Sunday, July 17, 2011

3D Virtual Worlds - Second Life

Second Life is a three-dimensional virtual community created entirely by its membership. Members assume an identity and take up residence in Second Life, creating a customized avatar or personage to represent themselves. The avatar moves about in the virtual world using mouse control and intuitive keyboard buttons. Second Life’s virtual world also includes sound; wind in the swaying trees, babbling brooks, audible conversation, and built-in chat and instant messaging. Residents buy property, start businesses, game with other residents, create objects, join clubs, attend classes, or just hang out. The rendering of Second Life is remarkable, making it an instant guilty pleasure. Avatars may take any form users choose (human, animal, vegetable, mineral, or a combination thereof) or residents may choose to resemble themselves as they are in real life, or they may choose even more abstract forms, given that almost every aspect of an avatar is fully customizable. Second Life Culture comprises many activities and behaviors that are also present in real life. A single resident account may have only one avatar at a time, although the appearance of this avatar can change between as many different forms as the Resident wishes. Avatar forms, like almost everything else in SL, can be either created by the user, or bought pre-made. A single person may also have multiple accounts, and thus appear to be multiple Residents (a person's multiple accounts are referred to as alts). MY REFLECTION: Second life is something completely new for me, I didn`t even now that a virtual world like that, exist. My first experience at SL was a little bit frustrating because I didn`t download the Advance mode, therefore I didn`t have the full menu version to do important things such as: Flying, Jumping, Taking Pictures, etc. Because of that, I couldn`t follow some instructions that some of my classmates could. I realize that SL is a very modern, original, versatile, powerful and ingenious virtual tool but, on the other hand, I admit that I have to read a lot about the different purposes, Educational objectives and applications of SL , to figure out the real connection between English Teaching and Second Life. I hope to use this virtual world with my students, in a near future.

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