TLVW, Day 3 and more

Well, I’m a bit overdue for this post, thanks to some serious studying I had to do. More on that in another post.

Anyway, back on May 31st we met for class again. Voice worked much more smoothly this time, and a lot of us were using it (although I didn’t until the end – my name is Text, after all, and I’ve gotten to feeling that that’s my preferred modus).

We had this awesome assignment to do: we broke into teams of four, and given a “journalism” mission. The team members were to take the roles of manager/producer, photographer, writer, and interviewer, and we were given a set of locations to visit. With a deadline to meet (time limit of ~1 hour total), the goal was to visit as many of the locations as possible, taking pics and notes and getting interviews with anyone in the area, in order to have “stories” we could share with the class. I loved this task for several reasons. First, the journalistic theme was a really creative setup, in my opinion. It’s also an all-purpose type of assignment; that is, it can be used for any subject material that can be found in-world. Plus, there’s nothing like a deadline to make group work really effective. Class got started a little late, so we didn’t have nearly the full hour in which to work, but my team managed to visit three locations for about ten minutes each. I also like that the pics and notes remain as artifacts for a potential group presentation.

There were a couple of problems, though. First, the interviewer in our group didn’t really have much to do, as there never seemed to be anyone around to interview. Bodies thin on the ground, as it were. A teacher might actually get some accomplices to hang around so as to ensure that doesn’t happen, or there might be a supplemental task as a contingency. Also, one of the locations we visited seemed to be an incomplete build. I’m not sure we investigated it properly, since there were a few interactive items there, but the place did seem to be mostly empty of objects. Builds can, of course, change overnight – something that was just there for your class to visit might suddenly disappear, or be bought out by a neko store or something. Not that that would be so bad – neko accessories are usually super-cool and well-priced…

Um, anyway. So that was really cool and fun. Also gave us the chance to practice navigation and communication skills; from teleports and poking around to IMs and chat, everyone from the team leader down has to get it in gear to get the job done. I was my team’s leader, and keeping track of my team and making sure we made the most of our time was an interesting challenge. For a competitive bent to it, it might be interesting to have some common locations on each group’s list (our groups all had non-overlapping lists) and see who can “scoop” the big stories.

We were supposed to meet with someone who works in the teen grid to discuss youth and VWs, but there was some confusion I think about his appointment with us. We’ll meet with him this weekend.

Then we did some building basics. We worked with uploading and applying textures and again broke into groups to do some collaborative building, which was an interesting experience. We weren’t tasked with building anything in particular, and there was some confusion about how to build collaboratively. Eventually my group figured out how to share ownership of an item so that any group member can edit it. (I have since found a tutorial video by Torley Linden that discusses that and related questions; his Tips of the Week videos are generally both educational and entertaining.) Without a specific building goal, though, we ended up just making this pile o’ shapes. I have a bunch of sculpties that I’ve picked up in various places, so that’s how the strange shiny thing got made.

Overall, good stuff.

The next day I went to the theatre. There was a presentation of Euripides’ Bacchae, and it was great. I’m becoming a real fan of SL theatre. This show differed from the SL Shakespeare’s Hamlet in a couple of different ways. First, as you can see in this pic, the amphitheater is much larger than the SL Globe’s stage area. Thus, with only a few actors on, it looks pretty sparse. This also affected how we heard the actors’ lines, as when they were on the far side of the stage you could really hear the distance. It was a neat effect (I’m not sure whether it was intended or not), but off-stage voices were almost too faint at times. Still, the actors were very good and the play was a great choice. The outfits were also great. I’m not sure that they put as much into gestures and animations as the Hamlet production, but I didn’t miss it that much. Plus the Bacchic dances were wonderful. The show’s run is over now, but some video is available here and the main info page is here (though I’ve been having trouble with that link lately).

More soon!

Song of the moment: "The Device Has Been Modified v2," Victims of Science

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