Friday, November 20, 2009

Students Run Wild in SL!

Location: Richmond Island, Arm Draped Over Forehead

It had to happen, eventually, in Second Life: I teach a class that bonded enough that they began to have FUN without too much prompting. This does not happen often enough in college courses, especially at my school, where so much emphasis gets placed on rigor for its own sake.

Lately, the students have begun to bring their laptops to the lab, where we don't have SL loaded. Others would download the client on the faster desktop machines.

What got them over their initial caution? Guided experiences in-world. I am pleased that so many of them went to Burning Life. Unlike 2008, this year I added a required blog-post about attending an event in SL, and that led to a few getting into uncomfortable situations, but more of them were able to interact with SLers and find out that they are not--mostly--misfits or perverts. The few who did have problems learned about muting and "unfriending" the persistently annoying avatars they encountered.

As a result I have "Thumper" cavorting as a giant rabbit (and pleased that the owner of the avatar slipped in a "Harvey" reference). I have "Riley" in butterfly wings (and bald) hanging out at the Public Orientation Island.


It may be a crazy world, but this class at least got to see a world, not merely a collection of empty, if beautiful, sims.

More soon on what they found when they changed race or gender.

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