Posted by: crudbasher | September 25, 2009

Week 4 – Blog Posting #7 -Second Life

I have watched Second Life’s progress for several years now.  Until January of this year, I was teaching a class at Full Sail about making art for Video Games so obviously SL was of interest to me.  There are two things that turn people off I think.

1.  It is not a game.  People are only used to seeing 3d graphics in a game setting.  It takes some imagination to see the other things that can be done in a virtual space such as SL. 

2.  It doesn’t look as good as a video game.  SL will never look as good as a video game for several reasons.  First, most of the content is created by the users and there are strict restrictions on how this content is made.  I have looked into it, and even stuff I made as a professional 3d artist wouldn’t look that great.  The other reason it doesn’t look great is SL has to run on an average computer. They didn’t make it to run on a Xbox or PS3.  Therefore not only can’t they take advantage of the top of the line graphics, they have to shoot for the average machine.  Now this average is getting better quickly, but even so they will always lag behind the state of the art.

This doesn’t mean that SL doesn’t have huge potential.  The citizens of SL are prototyping the rules and social customs for an artificial reality.  This is something that will be very important in about 5-10 years.  I am sure when people first downloaded the first beta Mozaic we browser they had no idea of what the web would become.  I know because I was one of them!

In 10 years time, you will be able to enter a virtual world that is indistinguishable from reality.  That is a very exciting proposition and the folks in SL are trying out the customs we will need then.

I checked out the various links Dr. Siegel provided us.  The Multiple Intelligences area was a very neat way to explain that concept to people.  Sometimes books are a bit dry so being able to see examples is a very accessible way to explore the concepts.  I played the Steel Drums! πŸ™‚

The Blooms area was a little less interesting but I liked how the Blooms blocks were laid out with the third dimension.  The higher the block, the more desireable it was until you got all the way to metacognitive. Neat idea.  Even so, I still find Blooms boring. πŸ™‚

The group I joined was the International Spaceflight Museum.  I have been facinated by spaceflight for my whole life, so this was a natural interest to me.  I went to their location in SL which was the International Spaceflight Museum Bravo.  This consisted of many 3d models of rockets.  Some of the rockets were recent which shows someone put in a lot of time building them.  Short of going to Kennedy Space Center for a field trip, I can’t think of a better way to introduce children to the space program. I had a good time exploring the rockets and joined their group

In 10 years time when our children are engaged in photorealistic virtual worlds we will be able to tell then about Second Life.  It’s like when our grandparents tell us about the first time they saw an airplane. πŸ™‚

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