Back in 2010 I joined Second Life (www.secondlife.com). At the time I was new to the educational field and was looking for new ways to integrate gaming into education. I read an article about 3D virtual worlds being an innovative way to get students involved. So I found a 3D virtual world – Second Life – and joined up to see what it was all about. Now I like video games, they are an integral part of my life, but this was something that was beyond a video game. It was my love of D&D and video game all rolled into one.
What did I find?
I found a whole world with a functioning economy and thriving social scene. Unfortunately I had come a little late. The peak of SL (Second Life) happened in 2008 and as the Real life economy dropped so did SL’s. People didn’t have disposable income any longer and even though SL is a free download and you can play for free. There are enhancements that cost money, money that people didn’t have any longer. I met some very interesting people, just as you do in real life. I also met some very strange people, just like you do in real life. I guess the biggest difference was that I knew if I didn’t want to be around a person in SL I could block them or just not go where they were. In real life it is not that easy.
It took a while to understand the the in & outs of the society but not that much. In a couple weeks I no longer considered myself a NOOBIE.
I started to search out other schools that were on SL. I found the Oregon Community College, Ball State, and many others. (a lot have shut down at this writing) I wanted to see what they were doing and how. I didn’t see a lot of students on-line with the schools I went to. I decided that this wouldn’t be something that we would want to do as it would take a lot of development and time. Time is precious to me.
I did however keep my SL account. I went on to explore this virtual world and collect things. I gave up my other video gaming time to explore this world. I got a little addicted and spent way too much time going there, my wife complained and I finally gave it up.
I took about a year off. Just last Saturday I went back just to see what had changed.
I was surprised that so many people have left SL. The number of people on line was minimal compared to the first year I was on. Some of the people that I had befriended were still there. One in particular was Susan, she and her husband were early adopters and have been there forever. She was happy to see me. We chatted and caught up.
I have decided to stay a little longer and play and visit. For those of us geeks it is a fun environment.
Unfortunately there is a dark side of SL, and I stay away from that. I will speak of that later.
Here’s a video about SL
Back in Real Life
I am going to be interviewed for an Instructor position at my school..YAY! I am so excited. I have the qualifications, now I just need to wow the selection committee. I know of three competitors and they are stiff competition. I will certainly have to bring my A game. If I get it, my salary will almost double. Some of the stress from living pay check to pay check will be taken away. When my previous job was eliminated back in 2009 I took about a 1/3 pay cut when I took this job. I stayed because it is a wonderful job. It was hard at first but we adjusted. Now it is time (four years) for me to move up. I am optimistic that I will prevail.
Well as always thank you for visiting and leave a comment should you wish to.