Wednesday, August 28, 2013

VWER Educators Discuss the Linden Discount

Location: Back in Second Life, Briefly

On August 15, I guest moderated the VWER meeting and decided it was time to chat about the new tier discount in SL, to see what others think or are doing.

The complete transcript of our meeting can be found here. Meanwhile, it's safe to say that a few "wants" emerged from our meeting, even as Linden Lab reinstates its discount:
  • An educational continent: this was on the Linden radar in 2010, before the company suddenly fired its staff who supported education.  We'd get a lot of synergy from proximity, and we'd also be able to rent parcels smaller than an entire sim, in a setting with others like us.
  • Linden staff tasked to support education: As in "full-time and on-call." The software vendors I deal with, as I pay them far less annually than what we'd pay in discounted Linden tier, have these helpers by the phone during US business hours. Many at the VWER meeting felt that Linden Lab could afford concierge service for education, too.
  • An educational portal online: It's just an embarrassment to show educators and administrators the socially focused SL Web site, let alone the racy content of Marketplace. We need something that looks like education, not reality TV.
  • Fixing permissions for group builds: We need a new level of permissions so that student builders (who graduate) can not only transfer content to a team but cede "Creator" setting so the content can be exported, backed up, and linked for builds.  While we are at it, how about some off-world backups of the IP we create?
Great ideas, all. I am not holding my breath.

Though I personally think it's too late to bring education back to SL, or even reversing the continuing loss of land-mass in the once popular virtual world, if the Lindens are serious about it, these steps would help.  There are other choices out there beyond OpenSim; Educators now can export virtual-worlds content to worlds employing Unity 3D content.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What Rod Humble Saw

Location: Linden Lab Secret Facility

Now we know the CEO's experience with the Oculus Rift. I think the new-projects team went right out to Vesuvio and got plastered.