Monday, January 19, 2009

GMU Class to Try the Race/Gender Switch in Second Life

Student Building Project
I'm pleased to hear that a class at George Mason will ask students in Second Life to change their race or gender.

Kristin Scott's course, Cyberculture, has both a wiki and class blog that I plan to follow this semester. Our own Terran Timeless will mentor her students as well as they explore SL.

My only suggestion to the class, so far, based on our experience with Eng. 103's project last fall, would be to choose gender-neutral names when creating the avatars or be prepared to use an alt. So many students felt awkward with names that clearly did not match their gender: to steal a line from Johnny Cash, it's the Boy Named Sue phenomenon.

I'm hoping that Professor Scott's class locates some decent dark skins for males. We had a tough time with this in my Fall 2008 class and a recent post by Wagner James Au supports the notion that dark skins for men are hard to locate.

I'll post updates about the GMU class from time to time here. Good luck, students!

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