Turkey, a nation I've traveled a few times for academic work.

I loaded her up with freebies, took her to a nice store with low-cost hair, and enrolled her in our Roundtable group. For 30 Linden dollars, I got her some great hair.

What are academic friends for? One can't walk about bald in SL. It's hard enough in the real world on cold days like today.

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