Tuesday, March 6, 2012

First Simulation in New Second Life House of Usher

The Return of the House of Ush...
Location: Virtual House of Usher

"What do you think of our home, my friend?" I asked this in character as Roderick Usher, as three students in Rawlslyn Francis' writing course at Florida State College at Jacksonville completed the simulation.

"It's big," one of my "old friends" answered, in character.

The SL build is the same size as the House at Jokaydia Grid, but I've made a few tweaks to the structure to add some interesting small rooms. That may well add to the sense of size.  Since I've not let furnished all the rooms, I improvised a bit of Usher madness when Roderick showed a guest an empty room and said "this is your room. I just had it cleaned."

"Where is the bed?" I was asked, so I answered "oh, in the corner," then wandered off in a daze.

I hammed it up a bit, and Professor Francis, in the role of Madeline, did a good job of her end of the roleplay.  I used an SL pistol to fire rounds at the rats in the Crypt, pretended to not hear obvious noises or startle at others no one else heard. In the end, my sister and the guests left me locked in the innermost vault of the family Crypt, where Roderick stood, by the door, mumbling variations of the password he'd forgotten.

This was good fun for one and all. The group did not find some of the new props and seemed hard pressed to find the clues notecards put everywhere. I don't quite know why, since my Richmond students bordered on the rude in seeking them out to "solve the mystery."

I had time to quickly send each student a motive for their visit, and two of them did well exploiting this during the simulation.

The short orientation out of character that my class had might have accounted for this difference. One of the visitors last night had only been in SL once before. She IMed me that she was struggling with the user interface, but I left enough hints that, in the end, she came up with the secret password to open Madeline's tomb.

I look forward to a guest post by Professor Francis here, soon.

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