Funny Second Life response

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I wrote an admittedly silly, sensationalist piece on Second Life and other virtual worlds entitled Why Second Life and other virtual worlds will never be relevant, which got picked up by the community over at SL Exchange. The responses to the article I wrote were not, to be honest, entirely positive😉.

The kind of stuff you’ll read on the forum will tell you in no uncertain terms about what kind of person I am, and what my opinions are worth. One of the commentators from SL Exchange actually added a comment on the article, which was really good: actually letting me know what you think is the point of the blog comment function. I repsonded to this in terms of what it was, a valid comment on a blog article. This was added to some other really good feedback on the article from various other SL-ers — which I also responded to. However, after having a quick look at the SL Exchange board, I realized that I had been hasty in my assessment of SL as an open, thought-provoking community — I think that my respect for the SL community this comes across in the previous article.

What I’m wondering is “Is this sort of response typical?” If so, I think that that’s a bit sad.

The only things I really take issue with here are the assumptions that a library worker will be:

  • into censorship
  • female

I am however happy for my colleagues, who were assessed as intelligent by default!

Amusingly, I am totally open to suggestions that I’m wrong in my opinion, so if any of you guys from SL actually want to enter into a constructive debate about this (like for example what libraries can do to make SL presences effective from the point of view of a real world — i.e. not a librarian — SL-er), I’d be really happy.

I was really impressed by one thing that was done at SL Exchange: the re-working of my text:

The first thing is that Second Life is only one virtual world; one take on the concept. It’s one of the more impressive virtual worlds, but the others have different concepts that make them attractive to different groups. I respect the people I know that build extensive presences in Second Life; these are great people who are at the bleeding edge of their work. The problem is that the interface in Second Life isn’t good enough; it’s clumsy, it is far from intuitive and it really requires a lot of skill, patience and interest to get the han[g] of. I’m afraid that this will keep Second Life in the realm of special interest forever. Don’t get me wrong, I think that Second Life presents a lot of interesting possibilities and concepts, I just don’t think that it has caught on, and is catching on with the all-important 15-20 age group.

Into:

The first thing is that books are only one medium; one take on the concept. It’s one of the more impressive medias, but the others have different concepts that make them attractive to different groups. I respect the people I know that write extensive novels for libraries; these are great people who are at the bleeding edge of their work. The problem is that the interface for writing books isn’t good enough; it’s clumsy, it is far from intuitive and it really requires a lot of skill, patience and interest to get the han[g] of. I’m afraid that this will keep authors in the realm of special interest forever. Don’t get me wrong, I think that books presents a lot of interesting possibilities and concepts, I just don’t think that it has caught on, and is catching on with the all-important 15-20 age group.

Cur Waydelich

That’s creative!

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4 Responses to “Funny Second Life response”

  1. brinxmat Says:

    Merker at det er kommet noen nye innlegg på nettforumet…

  2. anon sl resident Says:

    From the perspective of a long time “resident” in second life, yes lots of other “residents” will bicker about almost anything.. most notoriously ms ann otoole. They seem to have gotten all defensive viewing your article as an attack on there addiction rather that just making the point that the sl platform is not the most suitable platform for what a virtual library needs.

  3. Cur Waydelich Says:

    Glad you liked my “interpretation” of your text! I wanted to turn the table around a little to make people think, I might have succeded:)

    When it comes to actually suggesting some creative ways for libraries to use Second Life as a platform.

    Why not use Second Life’s awsome capabilities for online conferencing? Second life contains all the functions of Msn, Marratech and similar programs in one easy to use package (well.. I see your point in that second life can be tough for non advanced users, but its still easy compared to setting up msn or another application for online video based conferencing and making it work.).

    One thing that Second Life will add to the equation that the others won’t is the virtual enviroment itself. Marratech nor Msn, skype or the others will never add the feeling of actually sitting in a conference room with the people your communicating with.

    Speaking of that enviroment. Another great thing for libraries to pick up is the ideas of flexible learning and Virtual Learning Centers(1). When speaking of flexible learning one of the essence is making it possible for anyone to participate in the education. Internet makes this possible… with Second life you will will also add the feeling of actually sitting in a classroom with your classmates. Despite the fact youre on a distance.

    Speaking of online classes, the scripting language in second life is perfect for making interactive exercises for students. I know, learning SLS is not for the faint hearted. On the other hand.. neighter is Flash script or any of the other scripts we use today to make interactive flexible learning.

    In a way it will add a more user friendly way of doing online classes as well. Usually the situation requires the student to install Marratech/Msn/ICQ/Skype, web cameras, flash plugins, come to sense with firewalls and security policies to make it work etc. Second life groups all of these functions to one package. You would not have learn 4-5 applications to make it to class.

    So it doesnt have to be about Second Life based E-books for Libraries to find a way to use the possibilites of Second Life. Second life can be a very versatile communications platform.

    1) A “learning center” is a place for students to come and study and participate in flexible learning classes, often on a distance from the university or learning institute.

  4. brinxmat Says:

    I have to admit that I think that the role of the library and librarians as “teachers” is overplayed — I think that librarians are great “supervisors”, and I believe that this fits in perfectly with our other roles. The idea of a learning centre is, I think, compatible with this, but why — as was said elsewhere — just repeat the structures of real life in SL?

    What I have been working on is a script that can be attached to items carried by users that gives them access to different services, and appears (as an overlay — if I can get this to work!) in the viewer. This means that we can integrate IM (supervision) with reference librarians, search in federated resources and so forth in a way that is quite cool, and I think takes the SL-interface’s added value and actually uses it for our purposes (much as a mobile device enriches real life). I’m not sure that I’d want to integrate our content in SL, as you say — books in SL aren’t necessarily interesting.

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